Big, big news: the city of 44 hills

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Well, if the picture doesn’t say it all: I am moving to San Francisco!! My boyfriend and I have gotten approval from our company to relocate to San Francisco in the next few weeks and we are so thrilled. We will be living in the city and cannot wait to be among friends and family. Originally both from the West coast, California is really home for us and we are elated. I am also so excited to finally meet up and connect with other SF based bloggers and readers! If you are in SF and would like to get coffee/lunch, please do not hesitate to reach out. Yippee!

Stay tuned for apartment hunting updates, travel adventures, and of course decorating a new apartment!

10 things

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Part of what I love about blogging is getting to know the bloggers that I read. I always appreciate when others share some personal details about themselves so I thought I would do the same. Here are 10 things you might now know about me!

1. I started reading fashion blogs in early 2008 (Cupcakes and Cashmere was my first one. Back when she was posting point and shoot pictures of herself). I had just graduated high school and wanted some clothing inspiration for college. It really kicked into high gear about 6 months later during an internship where I was tasked with understanding “this new world of blogging” for a major lingerie company.

2. I went to college in Philadelphia, at the University of Pennsylvania and majored in Sociology and Gender, Society and Culture. But now, I work in technology as a consultant for a major tech firm.

3. While studying gender studies, my love for technology (and fashion!) flourished. I held internships at RentTheRunway, Google, and Victoria’s Secret.

4. I have two brothers, one older and one younger. They are tall and super thin, and i’m a pear. But to be honest, I love it that way! I argue I got the good genes.

5. My boyfriend and I met during a summer internship at Google during my sophomore year of college (his senior year). We dated long distance for 2 years (cross country!) and only about 1 year ago did we officially live in the same city. I truly believe he is my soulmate. If we got through that I know we can get through anything.

6. My dad is my best friend. We have the same personality. He even loves clothes and shoes like me!

7. I have a not-so-secret lifelong dream to be in a hair commercial…

8. I eat my turkey bacon in the morning with pepperoncinis. My boyfriend thinks its weird. My dad understands.

9. I have the exact same eye color and skin color as my mother. Exactly. We can share foundation and concealer. It’s convenient for when I go home.

10. I was born and raised in Chula Vista, CA. A very small town about 5 miles from the border with Mexico. My dad is Mexican and my mom is American so I grew up with literally two distinct cultures. With one in my backyard!

Dressing for pictures: the fit & flare

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H&M dress (very old) (similar), Sam Edelman heels, H&M necklace (another fun option)

With the amount that I have my picture taken for this blog, I think a lot about what styles allow me to look most photogenic. These thoughts not only apply to bloggers but to anyone attending a social event where they are sure to end up in front of a camera! One of my go-to styles aside from a tight-fitted dress, is a fit and flare. It nips in at the waist, flatters my body and allows for movement.

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Apologies for the wrinkles on this dress, it was after a day of sitting! I chose this piece in particular because of the style but also the intricate details. The ruffling on the bodice, the subtle pleating at the waist and the flirty bottom all make for interesting picture details.

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A fit and flare also allows for movement and sultry poses like this!

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If you’re at all uncomfortable about the width of your hips, or the shape of your rear than a subtle fit and flare in a draped, non-clingy fabric is perfect. It grazes curves without hugging them, emphasizing all of your assets. Paired with a bright bauble to draw the eye upward, and nude heels for leg lengthening, this is the perfect picture outfit!

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To add even more interest, throw on a trench or jacket for added coverage.

Do you love the fit and flare?

Shopping Chanel: Vintage vs. New

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A few days ago I gushed about a new purse in my life. I cannot tell you how in love I am with her and how happy I am with my decision. Chanel is a timeless, classic brand and I know this bag will be something I carry for many years, and will pass down to future generations.

After deciding on the bag I wanted (more on that in a later post), I spent a good year researching and determining where to actually purchase the purse. I listened carefully to Jean and Tiffany‘s advice about shopping vintage, and wanted to share my thoughts about the process:

The vintage resellers I perused (like a madwoman…):

Malleries (pictured below): This online vintage reseller is sensational. With a site of hundreds if not thousands of pieces, there is surely something for everyone. Almost daily I would visit this site and search “chanel woc” to see if any new treasures appeared. The site gives details of every bag including measurements, year the bag was manufactured, and information as to any defects. They also supply some tidbits about the reseller the bag originally came from: how long it has been on the site, the number of bags this particular reseller has sold, etc. Like most resellers, they have an “all sales final” policy, another reason I chose to buy from a store.

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Portero Luxury (pictured below): This reseller is known for upping their prices. With a more limited selection of items they often showcase more unique bags + jewelry. One thing I appreciated about Portero was the detailed “rating” they gave their bag. They use a Good, Very Good, Excellent, Pristine rating scale and give details as to what each of these notations mean. They also tend to provide more detailed and specific pictures of the bag itself which I found helpful. Also non-refundable, I felt slightly more comfortable purchasing from this reseller as I saw many more pictures of the bag.

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A Detailed Price Comparison of Vintage vs. New:

Vintage bags: I saw vintage WOCs range in price from $1300 to $2400. More unique colors and textures (patent, snakeskin, etc) were more expensive in price while black tended to be less expensive. However, on occasion I did see a black caviar WOC priced well above retail price. This inconsistency in pricing and the huge shipping charges (Malleries was often about $30 alone in shipping), the prices of these bags hovered around $1600 to $1800 after all was said and done. To top it all off, as you can see in the Portero picture above, a basic black caviar WOC was priced at $1330 + $30 shipping + $7% taxes AND was only a “very good” rating, meaning the bag had some serious wear and tear.

New Chanel WOC purchased from retailer: Currently the Chanel WOC retails for $1500. I purchased it for this price about 3 weeks ago, though I have heard that another price jump is coming in March. I bought the bag from a Chanel Nordstrom boutique over the phone and had the bag shipped for free. After paying North Carolina tax the bag came to a total of $1625 and was never touched, worn, tried on, etc. It was completely 100% new and absolutely stunning. It also came with the box, authenticity card, in its original packaging.

My Decision: For about the same price as vintage, I got a brand new bag that had never been touched and had a 100% guarantee that it was authentic. It was shipped to me by a retailer I trust (Nordies for the win), and got all of the fun accessories like box and card that come with it. Finally, the process with Nordstrom was entirely seamless. I called a few Nordstrom Chanel boutiques around the country and put my name on some wait lists, and three weeks later I was called by the one in Topanga, CA, paid for the bag over the phone, and it was shipped to me within 3 working days.

This was just my personal experience and choice in purchasing Chanel. I would love to hear your stories! If anyone has any questions please leave them in the comments below.

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