Monthly Archives: November 2012

Charmed by Charleston


A sweet dress, cardigan and booties make a little southern charm.

  Today’s Illustration: chiffon dress Town House Shops (or $ Dorothy Perkins and $$ Oasap), J.Crew cardigan (or $ Target and $$ J.Crew), A&F striped stretch belt (and $ Amazon or $$ Kate Spade), Coach Candace carryall (or $ Steve Madden), suede booties asos or ($$ Dolce Vita and $$$ adrien), Luster necklace by Good Season Two months ago my parents visitied for lunch in Hoboken.  The weather was nice, so we walked along Washington enjoying window displays and delicious smells.  I’m glad we happened upon a great little boutique, Town House Shops, where I spotted this dress.  (If you are in the area be sure to check them out.  They have a store in Hoboken and the city.) After waiting weeks I finally got to wear it thanks to warmer weather in South Carolina.  That’s just one of the reasons I loved Charleston; here are the rest. Continue reading

A Whimsical Wedding


Anthropologie halter dress and Steve Madden shoes for the perfect woodland wedding ensemble


Today’s Illustration: $$ Anthropologie Corduroy Halter Dress, $$ Steve Madden Suede Chunky Heels (or $ Nine West and  $$ Ann Taylor), J.Crew dream cardigan (or $ Target and $$ J.Crew), Zara gold accent coat (or $$ here and $$$$ MyWardrobe), studded cross body bag (or $ DSW and $$ asos), $$$ be mine heart studs (or $ Kate Spade), W.Village street vendor stamped initial necklace (or $$ Max & Chloe)

V.Ng and I just came back from an amazing getaway in Charleston, SC.  We went for my friend’s wedding which was more beautiful than the “Holy City” itself.

I knew from the home-spun invitations and the lakeside venue that this would be laid back.  Most of the weddings V.Ng and I attend are nearly black tie so I had to search for a dress with a little southern charm.

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Illustrated Gift Guide (Part 3)

You’ve seen my picks for siblingsparents, and coworkers; here are my final gift ideas for your nearest and dearest.

For your BFF: $ Two Tone Pom Pom Beanie, $ 100 Years of Fashion Illustration, $$$$ Rebecca Minkoff Swing Bag, $$$ Nicholas ID Bracelet

I love to spoil my friends with gifts they wouldn’t buy themselves.  I like this super textured hat guy and girlfriends can appreciate.  This book is one of my personal faves; it’s an unlimited source of inspiration and a chic coffee table conversation piece.  My best girlfriend is a shy shopper.  So, I’d be doing her a favor by giving her this stylish and functional studded shoulder bag.  Finally, this bold bracelet is a great addition to anyone’s jewelry box.  It could be the statement piece or her daily staple.

Gifts he'll love... you more for getting him!

For your boyfriend: $$$$ J.Crew Timex watch, $$$$ Cashmere lined gloves, $ F* Yeah Menswear, $$$ Lanvin Tie Clip

V.Ng appreciates gifts that are well-designed and useful (bonus if I find something subtly unique.)  Every guy needs a classy watch; this one is under $200 and ships from Mr. Porter.  (They do amazing gift wrapping.)  Gloves are a great idea because he pretends he’s not cold but, actually his fingers are freezing.  I love how these look, plus the cashmere lining will keep his hands extra warm.  I bought this tie clip for V.Ng and he is always excited to use it.  It’s a great mix of industrial and elevated.  For those of you who have to dress your bf, this book is a great style guide.  The attitude and crass title will make him think it’s cool; he won’t hide it when his friends come over.  (Maybe they’ll read it too!  Girlfriends everywhere will thank you.)


For yourself: $$$$ Barbour Duffle Coat (or $$$ Toggle Coat), $$$$ 3.1 Phillip Lim Satchel, $$ Tiger Graphic Sweater, $$ Leopard Booties

Okay, I know it is the season for giving.  But, after all this shopping for others… it can’t hurt to reward yourself a little… right?  I saw these while looking for my friends and I want them all!
Good luck getting all your holiday shopping done!  I hope my gift guide lightened your load. (Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2.) ♥


This post has been submitted to the IFB Project, wish me luck!

Illustrated Gift Guide (Part 2)

I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of my gift guide.  (Check back soon for ideas for your boyfriend, BFF and yourself.)  Now on to more presents!


What to buy your parents or in-laws.


For parents (or in-laws): $$$ Kindle Fire, $$$$ Chrome Book, $$ Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season (and Second Season), $$$$ Wii U

It’s ironic that the oldest people on my list get the most technological picks.  My  parents usually want gadgets but are too shy/confused to purchase their own.  I heard parents fell in love with iPad, but if you’re pockets aren’t as deep Kindle Fire is perfect.  If they want a little more utility, try the Chrome Book.  It’s portable and functional at a very small cost.

My parents watch a lot of TV but for some reason missed out on Game of Thrones.  The graphic um… “love” scenes make it something you won’t want to watch together (and maybe not for more conservative folks.)  But, once they are addicted they’ll love you for sharing it, even if you don’t discuss it in detail.

V.Ng (and a lot of us) grew up with video games used as bribes for good behavior.  Now, he comes home for the holidays and his dad nearly broke his shoulder playing Wii sports all night.  (Last year my parents had a Kinect dance battle with my best friend’s parents. Embarrassing.)  This addition to Nintendo’s line up boasts the newest technology: a tablet integrated into the game.  Your parents probably won’t stop bowling until 11pm (super late by parent standards.)

Gift ideas for your co-worker this holiday season.

For your co-worker: $ Hamster Post-its, $ Panda Mug, $$$ Fred Perry Patchwork Cable Scarf, $$$ Jambox

We all have that co-worker we eat lunch with every day.  Or, maybe you have a boss that is really cool and you just want to show a little appreciation.  All these picks are fun, humorous and something to enjoy at the office or home.  I love fun office accessories; post-its and a cute mug are silly trinkets for the desk.  You can’t fail with a color-block scarf in classic cables.  And, my favorite speaker, the Jambox, has impressive sound quality and is wireless, portable, and looks great.  It will liven up the office for sure!  (Plus, tons of blogs and sites – like – approve!)

And hey,

50% Off Everything + Free Shipping ’til 11/29

Illustrated Gift Guide (Part 1)

I hope everyone had a chance to enjoy great food and company this Thanksgiving!  Now that you’ve concealed that food baby (with stretchy pants) you are about to go into hibernation mode… but instead panic mode sets in! What to give everyone for the holidays!?!?!  How can I even think about that when I can’t even move!?!? I despise crowds and waiting in line!

Solution: The joy of online shopping.  Take advantage of Black Friday/Weekend deals from the comfort of your couch/bed.  Here are my top picks (illustrated) for this holiday season.  And, don’t worry – I hit the full range of low-cost to high-style.

Enjoy part one my gift guide!  Tomorrowpart 2: great ideas for parents (or in-laws) and colleagues.

Great gifts for your sister.

For your sister: $ Pretty Bow Gloves, $$ Collector’s Edition Brush Set, $$ Gold Clutch,  $$$ Pyramid wrap watch

These gifts add some sparkle and fun to her holiday.  Is she a little edgy? The sophisticated studded wrap watch works for the office or the club.  I can’t live without these soft and sweet knit gloves. I know my own sister would love this sparkle clutch especially for holiday parties.  Last but not least I am obsessed with this brush set from Sephora.  It’s a great value and comes with a cool acrylic stand.  They look and feel expensive and make my morning routine seem glamorous!

Great gift ideas for your brother!

For your brother:  $$$ Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100, $$ Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (Hardened Edition), The Walking Dead Graphic Novel, $$$$ Leather trim suit carrier

First, add Black Ops 2 to his game collection.  (I mean, more copies were sold than tickets for Avatar!) (Try the hardened edition for the seasoned pro.)  Whether or not he is addicted to AMC’s hit show, or has never seen the Walking Dead – this graphic novel compendium is a source of good art and great storytelling… with tons of zombies. My brother just had a baby so I love this Sony Cybershot for him.  It was ranked by CNET the best “prosumer” compact camera – it captures great photos and is easy enough for anyone to figure out.  Or, if your brother travels a lot, this suit bag is perfect.  V.Ng has a similar one; he always gets compliments on it and his suits are never rumpled after a flight!

I hope part one of my gift guide is helpful.  Avoid those crowded stores and check back tomorrow for more illustrated ideas.

PS: Some coupon codes for some of my favorite stores…

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Sunday Brunch & a Movie Matinee

Indigo and PearlsToday’s Illustration:
J.Crew dot sweater (or $ LOFT and $$$ Piperlime),  American Eagle Outfitters skinny denim (or $ asos and $$$ Burberry Brit), Anne Klein hooded peacoat (or $ Kohl’s and $$$ Calvin Klein), abercrombie pocket scarf (or $ asos and $$$ Barney’s), Korean studded cross body bag (or $ DSW and $$ asos), Topshop pearl collar (or $ Dorothy Perkins and $$$ Net-a-Porter), Aldo bow ballet flats

So (don’t laugh) I saw Twilight Breaking Dawn pt.2!  One of my friends is moving to Hong Kong (awesome) so we sent her off with an elegant brunch followed by a movie matinee.  Brunch was at Riverpark which in my opinion, is a hidden gem.  It’s tucked behind hospitals and construction zones but looks gorgeous and is on the water.  The place was great (save one perilous hidden step.)

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I Love My: Fun Flats


Fun icons, colors and patterns keep you chic and comfy all day.


Today’s illustration:
Le Bunny Bleu flats (or $$$ Tory Burch), Aldo bow ballet flats, Nine West dot flats  (or $ asos and $$$ DVF), Topshop ballet flats (or $ Banana Republic and $$$ Net-a-Porter)

I am definitely a fan of any shoe that will add height.  But, sometimes I know I’m going to be on my feet all day or other times V.Ng plans a night out that isn’t heel-friendly.  (Um, Dave and Buster’s!!!)

Enter my favorite fun flats.

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A Winter Walk


Bundled in a puffer for a winter walk.


Today’s illustration:
Burberry Brit Puffer (or Nordstrom), infinity scarf (or $ Modcloth and $$$ Guess), American Eagle rinse skinny denim (or $ Madewell and $$$ Shopbop), leather studded satchel Burberry (or $ Journey’s and $$ Amazon), sherpa lined booties Nine West (or $ Kohl’s and $$$ Madewell)

Hello everyone and happy Monday!!  Finally a new post!  I’ve been busy with a lot of freelance work (can’t complain) so I didn’t have a chance to update this weekend.  Sorry!!

I’m making up for it with an extra stylized illustration.  The purpose of this blog was to help me remember and plan outfits with items in my wardrobe.  Each item sketched out flat is the best way for me to do this.  But, the other purpose of Sketchbook Closet is to exercise my illustration skills.  So for today’s piece I really wanted to stretch my legs and do something more fun and loose.

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Dots & Denim


Warm and bundled!


Today’s illustration:
Burberry Brit Puffer (or Nordstrom), Luster Necklace Good SeasonJ.Crew dot pullover (or $ Macy’s and $$ Bloomingdale’s), J.Crew cozy cardigan, (or $ Pacific Sunwear and $$ J.Crew),  American Eagle rinse skinny denim (or $ Madewell and $$$ Shopbop), suede booties asos or ($$ Dolce Vita and $$$ asos), infinity scarf (or $ Modcloth and $$$ Guess), navy beanie Rugby by Ralph Lauren (or $ asos and $$$ Barney’s), medium Candace carryall Coach (or $ Steve Madden)

It snowed last night!!  Everything covered in snow is so pretty.  (I try to ignore that it will eventually become brown slush and make my shoes gross.)

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A Little Red, White & Blue

A little patriotic with a blue blazer and red pleated skirt.


Today’s illustration:
Burberry Brit Puffer (or Nordstrom), one-button navy school blazer Seoul night market (or $ Old Navy and $$$ Shopbop), Theory silk blouse (or $ Vince Camuto and $$$ Net-a-Porter), J.Crew gauze pleated skirt (or $ DKNYC and $$$ Net-a-Porter), skinny faux leopard fur belt Who.a.u (or $ Delia’s and $$$ Ralph Lauren), Kate Spade pebbled leather bag (or $ Jessica Simpson and $$$ Kate Spade nylon tote), suede lace up ankle booties Steve Madden (or $ Madden Girl)

“Lunch-outside-weather is over.  November is here.”  A sad, but true declaration from my friend.  I’m in denial.  I wore my gauzy pleated skirt anyway.  (But, with tights – I’m not crazy!)

I wanted to wear something slightly patriotic in honor of the election.  Actually, the same co-worker had on her own subconscious patriotic nod with a chic navy and red printed scarf.  I really loved it!

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