Mighty Life List
Nov 3 2009

Mighty Closet: Mai Le, Outfit 2

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This is Mai looking suspicious in what she describes as her first date outfit — first dates put me in a dubious frame of mind as well, my friend.

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Her versatile gray jacket with red detailing is by Grey Ant, which is based in L.A.

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The purple tights are by We Love Colors, and her black platform wedges are from Loeffler Randall’s Summer ’07 collection. Shoes that offer a compelling view as you walk away are the best kinds of shoes.

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Cute right? This view is undoubtedly wasted on Mai’s dates, however. In my experience, very few guys are looking at your shoes as you walk away, even if you’re wearing wooden wedges topped with a metallic insole.

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This is Mai humoring my request for a cheesy ’80s pose in celebration of her vintage Laura Ashley dress. It’s violet jacquard with a drastically shortened hemline and big ol’ sleeves. Mai favors volume or detailing in her sleeves, and if you ask her opinion while thrift shopping “great sleeves” is her highest praise.

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The vintage belt is part of Mai’s signature Superhero Prom Queen chic. Every time I see her, I kick myself for not wearing more belts.

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As you can see, Mai’s style is refreshingly eccentric. I don’t know anyone else who dresses like her, so I find her pretty inspiring. We were at a bachelorette party in Vegas a few years ago, and she wore a full-on ’80s prom dress out clubbing — massive sleeves, zero irony. Knowing Mai will be in a crowd of friends means I can wear something outrageous without worrying that I’ll be alone in my exuberance.

18 Responses to “Mighty Closet: Mai Le, Outfit 2”

  • Sarah von Says:

    What a cutie! I want to be her friend, too! Do you think I could impress her with my thrifted tooled leather purse that reads ‘Tootie’? It cost $5 which I will shamelessly announce to her, or anyone else, kind enough to compliment me on it.

  • Daffodil Campbell Says:

    I feel like I just climbed in the way-back machine. That outfit ? AWESOME.

    I had more then my fair share of puffy-sleeved Laura Ashley dresses. I wonder where those have gone……..

  • Kirsten Says:

    She is refreshingly eccentric but it doesn’t come off wacky. It’s really pulled together and looks awesome. That is really the key.

  • Renee Says:

    I love the purple tights. Somehow they work.

  • Tracey Says:

    Well done! She’s got great hair that balances the sleeves. And the dress looks like it fits — bonus!

  • Renee Says:

    You have no idea how much I wish that I could wear things like that in Kentucky without being dubbed as horribly weird. /sigh. You make me want to move to California.

  • Amy Says:

    That was my Homecoming dress (in a much longer version) when I was a freshman in high school, and it was definitely not this cool. Thanks for the evidence that time (and a better hemline) can turn matronly dresses into something chic and awesome!

  • GirlsGoneChild Says:

    Mai, Mai, Mai. Love. Love. Love.

  • Beth Says:

    She can really pull off this look. Me, I’d just look like an ass. Sigh.

  • latenac Says:

    Just not feeling the love for this. I envy and admire people who can view clothes and make them work in weird and wonderful ways but this outfit just makes her look rather squat.

  • beyond Says:

    i really have to admire someone who can pull off wearing purple tights.

  • Erin Says:

    Just thinking… we should probably have all held onto those bridesmaids dresses. Doing Vegas in one of those would have ROCKED!

  • MG Says:

    I, too, wore that dress to homecoming my freshman year in high school. With a crinoline. Shudder.

  • darcy Says:

    I don’t love this.
    I like the tights, and her hair, and her attitude, but the outfit not so much. I love eccentric things, but if something isn’t flattering it doesn’t really matter how artistically inspired it is.

  • Tamara Says:

    the more fashion exuberance I see on this site the more I dream about living in San Francisco. Please do wear more belts and never self-censor an eccentric impulse. There are people on the east coast who are constantly having to dial it back.

  • christopher Says:

    Great subject, winning photos and commentary. Well done, Maggie!

  • mai Says:

    @ Sarah von – I would be impressed by the “tootie” bag to be sure.

    I’m oddly impressed that so many people have/had this Laura Ashley dress (I have a poly one in seafoam green too). I like that it’s cotton and though the neckline isn’t shown, I like the sweetheart neckline and of course, the sleeves (and there are pockets) and the length means I can bike in it. I understand it isn’t for everyone, but (to be honest) not much of my wardrobe is.

  • Pam Says:

    Oh my, I too had that dress. Have already asked my mom to find a pix of me in it as I am suddenly missing it. I can assure you, however, that I never looked as cool as Mai in it. Awwww … the memories!