New Year, New Sweater

gray sweater maroon jeans navy scarf black boots by 14 shades of grey

OK, this sweater is not exactly new. It is actually a belated Teacher’s Day/Christmas present from my students, but because the weather had been so warm, I didn’t wear it until now (Teacher’s Day was way back in November, but I didn’t mind that they combined the two occasions – they are students, they’re always broke, so I would’ve been fine with no present at all.)

Clothes and/or accessories are very common gifts in Vietnam, especially for women, but I always feel a little awkward about receiving those, because often they’re not something I would buy for myself, and then I would feel bad about not wearing them. This, though, fits quite well into my closet, which goes to show my students really understand my style (if only they would apply the same amount of thoughts into their work!)

gray sweater maroon jeans navy scarf by 14 shades of greymaroon jeans black boots by 14 shades of grey

Sweater & Scarf: gift, Jeans: Pull& Bear, Boots: Clarks


Happy New Year

white button-up gray cardigan navy jeans brown booties by 14 shades of grey

Well, here we are, 2017. Forgive me if I’m a little wary of welcoming you. Your predecessor hasn’t been easy on us. I hope you’ll be kinder. If nothing else, at least we have Star Wars Episode VIII to look forward too, right?

Anyway, here’s a simple outfit to bring in the New Year. We don’t really celebrate New Year here (we save our holiday spirits for the Lunar New Year) so it’s back to business as usual. I don’t see my style changing much next year, but I am making a conscious choice to shop a lot less. Except for replacements, I will see if I can stop shopping altogether. I’ve been pretty good in the latter half of 2016, mostly because I’ve been too busy to actually go shopping, so I’m hoping I can keep it up in 2017. I’m not putting any pressure on myself though; if I see something I really like, I would buy it. I just have to remind myself to think more carefully about my purchase, that’s all.

white button-up gray cardigan navy jeans by 14 shades of greywhite button-up gray cardigan navy jeans brown booties by 14 shades of grey

white button-up brooch by 14 shades of grey

Shirt & Boots: Topshop, Cardigan: Forever21, Jeans: H&M, Brooch: vintage


A Year In Review: 2016

So, another year, gone. Usually, around October or so, I would start to look back at my outfits throughout the year to see how they have been so far, and usually, I would declare it hasn’t been a very exciting year, style-wise. However, every time December rolls around, I always manage to find some looks I particularly liked. This year is the same. I still have a weakness for slightly fussy looks, though I look best and feel best in simple, streamlined outfits. But hey, where’s the fun if you can’t dress up once in a while, right?

I’ve included some of my favorite looks in my SIA retrospective last Monday, but here are the non-SIA ones, in chronological order:

black wool dress mustard scarf black boots by 14 shades of greywhite cableknit sweater wool jacket black jeans black boots by 14 shades of grey

white eyelet top brown cardigan blue jeans brown booties by 14 shades of greystriped shirt blue jeans black flats trench coat by 14 shades of grey

blue striped shirt navy skirt red heels by 14 shades of greywhite eyelet top black pants black oxfords by 14 shades of grey

navy print shirt white wideleg pants flat sandals by 14 shades of greyblack floral dress black pants black heels by 14 shades of grey

black tee black printed skirt red heels by 14 shades of greyblack striped top boyfriend jeans blue oxfords by 14 shades of grey

blue linen top black jeans brown booties by 14 shades of greynavy dress embroidered cardigan red heels by 14 shades of grey

yellow dress black cardigan black pumps by 14 shades of greywhite shirt tweed jacket wool pants brown oxfords cloche hat by 14 shades of grey

black turtleneck white skirt black pumps by 14 shades of greyblack sweatshirt pleated skirt black pumps by 14 shades of grey

November appears to be the MVP, with four outfits in the list – it goes to show that as soon as the weather turns cold, I get a major style boost and put together much more interesting looks.

And no, I’m not doing “Worst Outfits” this year. 2016 has been enough of a turd fest already, so I don’t want to annoy anybody, least of all myself, by posting about my style mistakes. So let’s end this year on a high note, and hopefully, next year will improve!


Last Outtakes Of 2016

2016 will forever go down in history as “The Year That Must Not Be Mentioned”. Seriously, what the fuck is up with this year? So many celebrity deaths (Alan Rickman and Carrie Fisher hit me particularly hard), so many deaths, period, so many disasters, both social, political and natural. I think I can speak for pretty much everyone when I say I cannot be happier this year is over soon. Of course, who knows, maybe 2017 will be even worse, though I can’t imagine how.

Anyway, in an attempt to add some lightness to this black hole of a year, here are some leftover outtakes – I’m basically cleaning out my folder and posting everything I have left before moving on to the new year.

Here are the “Butter Fingers” pose:

outtake by 14 shades of greyouttake by 14 shades of grey

The “What’s Wrong with My Legs/Feet” pose:

outtake by 14 shades of greyouttake by 14 shades of grey

The “Wait, Did I Turn Off the Stove” pose:

outtake by 14 shades of greyouttake by 14 shades of grey

And last but not least, the “Doggy Photobomb” post (although I was more of the photobomber in the second photo. My dog was just hanging out on the yard and I stepped into frame – you can kinda see it in her “I don’t know what’s happening” expression):

outtake by 14 shades of greyouttake by 14 shades of grey


Book Reviews: December 2017

I only managed two books this month. In my defense, one is long and kinda boring, while the other is shorter but really boring, so I had to reread other books (Hogfather, for one, and other favorites) in between to give myself a break. Anyway, here are the books:

books_16-12

(Somehow I managed to read on a theme again – both books are about women in the 17th century, though one is fiction and set in the Netherlands, and the other is non-fiction and set in England.)

Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach:

It seems I haven’t learned my lesson with The Miniaturist, because when I saw another book set in 17th century Amsterdam, about another young woman married to an older man, I decided to pick it up again. My reasons this time are “Well, at least there is no mystery in it” and “It’s made into a movie with Christoph Waltz, Alicia Vikander, and Dane DeHaan, so it must be good, right?” WRONG! The plot is simple – a painter is hired to paint the portrait of a rich merchant and his much younger wife, he falls in love with the wife, and together they hatch a risky plan to escape together. It’s a very standard romance plot, but the historical setting could have saved it and turned it into an entertaining, if not particularly deep, read. However, this book features some of the least developed characters I have ever read, and possibly the most stupid protagonists. I couldn’t care less what happens to them, and the “thrilling and tragic climax” touted in the blurb is simply the result of stupidity, not because of some great flaws in the characters’ personalities or circumstances. The writing is the same flowery prose found in this type of historical romance. It’s not as bad asĀ The Miniaturist, but it’s not great either. 1/5

The Weaker Vessel: A Woman’s Lot in 17th century England by Antonia Fraser:

I bought this book because it was on sale, not because I have any particular interest in 17th century England. More exactly, I’m interested in history in general, so I will read any historical non-fiction books I can get my hands on. This book is certainly well-researched and touches upon all aspects of a woman’s life in the past – marriage and divorce, health (some gruesome stories about childbirth in there), education, religion, politics (it was the Civil War after all), etc. – but I can’t say it’s a super interesting read. I can’t put my finger on what’s exactly wrong with it, I just find it boring. It took me three weeks to finish! 3/5

Now, for next year, I’m approaching my reading goal a little differently. For the past three years it has all been about the numbers for me, but next year I’m not going to do that. Instead I want to read more non-fictions, try some new genres (thrillers and mysteries, perhaps? I might give the Harry Hole series another go, seeing how Michael Fassbender is playing him and all), reread some stuff (most of all American Gods, because the TV show is coming out in 2017), and finish the Sandman comics. So that may mean fewer new books to review. We’ll see.


Last Outfit Post Of 2016

white sweater printed scarf black jeans black booties by 14 shades of grey

I was debating whether to post this outfit or not. Let’s face it, the blogosphere is pretty much dead in the week between Christmas and New Year, and the outfit itself is not that interesting. But then I decided to stick to the schedule anyway, because this is the only outfit I have left in my 2016 folder. So here’s a black-and-white look to close out the year.

I’ll the back later this week with the book reviews and the year in review post, as usual.

white sweater printed scarf black jeans by 14 shades of greywhite sweater printed scarf black jeans black booties by 14 shades of grey

white sweater printed scarf by 14 shades of grey

Sweater: Atmosphere, Jeans: local shop, Boots: Betts, Scarf: gift


Post-Christmas

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

I hope everybody had a nice Christmas. Despite the distinct lack of holiday spirit this year, our family did manage to pull it together at the last minute – we went to my sister’s for a nice dinner and then spent the rest of the evening watching Christmas movies, so it wasn’t half bad.

And here’s a post-Christmas outfit. To be honest, I didn’t even think about Christmas when I paired this green sweatshirt with my blue plaid shirt (blue + green being one of the classic Christmas color pairings), but now that I think about it, I should’ve worn one of my tree brooches to maintain the theme.

blue plaid shirt green sweatshirt black jeans by 14 shades of greyblue plaid shirt green sweatshirt black jeans brown booties by 14 shades of grey

blue plaid shirt green sweatshirt dragonfly brooch by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Uniqlo, Sweatshirt: Forever21, Jeans, Boots & Brooch: local shops