Cloisonne

I’ve always wanted a cloisonne brooch. There is something about the look of cloisonne that screams “vintage” to me (not surprising, since the technique has been around since antiquity), and the designs often have a touch of Art Nouveau about them, which I love. So I was quite excited to find this brooch – between the cloisonne, the floral design, and the cutouts, it’s just so me. I paired it with a simple outfit so it can really shine, but I’m thinking it could work on a more maximalist outfit too. Let’s wait until fall/winter and see if I could wear it more.


One Top, Two Ways

These outfits are pretty simple, which is why I’m grouping them together. I simply pull colors from the shirt – red and navy – and match them to my bottoms and shoes. Basic, yes, but it works, so why mess around with it? Besides, I’m getting to the end of the semester, which means I’m again too busy to think about outfits, so something deceptively simple like these is perfect.


Crabby

Ever since I read the book about Madeleine Albright’s brooch collection, I became aware of how you can use the brooch to convey a certain message or mood, and I tried to apply that to my own brooches. Of course, I still choose them based on how well they go with the outfit, but occasionally, when I just want a brooch to add some touch of interest to my outfit, I would stop to think what it says about me.

Take this outfit, for example. I wore it to attend an important work meeting on Zoom, and as we all know, when it comes to the Zoom meeting look, it’s all about from the neck up, so I wanted to add a brooch. At work, I’m known for my directness and perhaps even stubbornness when defending my views (not always a good thing, I’ll admit. I’m working on it), so I chose my crab brooch because there is a saying in Vietnamese that translates to “As stubborn as a crab” (since a crab only moves sideways instead of back-and-forth, see) to show that I’m not afraid to speak my mind. In the end, it wasn’t necessary because everybody was in agreement anyway, but it was nice knowing I could rely on my brooch for a bit of strength. (The shoes were an afterthought. I didn’t wear them for my meeting, naturally.)


1940s Inspired

Since my rediscovery of thrift/secondhand/vintage shopping earlier this year, I’ve been leaning hard into my vintage-inspired style, especially 1940s style. I’ve always been drawn to 1930s-1950s style anyway, but 1940s style is a lot easier to recreate than 1950s’ (no puffy skirt, no shapewear), and it’s more functional and practical than 1930s’ too. Of course, I don’t want to look costume-y, so I tend to look for clothes that can be translated into modern outfits. One such piece is this short-sleeve sweater. I paired it with my paper-bag pants for something like this or this, and the pattern of the sweater is interesting enough on its own so I kept the rest of the outfit simple.


End Of Summer

I’m getting to that point when I’m sick of my warm-weather wardrobe, but the weather is not cool enough to bring out my cold-weather clothes yet. It makes for a vicious cycle. Because I’m bored with my warm-weather clothes, my outfits are uninspired, and because I feel uninspired, I keep buying fall/winter clothes to alleviate my boredom (all thrifted/secondhand, of course, but it’s becoming a problem), and now I end up with too many cold-weather clothes that I’m not able to wear yet, which in turn makes me feel more bored and uninspired. But! The weather is cooling down soon – a tiny amount, but it’s still going to be cooler – so hopefully that can give me some much-needed inspiration. So here is the last of the summer’s outfits. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s comfy and relatively interesting with the red details, so I thought I’d give it its own post.