Street Sweet / Gaston Luga Backpack Review

IMG_8722Keeping it sweet on the street

WHAT’S UP YOU GUYSSSSS AND GIRRLSSSS! I feel like it’s been ages and don’t you miss these OOTD titles? 😛

So I recently received this gorgeous backpack from Gaston Luga and I just want to talk about how it’s really a great addition to any outfit!

When the team at GL got in touch with me and asked me to review their bags I immediately said yes because I was looking for a new backpack – my existing ones weren’t all that work appropriate because they were really brightly coloured or had Hello Kitty plastered all over them. So even though I could really bring a lot of stuff in the traditional backpack, I wanted something a little more complementary to my adulting lifestyle. What perfect timing!

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I had a choice between three different backpacks (you can view them on the site), the Clässic, the Pråper and the Clässy. I picked the Clässy bag in Navy & Brown because I love how preppy it looks! Also I’m not that big of a fan of the double clasps design because I find it a hassle most of the time when I’m digging for stuff in the nerd’s Herschel, so I think the single clasp design of the Clässy is perfect because it’s a balance of functional and polished design!

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The bag body is made out of canvas and that’s great for durability and the corners at the bottom have these metallic feet that will prevent the bag from having holes at the corner from wear and tear! There’s also a laptop sleeve inside so it’s perfect to bring out for a study session, or a lunch work meeting.

Also, I really like the neutral and classic design of this bag that makes it so easy to match with most outfits.

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At the back, there’s this passport pocket sleeve that’s meant for keeping your passport safe during travelling but I just keep all my makeup and cards in there and IT FITS! During that day I stuffed my ez-link card, my house key, my concealer, my lipstick and lip balm inside and I didn’t feel a thing carrying it on my back so that’s a major plus point in my book. The sleeve makes up for the chunky-looking front pocket most typical backpacks have!

This backpack has a lot of thoughtful design and I am LOVING IT. I always throw a lot of my stuff into a really big bag like my Longchamp or Jansport etc, and everything gets lost inside and trying to retrieve anything is just really a waste of time as I usually spend like a good 5 to 10 min trying to find something in the abyss of my bag. But there are actually two pockets inside the bag apart from the laptop sleeve, and they are PERFECT for slipping in your portable battery, camera or any smaller items that might get lost in the bag easily. For me, it’s also a good place to store my extra period products and my trusty hand sanitiser.

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I also really like how this bag is a sleeker take on the classic double clasps backpack silhouette because it’s really catered for petite girls like me! I never bought a Herschel for myself because I find that it overwhelms my frame and this is the perfect size.

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Top: Hollister | Skirt: H&M | Shoes: Adidas | Bracelet: Naiise | Necklace: Lovisa | Bag: Gaston Luga

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Decided to edge up the backpack by dressing a little more street-style and I love how it still matches the look 🙂 As I usually dress pretty feminine, I think this is a mixture of “street” and “classy” that’s still within my comfort zone! I really like how the millennial pink pays homage to my usual style and it blends well with the metallic elements of my coordinate. (Is this self praise over yet, haha)

Just FYI, I was carrying my dance stuff in the bag and they fit inside together with my huge wallet and all my other usual stuff – it gives the bag a nice shape as well hahaha.

If you’ve been patient enough to scroll through my genuine praise for this bag, there’s also a SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR MY READERS!

I know that the bag is more on the pricier side so this discount will really come in handy if you do decide to purchase it!

They offer FREE shipping for Singapore,  and there is a 20% off as tax rebate (from non-EU country). On top of that, if you use my discount code “huiminxoxo15”, you get an ADDITIONAL 15% off the total price!

Also, shipping is done via express DHL shipping so your bag will come in 2-3 working days and that’s really really fast!

I am really loving this bag and I’m so excited to bring this around on my travels because it’s so handy and stylish!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did writing it! Hopefully I’m going to have some time to update on my recent trips on this space and do some reviews I’ve been wanting to!

XOXO,
HuiMin

All photos shot with iPhone 7 Plus and Canon G7
This post is a sponsored post, but all opinions are of my own after I have tried and tested the product on numerous occasions. 

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Meow

kitty (2 of 5) Channelling a little Ariana

The well-known secret to the perfect crop top look is going high-waisted. And if you’re harbouring a full-time food baby like me, that’s a strong hallelujah. A girl knows showing just a peek of skin adds a little coyness into the mixture, and you get bonus points for extra comfort. Protip: pair two different textures together to add more dimension and extra details to your coordinate! If your idea is for them to complement, try looking for pieces with just a hint of texture (such as the black shorts with a small lace border that I’m sporting here) to go with a piece that is solely made from texture, like the knit crop top I’m wearing. I find that I tend to gravitate towards knit crop tops because they’re sturdier and provide a nice textured look. For accessories, I picked this gorgeous rose cat ears that I picked up at TEMT for only $9.90. Since my headgear is pretty loud, I opted for subtlety for my necklace and went with a thin grey beaded choker. I’m not loving the thick choker trend because well, chokers choke.

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Crop tops, cat ears, chokers…. reminds you of anyone? Ariana has always been a style icon known for popularising her signature cute style and tbh, a toned-down made for real life version of her celebrity clothes is pretty much what I would wear all the time! So I’m sure it’s no coincidence why I’m sort of twinning with her 🙂

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Top: Ximending | Shorts: Shilin Night Market | Choker: Lovisa | Headband: TEMT |Ring: Pandora

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Check out the short vlog I did of my staycay at W Hotel, where these pictures were taken in our wonderful Away suite!

I can’t wait to show you guys more pictures of my amazing staycay at W Hotel!

XOXO,
HuiMin

The Yacht Life

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Life’s a yacht.

Ladies, hemlines are key to nailing the perfect dress. The loveliest design can be sabotaged by an unflattering hemline that makes you look frumpy or shorter than you really are! This gorgeous MDS straight-cut dress was love at first sight, and I got it despite it being in between lengths. Neither a tea length or a floor length, the in-between hemline is a tricky terrain to navigate. Choose a dress with a visually shorter top that cinches in at the waist to instantly elongate your legs – great for petite girls like me! Don’t forget the neckline, choose one that accentuates your collarbones or shoulders to balance the extra cloth at the bottom, such as a thin strap halter neckline or even a sweetheart neckline. Pair it with shoes that have slim straps to add an elegant finishing touch. Nude or cream heels are also a great option if you want a closed toe design for more formal events. Accessorising should be minimalistic in this case, dainty accessories with simple details are the best way to go! Try a crystal choker to add a 90’s vibe that’s all the rage right now. That can also bring a more casual feel if you’re just going for a nice dinner, which I was.

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Before heading for our seafood dinner at the Sentosa Cove area, just outside our W Hotel staycation! (aka before my food baby pops out, heh)

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Shades: Tokyo | Dress: MDS | Bag: Furla | Shoes: Taobao | Choker: Lovisa | Rings: Taipei night market

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It’s funny because I never went near a yacht that day – the boats (will the rich kill me for calling them yachts this) were cordoned off and a security guard was at the barricade so only members were waved in. I guess there’s always next time, right?

XOXO,
HuiMin

Dusty Pink

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Yeoboseyo!  Hello in Korean seems apt to kickstart yet another Fashion roundup from my Grad trip earlier this year, this time in the heart of the National Palace Museum in Seoul. Keeping everything easy and on the go is always key to enjoying your travels, and the secret lies in a trusty pair of sneakers. I’ve been lugging my clumsy feet around in my Adidas running shoes forever, and I don’t plan on changing it until my shoes give way – they’re that comfy!

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Craft a coordinate with the perfect mix of masculinity and femininity by mixing softer colours with darker tones! Here I paired a dusty rose top with a dark grey midi bandage to achieve this look. A high crew neck complements the mid-calf length of my skirt, and a fitted silhouette accentuates curves (read: food baby) and peppers sophistication into your outfit. As with all travels, I am seen with my hardy Elle bag that is a sure staple due to its functionality! I prefer to use a dark, safer bag in order to match most of my outfits on vacations rather than carry novelty bags for particular outfits and wasting precious luggage space!

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Shades: Tokyo | Top & skirt: Dongdaemun | Socks: Uniqlo Japan | Shoes: Adidas

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Seoul was amazing, the shopping was jaw dropping fantastic and I can’t wait to go back!

Here’s to more travels in the future!

XOXO,
HuiMin

Pinafore Petit

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School smart is back in style – the pinafore is the go-to dress this season and I am loving it. The capital of all things cutesy and girly, Korea was naturally where I found the pinafore of my dreams. I opted for classic spaghetti straps and a flattering skater dress while employing simple colour blocking for a bright, breezy look that’s perfect for exploring the streets of Seoul. Injected an element of athleisure with my  jersey socks and trusty Adidas that forms a nice contrast to the preppy coordinate, and topped it off with my black sun hat from Uniqlo.

Before I move on to more pictures, check out the haul video I did for my Korea and Japan trip below:

I’ll be uploading more ootds and travelogues soon so keep a look out for that as well!

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Hat: Uniqlo | Top & Pinafore: Korea Dongdaemun | Socks: Korea | Shoes: Adidas | Bag: Elle

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In case you’re wondering why my dress is wrinkled, it’s because it’s straight out of the packaging and there wasn’t any iron in my Airbnb!

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Update: Always look forward, never stay in the past. Don’t waste time mulling over what you can’t control.

Till next time.

XOXO,
HuiMin

Work

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With my crazy schedule, I am falling in love with outfits that are a breeze to put on, ones that you slip on and are ready to go.  Finding coordinates that are this comfy and still look office appropriate is not an easy task, but I somehow managed to stumble upon this perfect pair of pants. Culottes are SO comfy and yet so incredibly stylish. I have only myself to blame for not discovering this earlier. High waisted to give the illusion of a slimmer waistline, the peg leg silhouette enhances your waist even further. Throw on a structured top to add some formality and balance the relaxed fit of the pants. Keep your tongue in cheek attitude by going for a crop top! Pair with a chunky necklace and light, neutral accessories to complete the look.

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Tbh, these photos are photoshop-free and I’m slowly starting to be okay with that. They’ve just been touched up slightly to blur the background and fix the lighting but that’s about it. I like how I look, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Lumps, curves and flaws – they’re mine and I think it’s time to embrace them. I think it’s age, it’s made me realise there’s more to the world and people simply don’t give much of a fart about how you look as long as you’re not wearing a potato sack.

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Top: One Daisy | Pants: Taobao | Heels: Taobao | Bag: Furla | Necklace: F21

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Keep your game face on and your head up high. Reminder to self: you’re strong enough to face whatever life throws at you.

Till next time.

XOXO,
HuiMin

KIMONO DAY / Yumeyakata Review

Kimono

I’ve been dying to post my kimono pictures from my trip to Japan on here and here they are, FINALLY!!

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(That’s how excited I am)

Rented the kimono in Kyoto although you can rent one in Osaka too! Kyoto has more scenic and traditional landscapes so I decided to rent there instead!

I rented my kimono at Yumeyakata. I read tons of reviews about kimono rentals and did some research myself, and I decided on Yumeyakata because it was supposedly the cheapest i.e. most value for money. I read that you had to book at least once month in advance to secure your desired slot. I also paid an extra 100 yen per person for the 9.30 am slot (when they opened) because supposedly the prettiest fabrics get snatched up pretty fast and I wanted to have the best picks. The down side of booking early is that the weather forecast isn’t that reliable and what was a cloudy day a month ago turned into a cold, rainy day. The nerd told me there were a couple of girls who came in and changed their reservation to the next day (supposedly sunny af) but then we were already dressed so we just went ahead with it.

The advice to book early I think it only applies for sakura season and for popular kimono rental stores when the whole of Japan is flooded with tourists. I came just in time to catch some late bloomers so it was quite ok.

Honestly, I wouldn’t advise anyone to go for the earliest slot because I felt that there were simply too many fabrics and if it’s your first time wearing a kimono, you won’t really know what you want / what looks good. My strategy was to pick pink fabrics and then slowly eliminate the uglier ones LOL. So I’d pick up two fabrics and be like “ok this one is nicer” then I’d put the other one back in. After a while, you see the fabrics repeat themselves so the rows and rows of fabrics didn’t actually have that much variety in reality. So, if you aren’t that fussy about the colours and patterns, just go for the later slots like 10 or 10.30 will do! Because once you don the kimono, you look pretty fab no matter what – I was having serious kimono envy all day going “omg that looks so pretty I should have gotten that” whenever I see another kimono girl on the street. Not that I don’t love mine, just that EVERY FABRIC LOOKS SO PRETTY! Wish I could wear one every day. (ok no, it’s really hard to breathe and sit and walk in it so ya)

And I am sorry I didn’t get to take any pictures of the place because it was early and I didn’t have my brekkie yet so I wasn’t thinking straight. I had to wake up extra early as well in order to do my makeup beforehand as makeup service is not provided.

It was pretty near from my Airbnb apartment (which despite its proximity to the train station was pretty crappy overall) and we got there on time. By the time we were there, there were already a few Korean girls busy picking things off the shelf.  What I liked about the place is that there are staff from different countries and language barrier isn’t much of an issue.

A Taiwanese lady ushered us through registration and a Korean lady helped me choose my belt. Guys and girls have to be separated. The girls prep area had like three or four stories?! One floor for picking fabrics, one for dressing, one for hairstyling. Oh ya before I forget remember to wear nice undies as you have to strip in front of other customers and all the ladies who are there to help dress you LOL. I usually wear safety shorts so only expose the top lah!! They allow safety shorts since it’s a white loose undergarment robe as the first layer! And they kind of tied the belt sash right in the middle of my chest so it feels like it’s being flattened a little? I think it’s to achieve the silhouette but it’s pretty uncomfortable and takes some getting used to definitely.

I actually bought the couple package with 1 studio shot provided in print. I paid extra for the hair, an extra collar, and an extra belt tie and the hair piece (bloody ex, like $12 sgd next time just bring your own ladies!! Then ask your friend/bf help you to stick it in your hair). Total about $175 sgd! Original package price I believe was 6500 yen pre-tax, but I went with more add-ons on the spot. I mean once in a lifetime kind of experience right hahaha.

Studio shot

I was too cheapskate to pay for an E-copy so here you go, my version of photo-ception. Advice to the ladies, contour the crap out of your face because the hairdo makes your face SO BIG in photos. I didn’t go for the half up-do as that one doesn’t look that authentic I feel! Woes of having round face…

I think it took like a little over one hour by the time everything was done. We needed to return the kimono before the shop closed otherwise we’d have to pay extra for overnight rental!

Overall, I’d say Yumeyakata was pretty good! I wouldn’t know if the others are better because I’ve never tried it, duh. But my experience was a pretty smooth one and the ladies seem to know what they were doing.

Our strategy was to maximise the fee and hit as many photo spots as possible – we hit 5! (Not showcasing some as some were really filled with people, and some were poor due to the rain sigh.) We were seriously lucky that day, every time we arrived at the bus stop, the bus would appear barely 5 minutes later. However, it was RAINING THE WHOLE DAY BOOOO. But the photos looked pretty good as the rain was the light drizzle type that was still alright for us to totter around in our impractical slippers all day. Ok seriously though, WHO INVENTED THE WHITE SOCKS. MY SOCKS WERE BLOODY BLACKENED BY RAINWATER AND DIRT AT THE END! The nerd was happily walking around in his deceivingly clean black socks. No fair.

I went to the toilet twice and surprisingly it was pretty easy to just lift all the layers up and go.  LOL TMI MUCH. I think my kimono was a little messed up by the end, sorry kimono aunties who meticulously helped me get ready! AND OMG THE TERRIBLE SORENESS OF MY CALVES the next day. This slipper shit really makes your legs tired, let me tell you!

I actually thought it would be cold but surprisingly I felt quite warm! So I didn’t need the outer layer option at all (which I opted for initially as I’m the type that’s very easily cold but they oos in the end) despite the cold rain the entire day.Thank god cause the buses were stuffy af since they don’t use air conditioner at all.

Even though I looked nothing like a Japanese, some tourists would still take photos of me and request for photos with us. Usually only tourists walk around in kimonos, hah.

Ok lah, enough chatter! On to the nice nice photos that the nerd took for me! Here is a display of his much improved photography skills and my noob ass attempting lightroom for the first time ever:

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Please don’t ask me where I went as uhm the nerd planned the whole trip this time around because I was honestly just swamped with work. So grateful to him for doing all the planning! Usually I’m in charge of attractions planning and he’s in charge of directions. Thanks for being so awesome *kisses*

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Finding spots where you could take photos without getting caught in the rain was a challenge!

On the streets of Kyoto

I regret not buying that earpick, btw

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Many of the people we met those day were kind enough to offer to help us take a group shot! One of them saw us trying to balance our camera on our $1.25 Daiso tripod I guess we looked too pitiful LOL.

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"Ew"

Hahahaha I love the nerd’s expression here.

Tradition restaurant

We came mainly for the traditional interior, the food was so-so! Also sitting the traditional way was killing me, cross-legged all the way.

Bamboo Forest

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Walking in the Bamboo Forest. It was pretty crowded so we had to wait to take this shot!

Us at the golden shrine!

The rain was actually pretty heavy but you can’t tell in any of the photos right!

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At the golden shrine! It was closing in ten minutes by the time we got there, had to run to enter the place and get our tickets. Only managed to take a few photos before we were chased out.

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Ending this post with a photo of us!

(Btw I had like 20 bobby pins in my hair that day and taking them out was a pain in the ass. But the pictures were worth it! Ok bye.)

XOXO,
HuiMin

Pretty in Pink

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Japan was absolutely breathtaking and I had the time of my life there! Will be updating my super backlog of travelogue photos soon, I promise 🙂 This is the first of my Japan Fashion Diaries and what better than to kick start it with my favourite outfit from the trip!

Travel trips on the longer side are always a fashion headache for me – I simply don’t know what to bring along! I end up shopping for my outfits on the spot most of the time. I just pick whatever catches my eye strolling down the streets and surprisingly, they end up going pretty well together!

I think I can safely say that this is pretty Jappy cause most of my outfit is from Uniqlo (which also happens to be the nerd’s favourite shop), although not really up the alley of Japanese fashion as most of the ladies I see aren’t that into skin. Since it came to Singapore, Uniqlo has been my go-to for fashionable and trendy basics.

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I paired a pink crop knit top with a sweat skirt for a look and feel that is both feminine and sporty  – pink, because it’s such a spring colour, and crop knit tops are pretty in trend right now. The sport shoes and sweat skirt add a sporty vibe without overwhelming the feminine aspect of the outfit. Adding layers and accessorising can be a great way to enhance your coordinate and take it to the next level. Plus, a long cardigan is great for those chilly winds!

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Hat: Uniqlo | Top: Taipei Ximending | Skirt: Uniqlo | Cardigan: Uniqlo | Socks: Uniqlo | Shoes: Adidas

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Till next time.

XOXO,
HuiMin

 

 

 

西门 Ximen

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On the cusp of spring 

Winter is the home base for blacks, but colours don’t have to disappear from  your wardrobe entirely – fitting a bright, eye-catching colour is easy on top of the usual monochromes. Played heavily on red in this minimalist outfit – my winter gear is once again seeing the light. My trusty coat, my tourist trap souvenir and some good old Nike running shoes make for the perfect outfit to keep me warm in the chilly winds of Taipei. Sorry sister my sneaker game is non-existent.

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In case you can’t already tell, this set of photos is taken in my favourite-est country, Taiwan, just outside my tiny quaint Airbnb apartment. Definitely a blast and more pictures to come. I CANNOT WAIT TO GO BACK!

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Coat: G2000 | Sweater: Topshop | Skirt: Taobao | Leggings: Primark | Shoes: Nike | Hat: Disneyland

XOXO,
HuiMin

 

Red

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Celebrating CNY in classic hues today. Opted for a colour blocking effect that is light on the eyes and occasion appropriate. To make the outfit a little more interesting, I chose pieces with details – the crop top with trimmings pairs nicely with a slitted midi.

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Top: Topshop | Skirt: TEMT | Shoes: Taobao | Bag: Furla | Necklace: Primark

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Happy New Year from the nerd & I!

XOXO,
HuiMin