Cleopatra

This week’s SIA, inspired by the poster for the 1917, Theda Bara-starring film “Cleopatra”, is a difficult one for me. It has mostly autumnal colors – rust, orange, gold, etc. – and the weather where I am is not cool enough for those yet. There are a lot of patterns too. After some thinking, I decided to go with this printed top – the busiest thing I have in my closet, and these jeans and heels to mimic some of the colors in the poster. The result may not be as close to the inspiration piece as I’d like, but it’s a perfectly functional outfit, and I’d take that over some forced attempt to mimic the inspiration exactly.

Don’t forget to check out Jen’s blog on Wednesday for the full round-up of other oufits inspired by this kickass poster!

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Wednesday Addams

I know, I know, Wednesday Addams is supposed to be in all black, but I’m posting this on Wednesday, so I’m allowed to stretch it a bit, right?

I do admit though, this would look better with black shoes. However, since my black heels broke a couple of months ago, I have tried in vain to search for a replacement pair. Either the heels are too high (I can’t handle anything over 3″ these days), or the material isn’t right, or the shape isn’t right, or (this is the most common reason, *sighs*) they’re too expensive. Apparently, finding a pair of basic black heels isn’t as easy as I thought.


Minimal Classic

I often struggle to define my style between “vintage-inspired classic” and “minimal”. I’ve been leaning toward “minimal” for a while now, but when I do dress minimally, I would find it too boring or not blog-worthy enough. And since I don’t wear a lot of colors anymore, I would often have to include some patterns or some accessories to create an interest for my outfit. Once in a while, though, I would get an outfit that hits the perfect balance between the two, like this. Yeah, there aren’t any patterns, but the pleats of the skirt and the brooch are more than enough to create interest.

P/S: This skirt may be one of the best items I’ve ever thrifted. I got it at Goodwill for… oh, I don’t even remember the price, but it was something ridiculously cheap, like $2, and it’s lasted me for 6 years, and the material is so durable that I’m sure it’s going to last much longer, plus it’s classic enough to never go out of style. Most of the stuff I brought home from the US has been thrown out, but this one is here to stay.


Layering Fail

printed shirt blue striped sweatshirt navy jeans brown oxfords by 14 shades of grey

It has been unseasonably warm all through December, so I haven’t worn a lot of layers lately. Most days I would just throw on a sweatshirt and a light jacket on top of that, which I take off as soon as I get to work, so it doesn’t count as layering. Maybe that’s why my layering skill has gone a bit rusty – like in this outfit. I was trying for some subtle pattern mixing, but the neckline of the sweatshirt doesn’t work with the button-up shirt at all, so the two pieces look like they have nothing to do with each other. Well, I guess it’s back to the drawing-board with this one…

printed shirt blue striped sweatshirt navy jeans by 14 shades of greyblue striped sweatshirt navy jeans brown oxfords by 14 shades of grey

printed shirt blue striped sweatshirt by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Zara, Sweatshirt: Forever21 Jeans: H&M, Heels: local shop


British Preppy

trench coat plaid scarf wool pants oxford heels by 14 shades of grey

I was so happy with my Fantastic Beasts-inspired outfit last week that I decided to try it again this week. Now, this is an even looser interpretation of the look than my previous outfit, but it’s built on the same elements – lots of neutral colors, tweed/wool, and oxford shoes. Very important, oxford shoes. For some reason, I can’t seem to wear these pants with anything other than oxfords. There’s something about their material and the cut that immediately makes me think of a British professor (hence the title), so oxfords would be the natural shoes of choice.

striped top trench coat plaid scarf wool pants by 14 shades of greystriped top trench coat plaid scarf wool pants by 14 shades of grey

striped top trench coat plaid scarf wool pants oxford heels by 14 shades of greystriped top trench coat plaid scarf wool pants oxford heels by 14 shades of grey

Top: Earth Music & Ecology, Pants: Esprit (hand-me-down), Coat: Mango, Scarf: Candies, Shoes: local shop


Minimal Vintage

navy dress locket brooch brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of grey

The balance between minimalist and vintage style has been my struggle for a few years now, and still I haven’t found a solid solution. It’s like my style is the heroine in a costume drama, having to choose between two suitors – the minimal look which is clean and simple, but can be a little boring, or the vintage look, which is more fun, but also tougher to pull off. Occasionally, though, I manage to put together a look that manages to walk the line between the two, like this one, for example – the dress and the brooch are vintage-inspired, but the styling keeps it modern. I think I need to aim for more “classic” looks like this, which can be minimalist and vintage at the same time.

Speaking of vintage, this is off-topic, but I just watched The Man from U.N.C.L.E. this weekend (the 2015 movie, not the original TV show). It’s a really fun, stylish movie, and the 1960’s fashion are gorgeous, but gods, it should be illegal to put Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer in a movie together. Nobody can handle that much hotness in one sitting.

navy dress locket brooch brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of greynavy dress locket brooch by 14 shades of grey

navy dress locket brooch by 14 shades of greynavy dress brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of grey

Dress: tailor, Brooch: vintage, Shoes: local shop


Weekly Capsule 40.4: Why I Don’t Have A Clothing Budget

navy print shirt mustard jeans heeled oxfords by 14 shades of grey

I’ve got nothing to say about today’s outfit, which is just random top + whatever bottom and shoes I still have in the weekly capsule, so I’m going to talk about something a little more serious: clothing budget (and why I don’t have one.)

A lot of the blogs I follow have a post every month where they talk about what they buy and how they keep those purchases within their budget. I like those and had considered doing the same, when my shopping was getting a little excessive and I wasn’t happy with everything I bought. But when I tried giving myself $50/month (which is a lot considering what I make), I went over-budget every single month. What went wrong?

I realize that, the moment I gave myself a budget, it was like money burning in my pocket begging to be spent. My mindset is that “Oh I have that extra $50, I must buy something with it!” And once I started buying, it was hard to stop. In a way, it was like my capsule wardrobe experiment. By restricting myself, I only made myself think more about what I was not supposed to do, and it backfired.

So, instead of a budget, I try to be more conscientious about my shopping. I create a list of “holes in my closet” and when I come across an item on that list, I would consider it carefully before making a purchase. I guess restriction just never works with me, not in shopping or in dieting or in anything. I just have to be smarter about it.

navy print shirt mustard jeans by 14 shades of greynavy print shirt mustard jeans heeled oxfords by 14 shades of grey

navy print shirt mustard jeans heeled oxfords by 14 shades of greynavy print shirt copper necklace by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Zara, Jeans: Cache, Shoes & Necklace: local shops

My outfits this week:

polka dot chambray shirt navy skirt brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of greywhite lace tee mustard jeans leopard flats by 14 shades of grey

navy gingham shirt navy skirt leopard printed flats by 14 shades of greynavy print shirt mustard jeans heeled oxfords by 14 shades of grey