Natural Whimsy

gray embroidered cardigan navy jeans black booties by 14 shades of grey

Did I ever mention that this cardigan is actually from the kid’s section? If I like something enough, I have no problems with buying from the kid’s or the men’s section (as long as it fits, of course!) With this one, I fell in love with the embroideries, so I just got the largest size available.

I’ve always loved embroidery. Of course, that was before it became a big trend in 2015-2016. Now embroidery is everywhere, but I don’t see anything I really love. At least the embroderies on this cardigan are somewhat cohesive, as opposed to what is called “forced whimsy” by my favorite celebrity style bloggers, Tom and Lorenzo. Are they whimsical? Yes. Forced? I don’t think so.

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gray embroidered cardigan by 14 shades of greynavy jeans black booties by 14 shades of grey

Cardigan: local shop, Jeans: H&M, Boots: Betts


Blank Canvas

white shirt green sweatshirt blue jeans brown booties by 14 shades of grey

I’ve been wearing this sweatshirt a lot lately, but most of the outfits are a version of this – sweatshirt, brooch, jeans, and booties – so I don’t see the need to blog all of them. I think the reason I always accessorize this sweatshirt with a brooch is because its rich color and simple cut make a perfect canvas for a brooch. Actually, what I really want to do is to copy this look, with a collection of bug-themed brooches crawling from the shoulder down one arm, but I don’t have enough brooches for that. Yet.

white shirt green sweatshirt owl brooch by 14 shades of greywhite shirt green sweatshirt blue jeans brown booties by 14 shades of grey

white shirt green sweatshirt blue jeans by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Topshop, Sweatshirt: Forever21, Jeans: Sneak Peek, Boots & Brooch: hand-me-down


British Preppy

trench coat plaid scarf wool pants oxford heels by 14 shades of grey

I was so happy with my Fantastic Beasts-inspired outfit last week that I decided to try it again this week. Now, this is an even looser interpretation of the look than my previous outfit, but it’s built on the same elements – lots of neutral colors, tweed/wool, and oxford shoes. Very important, oxford shoes. For some reason, I can’t seem to wear these pants with anything other than oxfords. There’s something about their material and the cut that immediately makes me think of a British professor (hence the title), so oxfords would be the natural shoes of choice.

striped top trench coat plaid scarf wool pants by 14 shades of greystriped top trench coat plaid scarf wool pants by 14 shades of grey

striped top trench coat plaid scarf wool pants oxford heels by 14 shades of greystriped top trench coat plaid scarf wool pants oxford heels by 14 shades of grey

Top: Earth Music & Ecology, Pants: Esprit (hand-me-down), Coat: Mango, Scarf: Candies, Shoes: local shop


SIA: Edward Hopper 3.0

For the final SIA challenge of 2016, Jen picked “Railroad Sunset” by Edward Hopper:

This is, I believe, the third time we’ve featured Edward Hopper on SIA (!) Jen picked this for its blend of bright colors and dark neutrals; plus, she started SIA in 2016 with a painting of a sunrise, so for her to end it with a sunset is just appropriate.

Remember to send your outfits to Jen (librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com) by next Monday, December 12, to be included in the round-up. Enjoy!


Big Bargain

brown striped sweatshirt black jeans black oxfords by 14 shades of grey

In the post about my leather jacket, I said I couldn’t pass it up because it was such a bargain, even though a leather jacket doesn’t fit my style. It was the same reason that I bought this sweatshirt (in that same shopping trip on my last day in Amsterdam, actually), except I was hesitating because it’s too big on me. But I love the color (what do you call it? Pinkish brown? Dusky pink?) and the appliques, it was the last one on sale, and for 7 euros, it had to come home with me. I figure I can always layer another shirt underneath it or wear a coat on top to make it look less baggy.

brown striped sweatshirt black jeans by 14 shades of greybrown striped sweatshirt black jeans by 14 shades of grey

brown striped sweatshirt necklace by 14 shades of greybrown striped sweatshirt black jeans black oxfords by 14 shades of grey

Sweatshirt: Esprit, Jeans & Necklace: local shop, Oxfords: Vagabond


Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

white shirt tweed jacket wool pants brown oxfords cloche hat by 14 shades of grey

I wore this last week to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the Harry Potter spin-off and sort-of prequel. Even before I saw the movie, I’m already in love with all of its 1920’s costumes, especially Tina’s menswear outfits (although the Aurors’ leather dusters are pretty fabulous too). So I was trying to recreate her look here – a button-up shirt, a tweed jacket, wide-leg wool pants, oxfords, a cloche, and a pendant. I could’ve added my trench coat or wool coat as well, but it was too bulky on top of my jacket. Besides, it’s not that cold yet, and this is supposed to be an “inspired” outfit, not a cosplay. Of course, that didn’t stop me from using my copy of Fantastic Beasts as a prop though😛

As for the movie, it’s definitely fun and magical, but I can’t help feeling it was two movies crammed into one. The Grindelwald storyline was shoehorned into it and had very little to do with Newt Scamander. It’s a shame, really, because they could’ve developed it into two film series – one family-friendly series about New Scamander’s adventures in the world of cryptozoology, and a darker, PG-13 prequel series about the battle between young Dumbledore and Grindelwald. The movies would be better and the studio would’ve made twice the money. Ugh. Those foolish Muggles!

white shirt tweed jacket wool pants cloche hat by 14 shades of greywhite shirt tweed jacket wool pants brown oxfords cloche hat by 14 shades of grey

tweed jacket wool pants brown oxfords by 14 shades of greywhite shirt tweed jacket by 14 shades of grey

white shirt tweed jacket wool pants brown oxfords cloche hat by 14 shades of greyA fantastic beast of my own!

Shirt: Topshop, Jacket & Pants: hand-me-down, Oxfords: Vagabond, Cloche: Target, Necklace: local shop


Book Reviews: November 2016

As I said in last month’s reviews, this month was going to be all Discworld for me. I was so frustrated with all the bad writings I read in October, and since November is a busy month in script reading, that’s more bad writings I had to deal with, so I wanted something safe and fun and I know I will enjoy. I didn’t strictly read all Discworld book, but I did read all Terry Pratchett books (by a strange coincidence, in November/December last year I also read three Discworld book. There is just something about November that makes me want to reach for Terry Pratchett for comfort, I guess.)

I apologize beforehand if the reviews do not make much sense to those of you who haven’t read Discworld. Anyway, here are the books:

books_16-11

A Slip of the Keyboard:

This is a collection of nonfiction writings by Terry Pratchett, including his articles from his journalist days to his speeches and anything in between. They are often hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, especially toward the end when he talked about his Alzheimer’s and his quest for assisted dying. You can really feel Sir Terry’s warmth and wit and anger coming through (because you have to be angry to write such biting, sarcastic words). 4.5/5

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents:

This is labeled as a “young adult” Discworld book, but I think that’s simply because it features a talking cat and talking rats (who then team up with a “stupid-looking kid” and go from town to town to enact the Pied Piper scheme). This is some heavy stuff – I think it’s even more somber than most Rincewind books! It asks some philosophical questions about the nature of being, of intelligence and religion, and there are some scary/intense moments as well. It’s not as funny as other Discworld book, but very good nonetheless. 4/5

Lords and Ladies:

I love the Tiffany Aching books, and I love Granny Weatherwax, so I always find it a little weird that I never love the Witches books as much as I should. But then I realize that it’s because I haven’t found the right Witches book, because I love this. This one sees Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat back in their hometown as Midsummer is approaching and the Queen of the Elves is getting really angry about having to stay in Faerie. This is the Granny Weatherwax that I know and love from the Tiffany Aching book, plus the reveal about her past romance with Mustrum Ridcully (one of my favorite side-characters) is just too cute – and a little sad too. 5/5

Feet of Clay:

After Death and Tiffany Aching, the Watch books are probably my third favorite in the Discworld series. I didn’t read them in order – I think I read The Fifth Elephant first – but that’s OK because the first few are just to introduce the characters anyway. With this one, the core team of the Watch is coming together, so the story is shaping up better as well. I always love a good police procedural show, and this is just like that – imagine Brooklyn 99 but with werewolves, dwarves, trolls, gargoyles, and others making up the team. It’s also a good mystery – someone, or something, is running around the city killing old men, and Lord Vetinari is being slowly poisoned, and now it is up to the beleaguered Vimes and his team of misfits to uncover the truth. 5/5

I may have been a little biased with these reviews.