When I went to Malaysia back in August, the one thing I bought for myself (other than a Snow Patrol t-shirt) is a watch. I’ve been looking for a classic watch since my last watch died, and I had found the seemingly perfect one online too, but I decided I needed to try it on first. As it turned out, the Suria KLCC mall didn’t have the particular watch that I wanted, but luckily, I found another one that fit the bill. It didn’t jump out at me at first, but it’s been growing on me since – it’s classic enough to go with everything in my closet, including my black shoes, despite its brown band – and I wear it every day, even if I don’t always wear it in outfit photos.
It’s Kim’s turn to host SIA, and here is her pick:
This is the appropriately titled “Autumn (Study of Mery Laurent)” by Edouard Manet. We’ve featured a number of Impressionists on SIA over the years, but this is the first time a Manet painting is chosen as the inspiration, so I’m excited. The colors are mostly neutral, but there are a lot of rich textures and patterns here that you can play with. Don’t forget to send your outfit to Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org) by next Tuesday, October 22nd. Have fun!
Last week was the first time I felt a shift in the weather – it was still hot during the day, but you don’t sweat buckets anymore, and the sunlight was clearer (in Vietnamese we have an expression that translates into “the sun is shining like pouring honey” to describe the autumnal sunlight, which I think is perfect) and the air crisper. Since our fall season is so short, I’ll take what I can get before winter hits. And even though the weather hasn’t cooled down properly yet, it doesn’t stop me from wearing these shoes again – I’ve been saving them for the fall, so of course I’d wear them the first chance I got.
My sister convinced me to buy these heels at an end-of-summer sale. I tend to stay away from such conventionally feminine things, especially when it comes to shoes, and these are the most conventionally feminine shoes ever – the pink color, the heels, the Mary Jane straps. If I do wear heels, they’re usually more basic than that. But I agreed with my sister that I need to branch out a bit, and besides, these heels are low enough that they’re pretty comfortable to wear. I’m looking forward to cooler weather so I can pair them with some of my more masculine pieces like boyfriend jeans and blazers – because I’m all about keeping the balance between feminine and masculine in my style.
When I hear “Sweet Dreams”, the song is the first thing that pop into my head, so naturally, I have to use it as the post title. Sorry if I gave you an earworm.
Anyway, here are my outfits inspired by John William Godward’s painting, not the Eurythmics song. I put together two outfits because I couldn’t include all the elements of the painting – the green and maroon fabrics, the white, gray, and pink marble, and the animal print – in just one look. I chose these green linen pants as the base because the color is perfect, and for one outfit, I paired them with my pink T-shirt and animal print flats (it’s leopard print, not tiger, but hey, they’re both big cats), and for the other, I paired them with my white shirt, maroon monk strap shoes, and animal print belt (I think the print on my belt is zebra, actually, but it’s close enough.) I prefer this second outfit simply because I think the shirt and the shoes go together a little better, but the other is good too.
Don’t forget to check out Daenel’s blog on Wednesday to see other outfits inspired by this lovely painting!
This is a really simple outfit, but it’s been a while since I wear this silhouette – lately I’m all about the wide-leg pants and loose-fitting tops – so I quite like it. I’d like to think that it is a modern, real-world version of the witches’ all-black look in Discworld – hence the title, which, incidentally, is one of the last four Discworld books that I still have in my to-read pile (but I’m planning on rereading them in anticipation for the Watch mini series, so it’s OK.) It’s October, so a witch-inspired outfit is appropriate, right?
I missed Book Reviews last week because of SIA, so here’s the make-up. I read four books this month, but I’m reaching that slump now of the year when I don’t feel like reading anything new, which I usually cure by reaching for a Discworld book (since I know I’m going to enjoy it.) The thing is, my stack of unread Discworld books is dwindling so I want to save them. Or, maybe, I should just finish them all and reread them, starting with the Watch books, to prepare for the upcoming adaptation…
Anyway, onto this month’s books:
Damsel in Distress by Carola Dunn:
This is a book in the Daisy Dalrymple series, the first of which I’ve read last year and quite enjoyed. I saw this at the used book store and decided it would be an easy book to take on my trip to Malaysia, so I picked it up. Revolving around our socialite amateur investigator dealing with the kidnapping of an American heiress, it’s a fun and quick read, but the stakes are a little low. Well, lower than usual, I mean, since these books are never meant to be suspenseful thriller mysteries in the first place. 2.5/5
Queen Victoria – 24 Days That Change Her Life by Lucy Worsley:
As the title implies, this book focuses on 24 important events in Queen Victoria’s life, from the marriage of her parents to her own wedding, the coronation, the birth of her first child, Prince Albert’s death, etc. In many ways, this is a standard biography, but by focusing on these days, it gives us a good overview of Queen Victoria’s life without overwhelming us with too much information. I’ve read many non-fiction books, especially biographies, that keep jumping from one fact to the next without a good system of organization, so I appreciate this here. It’s not going to change how you see Queen Victoria, but it’s entertaining to read nonetheless. 4/5
If Walls Could Talk by Lucy Worsley:
This is actually a book to accompany a TV series of the same name (and hosted by the author) about the history of the house and domestic life. Again, it’s not the most groundbreaking book or even the most entertaining (Bill Bryson’s At Home and Ian Mortimer’s Time Traveler’s Guide series are vastly superior, IMO), but it’s easy to read and, if you’re a sucker for nonfictions about historical sociology like me, you’ll enjoy it. 3/5
The Owl Service by Alan Garner:
I’ve heard of this book as a YA fantasy classic, so when I saw it on sale at the used book store, I picked it up immediately. The story, as far as I can tell, is set in a Welsh valley and revolves around three teenagers – a girl, her stepbrother, and their housekeeper’s son – that become trapped in an ancient tragic love triangle and are now forced to act out the three roles in it. I say “as far as I can tell” because I’m not quite sure what really happens in it. It consists mostly of snippets of dialogue, and it can be difficult to pick the story out from those snippets. “Show, don’t tell” may be a good thing, but not when showing is used as excessively as this. You can never be sure what a character is feeling or what they are doing or why they are doing a certain thing. I will say this for it, though: the writing manages to conjure up a threatening and oppressive but still magical atmosphere. Too bad the story doesn’t come through. 2/5