Birthday Basics

Hi readers, remember me? California is officially out of a drought, and so is Chic Vic.


In the past year, my style has started morphing into something different. Something more casual, more monochromatic, more…dare I say it – BASIC. I haven’t felt this basic since my fashion fast. Jeans, tees, and sneakers that used to never see the light of day, have become my go-to staples when I have no idea what I should wear. Two years ago, Chic Vic would’ve scoffed at such a uniform.

Yet here I am, dressing more comfortably and casually, blending into the crowd rather than standing out.

If we use clothes as a vehicle for self-expression, then something has changed about me.

Daiso beanie (similar) | Levis trucker vest (similar) | Top Shop sweatshirt (similar) | Madewell henley blouse (similar) | Kut from the Kloth jeans (similar) | Doc Marten boots | vintage backpack (similar) | vintage brooch (similar) | bauble bar necklace


I’ve gone through a lot of transitions these last two years. After traveling for most of 2015 around the world with my beau, I came back refreshed with a new game plan for 2016. I reinvented myself (I’m a stylist! A writer! A hustler!), and reached out to old acquaintances while bravely cold contacted strangers. After months of living off my savings, I finally started to see some cash trickle at the end of last year.

Between my odds and ends freelance gigs and working from home, my pretty vintage clothes started to gather dust in my closet. Whenever I had the opportunity to meet up with friends, I just threw on my most basic items. What happened to Chic Vic? I was beginning to wonder if I was having a style identity crisis and if I would ever return to my former vintage self.

The personal style equation is equal parts self-expression and lifestyle necessity. I realize now that I had maintained the same lifestyle for a very long time, and that it helped cultivate my style identity and dictated how I dressed. During those eight years working in the same industry, I had my office attire with vintage flair down to a tee. And nowadays, my tee shirt and jean uniform is on repeat.

Daiso beanie (similar) | Levis trucker vest (similar) | Top Shop sweatshirt (similar) | Madewell henley blouse (similar) | Kut from the Kloth jeans (similar) | Doc Marten boots | vintage backpack (similar) | vintage brooch (similar) | bauble bar necklace


Fear not readers – I don’t think that my style has changed permanently, for Chic Vic still lives within me (and in my closet!). But perhaps I should just consider this as another facet of style I’ve developed and incorporated into my OOTD repertoire.

I couldn’t think of a better way to end my blogging drought than with this post, just in time for my birthday. To celebrate turning the perfect palindrome age of 33, I chose a streetwear inspired layered outfit that harkens back to the 90s. Although I’ve experimented with a shirt around my waist, I’ve never been a fan of the grunge look. Yet here I am surprising even myself with this new style endeavor.


Quintessential items to have: a slouchy beanie, something logo, denim, and combat boots. Ladies, you’ll need a mini backpack to hold all your essentials. Notwithstanding something plaid, I opted instead for a camouflage printed henley blouse layered under a fuzzy pullover that harkens back to my roots. That’s right, straight outta Oakland, born and raised. A vintage brooch adds a feminine touch that puts the chic in Chic Vic.

I’m both eager and anxious to see what this year brings me. I may be 33 now, but I sure smell like teen spirit.

Daiso beanie (similar) | Levis trucker vest (similar) | Top Shop sweatshirt (similar) | Madewell henley blouse (similar) | Kut from the Kloth jeans (similar) | Doc Marten boots | vintage backpack (similar) | vintage brooch (similar) | bauble bar necklace


A Turtleneck for the Spring

OOTD Style Fashion Turtleneck

As far as turtlenecks go, I’ve never been a huge fan. When I was young, my mom forced me to wear turtlenecks in hideous shades of pink and fuchsia. Maybe she believed they would prevent me from catching a cold. Or perhaps she was setting precedent for a modest way of dress that I came to embrace without question.

Urban Outfitters beret (similar) | vintage turtleneck (similar) | vintage Levis 501 (similar) | vintage Cameos pumps (similar) | vintage necklace (similar) | vintage bangle (similar) | vintage watch (similar) | vintage Coach crossbody (similar) | Urban Outfitters sunglasses (similar)

In my early 20s, I ventured down the turtleneck road again, and incorporated the high neckline into my working girl’s office wardrobe. I am willing to suffer a little discomfort in the name of fashion, but the turtleneck was in a class of its own. I gave it up after one season, as if its constricting nature was stifling my style.

But nowadays, turtlenecks aren’t as restrictive as they used to be, with looser necklines available in a variety of materials. Whether it’s cozy wool for the winter, lightweight drapey cotton knits for the spring, or even sleeveless ones in the summer, there’s a turtleneck for every season.

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OOTD Style Fashion Turtleneck

Like romantic relationships, you shouldn’t feel smothered by your turtleneck. I stole this vintage top from my momma’s closet, and while I can’t decide if it’s a turtleneck, funnel neck, mock, or maybe all of the above, alls I know is that my neck can breathe again like Toni Braxton. The loose fit and thinner material make it appropriate for this transitional weather, as we’re experiencing temperature swings left and right like hot flashes.

In keeping with the mom theme, I tucked my mom’s turtleneck into a classic pair of mom jeans, none other than the original Levi’s 501 button fly. A slim pair of pointy pumps helps streamline the otherwise dowdy mom look, while golden embellishments and a beret add a little flair to this turtleneck affair.

OOTD Style Fashion Turtleneck

The Cool Chic

You’re hot then you’re cold.

I’m talking about the finicky weather lately. A heatwave one week, and a chance of rain the next week. Or, it can happen all in the same day: mild in the daytime, but winds pick up soon after sunset. Lightweight layering pieces are key to surviving these fast-changing temperatures.

For this weather driven style challenge, I reached for my leather jacket. I finally got my hands on one for a price that I can live with – $15 at Goodwill! A simple leather jacket is classic and timeless – you won’t have to worry about it going out of style. It’s the perfect mid-weight item for that in between weather, when it’s neither frosty nor too hot.

It’s black and it’s white. Still high off my previous outfit post, black and white seemed most appropriate for this leather jacket. Not one to be very edgy, I softened up the ensemble with feminine details: a polka dot bow, a strand of pearls, a sheer blouse, and a vintage beaded cardigan.

Between the jacket, the killer heels, and the graffiti in the background, I couldn’t help but feel too cool for school (while staying warm) in this outfit. I tried my best to give a mean mug, but to no avail. Instead of looking bad ass, I just look cool chic.

This cool chic chick needs a cigarette, a tatted up boy toy, and a motorcycle. Who da baddest chic?

thrifted Banana Republic jacket (similar pleather jacket) / vintage cardigan (similar cardigan) / Old Navy blouse (similar blouse and blouse) / Levi’s jeans (similar jeans) / Dollhouse booties (similar booties) / vintage Coach Willis handbag / thrifted headscarf (similar scarf)

Mom Jeanetics

I’m not planning to be a mom anytime soon, but that won’t stop me from wanting to sport the “mom jeans.”

If you’re lucky to get it from your momma – a pair of hand me down jeans – then you’re already one step ahead of the trend. I call it jeanetics. But what exactly are these so called “mom jeans”? They are characterized by a high waist, slight bagginess in the crotch area with optional pleats, and a tapered leg opening. In other words – they are quite unflattering in that they make your butt look bigger than it is, while simultaneously flattening it. Call it pancaking.

All of this sounds like bad news bears, but oddly enough, it is precisely the ill-fitting unflattering way of the mom jean that makes it so charming.

The tomboyish cut makes it a perfect candidate to juxtapose with feminine elements, such as high heels and a girly top.

Or, you can embrace the boyish look with a cropped tee and sneaker flats, with the hem of the jeans rolled up to show some ankle.

I may have gotten my single dimple from my momma, but mom jeans I did not. However, I did score this vintage Levis jeans upcycled into a pencil skirt. I imagine that they were a pair of mom jeans in their previous lifetime, and so I styled them accordingly: with a soft knit top, wedge heels, a fancy belt to accentuate the high waist, and a healthy dose of girly accessories.

To all you mothers out there: wear those mom jeans up high, loud and proud! Happy Mother’s Day!

vintage top (similar top) / upcycled vintage Levis (similar denim skirt) / Natural Comfort shoes (similar shoes) / vintage belt (similar belt)