Friday, September 28, 2012

Safari Accenting

During my business trip in Las Vegas, Micato Safaris was showcasing their luxury African travel services and excursions, as well as their "One For One Commitment" sponsorship for child education in Africa.  When asked if I could send a video message to the Micato children, I felt so humbled and grateful to speak.  I was also delighted to receive a set of bangles handmade by Maasai women who  make them as a livelihood through Micato.

As soon as I put them on (which I did immediately and also wore them with my gala gown that night) I knew they would make a great contrast with some of my more muted and dark Fall clothing.  Breaking them out on Tuesday, I was even inspired to wear a bright purple tank to further tie in the colors.

I love this leather jacket from Ever however, it hits me at the widest part of my body.  That's the worse.  But it's still so fun to wear, I can't let it go.  So instead of pouting, I realized that to keep my shape around the middle, any bottoms I wear would need to be fitted and high waisted.  Cue my very trusty high-waist, wide leg trousers.  Found them randomly in a Victoria's Secret catalogue years ago and bought them on the spot.  I have to admit they are uncomfortable (ugh!) buuuuut for my athletic build, these babies work every time in giving my straight waist a little cinch.

And like Tiny Closet style, I have worn this all before... Check out the ways:
pants: Victoria's Secret worn more professionally
jacket: Ever worn with a maxi 
wedges: Trouve worn with harem pants

Enjoy the weekend!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

...And Comfy Cozy Are We

The air is getting nippier and I can no longer hold my breath.  Yesterday I grabbed my new thrift find out of the back of my lil closet and whispered "the time is now!"

During one of my thrifting trips back in July, I picked up a beautiful cocoon-like sweater.  A size 18-20 originally from Lane Bryant (I always loved that store but) is now a perfect, draped fit on me.

With my Bottega Veneta wool harems, Raybans and Trouve wedges I welcome Fall in a new ensemble favorite.

And what a perfect outfit, full of signature Tiny Closet favorites to wear to celebrate my 100th blog post!!
One hundred outfits worn, one hundred musings shared with you and I look forward to a hundred more!

Thanks so much for visiting :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Simple, Bold, Floral

During routine thrift run to Value Village, I came across this awesome, but dated 100% silk dress by Liz Claiborne.  What was intriguing about this dress, other than the pattern of pink blown up peonies against a black background, was the slim fitting arms and crew neckline.  A fitted crew neck dress... in silk?  Cool.  

Although the pattern is definitely not indicative of A/W 2012, the design of the dress most certainly is!

dress: Liz Claiborne / booties: Jessica Simpson / earrings: boutique unknown


And that was precisely why I ended up buying this dress.  I've been intending to copy the design exactly and sew it's clone using some really zany patterns I recently found at the fabric store.  I have yet to embark on this adventure, but since the dress fits so well and is probably one of the most unique items I have in my Tiny Closet, I decided to wear it out on Tuesday with my booties and I had a blast :)

And now for a slice of recent-musings pie: 
These days, I have been knee deep into, StyleBook.  It's an iPhone app that allows you to basically take  your wardrobe, one item at a time and mix and match looks.  Like Polyvore for your closet, ya dig?  Basically, what I'm trying to say is

It's Amazing.
And as I tweeted earlier, "this is Tiny Closet gold!" I actually put together the above ensemble using the app.  Check it out:
 I know, I know, it's not the prettiest of presentations - you can probably tell I didn't go to design school but the point is, I was able to take items from my own Tiny Closet and put them together however I wanted to create a "look".  One my phone!  Creatively putting together outfits without all the physical digging through drawers, well that's indeed a sign of the times.  Brilliant.  

But more on this later!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Spikes & Eyelet

During a nice sun-beamed walk to get some cheap cookies, I decided to wear my spiked leopard smoking shoes, 
my Catherine Malandrino eyelet dress and old faithful Abercrombie denim hoodie. 
 I love the impromptu duo of spiked shoes and ultra-femme eyelet sundress.  So fun and atypically edgy, yes?  And lately, I've been wearing my Nars "Roman Holiday" satin lip shade like it's going out of style.  And actually, it already went out of style the moment Rihanna went red headed - but of course, I don't bother too much with the times.  
This pink shade is as cute and prissy as a teacup and I adore wearing it with pretty much anything since it's a cooler tone.  So subtle but quite pink.  
My pearl cluster earrings from Nordstrom are also a staple for work and play.  They've got a kate spade style to them.  Very feminine yet modern and a bit ironic - making them pretty versatile.

I've been getting pulled left and right with projects both mandatory and inspired.  When will I ever get back to sewing new additions to my Fall wardrobe?  When??!  I guess right after I load my Tiny Closet onto my new StyleBook app!!  

More on that later :) 

Ahhhhh, the last daze of Summer...

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Day, New Shoes

I took a day off on Wednesday.  Theo and I drove to Vancouver, B.C. with no other plans than to shop, eat and chill.  Strolling downtown, I hopped into Zara to pick something out.
I picked these super hot heels to take home to my Tiny Closet:
These red, mink and black stilettos are my new besties.  I've had my eye on this style for years actually as these shoes are actually modeled directly from Christian Louboutin's New Helmut heels.  I have no idea who still sells this style Louboutin as they're from 2004 (I think)...   I hate to admit this but I am so so glad someone finally decided to copy the design!  And of course, Zara put their own spin on it with color blocking and a cute ankle strap.  I'll show details later but for now, I just had to get these babies on and go strutting somewhere in them!
This outfit is layered.  Over my Benetton jeans, I wore a waterfall ("mullet") skirt as a top from Forever21.  And over the skirt/top, I wore an oversize, off the shoulder tee from Asos.com.  I looooved this layered look and it was very comfortable.  I can't stand looking great and feeling horrible so when comfort and style collide, that's where you'll find me right in the middle, hugging myself.

And since we only had our phones with us during the trip, here's a few Instagrammies for ya!


Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Funnest. Pants. Ever.

Funnest!  Lol - Between my denim button up dress and these new pink slacks, I've had no use lately for anything else in my Tiny Closet.  I have been practically living in these pants.  Dare I say they're cooler than harem pants?   ...nah.  But still, they're dope, yes?
pants: thrifted / tank top: Target / earrings: H&M / sandals: Dumond / sunglasses: Anne Klein (thrifted) 

I found these pants at Value Village for, let's see, $6.99 I think?  You might have already seen them here.  At the time, I was focusing on my hair and glasses and wished I'd had more time to get pictures of the rest of my outfit.  Well, voila!  I think I will have them in every frickin' color.

The sandals I'm wearing have become a wild card for my Tiny Closet.  Mixing them with pretty much anything brings a nice surprise to my outfits - the teal/mint color is so fresh!  And I get excited about mixing them with other colors, especially with these summery pants.


 I've been helping Theo renovate one of his properties (I photo-shopped the paint stains from my arms and ankles, lol!).  It's been pretty extensive and for now, I have zero time for anything else!  In return though, for my hands-on help, he's been taking me out to my favorite restaurants and joints for lunch.  The man knows me well.

Yesterday, we took a break from EVERYTHING, got in the car and drove to Vancouver, B.C..  It was a day of shopping, eating and Instagramming.  When we arrived in town and realized our camera had been left at home, it was actually kind of nice not having it for a change.  

So check back on Friday for my road-trip Instagrammy-wammies aaaaand 
a new pair of hot heels!  Yeah baby :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Workout: Day to Night

I've been working out a lot lately.  And going from work clothes to gym clothes, I've had a hard time looking how I really want, come evening time.  

But last night, instead of going for the same old dressy look, I thought it would be fresh and interesting to dress up my gym clothes for a change...  

Exhibit A:
leather jacket: Ever / cropped tee: Original Gangster / leggings (control top): Zella / shoes: Nike Blazers (forget the style name) / earrings: Tory Burch 

So I learned just how well some fun accessories and a cropped leather jacket can really change up my work out gear!  

These Nike Blazers are hot.  I love blazers and dunks but these are one of my faves because they're purple with red bottoms - a laugh and a nod at Christian Louboutin :)
I had a few layers actually.  I wanted to "dress up" my black workout tank so I added a tan muscle tee.  I actually wore this tee recently here with a skirt.

 For workouts, I also wear an Asos jersey poncho a lot.  It's light and easy to wear post cardio.  The design of it happens to also be quite stylish for it's draping hood/collar so I thought it would dress up easily as well.  

Exhibit B:

 Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee... and look good doing it :)  This poncho is a Tiny Closet staple.  I adore it and I have two of them just so that I can always have one on hand.
 I am planning to copy the pattern of this poncho since it's so easy.  Boiled wool and boucle would translate wonderfully on this design and will be perfect for Fall and Winter.  

Check back to see for yourself :)

Thanks For Visiting!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Twinset

I've always had a fascination with twins.  Specifically, I'm obsessed with the idea of there being two (or more) versions of me.  Skipping to the point: style and fashion.

There have been many times I've wanted to wear more than one outfit in an evening.  Perhaps it's the Gemini in me but sometimes after (or during even) a party or special event or bumping into an ex I think about what the experience would have been like if I had chosen to wear something different,  Like those stilettos or that puce coat or a skirt instead of harem pants??  Mainly because I believe that what one wears influences/determines their attitude/behavior.  Sometimes, greatly.  So if an outfit can influence how you act, it then also determines your experiences and outcomes.

So a year ago I had the idea of starting an "art" project of pictures of myself going out...with my twin!  And of course, my twin would always be wearing something completely different than me.  Our "twinness" being basically the symbol of a second reality, producing perhaps an alternate outcome.  You know, like an alternate universe.  So, before I show just how nerdy I really am, I will cut this sci-fi blabber short and just show you.
LEFT  blazer: BCBGMAXAZRIA / tank: H&M / skirt: H&M / fishnet stockings: Agent Provocateur / booties: Jessica Simpson / earrings: AllSaints / bag: thrifted

RIGHT  leather jacket: Ever / top: AllSaints / leather shorts: Forever21 / stockings: American Apparel / sandals: Jimmy Choo for H&M / bag: Chanel / earrings: AllSaints / chain link cuff: RiaRia
Of course, you probably already know that I do not have a twin sister.  Therefor, I cannot live vicariously through another me who can perhaps stick to her diet better or be more adventurous with her hair or maybe hates harem pants and loves skirts...  But in this lil project, I could live out the fantasy of wearing two different outfits at the same time and, pushing it further, showing a different side of myself and scenarios.  
Like the Mary Kate to my Ashley
Or the Sasha Fierce to my Beyonce

So I've been having fun with this project despite it's time consuming and laborious nature.  But the nature of it has actually been inspiring my everyday style.  I have to come up with items I wouldn't wear normally for each shoot.  I suggest you try it, really.  It's amazing what a different wardrobe you can make out of the same clothes when you look at it from an "opposite" perception.  

Trying new things!  Doing things differently!  Anyway, just some Monday musings with yours truly,

The Tiny Closet

Friday, September 14, 2012

Let's Talk Hair!

Okay, so ever since I started this blog only nearly a year ago, I have been getting a lot of questions about my hair.  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for all of your compliments, questions and encouragement on my natural hair throughout the months.  I love all this curl positivity that's going on!!

And I definitely could have used that a few years ago when I turned my back on relaxers and the "good hair" nonsense and set out on a path less travelled.  Into the curly-girl zone.  So before I get down to the most popular questions I've received, I thought it may be helpful to give you a brief look at my own personal journey, going from hair straighteners, relaxers, curling irons, serums, etc to nothin' but lots and lots of conditioner!

I started getting relaxers when I was 8 years old.  It was actually for no other reason than the fact that my mother had to get to work on time and couldn't spend every morning tackling the hugely dense, tangled mess that was my hair.  Years of relaxers programmed my mind to believe that the only way to wear my hair was straight and that curly/nappy hair was pretty much a curse.  I grew up in an all white and asian community and my mixed background stuck out in pretty much every way.  Straight hair was my only desperate option to fit in.  So I stuck with it.
It wasn't until I moved to the East Coast and saw natural girls all over the place.  One fabulous girl in particular, a Jewish/Italian curly girl told me to love my curls and get natural.  She turned me on to one of the best curly hair product lines in the world that I proceeded to use for the next 6 years almost exclusively.  Don't worry, I will share this magic potion.

But I was terrified to stop my relaxers.  So for a few years, I stopped straightening my hair and wore relaxed curls

With all the relaxing over the years, I started getting careless with the chemical and my hair began to deteriorate.  I was also getting tired of feeling like I had to hide my hair.  Like there was shame in having extremely curly locks.   So when Solange Knowles cut off her hair and didn't look back, Chris Rock unveiled real hair shame to the rest of America, and a new job sat me next to one of the most beautiful natural-haired girls I've ever met, I decided to start over.  Completely over!

I shaved everything off.
At first it was awesome.  Sinead O'Rebellion!!

And then it wasn't.  I felt completely unattractive.  I had realized my straight hair had become quite a crutch over the years acting as the majority of my "beauty" and with it all cut off, I wasn't sure where I stood...  I was completely vulnerable so even though it was kind of a pity party for that first year, I learned a lot.  About natural and about my hair.
I tried every product, watched every YouTube video and read every natural hair blog I could find.  I learned a lot because the information is invaluable of course (so soak it allll up!!).  I twisted, braided and bleached my hair in all sorts of experiments, and it's so much fun.  But I began to think I had to do some awesome laborious style every day to feel good about my hair.  So I let it all go and concentrated on me.

With all the vlogs and blogs and forums, the hardest pill to swallow was coming to terms with how realistic my natural haircare regimen would be as well as my ultimate hair expectations.
I wasn't going to magically have different hair or better hair or bigger curls if I tried a certain cream or serum...  all I could do with my hair was make it as healthy as possible and keep it that way.  Also, there are curly-girl sensations on YouTube and all over the web.  They spend lots of time styling their hair in a myriad of ways and using tons of amazing , different products - and they all look fabulous.  But that's not me. I don't like using a lot of products, I spend almost no time on my hair and for better or worse, that fact is what ultimately made me come to terms with going natural.

So let's get to it.
Regimen:
I don't like spending time styling my hair.  It's a personal thing.    I am a wash-and-go gal every single day and I use a blow dryer because I can't stand walking out of the house with wet hair.  Especially during the Winter.  

I wash my body every day.  Therefor I rinse my hair as well.  I NEVER use shampoo.  I use a cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.  I don't dilute it, I pour a cup full of it on my head and detangle my hair with my fingers.

For me, pure vinegar works like a charm.  Vinegar is a natural clarifier.  I use it daily to clean out any dirt/oil/conditioner build up from the day before.  It instantly makes my hair suuuuper soft and easy to detangle.  Who'da thought?
  • When I get out of the shower, I pat my hair lightly with a towel and then shake my head hard several times
  • I use a blow dryer setting it on it's highest heat and it's fullest air flow and blast it all over my head until my hair and scalp are relatively dry
Sometimes I don't blow dry if I'm not in a hurry to get out of the house.  I find that when I do blow dry though, my curls don't shrink nearly as much and my hair is bigger.


Products:
1.  Dove - Nourishing Oil Care Line 
This whole line is amazing, making my hair soft and manageable in almost seconds.  It's a very simple daily line to keep my hair consistently pretty.  Also, it doesn't tend to build up easily.


2.  Redken All Soft Conditioner
Makes my hair shiny, fragrant and super soft.  It's a great all around conditioner and works well on my dense curly hair, which is impressive.  If you use, fill up your hand!

3. Devachan - Conditioner One 
This cream is thick as thieves.  Brilliant!  And makes my curls clump together more, making them thicker and more defined.  I only put this in my hair on special occasions though as it's very thick and tends to build up very fast.  It's a super humectant.  I have used every single product of Devachan and love it all.  It really is a revolutionary line for girls with major curls and kinks.  


To make my hair shiny, I simply hold my head over very cold water after I wash it.  The cold water closes the hair shaft making the "scales" (I call them) lay in one direction, causing the strands to reflect light - thus look shiny.  No product.  Just water ladies.

Since I'm a minimalist, I don't really like a lot of products in my bathroom.  I keep it simple with vinegar and one conditioner.  I go back and forth between Redken and Dove dependent upon where I am when I'm replenishing my toiletries and products.  Either Bartell's or Ulta.


SO!  I hope this has been helpful.  I know I don't take as much time with my hair as others, or use all the exotic brands that other curly girls are raving about but this is what works for me.  Maybe if you try some of my tricks, you'll have a positive experience.  If not, rinse and... try something else!  

Good luck!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Casual... with Knife Pleats

The other day, I decided to go hi-lo.  Mixing a fine crepe-like silk shell with meticulous knife pleating with a pair of regular ol' denim cutoffs by Paper Denim.  The alternate definition of high/low I guess :)  I have always worn this shell with my business outfits but thought it would be more refreshing with something ultimately casual.  

What could be more casual than cutoffs??
I've been wearing glasses and hair scarves for the past several days - I can't stop!  I'm in the zone with this look, people.  And it all came about organically actually: I didn't feel like wearing concealer but I still felt my under eye area needed to be concealed in some way so I found some old vintage glasses.  The glasses in this post I found in the Philippines - $2, not vintage.  These other glasses here are vintage.  With the hair scarf, well my hair has now entered the "terrible grow-out" stage and... something needed to be done.


 shell/tank: Scout clothing boutique / cutoffs: Paper Denim / brogues: CMG

 And just like that, it's Fall...  

Every year around this time, before the leaves begin to really change and after the sunsets become noticeably earlier,  I go through a couple weeks of awkwardness; matching my ensembles to the changing temperature.  Should I wear a cardigan?  A light sweater?  A jacket?  Too warm, too cold...  This year though, I'm prepared.

Keep visiting to see my new "Apres Summer" cover ups!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Having My Cake & Eating It... A Little

Yesterday, Theo and I had our cake tasting appointment with "Baked" custom cakes boutique in West Seattle.  Aside from doing wonders with fondant and buttercream, the actual cake flavors they whipped up for were heaven.  Slices of heaven!
 So on the top row left to right, we have a champagne cake with chocolate ganache, coconut cream and walnut, and then lemon curd with raspberry(?) I forget...  The second row is red velvet and cream cheese frost, deluxe chocolate with chocolate ganache and chocolate raspberry with raspberry buttercream.  
We decided on two flavors for a two-tiered fondant cake: the champagne and the deluxe chocolate ganache.  Whoohoo!
I also decided to wear a pair of bright coral vintage pleated pants from Value Village, a floral scarf for my hair and some old school vintage glasses that auto-tint in sunlight.  I actually wear glasses on the days I decide not to wear eye-makeup.  Do I need glasses?  No.  But glasses act as a wonderful substitute and dress the eyes well when there is no time for makeup. 
I will be wearing these pants again soon of course.  And before the Summer truly cools down, I'll definitely be showing them off with my "Dr. Suess" sandals :)

Now go have some cake!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Seeing Things Clearer

Ever since the Uggs epidemic in the early millennium, I have not seen such a blatant, widespread and eventually nauseating trend pop up in the fashion industry.   That is until the white acrylic watch came into play a year ago.  So cute and fresh at first when it started popping up.  So cute until it's just...not, which is mainly due, of course to total trend saturation.  With every mom, gay man and sorority sister sporting this bright white, chunky fresh bracelet watch, where's the fun now?  Instead of it being a cool surprise to an ensemble, it's now merely a period to a statement I've been seeing time and time again (no pun intended).

So when a trend becomes a pathogen, it's time to move on before you get infected!

Since I very much like the weight and design of this "boyfriend" watch, I simply decided to look for it in other colors.  But it just wasn't the same.  That's when I spotted a cheapo clear acrylic watch at an accessories stand months ago and realized no color at all is sooooo much cooler!!

From Left to Right: 
DKNY acrylic & silver / Michael Kors acrylic and rose gold / River Island acrylic, gold tone & crystal

While browsing online, I also became drawn to horn and pearl in the same styles:

Michael Kors horn link with Mother of Pearl hands / Fossil pearlescent acrylic, silver & crystal

With my mood boards all geared up for Fall I've been hard at work designing new, warmer items for my sewing projects.  Rose gold, horn and tortoise is so fitting for the Fall color schemes but my mind is still into resort colors and lines.  I shall mix the two!

So what do you think of these icy looks??  I love the clear - it goes with everything!  And with the sea of white watches everywhere, wearing clear can be a pleasant surprise :) 

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!