navy on navy

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(all images by me)

One of the best part about the cold winter season is the cosy aspect of wrapping yourself up in layers of warm fabrics and drinking liters of tea to keep warm. I currently really like the idea of draping oversized shapes in different tones of the same colour – in this case navy wool coat, cashmere crewneck jumper and an oversized scarf I bought last month.

depth

I love this colour. I cannot decide if it’s mulberry or burgundy or something else entirely, but there is something very unusual about it that I like.

A year ago I read in the interview with Pat McGrath in which she explained how she created the look for Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I really liked Mara’s transformation for this role, even if I wasn’t exactly excited for the film itself. McGrath explained how they wanted to create a smoky eye for Lisbeth, but instead of going the obvious route and piling on black eyeliner, she opted for something more translucent and interesting by creating a shade that contained a bit of red pigment and was transparent so that it allowed natural skin tone trough.

A couple of days after reading that interview, I was in Sephora (I just discovered something called BB cream and wanted one but couldn’t decide on a brand and still haven’t to this day) when I stumbled upon this eyeshadow compact containing an unusual mulberry colour. I decided, almost contra-intuitivly, to just add it to my shopping basket. It’s been a while since I really experimented with new make-up, but every now and then something comes along that just feels exciting. At home I tried it on and after mixing and matching with other colours, I fell in love with the way it made my eyes brighter and intenser, without looking like I was suffering from pinkeye. The trick is to keep it light and blend really well.

I wore this one or two times in the evening, but soon went back to my usual neutrals, since they are more fool-proof and easier to apply (and sometimes I’m really lazy when it comes to things like make-up, even though I like the idea of using it).

Then last summer Emily from IntoTheGloss published these images of Meghan Collison wearing her “obsession of the (coming) season: Clé de Peau (which I wish was available here)’s limited-edition Satin Eye Color  – “a wash of a hard-to-place, hazy color (…) It’s not in the crease…it’s not “smoky” in the typical way…it’s like a smoke of sexy vampire colorIt’s so…fresh.“. I immediately wanted this (how can I not?). Then remembered owning something similar.

Since then it has grown into a full-blown love-affair. I really love the way this colour looks with simple and luxurious dark grey wool garments and it somehow feels much more wearable than wearing deep lipcolours. As much as I like perfect deep berries on lips, they do need perfect application-skills and multiple check-ups and fixes, thus being less practical and eventually less effortless. (For these reasons, when it comes to lips, I’m much more of a lip stain person.)

I brought this compact with me on my trip last month, but as you can see in the picture, it arrived back home in tiny pieces. Might be a time for a replacement.

Beige

I’ve been searching for a perfect pair of summer sneakers for some time now. A simple pair looks so good with jeans and t-shirt and not much else. I really wanted something light enough to be seasonally appropriate, yet sturdy enough to support my feet during long walks. At first I was really into white canvas Converse sneakers, especially the ones by Jack Purcell. Those are also available in leather, black or white. I really liked the simplicity and lack of superimposed logo. However, I did find the sole a bit too thick for my tastes and I started reconsidering my choice until I decided it was something I really liked on other people, but not on my own feet. I also started doubting the appeal of stark white colour on my feet, and thinking a softer, off-white colour might blend better with my usual wardrobe palette.

The search ended after finding this soft-beige pair by Esprit. Now, up until today, I usually associated Esprit as a brand with my preppy-bourgeois aunt (not to sound like a label snob though) and could never really muster up much excitement for their collections. But upon seeing this particular pair, I fell in love with the creamy colour and buttery texture of the shoe and I love how light they look and feel on bare feet, which makes them so perfect for the current season.

Glow

I’ve always preferred naturally pale skin to (obvious) fake tans all year round. This year, however, the sun has apparently decided to skip the country of Netherlands, which means I’m still as pale as I was back in february and I must say that I miss that elusive sun-kissed glow that usually happens in the summer and which I have apparently taken for granted all these years.

Thanks to Into The Gloss, I have recently discovered the joy of bronzing, contouring and highlighting (it sounds like a lot of work but it basically comes down to a couple of quick swoops with the brush). I’m still a bit squeemish about using it too much, but I love the way it looks when used correctly. My current favourite compact is Givenchy’s Le Prismissime. I use it over my moisturizer and that way it’s subtle enough to look natural (but better). 

(image above: Jacqueline Bisset, via venus provocateuse)

Tomboy

I love the way girls like Charlotte Gainsbourg and Caroline De Maigret wear their sneakers, with boy-jeans, loose-fitting t-shirt and a good jacket. It’s such an easy going look, perfect for a lazy, grey summer.

(They are also making me reconsider bangs, but that’s a whole other conversation, perhaps for some other time.)


(Images clockwise from top left, via: kai jeunemann, lesantimodernes, miriamassai and inaclothing tumblr)

Essentials

I love reading about what other people consider their own personal essentials via Self Service Magazine blog, so I decided to compile my own list of personal essentials, in no particular order.

1. Statement coat
It elevates the simplest of outfits.

2. Stylish and comfortable shoes
My current favourites are black leather loafers.

3. Black and navy

4. A breton top

5. Jeans
Dark wash, straight and narrow.

6. A good bra (makes everything look better).
My favourite is simple nude from La Perla. It’s multifunctional, especially in the summer under all those white tops.

7. A simple cashmere jumper

8. Bobby pins

9. Mandarin cream by Aesop

10. Lip balm by Burt’s Bees

11. My Macbook
My life’s work, contacts and entertainment centre all-in-one.

12. Herbal tea
I drink over 1,5l of tea a day and my current favourite is a blend of nettle and lemongrass with a hint of cranberry.

13. Breakfast
It’s my favourite meal of the day. And although I deviate at times, a bowl of weetabix with soymilk and banana remains my favourite breakfast of all time.

14. Annual Museum Membership

15. Filmhouse membership

16. A daily newsfeed from Bloglovin’

17. Crisp white cotton sheets.

(image via delight tumblr)

Honey Skin

Summers in the Netherlands are usually disappointing. Currently it’s hot, humid and cloudy. It’s also one of the most difficult types of weather for wardrobe planning because it’s so unpredictable. You cannot wear the layers because of the humidity, but after the rain it becomes slightly chilly, so it’s a good idea to always have a something warmer than  cotton t-shirt with you. It’s also not ideal for the skin because the humidity usually makes mine more oily than usual and swimming and the following increased frequency of showers ends up drying out the skin.

One of the great things about the summer though, is that the skincare brands often release travel-sized versions of their favourite products. For some reason I love small product packages (could be because I have so many regular-size packages that I never end up finishing before I move on to the next skincare product – a habit I’m currently trying to control because it causes clutter and it’s unnecessarily wasteful).

I recently purchased this “Head-to-Toe” kit by Burt’s Bees. I love this brand. I often use their shimmer lip balms instead of lipgloss and their Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey & Orange Wax Body Lotion is one of my all-time favourites (I actually finished the last bottle before purchasing it again). The mini-kit contains their Milk & Honey lotion which I’m curious to try out, as well as things like cleansing cream and shampoo. 

By the way, have you seen this video by Isabella Rosselini for Burt’s Bees? It’s a typical Isabella mix of bizarre and endearing at the same time.

Timeless

On a personal note: life has been all sorts of busy lately. I am currently working on a freelance assignment for a company which could turn out into a permanent full-time position. Careerwise this would be a great opportunity and I’m hoping it works out. On the other hand, I would certainly miss the flexible working hours that life as a freelancer offers. For example chosing to take the long lunch and enjoy the weather and compensating for time off by working in the evenings. But I wouldnt miss the irreglular income and fretting over the next project. All in all there are positives and negatives to every outcome.

I did made me contemplate office wear and assembling the office appropriate wardrobes. I’m also thinking a lot about light blue and chambray, the summer versions of my usually navy wools and cashmeres. 

Empty Emptor recently made a post questioning the concept of “the classics” when it comes to wardrobe pieces, as propagated by the fashion magazines and blogs, as they could turn out to be just as trend-concious as peplums and beaded collars. It’s a really well-written piece and if you’re into it, I would also recommend her previous post on wardrobe culling, as well as… her entire archives.

I think when it comes to classics, it’s important to find your own personal classics. Staples that you can build your entire wardrobe around, and upgrade seasonally with a few pieces to keep evolving, but also to keep it from becoming schizophrenic in style.

These are some of my personal favourites, around which I base my outfits (I chose to just focus on tops here). They include simple button-down shirts, crewneck jumpers and breton tops. Most of my tops are a variation of these, which is why I’d call them classics. I usually pair them with smart jackets, jeans or cigarette pants and simple or slightly androgynous shoes.


(Images from left to right: By Malene Birger White Greville Classic Shirt, Hope Drape Tee, A.P.C. Merino Striped Pullover, Acne Ry Angora Sweater, A.P.C. Woven Cotton Shirt. Most of these are currently sold out via Net-A-Porter and La Garçonne. Top image via naturalstylist tumblr.)

Intimacy

“Wearing pajamas in public is taking a symbol of private life into the public sphere. Not actual private life, mind you, but the symbol of it. (…) The pajama-pants look as a trend isn’t just about comfort, or even just about bringing our private lives outside. It’s about a careful calibration of public intimacy. It’s about what layers you’re going to show, and when, and to whom. Actually, it’s about Facebook. The generation that’s donning loungewear in public in large numbers is also the generation that has grown up with different expectations of privacy and public living. (…) It only makes sense that a generation versed in managing privacy would gravitate toward clothing that advertises different layers of public and private personae. (…) Part of what makes us us is what we keep to ourselves. Likewise, part of what creates intimacy is sharing private parts of ourselves with others. So when the expectations of what’s public and what’s private shift dramatically, so do our ideas of intimacy and how we can best create it. “
Excepts from the article “The Privacy Settings of Pajamas” from The Beheld, found via Final Fashion.

The current surge of pajamas as day or evening wear is fascinating to me. As with any new fascinations which might end up resulting in future wardrobe additions, it’s a toss up between giving in to a fascination and the practical realization that I don’t really need a new item in my wardrobe. 

Luxury pyjamas posses many of the qualities I personally find appealing: comfortable, well-made and (usually) flattering. There is also that elusive androgyny as they reference men’s pyjamas (and the men’s suit, originally), and leisurely decadence. Plus they go from practical to frivolous just by switching the context. Furthermore, if you end up regretting the purchase down the road, you can always end up using them to oh, I don’t know …sleep in?

As of now, though, this trend might just be something I’ll admire from a distance, but I will stock up on all those beautiful sets currently available. (And who knows, I might just end up tossing a matching cardigan over my shoulders, grabbing a clutch bag and velvet slippers for a dinner with friends downtown.)


(top image from Vogue UK via littlelovered tumblr; bottom image clockwise from top left: Equipment pyjama set via Net-A-Porter, Stella McCartney s/s 2012, Sofia Coppola in Louis Vuitton s/s resort 2012 via Rdujour, Marion Cotillard via littlelovered tumblr, Jane Fonda via unknown tumblr)