Friday, May 31, 2013

Style Imitating Art: Illumination

  There is sunlight today, so I got to try Salazar and Jess's Style Imitating Art! (I've been looking forward to this for weeks.) Their blogs are Animated Cardigan and 14 Shades of Grey, respectively. Thanks to Gracey from Fashion for Giants for posting about it.

  Each week a piece of art is selected, and participants can send in photos of ensembles inspired by the artwork. Salazar and Jess post them up on their blogs.  This week's inspiration is Colette Calascione's "Illumination" :

  Spring seems to traditionally be about florals, something I have traditionally not worn. I have plenty of things with flowers on them though, which is pretty much the same thing, right?  I love the color range used here so much. I don't like bright colors (... or prints. or patterns. or symmetry.) for some reason, and the level of saturation and brightness in the painting felt so on for my wardrobe.

  I also liked the way the painting had her makeup done, because it's pretty similar to how I do mine every day. I tried to replicate it with Wamiles pearl pink base color, and The Body Shop's pressed face powder, brown eyeliner, & lipstick #22 (Garnet). I tried to part my hair in the middle too, but it was having none of that.

  It's strange; I do not like white clothing except when it's sunny out, and then all I want to do is wear floaty white skirts and shirts. It's not in the nude, but I think it's a spiritual equivalent- I love it when I can wear light, flowing clothes and feel the breeze against my skin. Rare occasion indeed in Daly City!

  I wore my favorite long summer skirt and a shirt I've had for years but never worn. It was $4 and it made me feel like a fairy princess (bought it!) but is transparent at the midriff (can't wear it outside!) I got up the guts to wear it out to take photos though, because hey, the painting gal ain't worried, and she's nude. I'm thinking I will make a separate colored layer to wear under it that will help highlight the lace and subtle sequins. Both items have flowers in the fabric design.

  I'm wearing one of my favorite necklaces again, a bead and flower confection from Printemps in Tokyo. Wearing it always brings back memories. The earrings are a new thrift find from last weekend. I'm excited at how well they matched the floral arrangements flanking the model's head.

  This was really fun. Thanks to Salazar and Jess for coming up with this idea and to Gracey for introducing it to me; I had a blast participating, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's styles June 3rd!

P.S. If anyone's wondering what my process is for earrings, it's cleaning with Claire's antiseptic, followed by distilled vinegar if I want to polish the metal, followed by alcohol. No ear poisoning so far! *crosses fingers*

Shirt: True Light U.S.A. (thrifted)
Skirt: KOMMOTiON NY (eBay)
Necklace: unknown (Printemps, Tokyo)
Earrings: unknown (thrifted)
Rings: unknown (gold flowers-Brasil, lab emerald-gift)
Shoes: Rieker antistress (thrifted)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Call me Ishmael

  This skirt is one of my new thrifted goodies from a few weeks ago. I wouldn't have bought it normally because it is green, and I have a documented problem wearing green skirts because I don't own anything that goes with them, but it didn't fit my friend Athena, and it is awesome, so now it is mine.

  My first morning back home from my long stressful weekend visiting family following my long stressful week of finals following my long stressful semester from hell I woke up and tried to find something to wear with it.

  It struck me that Starbuck of 2004 Battlestar Galactica wore this color, and Starbuck is awesome because I'd always wanted a female badass pilot character on TV. What little girl doesn't ride her bike up and down the street making laser gun noises, pretending to be an ace space fighter pilot shooting down enemies and downing shots of 7-UP at the front lawn cantina after a hard battle because the fizz and the toll the war takes on her humanity makes her eyes burn? ... was that just me? Ok.

  At any rate, Miss Kara Thrace and well, pretty much the entire cast of the BSG series wore the olive/army green very well with grey and black, so that is what I did:

  I'm not sure the bare gams go with the look, but I like how the rest of it came out. I might remix with black leggings or tights. Suggestions, as always, are welcome. Also the skirt really is green; it looks more brown because of the late afternoon sun, I think.

  I hadn't heard of the brand Skunkfunk before, but the skirt definitely hits my vaguely urban/punk/future fantasy aesthetic. It's got two buttons that cross past one another, unique pockets at the hips that are buttoned and Velcro'd, a random tiny leather patch, and so on. The tag inside says it is called Egia, and that it is a sample. Thrifted clothing tags are the best.

  Instead of the hexagonal ID tags worn by BSG pilots, I wore my family crest:

  I'm sure it would serve just as well, even if I'm not on a set of jagged metal that symbolizes the raw, bleak situation faced by humanity.

  Today was also the first day I wore my Naya Lark boots out:

  Naya boots always take some breaking in (I think most boots do, right?), but I love their style, and the fact that their "C" widths are as wide as Fitzwell "WW." Seriously, I've held them sole-to-sole and they match.  I'd been breaking them in by wearing them indoors for a few hours at a time last week, and I was able to walk around the city this afternoon without a hitch. Pinky toes got rubbed/squished, which they do in anything that isn't a sneaker or a sandal, but they were not raw.

  The upside to this weekend was I hit up the thrift shop in my hometown and got new goodies. I'll have more pictures once everything is washed and ironed, but here's a quick one I snapped of my non-clothing treasures:

The olive oil in the background is not thrifted. Thankfully.

  I also had a birthday while I was at it; my wonderful friends made it a lovely day. My friend Diana and Mr. Garrett Wang at Phoenix Comicon surprised me with this:

That is RIGHT, son. Birthday wishes from Ensign Harry Kim!

  That's it for now. I'm so happy to be home and happy to be back blogging.

  P.S. Since I'm Asian American, does that mean I'm Boomer instead of Starbuck? They do wear the same uniform and all. If this means I get to spend part of my screentime married to Tahmoh Penikett (move aside, actual friend named Athena!) I am all for it.

Undershirt: H&M (thrifted)
Black lace racerback tank: eBay (link to item)
Skirt: Skunkfunk Egia sample (thrifted)
Boots: Lark by Naya (brown and black available on eBay)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Androgynot Outfit

  I'm calling this outfit Androgynot. I think I was thinking 'newsboy' when putting this together, even before I added the flat cap.

See? I look just like him.

   I like a lot of elements of classic men's fashion like vests and hats, but I'm afraid I'd make a goofy-looking boy. Somehow this is not as okay in my mind as being a goofy-looking woman.

  With that in mind, I wore a puffy white shirt with eyelets and ribbons along with a necklace. And because an outfit without blue is like a night without a security blanket, I wore ankle jeans instead of trousers. I was going for a slightly highwater look to go with the boots.

  I'm wondering if I should switch the top elements of this outfit around. Would it look more on if I wore a bigger vest and a smaller tailored shirt? Should I just invest in a pair of highwater pinstripe pants or does that tip this over into 'costume' territory?

The surfing Sharka sells the vintage look.

  I've been meaning to show my purse in the last few posts but kept taking it off and leaving it with the tripod without thinking. This is the Poppie Jones mini crossbody bag. I like small bags because I want my arms and hands unhobbled. I love how it's simple and has enough classical-looking elements and neat hardware that it fits in to my kind-of-ren-faire-or-something aesthetic.

  This bag however, is made for a giantess. Seriously. Know how many new holes I had to punch into the strap so I could buckle it to hang handily at my hip? Six. Six. You can see what looks like half a belt swinging above the purse. That's how much I shortened the strap by.

  Lastly the Takeo Kikuchi flat cap is another one of my treasures from Japan. It's tan corduroy with panels of traditional Japanese patterns. Yes folks, thrifting in other countries can be just as awesome as it is here.

  I'm off to visit family for the weekend, so there probably won't be much interesting outfit experimenting on the road. Maybe I'll post some rants articles I've been thinking about, instead. Have a lovely weekend, all. :D

Flat cap: Takeo Kikuchi (thrifted, Japan)
Shirt: per una (thrifted)
Vest: Heritage 1981 (thrifted)
Jeans: UNIQLO (Japan)
Necklace: unknown (France, old)
Purse: Poppie Jones (DSW)
Boots: Two Lips (thrifted)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Everyday Steampunk

  I think I've come up with a new outfit!

  I call this 'Everyday Steampunk', because it starts with a very simple business casual-type outfit (brown slacks and a button-down shirt) then says "Boooring!" and adds jewelry and a tank top that doesn't fit me correctly.

Everyday SteampunkEveryday Steampunk

   I've had Victorian on the brain since the last outfit post, so I was lying in bed thinking about what I could add under this tank top that would look right (Its straps are so long the bustline goes straight into Showtime territory. Seriously, look at the model.) when the thought occurred that brown trousers would look kind of steampunk-y and that I needed something with puffed sleeves.

  It's not perfect- I'd like to find a fitted button down with puffed sleeves that buttons straight up to the collar, and one without front pockets that stick up above the bustline of the tank top, but I'm pretty happy with it.

  If I look a little unfriendly in these photos it's because the wind has been 15-20 mph for the last week and I'm trying to keep my hair out of my face, my shirt and necklaces in place, and my watering eyes open for the camera. :D

Express jeweled locket

  This locket is probably the single best investment I have ever made so far as jewelry goes. I bought it when I was in high school from Express for about $20 and I wear it with close to half of my wardrobe. I've always had my eyes open for something similar, but I haven't had any luck.

  I also searched around the Internet yesterday and found Epic lady Steampunk Crystaline's blog (link is Japanese language.) She puts together gorgeous Steampunk Lolita outfits and makes her own jewelry. She also shops at my favorite Japanese clothing store, Ozz On Japan.

  For folks unfamiliar with Lolita fashion, it's a subculture of fashion in Japan. I normally find it too frilly for my tastes, but I really like what Crystaline has done with it. I'll definitely be looking to her blog for inspiration in the future.

Button-down shirt: BCX (thrifted)
Tank top: Free People Pieced Together Corset Tank (old)
Pants: Gap stretch flare (clothing swap)
Boots: Two Lips (thrifted)
Locket: Express (very old)
Sundial necklace: available at ThinkGeek

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In which Aya has no idea what she is doing

  I wasn't at all sure about this, but I'm running out of clean clothes, it's still sorta sunny today, and so I said "___ it. I'm going to ___ing wear this." I said it with the underscores and everything. That is the kind of semester it has been.

  I like very feminine elements and punk/goth elements in my clothes, but don't feel comfortable going to extremes or making a full outfit out of either. I think it implies an attitude or a persona that is not me. Mixing them, on the other hand, shows that I don't take myself seriously or I have no idea what I am doing, both of which are much more accurate.

  I started with the blue frock because it's sort of sunny out, and because pockets. This thing gets wear maybe once a year because of prevailing weather patterns, and I may have to donate it because it's so impractical for where I live, so why miss an opportunity? Also did I mention pockets? They're right under the empire waist ribbon. They make me look kind of pregnant, but I don't care because it's a place to put my keys and ID.

  The trouble started because it's quite short. And while I said modesty goes flying out the door with sunny weather, today's a little more overcast and, like the weather, the clouds of my self-doubt something something bad analogy.

  What on earth do you wear under a dress? Out of desperation I pulled my bandage/criss-cross leggings out because I like them and they are awesome.

  And then, because there's a very strong breeze and some clouds, I pulled my Victorian blazer by Guess from the closet. This is what Sally of Already Pretty calls a 'closet orphan' (I think the term was coined at youlookfab, but I'm using Already Pretty's definition.)

  I love this blazer with all my clotheshorse heart. It's grey zig zag fabric pinstriped in pink. It has a gorgeous pink-salmon-rose lining in satin that peeks through the front panel seams. It's cut high in the back and ruffled with puffy shoulders in a Victorian-inspired cut that makes my body type go 'whee!' and I haven't the foggiest idea how to style it.

  I'm ready to make an outfit from scratch to go around this blazer if I have to. But today I wore it for the first time because.
  Edited to add: someone is selling one on eBay! (size M)
  Edited again to add: I bought it! Now I will have two in case something happens to one. If you are upset and wanted to buy it, let me know.

  My first pair of ladyflats! I think I like them. They are flexible, practical-soled, and pretty. The strap fastens with velcro!

Dress: XOXO (eBay)
Leggings: no brand (eBay)
Blazer: Guess (thrifted)
Shoes: Rieker antistress (thrifted)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Blue Funk

  Two sunny days in a row, here. It's like Christmas! ...except warm instead of presents.

  I let out a little squeak of delight when I pulled this skirt from the thrift shop rack. My second thought of course was, "I can never wear this to visit Mom."

  This thing has seven -count 'em- seven pockets. It's got a zig zaggy asymmetrical hem, inside-out patches, random straps, bits of it are sewn to other bits... it is an Aya skirt.

  I can't say I'm crazy about the dirt-streaked denim color, though. Remember that trend of jeans that looked like you'd been camping in them for two weeks, then come home and got run over by a car? Never liked those. I'm thinking candidate for an overdye job. Your thoughts?

  Can you believe that big shirt used to be four inches bigger around? I'm pretty sure the size M tag in here is just for laughs.  I took it in so it wouldn't fall completely over my shoulders onto the floor every time I tried to wear it. The tag also says "FOREVER 21 JAPAN RETAIL." I love cool tags in thrifted clothing.

  Upon review, I probably should not have paired a shapeless slouchy skirt with a shapeless slouchy shirt, because while I have decent posture, I sure look like I am slouching in these photos. It was a sunny day though, which means I am not responsible for my fashion choices.

Hoodie: Victorian Hoodie by Prairie Underground (thrifted)
Shirt: Dirty Violet (thrifted)
Skirt: MCP Jeans (thrifted)
Necklace: Anthropologie (gift)
Sandals: Lagoon sandal (Eastland)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Casual Sun Days

  Learning about lighting is still a work in progress! It was a gorgeous day outside so in between studying and cleaning my kitchen, I stepped out for some pictures.

  I thought this getup might be too casual to photograph, but when I added the black sandals (Laura by Fitzwell), it felt like the outfit upgraded from tank top & denim to something with a skirt and ladyshoes.

  I was sold on this shirt when I saw the shredded blue overlayer in the back.

  I read somewhere that broad-shouldered women aren't supposed to wear racerbacks because it makes their shoulders appear bigger. I say it makes broad shoulders look more athletic and awesome.

   This bracelet has two spots you can snap it closed, giving me a rare chance to wear a bracelet that doesn't fall over my hands.

Never take me seriously. I don't.

  I often debate the appropriateness of short skirts to myself, in the context of age and superpowered kicking thighs, but on the rare day the sun is shining, I never think straight: I put on the shortest thing in my closet and go running outside to maximize vitamin D synthesis.

Wide shoe review!

  These sandals by Fitzwell are marked extra wide, but Fitzwell's extra wide sole is only the width of Naya's width C soles, so beware. From my experience in wide shoe land, Fitzwell "extra wide" definitely feels more like C rather than EE width. My toes are a little crowded, but since this is an open sandal, it's not bad.

  I really like the simple lines of the sandal and the platform. I'm a sucker for platform shoes, but I really don't like the pointy stiletto heel with jellybean front look. The front of the Laura sandal is slanted so you can rock onto the front of your foot to push off and take a step, instead of stumping around on wooden triangle stilts like many wedge sandals I see.

  The sandals have elastic in the front so your foot can get in and out without yanking on the leather, which brings me to my complaint about these: the elastic stretches while walking, and the leather and elastic catch a little patch on the top of my foot with each step. If I walk a few blocks, the area becomes red and loses some skin.

  I threaded a strip of black t-shirt hem through the leather loop and fixed it in place with a dot of Elmer's glue on each side. So far, so good! If you want to read more janky shoe fixes, I'll have an update on my rock shoe-stretcher later this week.

Skirt: London Jean (thrifted)
Shirt: misope (cheap junior store)
Sandals: Laura by Fitzwell (, old)
Bracelet: Foreign Exchange (old)

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Mirror Up to Nature

  I was explaining the Asian lady sun-visor-and-driving-gloves thing (an overwhelming fear of the sun Asian women develop around middle age) to my British friend this morning, and when I did a Google image search to find a picture for him, MY OWN PICTURE TURNED UP.

  It's happening to me already. I'm feeling my forehead suspiciously, looking for the beginnings of a sun visor growing out of there like horns.

  Go on, Google one of your own fashion concerns and see if your face stares back at you from the results. I'll wait here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Back in Blue

  On Monday I went back to my old standbys: racerback tank top, overlayer tank top, tailored shirt, and jeans. I would have worn my black platforms, but you can see here that they are still waiting for the day they are worthy (wide enough) to accept my feet.

  Last time I realized very dark ivy is not the background for me and I needed to go farther afield. I got the opportunity when I stepped out of class at 7 pm, and like magic the sun was painting everything in slanted rays of soft gold. It was the first time I'd seen sunlight in weeks. I hurried home and grabbed the tripod.

  Surprise! No fancy magic color correction exposure tweaking necessary. Sunlight makes everything better.

Better get ready before that timer goes off!

  I like this tailored shirt a lot, but I do not know who they expect to get her arms through those sleeves. I should just remove the button and loop, they will never be united.

Sweater: Sparrow (eBay)
Tailored shirt: BCX (thrifted)
Tank top: Express (old)
Bracelet: unknown (The CAMP)
Jeans: 7 for all Mankind (brother)
Shoes: New Balance (Dad)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Not Ivy League Material

  It has been less than two weeks, and my blog has already taught me some things: a) I really need to get to work shortening all of my sleeves because I look like a ragamuffin, and b) I need to shoot against a lighter background because even after color correction, I'm glowing like an orange-tinted angel.

  Since it has been very foggy and damp, I have been wearing my long skirts. The skirt is from Ozz On Japan, a brand of Japanese punk and goth clothing. I love that it has good-sized pockets in the back and a cargo pocket on the side. (I know, pockets in ladyclothing, right?) The fabric is stretchy and there is lacing up the sides to give me a snugger or looser fit, depending on whether I have eaten an entire roast chicken.

My overexposed face and I are tickled pink to see you
  The scarf is fleece and has a handy loop underneath so it wraps securely around your neck.

  I have a binder clip holding my shirt together. I think it was meant to be a drape-y overlayer, but I was trying to emulate the look of Shihar's etsy shop, which sells beautiful flowing lady warrior outfits. Is this the “pop of color” I keep hearing about? Maybe I can start a new trend.

  These are some of the only standard-width shoes I've found that don't crush my toes. Unfortunately they are like a vise on my instep. The leather shop stretches them, but they don't take my “Stretch the almighty heck out of them. I don't care if they look funny.” as seriously as I'd like, so I've taken matters -and a hammer- into my own hands.

  It's research papers and finals for me the next few weeks, so posts may be sporadic. I hope your week is going well!

Shirt: Alternative Apparel Vintage Soft™ (thrifted)
Roxy scarf by Cameleon (thrifted, link to company website)
Skirt: OzzOn Japan (Japan)
Shoes: Candie by Kohl's (thrifted)
Necklaces: wushu, family crest