Weekly Capsule 24.1 & SIA: Bear In Boat

cat tee plaid pants brown loafers by 14 shades of grey

When I saw this week’s SIA inspiration, Joyce Koskenmaki’s “Bear in Boat“, I knew I couldn’t go literal with my interpretation. The painting has mainly solid colors, colors which I don’t have in my summer closet (those are more suitable for Christmas than June.) So I decided to put together a casual weekend outfit based on the whimsical, eclectic quality of the painting instead. At least, that was my intention. I’m not sure if I pulled it off – this just looks like I was in my pajamas and had to throw on a pair of shoes for a quick errand. Maybe it would work better with a different, less casual top, but I wanted to wear this shirt because the cat kinda looks like the bear in the painting, don’t you think?

cat tee by 14 shades of grey
Well… maybe just a little bit

cat tee plaid pants by 14 shades of greycat tee plaid pants brown loafers by 14 shades of grey

Remember to check Jess’ blog for other interpretation of this painting!

T-shirt: Forever21, Pants: local shop, Loafers: Footglove

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Weekly Capsule 23.4: Dressing The Part

white print shirt black pants black slip-ons by 14 shades of grey

As much as I love my new slip-on sneakers, I hesitate to wear them to work. Of course, I work at a film school, so the dress code is very relaxed, especially with the end of the semester approaching. Still, I don’t want to be wearing the same stuff that my students wear. With this outfit, I hope to find some balance between comfy casual and professional. It still strikes me as a little young, but then again I don’t want my students to see me as an old fuddy-duddy either!

white print shirt black pants black slip-ons by 14 shades of greywhite print shirt black pants by 14 shades of grey
Look at me, pondering the sartorial conundrum of a teacher…

white print shirt black pants necklace by 14 shades of greyblack pants black slip-ons by 14 shades of grey

Shirt, Sneakers & Necklace: local shops; Pants: thrifted

Here are my looks this week – the theme is, you guess it, black and white (and some blue and some beige):

white shirt black pants beige sandals by 14 shades of greyblack tee boyfriend jeans black slip-ons by 14 shades of grey

white print shirt black pleated skirt beige sandals by 14 shades of greywhite print shirt black pants black slip-ons by 14 shades of grey


Weekly Capsule 23.3: Favorite Combo

white print shirt black pleated skirt beige sandals by 14 shades of grey

This skirt + sandals combo is quickly becoming my favorite work outfit for this summer (for relatively cool days only though. 100 degrees days are way too hot to be trudging around in a polyester skirt with a thick waistband.) I know I have worn it a lot over the past few weeks, but when you have something that works, why mess with it, right?

Also, thank the gods that we finally got some rain. I don’t think I could take much more of this asphalt-melting heat. And it’s nice being able to take outfit photos without feeling like I’m being broiled/steamed alive too. I had to rush to get these taken because a terrible storm was brewing, but I’d take that over the heat any day.

white print shirt black pleated skirt beige sandals by 14 shades of greyDSC_1453

white print shirt black pleated skirt by 14 shades of greywhite print shirt black pleated skirt beige sandals by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: local shop, Skirt: thrifted, Sandals: Clarks, Watch: gift


Weekly Capsule 23.2 & Book Review: Alif The Unseen

black tee boyfriend jeans black slip-ons by 14 shades of grey

I’ve had this book in my Kindle since forever, but it took me a while to read it, because as amazing as the premise sounds, it is also a little familiar: Alif is a hacker in a Persian Gulf emirate state, hiding behind his computer and a screen name (Alif is the first letter in the Arabic alphabet). This all changes one day when his aristocratic lover becomes engaged to the Head of State Security, and Alif receives from her a mythical book called The Thousand and One Days (a fictional counterpart of The Thousand and One Nights.) Soon Alif finds himself journeying through the world of the unseen, as he is pursued by both the police and jinns alike.

Now, jinns with Internet access sounds awesome. Take that away, though, and what you have left is a very standard cyber thriller. But then I found out that the author, G. Willow Wilson, was the creator of Marvel’s first Pakistani-American superhero, and I finally cracked open “Alif the Unseen”.

The book more or less meets my expectation. The fantasy part is great, with beautiful imagery and a wonderful blend of mythology and reality (a demon with a Dell, anyone?) I’ve read The Thousand and One Nights since I was a kid, so perhaps I’m more familiar with the mythology than most readers. Still, I think the author did very well to keep the mythology authentic and accessible to the average reader without dumbing it down. The thriller part I find a little slow in places, and the ending is a little anticlimactic, but it’s probably just my screenwriter mind talking. I only wish it could go a bit further: the fantasy more epic, the thriller/revolution more substantial, but overall, it was an enjoyable and quick read. I’d give it a solid 4/5.

On a character note (gosh, it sounds like one of my script analyses now), I’ve read some criticisms of the way the female characters are treated in the book, in that they are only accessories to Alif’s adventure, but I disagree. I think the female characters are well written while still staying true to their culture and religion (G. Willow Wilson herself is a Muslim convert), and they are integral to the story in their own way. “Strong” female characters don’t have to conform to the masculine standards; on the contrary, they are all the more interesting because they are so traditionally feminine.

black tee boyfriend jeans by 14 shades of greyblack tee boyfriend jeans black slip-ons by 14 shades of grey

As for the outfit, I decided to go super casual, like something a hacker would wear (Alif himself is described as wearing a black T-shirt and jeans), but with an intricate detail in my necklace, to reflect the “unseen” part. And yes, I finally buckled to the trend and bought a pair of slip-ons. How very normcore of me.

 boyfriend jeans black slip-ons by 14 shades of greyblack tee silver necklace by 14 shades of grey

T-shirt: Uniqlo, Jeans & Sneakers: local shops, Necklace: my mom’s


Weekly Capsule 23.1: Minimalism Achieved

white shirt black pants beige sandals by 14 shades of grey

This may be the first truly put-together minimalist outfit that I had since I simplified my style. Of course, it is a direct copy of this outfit by See Jane, and she looks so much chicer with her gold jewelry and distressed jeans, but I think my version is OK too (even if I do say so myself). Usually any outfit that can be correctly categorized as “minimalist” instantly becomes boring or uninspired the minute I put it on, but this I like.

Also, is “chicer” a word? There is no red squiggly line underneath it so I assume it is, but it looks weird, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t it be “more chic”?

white shirt black pants by 14 shades of greywhite shirt black pants beige sandals by 14 shades of grey

white shirt black pants beige sandals by 14 shades of greywhite shirt silver necklace by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: local shop, Pants: thrifted, Sandals: Clarks, Necklace: Forever21


Weekly Capsule 22.3: I Don’t Even Know

white shirt black skirt brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of grey

This week is a weird one, in terms of capsule. In fact, it wasn’t a capsule at all because I didn’t wear anything twice. I couldn’t, anyway, with such heat. So here is an outfit that has nothing to do with the other two I’ve posted. I almost didn’t post it because the last time I wore this shirt, I paired it with almost the exact same item – also a black pleated skirt and heeled oxfords. But here it is anyway. I guess my sartorial sense, like the brains of the trolls in Discworld, doesn’t function very well when it’s overheated.

white shirt black skirt by 14 shades of greywhite shirt black skirt brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of grey

black skirt brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of greywhite shirt black skirt by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Mango, Skirt: thrifted, Shoes: local shop


Weekly Capsule 22.2: White Heat

white printed shirt khaki pants black pumps by 14 shades of grey

I don’t often pair light colors together. I have no qualm about pairing a navy shirt with black jeans. White shirt and white pants though? That makes the klutz in me very nervous – I am notorious about spilling things and dropping things and knocking things over. But now it is so hot that the thought of jeans or my black khaki pants is unbearable. How hot is it, you ask? Well, let me list off a couple of things:

– The water from the sink at our house is permanently warm now because the pipes are so hot.

– A local airport had to be shut down because the asphalt on the runway melted.

– And finally, this is how my cat sleeps these days.

Of course, the mismatched whites in my outfit are making my eyes twitch, but that’s the problem for another day. For now, I’m focusing on staying cool.

white printed shirt khaki pants by 14 shades of greywhite printed shirt khaki pants black pumps by 14 shades of grey

khaki pants black pumps by 14 shades of greywhite printed shirt khaki pants bracelet by 14 shades of grey

Shirt, Shoes, & Bracelet: local shop, Pants: Mango