Stylesheet 018: Sparks & sparkles 💙 • cobalt blue handbag

These photos are a few weeks old (again! I keep posting these in a delayed fashion 🫠), but I’ve finally found the time and motivation to write about it.

Doing a little bit of outfit repeating in this one, with a combination that I feel like is too good not to share. 😊 If you have been following my posts, you’re no doubt familiar with this top that I just keep wearing time and time again. It’s just so easy to wear. It does match with so many of my bottoms, although I prefer to wear it with something that isn’t tight jeans. When I wear it with tight jeans, something feels a bit off and I don’t feel my most comfortable.

image 1: Me, Georgie, An Asian woman with shoulder length dark hair. I am wearing a black square neck sleeveless studded crop top, and a black and white checkered mini skirt with a tie detail at the front. I have sunglasses on top of my head and am wearing tan sandals. I am carrying a bright cobalt blue crossbody bag in an angular shape. I am standing in front of a wall with some shrubs and leaving growing in front and on it.
Most worn top of all time 🏆

New favourite skirt

I’ve shared this skirt before, and it’s a skirt that I have grown to really love. It has dominated my preferences for skirts, and I’ve worn it so much since I’ve bought it, that it has set a new bar amongst every other skirt I own. I think the main issue with my other skirts, in comparison, is that the shape of them has not really been the most flattering for my figure, or the fabric has been too thick. It’s OK though – tastes change! What I really love in this skirt is the shape and the fabric, which is slightly textured and drapes nicely. It is almost like a pencil skirt but has enough room for my bigger bottom and legs.

image 2: Me in the same outfit as image 1, sitting on a wooden outdoor deckchair made from wooden panels
These chairs are not the most comfortable, I’ll be honest. 😆

It’s only a small detail, but the tie on it is something I can change up. I can tie it into a bow or just a simple knot and let the ends hang loose. It sounds simple but it can make quite a difference sometimes. I really like this skirt because it is a little more interesting than a skirt that doesn’t have the draped tie detail. It does not, however, have pockets – but that really isn’t the end of the world.

Semi-constructed origami inspired handbag

That’s also why I’m carrying a bag, which is my new handbag from Mansur Gavriel. Several years ago when I was looking for a small handbag to fit many things, I found a navy coloured, structured square-shaped crossbody bag. It lasted me many years and I still have it now, but it’s just getting a little bit beat up so I started looking for a replacement. Navy was a terrific colour that served as a neutral to go well with many of my clothes (some of which are also, themselves, navy). I found myself using a handbag less and less over the course of the pandemic. Partially because I started wearing more clothes with pockets, and because I’ve mostly been working from home, and when I go to the office I take a backpack for my laptop and other items so that I can walk to work with ease – so there hasn’t been a lot of need for a handbag. But I’m not a “handbag person” and I don’t have different bags for different purposes. I generally like to own a bag that can fit most of my needs. That said, I am slowly warming to the possibility of having a couple of different bags, but it’s still only an idea at this point. I do have a small gold clutch bag that I use only for special occasions, as it’s a bit shiny and has a dressier vibe. But I still wanted a good quality day-to-day handbag, which is where this blue one comes in.

image 3: Another photo of me in the same outfit and setting as image 1, but a closer shot.
The wall here is actually the side of a small set of stairs going to a backstreet.

I’m not gonna lie, it cost me a pretty penny, even though it was on “final sale” for some 30% off the retail price. I actually had been eyeing it for a while, and I’m not gonna lie that the blue colour got me real good. It’s exceptionally difficult for me to resist buying anything in this cobalt or electric blue colour, but the fact that this is a bag just really struck me. It’s not often that you see a brightly coloured handbag made by a somewhat reputable designer brand. The shape of the bag also appealed to me because I wanted something structured, and not slouchy. Something that holds its shape. But less constructed than my older navy handbag.

Also, having loved cobalt blue for most of my life – it’s fucking hard to find anything in this colour, because it’s almost never trendy. But it’s my colour. 💙 In the past few years I’ve been returning to cobalt or electric blue after favouring orange, navy, and sky blue for a while. I don’t so much love bright blue on my person for shirts and skirts, but I really like the idea of using the colour in pieces like outerwear and accessories. The colour can be quite intense.

image 4: A side view of me, in the same outfit as image 1, standing on a concrete path between some buildings. I am holding my handbag by my side by the top handle.
I really like the small shape of this bag

Although I took measurements, the bag is just a little bit smaller than I thought, and isn’t so hard-wearing like my older one that I can shove a small protein shaker in there, but I’m OK with that. It’s a beautiful handbag and I will continue to take care of it. The larger size was definitely going to be too large and strangely shaped for my liking (the design doesn’t lend itself to looking better against my small frame as the size gets bigger).

I’ve missed wearing lip colour so I am wearing it in these photos. As usual I also have some nail art on – these are a black coloured one from Personail, with silver, blue, and purple flecks that give the illusion of glitter. I didn’t think I would like them that much but they actually look great on my nails.

image 5: A close-up of my nails, which have black nail art with subtle blue, purple, and silver specks.
Reminiscent of the night sky ✨

Clothing interchangeability and putting together outfits

I am starting to like the general colour pattern I am following in my outfits. I don’t strictly follow a colour palette, but you will find black, white, dark grey, navy, cobalt blue, sky blue, and deep red in my clothes. I always try to purchase clothes and put together outfits that allow me to wear something with as many items as possible. Of course, technically, I can wear anything with anything – but the pattern I want to follow is always having some contrast in my outfit, rather than wearing a single colour from top to toe.

That said, I tend to have a lot of black or dark outfits, some of which have patterns or accents. You can see that in both my top and bottom here. I think it’s important for me to have some patterns and texture in what I wear, otherwise I feel dull and washed out by my clothes if they are too simple.

image 6: Me, in the same outfit as image 1, sitting on a wooden bench with my legs crossed. My bag is next to me on the bench. I am holding my sunglasses in one hand.
Let me know when you get bored of this bench, yeah? 😉

I used to buy a lot of blue tops, and be on the hunt for tops or bottoms in the colours I have in my wardrobe. But over time I have found that it’s a little bit easier for me to use those colours in jackets, outerwear, or accessories. I no longer search far and wide for cobalt blue tops, because it works really nicely as an accent colour in my accessories and make a mostly-black-and-white outfit more interesting. It has been a helpful tactic also with my newly found love for scarves. I think this approach has allowed for more versatility in my actual outfits, but lets me have fun with accessories. I used to not really give a shit about accessories, but buying two neck scarves has been a really simple way to do this without investing in craptonnes of jewellery (I used to buy a lot of costume jewellery). You can also wear scarves different ways, but necklaces and earrings can be less versatile.

That’s today’s little ramble about wardrobe decisions; thank you for reading! 💙

Outfit details


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

I named this outfit Sparks and sparkles because “spark” was the word that came to mind when I thought of the electric blue shade of my bag. It was a little strange of a word on its own and I couldn’t think of much else, but then I thought of “sparkles” to tie in the glittery effect on my nails and the studs on my top. A bit like a starry night, I guess. And I like a bit of alliteration.

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I can understand why it’s one of your favorite tops because it really works for you. Black is one of those colors that can be pulled off with anything.

(Although I’m envious because I truly wish that I could pull off crop tops.)

I always adore your outfits. ✨

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