Japanese Inspired

The weather is warming up again (for the last time this season, I hope), so here are two simple looks. As the post title says, these are both inspired by Japanese street style – not any outfit in particular, but by several style blogs that I’ve been following. I used to be drawn to the classic silhouettes, bright colors, and all the patterns of vintage style (1940’s – 1950’s, to be exact), but now, while I still like looking at them, I don’t really want to wear them anymore. Instead, I prefer minimalism and more relaxed silhouettes, which is almost the exact opposite of vintage style. It’s funny how that changes, right?

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Bitchin’

I take a lot of my style inspiration from TV. Mad Men, Jessica Jones, Legion, and now, Stranger Things. I love the show, but because it’s set in the 80’s, there aren’t a lot of inspiration for real-life outfits (unless you’re talking about very loose interpretations)… until episode 7 of season 2, that is. Yes, that infamous “worst episode of Stranger Things” that everybody was complaining about also gives us another iconic Eleven look, except one that can be much more easily translated into real life than her look from season 1. I’m predicting that we’re going to see a lot more couple costumes of the two Elevens in next year’s Halloween (there weren’t a lot of those this year because season 2 was released so close to Halloween, I think.)

I’m missing the black eyeliner, of course, but again, this is an “inspired by” outfit, not a cosplay.

P/S: I apologize if the post doesn’t make a lot of sense to those of you that don’t watch Stranger Things. Also, what are you waiting for?


Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey

I wasn’t going to do a Halloween costume this year (I haven’t in a while), but when I was looking up ways to style my new pair of red Converse, I came across this image of the 10th Doctor and thought, “I have most of those pieces! I can totally put together a costume!” I didn’t even think about this look because I tend to associate the 10th Doctor more with the brown pinstripe suit, but hey, whatever works, right?

Of course, my look isn’t exact – I’m wearing a trench coat, not a duster coat, and I don’t have a red tie so I substituted it with my red scarf. Even if I did have a tie, I wouldn’t wear it, because then it would be like a cosplay and not just an “everyday costume”. And of course, no sonic screwdriver. At first I thought about borrowing one from my dad’s toolbox (an actual screwdriver, that is. My dad is not a Time Lord), but again, not cosplaying here, so I made do with my camera remote 😛

Between this and the Weeping Angel SIA, I’m in a bit of a Doctor Who mood this week, aren’t I? Guess it’s time for a rewatch.


The Last Of Summer, part III

chambray shirt brown print skirt converse sneakers

This outfit is not great because it’s literally leftover pieces from the rejected pile that I threw together, but I’m committed to a theme, so here goes why they didn’t make the cut:

– The chambray shirt: I have two chambray shirts, and I’ve been meaning to keep this one for the fall because it’s a bit thicker, but then again it’s a bit too baggy for layering under sweaters, so no go.

– The skirt: it’s a hand-me-down from my mom. The colors are perfect for fall, but the pattern is a bit tricky to style – other than pairing it with plain black or white shirt or maybe a light-washed chambray like this, I have no idea what else I could wear it with.

– The sneakers: I had considered adding sneakers to the roster, but these are just too old, and maybe only suitable for running errands.

Now please excuse me. Fall TV season is here and I need to catch up on my shows (Sleepy Hollow first, and Gotham looks interesting too, even though I’m not a big fan of Batman or prequels in general.)

chambray shirt brown print skirt converse sneakersbrown print skirt converse sneakers

chambray shirt brown print skirt converse sneakerschambray shirt brown print skirt

Shirt: thrifted, Skirt: hand-me-down, Sneakers: Converse


Get Shorty

grey t-shirt pink pleated skirt sneakers by 14 shades of grey

My legs are like a Shetland pony’s. I’m not petite by any means, but back in the US, occasionally I had to shop in the petite section because normal-sized pants are way too long for me, and even here in Vietnam, where I’m considered pretty tall, I still have to get my pants hemmed. Yet for some reason, recently I’ve constantly been drawn to the midi skirt + flats look (this outfit is a copy of this pin.) Yeah, the skirt hits me at a really unflattering spot, and I really can’t pull it off without the benefit of heels. I don’t care though. It’s comfy, and that’s all that matters.

grey t-shirt pink pleated skirt by 14 shades of greygrey t-shirt pink pleated skirt sneakers by 14 shades of grey

pink pleated skirt sneakers by 14 shades of greyamber necklace by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Uniqlo, Skirt: hand-me-down, Sneakers: Converse, Necklace: self-made


Zombified

blue gingham shirt mint shorts black sneakers by 14 shades of grey

I totally stole this outfit from Jen, except with mint shorts instead of black. It’s the most basic of outfits, but I’m too tired to think of anything more interesting. To be honest, I have been kind of jaded with my script reading job. Usually I could finish analyzing a script in two and a half hours, three at the most, but lately it’s been taking me longer and longer, because I can’t stay focused and keep stopping in the middle to do something else. But then again you would too, if you had to read two to three scripts a day, most of them bad, some even barely comprehensible (in the three years I’ve had this job, I’ve read hundreds of scripts, and there may be about 10 good ones. Perhaps even fewer than that.) Just today, I got so bored with this script that I took a break to play Plants vs. Zombies, and before I knew it, an hour has passed. Good thing I’m taking a break next week. I need it. My brain needs it.

P/S: Sorry my sneakers are so filthy. Apparently my cats have been using them as their bed.

blue gingham shirt mint shorts by 14 shades of greyblue gingham shirt mint shorts black sneakers by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: local shop, Shorts: thrifted and dyed by me, Sneakers: Converse


Book Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

blue gingham shirt white jeans sneakers by 14 shades of grey

If I have to describe this using books I’ve read, I would say it’s Cory Doctorov’s Little Brother meets Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind. That may sound weird, but considering this book is about a group of nerds using 21st century technology to uncover the truth behind a centuries-old book cult, that’s the closest comparison I can find for it.

The beginning of the book is awesome. It starts when Clay, our narrator, loses his job as a web designer due to the recession, so he applies for a job as a night clerk at a 24-hour bookstore just to have something to do. His interest is soon piqued by the store’s strange clientele, and using his skills (or, rather, borrowing his friends’ skills) to look into it, Clay gets much more than he expected.

blue gingham shirt by 14 shades of grey

The thing is, this secret of the bookstore only takes up a third of the book. Once this secret is uncovered, the story gets a bit less awesome. There is no sense of urgency anymore. This is unlike in Little Brother where the characters have to fight for their privacy and even their lives, or in The Shadow of the Wind where the main secret also threatens a lot of lives. Here, the worst thing that can happen if Clay and his friends fail in their quest is, to avoid spoiling it, disappointment. That’s it. Some people may lose their legacy, but nothing worse will happen. And that’s my biggest problem with this book: the mystery is cool, but the stakes are not high enough, so as you read on, you find it harder and harder to care. I’m not saying lives have to be endangered for me to care, but the characters need to have more to lose or gain than this.

Still, it’s a really good book, and a quick read, so definitely check it out if you’re a bookworm like me (and I assume you are, otherwise what are you doing reading a book review?)

blue gingham shirt white jeans by 14 shades of greyblue gingham shirt book stack necklace by 14 shades of grey

blue gingham shirt white jeans by 14 shades of greywhite jeans sneakers by 14 shades of grey

There are actually several outfits described in the book, from the blue striped shirt + gray cardigan combo worn by Mr. Penumbra himself, to the red graphic T-shirt that Clay’s love interest always wears, but in the end I decided to go with something less literal and more interpretive, something a nerdy, bookish hipster would wear – of course, that means my book necklace and nerd’s glasses (white sneakers would’ve been perfect, but I always hesitate to buy a pair because I know I won’t be able to keep them clean.)

Shirt: local shop, Jeans: Calvin Klein, Necklace: self-made