Two Cats

I’ve been trying to cut down on my shopping, since my closet is absolutely bursting and there are things I bought from last year that I haven’t gotten around to wearing yet. But the one thing I cannot resist is a cute brooch, especially if it’s an animal or something vintage-inspired. Take this one, for example: it features cats, a big one and a small one (just like my cats, a mom and a daughter!), and it’s also a chain, meaning I could wear it with my blazers like a watch-chain (a menswear look I’ve always wanted to try), so of course I had to get it. I know, excuses, excuses, but at least it’s just a brooch, it’s not taking up a lot of space (yes, another excuse.)

Anyway, here are some photos of my cats, who don’t look like the brooch much but have the distinct advantage of being real live cats, and therefore, cuter:


Woman Without A Coffee Pot

Here’s my outfit for this week’s SIA, inspired by Paul Cézanne’s “Woman with a Coffee Pot“. These pants (a new-to-me, hand-me-down pair from my mom) are perfect because their color and texture mimic the color and texture of the wall in the painting, and my boots are to reflect the rich brown of the table. The top, however, took some thinking. I was going to wear my navy cable-knit sweater and add a silver brooch, but that was a bit too similar to my “Paul Revere” outfit (I’ve already reworn my white shirt.) In the end, I decided on this Fair Isle sweater instead – there are both gray and white in the pattern, so it’s a nod to the texture on the woman’s dress, the flowers on the wall behind her, and the coffee pot and cup all at the same time. So it’s a bit of a looser interpretation, but I like it.

Don’t forget to check Daenel’s blog on Wednesday to see all the other outfits for this challenge!


Star Student

This outfit is a bit schoolgirl-y, and there are stars on the buttons of my cardigan, hence the title. I’d never been much of a “star” student back in grade school – I did pretty well in school, but I was too quiet, too shy to draw attention to myself. My confidence improved in college and grad school, probably because I was in film schools, where I could be myself. Looking back, though, I’m still surprised that I was better at natural sciences than social sciences and language (my math and chemistry grades were always higher than my English and Vietnamese grades.) I guess that’s because the natural science subjects have clear rules, which for me is easier to understand, while the social science subjects rely too much on memorization and not enough on problem-solving.


Listen, My Children, And You Shall Hear

For this week’s SIA challenge, inspired by J.S. Copley‘s portrait of Paul Revere, I knew I wanted to go with a menswear look. A waistcoat would be perfect, but alas, I don’t have one, so I decided to emulate the menswear look with this grandpa cardigan and a pair of suspenders. My pants are to mimic the color of the table, and for the silver touches in the painting, I added my silver brooch in place of a bow tie. The outfit ends up with more textures and patterns than the original painting, but I’m really happy with it.

And of course, the post title is the first line of Longfellow’s Paul Revere’s Ride. It sounds like a grandfather telling a story to his grandchildren, which I think goes with my grandpa-core outfit. Don’t forget to drop by Terri’s blog to see other outfits inspired by this painting!


Old Hag

The other day I found three gray hairs on my head. I’ve had the odd gray hair since my 20s, but those were just half-gray (what we call “tóc sâu”, literally “bug-eaten hair”, in Vietnamese). This is the first time I found full-length, completely silver hairs from root to tip. I’m not worried, though. I inherit my dad and my grandmother’s hair, meaning I’m not going to go fully gray until my 70s. Besides, I don’t mind gray hair. If anything, I’m actually looking forward to having gray hair and being properly old. As long as I can keep reasonably healthy (*knocks on wood*, but with my terrible genes, who knows), I plan to fully embrace being a crazy, “get off my lawn” type of old lady. I mean, there’s a reason I took my style inspiration from Miss Marple. Take this outfit, for example. It wouldn’t look out of place on the old nemesis herself.