SIA Inspiration: James McNeill Whistler 3.0

It’s again my turn to pick the inspiration for SIA, and I chose a watercolor by James McNeill Whistler, “Variations in Violet and Grey“:

This is the third Whistler we’ve featured in SIA, and the second I picked. As you guys know, I’ve been trying my hands at watercolor painting for a while now, and it struck me that watercolor is such a popular medium, yet I can think of no famous painter that mainly used watercolor (Egon Schiele is the only name that came to mind.) It’s probably because watercolor is not as long-lasting as oil paint, and it’s more suitable for quick sketches. Anyway, I went on the MET collection to see if I could find some watercolor paintings. There are quite a few sketches by Whistler and John Singer Sargent, but I picked this one because, despite being almost all neutral colors, there is still an incredible sense of life and movement in it, and because the scene reminds me of the market place I saw during my trips to Europe.

Send me your outfit photos (flat lays are welcomed too!) by next Monday, September 25th, if you want to participate. I’m looking forward to it!


Black And Silver

Today is the first day that feels like… I wouldn’t say fall is here, but summer is definitely on its way out. There is a hint of crispness in the air, a touch of mist among the trees (though it could be smog), and even though the sunlight is still hot, it no longer scorches but falls more gently. Of course, it will be at least another month or two before it can truly feel like fall around here, but I’ll take what I can.

And to celebrate that, I’m wearing the new top I bought from my trip. I don’t usually buy anything full prize, but when I saw this in the store, I had to get it. I love anything with a ginkgo motif (I already have a brooch), and the fact that it’s made of rayon just sealed the deal. It’s the perfect transitional piece – the fabric is light enough for summer, while the print is appropriate for fall.

India Inspired

After I wore this tunic with jeans for SIA, I thought that the silhouette looks familiar, but I couldn’t place it until I realized it was similar to what Indian women often wear in everyday life – fitted trousers (churidar) with a tunic (kurta). Even the embroideries are reminiscent of the designs on the kurta as well, though perhaps not as elaborate. So today I decided to recreate the silhouette more faithfully, with actual trousers instead of jeans and flat sandals instead of heels. The funny thing is that the outfit can also be seen as a modern take on the traditional styling of the Vietnamese áo dài (which is a long tunic over loose-fitting trousers). But that’s what I love about style – you can take your inspiration from almost anywhere!


Although my travel wardrobe was perfect for this week’s SIA (black, white, and blue, hello), I was too busy during my trip to take outfit photos, so here’s an “everyday” outfit. The white printed shirt is a no-brainer, and the pants are to mimic the blue-green background. I also added my polka dot mug for the coffee beans, though my mug is white dots on black rather than black dots on white.

The thing is, I’m not a coffee drinker. I love the smell of coffee, but I can’t drink it – it was actually tea in the mug (hence the post title, which is also a tribute to the most famous Discworld assassin).

Don’t forget to check Erin’s blog for more interpretations of this painting!

No Jewelry

I’ve been feeling disinclined to wear any jewelry lately. Mostly it’s because the tops I’m wearing are pretty attention-grabbing on their own (like this fish-print blouse), so any brooch or necklace would just clutter up the outfit. Besides, I’m getting bored with all of my accessories, but don’t want to buy any new one. Also, it’s really hot and muggy these days and I just want to put on a shirt and be done with it (to the point I didn’t even bother changing my jeans + sandals pairing.) It’s going to change in the fall, I’m sure, but for now I’m going to stick to a “minimal jewelry” look.

Childhood Book

This is another simple outfit, but I think I was subconsciously inspired by one of my favorite childhood books, “The Adventures of Dunno and His Friends“. It’s a Soviet children’s book about a group of tiny, childlike people (like, actual tiny, about the size of a medium cucumber) that go on an adventure in a hot-air balloon. I’ve worn out my copy years ago, so I was really happy to be able to find the reprinted edition in the store recently. And if you look at the cover, well, you can see where my outfit comes from.

In other news, these heels sadly bit the dust after I was caught in the rain, but I didn’t mourn them too much because they’re not real leather and I’ve been wearing them for a while. Plus, it gives me the reason to look for new black pumps 😀

SIA Inspiration: growARTS 3.0

It’s Erin’s turn to curate SIA, and she picked another growARTS piece:

And even better, everyone who participates in this week’s challenge will get their name entered into a drawing to win either this painting or a notecard made from the image! You guys just need to email Erin ( their photo by 7PM Central time on Tuesday, September 12th. Selfies, flat lays, etc. are all okay. You can also post on Instagram and tag Erin (@looplooks) and use the hashtag #SIAChallenge.

How awesome is that? Unfortunately I’m on the road, so I don’t know if I would be able to participate, but I will try to – especially since the piece is so minimalist, which suits me and my travel wardrobe perfectly. We’ll see.