As Old As Time

I’ve made a habit of dressing in themes whenever I go to see a movie – nothing overt, it’s not like I’m cosplaying or anything, but I would often wear an outfit in the main color scheme of the movie I’m seeing (see: red + blue for The Amazing Spiderman and Captain America, black + red or white + blue for Star Wars, black + gray for Rogue One, etc.) So, in keeping with this grand traditional, which I totally just made up, I dressed in blue, yellow, and brown when I went to see Beauty and the Beast yesterday.

The truth is that I had no interest in seeing it, but I’ve promised my niece I would take her, and a promise is a promise. The movie is OK, I guess. I enjoyed it more than Cinderella, but that’s only because I like Emma Watson as an actress, Belle as a character is slightly more active than Cinderella, and Dan Stevens is hot (I’ve been watching Legion.) Other than that, the movie is an overly glossy, almost shot-for-shot remake of the cartoon, without the heart and the charm. Tale as old as time, indeed. But it made a shitload of money, so it doesn’t look like these pointless Disney live-action remakes are going anywhere soon.

Dress: tailor, Boots: Topshop, Brooch: vintage


Weekly Capsule 47.4: Teachers’ Day

brown plaid dress blue brooch brown loafers by 14 shades of grey

Last Friday was Teachers’ Day in Vietnam, and I wore this to a celebration at the school and a lunch with my co-workers. Compared to how I wore this dress earlier in the week, this styling seems much more “me”. Which is not to say I don’t like the other outfit – for one thing, it’s really easy to just throw on a dress and a pair of shoes, and my style has been moving toward that simplified direction for a while now – but it’s fun to accessorize too. Especially when you got a brooch that is the exact match to the blue plaid in the dress.

brown plaid dress blue brooch by 14 shades of greybrown plaid dress blue brooch by 14 shades of grey

Dress: tailor, Brooch: vintage, Flats: Footglove

A round-up of my looks this week:

white print top black pants blue oxfords by 14 shades of greybrown plaid dress blue oxfords by 14 shades of grey

black striped top black pants brown loafers by 14 shades of greybrown plaid dress blue brooch brown loafers by 14 shades of grey


Weekly Capsule 47.2: Student Style

brown plaid dress blue oxfords by 14 shades of grey

Confession: I totally copied this outfit off of a student. Well, not the exact outfit, but I saw a student wearing a shirt dress with oxfords, and thought I could give that a try. Usually I would belt this dress, but it looks awkward somehow, so I eschewed the belt for a more loose-fitting silhouette. It’s a little funkier than my usual style, but I like it. Plus the blue shoes pick up on the touch of blue in the plaid, and that just warms my matchy-matchy heart.

brown plaid dress by 14 shades of greybrown plaid dress blue oxfords by 14 shades of grey

brown plaid dress blue oxfords by 14 shades of greybrown plaid dress leaf pin by 14 shades of grey

Dress: tailor, Shoes: Max Dorian, Pin: Forever21


Weekly Capsule 17.3 & Book Review: The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

mustard plaid dress blue blazer brown heeled loafers by 14 shades of grey

I’ve been on a Sherlock Holmes kick lately. I’ve reread the books and rewatched the series with Jeremy Brett (it’s the first adaptation I ever saw, so to me Jeremy Brett is the one and only Holmes – sorry, Benedict Cumberbatch). And this is the book that started it – “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice” by Laurie R. King. It tells the story of 15-year-old Mary Russell, who, after a family tragedy, is sent to Sussex to live with a relative, until one day, she (quite literally) walks into a retired Sherlock Holmes, and impresses him so much that he takes her on as an apprentice.

What I love about this is that Mary, unlike Watson, is very much an equal to Holmes. She has the same brilliant mind, and she is not afraid to assert herself and call Holmes out on his shortcomings. It can be a bit difficult to identify with somebody who’s always so calm and self-aware (even when she shows her flaws), but it is this quote about her hair that makes me like Mary a lot more: “I find short hair too much fuss, always needing combing and cutting. Long hair is much easier, oddly enough.” Well, I can certainly identify with that.

My biggest quibble, however, is with the story. Namely, the resolution. I hate the idea that the bad guy is some very, very minor, barely-mentioned character. I don’t mind misdirection and red herring; it’s just that I prefer “The bad guy is not A, but B”, yet here it’s more like “There is no A. The bad guy is Z”, you know? There’s misdirection, and then there’s withholding information from the readers. How are we supposed to guess that this character is the bad guy when he is barely in the story at all?

But that’s just a matter of preference, I guess. The story is well written enough and the characters are interesting enough that I’m going to check out the other books in the series (there are 14 so far).

As for the outfit, there is no detailed description of clothes in the book, so here is my interpretation of what Mary may wear – a simple dress, sensible shoes, menswear-inspired blazer, and subtle accessories (if only I had a bee/insect brooch!) The color scheme was supposed to mimic the book’s cover, but my black blazers and shoes don’t go with this dress, so I went with blue instead.

mustard plaid dress blue blazer brown heeled loafers by 14 shades of greymustard plaid dress blue blazer by 14 shades of grey

mustard plaid dress blue blazer arrow pin by 14 shades of greymustard plaid dress brown heeled loafers by 14 shades of grey

Dress: tailor, Blazer: Atmosphere, Belt: Forever21, Pin: Etsy, Shoes: local shop


Weekly Capsule 14.2: Peggy Dress

mustard plaid dress blue belt black heels by 14 shades of grey

Anybody watches Mad Men? Did you guys catch the premiere for season 7.5 yet? Boy, was that bleak or what? I mean, it’s always been bleak (I once binge-watched the first three seasons during one winter break, and had to alternate it with some comedy shows because the dysfunction was too much), but it’s like everybody on that show is headed for that self-destruct button now.

I wasn’t going to talk about Mad Men, but then I realized that this dress is very much like something Peggy would wear (plaid and mustard yellow are both often found in Peggy’s wardrobe.) Only my attempt to style it differently has failed miserably this time – I think it would look better with just the brooch and no belt (yeah, it’s a bit “19th century schoolmarm”, but I can pull it off) or just the belt and no brooch. Having both is just too much. Still, I’m adding this dress to my Top 10 pick. I’m hoping that by incorporating it into the challenge, I can come up with more creative ways to style it.

mustard plaid dress locket brooch by 14 shades of greymustard plaid dress blue belt by 14 shades of grey

mustard plaid dress blue belt by 14 shades of greymustard plaid dress black heels by 14 shades of grey

Dress: tailor, Belt: thrifted, Brooch: vintage, Shoes: hand-me-down