Mighty Closet: Mai Le, Outfit 4

5th November 2009


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 thoughts on “Mighty Closet: Mai Le, Outfit 4

  1. mai

    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.)

  2. Rebecca

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

  3. Nicole

    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).

  4. Ami

    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?

  5. Maggeh Post author

    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?

  6. Emily

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

  7. Sarah

    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.

  8. mai

    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.)

  9. Claire

    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.

  10. Claire

    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.


  11. latenac

    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.

  12. Andrea

    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!

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  14. Erin

    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.

  15. Sandra

    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.

  16. Ami

    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.

  17. Andrea

    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.

  18. jennifer in sf

    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.

  19. Feral Childe

    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!

  20. Emily

    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.

  21. Betsey

    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!

  22. JulieBrown

    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-

  23. kathicello

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

  24. Megan

    {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.

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