Papaya Lovin'

Papaya is one of my favorite mall clothing stores because it's less hectic and oftentimes less expensive than Forever 21. The clothes are just adorable, and the clearance racks (especially the accessories section) are always full of goodies. It's a worthy adversary that broke my temporary no-shopping ban.

My mission has been to look for tops that are work-appropriate, and I snagged a couple this weekend. What I found is acceptable at the place where I've been working and for casual Fridays at some other firm in the future.

[Papaya tie-neck sleeveless top, Issac Mizrahi for Target cardigan, Louis Verdad pants w/red pinstripes (eBay), really old pair of shoes from Payless]

The red rose print gives a nice punch to a black outfit. The bow is tied at the side of the neck (I like asymmetry). If I work at a more conservative office, I would save this for a Friday and pair it with a black blazer or under a pullover sweater.

I like how the material looks expensive when it was only $10. I bought another top from Papaya made from the same fabric; even though it was abused by the washing machine because I was lazy and stupid, that top still holds together well enough to be worn at least a few more times. There's no way I'll throw this new top into the machine and get it shredded like the other one, that's for sure.

[Papaya kimono top, American Eagle cami, necklace of my own design, Juicy Couture jeans (samples), Payless shoes]

Kimono tops are so popular these days, but I wanted a piece that's different from everything that are out there. To avoid looking preggo, the empire waist had to be flatter on me. When I came across this top, I thought it was perfect. I love the color, the fabric was stretchy and soft, the fit is fabulous, and the fabric drapes just the way I like it. On top of that, the balloon sleeves are different from the other kimono sweaters out there. Since it's made of 100% rayon, I'll have to be careful and wash it by hand (I learned my lesson).

I think this kimono top is wearable for work if I layer it over a v-neck shell (instead of a cami) and throw a black blazer or high-collared jacket on top. Certain attributes make this top very classy: the fabric has that conservative color, nice sheen, and delightful draping.

Even though I usually eschew buying things that require hand washing, these two tops are worth it. The former is very easy to wash and dry, while the latter is pretty and low-maintenance enough such that I won't grumble about the extra work. Handwashing will cut down on pilling, thereby keeping the kimono top deceptively expensive-looking. Since the blue is so dark, it is unlikely that stains will show up, which means I can cut down on the wash time.

On a different note, these are my new $7 Payless flats, purchased in the same mall where Papaya was located. I wanted a pair of casual flats that are not ballet slippers, and these fit the bill. The color is an interesting burnt orange, and the loose woven portion looks exquisite. I could do without the embroidered flowers, but they're hardly noticeable, and I begrudgingly admit that they're kinda cute, too. Gotta love Payless!


BrownEyedGirl said...

I really LOVE that first top! I wish we had that store here! :(

The Cheap Chica said...

i love the tops, very cute. papaya is one of those stores that is starting to grow on me. sometimes, there would be stuff that i want, but the fit isn't right. and other times, the clothes fit me to a t. but, i like that store. it's cool.

bee said...

Love the kimono top!

Marcy said...

Less expensive than Forever 21? I didn't think such a thing existed! lol

Awesome finds, on all accounts. The red top is adorable, and I have to say those black pants look really awesome on you. The blue kimono top is really cute! The Payless shoes are also really cute-- they look kinda unique, too. Both outfits are really flattering on you.

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks everyone!

I do love the pants--too bad the awesome red stripes don't show. My only complaint is that the fabric is stiff and sometimes the below-the-knee portion looks awkward.

Stacie said...

Papaya! Heh! What a cute name for a store. We don't have any of those around here in Vermont. Probably nothing would fit me from there anyway. oh well. Good job once again on the outfits. You really found some good deals.
I wanted to mention something a while ago about Payless shoes. I just can't wear them. I am used to shoes with great arch support and I have found that Payless shoes really don't have any. I used to think that finding shoes there was a good deal, until I tried standing in them all day long and then never wore them again after that! So shoes at Payless really aren't much of a bargain for me. I would rather spend $50-$125 on a really good pair of quality shoes that I can wear every day and be comfortable in. Also, the weather is crap here a lot of the time in the winter and the spring and thin, flimsy, slippery shoes just don't do the trick. I need some sturdyness and treads. Good quality shoes also much last a much longer time too. I lead a very lax lifestyle here in Vermont. I have never had a job where I have had to dress up. I am usually outside at the farmers markets or craft shows where I have to stand for much of the day. I can see where you are coming from since you have to look nice for your jobs or future jobs, but for me it just doesn't make much sense.

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks for the compliments, Stacie!

It's unfortunate that the cheapness of Payless isn't suitable for many people. My sister needed shoes for several special occasions and bought them from Payless, but because of her special needs, she was only able to withstand wearing those shoes just once. I guess if you can invest in a great pair of shoes, it's 10 times better than buying from Payless, wear them out, replace, and repeat ad nauseum.

ambika said...

I love the red tie-neck top. It looks great with the black. And I've been browsing Payless' new styles and am nearly ready to cave. Are the flats comfortable? Do they look ready to fall apart after 3 wears?

Sales Rack Raider said...

The flats are very comfortable and look like they'll hold up for many wears (I've already worn them twice).

I've been very lucky with non-athletic Payless shoes. Whatever I've bought there generally lasted for a few years before they gave out. I would never buy tennis shoes from there though. Back in high school I used to wonder why my socks were getting a huge hole at the left toe. As it turns out, running around on the tennis courts wore down the sole, resulting in a huge hole...the shoes were only a few months old!