Cashmere Wrap & Macadamia Nuts

On Fashion, Travel and Lifestyle.

Letting go is NOT easy… part III

Letting go is NOT easy part III

How often do you look at someone, whether in person or via social media, thinking “I want to look like him/her”? I sure have those moments and whenever I do, I ask myself a simple question – why? What about this person is so appealing that I would trade places, wardrobes, hairstyles, etc.? The answer is not always an easy one, it can focus on different aspects up to the whole lifestyle, so let’s limit consideration to situations when someone’s personal style and choice of clothes is simply “to die for”.

There are those who look exactly like the perfect version of oneself that we aspire to be. One may admire taste in clothes, the ability to create a certain image, but also more courage in expressing individualism or focus on how luxurious the look is, which is not so uncommon in the age of Instagram. Let’s be honest, if you covet the style of picture perfect social media stars without a budget bordering with infinite and attributes worthy of a fashion model, it is unlikely this will end with a success. Let’s look at more achievable ways of refining own look.

Look at fashion magazines, movies, profiles that you follow, but most of all – enjoy people watching and in the process try to define what catches your attention and make you try the same at home:

– What styles do you admire and would you like to make yours? are you into simpler or elaborate outfits? do you have a creative energy and need variety or prefer a well defined and safe uniform?

– What colours make your heart beat faster? are you into more monochrome and somber looks or admire very bold and elaborate combinations?

– What accessories (if any) make you smile? are you a maximalist who loves plenty or a minimalist who believes two is one too many?

– What silhouette agrees with you, fitted and body conscious or oversized and somewhat unisex?

Once you discover what is the definition of a style you would like to have, it is easier to put theory into practice. If your preferred look is demure and simple, you may need neutral basics in classic cut rather than elaborate pieces in bold patterns. From there you can define what those pieces should be, trousers or skirts, shirts or sweaters. If sweaters, V-necks or turtlenecks, if skirts, pencil or A-line. Try to be as precise as possible, create your own moodboard. If you can, find suitable role models whom you can look up to for inspiration. A suitable role model is the one who is similar to you in age and body build, if you are 40+, looking up to a 20-something role model can be confusing and frustrating.

To be successful and truly yours, no style should be detached from an actual lifestyle. If it doesn’t follow your activities, no matter how much it resonates with your sense of fashion, it can become a case of a wishful thinking and a waste of money. To give an example, a secretary in a respectful law firm can’t dress like a hip hop star every day, this look is reserved for her private time, so for most of the day she has to dress a part of a secretary in a respectful law firm.

Once all becomes well defined and clear, there is no place for random purchases and impulsive shopping. Be selective and act like a real connoisseur. Once you know what is yours and learn how to appreciate quality garments, you won’t be tempted to go overboard. A well defined style will guide you and give you the confidence to say no to things that are less than perfect. Your closet will stay neat and orderly, without a clutter or odd pieces that as if by miracle found their way to your wardrobe. All this can be achieved, so good luck, I am sure you can make it.

Photo: pintrest.com

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LifeStyle Mix. May.

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After the long winter, May brought a heat wave that continued for many days. This in connection with long weekends and public holidays moved daily activities outdoors, with an aim to enjoy this early summer that came already in spring. A short trip to Sopot was a nice change from daily routines, evening walks by the beach and beautiful sunsets were exactly what I hoped for when booking my flights.

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For more captions, visit Instagram profile @cashmerewrap_and_macadamianuts

Summer Resort.

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At last the long and exhausting winter is gone, the summer came almost overnight, bringing much awaited change. With bright, sunny days I look forward to wearing simple, uncomplicated outfits like those presented by Protagonist in their resort lookbook.

Photos: protagonist.com

On My Birthday Wishlist.

Like most kids I was always excited about my own birthday, looking forward to cake, celebration and most of all – birthday gifts. Each year I simply couldn’t wait for this day to come. Now, well into my thirties, I am much less excited about turning one year older. Not yet dreading the day, but not looking forward to it either. As for birthday gifts, I think I got wiser – it is no longer quantity, but quality that matters most. After a long time of minimising and downsizing, I am ready for more mature choices, not only in terms of skincare and perfumes, but also when it comes to wellbeing and accessorising. So this year I wish for timeless and classy gifts that bring quality to my daily life.

Photos: aesop.com; mulberry.com; parfymeri.no; heavenscent.no; hermes.com

From the Bookshelf. “The life-changing manga of tidying up. A magical story.” by Marie Kondo, illustrated by Yuko Uramoto.

The Life Changing Manga

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Marie Kondo and her method changed my life, but for sure it made me realise that organising possessions and personal space does have a power to change a lot and that instead of approaching the task with a loose plan on how to, it makes much more sense to use a well defined method.

After two bestsellers came time for an unexpected publication – a manga book. I was intrigued enough to place an order and despite my initial doubt, enjoyed the story of Chiaki, a single Japanese gal living in Tokyo who wants to make her life more meaningful and joyful, but doesn’t quite know how to. “The life-changing manga of tidying up. A magical story.” has all attributes of a real manga. The story line is focused on improving and organising, which in the process leads to changing own life. Perhaps I wouldn’t recommend to start own KonMari adventure here, but if you already are a fan, it is a nice addition to what you read so far and can visualise the whole process.

LifeStyle Mix. April.

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April ended on a positive note and with many happy memories. A long awaited reunion with a friend and a great trip to Bergen were highlights of this month. The weather is improving with each day, but there is still time before spring is in full bloom, so I decided to invite it to my terrace planting colourful flowers and creating a green space ideal for evening relax. April was also a time to invest in knowledge, as I decided to enrol into several online courses to develop a better understanding of interior design. Perhaps already in May I will be able to show first results.

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For more captions, visit Instagram profile @cashmerewrap_and_macadamianuts

Bergen Travel Diary.

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Bergen, the second largest Norwegian city, is primarily known for its rainy weather. To be in Bergen and experience sunny weather is very unlikely, so you can only imagine how lucky we felt to explore the streets of this charming coastal town under a perfect blue sky. After 6 hours on an Oslo – Bergen train, we arrived on the central station still impressed with beautiful views we were enjoying from the carriage.

As a base we selected Bergen Børs Hotel, an elegant and refined hotel in the city centre, a short walk from picturesque Bryggen. Bergen is an excellent destination for those, who like to walk, because most points of interest are within a walking distance. During our weekend stay we went to Mount Fløyen towering over Bergen to enjoy a beautiful landscape. To add to the experience, we took Fløibanen funicular to take us all the way to the top, the ride was short, but very enjoyable, with pre-ordered tickets we skipped the waiting line and with no rush embarked the carriage. When in Bergen, seafood is the preferred option, so to enjoy a local cuisine we dined at Bryggeloftet, a traditional restaurant with a long history. The food was exquisite. There is also something for coffee fans, two renowned coffee bars, Kaffemisjonen and Det Lille Kaffekompaniet, offer wonderful coffee. What I enjoyed the most about Bergen is the unique local architecture, its narrow, steep streets and small, beautiful houses packed together in most unlikely combinations, fondly maintained and well preserved. All in all, Bergen is a great destination for a weekend travel, especially if you manage to see some sun.

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Letting go is NOT easy… part II

Letting go is NOT easy part II

The previous part ended with a reference to an art collector, who invests time and effort into selecting all artworks belonging to the one special collection. This approach is not only useful when buying additions to your wardrobe, but also when going through what you already own. Be critical when you review a status of your wardrobe. Take a closer look at all pieces and most importantly their quality. Even if a particular item fits you and resonates with your style, you may remember it is made of synthetical yarn what makes it unpleasant to wear. So ask yourself a simple question – is it worth to hold onto it if having it on makes you so uncomfortable? How about that turtleneck made of acrylic, it is your colour and length, but even though it seems to be thick and warm, it is very unreliable, because you are either too warm or too cold whenever you wear it. You probably see my point. Be brave and firm saying goodbye to those less than perfect pieces. Wardrobe detox is a process, so don’t expect to be done in a day, however – if that is your plan and you have the motivation, just go for it. The ultimate goal is to review each and every item in your wardrobe, shoes and accessories included, in a defined period of time. Yes, you should always limit how much time you allocate to the detox, otherwise you may never finalise the process. Once you did a good clean up letting some fresh air into your wardrobe, it is time to see what is missing and what should be replaced.

When searching for new garments, be selective and demanding, if possible – prepare in advance and make some research. This will hopefully help you to gain a distance and not act on an impulse. Some pieces appear to be “it” at the first glance, but when you look closer and apply your knowledge, you may discover their obvious flaws. It is not only fast fashion brands that use cheap fabrics and cut corners on craftsmanship. On more than one occasion I found acrylic sweaters sold by an otherwise reputable brand with a price tag worthy of a merino wool. Always read all info and composition, don’t go for a “nice to touch” impression as your only criteria in assessing quality, because you may be fooled easily. Look closely at seams, lining, buttons and button-holes. If possible, turn the garment inside out and judge the finishing from this perspective. If you find a great silk shirt that is perfect in all but buttons, you may take a risk and replace them, this is easily done, but if a major quality like lining or fabric is not up to your standard, leave it be and do not buy.

Be very picky and demand the best for the budget you have. Always allocate an amount that you can spend and do not get carried away, much less reach for a credit card. Spend the money you have, buy only what you can afford. If your goal is to find a good quality handbag, you don’t have to go for a high end brand, but look for more affordable one. It is a good idea to research second hand market and internet auctions, a well worn Mulberry can be a good alternative to an off the shelf Furla. However, no matter the brand, one solid and well made leather bag is usually a much better investment than four badly made cheap bags in faux leather. Anytime I would pick one beautiful cashmere or merino wool sweater over five made of a synthetic yarn, because one top quality garment will wear well and be a companion for many seasons to come. Personally I am a fan of an understated, classic elegance, but we are all different, the key is to define your own style and buy items that you want to keep and wear for a long time. They do not have to be classics per se, but your own staples that you want to wear over and over again, year after year. With this you will hopefully be able to define what resonates with your individual sense of style and handpick items that are of the finest quality. How to define your style, so you don’t have to redo the detox process every season? The third and last part will offer some advice on the matter.

Photo: pinterest.com

Paris, Paris…

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It seems there is a French theme continuing over the past few weeks, which is not coincidental, because I look for an inspiration on how to refine my style and make it more colourful and exciting. Sandro Paris is one of those brands that I look at, their designs are intriguing and feminine, at the same time uncomplicated and with a classic cut. After this long and quite exhausting winter I look forward to chances of showing more individuality and most of all – wearing high heels again. While waiting for the snow to melt, some looks from Sandro Paris lookbook to bring an air of spring.

Photos: us.sandro-paris.com

LifeStyle Mix. March.

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“Where is the spring?” was probably a question asked most often in March. Despite optimism and high expectations, this month was very cold and ended up on sub-zero notes, white Easter in the city was not appreciated. Apart from the unusual weather, things slowly fall back into their place. Short excursion to Gothenburg was a much needed diversion. Now I look forward to April, as it will bring a happy reunion with a dear friend and another travel to a “first time” destination. I only cross my fingers and hope that the spring arrives to Norway in time for both.

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For more captions, visit Instagram profile @cashmerewrap_and_macadamianuts