Tag Archives: plaid

OOTD :: of anime, angst and adrogyny




from Wikipedia

Nana (ナナ?) is a Japanese josei manga series written and illustrated by Ai Yazawa, serialized in Cookie published by Shueisha. The manga derives its title from the name of the two main characters, both of whom are called Nana. Nana Komatsu is a small town girl who goes to Tokyo to follow her boyfriend and college friends, with the hope of having her dream life. Nana Osaki was in a popular punk band in her home town. She goes to Tokyo with the goal of making it big as a singer. The two Nanas meet on the train ride to the city. Later, they run into each other again when they happen to check out the same apartment, and the girls decide to become roommates. The series chronicles their friendship and their lives as each chases her dreams.


Nana was a seminal anime for me out of all the titles I’ve consumed (and trust me, I’ve consumed hundreds!) because it was the one that helped shape my personal style. If I hadn’t already whole-heartedly identified with punker Nana Osaki’s brand of wounded cynic, then the badassery of her wardrobe would’ve cinched the deal.


Because plaid and combat boots and moto jackets are so right up my alley. And I may be tone deaf and may not be able to play an instrument to save my life, but I can certainly rock the look. Watching Nana – both the anime and the live-action drama – was what got me into Vivienne Westwood and rendered me penurious for an entire year as I acquired Viv Westwood swag, not the least of which is the knuckle ring that would eventually become my signature piece.

I did and do still bemoan the fact that my well-endowedness mars the whole rail-thin, adrogynous anime silhouette. And sometimes, in the wee hours of the dawn, I still have a hankering to chop off my hair, strut around with sneering 20-something angst and chain smoke while clutching a bottle of vodka.

A gal can dream, right?

Sadly, I am no longer blinded by the invincibility of youth. And I have to be a responsible grown up with responsible grown up responsibilities.

Style blogging is my escape from all that minutiae. So how fortuitous is it that this week’s Blogging Besties components consisted of “cognac bag, a white sweater, a statement necklace, an A-line skirt, wedges, and plaid”? Guess which elements I’m choosing to pass-on? Because guess who is using this linkup as an excuse to channel her inner anarchic punk rocker?

Vive le vendredi!

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Jacket – H&M
Skirt – Boohoo
Ring – Vivienne Westwood
Boots – ASOS

:: Linking ::
Blogging Besties @ Whitney a la mode and Undergraduate Style

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OOTD :: of grunge-y hues and plaid blues


Lightning strikes again.

I told you once that my TARDIS Tuesday outfits always end up being my favorites of the week, and this one is no exception.

Initially, it was a bit of a style malfunction. I tried wearing the plaid (my nod to grunge) underneath the McQ dress, thinking myself uber clever for trying my hand at reverse layering. But the top just added bulk to the already body conscious dress, and I’m still working on losing some poundage, so that version was ix-nayed right quick. Styling the dress with the shirt over it may be more commonplace and perhaps a wee bit sloppy for work, but it does leave me feeling more secure and less self-conscious and that’s all that matters.

Notable things about this outfit:

  • the neckline of the McQ dress – it’s literally one big zipper. So I can make the hole as large as off-the-shoulder or as tight as a crew. Today, I chose to find middle ground and did a cowl neckline. How fun is that?!
  • the Vivienne Westwood necklace – my other signature piece aside from my Viv Westwood knuckle ring (have I highlighted that piece yet as an HGB? If not, it deserves its day in the sun). It’s actually a pseudo-locket because the globe opens up and looks like this and it’s the coolest thing ever. I went through a V.W. phase after I marathoned the anime NANA and I own an embarrassing and exorbitant collection of V.W. jewelry.
  • the Chelsea boots – I Mad Hunted this pair for over a month and if you know me, you know that’s a long time for me to go without settling. I knew the silhouette I wanted and was very particular – not too wide so it gaped at the ankles; not too low so it looked more like a shootie; not fake leather so it cracks and creased; not too expensive so it broke the bank. I stalked this pair from ASOS and almost didn’t get it because I thought $50 too dear. Thank goodness I followed my gut and got it anyway (pre 90-Day Spending Fast, of course); it is super comfy and exactly what I wanted.

So this may be my most informal, most casual, most pushing-the-envelope-for-work outfit of the week, but it’s TARDIS blue, it’s a dress, it’s grunge, and it’s comprised of items that are not recently purchased. Oh, and I’m also sporting the TARDIS watch I got from my big sis for my birthday. Woots abound.

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Dress – McQ for Target
Top – F21
Pants – Karmaloop
Necklace – Vivienne Westwood @ Hervia
Shoes – ASOS

:: Linking ::
52 Pick-me-up @ SpyGirl
Sophisticated Style @ Fashionably Employed

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OOTD :: of little women, rebels and sea gulls

We interrupt our regularly scheduled broadcast to give you your monthly installment of Thoughtful Third Thursday.

In June, we celebrate our Favorite Childhood Read and, after much brain perusing and memory lane walking, I finally committed to one book.

DIGRESSION: I always have a hard time when people ask me for my favorite anything because there’s all this pressure. Your “favorites” define who you are as a person but since we all know what a quintessential indecisive Gemini I am, my answers all really depend on my mood/who’s asking/what planet is in retrograde at the time.

I’ve been spending too much time living in the serial world. I think I’m overdue to highlight a standalone book. So even though my earliest memories of reading are of Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins and Barbara Cartland novels (more on the latter later), I dub Little Women by Louisa May Alcott my Favorite Childhood Read.

Why? Because, despite its simplicity, idealism and a propensity for Puritanical preaching, I truly found a kindred spirit in Jo March. Of course, everyone wants to identify with the indisputable heroine of the novel, but there really was something about her abrasiveness and stubbornness masking a good heart that spoke to me. Also, her love for words and books, her flouting of convention, and her propensity for writing in a lonely garret read like a biography of me in my pre-tween years.

And her journey from headstrong hellion to capable adult became a road map for me when I went through that painful transition from pampered Filipino gentility to independent American middle class.

Jo never surrendered her spirit but managed to temper it with the wisdom of experience and age, and I still look to her to this day to guide me and inspire me.

My outfit today exemplifies all that I admire in Jo March. The pairing of neon with traditional plaid speak of her tendency to defy convention. The sensible loafers represent the practicality and reliability she acquired later in life. And the whimsical bird print not only symbolizes the inner child she managed to nurture well into her tenure as matriarch in Little Men, but also showcases the first of the following quotes I picked out for your reading pleasure.





“You are the gull, Jo, strong and wild, fond of the storm and the wind, flying far out to sea, and happy all alone.”

“I want to do something splendid…something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday.”

“Don’t try to make me grow up before my time…”

“I keep turning over new leaves, and spoiling them, as I used to spoil my copybooks; and I make so many beginnings there never will be an end.”

“I like good strong words that mean something…”


And now it’s your turn – what is your Fave Childhood Read and how would you wear it? Click on the blue froggy below and tell us all about it!



 : Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – Merona @ eBay
  Cardi – GAP
Skirt – Land’s End
Loafers – Naturalizer

Thank you for your patience with this interruption.

Thrilled for Thursday will be back next week.

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OOTD :: of self-branding, university days and wishful thinking




I’ve always wanted to letter in something. Or own something that shows I lettered in something. And yet, I still have reservations about wearing anything that screams “Look at my chest!” and I’m woefully unathletic to boot.

So what’s a gal to do? Why, grab a sweater that’s got a letter that’s pink and prominent and covers your entire torso, of course. This way, it’s obvious, doesn’t require more than a momentary glance, and satisfies my longing for university days long gone without requiring physical exertion on my part.

(And it also stands for “Maricel” and “Mom” and “My Closet Catalogue”. Tee hee!)

According to my sources, letterman jackets/sweaters are very 50s. So is plaid. And saddle shoes. And capri length jeans. I think I hit the motherlode with this ensemble, yeah? And although I do love me a swirly, twirly dress, nothing says comfort and sass like what I’m wearing today. I can finally breathe! If I never see another torsette again, it’ll be too soon.

I leave you with a final quote from The Thoughtful Dresser which may seem counter to my previous paragraph, but on any given day is exactly how I feel:

I don’t believe people who tell me that they are not interested in clothes and do not care what they look like. I think they mean that they are not interested in fashion, and believe that following the trends is a waste of time. They look for comfort and a reasonable fit in the clothes they buy, and that will do. But such an attitude lies on the surface. There is something shallow about asserting it doesn’t matter how you appear to others, because in your heart of hearts you know it isn’t true. People want to look the best they can. They may not know how to find the clothes that fulfill this, they may require the effort of doing so as too daunting, the might be frightened of the necessary expense, they might argue that they have no occasion to wear such garments or that the clothes don’t go with their personalities. But it is simply untrue to say that if you take the average woman of average height and weight and income and wave a magic wand, fairy-godmother-style, and put her in a dress that makes her look beautiful, or a pair of jeans that fit perfectly, she will react with indifference.


:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – Merona @ Target
Sweater – Old Navy
Jeans – F21
Saddle shoes – Payless

:: Linking ::
Fashion Informant @ The Life of the Party
Fashion Friday @ Musings of a Housewife

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