A Ginham Top–Shopping with Debbie

Debbie, from Fashion Fairy Dust, and I have been shopping again! This time I let her know that I’d been wanting a black and white gingham top. So just like last month, we went to Instagram and sent direct messages back and forth of items we liked. It’s amazing all that we can do in the palm of our hands these days! Since I’m in the States for the summer we also were not limited to global shipping which meant we could shop at one of our (similar) all times faves: TargĂ©!! It was kismet; the moment I sent her this pic, she agreed whole heartedly that it was the piece. What’s so amazing is how there are many subtle similarities with both of our stylings. See if you can find them….

Debbie from Fashion Fairy Dust

The only thing that Debbie and I verbally agree on is the piece to buy. Then, after we’ve shot our looks we send out two pictures to one another. I’ve called Debbie my style sister before, and now there is evidence as to why: she paired the top with distressed denim and red just like me. I love the touch of red in her scarf and those cute cherry shoes. Plus that studded black belt–well, I’ve been looking for something similar! Plus her jeans are perfectly distressed. I could totally see myself wearing this exact outfit. Can’t you?

I met Debbie via Instagram. Follow her here: @fashionfairydust
and read her blog here: Fashion Fairy Dust.

Since I knew I also wanted to pair this top with red, I headed to my favorite thrift store of all time: Value Village on Boone in Spokane, Washington. I went into the store with the thought of either red jean cut offs or a red denim skirt cut off. Value Village did not fail me; I instantly found a pair of poppy red jeans in one of my favorite labels to cut off. If you are ever at a thrift store and you find a pair of Gloria Vanderbelt jeans, buy them! They make the perfect pair of cut offs. I’m not kidding. I have Gloria Vanderbelt cut off jean shorts and cut off hemmed jeans both in white. They are my favorite. She adds the perfect amount of stretch to her denim. I’d also like to note something special about the way I style this top: I’m not wearing tennis shoes!! I found a very comfortable black satin bow slides at Forever 21, and I am so excited that they work for me. (These cute slides also come in a pretty pale pink or a bold marigold yellow.) Finally, this kitschy bag is new to me as well. I just couldn’t resist it (nor the price) on Shein.

Would you like to go shopping with Debbie and me? Let us know.
Also, how would you style this black and white gingham top?

Style Story: Work AND Resort Wear

What to wear for a four days of work at a resort!? I love my job! This past weekend I was away in beautiful Kota Kinabalu for a work conference. Meeting up with teachers from all over Asia meant I was able to catch up with many friends made at the different posts we’ve had. I ended up packing only black and white items. I was quite happy with this theme as it gave me plenty of options to wear but not a lot of choice–if that makes sense. Basically it was fool proof. I ended up wearing 8 different outfits during the four day time just because there were so many different kinds of dressing: workshops, pool time, parties, plus travel time. I never got to the black jean shorts or the white kurta–they were there if I needed them. I receptively wore the black skirt and the white jean shorts as they were the two easiest options for the pool. I’m traveling again for our spring break, so I’ll be packing again real soon…ahhh what to wear!

Outfit 1: Travel Wear 5/5

wearI felt super comfortable and utterly adorable in this travel outfit. Yes, it’s totally over-the-top–wearing an “I <3 KK" tee, but I was going to Kota Kinabalu, and it felt like a must. Kevin had traveled to this same spot back in October. When he pulled out this little sentimental tee for me, I was ecstatic--like literally jumping up and down. I think it's up there with one of the sweetest gifts he's given me. Because, let's face it: I do love KK!! I always travel in these black trousers accompanied with the black blazer. I now only save the pants for traveling; they're getting so worn. Eventually I will make the necessary time to replace the completely done blazer, but until then, both the pants and blazer are a part of my travel uniform with the newest addition being my FANNY PACK!

Outfit 2: Workshop Wear 4/5

wearFor the first day of workshops, I wanted to be comfortable obviously, but also dressed up a bit. The pants hit high enough that I can pair them with a crop top. The mommy waist though did make me feel self conscious a few time though. I liked how the nipped me in around the backside, but I kind of felt like they also accentuated my ponch on the frontside. All the more reason to hold in the core! The blazer did not last–even in the ac it was not needed.

Outfit 3: Poolside Wear 5/5

wearOur room was super close to two different pools. I went with the throw cutoff jeans on instead of wearing a coverup. It’s reminiscent of the “cool dock” days out at Priest Lake circa 1987! Sometimes though, it’s just easier. Because my halter top feels like I’m substantially covered, I don’t feel to self conscious walking around in this getup. And look at that pool! We were able to swim laps–long laps for four days in a row. BLISS!!

Outfit 4: Party Wear 5/5

wearOn the first night of the conference there was a big shindig. I wore my fringe sundress. I was warned by my family that I was too dressed up, but I didn’t feel it. A party is a party! And, I got a few random compliments with this dress which always ups the confidence value of any outfit hence the 5 for 5! This dress is seriously on trend with all the fringe, BUT it also is a little call to the roaring 20s in style. I love wearing it and see it making a few more appearances this spring. (Here it is from last spring with my long hair and all!)

Outfit 5: Conference Wear 3/5

wearI was so excited to finally find this white shirt dress. The back hem is longer than the front. I had first seen something similar on Shea Marie of Peace Love Shea and became obsessed. I had one made when I was visiting my sister in Shanghai, but it was a bust. Then, when I saw a similar version in the store window at HM, I went in, found my size, and purchased it right away. But, you know what. I just don’t think it looks very good. I’m not sure about this one…I’ll try styling it again, but this one might not work for me. I definitely love this coverup version in a silky crepe, but was hoping a cotton shirtdress would work as well. We’ll see…

Outfit 6: Poolside Wear 5/5

wearAnother run to the pool but this time in my black wrap type skirt and another crop top. I didn’t mind running into other conference folks in this outfit and because the entire conference is at a resort, it’s quite acceptable to attend a couple of poolside workshops as well!

Outfit 7: Party Wear 4/5

wearFor the final night of the conference, there was a final gala. I wore this simple black with white piping dress. I felt dressed up, but I felt more chic in the fringe one from two nights before. This one lies straight down in an A-line whereas the other cinches in at the waist. I think my figure needs that little cinch otherwise I become too apple with the stock arms and heavy chest. I did like this dress, but I feel more comfortable in the other one. This reflection has become very interesting for me, and I’m definitely learning what I prefer.

Outfit 8: Travel Wear 4/5

wearI love this jumpsuit! I picked it up in Bangkok one afternoon shopping away. While I love it, I don’t think it was the best travel outfit. Because of the plunging neckline, I felt self conscious at times, but if this outfit is worn for a party or an event, I always feel in place. I guess it was just a little much for a plane ride–but that doesn’t mean I don’t love this jumpsuit any less. I personally think it’s RAD!

Black and White Wear

Because wearing black and white is so easy, and packing with this theme is even easier, I went out shopping and found some great color coordinated options.

*This post has been linked up to Let It Shine, Sunday Funday, Monday Mingle, What I Wore, Throw Back Thursday, Passion for Fashion, Fab Favorites, Brilliant Blog Posts, and Fashion Friday.

Packing 101: Choose a Theme Continued

Packing in Black and White 2

It may look like a mess, but there is some order here: only black and white for this weekend work/resort trip.

For my last trip, which happened to be work related, I chose a theme: flowy, culotte pants. Again, I am on a work related trip, and I “resort”-ed my packing to a theme. However for this trip to Kota Kinabalu for a teachers’ conference, I chose a color theme. My entire suitcase is filled with black and white items. To keep things simple and easy to coordinate, I chose a color code which will make getting dressed for the multiple activities easy. There will be workshops right alongside pool time. There are a few cocktail parties and perhaps some touring if time allows. Basically, I’ll need to get dressed for a variety of purposes.

Packing List:

This list might seem like a lot of items, but I was checking in a bag, so I didn’t mind packing a full suitcase. Plus all the options allow for mixing and matching possibilities.

  • 1 pair black and white, high-waisted trousers
  • 2 cropped tops, one black and one white with black stripes
  • 1 white blazer vest
  • 1 black blazer
  • 1 black mini skirt
  • 2 pairs jean shorts–in white and black
  • 1 black one piece
  • 1 black bikini
  • 1 white kurta
  • 1 black and white cover-up
  • 1 black and white cover up
  • 2 sundresses, one in white and one in black
  • 1 black and white cocktail dress
  • 1 black jumpsuit
  • 4 pairs black shoes–flip flops, slip-ons, sandals, strappy heels
  • workout gear and pajamas (that don’t match the color code)
  • silver jewellery
  • bright red and pink lipstick

Stay Tuned for the Style Story

This week’s style story will be posted on Monday after I have worn many of the items mentioned above. I’ll give you a sampling of how packing with a color theme actually works.


I love a skirt with twirl! Swish around and the entire garment moves on without you. When I found this skirt at a second hand store here in HK, I instantly swapped it up. It’s dressy and a little formal, yet wearing it with a tied white shirt dresses it down. When I wear this black and white combo with an added bit of sass, I instantly feel confident. With a simple twirl, I feel polished with a bit of flare–op, no pun intended!





Some Outfit Details
(Many of the items in this outfit are either tailor made, second hand or found in a market. I’ve gone to find similar items at ASOS–they are having a HUGE sale with 70% off plus 10% when you use the code 10MORE.)
Sunglasses–Tom Ford
Necklaces–The pearl one is from Ben at Jardine’s Bazaar and the silver one is from Mary via Dhaka, Bangladesh. I went to ASOS and found some similar pearl options: 1, 2, and 3. For the tribal one, Forever 21 has a good option.
Earrings–Double pearl DIY made from this Wander & Hunt DIY Kit. (Or you could also purchase these ones ready made.)
Lips–Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro in 402 thanks to the recommendation of Priscilla I’Anson.
White Shirt–Tailor made–I highly recommend investing in a tailor made white shirt! There’s nothing like having this basic made to your exact dimensions. Here’s a pretty good ready made version.
Black Twirly Skirt–I got this from Me & George, but this skirt is an excellent alternative.
Snake Crossover Bag–ASOS, sold out but similar
Sandals–Staccato via a Swap and Shop HK, but here are some similar ones.