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Lessons learned from my capsule wardrobe

longchamps Pliage and J brand Jake

First of all, I enjoyed your comments on the capsule wardrobe, most of them went something like this: noooooo!
The moment we put any restrictions on our wardrobe, our palms get sweaty. Our closet is our fun place, isn't it?
So why torture yourself, and limit what you have hanging there?

For me the reason was practicality. I had a lot of work to do, these last months. I wanted to have freedom, I wanted to be able to dress quickly. I know boring!!
I made of my photos in the run. Most of them were made while I was running out of the door, or more often coming back from swimming, yoga, running errands ( cue to the very messy hair).
I wanted to start my wardrobe off fresh, so the first thing I did was sell off my fantasy clothing items, you know the ones. The ones that hang there, because you may never know, when there will be a day...Well life's too short to wait.
So there went a silk camisole dress by Vanessa Bruno, or gold top that was way too heavy anyway.

When replenishing, I focused on what my day to day routine. For me, this fall it is was writing at home, working out, being outside with my dogs, and then the weekly dinners, lunches, movies etc.

So some tips if you want to get control of you closet.

What worked:

It is like starting a workout regime. It may be uncomfortable at first, force yourself to do it and you will be reaping rewards.

For years I had so much trouble just buying a black blazer, when next to it would hang a cool colorful jacket. But the moment it enters my house the black blazer is all I want to wear and the jacket never seems right.

The plain basics I bought saved me almost every day. Make them stylish, and you are set.

When your clothes are simple, and they are not distracting from yourself it is easier to see what looks good on you.

A long cardigan as the one above is a miracle worker. I bought a cropped and a long one. I am quite tall, and when I wear something more cropped, it make me look shorter.

It is all about layers:  SO think about buying slim, fitted clothes and over sized ones, and how they will work together.
I am glad I bought my vest from J Crew fitted, I wore it under every coat, over blazers, and knits. Such a keeper.

The thing about neutral colors: even when your items are not expensive they will look so. I always loved Topshop blazers, and the black one I wore was no exception. With color it is tricky to find items that will not look cheap. Black is black.
I am also so glad of adding a white sweatshirt. I wasn't sure, but in the end I wore it all the time, and being white it added polish to something so sporty.

A leather or faux leather skirt if your friend. Such a versatile item. And can fit every style you want, sporty, elegant, sexy, comfy.

Again think about what you will need in your daily live for three months.

As these last months were very casual for me, I lived in flat shoes. Wore my Vans and Converse during the day, and Jenny Kayne and Booties at night. Normally I need more shoes. But it worked for these two months. It will not work for winter.

What didn't work:

Buying stuff because a picture inspired you. It can work, but only if you take yourself into account. I saw a great shot of a cropped navy card. But although it was very cute, in the end, it was not made for me.

Think about sizing, it is everything: I buy online a lot, and sometimes I am too lazy to exchange something, especially if it is affordable. So I bought a shirt at Loft, that with their vanity sizing, was way too big for me. So now that I know I will size down. Read reviews it really helps.

Skip trends that don't feel like you: Oh midi skirts. I really wanted to try you. Love a midi pencil. But I don't know what it is about you, let's just make it quick: you are Out!

The ones that never got in in the first place.

A shopping snag taught me something. 

I had a blue turtleneck and plaid shirt in my fall wardrobe. Ordered from Shopbop, didn't notice a mail that they were out of stock, so they never got here. And you know what, I didn't miss them. Showed me that even will less clothes, you still have too much.

What I learned:

Don't go too much against your comfort zone:

When putting together my fall wardrobe, I wanted to give equal space to every item. That meant that I had to wear less dresses. But I missed them so much. I realized that I need my dresses. So for winter I ditched most of the skirts, and shorts and added a bunch of cute dresses.

I really enjoyed this process, it made things very easy. Winter here I come!

I hope you guys have great Christmas, Merry Merry!!!

Last outfit of fall:
Cardigan Other Stories
Jeans JBrand Jake
Bag Longchamp le Pliage
Tee Ragdoll La
Shoes Jenni Kayne d'Orsay flats

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beginning writers & artists, here some advice

Elkin Asshole tee

Elkin Asshole tee

There is so much inspirational advice on Pinterest and Instagram these days. Uplifting yes, but useful? Not always.

Most of it, urges you on to live the life you dream about, to define yourself, make your mark, arrive where you want...you know the drill.

In the midst of it, you find some quotes that ring true, mostly posted by people who already got there. I am not saying this, because they are somehow better. But experiences teaches you that inspiration has to have some bite, to ring true.
You don't get there by only dreaming, but you don't get there also by only working hard.

Now my there, is different from yours. I can't give advice on landing your dream career, because I had a promising one, and walked away.
But after ten years of writing, publishing and also getting rejected I have a pretty good feeling about what works for me to keep me motivated, and inspired.

And here is the bad advice that is actually good:

Never grow up

and be an asshole sometimes.

You may have three kinds of reactions to this: a wicked smile, an angry frown, or relief. If you feel relief, you already know what I am talking about. If this advice makes you angry, let me explain.

Creating something, anything, goes so much smoother when there are no blockades in your brain. When things flow, when you allow it to come out. It is a child's fantasy that allows that. Where the sky is pink, and the cow bigger than your house. It's a child way of dressing (what you think about the little French fashionista above.) It is grabbing a piece of paper, listening and just writing down what you hear.

Becoming an adult, comes with a set of strict rules. You should like this and not that, you should do this and not that. You should forget about all the things that make you tick, and start taking things seriously.
No way anything creative will come from that. Keeping a child's open mind and freewheeling ways will help you. Being creative is just playing with the stuff you like.

Being an asshole, how do I explain that? Very simple it is about throwing your arms around the drawing you are making and yelling I am not ready yet, I will only show you when it is. The first and most important thing is protecting your work. Some people love feedback, from the first moment on, but the feedback can also derail you. So when you are still not sure about this thing you are doing, keep doing it till you are, and then involve other people. Keep them out!

This world, where everything goes on Instagram immediately and we wait for approval is not really working for a writer or an artist. It takes time for your work to incubate. Let it. You can't be sociable all of the time, you need time to be alone. Keep your to yourself. And in the end you will learn who you are, what you like, and what you are capable of.

Other people opinion is your enemy. Don't pay any attention to it. There is no truth to it. When I published my debut, I noticed how everybody, saw it completely differenlyt, all through their own experiences, and stuff. Imagine if I would have asked them while writing what they thought. What a mess! Wait till you are ready. And still after, whatever they say, only listen if it rings true to you.
And that voice in your head, you know the one. Vaffanculo, is what I say to it.

Now for that person who smiled when reading my advice. There is no excuse to being an asshole to others for real. Grow up! Ha!

Wearing an Elkin Asshole tee * had it tailored!

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a day in the best city

J BRand Jake, Vanessa Bruno cabas, Converse fancy lowr

the best city in Tuscany to visit, where to eat in Lucca

J BRand Jake, Vanessa Bruno cabas, Converse fancy lowr

the best city in Tuscany to visit, where to eat in Lucca

the best city in Tuscany to visit, where to eat in Lucca

hte best city in Tuscany to visit, where to eat in Lucca

the best city in Tuscany to visit, where to eat in Lucca
Pure coconut ice cream, so good!

For a few months I lived in a old monastery in the hills around Lucca. That period a lot changed in my life. I wrote my first book in that house, I ended a long term relationship, and after years living in big cities it made me realize that I love living outside more.
I moved away a different person. And I couldn't have lived such an important period in my life near a better city.
Lucca is gorgeous, it has everything I love about Italy: the food, the incredible history, the community, the landscape, the sea that is near. And bikes! Lots and lots of bikes.

We visit now a few times a year and always do the same thing...

Lunch. At Il Mecenate or at Ristorante Il Giglio.
Shop at Max&Co, buy soaps and perfume at Santa Maria Novella, and scour small boutiques in Via Filalungo. Check out the markets and antiques stores, buy bread and bucellato at Forno Amedeo Giusti and most important of all, eat gelato at Gelateria Veneta.

Cant wait to go back!

Outfit nr 20
Sweater Claudie Pierlot similar at Loft
Jeans J.Brand Jake
bag Vanessa Bruno
sneakers Converse
Scarf bought at Market in Italy

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How original are we?

Look at the group above, they are called the Glamboh. They put so much effort in their looks. Strong women, with a distinctive sense of style. You can see it, all the different layers, the little touches.
And in the end they all look the same.

They are part of the latest collection of two Dutch photographers, Ellie Uyttenbroek and Ari Versluis, who for the last 20 years have this project going on where they shoot 'Stylegroups.'
Their latest collection took place in The Rijks Museum in Amsterdam. They camped out, observed, and then started asking people if they could photograph them.

The result is funny, and also a bit of a slap in the face.

Makes you think, doesn't it?
Click on for some more examples, some hilarious, and recognizable.  For their whole project check out Exactitutes.

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party season: the silk slip dress

Silk slip dress by Mason and blazer, jacket, what to wear to a part
dress by Mason my Michelle Mason on sale now, jacket Topshop

In winter my style changes. In autumn it is always very casual, I spend a lot of time outside, and it reflects on what I want to wear. But when the first cold front arrives, I always want to up the drama.

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