No boredom

8049587882_ef9f9cd648_bOhemgee!!!

You know that kick you get from putting your hands on an inexplicable desire that you’ve been coveting for so many years, or something that you have been trying to unearth and track down for god knows how long like the most amazing coat ever that you simply cannot live without? Well, buying flight tickets apparently does the same trick. Oh yes! Two days ago I finally booked tickets for my West Coast trip and just received the confirmation today!! Man, I swear that words can hardly convey how frickin’ thrilled I am!! I’ve been dying to go for such a long time and started organizing this whole trip in my mind last spring. I guess that aforementioned kick is also a true indication of a successful investment or buy or whatever you’d like to call it.

The flight tickets were a lot more expensive than what I hoped for, but the prices kept skyrocketing. However, this means that I cannot afford any clothes or knickknacks – I still have plenty of Diptyque candles left to burn – until my summer vacation starts. I always save money for my travels so that I can splurge on food and whatnot. The only way I can afford to maintain my sometimes lifestyle is by being frugal for a while.

Luckily for me I don’t have anything on my wishlist that I need to get pronto. That Céline trio bag I was planning to purchase is out of the picture right now. I can postpone all potential purchases – most of them are merely wants rather than needs. Besides, nothing in particular has caught my attention this season – well, apart from a few A.P.C. pieces as usual. I don’t even have time to go shopping for things I need like a new ruler or socks. Today I went on Net-A-Porter for the first time in months and I was repelled by the sight of clothes, which reminded me of New York and my lack of desire to go shopping for clothes there at all. I haven’t been window-shopping online for a long time. Having too much on my plate seems to be the best buffer against consumerism, so a temporary shopping ban is no sweat as I’m unintentionally and constantly banned from shopping.

Sometimes I wonder if my current attitude towards shopping and clothes stems from the fact that my wardrobe is, by my standards, complete or is it perhaps because boredom (and procrastination) is almost nonexistent in my life nowadays? Hmm… or maybe this whole online window-shopping thing and lust for beautiful clothes has been replaced by hours of daydreaming about the West Coast and the quest for the best cheeseburger? The latter is certainly a way to kill boredom and any possibilities to become a short supermodel.

Top 5 of 2012

I know, I’m really late to the party but I haven’t gotten around to making this post that has been on my mind for some time. So here comes a belated and incomplete list of some of the top 5 things that 2012 had to offer. I could probably go on and on because 2012 was such a terrific year but so far this took me 4 hours to put together and I have to study now…. what a life. Anyway, I’ll update it now and then so that I won’t ever forget the things I loved in 2012!

Top 5 wardrobe investments

top5inv
1. A.P.C. ‘Petit Standard’ raw denim jeans (this is how they looked like after 6 months of wear and tear)
2. Church’s ‘Burwood’ glossy leather brogues
3. A.P.C. gray lambswool sweater (similar here)
4. A.P.C. leather and cork sandals
5. Acne ‘Canada’ scarf

Top 5 most listened to albums 

top5albums
1. John Talabot – ƒin
2. Kendrick Lamar – Good kid, M.A.A.D. city
3. Kindness – World you need a change of mind
4. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
5. Beach House – Bloom

Top 5 unpredictable yet successful purchases 

top5unpredictablebuys
1. A.P.C. denim jumpsuit
2. A.P.C. liberty jumpsuit
3. Nike x A.P.C. navy air max shoes
4. Vanessa Bruno Athé jumpsuit
5. A.P.C. shirt found on eBay

Top 5 concerts I attended

top5concerts
1. Nicolas Jaar @ Sonar in Barcelona
2. Beach House in Oslo
3. Azari & III @ Sonar in Barcelona
4. Kendrick Lamar @ Hove at Tromøya
5. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs @ Hove at Tromøya

Top 5 best tracks chosen randomly
1. Luke Abbott – Modern Driveway
2. John Talabot – When the past was present
3. Todd Terje – Inspector Norse
4. Jessie Ware – 110%
5. Dino Lenny vs Hardrive – A DJ deep inside (Shadow Child vocal)
(6. Kendrick Lamar – Now or Never feat. Mary J. Blige)

Top 5 burgers

top5burgers1. Honest Burgers in London (hand burger)
2. The Bird in Berlin (hand burger)
3. Fil a la Une in Toulouse (foie gras burger)
4. Halifax in Copenhagen
5. Cafe Gavlen in Copenhagen

Top 5 blogs discovered in 2012
1. Empty Emptor
2. Joanna Karenina
3. The Second Renaissance
4. The Log (essai)
5. I Love Fika

Stick to what works

via selectism.com

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?

Summer wardrobe planning

I’ve never really had a summer wardrobe. The fact that I don’t even own a white t-shirt pretty much indicates what my wardrobe is lacking. My summer outfits tended to consist of shirts with rolled-up sleeves worn with a pair of shorts or trousers, and suede boots. And yup, this combination is as uncomfortable as it sounds. Looking back, I can’t even get how I survived. Oh well.. Since I’ll be spending a lot of time in the hot coastal Meditteranean weather this summer, I figured that I ought to add a few summery items to my wardrobe unless I’m serious about commiting suicide (read with tongue in cheek, please). Anyway, I’ve realized why I’ve put off buying summer clothes for several years:

1. My taste in lightweight summer clothes was completely undefinable so I never rushed into buying summer clothes that I most likely wouldn’t wear.
2. I mysteriously developed heliophobia in my teens, so I made every endeavour to avoid sun exposure. 

Fortunately, I’ve ultimately overcome the heliophobia. I don’t know how but I guess it was a mixture of maturing, taking physics classes, and jumping on the route of carelessness. And as I conquered that irrational fear of the sun, my summer style emerged as well. Perhaps because I have only been searching and not buying anything remotely summery, so I’ve had plenty of time to digest my potential likes and dislikes. For instance, I found out that I have a thing for rompers, which is a nice man repelling alternative to dresses. Hence no worries about accidental upskirt peeks! Yay!

From left: A.P.C. washed denim romper, Organic by John Patrick liberty romper, Sun-San salt water sandals

For summer, I’ve already got my hands on two rompers, though I know I shouldn’t have ordered them online as I didn’t try them on prior to buying – which would’ve been impossible anyway. Although I ordered both in the smallest size, they turned out to be too big. Well, I wanted the A.P.C. one to be oversized and the size was fortunately spot on, but the size of the liberty printed romper is super misleading. The thing is …. there is a difference between an oversized, loose fit and the wrong size. Vanity sizing? It surely looks like an attempt at inaccurately labeling clothing sizes to appeal to people’s egos. Tsk-tsk…

When it comes to sandals, I can’t even recall the last time I wore a pair. But now I know what I like and I’ve stumbled across so many great pairs that I don’t know what to do. However, I ended up getting a pair of Sun-San salt water sandals for the beach which I’ll be wearing in the meantime, while figuring out which pair of sandals I want. The salt water ones are quite cheap, and rumor has it that they will last for years.

And as for beachwear, I’m also searching for the perfect swimsuit for summer. It’s so difficult to find a simple and flattering one for the beach that doesn’t cost a grand. I’ve checked out the bathing suits from American Apparel but I find most of them overtly sexy. I don’t know with you, but going to the beach solely means swimming in the sea to me, not seduction or sunbathing. Still, I only have ONE bikini that works in terms of style and cut, which I bought when I was thirteen and rebelled against my parents who refused to buy me a bikini instead of professional swimsuits. Eight years later, it still fits me perfectly. The mind boggles…

I’m off to a short and spontaneous solo trip to Mallorca next week, as I’ve got a big two weeks long gap in-between my two exams. Well, it’s totally work-related. Luckily, my purchases, so far, arrived in time for summer and I’m hoping to fill the holes in my wardrobe in Mallorca. If you have some nice restaurant recommendations, please let me know!

Feel free to share your musings on summer style!

Thoughts on blogging

I’m sorry for being such a reserved blogger. I really want to update, but every time I’m about to make a new post on my blog it only strikes me that my blog has unpredictably progressed in the wrong direction, which is quite off-putting. It’s suddenly all about consumption – in a bad way. If I’m not doing a post on online window shopping at A.P.C., then I’m posting my wishlists or another wardrobe planning post. Judging by the lack of inspiration to blog about anything but consumerism lately, maybe shopping actually is my be all and end all, which is beyond creepy. Not to mention, my blog somewhat reflects what I loathe so much about fashion magazines. They do nothing aside from advertising and blurring the distinction between wants and needs – thanks to the endless feed of products and images, which people are blinded by.

But don’t my posts on recent purchases and items of my dreams have a similar, if not the same, effect on people who read my blog? Although I’m not running a trend-focused blog, I assume it is still generating the same desires in people, am I right? I’m afraid that all that talk about wanting and needing this and that must tempt some readers into buying more.

Initially, I wanted to post my purchases and shopping lists to show that being a selective consumer and contemplating potential buys pay off in the long run, but I’m a bit concerned that these posts don’t serve their purpose. I won’t stop doing those posts, though, because they are very helpful to me. I just hope that I don’t come across as a show-off, which isn’t my aim at all.

Puh.. Just a couple of thoughts that have been springing in my head for days that might explain my blogger’s block of late. But seriously, I’m very worried that shopping might be my be all and end all.

Shopping rules of thumb pt. 1

(via italktounicorns.com)

Through trial and error I’ve learned some invaluable rules of thumb to avoid repeating regrettable purchases. That said, I’m not an expert, these are merely tips I am sharing out of experience because both my friends and I find them quite helpful. Here’s hoping that you’ll find them as useful, so enjoy the first part of Dead Fleurette’s shopping guidelines.

When in doubt, size up. 
Go for a size bigger if you’re not sure whether to size up or down, as it’s likely that the clothing will eventually shrink – though it depends on the fabric and cut. After all, slightly oversized clothes look so much better rather than something that looks too small, in which you can barely move. You don’t want to look as though you’re stuck in the 90s or that your metabolism is failing you, right? Also, it’s easier to adjust a garment that is too large, not to mention you might even put on a few extra kilos down the road.

Don’t just rely on your size. Shop for you body and try on other sizes as well.
I know so many people who always opt for their regular size even though the clothes may not flatter their body at all. Of course, I’m too chicken and, thankfully, well-mannered to tell them that a size bigger would do the clothing justice. So p-lease don’t buy S just because you’re considered a size small – size L might look fantastic on you if you give it a try. I always take three different sizes of an item into the dressing room just to make sure that I’ve got the right size.

Size down in leather shoes.
In general, I would buy the correct shoe size but when it comes to leather shoes I always size down, because like any leather shoe they’ll expand over time and mold to your foot a lot. You do want your shoes to fit like a glove after breaking them in properly. However, only size down if the shoes fit well in the length of the size.

Don’t buy clothes for a future, skinnier, taller or an alternate self.
Chances are you won’t wear them.

If you need someone’s objective opinion, ask a guy (or an Asian, lol).
I don’t really trust the sales assistants as they make every endeavor to trick you into buying. After all, it’s what they have to do. I wouldn’t consult a female either because of their competitive nature and mood swings (lol). However, guys rarely beat around the bush when it comes to expressing their honest opinion, and the same applies to Asians – I have noticed, truth be told. In my case, I usually turn to my family, as they are brutally honest!

Try on clothes that look ugly on the coat hanger.
Don’t overlook the clothes that look unappealing on the hanger. Once you try them on, you might discover that they prove the opposite. Remember, not all pretty items are tantamount to looking great on your body. Some of my cherished wardrobe staples are, as a matter of fact, items that I more often than not would totally ignore when searching for new wardrobe investments.

Wardrobe upgrades

Truth be told, it’s been a while since the last time I posted something on my blog, so massive apologies for that unplanned hiatus. A hell of a lot has happened during my absence so I suppose I’ll be updating quite frequently to get this thing current. I’ve also got some incredibly exhilarating news for you soon, but in the interim I have to keep the tidings under my hat. Only 11 days to go – and the excitement is building up, haha.

However, it would have been downright boring for you to read why I’ve been so busy and that my life took quite a different direction, so let’s skip that part and talk a little bit about what’s to the point for my blog’s topic; wardrobe building, personal style and clothes.

Yes, I’ve spent bundles on wardrobe investments since this post. Most of them were scored on sale or sort of bought on a whim, but they have quickly become mainstays of my wardrobe and part of my style. I’ve stopped the excessive wardrobe planning and I no longer try to restrict myself to a particular style or look. Now I’m more open to options I never would have considered otherwise. That’s what I love about personal style – it emerges over time, which is really fascinating.

As for my acquisitions, I found my in-between-seasons transitional jacket in Milan – a navy trenchcoat from Barbour, and it was 40% off. I dragged my family all the way to the Barbour shop in Milan just so I could put my hands on one of those iconic Barbour jackets, but ended up with something totally unpredictable. To quote Edith Piaf: “Non, je ne regrette rien”! I also obtained a pair of Ann Demeulemeester sandals at an outlet store in Milan. And, much to my utter surprise, I even found a lovely, yet quirky LBD at Zara – perfect for dinner parties and slightly formal events. On top of that, I scored a pair of black Dries Van Noten suede heels from one of my readers and favorite bloggers (she’s gone private) for a smidgen of the retail price. In fact, I’ve been trying to track these down for months. In addition, I’ve bought my first pair of jeans in ages, and a new pair of spectacles from Balenciaga. It took me only 4 years to find new eyeglasses, so now I have two poles apart pairs to rotate between. More about them later.

Moreover, I have parted, or am about to part with some of the stuff in my wardrobe – items that eventually didn’t work out somehow. This is how my wardrobe looked like in April, and now it looks like this:

Outerwear
Isabel Marant gray bator coat
Isabel Marant navy elali jacket
Isabel Marant maroon boucle jacket
Vintage gray blazer
Barbour navy trenchcoat

Shirts and blouses
A.P.C. light blue liberty print shirt
Isabel Marant Étoile black blouse
Vintage white short-sleeved blouse
Vintage maroon/purple-ish silk shirt
Vintage light blue patterned shirt

Long sleeve tops 
American Apparel gray raglan pullover
American Apparel navy raglan pullover
A.P.C. breton shirt
Isabel Marant Étoile white linen top 
Secondhand breton top

T-shirts
COS navy pocket t-shirt
COS white sheer t-shirt

Knits
A.P.C. striped cashmere knit
Acne black chunky knit
COS black crew neck lambswool sweater
Isabel Marant Étoile black open-back knit
Vanessa Bruno Athé navy wool sweater

Jeans
Cheap Monday black jeans
Levi’s dark blue jeans
Cheap Monday blue jeans

Trousers and shorts
Isabel Marant black linen trousers
Zara black tapered trousers
Zara black shorts

 

Cardigans
American Apparel gray tri-blend cardigan

Skirts
Urban Outfitters black vintage leather skirt

Dresses
Zara dress

Footwear
Bianco footwear black pumps
Doc Martens black combat boots
Ettore Adriano black leather loafers
Isabel Marant taupe suede ankle boots
Zara black suede ankle boots

The Kooples taupe ankle boots
Ann Demeulemeester sandals
Dries Van Noten black suede heels

Bags
Balenciaga black city bag
Marc by Marc Jacobs black hobo

Evidently, I’m still a nerd! Here’s to a happy weekend everyone! And all of a sudden, it’s summer again.

Fall’11 wardrobe planning pt. 1

I don’t think I need more clothes. To be blunt, it’s a matter of wanting more clothes, by virtue of my partiality for clothing. In spite of that, owning just a small amount of clothes, some of them high-maintenance, has become somewhat a thorn in my flesh – given my schedule, there’s practically no time for laundering or hand washing my clothes. I take good care of the contents of my wardrobe to ensure long life for my items, so I always wash at 30 degrees for instance. If it weren’t for my mom’s ‘indifference’ towards maintenance of clothes, it would undoubtedly have been a cinch to wash my stuff together with my family’s laundry – but they are not to be trusted. However, I will have to waste twice as much water and electricity if I wash clothes one by one, which I refuse to do. By the time I have a hamper full of laundry to wash at once, I don’t have any clean clothes to wear until everything has dried. So, okay, perhaps I do need more clothes to simplify my rather hectic life, especially tops. I can do with only one or two trousers but I seem to always run out of tops before I run out of bottoms.

A normal person would solve this issue by trying the mall to find an adequate amount of new tops. I, on the other hand, am struggling big time with finding tops that I would actually like to wear and bring into my curated wardrobe, which might indicate why my wardrobe lacks shirts. I’m quite particular about what I like, and I am also super fastidious with regards to fabrics and such. Therefore, this season’s mission is to get hold of some more tops, both out of practicality and as a way to create variations in terms of attires.

Anyway, I like to have a clear picture of what I want to integrate into my wardrobe, so here are some inspiration:

My biggest fear is to one day look like Lorelai Gilmore in the one Gilmore Girls episode, in which she had run out of clothes and showed up in the most hideous outfit at Rory’s first day at Chilton. Oh boy, poor lady!

A common thread

I no longer feel the urge to experiment with style and clothes, which is something I find pretty amazing and relieving truth be told. It’s as though I have ultimately merged with my alter ego, or that my looks are now deeply intertwined with my identity at last. My apologies for the vague descriptions, but it’s almost inexplicable. Sartorially speaking, I feel settled into my own style. As I see it, maintaining a common thread, which runs through my approach to dressing, is as exhilarating as the general thrill most people get out of pushing the envelope.

I don’t mind being a repeat offender; as a matter of fact I embrace my nature. These days I have two pairs of shoes that are practically cut from the same cloth; while the Isabel Marant boots are great for daywear, I reserve the high-heeled twin from The Kooples for casual eveningwear, as I want to dress up a bit for the occasion yet keep things consistent. Evidently, I have found a common thread in terms of style and aesthetics – my ‘going-out’ attires, for instance, are just slightly more dressed up versions of my everyday look. Having a very small wardrobe is, to be sincere, both limiting and challenging at the same time, but I thoroughly enjoy the consistency my wardrobe provides and the fact that I always feel like myself regardless of what I’m clad in.

On the other hand, I’m forever on the search for formal eveningwear that caters well to my style, taste and life. I believe it’s feasible to dress accordingly for a variety of different occasions and still look and feel like myself. ‘Shop and dress with conviction’ has been one of my shopping and style mantras for quite a while now.

(Sorry for the long ramble!)

Trying to crack the code

(via style.com)

To avoid making regrettable purchases in the future, I study my wardrobe. I have to ascertain why some purchases ripen into unceasing love and cherished wardrobe staples, whereas other items end up languishing in my closet or being donated to charity shops.

Although my wardrobe is nigh on entirely stripped of excess that don’t correspond with my style or body at all, I have evidently retained possession of a couple of items that are nearly unworn or still in its pristine condition. I don’t want to collect items that merely languish in the closet. That said, it took me a while to realize what the problem is; I tend to gravitate towards clothes that look outstanding on my ‘style icons’. However, said clothes ought to be admired from afar. I surely derive style inspiration from people I can easily emulate, as they might have the same body type, height, or taste as me. Howbeit, this is where I’m likely to trip up and fail to distinguish between a bad choice and a blessing in disguise.

It’s not that the clothes aren’t in tune with my style or my figure. The problem lies in the fact that I don’t really feel comfortable wearing those garments, which equals I don’t look nice at all – simply because, as a matter of fact, no matter how great the garments fit your proportions et cetera, clothes only look good on you if you feel bien dans sa peau (hence I rely on my uniforms). I’m aware that I can’t approximate leather jackets à la Geraldine Saglio, or short dresses à la Jeanne Damas, though I’d love to incorporate said instances into my own style. Another issue is that I sometimes don’t know if I’d feel comfortable wearing a certain clothing until I actually buy and wear it at least once. I seem to only learn through trial and error.

I want a wardrobe that consists solely of dearly loved items that give me joy to wear. Objects that I always look forward to wearing – I’m quite sure such a wardrobe is utterly attainable. I would have owned the perfect capsule wardrobe if I gathered only my beloved clothes, aka my Isabel Marant coat and boots, striped tops, et cetera. In terms of shunning blunders and building the perfect wardrobe, cracking the code is essential.

Now, the challenge is to think three times before I try to emulate some of my ‘style icons’. And I just have to continue reminding myself to admire certain items from a great distance. At least keeping a blog helps me curb my appetite to make too many unfortunate buys.