Button Up, Button Down

Quiz time: what do you call this shirt? A button-up, button-down, or oxford shirt? I always call it a button-up, and apparently, there is a difference between a button-up and a button-down – a button-down is one with two buttons on the collar, holding it down, and usually those are only featured on men’s shirts. Interestingly enough, in Vietnam this type of shirt is translated literally to “German-collar shirt”. I don’t know why. I believe this turned-down collar is invented by a French tailor, so I have no idea what German has to do with it, but that’s language for you. And this is the point where I’ve typed the word “collar” so many times that it’s lost all meaning.

Anyway, I actually bought these two things together and even tried them on together at the store, but I didn’t think about pairing them until now. I thought the two rows of buttons would be too much, but they actually go quite well together, right?

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The Longest Month

Is May the longest month of the year, or do I just feel that way because the end of the semester is drawing near? Every year, May is always the hardest month for me to get through, not because it’s particularly busier (if anything, it’s actually not as busy because classes are ending; I only have grading to do), but because it’s just so tedious. At least this year I have two things to look forward to at the end of it: one, Snow Patrol’s new album is coming on on May 25th (we only had to wait 7 years for it, but yay!!!) and two, we are going on a family trip in early June. Small things, but they keep me going.

Those, and the fact that I can now start wearing T-shirts and sneakers to work more often.


Late Blossoms

My students gave me this cherry blossom brooch for International Women’s Day back in March, but I didn’t get around to wearing it until now.  And wearing it reminded me of the cherry blossoms at Lake Balboa Park near my apartment in LA (not to be confused with Balboa Park in San Diego).

If there is one thing I missed about living in LA, it’s the cherry blossoms at a park near my apartment building. Every year around March, I would spend almost all of my days off there, taking photos of the clouds of pink blossoms until my camera battery died. I even remember seeing some Japanese-American families there for blossom-viewing parties. You don’t get flowers like that in Vietnam (well, we do have plum blossoms and peach blossoms here around February, but you’d have to travel to the mountain region to see them in large quantities.) Guess I’ll just have to be content with some old photos then.


Pink Spring

We’re finally having some spring-like weather around here, but while it is humid, thankfully it remains cool, rather than hot and humid, so getting dressed is still enjoyable instead of the chore it is during the warmer months. I always prefer to dress in layers – it’s much easier to add interest with layers – so as long as it stays cool, I’m happy.

That said, this (new) shirt can still add interest to an outfit even by itself. If you look at the close-up, you can see that its buttons are actually printed with a subtle floral pattern. Very appropriate for spring without being obvious. I’m sure Miranda Priestly will approve.


Belles

I’m back from my Cuba trip! There are a massive amount of photos to sort through, and I’m still recovering from the looooong flights, but rest assure that there will be a lot of travel posts in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, here is a teaser and an SIA post, all in one.

Before I left for my trip, I asked Jen to send me the inspiration for the upcoming challenge so I could plan ahead. The inspiration, which is the portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle and her cousin Elizabeth Murray, turns out to be perfect, as I was traveling with a friend, so I decided to recreate the painting if we could.

We finally got a chance to take the photo at our casa (homestay) in Trinidad, as it has a nice little cove with plants and chairs. There wasn’t a plate of fruit for us to use as props, so we had to make do with an ashtray, but it looks pretty close, doesn’t it? Here are some more photos of my full outfit during our sightseeing of the town:

Don’t forget to check Jen’s blog for the full round-up on Wednesday!


Millennial Pink

Does anybody have tips on how to clean light-colored suede shoes? I love these sneakers, but they get so dingy so fast. They used to be pink, but now they’re faded to a dirty beige (trust me, it takes some Photoshop skills to get them to look presentable in the photos.) Suede cleaner is not readily available here, so I have tried every home remedy from baking soda and vinegar to rubbing alcohol, but nothing seems to work. Which is a shame, because I would love to wear these shoes more often.


Gingham And Floral

Like I said last week, I picked this inspiration for SIA – “Roots” by Spanish photographer Miguel Vallinas – precisely because I already have similar items in my closet – cream-colored cardigan, blue gingham shirt, light-washed jeans. So the outfit came together in an instant. The only detail that requires some thinking is the flower part of the photo, but then I remembered my pink floral scarf and it’s done. Easy peasy. Just what I need during these crazy, end-of-semester weeks (our long winter break doesn’t happen until February, but the semester ends in 3 weeks.)

If you haven’t sent me your outfit, the deadline is tomorrow, so get to it! And don’t forget to check back on Wednesday for the full round-up of all interpretations.