Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Woman

(Sorry for the pretentious title. I couldn’t help it!)

This week’s SIA inspiration, a portrait by South African artist Juanita Mulder, is a challenge for me, because it contains mostly bright, primary colors – red, blue, yellow, with quite a bit of black and white – which I haven’t worn in a while (except for the black and white, of course.) But I’ve never let that stop me before. Either I would find something else in the painting to inspire me, or I would find a way to sell my outfit even if it is only marginally connected to the inspiration at best.

In the end, I went with the bold, graphic quality of the painting (which means lots of stripes) and recreated the colors in darker, more subdued shades – maroon instead of red, navy instead of blue, and brown instead of yellow. At the last minute, I also threw on my leather jacket. The painting doesn’t feature a lot of black, but a leather jacket seems right somehow, because the woman looks so defiant, and to me, that means a leather jacket. I believe the spirit of the painting is there in my outfit, even though it’s not an exact replica (told you I would sell it :P)

Don’t forget to swing by Jen’s blog for the full round-up of other looks inspired by this portrait.

Sweatshirt: Forever21, Jeans: Pull&Bear, Jacket: Zara, Scarf: gift, Boots: hand-me-down


New Year, New Sweater

gray sweater maroon jeans navy scarf black boots by 14 shades of grey

OK, this sweater is not exactly new. It is actually a belated Teacher’s Day/Christmas present from my students, but because the weather had been so warm, I didn’t wear it until now (Teacher’s Day was way back in November, but I didn’t mind that they combined the two occasions – they are students, they’re always broke, so I would’ve been fine with no present at all.)

Clothes and/or accessories are very common gifts in Vietnam, especially for women, but I always feel a little awkward about receiving those, because often they’re not something I would buy for myself, and then I would feel bad about not wearing them. This, though, fits quite well into my closet, which goes to show my students really understand my style (if only they would apply the same amount of thoughts into their work!)

gray sweater maroon jeans navy scarf by 14 shades of greymaroon jeans black boots by 14 shades of grey

Sweater & Scarf: gift, Jeans: Pull& Bear, Boots: Clarks


Inspired By Marvel’s Ladies #3: Darcy Lewis

gray coat maroon cardigan black jeans brown boots by 14 shades of grey

For my last look in the week inspired by the female characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I chose Darcy Lewis, Jane Foster’s sidekick from Thor. Actually my style is closer to Jane’s, which is more utilitarian and less cutesy than Darcy’s, but Jane usually wears a plaid shirt and my one plaid shirt is in the wash, so Darcy it is. This is probably the loosest interpretation of all the outfits, but it still has all the elements of a Darcy outfit – layers, boots, a comfy coat, a scarf, and a beanie. I wore my maroon cardigan to mimic Darcy’s maroon beanie, and chose my stripes-and-stars scarf because it looks comic book-y somehow. Yes, this is similar to the last time I wore this coat, but… eh. I don’t care. When you run a personal style blog for nearly 5 years, you’re bound to repeat outfits sometimes.

And that concludes my Marvel-themed week. That was just what I needed to refresh my wardrobe. And the fun part? With some tweaks, I’d have my costumes for next Halloween!

gray coat maroon cardigan black jeans by 14 shades of greygray coat maroon cardigan black jeans brown boots by 14 shades of grey


Yes, I know she’s wearing a dress here

maroon cardigan black jeans brown boots by 14 shades of greymaroon cardigan blue scarf by 14 shades of grey

Cardigan & Boots: local shops, Jeans: Mango, Coat & Hat: H&M, Scarf: gift

And my looks this week:

navy dress black heels pink belt by 14 shades of greyherringbone jacket black jeans black chelsea boots by 14 shades of grey

gray coat maroon cardigan black jeans brown boots by 14 shades of grey


Weekly Capsule 13.1: Discworld

black wool dress chelsea boots star and stripe scarf by 14 shades of grey

As some of you may have known, Terry Pratchett passed away on March 12. So this isn’t so much a book review as a tribute to him (even though I did just finish The Wee Free Man, one of his Discworld YA books, not as funny as the usual Discworld stuff but still very good.)

Good Omens was one of the first English-language books I bought when I first moved to LA, and it introduced me to both Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. After that, I got The Color of Magic – the first in the Discworld series – and I was hooked. I didn’t realize it at the time, but those books have solidified my love for fantasy, solidified my sense of humor, and influenced so much of my writing. I never even try to imitate Sir Terry’s writing – you can’t – but I certainly try to approach my fantasy world with the same attention to details and level of realism (sounds like an oxymoron, but it isn’t).

Look, I’m terrible at waxing poetic and being sentimental about things, so I’ll just end this with a quote from Reaper Man: “In the Ramtop village where they dance the real Morris dance, for example, they believe that no one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away—until the clock he wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone’s life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence.” If that is the case, then Terry Pratchett will live forever.

And although it is impossible to capture the essence of Discworld in an outfit, I put this together as an homage to my four favorite Discworld characters – Death, his granddaughter Susan, Granny Weatherwax, and Lord Vetinari. Now that I think about it, they’re fundamentally very similar characters – people who are very good at their jobs, who do it calmly and efficiently, without making a fuss about anything. And of course, they’re all dressed in black. No wonder I like them 🙂 I guess the scarf is a nod to the stars on the hats and robes of the wizard of the Unseen University as well.

black wool dress star and stripe scarf by 14 shades of greyblack wool dress chelsea boots by 14 shades of grey

black wool dress chelsea boots star and stripe scarf by 14 shades of greyblack wool dress chelsea boots star and stripe scarf by 14 shades of grey

black wool dress star and stripe scarf by 14 shades of grey

Dress: tailor, Boots: Dan Sko (my tall heeled boots might have looked better with the dress, but I decided that Susan and Granny Weatherwax would go for something more sturdy and sensible), Scarf: gift


Capsule Outfit #33

pink sweatshirt stars and stripes blue jeans black boots by 14 shades o

Is it hard to find a color that goes with pale pink? I’m legitimately asking, because I like this sweatshirt, but I almost always have to wear a scarf with it, and none of my scarves really go. This is the closest I could get, and even then I’m still not altogether happy with the result.

Another thing that annoys me about this sweatshirt: the “elbow” patches are absolutely ridiculous. I’ve tried to ignore it, but I can’t. I mean, look at this shit: even if I pull the sleeves down all the way, the patches would be nowhere near my elbows. Did they think elbows are located somewhere along the upper arms?

pink sweatshirt stars and stripes scarf blue jeans by 14 shades o

I am grumpy today, apparently.

blue jeans black boots by 14 shades opink sweatshirt stars and stripes scarf by 14 shades o

pink sweatshirt stars and stripes scarf blue jeans by 14 shades opink sweatshirt stars and stripes scarf blue jeans by 14 shades o

Sweatshirt: Zalora, Jeans: Mango, Boots: local shop, Scarf: gift


Capsule Outfit #25

navy sweater navy jeans star scarf chelsea boots by 14 shades of grey

The next color in the Pantone-inspired Challenge is “mauve mist”, which looks like a dusky purplish pink to me. I don’t have anything like that in my closet, and I was thinking I could get away with my pink sweatshirt, when serendipitously, I got this scarf as a Teacher’s Day present from my students. It looks gray from afar, but up close it’s more purple, which is perfect. And better yet, the scarf has a different pattern on the other end (I’ll show you guys soon), so it’s like two scarves in one.

And yes, this is the same exact outfit from yesterday, just with different scarf and boots. I’m creative like that 😛

P/S: I’m also linking up with Bri’s Third Thursday Thread. The theme is “Fall Footwear”, so it’s all appropriate.

navy sweater navy jeans star scarf by 14 shades of greynavy sweater navy jeans star scarf chelsea boots by 14 shades of grey

navy sweater star scarf by 14 shades of greynavy sweater navy jeans star scarf by 14 shades of grey

navy jeans chelsea boots by 14 shades of grey

Sweater: Fedora Boutique, Jeans: Mango, Boots: Din Sko, Scarf: gift