Belt Or No Belt

navy blouse khaki skirt brown mary janes by 14 shades of grey

Confession: I actually wore this without the belt throughout the day, but when I took the pictures, I thought the empty belt loops looked weird so I put this belt on. Then it looked too fussy so I took it off again 😛 The brooch and the pleats on the blouse and the heels are fussy enough without the bow on the belt too.

I am trying to move away from all of these “girly girl” details and go for “feminine but streamlined”, but occasionally I still had a moment of over-thinking and put together something like this… Well, hopefully three months of capsule wardrobe will flush all that fussiness out of my system!

navy blouse khaki skirt brown mary janes by 14 shades of greynavy blouse khaki skirt by 14 shades of grey

navy blouse khaki skirt brown belt by 14 shades of grey

navy blouse khaki skirt brown belt by 14 shades of greykhaki skirt brown mary janes by 14 shades of grey

  navy blouse locket brooch by 14 shades of grey

Top: Mango (hand-me-down), Skirt & Heels: thrifted, Belt: Wet Seal, Brooch: vintage


Disheveled

polka dot chambray shirt khaki skirt brown sandals by 14 shades of grey

I copied this outfit almost piece-by-piece from Alexandra of To Vogue or to Bust. Of course I’m nowhere near as crisp and put-together as she is. Then again, I don’t really do “crisp” either. Now, this outfit I really can’t do anything about, because my linen skirt seems to be iron-resistant, but other times, even when I’m in… I don’t know, whatever the most put-together outfit you can think of, I still end up disheveled – my shirt would get untucked, my sleeves all scrunched up, my pants stained. I believe if you put me in steel armor, I would manage to get it wrinkled somehow.

polka dot chambray shirt khaki skirt by 14 shades of greypolka dot chambray shirt khaki skirt brown sandals by 14 shades of grey

polka dot chambray shirt initial necklace by 14 shades of grey

polka dot chambray shirt khaki skirt brown sandals by 14 shades of greypolka dot chambray shirt khaki skirt by 14 shades of grey

polka dot chambray shirt khaki skirt by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: tailor, Skirt & Belt: thrifted, Sandals: Zalora, Necklace: gift


Winter White

white cable knit sweater khaki skirt black boots grey scarf by 14 shades of grey

As I was putting this together, I kept thinking that I needed a “pop of color” somewhere. So I tried some colored tights, different brooches and scarves, but nothing looked right, and in the end, I went back to my original idea. I realized that when there are already varied shades of black and white and grey in the outfit, any other color would just mess it up. I don’t know if this means my style is moving toward a simpler, more neutral direction, or I know how to edit my own style now. Maybe a bit of both.

white cable knit sweater khaki skirt grey scarf by 14 shades of grey white cable knit sweater khaki skirt black boots grey scarf by 14 shades of grey

khaki skirt black boots by 14 shades of grey white cable knit sweater grey scarf by 14 shades of grey

Sweater: New Look, Skirt: thrifted, Scarf: self-made, Leggings: Charlotte Russe, Boots: Journee, Brooch: Getty Center gift shop


I Don’t Know

black shirt khaki skirt leopard print flats by 14 shades of grey

I just finished reading three scripts (that’s about 300 pages in total) so you’ll excuse me if I keep the post short. Besides I just found a channel that have Fringe re-runs, so I’m just going to turn my mind off for now… well, as much as you can turn your mind off while watching Fringe anyway.

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khaki skirt leopard print flats by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Gap, Skirt: thrifted, Belt: Forever21, Necklace: Icing, Flats: LA Fashion District


Calm Summer

white t-shirt khaki skirt green belt leopard print flats by 14 shades of grey

The post title is supposed to be sarcastic because this summer has been anything but calm. I managed to grab these pictures in about 10 minutes (a record for me!) in between two rain storms, and there will be more rain later in the week. It helps that the outfit doesn’t have a lot of detail. I feel the lace on the shirt provides enough visual interest that I don’t need anything else. Plus the inspiration painting is pretty simple on its own too.

I got this shirt along in the same sale with the peach T-shirt I wore last week, hoping it would fill the white tee-shaped hole in my closet, but looks like I’d have to keep an eye out for something more fitted and less semi-transparent. You’d think it’s nothing simpler than finding a basic white tee, yet none of the ones I tried on looks right… maybe I’m being too picky? Or maybe “basic” is not really my style. I like simplicity but I can’t really pull off those simple outfits that look crazy chic on some and would just look plain boring on me.

white t-shirt khaki skirt green belt leopard print flats by 14 shades of greywhite t-shirt khaki skirt green belt by 14 shades of grey

white t-shirt khaki skirt green belt by 14 shades of greywhite t-shirt khaki skirt green belt by 14 shades of grey

khaki skirt leopard print flats by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: American Eagle, Skirt & Belt: thrifted, Flats: LA Fashion District


What If This Storm Ends?

dotted shirt khaki skirt olive flats by 14 shades of grey

Yup, another storm/typhoon/hurricane on the way. This one won’t be as bad because it won’t hit us directly, and hopefully it’ll cool down a little bit afterwards because it’s so muggy right now like you wouldn’t believe. Seriously, I had to have a towel just outside of frame while taking these pictures because I was sweating buckets. You guys are probably sick of hearing me talk about the weather all the freaking time, but I wouldn’t talk about it so much if this was the norm –  I don’t remember so many storms this time last year.

dotted shirt khaki skirt olive flats by 14 shades of greydotted shirt khaki skirt by 14 shades of greydotted shirt khaki skirt by 14 shades of greydotted shirt khaki skirt by 14 shades of greykhaki skirt olive flats by 14 shades of greydotted shirt cameo necklace by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Old Navy, Skirt & Belt: thrifted, Necklace: Forever21, Flats: borrowed from my sister


Book Review: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

blue shirt khaki skirt captoe flats by 14 shades of grey

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.

navy shirt house necklace by 14 shades of greynavy shirt khaki skirt captoe flats by 14 shades of greykhaki skirt captoe flats by 14 shades of greynavy shirt khaki skirt by 14 shades of greynavy shirt khaki skirt by 14 shades of greynavy shirt khaki skirt by 14 shades of grey

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