La Marinière in Athens

I found these hidden around iPhoto while I was trying to sort through the photographs into organised albums when I realised I have not uploaded these at all to the blog. I had thought I did but it was to my personal Facebook account––argh stop messing with my painkiller-addled brain already. I am still a die-hard fan of the la marinière (Or is it called the Breton-stripe top? How to differentiate between the two or are they the same thing? Any stripe experts out there?), even if it starting to give way to the polka dot as the it pattern for Fall. Honestly I can't give a damn. Different alternatives in colour also manages to hit the sweet spot for many as well, and perhaps is the only neon item that I've liked so far this whole summer.

Thank you Dora for the photos.

Thoughts on Streetwear

I'm back from the mini sneaker convention with my baby cousin (ok he's only a year younger but whatever) and thought it was pretty neat despite it being super small and rather unblogworthy. I just thought it was cool seeing all these kids being so enthusiastic about sneakers, even if I still don't get the hype behind Air Jordan's and Yeezy's. The irony of having young teenage males being more excited about shoes than an older teenage female (namely moi) is not lost on me either. Then again I was never really all that obsessed with shoes to begin with save for oxfords, wingtips and monkstraps (go figure). 

It is after this trip though that I have finally come to peace with the streetwear phenomenon. Granted it has since died down from it's heyday in the mid 2000s, but now I have accepted it so much as willing to incorporate elements of it into my wardrobe. Back then it was everywhere on streets and was particularly bad in HK, where you would see guys piling on trucker hats, loose baggy denim, wearing either BAPE or Billionaire Boys Club tees and of course, the damn sneakers, which drove me absolute batshit crazy. I hated how it was the uniform of ALL young straight males everywhere; it was unavoidable and the lack of originality and wannabe "thug/gangsta" culture really bothered me.

I have since loved how streetwear dialed it down a little and the way it is incorporated into mainstream male dress today. The baggy jeans are now mostly well fitted raw denim; the shirts are now replaced with button downs or cotton pocket tees. The caps and the sneakers might be still there, but at least now it's subtle and much more tastefully done. This is why I am even contemplating buying a pair of canvas Vans slip-ons instead of Chucks and maybe even a cap from Supreme from my cousin as a present (since the ones I liked were all sold out for now). I dig the androgynous air small touches of streetwear can bring to the wardrobe to keep it nicely tomboy-ish in a very simple and easy way.

I've also finally bought my Barbour jacket!!!!! I am so in love with it I can wear it all day and night long. I got the more unisex Bedale in Sage, even though I had been eyeing the Beadnell and the Beaufort online. Words cannot describe the satisfaction and joy from finally owning an item after pining after it via the interwebs for a year and a half. I LOVES IT SO MUCH TO DEATH that I was even glad it drizzled for a bit later in the day so I could whip it out and have a legitimate excuse to wear it. It will soon be in, oh I dunno, every single outfit post to come so there is no rush to see it at all right now. I didn't manage to get to other items on the list because my foot hurt too much to continue. I did mention briefly on Twitter that I probably have a stress fracture due to my overactive craziness in Greece but no worries as I already have my X-Ray taken, seeing a doctor, getting a MRI very soon, have lots of painkillers on hand (yay for relatives who are pharmacists) and access to HBO Go and Netflix (just finished Game of Thrones Season 2, catching up on White Collar and Breaking Bad and starting The Wire). Life is not all that great as of late but I am getting by with the painkillers.

P.S. I am likely to venture out to SoHo again anyway to finish my shopping as well as to catch a glimpse of a certain beautiful Matt Bomer...

Midyear Wardrobe Report

Now that my travels have ended, I have a little time to re-evaluation the state of my wardrobe. To be honest, this post is written more for myself than anything, as I try to organise my thoughts to take advantage for the summer sales everywhere in the NYC. Learning to live with a capsule wardrobe it seems has made me extremely methodical in thinking about every new purchase, which is why I bought next to nothing in Athens despite living not very far from great shopping districts.

So far my summer uniform has been mostly collared button downs and shorts, but the rising temperature has forced me to consider lighter options in the form of tanks and camisoles, which I currently do not have. The sun has also made me extremely lazy, so I am also eyeing many one pieces as well (though dresses over rompers and jump suits). Despite disliking the current trends of neon and lace, I do love the chambray shirt.

Things that I am contemplating to buy (not sponsored/affiliated links):

I've refrained from posting lists like this in the past because so very often, the idea of restructuring and building "the perfect wardrobe" end up as an easy excuse to just buy more. I have thought about this for a long time (it's almost pathetic to admit how much I thought about this), thrown away/donated what I don't need and this would be my first big shopping spree of the year. I am planning to stick to this list however I will most definitely update on this later if needed. Enjoy the summer sales people!

Bidding Farewell to Greece

It was only last night when I was browsing through the photos looking for things to post that it finally registered in my brain that my time in Greece is officially over with a resounding capital O. And F for finito. The past two months were over just like that. I'm glad to be back seeing family and eating good Chinese food again but I wouldn't mind staying for another month or so.

What I realised about travelling on this trip is that it's not so much about seeing the place itself, but rather capturing experiences and stories along the way. I used to think that study abroad brochures were often full of bullshit in how it is advertised as a great way to "discover yourself" however now I do think there is a grain of truth in that. If you are going to party and drink your way through your travels and not put in the effort to learn about the place, the language, the people and the culture, then it's unsurprising that you're not going to gain much or learn about thine true self either. So much of it is not as philosophical as it seems but rather simple acknowledgements that everybody is a fellow human beings with the same kind of desires and feelings. Lin is perhaps far more eloquent on the beauty of conversing with strangers on foreign travels, but I suspect the reason why conversations made on the road are so pleasant are that because they are simply so unassuming and at the same time, without the unsavoury polite veneer of small talk. Of course, the beauty of your surroundings and the escape from the mundane banality of normal life helps too. 

I know I have collected a lifetime's worth of stories on this trip alone and I fear this sojourn to Greece has just sparked the most intense wanderlust in me. I'm afraid I can no longer sit still and learn to settle.

It's nice to finally be able to properly collect my thoughts and write again; rest assured there will be more writing again in future posts and hopefully more on the topic of fashion/style. Lastly, I hope you enjoyed my last batch of photos from Hydra (Idra), Greece.

Athens from Above

Here's a mini update of photos from my hike up to Mt. Lycabettus, since I can't update this weekend as I will be away in Hydra! It's the highest point in Athens so you have excellent views of the city from all around. We indulged ourselves by having dinner there for the night (a light salad) before making our way down via the funicular.

The red shorts you see are from H&M; those and a pair in khaki are pretty much the only things I've bought so far in Greece apart from the alumni dinner dress. I'm not sure if the Greece is poorly stocked due to the crisis or that I am just super picky now that I've gone the purging of the wardrobe and used to not buy very much at all. If you're not a particular fan of neon or lace, you're pretty much screwed with high street options. Hopefully I can soon expand more later on post-capsule wardrobe living after Hydra.

Road Trip to the Peloponnese

Now that I am well into my second last week in Greece, I have become all the more aware of the passage of time. It pains me to have to seriously contemplate leaving this beautiful country, but I must accept the fact in order to fully appreciate and properly utilise what little precious time I have left. For me that includes hiking up Mt. Lycabettus, meeting up again with the always lovely Dora (hello dear, are you sick of me yet?) and of course, leaving Attica to go watch a modern rendition of Oedipus the King at the Ancient Theatre at Epidaurus this past weekend.

Since there was little chance of us making it back straight to Athens after Epidaurus, we decided to stay in Nafplio for the night at the recommendation of our Greek language teacher. Nafplio has to be the biggest surprise thus far in Greece; for us students, it had all the things we like about Chania, Crete, so much but more. Originally we made plans to also go visit Ancient Mycenae and even go bungee jumping at Corinth, but in the end we loved Nafplio so much that we decided to stay and bask in its beauty for a little while longer. The photos above were from our hike up and down all 999 steps of  Palamidi––we didn't know that you could actually take a bus up there!

On our way down we met Nana, a student from Athens but is currently studying Theatre in Nafplio (in the middle of the trio here), who was kind enough to give us an impromptu mini tour and walked us to get gelato at the famous Antica Gelateria di Roma. So tasty.

Of course when night fell, we made our way to Epidaurus. Despite not understanding a single word (OK more like five and we could tell who was who), I absolutely enjoyed it. The acoustics were truly amazing and surpassed all of our expectations. Hilariously half way through the performance, someone screamed and stood up, leading to more people around him/her to stand up until everybody in the theatre stood up and the lights were turned back on. At first my friends and I were truly confused and thought this was part of play until we realised that it was probably just because of the giant bug flying around the theatre (looked quite harmless though frankly). I finally got a chance to wear the dark purple jumpsuit I bought years ago.

The next day we took the Nafplio city tour and had one of the best lunches I've had EVER. We then proceeded to the two big museums in town drunk because of all the free wine that we got at lunch. Thankfully we sobered up by late afternoon as we made our way to the beach, where we stayed for the remainder of the day before we hopped onto the bus back to Athens at night.

If you find yourself in Greece, please pay a visit to Nafplio. I swear you won't regret it.