Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Last Minute NYE Outfit Ideas

It's New Year's Eve. You have been focusing all of your attention on party planning, running errands or stuck working the half day. You get home and realize that you've only got a couple hours to pull together a dazzling outfit for tonight. There are lots of sales going on but your purse strings are a little tight from the holiday spending and frankly there's no way you are getting back in the battlefield of a mall. You approach your closet, dreading moment of realization that you have nothing to wear.

That's exactly how I felt this morning. With some party music on and a drink in hand, I was ready. There was no party dress in sight, but I was determined to put together a few outfits made up of separate pieces that you can easily find in any closet.

Classic black and white cardigan paired with a metallic skirt as a statement piece
{cardigan from H&M; metallic silver skirt from Banana Republic}

Friday, 26 December 2014

Winter Blues

 After days of the festive red and green colour scheme, I thought it would be nice to change things up with some calming blue hues. This has definitely a relaxing few days, with plenty of time to wind down and to spend quality time with family and friends. Having all this extra times means that I can indulge shamelessly in some rom-coms!

 A quote from "Leap Year" hit home for me today. Decklan asks Anna (played by Amy Adams) at one point during the movie, "if your house was on fire and you had 60 seconds, what would you take with you?" At the end of the movie, Anna finally responds, "when my sixty seconds came, I realized that I had everything that I wanted but nothing that I needed." A lot of us are in constant pursuit of "things", both the tangible and intangible, but are they completely essential and do they truly enrich our existence? Our possessions are often tied to the dreams and goals we aspire to achieve, like a beautiful house to a home and friends to a sense of belonging. However, this tireless pursuit can become addictive. We can begin to lose ourselves in the physical and mental clutter and lose sight of what is important. When these objects of desire no longer resonate with our current values and state of mind, perhaps it's time to move on. As many of us go through some decluttering at the end of the year, ask yourself that very same questions "if you had sixty seconds, what would you take?"

By Cecilia Huang

//Black wool blend turtleneck - Banana Republic
//Blue Savannah Skater Skirt - Nasty Gal
//Gold clutch - Coach

Monday, 15 December 2014

Fall Foliage

For someone who is cooped up indoors at work all day, it can get a little depressing getting to and leaving work when it's dark outside. It's nice to wake up to a crisp, sunny day on the weekend for a change. I spent this entire weekend at my dodgeball league playoffs (Here are the links if you are interested - Richmond Dodgeball League & Vancouver Dodgeball League). After playing for a few seasons, I've adopted somewhat of a pre-game routine consisting of: a solid breakfast, a few minutes on my brain training mobile apps, a light stretch and warmup, followed by a few dodgeball videos. This routine has allowed me to be both physically and mentally prepared for the game and at the same time brings a sense of focus and commitment required in a competitive environment. It allowed me to be present and aware at all times. I found that I was no longer focusing on the end result but instead I played each game like it was the only game that mattered. Sadly, we didn't win any championships (*tear), but I had a great time with my team!

I realized that this "routine" is something that should be incorporated to my daily happenings. As we take on multiple demands and challenges at work, school and at home, we need to get our "game face" on to get the job done and excel. It means having proper meals, taking adequate mental breaks, going for a walk/stretch and doing things that you enjoy. As the holidays creep closer, it's getting easier to sit back and relax, but hopefully we can all start off the New Year with a good and meaningful routine!

By Cecilia Huang

Outfit Details:
Black wool coat - Eight Seconds (Korea)
Polka Dot Sweater - Forever 21
Blue dress pants - GAP (similar)
Caramel Clutch - Pull & Bear (Available in white here)
Black woven sneakers - Korea street market (sorry!)

Monday, 8 December 2014

Office Chic: Grey + Red

Grey boyfriend jacket [ZARA]
Black monochromatic sweater [Urban Outfitters]
Gingham patent pumps [Nine West]
Black cordoroy pants with zippers [Forever 21]

Do you ever think about who or what you are really dressing for? Is it to look professional and smart in front of a client/audience? Is it for a job or a promotion? Is it to impress someone that you may pass by during your morning commute? Is it to simply look and feel confident? Or is it really just for yourself, to feel comfortable in your own skin?

Style is a funny thing. Sometimes it's a direct reflection of a personal statement and what inspires you. Other times, there are trends and dress codes to follow that seem to delineate from what the sense of eccentricity that we are taught to embrace. Work wear is an example of where these opposing natures exist. We choose our outfits often to project a desired image in order to give off the best first impression as possible. Maybe you throw on those glasses to make you look smart and mature in an interview to gain more credibility. Perhaps you select your colours appropriately (blue is a colour of trust is a tip that I learned from a friend) to give off a certain impression. Maybe you skip the low neckline and stiletto heels because you don't want to look too "sexy", resulting in other people not taking you seriously. On the other hand, we are told that to be successful often means finding ways to set ourselves apart from others - to be unique and find your signature. For some, style is a way of defining an individual trademark - to outwardly express it and at the same time serve as a reminder to self that you really could be who you are.

Having recently visited another country really made me reconsider the essence and necessity of style. What is often associated with aesthetics and vanity has a strong tie to the social, psychological and cultural contexts of being human. I am always very interested in observing the different fashion and style in each city. The diversity is really quite fascinating. For example, I see a group of college students in a certain district who dress in similarly dressy outfits - oversize sweater and a-line mini skirt with pumps. The outfit itself is flattering and has room for personalization, such as colour and detailing. On the other hand, Vancouver is known for its casual West Coast flair and New York has got its fashion-forward cool blacks. Style is a way to fit in and relate to other people around you - whether it's with the same style of outfit or the same type of outrageously different style. Think abut the time when you commented on a coworker's new necklace. Boom, that is how a personal connection is created. Could it be that the feeling of belonging and the search for one's identity can go hand-in-hand without compromising each other?

Next time you are deciding on what to wear to an office party and you just can't seem to find the right thing, remember that you are not there to impress. You are there to connect and to relate, person to person.

By Cecilia Huang

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