Minimal Classic

I often struggle to define my style between “vintage-inspired classic” and “minimal”. I’ve been leaning toward “minimal” for a while now, but when I do dress minimally, I would find it too boring or not blog-worthy enough. And since I don’t wear a lot of colors anymore, I would often have to include some patterns or some accessories to create an interest for my outfit. Once in a while, though, I would get an outfit that hits the perfect balance between the two, like this. Yeah, there aren’t any patterns, but the pleats of the skirt and the brooch are more than enough to create interest.

P/S: This skirt may be one of the best items I’ve ever thrifted. I got it at Goodwill for… oh, I don’t even remember the price, but it was something ridiculously cheap, like $2, and it’s lasted me for 6 years, and the material is so durable that I’m sure it’s going to last much longer, plus it’s classic enough to never go out of style. Most of the stuff I brought home from the US has been thrown out, but this one is here to stay.


The Cow Jumps Over The Stars

My outfits are still relatively jewelry-free, but during my trip to Germany, I picked up this really cute silver pendant on sale and decided to start wearing it every day. I like the idea of having a “signature” piece of jewelry that you always wear – my mom has this delicate gold horse-shoe pendant that she always wears as far back as I can remember, so when I see that shape I always think of her – but I’m terrible about wearing jewelry, so I’m hoping that this can help me get into the habit.

Of course, a cow may not be as classic as a horse-shoe, but it’s more “me” ๐Ÿ™‚


For this week’s SIA, inspired by Gerda Wegener‘s self-portrait, I knew I was going to wear a blue shirt and a black skirt because that’s what she’s wearing in the painting. So I decided to give this blouse another try – it is, if you recall, my ill-advised online purchase which turned out to be too short and isn’t even in the right fabric. It’s actually perfect for this SIA challenge – the color is right, and it even has a pearl button in the back to mimic the pearl necklace she’s wearing.

I thought that I could make the blouse work with a skirt, but I still had to hike the skirt’s waist up to be able to tuck it in. It might work with a pencil skirt, but that’s not really my silhouette. In the end, I figure it’s just not going to work and give it to my mom. She has a short torso, so it looks great on her, and at least I feel better about giving it up.

Don’t forget to check out Jen’s blog for other interpretations of this painting!

Holiday Party Outfit

black sweatshirt pleated skirt black pumps by 14 shades of grey

Last week was the 36th foundation day anniversary of our university. This year we only had a small celebration (big celebration is usually saved for “round number” years such as 30, 35, 40, etc.) but it’s the closest we get to a Christmas office party, so I tried to dress up a little bit. I actually copied this outfit from Jen, though I don’t have any ankle-strap shoes to complete it. I guess I could’ve worn my red T-strap heels, but they’re a bit heavy visually, and the sweatshirt is focus-pulling enough that I don’t want the shoes to fight with it. Maybe this means I should get myself a nice pair of ankle-strap heels for the New Year ๐Ÿ™‚

black sweatshirt pleated skirt by 14 shades of greypleated skirt black pumps by 14 shades of grey

Sweatshirt: Atmosphere, Skirt: thrifted, Heels: local shop


tree print blouse black skirt black pumps by 14 shades of grey

Last Sunday was Teacher’s Day in Vietnam, so in the week leading up to that, I had to dress up twice, once for a celebration at school, and once for a luncheon with all the professors and staff of our department. The weather is still annoyingly warm, but at least it’s not so humid as it was during the summer, so even though it was in the upper 80’s, I could wear something more seasonal appropriate like this. If a blouse printed with skeleton trees and a leaf brooch are not “seasonal appropriate” for fall, I don’t know what is.

tree print blouse black skirt by 14 shades of greytree print blouse black skirt black pumps by 14 shades of grey

black skirt black pumps by 14 shades of greytree print blouse leaf brooch by 14 shades of grey

Top: Zara (hand-me-down), Skirt: thrifted, Shoes: local shop, Brooch: The Getty Center gift 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


mint shirt dragonfly brooch by 14 shades of grey

I admit, I picked this week’s SIA inspiration – the “Dragonfly Lady” brooch by Renรฉ Lalique – mainly because I have this dragonfly brooch. But then again I bought this brooch because it reminds me of the Lalique brooch in the first place (you can see how it clearly copies the design of the wings and the body from the Lalique brooch), so it’s come full circle.

As for the rest of the outfit, it came together pretty quickly for me – mint (with a hint of gold), black, and my green cut-out heels to mimic the intricacy of the brooch. Done and done.

mint shirt black midi skirt by 14 shades of greymint shirt black midi skirt green heels by 14 shades of grey

black midi skirt green heels by 14 shades of greymint shirt by 14 shades of grey

The full round-up post with other interpretations will be up tomorrow so remember to drop by!

Shirt: Mango, Skirt & Shoes: thrifted, Brooch: Bijou Brigitte