Minimal Vintage

navy dress locket brooch brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of grey

The balance between minimalist and vintage style has been my struggle for a few years now, and still I haven’t found a solid solution. It’s like my style is the heroine in a costume drama, having to choose between two suitors – the minimal look which is clean and simple, but can be a little boring, or the vintage look, which is more fun, but also tougher to pull off. Occasionally, though, I manage to put together a look that manages to walk the line between the two, like this one, for example – the dress and the brooch are vintage-inspired, but the styling keeps it modern. I think I need to aim for more “classic” looks like this, which can be minimalist and vintage at the same time.

Speaking of vintage, this is off-topic, but I just watched The Man from U.N.C.L.E. this weekend (the 2015 movie, not the original TV show). It’s a really fun, stylish movie, and the 1960’s fashion are gorgeous, but gods, it should be illegal to put Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer in a movie together. Nobody can handle that much hotness in one sitting.

navy dress locket brooch brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of greynavy dress locket brooch by 14 shades of grey

navy dress locket brooch by 14 shades of greynavy dress brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of grey

Dress: tailor, Brooch: vintage, Shoes: local shop


Dome, Glass, Library

blue printed blouse black midi skirt beige sandals by 14 shades of grey

Yes, that post title is a nod to one of my favorite short stories by Neil Gaiman, “Snow, Glass, Apple”. Anyway I’m not here to talk about that story (even though I could talk a lot about that story) but about this outfit, which is my attempt to interpret the gorgeous Tiffany dome of the Chicago Cultural Center for SIA, in celebration of National Library Week in the US.

If it were still cold, I would’ve worn my embellished sweatshirt, but since it’s way too warm now for that, I had to make do with this blouse, since the print and the color sort of echo the look of the dome, and my pleated skirt, which I tend to reach for in any SIA challenge that has an architectural/structural feel. As for shoes, my black cut-out heels would work with the strong black lines of the dome, but it’s too heavy for this outfit, so I went with these new sandals instead. And finally, I topped it off with my Venetian glass zodiac necklace – since the zodiac signs are embossed at the top of the dome. Am I happy with this as an SIA interpretation? Not really. Do I like it as an outfit? Heck, yes.

blue printed blouse black midi skirt by 14 shades of greyblue printed blouse zodiac necklace by 14 shades of grey

black midi skirt beige sandals by 14 shades of greyblue printed blouse black midi skirt by 14 shades of grey

Top: Zalora, Skirt: thrifted, Sandals: Aldo, Necklace: Venice gift shop


Size Does Matter

striped top polka dot scarf blue jeans brown oxfords by 14 shades of grey

… in terms of proportions, that is. Take this outfit, for example. I was trying for that French look with the striped shirt and the scarf, you know. Unfortunately the scarf I selected is a bit too big, so it doesn’t look effortless and more like I had to shove my scarf out of the way to stop it from choking me.

But you know what, it’s Friday, I’m tired, and this gloomy, muggy weather is positively pissing me off, so I don’t care. I’m off to binge-watch Daredevil now (the second season was out in March, but I haven’t been able to catch up.)

striped top polka dot scarf blue jeans by 14 shades of greystriped top polka dot scarf blue jeans brown oxfords by 14 shades of grey

blue jeans brown oxfords by 14 shades of greyDSC_6812

Top: Forever21, Jeans: H&M, Scarf: hand-me-down, Oxfords: Vagabond


Oops

hot air balloon shirt white skirt brown heeled loafers by 14 shades of grey

I had this post all lined up and ready to go, when I happened to check my archives and realized I’ve worn this exact outfit before. Just with different shoes (and a belt). Oops. But hey, we all repeat outfits all the time, so what’s the harm, right? Besides, I think I like this version better. The brown of the shoes goes better with the skirt.

But the repetition is understandable, because this skirt is kind of awkward. I didn’t mean it’s awkward to style. No, it’s more like it only fits a very awkward kind of weather. It’s made of heavy tweed-like material, so I can’t wear it in warm weather. And then in the winter I have a hard time styling it too, because it’s difficult finding a pair of tights to go with it (other than black, that is.) That means I could only wear it during these in-between times, when it’s still cool enough for a heavy skirt but warm enough for bare legs.

So I guess… I did mean this skirt is awkward to style after all?

hot air balloon shirt white skirt by 14 shades of greywhite skirt brown heeled loafers by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Zara, Skirt: Zalora, Shoes: local shop


April Shower

blue floral shirt navy jeans red heels by 14 shades of grey

I think I’m going to call this blue floral shirt my “rain” shirt from now on, because every time I’ve worn it, it usually rains that day or a couple of days later. Case in point: we’ve been having a very annoying spring, all overcast but no rain, when last night the sky just opened up and gave us an actual downpour, with thunder and lightning and everything. Of course, that probably means next week it’s going to be hotter than hell, but for now, I’ll take the rain.

blue floral shirt navy jeans by 14 shades of greyblue floral shirt navy jeans red heels by 14 shades of grey

Top: local shop, Jeans: H&M, Heels: Zara


SIA Inspiration: Tiffany Dome

Gods, this is too gorgeous for words:

That, my friends, is the Tiffany stained glass dome of the Chicago Cultural Center. Since this is National Library Week in the US and Erin is our host, she decided to give a shout-out to both libraries and her hometown of Chicago by picking this amazing stained glass piece in the building that used to be Chicago’s first Public Library. You can learn more about it here.

I don’t know how the heck I’m going to translate this into an outfit, but I’m excited to try. Go ahead, challenge your sartorial sense, and send your outfit to Erin (looplooks@gmail.com) by next Monday, April 18th!

You can find a lot more photos of the dome online, but I have to include this full shot of the hall where the dome is (the Preston Bradley hall) because… well, I mean, hello:


Fake Suit

polka dot chambray shirt black blazer black pants black oxfords by 14 shades of grey

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you know I have this thing about blacks and whites that don’t match, i.e. they drive me insane. I’m not sure if it’s something I picked up from reading Tom & Lorenzo, or if it’s just the way my brain works, or if it’s because I have a lot of black clothes but none of them match. So I was really excited when I found that my black blazer and my black pants are close enough that I could wear them together.

… Well, they kinda match. If you tilt your monitor at a certain angle.

Maybe I should just buy a suit and be done with it.

polka dot chambray shirt black blazer black pants black oxfords by 14 shades of greypolka dot chambray shirt black blazer black pants by 14 shades of grey

polka dot chambray shirt red enamel brooch by 14 shades of greypolka dot chambray shirt black blazer black pants black oxfords by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: tailor, Blazer: Warehouse, Pants: thrifted, Shoes: Vagabond, Brooch: vintage