Jazz Stories

What’s this? What’s this? (I know the song is more appropriate for Christmas, but it fits here too.) Am I wearing a… blazer? Yes! We just had some rain over the weekend and the temperature has dropped enough for me to actually wear some layers. If it wasn’t for that, I would probably have to wear my reliable red printed dress again for this week’s SIA, inspired by Faith Ringgold’s “Jazz Stories”. However, thanks to the temperature drop, I decided to reflect the colors and patterns in the piece with my red blazer (check out the pattern of the lining), yellow skirt, and navy loafers. A brooch shaped by a musical instrument would’ve been perfect, but I don’t have any – I can’t play any musical instrument and figure it would be presumptuous for me to wear one. So I wore this lady-shaped brooch instead – it kind of looks like the lady in the painting anyway, so it’s not that far off.

Don’t forget to check Daenel’s blog on Wednesday to see other outfits inspired by this!


Late Bloomer

For this week’s SIA, inspired by the flower collages/decoupages of Mary Delany, I had to dig into my storage and brought out this dress. I’s a hand-me-down from my mom, and I haven’t worn it in a while because it’s a little short for my taste now, but for this challenge, it’s perfect (so glad I didn’t donate it!) I layered it with a knotted black T-shirt and topped it off with my flower brooch as a nod to the 3D feel of the collages – and I mean, come on, you wouldn’t expect me not to wear a brooch with this, would you?

You still have until tomorrow to send me your outfits if you haven’t already, and don’t forget to come back on Wednesday to see how everybody did!


Dinosaurs

Sometimes, when it’s hot out, and especially if I’m working from home like I do these days, I can’t be bothered to put together an interesting outfit… or anything that can be called an “outfit” at all, really. However, as tempting as it is to spend the entire day in pajamas (or in my case, a ratty oversize T-shirt and linen pants), I find that putting on actual clothes helps put me in a “work” mindset and stop me from procrastinating. So on days like that, an interesting item like this pair of dinosaur-printed culottes goes a long way toward adding some interest to an otherwise unremarkable outfit. My only complaint? No pockets 😦


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.)


Not Born In The USA

Here’s another of my attempts to dress up a top and a pair of jeans. I saw the idea on a Japanese style blog and thought it a super fun, unexpected way to wear a scarf/handkerchief, and it can save you from having to wear a belt too. It wasn’t until I started editing these photos that I realized the close-up shot looked rather familiar. And then it hit me: it looked a bit like the cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA album (hence my post title) – just a little bit, mostly in the color scheme and the framing. I never listen to Bruce Springsteen, but that’s such a well-know album cover that I guess I was subconsciously influenced somehow.