Weekly Capsule 21.1: Hot-Air Balloon

hot-air balloon shirt white khaki pants magenta flats by 14 shades of grey

Look at this, you guys. I’m wearing colors! And a print that is not stripes or polka dots! What is going on?

Seriously though, the outfit is not that different from what I usually wear. Even the shirt, despite the colorful print, is primarily navy. However, it’s been a while since I actually wore something other than black/blue/grey/white, so it’s pretty exciting (is it lame being excited over an outfit? I don’t care.)

When I saw the print of this shirt, I knew it would fit right in with my growing collection of “quirky button-ups”, and the fact that it’s made from super soft, breathable fabric just sealed the deal. It was a bit tricky deciding what shoes to wear with it – I don’t think brown or even black shoes go with the shirt (this was one of the times that the “no black + navy” rule actually applies); and nude shoes look boring. In the end, I pulled the pink/purple color from the print and matched it to my flats. A good choice, even if I do say so myself.

hot-air balloon shirt white khaki pants by 14 shades of greyhot-air balloon shirt white khaki pants magenta flats by 14 shades of grey

hot-air balloon shirt white khaki pants magenta flats by 14 shades of greyhot-air balloon shirt by 14 shades of grey

Shirt & Pants: Zara, Flats: Payless

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The Meteorologist

contrast blouse black pants magenta flats by 14 shades of grey

And just like that, summer is here. You wouldn’t think so looking at these photos, but they were actually taken after I got home from work, when the sun’s already gone down. I don’t want to whine because it looks like everywhere is warming up too, but tell me, does it go from 75 to 100 overnight where you live? Because it did here, and it’s horrible.

I shouldn’t be surprised though. It has always been like this in Vietnam – no transition from spring to summer, and these early days of summer are the most brutal. It’s just that now I’m more aware of it because I have the blog to remind me. Honestly, I feel like the blog is turning into some sort of meteorological diary, just because I talk about the weather so much.

contrast blouse black pants by 14 shades of greycontrast blouse black pants by 14 shades of grey

magenta flats and kitty by 14 shades of grey

contrast blouse black pants magenta flats by 14 shades of greycontrast blouse locket brooch by 14 shades of grey

Top: Mango, Pants: thrifted, Flats: Payless, Brooch: vintage


Creature Of Habit

striped top pleated skirt magenta flats by 14 shades of grey

The new school year started on Monday and I finally began officially working as a TA. Looks like it won’t be very busy, not yet anyway, which means I can still keep my freelance script reading job (yes it’s frustrating but hey, I’m getting paid to tell people they suck! Nicely, of course), and I’m just happy to have a schedule to my day. I definitely work better when I have a routine. Does it make things too predictable and boring sometimes? Sure, but I hate the unknown even more. I guess that’s why I come back to this outfit formula time and time again too – it’s pretty much routine for me now to reach for some variation of this in the morning because I know it works.

striped top pleated skirt by 14 shades of greystriped top pleated skirt by 14 shades of greystriped top vintage brooch by 14 shades of greypleated skirt magenta flats by 14 shades of grey

Shirt & Belt: Forever21, Skirt: hand-me-down, Flats: Payless, Brooch: vintage

P/S: Apparently this is such a familiar outfit that I didn’t realize I already wore it (albeit with different accessories)!


“Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

plaid shirt navy skirt bow flats by 14 shades of grey

How was your weekend? Mine was going perfectly fine until Sunday, when both of my laptops decided to die. At the same time. My netbook (the one I take on buses and to work) simply died, and my big laptop wouldn’t start. After much hair-tearing and head-banging-on-desk, I had to reset the entire system. Luckily I managed to salvage most of my data, but there are still tons of programs that need to be reinstalled. Oh well, at least I could take this chance to clean up my computers a bit. I had no idea how much random crap I had in there until now.

P/S: I stole this outfit from Elaine. Right down to the dress-as-shirt, which I bought from her.

plaid shirt navy skirt by 14 shades of greyplaid shirt navy skirt by 14 shades of greyplaid shirt navy skirt by 14 shades of greynavy skirt bow flats by 14 shades of grey

Dress (as shirt): Sonoma (thrifted), Skirt: Banana Republic (thrifted), Belt: thrifted, Flats: Payless


Locket And Key

grey t-shirt purple print skirt bow flats by 14 shades of grey

I don’t remember it being this hot when I moved home last May. We’ve been having two straight weeks of upper 90’s, close to 100, with only occasional sprinklings of rain here and there. I’m probably going to have to look into dry shampoo soon because my hair is in a perpetual state of grossness these days. It never dries, it just goes from wet with water to wet with sweat. And even if I blow dry it, in less than 10 minutes it’ll be all greasy again. And it’s going to stay this way until October… good God.

Anyway, this skirt is for the We Love Target link-up. I only have two bottom pieces from Target – this and a pair of jeans that actually are a bit big for me but I wear all the time because they’re so comfy.

grey t-shirt purple print skirt by 14 shades of greygrey t-shirt purple print skirt by 14 shades of greygrey t-shirt locket brooch by 14 shades of greygrey t-shirt purple print skirt by 14 shades of greybow flats by 14 shades of grey

T-shirt: hand-me-down (I’m wearing it backwards btw), Skirt: Target, Flats: Payless, Brooch: vintage


Long Break

purple gingham shirt black jeans magenta flats by 14 shades of grey

This outfit is like, shamefully matchy, but we’re having a long 5-day break (today and tomorrow are Vietnam’s Labor Day holiday, so there’s no sense in making people come to work on Monday; they’re just going to make it up this Saturday instead) and all I want to do is to read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. I should try to write again too. Only… getting another rejection (I’ve been submitting my stories to online magazines) is not the best source for inspiration. I know I have to look at the rejections as motivations to keep trying and get better, but again, that’s easier said than done. Guess I’ll just make sure to write a little bit every day until I get back into the groove of it.

Oh and, this is my submission for the next color in the Spring Color challenge – the purple is a bit deeper than Pantone’s “African violet”, but it’s close enough.

purple gingham shirt black jeans magenta flats by 14 shades of greypurple gingham shirt black jeans by 14 shades of grey

purple gingham shirt owl brooch by 14 shades of greypurple gingham shirt black jeans magenta flats by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Old Navy (thrifted), Jeans: Hermes, Flats: Payless, Brooch: vintage


What’s In A Name?

baseball shirt pleated skirt bow flats by 14 shades of grey

So this is a rambling post that has nothing to do with anything, because I have nothing to say about the outfit…

My real full name is Minh Duc (pronounced “Ming Duke”) – meaning “bright virtues” in Sino-Vietnamese. It’s a very masculine name, sort of the equivalent of being named, I don’t know, Ryan James (though with all the hipster parents these days, that line is getting blurred.) Man, if I had a dollar every time somebody said “Oh I thought you were a guy”…

Anyway, it led to this straight-out-of-a-sitcom situation after I graduated high school. This military-looking dude stopped by our house and demanded to see my brother. Imagine how baffled I was, because I only have a sister. It turns out, I was being called into the Army Reserve, which is only mandatory for guys, because the census people had written me down as “male.”

It took a while to sort it out, but eventually I was allowed to be a girl again. Only when I went to college in the US, I had a whole new kind of problem as people insisted on pronouncing my name as “duck.”

baseball shirt pleated skirt bow flats by 14 shades of greybaseball shirt pleated skirt by 14 shades of grey

baseball shirt pleated skirt by 14 shades of greypleated skirt bow flats by 14 shades of grey

Still, despite all the troubles it’s caused me, I like my name. It’s timeless, strong, and unique – not a lot of girls named Duc in Vietnam, I can tell you. I stuck with Salazar because it’s been my only online name since high school, but if you guys want to start calling me Duc, that’s totally fine by me 🙂

Shirt: Amazon, Skirt: hand-me-down, Belt: thrifted, Flats: Payless