The ultimate Christmas outfit

xmas dinner
Gold Court Heels | Sparkly Green Dress| Hair Clips | Red Velvet Dress | Velvet Pouch Bag

The holiday season always comes with my favourite things to do every year: Christmas markets, mulled wine, stocking fillers and dressing up. I have always been an overdresser and will dress fancy even for at home dinners! I think it comes from my mother – she always put beautiful tables for holiday gatherings and as a child, she would put us cute dresses and dolly shoes… Maybe that is just a reminiscence of my 1980s upbringing, but I ain’t complaining!

When I moved to England I adopted the ‘Xmas jumper’ for a few years, but lately, I have been feeling all the sparkles! I’m wearing the Asos number above for Christmas day and I’m lushing for these Miss L Fire heels for months now, hopefully, will be able to snap them soon. For boxing day, I will keep it casual with my new favourite jumper, it’s comfy, snuggly and warm – a hangover on holidays perfection!

No matter what, I think the key to any outfit is: comfort. Finding a dressy outfit that isn’t tight (size up if necessary), made of stretchy materials to grow with your belly after the Christmas feast. Also, you can always go to the casual route without wearing pyjamas or looking like a potato (even if you feel like one). Below are some pieces that you might still have the chance to get before the holidays, or use them as inspiration for something you already own!

Dressy Xmas

 

Comfy boxing day


I really can’t wait to look like a tree bauble on Christmas night and like a fluffy sheep on Boxing day! What are your outfit plans for this holidays?

Camilla
XX

A little Christmas list

December seems to have flown by and although I have this Christmas list prepared since November, I didn’t get the chance to write about it until now! For that, I apologise, as I imagine that most of you have already purchased your X-mas pressies… Oops!

scrunchie £4.99 | silk robe £169 | book £10 | earrings £95 | handbag £450 | beret £19.99

Hopefully, this will be useful for a few last minute presents or maybe you could just use them as a nice curated list for Boxing day sales..? There is a mixture of everything: high, low, tech, clothing, you name it. My favourite section – and gifts – are the stocking fillers. I find great joy in giving them and receiving them too! No need to spend bonkers amount of money if you have a well-stuffed stocking for your loved one, that’s what they say… (well, at least I hope so!)


Stocking Fillers



For the one who deserves some pampering



*THAT* pressie



For the lucky fella

That is all I have gathered for now! In doubt, just buy anyone a bottle of gin. 🙂

Camilla
XX 

Wanted: Vintage Levi’s

Oh, the eternal search for the perfect vintage Levi’s. We have all been there, looking at their sizing and wondering if we have eaten one Victoria’s sponge too many or if Mr Levi himself has just gone straight up mad with his measurements.

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I have read tips, tricks, and theories about Levi’s sizing, but honestly, I’m not sure I can trust those methods. If anything, my main tip is, avoid buying any jeans online. Best thing is to go to a vintage or charity shop and try as many pairs as you can, from as many sizes possible!

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Funnily though, even though vintage shops are filled with an array of denim, I have never been able to find a good fitting pair in them. My first vintage Levi’s were an old pair from the chazza in which the label had disintegrated and the previous owner had cut the red tab off (sacrilege!). For the last couple of years I have been trying to find what era and waist this pair was, but as you might have guessed, no luck.

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These, until now, were the only Levi’s that could ever fit me properly, but at my last visit to my mother-in-law’s house, she had a bag of clothing for the charity shop and lo and behold, a pair of brand new, vintage 501’s was there! It fits like a glove with the perfect amount of oversize to it.

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There is no moral of the story this time, just that sometimes it might take 30 years until you find your perfect vintage denim, but keep trying and never give up the search!

Camilla
XX


Blouse: Zara (similar) | Denim: Vintage 501 Levi’s (Similar|Similar)

A brief story

As ethical and sustainable fashion becomes a subject of notice between mass media and popular influencers, I believe that we should take this opportunity and not let the momentum die. Sustainability is not a fad nor should be treated as a trend, it’s a behaviour change that has become necessary for this staying age. The positive side effect coming from the knowledge of what a disaster the fashion industry has turned into is that independent, slow fashion brands, are starting to fall on the radar of normal folk.

What was once labelled as a practice followed only by radical activists of some sort, buying ethically has finally been stripped off the label of being either unattainable or ‘unfashionable’. As this is a subject I would like to develop in detail on a future date, the aspect of ethical and sustainable fashion I would like to underline in this post is of the undergarment industry.

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Being definitely one of the most essential clothing items in our wardrobe, we definitely don’t put enough thought into where we buy our underwear from. Neither of what materials they are made of.

The vast majority of our undergarment pieces are made of synthetic, unbreathable and not compostable materials. Most of them are also produced by factories that don’t participate in any sustainable or ethical practices. You may wonder why does this matter so much? The reason being is that we go through our underwear, socks, etc, much quicker than we go through our other clothes. Once they have holes and are beyond repair, most of them become unsuitable for fabric recycling due to its composition, meaning that they will end up in a landfill and will stay there forever.

Although the landfill stays an issue even when buying items from fair trade brands (most will still have a mix with a manmade fibre of some sort), by purchasing from ethical companies, you can lower your production waste impact. While the most sustainable way to help planet earth is by going commando or buying second-hand underwear, I do understand these options aren’t for everyone, definitely not for me! Therefore, for the rest of us, buying from ethical brands is our second best option.

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The last time I bought briefs it was a 5 pack from M&S and granted, they are really comfortable, but after 3 years of solid wear and tear, they started to develop very unattractive holes on my butt area (This is a graphic blog post, didn’t I mention it before? Sorry for that). When some of them became a little bit too destroyed and made me feel as frumpy as a potato sack, I finally bit the bullet and went lingerie (online) shopping.

Hara The Label is a company I discovered a few months ago and I loved everything about it: branding, ethos, fabric, styles. They are made of 90% organic bamboo and 10% spandex, ethically and locally produced in Australia. Their Instagram is beautiful, I love how many different body types are represented there! They are also a slightly cheaper option if you, like me, always loved Pansy from the USA.

I have bought 3 items from their website (pictured) and another rust brief from the UK online store Know The Origin. I recommend always looking for stockists in your country before committing to a purchase, as this helps you lower the CO2 footprint of your garment.

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These pieces wash really well, though it is important to mention that they do bleed their colours in the first couple of washes. This happens because they are naturally dyed with plant pigments – nothing unkind for your skin and for the environment.

They are really flattering and I always feel a notch more confident every time I wear them! It’s a mix of fit and comfort, but also knowing that my knickers choice aligns with my values, lame, but effective!

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Once my other knickers bite the dust, I think I’ll try new ones from Organic Basics or Pico. I’m slowly replacing these items as I want my old ones to last as long as possible. I didn’t have the knowledge about how wasteful the garment industry is to our planet back when I bought my old panties, so the least I can do is try to prolong their life as much as I can and replace them with better options when the time comes.

Camilla
XX


Lena High Waist Undies in Olive and Pumpkin | Stella Low Cut Bra in Pumpkin

The importance of fellowship

Here I am, on a Liverpool train back to London, using my time wisely and writing as many blog posts I can squeeze out of my tired little brain.

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As I was thinking of topics to write about, my mind wandered around the same complex subjects I tend to babble on here most of the time. Then, it just hit me: fellowship. It is easy to develop this subject as my inspiration comes from the person behind the camera in these pictures.

Sometimes you will find the most important people in your life where you least expect. People who will be by your side and understand when you are going through a rough patch.

This kind of fellowship is different than the normal comradeliness a colleague might give you, it comes from finding friendship amongst the horsecrap (aka work).

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Through our job, I met this amazing woman and it was love at first sight! We both are very assertive, strong-minded Leos which destiny put together for a reason. There was no denial that we would be close, up to this day it still scares me how much in common we have!

There were times that one of us would be in distress, the other one would always be there, ready to help and never judging. You may say, “oh well, that’s friendship for ya”. I am here to say that yes, but also more than that! Friends and family will always support and help us, but a fellow is the one who will understand your struggles better than anyone else.

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Finding a friend at work creates this special bond that should last for a long time. You both have been through thick and thin together and are basically like an old married couple. This fellowship is what makes a dull job bearable, is the first person you tell about a new project, the person you hope will listen to your personal insecurities and affirm your greatness when necessary.

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Thanks to this fellowship, I have someone to hold me accountable for with my personal projects, someone that supports me or, in this case, takes pictures of my outfit in a parking lot.

Camilla
XX


Blouse: H&M x William Morris | Trousers: Zara (Similar) | Bag: Staud (Similar) | Boots: Miista (Similar|Similar)

Welcoming autumn

There is no denial, autumn has finally arrived. After a few qualms with the fact that shorter days are on the horizon as the new season starts, I finally succumbed to mother nature and let my woollies free out of the plastic tub under the bed. In the past, I have never seen myself as a ‘summer’ person and truth be told, I dreaded hot days until I moved to England seven years ago.

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Please allow me to expand on this thought; growing up in a reasonably warm country, foggy, wintery and cool days were rare and considerably below average when comparing to what occurs on the northern hemisphere. I love A/W fashion – thick fabrics, structured cuts, trousers, boots – you name it, I’m into it. I do realise that the main corporate to my taste for winter clothes come from my style inspiration, which is very reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s British and European fashion. When I still lived in my hometown, the look I desired was very hard to obtain as we were lucky to get a 10ºC weather on a winter day.

Funnily enough, things completely changed once I moved to London, experienced a couple of cold winters and fully integrated myself into the culture and British habits. The first year living in the UK, I was hit with a feeling that I have never sensed before. At the time I thought it could be that I just felt a little lost, still adapting into living alone in a foreign country. Later on, I’ve learned of ‘SAD’ (Seasonal Affected Disorder) and I am pretty sure that was what had swayed me.

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Coming from a place where the days are pretty much the same length, no matter the season, it was a shock to my system to see how short they were here in the UK. Granted, I wasn’t neither working or studying on the first winter I spent in London and that meant I was sleeping late and waking up late. I had 4-ish hours of daylight and it would be dark again. Not having time to enjoy the sun made me depressed, which meant I didn’t leave my bed, leading to sleeping until late and therefore, not seeing the sun yet again. It was a horrible vicious cycle, to say the least.

Forwarding years, I can happily report that my life is so far from that reality that I can’t even believe that we were the same person. I managed to get to university, have a weekend job, graduate, have placements, have a full-time job, travel, see family, go through hardships, build amazing memories and so on. My life got busy and although I was overwhelmed at times, it didn’t give me the opportunity to really sink in with the weather and the deemed sunlight from the winter.

Last year things were slightly different. We suffered a big loss in our family and our spirits were shaken, my heart still fragile. As winter approached, I could see a glimpse of desperation in my eye, my actions were flustered and my irritability was up to the roof. The turning point of events was in November when my husband and I went for a day trip to Brighton.

It was so stupid, looking back to that day, but my shoes were hurting me, I didn’t find anything I liked at the shops and all the cafes were too busy to sit on. We had barely made a dent to our itinerary and it already started to get dark – boom, I broke down. I cried, I felt horrible and worthless, I cursed the weather, my shoes, and my poor husband. As we sat down for tea in one of our favourite restaurants in Brighton, I apologised to him, I didn’t know what was going on with me at that moment. We talked over our tofu and lo and behold, I came to recognise that I wasn’t ok, but that was actually, ok.

SAD can really eat you up, but only if you let it do it. Once I identified the cause of my distress, I soon changed the outlook I was giving my life. Words are easier said than done, obviously, and I didn’t magically felt better or started to sing jolly Christmas songs like Elf. I did though, understood that small things shouldn’t be leading me to feel so bad, so defeated. We can’t change the way the world is, days will be shorter and the wind will bite your cheeks, that is inexorable.

What we can change is the way it affects us. People don’t suddenly feel depressed just because the weather is gloomy, there are underlying factors that make them exteriorise their emotions through SAD. Having the strength to reflect that in myself is something I am still learning, but I know that every year I am getting better at it.

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Therefore, I am welcoming autumn in my life this year. I am embracing the shorter days, the freezing cold mornings and grey skies. I will make the most of it and I will look forward to dressing up with my favourite pieces. Let me shed my worries the same way the trees will shed their leaves, one by one, slowly, but surely.

Camilla
XX


Top, Culottes, Handbag: Vintage | Boots: Miista | Barrette: Accessorize

Keeping up with the ‘Grams

I started this blog because I felt compelled to do something creative in my spare time and because I love the idea of being able to share my thoughts and inspiration around fashion and personal endeavours. It all started in a very nonchalant way, but I saw myself drawn to a rabbit hole of comparison that I initially thought I would be exempt from. In a matter of weeks, not only I tried to act a certain way when presenting my identity online, but I also spent money on frivolous items I would normally stray away from.

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A few days ago I listened to the latest episode of The Fringe of It podcast discussing influencers, their words really resonated with me. I went ahead and read the articles mentioned, which were “I Don’t Want to Convey Perfection Online, But Must I Bare My Soul?” by Pandora Sykes, “As The Government Cracks Down, We Go Inside The Murky World Of Influencer Marketing” by Vicky Spratt and Brittany Bathgate’s blog post “For The Love of Clothes”. I also added a few posts by Alice Catherine to the list, as I find her writing remarkably insightful and honest.

Reading Grazia magazine’s article, I agree that sometimes we can feel caught up by influencer marketing at its best, making us want to consume in an almost frantic manner. Alice has dabbled about the topic here, where she talks about emerging fashion trends on Instagram and how they can affect our purchase decisions. This is one part of the ‘grey area’ of Social Media that affected me considerably, as I felt alluded to a consumerist mindset that I don’t want belong to.

The pressure to ‘keep up with the Johnsons’ (a.k.a. Instagram) made me distance myself from my original identity and values. I constantly compared myself to others: from physical appearances to the content I was able to produce. I have mentioned before how insufferably perfectionist I can be and I recognise how much that affects the way I show myself to the world.

I am not happy with my ‘wobbly bits’ and am extremely self-aware every time I post something online. I needed a break so I could step away from that toxic environment I created and that is precisely what I’ve done.

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The other section of said ‘grey area’ discussed in the podcast and articles is regarding the ongoing demand for influencers to constantly show their vulnerability. Brittany expressed her feelings brilliantly in her blog post and I feel exactly the same about it: sometimes people are just not sharers in a deep personal fashion all the time, and that’s ok.

What I am trying to portray in this flow of thoughts is, in the end, quite straightforward. I want to connect with people and reach an audience while being true to myself and everyone else on the way. I want to share those ‘wobbly bits’ without being judged by strangers and especially by me. I guess that what I am saying is basically that from now onward, I will try to utilise this space with a more honest approach, being it deeply rooted or not. Liv Purvis has started a new project that inspired me to let go and showcase my vulnerabilities, The Insecure Girls’ Club is like a safety net for us who look for a place of acceptance.

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I am also pledging myself to stop condoning to too many superfluous consumerist practices, which means that most things you will see here from now on will be either vintage or second-hand, but I hope that will inspire you to do the same!

 

Camilla

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Blazer: Vintage (Similar|Similar)| Top: Vintage (Similar|Similar) | Trousers: & Other Stories