Almost Perfect

I told you there would be more green things on the blog, didn’t I? When I first saw this dress at the thrift store, I hesitated because it has a polyester lining (why would you do that? Make a dress in cotton and line it with polyester, thus negating all the benefits of the cotton?), but then I saw that the lining can be removed quite easily, and well, you bet that I snapped it up right away. It’s pretty much the perfect dress for me – the length, the style, the color are all right up my alley. The only demerit is that it doesn’t have pockets, but well, you can’t have everything.

Green Legs

If there is one color I’m navigating toward this summer, it’s green. Maybe because it’s so hot that I can only deal with cool colors, or maybe it’s just because I didn’t have a lot of it in my closet, but thanks to thrift stores, I’ve been stocking up. These pants are just one of the green things I bought recently (trust me, you’ll see more.)

The outfit is simple, but I decided to have some fun with the accessories and add my ladybird pin to the embroideries on my top. The ladybirds do love the coriander flowers in our garden.

Patchwork Girl

For this week’s SIA, inspired by Anne Ryan’s “Number 453” (it looks like patchwork, hence my post title), I knew I’d wear something blue and something plaid, both of which I have plenty of in my closet. However, I didn’t want to wear my blue jean culottes again, and my plaid shirt doesn’t quite match the colors of the piece.

Then, by a stroke of luck, I came across this plaid dress at an online thrift store, so I snatched it up. The problem is, I didn’t realize it was an empire-waist dress (that’s the thing with thrifting online; the photos can look deceiving) and the top is too short on me. Luckily, the waist is elasticated, so I could just unbutton the top, tuck it into the waistband, and voila, I have a skirt! I paired it with my blue linen shirt, brown oxfords, and navy belt, and it’s a perfectly acceptable outfit for SIA. I thought about chopping off the top of the dress to turn it into a skirt permanently, but in the end, I decided to keep it as a dress. That way, I can wear it both as a skirt and a dress.

Don’t forget to check out Daenel’s blog on Wednesday to see other outfits inspired by this piece!

Cutouts And Lacing

Since I rediscovered thrifting earlier this year, it has offered me a lot more choices in shopping, so instead of just following the trends in the shop, I can pick and choose what I really like. This has given me some insights into my style. I’ve realized that I tend to navigate toward nature-inspired patterns, that I prefer embroideries to prints, and cutouts/broderie anglaise to laces, and that as much as I wish to pull off that clean, minimalist look, I can’t. I have to rely on colors and patterns to bring interest to my looks. This outfit has no thrifted pieces, but it kind of reflects my newfound style insights. It’s all solid colors, but the cutouts of my top and shoes, and the lacing of the shoes make it look more interesting (if I say so myself).

Book Reviews: June 2020

I only managed three books this month, but one of them is an absolute whopper, so it’s OK. Here goes:

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides:

I don’t read a lot of them, but I do enjoy a mystery book from time to time, and this book certainly features an intriguing mystery: a successful artist in a seemingly happy marriage suddenly shoots her husband in the face and tries to commit suicide, and afterward refuses to speak another word. The book follows her psychotherapist as he tries to figure out what really happened and how he can help her. Like I said, it sounds promising, but the book is a total flop. I don’t like any of the characters; the writing is boring; the twist (of course there is a twist) is idiotic, and (spoiler) there is no adequate explanation why the main character just stopped talking (she claims she “had nothing to say”, which is totally not true.) I was so mad that I wasted my time with this. 1/5 (if I could give it zero, I would.)

A Woman of Consequence by Anna Dean:

I went from one mystery to another, but this one is definitely lighter. It follows a Regency spinster, Miss Dido Kent, as she investigates a case of possible haunting that may be connected to a 15-year-old disappearance at a local estate. Basically, it’s Jane Austen meets Agatha Christie. The mystery is interesting, but there are too many subplots weighing it down, and I find the characters a little irritating, especially Dido’s love interest. Still, it’s fun to read, and if I should come across another one in the series (this is actually the third book), I’ll pick it up. 3/5

A Campaign in Tonkin by Charles-Edouard Hocquard, translated by Dinh Khac Phach: (There is no English translation so I’m linking this to the Vietnamese translation)

Part travelogue, part war memoir, this was written by a French army doctor who traveled to Tonkin (the name for North Vietnam during the French colonization) to participate in the French-Sino war (1884-1885). It offers detailed observations of life in 19th-century Vietnam, from everyday things (including a pretty gruesome description of a decapitation) to life at court, accompanied by photos taken by the doctor himself. It’s exactly the kind of thing I love to read, but I’m always frustrated with Vietnamese books of the same subject because they are too academic and not detailed enough. This one hits the spot. Of course, it was written from the point of view of a colonizer, so there are some questionable attitudes and opinions here and there, but mostly it’s an unbiased and often enthusiastic account of his experiences in Vietnam. My only complaint is that it’s an absolute door-stopper (600+ pages) which makes it a pain to read in bed. 4.5/5

So what did you guys read?