Holiday Uniform

black sweater mustard scarf blue jeans sneakers by 14 shades of grey

This outfit is nothing to write home about, but I wanted to post it anyway because I’m going to be wearing variations of it in the next few days. It’s my Lunar New Year uniform, if you will. It’s comfy, and versatile enough that I just need to change shoes for different things – sneakers for when I’m hanging around the house, boots for tomorrow night’s firework display, and oxfords for going out (as if I ever go out!)

The preparation for the Lunar New Year is mostly done, there’s just some cooking to do tomorrow, and then I can settle into a week-long food coma. I’ll probably post some photos later this week, but if not, I’ll see you guys again in the Year of the Horse!

black sweater mustard scarf blue jeans oxfords by 14 shades of greyblack sweater mustard scarf blue jeans black riding boots by 14 shades of grey

black sweater mustard scarf blue jeans by 14 shades of greyblack sweater mustard scarf by 14 shades of grey

Sweater: hand-me-down, Scarf & Jeans: Forever21, Sneakers: Converse, Oxfords: thrifted via Buffalo Exchange, Boots: local shop


Teddy Girl

blue blazer cuffed jeans floral scarf wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

I just recently found out about the Teddy Girls, a part of the “Teddy Boys” subculture in 1950’s UK, and was instantly drawn to their super cool style. They may seem just like your typical tomboys at first glance, but actually their look, like that of the Teddy Boys, is a much more interesting mix between Edwardian and rockabilly.

Edwardian and tomboy sound right up my alley (rockabilly not so much), so I tried to recreate a typical Teddy Girl look in this outfit for the Third Thursday Thread link-up – appropriate, since the theme is menswear inspired. A brooch for the blazer would be nice too, though I think the silk scarf already provides enough contrast between hard and soft.

blue blazer cuffed jeans floral scarf by 14 shades of greyblue blazer cuffed jeans floral scarf wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of greycuffed jeans wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of greyblue blazer floral scarf by 14 shades of greyblue blazer cuffed jeans floral scarf by 14 shades of grey

Blazer: Atmosphere, Jeans: Charlotte Russe, Scarf: hand-me-down, T-shirt: Esprit, Oxfords: thrifted via Buffalo Exchange


Tomboy

white shirt teal jeans wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

I’m aware of how ironic it is that I chose a tomboy outfit for a painting called “Woman of Substance“, but I didn’t plan it. I just looked at the painting and thought, “OK, white shirt, my teal pants (because it’s just been raining and I didn’t want to turn into a mosquitoes’ buffet, so no skirt), those oxfords because there’s a bit of brownish orange in the lilies…” When I put all the pieces together, I realized it kinda looks like those 1950’s tomboy outfits, so I added a scarf to complete the look. Of course a true 1950’s tomboy outfit would be a button-up shirt and straight-legged jeans instead of a blouse and skinny jeans, but I feel this is a good interpretation. Like a slightly more modern update on a vintage look. Which of course describes my style perfectly, so I’m happy with it.

white shirt teal jeans by 14 shades of greywhite shirt teal scarf by 14 shades of grey

white shirt teal jeans wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

white shirt teal scarf by 14 shades of greyteal jeans wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Mango (hand-me-down), Jeans: thrifted, Scarf: hand-me-down, Oxfords: thrifted via Buffalo Exchange


Lazy

polka dot shirt polka dot skirt wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

Sometimes I forget that I have a tried-and-true outfit formula: A-line or full skirt with a long-sleeved tee or button-down, with flats or low heels. A loose top and sneakers or sandals if I want to keep it casual. Sure the silhouette gets repetitive, but I have enough skirts and tops to mix it up. I really should write this formula down and stick the note inside my closet to save myself from standing there, in front of hangers full of clothes, mouth agape like an eejit thinking “I don’t have anything to wear.” It always works for me, even on days like today when I’m too lazy to put on a belt or any accessory – in my defense, I think the outfit is busy enough.

polka dot shirt polka dot skirt wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of greypolka dot shirt polka dot skirt by 14 shades of greypolka dot shirt polka dot skirt by 14 shades of greypolka dot skirt wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

polka dot shirt polka dot skirt by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Old Navy, Skirt: thrifted, Oxfords: Me Too (thrifted via Buffalo Exchange)


Plain Grey T’s

grey shirt blue jeans pink flower pin by 14 shades of grey

I’m on the quest for the perfect white T-shirt. Somehow I couldn’t find one that isn’t see-through or revealing (but maybe that means I need better bras?) so it’s all grey and black now for my plain neutral T-shirts. Anyway, that’s all I got to say about the outfit, so I’m going to do another of my express book reviews because it’s been a while since I have a book review of any kind. These are the books I’ve read in the past month (not counting the occasional issue of Sandman):

– Bill Bryson’s “Shakespeare”: This is kind of boring. There, I said it, I find a Bill Bryson book boring. Debbi bought it while she was here and left it behind, which I should take for a sign that it’s not that interesting. Basically it gives us the story of William Shakespeare as accurately as historical documents can prove, no speculation, no theory, just cold, hard facts. Which is why it’s kind of boring. I did watch Shakespeare in Love and Anonymous after reading it, though, just to remind myself that sometimes cold, hard facts may be better and how ridiculous those fictionalized accounts can be (I cringed at that scene in Shakespeare in Love when Shakespeare is throwing away wads after wads of paper. I was like, “Did you know how precious paper was back in those days?!”)

– Bill Bryson’s “Notes from a Small Island”: Now this is the Bill Bryson that I love. And it’s about England too, so what’s not to love? Enough said.

– Christopher Moore’s “Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal”: I’ve been wanting to read this for the longest time, thinking it would be some sort of irreverent Good Omens type of story. Well, it is irreverent, but it’s no Good Omens (but then nothing can ever be Good Omens except for Good Omens itself.) I don’t know if it’s because I’m not familiar with the Gospel, but I find it a bit unfocused in places (the middle part) and really rushed in others (the ending). None of the characters really stick with me. I guess Christopher Moore is not for me (I’ve read Coyote Blue too and was not much impressed with it either.)

grey shirt blue jeans pink flower pin by 14 shades of greygrey shirt pink flower pin by 14 shades of grey

blue jeans wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

grey shirt blue jeans pink flower pin by 14 shades of greygrey shirt blue jeans pink flower pin by 14 shades of grey

grey shirt pink flower pin by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Vietnamese shop, Jeans: Forever21, Pin: Modcloth
Shoes: Me Too (thrifted via Buffalo Exchange)


Emerald City

green print dress black cardigan wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

I never pay much attention to color trends (well, I never pay much attention to trends, period), so when I found out about the Pantone-inspired Spring Color challenge hosted by the lovely ladies behind Literate & Stylish and The Modern Austen, I thought it would be fun to join. Anyway, the color for Monday is Emerald, which is a happy coincidence since I just bought this dress. I don’t want to have to buy new stuff all the time merely to follow some trend, but I don’t have enough green in my closet, and this dress is pretty easy to style and goes with a lot of things.

green print dress black cardigan wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of greygreen print dress black cardigan wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

green print dress telephone necklace by 14 shades of greygreen print dress black cardigan by 14 shades of grey

green print dress black cardigan by 14 shades of greygreen print dress wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

Dress: Vietnamese shop, Cardigan: Target, Belt: Forever21
Necklace: vintage, Oxfords: Me Too (thrifted via Buffalo Exchange)


Lady Ban’s Cold Snap

blue striped sweater black skinny pants wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

We’re having what is called “Lady Ban’s cold snap” here in Northern Vietnam. I know, I know, I’m talking about the weather again, but this one’s interesting because there’s this whole myth about it: Lady Ban is a daughter of the Jade Emperor, ruler of Heaven, but she’s slow and clumsy. When she makes a winter cloak for her beloved husband, she takes so long about it that by the time she’s finished, spring is already coming. Seeing his daughter so sad and touched by her love for her husband, the Jade Emperor makes the weather cold again so that her husband can try the cloak on. So from then on, around the third lunar month of the year, there is always a cold snap before it gets warm.

To be frank, I think it’s kind of a silly story. Seriously, why make everybody suffer to satisfy the whim of some heavenly lady, right? If it’s too warm for your husband to wear the cloak, save it for next year, woman. Or better yet, work faster next time! On the other hand, I really don’t mind the chilliness. It means I can put off shaving my legs 😛

blue striped sweater black skinny pants wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of greyblue striped sweater black skinny pants by 14 shades of grey

blue striped sweater lace circle scarf by 14 shades of greywingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

Sweater: Forever21, Pants: thrifted, Oxfords: Me Too (thrifted via Buffalo Exchange), Scarf: self-made