Sunday, July 31, 2011

This dress...Ah...(part 2)

I thought and I thought hard. This is what you do when you are faced with a casse-tete. I hate thinking and always opt for easy way outs. But I really wanted to wear this dress so I had to use my little grey cells. And I came up with a few styles I like and some not so much but it was the effort that counted, right?

With a crocheted top:

Crocheted top -
Beige scarf - Langkawi night market
Cuff - Shimamura
Gladiator wedges - Rockport via Ross

With a chambray shirt:

Cap - Ross
Chambray shirt - Ross
Bag - Market in Seoul (had it since 2002)
Leggings - Uniqlo
Shoes - Pratunam market, Bangkok

For the beach:

Straw hat - gifted
White tunic - thrifted
Beaded sandals - gifted

With a pop of color:

Orange scarf - Centenaire market
Orange top - Target
Cuff - Charming Charlie or Joa (can't remember)
Orange wedges - Bandolino via Marshalls

With a long draped vest:

Cap - Ross
Shirt - Forever 21
Vest - Factory 2 U

With a flowy top:
Black scarf - Walmart
Studded top - Forever 21
Ring - H&M

So, what do you think? It does serve to think, he?

This dress grrr....(part 1)

There are things in life I do not understand. No matter how much I try to get them they do not make sense to me like what happens when we die, the tango dance and baseball (cricket too for that matter). But recently this dress has been a real puzzle to me:

H&M maxi striped dress on sale for 1000Y

I bought this dress on impulse last Summer. I had been looking for a similar dress without success at normal Japanese stores. Reason why I did not even hesitate when I saw it on sales rack at H&M.  Later on when I tried it at home, I realized that the dress was completely sheer, too form hugging for my taste and that it was way too long. Even then, I did not return it. I thought that with proper styling, I could wear it.
However, it has been almost a year and the dress is still sitting in my wardrobe. Every time I take it out to wear, I do not like the styling and I put it back. I even gave up and decided to use it as a pyjama. It is really perfect for sleeping because it is so light and comfy.
After one night in bed with me, I realized that the dress was too beautiful to be slept on. I washed it and put it back in my closet, hoping to be inspired someday.

I did get inspired.
First I saw this post on love Maegan about how to turn a maxi dress into a maxi skirt. It looked so easy, I decided to take on the challenge of altering the dress. I could end up with two pieces which would be much more easier to style than just one dress. I took the dress out and look at the possibilities. Then I froze. Unlike Maegan's, my dress is too long. So long that I did not know where to cut to get two pieces. I have a sewing machine but I do not know how to sew. I can patch things with a needle and a thread but it is not a beautiful work as well. I got scared that once I cut the dress, I would end up with two pieces I did not know how to fix. It was too much of a challenge I did not want to risk. Then again the dress is beautiful on its own.

Second, I saw a post on Tanvii's site. She was wearing a similar dress under a lace black dress. It was pure genius: wearing two dresses.

Absolute genius

Why did I never think about that? I searched in my closet for something long, lacy or very sheer that I could wear on top of my dress with no success. I could go and find that item and I know exactly where to start but I took a pledge not to shop for 3 months. So Tanvii's style was no longer an option.
What was I to do?
Well, I thought....and I thought hard (that is what you do when you want to understand something). And here is what I realized
- the solution for the dress being too long is to alter it. I am not risking cutting the bottom of the dress as I am not good at hemming. But I can get away with making a knot in the back and camouflage it under a top or a shirt. I will never wear the dress as it is anyway so it is the perfect solution. It is a versatile solution because it lets me wear the dress with flats and with heels.
- the solution for the dress being too sheer is to wear a slip underneath it or leggings like I do. I could always layer with a tee shirt on top or underneath it as well.
-and finally the solution for the dress being too form hugging (for my taste) is to well get rid of my inhibitions. My ass is huge and will stay that way. It is about time I start liking it instead of hating it. I am not talking about flaunting it because that is not my style but I may begin by stopping with the camouflage.

What about you? Do you have an item in your closet, you love to bits but causes you headaches when you try to wear it?

Some other bloggers rocking the dress:

My first inspiration:

Hijabi wearing bloggers:

Hijablicious @ in cream and Li (in a different dress) @ Li. By LabellaIman

With a pop of color:

Rosemary@ Fashion Junkii in green and Siobhan @Stylespotterfashionblogger in orange

PS: Part 2 of this post coming up: I will show how after thinking I got to style this dress....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I am challenging myself to stay 3 months without shopping

Remember when last year, I decided to stay an entire year without shopping? Remember also how I did not respect that pledge because I moved to Japan and was tempted by H&M and Shimamura among other shops. Well, I am done being tempted.
I have debts to pay. My bank account is always empty. And my wardrobe is full of clothes that I do not even wear on the daily basis. I have so many shoes, and more than half do not even get to see the light. And being 30 and having nothing to my name (like real assets: house, car) scares me to death. If I die now, my headstone will say : "Here lies Chilel, owner of 30 pairs of shoes that are not even designers". How pathetic! I want a change.
For starters, I decided to stay 3 months without shopping. Being a shopaholic, I know that I cannot stay an entire year without shopping. Therefore, I am starting slow. I do not know how strong I am going to be. Last time I went window shopping, I saw so many things that tempted me. However, when I really think about it, I do not really need them. What I need is to save for rainy days, or to gain assets. If I start teaching myself to save instead of spending by now, it may not be too late to realise some of my dreams. Who knows what kind of dream can come true with savings in hands?
It is funny, but I used to be a good saver in the past. I was so good that my best friend (who would spend a lot) begged me to keep her cash card so that she would not use it. I refused and told her that if she does not learn to save now by herself, she will never be able to. I am happy to report that she turned into such a great saver, she even paid her way through college.
I want to go back to those times I had so much money in my bank account, I could help a friend in need, or buy me some much needed vacations. I could spoil my family and friends with gifts. I so want to go back.
That is phase number one of my change: stop shopping for 3 months starting from August 1st 2011. I will tell you on November 1st 2011, how much I managed to save and what I am planning to do with the saved money. It will be part two of my plan which is to invest into getting an asset.
Wish me good luck!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On my radar: Animal Print tee

Ever since I bought this zebra print tee last Spring, I have been obsessed with Animal print tee. I have the feeling I see them everywhere.

Bought for 500Y at Fam's Market

I am not very big on printed tee, although they are very popular in Japan. People walk on the streets with really silly prints on their tee. Sometimes I wonder whether or not they understand what is written. For this reason only, I always think twice before buying printed tees. But Animal printed tees are different. They are
simple yet cute. In a way, they make you cool without trying too hard.

Here are a few on my radar:

All from Forever  from 880Y to 1500Y
 I am in love with my animal print tee but it has been used to many times (aka washed so many times) that the color is fading. I need me a new one to replace....

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer wishlist (if only I could come across 20.000 yen on the streets)

 Whenever I am broke (like now) and have an itch for shopping (like every second) I have this dream: I am walking on the street and I see on the floor 20.000 Yen that somebody lost. I pick it up and head to the nearest shopping mall. (Well, in reality if I were to find 20.000 Yen on the floor, the law dictate me to report it to the nearest police box. In a year if no one claims the money, it is all mine. But since it is my dream, I am bending the rules)
So here is what I would get with 20.000 Yen in my wallet

Believe it or not but the last time I bought a swimsuit was in 2007. I still have the same suit but since I gained 15 kilos since I bought it (I was skinny back then), it is a bit revealing and tight. I want a new one that is on the modest side. Something that can at least cover the girls, the bulging stomach and the thick thighs. I am not looking for something fancy because I will be using it only for swimming classes with my toddler.

Something like this but in a different color and with a matching short,

I am always amazed at how much I want something as soon as I part with it. I used to own a dolman crocheted top but never wore it. I finally gave it away last year to a friend. Never would I have imagined that a year later I would want it. I have to say that two years ago, I did not have the courage to wear it, or I just did not know how to style it. But now I do, so crocheted top, please let me have you.

Available at

I found this skirt online and I fell in love with it. The price was affordable but the size was too small. I have been looking for the same skirt in my size ever since. The color, the "airyness", the pleats...everything about this skirt, is just pure magic. I can imagine wearing it everyday in this hot weather. I am drooling thinking about it!

                                                  I just want the blue one, available at

I am in love with these dresses because they are full. For me a maxi dress needs to be very full at the skirt. I have several maxi dresses but they are not full enough for my taste. The only problem I have with these dresses is that they come in Japanese size which means they are a bit short and small for my big frame.
Nevertheless I am still willing to try one.

- LOOSE GREY T-SHIRT (and t-shirts in general)
I love t shirts but I do not wear many because my belly is bulging. I prefer flowy tops. However I have been drooling over loose grey t-shirts. I think that grey t-shirts are way cooler than white t-shirts. I already have a cropped grey sequined t-shirt. But I do not wear it often because it seems a bit fancy for everyday life (I am still not to that point where I can wear sequins in my everyday life). For this reason, I want a very simple grey t-shirt that I could pair with jeans, dresses and skirts.

I love tank tops but I do not wear them often. I think you need a great body to wear one. However I changed my mind after seeing these long and flowy tank tops at H&M last week. They were in bright orange and  pink. They were long enough to cover the butt area. And what I loved the most was that the front was in cotton and airy but the back was silky . And get this, they were just for 700Y. I may get out of my daydream and just get myself one. I like them so becaus they remind me of silk tank tops my Mother bought in Thailand and gave me years later when she gained some weight. I had two in orange and bright pink. They were my to go party outfit paired with black slacks and heels back in 96.

I also found some lovely at forever 21.

H&M Tank top 700Y (if they are still left)

                                                                    Forever 21 top

Everything that involves panties, bras, and spanx (or something similar). I have not shopped for underwears in years (2 to be exact) . I think it is time to renew everything.  I would love to check things at Victoria's secret but since I am not sure they have a shop in Japan, Amo's style and/ or Peach John will do for a while.

                                             My little Joy Patchwork bra set available at

I am not very difficult when it comes to bag. And I do have a lot that I barely use. But I found some that are really cute and practical for my every day life

                                The green one = Love. Sold out but can be re-ordered at

H&M yellow 2 way bag...I have not seen lately, maybe sold out

I really do not need new accessories since I have tons but I am itching for a new more fancy turban, a shiny bolero top and lots of big rings and bracelets....

Overpriced but still cute, available at

I found something similar with matching necklace and ring at Shanti Shanti in Collete Mare. It reminds me of something my mother used to own back in 1986

Now my 20.000 Yen are all spent. It was fun doing virtual shopping. It would be more fun if I did it for real though!

Stylish Friends: Marieme

I am bored with my blog. And when I am bored with my blog, I tend to want some changes. Last year, I started doing outfit posts and liked it. This year, I want to start something I call: Stylish Friends.

As much I love blogging about fashion, I am the least stylish person I know. I do have some fierce friends though. And I am counting on them to spice things up in this blog.

I am starting with Marieme.

I met Marieme some 18 years ago at Summer school. She started talking to me and we have been friends ever since. I love that she is one of the nicest person I know and that she is a very loyal friend. I deplore the fact that I have not seen her since 2003.

Marieme used to be a tomboy but a very trendy tomboy.  She would wear designers sweatshirts and pants assorted with Nike air Jordan sneakers or Reebok Pump sneakers. The first time I saw her wear a skirt (a mini skirt) I was blown away. Underneath all that baggy clothing, she had a nice figure and nice legs. I asked her why on earth was she wearing a skirt, and she replied that it was laundry day.
Marieme was my hip friend. She is the first person I know who had a Dior handbag. And at 16, she used to drive. My folks loved her, reason why as soon as I say that I was with her, I could go out and party without problem. And even though she was a tomboy, when we had a party or an event, she would dress up like a girl. Once she showed up at home all dolled up for a Muslim event. She looked so mature in her yellow outfit. My mother saw her and could not help but compared us. I still wore a beautiful dress and new shoes, but I did not have make up on and my hair was a mess. She asked Marieme to teach me a few things about dressing up.
 Moreover, I remember her coming to my 17th birthday party with this Suede brown A line mini skirt and matching vest. I so wanted the skirt. But she said that it was the only thing she could not give me for she liked it too much. She gave me a leopard print scarf instead, that I have (and use) to this day.

I have not seen Marieme in years, but I know that she transformed into this mature grown woman even in her style. I love the fact that she wears cocktail dresses- body hugging dresses- and high heels. And as much as I can see (from pictures)she has a beautiful collection of accessories (and Senegalese tradition clothes)

Some Q&A to catch up on her style.

OTF: How can you describe your style?

Marieme:  Modern and sassy

  What is your favorite clothes (or accessory) in your closet right now?
    My sparkling blue nine west shoes

What was your favorite outfit when you were a kid?
     Jeans and tennis shoes

 How much money are you ready to spend on one pair of shoes?
       Depends on the shoes, can't put a price on beauty.

 What trend you will never wear no matter what?
           Punk style!

 How much time do you spend doing your make up in the morning?
   It takes me 5 minutes to do my makeup.I use mac as a foundation , use black eye liner and eye     shadows.That's it!

 Do you follow trend or do you have your own style?
  I have my own style although I like to mix and match with the current trends.

Who is your fashion icon?
  Hum... my mother growing up.Now it's hard for me to say, I love beyonce's style especially her dresses and most people's styles on the red carpet events.

What style advice can you give me?
  Be yourself ,figure out who you are and dress up to match your personality and character. Dress for yourself not for people :)

I love Marieme's style even if it is nothing like mine. Back when we were teens, we were on common ground when it came to baggy or hip hop style clothing. As we went our seperate ways, we evolve into very different adults with completely different styles. Yet I cannot help but admire the fact that she does wear make up, does her hair and look stylish for parties and such. In other words, I admire the fact that she is a woman who works at being and staying beautiful. (As opposed to the lazy woman I am who cannot be bothered to wear make up because it is too hot or heels because I have to climb hills)
She is the type of adult woman I want to be. I mean really? As much as I dare wearing leggings, I am not yet to the point when they match my cocktail dress! I guess I still have a lot to learn from...her.

PS: Hey Marieme, send me some Mac foundation!


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