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Trading in the city for the west. 

romper C/O MINT JULEP BOUTIQUE / necklace C/O EMERALD DUV / backpack BUFFALO EXCHANGE (similar) / shoes SUSINA (similar)

If Hollywood loves to romanticize one subject, it would — without a doubt — be the great American west.

And honestly, I can't blame them. There is something very enticing about the vast frontier. Mountains frame the skies, deserts are never-ending, color comes in the form of cacti, lands virtually untouched by mankind. We have Hollywood to thank for the John Waynes, saloons, and heart-pumping gun showdowns. The American west has not only influenced music (exhibit A: Ennio Morricone) but has also infiltrated the sartorial scene. 

Let's talk bolo necklaces and everything fringe — two elements of western-inspired fashion and also two of my latest obsessions. Do a Google search on bolo necklaces and you'll hit the variety jackpot — from handcrafted suede versions on Etsy to a modernized, California-cool style like the one I'm wearing from Emerald Duv. My new goal: build up my bolo necklace collection — and with just three in my collection so far, I have major work ahead of me. 

To tone down the western touches (sometimes you have to remind yourself you're living smack in the middle of an urban jungle) I opted for a striped halter romper from Mint Julep Boutique. I especially love the relaxed fit and the ability to go braless (.... TMI?) — and plus, pockets!!! What there's to not love? 

Photography: Areta Chen
Jun 13, 2016

fringe benefits

Trading in the city for the west.  romper C/O MINT JULEP BOUTIQ...

Repeat after me: tanlines, not deadlines. 
Also, read on to see how you can snag your own mermaid gear/dream swimsuit from Albion.

swimsuit C/O ALBION / shorts BUFFALO EXCHANGE (similar) / bag DAILY LOOK (similar) / hand chain DAILY LOOK (similar) / hat WORLD MARKET

Summer is in session, which means...

By night: binge-watching Mad Men (and definitely not developing a torturous love/hate relationship with Don Draper or anything)

By day: finding little slices of the tropics in the city, crafting (and completing) a summer bucketlist, moving out of my childhood home in CA, grooving to Reverberation Radio, and somewhere among all of this, scheming of ways to snag that beach glow minus the beach. Honorary mention: interning/freelancing. 

While back home on the west coast for the week, I finally got the chance to take my new Albion Island Hopper swimsuit for a necessary cruise. Yes, Malibu was running on clouds and gloomy skies, and yes, the Pacific almost claimed my sandals as casualty, but I'd take this scenario over no beach at all (Coney Island may be a subway ride away, but does it really have to be an option?) 

On terms of aquatic wear, I normally graviate towards bikinis as I rarely stumble upon beach-worthy one-pieces — that is, until the Island Hopper came into scene. Where do I even begin? From the dreamy palm print to the striking cut-out and bow back detailing, this is the swimsuit perfectly suited for paradise. And a bonus: add denim cut-offs to elevate the look from beach to street. Unfortunately, the only islands I'll most likely be hopping this summer is between Manhattan and Brooklyn, but I'll settle for vicarious travels via Anthony Bourdain. 

Want to win $50 to Albion and shop your own Insta-worthy swimsuit? 
Whether that be a mermaid-approved 'kini or your very own Island Hopper, your chance to win is here just in time for vacation mode. 

How To Enter:
1. Follow @AlbionFit on Instagram
2. Follow @RunawayInLA on Instagram
3.  Tag a friend in this photo

Giveaway closes on Sunday, June 19 at midnight EST and is open internationally!

Jun 2, 2016

island hopper

The final chapter of junior year, the first chapter of summer. 

romper C/O TOBI / necklace BUFFALO EXCHANGE / cuff bracelet C/O LARIMAR / bag STREET LEVEL / shoes BORN IN CALIFORNIA (similar) / hat WORLD MARKET

Is a life without alarm clocks, places to be, projects to do, and people to meet really the kind of life I crave at the moment? While summer is the epitome of liberation, I have learned that I only value freedom given the right geographic location — that is, the kind of freedom that comes with coconut mojitos and Caribbean paradises, and certainly not the urban variety. For me, summer in NYC translates to productivity — work first, play second. Can you blame for me adopting the city's career-driven (and cutthroat) mentality? 

This summer marks my first away from home in CA and my first officially in the city. Hello humidity, tourists who walk at 1/mph, and weekday happy hours. I'm glad to temporarily escape the burden of homework and exams, but don't get me wrong — there is still much work to accomplish, adult work. Networking, internship hunting, treating yourself to overpriced mani/pedis, somehow maintaining an apartment cleaning schedule, contemplating about your Tuesday night wine choice (but really).  

Though I'll no longer be a scenic drive fom the Pacific coast, I can always keep a slice of the ocean with me through, yes, jewelry. My new triangle cuff from LARIMAR has easily become an everyday essential — for more reasons than physical beauty. The larimar stone is found specially in the waters of the Dominian Republic and also doubles as a healing crystal, connecting to the throat and heart chakras to enhance creativity and serenity and remove negative energy. 

Having just finished junior year of college (!), my next plan of action involves worrying about everything post-school — aka, the terrifying job hunt and the quest to combat student loans. I think I'll need this larimar stone more than ever soon... 

Shop more of my Tobi favorites here: rompers, dresses, jumpsuitscrop tops, skirts
New customers get 50% off their first order — what are you waiting for? 

Photography: Areta Chen
May 18, 2016

vitamin sea

All laced up in denim and a splash of stripes (and fringe). 

dress C/O TOBI / top EMMA & SAM (similar) / shoes DOLCE VITA (on sale) / bag STREET LEVEL / sunglasses MANGO

One cold brew and seven page essay later, I did it: I discovered the meaning behind community — or so, the textbook definiton anyway. 

However, what Google and PDF articles can't teach you is the community experience in its tangible form. When it comess to the realm of blogging, I believe in the mantra of camaraderie over competition. Why treat blogging as a cutthroat battle when you could be striking offline friendships through online beginnings? 

For me, community is not A) the name of a cult TV show I have yet to watch or B) Natalie Tran, YouTube's most underrated comedic gem (though I do love her), but rather C) The NYC Style Collective. In a city like New York, it is easy to disappear in the shuffle of Instagram influencers and industry icons, but being part of the collective fixes just that. From uptown to downtown, borough to borough, the NYC Style Collective unites bloggers from every corner of the concrete jungle — whether that be over brunches, happy hours, or both (by law, I cannot reject a spicy margarita or a glass of rosé). 

Here's what I wore to a recent brunch outing with the NYC Style Collective girls — a denim lace-up dress courtesy of Tobi with a striped long sleeve tee underneath, rounding out the last batch of spring-worthy looks before I dive into full-on summer ensembles. 

Soon: here's to good 'ol NYC humidity and the return of sandals and therefore, pedicures. 

Shop more of my Tobi favorites here: rompers, party dresses, cardigans, bodysuits, crop tops
New customers get 50% off their first order — what are you waiting for? 

Photography: Areta Chen
May 13, 2016

jeanie in a bottle