This week’s SIA inspiration, “Portrait of Madame X” by John Singer Sargent, should be an easy one to interpret, but because I don’t have an LBD, it took me a while to come up with an appropriate outfit. One of the highlights of the portrait is the contrast between the model’s pale skin and her black dress, so I decided to use that as the jumping-off point. Once I figured out a black-and-white theme, the outfit came together pretty quickly. I wore my sleeveless blouse again (I wore it for the last SIA) not just because we’re in the middle of another heat wave, but also because it echoes the strapped dress. I then included my pearl brooch to mimic the jeweled straps and my brown sandals for the brown details in the portrait. All in all, I’m happy with the outfit – it’s casual and comfy, but it still pays homage to the inspiration.
Don’t forget to stop by Daenel’s blog on Wednesday to see other looks inspired by this classic portrait!
The outfit is simple, but I still want to post it to document how crazy the weather has been. It just warmed up unexpectedly last week, to the point it almost feels like summer. I’m not complaining though; it’s usually a sign that we’re in for a cold snap soon, so I just have to hang on for a little longer.
These pants are really comfortable, except they’re a pain to bike in, so I don’t wear them as often as I’d like. Besides, I don’t quite know what to call them. I guess they’re culottes, but I’ve been disinclined to use that ever since I found out it means underpants in French. They’re not quite gaucho pants either, which are usually knee-length. But who cares what they’re called, right? They’re cute, and that’s what matters.
For this week’s SIA, inspired by this steel wool photo by a young Italian photographer, I knew I wanted to wear all black with gold/yellow accent. The black outfit came together very quickly (sorry it looks so wrinkled – that’s what you got for wearing a cotton t-shirt and linen pants around the house), but I couldn’t figure out what the accent would be. My fringed yellow scarf would be perfect to mimic the color and the sprays of the steel wool, but wearing a scarf in this weather is out of the question. In the end, I opted for my circle necklace – the color is more subdued, but I think it worked quite well.
Don’t forget to check Jen’s blog for other outfits inspired by this photo!
I titled this post “Black & White” as a placeholder, thinking that surely I’ve had another post with that title and I was going to have to change it, but surprise, surprise, I haven’t. And that fascinating anecdote, friends, serves as a perfect metaphore for this outfit too – it’s basic and simple, but it’s also unexpected and… uh… I’m not sure what point I was trying to make here. But suffice to say, I like the outfit and I’m going to wear these pants more during the summer.
Just a quick post to let you guys know my week in Singapore is going well. It’s been raining almost every day, so it’s a lot cooler than I expected. I could’ve worn jeans if I wanted to! Still, I didn’t regret my packing strategy – I have plenty of choices for mix-and-match. The above outfit is a good sampler of what I wear most days (often I would have to add my blazer as well, because like I said, Singaporeans like their AC set to “arctic”.) I actually left a pair of sandals at home – three pairs of shoes are plenty – and I didn’t miss them at all.
I’m pretty busy with my students in classes and on excursions so I won’t be able to post much in the next two weeks, but there will be SIA posts on Monday as usual. See you guys!
As you can see, this isn’t your typical #ootd. It’s a áo dài (literally “long shirt”), the Vietnamese national costume, something people wear mostly for special occasions. At our school, for example, people would wear it for things like graduation ceremonies and Teacher Day’s celebration. It’s not mandatory, but you’re encouraged to. I’ve gotten away with wearing dresses or skirts on most of those occasions, but I’ve been wanting a set of my own – it’s like a Vietnamese version of the LBD, something you should have in your closet – so I bought this over the Lunar New Year (it was warm enough for me to actually wear this to the Lunar New Year party at our school this past Friday.)
The áo dài has been through many incarnations, but at its most basic, it’s a long tunic worn over pants. In recent years, the trend is tight-fitting, shorter tunics worn over straight-leg or skinny cropped pants, but I prefer a more loose-fitting silhouette, similar to the style of the 1930’s-1940’s (though of course, the traditional style would have a high collar instead of a round one like mine.) And the best part? The pants can be worn separately. Often áo dài’s pants are made of white silk and not meant to be worn with other tops, but these are made just like culottes, so I’m totally going to wear them in the summer.
Áo dài & Culottes: local boutique, Flats: Vagabond