YSL Croc-Embossed Chain Tassel Clutch

Fashion, Review

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Have you heard of girls declaring unconditional love towards their very first designer purchase even when the poor things had distress and age written all over? Well, I never fully understood this concept of sentimental value till I scored mine nearly a year ago with the “YSL Croc-embossed Tassel Chain Clutch” (what a mouthful to say). Yes, I enjoyed the YSL blogger bag and longed day and night for the Celine belt bag but this is the true baby of my tiny collection. Different to the YSL blogger bag post I made last year, this post will be a full-year review on the bag which hopefully will be more complete and insightful. Skipping the formalities, I am going to list down the pros and cons then add my thoughts and opinion as well.

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Bag Description:

It is a croc-skin embossed calfskin bag, with silver metal chain going through the two loops on the top and fringy tassel attached to the YSL logo on the flap. The bag has a single-compartment with an inner pocket and round magnetic closure, dimension (24×14.5×5.5). This make the interior very simple and hollow, hence very light-weight despite its boxy structure. Though labelled a ‘clutch’ I don’t really see it as one due to the size and functionality but refer more to the verdict to find out why.

 What fits inside:

As much as I want to glorify this bag (because I love it so much!), I have to be honest that the width and sturdiness restrict its capacity a little. You can definitely still fit a lot inside though, a portable battery, small organiser, or a couple extra makeup products but try to avoid over-stuffing to preserve the shape.

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Verdict:

I am overly lenient towards the pro but I am going to mention the cons of the bags as well for a more objective review.

Negatives:

  • Categorised as more structured, the bag is not the most malleable out there.
  • Unavoidable swinging movement lead to times when the tassel caught on to the logo.
  • Visibility of small indentation caused by the tassel. This is probably if you often store it in a lying down position as I did.
  • The bag might not appear casual-occasion friendly to some people, probably more fitting for fancier events.
  • Strong magnetic closure means opening the flap requires a bit of tugging which can bother some and also more noticeable wear on the leather surrounding the closure.
  • When worn as a clutch, the chain which is tucked inside the bag often annoyingly slips out because there is no actual way to secure it in.
  • Non-adjustable chain means the bag will hang on different heights and we know one size does not fit all.

Positives:

  • Though shaped like a rectangle, the bag is not overly boxy and ‘harsh’ looking.
  • Highly, highly durable material! The croc stamping camouflages the wrinkles that is given with the closure. (On the brighter side, it is theft-free and easy to close!)
  • Looks amazing!! One, the tassel being the highlight of the bag adds a very unique and elongating touch to the bag. Second, the croc-embossed version projects a rougher and edgier vibe compared to smooth leather and so more versatile than you can expect.
  • Functionality meet versatility as the bag can be worn three ways; on the shoulder, cross body and as a clutch.
  • Minimal observed scratches on the silverware and indentation on the skin.
  • Way lighter then what it appears to be and metal chain does not dig into your shoulder at all.

“Worn three different ways by Samantha Maria”

                  My experience:

The struggle was real with writing the pros and cons as with each cons noted I can always find a supporting argument against it.  I never really sat down and examine every inch of the bag nor critically analyse the purpose behind the design but I am now assured I could not have made a better choice! It fits perfectly in size and functionality between my blogger and belt bag, the medium go-to I would say. Here are some personal thoughts on mine.

  • Wear and tear: Still looks brand new but each their own as I do take good care  without excessive babying.
  • Size and fit: It is always spacious enough, a definite plus as the blogger bag really fits minimal stuff
  • Aesthetic: Definitely a statement bag without being overly in-your-face. The logo is definitely catching eyes but it is not overly-branded so it’s a bit subtler and classy.
  • Use: My preferred way of wearing it is cross body with the bag resting just nicely on my hip. This bag adds the perfect dosage of sophistication to make you look more put together.
  • Price worth: Bought this for around 2400 SGD last year without much comparison or options at the time. I dare say it is a step below the ‘Chanel Boy’ minus the weight, dollars but the attached brand value ofc.
  • Resell worth:  Never seen the bag on any resell market like Vestiare Collective so it’s either due to low resell prices or as I like to think people love it too much to let it go! But anyway, this is easily not a ‘commercial investment piece’.

The croc-embossed is perhaps an older version but the design is on of YSL’s classics along with Sac de Jour. The world is your oyster with this bag! You won’t believe how many versions exist out there. You can go for either the medium or small, chain or pure clutches (which are slightly longer), tassel v no tassel, different textures (smooth, grainy, croc-embossed, patterned), different colours (neutrals, metallic, glitter) and different hardware.

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Just a few picks from their broad selection

 

For different styling inspiration, look for heyyyjune and definitely Samantha Maria! Take my words that you’ll be surprised at how she can showcase the versatility of this bag. I won’t blame you if you suddenly want one

 

Here are some other great style inspo on amazing girls owning the looks!

Substitutes:

If you are on the hunt for a cross body/clutch of similar design but don’t think this bag is for you, I have found a few others which you might want to consider. There are endless options out there including dupes or similar designs from high street brands so persevere on with the search and I’m sure you will find the one for you

  1. LV Chain Louise

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  1. YSL Envelope WOC

 

  1. Balenciaga clutch

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At this point some of you might be sick of the endless luxury bag posts that I’ve written on this blog. Though I enjoy occasional treats of branded goods, I am in no position to be spending grands monthly on designer pieces and this is not the main direction I’m planning to lead my blog towards. So keep an eye on if you are interested in anything from health, fitness, beauty, fashion and even studying abroad life!

If you are interested in the bag/ something similar, I’ve short-listed some great options you can find online:)

  1. YSL Official website:

These are identical and in the only two sizes available. The price difference is pretty small so I’ll definitely size up! Refer for detailed description but they are not the cheapest options (*continue scrolling)

2.  Farfetch:

Definitely take advantage of the 10% off if you are a new user to the website! Also don’t forget that price includes tax and there is free return if you change your mind.

3.   MyTheresa:

There is less options compared to Farfetched but the prices does include import taxes and the small size is still slightly cheaper than buying from YSL’s website.

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4.   Selfridges:

Keep in mind the prices below are exclusive of tax and import charges. In Australia at least, it’s around 10% for items valued above 1000AUD, so be aware of that.

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Tips on Dressing Taller

Fashion, Tips and Hacks

Throw back to 2015, I was quite surprised when a few people started complementing my height growth. Probably because I have been away for a while so I seemed to have grown quite a bit when in fact it was not much at all. A rubbish explanation my friend gave was that the difference in gravity is what ‘stretched’ me but let’s be honest, it was probably just late puberty :’D. I still wish I can grow a bit taller but it just came into an abrupt halt once I reached 164 cm (5’3 ft for you American readers).

I’d like to think I’m in a pretty good place measured for Asian standards but having to tilt my head up to look at Australian secondary school students hurts my 20 year-old girl pride just a little.  I’d be lying to say height does not affect the way clothes look on people and that taller people seem to get away with clothes of different fits better than us shorties. The elongated look tends to be what the mass goes after but there are definitely ways to work around that. Please note that I’m not trying to force my opinion on others and I’m just sharing some know-hows that I picked up after experimenting with myself and observing other people. So here are my top 5 tips on it!

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1. Match your bottom with your shoes:

 I am 99% sure that the majority has at least one black jeans or something neutral of the sort. If you actually paired the same coloured pants and shoes together, you get yourself that continuous flow down instead of a break in between your leg and your feet. Don’t limit yourself to just black though, difference shades of tan is also a great option you can go for!

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Those statement heel blocks are perfections

2. Go pointy:

Instead of round tipped, go for V-shaped cut for your footwear. This slims down your feet to a point and add a hint of edge to your outfit. Think of its function like a tip-toe. It does not only apply for boots in winter but you can go different styles (ps: they are really on trend too, so win-win situation for you)IMG_5650

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3. Stretch your legs:

And I don’t mean it in the literal way but attempt to create that illusion. A top tip that works every time is to lengthen your lower body by compensating it with your upper. This diagram sums it up for you and you’ll be able to understand what I mean.

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Excuse the crappy edit but my point is longer tops tend to hide your hide, so show it off with the right pieces:)

You don’t even need cropped tops if it’s not functional price or purpose wise to make it work. You can just tuck in the front part inside high-waisted jeans, jam a corner into a pocket or or bundle it in a knot.

4. Ditch the heels for platform anything!

Heels serves two purpose; a look elevating accessory and a torture device. I’m a believer that beauty often equals pain and heels is the perfect example for this! So a good alternative will be inserting platform whether it be a few centimetre block heeled shoe, mules, or going all out with chunky-brick soles like T.U.K creepers. You don’t have to compensate comfort and can still rock them to different occasions.

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I’m mules-obsessed!!

5. Know your body type!!!

Instead of getting stuck in a toxic cycle of  depression over imperfect body parts that you can’t really change, try to focus on enhancing the features you have! Ultimately, you have to work with what you got so try to shift your attention to your strengths or to improve in the areas you are lacking in. In order to do that, you have to know your body type and cater to its needs.  I have a planned blog post coming up regarding dressing right for your body type so keep an eye out if you’re interested!

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I know these tips might seem obvious to some but sometimes you just need that reminder to keep you motivated cause fashion is just pure fun and there will always be something for everyone out there. Hope you all can take something away from this post and have enjoyed the post:)

ps: None of the actual photos belong to me. I’m just here collaging and editing  them so full credit goes to their respective owners.

The Celine Belt Bag (Taupe) i.e. “The Miracle Bag”

Fashion, Uncategorized

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I’ve just read a post from ‘tbymallano’ about how there is basically two types of shoppers; impulse and strategic buyers. With such two polar opposites, I’ll be leaning more towards the later but I would argue it would hinge more on the item itself, mainly the price tag attached of course. Truthfully speaking, I did not bought the bag for any special reasons. People often justify their purchase by saying , “I just reached a milestone in my life and I’m rewarding myself with something to mark the occasion.” And the tangible item that you buy become a representation or symbol of that achievement you made. Which is awesome, but you don’t necessarily need a backstory to make that item significant to you. Your journey could be the unique feature that’s encapsulated within and it doesn’t make it any more or less valuable than other people’s story. This was an interesting one for me so I thought I would share this here and I think some people can actually relate to it.

So in summary, I have been hunting for this particular Celine Belt Bag for a while and because it was an old season release, it was near impossible to get my hands on it. yet here I am with the bag in my hands and this is how the story unfolded.

 *Side note: I recommend reading this at your most convenient of time, probably sipping tea on your couch or tucked under your blanket as this is a lengthy one but you won’t believe what a journey it was:). 

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“Why The Belt Bag”

 

 “Why Celine when you just said you make calculated decisions with shopping?”

Exactly, Celine is probably not the first brand that comes to mind when you are making the crucial decision of investing a few thousand dollars into an investment piece. Chanel, or Hermes would probably be better candidates for it. But is this an investment piece?

Yes and No

‘No’ because it is one that is not a ‘classical’ design and will most probably depreciate in value over time but ‘Yes’ because I find this syncs in so beautifully with my current wardrobe and have no plans to resell this in future so I could not care less about the price drop.

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” How it all started”

Magazine catalogues, designer website or picking up trends from the runways are probably good sources of inspiration that pushes people to buy a product. Mine arrived from Lizzy Hadfield also known as shotfromthestreet, who was rocking this bag so well that I thought, I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE! Sharing opinions and thoughts on her YouTube videos, everything she said just was purely informative and she was not pushy at all, making pseudo statements like a small number of people on the internet. One of the things she pointed out that  I took into consideration was the notorious issue that the flap is ridiculously painful to open and close, but you can definitely work with it.

(Doesn’t she look amazing, I’m still obsessed!!)

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“The Process”

So the journey began with my mother-daughter trip to Hong Kong, often known as the ultimate fashion destination for designer goods in Asia. This, I came to the realisation later, was just an overstated title based on my personal experience. Boy, it was hard to visit countless Celine boutiques only to walk out empty-handed because the only colours they were stocking was black and light taupe.

 

  A simple line was the only thing I needed to repeat with each encounter:

 “Hey have you got the celine belt bag in taupe?”

, and the reply was either a request to see a picture or an immediate head shake. With the end of the trip drawing near, my hope started to crumble with every failed attempts. Deep inside I knew there was less than a 5% chance of finding it knowing this was an old release, so maybe I was plain stupid for coming with an expectation. Hence I was actually armed with plan B which was the second option I had in mind; a cool grey colour.

                                                 celine belt bag grey

I thought it screamed ‘urban-chic’ and I can still rock this colour just as great. This was a recent release from their 2016’s winter collection too meaning chances of finding it was definitely larger. On the day before our flight, I eventually found the very last one in Hong Kong but it was in smooth skin instead of pebbled texture which gave it a ‘plastic-look’ in my opinion, so that option was out too. To be honest, at that point, I thought either God was probably having too much fun teasing me or Fortuna decided not to be on my side at all .

I decided to take my search online hoping the worldwide web would let me find the little gem tucked away somewhere on the other side of the globe. Stumbling upon the website snobswap.com, I immediately did what i thought was securing the deal on a belt bag of similar colour only to find out the payment was unsuccessful and their internal miscommunication gave away the bag to another buyer.

Utter desperation was what eventually led me to the very last resort: e-bay.

I would buy a phone case or desk lamp from eBay but never did it cross my mind the thought of getting a designer bag through the site.  I’m a straight up sceptic and very cautious too especially with the price attached on designer items.  Online retail shops that is not publicly approved as ‘safe’ is just too high risk, so this was a massive gamble. So the search began again and out of pure luck a bag in grey was stocked by a seller, in its prime condition and at a great price point too compared to the previous two. But a stream of question entails regarding its authenticity and I was just too afraid to make the final move leading to what you can probably guess occur next. Yup, it got sold away yet again to another buyer.

It was the last straw and at that point, I was just over it.

Nope.

I’m done.

Don’t need it, don’t want it any more.

Ditch the idea and I’ll go on with my life.

 

But just then, long and be hold, I got a new email in my inbox which read:

“Hi Dear, we also got this in other colours too if you are interested.”

And so I half-heartedly checked what she sent and one of the few images attached was named: “Small Celine Belt Bag IN TAUPE.

Just when all hope fails and I was ready to back out, it was offered to me straight up. Remember when I felt I was played real hard? Well, I was but apparently it was all just a test of my patience and perseverance. As a firm believer in the quote “everything happens for a reason” , I believe if it’s meant to be, it will be. It was just about having the right thing at the right time.

 The right colour and size, what more could I possibly ask for? The belt bag retails for around 3100AUD which is around 2500USD/ 1900£ in Australia and Hong Kong at the time I was researching them. I sealed the deal with an incredible 1499USD, on top of complementary shipping, import duties and tax courtesy of the seller, delivered straight from Italy to Australia with the original dust bag and authentication cards in it. I will leave you to make up your mind if this was destiny or pure luck.

 If you don’t call it a miracle, I don’t know what is. It has been a roller coaster ride with this one and the journey behind getting it is probably one of the biggest reasons the bag will stay in my closet forever. At the moment, I cannot give a full review yet as I have yet to wear it out, so I would not have any useful info to give out. The only thing is I’m suspecting the possibility of the bottom sagging almost into the shape of long-champ bags so I’m on the hunt for an affordable bag insert that can help maintain its structure. An update or review will be coming in future and if I’m feeling bold I might do a look book or how I style it. Let me know if that sounds like a good idea.

 If you’ve read everything up to this point, congratulation you made it through! It was just something that I found too interesting not to share. On one hand I hope I expressed myself well enough but on the other hand I hope the stress and frustration was not contagious to you. Anyway, if you had a good read between your coffee break or found the slightest bit of entertainment from hearing the tedious emotional struggles I went through, then it serves its purpose and you just made me a very happy girl.

 

ps: Leave me any questions you have and I’ll be happy to help out if I can:D

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Extra information:

  • Lizzy’s blog post: https://www.shotfromthestreet.com/home/2015/12/29/the-dream-celine
  • Lizzy’s YouTube videos:
    1. The bag reveal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGFqbO5RsLc
    2. What’s in my bag: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTyVtwbeKec
  • HeyyyJune’s YouTube video (belt bag in dune colour) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLD4R4OLTuI

MONOCHROMATIC WARDROBE STAPLES (Inspiring Looks)

Fashion, Uncategorized

It’s almost the end of winter here in Australia and we, Melbournians, just can’t wait to say goodbye to the miserable chilly days and are so ready to welcome the warmer months of spring. But a good old post of inspiring outfit ideas using monochromatic closet staples will never hurt as there is always room for black and white posts on my blog. I compiled some looks from aspiring fashion icons and you will probably know who some of my them are by the end of the post. Maybe you can draw some inspirations from them too and add your personal little twist to make it your own! Enjoy 😀

 

  1. White blouse: Nothing will beat a freshly-ironed crisp white blouse. Highly recommend getting an over-sized piece with the basic shade of white for a start but also try styling different cuts and lengths as they are always fun to play with. Also a very handy layering base for winter!

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  1. Black moto jacket: You will never regret investing in a good quality leather jacket as it will last you a life time! Coming in different styles and model, the classic outer wear is one that is going to stay on trend for years to come. Adding an instant element of chic and masculinity, it is easily adaptable to different sense of styles.

 

  1. The high-waisted black skinnies: When in doubt, go black. Any black jeans will do but skinnies are just body-hugging and they elongate your legs paired with a black top.  As much as I hate jean shopping, I will go on the hunt for the perfect pair of black skinnies as they are a definite must have whether ankle grazed, plain or ripped. Once again it’s very versatile and I’m guilty of owning more than necessary.

 

  1. Monochrome oxford/ brogues/ loafers : Maybe the most unexpected on the list but they add just the perfect touch of preppiness without turning geeky. Toss them on and you have an effortless put together look for the day.

 

  1. The LBB: Of course I’m not retracting my original statement that the little black bag is a good addition to anyone’s wardrobe. You don’t have to buy a designer handbag as there are endless good options on the market.

 

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I’ve always find product suggestions really useful so here are some affordable pieces to achieve a similar look.

White blouse

Black moto jacket

Black skinnies

Oxford shoes

Black bag

*none of these photos are mine so full credit goes to the original owners.