Weekly Capsule 32.3: The End Of A Decade

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My birthday was last week. I’ve never been big on birthday parties (I didn’t celebrate my birthday at all during all those years I lived in LA), but since my niece loves them and my sister’s birthday and mine are so close together, we just made a cake and had a small family party on the weekend. It’s weird though, thinking that I’m 29 years old. I still feel the same as I did when I was 17. But then again, nobody knows how being 29 is supposed to feel either, right? Adulthood is a huge lie, I’m telling you 😛

A funny coincidence: I wore a very similar outfit exactly a year ago. Except this time my shirt is long-sleeved and my shoes are snakeskin, not leopard. I did think of that outfit when putting this together, but I had no idea that the timing aligned as well!

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blue jeans snakeskin slipons by 14 shades of grey

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And the scarf is still the perfect make-shift hoodie.

Top: Forever21, Jeans: Mango, Scarf: self-made, Sneakers: local shop

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Weekly Capsule 32.2: Playing It Safe

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This outfit is like something I would wear a year and a half ago, while I was transitioning between a vintage-inspired style to my current, simpler style. Even all the pieces – except for the brooch – are old favorites. This was from last week, when I had to teach a kind of “test class” in front of the school board to prepare for my solo classes next semester, so I wanted to wear something I’d feel comfortable in. It was nerve-racking enough having to teach in front of the school board; I didn’t want to have to worry about my clothes too.

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navy skirt captoe flats by 14 shades of greyred striped top tree brooch by 14 shades of grey

Top: Forever 21, Skirt: Banana Republic (thrifted), Flats: Zalora, Belt: thrifted, Brooch: local shop


Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Today the temperature dropped after three days of nearly nonstop rain, and I could finally join the fashion blogging world’s collective excitement for fall… Just kidding. I know the Vietnamese climate well enough not to look forward to fall. It’s warming up tomorrow. Besides, we don’t have a real fall here anyway. The weather is going to stay warm until November and then winter begins – looking through my archive from last year, I can tell exactly when the cold hit. So I might as well enjoy the boots and layering whenever I can, right? But not pumpkin. We have pumpkin year-round (mostly eaten as a vegetable, at least in my family) so it’s nothing to get excited about, really.

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Shirt: thrifted, Jacket: Express (thrifted), Boots: Steve Madden (thrifted), Jeans: Hermes


Book Review: Warm Bodies

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It’s been kind of a slow month in reading for me. I just downloaded a collection of 150 short stories from Tor that I’m still working my way through, I have a book on screenwriting I have to finish, and in between I started reading/watching the Chinese classics Dreams of the Red Chamber and Journey to the West again, so I decided to review “Warm Bodies” instead. Technically I read it a while ago, but I just finished translating it, so here we go. I guess you can call it a review of the movie too, because there will be some comparison.

A quick summary, for those of you who don’t know the movie: the story revolves around “R”, a zombie with an existential crisis whose world is turned upside down when he meets a Living girl, Julie, after eating her boyfriend. Together they ignite a series of events that may change the whole world. Before you reject the premise, let me explain that the logic behind the zombies in this book actually makes a lot of sense: if you think of zombie as a plague, a disease, of course it would worsen over time, instead of knocking you out right away. Here, the zombies do eat brains, but it’s because their own bodies have slowed down, so they need the fresh blood and brains to feel alive again. They will slowly waste away until they become “Boneys”, skeletons who are vicious eating machines, but even the Boneys are not completely mindless – they’re only single-minded in their purpose to keep the world as it is. That’s where R and his new sense of hope, thanks to Julie, come in.

For those who have seen the movie, I think it’s a pretty good adaptation, though the book is darker and sadder. It also goes more in-depth into the backstory of Julie and her boyfriend Perry, to explain their relationship and Julie’s relationship with R, and make their characters a lot more interesting. There are some parts in the book I find a little dragging, but that’s just because I’ve already seen the movie and known where the story is going. The movie feels more young adult, but the book has a more mature feel to it, and the writing is definitely better than your average YA novel too. So if you’ve seen the movie, I’d definitely recommend checking out the book.

A fun fact: the story is loosely based on Romeo & Juliet (I mean, that balcony scene is pretty obvious, and the characters’ names, too.)

As for the outfit, I couldn’t do a zombie apocalypse look because it would be terrible in this heat (I guess it would be a different matter if there was an actual zombie apocalypse), so here’s an outfit inspired by the book cover instead.

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white skirt black heels by 14 shades of grey

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Please enjoy my best attempt at a zombie shuffle, and have a great Labor Day weekend! I’m having a long weekend too, since this Monday is our Independence Day.

Shirt: Forever21, Dress (worn as skirt): tailor-made, Belt: thrifted, Heels & Brooch: hand-me-down


Lost In A Good Book

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I finally got my hands on The Ocean at the End of the Lane (actual book, which I always prefer to ebook) after a month of waiting. The last time I was this excited about a book was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – my sister got it for me as a birthday present while I was visiting her in Germany, but she had to hide it for the rest of the day because she’d planned an outing and didn’t want me to bury my nose in a book. I finished it the day after. I didn’t think I slept. But this one’s pretty slim, so if I start reading it now, at 8 PM Vietnamese time, I can finish it without having to stay up too late.

So, adios. I’ll do a review some time next week. The post title seem a little hasty since I don’t know how the book will turn out yet, but it’s Neil Gaiman, I’m pretty sure I’m going to love it (the only Gaiman book I’m not crazy about is Anansi Boys.) Have a great weekend everybody!

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Shirt: Forever21, Skirt: Banana Republic (thrifted), Belt: from a Miss Sixty dress, Flats: LA Fashion District, Necklace: gift


Redshirt

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Whether it’s the monotony of work, or the returning heat, or whatever, for some reason I can’t seem to be bothered to put together some interesting-looking outfits this week. That’s one of the setbacks about being a style blogger, isn’t it? Once you decide to put your outfits out there for everyone to see, you start feeling this weird pressure to be all fashionable and interesting and blog-worthy all the time. But there’s no reality in that, at least for me. I’m boring. So here’s a boring (if serviceable) outfit, and I’m OK with that.

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Shirt & Necklace: Forever21, Pants: thrifted, Flats: Payless


Holes In My Closet

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When shopping I usually don’t pay much attention to those “staple pieces” everybody says you should have in your wardrobe, because I think that really depends on your life and personal style. What is staple in your closet might be an orphan in mine. That being said, I’m trying to simplify my style, making it more grown-up and less twee, and there are a couple of holes I need to fill in my closet. One of those is neutral, solid-color T-shirts. I was going to wear this newly hemmed skirt (a lot of you guys said I should keep this as a midi, but in the end I decided to go for knee-length) with a solid-colored tee, but then I realized the few I have don’t go with the skirt at all. So I defaulted to my striped shirt. Nothing wrong with pattern mixing, but sometimes a plain black or white shirt is all you need.

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Shirt & Belt: Forever21, Skirt: hand-me-down, Oxfords: thrifted via Buffalo Exchange, Brooch: vintage