Late Bloomer

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“After women, flowers are the most divine creations.” – Christian Dior

There is something remarkable about flowers’ unmistakable beauty, fragrance, and natural wonder that helps lift spirits and brings smiles to those who receive them. Now that it is officially spring, many beautiful flowers are in full bloom as well as increased usage of antihistamines much to the dismay of allergy sufferers everywhere. To them I say, have you tried some local honey lately? I’m available in the Bay Area.

vintage scarf (similar here & here) / thrifted Tracy Reese blouse (similar here & here) / Cooperative denim pant (similar) / GH Bass & Co. shoes (similar here & here) / vintage earrings (similar) / H&M flower bracelet (similar) / vintage flower cuff (similar)

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I can’t remember the last time I was sprung in the spring, but I experienced those same feelings of enjoyment, happiness, and obsession when I thrifted this lovely silk floral blouse. It’s been patiently waiting in my closet for the darkness of winter to pass so that it may bloom in the spring sunshine.

A green thumb I do not have, so on the contrary, how does my garden grow? With a silk blouse, a matching headscarf, and a pair of goody two shoes, all in a row. There’s no beating around the bush: I sowed the seeds for this floral spring outfit to sprout one thrift shop at a time. Flowers for moi? You shouldn’t have!

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While there’s no doubt that my style is in full bloom, I often question whether I have fully blossomed, or whether I am a late bloomer. The permeation of social media and status updates about professional accomplishments and milestones achieved leads me to believe that my friends and acquaintances have it all figured out. I am left to wonder: am I there yet? Comparison is the thief of joy so I should nip this in the bud right now. You can’t force a flower to bloom, and in the end, everything will come up roses. Preferably a dozen please.

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Kiss Me I’m Stylish

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Before the whole blue and black vs. white and gold dress debate, there was the green sweatshirt incident.

I was minding my own business on the playground during morning recess when he cornered me.

“That’s more like an aqua color,” he taunted, pointing to my outfit of choice for St. Patty’s Day. I was wearing my favorite mint green Care Bears sweatshirt that had each bear hanging out on a fluffy cloud. I insisted it was green, but to no avail. I was no match for this class clown who was very gifted in the skill of debate. He had me seeing red as he proceeded to torment me with his book of jokes and pranks and wouldn’t leave me alone until the end of recess, when he disappeared into a hawthorne tree.

What the silly boy failed to understand is that there are different values of color. Value refers to the darkness or lightness of a color. My dear Care Bears sweatshirt happened to be of a very high value mint green versus the medium value kelly green that is usually associated with four leaf clovers and leprechauns.

Banana Republic blouse (similar) / Urban Outfitters skirt (similar) / H&M necklace (similar) / Urban Outfitters belt (similar) / vintage purse (similar) / Nine West pumps (similar)
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Green symbolizes harmony, balance, and calm – but perhaps this head to toe monochromatic outfit will inspire some envy too. The monochromatic look is great for helping elongate the figure because of the long uninterrupted silhouette. You may remember this skirt from a past St. Patty’s Day post, but it just so happens to be the luck of the Irish that I thrifted a blouse that matches it exactly. For accessories, nothing beats a beetle necklace – I love how the iridescent hues from the rhinestones complements my head to toe green. Considering my lucky streak, maybe it will continue if I stay up all night.

Whether you recycle, compost, carpool, or smoke it, I’m sure you can agree that nowadays, green is the new black. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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Short Dress, Long Jacket

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I’ve got a mind like a diamond – except when it comes to my vintage materialism.

A dramatic coat of this grand length and volume commands attention. I love the way it swings and swishes as I dash outside. I race through the city streets for no reason, sprint across busy intersections and in between taxis as if I’m running terribly late to an important rendezvous. With a coat so long and prude, who cares what I wear underneath, if anything at all? You know what they say about a lady in the streets: she’s a closet freak. I love closets!

H&M beret (similar) / vintage coat (similar) / vintage dress (similar) / Urban Outfitters knee-highs (similar) / G.H. Bass & Co shoes (similar)
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Thanks to daylight savings, I’m waking up to colder and darker mornings that turn into warm afternoons, all the while suffering from sleep depravity due to a lost hour. With the mild winter winding down, and spring on the horizon, teetering between temperature swings in one day can prove challenging when I look into my closet.

I like to play on the juxtaposition of long and short, prude and liberal with this outfit du jour. My vintage wool shift dress is just the answer to this type of nippy weather, along with a pair of knee-highs for a true 1960s vibe. The pleated 1970s coat is just as warm as it is stylish. How warm, you ask? Let’s just say this breezy isn’t worried about a cold breeze.

Who says I can’t have my cake and eat it too?
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Birthday Shorts

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J.Crew blazer (similar) / vintage blouse (similar) / Express silk shorts (similar) / Vince Camuto pumps (similar) / fishnets tights (similar) / feather fascinator (similar)
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It ain’t a birthday without the birthday suit.

It might seem crazy what I’m about to say, but if Mr. Happy wears short suits, maybe I can unlock a bit of happiness by following suit. That’s right, the short suit is having it’s moment right now. Although this trend surfaced last year in retailers like J. Crew and Topman, only recently has it gained attention when the ever popular Pharrell Williams sported a reflective suit to the Grammy’s earlier this month. Think of the short suit as the mullet hairstyle of suits: business from the waist up, and party from the waist down. Oh what a double entendre indeed.

While I could never compete with Pharrell’s reflective 3M suit, I can boast a pair of sexy fishnets with mine.

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I’ve had this tuxedo blazer and this silk short in my closet forever, but never thought of wearing the two together. And we all know when 2 become 1, everyone’s happy. To add some textural contrast to the suit’s silky sheen, I chose to wear a vintage beaded blouse underneath and floral fishnet tights. The look wouldn’t be complete without a fascinating feather fascinator.

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Although I’ve been an adult for quite some time now, I still have to come to terms with each birthday that my big girl panties are on for good – and they ain’t coming off. Sorry fellas! That is, until I’m a senior citizen and then it’ll be Depends.

I’m stronger and healthier than my 21 year old self, and that’s something that I’m proud of. And while aging another year means becoming wiser, I still have my reservations. With age comes resistance to change, and I don’t want to get stuck in my habits and routine ways of thinking if I have room for improvement. So on this day, I reflect on what I’ve learned this past year, and how I hope to grow going forward. No matter how big or small, I will do something new to either challenge myself emotionally, mentally, or physically.

Now if you’ll excuse me it’s my birthday, and I’ll wear a short suit if I want to.IMG_8151

Red Carpet at the Oscars

So I heard there was this thing called the Oscars that I missed out on.

Awkward presenters, teary eyed speeches, musical numbers, red carpet fashion – oh my! I rarely make time to turn on the tube, veg out and be a couch potato. I guess I’m just a desk yam, glued to my chair and table surfing the web.

Award ceremonies beckon Hollywood’s finest suits, gowns, jewels, and perfectly coiffed hairdos. It’s pretty hard for a man to make it to the worst dressed list – they usually cannot go wrong in a clean pressed suit. The women, on the other hand, need a bit more peacocking, if you will, to really steal the spotlight. While there were many actresses that looked just fine on the red carpet, the following ladies won best dressed in my book.

Who are your favorites?

The Fashion Fast

The Minimalist
Just when I thought I was done with New Year’s resolutions for 2015, I’ve got to think of some for the Lunar New Year of 4713.

When I told my younger sister I was doing a style resolution where I would only wear a very limited amount of items from my closet for 30 days, she replied “Why would you torture yourself!?” I was a few days in and I found myself justifying my foray into this fashion fast. I explained that I wanted to challenge myself to live simply, to do more with less, and to be a minimalist in the style sense. I wanted to own my clothes and not be owned by them.

I haven’t done anything like this since my LBD days, so I knew this would be a challenge. Prior to day one, I tried to build my capsule ahead of time. These select items would become my best friends for the next 30 days with a few exceptions: weekends were excluded from this challenge, and I still allowed myself full access to all my accessories. My compilation was based on the French woman’s suggested pieces of basic items in neutral colors (black pants, blue jeans, flats, white blouse, cardigan, etc.). But what I found after the first three days was that I continued to edit my assortment. I thought I needed the grey zip up jacket, but instead replaced it with my chunky knit cardigan sweater. I quickly decided which pieces I could live without, and which pieces were the most versatile and indispensable. After the first week, I did not allow any further editing, unless the polar vortex should suddenly pay a visit to sunny California.

My experience went something like this:

Day 1: Excited to do this! Feeling a little plain, but still confident and pulled together, like I did this effortlessly.

Day 6: Tee shirt and jeans, or tee shirt and jeans? Decisions, decisions.

Day 11: If I cut this challenge down to 21 days, then I’m halfway there….

Alas, the original 30 day challenge became a 21 day challenge. After all, doesn’t it only take 21 days to start a habit?

I made a lot of discoveries during this experience. Some were expected, and others surprising. I rediscovered the long tan coat I had neglected over the years. I used to avoid mixing black and brown, but now I completely accept it. I felt more at ease at work since there was no need for outfit upkeep. I drew less attention to myself because I fit in with everyone else’s casual style. On the other hand, I didn’t necessarily get ready faster each morning, which was a big surprise to me. The time I saved choosing my outfit was replaced by dilly dallying over my accessories and jewelry; I just didn’t know what to do with my extra time and I was desperate for any way to add variety to my outfit.

This fashion fast is by no means perfect. Should I have stuck to the original 30 days? Maybe I limited myself with too few pieces or maybe I chose the wrong ones. Perhaps I was searching for perfection that simply doesn’t exist. How many ways can one style a white tee? There’s a finite amount of outfit combinations but I was striving for infinity and innovation to the point that it left me drained, uninspired, and lackluster. Towards the end of the challenge, I couldn’t see anything past a white tee shirt and jeans. I lost day 5’s photo somewhere along the way, so you’ll just have to take my word that I really did do this for the full duration.

Clothes do not make the woman, and in short I cannot say this was a bad experience. But for me I felt creatively suppressed. Without my colorful clothes and whimsical prints I lost all essence of what Chic Vic set out to be. If it takes 21 days to start a habit, then it only takes 7 seconds to make a first impression. Fashion is both frivolous as it is meaningful. Your outward appearance is the reflection of the inner you, so choose wisely.

I am still striving to find ways to lead a minimalistic life – just not at the expense of my style and closet. Instead of going extreme for weeks at a time, perhaps I’ll incorporate what I’ve learned from this experience into Minimalist Mondays or Fashion Fast Fridays.

You can take girl out of fashion but you can’t take the fashion out of the girl.

L-O-V-E Day

“The best kind of love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.” – Noah Calhoun, The Notebook

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Sappy romance movies really aren’t my thing and is probably my least favorite movie genre right next to romantic comedies. When I first watched The Notebook, I rolled my eyes at how the cheesy and predictable love story unfolded. Yet over time, I have grown fond of it mostly because, well, it stars Ryan Gosling as the hopeless romantic Noah Calhoun – what’s not to love? Oh how I’d like to take a ride on Noah’s ark.

Rachel McAdams plays Allie Hamilton, who is Noah’s love interest. It was painful to watch her torture herself and Noah as their summer love crashed and burned, but watching her outfit change in each scene was certainly a delight. Although women’s fashion in the 1940s is often characterized as utilitarian and austere, reflecting the nation’s somber mood during the war, there was also a softer and glamorous side, as epitomized by Allie’s perfect curls, red lipstick, and feminine dresses. Hats, floral and geographic prints, emphasis on sleeve details, shirt dresses, and shoulder pads became very popular during this time.

vintage jacket (similar) / vintage dress (similar) / vintage pumps (similar) / fishnets (similar) / Forever 21 pillbox (similar)

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You must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss.

I may not have a heart when it comes to romance movies, but I can empathize with the pain and uncertainty of wartime love. Imagine kissing your love for the last time, never knowing when or if they will return. You cling onto a photograph of him, waiting everyday at the mercy of a telegram or handwritten letter to know that he is still alive and well. The men and women in these photographs didn’t really know when they would see each other again because another day was not guaranteed. So on this Valentine’s Day – and any other day for that matter – enjoy the present with the apple of your eye and be thankful that you have someone who wants to be attached to you at the hip, and who is happy to call you their better half. If you are single, then bask in the love of your family and friends and believe that your soulmate is out there somewhere – or at least right at your fingertips on Tinder.

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I experienced wartime love when I laid my eyes on this gorgeous pair of 1940s peep-toe pumps. In pristine condition, I can only imagine they sat in a shoebox in some stylish lady’s closet and forgotten, as she probably had more pressing matters to be concerned with. Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a lady in red, because you know how the saying goes: red dress at night, sailor’s delight. This thrifted 80s silk beauty almost fits the bill for a 40s style dress. None of the hats in my collection could ever rival the amazing head pieces in that era, but I tried my best by adding a veil to my favorite pillbox hat. I felt a bit like a widow, but the 1940s were somber times after all. Fishnet stockings were hardly a thing in that decade, but I felt this outfit deserved some pizzaz and sheer nylons just weren’t going to do it. I could be waiting a while for my sailor, so better stay warm and glam in my fur collar jacket.

Although I never want to be in the situation of such uncertainty, one thing I am certain of: when my sailor sees me this Valentine’s Day in my 1940s inspired getup, he’ll want to dip me and kiss me like it’s V-J Day in Times Square.

Happy Valentine’s Day loves!

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Preppy Pep

 

IMG_7068Who can turn the world on with her smile?

My blog has been my pride and joy the last two plus years, but lately I have had a hard time squeezing it into my schedule. With extra work piling up at my full time job, a recent part time gig, and personal plans I’m working on, you can imagine this working girl is quite beat when she punches out to knock out midnight, only to punch in again the next day at 6am. When the #firstworldproblems gets tough, I ask myself, WWMTMD?

The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a popular sitcom in the 1970s, starring Mary Richards as Mary Tyler Moore. It’s about a young woman in her 30’s who relocates to a big city, finds new friends, becomes an independent working woman, deals with issues surrounding that decade, and everything that comes along with that.

While I’ve only seen the opening credits and heard the catchy theme song, falling short of watching an actual episode, I can still relate to Ms. MTM on a few things. We’re both independent working women. We’re the same age. She works in journalism. I studied communications and am a blogger. She twirls around in a busy intersection and tosses her hat up in the air. I’ve had the desire to do the same for the longest time.

BDG wool beret (similar) / vintage shift dress (similar here, here & here) / vintage blouse (similar) / vintage scarf (similar) / Hue tights (similar) / G.H. Bass & Co. shoes (similar) / Coach purse (similar)

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While the 1970s isn’t one of my favorite fashion decades (but I have channelled that decade before), I feel like this is an outfit that the 1960s MTM would wear – she was a big fan of abstract prints, florals, and colors on the show. This wool shift dress is another beauty I inherited from my aunt when she cleaned out her closet. Custom made for her in Hong Kong back in the day, it now fits me like a glove. Although winter’s been mild in the Bay Area, the temperatures still drop it like it’s hot enough for me to wear a wool dress. For that preppy look, and to stay warmer, I layered a chiffon blouse underneath. Tights are a must – in pop of color of course. Add in some gold hued saddle shoes (yes they were popular in the 1960s!), and this working lady is running late for work again.

With a preppy pep in my step, I’m gonna make it after all.

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Luxe Leopard Lady


The cat’s out of the bag: I’m not really a pet person.

The only pets I had growing up were confined to tanks, so I don’t have much affinity towards furry four legged creatures. Sure they’re cute, and I may even pet one, but I can’t handle the responsibility of taking care of one. There’s a reason why dogs are a man’s best friend – after all, they owe it to their masters who feed them, bathe them, walk them, and pick up their poop. But what about cats? Cats don’t need to be walked or bathed, you say? And they take care of their biz in a litter box all by themselves?

Although I do have a preference for a cat’s independent nature, don’t call me a crazy cat lady just yet. Dare to be untamed? Kittens are child’s play; only the chicest of fashion bloggers take a walk on the wild side to hang with the big cats. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, so call me luxe leopard lady. As long as I don’t materialize into a cougar somewhere down the road.

This faux fur leopard print coat is definitely a statement piece so the only other statement I’m making are with a pair of green tights. The coat is surprisingly warm for being faux fur, and I wore a chunky sweater dress to keep things cozy. This fine feline’s outfit is the cat’s meow and is sure to inspire copycats, fuel catty remarks, and maybe provoke some catcalls.

Nevermind the lion, this leopard is clearly the queen of the concrete jungle.

leopard coat (similar) / vintage sweater dress (similar) / vintage necklace (similar) / Target tights (similar) / BDG suede boots (similar) / vintage watch cuff (similar)

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Gold Digger

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Although my new year’s resolution is to become more of a fashion minimalist, deep down I ain’t nothing but a gold digger. Oh I’m a thrifting friend indeed.

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When you’re thrifty, every trip to Goodwill is like panning for gold. I struck it rich and found this gold laden, sequin encrusted cardigan during one of my routine first-donate-then-shop trips. It has become my designated statement cardigan when I need a quick way to glam up a pair of jeans with minimal effort. To let the cardigan shine, I wore all black and played up the color of the sequins by adding extra gold toned accessories to the rest of my outfit.

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Feeling bold and empowered by gold, I decided the outfit needed a superhero’s touch in the form of a cape. The black cape adds subtle drama and also allows the sequins to peekaboo through the front. The arm holes help frame sequined detail on the sleeves that would otherwise be hidden from sight with a regular coat.

My outfit isn’t suited for the snow, but this snow bunny wasn’t really planning to hit the bunny slopes anyway. Black diamond you say? Where can this gold digger get her hands on one?

Zara cape (similar) / vintage cardigan (similar) / Silence & Noise blouse (similar) / Forever 21 pillbox hat (similar) / Kimchi Blue suede boots (similar) / vintage belt (similar) / vintage flower brooch (similar) / vintage bow brooch (similar) / vintage cape clip (similar)

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