2018 was a year of self-discovery, finding myself back in my hometown, and being comfortable in my own skin. Before moving to up North for college, I was a dress and sandals kind of girl. I almost never wore long pants, leggings, or tennis shoes, so much so, that when I did wear them everyone would comment on me wearing them. But, after moving to a place where you can experience almost all four seasons, that quickly changed. And the fact that my major (Kinesiology Exercise Science) basically revolves around exercising and health, I quickly found myself in work out clothes and tennis shoes almost everyday.
Not that I don’t like work out clothes (they are super comfortable!), but the quick change in my closet had me feeling a little lost. Things that I would never purchase or choose to wear, I was starting to naturally reach for, like yoga pants, socks, and tennis shoes. And during in the beginning of college I was okay with that, but after a few years, I started to feel stuck in my outfits and didn’t feel the joy that I used to feel when I got dressed in the morning.
Growing up, ever since I was young, I loved clothes and I loved changing my outfits throughout the day. Some days I would go through as many as 3-4 different outfits, just because I loved putting together outfits (when I was little I dreamed of becoming a fashion or an interior designer, especially since I had an obsession with HGTV, TLC, and Project Runway). However, my mom didn’t like it too much since I would always have a huge pile of half wore items laying around my room. Graduating from college and moving back down to sunny California, I knew my closet had to go through a re-evaluation.
Gone were the days where I had to think if I had an exercise testing lab or if any lab class in general and needed to be in closed toe shoes and long pants—now that I was back where the sun shines nicely almost every day, I was back to my dresses, skirts, and sandals. And I love it! Though I did wear tennis shoes this year, I feel like my closet and shoe collection is now a combination of things I loved before college and things that I fell in love with during college that I decided to keep out instead of putting in a box for storage.
I have had a few questions about my glasses and YES they are prescription. I buy mine from Zenni Optical online. The pair that I wear most often are my red glasses, I love the little pop of color it brings to my other wise neutral palette of clothing. I love their service, wide variety of glasses styles, and how affordable they are! I’ve been buying my glasses from Zenni for almost 10 years now! So if you are in the market for some new glasses go check them out!! Highly, highly recommend!!
So now that you have a little background of what was going on this past year in terms of fashion, I have picked out some of my top favorites from 2018!
This year I was obsessed with skirts of all lengths, mini, midi, or long! This black metallic/glitter pleated skirt was my go-to when it was a little cooler outside. I love that it is a neutral, but a fun one! And it pairs so nicely for everyday wear or if I want I can change up my top and shoes to make it into a night time outfit. And from previous monthly favorites, you know how much I love my Adidas shoes (so much that I have the same style in 3 different colors).
I got this circle straw bag (not sure if this is the exact one I have, but looks very similar and they also bought mine from Amazon) from my sisters as a birthday gift(in June) and I used it non-stop! Because it’s always sunny here, I got so much use out of this bag before the weather started to become a little more fall/winter like in December. And my love for berets came back in full force! I even wore a black leather one for my graduation photo shoot back in December 2017.
Anytime the sun was out, I was in these sandals (from Target)! Easy slides with a nice sole for walking and a satin royal blue knot/bow on the top. I love them so much that I was tempted to buy them in another color. And these were such a good buy from Target (one of my all time favorite places to shop)!
If you follow me on Instagram (@_rachel_lai) then you know how much I love shopping at Target, especially for their WHO WHAT WEAR line that they carry. This past year I bought so many dresses from this line, but this one has to be favorite! Simple black dress with great structure, pockets, and a simple but cute criss-cross detail in the front, AND midi length, it was like a no-brainier when I found this! I wore this during the summer time with or without a t-shirt underneath, and during fall/winter I threw a light sweater or turtleneck under to keep me warm (and also then I didn’t have to wear a jacket).
This year I loved wearing neutral colors, the color grey almost took over my entire closet thanks to the influence of my little sister, but I love it! I allows me to mix prints, or let my shoes or accessories take front stage. This grey two piece is the best of everything I love, grey, stripes, and a midi length skirt.
With the incoming of the warm weather I found myself in a lot of off-the-shoulder tops (Target) and dresses. They are just so easy to wear and with the hot weather, keeps you pretty cool. Just remember to use sunscreen so your shoulders don’t burn. And my love of pleats carried over into my mini skirts as well. I love this jean skater skirt (Forever21), the color of the jean is nice and light making it match almost everything in my closet and it just makes you want to twirl around. It also helps cover up any food baby you might have from eating too much!
My love for circle bags continued, even after I put away my straw circle bag. I found this super cute plaid circle bag at Target and it quickly became my go-to winter bag. And I love how you can wear it as an arm bag or hold it in your hand. It doesn’t look like it would fit a lot, but it does! I can fit my Samsung S8, pocket planner, keys, a bag of gummy bears, gum, and a pen! And my love for boots has carried over from college. These black velvet over the knee boots with a slight 2 1/2 inch heel as been life! Especially when the wind started to pick up at night time! I also have these with out the heel for days when I know I will be doing a lot of walking and the weather is a little on the chilly side, but I still choose to wear a skirt or dress. Also the great thing about these are the ties it has on the back, so you can tighten the top of the boot to keep it secure. My heel version are from Steve Madden (but I don’t think they make them anymore) and my flat version are from Target. If you are looking for an over the knee boot that has the ties on the back to keep them secure and from falling down ASOS makes a great pair and Target as well. Both of the at a pretty affordable price for over the knee boots.
2019 just started, but I can already feel like its going to be a good year!
Every day, Lai day! Hello 2019!!