Cashmere Wrap & Macadamia Nuts

On Fashion, Travel and Lifestyle.

Category: Miscellaneous

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

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

LifeStyle Mix. April.

LifeStyle Mix April_1

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

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

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

Letting go is NOT easy… part I

Letting go is NOT easy

Would you be able to list all things that you own? Sounds like a joke, doesn’t it? So how about we look at your closet, can you name all garments that you have in there? Still nothing? Perhaps all tops or bottoms? If you feel like your head is spinning and my ideas are bordering with insane, you probably have way too much in your wardrobe. No judgement, abundance is no crime, only a burden.

Material possessions keep us in their power. It is a spell that is so difficult to break that we are ready to live in denial only to avoid facing the problem. We are willing to dedicate our precious time to keep and maintain them. We give away our living space, allowing them to occupy our territory. Why is that so? We feel bound by sentiments or memories connected to them. We do not want to loose money spent when purchasing them. We do not want to be wasteful, waiting for the opportunity to use them again or offer to someone else who may need that particular thing. Fair enough if you keep that great cashmere cardigan that became too loose to hand it to your friend who is one size bigger than yourself, but worst if you hold onto it for years even if you hate it and every time you see it hanging in your closet you are overwhelmed by a sense of regret for spending so much money on something that isn’t your colour and doesn’t even fit you properly, yet you can’t part with it because… well, because of what? And what about that silk dress that you bought in 2002 and still keep, even though it makes you uncomfortably conscious of changes to your silhouette, because the last time you were able to zip it up was back in 2006. And now imagine a closet that is filled with your favourite peaces, each of them a good friend that makes you feel comfortable, fits you well and flatters your body. When you look inside the closet, clothes are hanging neatly, there is enough space to move hangers, while other items are elegantly folded on shelves or inside drawers. Every garment has own space and you know well what is where, all in perfect harmony with your sense of style, needs and lifestyle. Doesn’t this sound fantastic? Sure it does, but why is it so hard to achieve that many give up trying before they even begin?

I am hardly the first person to say that you should only own and maintain those possessions that make you happy, agree with you and feel right or are necessary to keep from practical reasons. I believe this is an important message that should be repeated time and time again. All that doesn’t fall into “so me” and “so necessary” should find its way to an internet auction, charity or in worst case – a garbage bin. I am not an extreme minimalist who would give a formula on how many wardrobe items to hold on to, my belief is that as long as you regularly use what you own, it is good enough indicator. To use a parallel, some people hang only one special painting on their wall and enjoy it as a centrepiece of their living space, others go for several paintings adorning one wall, both ways are fine as long as you like what you see and are set on seeing it everyday for many years to come. Nothing in your closet should be random or purchased without reflection, behave like an art collector – invest in what is meant to last, chose wisely and with a long term time perspective. More on how to refine your wardrobe in part II, so this subject remains to be continued.

Photo: pinterest.com

LifeStyle Mix. February.

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Day follows day and hour follows hour, life goes on even in a face of most tragic events when heart aches and reason can’t understand “why”. It seems almost inappropriate to laugh, but you do laugh when something is really funny. Sadness blinds you to beauty, but when you spot something special, you stop to take a picture. Routines seem so insignificant, but you follow them like a lifeline, because they keep you going. Slowly, reluctantly, with an effort. You begin to enjoy a morning coffee, treat yourself to that favourite dark chocolate, remember to water flowers, look forward to a lunch date with a friend… Time goes by, pieces of puzzle fall into place, even though nothing can cure the hole in your heart caused by a loss of the loved one. My grief and sorrow, I hope they slowly melt like snow.

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For more captions, visit Instagram profile @cashmerewrap_and_macadamianuts

La Parisienne – Sophie Marceau in “Une Rencontre”.

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A few days ago my husband and I re-watched “Une Rencontre”, one of my favourite French movies. I love the story, but this time my full attention was on the main character Elsa played by Sophie Marceau and her fantastic costumes, which make a perfect introduction to the Parisian chic know-how.

Elsa is a Parisienne, a single mother of three who tries to balance her writer career with a family life and a somewhat complicated love life. In the movie we observe Elsa in many different situations – spending time with her teenage kids, attending parties, travelling, meeting friends. Her outfits are well adjusted to each situation, natural and nonchalant by day, sexy and feminine by night, all in perfect harmony with the character who is smart, independent, bit chaotic and charming. Sophie Marceau is very real as Elsa, you can almost believe she is an actual person whom you may accidentally spot when visiting Paris, because all about her seems to be so genuine – her hairstyle, clothes, smile, apartment… Elsa is comfortable in her own skin, conscious of her femininity and spontaneous, perhaps this is what makes Parisian women so intriguing, a harmony between body and spirit. If I ever encountered Elsa, I would definitely invite her for a glass of white wine, it would be great to sit together talking about style and her adventures.

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Photos: allocine.fr

LifeStyle Mix. 2017.

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I wish I could say that 2017 was a good year, but unfortunately I cannot. It was a year marked with sorrow and a sense of loss. There were happy moments and wishes coming true, but even the best moments were overshadowed by the sense of what is to come in the nearest future and that made it very difficult.

If I could call 2017 in any special way, I would say it was a year of friendship, because even in the most challenging moments friends were there and for this I will be forever grateful. In addition to them, a little feline friend moved in with us in August. May stole my heart at hello, or should I say at the first meow, she is my little joy that brightens up even the saddest days. Travel to Tuscany was another wish coming true, I will cherish those fantastic memories for many, many years.

In the recent weeks I wasn’t very active on the blog as well as on Instagram, partially because other things occupy my mind, but also because I am somewhat upset with the way Instagram is changing and I enjoy using the modernised platform less and less, for this reason I post less frequently.

To be honest I cannot say that I look forward to 2018, if anything, I am afraid of what the year will inevitably bring. One thing is certain though, whatever happens in the coming twelve months, I know I won’t be alone and this gives me great strength to face what is to come.

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For more captions, visit Instagram profile @cashmerewrap_and_macadamianuts