Special Occasion Outfits

Palm Court Party Outfit | Lana del Rey, “Lust for Life”

Lana del Rey Lust for Life Dress

Lana del Rey Lust for Life Dress

Three times a year, my school hosts the Palm Court Party, a school-wide celebration where everybody is encouraged to dress up according to a theme.

We call these parties PCP for short (lol) and they happen on Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and graduation, respectively. The Valentine’s Day one is happening later today, so I thought I’d post this idea for anyone who is still thinking about PCP outfits (or costumes in general). I wore this look for last year’s Grad PCP. It’s based off of the cover of Lana del Rey‘s newest album, Lust for Life, and it’s super easy outfit that only requires the daisies and a lace dress or top. I bought a bouquet of $3 fabric daisies from Walmart, pulled them off the plastic stems, and hot-glued them to hair clips. If you’re still in the market for a look, this one’s inexpensive and durable — the clips didn’t fall off after a long night of dancing and running around.

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Up All Night to Get Lucky: Lucky Cat Halloween Costume

Maneki Neko Lucky Cat Halloween Costume // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

Maneki Neko Lucky Cat Halloween Costume // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

Happy Halloween!

This year I decided to dress up as the Maneki Neko, or the Lucky Cat. These creatures actually come in many different colors; white represents happiness, purity, and positivity. It was a lot of fun to DIY my costume (and weird out my sister, who shares my Amazon Prime account, by buying a large bell and cat ears many weeks before Halloween).

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Valentine’s Day Party

Valentine's Day Dress
Valentine's Day Dress
Valentine's Day Dress
Valentine's Day Dress
Valentine's Day Dress

B. Darlin dress | Unknown pearl necklace | A’gaci shoes | Forever 21 sunglasses

Forget about flowers, chocolate, and obligatory sentiment — to me, Valentine’s Day is all about aesthetic. Pink! White! Red! Hearts! Sign me up.

I’ve been scrolling through other bloggers’ V-Day looks ever since they started coming out a few weeks ago, and although I may be a little late to the party, I’m in love (pun intended) with how whimsical this dress looks. You know you’re doing something right when five-year-olds in public stare at you like you’re a real-life princess.

I wore this outfit to my school’s Valentine’s Day Center of the Universe Party (see the one I wore to the last COUP here). The theme was “Realms of the Human Unconsciousness”, which meant blacklight dance floors and trippy murals everywhere. If possible, I had an even better time than I did at the last one, and ended up breaking in those seven-inch heels seen above by dancing in them all night. I may have been a little sore the next day, but pain is beauty. Worth. So worth.

If you’re celebrating V-Day with a special someone, I hope you get some have a great time! I’ll be spending some quality time with my Intro to Artificial Intelligence textbook all night long. 😉

Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

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Year of the Rooster

Red maxi dressred maxi dress

GB dress | Jack Rogers sandals | Unknown necklace | Forever 21 sunglasses

Happy Chinese New Year! 2017 is the Year of the Rooster, representing confidence, punctuality, and a solid work ethic.

Celebrations usually begin on Chinese New Year’s Eve and last up to two weeks, featuring tons of lanterns, great food, and lion dances. I recommend checking one out if you’ve never been; it’s an experience.  (more…)

Time for Tubby Toast: Tinky-Winky Halloween Costume

Tinky Winky DIY Halloween Costume

Tinky Winky DIY Halloween Costume

Tinky Winky DIY Halloween Costume

Tinky Winky DIY Halloween Costume

California Dynasty slip dress (c/o Goodwill) | Teletubbies antenna headband (c/o Ebay)

If you were born in the mid- to late 1990s, Teletubbies probably had some sort of influence on your early childhood life.

I’ve personally been both Dipsy and Laa-Laa twice for Halloween; this year I decided to represent my favorite Tubby of them all, the fun-loving and gender role-smashing Tinky Winky. I ordered an antenna headband online and DIY-ed the rest of my costume by sewing a piece of felt onto a purple slip dress I found at Goodwill. I happen to already have a Tinky Winky doll with me at college (he helps me with my homework).

Who/what are you dressing up as for Halloween? Are you more into store-bought costumes or do you DIY it every year like I do?

Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

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Celestine Sun Goddess

Tobi sequin skater dress

Tobi sequin skater dress

Tobi sequin skater dress

Tobi sequin skater dress

Tobi sequin skater dress

Tobi sequin skater dress

Tobi sequin skater dress

Tobi dress (c/o Vinted)

Center of the Universe Parties (COUPs) are a long-standing tradition at my school.

Every year during Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and graduation, respectively, the entire residential side of campus gets decorated according to a certain theme. Alums come back, everyone dons a costume, and we all gather together to dance in the Black Box Theater, an all-black room filled with blacklights and outrageous decorations.

I love dressing up for COUP because it’s usually a challenge trying to find a costume that both fits my aesthetic and stays true to the theme. This year’s was Celestine Halloween, an astrology-inspired party that involved cool lights everywhere and a giant paper-mache sun hoisted up in the palm trees. I dressed up as the sun goddess in a gold backless sequin dress and a whole lot of body glitter (not shown here because I took these pictures a few hours before the party).

The Black Box Theater was interesting — they had a great mix of hype and chill music, and there were blacklights everywhere. Have you ever noticed how people transfer energy when they dance? If you haven’t, I recommend you do this at the next dancing event you attend: join a group of people on the floor who don’t seem to be too into it, thrash your body around super enthusiastically, and see how quickly they jump to do the same. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good dancer or not; the key is absolute confidence-veering-on-shamelessness. I promise that it’s fun!

Celestine Halloween was one of the best COUPs I’ve gone to in my time at this school. I had a great experience and look forward to attending many more.

Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

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20th Birthday Reflection

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Dress  |  Victoria’s Secret (old)

Happy birthday to me! #OneYearOlder

Soon I’ll be able to own a house, have an actual job, and be taken seriously as an adult. When I was younger, it seemed like each birthday was a drag—I didn’t want to grow up and have responsibilities. Man, has my perspective changed; now, I can’t wait.

I’ve done a lot of growing up in the past year. I adulted, learning how to do taxes, deal with car insurance, and take care of my living area properly. Academically, I expanded my major to include both Economics and Computer Science. Socially, I educated myself a lot more on social justice issues and learned how to diplomatically interact with all sorts of people. Emotionally, I realized that not everything was about me, that most adults (thankfully) didn’t know what they were doing all of the time either, and that it was okay to be lost once in a while.

I wasn’t grounded enough to be running a business yet, and chose to focus on my studies instead. I found out what it was like to seriously “be with” someone versus what it was like to “kind of have a thing” with them. I learned to view failures as lessons for future success rather than defeat, and to never stop going the extra mile. I stopped unhealthily competing with those I was closest to. I stayed cool in uncomfortable situations. I came to terms with myself and celebrated my strengths while accepting my limitations. There was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that went into the last year, but I couldn’t have asked for a better time.

Here’s to another year of achievement, success, and personal growth. Things may not go as planned and there will be many setbacks, but hey, that’s what life is. I look forward to the adventure!

Mimi Chenyao | Fake & Basic