Stylesheet 006: Girl from Mars • Space buns hairstyle and mixing a variety of patterns

Hey friends 😊 Our lockdown in Sydney has been extended by another month, with honestly no specific end in sight, so you will be seeing quite a few Stylesheet editions from me where I’m wearing a mask. 😷

I think I will be writing a bit more about my mental health during this time as it has been quite difficult some days – and writing and opening up about my mental health is something that I believe helps other people feel less alone. I’ve had a blog post here and there over the past eighteen months (during the pandemic) that have related to mental health, but I still don’t feel like I’ve shown just how regularly it has impacted me.

This outfit has a sort of kitsch-Harajuku-retro-slightly-avant-garde kind of vibe. It’s not a vibe that I really know how to describe properly, so let’s dig into all the elements that make this outfit a bit Georgie!

image 1: An Asian woman with dark hair, wearing a sleeveless black crop top. with round metal studs, black wide-leg cropped pants with a geometric line print, and white sneakers. Her hair is in two buns on either side of her head. She is wearing a light face mask with Japanese style navy floral print. The woman is holding her sunglasses in her hand and her other hand is on a wooden bench. Her knees are bent and her feet are on the bench and to her side.
This has been my “weekend” outfit 🤪

“Space buns”

I’ll start with the hair, though, which is a bit of a new and possibly unpredictable aspect to the outfit. Space buns and a middle part! Not usually my thing. Something I may not have expressed much in my outfit posts is how much I have a desire for asymmetry. In recent months, I have found that only certain elements of asymmetry work well on me – like hairstyles and details in garments. Some straight-up asymmetric styles haven’t worked superbly with my body type, nor have they been practical in my life. For example, asymmetrical tops have not always sat well on my muscular chest and flat bust, but asymmetrical skirts and asymmetrical hairstyles have been far less of an issue. My main gripe is that traditionally symmetrical tops and jackets have a tendency to make me look dowdy, so I prefer things that don’t have blatant classic symmetric cuts. Even small details like having a coat double-breasted as opposed to single-breasted, and a pocket on only one side of a button-up shirt, are small details I prefer. Or even a print or pattern being not completely symmetrical but on an angle or something like that.

So why did I go with space buns? Purely an experiment to be honest! I have never really liked my hair parted in the middle, and I think it exaggerates how fine my hair is. It also makes me look a bit older. Not that I have a problem with looking older, but, I’m more about embracing my youthfulness than trying to hide it through the way I dress. I have recently tried having my hair in two ponytails but it also brought more attention to how fine my hair is, because the ponytails looked very small and thin in comparison to the size of my head. (This is also why when I do a side ponytail, I like to have my hair wavy from being in braids overnight, since it adds more volume to what would normally be a thin-looking ponytail.) So I tried the space buns to add more volume to my hairstyle and it kind of worked.

image 2: Same woman and outfit as image 1. She is standing on a dirt path between some trees. She has a hand resting on her thigh and the other hand on her hip.
A small patch of trees tucked away from the main street

I have to admit that the hairstyle works exceptionally well when I’m working out or exercising. It feels less heavy than a single bun on the top of my head! It’s funny how hair can feel heavy.

Crop top with details

I’m wearing a crop top that is actually the matching crop top for the shorts I wore in Starry starry night. I’ve absolutely loved this crop top from the moment I bought it (I couldn’t wait to wear it), and I can tell by the amount of times I’ve worn it as well. It’s pretty much my go-to top when the weather is warmer, and it’s super easy to wear so I actually wear it when I’m “too lazy” to get dressed too. It zips up easily at the back.

It’s one of those staple pieces that have a bit of edge – a basic black crop top but with studded details. I have really found that that’s my preferred way of making a statement – with the little details and a silhouette I love and wear often, but with a little “something” that adds interest and personality.

image 3: Same woman and outfit as image 1. The woman has her sunglasses on her head and only her upper body and part of her lower body is in frame. Her body is angled slightly away from the camera and her arm is resting on the back of the bench.
If you look closely, you can see my Pac-Man nails

It should be no surprise that I have white sneakers on. I think we’ve established that I’ve basically been living in them for almost the past year. They have become a staple in my wardrobe – which I have no problem with – and something that suits my current and near-future lifestyle. I’ve decided that apart from replacing shoes and maybe needing another pair of white sneakers to rotate between, I will not be needing any more pairs of shoes.

“Power lines” print pants

I must address the elephant in the room, the pants! They might look familiar, and that’s because you probably saw my signature jumpsuit in my Fashion Friday edition Everything Now.

image 4: A woman with long dark hair, wearing a wide leg black jumpsuit with white geometric lines on it. She is wearing a denim jacket over the jumpsuit and has one hand in a pocket. She is wearing tan sandals, and also wearing a face mask with a leaf print. In the background is a wooden boardwalk, with apartments down one side and plants and grass on the other.
My jumpsuit is a wardrobe favourite

I spotted these cropped wide-leg pants second-hand on eBay recently, in my size, and I placed as many eager bids as I could on the item. 🙈 I wanted them that much. I wore the same pants in white but in a bigger size in the Wildflower edition, but I ended up passing those pants on because they were too big for me and I didn’t love the same shape in that particular light and white colour. I could have gotten them altered but I didn’t like them that much. It’s funny how the same garment in a different colour can feel entirely different, because I definitely like them better in this print. It might just be that I love this print so much, haha. But I also think that I am gravitating towards darker garments in my wardrobe. It has taken me a long time to accept that I look better in darker colours than in light. 😅

image 5: Same woman and outfit as image 1, same setting as image 2. She has her hand on her hip and is standing on a dirt path between some trees.
I really like geometric lines in my outfits

I definitely love these pants as something different from my jumpsuit, though. Even though I love my jumpsuit to pieces, I always felt that there were some days I wanted to wear something different on top but the jumpsuit was not versatile enough for that. I love these pants, the pockets, the structure, the print, everything. It really helped having a tried and true print/pattern in my wardrobe that was exactly the same. 😆

Japanese patterned mask

As I mentioned, we’ve been in lockdown and it’s been extended, so I took the time to seek out some masks on Etsy. This has a Japanese floral print on it, which I chose because it’s a floral print that has neutral colours and is a bit striking, and I normally don’t like super delicate-looking prints, nor do I normally like florals. This mask has been a beautiful addition to my collection, albeit not the best-fitting. I have a small face and a lot of masks have been far too big for my face or far too thick to sit properly on my face, to the point where the edge of mask is wider than my whole face, so tightening the ear loops doesn’t help at all. This one is a bit on the bigger and thicker side, and the elastic isn’t the most comfortable, but it sits snugly over my face now that I’ve tied a knot in the elastic to make it shorter. It’s funny how we can be so picky with masks because all our faces are so different! Big love to all the people making reusable masks though. 💖

image 6: Same woman and outfit as image 1, same setting as image 1. The woman is holding her sunglasses in her hand and her other hand is on her knee.
Mixing all the prints and patterns and details
image 7: Same woman and outfit as image 1, same setting as image 1. She is sitting outside, on a wooden bench with metal armrests. She has round tortoiseshell sunglasses covering her eyes. One leg is loosely crossed over the other and her elbows are resting on the back of the bench.
When you only own two sunglasses, pick one

I chose my tortoiseshell sunglasses and my blue earrings to accessorise this outfit because I wanted some contrast with the black. I don’t always love to wear all black, but I will use accessories to create contrast in my outfit if I do. I really love a bit of colour and difference in my outfits.

Outfit retrospective + a thing about mixing patterns, prints, and textures

This outfit is a comfortable outfit that I have been wearing time and time again. I have found that the pants work wonderfully with some of my long-sleeved tops, but I just haven’t had the need to wear too many long-sleeved pieces since the weather has been warming up.

I have tried the hairstyle with my hair parted in its usual spot off to the right, and I think I definitely prefer it that way. It’s very sharply pulled back, though, so I wouldn’t mind experimenting with making it softer somehow. It might be easier if I had a fringe/bangs or more layers. This hairstyle has made me keen to try different hairstyles again. It’s just that they can take a little extra time. 😅

I am not always super intentional when it comes to mixing and matching prints, but I realise this outfit does have a few. I find that mixing prints and details is easier when there are less colours in the outfit. When pieces are closer together, it helps if the colours are the same or similar – like the black in my top and bottom. With the mask, I find that I like to have my mask contrast with the rest of my outfit, all the time. That’s why I was able to choose a pattern that was so starkly different from the rest of my outfit. If you are not someone who can wear contrast well, or you cannot wear patterns, maybe you prefer a mask that is more subtle or that actually matches your outfit colours rather than contrasts with it.

I think it is a lot easier to mix and match patterns with more neutral, less bright colours, too. It can be tricky to mix loud prints. My tortoiseshell glasses are a similar colour to my hair so I feel like they are one of those more fancy staple pieces for me, whereas I know on other people with different complexions, tortoiseshell might seem more of a statement. In all honesty, I think you get better at managing the details of your outfit and the prints and textures you wear once you have already got a grasp of what looks good on you. My tip would be to start there – focus on finding out what works for you in terms of prints and patterns, and then work your way up. I’m aware that some people simply don’t look great in outfits with a lot of detail, so definitely don’t take this as solid advice or direction – just some tips if it’s something you want to do. 🦄

Outfit details


📸 All photography by Nicholas Cooke. (on my iPhone 12 mini)

We took these photos around our local neighbourhood before picking up coffee. The grassy area is just a small strip of green, off the main road, and has a bit of a track through it because many people have walked through it as a shortcut. The bench is in a pedestrianised area going behind some apartment blocks, and has recently opened after having been blocked off for construction.

I named this outfit Girl from Mars after the 1995 pop song by Northern Irish band, Ash. The song, though catchy, I dare say hasn’t aged well as it sounds repetitive and monotonous after a few nostalgic listens. Have a listen and hear for yourself! I obviously was inspired by the “space buns” hairstyle.

Leave a Comment