feb-mar-apr-shoppingreflections

I know, I know, in a previous post I mentioned how I wanted to do a monthly update on my shopping habits but unfortunately life got in the way. Which isn’t so bad really because that left me little time to do some actual (online) shopping. So for this one I’m keeping it short and simple. These past three months I only bought two things; a new pair of jeans and a reusable shopping bag. Not bad right?

I could have done better in the jeans department though because I ended up buying a new pair from Topshop. I did some research on more conscious, environmental friendly brands but I haven’t been able to find what I’m looking for just yet. I’m super short so most jeans are much too long for me and these Jamie jeans are an excellent fit. They hit just above the ankle. I do feel that they sag a little after a couple of wears but I think I also lost a bit of weight. Let’s just go with the latter, just to cheer me up on this gloomy day.

Next up my Susan Bijl reusable shopping bag. Since the start of this year stores in the Netherlands can no longer hand out free shopping bags. A great initiative obviously and also a great excuse to buy another bag as I don’t fancy carrying around designer bags with vegetables and shower gel. When you live or work in Rotterdam it’s hard not to be familiar with The New Shoppingbag and with good reason. It’s  made of 100%  super strong ripstop nylon used for manufacturing kites, it’s water repellent and folds up really small. And it’s always nice to support a ‘local’ designer.

So that’s it after three months. It might seem as though I’m really happy with my wardrobe and I don’t need anything right now but I will definitely have to start looking around for summer clothing soon. Mostly tops as I wear them all year round (underneath sweaters and cardigans) and some can no longer be seen in broad daylight.

How did you do the past couple of months boo boo, shopping-wise?

january shopping reflections

This year started off pretty well with four new purchases. Yikes! Two items were bought on sale though and the other two are beauty related acquisitions which I normally don’t list, but I really like Xin‘s monthly reflections posts and thought I would give it a go myself this year. I usually travel to Antwerp in Belgium twice a year to scour the sales racks for a good five minutes and then move on to the new collections because I can no longer stand the heat, the mess and the crowd. But every now and then I come across a marked down gem such as the Massimo Dutti ankle boots. I had my eyes on them for months but ultimately decided I didn’t need them until I ran into them with a 30% discount and I could no longer resist. I bought a pair of similar leather ankle boots at Zara a few years ago but they’re so uncomfortable that I never wear them. I’ll probably sell them or donate them to charity.

I also managed to score another scarf on sale, this time the A.P.C. wool scarf. It’s a bit larger than the Acne Studios Canada scarf (see my review here) but otherwise pretty much the same. I suppose time will tell if it holds up just as well. I clearly didn’t need another scarf but it’s a nice change from the grey one that I have been wearing non-stop for years now.

january shopping reflections

The next two things were on my beauty wish list for a while. I don’t wear a lot of makeup except for a little mascara and lipstick but I really wanted a simple all-in-one travel sized palette. After extensive research and endlessly deliberating between Urban Decay’s Naked on the run palette, Bobbi Brown’s Deluxe eye and cheek palette and Laura Mercier’s Glam to go travel case (seriously, I spent a good hour reading reviews because those palettes are so darn expensive and I couldn’t make up my mind) I decided to go with Urban Decay’s Naked on the run palette. It has everything you need for a simple day and/or evening look and it’s a great deal. If you were to buy every product separately, it would be twice the price of the entire palette. So far though, I’ve only used to eye pencil, mascara and lipgloss because I still need to get an eyeshadow brush. That’s the only downside, it doesn’t come with brushes.

And last but not least, the infamous Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-nourishing lip balm. My lips tend to get extremely dry and chapped during winter and I’ve tried so many lip balms over the years but this one does the trick. The texture feels a bit strange, gritty almost but it goes on very smooth and stays put for several hours. It’s not cheap but I do feel that you get a fair amount of product for its price.

That’s it for January! It’s a bit much, but I usually buy more things at the end or the beginning of a year and a lot less during summer. So for now, I’m not worried about going over my 10 pieces for this year. For a brief moment I thought about mentioning how much I spent in total but I’m not a budgeting blogger that wants to spend as little as possible on clothes, accessories etc. I just really like to carefully plan and review my purchases to make sure that I only buy things that I truly love and to avoid any shopping mistakes.

At the end of last year New York based designer Maryam Nassir Zadeh made headlines by accusing accessories label Mansur Gavriel (mostly known for their bucket bags) of copying one of her designs, a pair of mule sandals. Mansur and Gavriel denied the allegation and claimed that it was a mere coincidence and that they cannot claim ownership of a mule, slide, block heel or colour. 

Now, I totally get that you can’t claim a heel, material or colour but when you combine these design elements in a certain way it can be hard not to draw any similarities. When I spotted low-heel suede pumps at MANGO and H&M, they immediately reminded me of Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s very popular and hard to come by Roberta heel (pictured above). If you’re an avid Instagram user or blog reader, I’m sure you’ve come across a pair of these shoes. Of course, this could all just be a coincidence but it’s much more likely that everyone’s favourite high street stores decided to do their own version of the ‘original’.

How you do feel about items that walk a fine line between blatant copy and original design?  

the things we do for fashion

This weekend I was catching up with my favourite bag forum and my jaw dropped reading some of the stories on the Hèrmes forum. Now, I’m not even into anything Hermès (I don’t even know how I got there), so that might explain why some of the things that were discussed are completely foreign to me but still, I’m surprised by the things we sometimes do for fashion. For example, who knew that you have to spend thousands of dollars on all kinds of accessories to earn the trust and respect of a sales assistent in order to finally get your hands on the iconic Birkin bag? Or that women actually wait in line for several hours, day of after day, during their stay in Paris because maybe you’ll be one of the lucky few today that will be offered a Birkin? Admittedly though, I’ve done some silly things myself in the past.

I have done things such as setting my alarm clock at 6 in the morning hoping H&M would finally restock that coat that I had been lusting over for weeks. Another time I sat behind not one but two laptops and the app on my phone when the H&M x Isabel Marant collection launched. It was impossible to get onto the website, so I finally ordered over the phone. And let’s add the purchase of my Mansur Gavriel bucket bag as well. I spent an entire day refreshing their website to order said bag. Oh, and I paid an additional $100 for international shipping. Seriously, what was I thinking!?

The examples above are obviously shopping related, but let’s not forget the physical pain that some of us put ourselves through for the sake of fashion. Granted, that’s nothing new because women have been suffering for style ever since the early Middle Ages; foot binding, corsets, heels that are much too high etc., but it never ceases to amaze me that we continue to think that it’s okay to be in pain as long as we look ‘beautiful’ or ‘fashionable’. Personally, I think the best way to look good is to feel comfortable with yourself and the clothes that you are wearing. Nobody needs a pair of sky high heels to look gorgeous.

Any thoughts or embarrassing stories you would like to share?