Fair OOTD: Floral

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Outfit details: Thrifted blouse, thrifted tanktop (via iretro), Monki denim skirt, straw bag from a local shop, patterned belt from a local market, old Scholl sandals.

A vintage floral tanktop is a tricky item to style. Pair it with a frilly jacket or a ruffly maxi skirt, and you risk veering into the “English country house curtains” territory. Pair it with something too basic or minimalist and you miss the whole point of a vintage floral top. There has to be a balance.

For this outfit, I paired it with a blue chiffon blouse with a little knot, a denim miniskirt and a matching white belt to give it a contemporary but put-together look. The bandana-ed straw bag and low-heeled sandals add just enough of a summery touch to remind me that it’s summer, despite the weather forecast.

I think I managed to capture the balance I was going for, even if I say so myself. At the very least, it proved to be a great outfit for a Saturday afternoon at a farmer’s market and an a Sunday morning stroll through a historic garden. Though I imagine that it would also work well for avocado brunches, selfie-taking or whatever other activities us millennials are (apparently) obsessed with.

What do you think of this outfit? How would you style a vintage floral tanktop? Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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Kings of Indigo’s Anne Cropped Jeans Review

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If you’ve been following Oh Speaking of Which for awhile, you’ve probably seen this pair of Kings of Indigo jeans featured as part of my outfits in not one but two OOTD posts I’ve recently posted (this and this). So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’ve practically been living in them since I got them last month.

You might wonder, however, why it took me a whole month to finally review them on here. First of all, I wasn’t planning to review them and didn’t get the idea to do so until two weeks ago. Second of all, even then, I wanted to see how they would withstand a few more weeks of being worn on a frequent basis before formulating my opinions.

But now that I’ve had the chance to wear them on different occasions, I’m finally ready to share my honest review with you! This review is divided into four different sections: aesthetics, comfort and sizing, quality, price point, plus sustainability. But if you’d like to know what I think about any particular thing that’s not mentioned here, feel free to let me know.

Aesthetics, Comfort and Sizing

Aesthetics is obviously a matter of taste, but personally, I love the look of these jeans. The Anne model is cropped, medium-rise and has a nice medium wash. They have that baggy and relaxed fit that’s really trendy at the moment. The denim fabric’s also breathable and relatively soft. Honestly, I’d go as far as saying that they’re the most comfortable jeans I’ve ever owned.

You know that frustration that we’ve all had with jeans that fit just right in some places but don’t in others? It definitely doesn’t apply to this pair. Although the fit makes them tricky to style sometimes, they’re generally pretty flattering, particularly when styled with basic t-shirts, simple blouses or cropped tops.

That said, I’ve got a slight issue with the sizing of this particular model. It seems to run a bit big, so I’d advise choosing the smaller size if you’re in between sizes. I opted for 27 since it’s my usual size for boyfriend jeans, and they turned out to be a bit loose on the waist. I don’t mind it since it’s an excuse to wear a pretty belt, but it entirely depends on the wearer. They’re also just a bit too long for me, which I honestly expected since I’m only 156 cm tall, so I tend to wear them cuffed.

Quality

At first glance, I expected the quality of these jeans to be good and I was proven right. They’re sturdy and very different from the stuff they sell at fast fashion stores. They don’t stretch easily and feels luxurious. Judging from the quality of both the fabric and the seams, they’re probably going to last for at least a few years.

Price Point

Kings of Indigo’s jeans are definitely on the higher end of the scale when it comes to price, which is natural considering that they’re high quality and sustainably-produced. Jeans are between €100 and €200, though some can go as low as €60 during sales. Blouses and tees are between €40 and €130, depending on style.

I was fortunate enough to be gifted this pair by my boyfriend for a special occasion. Honestly, if it weren’t the case, I would’ve chosen a more affordable option like thrifted jeans. But that’s because I simply wouldn’t be able to afford them unless I save up for a very long time. That said, if you’re in need of a pair of jeans and are able to afford high-end sustainable options, definitely go for KOI.

Sustainability

KOI’s jeans are made of either recycled material or organic cotton and are produced in accordance to fair practices. They provide repair and recycle options for their customers and encourage them to take care of their denims by washing them minimally and self-repairing minor imperfections. Their jeans are produced by using the latest eco-conscious techniques. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Rank a Brand deems them one of the most sustainable denim brands on the market, with a B-label score.

More about their sustainability aspect can be found on this page.

Overall, Kings of Indigo’s Anne Cropped Jeans exceeded my expectations and have quickly become my go-to jeans for everyday wear. They’re fashionable, comfortable and sustainable, not to mention that they’re not lacking in quality. They’re a worthy investment if you can afford them and can easily become a wardrobe staple.

Do you have your own pair of Kings of Indigo jeans? What’s your verdict? Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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How I Get Out of Style Ruts and Find Inspiration

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As a blogger who is enthusiastic about fashion yet has a very specific taste, it can be easy for me to get stuck in a style rut. With internet access at my fingertips and the amount of inspiration on social media, you’d think it would be simple to remedy this issue.

But while it’s true that the online world can be helpful in helping to spice up my fashion game at times, it can also feel monotonous and dull to search for inspiration there. I personally prefer a different method: exploring my city.

I start by walking to the farmer’s market, only meters away from the city’s former grain-trade building that’s now a grocery store. Let my eyes take in the vibrant colors of the fruits and vegetables displayed in the original paper boxes in which they come. Observe the sellers talking to their regulars about the weather while bagging deep burgundy cherries, pale florets of cauliflowers, and green, fragrant bunches of mint. Take in the sight of the orange juice machine turning pyramids of oranges into fresh juice the color of the sun.

I watch the florists prepare flower bouquets in my favorite pastel shades – purple, pink, yellow. Infer the different textures of the plants and flowers – prickly, bulging, grainy, silky, solely through vision. Notice the fluorescent blue of the slushie that the ice cream seller hands out to waiting hands. Observe other people’s styles, no matter young or old.

I browse through the sellers of handmade Indian garments on the main square, with their colorful offerings. Harem pants, dresses and flowy skirts in clashing colors and motifs. Fabrics with shades ranging from tea brown to the brightest orange, patterns ranging from patchwork to thin stripes. Bags made of raffia or hand-dyed fabrics, some adorned with golden beads and trimmings.

I visit the small independents shops peppering the streets. Walk inside the shop that only sells rainbow-themed food and paraphernalia and another one that specializes in dresses and handmade porcelain jewelry. Take a peek inside the windows of the comicbook shop with yellowing volumes stacked up the ceiling and the record shop decorated with retro posters. Stroll through the quieter of the streets until I find some  not-so-hidden gems – minimalist fair fashion boutiques, the coolest vintage shops.

As I said earlier, with the prevalence of social media influence nowadays, it’s easy to let myself be inspired by what I see online. But taking in the sights of my own city, something obvious but often taken for granted, inspires me in ways that are different from the digital world. Unlike social media or even fashion magazines, it rarely tells me what specific items to buy or style tribes to follow. It provides me with only the raw material – evoked feelings, fresh ideas, arrays of memories. It’s my job to turn them in into fashion decisions that make me comfortable, confident and free to express what I want. It’s flexible and allows for more creative freedom. Maybe that’s why it’s so inspiring.

But what I like about it the most is that it encourages me to get inspired by things that are outside my comfort zone. There is only a handful of things with which I’m personally obsessed when it comes to most of my fashion choices. I tend to get attracted to particular color schemes, periods and styles. It’s easy to get stuck in what I’m comfortable in. But the city often reminds me of the many wonderful things outside of them. Different colors, different ideas, different styles.

What’s your favorite way to get over a style rut? What do you do to get inspired when it comes to fashion? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Fair OOTD: Seaside

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Outfit details: Reformation Flax Relaxed Top, Kings of Indigo Anna Cropped Jeans, Ethletic Fair Trainers Just White, Grunge Glasses Sunglasses.

Summer weekends are my favorite parts of the year, mostly because I get to do some of my absolute favorite things – thrifting, market-hopping and strolling by the sea – all while getting some much-needed sun.

However, I also can’t deny that a part of why I love summer so much is because summer fashion is the absolute best. It’s so effortlessly chic. Just pair a lightweight shirt with cropped jeans, or a sundress with a sheer kimono-style outerwear. Top it with a cool pair of sunglasses, comfortable sneakers and you’re good to go. Honestly, I’d wear those things all year if only I could.

On Saturday, I decided to take a quick stroll by the sea after running some errands in the city. My boyfriend had kindly gifted me a pair of Kings of Indigo jeans for a special occasion, so I decided to wear them. I only own two different pairs of jeans, including this one, and it’s undoubtedly my favorite between the two. I paired it with my trusty Reformation t-shirt, Ethletic Fair Trainers and 60s-style oval-framed sunglasses from Grunge Glasses. It’s a comfortable and casual outfit, which I loved. I didn’t incorporate any thrifted finds to the outfit this time, though, which is rather unusual for me.

What are your favorite things about summer? What do you like to wear to cope with scorching hot summer days stylishly? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts!

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How and Why I Fell in Love with Secondhand Garments

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Growing up, thrifting was about as familiar to me as, say, skiing. I never did it and didn’t know much about it since it wasn’t something commonly done in my circle of friends. Keep in mind, however, that I grew up in a suburban middle-class environment and we were privileged enough not to have to do it out of necessity. I’m aware that I’m speaking from a privileged perspective.

It wasn’t until my teenage years, when I came across vintage fashion bloggers on the internet, that I became acquainted with thrifting. It took me another one or two years to start doing it myself. I moved abroad to attend college and started thrifting from time to time to save money. However, I have been doing it more often recently, because of several reasons.

Of course, there’s the aspect of sustainability. Buying secondhand items means that you help to minimize waste by not letting perfectly wearable pieces of clothing make their way to the dumpster. It’s also a particularly great way to shop sustainably if you can’t afford to buy items from sustainable fashion brands.

But honestly, what truly made me fall in love with secondhand garments is the fact that, in many cases, they are garments with stories attached to them. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for stories. Call me sentimental, but shopping secondhand, to me, is a way to share stories, both intergenerationally and between contemporaries.

When I buy a vintage secondhand garment, I get the chance to appreciate its stories. I get to hold a piece of history, a product of the culture in which it was created, along with its sociocultural elements surrounding it. A genuine vintage miniskirt from the 60s, for instance, reflects the emerging teen culture and the practice of feminism at that time, among other different factors. But even a non-vintage, relatively young secondhand garment tells stories. It’s a reflection of many things – its first owner’s style, the everchanging trends of recent years, and so on.

Buying secondhand clothes also helps me to tell my own stories. It might be time-consuming and at times quite challenging to thrift, but it allows me to put together unique outfits that reflect who I am with items not easily found on the market. In the particular case of vintage items, it’s guaranteed that they won’t make me look like anyone else when I walk down the street.

Last but not least, not to get all philosophical in here, but I believe that the act of shopping secondhand itself can teach us about the easily-forgotten idea that things shouldn’t be easily disposable. We all live in a consumerism-based world in which things are made to be easily and quickly consumed. Use something a few times or even once, then off to the bin it goes, to be replaced by something better. It’s all a matter of convenience. What we forget is that things, particularly clothes, are made by people. Thoughts and effort were put into them.

Treating them as disposable does a disservice not just to the environment and makers, but also to ourselves. It makes us take things for granted. It makes us forget that the ability to appreciate is a virtue and that it;s part of what makes us considerate towards each other. Personally, thrifting reminds me that this ability to appreciate is important.

How and why did you fall in love with secondhand garments? What makes you think that thrifting is important? Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Fair OOTD: A Trip to Utrecht

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9s.jpgIf I had to choose what my favorite Dutch city is, it would probably be Utrecht. It’s hard not to love Utrecht, really. Although it has attracted a lot of commercial retailers in recent years, many of its little streets are still lined with local boutiques, shops and restaurants. It’s so easy to stumble upon the coziest cafes and coolest stores while walking around the city centre. It’s also one of those old cities with youthful spirits. It’s filled with many historical buildings, yet its openness to innovation keeps it modern and vibrant.

On Saturday, my boyfriend and I went thrifting at a flea market in a small town near Utrecht, so we decided to drop by. We ended up visiting the Catharijneconvent Museum, a historical museum that showcases the history of Christianity in the country, and having dinner at a cool vegetarian-only Chinese restaurant called Soy.

I decided to wear my new vintage floral crop top, a gem I found while browsing through this amazing Etsy shop called iretro. I also paired it with my favorite denim A-line skirt that I haven’t stopped wearing since the beginning of this summer, a green thrifted shawl and my trusty Ethletic trainers. A silky pink ribbon worn as a choker finished off the whole outfit. I personally think it’s a nice, fuss-free, casual outfit that’s great for the scorching hot summer days we’ve been having here.

What have you guys been up to during the weekends? Do you have any particular go-to summer outfit for day trips to your favorite cities? Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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An Indecisive Girl’s Musings on Personal Style

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One of my biggest flaws is that I’m so indecisive. Not the cute, “I really can’t choose between chocolate and vanilla because they’re both so good” kind. I’m talking about real indecisiveness that has annoyed my friends, family and boyfriend on occasions.

Sometimes indecisiveness is good, of course. Or at least I try to justify that by saying that I’m indecisive because I’m a perfectionist who wants every single one of my choice to be the best that I can make at the given point (which is true). But it can be slightly frustrating too, especially when it comes to my wardrobe.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’ve been grappling with finding my personal style for the past few years. For the longest time, my personal style was this ever-changing thing, another example of my indecisiveness.

It’s normal, of course, for people to change up their personal style from time to time. After all, isn’t that an appeal of personal style itself – that it’s something that you can reinvent time and time again depending on where you are in life? But in my case, it’s slightly different. My fashion “phases” were fleeting, never lasting for more than few weeks or months, which is short in comparison to most people’s. But more importantly, they never really reflected the way that I felt and what I wanted to express to the outside world. It’s not until recently that this began to change.

I’m saying this very carefully, but I think I might’ve finally discovered, or started to discover, my personal style.

I’d always thought that the day I start to discover my personal style, it would be for a single, clear reason. But honestly, this discovery process has been kick-started by a few different ones.

First of all, there is the age factor. At 22, I’m by no means old nor more mature than most, but there’s no denying that feeling more comfortable in your own skin and style is much easier after your teenage years. You start to meet new people with different styles and perspectives, meaning that you judge and are judged less for the most part. As an adult, I’ve also been especially fortunate to be surrounded by mostly open-minded people who value artistic expressions, including different fashion senses and personal styles. Not to mention that moving abroad has also given me the chance to meet more people of different types and get inspired by their styles.

There’s also the realization that personal style shouldn’t only be about feeling beautiful, but also feeling yourself. It might seem obvious, but it’s a challenging thought to internalize when you grew up and live in a society that values beauty over originality for the most part. I’m still learning to remind myself that on a regular basis. It’s definitely a process.

Finally, as time goes by, you learn that some things will stress you out, make you feel anger and frustration the way that you’ve never felt. But you also learn that confidence shouldn’t be one of them. The past months have been particularly tough on me, but it was the kind of tough that reminds me to spend just a bit more time doing what makes you happy instead of caring about what people think. The kind that reminds me that there are already so many issues in life, so caring about people’s judgment on my style really shouldn’t be one.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, there’s no easy solution to finding your personal style. It’s different for everyone and most importantly, it’s a process that involves many factors. If there was one thing that I could say to my teenage self regarding personal style is that to just enjoy the ride and try more new things.

How do you feel about your personal style? Are you still trying to discover it, fully confident in it or somewhere in between? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts!