Pajama Pants

black tee printed pants captoe flats by 14 shades of grey

This is pretty much all I’ve been wearing for the entire Labor Day break. These pants are legit pajama bottoms that I bought from a street vendor (yeah, we have street vendors that sell clothes here), and they are awesome. The quality is not the best, as expected, but they’re relaxing enough to be worn around the house, while still put-together enough so it doesn’t feel like I’m actually wearing pajama. I think I’m going to buy five more pairs in different prints.

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Shirt: Uniqlo, Pants: local shop, Flats: Zalora, Necklace: gift


Labor Day

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It’s the start of our long Labor Day break, so here’s a casual outfit to start it off. I’ll probably be wearing a version of this for the entire break. It’s not like I have anywhere to go, really. I’m just going to be boring and spend the next four days catching up on work and TV.

Now, on a different note, I have a question to ask you guys. I have been struggling with accessorizing lately. Brooches have always been my signature, but I haven’t been able to get any new ones since I moved home (no vintage shops here, and international shipping is such a hassle), and besides, you can’t wear a brooch with every outfit. When it comes to necklaces or bracelets, I feel completely uninspired with what I have. So I’m trying to rebuild my accessory collection, except I have no idea where to start. All I know is that I like something simple, preferably with a vintage or minimalist feel to it. Do you guys have any suggestion, like a certain piece or a certain design? Anything would be welcomed. I need to know what to look for before I start looking.

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Shirt: local shop, Jeans: Wet Seal (thrifted), Flats: Zalora, Necklace: Venice gift shop


Book Review: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

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It’s hard for me to review a Neil Gaiman book without gushing about how awesome it is, but I’ll try to be as objective as possible. So, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” begins when a middle-aged narrator returns to his childhood home and finds himself drawn to a neighboring farm where, as a child, he met an extraordinary girl and her equally extraordinary mother and grandmother. This sparks the recollection of strange and terrifying events that occurred when the narrator was seven years old.

Gaiman fans will find the world of the story familiar. It bears some resemblance to Coraline, and has a touch of The Graveyard Book too – the three women are named Hempstock, same as the witch in The Graveyard Book. It’s tied into common mythologies (the Mother, Maiden, Crone thing), but the details are pure Gaiman (kittens that grow in a field, anyone?)

If I have to pick one book to compare this to, I’d go with Coraline (love the book, never like the movie much because I think they made it too kid-friendly.) Actually I’d say “Ocean” is like Coraline, written from the point of view of an adult Coraline, except it’s a lot sadder. The story keeps twisting my stomach with anger and with fear for the narrator. He has to face a supernatural force near incomprehensible in its scope, yet the brilliant thing is that this threat is demonstrated in such a relatable way, kids vs. adults. Sometimes in fantasy it can be difficult to understand the protagonist’s fear when they’re facing something like dragons or demons, but here, stripped of all supernatural elements, what the narrator has to go through can definitely happen in real life, and that’s what makes it so much more terrible. I actually find the “Big Bad” at the end not as effective, because the threat is so out-there that the fear feels abstract.

I do have some quibbles though (shocking!) This book started out as a short story, and I think a short story may have been better. It’s a rich world, but it feels a little… underdone. Like the book either condenses it too much or doesn’t explore enough of it. Or maybe the fact that I keep comparing it to his kids’ books means that the part with the grown-up narrator is the problem. Would I like it better as a kids’ book? Probably not. The grown-up part adds a heartbreaking realistic note to an otherwise completely fantastical tale, I just wish it could make me feel as much as the rest of the book does.

So, yeah. “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” is not perfect, but it’s good enough to keep me reading it all in one sitting. It won’t tip the scale one way or the other on how you feel about Neil Gaiman’s writing, but it’s a nice little story.

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Shirt: Forever21, Necklace: hand-me-down, Skirt, Belt & Flats: thrifted


Duh

pink dress yellow belt blue brooch by 14 shades of grey

This dress is great for summer, but I hate how the neckline looks on me, to the point a perfectly good dress is becoming a closet orphan. That is, until I had the brilliant idea of wearing it backwards, and bam! I’ve got my preferred boat neck. It’s not the first time I’ve worn something backward, so I had no idea why I didn’t think of it sooner (before I tried to fix it by wearing a knotted shirt over the dress.) I may have been so excited about this that I forgot to iron the dress or pick out a pair of shoes that actually go… maybe next time I can actually think more about how best to style it, other than just how to wear it.

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Dress: Old Navy, Belt: Target, Brooch: vintage, Flats: Payless


Yellow, Pink, and Purple

purple t-shirt mustard skirt cap-toe flats by 14 shades of grey

I’m going with casual for this week’s SIA, which is inspired by Mark Rothko’s “White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)“. I know I want to do color-blocking, but I actually don’t have a lot of pieces in these colors, so after pulling out all of them (purple T-shirt, purple gingham shirt, mustard skirt, mustard shoes, pink pleated skirt) and trying on different combinations, this is what I felt best represented the painting. Yeah, I’m upside down, but at least the proportions of the colors are pretty close. Am I being too anal? Sure, but then again I’m always anal.

In other news, I’d say happy (belated) Father’s Day to my dad, but we don’t really do Father’s Day here, plus he’s in Paris with my mom so I think it’s safe to say he’s had a pretty great day.

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T-shirt: Forever21, Skirt: thrifted & dyed, Bow pin: self-made, Flats: Payless