A classic: the breton shirt

Will we ever get enough of the breton shirt? I sincerely doubt it as it has been a classic for decades. Think, Picasso, Audrey Hepburn etc. I admit, I took me a while to finally appreciate this timeless piece. My first striped top was a cheap black/white shirt years ago. It didn’t get the wear it deserved. Mostly because my closet was filled to the brim and also because it looked awful after just a few washes. Quality brands such as Saint James and Petit Bateau were still unknown to me.

After that, I decided to save up for a Comme des Garçons shirt which I bought at Dover Street Market in London. I’m usually not one to go for visible logos but I couldn’t resist that tiny red heart. As of recently, I’m now the owner of two Comme des Garçons shirts, an old H&M blouse and an A.P.C. t-shirt (my latest addition). All striped but still different enough to warrant the purchase. Which brings to mind the question: how many striped shirts is enough?

Do you own any striped tops? What is your favourite brand?

a fall winter wish list

I’m so excited that it’s fall and we’re quickly heading towards winter. I have been handwashing all of my delicate knits and I had my coats dry-cleaned months ago. So I am ready for fall and winter. As usual I compiled a short wish list mostly consisting of items that I could wear all throughout the year with some small adjustments such as a cardigan or tights. None of them are necessary but lately I do feel like I’m a bit stuck in a style rut wearing the same things over and over again. These would likely provide a nice twist on my usual uniform.

  • A lot of brands sell cashmere these days, some more affordable than others. I like to stick with Uniqlo’s cashmere as I find the quality excellent for the price. I bought a grey sweater two or three years ago but unfortunately it has become much too large for me. I’m leaning towards a v-neck in navy or camel this time.
  • I’m still not quite sure how I feel about skirts on myself but this one has been growing on me the past couple of months. I believe there are two variations on this particular skirt and I would definitely go for the longer option. For some reason I feel that it won’t work for me but we’ll see once I get the chance to try it on. If it does live up to my expectations I hope I’ll be able to find it second hand on Ebay or Vestiaire Collective. I’ve seen a few being sold as almost new.
  • My skin has been wonderful lately but I would still like some mild coverage. Just to even out my skin tone and get that dewy look. So I’m looking for a tinted moisturizer. This one from Laura Mercier seems quite nice but slightly expensive. This one from Nars is also very tempting and gets great reviews. If you guys have any experience with either, let me know what you think.
  • These boots are something I have been thinking about for over a year now (they sold them last year as well). It usually doesn’t snow a lot over here but when it does, weather appropriate footwear is definitely a problem. Every pair that I own is too slippery and I can’t recount the times I suddenly had to grab onto something while walking in a normal pace. Dr Martens crossed my mind as well but I don’t know, these have a more classic and elegant look to them. For these kind of boots anyway.
  • White t-shirts are part of my uniform. I can honestly say that I wear a white t-shirt at least four days a week. Which is fine but ultimately also a little boring. So this striped t-shirt from A.P.C. would make a nice addition to my wardrobe.
  • Not pictured above but also very much on my mind: this black coat. I should’ve known better than to try it on. But it happened and it looked great. I might cave if it goes on sale. The end.

What’s on your wish list for the upcoming season?

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.

looking back on last year's purchases

To be honest, I wish I could show you guys more colorful purchases than the ones above but I’m afraid this will have to do. I think you’ve seen all of them already except for the black Everlane turtleneck on the left. Overall, 2015 was the year I started to incorporate more black into my outfits and managed to have a small wardrobe crisis halfway through despite a closet filled with clothes. Summer has never been and never will be my favourite season wardrobe-wise. So it won’t come as a surprise that most of my favourite pieces of last year are fall and winter items.

last-year's-purchases

Now onto the purchases. Apart from the Weekday trousers, these acquisitions have gotten a lot of wear. The Uniqlo trousers, cashmere turtleneck and coat are on heavy rotation at the moment. I’m also still very happy with both of the bags. The A.P.C. bag is my current go-to bag when I don’t need to carry a lot. The Mansur Gavriel bucket bag however needs to be worn more often (too afraid to scratch it). Finally the blouses are just okay for what they are. The striped blouse doesn’t look so great anymore after I wore it several times a week last summer, but what did I expect for €20? The silk blouse is lovely, but I regret not buying a silk blouse with pockets.

5 piece purchases
A.P.C. half moon bag
Mansur Gavriel bucket bag
Uniqlo x Lemaire cashmere trousers
& Other Stories silk blouse
Everlane cashmere turtleneck
Filippa K Dean coat
Weekday cotton trousers
H&M striped blouse
Mango leather sandals


style-resolutions5

The heels were a gift and bought for special occasions. Even though I don’t plan on wearing them on a regular basis, I did add them to my basics as I do feel that everyone could use a basic pair of black heels. I opted for a suede shoe with a sturdy, not too thin heel for comfort. Speaking from experience, Isabel Marant’s t-shirts are of excellent quality, so I decided to purchase an extra t-shirt on sale.

Basics
H&M sandals
Pier One loafers
& Other Stories black heels (gift)
Isabel Marant Wenji t-shirt

The items below all needed to be replaced. I no longer fit my old blue jeans and they’re a welcome change from my usual black attire. The black jeans were bought quite unexpectedly but it turns out H&M no longer produces the high-waisted jeans I used to purchase so I figured I should probably have a backup just in case they stop producing them altogether. As I’m going to try to ignore fast fashion as much as I can this year, I need to start looking into other brands for jeans (more on that in my next post about style resolutions).

Replacements
Adidas Stan Smiths
& Other Stories wool long-sleeve
& Other Stories blue jeans
H&M black jeans
H&M white and black t-shirt

That’s it! As I kept track of my purchases throughout the year, I was able to make a fairly accurate estimation of what I spent in total over 2015 on clothes and accessories. I won’t bore you with the numbers, but trust me when I say it can be confronting. That said, I was able to afford it all and do not regret investing in more expensive pieces that I know are of exceptional quality. But I should cut down on the purchases in general because at this point I have enough to wear.

What do you guys think? Is my list of purchases over the course of 2015 reasonable? And how did you do yourself?