The Serenade

white top navy skirt black heels by 14 shades of grey

This week’s SIA inspiration, “The Serenade” by Eugene de Blaas, has a lot of colors and patterns to choose from, but since I’m exercising to simplify my style, I decided to go with the lady on the far left, the one in the white shift and blue skirt, who’s all “I’m too busy for this sh*t”. She is truly a girl after my own heart :)

So for my outfit, I copied her “skirt over dress” look (the white skirt is probably her petticoat though). It was too hot for a kerchief/scarf like she has around her neck, so I added the blue brooch as a finishing touch. This is actually one of the SIA outfits that I’m quite proud of, because it’s pretty close to the original while still being wearable.

Don’t forget to check out Librarian for Life and Style to see other interpretations of this painting!

white top navy skirt black heels by 14 shades of greywhite top navy skirt black heels by 14 shades of grey

white top blue flower brooch by 14 shades of greywhite top navy skirt by 14 shades of grey

Dress (as top): tailor, Skirt: Banana Republic (thrifted), Heels: Esprit (hand-me-down), Brooch: thrifted


Bye Bye Sandals

chambray shirt black pleated skirt brown sandals by 14 shades of grey

Moments after I took these pictures, my sandals literally fell apart. Well, actually, they have been falling apart for quite some time now. I’ve taken them to the cobbler and everything, but now I’m wondering if it’s worth it anymore. After all, I got them for about $10, and judged by how much I’ve worn them, it breaks down to about 70 cents per wear, which is not bad. Besides, this gives me an excuse to start looking at summer shoes sales :P

chambray shirt black pleated skirt by 14 shades of greychambray shirt black pleated skirt brown sandals by 14 shades of grey

chambray shirt necklace by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Esprit, Skirt: thirfted, Sandals: Zalora, Necklace: Lia Sophia


I Have Nothing To Wear

white v-neck blouse boyfriend jeans leopard print flats

Well, that was an impromptu mini-hiatus. We just had a long weekend too – it was Vietnam’s Independence Day on Tuesday, so we had Monday and Tuesday off – and as usual, I find it hard to get back into the normal routine after a break like that. That and the fact that I’m in a style rut, which is also the usual case at the end of every season.

I think my style rut mostly comes fromĀ  being overwhelmed with choices. I have a lot of clothes (I’ve never done a closet inventory, I just know I have a lot) but out of those, I only reach for a few go-to pieces. Which is why at the end of every season I’d get tired of them. And then I’d feel bad about those “closet orphans” and force myself to wear them even though I’m not crazy about them, resulting in overwrought or boring outfits.

So, with that in mind, I’m going to try a capsule wardrobe for the fall/winter season. I’m really inspired by the idea behind Un-Fancy, and I’ve been trying to clean out my closet anyway, so a capsule wardrobe certainly makes sense. Obviously this is going to take some planning, especially given how unpredictable the weather can get in Hanoi. I should give myself some leeway for SIA and my book review outfits too. But I’m pretty sure I can put together something for the three months from October to December. I’ll start planning now and (hopefully) show you my capsule by the end of September, and we’ll see how it turns out.

white v-neck blouse boyfriend jeansboyfriend jeans leopard print flats

white v-neck blouse golden necklacewhite v-neck blouse boyfriend jeans

Shirt: Mango (hand-me-down), Jeans: Charlotte Russe, Flats: LA Fashion District, Necklace: Lia Sophia


SIA Inspiration: Eugene de Blaas

This week’s SIA painting, courtesy of Jen, is “The Serenade” by Italian-Austrian artist Eugene de Blaas:

Those ladies look less than impressed with the guy’s musical talent, right? Apparently there’s a whole trend in art to depict women ignoring men :P Anyway, there are a lot of colors and patterns here to draw inspiration from, so hopefully our interpretations of it can be more impressive. Send your outfit to Jen (librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com) by next Monday!


Book Review: The Devil In The White City

white eyelet top white jeans black ankle boots by 14 shades of grey

I got this Erik Larson book recommended to me by Jess, when I asked her for some historical non-fiction. It’s about the construction of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, interwoven with the story of serial killer H.H. Holmes. I always enjoy a good serial killer story, so I love this. I haven’t read any other Erik Larson book, but this one is written in a very cinematic way, which appeals to the screenwriter in me. It’s not just about the details, but it’s the way each scene comes alive with actions and emotions. Another good thing is that it’s written in alternating chapters, so I could always make sure to stop at a chapter on the World’s Fair when I read it before bed :P The serial killer part can be a bit spine-chilling to read when you’re alone at night

As for the outfit inspired by the book, I knew I wanted black-and-white, but I couldn’t decide which shoes to wear. Then I went boot shopping last weekend* and found these perfect pair, so I put together an outfit that is a mix between modern and Victorian elements. It’s very appropriate for the book, I think.

And hey, my all-white outfit is just in time for Labor Day too. It’s the last time I got to wear white** so might as well go all-out, right? Have a great Labor Day weekend, my US readers!

white eyelet top white jeans black ankle boots by 14 shades of greywhite eyelet top white jeans by 14 shades of grey

white eyelet top cameo necklace by 14 shades of greywhite jeans black ankle boots by 14 shades of grey

Top: Mango, Jeans: Calvin Klein, Boots: Betts (it’s an Australian brand I believe), Necklace: Forever21

* I scoff that those style bloggers who are all “OMG fall!” by the end of July, because let’s face it, it won’t be fall until October (November for us), but now I can kinda understand why. All the stores are putting out fall fashion now, it’s hard not to be excited. And it was rainy but not warm when I wore this, so they’re not stank boots, I promise.

** Just kidding. I don’t follow arbitrary fashion rules. I’m a rebel that way.


To Keep Or Not To Keep

floral shirt wide leg jeans heeled loafers by 14 shades of grey

I’m going through the process of culling my closet, and this shirt is one of my “undecidable” pieces. It’s not really my style anymore, both the print and the shape – I prefer a more modern print and a looser fit now. But then again, it still fits me, and the fabric is breathable, which is always a plus in the summer heat. I thrifted it all the way back when I first started thrifting, so I guess you can say it has some sentimental value too. I don’t know… what do you guys think?

floral shirt wide leg jeans heeled loafers by 14 shades of greyfloral shirt wide leg jeans by 14 shades of grey

floral shirt wide leg jeans by 14 shades of greywide leg jeans heeled loafers by 14 shades of grey

Shirt & Belt: thrifted, Jeans: Old Navy, Heels: Payless


Headmistress

blue gingham shirt black pleated skirt black heels by 14 shades of grey

I must’ve been really inspired by this week’s SIA, because this outfit could also be counted as an interpretation of the inspiration painting. At first I thought the gingham + the accordion pleats would look too harsh, but I like how crisp they look together (and you guys know I don’t get to look crisp that often!) If the navy skirt is my “schoolmarm” skirt then I guess this will be my “headmistress” skirt. It’s the second week of term, kids. If you think I’m going to let you slack off like you did last semester, think again.

blue gingham shirt black watch by 14 shades of greyblue gingham shirt black pleated skirt by 14 shades of grey

black pleated skirt black heels by 14 shades of greyblue gingham shirt black pleated skirt black heels by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: local shop, Skirt: thrifted, Heels: Esprit (hand-me-down)