Nothing Short of Chic: 2015


Classic Glam: Holiday Party Look ft Alicia Michelle

A classic-glam update on your typical holiday party look, with outfit inspiration and step-by step makeup! | Nothing Short Of Chic

A new spin on a classic look, with step-by-step makeup and outfit inspiration.

Holiday season is upon us, and so many women are pulling out their little black dresses and red lipsticks to do themselves up the same way they do every year. But today, I'm excited to give you this elegant-yet-modern take on the classic black-gold-red look in partnership with beauty and fashion blogger/vlogger Alicia Michelle of Keep reading to see my outfit, as well as a step-by-step makeup look perfect for your next night out!


Personal Style: Somewhere Over The Rainbow

An elegant dress-over-pants ensemble worn high above the Danish city of Aarhus in Aros Museum's Rainbow Panorama | Nothing Short Of Chic
Far above the city of Århus, the dress-over-pants look is so chic.

Yes, I do realize that this is my first December post. I sincerely apologize - I have quite a bit of amazing content lined up, and I recently did a collaboration post with Alicia Michelle of, but not much has been going on here for a good two weeks. Please forgive me!


Personal Style: Striped Sweater Sunday

Layer a striped sweater over your all-black outfit for a chic updated look | Nothing Short Of Chic
Spicing things up with stripes and a pinch of sass.

It's officially cold. Here in Viborg, the midday weather likes to hop between 1˚C and -1˚C (34˚F and 32˚F), and at night it's colder - it even snowed the tiniest bit yesterday and it's quite frosty. And of course, there are places where it's much, much colder. Even when inside, with the skin-drying heating on at full-force, a sweater is often mandatory. So yesterday, I piled on the layers, resulting in this cozy look.


Top 50 Must-Follow Instagram Accounts For Fashion Lovers

50 must-follow Instagram accounts for fashion & art lovers | Nothing Short Of Chic

I spend so much time on Instagram - for NSOC, it's a superpower in terms of networking, inspiration, outreach, and discovery. I am constantly finding new bloggers and brands, and I'm able to create connections with them so easily. I follow over 1.2K accounts and I'm always adding more and more to that list. Unfortunately, having so many incredible accounts in my feed means that a lot of them get lost in the shuffle - but today I weeded through the substantial list of accounts I love to find the very best for you, from a fashion girl's perspective. Here I've created a guide of the best in outfit inspiration, illustration, beauty, photography, fitness, food, and more, with a sample image and account description for each. You're welcome - now the only issue is to curb the Instagram addiction...


Successfully Styled: The Dress-Over-Shirt Trend

The dress-over-shirt microtrend has finally been made wearable - and chic | Nothing Short Of Chic
It's trendy, and impossible to actually wear... until now.

You've seen it in many iterations while scrolling through Style du Monde or The Urban Spotter - a black silk slip dress over a crisp white button down (a bit like the oh-so-ugly cami-over-shirt trend); a short printed shift over a bright mockneck tee; a sleeveless leather dress over a t-shirt. You've wondered how people come up with these ridiculous layered looks - including formulae like an above-the-knee skirt over a knee-length shirtdress (how could anybody think that looks good?). And then you've wondered if you could pull it off. Slowly shaking your head, you shut out all thoughts related to this microtrend. But I'm here to tell you that it isn't entirely impossible to wear!


Personal Style: Falling In Love (With Autumn)

Sweet, stylish autumn outfit inspiration for women who want to up their fall style game | Nothing Short Of Chic
The most beautiful season of all - Fall.

Fall is the most beautiful, rich, and complex of the seasons - and perhaps that with the most change, aside from spring. I feel so lucky to be able to experience this season here in Viborg - my home-away-from-home, as we now jokingly call it - where I stayed last spring and summer. I'll actually get to see winter too, though by the locals' point of view, it's maybe not the best time of year to be here (but I'm really excited for holiday season here).


Get The Look: Flying The Nest

Chic, cheap, & easy Bird Queen Hallowe'en costume | Nothing Short Of Chic
A bird's-eye view of this chic costume.

Not only is it a pretty unique costume, it's super-chic - and really fun. You can choose to model your costume after a specific species of bird, or not - it's up to you. Be prepared for a lot of attention, because after adding some bird-queen-worthy makeup and talon-like black claw nails, you'll really look the part.


Get The Look: Audrey Hepburn

Super easy, free, & chic Hallowe'en costume - Audrey Hepburn | Nothing Short Of Chic
Now you can show off your supreme knowledge of the "Breakfast At Tiffany's" script.

Of course, in my guide, I talked about how you could emulate whatever style icon best suits your closet (pun intended!), but if Audrey Hepburn is in your vein, may this be your inspiration. I actually think I'll do a post or video about how to capture Audrey's style for any situation, but for now, this is just her off-duty style - the most recognizable of her looks (apart from perhaps her most famous look, the Givenchy look from Breakfast).


Get The Look: The Cat In The Hat Comes Back

Chic, easy, and fun Cat in the Hat Hallowe'en costume | Nothing Short Of Chic
“Why do you sit there like that?"

Everybody loves children's book characters, from Alice in Wonderland to Pippi Longstocking to the Cat in the Hat. They're a throwback moment, with many memories attached - perhaps you wanted to be just like your favorite heroine as a child (or still!), or you pull inspiration from them everyday; maybe thinking of them makes you happy because you remember your father reading these books to you, or possibly one of them was the first book you learned to read on your own. Whether your connection to these stories is surface-level or very deep, most of us love them in some way. So giving a nod to your childhood adventure partner-in-crime by dressing as them for Hallowe'en seems like a very fun idea - especially given that, as of right now, Hallowe'en is more or less a children's holiday.


Get The Look: Agent De Mystère

Mysterious, chic, cheap, and easy secret agent Hallowe'en costume idea | Nothing Short Of Chic
A suitably mysterious and chic alter-ego.

When I was younger, my mother used to joke that, if she didn't work in film, she'd probably be a secret agent or a ninja. It would have suited her very well. As it is, she goes to her meetings wearing combat boots and striped socks with Joan Jett-worthy leather jackets. I suppose some of that tough-yet-elegant and mysterious appeal was passed onto me - although I'm more of a skirt-suit and LBD kind of dresser, this black leather trench coat really appealed to me when I found it, unmarred, for $10 at a thrift store. Now I can be my regular self for 364.25 days of the year, and this other, secret identity that lies under the surface can emerge on All Hallow's Eve.


Get The Look: Feeling Witchy

Cheap, chic, and easy witch Hallowe'en costume | Nothing Short Of Chic
This costume is sure to cast a spell on everyone.

Happy early Hallowe'en! Since the guide I published yesterday about how to convert your wardrobe into fabulously chic costumes only included a couple lines about each costume, I wanted to give you a chance to know more about each of the specific example costumes featured. To start out with, I'll give you a look inside the Witch costume, which is what I'll actually be sporting (tomorrow night, in fact, at my symphony's Hallowe'en concert, which features pieces such as Danse Macabre and Baba Yaga). Ok, let's go!


Chic Hallowe'en Costumes At No (Extra) Charge

Autumn Essentials for the Chic | Nothing Short Of Chic

Don't pay a cent (more) - just use what you have.

It's Hallowe'en season, and depending on your lifestyle, that could mean any number of things - from chic get-togethers to trick-or-treating with your sister's children (or, in my case, a Hallowe'en concert featuring a costume parade) - but the one common thread between these is, you guessed it, a costume. Whether you like to go all-out or are fine just wearing a crazy hat and some lipstick and calling it a night, dressing up is fun and exciting. And expensive. It's always bugged me that we buy a special costume - even a $10 one - for this one night of the year and then donate or toss it after the fact. So, I put together this idea list for costumes that don't require purchasing anything - and each costume suggestion is customizable based on the contents of your specific, unique wardrobe.


Personal Style: Black And Turquoise And Red All Over

Turquoise & Red, Tweed & Silk Office Chic | Nothing Short Of Chic
Tweed, silk, and turquoise is chicer than you might think.

Now that we're in the dark half of the year, I am finding it more and more difficult to inject color into my ensembles (I'm guessing that the fact that 96% of my closet is black, grey, or navy is part of the problem). I do have that amazing pair of high-waisted red flares, which I love and wear as often as possible - but with a piece that memorable, I can't wear them too frequently. I also have a red sweater. That's about it. So, I will often wear a bold scarf, like this beautiful embroidered red silk (which I love and wear quite a bit as well). It's a good way to add life and energy and interest to an outfit, without being too loud.


Reinventing Summer Staples: Sweater & Miniskirt, Part II

Reinventing the Miniskirt for Fall With a Cozy Sweater! | Nothing Short Of Chic
Chic Footwear Option B.

A few days ago, I introduced my brand-new short hair while simultaneously providing some fall outfit inspiration for you (some would say that's killing two birds with one stone, but I'm an advocate against cruelty to animals). That morning, when getting dressed, I had a tough time deciding between my trusty black oxfords or the sheepskin-colored, embroidered boots I ended up wearing. I loved my choice of the boots; I found they balanced out the amount of bare leg nicely, given the sweater, and they also matched the sweater perfectly, but the oxfords were a good choice too so I decided to post those photos as well!


Introducing My New Hair!

Reinventing the Miniskirt for Fall With a Cozy Sweater & Boots! #NothingShortOfChic
A new phase of my life.

Notice anything different? I finally cut my hair (I've been wanting to cut it short for a few months). I'm so happy with the new style. It may sound clichéd or fake, but I feel (and look, or so I've been told) like a different person. It may seem ironic that I made the chop right after putting up my Why I Love My Hair personal essay, but that was actually a good-bye to my long hair, though I didn't state it as such.


Personal Style: Playing Matchmaker

DIY On-Trend Classy Matched Set on #NothingShortOfChic
Matchy-matchy can be classy - and cheap.

Ah, the matched set. The off-duty suit, consisting of a skirt-and-top or pants-and-top (or some variant of that combination) rendered in the same print or color, with cuts and silhouettes that match or complement each other - giving an outfit uniformity - is just as easy as a dress, but feels even more put-together. As a trend, it's been an on-again, off-again sort of thing - though I know you have been hearing about it for at least two years. I never bought one. I don't tend to buy into trends - I wear what I want to wear, and if it happens to coincide with a trend, then, great (though, as it happens, I tend to accidentally anticipate soon-to-be trends - for example, I just bought myself a pair of slouchy grey pleated trousers a few weeks ago, and what did we see all over the runways at NYFW? Oh, right. Slouchy "pajama suiting.").


Reinventing Summer Staples: Vested Interest

Reinventing a Summer-Only Piece For Fall With A Simple Styling Trick on #NothingShortOfChic
Make the most out of your statement pieces.

I hope you've all been enjoying the week of shows and parties in bustling New York - or, more likely, either watching them all after the fact on the Vogue Runway app or not caring a bit (here's a not-so-secret-secret: I am one of those condescended-upon "wannabe" fashion lovers who watches everything and more – on said Vogue app – hungrily reading every review and fervently refreshing Snapchat for the latest from @theevachen212, @man_repeller, and @chrisellelim). I may be an expert on what NYFW street-style photographers are on the lookout for, but sadly enough, I wasn't available to act upon my own advice this season. But, all complaints and jokes aside, I do have the layering techniques/skills (number 4 in my handy guide) to impress those photographers – and a subtly statement-making outfit incorporating some out-of-the-box styling and layering ideas, so whether you want to make an impression at LFW or at the office, here's my look-of-the-day to inspire you.


Synchronicity Arts Festival 2015: Eco Fashion Show Recap

Synchronicity Arts Festival 2015 #NothingShortOfChic
A journey through fashion's evolution.

This year's Synchronicity Arts Festival was the biggest (and arguably the best) yet. With annual attractions like the Main Stage musical acts and the Pop-Up-Shop as well as new features including the Woodlands Project tent, not to mention the Rainforest Circus, the festival appeals to people of every walk of life. One of the debutantes this year was the Eco Fashion Show, which showcased local textile artists and designers. Organized into four segments, the show included primal designs, natural fibers, man-made fibers, and futuristic designs. Click through the slideshow to see all the designs!


Personal Style: Monochrome Layering

A Fresh Layering Formula Fit For the Office & Beyond on #NothingShortOfChic
A new formula for you to try.

Depending on where you live, the weather is either still very hot (due to thermal lag), very cold (and/or stormy), or can't make up its mind (as is the case here on the Sunshine Coast). Although those with summery weather still can wear summery clothes (in which case you can search for inspiration in the past two months' archives), those with cooler temperatures need the layers to stay comfortable and those with bipolar weather need the options for any surprise thermal switches. But some of the tried-and-true layering formulas can feel stale or overdone, especially after a season of easy-breezy dressing, so to help you get back into that fall season, here's a new look to take inspiration from:


Why I Love My Hair

Why I Love My Curls on #NothingShortOfChic
And you should love yours too.

As far as media-defined beauty goes, I think I got the short straw, with voluminous, frizzy, curly hair, bold and unruly brows (complete with the requisite Frida Kahlo-esque middle hairs), chubby cheeks, incredibly un-perfect teeth (which I have since fixed with years of dental cosmetic appliances, including a palate spreader, twin blocks, braces, and retainers), and terrible skin (my entire body breaks out) as my genetic makeup, which seems rather unfair given that both my parents are on the attractive end of the spectrum. When I was younger, I would long for my friend's stick-straight, glossy, waist-length hair or my cousin's no-need-to-tweeze arches that perfectly framed her face. People talk about the media's influence on young people, specifically tween-to-twenties girls (though it affects everyone), and despite never had body issues like anorexia, I have found myself thinking, "Well, if only I looked like her," while flipping through something as harmless as a street-style book or a comic strip.


Synchronicity Arts Festival 2015: The Style & Hair In Photos

Synchronicity Arts Festival 2015 on #NothingShortOfChic
Festival going the Sunshine Coast way.

Last weekend, August 21-23, was the weekend of the annual Synchronicity Arts Festival. A community-created mural, an incredible musical lineup, an Eco Fashion Show (I'll be posting a recap on that soon, so check back), and the always breathtaking Rainforest Circus are only a few of the amazing attractions at this wonderful event. On day 3, I brought along my camera and captured the best and brightest of festival fashion, hair & beauty - look through the slideshows to see it all!


Personal Style: Ready Or Not

Bright Red Flares Are Fit For the Office or a Party! #NothingShortOfChic
Fall has begun whether you like it or not.

I have some amazing content coming this week - festival style, fashion show coverage, and a few other undeniably wonderful things - but first up is some outfit inspiration for the tumble into fall (it's the perfect sort of look to kick your work look up a notch). Because of the major drought we've had here in British Columbia since around April, the grass is dry and the leaves are already falling, and the weather is decidedly cooler. After all, September is less than a week away (!!) and thus begins a new season, semester, or chapter of our lives. All credit for the genius perspectives and angles goes to Amy Lu - you can find her on Instagram at @amyy_lu or, or see more of her photos on VSCO.


Personal Style: Golden Haze

A Chic Printed Shirtdress (With A Surprise Cutout!) Is A Great Summer Staple. #NothingShortOfChic
Stay chic (and ventilated) during those long summer nights.

I absolutely love this time of year. The days are bright and full, and the evenings are long and warm. Especially living right on the Pacific ocean, the beaches (both sandy and rocky) are my favorite places to go - something about the water, the mountains, and the sky, all in various iterations of blue, converging on the horizon makes me so peaceful and glad to be alive. Pair that with the sunset, and the city that lights up as it sinks - first catching and reflecting the golden light with its sky-scraping glass, then illuminating on its own, signaling the start of the night.


Transitional Chic: 3 Swimsuits, 3 Cover-Ups, 9 Outfits

An Oversize White Button Down Is A Perfect Swimsuit Coverup #NothingShortOfChic 
A definitive guide for the most common swimsuits.

Whether you're on vacation in Bora-Bora or just hanging out on the beach with your friends, chic beach attire probably makes you feel really confident and comfortable. That said, I'm sure you don't want to lug several outfits with you for lunch afterwards, and for evening, if you're planning on being out all day. That's why I'm showing you how to transition three chic beach cover-ups from the seaside/poolside to a walk-in-the-park outfit to an evening look! I've even included some two-minute hairstyle ideas - keep scrolling to get inspired.


Personal Style: Something Borrowed, Something Navy

An A-Line Midi Skirt & Chambray Button-Down Are A Classic, Comfy, And Chic Pairing! #NothingShortOfChic
Carry your off-duty comfort into the work week.

Happy long weekend! I trust you've been enjoying it - now be honest. Who spent the time lounging in a tee and denim cutoffs? Or just a swimsuit? That's okay - no judgement here, because those who are happy and comfortable are often the most chic. But if you need some inspiration for maintaining that comfort and upping the elegance, you've come to the right place!


Personal Style: Black In The Summertime

Wearing Black In The Summer IS Acceptable... And Chic! #NothingShortOfChic
No, it's not a fashion crime...

Let me tell you guys something. My closet is basically... not even basic. I have three pairs of shoes; sandals, ill-fitting ballet flats, and running shoes (not a pair I wear anytime except when working out). Also, I don't even have what are considered wardrobe "basics" - the white tee, the black dress, the pencil skirt, the button-down, the tailored trousers, etc. But that doesn't mean I'm not suited to blog about my daily outfits - if nothing else, it gives small-closeted readers some hope and some inspiration, and gives those with a more substantial wardrobe inventory fresh eyes with which to look at their pieces.