Next Garden

Vancouver (and some times Los Angeles) weirdo wears stuff, takes pictures, makes fashion blog.

Dress Your Age

polka dot romper h&m
Hola everyone! I skipped a week (or has it been two?!) because I've been hustling my patootie off, and I'm loving it! But work aside, there's a topic that I really want to talk about, and that's the concept of dressing one's age -- a concept that wholly escapes me.

When I walk through through a store, I inevitably gravitate towards the kid's section. Why? THE COLORS! THE CUTE PRINTS! THE SHINY SPARKLES! Have you noticed that there's always a stark difference in the color palettes between the kid's section and the adult section? It's like walking from a funeral straight to a birthday party. Whoever decided that being a grown up means giving up vibrant colors should be strung up like a pinata and spanked.

And yes, while kid's clothes fit funny on a full grown adult, I still tend to buy them... a lot of them. Probably too much for my own good. When the cashiers ring me up and sometimes ask, "Are these for you?" I look down at my glittery kitten print shirts and ask them right back, "Gee what ever gave you that idea?" I used to feel a bit self conscious about this, but after a while I basically just relented to the fact that I'll never not like bright colors and prints. And if the kid's section is where I can find what resonates with me, then so be it!

ruffle off shoulder romper
There have been occasions when I walked down the street and see a toddler in the same shirt as me, and that nagging thought of maybe I should grow up at some point flashes in my mind. But then again, it also means that toddler is super fly and I give them a thumbs up.

For a while, it was a constant battle of insecurity and wanting to flaunt what I love about fashion -- variety, boldness, personality. At the end of the day, flaunting wins. If I don't say anything, no one can tell what section of a store I got my clothes from. In fact, the most compliments I've gotten on what I wear are things I picked out from the children's side.

jumpin' jumpin'
And yes, this romper was from the kid's section. It was actually quite a surprise that I fit into it without getting a wedgie the size of the Grand Canyon.

So the moral of the story is, if I fits, I friggin buy it and love it and wear it and I don't really give a flying pony's ass what anyone says about it.

Now if only I can squeeze into kid size shoes...

Photo cred: Meghan Latta @discomoon | EditingMe!
Outfit details: Romper: H&M | Jacket: Billabong | Shoes: Thrifted | Sunglasses: Ruffles

Relax

Hello from beautiful Malibu!

I made it to LA, and have been here for three days. This trip was supposed to be a stay-cation, as in I'd be actively looking for work, working, but maybe try to relax a little without the super rigid schedule I've had for the last few months.

So speaking of relax, what's more relaxing than 1) handing the reins over to someone else and let them handle the task of dressing me for this set, and b) heading to the beach?

My friend Pauline was the one to pick out the dress straight from her closet, drove us to Malibu beach, and braved climbing those loosey goosey rocks to take the photos! She doesn't have a shortage of floral prints in her massive collection of clothes, so in essence, this look is very her.

It was an interesting experiment to see how personal personal style is. Up until now, I have been dressing myself for every post, thus everything has been very me.

Would you find anything like this in my closet? I'm going to say no, even though floral prints are kind of my thing as well. The wrap factor would have deterred me, as demonstrated by the fact that I couldn't figure out how to get into this dress when we raided Pauline's closet. And I would have probably been drawn to things that were more vibrant in color.

But for something that at first glance, I wouldn't have picked off a rack myself, I kinda bonded with it after walking along the beach and having it flap and fly in all the right ways.

Exploring just how personal it can get with personal style sounds like a good mini-series, I think I'll be letting Pauline dress me for the next few posts. It's interesting to see what we agree on, and what we don't in terms of fashion.

As for our mutual love for floral prints... her focus seems to be on the details of the print (see all those sharp, thin lines on this dress?) and mine is on color.

There's lots more to explore! She has a massive closet that I can't wait to rifle through!

And speaking of relax, it's something I still have to work on. Not being constantly occupied was making me nervous, and I felt like I was wasting time just sitting there and soaking in the sea breeze. I'll learn though. As I'll learn to loosen up a little and maybe put on the pair of *capri pants Pauline has set aside for me. Maybe.

* I hate capri pants.

Photo cred: Pauline Hsieh @lauhte EditingMe!

Fly

Before I even say anything about this dress that I adore, let me just tell you about the disaster that was this photoshoot! Meghan and I planned to go hit up the beach at low low tide so we had a lot of sand to work with, and could be closer to the boats and mountains. Thanks to some Googling, schedule coordinating, and bum rushing to pick up balloons, we finally made it to the busy beach! We trekked for a good 15 minutes from the parking lot out to where the water was when I realized my memory card was not in the camera, but sitting on my desk at home.

There we were, balloons at the ready, so far out on the beach that the road was just a tiny ribbon in the distance and I decided to book it back to dry land and drive like the wind to go home to grab that damned card. After hopping over some sharp rocks encrusted with barnacles (whilst cussing with every step,) I made it home and back and ready to shoot in good time! The only sacrifice were my shoes that were just not made for dashing in wet sand. No matter, it looks much breezier this way anyways.

And now onto the outfit... When I was picking out balloons, I was too overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices to even be able to remember what I had in the closet to go with what. But pastel pink and teal was a pretty safe choice because... well, I can guesstimate that 70% of my clothes include those two colors in some combination or another. After digging a bit, I found this dress that I actually forgot I had... It's one of those things I like to call a Target classic -- as in I know I got it at Target eons ago and but no clue exactly how long ago. It was a perfect companion for my balloon bouquet!

I may not remember when I got it, but I do remember clearly the thought I had when I first saw it: Floral print and plaid?! What kind of abomination-combination is this? I must have it! It's busy but I love it. It's breezy and goes perfectly with my perpetual messy wind blown hair. For this shoot, I felt like I wanted to flap my arms, squawk a little, fly away with balloons in tow... and that open back would help me glide in the air like some floral-laden mutant pastel bird.

I guess the moral of this whole debacle is if you fail at first, run run run and get it done! Run fast enough that you feel like flying when you do get all your shits together. I'm happy I got to rediscover a cute dress. Happy the low tide was still low after I doubled back to get that memory card. Happy that of all the haphazard things to happen, even with a bloody foot after stepping on a barnacle, we got some great photos for my blog.

Ok, this post is getting a bit too long winded for such a simple outfit, so I'll just leave off by saying this: Sometimes things go wrong, but teal and pink fixes all the boo-boos. Oh yeah, and don't be afraid to fly.

I'm flying to LA this week! Hello old home, I hope we can get something productive done together. Vancouver with your gorgeous mountains and beaches, I'll smell you later.

Photo cred: Meghan Latta @discomoon | EditingMe!
Outfit details: Dress,: Target | White shirt: Joe Fresh

Colo(u)r Theory

H&M tropical flowers pinafore
Meghan's back on the blog! This time she's wearing a killer pinafore I would punt someone for. Ruffles? Yes! Bright warm yellow? Yes yes! And this time, we talk a bit about wearing colors, even though we don't agree on the spelling of the word, we both love it. (I will stubbornly spell it the American way even though I have converted to using metric! Celsius rules!)

Color, colour, however you choose to spell it, this yellow and green set of photos was botanical-icious and looked like some kind of post-impressionist painting.

yellow and green romper
Angel: Let's talk about how our friends don't wear color. You're probably the only one I know who likes wearing colors.
Meghan: Slag off our square friends. People are I think, one, afraid to stand out. Two, they think it's too hard to have stuff match if it is colour rather than black.
Angel: I don't want to say it's lazy, but it's kind of lazy. Colors are good.
Meghan: Colours are great.

Wonderful frolicking in the plants outfit.
Angel: What's so bad about standing out though?
Meghan: I like to peacock a bit. Also, it's Vancouver, nobody really cares.
Angel: Ok, what city have you been to that has more colors?
Meghan: Ehh... none, actually! Like, people dress well in London, but not that much colour. Actually, Paris, I suppose. But they just dress really nice there, not even sure if so much colour. Old men in London have mad good style, but it's very simple.

Crochet top detail
Angel: What kind of old man fashion do they have in London?
Meghan: Coloured sweater, one solid colour, like green or red over white coloured shirt. Some kind of acceptable trouser. Coloured socks, and very nice lace up leather, possibly Oxford shoe. This one old man had very light pink ones and I was like, 'Eeee!'
Angel: Oooo I want! I would rock some old man shoes. Oh wait, I have old man shoes!
Meghan: Haha, yes you do!
Angel: Do you get compliments when you wear bright colors?
Meghan: Yes, I don't think anyone has ever said anything disparaging.

laying in a flower field
Angel: One lady saw my pink holograph belt once and said, "Wow it takes someone with real confidence to wear something so bright!" I don't think it's really about confidence though, I just don't want to look like I'm going to a funeral every day by wearing basic black.
Meghan: Haha, I also don't think black really does anything for me. And I like bright colour in winter 'cause everything is already kinda grey, so why do we gotta be? I think that in order to wear colour you do have to know a little of the basics of colour theory.
Angel: I'm sure I learned this in art class, I just don't remember any of it.

red roses, yellow outfit
Meghan: Like what goes together, how many different colours and patterns can you put together in one outfit, how to break the rules, what clashes, sometimes you want things to clash. But it works best if you kinda have a sense of how that all works. Having a visual art background does make all that intuitive more or less for me, so I don't have to sweat too much. Also by now I know what I like, and what I want to convey with my clothes.
Angel: What's a good kind of clash?
Meghan: Like pink and green, or red and pink... Or orange and fuchsia.
Angel: Everyone says red and pink clash, but I think it's the best combo.
Meghan: Yes! But you gotta know the kind of red, and the kind of pink.

There you have it, we love colo(u)rs! Are you a brightly hued peacock or do you prefer to keep it simple?

Follow Meghan on her Tumblr or Instagram.

Photo cred: Me!

Comfort

There's something quite old about this set of photos... It was taken back in June and I completely forgot about it, and the dress and jacket are both old-ish. I guess when you buy things from H&M and they last over 5 years, it just seems... old.

In fact, this has been a staple spring/early summer outfit of mine for years. It's something like a comfort outfit -- I know it goes together because I've worn it 509 times. I know it's old but I still like it. Do you have one of those? The outfit you can throw on without much of a second thought because you already know exactly how it fits and how it looks. It's familiar, a comfort zone.

I had a better transition from talking about clothes to talking about life... but I definitely just lost my train of thought so allow me to make a hard left here. Speaking of comfort and something you can fall back on: sinking into comfort and complacency is fine... for a while.

I'm at a weird crossroads right now in life. I'm about to leave the job I got after a good 8 months of looking to try and do something that's more fulfilling.

It's doesn't pay more. It's not a guarantee. It's just a leap of faith.

So whether or not I fail miserably, or finally find something I can wake up happily for, we'll see. I have to say, I spent a large chunk of my life being comfortable and complacent, and found that it was a huge waste of time. Yes, a steady paycheck is essential, but it also came with a steady sense of a mediocre, bland life devoid of ambition. I have a goal now after floundering in uncertainty for a long time, and won't call it quits until everything comes crashing down in flames.

And if everything does go horribly wrong, at least the people at this job now are OK with me coming back after I'm done chasing dreams.

Kind of like this outfit. An oldie but a goodie. Something to fall back on if that shiny new thing doesn't work out.

Yeah I'm aware I'm being very vague, but when I did type out what exactly I wanted to do, it seemed to be very boring of an explanation. So for now, just meet my comfort outfit before I take off (and no, I'm not bringing it with me... Limited suitcase space! But guess what... it'll be here ready to be worn the day I'm back and short on clean clothes.)

Do you like basking in comfort? Or do you like throwing caution to the wind? There is no right answer, but one thing is for sure: I fucking love polka dots.

Photo cred: Meghan Latta @discomoon | EditingMe!
Outfit details: Dress, jacket, socks: H&M | Shoes: Joe Fresh

Oh Deer!

I've been sitting on this photoset forever.

By forever I mean it's from this January!

It was actually one of the first sets that I ever shot for this blog, but never got around to posting it because I'm not quite sure what to say about it. It's so maximum me, but also so extra that it's not something I would wear out casually.

Woodland creatures? Check. Golden antlers? Check. Crazy good make up that doesn't look all too heavy in photos but I felt like my face was entirely painted on? Check. Clothing pieces that are half borrowed? Check check mate. Not that I'm complaining or anything, this was probably one of the most complete and well put together shoots for my blog ever.

The flocked sheer shirt was instant love when I saw it -- if you look closely, you can see deer lurking in the storybook like pattern! It was a I-must-have-this-immediately-even-if-I-don't-have-anything-to-wear-it-with purchase. That was, until I brought it to my friend Pauline's house.

Let me just tell you, it is really amazing to have an amazing friend who would a) let me scavenge through her closet to find things that match, b) do my hair and make up, and c) take these photos for me even though I was awkward AF when I first started this blog.

So, we came up with this look in January, and to this day it's still one of my favorites despite the fact that it hasn't been posted until now. I was busy stewing over what exactly I can say about it this whole time, when it's blatantly obvious: teamwork is precious.

It's been seven months now, time is flying by, and I'm about to go visit Pauline again soon in LA. So much has happened between then and now: life changes, job changes, ch-ch-ch-changes everywhere. Some are good, some dragged me kicking and screaming into new frontiers. But at the end of the day, I'm still a sucker for pink woodland animals and thigh high socks.

The year is more than half over, how have you changed?

Photo cred: Pauline Hsieh @lauhte EditingMe!
Outfit details: Borrowed: Black halter, shorts, necklace, antler hairband. Mine: Flocked shirt: H&M | Thigh high socks: American Apparel | Shoes: Target

The Goldilocks Zone

swim suit fashion blogger
Ojojoj, I missed my usual Monday post day, and I feel bad about it. But honestly, the weather has been so nice that I was out the door every day and too wiped by the time I get back on Sunday nights. Last night, even after an XL coffee, I couldn't peel myself off the couch and put my fingers to the keyboard... so here's a Tuesday post day!

Let's talk about something everyone has experienced -- lack of self confidence. It's been on my mind lately, and what better time to write about it than paired with photos that I feel kinda awkward about? (Swim suit edition -- so exposed!) But here they are, because I adore pink stripes, and the scenery at Sooke Potholes Provincial Park was absolutely beautiful.

So confidence + blogging is kind of a weird balance for me. I'm putting myself out there and having fun doing it while being fully aware that I'm possibly the most low-maintenance person I know. There are bloggers with gorgeous hair, meticulous makeup, shining beautiful nails... and here I am -- if I even bother to run a brush my hair, it's considered a good day. And let's not ever zoom in on my nails, it's a real horror show there. Sometimes I feel like I should put in more effort. But then again, saying, 'Oh well, fuck it!' Pretty much sums me up as a person, and I do enjoy keeping it it real here.

striped shirt striped swimsuit
The flip side of that is I feel inadequate as a fashion blogger sometimes. Could my photos be a bit more polished? Yes. Can I maybe just dig out the flat iron from underneath my bathroom sink for once? Definitely. Should I at some point use some concealer on those mega panda dark circles under my eyes? Sure! But will I? Eh, it's debatable. While I do envy well put together people, I find that I lack the time and attention span to do it for myself. So the balance is hard to achieve. Where is my Goldilocks zone in terms of appearance vs. effort? I don't really know, but maybe blogging will help me find out eventually.

And in terms of feeling awkward in a swim suit, I absolutely prefer one piece suits, but having a freakishly long torso makes that awfully difficult. (Can you say wedgie city?!) Despite gallivanting around with short shorts and even shorter dresses, I'm kind of a prude when it comes to my belly -- kind of like a cat that will claw your face off if you attempt belly rubs. I prefer it to not see the light of day, and only had no problem with it at this particular park because it was so secluded. If you asked me why, I couldn't really tell you because I honestly don't know. It's just a vague, itchy feeling that it should stay inside clothing at all times.

sooke potholes provincial park
But here it is, and this will probably be the only time that vulnerable midriff will be seen in public... and now it's on the internet. But as I like to say, "Oh well, fuck it!" We all have things about ourselves that we're not so fond of... but dang this swimsuit was so cute and so within my budget that I went for it.

How do you deal with your vulnerabilities? Are you comfortable with yourself? How do you improve on that? For me, it's definitely just to plod along until solutions present themselves. I'm in no hurry.

Photo cred: Collin Head @deklyn21 | EditingMe!
Outfit details: Shirt: Old Navy | Swimsuit. shoes: Ardene | Shoes: Ardene | Sunglasses: Ruffles