Stick to what works


What is it about A.P.C. that other brands don’t possess? Why do I have such a soft spot for anything that Jean Touitou designs? After I stopped relying on Isabel Marant, who used to be my go-to designer until her design became too loud for my taste and the prices skyrocketed disproportionally to the quality, I instead started putting my money into more clothes from A.P.C. In terms of designers, this has resulted in a very homogenous selection of clothes in my wardrobe. However, whether you like it or not, it’s a fact that most of our choices, especially the insignificant and habitual ones, are based on brands. And yes, we stick to certain brands if they work otherwise we would have to face a myriad of different brands for each and every product that we need and want – and too many options are driving people crazy, not to mention time-consuming . Fortunately, I didn’t had to go through a hassle of hunting in the jungle of designers to find the ones that cater to my personal taste and style.

Whenever I need something feminine, beautiful, effortless yet luxurious, I shop at Vanessa Bruno. Church’s is my go-to brand for well-made quality leather shoes. I depend on REN and Aesop when it comes to skincare and hair products. I only use Moleskine planners because they always work. And I always go to A.P.C. whenever I need or want something new, whether it’s a pair of sandals or just a warm cashmere sweater for winter. Anything else would be too labor-intensive.

So why do I always choose and rely on A.P.C.? Obviously, it’s by all means because the clothes are incomparably simple, understated, and timeless. Even though it’s just a plain sweater that comes at a hefty price for a poor student like me, I could never find anything remotely similar at Zara, COS, or Isabel Marant for that matter – trust me, I’ve tried looking so many times to little avail. There is something about the classic cut that is hard to unearth, but unlike many other designer labels out there, A.P.C. continuously offers their customer classic pieces slightly and subtly altered every season. The quality isn’t bad either, especially if you take good care of the clothes. Besides, the garments from A.P.C. fit me just right, the sleeves hit at the right place, and so on. A.P.C. covers everything that I look for when I shop – design, cut, fit, and quality, all of which are mandatory.

However, a few weeks ago, I finally grasped why I keep going back to A.P.C. and why I’m obsessed with this designer brand. Jane and I visited the little A.P.C. shop in Toulouse. I was trying on a bunch of clothes, among them several dresses and skirts, and since there was no mirror in the dressing room I had to use the big mirror in the shop where everybody could see me. I hate doing that but I’m glad I had to, because otherwise I wouldn’t have figured out why I love A.P.C. so much. The seller told my friend, who told me that I have the A.P.C. body. Then I realized that he’s actually right. It makes a lot more sense to me now as to why everything I try on from this brand looks like clothes made to measure – which has never been the case before when it comes to other designers that I wear. A.P.C. clothes are designed for my body!

In October, I wrote this little post about the uncomfortableness of wearing dresses. But as mentioned earlier, I tried on several dresses and skirts at A.P.C. – which I wish I had done sooner. They all looked perfect on me and completely changed my body image as I finally found dresses that were made for my figure. Thanks to A.P.C. I no longer feel self-conscious and uncomfortable in a frock.

On a different note, I don’t know anything about A.P.C. and the company’s compliance with ethical standards and labor laws. I know that some of the products are made in third world countries and others are made in France and Italy – but the destination for manufacturing doesn’t indicate anything as to the labor conditions. As much as I try to be a conscious shopper, there is a box that still remains unchecked. But then again, the brand meets all of my other requirements. Nonetheless, to be honest, I think I’m just as cynical as the industry is. Would I boycott A.P.C. if it turns out that they do not comply with fundamental ethical principles? How about all the other things we buy and eat? Who has the responsibility – the consumers or the companies? But would boycotting actually improve the working conditions at factories or would the demand for products drop and eventually lead to unemployment?

Anyway, back to where I started. A.P.C. turns out to be the only clothing brand that works for me all the time and I’m happy with it. I believe everything is perfectly designed for my style, taste, and body. It’s no doubt that the brand commendably possesses a strong, consistent style identity that’s never outdated in the slightest. Just take a look at A.P.C.’s looks from 1987 and 2013 – you can’t really tell the difference, am I right? It’s the same silhouettes, the same style… And for someone like me who loathes shopping, knowing that A.P.C. covers everything that I need and little extra truly facilitates the entire shopping process. I don’t have to go through excessively many options and I always find something that satisfies in every sense.

How about you guys? Do you have any go-to brands?

My fall essentials

Navy is my black, my favorite and go-to color! I don’t look good in all black. I wish I had bought the scarf in navy so that I could dress completely navy from top to toe.

Here’s my list, tell me yours!

1. Black lambswool scarf from Acne.
2. Gray lambswool sweater from A.P.C. (similar here)
3. ‘Fleur d’oranger’ candle from A.P.C.
4. A.P.C. petit standard raw denim jeans
5. Navy double-breasted peacoat from Isabel Marant (similar herehere, here & here)
6. Best facial cream cleanser ever from Aesop.
7. Navy trainers from A.P.C. x Nike Air Max (similar here & here).
8. Navy ribbed lambswool and cashmere sweater from A.P.C. (similar here)
9. A pair of brogues from Church’s.
10. Navy merino wool cardigan from A.P.C’s previous spring collection. (similar here)

The little black romper


I’m the kind of gal who is, alas, more at ease in a pair of trousers than a dress or a skirt. Whenever I don one of my dresses, no matter how pretty it is, I can’t help but feel completely self-conscious and not like myself at all. Hence it more often than not ends up languishing in my closet. It’s a shame because I happen to have a penchant for lovely dresses and can’t help myself from purchasing one at times, wishfully thinking that I’d wear it with panache one day. Admittedly, I suppose it’s largely because of my vanity that I really loathe how my legs look like in a dress. Truth be told, I guess I haven’t genuinely accepted or got used to the transformation from a childish body to a more developed, feminine figure. I’m still young and completely aware of the fact that I’ll be facing lots of bodily changes down the road. Everything from pregnancy to a sudden weight gain thanks to my persistent sweet tooth or extreme binge eating – there, I just let the cat out of the bag –, and so on. Come to think of it, I’ve avoided talking about body-related issues in terms of clothing on my blog for as long as possible, as it’s quite a sensitive topic, not to mention that it’s difficult to acknowledge loudly that you have a twisted body image.

Anyway, I wasn’t supposed to broach this matter today but merely pop a few words about rompers. They might be a great alternative to dresses for girls like me. I love jumpsuits and I think I pull them off pretty well. Now that winter is approaching, a long-legged romper that stops just above the ankle is the perfect solution. I don’t feel anywhere near self-conscious when wearing them, which is cool considering that a romper isn’t exactly a “normal” garment to wear. Oh well, when you know that something just works for you…. I really like this one from Christian Wijnants. It’s super elegant and still looks like a dress. Unfortunately, it’s way out of my league. But I want it! It’s the perfect LBR, haha.

September style

September signals weather on the cusp between a summer exiting and an autumn arriving and blablabla – I’ll spare you the rant about the meteorological conditions (you can thank me later). Some of you have requested more outfit photos on this blog. It struck me the other day that I rarely ever bother posting my non-blog-worthy outfits – even though I run a style or whatever blog –, as I naturally wear the same look day in, day out, and also because the entire process of taking those full body photos and eventually putting them online is, believe it or not, quite labor-intensive. Oh my! Or maybe it’s just me who’s a bit too much of a perfectionist in some areas…

Regardless, here are four looks that exemplify what I’ve been wearing during September, all of which slightly reflect the shift in season. The first photo was obviously taken in the beginning of the month, decked out in A.P.C. from neck to toe. I never thought I would ever put my hands on such a statement piece, but it was love at first sight and I’m also a sucker for liberty prints and jumpsuits. In fact, it’s one of my few successful impulse buys, though I gave in after waiting a day. The second outfit is from my birthday, mid-September, still sockless until last week.

As for the third look, well, it’s one of those boring looks that resembles that so-called “model-off-duty” look apart from that I’m neither a model nor off duty. That said, I love its casualness. The navy merino wool cardigan from A.P.C. has the nicest cut and goes with everything in my closet. It looks good both buttoned and unbuttoned.

The last outfit is a recycled version of this one which was posted more than two years ago. It’s the same scarf, the same shoes, and the same coat. I wish the jeans were the same too but in order to wear them I have to start exercising, and that requires too much willpower and effort than simply getting a new pair. In retrospect, it just evidences that my style hasn’t changed much besides bringing more prints and funny items like jumpsuits, and sneakers into my wardrobe.

On a different note, I don’t think I’ve ever posted a photo of myself without sunglasses here. I’m officially no longer incognito, haha.

1: A.P.C. jumpsuit, cardigan, and tote bag, AiAiAi headphones, Ray-Ban sunglasses
2: Isabel Marant coat, Ettore Adriano lofaers, A.P.C. raw denim jeans, shirt, and tote bag
3: A.P.C. cardigan and raw denim jeans, Isabel Marant boots, Claudie Pierlot linen t-shirt
4: H&M scarf, Isabel Marant coat and boots, Everlane rucksack

The rucksack

Almost a year has passed since I wrote this post about the search for the perfect rucksack. A few months later I posted a follow-up about the agony of choice, yet I ended up with neither of them. At last I found a (temporary) rucksack – arrived today, to be precise – that fits all my needs for less than a quarter of the price of my dream backpack, which I was, in fact, planning on picking up in London next a week.

In the end, I ordered this nice rucksack from online-only e-tailer Everlane, partially because the brand’s egalitarian philosophy and business strategy really appeals to me, the bag is roomy enough for school, and also since I’m trying to save my bucks for my forthcoming travels and monthly expenses. In other words, it didn’t come with a hefty price tag attached. So, if I’m able to tighten my belt here and there, I would do my best to be a frugal shopper and opt for the most inexpensive alternative provided that neither the quality nor the design suck.

I did mention that it’s quite a spacious rucksack, which already holds three textbooks, two notebooks, a binder, chemistry tables, music sheets, a moleskine journal, a calculator, a pencil case, and essential bits and bobs such as a portable umbrella and so on – and there’s even room for a lot more, but my back could never have handled the weight, though. The understated yet cool design blends in with my style perfectly. The backpack also feels quite sturdy and looks like it can take some serious abuse from hauling it around school. And even though it’s utterly functional, thanks to the scores of pockets and a padded inner compartment for a macbook pro, the rucksack doesn’t sacrifice on style at all. Besides, it’s supposed to be of high quality, but only time will tell whether or not it stands the test of wear and tear.

Yep, the quest for the rucksack is over!

Summer is in the air

I just rounded up a few recent style related instaphotos aka. I’m procrastinating.

Hey! I am already living in those saltwaters as they are super comfortable and I didn’t even have to break them in. HIGH FIVE! Seeing that my wardrobe almost merely consists of clothes in different shades of blue, the saltwaters were, natch, a good choice.

In the second photo, I’m donned in my new jumpsuit from Organic by John Patrick and my grandmother’s blazer. And just a heads-up for those of you who want to wear rompers to the beach: Make sure there is a public restroom nearby the beach. If not, don’t even bother considering wearing one. Truth be told I barely drank anything for six hours so that I didn’t have to powder my nose behind a naked shrub. Well, talk about being practical… otherwise, I haven’t had any other bathroom-related issues in terms of rompers.

My mom also unearthed an old pair of cork wedges (third photo) that she used to wear in her younger days. Unfortunately, turned out they’re a weeny bit too small for my feet. Booh! If only they were a size bigger and I wouldn’t have to think of sandals again for a long, long while. So I ended up passing them on to my little sister. Design-wise they are the perfect cross between the K. Jacques barigoule sandals and A.P.C. cork wedges that I’m aching for. Obviously I haven’t made up my mind because I want both (do I need both?), but I tell you, right now it is impossible to narrow the choices down to one.

Simplicity is not easy

Haha, so the day after I’d declared that my blog posts wouldn’t be as few and far between, my Internet at home broke for more than a week. Such a bummer! Also, I’ve been utterly immersed in an avalanche of intoxicating, though labor-intensive deadlines, which I can’t wait to blog about when the final product is finished.

Anyhow, someone asked me: “How do you stop getting bored from wearing the same pieces constantly or does it not bother you?”, on formspring. Good question! Truth to tell, I don’t think I’ve ever got bored of repeatedly wearing the simplest pieces in my wardrobe as they are so simple and unfussy. They make me feel good and comfortable. I don’t seek attention. If I were to, I’d perhaps put on something exceptional or eye-catching, but I wouldn’t because I like simplicity. And therefore I embrace it. Wearing the same clothes over and over again doesn’t bother me, because I love them, so I don’t see a reason why wouldn’t I wear them all the time.

On the other hand, I get jaded and blasé of wearing items that stick out such as statement and flamboyant pieces. Easily recognizable pieces. I guess it’s because such items make me feel like I’m wearing the same things over and over again, whereas simple pieces stand the test of time simply because they’re merely invisible and no-nonsense. Take the outfit above, for instance; every separate is true perfection in my estimation yet so simple. The cut and proportions are right, which is very crucial. I like things that most people find boring. I’ve trained my eyes to look beyond the boringness. It’s all about the tiny, imperceptible details. People may not be able to see those details, which is even better – it’s as though I’m wearing a little unintelligible secret.

Quite frankly, I think it’s more complex to wear, design, and shop for simple clothes. Does this make any sense? I don’t even own a white or black t-shirt. You must wonder, “How is that even possible?” Simple clothes ain’t that easy. Just like disco music. On the surface, disco music sounds easy but just listen through the multiple layers of syncopated beats and instrumentations. Not as uncomplicated as you thought, right?

Isabel Marant coat, H&M scarf, COS o-neck sweater, Mardou & Dean jeans, Hope boots, A.P.C. bag

An intense, inexplicable desire

One of the assets of being a selective consumer is that I just know when something’s just right for me. Take the infamous bator coat from Isabel Marant, for instance. I literally freaked out when I found out it was completely sold out in Paris, and boy did I go that extra mile to track down that jacket like a loony. AIbeit I must divulge that I’m a weeny bit unfaithful at times, it’s one of my best sartorial love affairs. And how did I know that the bator coat was just right for me? As I realized that it’s not available any longer, it just clicked for me right away. It’s like an intense, inexplicable desire.

The same feeling emerged yesterday, and as a picky shopper, I’m more often than not too late to the party. For months I’ve been eyeing this amazing dress from the Brooklyn-based designer Ilana Kohn, and yesterday I found out that I both need and want this dress. It’s perfect for day-to-day wear and just my cup of tea. The design is so understated and verging on minimalistic, but the beautiful print adds an extra element to the simplicity. I’m such a sucker for the cut and the way the textile drapes on the model. And most importantly, this kind of style matches my taste – the boat neck, the waist, the print, and the dropped shoulders. I only have one dress, and even though it’s more of a black tie dress the cut is quite similar with the boat neck, semi-accentuated waist, and so on.

Unfortunately, I found out that it’s no longer made in the original material and print. So I kind of freaked out, again. I’ve been googling and googling for the original dress to no avail. It’s a long shot, I know, but I think I’m going to e-mail the designer and ask if there are any possibilities to track down the original material. And if I ever get my hands on this dress, I’m positive I’m going to wear it day in, day out.

What I wore today

I dress as if it’s still September, which I’m over the moon about. Although it’s the middle of November, the snow hasn’t arrived and the current temperature is indicating that a snowy winter is very far from around the corner – I don’t mind at all, as I can’t stand the snow and have yet to find a pair of winter boots. I’m having such a hard time unearthing the perfect boots for winter – or… I think I’ve found them but I’m ruined to the hilt, so it’s all about strategy. Waiting for the sales, in other words. So I keep crossing everything crossable for a prolonged snowless period of clement winter.

Anyhow, this is what I wore today. I guess no one could ever tell whether or not I overslept and just grabbed the clothes within reach – the latter is what I do every time I dress. Truth be told, I don’t make much effort in outfitting myself, but it does take a lot of effort to become effortless and achieve the look of ease.

Besides, I chopped off my crowning glory on the spur of the moment last week. I might want to go even shorter. And I’m going back to London on Monday – just another spontaneous trip, which I booked on one of my sleepless nights of this week. The control freak in me wants to do some planning now. Yes, I’m such an oxymoron!

Isabel Marant Etoile Coat, A.P.C. sweater, H&M scarf, A.P.C. tote, Cheap Monday jeans, Ettore Adriano loafers

Fragments of my life

Just some odds and ends from my life that don’t fit anywhere else. Well, mainly food.

1. The first and only proper meal I had while in London at a pub in Camden. Even though I was starving like a diet fad – as I had been up at the crack of dawn and traveled all day – I could barely finish half of it. I suppose I was too exhausted to ingest the burger, not to mention the fries.
2. Raclette dinner party with my girlfriends.
3. More hamburgers at a tiny burger joint (Illegal Burger) in Oslo before the Gold Panda gig. The visuals were mind-blowing.
4. Fish and chips from Fiskeriet. A-m-a-z-i-n-g but alas, fried food makes me nauseated.
5. Just another variation of my uniform. Donned in a new shirt from Sessun, which I got my mitts on in London. I found it at Liberty, one of my all-time favorite department stores.