Holding On To Winter

I don’t have a lot of new outfits to post these days, as I’ve been working mostly from home in the past month or so due to the coronavirus (yeah, Vietnam has closed schools and canceled events since February to prevent the spread of the virus, and everything is still fine over here, so for those of you whose countries are only beginning to shut things down – don’t worry, you’ll be OK.)

Thankfully, I still have a bunch of backlogged outfits from way back in January, which is why you’ll find that they’re a lot more appropriate for winter than spring, especially in their colors – like this outfit, for example. But then again, traditional spring colors like pastels and bright colors don’t look good on me. I’m much more of a fall/winter (both in terms of my coloring and my preference), so I’m holding on to winter as long as I can.

A Night At The Ballet

So here’s my outfit for this week’s SIA, inspired by Degas’s sculpture, “Little 14-Year-Old Dancer.” The outfit itself is pretty self-explanatory – I simply took inspiration from the neutral colors and ballet theme of the sculpture, hence the ballet flats and the skirt (which I think should be called my “ballet skirt” from now on.) However, you may notice that this is not the usual background for my outfit photos. In fact, it is very unusual – it’s the Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg, Russia!!!

That’s right, I just came back from a 2-week trip in Russia, during which time I had the wonderful opportunity to watch a ballet at the prestigious Mariinsky (I originally wanted to go to the Bolshoi in Moscow, but their schedule didn’t quite line up with my travel plan.) I had to admit, this was the reason I picked this sculpture as the inspiration for SIA, because I knew I’d have the chance to take my outfit photos at the theater itself. I’m still kicking myself for not getting a picture of me in my seat, but I was so overwhelmed by the experience that I barely even remembered to take pictures at all (I snatched these quickly during the intermission.) So here are some pictures from my seat instead – our seats were not the best, but they’re the best we can afford (we were in the 3rd box on the 1st tier, and they cost about $70 each). The ones with a better view of the stage are naturally more expensive.

As for the show, we saw La Bayadère, which, while not as well-known as Swan Lake or The Nutcracker, is actually one of the most famous classical ballets in Russia. It’s good that I knew nothing about it beforehand, because that means I could fully enjoy the experience and understand the story from the dances alone – and it’s truly amazing how the ballet manages to tell the story so clearly just with music and dance moves. Of course, this being the Mariinsky, the technique, music, and costumes are all top-notch. And the three leads are perfectly cast too – I’ve seen photos of other productions, and while I have no doubt the other dancers are all experts, their looks are not as well-matched to their characters as the ones I saw (being a filmmaker, I can’t help but notice these things).

(You’re not supposed to take photos during the performance, so all of my photos were during the curtain calls.)

Stay tuned for my travel posts, and don’t forget to come back on Wednesday to see other outfits inspired by this sculpture!

Wide Leg Cropped Jeans, Take 2

Last week I shared an outfit featuring these wide-leg cropped jeans with tall boots, but the boots aren’t comfortable, so this time, I tried pairing them with these Chelsea boots instead. When I first tried these boots on, I dismissed them because the gap between the hem of the pants and the top of the boots chops my (already short) legs up and makes my legs really cold, but then I had the idea of layering a pair of tights underneath, and bam! Both problems solved. This is how I’m going to wear my wide-leg pants all through winter now.

Dressing Up

I know last week I promised to try and post all the backlogged outfits if I could, but I don’t think that’s happening. Between preparations for the Lunar New Year and the upcoming trip and catching up on work so I can have a guilt-free vacation, I just don’t have the time for them. Plus I wanted to save those outfits for a rainy day, both literally and figuratively, when I don’t have anything to post. So, other than the usual SIA posts, the blog is going on vacation as well.

For the last outfit post of the Year of the Rooster, here is what I wore to the end-of-the-year party at work. Sure, it’s a bit Wednesday Addams-ish, but my style this winter has been very casual so far, so it’s great to have a chance to dress up.

P/S: Only after I scheduled this post that I realized, today is Valentine’s Day, isn’t it? Well, considering that I find Valentine’s Day a gross commercialization, it’s fitting that I’m posting a Wednesday Addams-inspired outfit today.

Black Lace

black wool dress lace tights black heels by 14 shades of grey

When I saw the inspiration for this week’s SIA – the woodcut lace design by Isabella Parasole – I immediately thought about my lace tights. Once I had the lace element down, the rest of the outfit came together pretty quickly – black tights layered underneath and a dark gray dress to make the white lace really pop, just like in the print, and a silver brooch and cut-out heels to mimic the intricacy of the lace.

I wore this last week, for my last day at work before the break (I still have a few work outfits left to post), back when it was still cold enough to wear two pairs of tights. Now the sun is back, which is good, but I could never get used to the Lunar New Year without a bit of drizzling rain.

black wool dress silver brooch by 14 shades of greyblack wool dress lace tights black heels by 14 shades of grey

black wool dress lace tights black heels by 14 shades of greyblack wool dress silver brooch by 14 shades of grey

Don’t forget to check out Jen’s blog tomorrow for the full round-ups of all the outfits inspired by this work of art!

Dress: tailor, Tights: Target & Forever21 (I think?), Shoes: hand-me-down, Brooch: Dutch flea market


white sweater white skirt plaid scarf brown boots by 14 shades of grey

And I’m back, both to work and to the blog, after the Lunar New Year Break. Before the break, three weeks seemed so long, but now I felt like I’ve hardly gotten any rest at all. Mostly because I spent the entire time catching up on my translating work. Never mind, we’re going to have another break at the end of April and by then I should be finished, I can rest then. And I’m planning a proper break this summer (shh! it isn’t finalized yet and I don’t want to jinx it.)

Anyway, here’s my outfit for this week’s SIA, inspired by Harriet Powers’ “Bible Quilt”. I picked this sweater and skirt for their textures and neutral colors, and add in some touches of gray and brown. You can’t see my tights, but they’re actually gray polka dots, to echo the polka-dot animals on the quilt. I admit, the untucked sweater and skirt look a bit frumpy together, but I like it.

Drop by Jen’s blog tomorrow to see how others interpret this unique piece of art!

white sweater white skirt plaid scarf brown boots by 14 shades of greywhite sweater white skirt plaid scarf by 14 shades of grey

white sweater plaid scarf by 14 shades of greywhite sweater white skirt plaid scarf brown boots by 14 shades of grey

Sweater: local shop, Skirt: Zalora, Scarf: Candies’, Tights: Target, Boots: Aldo

Very, Very, Very, Very, Very, Very, Very Dark Blue Tights

black wool dress mustard scarf black boots by 14 shades of grey

That’s a Father Ted reference in the title, in case you’re wondering (my third favorite sitcom, after The IT Crowd and Black Books.) I chose that because my tights are actually not black but very, very, very dark blue. Not that anyone can tell, since my dress is long enough and the boots high enough that the tights are barely visible. Usually I hate it when the colors in my outfit are close in shade but do not match – blacks that don’t match are one of my biggest sartorial pet peeves – but these are fleece-lined, and with the recent drop in the temperature, I wouldn’t wear anything else.

black wool dress mustard scarf black boots by 14 shades of greyblack wool dress mustard scarf by 14 shades of grey

black wool dress mustard scarf dragonfly brooch by 14 shades of greyblack wool dress black boots by 14 shades of grey

Dress: tailor, Scarf: Forever 21, Boots: Esprit (hand-me-down), Brooch: Bijou Brigitte