Baroque Brocade for the Holidays

ModCloth blouse (similar) / vintage belt (similar) / vintage skirt (similar) / Anthropologie tights (similar) / Vince Camuto pumps (similar) / vintage fur stole (similar) / vintage clutch (similar) / vintage cuff (similar) / vintage earrings (similar)

If I could deck the halls of my home this holiday season, I would do it not with boughs of holly, but instead go broke for Baroque. On second thought, perhaps I’ll just get decked out in a budget friendly Baroque inspired outfit.

Baroque style emerged in Europe during the 1600s. This style permeated into all art forms such as fine art, architecture, music, literature, and of course, even fashion. Baroque was all about creating excitement and drama through display of opulence and grandeur; it was a time of indulgence. I won’t get into the religious and historical details of the Baroque period, for they are just as intricate as the style itself. While Baroque manifests itself differently in each art form, in fashion it is characterized by textured fabrics, ornate embellishments, curlicues, and abundant details with ribbons, pearls, and delicate gold embroidery.

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It’s no joke that I have no great wealth to show off, so I decided to poke fun at Baroque’s opulence. If anything, I display an eminence of vintage and thrifty finds. I captured the essence of the Baroque style with embroidery and brocade in the shiniest of golden threads. Saving the wide long skirt and plunging décolletage revealing neckline for another day, I opted for a modern silhouette in a sleeveless blouse and slim pencil skirt.

Don’t let the shiny threads fool you – this is just pattern play: holiday edition. When mixing patterns, just follow a few rules. Pay attention to the scale of the pattern (mix big and small), fabric texture (shiny with matte), fabric weight (e.g. silk vs. velvet) and color scheme (same color family or neutral). In this outfit, I decided to go with multiple elements to create a lavish outfit brimming with drama for your momma. Despite all my Baroque details clamoring for attention, it might be the vintage fur stole that stole the show.

We finally started getting rain in our drought induced state of California, but I won’t let it rain on my Baroque brocade parade. Unless the precipitation is of the paper kind.

Happy Holidays!


ModCloth blouse (similar) / vintage belt (similar) / vintage skirt (similar) / Anthropologie tights (similar) / Vince Camuto pumps (similar) / vintage fur stole (similar) / vintage clutch (similar) / vintage cuff (similar) / vintage earrings (similar)

Baroque Brocade

Illustrious Luster

Miss Mary Mack ain’t got nothin’ on my gold buttons.

This jacket was a recent acquisition from my vintage shopping adventures in Portland over the summer. The babydoll-esque silhouette and statement buttons tells me that this piece could possibly date back to the early 1960s. I immediately fell in love with the shiny gold buttons, and while the chest pocket is too tiny to hold anything, it adds a small amount of charm to the jacket nonetheless. The jacket’s lightweight hand and classic ivory color will make it a perfect companion for many dressy occasions to come. It definitely deserves to be worn with something equally pretty, luminous, and rad – perhaps a little plaid?

I often associate plaid with button up shirts and preppy pleated school girl skirts, but this sheath plaid dress proved me wrong. I rarely fancy a pastel palette, but the lustrous sheen of the silk shantung made this dress rather fancy. Although not quite as fitted as a sheath should be (oh the downsides to shopping vintage!), it’s no problem that a simple belt can’t fix.

To show off the dress or the jacket? That is the question. But buttons this big are virtually fumble proof. I guess I should loosen up my buttons and show off my guns. And no, I ain’t frontin.


vintage jacket (similar) / vintage Erez Levy dress (similar) / Nina pumps / vintage purse (similar) / vintage crystal bead cluster earrings (similar) / vintage crystal bead necklace (similar)

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)

 

 

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)

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)

I Wanna Americana

I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T do you know what I mean?

Independence Day, also known as Fourth of July, celebrates the United States Declaration of Independence. It was way back in 1776 that we gained independence from Great Britain, and we have been celebrating our freedom ever since. For many, this holiday means the start of a long weekend filled with activities such as picnics, barbecues, drinking, parades, county fairs, and let’s not forget the dazzling evening finale: the fireworks show. One must celebrate in style, so show off your National pride by saluting to the red, white, and blue. Baby, you’re a firework – don’t you wanna Americana?

Americana style is quite broad, but it draws inspiration from none other than the American flag. You can either just wear the red, white, and blue solid colors of the flag or choose to go down the patterned route with stars and stripes. Take it one step further, and incorporate a flag motif into your outfit. Americana is often associated with anything denim, which is as American as they come (thank you, Levis Strauss). Whether its a boho look with a fringed crop top tee and denim cutoff shorts, or a preppy look with a collared blouse, chinos, and boat shoes, there are many sides to the Americana look that are as diverse as the American history of which it reflects. If wearing the American flag isn’t quite your thing, there are plenty of stylish options to show your patriotism. Checkout my July 4th inspired lookbook!

The LookbookStripes on Stripes / Stars & Overalls / Plaid Casual

I recently had the privilege of attending afternoon tea with the Queen. When one is in the presence of the Queen, one must keep calm and wear a hat worthy of her royal highness. In patriotic fashion, I donned a tea-time appropriate Americana inspired outfit in red, white, and a dash of blue. She spoke lovingly about her family, and also inquired about how I was liking my independence in the states. Alas, it was time to say cheerio, and she was ever so gracious to escort me to the airport in her state car to properly bid me adieu.

Have a fun and safe Fourth of July everyone!


vintage hat (similar hat) / thrifted cardigan (similar cardigan) / DIY bow-tie (similar bow-tie) / Carol Anderson Petites dress (similar dress) / Nina Dolls shoes (similar shoes & shoes)