Hemline Question: Knee, Midi or Maxi?

Hi guys! I already asked this question on my instagram, but not everyone follows my instagram and I wanted to expand the issue a bit. You see, I've been feeling like wearing skirts lately. Simple, straight, column-like pencil skirts of all kinds of lengths have been catching my eye with their mix of comfort, elegance and versatility. You can create any type of outfit with a skirt like that and you can wear it year round. 

I'm starting my new job working on a PhD fulltime on Monday (PSYCHED!!) and since I'll probably be stressing out a lot, I want to simplify my wardrobe as much as possible. I mean, fall being around the corner brings enough stress as it is, right? What do you mean, just a season we experience every year? Being confused by the transitional weather when getting dressed is a SERIOUS ISSUE YO. At least it is for a control freak like me. I feel like a total failure when I've dressed too warm or too cold for the day :(

Anyway, with pencil skirts you're basically set for life since they are appropriate for any kind of situation. Except maybe swimming. Or laser shooting. But within the range of reason they are totally perfect for anything. Let me demonstrate!










Convinced yet? If you are, and you are in need of some pencil skirt sweetness in your tea (worst adaptation of an idiom ever?), I got my eye on a knee length, midi and maxi version at very affordable price points.



1//2//3


Of course, just finding some good options isn't enough. I need to discern exactly which hemline(s) I should go for. Which skirt will I feel best in? You should know that feeling good in a garment is influenced by two major factors: (1) is it comfortable and (2) do I feel like I look good. I'm thinking knee length is probably the easiest to wear, midi length is the most "fashion" and elegant, and maxi length is the most relaxed and comfortable. Another pro of the maxi skirt is that it will allow me to stretch the period of bare-leg temperatures as long as possible, and that it looks good with thigh length coats. I think knee length and midi length skirts look crap with thigh length coats, makes me look like a dwarf.

And this is what I look like in each hemline (sorry for the abysmal photo quality, bad lighting)!



I recreated the look with an old strapless dress I had lying around. So, what do you reckon I should go for? I'm thinking knee and maxi.

Off The Shoulder Top and Vintage Skirt


top: ASOS - skirt: vintage via Think Twice - slingback pumps: H&M - watch: c/o ISMY - sunglasses: c/o Oakley


I've been really liking this trend of off the shoulder tops that's been having its moment the past months. I'm especially in love with this top, but it's kind of unpractical and I wasn't sure if it would look good on me so I couldn't justify spending 32€ on it. I COULD however justify spending 10€ on this basic little top, so that's what I did! I don't remember where I saw this type of look first, but an off the shoulder top with an emphasized waist and a retro midi skirt is just one of those iconic looks to me. The kind of outfit that makes you feel like a lady. A SEXY lady. Very feminine and chic, but swap the pumps for some sandals and it goes from fancy to flirty and bohemian, especially with messy hair or a top knot.

I wore pasties with the top, btw. I wanted that free feeling but I didn't think nipples would look nice with the outfit (lol), so I popped some of those silicone nipple cover thingies on. I don't really need my boobs to look like they're perfectly round and perky balls of plastic, but pasties do smoothen things out a bit. Looks more polished. I got mine at Di, some Eylure nipple covers. Definitely recommend them!

PS: my red lipstick is a new tube I got in a Gosh sale, it's #60 Lambada and it is my perfect red. Luminous, neutral poppy red that goes on like velvet and wears like a dream. Another recommendation!

PPS: don't forget to check out my Katy Perry false lash giveaway!

Question: do you ever go bra-less? If not: why? Because yeay free boobs!


Boyfriend Jeans, Crop Top and Nikes


crop top: ASOS - boyfriend jeans: H&M - belt: Levi's - sneakers: Nike - watch: c/o Swatch - ring: Diamanti Per Tutti


Another outfit that's more about getting dressed than about dressing up. I can smell autumn in the air already, but until I'll be confined to tights and skinny jeans again I'm rocking allllll the loose fitting garments. Boyfriend jeans, boxy crop tops, wireless bras and sneakers just feel so GOOD, you know? BODILY FREEDOM.

Btw does anyone have any experience with dying (suede) shoes? I have been totally miffed about missing out on the most beautiful Nike Air Vortexes ever (these maroon, silver and pink babies) butttt these ones in silver and pink are available and I could totally just hand dye the grey suede bits burgundy and end up with the shoes of my dreams, no? SO I need your experience/advise!


Serious Saturday: Growing up with the Sugababes

Just as a quick disclaimer before getting to the meat of this post: I'm not really feeling outfit posts right now, I want to put more opinions and realness and effort into this blog. I'm just going to feel my way through this until I find sure footing by semi-impulsively posting things (like the birth control post from last week!). Not saying I'll stop doing outfit posts, I'll just be dialing them down a bit.

And today, I feel like writing about one of my favourite bands: the Sugababes.


Let's start with the spark that lit the fire for this post. Just yesterday, through a random course of events I stumbled upon the news that the original line up of the Sugababes have reunited and will be putting out a new album later this year or early next year. Now, you may or may not have known this about me, but I was a huge Sugababes fan in my early teens. Today the girl band is mostly known for their straight forward pop music that plays more to the clubs than to your heart, but back in the day, before all of the line up changes that eventually swapped out every single original member (and every inch of character, if you ask me), there was heart. And soul. Lots of heart and soul, that's how I would describe the early Sugababes.

I was about 2 years younger than their youngest member Mutya Buena, who was just 13 when most of their early stuff was written and recorded, and their vulnerability combined with their alternative soul/pop sound and those hauntingly beautiful voices harmonizing with effortless perfection wrapped me around their little fingers. Of course, I was also head over heels with their awesome look (because image is everything when you're a young teen): Mutya, Siobhan and Keisha all had really awesome hair, make up and outfits, and permanently looked like unaffected, surly badasses to boot. The girls got a lot of crap for it, but they were basically bitchy resting faces before that became a feminist meme.



“We were never media trained! They just threw us out there,” says Mutya, before Keisha disagrees. “They tried to, but as soon as we got on camera we forgot everything we’d been told. We’d go into interviews with faces like thunder.”
“We weren’t even moody,” insists Siobhan, “we just didn’t realise that you have to smile or else you look aloof when you’re on TV. A lot of it was nerves, I was crippled with them. Perhaps people thought we were encouraged to be [moody], but we weren’t old enough to be contrived.”
- Ponystep interview, August 2nd 2013


Whether they were typical moody teenagers or not, their image and sound set them miles apart from other, more typical girl bands like the Spice Girls or Atomic Kitten. I was a self-identified surly/troubled teen so yeah, that spoke to me. Apart from that, they had the kind of nascent sex appeal that pubescent girls have whether they are trying or not, without looking like cookie-cutter barbie dolls. The Sugababes were all about diversity and realness. They always had real girl bodies, and through their culturally diverse roots they represented the sort of sticking-together that I've always loved about girl power. These girls were different on the outside but had the same issues and feelings and inner turmoil. Just like me. And they had street cred! Basically, they were everything I was or wanted to be.



Mutya was always my fave because she is awesome, and because her body shape and style were very similar to mine. She was probably my main inspiration for desperately wanting tattoos and piercings at 14.


And the music. Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan co-wrote every song on their debut album One Touch, which made for achingly real, straight forward songs about girl-troubles set to their angelic voices. Note: the wording of girl-troubles is not meant to belittle their worries, but to express how incredibly familiar it all felt. They really were just like me, struggling to find the words to express their frustrations, worries and individuality.




(those outfits kill me because the remind me of being 13 or 14 and thinking stiletto boots with boot cut denim were the key to womanhood)


But then Siobhan left in the middle of a Japanese promo tour because she was depressed, and both Siobhan and the Sugababes (with new member Heidi Range) went on to have the success their talent merited: Siobhan with two amazing, Kate Bush esque solo albums and the Sugababes with a streak of electro-pop hits.






I still loved the band up until Mutya left, but it never was quite the same. They lost bits of authenticity and agency through the years, but especially their first two albums A.S. (after Siobhan) still had girl power truth bombs to drop.

"I walk past looking good
Doesn't give you the right
To put that hand where you think that you should
(...) I don't want any man to tell me what to do
Anyone to say to me my feelings are not true
For your information
I maintain my station"
- Just Don't Need This - Angels With Dirty Faces


My love kind of fizzled out with their Taller in More Ways album because that one and everything that came after was just a bit too mainstream to inspire true love from me.

But! Rejoice! After Mutya left to focus on a solo career (replaced by Amelle Berrabah) and Keisha got kicked out for unspecified reasons (replaced by Jade Ewen), the original girls - who actually kept in touch throughout the years - have gotten back together again! Making a new start under the moniker MutyaKeishaSiobhan aka MKS. And I am psyched. Out. Their voices sound as perfect as ever, and each of them has grown as a songwriter and a person since their debut more than ten years ago.

I feel like the history of the Sugababes is a testament to the strength and inner beauty of these women. Brimming with talent at 13, starting out filled with passion and ambition and slowly being beaten and molded to be less of them and more of what the pop biz wanted them to be, until they had enough and broke free to go back to their roots. A slightly more mature, alternative pop sound. Realness. Soul. And heart.





I am in love with the videoclip to their comeback single Flatline: there is joy and there is freedom. The scenes in the desert almost make me tear up because of how fucking proud I am of those girls for having made it through. Just like I have.

You can bet your ass I'll be first in line to buy tickets when they do a Belgian show. Were/are you a Sugababes fan? What are the bands that made your early teens bearable? Who is your favourite Sugababe (don't say Jade because: ew)?


GIVEAWAY: Set of Katy Perry x Eylure False Lashes

Hey guys! You might remember me doing some reviews of Katy Perry's x Eylure false eyelash line in the past. If you're curious, you can find my post on the Oh Honey and Cool Kitty here, and I reviewed her Color Pop falsies here. I'm definitely a fan, although individual lash extensions are more my "thing" than strip lashes (I find them easier to work with and more reliable). I especially liked the coloured falsies because I hadn't encountered anything similar before, and you know I love colour. False lashes are seriously the easiest way to change from your everyday self into a vamp within minutes. There is no way any kind of mascara will ever be able to rival with the effect of falsies so I do believe a make up collection probably isn't complete without at least one set of false eyelashes.

SO! Because Katy Perry x Eylure lashes are awesome, because Katy has a new album coming out and because I love you guys for reading my blog, I'm giving away SIX prezzies, each of them containing a set of Katy's KA-POW + Oh Honey false eyelashes by Eylure! So I'm giving away 12 sets in total, but I'm picking 6 lucky winners who each will receive one box of KA-POWS and one box of Oh Honeys. The Ka-Pows are purple, which looks gorgeous with literally any eye colour and the Oh Honeys are subtle yet sultry. A great selection if I may say so myself!






So, if you want to try these babies out for yourself, all you have to do is:


- Follow Eylure on Twitter or Facebook
- RT this tweet and be sure to keep the mention of @eylureofficial (if you have twitter)
- annnnnd comment on this post to let me know you entered + where you followed Eylure. That's it!
If you feel like it, you can also follow me on twitter or facebook but I don't like forcing you to do so.

UPDATE: this contest is only available for Belgian residents, sorry!

This giveaway will run until the 31th of August 2013. Good luck babes!

This giveaway is closed, thanks for participating!


Board Shorts and Breezy Back


top: H&M (cut up myself) - board shorts: Ebay -  knuckle rings: H&M - sunglasses: Oakley - ear studs: ASOS- sandals (sandalen): H&M (similar: these from Papucei)


Outfit! I think board shorts are really underrated. More relaxed, comfortable and covered up than your regular denim shorts, but at least as cool. I got mine here for mega cheap but there's loads to find on Ebay if you don't like the print on this one! Be sure to check the sizing closely though, these are an XXL because the seller used Asian sizing.

The top is an oldie, like 8 years old or something. I found it in the back of my closet and cut it up to give it some new life. The back used to be simply closed with a keyhole cutout near the top and there used to be a band at the bottom to make the top fall a bit blouse-y. If that makes any sense. Anyway, I cut the band off and opened up the back. Perfect for summer weather. And yes, summer seems to have returned!

We're making the most of the last beautiful days and we have a few fun trips planned for tomorrow and the day after, since my boyfriend starts working again next Monday. We might make the trek down to Wallonia, the beautiful south of Belgium, again. A trip to the pool is also on the menu, yeay! Do you have any summer plans to perfect before the most beautiful season runs out?

Btw I have a fun giveaway coming up one of these days, be sure to watch this space!


Opinion: On Skipping Periods and Birth Control

I've been leaving a lot of gaps in between my posts recently, haven't I? I guess I've just really been in chill-mode, wearing shorts and t-shirts and not into taking pictures of myself all the time. Is my self-obsession fading? NAH. I actually think being egocentric is a good quality to a certain point. Being in tune with your own wants and needs, never losing sights of your own goals, constantly evaluating whether something works for you or if it's actually dragging you down: yep, having your own self as the centre of your life is A-OK. Tell nay-sayers I said so! 

Although I think I bit off and swallowed a chunk of aluminium foil with my chocolate bar while typing this, so maybe being self-centered can be hazardous from time to time.


Selfies and ego-centrism are like peanut butter and jelly: yummy. PS get my Yeezy tank top here.


To continue on with the idea of having your own best interest at heart, I read an article this week that really opened my eyes about skipping your period (be sure to read the comments as well, lots of valuable experiences with birth control!). I know, not something I usually write about, but dude LIVE a little. In short, the author writes about taking her birth control pill for months in a row without taking the pill free week into account, which results in her skipping her period altogether. Because, as it turns out, the monthly bleeding you experience if you take hormonal birth control is a sort of placebo-bleed. 

Your uterus isn't dressing its walls with sperm-friendly mucus, so there isn't really much at all to shed. Also, there is nothing to "cleanse" your body from. In fact, the period you experience while on hormonal birth control was designed after research indicated that women feel like it would be unnatural to just cease menstruating altogether. Just so you know. Which I didn't. I mean, I knew my menstruation wasn't the real deal all the way and that it was actually being instigated by the pill, but I didn't know it wasn't necessary to take a breather from my trusty birth control once a month. I knew you could skip it once if you were going on holiday or something, but not that you could skip it months in a row. Now that I do, I'm sure as hell going to pop those suckers at least three months in a row.

I posted this to my facebook wall and all kinds of women shared their experience with me regarding birth control and skipping periods and it was awesome. Everyone's experience is different of course, and if you feel better while respecting that monthly SUCKFEST then by all means, be my guest (I'm kidding, of course). Some women did tell me their period is heavier after skipping it a few months, while others told me their menses had all but disappeared. I'm curious to find out what it will be like for me, but in the mean time I'm going to enjoy not cramping and headaching and bleeding, thank you very much.

I wanted to write a post on this because I think women don't talk about this nearly enough. I remember being a kid and freaking the fuck out about getting my period for the first time because I felt gross and sexual and burdened with responsibility in some strange way. While puberty and all the changes that come with it are probably always going to be a bit weird, I would like to reduce any type of sexuality- or fertility related angst as much as possible in my immediate surroundings.



REDRUM


There's this saying that goes "if men were the ones menstruating, they wouldn't shut up about it and we'd probably have movies and hero stories about that shit" and I do think there's a point there. Puberty and dealing with a maturing sexuality is probably a big deal for guys as well, what with random erections popping up suddenly. But I do think it's important to note the discrepancy between this being regular, monthly issue that a lot of women have to deal with reluctantly, yet most people I know not being aware of the option to skip it full stop (ok that was a long and strange sentence). We should know this! Our doctors should tell us! This should be part of our sex-ed at school, and written on those little flyers you laughed at when reading about the female condom (don't deny it).

So! More talk! What do you do for birth control? Why? Did you know you could just skip your period and be done with it? Were you as grossed out as I was by your first period? I mean seriously, 12 is way too young to become fertile (ew).


Serious Saturday: Getting Dressed Vs. Dressing Up


dress: COS - sandals: H&M - sunglasses: gift - ring: Diamanti Per Tutti

Yep, simplicity once again. I might be completely done with outfits that are too "styled", with layering and hats and purses and print mixing, all of that typical blogger fare. All of it just feels so forced to me. It might sound super asshole-y, but at 26 I feel like I might be getting too old to have fun playing dress up everyday. Right now, I want to simply get dressed for the sake of getting dressed. I look at blogs of people "performing" fashion so to speak, and it does not inspire me as much as it used to (except for some of my long time favourites, like Jane who will always be an icon).

It's been a long time coming, I remember feeling just the same when I wrote this. I still stand by everything I said at the time but somehow I feel like I've gotten even MORE basic in my outfits since then? Like I said: where once I would pick items to create a look, going back and forth adding and removing details, now I really just Get. Dressed. It makes me remember how I was before I started blogging: I did have a major love for pretty things and a clear taste, but the stakes weren't quite so high. I didn't have to think about whether this went with that, if it didn't make me look too much of x or too little of y or if I hadn't already worn that piece too recently. Style was more natural, organic and intuitive. It feels liberating to be able to go back to that, back to me.

I also feel like that effortlessly chic ideal is less out of reach for me than it once was. Case in point: this COS dress which was my first sales buy this season. I was going back and forth in my mind on whether or not to bring it home, but the simple yet beautifully unconventional cut convinced me. It's the midi length and the loose, burlap sack-like fit that really make this dress. Totally unsexualized, but still breezy enough for heatwaves. Rudimentary yet elegant in its minimalism. And the tie-able straps make it possible to make this garment fit just how you want it too, or convert it to a back-less dress.

A piece like this needs nothing but some nice sandals. Chunky black ones to make the combination even more "unpretty", or something like these strappy babies to emphasize the Grecian feel of the dress. Nothing more. Maybe my current style doesn't make me stand out in a crowd as much anymore and I won't make people turn their heads going either "wtf is she wearing" or "wow, look at that!". However, I feel like a flower that might not be the most vibrant of the garden, but makes up for it with an essence that is richer than it ever was.



I've been sort of introspective and raw lately after an hours long, beautifully vulnerable night time conversation with my boyfriend, leaving us more connected than ever before. Totally TMI, but I still wanted to share.

How do you feel about simplicity and getting dressed vs. dressing up?