Hello Kitty, Why Are You EVERYWHERE? PLUS: The Trick That Makes Forever21 Stuff Look 300% Pricier

Everyone who knows me is aware of my weakness for the mouth-less little creature known as Hello Kitty.
Publish date:
December 1, 2011
Forever 21, DIY, Hello Kitty

It's no secret that I love Hello Kitty... Pretty much everyone who even sort of, kind of knows me is aware of my weakness for this big-headed, mouth-less feline. It's been a thing since I was 4 years old, and when I was a kid Sanrio stuff was considerably harder to find (family trips to San Francisco culminated in huge shopping sprees at the now extinct Sanrio Store).

Nowadays, it seems as if Hello Kitty has pimped herself out to just about every big box store and some smaller companies; my Ma says she's the new Mickey Mouse. It was recently a big deal that Hello Kitty and Forever 21 collaborated, and while the results are pretty effing cute (I scooped up 3 pieces), I was wondering, why is this a BD? That little cat is already at Target (duct tape!), Wal-Mart (sleep shorts!), Liberty of London, JC Penney, Tokidoki, Sephora, Heatherette (back in the day), and probably a lot of other places that I'm missing. Anyway, despite my slight bitterness that Hello Kitty is no longer sort of hard to find, I still love her a lot.

And that brings me to my beloved Forever 21 for Hello Kitty cardi. I bought the beige, 3/4-sleeved (10% angora!) sweater that features HK's head on the right hip (for the record, I also got the black mesh long-sleeved top and the umbrella). When I bought it, it looked like this:

Cute! But the BUTTONS. They were driving me insane; they betray the cheapo-ness of the sweater. A dead giveaway. So I replaced the buttons with real metal-rimmed, sturdy vintage buttons I found at my parents' house:

Replacing the buttons on a cardigan or button-down is so easy; you can find good quality vintage buttons at junk stores for peanuts, and your clothes will instantly feel brand new. My sister once replaced the white buttons on a simple white oxford shirt with black buttons; all of a sudden, chic! Fresh!

On top of everything, this is a simple project that takes no time at all, but you'll feel accomplished and good about yourself when you're finished. Try it. (Another trick to make your Forever21 clothes look a bit more pricey is to promptly cut out those plastic hanging loops they put in EVERY piece of clothing. Yuck!)

Who can help me find a replacement for Hello Kitty? Is ANYONE cuter than her? I doubt it. Prove me wrong.