Miss Hokusai

white shirt polka dot scarf navy skirt beige sandals by 14 shades of grey

Here’s my outfit for this week’s SIA, inspired by Hokusai’s iconic “The Great Wave off Kanagawa“. The skirt and sandals are my first choices, since the soft pleats are a perfect echo of the waves in the print, and the sandals mimic the boats. I thought about pairing my polka dot chambray shirt with it for a different shade of blue, and also to mimic the dotted sprays, but then I opted for this hand-me-down white shirt from my sister and my polka dot scarf instead (and the scarf is not just a pointless accessory either – I’ve been coughing for like two weeks now, and the constant rain doesn’t help, so a scarf keeps my neck nice and warm.)

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for the round-up!

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navy skirt beige sandals by 14 shades of greywhite shirt polka dot scarf by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Zara, Skirt: Banana Republic (thrifted), Scarf: hand-me-down, Sandals: Clarks

P/S: By a fun coincidence, the week we’re featuring Hokusai’s most famous print also saw the release of the trailer for “Miss Hokusai”, an upcoming animated feature about Hokusai’s daughter, who was also a painter:

Looks great, doesn’t it?

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Size Does Matter

striped top polka dot scarf blue jeans brown oxfords by 14 shades of grey

… in terms of proportions, that is. Take this outfit, for example. I was trying for that French look with the striped shirt and the scarf, you know. Unfortunately the scarf I selected is a bit too big, so it doesn’t look effortless and more like I had to shove my scarf out of the way to stop it from choking me.

But you know what, it’s Friday, I’m tired, and this gloomy, muggy weather is positively pissing me off, so I don’t care. I’m off to binge-watch Daredevil now (the second season was out in March, but I haven’t been able to catch up.)

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blue jeans brown oxfords by 14 shades of greyDSC_6812

Top: Forever21, Jeans: H&M, Scarf: hand-me-down, Oxfords: Vagabond


Colors With Silly Names

purple cardigan blue striped top polka dot scarf white jeans by 14 shades of grey

I just spent the last four days giving the entire tag system of the blog an overhaul. My shoulders are screaming from too much computer, but at least it’s done. Now you can use the tag to see how I’ve worn a certain item, or find a look by colors. It was interesting to go back to the earlier posts (there is so much WTF in some of those early outfits, like seriously, what the fuck was I thinking?) and see how my style has changed. One thing I’ve noticed is that once I moved home, I don’t wear a lot of colors anymore, it’s mostly black and blue and gray. Of course the main reason for that is my changing style and taste, but ideally, I’d like to be able to put together grown-up outfits without sacrificing colors too.

And on that note, I’m taking part in Heidi and Marissa‘s semi-annual Pantone-inspired Color challenge, or as I like to call it, the Colors with Silly Names challenge. Yesterday’s color was Radian Orchid, which is kind of a soft purple, and my cardigan is perfect for it. The weather is warming up, but very slowly, so I resisted the temptation of dressing like it’s still winter by wearing white jeans, to make the outfit more spring-appropriate.

ETA: The white jeans might be my own decision but I can’t take credit for top half of the outfit, which is lifted directly from this pin.

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purple cardigan blue striped top polka dot scarf by 14 shades of greywhite jeans brown sandals by 14 shades of grey

purple cardigan blue striped top polka dot scarf by 14 shades of grey

Cardigan: Forever21 (dyed by me), Top: Zara, Jeans: Calvin Klein, Sandals: Zalora, Scarf: hand-me-down

literate & stylish


Day & Night

black t-shirt red pants yellow flats blue polka dot scarf by 14 shades of grey

This is my outfit inspired by George Rodrigue’s “Day and Night Electricity“. This one is pretty simple: black, red, blue, with a bit of white and a bit of yellow. I thought about wearing one of my black skirts, but I don’t have any red top, plus baring my legs right after the rain when the mosquitoes are coming out in hungry swarms would be asking for trouble. Annoying, itchy trouble. So pants it is. It’s not until after I finished taking these photos that I realized I totally forgot to have a picture with my dog Taco (he kinda looks like the dog in the painting too). I guess he was more interested in running around in the garden after being cooped up inside for so long due to the rain.

In other news, looks like I’m going to have to teach an entire class (that same class I taught two weeks ago) by myself until the end of the month because the professor actually had a small accident. They’re in the middle of writing short films, so my plan? Show them all the Pixar shorts. They’re great fun and you can’t beat the structure.

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dayandnightelectricity

Shirt: Uniqlo, Pants: thrifted, Scarf: hand-me-down, Flats: eBay


Rain, Rain, Go Away

chambray shirt jeans polka dot scarf heeled oxfords by 14 shades of grey

Outfit post didn’t happen yesterday because it’s been raining cats and dogs, and I didn’t want to try indoor photos because they always turn out horrible. It kept raining and only lightened up long enough today for me to take these photos. It rained so hard that I even considered wearing boots, but then I thought that would look ridiculous in 80-degree weather. These heeled oxfords kept my feet dry well enough. Maybe I should buy a pair of cute rain boots (I’m living in a tropical climate after all, there is always going to be rain), but then again I never think of rain boots as normal footwear. In fact, before I started reading style blogs, I never realized people actually wear them as normal footwear. To me, they are just beat-up wellingtons that you put on to take the trash out or feed the chickens in the rain or go into the garden even when it’s not raining because there’s a 5-foot cobra around.

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Shirt: thrifted, Jeans & Shoes: Forever21, Scarf: hand-me-down


What I Read

white shirt grey cardigan blue jeans brown ankle boots by 14 shades of grey

My days now are just one long string of almost non-stop reading that I kind of lose track of when I read what. Anyway, the two books I just finished are both amazing, but neither is easy to be interpreted into an outfit, so here are two book reviews with some unrelated outfit pictures.

The first one is “My Family and Other Animals” by Gerald Durrell. It’s a memoir about the author’s childhood as his family moved from England to the Greek island of Corfu. “Idyllic” is the word for it. The story takes place from mid 1930’s to early 1940’s, not exactly uneventful time in Europe, but time doesn’t seem to exist in this place. It’s filled with amusing stories about the author’s eccentric family and friends (both human and non-human), keen observations of animal behaviors, and beautiful, poetic description of Corfu. I’m not a beach person at all and I still really, really wanted a beach vacation by the time I finished reading it. (If the weather was nicer I would’ve put together a vacation-y look, but as you can see that was quite out of the question.)

white shirt grey cardigan blue jeans by 14 shades of greyblue jeans brown ankle boots by 14 shades of grey

The second book I read is “At Home: A Short History Of Private Life” by Bill Bryson. When it comes to non-fiction and travel books, I pretty much worship at the altar of Bill Bryson, so it’s no surprise that I love this one. I haven’t read A Short History of Nearly Everything (though it’s on the list, as soon as I can get my sister to unpack it from her crates of books and lend it to me), but if that one’s about natural science, then “At Home” is about social science. By looking at his house, an old English rectory, Bill Bryson explores the history of how we eat, how we sleep, how we raise kids, how we live in general. A lot of it focuses on Victorian England, but it goes back all the way to prehistoric time as well. It’s not as funny as his other books I’ve read (though “Damn it, woman, you shall burn” did crack me up), but it is a great read if you’re interested in history and sociology.

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white shirt grey cardigan blue jeans by 14 shades of greywhite shirt grey cardigan blue jeans dotted scarf by 14 shades of grey

Shirt & Scarf: hand-me-down, Cardigan: Forever21, Jeans: H&M, Boots: Steve Madden (thrifted)


What’s My Age Again?

navy sweater gold skirt polka dot tights by 14 shades of grey

When I look at these photos, the outfit strikes me as being a little young – perhaps it’s the combination of short skirt and ankle boots (the polka dot tights don’t help either.) Dressing my age is still a problem for me. A part of it comes down to not having a clear-cut definition of my style – I go back and forth from twee to tomboy to grandma and everything in between. The other part is due to not having a proper job where I have to dress professionally. I don’t think I would ever dress inappropriately in a specific situation, it’s just that when left to my own device, I tend to go for a younger look.

What about you? Do you struggle with dressing age-appropriately?

navy sweater gold skirt polka dot scarf by 14 shades of greynavy sweater gold skirt polka dot tights by 14 shades of grey

gold skirt polka dot tights brown boots by 14 shades of greynavy sweater polka dot scarf by 14 shades of grey

Skirt: thrifted & dyed by me, Sweater: Fedora Boutique (Vietnamese shop)
Scarf: hand-me-down, Tights: Target, Boots: Payless
Post title: song by blink-182 (I do listen to bands that are not indie hipsters, you know)