Forever 21+ : Spring Haul

This is my second time ordering from Forever 21. Although I often lust after their Plus Size clothing range. My first haul was a few months ago – when I was just beginning out blogging. aww, n00bie. Read it here.

This time around – things were different. OK, postage was still ridiculously expensive, but it was uber fast. like less than a week. I also has a little more of an idea what size I should be ordering – I went for a size smaller than most of the items I ordered back in January – so it was still a little gamble – but a gamble that paid off as EVERYTHING has fit perfectly!

I’m so excited to show off my haul!

The postage damage was $58. It arrived in less that a week – which is unbelievable in terms of postage speed from the US!

HOT TIP: I typed Forever 21 discount code into google and came across one which got me a 10% discount. It’s worth a shot! It snuck me under a postage bracket, so ended up actually saving me quite a bit of money.

Size wise – I’m going to draw comparisons between Forever 21 plus size clothes, and other plus size and straight size retailers (Like City Chic, Dorothy Perkins, New Look, ASOS, Autograph) . They are just my opinions – but I hope they help!

Fab Skinny Jeans

I don’t have a photo as I’ve been wearing them constantly since they arrived, and now, they are in the wash!

Size Ordered: US12
Size felt like: AU16 from a straight size store. A 16 from Dorothy Perkins or New Look. Slightly smaller than a 14 in City Chic or Autograph.
Paid USD: $14.80
Pros and Cons: The fit and cut is amazing. The material is a little thin – but, HELLO! I just paid less than $15 for plus size jeans. I would buy them over and over again. Good amount of stretch. Held their shape after an entire weekend of wearing them. Not too low cut (but not high cut). “Fab” is definitely the appropriate word.
Buy them here

Eye-Catching Cutout Sweater

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Size Ordered: USXL
Size felt like: AU16. Similar to a XS in City Chic or a 14 in Autograph. On par with a 16/18 in Dorothy Perkins or New Look or ASOS.
Paid USD: $24.80
Pros and Cons: Love the Khaki colour of this – and the cold shoulder. Like of a military vibe, but really sexy, without actually showing anything off. The jumper did show some signs of wear only after a few hours – but I was wearing a pointy necklace (and drinking) so I don’t think it can really be the jumper’s fault. The length is good, hits me just below the bottom of my fly.
Buy them here

Splash-Making Geo Swimsuit

Here’s the model.

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Size Ordered: US 1X
Size felt like: Smaller than a CC XS or Autograph 14. On part with a straight size AU16 I guess. I havent ordered many swimsuits from overseas
Paid USD: $29.80
Pros and Cons: The colours are phenomenal. I am SO GLAD I read the reviews on this one which all said to size up. So I did. I’m 5’7 (169cms) so not tall or short – and this one is quite short in the body. The print hides a million sins and the colours are amazing. Cant wait to wear this one in Fiji. I’d pay $100 for it if it had cups instead of a shelf bra.
Buy them here

Cutout Polka Dot Bow Tee

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Size Ordered: US XL
Size felt like: City Chic XS, Autograph 14. Straight size 16/18.
Paid USD: $10.80
Pros and Cons: I lusted after this for so long and now I have it – It’s great, but I haven’t worn it. I’m not sure how I will style it. and its a little thin. I still really like it – but it is in danger of getting pushed to the back of the closet.
Buy them here

Celestial Skater Dress

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Size Ordered: US XL
Size felt like: Smaller than City Chic or Autograph. Straight size AU or UK 16.
Paid USD: $24.80
Pros and Cons: Technically, I bought this for my sister-in-law. Sorry Mel, but I’m hoping *hardcore* that your boobs wont fit in this stunning dress so I can steal it all for myself!!! Its amazing. I LOVE IT. But buyer-be-warned – Its tight in the boob-department. I was able to squeeze and squash my double D’s in there – not sure Mel will have the same luck. I can always borrow it if it does fit! The material is light and floaty – perfect for wearing out in the heat of summer!
Buy them here

Geo Peplum Bodycon Dress

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Size Ordered: US XL
Size felt like: CC XS, Autograph 14, Straight size 16/18 (mainly because of the stretch)
Paid USD: $22.80
Pros and Cons: It’s on the short side – but OMG I love it. Such a great peplum length. So sexy, and yet office appropriate. I’ve worn it twice in the office already. The print is great – heaps of stretch. So comfy to wear, and so polished. Material is a thick stretchy material.
Buy them here

Basic Peplum Dress

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Size Ordered: US XL
Size felt like: CC XS, Autograph 14, Straight size 16/18 (mainly because of the stretch)
Paid USD: $17.80
Pros and Cons: Easy, breezy, beautiful. Again, a touch on the short side – but the Forever 21+ line is junior plus sizes – they are meant for younger ladies – it’s a youthful hemline. Material is thinner than the other peplum dress, but no issues.
Buy them here

Destroyed Acid Wash Skinny Jeans

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Size Ordered: 12
Size felt like: At first, smaller than an Autograph or City Chic 14, but after a few hours, they had a bit of give.
Paid USD: $27.80
Pros and Cons: I’m in love and have gone to destroyed denim heaven. Learned my first lesson this weekend re: wearing destroyed denim – wear sunscreen on your thighs! Lets just say I have very interesting sunburn this week.
Buy them here

Bold Peplum Combo Dress

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Size Ordered: US XL
Size felt like: CC XS, Autograph 14. Straight size 16.
Paid USD: $24.80
Pros and Cons: Love the back – this was an impulse buy and I didn’t even notice the cut outs – its done really well so I can still wear my normal bra. Again, on the short side, but not unwearably so. Material is thick and stretch. Very comfortable to wear, with some wow-factor at the back.
Buy them here

Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival Sydney!

Thanks to Styling You and Maybelline, last night I got a behind the scenes peek at the opening night of Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival Sydney 2013 (mbffs). #luckiestgirlever

In what could only be described as a state of outfit paranoia – I had a massively difficult time choosing what to wear… I didn’t actually decide on an outfit until the morning of, and I packed 2 spares just in case.

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In the end – the Sydney cold snap dictated my outfit. I had been waiting on a Metallic Kardashian Kollection Blazer from Dorothy Perkins (it didn’t arrive in time) but then I found my white tuxedo jacket hanging in the back of the closet and the outfit came together from there… The hero of the entire outfit is undoubtedly these sky-high Stiletto shoes from Wanted. As soon as I saw them, I knew I had to have them… And by the time I got some in my size delivered to a store near me, they were on sale for $40! BARGAIN!!

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So the neon pop meant that the rest of my outfit had to be neutral. I knew I wanted to wear my Harlow Wet and Wild Scuba leggings – I have been working up the courage to wear them as pants and last night was the perfect excuse. The denim shirt was a last minute choice made whilst standing in my bra exasperatedly cursing at my closet – and as soon as I slipped it on, I knew it was perfect!

To add a little bling, I wore a Guess watch my hubby bought me for Christmas a few years ago, and used some blingy stud earrings as collar tips to add some spice to the top. With the pop of neon yellow in the shoes, I felt unfinished without another pop – so I headed off to Kmart at 7am before work yesterday – and they pulled through big time with the neon yellow bangle! Seriously – where else could you go at 7am to find a last minute neon accessory! It may not be cutting edge designer fashion – but Kmart saved my butt for mbffs!

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Shirt: Denim Top from Dorothy Perkins
Pants: Wet and Wild Scuba Leggings from Harlow
Jacket: White Tuxedo blazer from Tempt
Collar tips: Studs from eQuip
Shoes: Chevron Stilettos from
Wanted – Get them here
Bangle: Neon bangle from Kmart

Arriving at Town Hall with plenty of time before the trends show – I was slipped past the waiting paparazzi (ok, they were not at all interested in me – although some tried to take some pics of my shoes as I walked up town hall steps – talk about intimidating – please don’t fall, please don’t fall, PLEASE DON’T FALL – luckily i was able to master the stairs and was whisked away by fabulous fashiony-types to a private room where I was treated to nibbles and champers. Hosted by the vivacious Nikki from Styling You and Maybelline, we chatted and had photos taken (and scored an amazing gift bag of goodies!).

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Next we were off on a behind the scenes tour! With only an hour until show time – I couldn’t believe the calm backstage… The dressing area was full of beautiful clothes and an army of dressers and assistants dutifully standing by their racks – but not a model in sight… Until we got to hair and makeup! It was a buzzing hive of activity. I can’t believe the incredible Nigel Stanislaus (Maybelline New York Makeup Director) took time out to explain the trends look for this evening show. From a hair and makeup perspective – it was all about youth.

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Created though contouring, an animated Nigel spoke us through a how-to for chiseled cheekbones. The most prominent look was the Boy Brows – thick, straight and strong was being showcased. I’m not sure I could pull it off – but the models looks amazing. Next it was over to the head Hair designer from Redkin, who explained that the hair tonight was also about youth – through texture. Most of the girls had strong side parts with low sitting pony tails. No stick looks here – it was about natural looking hair. For me – kinda like a kid whose been out playing all day.

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From there it was over to take a look at the runway, where we met the flawless Ruby Rose (Maybelline ambassador) who was rocking the boy brow look. Her hair was so many shades of pink, purple, blue and white – she looked like effortless perfection. Lets just say, it did my self esteem no favours standing so close to someone that beautiful! She chatted away, obliged for some happy snaps – could not have been nicer and more easy going. For a woman in such high demand – she certainly didn’t treat anyone like she was in a rush, and we had a great time chatting away and talking about the trends show.

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Finding our seats, I turn to my left and happen to be sitting next to Katy Potaty! She was so lovely in person! More excited chatter, before a glitter cannon went off and it was time for the main event!

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…and it surpassed my expectations. Running for a full hour – I lost count at about 15 designers who had showcased their work. I tell you what – digital mirror prints are going to be massive next season. Other trends were use of textures like leather and lace for summer, loads of exposed zippers, colour everywhere, and super itty bitty bikinis!

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After the show we headed downstairs to the Style Hub, and were met with an array of treats from the various sponsors. And cocktails. And nibbles. And icecreams. And freebies.

Maybelline had a touch up studio – which I immediately got them to darken my brows a bit – and I tried their new Whisper Colour lipstick. I went bold with a hot pink shade to match my neon pops – Pink Possibilities it was a fabulous shade on me if I do say so myself.

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My fabulous shoes were getting fabulously painful, and just in the nick of time, the house lights came up and it was time to say goodbye. Not before another goody bag was thrown my way – with a great mix of little gifts from all the sponsors. I cannot believe how lucky I was to get to go – I had the most fabulous night.

This chicky is a blogger, not a model. I carried flats in my bag, and as soon as we were out the door… The stilettos were off and my feet were rejoicing in flats.

A huge thank you to Nikki from Styling You for hosting the night, and of course, Maybelline for all their fabulousness and gifts.

For anyone that wants to get along, I believe you can still purchase some tickets to some events over the next few days – you would just have to check out the MBFFS website for more info…

There are a heap more photos – I will post them all on my facebook page – see the album here!

I’m still on my fashion high, and I don’t think I’ll be coming down any time soon!

Floral Pants – Three ways (Part 3)… The round up!

For the last two days I have been styling these statement Floral Pants from Autograph. Getting a good cost per wear is important – and being able to style a strong print piece in completely different ways is the best way to get value from a statement piece.

After covering off Work and Casual – it’s time to have some fun and style it for a Night out!

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Today I’ve paired the pants with a black and mesh bodysuit from New Look. The bodysuit gives me a great smooth line, and always stays in place. Not wanting to take away from the neckline of the bodysuit, I decided on a statement belt and some big gold earrings to match…

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I added some sky high platform heels from Torrid – I’m not particularly short or tall (169cms) – but I do find that some killer heels with ankle length pants makes my legs look extra long. I usually avoid 7/8th or crop pants for fear of making me look short and stumpy – but with a good pair of heels – I think they actually have the opposite effect and make me look taller. You know that ‘rule’ about having a garment finish at the skinniest part of your leg – I think my ankles are the skinniest part of me leg – and the 7/8th length is quite flattering. This style managed to surprise me!

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Top: Mesh Bodysuit from New Look
Pants: Autograph Floral Pants
Belt: City Chic
Heels: Torrid
Earrings: A present from Secret Santa last year
Jacket: Sequin Bomber Jacket from Harlow

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In a stroke of serendipity – these pants are now ON SALE (All pants at Autograph are $40 for a limited time) so if you like them – be quick to snap up a pair!

So that’s it – getting value from a statement pair of pants by wearing them different ways… Which was your favorite look?

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Disclosure: This post was made in partnership with Autograph

Floral Pants: Three ways (Part 2)

Remember these pants?
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You should, I was only talking about them yesterday! Aren’t they fab?
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So yesterday I styled up these great Autograph Fashion Floral pants for work – and today I’m having some fun and going bright – really bright!

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This neon top was in Sussans – and as soon as I saw it, I fell in love! I actually find wearing it with a print tones it down a bit – with plain black pants it can be pretty blinding. With so many fabulous hues in the print of these pants – it’s easy to find a bright coloured top to match in.

I’ve kept the accessories simple and black – there’s more than enough going on without introducing another element.

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Pants: Autograph Fashion Floral Pants. I’m wearing size 14.
Top: Sussans Neon Pink Top. I’m wearing size 12.
Wedges: Kmart
Necklace: hmmm… It’s really old, I’m sorry I don’t remember…

The same look can be achieved by choosing any one of the fabulous colours in the print! On the Autograph website – I also found this Turquiose Lattice Back Shirt, or if your quick, you could snap this Autograph Fuchsia Peplum on SALE which would also look great paired with these pants!
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Aaaaaand tomorrow I’ll be styling these beauties for a night out!

HOT BREAKING NEWS!!! These pants are now on sale for just $40! All Autograph pants are on sale for a limited time only so make sure you head over there now to check out the sale!

Disclosure: This post was made in partnership with Autograph

Getting VALUE from a statement piece: Floral Pants (three ways)

There are some freaking fabulous spring prints hitting the shops right now. Bold, colourful, vivid statement pieces – the perfect introduction to spring time!

So, I began by asking all of you – what stops you from purchasing a bold print? All the answers were along the same 2 themes – what “plus size girls should/shouldn’t wear” and “getting value from such a memorable print”.

On the first issue, I could write an essay on the topic, but I have recently read two blog posts which sum up my own feelings perfectly. The first is an empowerment post by the beautiful Killer Kurves – talking about the ‘rules’ plus size women put on themselves – I love the sentiment of her post, which is… If you like it, wear it – dress for you! The other post was by The Curvy Fashionista, asking readers/followers to consider the impact of their words and compelling the plus size community for acceptance and diversity.

These fabulous bloggers have been able to sum up my thoughts on the first matter far more eloquently that I am able to… so I will stick to the second concern – getting value from a statement piece (and since that’s the title of this post, it should have been kinda obvious where I was going)…

I’m all for repeating outfits in different groups and different settings. I break my purchases down into an acceptable cost-per-wear dollar figure before committing to buy. A bold statement print, especially something that’s fabulously memorable, can be more difficult to get a good cost-per-wear out of… So here are some ideas for getting the most value out of a Statement Piece.

For the next three days, I will be showing you different ways of styling these awesome print Floral Pants from Autograph Fashion. Today, I’ll style then up for work, and over the next couple days, I’ll show you some more ways to wear them.

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For me, being able to wear something for work means I’m able to justify the purchase even further as I’m always at work. I work in a fairly corporate HR environment but I like having some fun in my wardrobe. These pants are perfect for a Friday when I have meetings. I’m rarely in jeans in a casual Friday – it’s just not right for my position – but I love to find ways that I can still join in on the casual Friday vibe while still looking corporate.

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This slouchy blazer fits really well with the chilled-out but corporate vibe and was an absolute steal from Best and Less. I do a fair amount of walking at work – with 80 Buildings on 70 hectares and back-to-back meetings, sometimes it feels like a cross country dash, so flats are a must – I love these flats from Target – the metallic toe cap is like a piece of shoe-jewellery!

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I’ve kept these pictures very genuine (I literally have taken them on my way to work) – I have to wear a security pass and lanyard at work – so I haven’t put on a pendant – although looking at the pictures – I think the outfit could have really popped with a shiny long pendant… Something like this would have been perfect!

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Pants: Autograph Floral Pants
Singlet: Autograph Basic Tank
Blazer: Best & Less
Shoes: Target

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Come back tomorrow and I’m going to style these pants with a more casual look!

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Disclosure: This post was made in partnership with Autograph

Changeroom Confessions: Sussan and Autograph

Hmm, so I haven’t had a great week this week. On my way home the other night, I was involved in a bit of a car accident. It was not my fault, at all, I was rear ended by a distracted driver, but it means that my week has been full of doctors appointments, insurance claims, resting and pain.

On a personal note; I couldn’t be a bigger supporter of the current Get your hand off it! campaign. If the driver behind me had been paying attention to the road instead of his phone, I would not be in so much pain and my car would not be a mangled mess. Seriously NOTHING is so important that it cannot wait, and if it is that important PULL the darn car over! I was lucky, I have whiplash and a smushed car – but my bruises will fade and muscles will repair – too many people on our roads are not so lucky. Put down the phone while driving. PLEASE.

On to a nicer subject… My favourite subject… Shopping! Feeling sorry for myself, I decided to give myself a pick-me-up by headed to the shops to check out some of the great new spring stock hitting the shelves at the moment.

Autograph Fashions

The Monochrome trend continues for spring, and I’m loving this top available at Autograph right now…
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I’m wearing a size 14. I love the mixed prints and the black panel. Comes with a plain black cami. Love it…

Then there was this Ombré knit jumper! The colour was stunning! The vivid pink is great for spring. I have a similar pale pink ombré jumper from Forever 21 last season, so I just couldn’t justify it. If the powers-that-be at Autograph happen to read this – please please please bring it out in another colour! 20130808-215242.jpgI’m wearing a size Small.

Sussan

So one of the Aussie Curves girls (hey Jodie!) posted the new Sussans Look Book Video to the group wall and it was so beautiful that I had to go instore and check it out.

Wow did it not disappoint! Their colour pallet for spring is drop dead gorgeous, and the prints are beautiful. Fabrics and silky and crepey with great cuts. The sizing was a little inconsistent – which means I’d recommend you go instore rather than online to get the fit your looking for…

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The Hot pink top is a size 12 (yep you read that right) and perfectly offset these great soft print silky pants. I loved this outfit so much it had to come home with me. I’m wearing a size 16 in the pants. The 18s just had a little too much thigh/ass room so sat a little baggier… The back of the waist band is elasticated, with I usually dislike, but the front has a fly and button closure with a cute bow tie – more than acceptable and means I can wear tops tucked in… A long necklace is required to break up the top, but it’s such a great pairing that I had to have it! I can easily see the pants working with ballet flat around the office, or with some heels out to dinner. Printed pants are a massive trend at the moment, and I’m so glad I found the right ones for me!

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The sizing on this dress is whack, which is devastating because it is freaking beautiful! Also the cute coral belt doesn’t come with it – I pulled that off the sales rack as I straight shift dress does nothing for me. This print it to die for! Maybe it’s just my body shape, or the way I choose to style it, but I couldn’t get the fit I wanted. The 18 was way way too big in the top, I had folds and folds of material where the belt sat at my waist and it ruined the pattern (again, the belt was my addition, so it’s probably an issue of my own making!), it was so big that I decided to try the 14. The size 14 was good on my boobs, but hideously small on my thighs. The size 16 was a little baggier than I wanted in the top, and a little smaller than I wanted on the bottom (that’s the 16 in the picture- you can’t really tell but it’s grabbing my saddle bags). I was like a devastated Golilocks who never found the one that fit perfect. Such a shame because the print is so lovely. If If I found the 16 on sale, I would consider getting it and wearing some thigh spanx… Although that does defeat the purpose of such a breezy summery dress…

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I think I preferred the pattern on these printed pants over the others, but these were crepey rather than silky, and didn’t have the fly/tie waist combo so they didn’t look as good. Kinda puffed out from the waistband. I put the singlet over the top of the waistband and was happier with the look, but still not as good as the other pants. Still loved the print – and of I didn’t find the other silky printed pants – these ones would probably we in my wardrobe right now!

So that’s it for the car crash edition of Changeroom Confessions…

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ASOS Returns… My Experience

So here’s something you should know about me – I live in chaos. Not because I can’t live without mess, I actually like a bit of mess around. This is important background information as it helps to explain why I’m so damn impressed with my returns experience with ASOS.

I have never returned an online shopping purchase before (by mail). I’ve either gone in-store, given it away, or sold it. But given that ASOS has a Sydney based mail returns address, and there were quite a few things to return, I thought I would give it a whirl.

So the Returns Policy is 28days from the date you received the delivery. Here is where my chaos got in the way. I had repackaged up my returns and popped them in the corner of the bedroom, ready for a day when I could pop down to the post office. Then life happened. 30 odd days of chaos later, I found the returns pile neatly buried under a manic “I-have-no-idea-what-to-wear-today” pile of clothes. Eeek!

I thought, what the hell – it’s worth a shot, so I skipped down to the post office, and $8.50 later my package was on its way. Hot Tip– turn your ASOS delivery bag inside out, bang on the label and seal it up! Free postage bag!

The instructions said that it could take up to 10days to process, but less than 24 hours later, I had an email confirming my return, and another day later – the refund is back in my account – talk about customer service!

I couldn’t be more impressed!

Thanks ASOS for a pleasant returns experience. Wanna see what I bought? The haul post is here

This is weird. A post without a picture. Ok, here’s a picture of me from a couple weeks ago when I went to the ice hockey. Why yes, it is random and completely unrelated. It’s not even ASOS. But I did warn you that I like a little bit of chaos *cue evil laugh*

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Dress: Best & Less
Scarf: Kmart
Stockings: Target
Boots: Torrid
Beanie: Etsy
Necklace: eQuip