Ctrl – X {in the closet}

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I can talk about fashion 10 hours a day, weekdays, weekends, anytime and anywhere. I don’t believe in resolutions and I have a weird way of classifying clothes (my logic – give away the clothes you cannot fit in any longer, even though a thought in the back of your head says to keep a diet just for the sake of those Acne pants).

I am a promoter of the personal and original style, whatever that will be (either you are a fashionista or the sweatpants are your life), but I have a top of no-no’s. This is neither a top of style resolutions nor a chapter from a motivational book on how to dress for success. I know fashion is a cruel world and full of shallow individuals, but as you like to smoke or drink coffee, I, as many others over there, like to look into my closet and say “I have nothing to wear”. However, that’s just the type of world we live in.

1. UGG boots (or in my opinion cavemen sheepskin feet covers)

Without even thinking to the fact that the UGG boots just came under the fire that they are made of real sheep skin, they are also just a bad and tacky fashion choice with the misconception that they offer comfort. In the first instance I thought that it’s just that girl which literally is stepping on the boot, but then I saw many others and I could not believe that all of them have a goose walk, so the boots don’t have a defined shape. There are many other reasons why UGG boots are a bad choice: they are very expensive for how they look, they are low quality, and rarely water proof, and they are not fashionable (be honest – no on looks good in them). So, short long story – they’re low quality boots, made from real skin at a marked up price.

UGG

2. Back to the days of my teenage, the sheer nude-tights were a hit. In those days, any woman was wearing those, including my mom. I remember that if a stockings accident was happening the solution was a little bit of nail polish and you were good to go. But there are about 20 years since then and some ladies stubbornly still keep wearing them. I think that the texture of that lycra is annoying and it makes you scratching your legs like you were in a fight with a pack of mosquitoes, plus the crotch is slipping down and in case you want to rock a mini skirt your goal is gone. I had a chance to know “stylish” girls which once they took the shoes off… (I think I died for few seconds) a stinky sour aroma hit me. And, no, there were not the shoes, it was that bloody plastic fabric.

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3. Rock studs shoes (aka every, I mean every fashion blogger uniform shoes). Dear girls, please stop wearing the senator’s wife shoes deluding yourself that you’re a diva on red carpet. These 2 images are in a complete contradictory. I’m sorry Valentino, I love almost everything what it comes out of your house. Unfortunately, most of the fashion bloggers don’t know Valentino beyond these shoes and don’t care that their feet look like wiener-wursts. Girls, if you care about fashion, then you should, at least, take the time to learn about various shoes designers instead of hopping onto the same rock studs bandwagon.

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4. And to stay on the same side of the shore, in the accessories department, here is coming the bauble statement necklace. Did you have a look on instagram to #statementneckalce? I understand that you saw the last collections from Lanvin or Marni, but please stop the DIY knock offs and picture yourself on toilet wearing a “statement necklace”.

5. Fake t-shirts invaded lately since the effortless fashion editor look came up. Honestly, instead of wearing a t-shirt which says Adidas or Yves Saint Laurent and has rhinestones or sequins to accentuate the point of I or has a beads comet, you better cut a Whole Foods bag and wear it. At least it’s green. Avoid those awful fakes, they look cheap and tacky and you don’t make yourself a favor.

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 6. Too tight leggings are another atrocious piece that has to be forbidden. I know it’s a very comfortable and trendy piece, but why would you want to look like a Rubensian muse, when you can avoid having those leggings getting in all your creases? Did you hear of camel toe?(As I don’t want to offend anyone I am not adding a picture)

I may be able to continue and continue, but then you will say I’m negative. In my opinion, it’s called common sense. Back home we have a saying “when two people are saying you’re drunk, you’re going to sleep”.

**click on the pictures for the websites they belong to**

 

 

Domestic complain

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One of the domestic things which really is killing me it’s throwing away food. I have tried in so many ways to minimize that, but still no success. I heard things like “you waste money and of course all your work in the kitchen”, “other people starve and you throw away food”, “eat the food till it’s done” (will you eat 3 days pasta :-(? ), “cook just for 2 people” (tried that too and it happened that one of us didn’t get enough food because men are like growing kids and some days they just need more food and some days they decide they need to pay attention to the calories and skip the lunch/ dinner).

It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas (when you generally overcook) or if it’s Tuesday (and you are sick of the food cooked in the weekend), we end-up with different containers in the fridge with 5 types of food (take-out from Sunday, salad for work days lunches, some chicken – because goes with pretty much everything, a soup and some steamed veggies from last night dinner).

My mom told me I need to establish something like a silver bullet, but let’s be serious who am I kidding?

After all this time I came out with my very own solution in 5 steps:

#1 Take out of the fridge all the containers, dishes with the leftovers.

#2 Throw away what is inside in a plastic garbage bag.

#3 Tie the bag and bring it to the garbage.

#4 Come back in the kitchen and wash the dishes.

#5 Feel free to experiment the guilty of wasting/ throwing away food.

Bonus: Repeat this exercise at the end of each week, till you will get that overcooking and wasting food are not the best ideas.

 

 

 

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We change. Every year, every minute.

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We change our hair color, our style, the work place… We change the address, the eyebrows shape, our food choices, the car, and the vacation destinations.

We are continuously changing, transitioning. We are alive, like the seasons.

Two years ago you liked the spaghetti, today you like rotini. Your closet was full of colors and prints, now the majority of your clothes are monochrome and minimalistic colors. The blueberry ice cream is no. 2, the new one with macadamia nuts is your favorite now. You don’t like the bangs and the dark hair any longer, your new hair color is golden ash brown. Today you have a little girl and a while ago when you had a member pass to the clubs in the city you were saying that being a mom is not your goal. You said you’re not gonna go camping and now you enjoy the camp fire and the hikes in the forests.

We change, transform, metamorphose. Any event, happy or sad, let marks on us. We are like a dough in the hands of life.

You were different two years ago. You were working as an engineer in an automotive company, job which you hate today. The choices made in the past don’t have to be judged from the perspective of present. The years past, the birds flew, tears flowed, and nothing is how it used to be. You were different.

Some changes happen natural, with no effort and without sensing them. Others are willful, like the resolutions, and the worse ones are those we don’t claim, but we are forced to do them.

No one says that changes are easy. But, in order to shine, every diamond needs to be polished. The changes are a fact of evolution (pfff, I sweat wisdom through my pores).

R

 

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“Black” is the new black

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Little Black Dress, Little Black Jacket, Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, classy, elegance, mystery… Men in Black, black sheep, black tea, Black Friday… (I can go until next Christmas).

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You go at the birthday parties, dinner parties, in a bar, a club, at the office, in vacations, to the mall, everyone wears black. Dresses, shirts, pants, jackets, blazers, shoes, underwear, leggings, tights, hats, all black, all the time. It looks like all played in The Crow. Probably Ann Demeulemeester is happily dancing in a cemetery.

The party season was in high demand in the last few weeks and I went to some nice ones and also to some odd ones. One of them was requiring cocktail attire, so I said in my mind that I can bring some color to the party and I picked my new emerald green dress. Me and the Christmas tree, evergreen… When I arrived I thought I mistaken the party and instead of the Christmas party I’ve got to a funeral. All the guests, and when I say all, I mean all, were celebrating and merring the Christmas dressed like the funeral house owner. It didn’t matter that the dress one of the guests’ wife was Alex McQueen and that one of the guys’ jacket was Zac Posen. That black was exhaling a barely breathable air. It was hard to say Merry Christmas when all I had in mind to say was “Rest in Peace”. I was expecting to see Santa looking like a chimney sweeper.

At dinner parties, it’s pretty much the same set. I am expecting to see Christina Ricci saying “On Wednesday, we wear black” and feel Thing petting my back. Many fashionistas are wearing exclusively black, in an outburst of avant-gardism and a strong artistic sense. It’s a very fine line between looking like Lady Amanda Harlech and Alice Cooper and the trick is to not step on the “too much” sands.

Don’t get me wrong, I like black, but not every day, everywhere, on everything. I cannot avoid of thinking about sadness when I look to the garments choices some of us make. All of us want to have a unique style (or at least try), and instead of playing with the colors, patterns or prints, we drown in this black increasing the number of the boring uniforms. Believe me, black will not make you look thinner, nor more stylish.

Let’s add some color to our closet and show some boldness in our style. Maybe in this way we color our life too.

Happy New Colorful Year!

R

 

Christmas… [as... as... as]

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Tis the season for going gaga on shopping (even though I think that the great and awesome sales are only after the Christmas). This year I tried to be practical with my gifts and buy only what I thought my friends and family can find useful for real. So, why to buy a candle just because it smells nice, when I can buy a book (coffee table books count), a CD collection, some concert tickets or a ski pass and I know they will have a memory of them even next year or over the time.

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Frends Layla Headphones – Gold & White – Chapters Indigo; Carine Roitfeld: Irreverent: Album Of A Woman Of  Fashion – Chapters Indigo; Lonely Planet The Travel Book 2nd Ed.: A Journey Through Every Country in the World, 2nd edition – Chapters Indigo; Imagine Dragons Concert Tickets – Ticketmaster; Coffee Table Poetry: Experiencing The Power Of Poetic Literature – Chapters Indigo; Canvas Picture DIY – A Beautiful Mess.

Merry Christmas!

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Saudade

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Homesickness hurts. It’s like having no air for some good seconds. Homesickness hurts slowly and intense. It makes you feel nostalgic. And it’s so suddenly triggered, so deviously and cruel. You sense a fragrance, you hear a song or a name, you see a picture or a book… And this gives you an overwhelming moment. The memories are flowing and amalgamating like a crazy hurricane. And it drowns you, suffocates you and lets you exhausted and with no power.

A colleague is giving you a cake his grandma baked and you suddenly have in front of your eyes that tiny lady you called granny. That granny which pounded your wounds when you fell off the bike. That granny which cuddled you while sleeping and dreaming cartoons. And then you remember her and miss her. But all you can do is to look to the sky and say „Hello granny, I hope you are well.”

You see few kids playing outside and you realize that they are brothers. Two boys bugging a little girl, and she is not crying, she is happy. And then you want to stop the time, and the world and the sun. You grab your phone and call your brothers „Hey, how are you? I miss you!”

You miss your friend from high-school too. She was someday your best friend. You started smoking together and you shared the same red jeans, because they were too expansive so both of you can have a pair. You played hide and seek at 17 and you had more fun than at 8. Both of you loved puffs and made the manicure to your dogs. Now, there is an ocean between you, and people and you both took different paths. Call her. Tell her you miss her.

You miss home. You miss your dad caressing your hair, and that time when you where 5 and he was carrying you on his shoulders. You miss your mom… what words can describe better the light in her eyes when she sees you? Or the happiness you sense in her voice when you talk with her? You miss the pillow you used to sleep on in your parents house, you miss the streets of your childhood, the books you first learned to read, the first stereo with cassettes, the big cuckoo clock from the living room, the ballerina figurine from the hallway dresser, the macrame cloth from the Christmas dinner table, the apple pie, the cheap chewing gum you bought from the corner store, the first pen, the ink on your fingers, the school uniform with the white collar, the teachers, the sandwiches with butter and cheese, the first doll. You miss your childhood.

But did you ever miss you? Your optimism, kindness, smile and happiness? Did you miss you from those moments when you don’t hate, envy or hurt? From those moments when you don’t upset your loved one? Did you miss you from those moments when you glow and share unconditioned love? Make time to find yourself again.

R

 

 

Saudade – has no direct translation in English. The word origin is Portuguese and Galician. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves.

 

The Best F…ing Place on Earth

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The Vancouver comedy duo IFHT (shorcut for I F…ing Hate That) created some great videos. Here is one related to my beloved city.

Have a look to their videos on You Tube.

Cheers!

R

 

Smart Shopping

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How many times happened to walk on the street and say “Wow, what an awesome outfit; clearly she has money to get all those pieces!”? Probably quite some times. Me, honestly, I’m not impressed at all by women which just swipe the card and get outfits right of a lookbook. I admire those which can improvise, the ones which look spectacular, impeccable, using their imagination without crossing the “this-bag-costs-me-this-month-rent” territory.

You just recognized the Valentino shoes, they look great and the top is great too, but you don’t know it. Whaaat? Panic! Pull out your smart phone and make a search for “yellow and black printed silk top”. Tons of results but none of them showing that awesome top. Don’t bother, you’ll not find it and you know why, because it’s from a tiny boutique you don’t even know. Hey, doll, did you have a heart attack?

What I will call having style and good sense in fashion it’s to dare and be brave to mix some Zara pants with a top from a consignment store, a Philip Lim clutch and some shoes purchased from a Sample Shoe Sale.

Let’s begin…

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1.    Consignment Stores

I’m not that snob saying I’m not wearing stuff others wore before. C’mon, I am the youngest child from three and believe me even though I have 2 older brothers, I had a point in my life wearing their jeans and t-shirts and I rent skates or snowboard boots before knowing if it’s worth the investment. Some called these stores “vintage” because it sounds better. I can assure you that many fashionistas and stylists use these stores services and you wonder yourself where from they got that YSL piece. Oh, well, mystery solved. From the consignment stores (second hand). If you have a little bit of luck you can find some great items in these stores, designer items, which you can get them for a pretty good price. The joy of finding a vintage Chanel jacket or a Valentino dress can be compared with a Kinder chocolate egg (of course, you need to find a good quality consignment store, not one where it smells like mice and pee).

2. Quality Fabrics

 In case you cannot afford to shop brands all the time, there are still solutions, believe me. Did you know that Forever 21 or H&M are selling silk and cashmere garments? Same with Joe Fresh. You just have to look for it. For example, one of my favourite brand of jeans is Gap and the reason I like them is because they don’t use much Spandex in their jeans. Long story short, choose wisely, and go for quality fabrics. At the end, higher quality equals longevity and ultimately cost less on long run.

 3. Fit clothes

Certain clothes are just not for you. You can pull of a cheap pair of pants or a dress and the fit is phenomenal. If the shape does not look good on you from different reasons (body shape generally), don’t push the limits. You will look like just bad. Of course, one option will be tailoring, but if the item is under $100 it will not worth the tailor. Me, for example, I never was able to pull out a on the waist jacket, because I look like an box on a stick.

4. Sales

In the last years I cared less if my jacket or my dress are from the last season. I shop the sales for the main pieces in my wardrobe and even though sometimes it’s like a Russian roulette, the satisfaction that you end-up paying only 50% for a Balmain skirt or an Equipment shirt is like you hit the jackpot. Even Zara or Topshop have good sales and you can go home with a bag full of items.

A while ago I found about a Sample Shoe Sale and since then I am getting my main purchases there. Twice per year I’m getting home with 4 – 5 pairs of shoes/ sandals/ boots. My happiness when finding Lanvin or Acne was even better than Christmas.

Another secret I found on my own, it’s that in time you develop certain relationships with your clothes. Of course that all of us, the girls, we love our clothes, but for me some of them have a special vibe. I am taking care of them, paying attention to how I do my laundry or how I deposit my boots over the summer. So, I will say that a little bit of TLC cannot go wrong.

In time I developed loyalty to some brands just because the items I purchased from them lasted in time and offered me the comfort I needed (my Anniel flats, my ¾ sleeves COS coats, my colorful Hue tights and my black suede leather heels I can run with).

So,what are your smart tips for shopping?

p.s. – foto credit

R

 

 

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Cold Turkey

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About a while ago I’ve decided to quit caffeine. So, not just coffee, but everything that has caffeine (black tea, coke, chocolate). I had few attempts before, but never quitted completely. I was still keeping a reserve of little something, like a tea or a chocolate in my pocket.

But this time, I was in pain, believe me. I loooove coffee. I mean, “love” is too insignificant to describe how much I enjoy it. I am a coffee snob (or I was). Over the time I learnt how to enjoy a cup of coffee and I can say I tried almost every type (including Kopi Luwak – yup, the one from the monkey’s shit ). Even though I moved to North America and I changed some of my habits, I refused to change my cup with the traveler mug and even though I was late for work I was still enjoying my coffee in the morning, home. Yes, I tried Starbucks, but honestly coffee for me is just coffee, no “orange-soy-latte-decaf-americano-$%..#-&*@.>”. Sometimes, I was even grinding the beans at home, like a proper lunatic. I purchased everything on earth what could be designed for brewing coffee home. I imported coffee from Europe and Latin America. The relationship I had with the coffee was longer than any relationship I ever had with a boyfriend (sorry Adi, but I started drinking coffee in high-school).

Cold Turkey

So, I decided to go cold turkey on the demon bean. Not exactly Trainspotting, but I gave up the drug. Reason – my health. There were headaches and mood swings. In the first day I was like I never even woke up (at 6pm I went to bed and woke up in the second morning). The smell, the taste and not to talk about the energy – these, for more than 2 decades, had been signals that I was awake.

Days 2 to 5 were tough too, but then, day 6, my alarm rang at 5:30 am, I opened my eyes and I felt… awake. And then the revelation – I had spent my entire adult life believing that I was an “evening person”, one who could only function through the caffeine stimulus during the day. I realized that in fact my previous inability of starting my day without caffeine was in fact a symptom of my addiction. Now my mornings are entirely bearable and my addiction to caffeine is gone.

Cheers!

R

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Heart of a Fashionista

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I am surrounded by women at work every day and I see a lot (thanks God that my retina is no longer ostracized by the hooker shoes and cheap leggings of a previous colleague). I like to believe that I know a little bit more than usual about fashion. I know that Jeanne Paquin was the first female designer, that the first mini skirt was designed by Mary Quant and that Balenciaga created the first the tunic dress. I like to think that I dress nice; I even own a pretty good collection of black dresses and time by time I get “lost” in a mall for 3-4 hours. But, I am not considering myself a fashionista and I also don’t have the nerve to call myself like that. I love dressing sport and go for a good hike or to go camping. I feel great in my pajamas and my fleece robe is my favorite.

I am laughing and crying at the same time when I see those girls calling their selves fashionistas by heart, stars of the sun and of the galaxies, displaying fake editorial pictures with their fabulous outfits. But I have to recognize (without any BS) that some of them are even cute and know how to combine clothes, but unfortunately that’s all. Nothing else! Others, sadly, dressed a little bit better than the old auntie who loves scrap books. But, this, my dears, will never make you fashionistas. Sorry, this is pure reality.

From my point of view, worldwide speaking, 10 fingers are more than enough to count the real fashionistas, the genuine ones, the ones which breath fashion, not air like me and you, the ones eating fashion for lunch (not chicken soup like me because I think it’s comfort food).

I am not gonna give names now to show you I know big names in fashion, but I will let the stories talk for their selves. It was a certain Fashion Week, a couple of years ago, and the weather was cruel. Big piles of snow, wind and cold like hell that your ovaries would have been freezing only by stepping outside. Trying to make my way to the subway, I saw two ladies crossing the street (like two black cats). At the beginning I thought that from cold I have hallucinations, but nope, there they were. Like two stars in the middle of the night, loved by the entire universe. Both of them were wearing strap dresses, sandals with 20 cm heels and sunglasses!!! People, it was 9 o’clock PM, pitch dark, minus 10 degrees and I was wearing my Sorel boots, my winter parka and wrapped in a huge scarf. I walked to them just to ask them out of curiosity if they are not freaking cold (no, I did not take a picture with them). The answer I’ve got was “I, myself, am a four seasons collection, not just spring/summer or fall/winter”. Oh, well, if this season collections are coming with pneumonia, no thanks, I prefer wearing the last season’s one.

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Another story I have is more recent, just few weeks ago when I met a former colleague for a possible project. It doesn’t matter what we talked or what we ate, as other details are in fact important. We agreed to see each other to a certain hour, to a certain spot, because the diva was coming directly from the gym. I don’t know about you, but when I go home from spinning or other gym activity I look like a drained mop, with my hair all over the place, an old hoody and some comfy runners. Oh, well, my friend was walking slow towards me, almost like a runway model, with a striped top hanging on a shoulder, leggings, a loose bun on top of her head (almost like Flashdance), but wait, there is more, there was make-up and heels, people, heels!

Hm, I say no more.

Bye!

R

Memo # 8

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The miniature replica of a Singaporian Reastaurant in Vancouver – Red Ginger. The details are insane! Look at the rice, or the mussels.

 

Something old and something new

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My Vince (Camuto) brogues

Me and my Vince brogues have a relationship since 2010 and I don’t know for what reason I never worn them from April to October, but only November to March, which here in Vancouver is considered winter. Oh, don’t think that I am using them like skis, but for those which are not familiar with the winter weather in Vancouver (British Columbia), I will say it’s like a colder fall, with rains lasting sometimes 3 weeks and no snow (OK, 2 days of snow which by noon is melted already).

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My N.Peal cashmere sweater

I debated for about few days what color I want my new cashmere sweater to be: black (goes with almost everything – I personally cannot see black with brown together, not at all) or white (being another white sweater on the shelf with the many other white sweaters) or red… But as this winter I feel more attracted to warm colors and since black and white are out of discussion I said let’s go with cream. Et Voila!

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My Butter London nail polish – Cuppa (Beige)

I discovered this nail polish cca. 2005 and since then I switched to different colors, but this Beige (Cuppa) is by far my favorite. It doesn’t matter the season, spring, summer, winter; you will see me three weeks in a month wearing this color.

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My H&M hat

I was looking for “the hat” by quite some time and even I had purchased some, none of them were exactly what I was coveting. I wanted a man hat for women, to look good with my hair in a pony tail or a fish tail or my hair down. I have an H&M store near my house and time by time I check what’s new there and around beginning of September I found this wool hat there. Right in time for the fall.

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My COS coat

Purchased back in 2008, worn for 1 winter and stored with things that “I may wear again”, here it is after 5 year back on the front rack in the closet.

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My Mulberry Bayswater bag

I am not a bag person (I prefer shoes), but still when it comes to bags and when the time comes for a new one I go with something I develop loyalty. I like this bag so much that I wear it everywhere. I was looking for one for a long time but still I was not ready to pay a hand and a leg for it. I have searched the internet and the stores for few months hoping that one day I can get it on sale and it seems that my patience was one day rewarded. Thank you Holt Renfrew, it seems that time by time you are my lucky charm (I scored my Manolo’s in a sale as well).

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Like anyone else I have phases when I suddenly change my preferences on different things in my wardrobe. Now I love these ones, in August I was in love with my white J Crew skinny pants and my Zara shorts and maybe in January I will wear the whole month skirts.

How about you? Do you have phases when you are more attached to pieces in your wardrobe?

R