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STYLE: One Dress, Infinite Styles with Henkaa

Unlike most people, I only travel with a carry-on. After losing my baggage to many airlines or getting my baggage 9 days later (which by the way, is both useless and infuriating), I’ve decided to take matters in my own hands and pack lighter. But sometimes, packing light can be one mighty task – that’s where Henkaa comes into play.

I was introduced to Henkaa about a year ago and although they are best known for their convertible bridesmaid dresses, their dresses are also the ideal travel companions. I took two Henkaa dresses with me to Italy, the Calla ($98) and the Ivy ($78). They can be rolled up tightly to fit into a corner of your bag and they don’t wrinkle. The best part, with one dress, your outfit options are pretty much limitless.

The Calla is a modern one-piece with 3/4 length batwing sleeves but the sleeves are what make the dress! They can be tied around your neck for a sleeveless halter, tucked in to create a one shoulder style or tied at the waist for a strapless look. It is available in Ruby Red, Deep Teal, Royal Blue, Plum Purple, Charcoal Grey and Night Black. I’m wearing it in Royal Blue and I wore it with me around the Roman ruins, the Borghese Gardens, along the coast and just roaming around the city.

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The Ivy dress is a bit different than the Calla. Although it is also convertible, it is sleeveless and includes an interchangeable drawstring, which can be used to help create the different looks. The relaxed fit design is easy to twist and tie to create styles that are both simple and sexy. It is available in Ruby Red, Deep Teal, Royal Blue, Plum Purple and Night Black. I’m wearing it in Deep Teal and I wore mine while I wandered around the Pompeii ruins, I turned it in to a skirt to check out the city of Amalfi and I even got a little ambitious and playful one evening and created a super-strappy dress to wander the city and watch the sunset.

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These are just two of the styles Henkaa has to offer and I only scratched the surface with the many styles you can create. All of their dresses are made of their signature Lenaa™ fabric, a super soft, wrinkle resistant material which is 92% polyester and 8% spandex. Both of the dresses above are available in three sizes: XS/S (0-6), M/L (8-14), 1X/2X (14-18) and all of their dresses have online tutorials to make dressing a breeze (I’ve included the Calla tutorial below).

Whether you plan on travelling, taking a weekend jaunt or just party in your own city, Henkaa dresses are amazing because they’re eight dresses (or more if you get creative) in one. My Henkaa companions definitely made packing a lot easier, and even a bit lighter. For more information on Henkaa, check out henkaa.com.

– Chenessa Lam

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FASHION: Sweet and Spicy Outfits Ideas for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner – 12 days and counting to be exact – and this year, the big day lands on a Friday. Whether you’re planning a low key evening with the girls or going on a hot date, these two looks are sure to inspire your heart and style.

From left to right: Collar Pearl Necklace, $278, Kate Spade. Acrylic Ladder Stitch Sweater, $60, Topshop at The Bay. Leather Cut-Out Ankle Boot, $155, Jeffrey Campbell at Urban Outfitters. Nu Prima Clutch, $89, Nella Bella. Cotton and Elastane Printed Trousers, $50, Zara. Jersey Panelled Dress, $138, French Connection. Crystal Necklace, $280, Swarovski. Leather Clutch with Shoulder Strap, $69, Danier. Crystal Hematite Ring, $190, Swarovski. Leather Ankle-Strap Pump, $100, Aldo.

If you prefer something low-key you can opt for our “sweet” look, pairing printed trousers with a great knit and adding a few statement accessories – we instantly fell in love with the pearl collar necklace and metallic clutch. For those who want something sexier, we found the perfect LBD (little black dress) complete with sheer panel detailing for our “spicy” look. Instead of wearing this with bright red accessories, we decided to keep it relatively understated with oxblood accessories and the perfect amount of bling!

After a grey and frigid January, why not heat up February and add some oomph to your outfit. Tell us, what are your plans and what are you wearing come February 14th? Tweet and Instagram us (#Style Empire), we’d love to hear from you! (And if you haven’t entered our Valentine’s themed giveaways yet, you definitely should!)

Sending love, cupid and lots of cinnamon hearts your way!

– Chenessa Lam

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