Aggretsuko-inspired Summer Casual

 “Aggretsuko” or Aggressive Retsuko is an anthropomorphic red panda who is the namesake and protagonist of the the Netflix anime that premiered this past spring. She is a socially awkward, office worker in her mid-20s taking on the corporate world who is also a death metal enthusiast. As a Sanrio mascot she is as cute a character as the ever popular Hello Kitty, however, this “kawaii” appearance is a major contrast to her love of metal, and her affinity for using death metal karaoke to vent her frustration with her career and culture norms/expectations. The show wasn’t even officially announced by Netflix when I first started getting messages from friends on social media saying, “OMG! Its you!” They weren’t wrong, it really is.

“Underneath this smile I’m metal til I die!” 🤘🏽

And when I saw her redesign for the 33rd Annual Sanrio Character Ranking competition back in June, I fell in love with her outfit because it is totally something I would wear myself. It was simple and inevitably cute, yet it had a subtle feminine edge to it that suggested her metalhead past times. (And before you ask, even with her rise to popularity with her Netfilx show,  Retsuko only came in 20th place for the official ranking competition. I agree, she was robbed. But there’s always next year.) Continue reading

Quellie and Lena Try…Aqua Zumba

So here’s a bit of a little known fact about me for you all: I tend to stay away from doing much exercise in the fall and winter. Why? Well I know the reason may seem superficial to many people but it is because of my hair.  When the temperature starts to dip below 60 degrees I make a point to straighten my hair, be it with a roller-set or using my Instyler. As much as I love my natural curls, I started this cycle back in college as I found that having my hair straight in the fall and winter just made it easier to manage. While the overall time it takes to get my hair from curly to straight is not as bad as my curly routine, it is a lot of work that can easily be for naught if I so much as perspire a bit or let some water, like rain or snow, touch it.

Thus any strenuous physical activities, like exercising, are regulated to the warmer months in spring and summer when I go back to my natural curly hair routine. But even then gymtimidation keeps me away from  and using arm and leg weights while playing DDR at home can get pretty boring after a while. Which leads me to this post.At the start of the summer I did some research to find some out-of-the-box exercise classes preferably in water because let’s face it, summers in NYC are the worst. Thanks to Google I found out about Aqua Zumba. As someone who used to go to Zumba classes (on land) twice a week, I found the concept interesting so I mentioned the idea of giving this a try to Jonquel of Jonqel Art as well as to two co-worker friends of ours that have built in gym days to their weekly schedules. They all immediately jumped at the idea and we bought our first time passes for the following week. Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Continue reading

Five Petite-Plus Tips for Shopping Maxi Dresses

According to my doctor I’m 5ft 2in and a half which I typically round up to 5ft 3in since I know I tend to slouch…a lot. Either way its very clear that I’m a “fun-sized package,” a petite plus babe. (I have a younger brother that is just  an inch shy of 6 ft so at least one of us lucked out genetically.) The reason why I mention this is because while some brands like ELOQUII, Torrid and most recently Universal Standard,  have finally made steps towards including petite plus options for their customers, the truth is shopping while being petite-plus is still a major challenge.And then we have the spring/summer staple – the maxi dress. I admit that I once used to eye these pieces in the store with such disdain. For one thing many of these dresses are longer than some of the tall women I even know,  so I figured that those kinds of dresses would do nothing for me other than drown and/or trip me in fabric. This changed once  I requested a maxi to be included in one of my Dia style boxes.  I’ve since become a fan of maxi dresses mostly because I don’t have to worry about the dress flying up à la Marilyn Monroe especially when commuting on the subway. There is such an elegant ease to this piece that I feel many petite plus babes, including myself, sometimes miss out on because of our height, yet not all is lost!

Here are my tips for shopping maxi dresses and skirts, beyond the typical “wear heels/wedges” advice. Continue reading

Reflecting on 27

2017 was a very interesting year. It marked the year that I turned 27 – the same age my mother was when she made the decision to drop out of college in Puerto Rico to build a life here in NYC. This is also the age she took steps towards creating a family as she also met and later married my father. All of the above are major life events that I can’t even come close to relating to being single and still living in the same city I was born and raised in.

I don’t know if I’m the only one that does this but I think its only natural to look at the path my mother took in order to gain some sense as to where I should “be” at my age. Which is why reaching 27  meant that I should have parts of my life “together” as an adult and yet I found myself feeling like I hadn’t made any real moves. Continue reading

“We Were Here” – Concert OOTN ft. Dare Fashion

“You’re a tea drinking, highly educated, otaku, goth black Latina that listens to metal. That’s as out there  as it can be.” – Jonquel of JonquelArt

Truer words have never been spoken. I’m a “weird” Afro-Latina girl. I accepted that years ago. I watch anime, read comics and get excited by new Harry Potter and Disney merch/collections whenever they drop but weirder still for most people, I listen to A LOT of metal. Beyonce may be everyone’s queen but mine are Tarja TurnenSharon den Adel, Simone Simons and Floor Jansen. Yes, I did just list a bunch of Scandinavian names. What can I say? They are masters of the genre over there.
I should pause here to explain something. Metal is a very broad term that covers countless sub-genres, one of them being symphonic metal – a genre I was introduced to around 2005 with “Once,” Nightwish’s final album with lead singer Tarja Turnen. I found out about this band thanks in part to the internet and my obsession with the “Phantom of the Opera.” (Long story but true.) I somehow got my hands on a copy of “Once” and with the first verse of “Sleeping Sun” I was hooked. Continue reading