OOTDs, Thoughts, Personal, "Workweek" Series

Workweek 10/13 – 10/17

And another October week comes to a close. Gosh this year is flying by fast! There are ever so many things to do.

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Monday: JCrew Factory dotted chambray shirt (thematically similar at Gap)
Tuesday: black Gap luxlight v-neck sweater (similar), Carhartt watch cap
Wednesday: MUJI colorblock wool cashmere cardigan, old H&M men’s scarf
Thursday: old JCPenney wrap sweater with waist tie, H&M L.O.G.G. cotton plaid shirt (flannel at Uniqlo)
Friday: gray Uniqlo sweat pullover, old Target patterned scarf

Shoes and pants: same ol’ Gentle Souls Gabby flats, Nike Lunarglide 5+, and Uniqlo Ultra Stretch ankle jeans

I’m definitely re-wearing Wednesday’s look: here’s what the sweater looks like when not obscured by the scarf. Honestly, half of the time I feel kind of silly writing these posts now, because as the weather cools all I’m doing is adding Heattech underneath or a scarf or potentially, dare I even hope, a coat later this month. Or maybe mid-November. I’ve been burned by the heatwaves of September and early October so I won’t believe it’s fall until it’s consistently below 70F throughout the whole day.

That Carhartt beanie is a conversation-starter and I enjoy seeing how people react to me while I’m in it. Some chuckle, some do double-takes, other make snarky remarks about my resembling traffic signs or hardware, etc. But I quite like my little orange cone. Some of the outdoorsy folk at work will talk to me about the brand and its reputation for durable clothing, and others just can’t get past the bright color. I personally like the psychology at play when this happens, because I make similar jokes when people wear neon-colored sneakers. Why do we ridicule people when they wear something that stands out? It’s also probably because my workplace is pretty traditional/corporate with a lot of older workers, so fashion is interpreted differently here. I technically ought not to be wearing orange hats but I need to do something different every once in a while or else I’ll be dull.

For those of you already wrapped in coats and chunky scarves…I wish I were there with you. Instead I am dancing at finally having some cloud cover and a cool wind while biking around town. Be well and enjoy your weekend!

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Inspiration, Thoughts

Muji Autumn/Winter 2014

I’m late to the party that is the Muji Autumn/Winter 2014 collection, but it is a lovely lookbook full of monochrome-y goodness. That was terrible. I’ll let these pictures speak for itself. I picked out my favorite looks–some of these I will definitely try to recreate with my own wardrobe.

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Some of my favorites from the women’s collection.

I would wear ANY of these any day, all season. I like the rich blue skirt in the fourth look–it’s silk cotton; not sure how the washing instructions will be for that. Their wool cashmere sweater was supposedly machine-washable but it definitely shrank on me after cold-washing/air-drying. Must be more careful with wool blends, I suppose.

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These three I can somewhat attempt to piece together from my own wardrobe. The look on the left is my favorite. I’ve got a gray open cable knit cardigan from the company itself that evokes that same charcoal chunky knit, I’ve got those Target ankle pants that will do for the sock-showing ankle grazing part (oh and there’s the long MUJI cardigan on the first shot of that collage.) Cannot wait! Even the shoes–remember my old Clarks brogues I was supposed to start wearing again, yeah–don’t forget this time Kristina. Time to dust those off and get them back in rotation; my poor Gentle Souls flats have been working hard all spring and summer and need some TLC.

I also really like the chambray under the breton shirt, though I’m not sure that what I currently own will work, as my chambray shirts are oversized. Also note the subtle double-scarf/shawl action in the bottom right picture. I already have that gray Uniqlo sweatshirt; all I need is to play with the scarves I have at home.

The men’s collection is just as delicious:

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Hello my new crush.

I don’t know if I’m more excited about the clothes or the guy wearing them. Swoon at all the grays and blues in this year’s lookbook :)

I can’t wait to see this collection out in Hollywood! At any rate, I’m excited by the potential ideas the lookbook suggests–lots of cotton, denim, easy-going fabric, much layering/substitution potential meaning these looks can also be spring/summer-appropriate.

What colors and fabrics call to you in the fall season? Let me know what textures, cuts, or looks have inspired you lately; I like to see what others do!

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OOTDs, Thoughts

Workweek 10/6 -10/10

Nothing of import to note this week. Temperatures ARE cooling somewhat–barely–we still saw some high 80s-low 90s earlier this week, hence the mini skirts, but it’s cooled down some to where pants aren’t impossible.

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Monday: JCrew Factory jacquard dot popover, old Gap striped skirt
Tuesday: Zara cropped sweater, Zella racerback tank, Cotton On mini skirt, Camper Nina flats (black only at Zappos right now)
Wednesday: Uniqlo AIRism scoopneck tee, INC International Concepts pull-on maxi skirt
Thursday: Zella racerback tank, Uniqlo Ultra Stretch ankle jeans in black, Nike Lunarglide 5+ in volt/gray
Friday: H&M L.O.G.G. textured oversized sweatshirt, Uniqlo Ultra Stretch ankle jeans in black, Crocs Meleen in black/gray

Tuesday and Thursday I biked to work, hence the sportier looks. I just swap the skirt/pants out for workout shorts. I guess this is why my shoes all look scuffed up at the toes–they get dragged with me wherever I go. Ah well. Eventually I will take them to get treated at the cobbler’s, especially the Gentle Souls pairs which are really dinged up at the toes and heels.

I can’t wait to unwind this weekend–I’ve done a lot of running and biking this week. Looking forward to going to the beach and thrashing in the surf followed by a shore-side nap. I tried to bring a book to read on the sand last Sunday but swimming happened instead. Have a lovely weekend and live well!

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Accessories, Acquisitions, OOTDs, Personal, Reviews, Thoughts

Acquisitions: September 2014

As you may have heard me wail all month long, it’s been crazy warm in Southern California for the last few weeks, delaying my switch over to sweaters and keeping me firmly in “No Pants Week” at work (well, save for Monday in that link.) I didn’t do too bad this month–I kept a pretty close rein on expenditures, inspired by Kali’s shopping fast (here’s her latest update.) Here’s what I ended up buying for the month of September:

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Crocs Meleen in black/gray, Casio A158W-1, Uniqlo Sweat Long Sleeve Pullover

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Uniqlo sweatshirt, that beloved striped Gap skirt, and my new favorite sandals.

Of all the three items, the Crocs sandals were probably the most needed. I have a pair that I use at home, but I’ve been going to the beach quite often. It’s been cumbersome trying to remember to bring the sandals with me to work, where I leave straight for the beach, so I decided a few paychecks back that I would dedicate some finances toward a pair to store in my car. I first ordered the Cleo sandal from Amazon, but I don’t know if it’s just the sandal itself, but that particular design felt flimsy and non-supportive. I sent it back and went to the Crocs outlet near me and found the Meleen model. I might have paid a little more at the outlet: $34 with 20% off first purchase after joining the mailing list. It’s about $25 on Amazon. I’d usually go for the cheaper price, but my experience at the Crocs outlet versus buying them off of Amazon teaches me that even within the same model, production may influence fit and how firm the rubber feels on your foot. If you were to buy Crocs,  I suggest handling them in person before you buy, or at least buy from a seller that has good return policies.

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I look like I’m chewing something, or I’m about to laugh.

I won’t wax poetic about my watch (the Casio A158W-1), but here I was doubting whether I’d like it or not. I love my little watch. It goes with me into the waves. It keeps time in the shower. I like the way it goes with everything I own, and yet I didn’t break the bank for it. It makes me feel cooler than I really am. I ended up gushing about it anyway, oh well! Let’s talk about the sweatshirt instead: it’s soft and comfortable inside! It’s got these small loops which I generally find to be itchy on my skin, but Uniqlo’s model is soft and light from day 1.

Overall I’ve been quite pleased with the last few purchases I’ve made–small treats like the watch and sweatshirt make life fun; the sandals support my hobby of flailing around in the surf and tracking sand everywhere. I find that being truly mindful of my motivation for wanting an item is helpful in identifying what I truly need vs. just having something to pass the time with. Often it’s boredom and a desire to go outside of the home and have some fun that prompts these online shopping sessions/mall crawls. Instead of going out to window shop (and subsequently spending,) I’ve been trying to replace it with grocery shopping to make food, or doing something physical like running, biking, hiking or swimming. It fulfills the need for being outside and I improve my skills. It may spur some purchases but I feel that activities and expenses related to self-improvement take priority over “swag” purchases.

Really what this all means is I give myself license to buy Nike running gear in the name of self-improvement. Heh. How are you all doing with the influx of FALL!FALL!FALL! marketing? I’m side-eyeing all the outerwear emails so hard; I won’t even get to wrap up until early November (maybe.)

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OOTDs, Personal, Thoughts

Workweek 9/29 – 10/3

Aloha!

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Monday: MUJI cable cardigan, Uniqlo Heattech long sleeved shirt, Target Mossimo ankle pants
Tuesday: Lands End petite no-iron shirt (broadcloth here), Target Mossimo ankle pants
Wednesday: JCrew Factory classic buttondown shirt in gingham, Target Mossimo ankle pants
Thursday: old Uniqlo poly ruffle dress
Friday: Zella racerback tank (similar), Cotton On mini skirt

This week in workwear: I was largely uninspired this week and was in a pants rut for the first half of the week until the heatwave hit on Thursday. Tuesday’s combo was my favorite, even though I feel that the shirt is too big: somehow, scrunching up the arms like so made the whole look more palatable. I still want to find a non-sagging, good pair of work pants/slacks, and get at least two properly fitting white oxford shirts, as I do like the IDLF/Emmanuelle Alt-y ness of the whole look. Hah, here I am again ascribing people to particular images.

I was struck this week by how much I’m learning about myself while I get dressed for work. I notice that the clothes that get the most repeats are the ones that allow me to move freely and wick sweat easily. In particular, I’d like to thank that Uniqlo polka dot ruffle dress for taking a beating. Yesterday was fun in that I biked to work for the first time in a long time, probably about a year or so. I wore these Nike shorts underneath and sped off with Runkeeper tracking my time and distance. It was really fun! It took maybe a few more minutes to get to work, but I arrived with a nice sparkly flush on my skin (cause Queen Bey would say I’m FLAWLESS, naturally.) Maybe I’m not always the most pressed-and-starched looking employee, but I’m not afraid to crawl under desks to plug cables in and I’m not worried about ripping/staining something too precious when I have to lift boxes or set up tables for meetings. I like best clothes that allow me to work and play but still keep a modicum of propriety and style. Now to find more of those easy going dresses–they’re hard to come by!

 

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OOTDs, Personal, Thoughts

Workweek 9/22 – 9/26

Is it just me or did this week feel really long? It’s probably just me. Our weather is still fairly warm around these parts–not quite in the 90s, but close, which makes it a challenge to dress for the office, which has its own microclimate. The theme (as of late) seems to be the following: quick-drying, light fabrics and relaxed fit. Here’s what I crawled into the office with for this week:

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Monday: MUJI wool-cashmere open cable-knit cardigan, Uniqlo Heattech v-neck long sleeved t-shirt, Uniqlo Ultra Stretch jeans in navy
Tuesday: old H&M military jacket (similar), Uniqlo Heattech v-neck long sleeved t-shirt, Uniqlo Ultra Stretch jeans in navy
Wednesday: Lands End Supima Cardigan sweater, old Uniqlo ruffled polka dot chiffon dress (similar)
Thursday: Lands End 3/4 sleeve Boatneck Sailor tee (I had the sleeves hacked off), Uniqlo Ultra Stretch ankle jeans in black, Camper Nina Right flats
Friday: Uniqlo AIRism short sleeved scoopneck tee (not available in US currently), Uniqlo Ultra Stretch ankle jeans in black

Let’s all laugh right now because whoa color! The funny thing about wearing color is by having worn it so sparingly over the past year and a half, it feels like a special occasion every time I do incorporate it into my look. I’ve been told to “be less somber” at work by well-meaning older staff, which is hilarious. There’s nothing like receiving fashion advice from my beloved engineers who are legit #normcore #dadcore.

As I progress with finding my style niche, I find the input I get from my environment is quite informative and at times entertaining. I’ve gotten “angelina jolie” remarks when I’m in my long black skirts, or “schoolgirl” when I’m in the white JCrew sundress from that week. Usually when I get these comments I’m laughing but sometimes it makes me ask–is that an impression I want others to have of me? And how much of my clothing choices ARE influenced by those image stereotypes–see Friday’s scoopneck look up top, which personally strikes a Grease/end-movie Olivia Newton John vibe for me. I’m still debating whether borrowing those notes/vibes are a good thing–I suppose there’s a part of me that wants to feel “French-inspired” by wearing Breton stripes + red.

For those of you reading along, what was the turning point in which you felt secure about the look that you’ve made? Was it a slow realization or a fairly rapid change?

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Beauty, OOTDs, Personal, Thoughts

La femme en rouge

Let me preface this by saying this is not-standard Kristina daily wear. I’m trying to grow into my feminine side and I think I’m getting there slowly. This weekend I attended a friend’s wedding, hence the pomp and fuss over on Instagram. Despite all my preparation, I can’t help but feel a little nervous when I step out in something precious like this:

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Dress: old Donna Morgan linen pleated dress, Macy’s. (similar from Nordstrom)
Clutch: borrowed from my grandmother (similar)
Shoes: Sofft Gredda in pewter metallic (no longer available)

I have a penchant for muted metallic accessories. I feel like gold/silver looks good on my skin–nude pumps would also be good, but I’ve yet to find a comfortable and tone-correct pair. These heels have been with me for the last 4 years and will continue to do so–I only wear them for special occasions and I’m thankfully not at the point yet where I’d start a heel collection. I would be more of a sneakerhead first. I love brands like Sofft, Ecco, Born because they put comfort first while giving a nod to style. Not too bad for a “grandma” brand, right?

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Makeup:

Eyes: Urban Decay Naked palette–Naked on the lids, Buck on the crease; L’Oreal Telescopic Waterproof Eyeliner, Wet N’ Wild eyebrow pencil in dark brown
Lips: Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in curviest caramel
Face: Rimmel Matte BB cream in medium, L’Oreal True Match powder in N3

This is basically my “Five Minute Face” upgraded with eyeliner and eyeshadow. And derp-proof lip color in the form of a giant crayon. Why I don’t do this more often, I don’t know, because it really doesn’t take that much longer to schlep on, and I feel very Hepburn-esque (Audrey) with the gamine eyeliner. I think it’s because my eyes get irritated pretty quickly–I avoid mascara because it feels heavy and tends to itch.

Despite my worrying, I actually did OK and was comfortable in my get-up. At some point I did switch out to flats while driving and helping to haul stuff in for the reception, but otherwise, I was fine. Didn’t even drop sauce on me while eating all the yum Chinese banquet foods! Win. Eventually I hope this process gets easier and more natural–I want to be better, not just sartorially, but in all other aspects of my life. One dress at a time, I suppose.

How do you prepare for a formal occasion? Which aspect of your look do you concentrate on the most–dress, shoes, beauty routine? I’m still figuring out a fool-proof scheme so my closet (and supplies) are ready to go at any time.

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