Wednesday, August 29

EVERYTHING STRIPED

photo via streetfsn.com (without text).

There are a few things I just end up collecting. Like everything striped. 

I know. It's almost like the streets are striped these days, you know, everybody loves stripes. 

So how original of me to have striped sheets, more than fifteen striped items in my closet, striped notebooks and a 97% change that one day I'm buried under a mountain of striped items. I'm such a trendsetter. I've outdone myself. Pfff.

It's just, striped items go well with everything (no "buts" here). And they transform me instantly into a sophisticated Parisienne (uhuh), like I just stepped out of the cover of French Vogue (the not so glamourous one of course).

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you: I love stripes. 

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Saturday, August 25

CASUAL STATE OF MIND


striped shirt from Massimo Dutti - jeans from Tommy Hilfiger - studded ballet flats from River Island - shopping bag from Longchamps.

For some reason are all my outfits that include a basic blue skinny jeans and ballet flats my favorites. Comfortable, casual but still put-together; that's how I like it. Also, did I already try to express my love for this striped shirt? No? Well, I'm kind of living in it lately.* Et pourquoi pas? It has everything I want in a shirt: it's loose and striped

The bag from Longchamps is also a new favorite. When I went to the beach some weeks ago to bring my mom a surprise visit, everywhere I looked young women were walking with them on their shoulders. At the end of the day I was sold and bought it in marine blue.** Simple as that.

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* Or I manage to always wear it when there's someone to snap a pic of me... Somehow I'm wearing it in all the last couple of pictures I was "tagged" in on facebook. At least I looked fabulous, right?
** Favorite color ever.
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Thursday, August 23

MY NINE-TO-FIVE LATELY


find all the image sources here.

Interior design is probably my newest obsession. Not that I wasn't very interested in it until now (as seen herehere and here). But it wouldn't surprise me that in the last couple of weeks I spend more time in stores like ikea and habitat than in the normally "daily" visited clothing stores. The reason of this all of a sudden obsession is probably: too much time. Not that I'm not able to fill my day with meaningful and serious/ irrelevant and trivial matters, still I'm sitting here in my apartment thinking "this really doesn't feel like my place".

I remember my move to this apartment: it had to be fully renovated before I could move in. So when that was finally done, school had already started and we just put some furniture in it with the thought that we would finish it later, that I would give the place my own twist later. 

Well, four years later and not that much has changed. I still have the same old leather coach that my cat made his favorite scratching post, there's still hanging that big poster that not only makes my living room way smaller than it actually is, I'm also sick and tired of looking at it every single day. And the process of decorating the place is slightly slower than expected.

And then there is vacation, lots of spare time and pinterest. To cut a long story short: I am redecorating my apartment into a space that truly feels like my home. It will probably never look like the rooms showed above but, you know, I have this feeling that in a couple of weeks I will be crazy in love with my prettified place.
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Saturday, August 18

MINI HEATWAVE


It's so typical that just when I find the perfect black parka we're hit by a mini heatwave in Belgium. Not that I am complaining, I'll probably have to wear that parka this autumn 'till I'm sick and tired of it, but everybody knows the urge to wear everything that's NEW, right? 

So no parka. Yet the hot weather couldn't stop me to wear something of my new fall items. Tadaa,  I'm wearing a winter proof denim shirt while it's 30 degrees Celsius outside. As long as I stayed in the shade, not moving at all, it went pretty fine. Unfortunately, dinner doesn't serve itself. So I spent my day carrying groceries with a tomato red head. Very stylish.

Do you do the same things for fashion, or are you queen of matching your outfit with the weather? 
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Thursday, August 16

FRENCH GIRLS DO IT BETTER


Refined. Feminine. Powered. Extremely confident; French women always look like they just stepped out of the cover of French Vogue. They radiate a je-ne-sais-quoi attitude that we so admire and envy, but never can imitate. 
Sophistication and balance, that is the essence of the Parisian chic style. A Parisian follows fashion, but not too much. She is sexy, but not vulgar. It's all about balance, the right mix. Casual chic, that's the goal.

Haven't you ever looked at a particularly chic woman and thought to yourself, oh, she looks so Parisian. Yet, she is not from Paris at all! That is simply a complimentary way of saying she looks very elegant or stylish. The look of the Parisians is good for reference because it tends to be classic and the elegant, free of fads or silly trends. It is also one of the easiest looks to maintain and has passed the test of time. 
Simple, elegant, classic style is timeless. Rarely is anything we consider a style classic actually "new". The little black dress, perfectly fitting jeans, blouses, cozy sweaters, ballet flats, knee-length skirts, trim heels. These are nothing new. Nevertheless, they always manage to look fresh and elegant. Epitomizing chic style. 

How does one accomplish this effortless, easy way with style? By playing up their good features and downplaying the features they dislike. By accepting certain things about themselves that will not change. By having the confidence to try things and be as stylish as they wish to be on any given day. By being true to themselves. 
Sophistication and balance, that is the essence. A Parisian follows fashion, but not too much. She is sexy, but not vulgar. It's all about balance, the right mix. Casual chic, that's the goal.

Blend elegance with sensuality, a casual look with a touche sophistiquée. The biggest mistake you can make? To look overdressed. The really fundamental rule is always be neat. You should be clean, your clothes ironed, your shoes polished. Reach with the minimum the maximum. That's the Parisian motto.

Excess is rarely the best approach towards elegance. Why do we think we need so much? Many women have tons of clothes but "have nothing to wear". Pair down to the basics. Have a love affair with your clothes! If you love everything in you closet, you will radiate the confidence that comes from being dressed in an outfit that makes you feel fantastic. Own nothing unacttractive. If it does not fit, is ugly or simply does not make you feel good; donate it! If you own nothing unattractve, you will never have to worry about looking anything less than good. 

On the other hand are French women born individualists. They do not care a fig what people think. They want to impress, surprise, be different. This attitude is called Nonchalance ultraparisienne.
If you are grooming yourself to impress other women, trust me, you will never, ever, truly feel that you have succeeded. In fact, you will probably end up looking worse and having zero self-confidence. Also is jealousy absolutely nuts! Pay no attention to jealous people. they are not important. Avoid them and keep them out of your life as much as possible. Do not let them undermine your confidence or personal style in any way. 

Personality. Self-confidence. A French woman dresses for herself, tries above all to please herself in the way she looks - because she must, if she's going to please others. A French woman never feels she's offering herself. There's never a sense of surrender, but an attitude of 'I belong to me'. 

French women, we still have much to learn from them. 


PS: I updated my "ABOUT" page. Take a look, pretty please. 
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Thursday, August 9

SAY I'M A BIRD

Allie: Do you think in another life, I could have been a bird?
Noah: What do you mean?
Allie: Like reincarnation.
Noah: I don't know.
Allie: I think I could. Say I'm a bird.
Noah: No.
Allie: Say I'm a bird.
Noah: Stop it. You're not.
Allie: Say it!
Noah: You're a bird.
Allie: Now say you're a bird too.
Noah: If you're a bird, I'm a bird.

This dress made me think about my favorite quote of The Notebook; definitely my favorite movie ever and the one and only who can still make me cry after watching it a thousand times (with one exception, but never mind).

But really, doesn't make the ivory lace the dress a perfect fit for the early 1940's? I think it does. I found it in a little store, named Sienna & Lois, that actually never caught my eye before. But when I saw this dress hanging in the shop window: it. just. had. to. be. mine. And so it happened.

Anyway, I can keep going on how pretty and lovely I find this dress but I think I already made my point. So instead of doing that, I'm going to enjoy the sun a little more.



Sienna & Lois dress - Ray-ban sunglasses - Reminiscence bracelet - Steve Madden ballet flats - Vintage bag
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Monday, August 6

WHEN THE WEATHER PLAYS ALONG



Here is an outfit I wore last week when the weather played along. Still is; we're just having way too much fun. Ah! This means I'm spending a lot of time reading outside, drinking cocktails and wearing shorts and dresses.

I bought these shorts before I started my no buy and had never worn them after the fitting room. Too bad because I think they're pretty cool. So here they are, happy to see the world. Or just Antwerp, for now. I "styled" them with a basic white shirt, my new Zara blazer and my leopard ballet flats. Let's say that's good enough to stroll around the city.


Zara blazer - Street One shirt - River Island shorts - Steve Madden ballet flats - Vintage bag
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Friday, August 3

HELLO, YOU'RE AMAZING


Here I am again with a post that may be too long but I think it can be an interesting one. I'm already thinking a long time about posting something on this matter. Now, you probably think something like "Again? You already said that in your previous post, blablabla", but, hey, that's called a writer's block. When VILA, the Danish high street fashion brand, asked me to write a post about having confidence and being true to yourself, I finally could make myself sit down and start writing.

Confidence, probably one of those everlasting struggles of life. (Other examples of eternal struggles are 1) not letting your money leak through your fingers*, 2) eating healthy. Every. Single Day. But more on that another time.)

Well, let me tell you a little story about self-confidence, or the lack of it. 

A few weeks ago on Tuesday, 9:31pm: I'm sitting in front of my closet and I have nothing at all to wear. This is really not the best timing for that, tonight I'm going to a party where all the (so told) "rich and famous" will be. I have to make a good impression. 

9:35pm: I start painting my nails mint to limit the "nothing to wear" problem, but then think about how clashing colors is the newest trend. Yeah, that helped.

9:41pm: thanks to my new awesome rapid dry coat I can resume the outfit quest by displaying everything in my closet on my bed.

9:43pm: Cavalli dress, mint colored blazer; Yay, I'm ready for tonight!!

....

10:28pm: arriving at my friend's home to leave for the party. She gives me a huge smile and tells me she likes my dress. Ha!

....

10:56pm: we enter the party scene and... How fabulous and pretty can anyone be? Ugh. 

10:57pm: really, it looks like all the girls have model sizes and wear heels not less than 4 inch. I'm wearing ballet flats and it looks like I'm the kid in the house. Great.

10:59pm: nope, I'm not going to dance. Just sitting here and watching all those confident girls having fun. 

11:01pm: this is a really good song.

11:02pm: it's not good, I love it! Maybe...

11:02pm: And then... drum rolls... I get up and dance.

11:03pm: fun part: no one cares. No one sizes me up. 

11:03pm - ....: dance. Dance. Dance.

Sorry to lead you on, but nothing happened when I started doing my thing. People weren't staring at me like I was an alien or judging me. What happened was that I actually had an amazing night. I had nothing to be afraid of and there was nothing or nobody to feel self-conscious for.

Conclusion: it's never worth losing your head. Never cancel a party for stupid reasons. Never take yourself too seriously. Most of the time people really don't care what you're wearing and how you look. We're way too preoccupied with ourselves for that. 
And if they talk, remember that doesn't give them the power to ruin your day or to make your feel sad. You only have that power over you. So be who you are and figure that people can take it or leave it. Have your own distinct style and wear what you feel best in. 

Now I'll leave you with the movie where the VILA campaign is focused around. When you're watching this short video you will scream a lot of "ouch"'s and "oh"'s when you see all those models stumble on their high heels. And maybe laugh a couple of times. But the thing is; you don't have to feel sorry for that because after their fall they also start laughing and keep going. In the end they are also just woman with a job and try to survive in this world with high expectations. The only thing you can do, is make the best of it. 


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* Incredibly difficult for me, keep here in mind that I live less than 5 minutes from the shopping streets.
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Wednesday, August 1

THOUGHTS ON BLOGGING

The last couple of weeks it feels like I'm getting a little bummed out about blogging. This morning, this comes in the form of an incoherent ramble, when pondering my time spent blogging, I decided to type it out. Although this may be just some rambling, I want you to know that I thought long and hard about posting my thought on blogging lately because I didn't want to come off as some whiny brat who makes a big deal about something not so big. I am doing it anyway.

First and foremost, blogging is for the most part absolutely wonderful. I never thought I would meet so many lovely people through blogging and that so many people would take a part out of their day to read and comment on my posts. Reading other people's blog also gives me happiness; I get inspiration from so many of your blogs and to be honest I don't think I would have continued blogging had it not been for the community.

I probably shouldn't be upset, but I can't seem to help it. Lately I've just been feeling like I have to put a lot of work into making this blog both a reflection of myself as well as an interesting place to come, with a variety of content. It actually takes a lot of my time and I spend hours trying to come up with stuff that isn't just a "filler". This is a good thing, it makes me able to be more proud of this little space.

At the same time though, I get really discouraged when actual time is spent on a post and the response is just dead. That little reader interaction and response made that I couldn't make myself to spend a lot of time into blogging in July.* The strange part is that when I post something that took only 15 minutes, everybody comes out of the dark. I'm not blaming you for anything but it makes me question the time I spend on here and it actually makes me feel so less creative when the non-inspiring stuff are the ones that people flock to. 

Bye bye to my creative mojo! Hello stupid writer's block.

It's just hard to feel inspired, encouraged and creative when it seems like visitors are just looking for a quick read and nothing else. The question "does blogging make me happy?" popped up in my mind the other day. To be honest, not all of the time. While some days are fantastic, others only feel like a lot of work. Then I remembered the day when I started my blog. I did start my blog to empty my head, to write about what I love. I didn't start to blog to please other people. One of the best things about blogging is that we don't have to answer to anyone: we're free to post what we want and when we want to. That's the most beautiful part of blogging; you can write about anything you like. And when other people love that writing great/ amazing/ dazzling, but sometimes people won't like it and that's also just fine. 
So, rather than moaning, I want to do two things: (/or how to try ending a somewhat negative post with a happy ending...)
1) Thank you for your continued support! I may not have thousand of followers but I am happy to have a loyal few. It really does mean a lot to me. 
2) Ask you if you have thoughts on this matter. Did you ever have the same thoughts on blogging and what did you do to overcome the typical writer's block?

So, while I am re-evaluating my blog please understand if I won't post often; I think that it's better to rather publish one good post a week than lots of crappy ones, am I right? Fingers crossed I'll be feeling re-inspired again soon.

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* I also refound my love for reading books. I always loved reading because it lets me leave reality for a little time. I'm one of those people who always get really hooked in to books and feel as if they're in the book themselves. So happy that I refound that joy.
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