personal shopping guidelines daarboven

While I try to maintain a high standard when it comes to clothes and accessories and I am annoyingly picky, regrettable purchases are always lurking around the corner. Over the years I have come to rely on a few rules of thumb that have proven themselves very helpful. Now, I am by no means an expert but I figured I would share them and hopefully they can be of use to you too. So here are my self-imposed guidelines for shopping part I:

Try different sizes

I own clothing ranging from size XS to XL. Size is only a number or a few letters and doesn’t matter to me as long as the garment fits perfectly. Brands aren’t reliable at all when it comes to sizing. I’m sure we are all familiar with the concept of vanity sizing, right? So please don’t let the size of a piece of clothing bring you down or dictate your purchases. No one will be able to see the label anyway.

Stay away from items that are too trendy

Once in awhile a trend comes along that I’m eager to try such as those checkered blazers or coats that are seen all over the place right now. But fortunately for my wallet, most of the time the result is not at all what I expected or I know I won’t wear it after that particular season. Nevertheless, I believe you can be on trend while still remaining true to your own aesthetic. Take flared jeans for example. Those were very trendy last year of maybe even the year before (I can’t keep track of time anymore, I’m too old). But ultimately, the design, in the right color, is a classic and can be worn at any time.

When in doubt, size up

It’s always better to size up when you’re not completely sure about a piece of clothing or shoes. Clothes can be adjusted and/or taken in by a tailor and you can place an extra insole in your shoes to get a better fit. Although to be honest, I don’t recommend buying your shoes too large either. However, when something is too small, chances are you are never going to wear it because it makes you feel uncomfortable.

Check the men’s section

You can find some really nice pieces of clothing in the men’s section, that’s exactly where I found my favorite men’s ultra soft flowy tee. And from my own experiences, the quality is sometimes even better than women’s clothing. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that men don’t buy as many clothes as women and therefore need garments that last a lot longer. I could be wrong though. Things I especially like from the men’s section are cashmere or merino wool sweaters. I’m sure for some of you the button downs can work as well but those are generally too tight on my hips.

What are your personal shopping guidelines?


It’s been a couple of weeks since my last update. Ever since I cut down on shopping – yes, even more than before – I feel like there’s simply not that much to tell. I still very much enjoy this blog and will continue to post but I don’t want it to solely focus on consumerism. That said, I don’t know what I should focus on as I won’t be doing much traveling (saving to buy a house) and while I personally have a great passion for art, I totally understand if you guys don’t. So instead of going outside and live life to the fullest while overthinking my blog, grandma here decided to pick up Tumblr. I’m still trying to figure it out but it seems like fun. I’m sure some of you guys are on Tumblr as well, so please share your page below so I can follow you and waste my precious time on yet another social media platform, haha.

Also, I know that some readers have a similar blog of their own and I’m wondering how you guys feel about consistently writing about (potential) purchases, outfits etc. I enjoy reading and writing about it but I don’t want to encourage unnecessary shopping.


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?


So the year 2014 is behind us. The perfect moment to look back on my shopping behavior and the purchases that I’ve made throughout the year. Overall, I think I did fine. Except for the last month. This December I spend a lot more money than I had originally planned, and although I could afford each purchase without having to live on bread and water for the rest of the month, I feel slightly guilty and a bit disappointed even. But then, who knew London is a shopping Walhalla and I would be tempted by so many beautiful and highly covetable things. You’re right, probably everyone except me. Oops! But in my defense, I still stuck to the 5 piece French wardrobe method and didn’t even make it to five pieces for Spring/Summer. So I guess that balances everything out. Or do you feel like I’m cheating? I’m always up for a reality check whenever I need one.

Stan Smiths
H&M cardigan
Zara loafers

I’m just going to be straight with you. I hate shopping for spring/summer clothes so I tend to avoid it as much as I can. Which is the reason why I never made it to five pieces and why two of those purchases are shoes. Most of the time I’ll just wear a simple tee and a pair of jeans or cotton trousers. I feel too uncomfortable in dresses and skirts unless I’m camping and I really don’t care how I look. The cardigan is a bit of a cheat I suppose, because it’s made out of wool. So not very summer approved. Although I did get some wear out of it during the evenings and nights at the Lowlands festival.

Céline bracelet
Comme des Garçons striped shirt
Acne Galactic knitted sweater
H&M sweater
H&M light blue blouse
Uniqlo cashmere sweater

The two H&M items were bought at the beginning of Fall. I had seen the Acne Galactic sweater at the Bijenkorf and settled for the cheaper version because the original was too expensive. A few months later I found it on sale just before Christmas, so I might sell the H&M knit. Not sure yet. The light blue blouse could be counted as a basic, but it has a pretty contemporary cut to it. Oh, now that were talking about basics, what do you guys think, should I count the striped shirt as a basic? Someone commented in my ‘let’s discuss basics‘ post that she would include a striped shirt, so that made me think… Anyway, a cashmere sweater was also on my basics-list. But since I already bought one at Zara, this one from Uniqlo is extra, I obviously didn’t need it. To round the fall/winter purchases up, last but not least, my Céline bracelet. It cost a small fortune so definitely not a basic.

White blouse (replacement)
Black T-shirt (replacement)
Converse Allstars (replacement)
Zara cashmere knit
Longchamp travel bag
H&M slippers
Zara ankle boots (replacement)
Black skinny jeans (replacement)

On to the basics. A lot of replacements, as you can see. My previous blouse had some ugly stains from my deodorant (too much info?), so I’m giving the &Other Stories one a try. The jeans, ankle boots, Allstars and black t-shirt were all over a year old. I recently even ripped a pair of jeans when putting them on. I like to believe it was because they were all worn out and not due all that sushi I had over the weeks. Basics that didn’t need to be replaced, but I felt were necessary, include a large travel bag (Longchamp), a pair of slippers and a cashmere sweater. So how did I do? And please share how your year went, shopping wise. I’d love to know.