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: 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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3 Things We Should Not Forget as Conscious Consumers

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The moment I decided to become a more conscious consumer around six months ago, one of the first things I realized was how much there is to learn about sustainability.

There’s always something new to discover about it, which makes sense considering how relevant it is right now. Every sustainability-related article you read, every video you watch, every podcast you listen to on your morning commute – they all add to your pool of knowledge, constantly influencing the decisions you make and giving you new perspectives.

There are some things about sustainability, however, that I find really important yet easily forgotten. Here are three of those things.

It’s More Than Just about Our Shopping Habits

When I read Alden Wicker’s piece on conscious consumerism, I was struck why how true it is. Although there are parts of the article that I question or disagree with, I absolutely agree with her main argument, which is that conscious consumption alone isn’t doing much good.

At the risk of merely echoing her views, I want to emphasize that focusing obsessively and exclusively over our shopping habits can’t make the world a better place. There’s so much more that needs to be done.

It’s important to do the things that are hard but necessary. Taking interest in the government’s decisions, including how they’re going to affect climate change, for instance. Or volunteering for organizations that need our help.

To me, this also means remembering that the struggle towards a more sustainable future is not about us. Browsing the internet to find an organic cotton dress is easy and fun, but it does nothing much aside from giving us the affirmation that we are doing the right thing. Difficult but important actions, however, are necessary if we care about others.

It’s More Than Just about the Planet

The phrase “conscious consumption” tends to be connoted with environmental issues and working conditions. Although those are undoubtedly really important, there are other aspects of it that we sometimes forget.

One thing in particular is the fact that conscious consumption is inextricable from the issues of race, gender, sexuality and equality as a whole. An important part of being a conscious consumer is supporting demographics that are so often marginalized by mainstream discourses.

I believe that the first step is to support companies that care about these issues. And I’m not just talking about companies who donate some of their proceeds to social causes. Consider those who actually try to remedy social issues by directly involving those affected by them. Elegantees, for example, support survivors of sex trafficking by employing them.

But beyond such companies, there are also local artists and makers that are worth supporting. Websites such as Etsy and Ethical Market are your friends. Just remember to look into not only how products are made, but also who make them.

It’s More than Just about Which Products to Buy

Imagine buying something fairly-produced, responsibly-sourced and made of a sustainable material, only to wear it once because you don’t really need it or because you don’t think it suits you. It’s wasteful and definitely not sustainable.

We tend to get caught up in researching which products to purchase, only to forget to consider if the product is necessary at the first place. But ethical considerations aren’t limited to materials and production processes. A significant part of it is our decision to buy only the things that we know we need and going to treasure for years to come.

But what if you want to experiment with new items that you wouldn’t normally wear, you might ask. Shopping secondhand is a great option, and so is renting or borrowing items whenever possible. Or, how about upcyling your old items?

What are important sustainability-related issues that you think we tend to forget? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think!

 

 

Building a Sustainable Wardrobe

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In August, I decided to stop shopping at fast fashion retailers.

Of course, like most of my decisions (we can’t be sensible at all times now, can we?), this one was motivated by really valid reasons. First of all, I can no longer ignore the fact that my consumption was hurting the environment and the people who make my clothes. From toxic waste to the amount of garments going to landfills, there are so many issues that show that the environmental impacts of our textile consumption are at a very worrying level. With trends that change with every season and the steep prices, it’s so easy for consumers to discard old items after a few wears without considering such impacts. Moreover, the artisans who make our clothes have to face issues like low wages and extremely questionable working conditions, making them victims of modern day slavery.

Second of all, I was simply tired of following the trend dictated by fast fashion. Not only the makers of the products, fast fashion also affects how we behave as buyers. Fast fashion gives us the luxury of buying new clothes with questionable quality very frequently, but they’re quickly replaced by newer trends.

I asked myself, what’s the point? Why do we tend to prioritize quantity over quality? Why keep up with the ever-changing trends if we could invest in long-lasting, timeless pieces? The more research I did, the more convinced I was that I should stop consuming fast fashion and start buying less and buying only environmentally-friendly, long-lasting and fairly-produced products. In other words, by supporting sustainable fashion, which is also popularly known as slow fashion.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that I’m going to discard fast fashion pieces that I have, because that would just defeat one of the purposes of sustainable fashion. I do, however, believe that my wardrobe could benefit from some decluttering. I’m currently sorting out which pieces I actually wear and should keep, and which ones have lied untouched in my closet after one or two wears.

I still have so much to learn about sustainability, but I’m excited about it. Do you shop sustainably? Care to share tips? Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know what you think!