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how to score in rio


photography by Lucas Velozo

top by Lojas Renner -- Brazilian high-street chain
vintage maxi dress
Panama hat (Leblon street vendor)
Jessica Simpson Dany platforms
vintage cross and F21 coin bracelets
rings (Marc Jacobs Maripol, F21, Feira Hippie de Ipanema)

Perusing Rio's shopping centers (particularly the mall scenes) has been more or less a "hit or miss" experience, especially when a majority of the little sweet-smelling, perfume infused boutiques rack up some pretty hefty price tags for clothes and accessories I can easily get at an H&M or Forever 21 at a guilt-free bargain. I was initially ecstatic to discover Zara stores trickling around the city; only to realize soon after that much of their current full price merchandise was about two seasons behind (compared to NYC) -- it's not a great feeling when you spot a mini bucket bag for close to $200, albeit their new arrival, which you remembered seeing in the clearance rack for 40 bones back in June. What I do love, however, is their individualized and whimsical approach towards retail store design and layout (qualities you'd rarely see in your typical US shopping mall). Although my wallet refuses to shell out $150 and up on faux leather sandals or simple canvas espadrilles, Rio has personally redefined the meaning of "window shopping." (I'll post shots of some aesthetically cool shops later on)

What I did learn so far, in regards to "smart" shopping, is that the best deals are found amidst the heavenly maze of Sunday flea markets and boho street vendors. I luckily scored a hardcore snake ring and knuckle ring for peeaaanuts and a Panama hat, which has been resting on my head, even as I watch tv or cook dinner with the bf -- when I love something so much, I can't seem to take it off (had this slightly weird trait since I was four years old when my aunt bought me my first pair of patent leather mary janes). I've also been toting around the most precious Bolivian backpack, which is a purely satisfying weaved mix of the sweetest colors imaginable (my next outfit post will feature this baby). I have yet to complete my mission of finding the best Rio shopping deals, so stay tuned for more of my new scores.

as I provide you with updates on my 
shopaholic escapades ;)

brazilian highlights


photography by Lucas Velozo

Express halter top
H&M beige trousers
Forever 21, Marc Jacobs and H&M rings 
Crocodile leather arm cuff and puma cat necklace (via Ipanema Beach vendor)
H&M feather necklace
Zara clogs

Ten things to drool over in Rio:
  1. Living 3 minutes away from one of the world's most beautiful beaches (Copacabana and Ipanema)
  2. Living 2 minutes away from "Rio Design" shopping center and "Shopping Leblon"
  3. Fresh goiaba and maracuja to start my days (the sexier way of saying guava and passion fruit) :P
  4. Amazonian beach vendors selling rare, authentic jewelry straight from their motherland for peanut prices.
  5. Ipanema's Sunday flea markets (a meandering maze to OD on shopping)
  6. Getting properly buzzed on caipirinhas on a nightly basis
  7. Scary movie nights with my boyfriend
  8. Cherryberry (think a self-serve Pinkberry buffet)
  9. Koni Store sushi (hot Philadelphia rolls !!!)
  10. Freshly exotic combined with girly dresses at Farm (sold only in Brazil)...they need to expand to the US, pretty please. 

    for more of my fashion, shopping and Brazilian holiday updates ! :)


    on heavy rotation


    (scooped this necklace from a native vendor who lives in the Amazon. It's like a little exotic purse for my neck. This came with a precious stone inside, which is believed to give strength.)

    Tried to practice the less is more theory when it came to packing shoes for my month-long Brazil trip. And those 3 pairs (JS Danys, Zara clogs and Chiffon wedges) are my absolute favorites at the moment. As you can see from the wedges, the chiffon is getting quite a bit ratty considering what they've been through so far. I've been trekking around Rio with all those babies (flip-flops, however, always in toe as my safety precaution device when I encounter frightening cracked turf). I'm also expanding my collection of new "flair" for my fingers, arms and's become a pleasant addiction, especially with all those heavenly Brazilian street vendors flocking about.


    a day without rain


    photography by Lucas Velozo

    Free People Beach Jumpsuit
    Anna Kastle Givenchy-esque wedges
    H&M headband
    Forever 21 knuckle and cross connector ring
    Marc Jacobs Maripol spring ring

    Touched down in sexy Rio a couple days ago and currently savoring every bit of this exotic (and quite romantic) summer escapade with my bf-- new blog posts of Brasil to come shortly. These images here were taken before I flew out. As simple as it is, this frilly black jumpsuit from Free People has become my instant go-to piece for casual days and nights, even for long sweet naps considering their perfect "pj-like," silky soft quality. I actually wore this for about 3 days straight before giving it a rest in the laundry cycle. Also finally broke in these Anna Kastle platform wedge babies that I scooped up from eBay -- a proud find that quintessentially captures all my personal elements in an awesome shoe purchase: all-day comfort,  steal price tag and instantly bumps my height up about 4 or 5 inches without risky fall-smack-down-on-your-face injuries. They also happily passed the tricky cobblestone pavement test in NYC, which usually terrifies THE CRAP out of me when I have to wobble my way across those fierce streets wearing super high platforms.

    Follow me as I chronicle my month-long Brasil holiday with style photos, outdoor shopping markets and mind-blowing food snaps. Also, I'll be listing a giveaway this week on an amazingly effective beauty tool that I think you'll love (coz I very much lovvve) that is currently selling for over $300.


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