Friday, December 15, 2017

This Christmas you can never have too many...

Lip balms.  Even in Hong Kong my lips are cracked and dry.  Kiss Mix is the very best lip balm I have ever tried.  It's been on my bedside table for years.  Buy it HERE.

Scented candles.  'Tis the season!  My current favorite is Byredo's Bibliothèque, which (to an untrained nose like mine) smells mostly of vanilla but with some fruitiness and leather thrown in. It's beautifully subtle and goes really well with the scent of Christmas trees.  Find it HERE.

Make-up brushes.  During the festive season I like my make-up to match the mood, but as sparkly eyeshadow can clog brushes I use a separate set for glittery shades.  Real Techniques are my absolute favorites because they have a huge assortment of professional products which also happen to be very affordable.  The brushes are made with artificial hair, which makes them super easy to clean.
Find them HERE.

Reading Glasses.  The kitchen, the office, the bedroom - I keep reading glasses everywhere nowadays.  It's been about four years since I can't read anything without my collection of trusty Warby Parkers. 

I go out of my way to avoid buying Luxottica eyeglasses (THIS is why) but aside from that, I just love Warby Parker style.  Micky Drexler is on the board, and we all know how awesome he looks in his retro clear frames. 

These brown and blue specs are my latest ones.  Use a forwarding shipper (Like THIS one) to send them to Hong Kong or make Warby Parker the first stop on your American vacation.  Find them HERE.

Cosy socks.  These cheap and cheerful socks are from H&M, because in our damp cold house without central heating slippers alone are not enough.  H&M carry chenille socks HERE online but these Christmas editions came from the store in Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Three's a charm - I promise I am going to change my bag and shoes tomorrow

Proenza Schouler bag (HERE)
& Other Stories jumper (HERE)
Isabel Marant Étoile jeans (HERE)
J.Crew velvet shoes (from last year but similar HEREHERE, and HERE)

Monday, December 11, 2017

New COS jumper, inspired by Aimee Song

If you are wondering why those red shoes and bag again...  I am not a super glam blogger who has to change outfits completely every day.  So I leave my shoes downstairs when I get in, and once I change my wallet, keys, glasses, and toiletries to a new bag, I usually carry that one around for a while.  My laziness aside, this bag is really practical - the pocket on the back has my key, phone and Octopus card while the three fairly spacious internal compartments hold the rest. 

The shoes are available at J.Crew in IFC in a pale pink velvet, although they do have black ribbons that sort of turn them into mary janes.  The jeans are way old straight leg Zara.

The grey jumper inspired this outfit.  I picked it up yesterday at COS - it's oversized and reminded me of a jeans and jumper combo Aimee Song posted recently on Song of Style.  I loooooved the outfit Aimee wore in that post - I don't really know why because it's sort of plain, but fashion can do that sometimes.  Anyway, this COS version is fab.  This jumper is not on the COS website, but there were plenty in store on Queen's Road Central.

A Perfect Day To Wear Pink (Isabel Marant Étoile Mom Jeans)

A quick pic from my living room before I run off to Central.  I hope mom jeans are here to stay!  All muffin top is gone, and the looser fit around the legs is a very welcome relief after so many years of skinnies.  I am off to find some wrapping paper for Santa.

French Connection jumper (HERE)
Isabel Marant Étoile pink jeans (HERE)
Proenza Schouler bag (HERE)
J.Crew velvet shoes (from last year, but I also love THESE and THESE)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

J.Crew and @floralflowerist team up for a wreath making workshop

I won't give up my day job.

Stunning unexpected table setting by @floralflowerist.  The combination of black and white graphic table cloths, stripy linen aprons, and rustic decorations in antique gold cups was extraordinarily beautiful.

If you like flowers or flower arranging, check out @floralflowerist on Instagram. You can take courses, or I suppose you can just buy flowers as well.  I like their take on a modern bouquet.  Making wreaths was such a lovely treat, arranged by J.Crew in their IFC store.

I have been wearing rather a lot of J.Crew again this season.  The dark red jumper below was a perfect purchase from J.Crew in London earlier in the season - I love it so much that I pretty much wear it with everything.  The cobalt blue trousers and the multi-color metallic shoes (both J.Crew although the shoes are from last year) seemed perfect companions.  As I pretty much always find myself trying to tone down all things shiny, I carried a casual canvas bag and was happy as a clam in my super comfortable clothes all day on Friday.

If you don't want to spend a lot on a whole new look for the festive season, get out some of your more colourful clothes and try to combine them in unusual ways. The blue trousers would also go beautifully with bottle green, fuchsia pink, or mustard yellow.  Or if you want to pair a brighter trouser with a neutral, choose a camel or heather gray instead of black.  Then make sure you wear a slightly deeper colour of lipstick or lipgloss - you don't have to go super dark, just a bit more intensity to match your colourful clothes.

J. Crew trousers (HERE)
J.Crew jumper (HERE)
J.Crew rose gold oil slick pumps (last year's, but similar HERE or HERE)
Canvas bag from Shenzhen with pins from the Victoria and Albert Museum (from an earlier post HERE)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

You bought it, now you'd better wear it

Mild but hazy weather in the Hong Kong Christmas season.

We decorated our second (this time real) tree without a plan and without my usual anal symmetrical precision and I love how it turned out.   The house smells beautifully of noble fir.

And now I am trying to figure out what to wear this weekend for a Christmassy birthday dinner at The China Club.

I bought this dress on 50 per cent sale 2 years ago...  was that a good idea?  Probably not.  It was one of those moments where I imagined myself to be a cool New Yorker in my The Row dress, and that somehow my coolness could make this dress not look like 1987 Donna Karan*. 

So now I am trying to shame myself.  You bought it, now you'd better wear it.

It's quite funny, my twelve year old has started to do the same - and when you do end up wearing something your were not sure about, very often your doubts disappear.

Now I have to figure out if I have Spanx strong enough to hold me in.  Then I am thinking some modern earrings (like THESETHESE or THESE kitschy lovelies).

The Row dress, HERE.

*  And it's not just Donna Karan's clothes that are 30 years out of touch - her take on Harvey Weinstein was quite a shocker (HERE).

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Why not bring some colour into your winter (and try out some alpaca while you're at it)

Zara coat HERE
Isabel Marant Étoile jumper HERE
Maison Kitsuné jeans, similar HERE
Saint Laurent boots HERE

Although I love a full black or grey outfit in winter, I live in a subtropical climate, and sometimes all that darkness looks out of place next to the palm trees. 

When it does get cooler in January and February my favourite way to keep some brightness in my outfits is by wearing off-white jeans.  The jumper is from Isabel Marant Étoile, a mix of alpaca and regular wool, in the prettiest pale blue which will go beautifully with my Zara coat.  I wore that coat for four days straight in London last week and loved every minute.  I saw two other girls in it on the King's Road, but I didn't mind at all - one of them walked towards me near the Duke of York Square and we both smiled at each other knowingly.  There are still some left at Zara now - I highly recommend.

Isabel Marant has been using a lot of alpaca wool this season, and I love the feel of it. It's featherlight and doesn't seem to pill very much. I think companies have become interested in alpaca for the past few years because it's reportedly more sustainable than cashmere (read more about that HERE).