Weekly Capsule 41.1: Gray Day

grey wide-leg pants navy top brown heeled loafers by 14 shades of grey

I got these pants as hand-me-down from my sister a while ago and didn’t get around to wearing them for the longest time because, well, they feel too “office-y”. But I get a bit tired of skinny pants all the time, so I decided to give them a try.

… And I hated them. Maybe I didn’t do a good enough job picking the top to pair with it, because while I like the silhouette, the whole outfit feels kinda aging and frumpy to me. And the colors are kind of grim – these pants may look better with a crisp white shirt. Well, I’m going to keep the pants in rotation to see if I could style them in any way that feels more “me”, but if not, they’re going back to my sister.

grey wide-leg pants navy top by 14 shades of greygrey wide-leg pants brown heeled loafers by 14 shades of grey

Pants: Esprit (hand-me-down), Top: Forever21, Necklace & Shoes: local shops


Seven

navy top mint striped short brown loafers by 14 shades of grey

OK, I don’t even watch the World Cup, but holy crap! What the hell was that, Brazil? Did they complete choke or something? That must be like the worst defeat ever (ETA: indeed it was, according to Wikipedia.) I don’t even remember a World Cup match with that big of a difference in scores. And I’m pretty sure Brazil’s lone score was a pity move on Germany’s part. But what do I know, the last time I watched World Cup was the final in 2006 when Italy won – got a huge crush on their captain, Cannavaro 😛

About the outfit: yeah, nothing really goes with anything but I kinda like it.

navy top mint striped shorts brown loafers by 14 shades of greynavy top mint striped shorts by 14 shades of grey

navy top amber necklace by 14 shades of grey

navy top mint striped shorts by 14 shades of greymint striped shorts brown loafers by 14 shades of grey

Top: Forever21, Shorts: tailor (really old), Flats: 5th Avenue, Belt: thrifted, Necklace: gift


Details, Details

navy top teal scarf blue jeans magenta flats by 14 shades of grey

One thing I got from the Pantone-inspired Color Challenge is that I don’t need a lot of colorful pieces to bring colors back to my outfit. Most of the pops of color in my outfits for the challenge are in accessories. So for this outfit, I added colors and pattern with the scarf and the flats. Upon looking at these pictures again, I’m thinking maybe boyfriend jeans would look better, but then again boyfriend jeans might be too casual.

navy top teal scarf by 14 shades of greynavy top teal scarf blue jeans magenta flats by 14 shades of grey

teal scarf by 14 shades of greynavy top teal scarf blue jeans by 14 shades of grey

magenta flats by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Forever21, Jeans: H&M, Flats: Payless, Scarf: hand-me-down


Neutral Zone

navy shirt grey cardigan black jeans brown boots by 14 shades of grey

This is a bit casual for work, but I was supervising a student’s film shoot, so I just wanted something I can move around in. And after an entire week of colors for the Pantone Fall challenge, I’m going back to some much-missed neutrals and breaking all kinds of fashion rules by pairing navy with black and black with brown (seriously, I don’t understand those rules. Who made them up?) Before I’d probably add a “pop of color”, but now I think the animal print scarf provides enough focus for the outfit.

grey cardigan black jeans animal print scarf by 14 shades of greynavy shirt grey cardigan animal print scarf by 14 shades of greynavy shirt animal print scarf by 14 shades of greyblack jeans brown boots by 14 shades of grey

Shirt & Cardigan: Forever21, Jeans: Hermes, Boots: Aldo, Scarf: hand-me-down


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