The weather is warming up again (for the last time this season, I hope), so here are two simple looks. As the post title says, these are both inspired by Japanese street style – not any outfit in particular, but by several style blogs that I’ve been following. I used to be drawn to the classic silhouettes, bright colors, and all the patterns of vintage style (1940’s – 1950’s, to be exact), but now, while I still like looking at them, I don’t really want to wear them anymore. Instead, I prefer minimalism and more relaxed silhouettes, which is almost the exact opposite of vintage style. It’s funny how that changes, right?
I haven’t had a weekend break for 3 weeks now. Two weeks ago I was accompanying the Singaporean student to Mai Chau, and after that, we had to prepare for a group of officials coming to examine our school. Sort of like audits, but they were examining every aspect of the school. The good thing is that we’re a liberal arts school, so a lot of questions could be answered with “That’s how we do things around here”, but still, it was understandably stressful and my co-workers and I had to come in over the past weekends to make sure our paperwork was in order. Thank the gods that it was over by Wednesday, so I can finally catch up on my errands and freelance work.
Anyway, given the crazy schedule, this is what I managed to put together – I’m sorry that I’ve been using the “busy” excuse so much, but that’s because it’s true.
Top: Forever21, Blazer: Warehouse, Jeans: H&M, Loafers: Footglove, Brooch: vintage
I usually lay out my clothes the night before, because I like my sleep and don’t want to waste precious minutes of it thinking about what I’m going to wear in the morning. Of course, laying out clothes beforehand means losing sleep the night before. Sometimes I would agonize over my closet for hours the night before to figure out what to lay out for the next day, only to end up with a lackluster outfit that I don’t really like.
But sometimes, when the stars are aligned, an outfit would come together with almost no thoughts involved. I didn’t even have to lay out the clothes beforehand. I just thought, “Have I ever worn this with this? I don’t think so. OK then.” Is this the most stylish thing out there? Probably not, but it’s put-together, and if it means I can get an extra 15 minutes of sleep, all the better.
Top: Forever21, Jeans & Shoes: local shops, Watch: hand-me-down
I was going for a French look with this outfit, because in my literal mind, stripes = French. To be more accurate, I was trying to capture that effortlessness, something not too polished, not matched to within an inch of its life, but still undeniably chic, that “Je ne sais quoi” quality, you know? Something like this, basically (even her blog name, Lady Moriarty in Paris, is cool). I don’t know if I’ve succeeded, but I like it.
P/S: While I was Googling the phrase “Je ne sais quoi” to see its origin, I saw a question spelling it as “Jena se qua”. I wept.
Top: Forever21, Jeans: Charlotte Russe, Necklace: local shop, Oxfords: Max Dorian
This is one of those outfits that definitely looked better in my head. I like the idea of pairing sneakers with a midi skirt, but the hem of this skirt hits me at a really unflattering place when I’m wearing flats, so it just makes my legs look extra-stumpy. I’ve been reluctant to hem it (it used to be my mom’s) because I like the length, but now I think it needs at least a couple of inches off the hem, so that it falls just below my knees. That way I can wear it with heels if I want to, but I can wear it with flats too.
Top: Forever21, Skirt: hand-me-down, Sneakers: Johan Cruyff, Necklace: local shop
Is it weird, how much the weather influences my outfits? And I’m not talking about the temperature here – of course I would wear summer clothes when it’s warm and winter clothes when it’s cold, I’m an adult (I think). What I mean is the weather sometimes dictates the colors and patterns of my outfits too. Like how I would reach for blue things when it’s hot out, as if I’m subconsciously trying to cool myself down or something.
Or take this outfit, for example: I didn’t plan on wearing these two items together, but it’s been stormy and raining a lot lately, so I just found myself drawn to this skirt – it reminds me of the sky I guess – and then I thought the top would a fun way to mix the patterns, and here we are. It’s a bit busy, to be sure, but by keeping the rest of the outfit simple, I think it works.
Top: Forever21, Skirt: Zalora, Shoes: Zara, Belt: thrifted
… in terms of proportions, that is. Take this outfit, for example. I was trying for that French look with the striped shirt and the scarf, you know. Unfortunately the scarf I selected is a bit too big, so it doesn’t look effortless and more like I had to shove my scarf out of the way to stop it from choking me.
But you know what, it’s Friday, I’m tired, and this gloomy, muggy weather is positively pissing me off, so I don’t care. I’m off to binge-watch Daredevil now (the second season was out in March, but I haven’t been able to catch up.)
Top: Forever21, Jeans: H&M, Scarf: hand-me-down, Oxfords: Vagabond