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 🙂

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

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


Fallen

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


Dragonfly

mint shirt dragonfly brooch by 14 shades of grey

I admit, I picked this week’s SIA inspiration – the “Dragonfly Lady” brooch by René 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


Black Sparkles

black embellished sweatshirt black midi skirt black boots by 14 shades of grey

Happy Year of the Monkey! As I’m typing this, I’ve just had a huge meal and am currently on the couch snacking on all kinds of delicious preserved fruits and candies, which is as it should be. Like I’ve always said, the best thing about the Lunar New Year is the food 😀

Also, it means that I’m not actually wearing this outfit featured in today’s post. I did wear the sweatshirt earlier in the day, but with stretchy jeans, because you know, food. I am planning to wear it for the office party next week though (in Vietnam we usually have the office party after the holiday. Before the holiday there is just too much to do and everybody is in a rush to get home to their families so it’s no fun.)

I had this sweatshirt in mind when I picked the inspiration for this week’s SIA, “Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket” by James Abbott McNeill Whistler. For the rest of the outfit, I was debating whether to include more gold or grayish green to mimic the painting, but in the end, I decided the embellishments are enough (there is a bit of green in them) and kept the rest of the outfit simple.

black embellished sweatshirt black midi skirt by 14 shades of grey

black embellished sweatshirt by 14 shades of greyblack embellished sweatshirt black midi skirt black boots by 14 shades of grey

Sweatshirt: Zalora, Skirt: thrifted, Boots: Esprit (hand-me-down)

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow to see how others interpreted this painting! I’m going back to my snacks now…


Weekly Capsule 39.3: Old Lady Shoes

pink floral top black skirt black oxfords by 14 shades of grey

Even though it’s pretty warm here (see: sleeveless shirt), I’m determined to add more fall-appropriate touches to my outfits. Like these oxfords. Truth be told, I’ve been having a hard time styling them. I don’t know what else to wear with them other than jeans. They’re a bit severe-looking, so this time I tried pairing them with something girly to see if that can be balanced out.

Well, it backfires, because they went from “masculine” to “old lady” in .01 seconds. How is that even possible?! Maybe I should just embrace their toughness and save them for my menswear outfits.

pink floral top black skirt by 14 shades of greypink floral top black skirt black oxfords by 14 shades of grey

black skirt black oxfords by 14 shades of greypink floral top by 14 shades of grey

Top: local shop, Skirt: thrifted, Shoes: Vagabond


Weekly Capsule 39.2: The Girl On The Train

blue striped shirt black pleated skirt black pumps by 14 shades of grey

I thought long and hard about which of the books I’ve read this month would serve as an outfit inspiration. Nemesis is out of the question, not least of all because it takes place in Norway in late autumn and early winter. My favorite is Station Eleven, but since the story spans so many decades and locations, it’s difficult to pick one consistent theme to build an outfit around. So I sort of settled on The Girl on the Train by default.

It may not be the best book I’ve read, but at least it would be easier to get inspired. I could choose to dress like one of the three main characters, except I don’t really relate to anyone of them (one of the many flaws of the book), so in the end I decided to just dress like a commuter. And since I already commute every day – though on a bike, not the train – it means just wearing my normal clothes. I also picked this shirt to reflect the beginning of the book, when Rachel glimpses a pile of clothing on the side of the train tracks: “Light-blue cloth—a shirt, perhaps—jumbled up with something dirty white.” I don’t had any train-related accessory, so this house necklace would have to do. After all, Rachel is obsessed with the house she glimpses from the train. 

blue striped shirt black pleated skirt by 14 shades of greyblue striped shirt black pleated skirt by 14 shades of grey

black pleated skirt black pumps by 14 shades of greyblue striped shirt house necklace by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Mango, Skirt: thrifted, Shoes: local shop, Necklace: my sister’s