Put a needle in my hand

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How often have you found a garment that you liked but didn’t buy because something was off? A bit too long, too loose – it just didn’t fit right. I think that we all have been there. I know I’ve been there with this blouse. The print is lovely, abstract but not loud. And it was the first time I’ve seen cufflinks for women. I have to admit I didn’t know how to do them at first. It’s such a nice touch to the blouse. So are the pintucks on the shoulders.

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The sleeves, however, they were way too long. I’ve never encountered that problem before but there was at least  5 cm fabric that shouldn’t be there. Even so, I took the blouse with me. I was confident that I could fix the sleeves. At first I thought about removing the cuff and then cutting off the excess. But when I consulted my mother she suggested going an easier route: Since the fabric is so delicate it would be easier to fold in the excess fabric and sew it in place. This way there would be no cutting involved an therefore no hemming. I’m glad I took her advice because even then it was difficult to get the sleeves even. Now that this problem is solved I’m thinking of taking in the sides to make it fit me in the waist…

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Battling the blazer blues

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There have been a couple of days in April when it was warm enough to ditch the coat and bring out my beloved blazer. It’s quite surprising how much I like this garment because blazers aren’t really my thing. I usually feel really weird wearing them: as if I’m costuming as an older business woman.  It doesn’t feel right and it doesn’t feel like me. In addition, the lapels and the low placement of buttons make me look even more flat-chested than I am, which isn’t flattering at all. That is why I stayed well away from them while the other girls (and boys!) were rocking blazers during school. One particular summer white blazers were all the rage and everyone was wearing one. It didn’t look good on many people but then again, that’s fashion and not style.

So fast forward a few years to last summer and I was facing a huge task. Well, in my eyes it was huge. My jacket for summer, a casual sand denim number, wasn’t doing it anymore. It somehow acquired large yellow stains in the back which didn’t come off. So yeah, new jacket. Besides shoes I hate shopping for outerwear because I have lots of requirements. It should be comfortable to wear, easy to clean, keep me warm. Make me look nice, able to be worn for years, match with my wardrobe,  and not be boring. You see, there are a few boxes to be ticked off.

Unenthusiastic is the word to describe my state while I was browsing through every clothing store in vicinity. Luckily, you don’t need a changing cubicle to try on a jacket. Otherwise it would have taken me much longer because I literally tried on everything that somehow resembled a jacket. Usually, I look at the garment on the clothes hanger and decide whether it’s worth trying on or not. But if I had used that approach that time, I would have left empty-handed. I needed to keep an open mind. So I put on everything. Even blazers, though I didn’t have high hopes. Last summer seemed to be the year of bright, colorful blazers. They were everywhere. Emerald, bright red, neon yellow. Not my thing.

Well, in the end I bought a blazer in blue and black. And you know what? It took some time but now I love it. I like the colors: just blue would have been too much color. Only black too severe. Instead, it looks modern but still classy. And no lapels! It did come with a low placed clasp but I added a clasp higher up which is much better. Now it’s perfect! I’m glad that I overcame my prejudice against blazers. Sometimes you just have to give things a few more tries.

Sister, sister, she stole her brother’s clothes

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 From now on I shall be known as the sister who stole her brother’s clothes.

Well, stealing may be too harsh a word. It’s more like giving the cable knit sweater a purpose other than sitting forgotten and unloved in my brother’s closet. Anyway, my brother should be happy that I liberated him from what he calls a mispurchase.

It was roughly a year ago when my brother and I went off to find him suitable clothes. I discovered this lovely gem of sweater in the boys’ section and showed it to my brother. It was a pretty thing, the outside lightly bleached so that the cable knit stood out against the rest. One could see the original color of the sweater by rolling up the sleeves. After little discussion the sweater was purchased and taken home where it was put into my brother’s closet and never seen again.

Until a year later, brother and sister went off again to find new clothes. And found the exact sweater in one store. I told my brother: “If you’re not going to wear it, then give it to me.” Brother shrugged and said nothing. And so I went home and liberated the poor sweater from its bleak place.

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So that is how I came in possession of this fine sweater. But how should I wear it without looking like a sister who’s wearing her brother’s things?

I went with pairing the loose-fitting sweater with slim, dark red pants. Slim because it balances the oversized top and red because I think it makes the blue look much richer and deeper. Whereas with normal jeans it would look pretty grey and washed out. The sleeves rolled up since they are too long, because I wanted to show off the dark blue of the insides and to offset the width of the sleeves with a peek of my wrist. Hair swept up to draw attention to the neck. Gold necklace, red earrings and red lipstick to add bling and glam.

Don’t worry, I usually don’t put that much thought into dressing myself. It’s just that I can look really silly and boyish if I don’t pay attention to what I’m wearing. And I really want to avoid that.

These jewels I’ve found

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I don’t know what’s up with me. Going on an eight-hour shopping spree and finding nothing clothes-wise. And then going on another spree for 5 hours the week after that and still nothing. If my feet weren’t so sore, I would believe it was all a dream. Which it was not since my feet hurt like hell.

Nothing I saw in the stores really impressed me. Usually, I’m like: Ooh, so cute! Pretty, pretty. Gorgeous. Need to try this on. This is beautiful! But that time I just thought: Seen this, seen that. Ugh, ugly color. Who wears this? Boring, boring. Next store, please.

Whenever I can’t find any clothes I like I tend to go for jewelry. There’s always pretty jewelry to swoon over. You know those small stores where they sell nothing but cute fashion jewelry and accessories? Paradise. I’m partial to earrings because you can wear them with everything. Unlike necklaces where you always need to think about the neckline.

1) When I was in the UK I found those amazing brilliant red earrings at Topshop. They were absolutely breathtaking. I didn’t buy them and regretted it ever since. These red ones captivated me with their sleek lines and firy color. Simple but very eye-catching. Looks especially nice with black hair and red lipstick!

2) This necklace looks stunning around my neck but even better as headband. It has the perfect length for my head and all I need to do is securing it with bobby pins. Done! I just go and pretend to be an everyday princess.

3) Pure elegance. These rosy peachy earrings go with anything and add a touch shine to any look. Fun fact: The flowers can fully rotate.

4) We’ve seen a lot of ear cuffs and ear wraps hit the stores. This one took me some time to figure out how to wear it but it looks amazing. Just like a bejeweled earpiece!

The perfect wardrobe

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Do you know how often you buy new clothes and how much you spend on it monthly? No? I’ve been keeping a list on my purchases. The result? I’ve spent a lot more money than I assumed in 2012. It wasn’t a  disastrously high number but it got me thinking: Compared to my friends I don’t buy new clothes often. I don’t rebuild my wardrobe from scratch every year like some of my friends do. It goes like this:

Friend: Oh, I don’t have T-shirts and dresses and shorts for this summer. We have to go shopping this weekend!

Me: What about the T-shirts and dresses and shorts you got last year? You bought a lot.

Friend: Pfff… that was last year! Besides I don’t like them anymore.

Whoa. See what I mean? Her problem: She buys too much. She actually buys everything that she finds cute or nice. She’s an impulsive buyer. Therefore she gets a lot of stuff that she doesn’t really like. She may wear once or twice and then it will collect dust in the closet. That’s not ideal.

What we want is a wardrobe that consists of pieces that 1) you really like, 2) flatter you, and 3) you get a lot of wear out them. Let’s try this on the green dress I bought shortly after Christmas:

1) I really like the dress. I love floral prints.

2) I think that it suits me. I’m slim and it certainly shows off my figure.

3) This is the point of this blog entry. The piece of clothing in question is a dress and you can wear it as dress. But it also works as a tight top with skinny jeans or as skirt. See? More options to wear it. Right now it’s snowing so I would never leave the house in tights only. So skirt and dress are out. But I can wear tights underneath my skinny jeans to keep myself warm and wear the dress as top during the coldest days. Have I made my point?

And when Christmas is over

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It’s tradition that the whole family goes onto a shopping spree after Christmas. While most people are still recovering from all the food and alcohol and late nights, we are in the shopping mall hunting the best deals. Shopping is so much more enjoyable when you don’t need to squeeze your way through the crowd. Moreover, waiting for a changing cubicle will never be fun, no matter how much patience you have.
PhotobucketBut even one day after Christmas the mall was well frequented. Clothes were picked up, tried on, put back and immediately snatched away. No changing cubicle was free. Not the women’s, not the men’s, hell, even the kids’ changing cubicles! Luckily, even shopaholics need to eat lunch. That was when we striked. Two pair of jeans, one skirt, two dresses in several sizes, one top and most importantly, a free changing cubicle. I spend ages deciding on two dresses. And it didn’t stop there. You see, there are no two print dresses that are identical. Even if the cut and print are the same, the placement of the print isn’t. Gosh, I tried every single one in my size only to discover that the first I grabbed was the best.  Sometimes the first choice turns out to be the one.

Thinking about green

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It’s pretty much impossible for me to pass a jewelry store without throwing a longing glance at the display window. More often than not, I end up not only looking at the pieces from outside but from the inside. Fortunately, it’s mostly fashion jewelry, and fortunately, in most cases that’s all I do. Just admiring and satisfying my hunger for beauty and bling. I’m happy to have seen it but I don’t have to buy and own it.

At the train station where I change trains, there’s a small store that sells fashion jewelry. I love this store. The jewelry is sorted by color and it’s a pleasure to browse through the assortment since I’m drawn to specific colors. I like blue and green and purple whereas red and black and white leave me cold. It was in that store where I found a pair of stunning earrings in light green. So pretty! I left the store but couldn’t stop thinking about the earrings. Nights were spend mulling over them and in the end I walked into the store (not the one where I discovered them) and bought them. They were irresistible! With my dark hair they really stand out. And green looks lovely paired with purples and blues and greens. (I’m thinking of the dresses I purchased during the after-Christmas sales but that’s another story.)