outfit: front tuck – back tuck (+ a tour of the den)

ATM sweatshirt | TRADEMARK jeans | Vince Sandals

The weather was beautiful today. It was warm and sunny this morning. In the early afternoon, it rained lightly for a few minutes while the sun was still out. I picked up some flowers for mother’s day, ran some errands, and was delightfully surprised to see a couple friends who came over for a quick hello. I’m feeling grateful for this very normal-nice day. That’s exactly what I needed after an extremely abnormal and intense work week. I haven’t yet taken my transcendental meditation class yet, but I feel like I need it more than ever and hope it helps because life is not getting any easier.

Continue reading “outfit: front tuck – back tuck (+ a tour of the den)”

outfit: 3D

Ministry of Supply 3D printed sweater (size large) | pre-owned Madewell straight chinos | DV espadrille sandals

Update: I’m going to return the shoes in the previous post. They are beautiful and look cool, but they were difficult to slip on without unbuckling and buckling, and the soles were a bit heavy. I try to avoid returning things and never buy things with the intention of returning, but sometimes you have to. Oh well. The search goes on.

Continue reading “outfit: 3D”

outfit: ottoman dress

ootd 2018-03-07 at 7.01.47 PM

While in LA yesterday, I went to the Beverly Center (the mall in Beverly Hills) for the first time since I was like 15.  Retail must be dead, because that place was so empty (old video about dead malls here).  I maybe saw two other people walking around.  And because it’s Beverly Hills, it was one of those rare malls that still had good stores in it.  In total, I bought 5 new things for my work wardrobe.  I thought about doing a stereotypical eye-roll-inducing “mall haul” post even though that’s not what I ever do, but luckily for you,  I’m too exhausted from all the traveling and lack of sleep to do that right now.  I thought I’d start off by posting what I wore today instead. Continue reading “outfit: ottoman dress”

outfit: hem and haw (+ what I’m reading)

ootd 2018-02-26 at 5.31.14 PM

I usually show you guys what I wore to work during the week, but today I didn’t wear this outfit to work.  I put it on when I got home actually, after I picked up this shirt from the tailor/dry cleaners.  I got this Trademark top from TheRealReal for like $30 a few months back (the MSRP is probably around $300-400; they no longer manufacture clothes btw).  I had prior good experiences with Trademark and try to stick with brands that I know make high quality garments when shopping secondhand, because otherwise, it’s a real crap shoot.  But when I received this top in the mail, I was disappointed to find out it was shaped more like a tunic and bulged out in unflattering ways when I sat down.  There were still a lot of winning qualities about the garment though so I fussed over it for a while debating if I should return it or try to make it work.   Continue reading “outfit: hem and haw (+ what I’m reading)”

outfit: post-80’s main street USA

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This is what I wore today, but it could just as well have been taken in the 1990s, 2000s, or 2010s. Fashion hasn’t really changed much in the post 80’s era. In my teens and 20’s, I wanted my clothes to stand out and say something special.  That was probably the 1980’s era American optimism and my youthful naïveté still brewing at the time, which has since faded away, alongside the death of the American dream.  Fast forward to today. I’ve developed a sober appreciation for dressing just like everyone else.  That attitude though, has not taken the joy out of getting dressed for me.  It’s a quieter joy than it used to be, but there’s joy nonetheless.

ootd 2018-02-25 at 1.26.25 PM

It was raining and muddy at the park today, where I took Freddy for his morning walk, so I decided to forego my usual oxfords and dusted off these crepe work boots for the occasion.  I covered the boots in wax a while back to protect them from water damage.  The wax dried and leaves a faint white dusty layer unevenly distributed in the crevices, which gives the boots the appearance of spending a lot of time on a construction site.  This is workwear chic done unintentionally.

I went to the cleaners to pick up my tailored shirt on Friday but the tailor said the seam work was more difficult than expected and she needed more time to work on it, which was OK with me.  She spent more than two hours tailoring this shirt and was not finished. I’m only paying her $35 for it.  That’s barely a living wage in the U.S.  It was another affirmation that I should be paying more for clothes.

How was your weekend?  On Friday, we stayed out late. Then I spent Saturday getting some much needed R&R. And today, Sunday, I’m working on a presentation that I have to give at work.  I have a number of presentations and research projects that I need to work on right now.  I’m starting to resent all these extra projects that I became involved in, which I don’t get paid extra for, and which dip into my free time.

And lastly, here’s a documentary about the anti-fashion movement that started in the 1990’s, as a reaction to the over the top optimism of the 1980’s.  I think you’ll find it interesting.

[outfit:  *lauren manoogian ribbed tee, *levi’s 501ct jeans, APC armelle boot, everlane long puffer; *=pre-owned]

outfit: very blah

ootd 2018-02-22 at 11.22.24 PM

Quick outfit post here of what I wore to work today.  The outfit worked against me all day.  First off, it looks kind of blah.  It’s bland and uninteresting. The wide boat neck slipped toward the edge of my shoulders and revealed my bra strap; I found myself becoming self conscious and frequently re-adjusting my top.  Then during lunch I splattered tomato sauce all over it, and I didn’t want to dab it with water because it is already a bit sheer.  So I walked around with two red stains on my top all day. So overall this outfit was a dud. I almost didn’t post it, but I felt it was important to be real and show the not so great outfits too.

Anyway, tomorrow I’m going to certification course on treating opioid addiction with suboxone.  It starts very early in the morning, but I will hopefully get home early, while there is still daylight to snap an OOTD photo.  After the class, I’m planning on picking up a tunic top that I had tailored into a semi-crop top at the dry cleaners.  I hope it works out.. so stay tuned for that.

NYER CAP CONT Shot 2018-02-22 at 11.10.18 PM

And lastly, here’s what I submitted to this week’s caption contest in the New Yorker magazine.  Kind of lame, but ’twas the best I got, LOL.  Would love to hear any of your ideas for this caption contest.

[outfit:  *eileen fisher linen top, *vince cotton trousers, hopp studio oxfords;*=pre-owned]

outfit: comfy-core + (Everlane long puffer review)

everlane winter long puffer 2018-02-19 at 11.44.01 AM

Thank god for 3-day weekends!  I am relishing this day off.  I wasn’t sure what to wear today and decided to dig a little deeper into my closet for something I haven’t worn in a long time.  I decided on this very old long sleeve shirt from Target.  I think I’ve had it since the beginning of med school so it’s about 8 or 9? years old.  It’s front panel is made up a polyester blend and is sewn on in a quilted pattern.  To be honest it feels very cheap (and it was!), and it’s probably something I would not buy again today,  but I think it looks nice and it fills a small gap in my wardrobe repertoire, so I’ve held onto it for all these years.  You’ve probably seen me wear these Lemaire twist seam pants a few times already, but I cannot gush enough about how comfortable they feel, seriously.  These are hands down my most comfortable pair of pants.  The denim is buttery soft and the cut hugs but does not constrict in anyway.  They are expensive, but if you ever catch it on sale or find them secondhand, I would highly recommend going for it (and then tailoring them to your height because Lemaire pants tend to run very long).

What were you up to this weekend?  On Saturday we went to a matinee showing of the new PT Anderson film starring Daniel Day Lewis, The Phantom Thread.  It’s supposedly Daniel Day Lewis’s last film before he enters retirement and like most of his movies, it was really good!  Watch the trailor here.  It’s a dark unconventional love story about a master dress designer played by Day Lewis and “his muse”.  The characters are complex and the story unfolds in a refreshingly subtle manner.  Highly highly recommend.  (addendum:  The movie was really amusing to me also because Daniel Day Lewis looks strikingly similar to my psychoanalyst (I was in analysis a couple years ago).. his hair, demeanor, voice.. all of it, except for the attitude. Day Lewis’s character is anal and downright mean. My analyst on the other hand, had a kind, gentle attitude.)

everlane winter long puffer 2018-02-19 at 11.44.46 AM

In other news, I slacked a lot on work outs during the week.  Mainly because I got a keratin treatment to tame my wild hair and it required no washing for 3 days.  I really like the way my hair feels now.  It still has it’s texture and volume, but is like 50% smoother.  I went to Salon Riz in NYC because its the only salon that seemed to offer a light version of keratin treatments.  And the price ($200) seemed reasonable compared to the usual 400 dollar price tag in NYC.  To my surprise I was lucky enough to get the owner Mike to do my hair.  He’s an adorable scruffy Lebanese guy who had so much warmth and character.  The salon itself is very warm and home-like, and feels high end without any of your usual NYC pretention and snobbery.  Highly recommend that place if you are in the area.  But anyway over the weekend I started Barre3 back up again, and while balancing on one leg for one of the poses, I tweaked my left knee, and now every time there’s impact on that knee, it hurts.  I hope this isn’t the start of a bad knee.  Fingers crossed.  I’m going to focus on more upper body this week to let it heal.

OK, so back to this outfit.  Before I left the house to walk Freddy, I threw on my new replacement puffer and a pair of I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck-socks-and-Birks.  It was warm enough today to keep the puffer open like this, which is my favorite way to wear it.


So as you may know, Everlane sent me a replacement long winter puffer after I emailed them about the button breaking apart on my old (first generation) long puffer.  The new puffer comes with a few upgrades that I’m enjoying now.  For the price, I think it’s a really good value actually, but it’s not without its flaws.  Here are all the ways the new version out performs the old puffer:

  • The hood is larger — The hood is larger and more resistant to being knocked down by wind.  There’s also an interior drawstring that can be tightened around the neck.
  • More pockets — The old version had two exterior pockets and one zip interior pocket (that got stuck often!).  The new version has 4 large exterior pockets and one buttoned interior pocket.  The pocket placement though is a bit awkward.  The side pockets are a bit too high to use as hand warmers.  The flap pockets are at a better height for hand warming but its vertical orientation and non lined interior make them not the best for hand warming.  I’m finding myself using the flap pockets for hand warming anyway because the height is right.
  • Warmer — The new version is much warmer.  I start overheating within a couple minutes of coming indoors.  Above 37 degrees outside, and I’ll have to wear it unzipped to stay at a comfortable temperature.
  • Better zipper — the newer versions have a double zipper, that can be unzipped from the bottom which allows you to create more wiggle room for your legs or reach into your pant pockets if you need to.  The old version always got caught on the loose fabric around the zipper but the new version has the fabric stitched down to avoid getting caught in the zipper.  Nonetheless, the zipper is NOT smooth going all the way and seems to get stuck on something invisible around the pocket area.  It usually unsticks with some tugging. This might be a defect that is unique to the particular coat that I received though.  I do like that the zipper is a matte black.  In my not so humble opinion, I think glossy metallic hardware on puffers can look kind of tacky, especially the kind with atrocious branding all over (*ahem, Michael Kors).
  • Puffy-er — The new version is bulkier.  I wished I had sized down to an XS for this reason.  There is an option to cinch it at the waist with an interior string, but I prefer not to.  I like a straighter silhouette.  Straight looks modern I think. And whenever I see puffer jackets with a super cinched in waist it gives me the impression that there is too much concern over appearing skinny, and that just screams of a conventional desperation for thinness, when for god’s sake, it’s a puffer, so who cares!

Puffers can be really expensive, so if you are in need of a high quality, no non-sense puffer, that is extremely warm, and don’t want to spend a lot of money, I would recommend this one.  I think for the price, it’s going to be hard to find better quality, but if you can spend more, you could probably find better options.

[outfit:  very old Target quilted long sleeve, Lemaire twist pant, Levi’s socks, Arizona Birkenstocks, Everlane long puffer]

outfit: dynamic pleats

ootd2018-02-15 at 8.48.18 PM

I wore this outfit to work today. It was about 51 degrees F. It’s my second time wearing this pre-owned Jil Sander’s pleated skirt.  It’s a heavy weight knit material with an intricate ribbed / pleated structure.  The design is really smart.  I don’t know how one even dreams up structure like this and then executes it so finely.  But leave it up to a German minimalist fashion designer to do it.  When I walk, the pleats and triangle shapes bounce up and down, making this otherwise pared down gray skirt, dynamic and interesting. But when I stand still, it lays almost completely flat.  It feels like a sweater and pulls on to your waist like one too.  I was very close to re-selling it though, because at the time I received it a few months ago, I didn’t have true black leggings and shoes that I felt paired nicely with the skirt, but now with my new leggings and HOPP oxfords, I can put together modest preppy outfits with a big range of tops.  Something told me this skirt was special enough to hold onto even though I went 3 months without wearing it.  My closet just needed some additional adjustments to make it work.

In other news:  Everlane sent me a replacement puffer coat today.  I’ll post a proper review of it soon.  Need to road test it first.  Stay tuned!

[outfit:  *everlane ribbed wool/cashmere turtleneck, *jil sander skirt, in touch made in usa organic cotton leggings, hopp studio oxfords, baggu crossbody; *=pre-owned]

a few good links

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  • I recently discovered a blog called “The Petite Pear Project”, dedicated to writing about getting dressed as a pear shaped petite woman.  I admire the narrow focus of her blog (some of the best blogs focus narrowly on one topic, and do it well).  I liked her new post on the issue of variable sizing across clothing brands, here.
  • I was moved by this Racked article about one woman’s experience of guilt over getting dressed in expensive clothes against her background of starting out poor. Having been between two classes my entire life, I can’t get dressed without thinking about class politics and feeling guilty about finances too.
  • And for those of you who are physicians or future physicians, I discovered this great new blog by Wall Street MD.  He wrote a very concise and clear article on the importance of disability insurance recently.  He personally answered a lot of my questions through e-mail.  The other day I listened to an episode of Dave Ramsey and was horrified by the bad advice he gave one poor physician who was in a deep hole of student loan debt that seemed insurmountable with her relatively small income.  At least in that episode, he was not up to date with the nuances of the student loan forgiveness programs and basically gave her advice that would cost her hundreds of thousands of dollars! I’m disturbed by how many people might have gone down a path of financial ruin by following his shallow advice.  The White Coat Investor wrote a letter to Dave Ramsey to call him out on it.  I think finally Ramsey has updated his knowledge, but for years he was giving out bad info.  This does not give me much confidence in his advice beyond some of his simpler points of paying down debt and tracking your expenses.  I want to be better informed about these personal finance gurus, so next on my reading list is this book, Pound Foolish:  The Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry.

[image:  Fan pattern on cloth at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum]

A few good links.

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image: etsy golem designs
  1. I stumbled across this Vice article about 22 year old model Jazelle from the instagram account uglyworldwide.  Have you seen it?  There’s a compelling message conveyed through her photo library.  She comes out full blown “ugly”, loud and proud. But I can’t help but wonder if being exceptionally beautiful affords her the privilege of going viral while looking “ugly”.  But still, I like her.  She talks about having a rough childhood, growing up in Detroit, and learning to not care about what others think.   There are dark undertones of depression in her photos as well, some I found disturbing.  It got me thinking about how intentionally looking “ugly” is empowering, especially for a young woman who probably got noticed a lot for her striking “beauty”.  She used to dress “normal” and didn’t start experimenting with make up until her teenage years, but eventually shaved off her eye brows, shaved her head, and expressed herself powerfully through make up and clothes.  All eyes have always been on her, but at least now, it’s on her terms.
  2. Been thinking about dresses (in theory) a lot lately and was struck by all the beautiful dresses in the new Rodarte 2018 spring/summer line.  A lot of them would make really pretty wedding dresses, especially toward the end of the show here.
  3. I’ve been window shopping for a new apartment in my old neighborhood of Echo Park Los Angeles and have been thinking long and hard about the aesthetics of my next home.  Wabi Sabi really appeals to my sensibilities. Above is an example of a Wabi Sabi vase. I’ve been listening to “In Praise of Shadows” to get a better sense of this design philosophy.  It’s a short book, more like an essay, written decades ago by a Japanese novelist, Tanizaki.  He basically sounds like an old man grumbling about how modernization was ruining the traditional aesthetics in Japan at that time. The essay isn’t directly about wabi sabi, but I think it carries a lot of its ethos in its imagery.  I think wabi sabi can teach us how to see beauty in the aging process and how to honor our own imperfections.  I’m starting to worry that I will become extremely distressed about aging in the future, so I’ve been looking to Buddhist teachings to prepare myself early.