Holes In My Closet

red striped shirt floral skirt wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

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.

red striped shirt floral skirt wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of greyred striped shirt floral skirt by 14 shades of grey

red striped shirt vintage brooch by 14 shades of greyred striped shirt floral skirt by 14 shades of grey

wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

Shirt & Belt: Forever21, Skirt: hand-me-down, Oxfords: thrifted via Buffalo Exchange, Brooch: vintage

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Blog Worthy

red striped shirt plaid scarf cap toe flats by 14 shades of grey

chambray shirt plaid scarf oxfords by 14 shades of grey

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.

red striped shirt plaid scarf by 14 shades of greyred striped shirt plaid scarf by 14 shades of grey

black jeans oxfords by 14 shades of greychambray shirt plaid scarf by 14 shades of grey

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.

chambray shirt plaid scarf by 14 shades of greychambray shirt plaid scarf by 14 shades of grey
Keep one side of the scarf longer. Loop this longer side twice and tuck the short side in until it’s hidden

chambray shirt plaid scarf by 14 shades of greychambray shirt plaid scarf by 14 shades of grey
Take the tip of the longer side and tuck it into the opposite side. Done!

Outfit #1: thrifted shirt & flats, Forever21 jeans, gift scarf
Outfit #2: thrifted shirt & oxfords, Target jeans, gift scarf

take one pass it on 10-11


Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

yellow drop-waist dress grey cardigan wing-tip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

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.

yellow drop-waist dress grey cardigan by 14 shades of greyyellow drop-waist dress cameo necklace by 14 shades of grey

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.

yellow drop-waist dress wing-tip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

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.

yellow drop-waist dress grey cardigan wing-tip oxfords by 14 shades of greyyellow drop-waist dress grey cardigan by 14 shades of grey

yellow drop-waist dress by 14 shades of grey

Still, it’s a fun book, a relatively quick read, and I’ll be sure to check out the sequel.

yellow drop-waist dress grey cardigan wing-tip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

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

take one pass it on 05


It’s A Snood! It’s A Scarf! It’s A Vest!

teal shirt purple cardigan white wool circle scarf by 14 shades of grey

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?

purple cardigan white wool circle scarf by 14 shades of greyteal shirt purple cardigan white wool circle scarf by 14 shades of grey

teal shirt purple cardigan white wool circle scarf by 14 shades of grey

teal shirt purple cardigan white wool circle scarf by 14 shades of greyteal shirt purple cardigan white wool circle scarf by 14 shades of grey

This is what the vest actually looks like, if you guys have any suggestion on how to style it:

teal shirt purple cardigan white wool vest by 14 shades of grey

T-shirt & Cardigan: Forever21, Scarf/Vest: vintage
Jeans: Charlotte Russe, Oxfords: thrifted via Buffalo Exchange


Grandma And Grandpa

black gingham shirt red pants white cardigan by 14 shades of grey

As I looked through these photos, it suddenly struck me that this is essentially a “grandpa” outfit (the cardigan, the gingham shirt, the oxfords) with grandma’s touches (the brooch, and the red pants, maybe?) What can I say, I’m a senior at heart. Actually my friend Debbi and I have come to this conclusion after a lengthy discussion about our favorite kind of jam. And tea. And cats. We’re old ladies. I just need to pick up some hobby like knitting or crocheting, and you’ll find me in my rocking chair on my porch, yelling at those damned kids to get off my lawn.

black gingham shirt vintage brooch by 14 shades of grey

black gingham shirt red pants white cardigan by 14 shades of greyblack gingham shirt red pants white cardigan by 14 shades of grey

wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

Thrifted head to toe, except for vintage brooch


Knee Socks and Sunday School Shoes

floral dress black tights wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

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.)

floral dress holly branch brooch by 14 shades of greyfloral dress black tights wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of grey

floral dress black tights wingtip oxfords by 14 shades of greyfloral dress holly branch brooch by 14 shades of grey

floral dress holly branch brooch by 14 shades of grey

Dress: Papo d’Anjo (thrifted), Tights: Target
Shoes: thrifted via Buffalo Exchange, Brooch: vintage


Cafe Lautrec And Joma Bakery

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.


My King Joffrey impersonating face… maybe?

Tunic & Oxfords: thrifted via Buffalo Exchange, Pants: thrifted