May 12, 2016

How to Find Your New Hairstylist & Avoid that Awful Disastrous Haircut or Hairstyle

Dear Readers,

I'm writing today to share how to go about finding a new hairstylist without having your beautiful locks undergo "trial and errror" that leaves you terribly upset!!! This is the second time that my fashion friends have gotten into the Haircut from Hell Experience... So I'm feeling it's time to share how to do this & protect our style and beauty!

Image Source: Richard Gere in Runaway Bride, *This is SO NOT the hair I asked for...*

First of all, if you are suddenly finding yourself without a reliable trustworthy hairdresser, go in with Visual References. Use Google Images that effectively demonstrate the length, cut, texture, and color of the hair you're going for. I'm so bad at explaining the hairstyle that I want, that I search like 200-300 (sometimes over a thousand) hair images. I guess I'm research crazy like that! Good keywords to search for are "women's hairstyle" or "trendy hairstyles" or "hairstyles for 2016" etc. If you already know the cut you're going for, you can specify the lengths like "women's hairstyle long/medium/short" and add in other words like "curly/wavy/bang/bob/pixie/beach/prom/straight" and so on. To be absolutely clear, always have 2-3 images to pinpoint EXACTLY how you want your hair to look. eg. I'd go in with 2-3 photos of asymmetrical bob that are similar in lengths and styling. Since I'm not good with styling my hair, I usually throw in a third image that looks like a similar cut but styled different than the first two. I also take in 2-3 images to specify the color I want. If you're blonde, it's easier to do a variety of hair colors, but if you are naturally dark haired, then, some colors just may not work unless you bleach it.

Secondly, you need to know the skill level of your hairdresser. This can happen in 3 ways. a) You were recommended a stylist from someone you know, and the style they have is what you want. Do NOT go for a hairstyle that looks good on your friend but is NOT the look you're going for. Remember that each person has different a style vibe!

b) You looked at the hairdresser or hairstylist's portfolio either in person or online. See if the hairdresser is versatile and skillful with a variety of hairstyles, or specializes in a hairstyle that is more distinct. eg. I know some hair stylists who are more avant-garde, and others that are more conservative. Make sure that the stylist you're contacting is skillful and experienced at the style you want.

c) If you're going in without having been recommended or having checked out their portfolio, you MUST assess HOW THEY DRESS and HOW THEY STYLE THEIR OWN HAIR on the spot!!! This is SO CRUCIAL LADIES! Here are two stories that illustrate my point.

-- I once lucked out with a hairdresser who was really cute, and even though she was shorter than me in height, she dressed in a way that I liked. I was a sophomore or junior in university at the time, and I had asked her for a glamorous looking hairstyle. She looked at my overall attire and she asked me if this was how I dressed most of the time. I said yes. She looked at my shoes and told me that the hairstyle I wanted would not suit how I dress normally... She then asked me if I was good at using the hair styling tools. I told her no, I have two left hands when it comes to styling... She laughed gently, and she told me that the hairstyle I asked her to give me from the magazine was achieved with at least a medium to high level of using a curling iron or flat iron. We settled for a less glamorous but easy to style hair that suited me, and the questions she asked me that day really stayed with me. It was the first time that a hairstylist asked me a series of questions that really mattered to my personal style. Ever since that day, I have always told a new hairstylist upfront that I have really little hairstyling skills, and that narrowed down my options, and gave me a more realistic clarity of hairstyle direction!

-- The flip side of that experience happened a couple of years on. I was working at the time, and my previous hairstylist (above) was unavailable due to maternity leave! I had to find a new hairstylist, and just walked into a salon en route to another appointment. It was a well reputed salon, a familiar brand name, so I thought I was in good hands. A lady who looked really feminine, with wispy long hair and a romantic dress came to do my hair. I hadn't worked out the style I wanted, but I described to her the kind of hairstyle I wanted. She said OK, and went to work. Well. After she said it was all done, I was so bummed because after all the chopping away, my hair still didn't have the shape I wanted. The lady had been too scared to make distinct changes to my hair, but what I wanted was a distinct cut. She really didn't understand what I wanted. And she was the nervous type who just trimmed away a little and didn't create a more obvious shape! It was then that I noted how her own hairstyle, lacked any distinct shape. Her hair was so wispy and breezy, and lacked a distinct silhouette. I was so bitter that I had to pay her money for a haircut that led me nowhere. But I was short on time, so I couldn't ask for a redo that day.

So, as these two experiences relate, you MUST assess the overall "aesthetic bent" that your hairstylist has. Some hairstylists are more punk rock, and edgy. Some are more severe and sophisticated. Others are more girly, others more classic and so on. Unless they are super well trained by the masters, most hair designers tend to give you the kind of hairstyle they have on their own body. I guess there are hairstylists who might wear a certain style, but give you a different cut, but as a general rule of thumb, I have found that by and large, they tend to wear the same style that they are able to emulate on the client!!!

d) This is also a safety point ladies... When you go into a hairdresser for your Virgin Cut, or Virgin Color, PLEASE ONLY GET A TRIM or a ROOT TOUCH-UP.

This alone can save you the heartache, upset, anguish, and $$$. This is kind of like a test run or a "let's get to know each other" type of experience. Tell them that this is the first time coming to this salon, and that you would just like a trim. See how well they do this mini task. Listen to the questions they ask you. And see how well your hair grows out. The masterful hairdressers will give you two awkward hair days, but give you a haircut that grows into a beautiful shape for up to 6-8 weeks. I personally believe that this alone might be the LITMUST TEST to see if they're really pro or not. Other more novice hairstylists will give you a hair that looks nice that day, but the hair will lose its shape or silhouette once you wash your hair. If that's what you get, then you must find a different stylist, someone who is more competent. The next time you return to the "competent stylist" you can give them an intermediate task; go for either color or haircut. Don't ask for both. Or if you need better texture, just go for the hair repair. That way, you can evaluate their skill and return the third time to create that dream haircut you wanted. It will take three visits to get what you want, but you wouldn't have lost your locks, you will save yourself from weeks of terrible emotional upset, and you'll definitely protect your money from being wasted. And in most cases, the hairdresser will also give you good services to get you coming in for the next appointment, or that's how it works in Korea. :)

Aight ladies!! I hope this blog post serves you!!
And may you crown your personal style with the best hairstyle of your lifetime~~


Jessica FlatShoenista

Feb 15, 2016

The Most Beautiful Woman I've Seen {spiritual post}

Hi Readers~

Today, I would like to share something slightly different. I know my blog is about personal style, and finding something that is "authentic" and "expressive" of who we truly are. It is about discovering our identity and recognizing the really awesome parts of our inner and outer selves.

I've been on a spiritual path since last May 2nd, 2015. Even though I was raised Catholic and Confucian, by the time I was a high teen, I had chosen to live as an Atheist and Agnostic. It took a lot of rock bottoms and several years in recovery in the 12 steps groups to begin a more solid foundation for a saner life. Then, I attended my cousin's wedding in May, and I now belong to an Evangelical and Independent church in Korea.

As Christianity and Evangelism began to shape my life and identity, I couldn't help but notice how my pedestrian and often faithless past values were reflected in my clothing. Up till this point, "holy" was not something I had to consider. I wanted to be part of the "in crowd," part of the "sexy, glamorous" crowd, and most definitely all about "attention getting" fashion.

* * *
In my recent healing process, my super healer guru asked me to watch two videos on YouTube. One was about a guy called Nick Vujicic, and the other was about a Korean lady called Lee, Ji-Seon. Both of them speak about God's love for us, and it is truly remarkable how Faith has shaped them despite their apparent disabilities and crippled physique.

And it was a transformative experience watching Ms. Lee speak about how a car accident induced fire took away her physical beauty, her face disfigured, her whole body burnt up melting, and 8 of her fingers destroyed. And here she was, giving thanks and praise to God, for leaving her the 2 thumbs and parts of her 8 fingers, that her prayer had been answered. How is this possible? I couldn't stop crying watching her video. This was not something I could accept from my Earthly mentality.

* * *
Well. As I pondered about what holy beauty and fashion was about, the ONLY person I could think about was Ms. Lee. In her voice, calm and serene, full of Grace, I felt and saw a whole person of full beauty elegance power and style. It was a divine presence and coming from a place of Love. She was full of gratitude in her heart for what God has allowed her, and I could sense her self compassion and kindness. And she was extending that love to us too.

May the Divine spark this kind of full beauty in us all.
May we be full of gratitude in what God has allowed us this day.

xoxoxo Jessica FlatShoenista

Feb 2, 2016

SYM ::: Try These High Collar Necklaces to Dress Up Your Tshirts!!

Here are two ways to play up your boring old t-shirts!!

#01. Add a high contrast Peter Pan collar! As you can see in my Polyvore set below, that piece of black on the neck line really punches it up!! Instant chic for your basic tee!

#02. Try these high collar necklaces!! Wowe these are super cool~ and easy to wear! Plus depending on the metal color and gem stone you choose, you can totally create your own signature style with these! 

OK so, since these are new to me also, say, newer than the Peter Pan Collars... I'm listing various designs below for yoy to peruse! 

FYI I just found these on Polyvore, and I am not affiliated with these people :-) not that it matters if I am. But oh well~ Namaste babies! Xoxox Jess

Totally Rad Marc Jacobs Flats Trendy-Classics

I came across these awesome hip flats by M Jacobs. I'm calling these the "trendy classics" because they are so current and versatile to wear, yet they will have great longevity in your wardrobe.

Above: The updated ballet flat by Marc Jacobs in red and black.

Above: Marc Jacobs white & black Mary Jane ballet flat "Lisa"

Above: Marc Jacobs stud sandals in flat heels. This is a great alternative & better daily shoes than Valentino stud flats because it has just the right touch of pizzazz. 

Above: Oohhh Marc Jacobs...! His whimsical genius continues! I am not a big fan of ballerina flats. But these I'll take!! The nickname Punk Mouse is uber cute too!


Feb 1, 2016

Polyvore Fun ::: Winter Outfit Ideas 2016

I must be a Piscean through and through, unable to pin down just one style of clothing. At least coming up with 11 outfit ideas helped me realize what items, colors, textures, and silhouettes I am currently impartial to! 

Outfit #1. Black leather trimmed Chloe coat, Chanel cardigan, black or gray dress.

The dressy set... I guess a little black or gray dress & a Chanel cardigan does the job! Add a few blings and a pair of slim fitted suede long boots or some sexy heels & you're ready to any after 8's!

To make it casual, add a top knot & big scarf... With a messenger bag, cute boots.

To sexify the look, wear blingy earrings, smoky makeup, glossy lips, a sexy clutch, sheer tights and heels.

For office, add thick glasses, stud earrings, a smart watch, thick tights & Chanel or Ferragamo flats, a Starbucks coffee, and a work tote like Celine luggage in somber colors. 

Wear pearls for more formal occasions. And add browns & patterned scarf to go more boho chic.

Add fun brooches & bright accessories to go youthful. The possibilities are endless!

Winter outfit #2. Black padding coat, red cable knit cowl neck knit top, ivory slacks.

I like to mix and match different levels of refinement. But any black or medium to dark gray coat works. You can go more formal with straighter line long wool or alpaca coat. Go for a luxurious look with fur. Or go more Mod with cropped sleeves and mock turtle neck coat. Or you could try a more laid back style with an overfit coat in 3/4 length or longer.

Winter outfit #3. Boyfriend jacket style coat, white V neck knit (I went for the cable knit again!), ripped jeans.

I think this is one of my favorites of the bunch! If you work at a more conservative setting, switch out ripped jeans for neat straight leg dark wash denims! 

Gosh, I can't wait to buy this ensemble! 

Winter outfit #4. Wine coat long, light blue cardigan set, light wash skinny jeans. 

OK, so this set I made because I have an unworn wine coat that Mom gifted me. This is not a common color combo, but it does echo a more traditional Korean palette. But add a pop like red lips, or a scarf or shoes or bags in ultramarine & bam! The outfit comes alive & works. :-) 

Charcoal gray scarf, black bag, green color can all work too. 

Winter outfit #5. This Chloe black coat keeps reoccurring because I actually got one similar to it! :P Add oversized batwing sleeve cardigan, and green skinny jeans. 

This would so be my weekend or lounge around with a friend in a cafe or mall look! 

I like how the colors are not too sweet. It's got a laid back city vibe & super cozy. The colors can handle almost any other accent colors as well as metals! 

Winter outfit #6. Faux shearling coat in a light powdery color, pastel blue knit with repeating large scale diamonds patterns, ivory slacks.

This outfit is going for a sweet feminine mood. Everything is kept light and airy. If you have long hair, you would look super feminine. Add long eyelashes & get gel nails or manicure... You could wear ballerina flats or long boots. 

You can tone down the femininity with punches of sensible & down to earth colors like brown or khaki. Wear wine or punches or red or French blue if you want to extend the feminine mood.

If you love wearing metals and bling, keep everything light in white or grays. Then let your metallics dramatize your look. 

Winter outfit #7. Red coat, gray cowl or turtleneck knit, honey brown leather pants.

OK, so this color combo is something that I have never worn! I've had chocolate browns and tans for my skirt and pants before, but this medium honey brown makes everything so cheerful and warm! 

You could add a fun headpiece or hat and gloves for this outfit too. Headpiece could be anything from a Fedora or earmuffs, or headbands, or newsboy cap. A pair of sporty leather gloves could be really cool too. 

Winter outfit #8. Fur lined parka, black turtleneck, black Balmain slacks.

This military green meets navy blue fur trim coat is another great steals I acquired recently. Mine is longer and has a mix of navy and black fur. 

I think Balmain jeans are so cool. As is the rider look. Kate Moss and Rosie Huntington Whiteley both do a fabulous job in these inspirations... :) 

This color combo is very urbane but also a bit more on the masculine side. Make sure you accessorize well and have fun with different fabrics and textures. A black turtleneck in cashmere or angora can instantly add that feminine softness. How you style your hair is really big too. Even if the palette is more serious & masculine, if you opt for cinched waist with ribbing on the waist band you can totally show off your figure. 

Winter outfit #9. Glen check coat, olive cropped cardigan, gray suede skirt.

This one here is more subdued and quieter, more traditional/retro-styled. I think rider looks are great but occasionally you'd feel like something more classic and sportive. Hence pieces like Glen check & herringbones! 

If this is too blah, go a shade darker or lighter in the skirt depending on the contrast your hair/skin/eyes have. eg. Black or lighter gray. 

Thid is a good chicken outfit (base outfit) that can be dressed up or down in myriad ways. Because the colors are so neutral & dulled, they can handle a wide range of colors depending on your mood and styling skills. 

Go NYC style with more severe jet blacks, add rich warm browns to go more Chicago style... Add honey beige & peach beige to make it more Japanese style... Add denim blue and navy to go more Seoul style. Or add elegant mauves and plums to go more Parisian... Add wine and light blue for a British vibe! 

Because these colors are not as memorable, styling it different ways can really alter the feel of the outfit~!! 

Because the neckline is simple, you could accessorize it with lace collars for a vintage look. Go Blair Waldorf with a headband & a Victorian style ribbon. Or go more Serena style with Valentino inspired square studs on the collar, bag, and shoes. 

Winter outfit #10. Fluffy white coat, light blue batwing sleeve knit (my favorite!), daek green H-line leather skirt.

Here's my favorite skirt look of the bunch! I love the girly flirty fun vibe of the coat... But I like having it juxtaposed with these cooler calmer colors in light blue and dark green... This outfit also can handle lots of other colors. Beige/brown/gray/red/black/navy/plum... Pretty much all of the colors will work!  

The dark green H-line skirt will take you to work... If worn with a more serious jacket... And the ensemble could take you anywhere in the city... And you'd fit right in & feel at ease. OK, maybe not the coat so much. If you find fluffy stuff too young for you :P 

But this is a fun outfit to wear in February... (in Seoul), because after January hits, you yearn to lay off those heavier blacks & grays! 

Winter outfit #11. Black peacoat, gray round neck knit, mustard skinny or Balmain jeans. 

Last but not least. A cheerful yet balanced color combo to wear in the city... This one is all about laid back casual. Duffel coats may look too uniform-like but somehow Peacoats feel OK on adults imo. 

This color combo is best kept minimal... Adding too many other colors will damage the sophistication that the three colors produce. So, add more black or charcoal gray... But don't bring in the rainbow here~~ 

Aight. Thanks for reading!
Keep warm & enjoy today~~

Jssica FlatShoenista

Jan 26, 2016

My New Blog for Leather Working & Leather Bag Designing is Ready!

Hi readers!

My transition from being an avid fashion reader & investigator of fashion systems has evolved to being a certified image consultant, and now... my last phase in training as a leather bag designer! I'm still in training and on my 2nd bag... If you're interested in reading about my unfolding journey as a bag designer, please click here!

Thank you for your readership *insert hearts* :)


MarsGirl (aka Jessica FlatShoenista)

Sep 23, 2015

Jill Chivers's My Year Without Clothes Shopping - Week 5 CapsuleWardrobe How-To

I'm so pleased & excited about what I am learning in Jill Chivers's course!

There is a 1 month period where you can choose to withdraw from the program, and given my first 4 weeks & especially this week's mix & match styling tips, I am hooked!

While it is not advised to share the whole program with others, I must spread my enthusiasm on the subject! 

One of the amazing insights Jill shares with us in her course is how to create an optimal & versatile capsule wardrobe. She gives lots of clear cut ways to create such a wardrobe. I love the photo illustrations as they really helped me understand how this is done. 

Here is my first attempt at a 12 piece capsule following her awesome instructions & nuggets of wisdom~*
And here are some of my favorite ensembles I have never worn using this capsule. Jill asked us to come up with 10 new combos & I was able to come up with 20!!

One thing I learned about my own difficulty creating my own capsule is that having a "patterned jacket" was really a foreign thing for me. For now, I have decided to count my denim jacket with copper buttons as my patterned jacket.

Here's a template for you to get started on choosing 3 jackets following Jill's advice. Choose a solid, a favorite color, and patterned jacket in your capsule! I hope to learn more from Jill's course & really come out strong on both my fashion styling skills as well as on guarding my money skills!

Step 1:

Enjoy the fall weather!
Talk soon ~~


Jessica FlatShoenista

Sep 21, 2015

12 Piece Fall Capsule Wardrobe for the Spring Type Woman

12 Piece Fall Capsule Wardrobe for Dark Autumn Woman

Here's a set featuring rich autumn colors for a Dark Autumn woman~ 

This one has a slightly Bohemian (Boho) feel to it~ 

And it takes you around town and to the beach, from work day to night to weekend!! 


12 Piece Fall Capsule with Accessories for a High Contrast Woman

I'm doing Week 5 of Jill Chivers's My Year Without Clothes Shopping and totally loving it~!

Since I'm forbidden to shop for new fall pieces, I'm dream wardrobing via Polyvore!

I think the accessories are a little overdone here for Westerners' taste but I like a variety~!! 

Items in this set (Tally):
3 jackets
6 tops
3 bottoms
3 scarves
2 bags
3 shoes
2 necklaces 
1 watch
1 bracelet