Watercolor Wallflower

Forget nap time, hopscotch, or storytelling – my most favorite activity in kindergarten by far was spent at the art easel. I channeled my inner Bob Ross and must have painted at least one happy little cloud in one of the dozen masterpieces I created that year. Oh, the joy of painting.

I often painted abstractly with geometric shapes and had a preference for symmetry, so one of my paintings ended up resembling a pizza with the most unusual toppings. The one thing all my paintings had in common was the fact that they were very drippy. At age five, I didn’t understand how to control the value contrasts of my paint with the amount of water on my brush that caused my sad pizzas, and therefore, I was sad. While I was aiming for Georgia O’Keeffe, my abstract pizza painting was something more like the beginnings of a Salvador Dali painting, saddened by the effect of the unintentional drippy paint. At least that’s what the persistence of memory tells me.

Since then, I’ve brushed off the actual brushes preferring instead to wear works of art. To this watercolor floral dress I say: I’ve found a masterpiece in you, a work of art it’s true.

I bought this dress on the clearance rack at Ross a long time ago, and while the conservative silhouette is ideal for the office, I actually wore it to a wedding recently. I have a reputation for busting a move or two on the dance floor, but the sheath silhouette restricted my movement a bit, and I found myself standing on the sidelines.

Chic Vic is never typically a wallflower, but if I’m gonna be one, then I better look my damn best. Shoooot, I make this brick wall look good.


J.Crew cardigan / Nine West dress (similar dress, dress, & dress) / Anthropologie heels (similar heels & heels) / vintage purse (similar purse)

 

 

Terrific Twos

I have noticed it has become increasingly more challenging as of late to maintain my blog on a regular basis. Whether it is the occasional writer’s block or an outfit obstacle, I think I know the reason why. Chic Vic turns two years old today.

I’ve heard of the “terrible twos” with regards to the little humans we call children, but can this phase apply to something non-human, like a craft, skill, or hobby? Maybe, just maybe.

Blogging is a great pastime of mine, but it’s not all that easy. Although nobody is pounding on my front door (or rather, in the comments section of my blog or Chic Vic Facebook page) demanding a post, I still expect myself to deliver something at least once per week for my readers. The writer’s block can make this a challenge, and being my own worst critic often exacerbates the problem. Is my writing witty and engaging? Is the outfit blog worthy enough in the first place?

Despite all that, I still love doing what I do. Blogging is an outlet for me to voice my thoughts not only in creative writing but also in style experimentation. I’m still learning how to pose like America’s Next Top Model, and I don’t know how to maximize all the functions on the camera just yet. I challenge myself to think of new topics to write about instead of just plainly describing what I’m wearing. I love winning over new readers from all over the world. When I hear friends of friends comment on how much they like my blog, I know I’m doing something right. Maybe this phase should aptly be called the terrific twos instead. It’s not so terrible after all!

I have a humble amount of followers – what would I do without you? Thank you for every like and every comment that you leave. If you’re a passive follower, I thank you too. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but hopefully it involves reaching blogger celebrity status.

Leather Bermuda

Leather Bermuda, come on pretty mama.

Wearing white after Labor Day has been known to be a fashion faux pas, as it is the unofficial end of summer (it’s really September 23rd), but did you know there is a secondary reason? In the 1800s, socialites used forms of dress to differentiate themselves from the lesser elite, and this no white nonsense was just one of the many made up fashion standards adopted and rejected throughout history. Luckily, the no white after Labor Day rule has fallen out of fashion and we can wear whatever whenever our heart desires. And right now my heart desires a pair of white Bermuda shorts.

Bermuda shorts were first worn by the British Army as a way to deal with tropical temperatures. However, the term “Bermuda” shorts wasn’t coined until WW2, when there was a clothing shortage in Bermuda. The solution? They modeled their shorts after those of the British Army. Such shorts are also known as dress shorts since they are basically a pair of trousers in short form. Although I live in a mild climate, there are still 19 days of summer, so I don’t see any reason not to embrace the Bermuda short.

In honor of a post Labor Day white outfit, I went monochromatic white. Despite the wide leg, pleated front, the less than flattering behind, and just general man-repelling properties of these leather Bermuda shorts, I couldn’t resist purchasing them when they cost me only a dollar. Is there a Bermuda triangle back there or did my ass just magically disappear when I slipped this on? I offset the the shorts’ manly silhouette with a feminine silk blouse and a white clutch with gold accents that is so clutch. The result is a mock romper in head to toe white that would make those socialites turn in their graves.

Who wants to go to Kokomo?


Gap blouse (similar blouse) / thrifted leather bermuda shorts (similar bermuda shorts) / Guess pumps (similar pumps) / thrifted clutch bag (similar clutch bag)

Perfect Polka Dot Prose

Oh humble polka dot, why do I love thee?
Besides your obvious beauty,
Of evenly spaced dots.
Whether in big or small spots,
Your pattern can never go wrong.
I would wear you all day long,
If only I could.
Maybe I should.

This lovely shirt dress – I got it at Ross,
Have I gotten my point across?
With the dress’s belt tied around my hat,
Yeah I can style like that.
Add a dash of vintage elements,
To exude an air of elegance.
Red belt, red shoes,
I think I should be someone’s muse.

Hey polka dot, can I make you Chic Vic’s official print?
And no this isn’t a one time stint.
For you see, this is an infatuation long in the making,
And it’s not something I’m just now claiming.
From Polka Dot Peplum, Poolside Polka Dot, to Connect the Dots,
Circle circle dot dot, now I’ve got the polka dot.


Mlle Gabrielle dress (similar dress) / D&B Hat (similar hat) / Selby shoes (similar shoes) / thrifted belt (similar belt)

Portlandia

Fred and Carrie, where you at?

Portland is known for many things: beers, bikes, hiking, hipsters, no sales tax, food trucks, and strip clubs. Luckily for me, there wasn’t a drop of rain in the forecast on my recent trip to the Pacific Northwest. With unseasonably warm temperatures, I couldn’t think of a better summer getaway as I ate, drank, and shopped my way around PDX.

Shop till you drop.
Ranked as one of the most hipster friendly cities in U.S., it is no wonder that Portland has the highest vintage shops per capita – how else would hipsters find such cool hipster threads? I spent a delightful afternoon shopping at the many vintage boutiques in the Hawthorne district. Boutique Goodwills with vintage Coach bags? You bet. I put a slight dent in my pocketbook, but it was well worth every pretty penny to buy a vintage pocketbook.

Nom nom nom.
Food trucks exist in every big city, but Portland wins in quantity, boasting several hundred in the city. Although I didn’t eat anything particularly memorable, their food truck scene is still impressive due to its omnipresence. No matter what neighborhood I drove through, I encountered a cluster of food trucks every couple of blocks. For the Portlanders, this is just a regular part of their everyday life. They don’t need a street festival or designated day of the week (as they do in the Bay Area) to round up the trucks. Brick and mortar places are worth mentioning too. Every restaurant, cafe, or bakery I passed offered a drool worthy menu. Bacon doughnuts, savory waffles, bloody Marys, or bone marrow ice cream? Take your pick. Or try them all, as I did.

Everything is coming up roses.
I got the chance to escape the heat of the concrete jungle just minutes outside the city at Washington Park. The cool canopy of trees shrouded me from the summer sun. Although it was no replacement for a real hike in the woods, it was just enough greenery for this city girl. There’s a reason Portland is called the City of Roses, for it is home to one of the largest rose gardens in the United States. Many cities boast a rose garden of some sort – but this one is quite spectacular. With beautiful hues of red, pink, orange, yellow, lilac, and in fragrances unimaginable, this is simply the most beautiful rose garden I have ever seen.

Hippity Hops.
A trip to Portland wouldn’t be complete without visiting a couple of breweries and downing a pint or two. Again, Portland sets another record, this time for having the most breweries than any city in the U.S. (or is it the world?). While I’m more of a cocktail girl, I hopped on the hops bandwagon because when in Portland, one has to drink beer. Whether it was stopping traffic while pedaling on an 8 person brewcycle from brewery to brewery, to snacking on a pretzel necklace at an all day international beer festival, I have never downed so many beers in my life, and I probably never will again.

Dolla dolla bill y’all.
Don’t quote me, but I read that Portland also holds the record for the most strip clubs per capita. I was a strip club virgin prior to this trip, and without a benchmark, I can’t say my experience was anything special. I will say I was very intrigued with the female form. How the heck do they walk around in those heels? Even as the naked ladies lured me to join my friends in the front row, I assured them I could see everything just fine from where I was seated. Needless to say, no photos were allowed inside.

These are just a few highlights from my trip, but there is still so much more to explore. Who knew Portland held such a track record for having the most of anything? I wasn’t able to get a grasp of Portland street style since I was too preoccupied with all of the above to even notice. I guess I’ll have to save it for my next visit.

If this fashion thing doesn’t work out, then travel writer for hire!

Silver Linings Lookbook

All the single ladies, all the single ladies, now put your hands up!

Oh, the dreaded bouquet toss. There’s something embarrassing about parading up to the dance floor like a herd of cattle. You’re up there with all types of single ladies: the flower girls, the teenagers, the eager to be wed ladies, and maybe an old maid or two. I never actually go out of my way to try to catch the bouquet, instead opting for a blasé approach to guarantee that no bouquet will land in my closed fists. However, there was one traumatic occasion when this strategy failed. With my eyes wide in shock and mouth agape, I was so caught off guard that the beautiful bouquet dropped from my clutches and onto the floor. I stood there frozen in disbelief while a small scuffled ensued around me. A seven year old victor finally emerged from the crowd of single ladies and she proudly held up the flowers above her head while smiling from ear to ear.

I’ve already attended a few weddings so far and with a couple more still to go before summer is over, what should I wear? I’ve got 27 dresses in my closet, but it’s hard to choose one. A floral frock or a powder blue 70s’ gown? My head was spinning with so many choices. Luckily, every cloud has a silver lining, and this was a golden opportunity to cool it down with head to toe silver for a recent summertime wedding.

With diamonds and crystal beads on my wrist and roses at my feet, this silver sheath dress, once long forgotten in my closet, was brought back to life. I got excessive with all my rhinestone brooches that rarely see the light of day. The result: a blinged out right shoulder that was so heavy it caused my dress to droop. I love me a good cardigan with all my vintage frocks, and this one with a lace inset and tiny diamonds embedded throughout is perfect for my 1950s inspired silver look.


silver dress (similar dress) / vintage cardigan (similar cardigan) / Nina rose heels (similar heels) / various rhinestone brooches (similar brooch & brooch) / crystal bead bracelet (similar bracelet)

Who says silver comes second? Once wedding season is over, I think I’m going to incorporate silver into my everyday wear. Whether its a whole lotta silver, or just a sliver of silver, checkout my gold medal first place worthy looks here.

Silver Look 1

Look1

Silver Look 2

Look2

Silver Look 3

Look3

Puttin’ in Pleats

I’m a good sport about putting balls into holes. Any stroke will do it, right?

From the conservative dress of the 1800s, to the short hemlines of the 1960s, women’s fashion in sports reflected societal norms of dress of the time. As more women participated in sports, there grew a demand for practicality and functionality for they needed the same ease of movement as men. Restrictive forms of clothing gave way to the sportier and shorter silhouettes seen today.

I recently had the opportunity to try my hand at golf for the very first time. Interestingly, golf began as a social club for young men and women to meet each other. Thus, it was important for women to be dressed to impress should they encounter a suitor. For them, golfing was more about the fashion than the sport itself – they were dressed to a (golf) tee.

Nowadays, golfing is purely focused on the sport, but that did not deter me from looking my best on the fairway. Excited to get my Tiger Woods on (in the pro-golf sense), I seized this opportunity as an excuse to wear my tennis dress.

Daiso hat (similar hat) / vintage tennis dress (similar dress) / thrifted shoes (similar shoes)

Yes, I said tennis dress. But the sport is golf, no? While the sports are different, they do share some commonalities in their fashion evolution whether it be long sleeved blouses, rising hemlines, or sweater cardigans. I feel this dress could probably work in the game of golf. The little drop waist pleats must’ve been made for this game as one has to stick their butt out quite a bit just to putt the ball. Pass me the wood please!

Unfortunately, I didn’t meet any potential suitors on the fairway and failed to make a hole in one. Where’s a caddy when you need one? I guess I need to step up my game or just stick to driving the golf cart. Fore!

Exemplary Embroidery

I’m still battling feelings of wanderlust.

Through my travels I like to keep my eye out for local style and traditional forms of dress. Truth be told, I’m quite the sucker for souvenir shops and outdoor markets with alleyways of vendors that stretch for miles. I like to think that I’m quite the little bargainer from my years of haggling experience, but sometimes the language barrier gets in the way. At that point I rely on my ten fingers and my smile to get my ideal price point across.

I carefully curated this dress from my trip to Mexico last year. Dazzled by the vibrant colors and beautifully embroidered flowers, I remember the first time I slipped it over my head. The vendor saw the flash of excitement on my face and immediately, I was at a disadvantage. I may not have had bargaining power to strike up a ridiculously good deal, but it didn’t matter.

The shapeless silhouette makes it easy and comfortable to wear, with the bright colors only made more stunning by way of embroidery. It reminds me of my embroidering days as a kid, spending endless hours threading embroidery floss into the fabric stretched out on two wooden hoops. I’d like to think that the same care was taken by some lady in Mexico carefully embroidering this dress just for me, but something tells me this was probably mass produced by a machine somewhere. In any case, I love it just the same!

I accessorized minimally with a pair of colorful vintage cork earrings, a simple necklace and even incorporated some enamel bangles curated from my time in Beijing. The dress’s ornate embroidery speaks for itself. It doesn’t matter if you can’t understand Spanish, this dress is simply beautiful and transcends all language barriers.

La playa? Thanks for the compliment, but I’m looking for the beach.

D&Y hat (similar hat) / Mexican dress / Franco Sarto sandals (similar sandals)

Wanderlust

I want to get away. I want to fly away.

When I was 22, I was bit by the travel bug and was diagnosed with a chronic case of wanderlust, curable only with frequent vacations in international doses.

I am far from being a jet setter, but I am no stranger when it comes to traveling to far away lands. I love to sightsee, experience culture shock, and devour culinary delights. Immersing myself in a foreign place only makes me thirst for more novel environments. Although life’s daily demands and financial obligations make it hard to travel more often, I try my best to make time for it to keep my wanderlust at bay.

While I’m currently saving up my PTO and plotting my next getaway, I like to play dress up as a tourist – but in the chicest way possible. This thrifted blouse was a tourist trap, quite figuratively. I picked it up at a clothing swap I attended long ago. Normally I would not pay good money for a shirt like this, but since it was free, I had nothing to lose.

To prevent the full-on tourist look, I avoided khaki colored bottoms of any sort. Since the shirt is a bit boxy, I opted for a pair of mid rise skinny jeans to tuck in the excess fabric and show off a more shapely silhouette. My summer tourist shoes of choice are my trusty pair of espadrilles – the small wedge is just high enough to give me some height and I can still walk miles in them. A headscarf is a must, in order to keep that unruly travel hair under control. Now that I’ve got the outfit down, all I need is to book a ticket to a beachy travel destination. Any suggestions?


thrifted blouse (similar blouse) / Urban Outfitters jeans (similar jeans) / Unisa espadrilles (similar espadrilles) / Fossil sunglasses (similar sunglasses)

What kind of traveller are you? Do you like to get lost in a big city or be one with nature?Do you prefer a planned daily itinerary or do you just wing it? Are you a rest and relax type of person, or an on the go sightseer? No matter what type of traveller you are, make sure you look stylish doing so. After all, don’t you want to look stunning in all your travel photos? Whether you’re headed to the beach, a metropolis, or an outdoor glamping adventure, checkout my wanderlust lookbook for ideas on what to wear on your next trip.

Life’s a Beach

Life's a Beach

Goin’ Sightseein’

Goin' Sightseein'

A Glamping We Will Go

A Glamping We Will Go

The Green Dress

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? I do not have a green thumb, but a green dress I do.

This dress was a lucky green find at Salvation Army and it has quickly become a favorite of mine to wear in the spring and summer. The solid color and simplicity of its design serves as the perfect blank canvas for me to create a styling masterpiece. Whether I choose a statement necklace, a scarf tied around the neck, or a big fancy belt, there are an infinite amount of ways to accessorize it into different looks.

The rich green color is as lush as the rolling green hills on which I had these photos taken. Indeed, this dress is fertile for a mighty garden to sprout, so I accessorized accordingly with pink floral accents. This upcycled one of a kind leather belt I often neglect, but for this dress it was a match made in heaven. And of course, the bodice of the dress wouldn’t be complete without a giant flower pin. Although there’s not a single silver bell or cockle shell on me, I still think Mary would be quite pleased.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. Unless of course, you don’t own a green dress.

J.Crew cardigan (similar cardigan) / thrifted dress (similar dress) / thrifted belt (similar belt) / Natural comfort wedge shoes (similar wedge shoes)