Sorry for confronting you with the soles of my shoes. Just #keepingitreal, you know, because I wear my stuff and I wanted to post a reminder that although I frequently write about purchasing clothes, shoes etc, I also take very good care of the things that I own. Nothing gets discarded unless it’s absolutely worn out. You can fix a lot more than you may think and many simple things, like having your heels replaced for instance, can expand the longevity of your wardrobe.

I was happy to receive two pairs of boots back from the cobbler last week. I always procrastinate the visit because I feel lost without my go-to shoes (I’m so dramatic) and I can never get home in time on weekdays to pick them up. The cobbler was impressed with the quality of my shoes and I must say, I am as well. The Aeyde boots have been on heavy rotation ever since I got them and are holding up nicely.

My Isabel Marant Deyissa boots originally have a leather sole so I had an extra protective sole added and I plan on wearing them more often now that I won’t have to mind the rain or snow. The rubber sole looks a bit bulky in the picture but is actually nicely in line with the original sole. My Aeyde boots are a different story. These have been worn countless of times so in addition to new heels I also had rubber toe taps added (remember, I wrote about the awful paving at my local train station that ruins the tips of your shoes?)

I know that the internet and many cobblers as well, are constantly debating whether or not you should add protective rubber soles to your leather shoes. In my opinion it all depends on the circumstances. Where you live and what the weather conditions are like, how often you will wear them etc. Many a shoe lover will claim you should wear your shoes the way they are made. I get that. But in my case, leather soles and Dutch weather are a terrible combination. Not to mention that leather soles can be very slippery. I wear my shoes regularly and want to enjoy them as long as possible. So this solution works for me.

So to end this blogpost, please don’t think this blog is all about purchasing new things. Yes, I do buy new clothing, accessories etc., make collages around possible purchases and I love to write about it to keep things in perspective for myself. But for the most part, I get much more pleasure from the wardrobe that I currently have and will put in the extra effort to make sure that I can enjoy everything as long as possible. For instance, I would rather fix the Aeyde boots than buy a different replacement pair. Because they make me happy every time I wear them.

What do you do to ensure longevity of your wardrobe?

In case you are wondering, no, you are not looking at two identical pictures. This is me, being extremely particular. Remember when I mentioned that I have a small wish list for 2019 purchases? A pair of black jeans is number one on that list. A little over two years ago I bought two pairs of black straight washed jeans from Topshop. They’re getting thinner by the wear and I dread the day that one of them will finally rip. Let’s hope not at the behind haha.

Anyway, so for a couple of years now I have been switching between Topshop jeans and Levi’s jeans. The Topshop ones are super comfortable and durable enough for the price. But nothing beats those Levi’s wedgie jeans that I bought a few years ago. In my opinion, the less stretchy material, the better. I know that usually means they will stretch with wear so you need to size down a little but that’s okay.

So now here we are. I did my research (basically going through pages and pages of black jeans) and was happy to be able to narrow it down to two options. I have had really good experiences with Levi’s in the past and I prefer to stick with brands that work for me. However, I can’t decide. The jeans on the left are the Wedgie Fit straight jeans. Slightly high waisted with a straight leg. Unless you are a little wider around the hips, then they will fit more tapered. The jeans on the right, the Ribcage straight ankle jeans. Very high waisted (hence the name) and a wider straight leg.

The Wedgie jeans are a length 26 (yes, I’m short) and hit just above the ankle. The Ribcage ones are a bit longer but will still look very nice with sneakers and loafers in the summer. The Ribcage jeans are maybe a bit more of a chic fit? If that makes any sense. They almost resemble a pair of trousers which is neither a pro or con. Honestly, the more I look at them and try them on, the more difficult it gets. It’s not very often that I find several perfect options to choose from. They both fit extremely well, 1% stretch, very comfortable. It’s just a matter of design really.

I would love to hear your opinions!

Upon request, my purchases of 2018. Better late than never I suppose. I’ll keep the introduction short because we know how this works, right? While I’m a little embarrassed by the number of purchases, I feel that this year will be better. We’re halfway through March and I have only purchased three things so far (one of them, my dream bag). If I keep this up and go for a maximum of 1 item per month, I would be very content. I’m still not sure what triggered last year’s shopping sprees. Maybe I felt a bit bored with my wardrobe or maybe it was because I didn’t plan any purchases in advance and just went with it. Even though I keep a list throughout the year on my phone, I never took the time to reflect on it. Anyway, here goes…

Zara sandals, Vagabond Saide sandals, G.H. Bass Weejun loafers

Purchases January until June

Ah yes, shoes! If I’m not buying coats, I’m buying shoes, apparently. The year started with a pair of Aeyde Neil boots (discount). A modern take on the Chelsea boot with a square nose. These were a replacement for my Massimo Dutti boots. I absolutely love them and just brought them to the cobbler for new heels. The G.H. Bass Weejun loafers were also a replacement. One of my old loafers had an actual hole in the sole.

The other pairs were not a necessity but just something that I really liked such as the electric blue Vagabond sandals (sale). I have gotten so many compliments on those and they’re extremely comfortable. What’s next… two pairs of leather flat sandals. The first pair, pictured on the left is from Zara. They reminded me of the YSL slides for a fraction of the price. The other pair is from H&M. Very simple and clean with delicate leather straps.

Finally, I ordered a pair of Repetto ballet flats. Such a classic purchase and also, on sale. At first I was a little hesitant because of the toe cleavage but I enjoyed wearing them. Unfortunately our train station has the most awful paving tiles and it damages all the noses of your shoes so I only wore them to work twice. As of last week the bus now stops at a different location so that’s a relief.

MANGO blouse, H&M Trend t-shirt, Ganni Roseburg blouse

Not pictured but a fun addition; my Whitney Houston t-shirt from Topshop. I had to have it. It’s BrWhitney bitch! The Mango linen blouse on the left is really nice although it obviously needs some serious ironing every time you wash it. The light yellow t-shirt is from H&M. I really liked the look with white trousers. Just a subtle pop of color. The blouse from Ganni was a bit risky I suppose, as I don’t wear prints very often. But combined with my flared jeans it’s a totally different look from my usual uniform.

H&M Trend tanktop, Uniqlo U tee, Saint James Maree II R sweater

I threw a bunch of old white t-shirts out before summer. The replacements include a simple white tanktop, a white linen Isabel Marant t-shirt (sale) and two Uniqlo t-shirts (discount). I highly recommend those Uniqlo tees. They’re thick and the fit is lovely. A finally a classic Saint-James striped knitted sweater made of 100% wool.

Topshop wide crop jeans, H&M jeans, Topshop Jamie flared jeans

On to the jeans/trousers department. As I mentioned in this post, I was excited to discover the wide legged jeans trend for summer. I’m over skinny jeans and currently prefer either a straight or wide pair of jeans. I especially like the pair on the left, from Topshop. The white jeans can be a bit tricky of course but I like it paired with my A.P.C. striped t-shirt from last year and loafers.

While I would rather buy jeans with a little less stretch material, I do tend to go for Topshop jeans when I’m looking for something specific like those flared jeans. I’m only 1.65m and you can’t tailor a pair of jeans like that. It changes the whole silhouette and will look out of proportion. These are a perfect fit in a length 30 though.

Are you still with me? I totally understand if this post is testing your patience LOL. But alas, it is what it is. I can’t make it any shorter. Anyway, I went to visit Vicky in Antwerp and we did some shopping. I ended up with a bikini (sale). The high waisted bottoms are a big thumbs up. A crushed velvet blazer (sale) and a pair of chinos (sale). I think that was the most shopping I did all at once since years.

And to end these 6 months, I bought not one but two dresses. The first one was a white midi button dress by Zara. I have to confess, it’s still hanging in my closet with the tags attached. When does one wear a white dress? As pretty as it seems, it’s not very functional. If I don’t wear it this summer, I’ll sell it. The other button dress by New Look was very much a succes.

All three blazers by &Other Stories

Purchases July to December

The last 6 months were somewhat better in terms of shopping. &Other Stories is my favorite store for blazers and I picked up 4 blazers with a discount. I don’t know, I find them so useful because they easily make every outfit work appropriate, they can be worn as jackets when it’s a little less cold and they’re excellent for layering. I paired these blazers with a wool black turtleneck.

Filippa K Pointelle sweater, Dr. Martens 1460, Adidas Falcon sneakers

And for my final purchases of 2018… The Filippa K Pointelle sweater (sale) I had my eye on it for a while but I didn’t want to pay full price for it. So I was happy when I found it on sale. The Dr. Martens were a nice addition when temperatures dropped and it was snowing. I talked about these for over a year and took the plunge on Black Friday. You know how everyone always tells you these are indestructible? Not if I’m wearing them. I managed to damage the nose on a piece of metal on the first wear. Shit happens, I guess.

Shopping conclusions

That makes a total of 28 purchases. I got rid of some old pieces of clothing that were worn out. Mostly tops. Those get a lot of wear year round. Regarding replacement buys, I’m very happy with every single one of them although some are slightly different from the item that I discarded. I no longer believe that there is such a thing as ‘the perfect garment’ that you will wear forever or that clothes and accessories are ‘investments’ unless you’re buying a Birkin bag. While I might think the G.H. Bass loafers are the best out there, I might think very differently years from now when I need a new pair.

As Vivienne Westwood said: “Buy less, choose well, make it last.” I fully agree but don’t expect them to last forever. Just be mindful of your purchases and buy things that will compliment your existing wardrobe and make you excited to get dressed in the morning. Love them until they no longer look presentable and replace them with something just as nice or even nicer. It’s a never ending process and you’re allowed to enjoy it.

So what’s the plan for 2019? Personally, I’m not big on shopping bans. I don’t see that working for me to be honest. That would be too much of a restriction. Like I said at the beginning of this post, I would be content if I bought a maximum of 12 items this year. So I’m back to a short list of things that I’m currently interested in. But I’ll get back to you on that some other time!

  • Should I wear sunscreen everyday? I know it’s highly recommended by, well, everyone. But during winter I’m always extremely low on vitamin D. I still haven’t figured out whether or not I should start wearing sunscreen on my face (next to my tinted moisturiser that has SPF 15). Obviously I know that sun exposure is responsible for most of the visible ageing of your skin but the internet hasn’t provided me with a clear answer yet. I should probably consult my doctor.
  • A new The Gentlewoman is out, featuring one of the most important contemporary female artists, Cindy Sherman. I need to pick it up this week. It’s the only magazine that I read. I haven’t missed an issue since the first one in 2010. You know, the one with Phoebe Philo on the cover (fun fact: I was super careful with that first edition and then my cat puked all over it).
  • I scored my ultimate dream bag with a discount (!!) a week ago. It had been on my long term wish list for years and I promised myself I could buy it once I had received a permanent employment contract which I signed in February. When it arrived I took it out of the dust bag, stared at it for 5 minutes and then put it back in the box. I don’t know, it was such a big purchase that the actual object scared me for a second. But D. convinced me that I worked hard for it and if I loved it, I should keep it. Last week I was sick and only got to take it out one day. I was more disappointed about that than the fact that I was sick, LOL.
  • While we are on the subject of work, I need to make a plan for the upcoming year. I know that everyone is very happy about the way I do my job but slowly but surely I’m starting to feel more ambitious. I didn’t get the chance to explore different directions at my previous job so now that I have to opportunity, I want to take full advantage of it. I do find it scary, I admit. I always want to believe that doing the job will take you places but unfortunately it takes more than that. The only ‘negative’ feedback that I receive is that I’m too modest about my accomplishments. As a result people tend to overlook me. So that’s one of the things I will work on.
  • Why is decorating your house so much more difficult than getting dressed? It’s kind of the same idea right? I decided to order this lamp when H&M (successfully) lured me back onto their website with a 30% discount code. We have this vintage Scandinavian/modern design thing going on. It probably sounds more fancy that it actually is though. But that lamp should fit right in. Anyway, this month we will be living here for two years and the walls are still bare. I can’t seem to make up my mind. So that’s something I want to take care of this spring.
  • I need to exercise more often. I don’t work out in the gym anymore but that doesn’t mean I should live a sedentary lifestyle. So my Fitbit is back on my wrist reminding me every hour to take a short walk. Which is a great excuse to get away from behind my computer at work. It’s so easy to sit there for hours straight. My main goal is 10.000 steps everyday which is approximately 8 kilometres.
  • And finally, I’m compiling a list of maximum 5 things that I’m interested in buying this spring/summer. I’ve covered everything that I need in terms of clothing and accessories. So anything that I might buy is something that I covet and not necessarily need. By the way, as per request I’m working on a wardrobe overview of 2018.