Weekly Capsule 50.1 & SIA: No Stress

black and white print dress herringbone jacket black boots by 14 shades of grey

I actually had a different outfit in mind when I picked out this week’s SIA inspiration, “Stressed Out” by Layla Holzer. It involves my black embroidered sweatshirt and brushstroke skirt, but when I put them together, they looked hella awkward, so I had to rethink the whole thing. I thought of my black-and-white Zara dress next, but I only wore it for special occasions. Then I realized I had the perfect special occasion for it – the award ceremony for our school’s film festival. Once I had the dress as my foundation, the rest of the outfit came together quite easily.

I’ll talk more about the film festival later in the week, but suffice to say, it was fun and not nearly as stressful as I thought (well, I didn’t have a lot of responsibilities to begin with…) Anyway, at least I got an SIA-appropriate outfit out of it.

black and white print dress herringbone jacket by 14 shades of grey

black and white print dress herringbone jacket brooch by 14 shades of greyblack and white print dress herringbone jacket black boots by 14 shades of grey

Check back tomorrow for the full round-up of all looks inspired by this lovely illustration!

Dress: Zara, Jacket: tailor, Boots: Esprit (hand-me-down), Brooch: vintage

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Weekly Capsule 12.3: Night At The Opera

black and white dress black cardigan black cut-out heels by 14 shades of grey

I actually wore this last weekend to go a concert with my mom at the Hanoi Opera House. I don’t have that many occasions to dress up for, but when I do, this is my go-to “special occasion” dress – it’s really easy to style, and it looks more put together than everything else I had. (Although, if I’m being really honest, another reason I automatically reach for it whenever the word “fancy” comes up is because it’s one of the few things in my closet that I paid full price for, and I’ve only worn it, like, four or five time since, so I’d like to get my money’s worth :p)

black and white dress black cardigan by 14 shades of greyblack and white dress black cardigan black cut-out heels by 14 shades of grey

black and white dress black cardigan by 14 shades of greyblack and white dress black cardigan red flower brooch by 14 shades of grey

Anyway, the concert was fun. It was to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of Vietnam joining La Francophonie, so there was a nice mix of Vietnamese and French music (Clair de Lune played on Vietnamese traditional instruments and Vietnamese folk songs sung by a French choir, that kind of thing.) It was too bad that they didn’t allow DLSR inside the Opera House, because the architecture is gorgeous. I had to make do with these crappy phone photos instead.

hanoi opera house by 14 shades of greyhanoi opera house by 14 shades of grey

hanoi opera house by 14 shades of grey

Dress: Zara, Cardigan: Target, Shoes: Tamaris (hand-me-down), Brooch: vintage


Hypnotizing Polka Dots On The Beach

Do you guys know Missed Connections? It’s a blog and a book with illustrations by Sophie Blackall based on the “Missed Connections” section on Craigslist. At the risk of sounding like a hipster, I love how quirky and whimsical it all is (I can already see some Paris Je T’aime kind of movie from it), and this outfit is inspired by a similar encounter (or a missed encounter, to be exact) I had on the beach last Saturday.

My “Missed Connections” listing would probably go something like this:

Saw you at Paradise Cove last Saturday. You wore this amazing dress with a really cool polka dot pattern, a mustard cardigan, matching shoes, and an enamel flower brooch. A guy was taking pictures of you, I wonder what for. Anyway, thanks for the inspiration, and can I have your brooch?

Alas, I can’t draw like Sophie Blackall does, so here’s a stalker-ish photo instead:

I’m also trying out this idea I saw on Pinterest – tying a ribbon around your foot to dress up flats. It’s cute for pictures, but definitely not recommended if you intend to walk a long time in them, because sooner or later the ribbons will fall off.


Caught this confused little guy on my ribbon; he flew off right after I snapped the picture

Dress: Zara, Cardigan: Target (thrifted), Belt: Forever21
Flats: Payless, Pin: vintage via MODaccessoiries


My Secret Garden

I was having trouble finding a location for the photo shoot when I stumbled across this little alley garden, which I’ve never looked inside because the gate was always locked. But this time it was opened, so I peeked in, and found something straight out of The Secret Garden – tree stumps with mushrooms growing on them, leaf-strewn ground, ivy everywhere… It’s magical. Although the whole time my heart was beating like crazy because I was afraid someone might come by and charge me with trespassing, it was too pretty to pass by.

Anyway, the outfit is something I would wear if I had a fancy Christmas party to go to. But since I’m going to spend Christmas cooking and eating (as one should), most likely I’m just going to chill in stretchy jeans and a comfy sweater. I’ll still wear the brooch though.

Dress: Zara, remixed
Sweater: Target
Tights: gift from my friend Trang
Shoes: Steven by Steve Madden thrifted, remixed
Brooch: vintage


I’m Pink And Black And Blue For You

I could tell you that I chose this brooch to add more colors to the outfit, but the truth is, I just wanted to use that bit of lyric as the post title (though, to be fair, the lyric also has the line “I’m permanently black and blue”, and I didn’t use it, so maybe I did want to add a bit of pink to the outfit all along. Subconsciously.)

When I wore this dress for the 21 Day Challenge, a lot of you guys suggested pairing it with boots – so I did. Since I’m wearing the dress like a jumper, the boots help steer the whole outfit away from school girl territory, I think.

Shirt, tights and boots: Target
Dress: Zara, remixed
Belt: thrifted
Brooch: vintage via Collectible Glitz
Post title: from the lyric of Chairlift’s Bruises

P/S: The weather is still schizophrenic (or is it bipolar?) – chilly and overcast one day, sunny and hot the next. The only sign we have of fall is all this depressing dead weed.


Little Orphan Zara

Today’s 21 Day Challenge is “Save a Closet Orphan.” I bought this dress from Zara for graduation back in February (one of the rare times I paid full price), and haven’t worn it again since. Probably because I associate it with a formal occasion, so I feel overdressed in it. Plus it’s sleeveless, and I don’t feel like showing off my awesome farmer’s tan while it’s still too hot for a cardigan. But I like the dress (pockets!), so I’d wear it more often. Just not in the summer.

I made the mistake of walking too close to the railing of this bridge, looking down at the traffic below… and my fear of heights kicked in (my palms sweat even as I’m typing this.) So yeah, I was holding on for dear life in that photo there.

Dress: Zara (the sash comes with it)
Shoes: Steven by Steve Madden thrifted, remixed
Necklace: self-made