Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tatyana Azalea Skirt Review

Greetings!  I feel like this is one of my first straight up outfit posts since changing my url!  I feel like many posts had different themes than just outfits, as of late.  Plus my posting has been slacking!  Hell, this was supposed to go out yesterday but my beagle was having trouble walking so I took her to the vet and she got diagnosed with arthritis!  I was kind of burned out after that!  Anyone else having a cuckoo time blog posting this summer?

I ordered this AMAZING Tatyana skirt (the Azalea skirt) back over Memorial Day!  Tatyana did a 50% off sitewide(!) sale and I got this number and the umbrella print skirt, which I haven't talked about yet but you can view here on my Insta for a night out playing Top Golf with my girls...because when I think golf I think vintage umbrella skirts!  Haha. I was partially delayed in reviewing this due to this summer being cuckoo for cocoa puffs, but I also had to exchange both skirts due to sizing inconsistency!  So that threw me off a little too!

What happened: I'm typically a size small for a 25-26 inch waist in Tatyana skirts.  I remember my first purchase ever from them I did get an XS and it was way too tight, so I had to exchange that.  During a 70% off sale last fall I got a skirt in small from them and thought it seemed a little too big.  Upon ordering this skirt and the umbrella skirt that memory stuck in the back of my brain, but the sizing charts insisted I was a small so I went for it.  Well, the size smalls were closer to 28 inch waists and the size chart was false!  I panicked because it was 50% off and therefore final sale, but I emailed them anyway and luckily they realized an error wasn't made on my end so I was given shipping labels to return and they sent me the XS sizes.  Both of the XS fit really well!  (As of today, this skirt was more than 75% reduced in case you're interested...!)

So beware... I think Tatyana's sizing has changed a bit!  I've gotten a dress or two from them the past year and didn't notice any difference, but I was always an XS in their dresses and still appear to be.  I think the skirts have definitely gotten bigger, for what it's worth!

Luckily their customer service rocks.  I couldn't be happier with how well they communicated and rectified the problem.  Companies sometimes change fit models, which I'm not a fan of, but at least this company is on the customer's side when it throws their usual purchases for a loop!

I love this skirt.  Seriously.  When they previewed it during the winter I swear I foamed at the mouth!  It's bold with it's print and color pairing, but classic and not over the top quirky (not that I mind quirk!).  I'm sad I only recently got to wear this, as a lot of events this summer have had either specific dress codes, were bridesmaid dresses, pretend Olympic uniforms, or things I was gifted with to wear to an event (champagne "problem," I know), so my usual summer wardrobe hasn't been up to it's usual tricks.  Luckily the fabric is thick so it'll be easier to layer come fall and winter.  Also, it has pockets:

It's Thursday, so I have some stuff to announce etc:
  • I've added a "Gaga for...(Reviews)" page to my blog to group all posts like this or my 'Gaga for...' series together, making it easier for a reader to search and view brands and pieces they want to learn about.
  • I've come back to this blog's YouTube channel after an accidental month off, due to both schedule and major technical difficulties.  Usually I'll post those in a daily post when I start posting daily again and not necessarily in a Thursday Announcements post, but for now here is what I did this week!
In the first video I answer 5 frequently asked questions in a part 1 of 2 that I get from blogging etc.  I answer 1) what my name is and what I prefer to be called, 2) where I typically shop, 3) how many skirts I own, 4) why I seem to travel a lot, and 5) why I don't have scars despite having had heart surgery.
In the second video this week you see me attempt to learn about lipstick as I experiment with different shades than my usual look and discuss what I like and what I don't (all Rimmel lipsticks).

Shannon's Olympic memory.  We did quickie videos on a funny Olympic memory and Shannon's video debuted first on which Olympian inspired a haircut of hers as a child.  (My Olympic memory debuts tomorrow on our channel ):
We also had our part two of our Olympic thoughts come out this week, and unlike our first video on the Olympics this video solely focused on the ridiculous sports of the Olympics, like dressage and ribbon dancing.  Possibly one of my favorites to date...
Just Shair: 
Thanks for reading this review and bearing with me while longer than usual announcements (or at least longer than future ones will be once I get my blogging groove back!).  I'm SO excited to be reviewing this skirt and have a relatively normal outfit post.  I've missed this!!    And, for more review posts like this, check out my Gaga For/Reviews page! XO
~Lauren-Blair Donovan


Monday, August 15, 2016

ModCloth IRL Denver Event!

Most online shoppers, bloggers, and blog readers have probably heard of the brand ModCloth by now.  And if you haven't, let me introduce you to this wonderful brand!  Started by Susan Koger after collecting one too many vintage items from thrift stores and needed to sell the pieces online, this company eventually became a huge online shopping institution.  ModCloth has a range of brands from indie designers, including it's year old namesake label, and includes fashions for every girl.  You can find work appropriate styles to quirky prints (are you surprised I shop there, haha?).  They also believe every size is beautiful as they have most items stocked in XS-4XL.  The one caveat is that the store is only online, and sometimes shopping online is stressful.  After a few pop up shop events in California last summer, Modcloth decided to hit the road this summer on tour visiting Austin, DC, Portland, and now this month Denver!

What's funny about this story is that in really early July I scanned their website to see if by any chance they were coming to Denver on tour but no such event appeared to be planned.  I noticed August still had a TBA announcement but I shrugged it off and kind of forgot about the ModCloth IRL tour as it didn't seem to be happening near me.  Imagine my surprise when early-mid July (so roughly a week or so later) I woke up to an email from ModCloth.  Initially I nearly scanned it over as I don't open every piece of mail from companies (I'm desensitized to doing that unless some HUGE sale is happening and it's blatantly spelled out in the title) but just as I was about to keep scanning my inbox I realized the email from ModCloth appeared addressed to me specifically and the words "Denver" were being used.  Sure enough, they were coming to Denver in August and they asked if I would be there in some type of a hosting fashion.  My jaw nearly hit the floor, as I had no idea ModCloth even knew who I was and doing this type of event would be the biggest opportunity that I have been asked to do so far as a blogger!

Naturally I said yes, and for the past month I've been corresponding with the people arranging the ModCloth Denver store, writing about Denver on ModCloth's blog, and getting ready for the VIP opening day preview party!  I arrived an hour before the gig got started for the press hour and just before 5PM all of the VIPs started to filter in, including some of my friends!  (Big shoutout to my people for taking some photos (below)!  My phone is dying a slow death so I appreciate y'all documenting the night!  More official photos were taken, but I haven't seen them just yet!)  Everyone stayed until about 8PM and then I got to say goodbye to everyone on ModCloth's (new!) Snapchat, which was ironic as I am not a Snapchat user haha.

Leave it to me to find a flamingo item!

This lady, Katie, newly started a blog and recently wrote about this event too!  Read all about it HERE!

My mom!

For those in Denver, the store is staying until September 5th before hitting the road again to head to Pittsburg, PA!  If you pop in, here is how it works: all items in the store have two sizes on display on the racks (medium and XL, typically).  However, all items are fully stocked in every size in the back.  You'll be given a clip board and you can write down the item's number (highlight by a black box on it's tag) and when you get a fitting room you a stylist will pull sizes for you from he back.  On the left hand side of the store are items you can take home today and on the right hand side of the store are clothing pieces that will be shipped to you for free.  And then please upload all finds to ModCloth's Style Gallery (or go to Outfit Photos on the right hand side of the top tool bar on the ModCloth's homepage) to help all other online shoppers who haven't had the pleasure of a ModCloth IRL experience so you can encourage them with sizing and styling!  Feel free to check out/follow my Style Gallery page too!

Second outfit for the second day (the first officially open to the public day)!
I'm sooooo framing this, haha!!

Thank-you so much ModCloth for having me!  And personal thank-you to all of the ModCloth staff and bigwigs working the store and making me feel so welcome!  Everyone was so lovely and I regret not getting photos with everyone!  Between my ridiculous phone and just trying to take it all in, I spaced on that!  I'm hoping to pop back in a say hi soon before y'all hit the road...I hope all Denver readers check this store out ASAP!!   The store is at 180 Clayton Lane in the Cherry Creek neighborhood.

To find the dresses that I wore, you can click here: the green dress is the Biking Through Brussels Dress in Forest and the mountain landscape dress is the Festive Frondescence Dress in Alpine.  I seriously love both and can't recommend any of the ModCloth house label items enough!
  ~Lauren-Blair Donovan

Thursday, August 11, 2016

ModCloth IRL Day!

Greetings!  Before I get to the outfit post, let me share some happenings with y'all!
  • If you are in Denver, whether you shop at ModCloth or not, come to this event TONIGHT!  If you've shopped there before, you've probably received an RSVP like this in your email and can come at 5PM.  But if you haven't, it's open to the public at 6PM.  Events are all weekend and I will be there again at least on Friday.  Check out who's hosting... ;)  
  • In non-style news, my comedy team is having quite the field day--literally--as we are pretending to be in the Olympics for oh-so-real events like thumb wrestling and Pop Tart "cook offs".  I'm not going to lie...this has been a LOT OF FUN to shoot and some of my favorites haven't even been released yet!  Check us out on social media to follow (Blog/Facebook/YouTube/Twitter/Instagram) to follow the insanity!  And here's a few favorite stills from our "events" so far plus our first of 4 Olympic videos.  This one is on the weirdness of the torch, Parade of Nations, and Olympic Village.

All About the Outfit:  
In honor of working with ModCloth today, I'm wearing (almost) head to toe ModCloth!  Come August I love wearing black, because it feels so summery against lighter colors making an outfit (and a potential tan) pop!  I'm obsessed with this hedgehog shirt (I reviewed this brand of shirt HERE and unboxed this actual shirt in a video HERE!) and I thought it would be perfect to pair it with the now out of print flamingo color of the Breathtaking in Tiger Lilies skirt (I reviewed those skirts HERE).  

How about you friends?  Is black a strictly colder months color for you or do you like to rock it during the summer as well?
Style Details: 
Glasses- Gap
Top- ModCloth (Size small for measure)
Skirt- ModCloth (different hues found HERE)
Shoes- ModCloth (no longer available)
Bag- BCGB via Marshalls 

So again, if you are in Denver, definitely stop on by the ModCloth IRL event tonight (and shop there throughout September 5th!).  Hope to see you there!!  FYI: I'm such a space case with identifying people from the Internet in a real life context, so don't take it personally if we say hi and it takes a second for the light bulb to go off in my head!  (It will eventually go off though!  I promise, haha).  
~Lauren-Blair Donovan


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Music, Fashion, and I Love the 90s Concert

I went 10 months without seeing a concert!!  This was a total accident, as there were at least a half a dozen artists since last September's Hall and Oates show that I thought I was going to be able to see and then for various reasons the planets didn't align.  Considering I've been healthy and therefore could theoretically have gone to shows the past year, this is very weird behavior for me!

Possibly weirder was the fact that the first show I saw in nearly a year was the I Love the 90s concert.  I mean, I love the 90s, so that in of itself wasn't wildly inappropriate.  But it's a little funny because off hand some of the shows I wanted to see but missed out on were The Misfits, Peaches, and the Cure, so the I Love the 90s tour is a little "which one was not like the other"!  Below I'll review the artists I saw, and after that I'll share my outfit plus a picture of my concert going buddy/comedy partner Shannon and myself there.  We were in the nose bleed section so my photos kind of blow, so I'll spare you.

  • Young MC: Honestly, I kind of forgot about Young MC!  I think I blurred him and Tone Loc together all of these years, which I guess is convenient because he came on next.  He was fun though and played for roughly 10 minutes.
  • Tone Loc: HIGH AS A KITE!  What's funny about living in Denver and seeing artists come to town is that they're ALWAYS commenting on how high either they are/want to be or how high they suspect we are.  Um, Tone Loc won the weed contest that night! He not only announced he was stoned (several times), but definitely sounded it as he went on many rants and it felt like the other random guy he had on the stage with him had to reel him in just to get him to sing his most famous song, "Wild Thing."  He was on stage for around 15 minutes, but I suspect he was supposed to only be on stage for 10 minutes too but got distracted.
  • Kid n' Play: Confession: I've never heard their music.  Through being a music freak and music trivia geek I've made up for lost time, but growing up I only knew of oldies and the occasional Technotronic jam that was played at dance recitals I was in until I was about 10 years old.  Some popular gems have fallen into my knowledge abyss, and Kid n' Play is one of those bands.  That said, I somehow was always aware of the famous flat top hair and recognized Christopher "Kid" Reid in the Temptations miniseries as a rapper from the 90s playing the role of a 1960s DJ.  (Isn't popular culture memory a weird thing?)  ANYWAY, despite my ignorance on their actual music, they were HIGHLY entertaining!  They danced, they joked around, they had a ton of energy, and they still had skills.  They were probably on the stage for around 20-30 minutes.
  • Salt n Pepa: I wish Shannon and I had already released our second Bad Song Lyrics video, because we cover "Whatta Man" a LOT in that video.  Despite having made some jokes at their expense because they boast that some guy "keeps them open like 7/11", this is the band I was most psyched to see.  I had almost seen them several times throughout the years, so I was happy to finally have this day come.  And honestly, not only did they look great (especially Pepa...I swear she hasn't aged a day!) but they sounded exactly the same.  They were also super engaging and charming and clearly were having a blast up on stage.  I'm really glad I got to see them.  They were on stage for at least a half hour, maybe more.
  • Vanilla Ice: Ye-ah, we bailed!  Sorry!  We honestly thought Salt n Pepa were the headliners, as they've had a million singles.  I cannot for the life of me name another Vanilla Ice song besides, "Ice Ice Baby," (not counting his late 90s awful metal remix of the same song).  Color me confused, but whatever.  I would have been perfectly happy to see him, but the circumstances were meh.  It had been a long day to begin with, a long night already with all of the other acts, it kept threatening to rain, and the crowd was wasted and getting weird.  Given neither Shannon nor I are like, die hard V. Ice fans...we looked at each other, shrugged, and said, "Wanna leave?"  #noregrets

Other tidbits:
  • For those who care, the venue was Fiddler's Green, which is one of my least favorite concert venues.  I mean, it's in the middle of a corporate business park for one yeah.
  • Both Shannon and I try to not judge people we don't know.  But yeah, we were halfway through the (not very long) security line when we both realized we were at a total white trash event.  (Or, as Shannon astutely put later on: "it was like Walmart threw up.")  I don't know if other locations of I Love the 90s tour were similar, but this event really sniffed out the weirdest people the general Denver area has to offer.  I've been at shows where people have taken off their pants or gotten arrested in a bra and jeans, and this was one of the drunker or weirder shows...which I think says something!  Sadly there isn't some "great story" but it was more of an energy that could easily be felt and two second sound bites here and there that made us feel this way.
  • We totally missed the memo that this was supposed to be a theme party.  Everyone was dressed as if it was anywhere between roughly 1993-1997.  #noregrets

  • Historically I don't dress like the genre I'm seeing.  To me that's the equivalent of being "basic" at a show.  But some of my outfit wasn't entirely my choice either.  This was an unusually cooler day in July with a storm rolling in.  We did a Just Shair taping prior to the show that required a different outfit, so I brought a few options to Shannon's.  One was a floral and Laura Ashley adjacent maxi dress from eShakti, which I ultimately deemed too out of control for a 90s rap show (I'm all for irony, but it was too much).  I also brought new patchwork jeans from New York and Co and a David Bowie shirt, so I landed on that.  Flips flops were kind of a necessity as we had lawn seats (this whole venue's lawn seats are on a hill too, mind you) and I just felt like wearing my obnoxious yellow faux glasses that I got for $2 on eBay solely because they have eyelashes painted on the corners.  I didn't fit in, which I didn't care to, but it was double weird given that people were wearing low rise jeans with Calvin Klein undies showing and looked like they played for the Chicago bulls.  #noregrets
I hope everyone is having a great week!  Has anyone been to any fun shows this summer?  Or, accidentally stumbled upon a white trash mecca?  PS- if you're in Denver you should check out ModCloth's IRL opening tomorrow!  I'll be back tomorrow with more details ;)

Thursday, August 4, 2016


As you may have heard, I was lucky enough to do a blog post for ModCloth all about Denver!  ModCloth's pop-up shop, or ModCloth IRL, is coming to Denver NEXT WEEK, so that was what prompted the Denver promotion on ModCloth's blog ;)  I'm super excited, and if you're in the area you should be too!  

There's only so much space on for the content, so I thought I'd share some of the photos they didn't use because Denver really is a dynamic city!  Plus, I'm working on catching up with content after my crazy July, so win-win :-p

They used a different (and admittedly better) shot of Union Station that I shot, but I still like this one too.  It shows the city off a little more.  Union Station was kind of--excuse me--a dump until about two years ago when it got completely renovated.  It's now a first class public transportation waiting area, and it even has bars and restaurants that even locals like to frequent!  Wedding photography is very popular here and we've recently added a train to the airport, making Denver feel like a major city!
Baseball is my favorite and luckily I was allowed to talk about it in my ModCloth post!  They used a shot of me in front of the gates in (pseudo) Rockies colors while I talked about how Coors Field is amazing.  It's right in the city and has views of both the city and the mountains (both, depending on where your seats are) and is something to see even if you're not a baseball fan!

 I also talked at length about Red Rocks in the post, but not a ton of photos were used.  For those who may not know, Red Rocks is a natural outdoor amphitheater so it's a concert venue.  But it's also a place to hike, work out on the steps (see the 4th photo down), and has a museum featuring any event and/or musician that has played there.  Plus, it's super beautiful!

Off hand, I have seen Kings of Leon, MGMT, Janelle Monae, The Whigs, Marilyn Manson, The Smashing Pumpkins, Death Cab for Cutie, Hall and Oates, Vampire Weekend, Of Monsters and Men, and probably more I'm not remembering immediately!  

 As beautiful as Red Rocks is, I'm a sucker for smaller venues.  Here's some of the best ones Denver has to offer that I caught on camera, all conveniently on the same "colorful" road that is Colfax.  (Colfax is known for crackheads, simply put.  But then there's great music venues and as of lately there's been increasingly great bars and restaurants being put in.  I guess it's nice to feel safe in that hood now, but if it ever completely improves I'm going to miss seeing random ladies moon everyone in the street, dodging people from my car as they walk into moving traffic, or the homeless calling me "Cinderella". ::tear::)
The hardest shots for me to get was the food and brewery aspects of Denver.  I'm NO food photographer, and was running around like a crazy person the few days I had to do this shot with barely any time to eat, ha!  And, I'm only an occasional drinker due to health restrictions so beer wasn't on the menu either.  I made the best of it with a photo of Denver Beer Company, a place where almost all of my friends met but next to never go anymore haha and that made the post.  But I'm a metalhead at heart so I also took photos of the metal breweries (they play metal music that even Shazaam doesn't recognize half the time).  
So if you ever get the chance to visit Denver, I highly recommend it!  It has so much to offer and I only covered a fraction of it!  What's special about the city YOU live in?
~Lauren-Blair Donovan