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July 31, 2016

On getting dressed

Lately I've been enjoying getting dressed in the morning, which is a relatively recent development. At first I put it down to finally owning the right clothes (i.e. achieving the mythical Cohesive Wardrobe), but I think there were some attitude changes as well.

1. I've stopped trying to project a predefined image and wanting to stand out. I mean, I personally really like my clothes, but I don't think my style is remarkable to the people I encounter every day. This would have killed me a few years ago, but now I'm fine with it, and no longer have to take "looking different" into account when dressing.

2. I'm trying to stop thinking about what is "flattering". There's no such thing as flattering or unflattering clothing. There are only societal expectations of what women's bodies are supposed to look like, and how much we want to comply with them. Ever since I stopped trying to do things like make my waist look more defined and my legs look longer, I've found it a lot less stressful to dress.

3. As a result, I've started prioritising comfort. Two words: smock dress. I don't care if I look pregnant. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing.

4. I don't fight to make something work. Sometimes there'll be something off about an outfit. In those cases, I just take it off and put on something I know I'll like, because otherwise I'll just be preoccupied with it for the rest of the day. (The one exception to this is if the only reason why I don't like it is that it's not "flattering". Then I make myself wear it as part of my personal crusade for self acceptance. These pants make my thighs look big? The world will have to deal.)

5. I don't mind repeating outfits anymore. I have never in my life judged someone else for repeating outfits, so I don't expect others to care about me doing the same. I've been wearing the outfit above at least twice a week lately.

I guess it might be shallow to think about how I dress so much. I follow a bunch of style blogs and (like the cliche I am) I have a style pin board. I like clothes and looking at clothes, it's fun. On the other hand, I kind of hate how much my self-confidence is derived from my outside appearance in general. Women are socialised into this more than men and I feel that I'm reinforcing it. Any thoughts?

July 27, 2016


The books I have on my shelves haven't been shown much love since I got my Kindle. But a couple of months ago the battery ran out while I was reading a book I didn't really want to finish, and I haven't been bothered to recharge or load more onto it. So I've been re-reading some of the books I already own, some of which haven't been cracked open in years.

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Starts off promising - the main character meets a rich and eccentric fellow student at Oxford and gets tangled up with his family. Then it kind of goes nowhere, to be honest, and I found it hard to care. A main theme of the book is the struggle with Catholicism, but it didn't hold my interest much either.

Breakfast At Tiffany's by Truman Capote. I like the story, it's kind of bittersweet. However it's hard to conjure up your own images because the movie adaptation is so iconic. I like the novella more than the movie, to be honest.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Quite high on the list of my favourite books. It's an intriguing story and interesting commentary on society and feminism. Unfortunately the dystopian society in the book doesn't seem too unrealistic, the way things are going in the world. I believe there's a new TV adaptation in the works.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. The main character, an ordinary sort of guy, gets tangled up in a dangerous parallel version of London. I like the concept and atmosphere, and it was fun to read twists on places I've been to. However, I found the writing style a bit grating - a little bit too consciously figurative with descriptions. I guess it might be because it's the written version of the TV show which came first.

Perfume by Patrick Süskind. I'm still finishing this re-read, and I don't know why I hadn't picked it up for so long. It's set in 18th century France, and about a man with a prodigious sense of smell. I love the sardonic kind of tone it's written in, you're not supposed to like the main character but it doesn't stop you from enjoying the book. A long-lost favourite.

July 24, 2016

Christmas in July

On Saturday night, YY and her housemate threw a Christmas in July party at their place. I'd never actually been to a Christmas in July party before, but apparently it's a thing. I guess we do it in Australia so we can experience the cold-weather Christmas cheer, not sure if you guys in the Northern Hemisphere do it as well!

July 21, 2016

Behind the scenes

Still mostly foodventures.

July 17, 2016

A mixed bag

My bags haven't really had a look in on here since I started doing the outfit round-up format! So this post is for showing them a little love. (And no, they are not usually this artfully arranged on the coat stand.)

Canvas tote. Probably my most used bag - I like how a canvas bag dresses down an outfit. I got it from a natural history themed store in NYC back in 2012 because I liked the skull (it's the residual emo kid in me). I never take it travelling though, I prefer to have a bag which I can zip up, to keep my things safer.

Small cross body. I use this to keep bits and bobs when I'm on the wards. I did a what's in my bag post with it last year. I guess I'll use it at work until I'm senior enough to get a med student to hold my things, ha ha. I rarely use this as a main bag on casual outings because I generally carry more stuff (e.g. my camera).

Handbag. Or, what I like to call, my grown-up bag. This is a cheap one I bought in Madrid. I only use it on the rare occasion that I need something more formal looking than my tote or backpack, and also as a carry-on bag on planes/secondary day-to-day bag for travel.

Backpack. Kankens are the best backpacks ever! I've been using this for almost five years now, and it's still going strong. I've never owned another backpack that's lasted this long. Waterproof, roomy, surprisingly comfortable despite the thin straps. I would definitely buy another if it breaks down, but I don't think it will for a while (I've probably jinxed it now though).

Are you a fellow carry-everything-in-a-big-bag person, or have you managed to enchant a little bag (à la Hermione) so that it fits everything you need?

July 16, 2016

Click these & blogger's block

As you may be able to tell by my silence this last week, I've had a bad case of blogger's block. I've got post ideas and things I want to talk about, but I couldn't bring myself to sit down and write them out. It's just been one of those weeks where everything feels like too much. But there have been bright spots here and there - like this unexpected patch of sunlight when I stepped out to leave for hospital the other morning, getting an IV into a patient after not having done one all year, and seeing my friends regularly now that I'm not in the isolation of GP-land anymore.

Click these
  • Celebrating shadows in blog photography. I must admit I have been leaning more towards the trend of the plain backgrounds, but Yasumi's post has pulled me back to the dark side.
  • Laura continues to bring us beautiful photos from Paris, check out Musée Bourdelle.
  • I think I need to go to Cuba over my last ever summer break this year.
  • Rae on the problem with swag.
  • This post on dressing as a woman in a male-dominated academic field was an interesting one linked to me by Xin. Not ideal that we have to think about this in the first place, but realistic. I've always felt lucky that in my setting, the dress code for women isn't as strict as for men, but that's probably because, as this article points out, "men's clothing is intended to help men blend in, women's clothing is intended to help women stand out".
  • Australia has lost the right to feel superior politically about Brexit and Trump now that infamous racist Pauline Hanson has been elected into our Senate. Read the last three paragraphs of the article, if nothing else: "It needs to be acknowledged that for us it's more than a debate. It's a question as to whether we are allowed to feel safe in our own country."
  • This video made me smile (and possibly tear up, a little bit).
On Deluminators

July 9, 2016

Friday at home

After putting in a few hours' uni-related work this morning, I wanted to stretch my legs so I took a stroll...

... down to the fish and chip shop. Got myself a burger which I ate while watching an episode of Marco Polo.

Tried to do some studying after that, but the afternoon slump set in, so I did a seven-minute-workout cycle and retreated to bed to read until dinnertime.

July 6, 2016

3x3: remix

I think between this and my previous few roundups I've covered most items I wear in winter. All outfits to come will just be mix and match and repeats. I'm pretty happy with my wardrobe right now. I'd been desperately wanting a pair of light-wash boyfriend jeans, but I've decided to just be content with my current light-wash jeans. And yes, got my boots fixed at Roger's Shoe Repairs in Redfern! I've only had another pair of shoes resoled before, which were my loafers at Coombs in the Strand (who I feel did a more seamless job), but Roger charged me a lot less (and he is lovely). Only time will tell how they hold up, I guess!

  • Zara coat / Muji dress / Bass saddle shoes for multiple dinners in a row. I thought the dress was going to be a regret buy, but I've been reaching for it often. I reckon I could get away with wearing it at hospital when the weather warms up.
  • Muji dress / Dune boots. Just wanted to show off this dress without a jacket. I love it, perfect winter dress. It has pockets!
  • Uniqlo shirt / Mango pants / Dune boots / Daniel Wellington watch* for placement.
  • ? jumper / Mango pants / Dune boots / DW watch* for placement.
  • Uniqlo shirt / Uniqlo pants / Dune boots / DW watch* for placement. I regret these pants, I bought them in Shanghai where cropped actually means cropped and when I walk around they ride even further up my legs. I don't find myself wearing them a lot now I have my black trousers.
  • Joules jumper* / Glassons pants / Bass loafers / DW watch* for placement.
  • Uniqlo sweatshirt / Glassons pants / Bass loafers for placement.
  • Zara coat / ? top / Cotton On pants / Dune boots for lectures.
  • Zara coat / Uniqlo t-shirt / Just Jeans jeans / Dune boots for lunch and hanging out with friends. I'm probably going to repeat this for errands and dinner tomorrow.
I'm curious - do you guys look at the shops/brands where clothes in outfit posts are from? I can see that they'd be useful if things featured are still available in shops, or if bloggers use affiliate links. But most of my clothes are old, no longer sold, and pretty generic anyway so you could find similar things in most stores. I'm thinking of not bothering with it anymore (apart from disclosing gifted items - all two of them). Any opinions?

July 4, 2016

On menstrual cups

People who don't want to read about periods, look away now.

July 2, 2016

Burgers, desserts, and everything in between

My friends and I have an inability to meet up for "coffee" or "drinks". If we're hanging out, it's going to be at least three courses at three different places. Here's another food round up.