Thursday, 27 August 2015

I Packed My Suitcase - Holiday Ramblings Part I

So I've talked about the fact that this holiday was quite the transformer for me and I wanted to explain you all a little bit more about that. Life is constant change, growing, renewal, so I welcome this as a new part of the journey.

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This year, I had packed even less for our summer holidays in Germany, thus ended up doing a great deal of repeat wearing. From some of the snaps on Instagram you could see that I was pretty much in these jeans/pants/that black skirt & tee/tank top/blouse for the duration




The weather in recent years has been a bit unpredictable before hand, as it was anything from a cloudy & rainy 20°C to sunny 30°C +. So a good mix of light and slightly heavier clothing is usually (and in fact was) needed.

One thing that I did this time around was being very concise with limiting myself to a few colors & styles instead of being all over the place. Into my actual suitcase (not the pic) I packed only things I truly wanted to wear. And not what I wanted to try out, in order to find whether I still like it. That stuff went into an extra bag, which I then promptly forgot at home. Conclusion: I don't really want it. There was a reason it went into that bag, after all. Bag ---> Out. Sisters and/or charity.

The fact that some of these things have been worn once or twice only since I bought them (some of them years ago already) further helped me, by creating yet another mindset shift. I have an even better idea of what can be a longterm candidate for repeat wearing, what will make me feel comfortable and happy. And what instead would only be a fancy schmancy "It's cute (kinda) and out of some reason I must spend my money NOW" buy. Hint: I don't have to spend my money now and especially not on crap stuff made in crappy ways. I can spend my money, within my budget, but I should do so in a for me productive way.




From this experience I take, and some of it is just old realisations being reinforced:


- I am happier when I limit myself. And I'm not saying this in a bad or depriving way. There's true creature comfort to be found in adorning yourself with the good stuff. Things that fit and feel great.

- It is of immeasurable worth knowing who you truly are. It can't be paid with credit card X. Unless you count buying lots of self development books, spiritual trips and/or therapy as means of getting to know yourself. But even then...

- I don't even want all that clothing stuff. Having yet another shirt, skirt or dress only makes me more anxious, especially when it was bought just to have more, to distract or because I became bored with "cheap thrill dress number 13". That fitted kinda, but then again didn't. Having it means I feel like I have to use it. Because you know, it ain't special enough to just enjoy having it. Drowning in unused, unloved clothing = no fun. And I wasn't even that bad to begin with. The only exception I make are for graphic shirts. These are my true kryptonite. So once again, investing in a few selected pieces is queen.

- I still love dressing & styling myself, but I prefer to do it with beautiful, meaningful, comfortable  and entirely "me" pieces that have been made in a non-crap way. Blame this on me reading "Wear no Evil" by Great Eagan. I just won't be able to shop in the same way anymore.

- I am really narrowing down on my own version of a uniform. Whilst I don't think it'll ever be a literal uniform as in wearing the same kind of thing every day, it does mean definitely eliminating some styles that never have and never will work for me. I am who I am at my core. I'll never be a little flower princess. If I put flowers in my hair, there'll always be an edge regardless. And I just love to kill it with so called basics. As I said in the beginning, I was wearing nice pants & nice tanks most days, and life was good.

- Cheap impulse buys suck more times than not. There are some with which I am happy, but most often it ends up being things that aren't looked at thrice or used once (hello bag of clothes forgotten at home). Implementing my "leave it for 24h" about 2 years ago - give or take - was one of the best things I did for my mental well being. Because feeling guilty about useless impulse buys (even subconsciously) sucks even more than the actually useless item cluttering your home. At least for me. I also know people that are perfectly (and truly) happy with having lots of nick nacks.


Phew. That was quite the ramble. After what happened during my holidays, cleaning out unloved stuff never has been that easy. Yes, I did get a couple new things. Many of those pre-loved by my sisters. Some bought. Carefully selected. I never said don't buy, I just say think about what you invest your money in. Yes, there are new fall shoes.

Now with September coming, I have one of my bi-annual "No Spending, No Shopping" months ahead of me. And here, in case you are considering something similar, or just are curious why I do it: "Tips on How to Pull Off a Shopping Break & Why I do it"



Much Love,
Alexandra



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Sunday, 23 August 2015

These boots ... - More Holiday Fashion

When you are reading this, I'm going to be back home already. It was a great holiday, but so much to churn through in terms of insights and what happened. I feel like I've shed some old skin. Thanks a lot lot to everyone who has read and commented on my last posts, even if I haven't been very active on the internet in the past two weeks.



Here I am at Kaiserslautern, another very old german city, dating to the 9th century with the right to hold a market and collect toll fees and gaining serious traction when Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa remade the castle into a so called Pfalz, as this area was supposedly one of his prefered hunting grounds. Back then, the little river Lauter was still integral part of the settlement.

The pictures where taken in front of what is left nowadays of this castle. 60% of the city was destroyed during WWII, but I wager the castle might have taken its toll from one of the many wars before that since there was a lot of back and forth going on here. Not very far from K-Town are Ramstein and Landstuhl, which might be known to some of you from the US.

Anyway, I've been starting to think about the upcoming fall wear, especially since the weather in the last week has cooled down considerably from the heat of July and early August. It's been some time - a year at least - that I had considered a pair of Chelsea style shoes. I discovered these simple black ones at Peter Hahn, a suisse online shop with a nice selection of middle prize quality brands, like for example Gabor, which the shoes are from. What I love most about these boots, besides the appealing sleek design, is the fact that they are actually made for wide feet, so I had no problems whatsoever with the fit. Hooray for brands catering to us wide-foot-babes. The delivery was fast and without problems.
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Wenn Ihr das hier lest, bin ich bereits wieder zu Hause. Es war ein toller urlaub, aber er hat mir auch viel zum Denken gegeben. Einsichten und Ereignisse. Ich fuehle mich ein bisserl als ob ich ich gehaeutet haette. Vielen Dank an Alle, die in der Zeit meine Posts gelesen und kommentiert haben, obwohl ich mich selbst in den letzten beiden Wochen sehr rar gemacht habe.

Hier bin ich in Kaiserslautern (das einigen von Euch vielleicht ein Begriff ist) eine Stadt am Nordwest Rand des Pfaelzer Waldes, die ihre erste urkundliche Erwaehnung ins 9. Jahrhundert zurueckverfolgen kann. Damals hatten die schon Markt, Zoll und Bannrecht weil auch Koenigshof in der Karolinger Zeit. Richtigen Aufschwung gab es dann wohl mit Friedrich I. Barbarossa, der die Burg zu einer Pfalz ausbauen lies. Angeblich jagte er gerne in dem Gebiet. Damals war die Lauter auch noch ein sichtbarer und integraler Teil der Siedlung.

Die Bilder sind vor dem was noch von der damaligen Pfalz uebrig ist entstanden. Desweiteren wurden ca. 60% der Stadt waehrend des 2. Weltkrieges zerstoert, die Burg aber eventuell schon in einem der frueheren Kriege, das weiss ich nicht genau. Ging in dem Gebiet ja immer irgendwie hin und her.

Wie auch immer, ich habe mir auch ein paar Stil-Gedanken fuer den kommenden Herbst gemacht, auch weil das Wetter in der letzten Woche doch merklich abgekuehlt ist von den hohen Temperaturen im Juli und Anfang August. Schon seit laengerer Zeit - also so ein Jahr bestimmt - hatte ich mit dem Gedanken gespielt mir ein Paar sogenannte Chelsea Stiefeletten zuzulegen. Diese einfachen schwarzen habe ich jetzt bei Peter Hahn, einem Schweizer Versandhaus, gefunden. Peter Hahn fuehrt eine gute Auswahl an mittelpreisigen Qualitaetsmarken, wie z.B. Gabor, von denen auch die Schuhe sind. Und man findet vor allem auch gute Basics dort.

Was ich am meisten an den Schuhen liebe, ausser dem ansprechenden sleek Design, ist die Tatsache, dass sie fuer breite Fuesse gemacht sind. Ich hatte keinerlei Probleme mit der Passform, die sassen sofort und ich musste auch nix gross einlaufen und Daumen druecken. Hurrah fuer Marken, die Schuhe fuer Breit-Fuss-Babes machen.






Barbarossa Castle at Kaiserslautern



By the way, the blouse I'm wearing is sourced from this round of sisters swap, something I've talked about before in various posts, where we are trading the clothes we don't love anymore amongst each other before they go to other people or charity etc. Clothes etc receive plenty of love before they are declared fit for the landfill.
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Die Bluse ist uebrigens von einem Kleidertausch mit meinen Schwestern. Hatte davon ja schon oefters gesprochen, wir bringen uns gegenseitig die Sachen, die wir nicht mehr moegen, bevor sie dann an anderen bzw. Charity gehen. Also Kleidung und Schuhe werden bei uns ordentlich durchgeliebt.


Outfit Sources

Skinny Jeans - Zara
Blouse / Bluse - H&M (old & second hand) --- similar
Chelsea Ankle Boots / Chelsea Stiefeletten - Gabor via Peter Hahn c/o --- exact
Leather Triskelion Bracelet / Lederarmband mit Triskelion - Keltendorf
Marc Jacobs Skinny Bangle - Shopbop c/o --- exact
Madewell Hinge Bracelet - Shopbop c/o --- shop Madewell Bracelets
Ring - "Special Magic Item"





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*This post contains sponsored links. The boots where provided to me by Peter Hahn for review, however all opinions are entirely my own, deducted from wearing them several times*


Thursday, 20 August 2015

Medieval Fashion - Gräfenstein, Merzalben

This is something that I absolutely adore and I frankly don't get to do enough when I'm back in Italy. What I'm talking about? Going dressed up to Medieval events, markets, fairs. I love the atmosphere that you find and experience there. The folks that are participating are usually very open and friendly people. And if you are dressed up, you are just more naturally a part of it. To that end, I also prefer the smaller ones, where it is more easy to have contact and conversation.


This year I also kinda got stopped in my tracks hard there, at the first one I visited, by chance, but the jury is still out as to what exactly the results will be. I just know that there will be changes. It is inevitable. But what is life, if not a series of changes. And continously growing and expanding.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Holiday Fashion - Blue Pleated Ruffles Dress

A day late and a Dollar short.

You have once again not seen very much of me, but I've had a good reason. I went on to enjoy my holidays and make a lot of hands on experiences and memories. That's how it should be, non? Live a life worth talking about.

Blue sleeveless dress with ruffles & pleats


Here I'm at Worms, a city nearby where my parents live and which you've seen snippets of before. The pictures where taken near the Martin Luther momument, dedicated to the events that happened here in Worms some 500 hundred years ago.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

How to Wear a Midi Skirt Across the Seasons

I admit that I was very skeptical about midi skirts at first. Maybe because the most common version of skirts ending around (or slightly below) the knee seen on the street until a couple years ago where those granny style. You know, those straight skirts in dark, drab colors older ladies where doomed to wear (and thank heavens that's changing). Then there was this idea floating around that midi length anything makes smaller people look stumpy.

But oh was I wrong.

Tips & Tricks on How To Wear a Midi Skirt


Turns out, that length is actually perfect for me, despite not being the tallest chick in the zone. Because it really is all about proportions, fit and creating illusions. Let's for example say, that your lower legs are proportionwise much slimmer than your thighs. With the right skirt length (and form) you will trick people into thinking your legs are all the way like that because they'll fill in the rest and never know that there isn't the thigh gap (not that it is important whether it's there or not, just making a point).

Some tips on wearing midi skirts:


- Mind the proportions of your body when choosing the right shape. I'm a bit of a pear with a touch of hourglass and fare better with high waist full skirts or at least slightly flared ones. If you are an even hourglass, a pencil loungette could be a real killer. If you are an apple, maybe better to pick a lower sitting skirt. But none of this is set-in-stone rules. Material & cut can change the game.

- Small pleats often add volume to the bum. In fact, pleats in general like to do that, so mind where they are on the skirt, even if there's just a few bigger ones. Depending on your shape, this added volume can either be heaven or hell.

- Determine the best length according to your legs. for me it ranges from ever so slightly above until just below the knee where the calves start. Mid calf is not really a good one for me.

- Balance the silhouette with the top, if needed create shape with an added belt

- High heels can elongate the body, we all know that, so if in doubt, do that. It can make mid calf work for me. 

- Screw it all because the skirt's just so pretty. A good amount of attitude is needed here.


Here are some example on how I styled my midi skirts for all seasons:


A Flower Field in Winter


Some Kind of Palm Leaves

Romantic Floral Midi Styling
Romantic Floral Midi 

A Floral Midi Remix
Yes I Love Blue - A Floral Midi Remix

Because I'm Happy - Midi Skirt & Yellow Statement


Midi Skirt Sources:

Flower Print Midi - Zara
Black Jaquard Midi - Romwe
Palm Print Midi - H&M

All other details can be found in the original posts






Please check out my guest post "On Street Style" I did for Ada over at Elegance & Mommyhood!



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