1930s Golfer

This outfit was built around these shoes. Ever since I gave my saddle shoes to my sister, I’ve been looking for a pair with the same two-tone look, but easier to style – for me, saddle shoes tend to conjure up a certain sporty look that is not really “me” (which is why I gave my pair to my sister.) So I was really excited to come across this pair – they have that masculine, spectator-esque look that I like, but they’re more versatile and not as sporty as saddle shoes. Having said that, it’s a bit ironic that I ended up choosing a sporty look as the inspiration for this outfit, more specifically, 1930s women’s golfing attire. The buttons on the skirt remind me of women’s sportswear back then, and I went with the sporty theme by wearing my quiver brooch – it looks a bit like a golf bag, doesn’t it?


Book Reviews: June 2022

I’m posting this a week early since next Wednesday is reserved for the SIA round-up post, plus June was a busy month, so I only managed 3 books:

The Star Machine by Jeanine Basinger:

I’ve always found Old Hollywood fascinating, so this book, which discusses how movie stars were manufactured (and they were manufactured, not merely “discovered”) by the studio system during the Golden Age of Hollywood (1930s-1950s, roughly), is right up my alley. It details the step-by-step process of making a star and features several “case studies” of when the machine worked and when it didn’t, and why, by examining of the careers of Tyrone Power, Lana Turner, Errol Flynn, Deanna Durbin, Jean Arthur, Norma Shearer, and others. It’s very insightful and entertaining at the same time, and I’ve been on a classic movie binge because of it. 5/5

Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce:

I quite enjoy Rachel Joyce’s previous book, “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry”, so of course I had to check out her next book. It’s about a spinster teacher in post-WWII London who teams up with an unlikely “assistant” to travel to New Caledonia and search for a mysterious beetle. It combines several of my favorite genres and subject matters (travel, nature, a bit of history, adventure), and at the heart of it is a moving story about friendship and going out of your comfort zone – pretty similar to “Harold Fry”, in fact. I found the two characters a bit silly and annoying at first, but I soon warmed up to them. My one complaint is the two subplots – one feels forced and a little repetitive, and the other goes nowhere. Still, it’s very good and fairly quick read. 4/5

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le:

I don’t often read romance, and I read YA romance even more rarely, so the only reasons I decided to read this – a star-crossed romance between two Vietnamese-American teens whose families run rival pho restaurants – are 1) I’m Vietnamese and 2) I like food-themed books. I was prepared to not like the romance, so in a way, the book meets my expectation – the romance is pretty clich├ęd. The chapters switch between the main characters’ POVs, but their voices are not different enough, so I often found myself confused as to whose POV I’m following. Plus, the reason behind the families’ feud is too slight and not convincing at all. As for the food descriptions, they’re okay, except for one glaring issue: you do NOT put hoisin sauce in pho! Also, I find the Vietnamese phrases scattered throughout the book rather distracting – some are downright incorrect, and even the correct ones are too stilted and not natural enough. For the teens, that can be forgivable, because they’re not born in Vietnam, but even the parents’ Vietnamese is questionable. 2/5


SIA Inspiration: Carl Larsson

It’s my turn to host SIA, and we’ve had some challenging pieces lately, so I went with a conventionally “pretty” painting:

This is “Karin at the Shore” by Swedish artist Carl Larsson. I picked it because of the soft watercolor tones, delicate lines, and the contrast between the lady’s dark dress and the colorful flowers. I thought it was a nice, summery image, but apparently it was painted in late autumn, and the flowers froze the next day. Well, I think it still works for summer. Remember to send me your outfits by next Tuesday, June 28th, and have fun!


Peasant

One of the items I’ve been looking for this summer is skirts with novelty prints around the hem – something like this. I haven’t been able to find it yet, but during my search, I stumbled upon this skirt. It doesn’t have the novelty print, but the embroideries are lovely, plus it has pockets – not just side pockets, but back pockets too! The embroideries remind me of traditional Russian embroideries, so I leaned into that folksy feel and paired it with a gingham shirt and lace-up mules to evoke the traditional Russian bast shoes.

Back pockets!


Wear Your Bright Clothes

Last week I mentioned that I don’t wear skirts and dresses as frequently anymore now that it’s warming up, and here I am, with two outfits featuring skirts this week so far. In my defense, it’s been raining a lot, so it was cool enough. Anyway, there’s not much to say about this outfit – it’s very typically “me”, with a collared shirt, plaid skirt, and brooch. I originally wore my navy-and-brown heeled oxfords, but they’re a bit heavy for the outfit (though they match the skirt quite well), so I switched to these sandals. They’re quite old (>7 years old!), but they’re still going strong.

P/S: The title is from “In the Summertime” by Mungo Jerry. Yes, I know the exact lyrics is “When the winter’s here […], wear your bright clothes”, but it fits.