When shopping I usually don’t pay much attention to those “staple pieces” everybody says you should have in your wardrobe, because I think that really depends on your life and personal style. What is staple in your closet might be an orphan in mine. That being said, I’m trying to simplify my style, making it more grown-up and less twee, and there are a couple of holes I need to fill in my closet. One of those is neutral, solid-color T-shirts. I was going to wear this newly hemmed skirt (a lot of you guys said I should keep this as a midi, but in the end I decided to go for knee-length) with a solid-colored tee, but then I realized the few I have don’t go with the skirt at all. So I defaulted to my striped shirt. Nothing wrong with pattern mixing, but sometimes a plain black or white shirt is all you need.
Shirt & Belt: Forever21, Skirt: hand-me-down, Oxfords: thrifted via Buffalo Exchange, Brooch: vintage
Recently the lovely Franziska of Franish has talked about “blog worthy” outfits, which got me thinking about the whole idea of dressing up for the sole purpose of taking pictures and posting them. I guess there’s a certain amount of dressing up on my blog, but that’s because if I didn’t dress up for the blog, I probably would take a leaf out of Jennifer Lawrence’s book 😛 I’ve mentioned this before, but putting on real clothes really puts me in the “work” mindset. When I’m working from home and there are distractions everywhere, I need all the help I can get to concentrate.
So yeah, I make sure that my outfits are “blog worthy”, but that for me simply means anything I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable wearing to an actual office or to go out. Sometimes I put more effort in, sometimes less so (like these two outfits for example). Just because I have the luxury of playing dress-up doesn’t mean that I’m going to be unrealistic about it and dress to the nines every day so I could have “blog worthy” photos.
My dad bought this scarf for me from Cambodia; it’s a slightly modernized version of the traditional Cambodian krama (checkered scarf; Vietnamese people in the Mekong Delta also have something similar, though ours is more simple, usually just with black-and-white pattern.) I just looped it in a circle in the first outfit, and in the second one I used this knot.
Outfit #1: thrifted shirt & flats, Forever21 jeans, gift scarf
Outfit #2: thrifted shirt & oxfords, Target jeans, gift scarf
Let’s start the week with a book review, shall we?
I first found out about “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” by the awesomely-named Ransom Riggs all the way back when I still interned for his management company, but I never got around to reading it (too busy reading scripts, probably). I was really interested in it though, especially when I found out it was inspired by a collection of vintage photos that the author put together himself. The story centers around 16-year-old Jacob Portman, who, after witnessing the murder of his grandfather by some horrific monster, tracks down the clues in his grandfather’s last words to a Welsh orphanage. Here he meets children with extraordinary talents and their headmistress Miss Peregrine, learns of the truth behind his grandfather’s tall tales and the monsters who are coming for them all.
Comparisons to Harry Potter come up a lot, but I actually think it’s closer to X-Men. What I love about the book is the interweaving of the fictional narrative and the photos which serve as illustrations of sort to the story. These photos, bizarre and some downright nightmarish (in a creepy Victorian daguerreotype way) really sets the book apart from other similar YA fantasies.
Now on to the parts that I’m not a fan of: the pacing in the beginning and the end is OK, but the middle part is really, really, really slow. Most of it is devoted to the mythology behind the peculiar children and the monsters who are hunting them, but I find it way too convoluted. Given that a sequel is in the works, I think some of that could have been saved for later books. Also, I don’t find any of the characters (including the main character) that memorable. I don’t have trouble keeping track of them or anything, but after reading the book none of them sticks with me.
Still, it’s a fun book, a relatively quick read, and I’ll be sure to check out the sequel.
The outfit is more of a costume, but I have yet to figure out how to style this dress without making it look costume-y or too twee. Maybe with boots?
Dress: vintage, Cardigan & Necklace: Forever21, Oxfords & Tights: Buffalo Exchange
This is another vest I got from my mom. I have no idea how to style it, though. When I was playing around with it, it somehow ended up around my neck, so I decided to roll it up into a circle scarf (plus I’ve always wanted to try turning a sweater into a scarf after seeing it on Kate of The Perpetual Student’s Wife.) Looks a little bit like I’m being eaten alive by a wool donut though, doesn’t it?
This is what the vest actually looks like, if you guys have any suggestion on how to style it:
T-shirt & Cardigan: Forever21, Scarf/Vest: vintage
Jeans: Charlotte Russe, Oxfords: thrifted via Buffalo Exchange
I admit, this is more of a costume. I’m still inspired by Moonrise Kingdom and wanted to recreate Suzy’s essential 60’s look with this outfit… but then I realized if I recreated it completely (my pink floral dress with a Peter Pan collar, these oxfords, white tights) would push the twee factor dangerously high. So I ended up with something in between what Suzy wore and what her mom (Frances McDormand) would wear – she’s always in some floral house dress, albeit with a frumpy coat/cardigan and rain boots. And of course I had to include my brooch, even though the print’s so busy you can barely see it (and it’s a bunch of holly berries instead of grape.)
Dress: Papo d’Anjo (thrifted), Tights: Target
Shoes: thrifted via Buffalo Exchange, Brooch: vintage
Since moving home my weekend has been kind of askew – I have Sunday and Monday free. Because of the time difference, Monday for me is still Sunday in the US and the place I freelance for won’t send me new work until (my) Tuesday. So most Mondays I’ve spent hanging out with Debbi. Today we went back to our favorite bookstore. There’s a Cafe Lautrec on the way, and seeing how this week’s inspiration for Style Imitating Art is Toulouse-Lautrec’s In Bed, of course I had to ask Debbi to take my outfit picture in front of it. It’s attached to a 5-star hotel though, so we didn’t check it out – it’ll be way too expensive.
Then we had a disgustingly good brunch (BLT on bagel for Debbi and a waffle drenched in butter and syrup for me) at the Joma Bakery Cafe, where we got the chocolate chip cookie last time. We haven’t been checking out the local food as much as we should, but in 95-degree weather, when you have a choice between an air-conditioned cafe and a street food stall… At least this place supports fair-trade farmers and even partners with an organization to help disadvantaged women, so you can feel good about eating there. After that, it’s another lazy afternoon at the bookstore. All in all, a good Monday.
Tunic & Oxfords: thrifted via Buffalo Exchange, Pants: thrifted