Velvet And Fur And Feather

This week’s SIA, inspired by Rembrandt’s portrait of his wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, took me some thinking. I have several velvet pieces, but none in this exact color. I don’t have any fur or feather things in my closet either. In the end, I went with this sweater again – the pleats and the pearls remind me of the collar and undershirt of the lady’s dress. For the colors, I chose my trusty maroon corduroy pants (plus, corduroy is kind of similar to velvet too – indeed, in Vietnamese, corduroy is called “striped velvet”) and burnt orange coat, and as a nod to the feather on her hat, I accessorized with my feathery brooch. The final outfit is not as close to the original as I would’ve liked, but I’m happy with it.

Don’t forget to check Terri’s blog on Wednesday to see other outfits inspired by this classic painting!


The Solitary Cyclist

I was drawn to this sweater because the puff sleeves and long cuffs remind me of those Edwardian cycling sweaters. I love Edwardian fashion, and I am a cyclist, so of course I snapped this up. It isn’t exactly right (the lack of a high neck is quite noticeable), but that couldn’t stop me from pairing it with my Edwardian-inspired wool skirt and titling this post after a Sherlock Holmes story. I’m not quite brave enough for a pair of bloomers though…


Forever Autumn

This is one of those outfits that require no thoughts from me – it just came together, down to the boots and the brooch. Does it look more like a fall outfit than a winter outfit? Yes, but when your closet is filled with brown hues like mine, everyday is autumn, and I’m going to enjoy the cold weather as long as it lasts. However, with the Lunar New Year only two weeks away, it looks like the cold is not going to last long. I don’t know what it is about the lunar calendar, but the weather always corresponds to it much better than it does to the solar calendar. It may only be mid-January, but already it is getting more humid and the trees are putting out new leaves. Ah well. The cold weather has had a good run.


The Professor

Last week I posted an outfit with this gold velvet waistcoat, which is a bit big on me. Well, I finally figured out how to make it fit better – I (very badly) sewed two darts in the back, and voila, it fits! For the outfit, I tried to evoke a three-piece suit – I’ve always loved the look of three-piece suits, but I don’t think I would want to wear them very often. I love pattern-mixing too much to wear a suit that is all one pattern and color. This outfit, which not only mixes patterns but textures as well, is much more my style. I thought about adding a brooch to make it even more “me”, but in the end, decided that the outfit is busy enough.


Tricksy Hobbitses

Another day, another vest (or rather, waistcoat) worn with a skirt. This is another velvet waistcoat that I bought last year, but it’s a bit big on me, so while figuring out how to size it down, I decided to tuck it into a skirt instead. There’s something about the ruffled shirt and the tucked-in waistcoat, which looks a bit like a bodice, that reminds me of a female Hobbit costume, hence the title. It’s the thing about inspiration – you never know where it’s going to come from. I’ve never been much of a Lord of the Rings fan (sacrilege, I know, but I didn’t grow up with it and while I enjoy the films, they never mean much to me), so I’ve never consciously taken any fashion inspiration from them. On the other hand, I’m a very visual person, and following costume and cosplay blogs, I’ve seen my share of Hobbit costumes. I guess the images just get stored in my brain, to be called up randomly.