(Miss)matched

Here’s a quick snap of what I’ve been favoring over the past few weeks:

Jacket: old H&M military-inspired parka (hood folds into collar)
Sweatshirt: Uniqlo sweat long sleeve pullover
Jeans: Uniqlo slim boyfriend fit ankle length jeans (on sale currently for $19.99!)
Shoes: Nine West Foodie double monk strap loafers (no current links)

One of the ideas floating around in my head is the lifetime of clothes in my closet. More often than not, and I hate to admit this–I don’t tire of things as much as I grow out of them. And not vertically either. For the next phase of my wardrobe, I would like to own something until it rips/breaks apart or is otherwise unusable. It seems like an earth-friendly, wallet-friendly goal to keep clothes until they break; also, that brings to mind that I should aim to buy and own only things I really like. Stay tuned as to whether this budding idea becomes reality.

In the meantime, I’m happy that this olive jacket (which is at least three if not four years old) is still pulling its weight. It’s become my spring piece that I’ve worn straight for the past month. My favorite pairing is with these jeans rolled up and either these monkstraps or penny loafers. And you also saw it earlier this week with my trusty Nikes. My favorite way to wear this jacket is to push the sleeves up to my elbows to bare my forearms. If it’s cold I’ll zip it up all the way, and there’s even a hood under that collar somewhere, but the way you see it above is the way I typically like to wear it–relaxed but zipped, and pockets full of keys and phone.

This rediscovery of sorts makes me wonder what silhouette I’ll end up repeating soon. What are the standout items you’ve come to rely on lately?

 

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May days

Looks like nowadays I do my living on the weekends. That’s not to say that important things don’t happen on weekdays; I do a lot of life maintenance then (exercise and what little chores I can’t keep putting off) but I dream up amusement for myself on weekends. Here’s this week’s installation in pictures:

After work on Thursday afternoon I treated myself to a cappuccino at Steelhead Coffee; a new neat place in California Heights / Long Beach that I am enthralled with. Prepare yourself for multiple social media posts from me at this shop because the light in here is amazing. Hoping one of my next return visits will be on a bright early morning so I can capture the shop better.

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Two different tonkotsu ramens (one shio, one traditional tonkotsu) and the biggest pieces of chicken karaage I’ve seen to date.

Last week’s cooler weather has been stirring up thoughts of hearty soups, so when one of my girlfriends suggested ramen I was quick to accept. Hakata Ikkousha opened up in Costa Mesa, which is becoming quite the ramen spot in Orange County. The city alone hosts seven ramen shops all within a mile of each other! Ikkousha’s standard tonkotsu is my favorite, and I have to give the fried chicken a thumbs up as well. That ketchup/chili pepper flakes combo is killer on the breaded chicken.

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Bacon cheeseburger from Paul’s Place.

On Friday a friend of mine was in town from Arizona. She really wanted a blue cheese burger, and I’m not one to stand in the way of a woman and her beef patty. We ended up at Paul’s Place for some oooey-gooey–I restrained myself from adding a fried egg this time, but I did go with some avocado. :D

I also promised her a coffee so back it was to Long Beach for a vanilla latte (hers) and my beloved mocha, this time though at the Flea Espresso Bar on Fourth Street.

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My best submission to #coffeeandclothes yet. Though to really be exact I should be wearing Flyknit Lunar 3s, Roshe Runs, or Theas, not my dorky-notNikeiD-Lunarglides. #runislife oh. and shout out to that mocha. See the ganache on the cup rim? I ate that stuff off. YUM

That’s two coffee posts already and it’s only Friday. #noregrets

Saturday morning consisted of a run and a hastily-scarfed down lox bagel before coffee again at Makai. I generally am not so social, but everyone seems to be traveling/visiting this month so I’ve been putting my local food guide/ambassador skills to the test. Then later that night I went to downtown Santa Ana intent on having an Old-Fashioned but finding this instead:

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The West End Theater building hosts The Barrel Room and Cafe Calacas.

Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County and has a courthouse, several museums, and is where a lot of local city/county government have their buildings. It’s a pretty big and busy city, and downtown especially gets a lot of traffic from county and city workers. There’s a decent art and nightlife scene in DTSA that I’m only coming to appreciate now as I’m much older. To that effect I’ve been trying out one or two places in the area when I get a chance; on Saturday we found The Barrel Room while wandering around looking at whatever caught our attention from the street.

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Moscato cause I’m basic!

I don’t really know what I’m doing with wine and spirits yet, so when I find a place with staff that is willing to explain things to me I get pretty excited. This Moscato from Tobin James Winery in Paso Robles, CA tasted like fun apple cider. Very very easy to drink especially for a n00b like me.

Sunday morning I woke up hungry like a wolf, so a breakfast burrito sounded great. Enter Ham n’ Scram, a cheekily-named breakfast joint that specializes in ham and egg burritos:

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Meet the “Reverend,” double portions of egg, ham, bacon, bell peppers, and cheese.

My friends have spoken about this place for ages but it wasn’t until this weekend that I and my hunger felt up to the challenge. A double meat burrito is no joke. I managed half easily, but only got through half of the second part before calling it quits. I also promptly fell asleep afterwards, but that’s OK. :D That’s what Sundays are for. Food comas and subsequent naps.

It also made me happy that they carry banana sauce (a mostly Filipino invention):

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I noticed that the Sriracha bottle was returned to this lineup after I put back the banana ketchup/banana sauce. :D

Honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that I now engage in some kind of sport during the week, I’d probably weigh a lot. Food and the enjoyment of food is a prime motivator. My metabolism probably can’t sustain these weekend escapades for much longer, so my philosophy is to enjoy my relative youth and processing power. (eek)

Hack n’ slash

Well you could vaguely call it that, but what I really did on Saturday was more of a pin and cut. Hi! I’m really excited to show you what I cooked up for myself over the weekend. Without further adieu (and misguided mild gaming references):

Super sugoi!

I made myself a pair of shorts from thrifted jeans. Well not exactly made but rather with some slightly scientific measuring and extensive (read: 30 minutes) research into “how to make a pair of jeans into cutoffs” I emerged triumphant with that work above.

There’s a bunch of tutorials on the Internet, so I won’t bore you with a rehashing. However, I used Refinery29‘s slideshow as a general guide, and it was useful. My criteria for looking for a proper base jean were the following:

1. A high waistline covering the belly button, but not so tight to cut off circulation

2. A nice even degree of fading throughout the jean–nothing unrealistically bleached. Preferably a lighter wash, since I am trying to accrue more light wash denim options

3. Base jean should not be too destroyed/distressed at the important areas: hips, front pockets, back pockets. I already know that my base style is a little cleaner than extreme rips and tears, so look for the least dinged-up pair of denim.

Here’s a quick before-and-after:

Note extremely scientific “pinning” and “marking.” We take things quite literally at Maison Uniformly Dressed. #fashun

One of the things I read in the cutoff tutorials was to find a good length of an inseam by taking a pair of well-fitting shorts and measuring that. I don’t have any well-fitting shorts, hence me embarking on this project. But I also know I didn’t want Daisy Dukes (possibly mildly NSFW. It’s a Google Image Search link, so have SafeSearch on or something.) One of the other suggestions was to decide a length by having your arms hang down and marking the point where your fingertips rest at the sides of your leg. Sounded good enough to me, and I added a little bit of extra length to ensure I wouldn’t cut off the pockets. Lastly, I flipped the pants inside out to mark and cut it up.

Good thing that the wabi-sabi aesthetic and idea is very much desired here, because I do not have laser-beam cutting skills.

Finished product and Gratuitous Picture of Herself Preening (GPOHP?)

I’ve worn the shorts out once (not with a crop quite yet–need to molt off my winter layer for that.) They’re great. The butt is a little loose, but we’re going to go with that since it’s thrifted and all; can’t expect a skin-tight fit. I would have left them uncuffed but the length I cut them to accommodate for the pockets is an awkward length for my proportions. For now they will stay cuffed.

There you have it! Barring any catastrophic (modesty-challenging) rips, I seem to have snipped me a pair of summer shorts. Still slow on the uptake with the trends here–I’m sure I’ll be into culottes in about a year and a half. Have you ever done any DIY denim projects? I still kind of want to bedazzle something.

Tried and true

Ces jours je n’ai pas assez de temps pour écrire.

Please bear with my fledgling attempts to return to high school French fluency. I miss the un-jaded sixteen-year-old who looked at every California art museum to find the one or two Toulouse-Lautrec paintings in collection. I digress. Not much time to write nowadays; work is sapping my best energy. Here is one random work outfit I actually managed to capture:

Shirt: old JCrew indigo button-up
Skirt: old Gap striped mini

not photographed: Nine West Foodie monkstraps 

A simple, dependable outfit.

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Belmont Shore and Downtown Long Beach

Because life > clothes. Here’s some pictures from last weekend’s mini-escapades.

Had brunch at Urban Table in Belmont Shore, Long Beach. I’m trying to find a lox bagel that comes close to the Russ and Daughters one I had in New York.

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Urban Table’s big sesame bagel.

It was delicious, but there are other lox bagels in the area I’d rather eat. Nevertheless, it is still a good filling meal to start the day with.

High definition bagel.

I also met Lucy the Schnauzer. She had just spent the morning at Rosie’s Dog Beach and as you can see here, she’s a natural in front of the camera.

Do it for the social media. She’s far more experienced at this than I am.

After picking up some pupcakes for Lucy at Frosted Cupcakery we ducked into an interesting shoe store called O’ My Sole.

The red one reminds me of my Camper flats.

The store seemed to carry a lot of Spanish-made shoe brands. Admittedly, they are not the most stylish but a recent foot mishap has made me consider the insoles of most shoes–and how a lot come up lacking in terms of support. I may have to come back here to look at and try on more shoes to get a better understanding of fit.

After our short jaunt through Belmont Shore we made our way over to Fourth and Cherry to get some drinks at the Flea Espresso Bar. My friend got an iced lavender steamer that was really delicious [Yelp shot] and I got my litmus test drink, a standard mocha. I’m not really into flora in my drinks (yet?) so I was surprised when I ended up liking the lavender-vanilla mix. Apparently the owner grinds edible lavender into vanilla powder and mixes it all with milk.

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Uh oh. No mocha for you Lucy!

We walked along Fourth Street which has a lot of vintage shops and niche fashion boutiques. Here’s some of the neat gifts in Songbird Boutique:

IMG_7041I’ve gotten earrings from A Million City Lights before–I have this geometric pair (holy throwback selfie.) But I think those avocado ones on the bottom left, middle are so very Californian!

I said goodbye to Lucy at this point, who was pretty tired from all her adventuring earlier in the day.

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Lucy and the technicolor sidewalk.

My last stop for the day was at Salud Juice. I was able to try a sample of one of their seasonal juices called “The Strawberry One,” and this shot called the Sucker Punch–lemon, ginger, honey, and cayenne.

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They don’t mess around–the Sucker Punch will wake you up! They gave me a slice of an orange to chase it with.

I can’t wait to return to the shop to try the other juices. Perhaps with more people so we can all share!

And thus passed the weekend. In a few days will be Friday and then it will be time to go traipsing about Southern California! Hang in there everyone~ (even though that’s really mostly a mantra for me.) Until the next adventure.

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le weekend

Grâce à Dieu c’est vendredi. 

Pardon my high school French, but it’s been a terrible week. I find myself wishing for more energy to do everything I want to–run, swim, bike, climb, write on this blog… instead of complaining about what I didn’t do, I’d like to celebrate what did happen this month:

1. I’ve been going swimming.

Fen talked about swimming as a workout, and I used to envy her tons. Then it dawned on me that I live in the capital of perpetual sunshine and there’s no excuse not to find a nearby pool. I’ve since found two community pools that are clean and spacious and as far as I can tell–health pending that is–swimming is back in my life. I enjoy it a lot; to me it’s play and less of a task, even when I’m winded and my legs are shot (kicking from the hip uses more core than I ever thought possible.)

2. Coffee.

I’m more into donuts than macarons and I don’t have a purse big enough to put flowers in, but I needed an Instagram schtick, because I am blogger (sarcasm.) Enter coffee. Nothing gets you more insta-likes than posting latte art and cups angled just so. But seriously, joking aside, it started with Vietnamese iced coffee and right now I’m in the milk+espresso phase, specifically mochas and cappuccinos. I can’t wait until I reach my mom’s level; she just drinks everything black. She’s the reason I started paying attention to coffee on my travels and I try to bring her new beans wherever I go. Mother’s Day is approaching, so it may be time to go shopping. And taste-testing. hoho!

3. Little adventures.

I go on little adventures in my own town with a few people and so far we’ve tried a few bars, gone to a pool hall (which was fun as hell even though we had to keep pulling up the rules on our phones), and I’ve spent an afternoon trying to bowl mostly unsuccessfully. This is where the cash that used to go to clothing and wardrobe building has been spent–in coffee and in these extracurricular activities that people do to socialize and interact with each other. It’s very strange and funny to indulge in these activities now; I feel like I’m playing at these social rituals. Oh well. I want to get good at bowling and pool/billiards–and by good at least make the ball go where I want it to, which is at the pins and out of the gutter. Or in the pocket. Etc. We’ll see how this initiative goes. I’m discovering that loaded coffees are delicious! Maybe next time I’ll be more courageous and stray from the norm :D

4. Comfortable outfits

This weekend I’ll probably be wearing some variation of this:

Such creativity. Much comfort.

Uniqlo slim boyfriend fit ankle length jeans, sweat long sleeve pullover

I can’t wait to loaf around and eat everything in sight. Loose jeans imperative. I’ll be up to my usual antics; hope you all have a refreshing weekend!

Late bloomer 

Let’s face it, I’m not exactly a trailblazer of any kind. I’m behind on a lot of things, sartorial and life-wise. Most people my age have had party night stories to tell for years, and I’m only now even exploring the nightlife in the area around me. I’m still out of tune with my own peers, but I think as I age (and that unfortunately marches on, regardless of personal development) it’s easier to accept and be happy with the timeframe I live in.

Which brings me to this: boyfriend jeans have been around for a while, but it wasn’t until half a year ago that I got the opportunity to try it out thanks to an aunt who gave me this light wash jean from Express.  After wearing it a few weekends here and there and enjoying the fit, I thought I’d add a dark wash choice this year with Uniqlo’s slim boyfriend fit ankle length jeans.

Okay and I won’t lie, Sue‘s Instagram feed gave me many ideas.

As far as loose fit jeans go these are pretty tame–just a nice fade down the front and some detail at the hips. There aren’t any dings or rips; I could have picked a pair with those features but I always want clothes that can do double duty for work.

The middle look is probably my favorite, although I could easily see myself in the first one for work with a white oxford shirt instead–like what I tried in-store. I think as long as I keep the shirt and shoes on the tailored, clean end I can get away with it.

I took a 27 in the jean, and I think that was the correct hunch because as you wear it more it acquires a better slouchy feel. 28 would have been too loose all around, and I like having a bit of structure at the waistline/hips as an anchor for the fabric bulk in the legs. I’m also currently wearing it rolled up twice; those of you of average height will find this going into floodwater pants territory, for me it’s just the right length.

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In other news:

I’m currently 1 for 1 off of my Evolving Needs list: I got the running socks which I did use in my race last month but then these jeans sort of happened (which were technically on the “What I don’t really need but kind of want anyway” part of the list.) It’s good to stay publicly accountable. Hoping to get through the rest of April without any more extraneous purchases, except I do know I’ll be most sorely tempted to restock my perfume because of that post I wrote last week. -sigh-

In due time, Kristina! There’s much better things to spend money on, like coffee.