The little things in life. It’s so cheesy and said too many times, but they go such a long way. Those fresh flowers on your desk, an understanding glance between old friends or just that quiet moment in the sun. They brighten your days.

Similar to the way these little things add a sparkle to your everyday life, little details can add just that tiny extra to every outfit. A fun print, interesting accessory or bright color accent can bring character to the most casual of silhouettes. I’ll rarely be the one going all out for bold looks (although I think I should work on that :) ), but I do like to complete an outfit with some fun details. Everything is better with just a dash of humor, don’t you think?

That’s why I instantly fell in love with these moustache loafers and the horses shirt. Granted, if you’re a horse lover, wearing this shirt might be going a little overboard. But since I’m sadly allergic to horses and never rode one in my life, I think I can get away with it… And as for the loafers: who doesn’t love Mos?  :)

Obviously, spring still hasn’t blessed us with its presence yet (any day now… ) which obliged me to combine  the shorts with tights. This is not necessarily a bad thing though (the tights, spring not being here yet is REALLY REALLY bad), since I sometimes need some self-convincing to flaunt that degree of bare leg :) But let’s keep that discussion for another time ;)

Horsies and Mos with mos

Tom Ford glasses – Zara shirt, cardigan, shorts and loafers (damn does it show that I’m a Zara fan? :) ) – Suiteblanco purse

Wishing you all a lovely weekend with tons of little sparkles!

This weekend I helped cleaning out some closets. Unfortunately however, they were not my own (even though they could REALLY use a good cleanse..). Quite the opposite actually: I went to Clean Closet, and took a few pieces off other people’s hands, all the while adding some lovely extra clutter to my own wardrobe. The things one does to help others… :)

But all kidding aside, don’t you just love these kinds of initiatives? Fashion victims getting together and swapping/sharing/selling second hand items. I sure do :) I love snooping through the racks, looking for that one special piece (or those few, ahum…) and discovering hidden treasures. Add to this mix that I got to meet some awesome people in real life for the first time and that Princess Misia and Vane Valentine were catering the event (hello, sweet & healthy yumminess!) and you have a recipe for success in my book. Kudos to Liesbeth from Candy & Treats for making it happen!

Now you might be wondering which babies I adopted and gave a second-hand home? (Or: which bargains I scored?)  Have a peek into my treasure closet:

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Source picture closet

I especially love the (H&M) skirt! Made me think of Delft Blue tableware and I could immediately see myself skipping about on a sunny city trip in Holland. (Yes, fashion inspires my imagination, and I just tag along…) The jumpers are nice basics which I’m sure will get along quite good with the rest of my wardrobe (wore the striped one to work the very next day, something which the attentive few among you might have spotted in my instagram feed ;) ).

I got the collar and neon braid necklace at the booth of the pretty Eline from On High Heels. I assumed I would be wearing the necklace as a double bracelet, but combining it with the collar for this picture made me discover they work pretty well together! Am figuring out an outfit in which they will shine as a couple. :) By the way: my lovely colleague Déborah and I were both really saddened by our big feet and Eline’s small ones, as her shoe display was very nice! (Not to say, mouthwatering :) )  But the Zara sandals I found a few booths further consoled my sorrowed feet. As soon as the sun is peeping through, my toes will be doing some peeping of their own in these babies. :)

So this is as far as the results of this treasure hunt go. I think I kept it within reason, no? :) How about you ladies, scored any nice second hand items lately?

Hope you’ve all enjoyed the Easter fun last weekend! As predicted, my two family brunches resulted in good times, a major chocolate overload and a respectable food baby. But that was not all! In addition, I was surprised with an early birthday gift (hurray for siblings that have birthdays a few weeks before your own :) ) You can imagine my delight when I tore off the wrapping paper to find the object of my latest fashion crush: the Essentiel Eliporto bag! (And only a day after confessing this crush to you in this post, what a happy coincidence :) ) In my overflowing enthusiasm (the little girl and her new toy metaphor definitely fits here), I immediately squeezed in a quick outfit shoot when we went out for a sunny Easter stroll. As you can see I was rocking a pretty casual “Easter with the family” look, but I felt that the bag did kind of upgrade it. Probably the infatuation with my new toy talking, in which case: excuse my casualness :)

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Ray Ban glasses  Pieces scarf – Zara blazer – Mooia T-shirt – Stradivarius pants – Converse sneakers   

As you might have noticed, I decided spring has started (even though the temperature would beg to differ) and am consistently adding some spring items and colors to my daily outfits. Who knows, the weather gods might feel encouraged and actually come through. A girl can dream…

On a side note: I got this feather T-shirt on a girly shopping spree in Breda, during which I discovered the brand “Mooia” at Bijenkorf (obviously an essential stop when shopping across our northern border :) ). I was quite pleased with the discovery as the collection had a lot of lovely girly pieces that spoke to me immediately. A quick Google search revealed that Mooia is actually a Bijenkorf house label, so little or no chance of finding it in our little country, unfortunately. :( Here’s hoping that Bijenkorf extends the delivery area of its web shop to Belgium soon!

On my list of top holidays, Easter certainly takes a solid second place (I’m a total sucker for Santa’s time of year, sorry about that Mr. Easter Bunny). Egg hunts, brunches and a good excuse to go chocolate crazy, what’s not to love? :) And even though the weather isn’t fully cooperating (the sun is trying its best this morning though!), the Easter atmosphere with all its yellow, pastels and candy colors creates an instant spring vibe. Love it!

Personally, I have two family brunches on the agenda. Having a large family has its perks, now doesn’t it? :) Will report back next week, probably with the remainder of a huge food baby (chocolate overload, anyone?).  How about you peeps, any egghunts or other chocolate related plans ahead of you? If so: here is some Easter inspiration, just in case you want to dress seasonally :) By the way: I have a total fashion crush on this Essentiel Eliporto bag! Will probably have to yield and make it mine soon :)

Hope you’ll all have a lovely time today!

Easter inspiration

 

Essentiel Bag and sneakers – Guess pants – Zara top – Passigatti scarf

Picture sources: flowers, chick, chocolate egg

I love stories.  People, places and objects with a story fascinate me. When I was a kid I used to stare out of the car window at the houses flashing by, and imagine a life for the families living inside.  Even now, I like to indulge in the occasional people watching session from a sunny terrace (with a nice cocktail or glass of bubbles in hand, obviously :) ) and wonder about the life stories of people hurrying or strolling by.

I think my love for vintage fashion might have originated from this love of stories. A second hand or vintage piece of clothing has a whole story of its own, and you just get to add to it. Of course, the tale of your newly acquired vintage treasure gains extra value if it touches you personally. Being the child of a pretty complex modern family, I was blessed with quite some fashionable ladies in my life. And whenever something hasn’t been worn for over a year, but is too pretty to throw away, they generously pass it on to this lucky girl!

This way, my wardrobe has welcomed some lovely new guests over the years.  Here are some of my favorites:

FFG collage

I know you’re not really supposed to pick favorites among your children, but I must admit that the authentic Rayban Wayfarers are my little darlings. They’re older than me but remain timeless. When my mom rediscovered them while cleaning out a closet a few years ago, I think I did a little dance (all the while going “please please, mommy, please” :) ).

The little black bag has that wonderful sixties feel about it (which makes sense, as I’m pretty sure it was first bought around that time :) ) and gives a retro touch to any outfit. I got the pumps when I was still a poor little student. They were actually my first decent pair of heels (and what a revelation that was: wearing high heels without the torture, it is possible!).  Finally, I’ve noticed that these two Essentiel jumpers have become some of my go-to pieces whenever I have a “nothing to wear” day (don’t you just hate those?) The lively prints make it unnecessary to add a lot of extra accessories when I don’t feel inspired. A pair of skinny jeans and some heels and I’m good to go!

Knowing how happy I’ve been with all of these treasures, I can’t wait to find a young fashion victim who I can pass on some of mine to! (And I have a feeling my bursting closet and my boyfriend cannot wait either… :) )  How about you? Do you have a Fashion Fairy Godmother or someone to lavish second hand gems from your closet on?

Ladies, you might know the feeling. The new spring lines hit the stores and online shops and you just cannot put off indulging in a few lovely pieces. However, confronted with a Belgian winter that just doesn’t seem to end (seriously, what is up with all that snow?) and chilly first spring days, those pretty pieces end up spending the next months lonely and neglected in your closet.

That just doesn’t seem fair, now does it? And if you’re as impatient a person as I am (I confess), you will try to find a way around that. One option would be to just go for it and freeze your ass off, but let’s not take the suffering for beauty motto too far, shall we? In this case the easiest solution is to go with layers. Got a pretty new summer dress you’re just dying to wear? Why not try to combine it with a pair of thick pantyhose (or even a skinny jeans) and a nice blazer? I know, not quite the same effect, but at least you’re letting spring back into your life (and out of your closet).

My first spring ‘13 collection crush was this Mint and Berry top. By combining it with a cozy knitted jumper I got to keep warm in minus zero temperatures, all the while enjoying happy spring colors. Even though only the collar peeped out, I got to wear my new top and that was basically all I wanted. Yes, sometimes it only takes a little thing to make my day :)

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IMG_2772 editsMint and Berry top – H&M sweater, parka and loafers – Levi’s jeans – Stradivarius necklace

On a totally unrelated subject: this high bun is my favorite “bad hair day hairdo“. I’vge got to say, discovering the hair donut has changed my life (or at least simplified my morning routine :) ). It’s a great tool for creating a low fuss high impact hairstyle when you only have a few minutes to spare.  As my colleagues will confirm, I’ve become quite the donut advocate :)  Intrigued? I got mine here.

But all kidding aside, these quick fixes will only satisfy us for so long. Dear weather gods, can it be spring already? Like, NOW? *please please pretty please*

Earlier this year I took a short trip to Lisbon with the lovely Princess Misia. More business than pleasure, but even a little pleasure can go a long way, now can’t it? So what to do when you’re in an unknown city and only have a few hours to spare? Conquer it by storm armed with the only weapons you need: a camera and an Elle magazine! The perfect recipe for snapshots and hotspots (which was basically all we had time for :) ).

Nothing like some vintage shopping to get that “local” feel. Through the Elle citytips we discovered A Vida Portuguesa ( ‘Portuguese life’) a little shop in the middle of the Chiado neighborhood. This vintage treasure house holds a carefully selected collection of Portuguese heritage. Snooping around the handcrafted and locally manufactured objects feels like a genuine dive into Portuguese culture! A great tip indeed, thanks Elle! ;)

As amazing as these vintage treasures where, what we were really craving (obviously :) ) was some vintage fashion. That is how we stumbled upon the vintage shop & bar A Outra Face da Lua (‘The other side of the moon’). If you’re ever in Lisbon, I really recommend a stop at this hotspot! (Let’s call it a Scene by C citytip, shall we? ;) ) It has a great selection of vintage and second hand clothing. Feeling overwhelmed by all this prettiness or simply want to rest your feet? (shopping can be SO exhausting :p ) Just have a seat and enjoy a nice coffee while you let your eyes wander through the racks. Extra tip: around the corner is a small A Outra Face da Lua outlet shop, with second hand items for only €5! I scored a really nice romantic white blouse (which I will definitely share with you at some point!)

As for the snapshots? You might know (or you do now) that I’m somewhat of a newbie photographer. And since I’d bought my new camera only a few days before taking off for Portugal, our stroll around the beautiful blue-skied streets of Lisbon was the perfect occasion to put it to the test.

 

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Of course, this newbie still needs to develop her skills. And as my travel buddy happened to be the awesome Marta Majewska, I had a first class mentor at my side :) Blog photography one-on-one workshop = check! And that is how my first outfit shoot came to be :)

 

Zara dress & hat - Drôle de copine jacket - vintage scarf - Pull and Bear bagZara dress & hat – Drôle de copine jacket – vintage scarf – Pull and Bear bag

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 Pics by Princess Misia

This little sip of Lisbon definitely made me thirsty for more, so this lovely city was immediately added to my must-visit (properly this time :) ) destinations list!

I must confess. I’m having an affair. Several of them actually. A closet full to be exact.

I have a passionate love affair with dresses.

A beautiful dress gives me an instant confidence boost and makes me feel like I can handle anything. Cause let’s face it, Ladies, we feel stronger when we feel pretty. And that’s what dresses do for me.

On top of that, they make picking out an outfit in the morning so much easier! :) No decision process about whether or not your shirt/sweater is a good match with your skirt/dress.  One piece, throw on some accessories and you’re good to go. Easy peasy, no matter the occasion.

Fully dressed with a dress

However, not just any dress will do the trick. As in the search for a perfect guy, you have to be picky! For starters, it’s all about fabric. Who feels sexy in itchy nylon? I don’t think so. We can’t always go for silk (and we might not even want to), but a nice and soft fabric makes the fashion experience that much sweeter.

Secondly, make sure you feel comfortable. Don’t try to squeeze your gorgeous body into that super tight pencil skirt. You’ll be uncomfortable and tense, and it will show. Go for a model that complements your body and have that delicious brownie you know you deserve.

Finally, there’s nothing like a little mystery. Yes, that mini dress shows of your fabulous legs. But will you really feel classy when you’re constantly wondering whether people can spot your underwear (even if they’re a pretty shade of bubblegum pink :) )? Just a hint of skin can have so much more impact.

But if you ask me, the most important thing is to always aim for love at first sight.  That fabulous dress you just have to have. An instant love affair.

Don’t you just love firsts? Your first kiss, first job, first time traveling abroad without parental supervision… There’s nothing like it. All butterflies and twinkling eyes, you’re ready to take on the world. Even though deep inside, you’re scared as hell :)

So, you can imagine how this first post makes me feel :) I’ve been playing with the idea of creating my own online spot for a while now. However, sometimes it takes that little extra push, be it from people around you (Thanks Princess Misia for the inspirational coaching & Simon Droomcommissaris for creative design and guidance!) or your inner cheerleader, to transform vague plans into reality. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone (<3 this as a life philosophy :) ), so here we are!

Through this blog I want to share those things that touch me, interest me, make me think and make me smile. Intrigued? (I do hope so :) ), here’s a little sample of some of the things that make me happy:

Things that make me happy

Hope you’ll enjoy the world through my eyes!

Love,

Charlotte