Hello From Singapore

singapore outfit by 14 shades of grey

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!


Glint, Gleam, Glitter

black embellished sweater green scarf blue jeans black pumps by 14 shades of grey

So the traditional outfit from Wednesday’s post is what I wore to the Lunar New Year celebration at work, and here’s what I wore at home – it was mostly a day of preparing, cooking, and eating food, so I wanted something simple that I could move around in, but I also wanted to show a sense of festivity too, so this embellished sweatshirt was the perfect choice. (The scarf and the shoes were literally an afterthought – I spent most of the day indoors so there was no need for them; they were lying around so I just threw them on for the pictures.)

black embellished sweater green scarf blue jeans by 14 shades of greyblue jeans black pumps by 14 shades of grey

Sweatshirt: Zalora, Jeans: Sneak Peek, Scarf & Shoes: local shops

A bit of unrelated note on the title: I was running out of titles when I suddenly remembered this bit in Terry Pratchett’s A Slip of the Keyboard, in which he talks about how some words sound exactly like their meaning. Here, I’ll bring up the quote: “I like the fortuitous onomatopoeia of words for soundless things. Gleam, glint, glitter, glisten … they all sound exactly as the light would sound if it made a noise. Glint is sharp and quick, it glints, and if an oily surface made a noise it would go glisten.” Thinking about words like that, feeling them like that, that’s the mark of a good writer.


Traditional

ao dai black flats by 14 shades of grey

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.

ao dai black flats by 14 shades of greyao dai black flats by 14 shades of grey

ao dai black flats by 14 shades of greyao dai by 14 shades of grey

Áo dài & Culottes: local boutique, Flats: Vagabond


Saved For A Rainy Day

gray sweater boyfriend jeans black pumps by 14 shades of grey

This was almost another “forgotten” outfit – it was taken two weeks before the break, but it was a fairly simple outfit, so I kept saving it for a rainy day, when I don’t have any other content (ironically, it was taken on a very rainy day). Well, I guess that rainy day is now. The Lunar New Year is officially over since Monday, but I’m not going back to work for another 10 days, so I’m using this time to catch up on my freelance work.

Speaking of which, I’m translating The Atlantis Gene and gods, it is like pulling teeth. I set a limit for myself to translate at least 5 pages a day to make the deadline, but it’s so bad that even that is hard. I thought The Host was bad, but it was a breeze compared to this. What I don’t understand is this – this drivel is what my employer decided to buy and translate, while I have been at them for years to translate American Gods, Neverwhere, and Stardust, and they still refuse. Well, I’m hoping that with the American Gods TV series coming out soon, they’re going to change their mind.

gray sweater boyfriend jeans by 14 shades of greyboyfriend jeans black pumps by 14 shades of grey

Sweater: gift, Heels & Necklaces: local shops, Jeans: Charlotte Russe


Black Lace

black wool dress lace tights black heels by 14 shades of grey

When I saw the inspiration for this week’s SIA – the woodcut lace design by Isabella Parasole – I immediately thought about my lace tights. Once I had the lace element down, the rest of the outfit came together pretty quickly – black tights layered underneath and a dark gray dress to make the white lace really pop, just like in the print, and a silver brooch and cut-out heels to mimic the intricacy of the lace.

I wore this last week, for my last day at work before the break (I still have a few work outfits left to post), back when it was still cold enough to wear two pairs of tights. Now the sun is back, which is good, but I could never get used to the Lunar New Year without a bit of drizzling rain.

black wool dress silver brooch by 14 shades of greyblack wool dress lace tights black heels by 14 shades of grey

black wool dress lace tights black heels by 14 shades of greyblack wool dress silver brooch by 14 shades of grey

Don’t forget to check out Jen’s blog tomorrow for the full round-ups of all the outfits inspired by this work of art!

Dress: tailor, Tights: Target & Forever21 (I think?), Shoes: hand-me-down, Brooch: Dutch flea market


Winter Rain

leather jacket gray scarf blue jeans black boots by 14 shades of grey

If my smile seems particularly tight in these photos, that’s because it was freaking freezing and I had to keep my teeth from chattering. OK, that may be a slight exaggeration, but it is the coldest it has been since winter began. We’ve been having a lot of rain lately and the temperature has been steadily dropping, but for once you won’t hear me complaining because a) my winter break is about to start soon so I won’t have to brave the rain and wind anymore and b) according to old beliefs, if it’s cold and rainy around the Lunar New Year, it’s going to be a good year (as opposed to last year, when the Lunar New Year was dry and warm). So bring it on!

leather jacket gray scarf blue jeans by 14 shades of greyleather jacket gray scarf blue jeans black boots by 14 shades of grey

P/S: This outfit is a direct copy of Jessica Jones’ signature look. Last winter, I wore an outfit inspired by her, but now that I’ve got the leather jacket, the jeans, and the boots, I decided to just copy it. Can’t you tell I’m already looking forward to “The Defenders“?

Sweater: gift, Jacket: Zara, Jeans: Sneak Peek, Boots: Clarks, Scarf: homemade


What Day Is It?

gray coat black scarf blue jeans white sneakers by 14 shades of grey

Sorry for the no-show on Wednesday and Thursday; I just didn’t have anything to post. This year the Lunar New Year and the actual New Year (we sometimes call it the “Western New Year” or the “Solar New Year”, to differentiate) are so close to each other – only two weeks apart – so I’m in that weird twilight zone, like the one between Christmas and New Year, when you have no idea what day it is and what you’re supposed to be doing. Not a great feeling for creativity.

I think that translates into my outfit too. Everything is casual and practical, but then you get to the brooch and it’s a total needle-scratch. I have no idea what I was thinking when I put it on. Nothing, probably. Putting on a brooch is now almost an automatic action for me.

gray coat black scarf blue jeans white sneakers by 14 shades of greygray coat black scarf blue jeans by 14 shades of grey

gray coat black scarf brooch by 14 shades of greygray coat black scarf blue jeans white sneakers by 14 shades of grey

Sweatshirt: local shop, Coat: Atmosphere, Scarf: Forever21, Jeans: H&M, Sneakers: hand-me-down, Brooch: flea market