Party Dress

Our holiday break for the Lunar New Year wasn’t supposed to start until next week, but we just had a recent outbreak of COVID cases and everything is in lockdown mode again, so we got off a week early. Fingers crossed that the break won’t get extended into nearly 3 months like it did last time!

Anyway, that means that for the next month or so, I’ll be posting backlogged outfits. First up is this outfit I wore to our school’s end-of-semester party. This dress is quickly becoming my go-to “party dress”, because it can be easily accessorized. For this, I kept things simple with heels in a complementary color and this vintage brooch – it’s my favorite because it mimics the look of a corsage. I suspect it was handmade too, which makes it all the more special!

Wedding Guest

I haven’t been to a lot of weddings since I moved home from LA – most of my high school and college friends were married by then – but one of my co-workers got married earlier this month, so I finally had an excuse to dress up a bit.

Wedding season in Vietnam is usually from late November to mid-March – it has the best weather (summer is just too damn hot and humid), and since our Lunar New Year falls around January and February, it’s when most families have food stocked up, which in the old days made it easier to hold a wedding feast. Some weddings may take place in the dead of winter, when it’s too cold to dress up (like my sister’s – she got married around Christmas), but lucky for me, this early spring wedding was the perfect time to bring out my dressier pieces – like this belt and these shoes.

Midnight Blue

This week’s SIA is pretty easy for me. The two stand-out colors are blue and red, so I immediately knew I’d wear this navy dress with my red heels. The accessory required a bit more thoughts, though. Sadly I don’t have any brooch or pendant in the shape of a rooster or a violin-playing goat, but then I noticed that the lady in the painting has a heart shape on her top (is it her actual heart? You never know with Chagall), so I added my heart-shaped brooch.

I wore this to my students’ thesis defence last week (their thesis projects are feature film scripts, but they still have to present it in front of a committee). This was my first year as a thesis adviser – that may sound important, but honestly the work isn’t that different from what I do in my freelance script reading job. People ask for your advice, you tell them what they’re doing wrong, and then they don’t listen to you. I’m not surprised, really. One of the first things they teach you in screenwriting class is how to take criticism, but almost nobody knows how to do it.

Don’t forget to stop by Jen’s blog to see other interpretations of this painting!

40’s Inspired

navy dress embroidered cardigan red heels by 14 shades of grey

I don’t know if it’s because I’m watching The Crown (fabulous show, I will do a review next week if I can finish it in time), but I’ve been feeling quite inspired by the late 1940’s – early 1950’s lately. Of course, this is my “Agent Carter” dress, so it fits that era perfectly, and the embroidered cardigan is very appropriate for that era as well.

It’s been a while since I dress up like this, and now I remember why – there are so many layers to deal with! See, I always wear my bike shorts with dresses and skirts, but the dress isn’t lined, which means I had to wear a slip as well. If this was truly the 40’s, the bike shorts would be replaced by stockings and garters and who knows what else. And that is still nothing compared to the undergarments of the old days. I honestly can’t imagine how they could deal with all those corsets and hoops and a gazillion petticoats. Wait, no, I actually can. I was the costume mistress on my friend’s period films, so I had some idea what dressing up in those days involved. All I can say is – I may love vintage fashion, but I wouldn’t want to live in those eras!

navy dress embroidered cardigan red heels by 14 shades of greynavy dress embroidered cardigan by 14 shades of grey

navy dress embroidered cardigan by 14 shades of greynavy dress embroidered cardigan red heels by 14 shades of grey

Dress: tailor, Cardigan & Shoes: local shops, Belt: thrifted

Minimal Vintage

navy dress locket brooch brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of grey

The balance between minimalist and vintage style has been my struggle for a few years now, and still I haven’t found a solid solution. It’s like my style is the heroine in a costume drama, having to choose between two suitors – the minimal look which is clean and simple, but can be a little boring, or the vintage look, which is more fun, but also tougher to pull off. Occasionally, though, I manage to put together a look that manages to walk the line between the two, like this one, for example – the dress and the brooch are vintage-inspired, but the styling keeps it modern. I think I need to aim for more “classic” looks like this, which can be minimalist and vintage at the same time.

Speaking of vintage, this is off-topic, but I just watched The Man from U.N.C.L.E. this weekend (the 2015 movie, not the original TV show). It’s a really fun, stylish movie, and the 1960’s fashion are gorgeous, but gods, it should be illegal to put Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer in a movie together. Nobody can handle that much hotness in one sitting.

navy dress locket brooch brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of greynavy dress locket brooch by 14 shades of grey

navy dress locket brooch by 14 shades of greynavy dress brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of grey

Dress: tailor, Brooch: vintage, Shoes: local shop