What buttons up, must button down.

OOTD Fashion Style

A concatenation of events in my personal life (all good things!) has caused me to derail off the blogging track. It was still blue skies and hot as balls since my last post, but now I wake up to brisk mornings and brown leaves on trees. Seasons have changed and I even passed my four year Chic Vic blogiversary without realizing it. But now I’m back up in the game like Mark Morrison, and onto the chain reaction fashion series I go.

I always aspire to achieve that minimalist closet of must-have basics and versatile neutrals that mix and match like the Parisian chic items from Amour Vert. But honestly, it feels a bit bland to be minimalist all the time. I still cannot completely let go of the fantastic prints, bold pops of color, and one of a kind vintage threads I’ve amassed over the years. At my style core, that is what Chic Vic is all about – a flavorful melange of style that is uniquely me.

OOTD Fashion Style

Saks Fifth Avenue dress (similar) | Forever 21 top (similar) | Jones New York skirt (similar) | vintage belt (similar) | vintage heels (similar) | vintage purse (similar) | vintage necklace (similar) | vintage watch (similar)

OOTD Fashion Style

I am neither a wallflower nor am I a limelight seeker by any means, but I do like to sit back and let my clothes do the talking for me. This dress is as rambunctious as a neon highlighter, and definitely gets me noticed even when I’m not soliciting attention – especially when I wear it unbuttoned.

The basic, versatile, and ever trustworthy neutral navy, like a steadfast friend, offers the perfect stage for the neon green to shine with all her retro glory. Worn unbuttoned like a jacket of sorts, it adds the right amount of 1960s spunkiness to the conservative pencil skirt silhouette, while accenting the neon green color pops of my blouse. I’m head to toe thrifted, and that’s soo Chic Vic.

So before you stow away your summer shirt dress in hibernation, think again. Or rather, think it unbuttoned.
OOTD Fashion Style

Chain reaction fashion: December | January | February | March | April | May | June | July

Fur and Leather Weather

Flu season is in full swing and thankfully I have avoided it so far. Unfortunately, I have come down with hustler fever and the only cure for it is fur and leather.

I wasn’t looking for a fur collared leather jacket to add to my wardrobe. Instead, the jacket found me. After successfully selling a few items at Buffalo Exchange, I did my usual song and dance through the racks of clothes to decide if I wanted to take the cash or store credit. That’s when I found this beauty of a jacket. It was in immaculate condition, with no broken seams, perfectly conditioned leather, and intact fur. It didn’t even have any detectable odor that usually comes with most vintage clothes. Most importantly, it fit like a glove and that was what sealed the deal.

This jacket is the ultimate show stopping statement piece and is sure to turn a few heads – fur and leather just beckons drama and attention like that. But why stop there? I pulled out all the stops to make this a surefire 1970s head to toe look, which includes a wide brimmed hat, oversized sunglasses, gold chains, and high waisted pants. Watch everyone stop, drop, and roll when I step onto the scene.

I have always been a believer that our style choices portray to the outside world our inner beauty and personality. However, the same can be said on the contrary: clothes can actually transform the way you feel. The leather jacket instantly made me feel like a confident, sexy, and powerful diva lady. I never fully understood the meaning of swag – in the style sense – until the day I put on this jacket. Do I wear the jacket or do I let it wear me? Let’s just say it’s a symbiotic relationship.

Between the fur, sunglasses, and big hat, I might as well be known as Ms. Incognito: baller and shot caller. There is no better way.

vintage Wilsons jacket (similar jacket) / Ecote blouse (similar blouse) / Uniqlo hat (similar hat) / Levis jeans (similar jeans) / Guess shoes (similar shoes) / vintage necklace (similar necklace) / Daiso sunglasses (similar sunglasses)

I’m a Hustler Baby

“Can you guess what my upcoming post is about?” I asked my sister, as I arranged my outfit on her bed.

She stared at me quizzically, and then cautiously replied, “A…pimp?”

Now I can see how she was mistaken – the fur, long coat, and gold chains are a bit misleading. But I regret to disappoint all you pimp enthusiasts out there; actually, the look I am going for is 1970s chic. Inspired by the fashions in American Hustle, I decided to take the plunge into achieving a head to toe look from that decade – minus the revealing Sydney Prosser plunge.

I shopped inside my closet to put together something that I think my girl Sydney would wear. No plunging necklines here – I opted for a more prim and proper look in a sheer button up blouse with a pair of high waisted wide leg trousers in the same hue. This coat has been in my closet for years and only now have I rediscovered its swanky charm – the faux fur collar keeps my neck warm and also adds a dash of drama to my outfit. And finally, let’s not forget the gold medallion and my two chains to complete this ultimate 1970s look. I’m different, yeah I’m different.

Now if only I had a camel colored wide brimmed felt hat and a pair of oversized round sunnies, then I would pass as a cunning con woman. I guess that’s where I could learn a style lesson or two from a pimp. But what can I say; I’m just a hustler baby.

Gap jacket (similar) / vintage blouse (similar) / vintage trousers (similar) / vintage Trifari chain (similar) / Forever21 medallion (similar) / H&M bracelet (similar) / Cole Haan bag (similar)

En Garde This Beach

Like the birds, I migrated south for the weekend down to sunny Los Angeles to visit a good friend I hadn’t seen in over three years.

We did all the usual L.A. activities: eat, drink, shop, reminisce, and be merry. We even got crafty! I had more celebrity sightings than I can count on my two hands, albeit I either didn’t know who they were or didn’t recognize them until they were pointed out to me. Although slightly star-struck, I was pleasantly surprised to find that celebrities are very plain looking in real life. Average Joes and Janes everywhere – rejoice!

A visit to L.A. wouldn’t be complete without a day at the beach. My favorite thing about beaches besides the soft sand and the sound of waves crashing on the shore, are the lifeguard towers. Luckily, we found one in a beautiful sun bleached Tiffany blue that needed some saving – we breathed new life into it in the form of a photoshoot.

Yet another opportunity to get in some last minute tanning, I wore my high waisted shorts and a sheer graphic tee with my sassy girl on it. I love the retro cut of these shorts – they have just the right amount of shortness to be sexy without being tasteless. The dark denim also makes them versatile to wear in the evening with a pair of heels. The beach was deceptively cool, but luckily I brought my camouflage utility jacket. Not only did it keep me warm, but it also provided a nice masculine contrast to the feminine shorts.

The lifeguard may be off duty, but Staff Sergeant Lau is not. Life’s a beach – I command you to play in the sand. No seriously, only in the sand because I can’t swim and will be unable to save you in the water in case of emergency.

Life is too short, so wear a pair of shorts. And that’s an order. En garde!

Urban Outfitters army jacket (similar) / Zara tee (similar) / Urban Outfitters shorts (similar) / Jeffrey Campbell shoes (similar)

Floppy Wall Flower

Whoa! I’m Blossoming every time I put on this floppy denim hat – minus the oversized flower.

I hastily bought this hat a few seasons ago for a summer trip. Although it is cute and my face is shielded from the sun’s harmful rays, I always feel like I will walk into a tree or a telephone pole – it’s just too damn floppy for my own safety. Yet, as most fashionistas do, I sometimes sacrifice comfort and practicality for visual aesthetic. Floppy this hat might be, but a fashion flop it is not. The camera captured my floppy hat in all its glorious motion.

The light denim color of the hat lends itself well to this thrifted silky blouse with washed out citrus colored flowers and a dash of sky blue. Likely once a home sewn project, I date this shirt back to the 1960s. The print is reminiscent of wallpaper, floral motifs on dishware, and flower power stickers that were all the rage in that era.

I wore mid rise denim skinnies to balance out the blouse’s short boxy silhouette. The fact that my jeans are nearly the same shade of denim as my hat is no coincidence. Why, that’s just made in the shade.

Where my girl Six at?

Citrus Summer

Mad for Paisley

Are you mad for Joan, Betty, or Peggy?

While I’m mad for Don Draper, the ladies of Mad Men each have their own distinct style that I covet. Whether it is curve hugging sheath dresses for Joan, sophisticated fit and flare for Betty, or innocent and conservative office attire for Peggy – I have items in my closet that can easily identify with each of their style personalities.

I would say this abstract paisley dress fits Peggy’s style personality best. The conservative high neckline and feminine flared out skirt makes this dress oh-so office appropriate. I can picture Peggy wearing this dress as she climbs the corporate ladder. If that corporate ladder were Don Draper, I’d try to climb it too.

Look who decided to join Peggy for tea time: why, it’s none other than Velma from Scooby Doo!

vintage dress /vintage earrings (similar) / Urban Outfitters necklace (similar) / Guess platform pumps (similar) / silver & gold cuff (similar)


Poolside Polka Dot

When it comes to styling the perfect outfit, I often freestyle it. Take the bathing suit for example: one has to think outside the swimming pool.

Betty Grable

Even though I purchased this red and white polka dot one-piece a few seasons ago, the retro design and classic style makes it timeless. Whenever I wear it, I feel like Betty Grable, although I dare not compete with her beauty and body.

Luckily, you don’t always have to bare your bottom. A one-piece bathing suit can be worn perfectly with a pair of trousers or a skirt. I chose to wear my polka dots with a full midi skirt thrifted from Salvation Army and completed my glam poolside ensemble with summertime appropriate bangles and a flower in my hair.

Far from a belly-flop, this is one outfit too chic to do a cannonball in.

Urban Outfitters bathing suit (similar) / thrifted skirt (similar) / Me Too shoes (similar) / flower headband (similar) / bangles (similar)

Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture

In elementary school, I remember being forced to take awkward Polaroid mug shots for no reason. As a kid, my siblings and I would fight over using the Polaroid camera, and then watch in awe as it magically spit out the unprocessed image. It was pure magic to witness the pictures develop right before my eyes.

So with this nostalgia, I was elated to find this awesome tee shirt at a museum store during my visit to Toronto a few months back. I had long been looking for a cool “tourist” tee shirt – one with a graphic of a camera slung around the neck – and this one fit the profile perfectly. It was old school in all the right ways.

Lately my go-to casual outfit has been: graphic tee, blazer, jeans, strappy heels, and dog tags. This vintage yellow blazer added the right pop of color to an otherwise neutral palette. I wore this outfit to a quick casual dinner, and soon afterwards, I was ready to shake it like a Polaroid picture at a local bar without feeling too underdressed or too pretentious.

Who’s ready for their Polaroid mug shot?

personalized dog tags (similar) / vintage blazer (similar here + here) / graphic tee (similar) / Me Too shoes (similar)