…having a blaaast
It’s warm again! Which means tropical accents, bright colors and a dress. Yes, we do get surprised by summer weather during the summer in this city. Every time.
A few years ago I was visiting the lovely city of Utrecht and, as you do, I was checking out their shops after a day of sightseeing. I stopped by H&M (I know, but they are different in every cities AND it was sale season). My eyes fell on this cheerful dress, and while I was initially sceptical if it would fit me, trying it on proved the opposite, so whenever I look at it, I’m reminded of this small, but deeply gratifying moment in my female life.
I’ve worn this particular set of accessories with it before, because it just works, and if it ain’t broke, why fix it, at least until I feel like trying something else. Anything picking up on the colors of the pattern will work well with this dress, and there are enough colors and their hues to choose from. The ring has a touch of the Disney villain(ess) about it for me, but they were important figures in those stories, so that’s fine.
I originally bought the shoes for changing in to for the evening’s activities (dancing) at a wedding after a day spent in heels. However, they went so well with many summer outfits that I didn’t restrict them to festive attire. They are also very comfortable and the laces give me that vague feeling (highly romanticized fantasy) of being connected to the world of ballet. Russian roots, soft spot, what you gonna do.
Ready to go.
Jewelry: Bijou Brigitte
Obviously not this type of country.
It could work, but no, definitely not what I mean.
The dress just makes me think of summertime and relaxing in the garden of a country house or planning a picnic in said garden.
It also reminds me of a lovely family trip to Amsterdam and doing a spot of shopping the afternoon before I left. Knee-length leggings are recommended as it’s slightly on the shorter side. The delicate earrings are a gift that I’ve had for at least ten years, and the shoes are suitable for a jaunt to the country, if it does happen.
Ready to go.
Dress: Vero Moda
There are nine million bicycles in Beijing
Katie Melua – Nine Million Bicycles
After Monday’s flared skirt and blouse combo I was looking to try another outfit in that same vein, and this is what I came up with.
The skirt is of a flowing teal blue, a color that makes me think of the Mediterranean Sea and sunshine. The top never fails to remind me of my successfully completed cycling course (for adults!) and the joyful rush I felt the first time I realized I was riding a bike. Accessories are pretty classic today – the earrings play off the blue color scheme, and the ring works with virtually any outfit.
The shoes, ah! Despite the heel being a little thinner than what I recently prefer, it’s not too high and nicely attached on top. The whole shoe is very comfortable to walk in and I have spent several hours in them during an evening without dying to remove them by the end of the night. The laces add a playful touch and I’ve always liked a criss-cross pattern on the front. I’m usually cautious with pointy toes, put with these shoes the effect doesn’t seem severe. The first time I wore these, actually, I was at a party and nearly slipped in someone’s…well, ironically, I was on my way to the bar simply to get a glass of water. But the main point of this tiny, unspectacular story is that I didn’t slip and that the shoes were easy to balance in.
And to clean and disinfect afterwards.
Ready to go.
…means layers and longer sleeves once again.
The weather report was fairly optimistic, but a glance out the window proves that nature might not have made up its mind just yet. Sticking my head out sends me scurrying back to find a scarf, because the cool breeze that is no stranger to these parts has made itself known.
This dress arrived in my closet during an acute phase of wanting to try out new prints and cuts, and I have not been disappointed with my choice. If I’m completely honest, the dress does look a bit better if one has been exercising more regularly a few weeks before, but then it’s made from a nice, stretchy jersey, so why beat yourself up? The splotchy, graphic print is eye-catching, while the black and white makes the dress both acceptable for a dresscode-free workplace and good for a multitude of combinations in terms of accessories and other colors.
It also makes me fantasize about working in an art gallery or heading an event management agency. There she goes, visible artsy streak with a touch of flamboyance, but decidedly German as soon as she opens her appointment book (she’s got a hankering for retro as well, no smartphone calendars here)…I’m sorry, am I talking about myself too much? Of course I am!
My one rule if including a scarf is to pick either one without a pattern or a very subtle one. Today’s choice is one of my favourite scarves and also a go-to combination with darker colors, as the brightness of the scarf both stands out winningly against the darker color and tempers its possible severity. The shoes have been featured here before – once again the comfort of a thicker heel is confirmed, and this is another shoe color that goes well with a lot of combinations.
Ready to go.
Scarf: probably C&A, though I can’t be sure
“I think you should go with the red. It’s the color of confidence!” Legally Blonde is another quoting staple I frequently refer to.
To be honest, I think any color you wear is the color of confidence, as long as it’s a color you like, one that plays up and brightens what you feel are your best points and otherwise makes you feel however you want to feel that day. Being a redhead, it took a while for me to find a way around red. Working it in to my wardrobe initially seemed a bit of a challenge, but I kept coming back to the idea, and also some shades of red I’d see either in pictures or on other women repeatedly appealed to me. Another friendly helper along the way was the book How to Be a Redhead by Adrienne and Stephanie Vendetti of howtobearedhead.com, in which the sister authors bust the myth about us gingers not being able to indulge in playing with this particular color.
I love how the essential coolness of blue balances against inherent warmth of red. The flared skirt jumped out at me from a rack and wearing it is a pleasure. I’ve mentioned before that I’m still experimenting a bit when it comes to blouses, so this one is meant to be worn with skirts, at least in my case – I’m tall and the blouse is on the shorter side. If I wear it with trousers, I’ll end up tugging on it all the time and defeating the purpose by simply not being myself. For this outfit I simply tuck the blouse in the waistband of the skirt, which sits a little bit higher, adding that feminine 1950s vibe, or at least that’s what I tell myself.
The shoes are very comfortable pumps that make for good walking around the city and don’t make me balance instead of progress. I’ve come to the conclusion that a thicker heal, when wearing higher shoes, does it for me. Rounding off the accessories is one of my favourite necklaces that works both during daytime and as a more dressy companion to an evening outfit. I remember when not so long ago statement necklaces were mentioned everywhere, and suddenly all my usual haunts for buying costume jewelry were full of them. At first I wasn’t interested, but then I was inspired by some gorgeous chokers in a few old movies and a friend’s stylish accessorizing. So voilà. I think I would have still liked this one, though.
Ready to go.
Jewelry: Bijou Brigitte
I’m pretty sure this is a very casual take on boho style, involving only two elements that constitute the boho possibility. But sometimes it’s about quality and not quantity, isn’t it?
The pink top has proven surprisingly versatile. Despite clearly thin material, I’ve successfully layered it with another top and a scarf in winter and it’s often my go-to choice for a spring vibe in Hamburg’s often very autumn-like weather. “It’s pink!” Knee-jerk quote reaction.
The earrings are from a pre-Christmas shopping event I went to with a friend. There were a lot of individual, eye-catching creations to look at. I was strolling around taking it all in when one particular stall caught my eye. The girl selling the items was wearing a long loose cardigan and some of the most unusual, coolest earrings I’d ever seen. The whole combination looked like just my kind of thing. Upon closer inspection the earrings turned out to be precisely cut strips of leather in various colours, shaped to create layered feathers. Best of all, the price didn’t burst the bank and they were feather-light (score). I love wearing them.
Ready to go.
Top: most likely H&M on sale.
Ring: basket in a shop in Spain on Costa Brava.
This is not the outfit choice I expected for today, but it’s a little frisch and not quite summer dress weather, so why not.
The attempt at a bucolic design has had co-workers looking at me closely in the past, probably in an attempt to locate the cute houses or make out the sheep. Who doesn’t like some sheep scattered on a hill? The blouse is very comfortable and it’s fun to spend the day wearing a motif I have yet to see on someone else in my surroundings. The earrings and ring are in keeping with the colour scheme which includes grey jeggings. And since I’m wearing a blouse, why not add these very stable black pumps for full (not too) formal measure.
Might put the pumps on in the office, though, and walk to work in other shoes.
Ready to go.
Ring and earrings: I AM or SIX.