Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Woman

(Sorry for the pretentious title. I couldn’t help it!)

This week’s SIA inspiration, a portrait by South African artist Juanita Mulder, is a challenge for me, because it contains mostly bright, primary colors – red, blue, yellow, with quite a bit of black and white – which I haven’t worn in a while (except for the black and white, of course.) But I’ve never let that stop me before. Either I would find something else in the painting to inspire me, or I would find a way to sell my outfit even if it is only marginally connected to the inspiration at best.

In the end, I went with the bold, graphic quality of the painting (which means lots of stripes) and recreated the colors in darker, more subdued shades – maroon instead of red, navy instead of blue, and brown instead of yellow. At the last minute, I also threw on my leather jacket. The painting doesn’t feature a lot of black, but a leather jacket seems right somehow, because the woman looks so defiant, and to me, that means a leather jacket. I believe the spirit of the painting is there in my outfit, even though it’s not an exact replica (told you I would sell it :P)

Don’t forget to swing by Jen’s blog for the full round-up of other looks inspired by this portrait.

Sweatshirt: Forever21, Jeans: Pull&Bear, Jacket: Zara, Scarf: gift, Boots: hand-me-down

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A Forgotten Outfit & A Blog Notice

navy blazer maroon jeans blanket scarf brown booties by 14 shades of grey

I was cleaning out my camera’s memory card the other day when I discovered a set of outfit photos from last December that I had completely forgotten about. And it’s not a bad outfit either (if I do say so myself). Good thing I found it, because I was running out of content to post.

Which brings me to the notice: my Lunar New Year starts from next week. It’s going to be a 3-week break, and after that, I’m going on a 3-week business trip (I’ll post more on that later). That means that for the next month and a half, posting is going to be sporadic around here. I will try to post when I can, and regular features like SIA and book reviews are still going to be up. So don’t worry, the blog won’t be dead, just a little quieter than usual.

navy blazer maroon jeans blanket scarf by 14 shades of greynavy blazer blanket scarf by 14 shades of grey

maroon jeans brown booties by 14 shades of grey

T-shirt: Uniqlo, Blazer: Atmosphere, Jeans: Pull&Bear, Scarf: local shop, Boots: hand-me-down


New Year, New Sweater

gray sweater maroon jeans navy scarf black boots by 14 shades of grey

OK, this sweater is not exactly new. It is actually a belated Teacher’s Day/Christmas present from my students, but because the weather had been so warm, I didn’t wear it until now (Teacher’s Day was way back in November, but I didn’t mind that they combined the two occasions – they are students, they’re always broke, so I would’ve been fine with no present at all.)

Clothes and/or accessories are very common gifts in Vietnam, especially for women, but I always feel a little awkward about receiving those, because often they’re not something I would buy for myself, and then I would feel bad about not wearing them. This, though, fits quite well into my closet, which goes to show my students really understand my style (if only they would apply the same amount of thoughts into their work!)

gray sweater maroon jeans navy scarf by 14 shades of greymaroon jeans black boots by 14 shades of grey

Sweater & Scarf: gift, Jeans: Pull& Bear, Boots: Clarks


Happy Hogswatch

striped top leather jacket maroon jeans chelsea boots by 14 shades of grey

I think black heels would look better with this outfit, but the weather has cooled down (just in time for Christmas), so I went with my Chelsea boots instead. Comfort over fashion, every time.

striped top leather jacket by 14 shades of greyleather jacket maroon jeans chelsea boots by 14 shades of grey

And yes, Christmas is here, isn’t it? Somehow this year I can’t seem to bring up any enthusiasm for it. I’ve been too busy to go out and enjoy the atmosphere, my entire family has been too busy (we don’t even have any decoration up in our Christmas corner, just a sad branch of spruce with a green bow on it!), plus the weather has been too warm to feel like real Christmas. I guess I have to watch and read Hogfather again to get into the Christmas, or rather, the Hogswatch spirit. It’s doubly appropriate since we don’t really celebrate Christmas anyway.

So here, in lieu of a “Merry Christmas”…

 Sweatshirt: Earth Music & Ecology, Jacket: Zara, Jeans: Pull&Bear, Boots: Din Sko


Skeleton Trees

print blouse black blazer maroon jeans black oxfords by 14 shades of grey

We’re currently having what I call “polyester weather”. It’s when the weather starts warming up enough to wear fewer layers, but it’s still cool enough so you can wear less breathable fabric like polyester (actually, the fall/winter transition time is better, winter/spring is way too humid for polyester.)

Truth be told, I don’t buy polyester, all of my polyester shirts are hand-me-downs from my sister, and they’re not comfortable in our humid climate, so I don’t wear them much. Like this shirt. The fit is great and I love the print, but I know I won’t wear it more than once, maybe twice at the most, per year. So it’s a good thing that we have this “polyester weather” so I can bring them out.

print blouse black blazer maroon jeans by 14 shades of greyprint blouse black blazer maroon jeans black oxfords by 14 shades of grey

maroon jeans black oxfords by 14 shades of greyprint blouse brooch by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Zara, Blazer: Warehouse, Jeans: Pull&Bear, Oxfords: Vagabond, Brooch: vintage


Outfit Completer

white sweater plaid scarf maroon jeans brown boots by 14 shades of grey

The weather has finally warmed up somewhat, enough for me to take photos outside without being bundled up in a huge coat, but it’s still cold enough to require several layers and a big scarf. Or maybe it’s just me, because the cold snap has left me a souvenir – a lingering case of the sniffles 😦 Hopefully it’ll go away before the Lunar New Year. It sucks to be sick during the holiday.

Anyway, about the outfit: I’m a bit tired of gray and black after these last few days, so I decided to bring in some colors. In my enthusiasm, I might have worn one color too many, and the outfit ended up looking kind of awkward… until I had the idea of adding this scarf. It has all the colors of my sweater, jeans, and boots, so it brings them all together as a whole. It sounds like such a no-brainer, doesn’t it, the idea of having a piece that pulls the entire outfit together? Yet I haven’t thought about it before. But now that I do, I’m definitely going to use it more often to make my outfits more cohesive.

white sweater plaid scarf maroon jeans brown boots by 14 shades of greywhite sweater plaid scarf by 14 shades of grey

white sweater plaid scarf maroon jeans by 14 shades of greywhite sweater plaid scarf maroon jeans brown boots by 14 shades of grey

Sweater: hand-me-down, Jeans: Pull&Bear, Boots: Vagabond, Scarf: Candie’s


Weekly Capsule 51.3: Not-So-Subtle Christmas

green coat white sweater maroon jeans black boots by 14 shades of grey

I wore this to the Christmas pageant at my niece and nephew’s kindergarten, so I threw subtlety out the window and just went straight for the red + green + white (and added the holly brooch in case anybody was still confused.) Of course, it was a good thing my jeans were maroon; true red would’ve been pretty eye-searing – I don’t think I’m brave enough to try that!

green coat white sweater maroon jeans by 14 shades of greygreen coat white sweater silver holly brooch by 14 shades of grey

Sweater: hand-me-down, Jeans: Pull&Bear, Coat: thrifted, Brooch: vintage, Boots: Hush Puppies

My looks this week – a bit of colors just in time for the holiday:

black embroidered sweatshirt maroon jeans brown ankle boots by 14 shades of greygray sweater green scarf maroon jeans black boots by 14 shades of grey

green coat white sweater maroon jeans black boots by 14 shades of grey