Weekly Capsule 34.2: Not Fall

yellow sleeveless top black pants black flats by 14 shades of grey

Dear style blogs, could you guys please stop saying how excited you are for fall? I know it’s tempting, when the temperature takes the slightest dip and stores begins to put out their fall clothes, but it’s not fall yet, OK? For us, it won’t be fall for at least another month. In fact, we’re having another heat wave. I love fall, as all bloggers do, so it’s really hard seeing scarves and layers on other blogs while I’m still here sweating in sleeveless shirts.

yellow sleeveless top black pants by 14 shades of greyyellow sleeveless top black pants black flats by 14 shades of grey
Also, please forgive the boxes in the background. They’re for my mom’s herb garden

yellow sleeveless top black pants black flats by 14 shades of greyyellow sleeveless top leaf pin by 14 shades of grey

Top: vintage, Pants: Calvin Klein, Flats: 5th Avenue, Pin: Forever21


Weekly Capsule 34.1 & SIA: Air France

chambray shirt black pants brown heeled loafers by 14 shades of grey

This week’s SIA inspiration, the 1960 Air France poster by illustrator René Gruau, is perfect for a breezy summer vacation look. Sadly for me, the school year has started, which means I’m back to work and have to dress accordingly. So after some thinking, I decided to go for a simple chambray shirt + black jeans look to mimic the blue and black in the poster, my belt and brooch are a nod to the yellow hat, my heels are a match to the woman’s tan, and of course, I had to include a hat, even if it’s not a beach hat like the one in the poster (a beach hat would’ve looked a little ridiculous with this, don’t you think?) I wish I could have put together something to capture that French Riviera feel of the poster, but all in all, I’m happy with this.

Don’t forget to drop by Jen’s blog to see the full round-up of outfits inspired by this poster!

chambray shirt black pants by 14 shades of greychambray shirt black pants brown heeled loafers by 14 shades of grey

black pants brown heeled loafers by 14 shades of greychambray shirt yellow flower brooch by 14 shades of grey

chambray shirt boater hat by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Esprit, Pants: Calvin Klein, Shoes & Hat: local shops, Brooch: vintage


Weekly Capsule 33.2: Normcore

pink tee boyfriend jeans black slip-ons by 14 shades of grey

Is “normcore” still a buzzword? Do people actually talk about “normcore” outside of the fashion and style blogosphere? I recently used it in a script to describe a character, and I was afraid it might sound too dated or esoteric. Maybe I should change it.

But that doesn’t stop me from dressing in normcore clothes during these last few days before school starts. My week consists of working from home + babysitting my nephew, with just one “public” appearance at my workshop class, so this is all I could muster. Blog-worthy? Hardly. But it’s comfy and perfect for running after a toddler, so here I am.

pink tee boyfriend jeans by 14 shades of greypink tee telephone necklace by 14 shades of grey

boyfriend jeans black slip-ons by 14 shades of grey

T-shirt: Uniqlo, Jeans: Zara, Sneakers: local shop, Necklace: vintage

It also means this week’s capsule has only two looks, but next week posting will be back to normal… I hope.

white button-up boyfriend jeans black oxfords by 14 shades of greypink tee boyfriend jeans black slip-ons by 14 shades of grey


Weekly Capsule 33.1 & Book Review: Apocalypse Now Now

white button-up boyfriend jeans black oxfords by 14 shades of grey

I try to keep a schedule for the book reviews, but the books I read last month are either not interesting enough, or do not lend themselves well to any sartorial interpretation, so the review has to wait until now, when I finally read something that I can talk about (it doesn’t necessarily mean that I like it though – more on that in a minute). And that book is “Apocalypse Now Now” by Charlie Human.

I first heard about this when I learned that the writer of District 9 is adapting it. It’s a YA fantasy novel set in Cape Town and described as “Tarantino meets Gaiman”, so naturally I was interested. The main character, Baxter, is a self-proclaimed teenage Machiavelli, a dealer of pornography and the leader of his gang, the Spider. He is willing to do anything necessary to ensure that the Spider survives the brutal world of high school, but this all changes when his girlfriend, Esme, disappears. Soon Baxter finds himself teaming up with a supernatural bounty hunter, Jackson Ronin, as they make their way through the underworld of Cape Town to bring Esme back and prevent the apocalypse along the way.

I myself have wanted to write an urban fantasy version of the Orpheus myth, so this is right up my alley. The setting is unique, and Baxter promises to be a great anti-hero. However, I was disappointed. The supernatural world is a bit of a mess – I’m not familiar with Afrikaan myths, but here it seems the author just dumps in random elements and adds some sex and violence on top of them. I don’t like Baxter either. He talks a lot about what a manipulative bastard he is and we don’t actually see much of that on display.

What annoys me the most, though, is how Esme is treated. She is a prime example of the “fridged girlfriend” trope – she is harmed to motivate Baxter, and then that storyline (mild spoiler) is hastily and lazily resolved to make way for Baxter’s heroic quest. I don’t mind this trope when it’s done well (Laura in American Gods comes to mind), but Esme is so one-dimensional (her sole defining trait is that she is a klepto, which, OMG, so edgy) and Baxter’s proclamation of love for her is so unconvincing (because what do they have in common?) that it makes me really angry. I mean, it’s the 21st century. There is no excuse to write a female character like that.

2/5 stars, and that’s only because I think it would make a better comic book than a novel.

white button-up boyfriend jeans by 14 shades of greywhite button-up boyfriend jeans black oxfords by 14 shades of grey

As for the outfit, I thought long and hard about how best to interpret the book, and finally settled on something Baxter might wear, like on the book’s covers – the shirt and oxfords are to mimic his school uniform, the jeans are to add some edge, the glasses are obvious, and the necklace is to represent the Knowing Eye, an important plot point. It’s simple, but I like it.

boyfriend jeans black oxfords by 14 shades of greywhite button-up necklace by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: local shop, Jeans: Zara, Oxfords: Vagabond, Necklace: Lia Sophia


SIA Inspiration: René Gruau

For this week’s SIA, Jen picks a piece that perfectly encapsulates summer – a 1960 poster for Air France by famous fashion illustrator, René Gruau:

C’est manifique, non? That prominent yellow hat is going to be a problem for me (the only yellow piece I have is a scarf, which, in this weather, is a big no), but maybe I could do a loose interpretation again. That’s been working out well for me in the past few SIA challenges.

Anyway, if you want to join us, just put in your best French-inspired outfit, take a photo, and send it to Jen (librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com) by next Monday, August 24th. Have fun!


Weekly Capsule 32.4: Casual Work

chambray shirt navy skirt snakeskin slipons by 14 shade of grey

School doesn’t officially start until next week, but I’ve already been teaching for two weeks now at an amateur film making workshop. Since the students are of all ages (the oldest I’ve had is middle-aged, the youngest is 15) and the atmosphere is much more relaxed than a usual class with college-aged students, I tend to dress much more casually than I normally do – like this, for example. And yet, despite that, I’ve never been mistaken for a student like I have at school. Weird, right?

chambray shirt navy skirt by 14 shade of greychambray shirt navy skirt snakeskin slipons by 14 shade of grey

navy skirt snakeskin slipons by 14 shade of greychambray shirt arrow necklace by 14 shade of grey

Shirt: Esprit, Skirt: Banana Republic (thrifted), Sneakers: local shop, Necklace: Forever21

Also, I’m very proud that this week I managed to mix and match just 6 items. I know I’ve promised not to pay too much attention to the numbers anymore, but I’d like to keep the number of items in a weekly capsule under 8 if I can. Anyway, here are my looks this week:

chambray shirt navy jeans captoe flats by 14 shades of greyred striped top navy skirt captoe flats by 14 shades of grey

red striped shirt blue jeans snakeskin slipons by 14 shades of greychambray shirt navy skirt snakeskin slipons by 14 shade of grey


Weekly Capsule 32.3: The End Of A Decade

red striped shirt blue jeans snakeskin slipons by 14 shades of grey

My birthday was last week. I’ve never been big on birthday parties (I didn’t celebrate my birthday at all during all those years I lived in LA), but since my niece loves them and my sister’s birthday and mine are so close together, we just made a cake and had a small family party on the weekend. It’s weird though, thinking that I’m 29 years old. I still feel the same as I did when I was 17. But then again, nobody knows how being 29 is supposed to feel either, right? Adulthood is a huge lie, I’m telling you :P

A funny coincidence: I wore a very similar outfit exactly a year ago. Except this time my shirt is long-sleeved and my shoes are snakeskin, not leopard. I did think of that outfit when putting this together, but I had no idea that the timing aligned as well!

red striped shirt blue jeans lace scarf by 14 shades of greyred striped shirt lace scarf by 14 shades of grey

blue jeans snakeskin slipons by 14 shades of grey

red striped shirt blue jeans snakeskin slipons by 14 shades of greyred striped shirt lace scarf by 14 shades of grey

And the scarf is still the perfect make-shift hoodie.

Top: Forever21, Jeans: Mango, Scarf: self-made, Sneakers: local shop