Summer Essentials

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I was wondering what to write about this outfit – which is not that interesting by itself – when I remembered that I want to participate in Bri of Work Clothes, I Suppose’s Third Thursday Thread link-up. This month’s theme is Must-Have for Summer, and when I think about it, these two items that I’m wearing are actually quite important in my summer wardrobe.

The first is wide-leg pants. For me, dresses and skirts are never as comfy as pants, and I always have to wear bike shorts underneath them anyway, so they’re not great for summer. But wide-leg pants or jeans? I can move freely, and my legs are still nice and cool. Bonus: I won’t have to douse myself in bug spray to avoid getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.

The second is a cute top in a natural fabric, one that I can wear to work and not steam in my own sweat. This top, if you remember, was actually this dress, but I finally had the courage to rip out the skirt part of it and turn it into a much more wearable shirt. It’s cotton, it’s sleeveless, but it’s still dressy enough for work – perfect.

So what are your go-to items for the summer?

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sleeveless top wide leg jeans black heels by 14 shades of greysleeveless top wide leg jeans silver bracelet by 14 shades of grey

sleeveless top by 14 shades of grey

Top: from a vintage dress, Jeans: Old Navy, Shoes: thrifted, Bracelet: local shop

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Spider-Man, Spider-Man

blue gingham shirt red skirt black heels by 14 shades of grey

I wore this to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2 after work. And no, I don’t coordinate my outfits with superhero movies I’m going to watch, I have no idea what you are talking about. (OK, to be honest I’ve only done that with red-and-blue superheroes so far. I sort of did it accidentally when I went to see Man of Steel, and not-so-accidentally with Captain America: The Winter Soldier – though I didn’t take photos of that outfit.)

Anyway, the movie has some good parts that I really enjoyed, but overall I feel like they could have streamlined it a lot more. I wish they’d either focus on Electro and leave the Green Goblin for the third movie, or edit down Electro and focus on the Green Goblin more. Instead they just cram as much as they can into this and it ends up being all over the place. Which is a shame, because I like Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man much better than Tobey Maguire.

Speaking of Andrew Garfield, have you guys seen this? Because if you haven’t, you should. He’s adorable.

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Shirt: local shop, Skirt: vintage, Heels: thrifted


The In-Betweener

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After meeting the college graduates last week and talking to them, I realized that now I’m so much more comfortable conversing with people younger than me, rather than with my peers. I literally have nothing to talk to my peers about – my friends’ Facebook pages are full of baby photos and baby stories, while mine has cat pictures and rants about whatever TV show I’m watching at the moment. I may dress like an old lady, but other than the cat thing, I’m still very much a kid at heart. I mean, I still fight with my niece over which cartoon channel to watch, for God’s sake (hey, what can I say? Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on at the same time as Phineas and Ferb.)

P/S: I totally had a brain fart moment when I put on clothes this morning. Apparently I didn’t realize this skirt has belt loops.

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black shirt peter pan collar by 14 shades of grey

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T-shirt: Uniqlo, Skirt: hand-me-down, Belt: Forever21, Heels: Mudd (thrifted), Collar: self-made


Little Dots, Big Dots

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Welp, that’s done. My paperwork finally went through and I just got hired as a teaching assistant. It’s a bit sudden, but as long as I don’t have to deal much with the students myself, I’m good. I don’t think I can be authoritative to college kids when I feel pretty much like a college kid myself. Also, I don’t know how busy it’s going to be (I’m keeping my freelance job), so posting may be more erratic in the weeks to come. I’ll figure out a schedule as soon as possible.

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yellow polka dot shirt blue polka dot skirt by 14 shades of grey

yellow polka dot shirt blue polka dot skirt by 14 shades of greyblack mary-jane heels by 14 shades of grey

yellow polka dot shirt green porcelain brooch by 14 shades of grey

Head to toe thrifted, except for vintage brooch


Book Review: The Diviners

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I’ve read the first two books in Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy, and although I’m not interested enough to read the final book, I like her writing enough to want to check out her latest book “The Diviners”. For those of you who’ve read the Gemma Doyle books, the fantasy element here definitely has some similarities, but “The Diviners” wins in terms of setting: 1920’s New York City (which I tried to recreate in my outfit.) The heroine, 17-year-old flapper Evie, has a supernatural talent of reading secrets from everyday objects, so when the city is plagued with a series of occult murders, she uses this gift to help her uncle solve the case.

The setting is definitely one of the best parts of the story. It puts you right in the middle of NY in the 1920’s, with all the speakeasies and jazz clubs and flappers. The slang I find quite irritating (if I have to read the word “po-si-tutely” – as in positively and absolutely – one more time, I’d bellow like a bull) but it does add authenticity to the setting. The main plot is great as well; I always enjoy a good serial killer story, and this one definitely puts the shivers in my spine… well, the fact that I always read it late at night probably didn’t help. Evie is kind of obnoxious, but as a protagonist she’s fantastic, with interesting flaws to keep her from being a cardboard cutout.

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drop-waist dress blue cardigan by 14 shades of grey

The thing is, the author obviously plans a series around this book, so it’s filled with subplots and characters to set up a more complex mythology, but they’re only tangentially connected to the main plot at best. The main plot is a great standalone story all on its own, adding all the stuff on top of it doesn’t make it feel like a part of a bigger mystery like in, say, the first Harry Potter or the first Percy Jackson book. So it takes a while for the main plot to gain traction, and once it’s resolved we are left with a “Really, that’s it?” ending. Still, I enjoyed it enough to look forward to the sequel (sequels?)

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I tried to dance the Charleston. Turned out I couldn’t

Dress & Heels: thrifted, Cardigan: Wet Seal (refashioned by me), Necklace: self-made, Hat: borrowed from my mom


“It was my mom’s in the 80’s”

teal blouse orange pencil skirt black heels by 14 shades of grey

Last week I said I’m not a pencil skirt kind of girl. Of course I then proceed to wear pencil skirts for three times in a week. In my defense, I wanted to wear this blouse but couldn’t figure out how else to style it. It was my mom’s (I know it sounds like I’m plundering her wardrobe, but trust me, she has plenty to spare), and I’ve taken the shoulder pads out, but it’s still too baggy and nothing looks right with it until I remembered this outfit worn by Romola Garai’s character in The Hour. Speaking of which, The Hour won’t be renewed for a third season. I don’t like it that much, but I’m still bummed out because the second season ends on such a cliffhanger. Anyway, the blouse – it might work with white skinny jeans or pants too (which I don’t have), but either way I’m going to have to get it taken it a little bit.

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teal blouse arrow pin by 14 shades of greyteal blouse orange pencil skirt black heels by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: hand-me-down, Skirt: Forever21, Heels: Mudd (thrifted), Pin: Etsy


Repeated Fashion

blue striped shirt pink pleated skirt black mary janes by 14 shades of grey

Happy International Women’s Day, ladies!

This skirt is another one from my mom’s closet, and this one I’m keeping as is because it’s pretty much perfect – the length, the color, the pleats. Since I sold my Helmut Lang pleated skirt before moving home (for a whooping $25, which is awesome considering I bought it for $5), I’ve been on the lookout for a light-colored pleated skirt again, and this is better than I could hope for. Plus it means I can finally recreate this outfit (my photos are nowhere near as gorgeous though.) My mom said she got it made some time in the early 90’s, which only goes to show that fashion, just like history, tends to repeat itself. Who knows, maybe fifty or a hundred years from now we’d all be wearing hoop skirts or panniers again.

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pink pleated skirt black mary janes by 14 shades of grey

Day 4 of Take One, Pass It On:

take one pass it on04

Shirt: H&M, Skirt: hand-me-down, Belt & Shoes: thrifted, Necklace: Forever21