Archive for the ‘danqing’s closet’ Category

Yesterday I was at the mall with a friend and we both realized that we were in a shopping funk. With summer winding down, we didn’t feel like perusing summer clothes, but didn’t quite feel like trying on knits and other heavier fall clothes.  However, this morning I was surfing through my usual blogs and online shopping websites and found the perfect color for my late summer funk: coral.

(Priyanka Chopra in Vizyon, pictures from HHC)

Coral is bright and fun enough for summer, but also rich and warm enough for fall and winter.  It’s a great transition color that looks great on Asian and Indian skin tones, especially if you’ve gotten a bit of a summer tan.  Bollywood Actress Priyanka Chopra absolutely glows in coral and Chinese star Fan Bing Bing loves it, often choosing coral for red carpet events.

(Fan Bing Bing in Cannes, designer unknown)

Below are some of my favorite coral pieces:

1.  BCBGeneration Tube Skirt ($48): this skirt is a fun and sexy pop of color.  Wear it in the summer with a white tank tucked in and some wedges and easily transition it to fall by throwing a fitted blazer over it.

2.  Topshop Coral Crochet Swing Top ($66): this top is super sweet and very on trend.  Perfect for a casual day out with friends paired with some cutoff shorts.  Dress it up for date night with a pair of skinny jeans and some heels.  You could even wear it to work with some khakis and a cardigan!

3.  Alice & Olivia Lauren Blouson Dress ($184): this dress is just so pretty.  Perfect for a first date or a summer party, you can dress this up or down simply by changing shoes.

4.  Essie Haute as Hello nail polish ($8): I love coral nail polish.  It’s fun and bright, but not too weird looking.  A great color if you’re getting sick of your usual rotation.  I particularly love it on toes!

5.  Topshop Moto Coral Denim Cutoffs ($55): brightly colored shorts are so trendy right now and coral is a great color to pick.

6.  Laura Mercier Coral Quad Illuminating Powder ($35): this product is called an illuminating powder, but it’s really a blush.  I have it and really love the color on my cheeks.  It’s a little bit brighter and bolder than my usual Nars Orgasm, but still natural looking.

What are some of your favorite coral pieces and products?

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Or, hello from Venice!  Such a beautiful city, I’m madly in love.  But I have not forgotten about another love, Jolie Asie, so I am doing a quick Danqing’s Closet post from lovely lovely Venice.

  (wearing vintage cropped top, Levi 501 cutoffs from Urban Outfitters, J. Crew belt, Zara sandals, Ray-Ban aviators)

Nothing too special about this outfit, just a comfortable, breezy ensemble that’s perfect for being a tourist.  Those cutoffs and a pair of khaki high-waisted shorts from J.Crew have been my travel staples.  I wear them with comfy tops during they day when we’re being tourists and then change into my casual sundresses in the evening after washing up.

Shorts are nice because you can sit down or climb up anything without worrying about exposing yourself.  I’ve waiting in lots of lines (in the scorching sun no less) and climbed up lots of dusty, ancient stairs (or rather ruins of stairs) while in Italy, and I can tell you – as much as I like my sundresses – shorts have been my saving grace.  Pack a pair of denim shorts and a pair of khakis and you’re good to go for any vacation!

I also love cropped tops.  Now I don’t mean completely midriff baring garments, but shorter tops that skim the top of higher-cut bottoms.  Tops that might just show just the tiniest sliver of skin when you’re going about your business.  They’re comfortable, help you keep cool, and just a little bit sexy.  They’re becoming trendier now and many brands make them, but I’d recommend looking at vintage shops.  Lots of older clothes are cut like cropped tops.  You can find one-of-a-kind pieces for great prices!

And, as you can see, my cross body bag that I chose in my last closet post is serving me well.  Though, I did pick up a new purse in Florence.  I know, I have a bag problem!  But Italians do wonderful things with leather and I couldn’t resist.  No doubt you’ll be seeing my new bag in future closet posts.  So I’ll leave you with a shot of the Basilica di San Marco.  Ciao!


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I’ve been all kinds of busy preparing to leave for Italy and the U.S.  Some parts of preparation are loads of fun (scouring through online travel guides of Italy, mani/pedis in fun vacation colors, pre-vacation shopping) and other parts are just horrible (endless laundry, strategic packing, exchanging currency).  Even after doing this kind of thing a thousand times (living abroad has meant a ridiculous amount of travelling) it can be stressful, so I decided to document part of my process – how I pick my travel bags!

Bags are a passion of mine, I just love them.  And while I’d love to bring all my bags with me on a trip, I always limit myself to four: a large suitcase, a carry-on suitcase, a tote bag, and a small purse.  Here’s how I’m selecting which bags to bring to Italy.

Small Purse

Your small purse is the purse you’ll probably be carrying around while travelling.  It should fit your wallet, phone, some sanitary items (tissue, hand sanitizer, chapstick), and a small camera.  This purse should be light, easy to carry, and have some form of cover or zipper to discourage pickpockets.

(from L to R: Marc Jacobs Mini Stam, vintage cross body Coach bag, vintage suede Coach camera bag)

These three bags are all about right, but only one is perfect for my purposes.  The Marc Jacobs bag, while beautiful, is a bit too fancy and cumbersome be to wearing while traipsing across Italy.  The Coach camera bag has the right idea, but it’s a bit too small.  So, I’ll choose the vintage cross body Coach bag!

For similar cross body styles try Macy’s or Shopbop.  Brands that I like in particular are Marc by Marc Jacobs, MICHAEL Michael Kors, and Lauren by Ralph Lauren – they have great quality cross body bags for under $200.


A tote will be the bag you carry on the plane and when you need to carry all your stuff.  Ideally, your travel tote should be large, light, and easily stored into a suitcase.  Your tote should be able to fit you wallet, sanitary items, camera (even a large DSLR), books, a sweater, and a laptop/ipad if you’re bringing either on your trip.

(Clockwise from top left Chanel Coco Cocoon Tote, Longchamp Le Pliage Large Tote, Louis Vuitton Speedy, Lucky Brand Suede Tote)

All of these bags are great travel bags.  Fun Bag Trivia: the Louis Vuitton Speedy was designed for Audrey Hepburn.  She wanted a bag that she could easily fold into a suitcase when she travelled.  However, that’s the first bag I’m eliminating from my tote choices because it doesn’t have a long strap that I can wear on my shoulder.  Totes can get heavy and I want to option of just slinging my bag over my shoulder.  Second to go is the Lucky Brand because it doesn’t have a zipper, I like all my travel bags to be zippered (just in case).

The Chanel is large and light as a feather, but I’m hesitant about bringing very pricey items when I travel.  Bags always get slung around and rubbed up on things when I’m travelling, I don’t want to have to be extra careful on my tote on my trip. So, I’m going to go with the Longchamp, which is the perfect travel tote because it’s designed to fold up!  If you’re looking to buy a travel tote, I highly recommend the Longchamp Le Pliage bag.  It’s durable (people in France use them to carry groceries), easy to clean, folds up nicely, and comes in all sorts of colors and designs.  And the price, at $145 for a basic large Le Pliage tote, isn’t bad at all.

Carry-on Suitcase

A carry-on bag must first and foremost fit in the overhead compartments on planes.  This shouldn’t be a problem as this is a common suitcase size.  A carry-on should fit a laptop, sweater, scarf, extra pair of shoes, makeup bag, books, and any other overflow from your large suitcase.  It should also be able to fit all the items you would need for a short vacation (anything shorter than a week).  I never bring a large suitcase on short vacations, I just bring a carry-on.  It saves you energy and time because you don’t have to check your bag/wait for your check bag after you land.  Also, when choosing a carry-on, make sure it has wheels.

I’ve had this colorful Betsey Johnson Betseyville carry-on for years.  I got it for $70 at a TJ Maxx my freshman year of college and it’s been my travel companion ever since.  I would highly recommend you check out your local discount stores (TJ Maxx, Loehmann’s, Neiman Marcus Last Call, etc.) for carry-on bags.  They always have high quality brands for low prices, keep a special eye out for Betseyville, Samsonite, and Polo Ralph Lauren.

If you’re looking to make an investment on your carry-on luggage, I highly recommend Tumi.  My parent’s luggage is all Tumi and the quality and design is impeccable.  Tumi prices are steep (anywhere from $250 to $1000), but the luggage will last you a lifetime.

Large Suitcase

A large suitcase should be just that: large!  It should fit everything you need for any vacation.  It should have a relatively light base weight (weight when it’s empty) so you can easily stay under the weight limit for checked bags (50 pounds on most airlines).  Also, when choosing a large suitcase, test out the wheels and make sure the suitcase is easy to maneuver.   I recommend buying a suitcase that has 4 bottom wheels that move in 360º that way you have two movement options: 1) dragging it and 2) pushing it along on its 4 wheels.

I purchased my large red Samsonite luggage at a Samsonite outlet years and years ago.  I absolutely love this luggage.  It’s been on countless trips with me and never let me down.  I definitely recommend buying a large suitcase from a specialized luggage company like Samsonite, TravelPro, or Tumi.  You want your luggage to last a long time and these companies have great quality guarantees and warrantees.  You can get good deals at outlets, department store sales, or online.

So those are the bags I’m bringing to Italy!  Come back next time to Danqing’s Closet, when I talk about creating the perfect airplane outfit!

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(Wearing J.Crew pants, Muji top, Boutique 9 shoes, Ray-Ban Aviators)

Happy Thursday!  So, a couple days ago the weather in Shanghai took a cooler turn after a few days of rain.  To honor the grey clouds and brisk breezes, I pulled out my comfiest pants and an equally comfy top for afternoon tea and goofing around with a friend.  The pants are from J.Crew, and the first time I clapped eyes on them I was like “uh…how the heck would I wear that?”.  But I was inspired after I spotted some fashionable celebrities wearing similar styles (Rachel Bilson, Rihanna, Beyonce, Jennifer Aniston, etc.) rocking these pants and looking damn comfortable.  Since then, this has become a go-to combination for me on planes, exam days, and lazy days like these where I can’t look like a total slob, but don’t really want to put on real pants!

If you ever want to feel like your wearing PJs while still looking fashionable, pair a baggy-ish tee with some baggy pants.  The pants are very trendy right now and so are loose, drape-y tops.  To be extra chic, try combining multiple neutral-colored pieces.  Or, go in an entirely different direction and pair a baggy tribal-printed top  with a brightly colored bottom!  Very fun and on-trend for summer, just ask stars like Beyonce!

The bag is Marc by Marc Jacobs from years ago (really, like at least 4) and is still in great condition.  The leather has aged really nicely.  If you want a high quality high style, yet not-so-highly priced bag I would definitely recommend MBMJ.  The shoes are Boutique 9, which I recently realized is an off-shoot of the brand Nine West.

(Jewelry from Chow Tai Fook, Bulgari, Watch from Cartier)

A shot of my every day accessories, these guys never leave my wrists.  I’ve recently been really attracted to watches, so check back Friday for a JA Guide on buying watches!  We’ll look at all sorts of shapes and sizes and price points.  It’ll be quite fun!

I wanted to do a collage for you guys, but my internet is being horribly unreliable.  Look for similar pants at J.Crew, Forever 21, Club Monaco, and Zara.  Look for similar tops at Forever 21, Madewell, H&M, and Urban Outfitters.

So, for now, Danqing out!

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It’s Thursday (yay!) and I am so excited to introduce you guys to a new weekly installment: Danqing’s (my) Closet!  Every week I’ll be posting an actual outfit from my actual closet!  I’m going to try and highlight a particular garment or trend each week and show an easily emulated and relatable way to wear it.  I think a lot of times it’s a bit hard to try and put together a similar outfit to a celebrity because they lead such different lives from us normal people, but me?  Psshh, ya’ll can all rock the outfits that I wear!  So, let’s get started!

(wearing H&M romper, Matthew Williamson for H&M scarf, Ray-Ban Aviators, H&M straw hat, Zara sandals, vintage coach bag, jewelry: jade, Tiffany’s)

First, I have to apologize for the fact that I’m sporting a margarita as an accessory in these pictures.  Due to some unfortunate (read: rainy and gross) weather here in Shanghai I’ve been unable to get any pictures that seem cheery enough for a romper, so I pulled these from my spring break files.

I’m wearing a great (extremely basic) romper that I got from H&M last year for like 15 bucks; unfortunately, they didn’t make it this year, but below I found some similar rompers from Forever 21.  A romper in a neutral color is the perfect easy-but-cute outfit for summer.  I recommend buying a romper that nips in the waist rather than at the hip, it’s more figure flattering I think.  After you have the romper on, just gather some accessories and you’re good to go.  My scarf is from the Matthew Williamson H&M collaboration 3 years ago and it’s probably one of my favorite things – a bright, fun scarf can add so much to an outfit!  When getting a scarf like this, I encourage you to go big.  There’s nothing better than a scarf with tons of volume.

You could pile on more bangles and switch up the sandals too.  You could really accessorize a basic romper in a thousand ways, but below I’ve compiled some items (and links) if you want to really emulate this look.

(Marc by Marc “Bella” scarf $198, Sam Edelman “gigi” sandals $59.95, H&M men’s straw hat $12.95, Ray-Ban Aviators $139)

I hope you guys try out a romper!  They’re really comfortable and much easier to wear than you’d think.  A great trend to try on a carefree summer day.

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