Friday, July 22, 2011

A Belated 4th

    Sorry all! I took an unplanned week-long hiatus from the blogging world, mainly because I've been busier than usual (and partly because Fallout 3 has consumed my gaming soul). Haven't worn anything new or interesting lately, either, though today I took full advantage of the random cool weather (around 20-25 C...that's like October weather for Tokyo) with an outfit in my favorite color scheme of red, white, and blue. A little late for the 4th of July, but better late than never!

Embroidered sweater (F21), white chemise and jeans (Zara)

Somehow, this sweater really brings out my trace amounts of South American Latina/Native blood. 

Really nice quality for F21, IMHO
     I REALLY hope that this amazing cool, dry, and breezy weather lasts at least for the next few days, because I plan on wearing my Zara khakis to work this weekend, after they've been at the alteration place for two weeks getting the zipper replaced. Fingers crossed...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Teal and Pleats

     Despite the oppressive heat here in Tokyo, I decided to chance wearing a high-neckline cardigan (only donned when I reached my air-conditioned office, from my flat to downtown Shinjuku I wore just my pencil skirt and my white undershirt LOL). This sweater was the first expensive cardigan I ever bought (well it was 60% off, but still), from my favorite girly Japanese label, anatelier. It's the most amazing soft teal, with some subtle darts/ribbing on the placket, and topped with a white satin pleated ruff around the collar (fastened with an invisible snap). I hadn't worn it in awhile, so I was happy to rediscover it!

Ruffle-collar cardigan (anatelier Japan), grey pencil skirt (H&M), accessories (mayglobe Japan)

Close-up of the collar/placket detailing

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Variations on a Theme

      This past weekend I decided to wear the same color scheme for three days straight: beige, white, and grey. The decision was mostly made on a whim, though I was kinda inspired by my steel grey nail polish:

Kinda tough to see, but I added clear rhinestone stickers on some nails (sealed with a topcoat) 

 Day 1:

Grey pencil skirt (H&M), oatmeal cardigan (anatelier Japan), white frilled undershirt (H&M)

Day 2:

Beige skirt (Zara), grey cardigan and white scalloped-bib top (H&M), accessories (mayglobe Japan)

Day 3:

Beige skirt (Zara), white lace top (F21), beaded necklace (Rope Picnic Japan), bauble rings (mayglobe Japan)

     I loved the second outfit the most, also it was probably my best hair/make-up day (which means it was probably the least humid day) so that definitely helped things out. The first outfit I felt was kinda meh, and looking at the pics I can see that the grey skirt is definitely in need of a wash and press. The last outfit I also liked, and it was the most comfortable and cooling, but it was my Friday and I was pretty much a listless exhausted zombie the whole day so I didn't appreciate the outfit as much as I should have.
      Today it's over 35 degrees C (95 F), so gross. No matter what anyone says, I will never like summer. No way, no how. The fleeting joy felt at summer BBQs or evening al fresco dinners pales against the drudgery and misery of the way more numerous work days, mosquito bites, and sweat-stained clothes!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Blush and Sand

     Happy Friday, all! Well, for those of you for whom Friday really is the end of the work week. For me, Friday is Tuesday, as well as the eve of my three most tiring days of work. But whatever, I can't really complain, since the rest of the week I only work 3 hours a day, with Tuesdays and Wednesdays off. And on the 18th we have our first national holiday in over the month, so I'm definitely looking forward to that!
     Yesterday was mercifully cloudy and not TOO sweltering, so I could wear an actual outfit rather than something basic that consists of as few layers as possible. Of course, I donned the sweater/outermost layer only upon reaching the air-conditioned subway station, which is what every woman in Tokyo does at this time of year. Of course due to energy-saving measures of this post-disaster summer, the air-con is not as strong as most of us would like, but it's definitely better than nothing!

Blush-colored sheer blouse and cardigan (Japan), sand-colored pencil skirt (Zara)

Love this skirt... and as you can see, it barely wrinkles!

     I picked up this amazing sand (beige? tan? camel?) colored skirt at the recent Zara summer sale... 50% off, marked down from about $90. I had been searching for a beige skirt for work since forever, so I was super psyched to stumble across the last medium on the rack. The skirt is super-flattering, accented with visible stitching and two large functional (but thankfully flat) front/side pockets. The material is on the thicker side and is lined in a dark golden silk, so no need to worry about printed underwear showing through. The shape is also unique; it fits mostly like a pencil skirt but then flares out in a slight A-line... maybe it's just me, but it reminds me of something from the 1940s, which I love. Paired with a sheer blouse, a matching blush cardigan, and pearl-lacquered nails, it was a simple yet chic outfit for my "Monday."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Whites

     I love to wear white; it's effortlessly chic, simple yet elegant. And in summer it has the bonus effect of being cooling, or at least more cooling than other, darker colors. I don't know if it's really due to the fact that white reflects sunlight or simply because white just looks less sweltering than darker colors, but whatever the reason, I find myself reaching for white more and more in the summer months.
     Recently I bought an amazing smocked eyelet top from F21, I highly recommend it... though I can't seem to find them on the US site. It's super flattering, with the smocked waistline actually being in line with the natural waist, not high up under the breast or too low on the torso, and the quality is very good (which is probably why it was close to $25, not quite the usual F21 price point). Paired with an old sheer H&M open cardigan, my usual Zara jeans, metallic Old Navy sandals and my new silver double-chain necklace (and yes, I previously wore the gold version), it made for the perfect early-summer-in-the-city outfit.

Bauble rings and necklace by mayglobe japan

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dot and Spark

     Oh it is sooooo summer now. Like in a major way. Everyone in Tokyo is miserable (even more miserable than usual, that is), sweating themselves silly not only outside, but also on the trains, in the office, at the shops, etc. thanks to the reduced amount of air-conditioning that is necessary since Tepco bunged things up big time at the nuke plant. But to be honest, if corporate or public space eco-measures keep us free and clear of blackouts and let us use the air-con to our heart's content in our homes, then so be it. Of course dressing in summertime becomes a chore rather than a joy, since most of my favorite clothes are not summer-friendly. This is the time when the outfits get simple, but the accessories get flashier to compensate for the drabness. Case in point:

Dot cardigan and necklace (Rope Picnic Japan), pencil skirt (H&M), patent and metallic bag (petite classe Japan)

     I bought this sweater last summer and I practically lived in it from July to September, and I'll probably repeat that habit again this year. I do love the sweater, though, it's very good quality despite the $20 price tag, and it's kinda unique. For one thing, it buttons left over right, which is the way that men's clothes button (I think 100% of my other tops button in the traditional feminine way, aka right over left). Secondly, the design was the result of a collaboration between the clothing shop (Rope Picnic, kind of like a Japanese Pull and Bear) and Calpis, the beverage maker famed for that white milky soft drink that most foreigners  find pretty gross. Off-putting as the taste may be, Calpis is a beloved, traditional company here in Japan and its dot packaging is instantly recognizable... the dots on the sweater and the blue/white color scheme are meant to be a nod to the packaging. Though I don't care for the drink, the sweater is one of my favorite summer pieces, and I smile each time I see the "Calpis" label inside the sweater. The necklace is also from Rope Picnic, and while it looks like metal, it's actually made of very light clear and grey beads.
     My bag is hands down my favorite aspect of the outfit, however. I saw this bag a few months ago and  fell in love with it, and this month I finally decided to buy it. I have to bear with it shedding glitter for at least a few days, but it's well worth it.

Love love love.