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.


The Dining Room

There may come a day when I stop wearing this dress whenever SIA calls for some multi colors and patterns, but today is not that day. Yup, yet again I was stumped by the colors of the inspiration, Pierre Bonnard’s “The Dining Room in the Countryside”, and yet again I had to reach for this printed dress. I paired it with this plaid shirt to mimic the contrast between the window and door frames and the soft interior, and the color and weave of my sandals are a nod to the furniture in the room. The outfit is a bit all over the place, but I like it.

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


A Pretty Pickle

Red and green is a color combo I’m not brave enough to try often (I think I’ve only tried it once, way back when I first started the blog.) The Christmas association is too strong. Plus, in Vietnam, there’s a saying that translates to “Green pants and red shirt prove that you’re a boor”, so maybe that influences me somehow. But lately, I’ve discovered some red/green combinations that are more applicable, when the red and green are less saturated – like here, which is more like pink and green (the gingham tones down the red color a bit), or red and olive green. It would be fun to try more opposite color combos like that.

On an unrelated note, the post title is obviously a reference to my brooch, but it’s also a joke because my family, despite our large garden, has never been able to grow cucumbers. One year my dad started three pots, which grew and covered the entire trellises, but never produced a single flower, let alone a fruit. After that he got frustrated and quit trying to grow cucumbers again.


Booky

Here’s my outfit for this week’s SIA, inspired by Patty Carroll’s photo, “Booky“. It’s an outfit built around accessories. I knew I’d wear this book necklace (duh) and this eyeglass brooch (I count at least three pairs of glasses in the photo), but the rest of the outfit took some thinking. At first, I wanted to try some pattern mixing to mimic the chaos of the photo, but after some experiments, I decided on this dress instead – the color is similar to the curtains, and the print is a nod to all the prints (the wallpaper, the carpet, the woman’s dress, the lampshades). Still, I couldn’t give up the pattern mixing altogether, so I brought out my Kindle as an accessory as well. Besides, most of my books are on Kindle these days, so it seems natural to feature it in a book-themed outfit.

Don’t forget to stop by Terri’s blog on Wednesday to see other outfits inspired by this photo!