Sunday, 30 March 2008

What to do when your boyfriend of 4+ years walks out on you?

1) Buy yourself flowers and fashion magazines.

2) While reading the fashion magazine (in this case, Vogue Italia), come across a photo bonanza of old film stars, and wonder out loud how you ever settled for someone that didn't look like Paul Newman.

5) Read Huojuva talo. Imagine that he is Eero.

4) Go shopping. Find great stuff at the flea market, stuff that he wouldn't appreciate. Flower bag, 1 euro, white dress, 8 euros, Margaret Howell scarf, 1 euro, black&green bag, 1 euro, vintage gloves, 3 euros.

5) Wear stuff you know he would hate. In this case, loose, billowy, draped shapes, washed out pastels and browns, plus mens' shoes. Make sure you don't brush your hair, but keep it loose anyway to maximise the sloppy, shapeless look.

6) Do all of the above, knowing that he will despise you even more than he already does because of all the things you have done above.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Blue collar, white collar, who cares!

There are times when I get really inspired by catwalk images. One of those occasions was seeing the Miu Miu collection for S/S 08. I fell in love with the separate collars and cuffs.

I couldn't believe my luck when I saw these darlings at the flea market last week. They cost me 1,50 euros a piece. The big one is rather bold, but it does wonders on outfits that look sloppy. The lacy one makes each top appear softer and more feminine.

Luckily the separate cuffs will be even more easily available. I will just hunt down some cool shirts at the flea market, cut the cuffs off and revamp them a little. Or I could go to Feminett and spend 65 euros on a pair by Marc Cain, like a stylist acquaintance of mine suggested. Well, no thank you. I rather do it myself one of these days! In the meantime, I will get plenty of use out of my collars.

Catwalk image:

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Underwear lovelies

I have a soft spot for delicate frills and smooth surfaces when it comes to underwear. I am so over overtly "sexy" push-up bras and hardcore g-strings. I hate uncomfortable underwear. Luckily, comfortable doesn't mean ugly, nor does it mean expensive. I try and not shop too much at H&M, but their underwear is difficult to resist. The sizes are small enough for my non-existent boobage, and the prices are very reasonable.

At home

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Mummi, how I miss thee!

It really sucks to not have any grandparents. My grandfathers were the first ones to go. My paternal grandfather I didn't even get to meet. My maternal grandfather passed away when I was 17. My grandmothers managed to hang around for a good while after their respective husbands left this planet. When their time came, they left behind many a lifetime's worth of memories and treasures. This is me, sporting my grandmothers' old stuff, pretending to still smell their scent in these items.

Laimi's Askel-boots

Helvi's jacket; I think it is tailor-made.

Helvi's Piretta-coat

Laimi's red Femitex-coat

Friday, 21 March 2008

Does second hand count?

The enchanting Ranna from Only shallow raised an interesting question about fashion/style consumerism. When it comes to spending money on clothes, does second hand count?

A lot of style bloggers are interested in recycling and thrifting because those aspects of reinventing your style provide an outlet to dress individually without spending a lot of money. The added bonus is eco-friendlyness. Want to revamp your style without feeling the post-H&M hangover? Go to the local flea market or Fida, go through piles and piles of old stuff, spend 20 euros on 5 cool, edgy pieces. You feel good about yourself for not having spent much money, and for having found cool things that give you instant gratification. Most likely the little money that you have spent goes toward a good cause. Is there even a need to ask questions?

Yes, for me there is. Here is why:

I can only speak for myself, but I have recently discovered that second hand shopping can really get out of hand, and in terms of the amount of stuff that accumulates, it is potentially a lot worse than even mindless H&M shopping. Stuff is cheap, why not buy it? It is way more difficult to control yourself when the price of a scarf is 50 cents than if it was 5 euros. I end up hoarding a terrible amount of (albeit lovely) stuff because it is available, because it is second hand, and because it is cheap. The end result is still consumerism. I spend money on stuff I don't really need.

Of course I feel better for spending money on second hand than cheaply manufactured, child labour stuff. However, the space in my closets runs out just the same. The pictures above are just the tip of the iceberg. An entire room in my flat is dedicated to my flea market project: sorting old stuff, pricing it, packing it. I take a couple of Ikea bags to the local self-service flea market almost every week. My closets are still full.

Anywhoo, this is what I wore today:

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Do, do, do!

Tricia from bits & bobbins wrote about the Dos and the Don'ts of style. I posted a comment on her blog but figured that since the topic is very hairy indeed, I would write about it in detail. So here it goes:

We all know the usual suspects: Don't wear black and navy together. Match your bag with your shoes. Make sure to balance off a voluminous top with a skinny bottom. The list is endless. Then there are the ones based on current trends: Only wear wide-legged jeans this summer. Flowers and stars are the thing for this season, leave other patterns unless you want to look unfashionable. Tricia asked who these types of rules are for. Who needs them? Why are people afraid of sporting an individual style?

At first I thought that it is just about people being scared. No one wants to look stupid, and if you have someone telling you that you will be looking stupid in x, you will probably want to wear y. Women have to deal with a lot of mostly media-related pressure when it comes to the way they look and the way they are. If you are not rich, skinny, intelligent, talented and whatever else, you are not worth much. Of course you get fearful. To combat the fear, you better be what is being expected of you. After giving this theory more thought, I figured that the whole thing runs way deeper than that. It is a 1984-type of scenario.

The capitalist system is based on profit. If the system makes enough profit, it will be able to maintain itself. In order to make profit, one has to keep the costs down and make sure that people spend money. How do you make people spend money? Well, you do that by making people think that their self-worth depends on it. When it comes to fashion and style, the key is to spend money because you can. L'Oreal says it best: buy our shampoo because you're worth it. Don't buy it because of us, buy it because of you. So far, it's brain washing. But I have a feeling it is even worse.

What if there is a superduper global tycoon out there, who has decided that he needs to sell more cotton this year? The price of cotton is up, now would be a good time to make money. In come wide-legged jeans. Super flares. More flare, more fabric, more cotton being sold. Add a bunch of fashion magazines and other forms of media that also depend on how much people consume, and there you have it. A big conspiracy to make us buy flares simply because our worth is supposedly dependent on it!

This is scary stuff. To protest, I decided to go against the grain and mix red with green. That is probably worse than black and navy. (And for the record, I always mix black and navy!)

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Polyester tester

I know polyester is bad. It doesn't breathe, it looks (and is) cheap, it feels hard and uncomfortable on your skin. However, I have quite recently purchased a reasonable amount of lovely blouses from the 1970s, and almost without exception, they are made of polyester.
Yes yes, nothing beats natural fibres. But compare polyester to something like linen while sitting on the train for an hour... With linen you end up looking like a frumpy sloth that doesn't own an iron. With polyester, all you get is smooth airiness, and okay, maybe the added bonus of feeling a bit sweattier than you'd like. Oh well. How can it be so bad, if it looks so good?

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Sunday pastels

I hate the fact that spring is supposedly the season for pastels. I wear pastels all the time. On one hand I think they look great on pale winter skin. It's that antique, bordering on sickly aristocratic look. On the other, nothing beats a summery, a tad bit sun-kissed skin with a floaty romantic pastel shade dress. Think Keira Knightley in The Atonement (minus the awful acting):


I think the thing with pastels is to wear them in layers to get the dreamy feeling, and/or make the look modern with a splash of a stronger colour to avoid looking like you escaped from the 1920s.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Walking in my shoes

I am not a huge heel-wearer. I am tall and have a rough time controlling my limbs in heels. However, this morning I decided to go for a pair of high rubber wedge booties that are actually very comfortable and relatively easy to walk with. Okay, they aren't exactly comparable to a solid set of trainers, but considering their height, they do the job. But here's the crux of the matter: The reason why I decided to wear heels was to slow myself down. I have recently discovered that I have an awful habit of semi-running to work in the morning, getting pissed off at people who "walk too slow". Ugh!

If you have ever read The Idler, you have probably come across some serious praise for walking. Going for a walk, just for the sake of walking, is one of those things that is mostly associated with exercise these days, you know, something like power walking, walking with weights attached to your ankles and whatever else. Otherwise it is something we do to get from point A to point B, preferably as fast as possible. The modern society has pretty much forgotten about the advantages of simply going out for a stroll. Walk slowly, stop at shop windows, pop into a random coffee shop... In the modern society that's something people only do on Sundays if you're lucky.

Wearing heels today, I spent a bit more time seeing what is going on around me today. I took my time to walk to the train stop, clumping away in my rubber heels, slowly but surely, and immediately noticed that my head seemed clearer. I recommend heel-wearing to everyone who is suffering from one of the modern society's plagues: rush, stress, haste. Slow yourself down and observe the world!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Outfit of the day

Skirt: flea market
Blouse: Noa Noa
Cardigan: H&M
Shoes: mom's old
Hat: flea market
Bag: flea market

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Flea market craze, part 2 + I love Fida = 140 euros

I am already getting a bit tired of going down to the flea market to sort out my stuff. Someone had tried on my gold painted skinny jeans, obviously didn't find them suitable or whatever, and left them inside out on the floor. I mean, come on! Just because it's used goods, it doesn't mean you can get away with not treating it with respect! In fact, treat it with MORE respect because it is old, sad, vulnerable stuff that is being rejected by its previous owner. Trampling on the wounded is bad karma, I say.

During my first week and a half, I made 165 euros at the flea market. Not bad, although I spent 25 euros on wonderful pieces of clothing I found at Fida in Hakaniemi. Stuff goes out, stuff comes in. Like the boyfriend said yesterday, things aren't adding up here. If I am supposedly trying to get rid of stuff, why exactly am I buying more..? My reasoning is that there is no way I could have turned down this mint green Gudrun Sjoden jacket:

Perfect for spring! The faded pastel shade looks great on linen. The jacket seems unworn, and at 10 euros, it was a steal. The hat (1,50 euros) and the silk scarf (60 cents) just happened to tag along. Those Fida bargains have a tendency to do that.

(Sorry about the blurry image. I am still learning how to take photos.)

Monday, 10 March 2008

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Something small

I am a huge fan of these little treasures. The flower brooch is made of some kind of plastic mass. It looks pretty old to me, perhaps from the 60s or 70s.

The gold-and-pearl buttons were attached to my mom's old 1980s lace shirt. The shirt itself is ugly and in terrible condition, but I managed to save some bits of the lace too. I haven't decided yet what to do with the buttons (or the lace), but I am sure they will find a new "home".

The fork necklace is from the local flea market.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Flea market craze, week 1

Like I mentioned the other day, I managed to book a place at the local self-service flea market. Here is how it goes: you basically rent a rack and some shelf space for a week at a time, put price tags on the stuff you want to sell, and the nice ladies at the till do all the dirty work, i.e. sell your stuff for you. At the end of the week you simply collect your money.

There are huge advantages to the thing: first, you don't have to be there in person. No standing around for hours, hoping that someone will stop and take a look at your old crap. No looking into your purse every few minutes, making sure that you have made more money than you invested. Second, you don't have to deal with bargaining because the prices are set, no questions asked. Last year my sister and I went to sell some of our clothes at one of those Saturday flea markets and mostly ended up arguing with people. I think 40 cents for a print t-shirt, two euros for a wool skirt, or four euros for a 1960s tea dress is not too much to ask, but apparently there are people who only settle for free, or almost free. ("What, you have the nerve to ask 5 euros for these unworn leather boots? I should get them for 20 cents!") At least you save yourself the trouble of getting annoyed at people, because at the self-service flea market they either buy or they don't. It's as simple as that. There is one more benefit to the self-service thing: for the same price, you get a place for an entire week as opposed to a single day at a regular flea market.

There are problems, too. You can't choose your customers. I would certainly feel more comfortable selling a once-loved item of clothing if I knew it was going to have a good future home. I might not be the happiest person around if I ended up seeing my precious tweed jacket a week later on some rude bimbo who clearly doesn't appreciate it. Also, you pretty much have to go in every two days to clear out the huge mess people make. Seriously, a huge portion of flea market goers have no respect for other people's property. One day into my first week at the flea market, my clothes were all over the place, in crunched up piles, rummaged through as if they were dirt. And finally, things can get stolen because these types of places aren't exactly packed with security staff.

Having said all this, I am still happy that I booked the place and got the process going, even though I just spoke to a friend of mine who made 300 euros on Sunday, doing her Clean Up at a traditional flea market. We'll see how it goes with the self-service one. Moneywise I'd settle for a third of what my friend made. I just want to get rid of stuff!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

For a few euros more

Too bad only Clint Eastwood can get away with wearing a poncho. For whatever reason I think his character in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly would have come across rather differently to the general public had he been wearing this one by Indian Rose:

I bought it about four years ago at a storage sale thinking that the colours were cute, which they are, to be fair. Surprisingly I have never ever worn it. I took it to the flea market today.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

The dilemma of unpractical shoes

I managed to book a table at the local flea market with one day's notice, and have been frantically going through my stuff. What to sell, what to keep? I started with clothes. It was relatively easy to decide on selling things that I simply dislike. Or things that are the wrong size, the wrong colour, or stuff that stinks of the late 1990s... you get the picture. I managed to come up with a respectable pile of clothing that I simply don't wear anymore, or that I have no emotional bindings to. The difficulties arose with the shoes.

I have a lot of shoes, and almost all of them have a story to tell. Like the baby blue stiletto sandals with a see through heel, that I got as a present after I modelled for a random fashion show in Bologna about 10 years ago. (Keep, because it was a kick-ass fashion show and I looked fantastic.)

Or the Spice Girls-esque fat bottomed square block-heeled black leather boots that I bought simply because my then-boyfriend thought they were sexy. (Sell. Although no one will probably buy them, they are so very very ugly.) So far, so good.

Then there are the wild metallic pink Kurt Geiger thong heels that I have never worn, despite the fact that I have had them for about 5 years. These types of shoes are the problem. Just shoes whose sole purpose (for me, anyway) is to look pretty.

Oh yes, these are those types of shoes that I just want to own even if I never wear them. I just want to take them out of their box every once in a while, try them on, walk around in my flat in them, and then put them back into the box. The KG pair isn't the only one. There are the bronze Nine West sandals that give no support to my poor feet whatsoever. There are the way-too-high Morgan wooden platform heels with wonderfully soft leather straps. My brain tells me that I should give them up, but I can't! Simply can't!

The problem is that these types of unpractical pretty shoes make up around 50% of my shoe reserves. That can't be good. I have two options: 1) to buy more practical shoes to hide the amount of unpractical ones (in terms of the practical/unpractical ratio), or 2) to learn to get rid of the unpractical shoes. Since the overall purpose of the Clean Up is to get rid of stuff, I don't think there is any way I can get away with purchasing more shoes just to make the figures look nicer. Unfortunately. Either way, I am not ready to sell my pink KGs. Yet.