8.21.2010

Caribbean Haul + Wearing Souvenir Shirts?!

     WARNING: This is a super-long post. Read with caution.

 The question of the day is: Have you been plagued by the latest trend… hauling? It’s been conceived from the beauty gurus on YouTube and fashioned into a phenomenon that’s unraveling around the Internet in a mere of a Lancôme-lacquered blink. Hauling has made its rounds from videos to blogging, and there’s just something about exposing your newborn purchases to the world that strangely fascinates people… and me?!

I’ve recently returned from the palm-fringed, white-sanded and turquoise-eclisped beaches of the Caribbean, arm-in-arm with souvenirs of course! So here’s to my first ever blog haul! *virtual milkshake raising* Please comment and tell me if you’d like to see a monthly blog haul, where I’ll exploit my monthly mall-excursion treasures! Oh, and ignore the horrible quality of the pictures! (Thank-you very much, iPhone).

Also, I’ve decided to include another part of the post, purely dedicated on how to wear souvenir shirts, so don’t forget to check that out! (And yes, we all know that you have them discreetly placed in the back of your closet. Guilty as charged)

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St. Maarten
After a rather quite embaressing snorkeling trip (sigh), I bounded into the only large & decent-sized souvenir store and knew exactly what I was on a mission for: To seek the perfect souvenir jacket. However, this T-shirt instead caught my eye and I instantly found a liking for it. I wasn’t exactly sure if it was a mens’ shirt or a womens’ shirt, but in the end, I snatched it up happily, and there I was at the cashier counter. I don’t have many T-shirts in a heather-gray color, so why not? I love the lifeguard-esque to it, it’s such an essential, especially if you’re a Southern California-er like me. How I would wear it, you ask? Denim shorts, a super-soft cardigan, sandals, sling on some jewelry, and you’re good to go!

St. Thomas
  We were wandering aimlessly along some of St. Thomas’s quaint, little cobblestone-dusted streets, slowly & painfully burning under the extreme heat (soo not fun) until we caught glimpse of the only air-conditioned shop on the way. This happened to be some sort of “chic, trendy-touristy” boutique that paid homage to LeSportsac goodies, Kipling merchandise, Roxy tees and shorts, and the likes. My shopping-instincts pulled in and I made my rounds of the store, feeling refreshed under the breezy air, and was surprised to find a section of the store that offered actual St. Thomas souvenirs. I eyed this v-neck shirt in a navy color that suspiciously looked like an Abercrombie top from afar. I thought it was pretty decent, and ended bringing it back onto the cruise ship with me. I’ll probably imagine my self wearing this very casual tee either tucked into a fun, floral skirt or assembled with jeans, a belt, and a cardigan. Love!

Norwegian Epic
 I have to admit, this top became an addition to my closet on impulse sale-spending. Our  ship, the Nowegian Epic (pretty epic) was having a last-minute sale where everything was practically 50% off. I remember the stores being mobbed with people much like me, who were buying up their souvenirs and vacation memories, all at a discounted price. I had wanted something to remind me of my trip on the ship, and most of the tops they were offering were HIDEOUS! The only one that made it past inspection was a yellow, slight v-neck top with a tiny cinch at the bottom (you can’t see it in the picture) and ribbing at the top. I first spotted it on a mannequin and thought, This could work. Yellow is a hard color to work your ensembles into, but I was up for a challenge. I’ll love to throw this on over some black tights and boots for a simple school outfit.

Jewelry

 In addition to buying my shirt from St. Maarten, I discovered this amazing little town square that offered stands of homemade gifts, perfect for tokens of your vacation. I was drawn to a tiny stand with racks of beautiful crafted woven jewelry, necklaces, bracelets, rings, ranging from mere dollars or more. I absolutely adored this cuffed, woven bracelet with a metal detaling on the front, engraved with a peace sign. I couldn’t chose between either that, or woven peace necklace, and in the end, I bought both. Both of these pieces would be a fantastic cherry-on-top to any outfit and add a little boho-feel.
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How To Wear Souvenir Shirts!?

Now, conjuring up a wearable outfit destined for the public’s eye while utilizing a souvenir shirt is certainly quite a fashion-savvy feat. Souvenir shirts have a notorious reputation around the racks deep in our closets; your sweaters are tragically caught whispering scandalous-laden secrets here and there to your favorite worn-in button-down tops, and even your Sunday-night sweats know it better!

Attempting to fuse in a souvenir shirt to your daily wardrobe is as difficult as you can say $100-Balenciagas. Souvenir shirts are just so… you know… what’s the word? Unwearable. Starting from their bargain-basement material, swiveling to their cheesy, bright, flashy prints and their rather unfourtunate cut and style, there’s a reason why they never made it outside the bedroom doors, nevertheless, the house.

However, there are some of us out there who are willing to partake in this challenging, risqué task of how to manage to pull of effortless looks with the dreaded souvenir shirt. Now is the perfect time to saunter over your to closet and ransack through the trendy jumbles of of satiny fabrics for those souvenir tees that you’ve been leaving behind to collect dust. It’s their time to get the spotlight!

Look #1: Caught by Paparazzi
Souvenir Tank - CafePress | Jacket - Shopless Nouvelles | Leggings - The Out Net | Boots - Steve Madden | Scarf - Style Server | Bag - Endless | Beret - Forever21 

   Perhaps a dear relative has decided to enhance your wardrobe wonders by presenting you with a souvenir tank-top, freshly authentic from their latest jet-lagged jaunt. As you quietly mumble out the requisite thank-yous, one thing is musing wildly in your mind: How in the world do I wear this?! Alas, a touristy tank can easily be reconstructed into the perfect daytime ensemble with the rescue of black leggings and a leather motorcycle jacket. Very edgy, no? To play along, don on a pair of leather boots in black and bundle-up with a tan-toned scarf. I wanted to go with the French flag's color palettes, hence the dark-blue bag with tassles and a red crochet beret for a flare of color. Tres chic, indeed!

Look #2: Native Couture
Souvenir Shirt - GrandSlam New York | Cardigan - 7Trends | Jeans - Metropark | Boots - Zappos | Bag - Lori's Shoes | Ring - Native Artistry | Bracelets - Net-A-Porter | Sunglasses - Sunglasses Shop

We've all seen the unfourtante I Heart NY tee countless times (along with its international counterparts). Okay, we must admit it, it's a little on the tacky side. How to successfully execute this ensemble requires deluxe amounts of pure ambition and the nescessary dose of style-slicked expertise. First off, pause admist your fashion blog-touring and think back to the pair of jeans. I'm talking about your most desired pair, the ones that you swiftly pull on and wear everywhere... aka, your most favorite pair of jeans! A classic tee-and-jean combo never goes out of the style at the fashion bar! To allude a casual, boho-esque touch, cue in an oversized gray open cardigan. Throwback to the Native American-era with some insanely adorable fringe boots, and don't forget to accessorize accordingly with jewelry with soft, turquiose hues. Finally, a textured-bag with slight, fringe-detailing totes up the whole outfit. 

Look #3: Ciao Florals
Souvenir Shirt - Italian T-shirts | Skirt - John Lewis | Sandals - Lagarconne | Bag - ASOS |
 Hat - French Connection | Sunglasses - Sunglasses Shop | Braceletes - Fashion Addicts | Ring - Tiffany

Instead of opting for the common plain white/black souvenir tee next time you're doing some vacay time, scour carefully for a more trendy alternative, such as this otherwise normal white tee deliquesced with red sleeves that pays homage to the exotically-picturesque country of Italy. This tee offers a fresh, brand-new edge compared to the other souvenir shirts, and doles out an ultra-feminine vibe when paired with a floral skirt, destined to channel your inner-shopaholicness. Entrust your feet with a strappy pair of white flat sandals, the perfect picture of innocence. And, don't let your wrists and fingers go naked without a few bangles and a ring here and there. To cinch everything up, a nautical-inspired tote should be slung over your shoulder, a white straw hat over your velvetly-smooth hair, and a pair of oversized white sunglasses over your precious long-lashed eyes for some much-needed people-watching. 
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I hope you enjoyed my extremely lengthy post! (:
Hopefully, now you'll find a way to tackle those souvenir tees into a real work of fashion!
Also, please don't forget to comment and tell me if you'd like to see a monthly haul blog post.
Thanks for reading!

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