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

Inside the Fitting Room: Target’s New Line – Wild Fable

I was getting ready to leave the office to head straight home for the weekend when I spotted an ad for the new line on Instagram. I scrolled through a couple items on my phone and ultimately decided to stop by Target by my apartment before heading home. What makes this line very special is that for the very first time Target decided to make every piece available in plus sizes. This is major as this is coming from a brand that at one point had no plus sizes available in store or online for a solid  2 years back in 2010. I greatly appreciate the fact that everything in this new size inclusive fashion line (sizes range from 0 to 26W) is quite affordable with everything from clothes and accessories being just under $40.

Took 10 items with me to the fitting room, only 5 were winners this time around.

While the plus size items are  hung in the space as the straight sizes, I should note one sad reality – a great number of these aren’t available in store so once again we are forced to do most of our shopping online. In following the line’s launch on social media, I noticed that some stores have more items available in plus than others so if you are dead set on trying things on before buying (like I am) get ready to travel to multiple Target locations. That said, I did try on some items from the straight size section that had some stretch and found that they fit just fine. 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