Wine Country Mural

I had quite a hard time figuring out what to wear for this week’s SIA, inspired by a mural in Sonoma, CA. It’s super colorful, and you know that I don’t do colors, so what to do? Then I looked more closely at the mural and noticed that the painting of the town inside the word “Sonoma” features a hot-air balloon. Aha! I have a hot-air balloon shirt that is quite colorful, and there I had the base for my outfit. I was thinking of wearing my gray pants to mimic the background of the mural, but I already paired them together, so I ended up with these pants (the second time I’ve worn them for an SIA challenge) and my flat sandals to mimic the roof and the buildings in the mural. A bit of a stretch, to be sure, but I like it. Plus, it looks like the kind of outfit you’d wear on vacation to Sonoma (Erin, can you confirm?), so mission accomplished.

And speaking of vacation, I’m leaving later this week for a week-long family trip in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. We went Da Lat a couple of years ago, which is also a part of the Central Highlands, but this time we’re checking out a different town, so it’s pretty exciting. I’m still going post my SIA inspiration as usual, but other than that, I’ll see you guys next week!


Accessory Slump

On Wednesday’s post, I talked about feeling unmotivated to put together an interesting outfit. I think part of the reason is that I’m bored with my accessories (but don’t want to buy new ones) and don’t know how else to jazz up my outfits. Scarves are out of the question; light-weight, summery shirts don’t hold up brooches well, and sometimes you have to choose between necklaces and printed shirts. Occasionally, I would bring out my bracelet/cuff, but it always feels forced and doesn’t go well with the outfit at all – like here. Actually I wasn’t planning on wearing this cuff with this outfit, but then I was going to see Wonder Woman after work, and since I don’t have a tiara or lasso or invisible jet, I decided to play homage by wearing the cuff.

As for the movie… weeeeeeeeeeell, I’m going to be the unpopular opinion here and say that I wasn’t impressed. I think I got overhyped on it – everybody is gushing about how great it is – so I ended up underwhelmed. Sure, I appreciate the fact that it’s a female superhero movie, and I’m happy that it’s directed by a woman, but it’s… kind of boring, to be honest. I think the praises come from the fact that the bar for DC movies is set so low and this is the first decent female superhero movie (like, first ever), so it is just the thing that people want right now. It may be an important first step toward more diversity and equality in the genre, but it didn’t change my mind about the DC Extended Universe. I’m going to stick with Marvel, thank you every much. (I mean in terms of superhero movies in general. I know the portrayal of female characters in Marvel films is problematic. If I want an action film with good female characters, I’ll go with Mad Max: Fury Road.)


That doesn’t stop me from doing a Wonder Woman pose though…


Unmotivated

These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago – with the semester winding down and the crazy weather, I haven’t been taking outfit photos as frequently as I like do. Plus, I’ve been feeling a distinct lack of motivation to come up with an interesting outfit. The other day, I spent about an hour before bed trying to decide what to wear and ended up thinking, What the hell, I’m just going to spend the entire day grading papers anyway, so I just threw on a T-shirt and a pair of jeans. Functional, but not exactly blog-worthy.

I’m sure I’ll get over this rut sooner or later, but it’s a bit frustrating in the meantime. My fellow style bloggers – what do you guys do when you’re in a style rut?


Cooling Effect

We’re in a grip of a record-breaking heatwave here in Hanoi (the heat index has been hovering around 120F every day since last Wednesday). It seems I’ve been saying that every summer, but then again every summer they told us the heatwave was breaking another record. I guess that’s global warming for you. This outfit was from last week, when it was still blessedly cool, and I was hoping that the blue color would have some cooling effect – for me at least. The heat is so bad that I can’t even bear to look at warm colors right now.


Midnight Blue

This week’s SIA is pretty easy for me. The two stand-out colors are blue and red, so I immediately knew I’d wear this navy dress with my red heels. The accessory required a bit more thoughts, though. Sadly I don’t have any brooch or pendant in the shape of a rooster or a violin-playing goat, but then I noticed that the lady in the painting has a heart shape on her top (is it her actual heart? You never know with Chagall), so I added my heart-shaped brooch.

I wore this to my students’ thesis defence last week (their thesis projects are feature film scripts, but they still have to present it in front of a committee). This was my first year as a thesis adviser – that may sound important, but honestly the work isn’t that different from what I do in my freelance script reading job. People ask for your advice, you tell them what they’re doing wrong, and then they don’t listen to you. I’m not surprised, really. One of the first things they teach you in screenwriting class is how to take criticism, but almost nobody knows how to do it.

Don’t forget to stop by Jen’s blog to see other interpretations of this painting!


Rewired

Occasionally, after I’ve been in a sartorial slump like I have over the past few weeks, I would try to put a bit more thoughts into an outfit to get my “mojo” back, so to speak (actually I don’t use phrases like “get my mojo back”, which sounds so corny to me. Plus “mojo” only makes me think of Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls.) The result is often spotty – sometimes I would chance on something good and get inspired again; sometimes I would overthink it and end up with an awkward mess. This outfit falls somewhere in the middle. It isn’t an awkward mess, but it certainly didn’t look as good as I pictured it in my head. I guess I’m going back to my minimalist phase for a bit longer…

(P/S: I was going to title this post “Re-inspired”, but the outfit is not “inspired” exactly. Then I saw Kasabian playing on TV and just grabbed the song title. It’s close enough.)


More Of The Same

This is pretty much a more casual version of my outfit on Wednesday – same shoes, another white button-up shirt but looser and with short sleeves, and distressed boyfriend jeans instead of black ankle pants. I saw a similar outfit on my favorite Japanese style blog and thought I’d give it a try. Of course, it looks much more effortless on the website than on me, but I’ve long given up on looking effortless. Effortless on me would just look sloppy, like I literally make no effort, so, no.