Cashmere Wrap & Macadamia Nuts

On Fashion, Travel and Lifestyle.

Category: Closet Confidential

Wanderlust and Fjällräven Kånken.

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I hate backpacks, but not when it comes to Kånken. I wish I had bought one years earlier, because if I did, perhaps I would be spared a shoulder condition and some back pains. But better late than never, right?

Fjällraven is a Swedish outdoor clothing brand that introduced Kånken backpack in 1978, as a remedy for steadily increasing number of back problems affecting increasingly younger groups. The design is clean and simple, the product is made of a resistant and light fabric Vinylon F that adds a minimum weight to the backpack cargo. Not surprisingly, Kånken made an international career among school children and their parents alike. Now it is available in several sizes and in a whole rainbow of colours, but in its spirit still true to the original idea and simplistic design. Straight backs are happy backs, as the company introduction says, so don’t be afraid to give it a try, perhaps you will appreciate it just like I did.

For myself I selected a classic black model in the regular size, which is big enough to fit a 13 inch laptop. I use it very often and it proved to be handy on many occasions, from casual weekend trips, hand luggage on a flight to a trusted companion on day excursions during bigger holidays, like on the below picture taken in Lucca. With Kånken your hands are free to hold a camera, you have an extra space for a bottle of water and a snack, as well as shopping, so you don’t need to carry around shopping bags and your handbag at the same time. From every angle it is a win-win situation, not only for your comfort, but also for the comfort of your back and shoulders. On the down side, the design can be too raw for some people and the price is on the high end. When I bought Kånken, my husband said it is the ugliest backpack ever, but I think he changed his opinion now, seeing how often I use it and how handy it really is. I hope he will be more appreciative when I finally buy another one, this time in the Fog shade.

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Cheap and Chic?

Cheap & Chic

Some say there is only one way to call cheap and it is… cheap. Can cheap be chic without being only cheap or is this an urban myth we were made to believe by likes of H&M, Zara and Gap? 

This time I decided to find out myself and for my summer wardrobe selected some very affordable pieces from H&M and TK Maxx (multibrand store offering discounted pieces from high street). I bought several tops, a pair of shorts and a pair of chinos, all in neutral colors and classic cut, typical hardworking essentials for an everyday summer wardrobe. Most pieces that I chose are composed of 95/97% cotton and 3/5% elastane, with one in 100% linen and one consisting of more complex bland of 67% acrylic, 21% modal and 12% wool. This season I intend to use them often and report on their behavior at the end of September.

I admit to having several reservations towards budget buys. Based on my previous experiences cheap pieces proved to be short lived and not worth the money, even if a price tag was very tempting and in a shop they seemed to be of a decent quality. With cheap garments I had been through thorn seams, ripped seams (on a very first day!), lost buttons (up to the point of resewing them all by hand to make them look more neat – yet this is also true for more expensive brands), deformations after the first wash (and I usually opt for wool program, protective net and delicate washing liquid) and, probably the greatest surprise, discovering that pure wool undergarments smelled of chemicals after their first wash. Needless to say, most cheap purchases were not successful and ended up in a trash, so I am really curious what will happen this season, good or bad, I will share all in September.

New in June. Sale, sale, sale away…

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Sales often lead to impulsive purchases that result with a plethora of clothes that are either not flattering, impossible to mix with pieces already owned or reflecting seasonal trends with a very short expiry date… I learned my lessons after many accidental purchases, so this year a different story happened.

When I found myself entering my private shopping heaven, which is commonly known as Massimo Dutti boutique, I decided to be clear headed and very realistic. I opted for classic, timeless garments in white, navy blue and beige, in quality fabrics as well as made in Europe (yes, I did check every label looking for the country of origin – made in Italy, Spain and Portugal convinced me that fabrics and finishing are at the highest standard). When back at home I went through the shopping bag contents and decided that… I need to organize my closet once and for all. Having a free afternoon, I was arranging and rearranging, trying on, selecting and dismissing, planning and cleaning. As a result, I let go of many (MANY) items that I either had for years and at present failed to represent my personal style or those that I bought on impulse and never wore. 

Now, after the rearranging and with additional purchases, my closet is clatter free and well thought through. I found myself wearing new pieces on many occasions and mixing them with earlier purchases, as they are all in the same style and reflect my lifestyle as well as personal esthetics. Once again I proved to myself that “less is more” and  that by having fewer items I feel much happier when opening my closet in the morning. 

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Urban Classics.

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My outfit of the day consists of “urban classics” that are well liked and worn often – white shirt (to feel sleek and groomed), ripped denim (to add an informal “off duty” touch), Converse sneakers in white leather (to see me through the day filled with walking) and a leopard print coat (to add the “edge” to otherwise simple set), creating altogether a comfortable attire for a day in the city. What you cannot see is an umbrella in my handbag, as despite my hopes, long weekend in the resort town was not as sunny as I imagined!

White Shirt – Massimo Dutti

Denim Trousers – Mango

Shoes – Converse

Coat – Mango

Handbag – Coccinelle

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New in May.

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May was one eventful month, with my birthday celebration and the trip to Milan as its most memorable moments. In relation with both, there was some shopping and some gift unwrapping, both very enjoyable. 

Before packing my suitcase and setting off to Milan, I invested in comfortable city shoes and bought white leather Converse. They made my sightseeing very easy and I praised them most on the rooftop of the Duomo cathedral, feeling sorry for ladies struggling in their high heels. Since Milan is an Italian capital of fashion, I purchased some leather goods that the city is famous for. Back home I brought two leather Coccinelle handbags, one in classic black and one in yellow as well as a black leather Furla wallet. To add some color to my closet, I selected a scarf in shades of pink, orange and yellow.

And yes, birthday gifts! I did not forget about them, as I cherish each and every (once again many thanks to all who were so kind and remembered about my special day). From black pearls jewelry set, beautifully illustrated album about Christian Dior Couture, through Guerlain beauty products and Acqua di Parma Magnolia Nobile eau de perfum up to yearly subscription of Harpers Bazaar US. Who said that becoming a year older has to be scary?

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