Unintentionally chic?


One of my favorite things to travel with is The Buff, a versatile accessory that is essentially a seamless, stretchy piece of fabric I purchased for $19.99 a few years ago for my trip to South America. It can be worn as a beanie, a bandana, a scarf, a muff, a wrist wrap… so many things you can imagine, essentially.

This time, I wore it around my neck so that I may pull it over my nose and mouth when riding in the motorized tricycles here in the Cordillera of northern Philippines, as we would get unceremoniously dusted by passing jeepneys and vehicles of any and all sorts.

Functionality aside, I just realized that it added a little dash of color to my plain quick-dry shirt. Plus one point for traveler fashion?

Top: Quick dry top by REI, $15-ish
Buff: $19.99 from REI
Sunglasses: Armani Exchange, $24

Very Important Scarf

I’m in the highlands of the Philippines right now, and I’m really glad I decided to pack my “hippie scarf”: a green scarf with motifs of Lord Ganesha, Om symbols and Sanskrit words. It does add a dash of pizazz to an otherwise utilitarian travel ensemble. Ditto the cheapo hoop earrings I acquired 10 years ago at Far East Plaza in Singapore.

(And yes, I went to Starbucks. Don’t judge.)

Top: Gap Fit, $24.99
Pants: Columbia, $35?
Shoes: Timberland, $16
Scarf: World Market, $9.99?

Back in Black

(Sorry it’s out of focus: snapped this real quick in passing)

After spending a good amount of time fretting over what to wear, this was essentially what I looked like every day in New York:
– Trenchcoat: DKNY ($59)
– Leather boots: Ralph Lauren ($129)
– Leather gloves: Fownes
– Chunky knit scarf: Etsy
– Satchel: Calvin Klein ($120)

Save for the first 2 days when I wore my new leather jacket, Hurricane Sandy meant the above outfit was de rigeur for the rest of this unintentionally-extended trip.

Fall-ing for Target

I have no pretension about clothing: price is usually important to me than brand, so Target is a common go-to for wearable basics. On a recent trip, I picked up the following items as we transition into Fall:

Top of the list: Tuxedo jacket by Kirna Zabête for Target – $34

Admittedly, I’ve never heard of this brand despite its claims to be some high fashion store in Manhattan. Probably that explains why I found this on the clearance rack, rather than the recent frenzy that was Missoni for Target.

I’ve been wanting a tuxedo jacket for a while now, and this one is PERFECT! Pairs with jeans + killer heels for a casual yet dressy combination; or over a dress for some warmth even when dolled up.

Shown here paired with Mossimo silk top ($10, Target clearance last year); Levi’s jeans ($16, Costco)

Now, this grey cardigan was THE reason why I was at Target in the first place! It’s a shawl collar open cardi (Mossimo, $16), very soft and light, perfect for Los Angeles Fall. Paired with a dark blue striped camisole ($4). I foresee wearing this cardigan a LOT.

This one’s NOT a Target purchase, but I thought it might pair well with the outfit: grey chunky infinity scarf from Etsy seller AnytimeScarf. I bought this in anticipation for Fall/Winter and figured it would go well with my existing trenchcoats (not shown here).

A wardrobe staple: blue v-neck longsleeved cotton top for $8. These are perfect for layering as we transition into Fall, then Fall-Winter. I like how the blue goes with the light grey scarf!

And finally… The Husband convinced me that I look good in CORAL, so I actually bought it!! Having serious doubts now and considering a return. Check out my look of apprehension….

What do you say? Yea, or nay? Should I keep this and attempt to get enough wear out of it, or just give up and stick with grey?

Update: A few days later, I returned the coral cardigan, convinced that I wouldn’t get enough wear out of it. Wop wop wop….