Mighty Life List
Nov 5 2009

Mighty Closet: Mai Le, Outfit 4


This is secretarial Mai and her trusty steed, a 1978 Raleigh Rampar 3-speed. The blouse is vintage, and this is an outfit Mai would wear to deliver her sandwiches — one of which I happen to be eating as I type this:


It is delicious.


So many of Mai’s outfits have unexpected pockets, it’s tempting me to sew pockets into all my skirts. (More pockets in women’s clothing, designers! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but girls totally have hands.) Mai’s skirt is by Feral Childe an Oakland/Brooklyn label. It’s from this Spring’s Yosemite Collection.


The day-glo shoes are a bit of a DIY project. They’re by Again and Again, but Mai cleaned them up and painted them. Why has it never occurred to me to try this? Tights are by We Love Colors.


Vintage gold clutch with room for a hundred dollar bill, and a lipstick. And a cellphone and an extra pair of tights.


Here’s a detail shot of Mai’s dreamy headband with a little girl gazing up at an airplane. It’s the Cloud 9 gold headband by YellowGoat. Works particularly well against Mai’s dark hair, I think.


Tomorrow, we wrap up Mai’s closet feature with her cocktail look. Her shoes will end you, people.

35 Responses to “Mighty Closet: Mai Le, Outfit 4”

  • mai Says:

    I know you mentioned it when you were shooting, but now that I think about it, 4 out my 5 outfits DO have pockets. And they’re fully functional and generous-sized pockets, which might technically mean all those outfits are sporty. (I think pockets help denote sportiness in women’s apparel.)

  • Rebecca Says:

    Is it just me or are vintage style bikes the new hot accessory? (see Zooey Deschanel in the newest Cotton commercial) Loving the headband.

  • Nicole Says:

    Maggie, when you say ‘vintage’, how old do you mean? 50’s? 80’s? And what do you really mean by that word? (i.e., what’s your definition of vintage used in this context).

  • Maureen Says:

    Uh…. gee…. wow. God bless her for doing her own thing and owning her look.

  • Erin Says:

    love, love, LOVE that blouse!

  • robyn Says:

    and i love, love, love that skirt!

  • Nothing But Bonfires Says:

    I must have this hairband. You don’t know the restraint it took me not to write that in all caps.

  • Ami Says:

    Love it. All of it. Not my bag, but its hers and that’s kinda the whole point. Adorable. How do you paint shoes? Is there a leather paint or something?

  • Maggeh Says:

    Nicole, vintage is anything 20 years or older, after 100 years it’s considered antique.

    Ami, I’m not sure. The shoes were satin. Mai, what kind of paint did you use?

  • Emily Says:

    Not too crazy about these pieces put together as outfits, but as separates there are some real gems!

  • Jessica Says:

    I wish I had her confidence.

    And I totally agree with you about the pocket thing; I would love, love, LOVE more pockets.

  • margot Says:

    I really love the exuberance of all Mai’s outfits and I simply adore the skirt. Hot pink on linen is a genius combination. I also want to pump my friend Audrey’s blog, for those who love street fashion & food: http://homerunballerina.blogspot.com/.

  • Sarah Says:

    I have to say that this Mighty Closet series, with all of these fearless fashionistas, has truly inspired me to kick my wardrobe up a notch. Which is saying a lot considering I live in Boulder, CO which is THE casual, flip-floppy,bad sorority-clothes capital of the world.

  • mai Says:

    I used spray paint, the type used for stenciling. I walked into 1 AM (a SF gallery that specializes in paint for stencils and graffiti *a place where I’ve taken stenciling classes before* and said, “I want to paint these shoes, do you have a paint that will work?” And he gave me something and it mostly works or it at least looks a lot better than before.)

  • Claire Says:

    I am in love with the Mighty Closet series but I think Mai is my favourite closeteer thus far, as her style is so different from my own. Rather than looking at elements of outfits and thinking ‘oh, I want that’ or ‘Oh, I have something just like that’, I’ve been able to simply admire the ensembles as a whole and thrill at Mai’s clothing curation.

    Also, spray painting your shoes is one of the best ideas I intend to steal this year.

  • Claire Says:

    Oh, I’d also like to know what scent the closeteers use (if they do) as I know a lot of people have signature fragrances or a wardrobe of scents for different outfits.


  • Sarah Brown Says:

    The hairband!! Oh to have straight hair for one day.

  • latenac Says:

    have to agree with Emily. Like the individual pieces but put together once again looks rather frumpy. Mai’s skirts are too high waisted or something so the look never quite gets pulled off. I’m often envious of people who pull off things like this even if I know I could never do it but most of these outfits I’ve thought cute pieces, she has a good eye for interesting finds but needs someone to help her find styles that actually flatter her body b/c she’s very cute.

  • Andrea Says:

    This skirt/top combo is genius, and I really like the dimensions. This outfit would make me stop in the street to have a look, in a good way!

  • mighty mai | bits and bobbins Says:

    […] days and the powerhouse behind the fabulous bay area-based street fashion site fashioni.st has had her style showcased on mighty girl this week, an equally huge bay area blog, as a part of the “mighty […]

  • Jessica Nunemaker Says:

    YES! More pockets, please!


  • Erin Says:

    Oh, all the haters need to pipe down. This is PERFECTION. Not on me, not on you perhaps, but on her. Perhaps the biggest gift of this Mighty Closet series is that it’s made me realize the importance of cultivating a personalized sense of style.

  • GirlsGoneChild Says:

    Sigh… Mai.

  • Sandra Says:

    I agree Claire, I would be interesting to know what scent the closeteers are wearing. I would add another dimension I think. LOVE this series by the way! Such expressive and stylish women.

  • Ami Says:

    What Claire said about the fragrances. What a great suggestion.

    Thanks for the painting info. I just love those shoes and you are such a goddess of colored tights.

    As for the hairband, I have gone to Etsy 4 or 5 times since seeing it here and contemplated one just like it. I’m not sure it would be a practical purchase for me, seeing as I’m a 38 y.o. lawyer with 2 kids living in the Pacific NW suburbs. Can’t y’all just see someone in a deposition or in court wearing that headband? Genius.

  • Andrea Says:

    Maggie, you know what would be awesome? Setting up some sort of shindig where a reader can come to your hood with a clothing budget and chose a Might Closeteer to help them shop for dangerous new outfits! Dibs on Mai Le.

  • jennifer in sf Says:

    Well now I want hot pink shoes. And her shoes are already killing me! How could the cocktail ones be better? My mind is boggling.

  • Feral Childe Says:

    Love, love, love Mai’s style! It’s always fun for us to see how Feral Childe gets mixed into a total look. It’s gross and rainy outside today, but seeing these photos totally made my day. Thanks!

  • Abigail Says:

    Maggie, how about you feature a How To on giving dresses pockets?

  • Emily Says:

    I love this Mighty Closet series!

    All of the outfits in Mai’s series are so inspirational to me because of her use of color.

  • mai Says:

    re: scent – i like tsi-la’s ilang ilang. (a natural scent that has top notes of vanilla and ylang ylang.)

  • Betsey Says:

    I admire Mai’s exuberence for color and patterns but keep shaking my head at combinations that seem incongruous. That’s what’s great about fashion, it is truly a matter of cultivating your personal taste and style then carrying it off with confidence. Viva fashion!

  • JulieBrown Says:

    re: pockets in women’s clothing-

    I used to love them, until I developed saddle bags of my own. Now when I use my pockets it just makes *me* look broader – not smarter. -sigh-

  • kathicello Says:

    Whoa, the shoes. All of the shoes. And the confidence to wear all that HOT color. I’m green with envy.

  • Megan Says:

    {Can I interrupt for a moment to say that sandwich looks awesome?}

    I love this series for the way it stirs me to look for new possibilities in what I already have, and also to new elements I never would have even come across.

    Thanks Maggie and models for putting yourselves out there. And a special thanks for always including the shoes? Magazines always leave out the shoes…leaving me clueless.