Tag Archives: h&m aqua belt

Inverting the Pareto Principle: Purple Tulip Dress

I ran into a bit of a snafu Wednesday morning when I realized I’ve gone through all of my work clothes on this blog.  I’ve worn all of my button down shirts already, all of my slacks, and all of my suits and my Captain’s/School Boy blazer.  The only items left for work are a casual work suit which I’ll be saving for next week and a purple H&M dress that I bought two years ago.

I’ve worn this purple tulip-skirted dress maybe six times; about 1/3 of the time (twice), someone else has worn the same dress to the same event!


At an awards ceremony for my mum, another woman had the same dress as me.  At a law school event, the same thing happened.  Both times, each person involved had styled her dress differently, so only the person wearing the dress would have known that there was another woman wearing her dress (except for one very observant law school friend of mine who immediately exclaimed, “Hey!  She’s wearing the same dress as you!”).

I’ve worn this dress 1) with a black long sleeved shirt underneath with tights, 2) without tights and a black cardigan, and 3) with tights with a black camisole.  Basically, I’ve always paired this dress with black.

Thanksgiving Dinner

This was taken at a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with my girlfriends – I had just given the news that I had passed the California Bar…or was it that dinner was ready?  Either way, people were excited.

MadMen-esque cropped

I was going for a Mad Men look here, with a wannabe Joan Holloway updo.  This was also the first time in probably 20 years that I’ve worn a nail color shade that resembles the color of the drink in my hand.

For work on Wednesday, I moved away from the regular black belt and grabbed my aqua belt.  Then instead of the usual black cardigan, I grabbed my green one.  Since I was on a roll, instead of putting a black camisole underneath the dress, I decided to go for a striped button down, and voila, I had a Color Brigade-worthy outfit!


Color Brigade Worthy

F21 Button Down (bought in 2010)

H&M Purple Tulip Dress (bought in 2009)

H&M Green Cardigan (bought in 2008)

H&M Aqua Belt (came with a pair of shorts bought in 2010)

Target Taupe Heels (bought in 2009)

Guess Watch (gift from a friend back in high school)

Tan Stud Wrap Bracelet (free gift for signing up with BaubleBar)

Turquoise Bracelet (gift from a family friend in 2010)

Turquoise & Pearl Necklace (gift from a family friend in 2010)

Gold Bead Bracelet (gift from my husband’s aunt in the Philippines in 2011)

Green Glass Drop Earrings (bought at NYC’s Sea Port in 2005)


Detail of Turquoise & Pearl Necklace


Detail of Turquoise & Pearl Necklace, Green Glass Drop Earrings, and Tan Stud Wrap Bracelet


Detail of Green Glass Drop Earrings

I wore this to the office on Wednesday and later met up with some friends for some delicious-tasting ramen.  I had no idea there were so many ramen joints in my neck of the woods.  I’m so glad that one of my friends is a Yelp Elite who can introduce me to these fantastic places.  [I say Yelp Elite in italics because it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek for three reasons: 1) I sound like a douche when I say “Yelp Elite,” 2) I actually mean it as a compliment to my friend who I always introduce as “[Her Full Name (because her first name is the same as mine)], Yelp Elite,” and 3) She’s been Yelp Elite for the last three years, and this year is the first that she’s not Yelp Elite because we had to study for the Bar…but my husband and I insist on calling her “[Her Full Name], Yelp Elite” nevertheless.]

We didn’t get a chance to check out the hipster bar across from the ramen restaurant, but “[Her Full Name], Yelp Elite,” there’s always next time!


Some last few notes:

1. Even though I’m reaching my 100th post (maybe ten more posts?), I still feel like I’m a newbie when it comes to blogging.  I started blogging partly as a birthday gift to my husband by reducing my shopping spending and partly so that I could challenge myself to gain some fashion sense.  The reason I continue to blog is that I find a lot of joy in writing and sharing stories.  If you’ve come across my blog and have enjoyed reading it, I thank you for your time, and I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading my posts.

2. In blogging and in life, I know I will make mistakes.  Early on, I wrote a post that I thought was honest at the time, but upon re-reading it, I saw that it could be taken offensively, and I deleted it.  I never openly apologized for it because I thought that would call too much attention to what I had said, so even though that post is no longer up, for those who did read it and took offense, I apologize.

3. I didn’t want to seem like too much of a dweeb, but I got my first reader email the Sunday that I saw Emily VanCamp (Rebecca from ABC’s Brothers & Sisters) at the airport.  Not joking – receiving my first reader email was more exciting than seeing Emily VanCamp, but I felt shy about sharing how happy the reader’s email made me, so I kept it to myself (and my husband – who I mentioned it to over and over and over again).

4. The other day, I read a reply to a comment I had made from another blogger who said she was inspired by me (by me!), and that also made me kinda giddy.

5. Over the last couple of weeks, my friends have told me either in person or over email how they like certain outfits or certain items, and hearing that makes me not only appreciate the clothes and accessories already present in my wardrobe, but also the time my friends took in sharing their thoughts with me.  I thought I was the only one who liked my orange pumps until a friend emailed me that she liked them; I was about ready to toss out my black and white linen pants until a friend had said she liked an outfit with those pants the best.  I thought I looked a bit out-of-character when I tried some punk rock looks, but a friend said she really liked those outfits.  Another friend was delighted that I featured a gift she gave me on my blog.  To all of the readers who are my friends (or family), thank you for reading.

(P.S. – Sunshine, if you’re reading this, the bigger pictures were done just for you!)

Inverting the Pareto Principle: Robin’s Egg Blue Cardigan & Brown Dress

A co-worker once complimented me on this cardigan and said, “I love the robin’s egg blue shade.”  Before her remark, I had no idea that robins’ eggs were blue; I just thought that was a name for a shade of blue.

Apparently, robins’ eggs are blue and they’re similar in color to my cardigan:




Esprit Blue Cardigan (Size M, gift from a friend in 2000 or 2001)

 BR Dress (Size 2, bought in 2008 from a gift card a friend gave [shortened by about six inches])

H&M Aqua Belt (came with a pair of navy Bermuda shorts, bought in 2010 – the newest version of the Bermuda shorts has a tan skinny belt attached)

Turquoise & Pearl Necklace (gift from a family friend)

Turquoise Bracelet (gift from a family friend)

Gold Bead Bracelet (wedding gift from my husband’s aunt)

Pearl Earrings (gift from my auntie)

Mossimo Taupe Heels (Size 7, bought from Target)

Detail of Bracelets:


I’ve had this cardigan for over 10 years.  When I pointed out to my friend that she gave it to me a decade ago, she said, “It’s held up well!”  I replied, “It’s because I’ve only washed it three times!”  I wore it often in undergrad, a few times while teaching, a handful of times while in grad school, and a couple of times while in law school.  I hadn’t worn it in a while, though, and I found that it was the best lightweight cover for the BR dress.

I like to call the BR dress my “Belle” dress because it reminds me of Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  The Belle dress used to end at mid-calf, but I brought it to the tailor’s to shorten it to knee length a couple of years ago.  This dress is usually worn to special occasions: my brother’s graduation from graduate school, my friend’s son’s second-year-old birthday, my husband’s Confirmation, a reunion dinner with some close law school friends, and now added to the list: my friend’s graduation from pharmacy school!

Today was one of the busiest days I’ve had in quite some time.  Early in the morning, I was scheduled for my first in-person renewal at the DMV.  My driver’s license has had my 16-year-old picture for the last 13 years.  I was forced to get a new picture; otherwise, I would have been fine with the picture of my 16-year-old self, if only out of sheer laziness and my reluctance in going to the DMV.  Following my one-hour stay at the DMV, my girlfriends and I road tripped it to my friend’s graduation (her husband kindly treated us to both lunch and dinner), and then we all went shopping.

Loved this dress, but sadly left it at Forever 21:






It was a Size S, priced at $24.80, and it was the last one that the store had.  I loved the scoop neckline, the flattering fit, the pockets, the color, the sleeves, the lining, the way it fit, the reasonable price, and the lace.

The only thing I didn’t love?  My stupid self imposed shopping ban.  Okay, not so stupid, but at the time, that’s what I was telling myself.  As we left the store (H&M and F21 bags happily flapping from the hands of my friends), two of my friends did tell me they were proud of me…and I’m actually proud of myself.

I am learning to appreciate my closet more, and additionally, I’m getting better at deciding which items I really love as opposed to the items I just have a passing fancy with, and those are just the types of lessons I need to learn while on my quest for fashion sense.

Inverting the Pareto Principle: Pink Top

On Saturday night, my girlfriends and I got together to hang out with one of our friends who had relocated to San Francisco and had traveled down for a visit. Although my girlfriends and I only get together one or two times a month these days, the estrogen fest was a welcome event. Our chatter and laughter could be heard from downstairs and outside of my friend’s 2nd floor apartment so said a few latecomers. Among our topics of conversation: a lacy “magic bra” that made everyone look good (I think it’s this one) and its twin from Target (I think it’s this one), bathroom hangups, finger toes, how my friend totally looks like Wendy‘s doppelganger, and favorite brands for certain items of makeup.

The overwhelming favorite brand was Mac for eyeshadow, eyeliner, and any item that is not face/foundation related.


Photo Credit: Lauren Miyake

My favorites include Dior Diorshow mascara (my friend’s a fan of Dior Black Out), Nars Orgasm blush, L’Oreal Colour Riche lipstick, bareMinerals  foundation, Almay intense i-color, and Smashbox Limitless eyeliner.

For our dinner get together (my friend made a mouthwatering steak using this recipe), I wore the following:

Pink Top 002 Cropped


Pink Top 007 Cropped

H&M White Cardigan (Size 6, bought in 2007)

F21 Pink Top (Size S, gift from a friend in 2009; cut off the band at the bottom)

F21 Aqua Ribbed Tank (Size S, bought in 2010)

H&M Bermuda Shorts with Belt (Size 8, bought in 2010)

Mossimo Camel Patent Pumps (Size 7, bought in January 2011 here)

Shell Flower Earrings (bought from an NYC street fair in 2005)

[cost/use of pink top = 0/5 = 0]

Writing this post reminds me of this post I just read today from of Rogues & Gentlemen, which in turn reminds me of a previous post where my husband called me a stock broker from Bermuda.

The inspiration for my outfit, however, unconsciously came from Revlon’s advertisement featuring Jessica Alba in Lucky magazine:

Revlon Ad

The first time I went through the magazine, I was struck by the color combo, but didn’t give it a second thought.  It wasn’t until I re-browsed through the magazine a few days later that I realized my pink and aqua combination came from the ad.

Do you draw inspiration for outfits from advertisements?