Amsterdam department store

Bijenkorf roof terrace (1 van 1)When I showed you the pictures of the IJhallen, I said I would give you a closer look at what I was wearing that day. Well, that was this black jacket (brand Reiss, present from husband Ron), a black top, my trusted skinny jeans by Denham, a gold necklace (present from Ron) and suede knee boots. But I prefer these suede pumps by Dune with this outfit. For me there is a right balance between casual and chic.

Now on to this post. Ron and I went to an Amsterdam department store called The Bijenkorf (Bee hive). It is probably the best one we have in The Netherlands. 

The task of the day was to find a new trolley as the old one had broken down. Not to travel abroad with, but to take to work. You see, I schlepp around many things from one head office building to another. Like high heeled shoes, sandwiches, papers, sewing kit, glasses etc. Much easier to trolley that stuff along than carry it.

Below: here am I, carefully inspecting the selected trolley.trolley inspectionBelow: approved. Amsterdam Bijenkorf (1 van 1)Shoes….. really it is not a big step from trolleys to shoes…. not in a department store. Below:  checking the price. I am actually looking for marine pumps and the ones I am holding are black. But as I am slipping out of the black ones I am wearing, it might be good to replace them. Bijenkorf shoe price (1 van 1)Below: checking the height of the heel with the ones I am wearing. Amsterdam Bijenkorf (4 van 6)Below: request from Ron: “Could you please stop pointing your butt to the camera all the time?”Amsterdam Bijenkorf (3 van 5)Below: they are very comfortable.Amsterdam Bijenkorf (5 van 6)Below: can you see how concentrated I am on these kind of jobs? The anchor blouse I am wearing is by Marlene Birger and you have seen it before in this post and this one.Amsterdam Bijenkorf (6 van 6)Below: just to show you I can still squat with heels on. Husband: “Not your butt again.” But in the meantime he was taking pictures.Amsterdam Bijenkorf (2 van 6)Below: the next department had this lovely red leather jacket (brand Arma). I would have bought it, but Ron didn’t like it. He thought it looked cheap (I totally disagree) and he didn’t think I would wear it a lot (he is probably right). As he is a good stylist, I listen to him. Often enough, when I am on my own, I buy clothes which he doesn’t always like. And I still keep them. When I am with him, I listen. Amsterdam Bijenkorf (1 van 4)Below: this dress was not a good idea either. Although I was rather amazed by the fit on me, Ron said that the white layer underneath the black dress had a funny effect, especially around the bosom. He was right again. (Not a flattering angle….)Amsterdam Bijenkorf dress 2 (1 van 1)Below: Ron spotted this outfit (brand Claudia Sträter) and it made me very enthousiastic. But he said the yellow was too overwhelming. After seeing this photo I agreed.

It wasn’t easy taking pictures. An older sales lady of Claudia Sträter told Ron to stop taking pictures, in quite an unpleasant tone. When we asked for a reason, she didn’t give one. Just formed a straight line with her lips and repeated: no photos. Which we thought was ludicrous. I asked Ron to continue, but less conspicuously. So the sales lady called security, who told Ron to stop photographing. Again, no other explanation than: “we had a complaint from the staff”. This was a very explosive situation as my man is not taking these things lying down. A nasty discussion took place. AND I HATE PUBLIC SCENES. I will never start one. Hate them. Fortunately I was able to put out “the fire” before it totally blew up. But I do think the sales lady could have been a lot more client friendly. Another tone of voice would probably have done the trick, explanation or no explanation. Everybody wants to be treated with respect and we are no exception.Amsterdam Bijenkorf (4 van 4)Below: nearby we found the brand Expresso, which is also part of the Claudia Sträter Group. Ron liked this cardigan. (My hair was slowly turning into a mess.)Amsterdam Bijenkorf (2 van 4)Below: I already liked it with a black top, but went all the way with a matching tanktop, jumper and scarf.Amsterdam Bijenkorf (3 van 4)Below: end result. Puling, what I call, my “potato face”.Amsterdam Bijenkorf yellow cardiBelow: the sales lady of Expresso saved the afternoon. She made up for the rude behaviour of the Claudia Sträter sales lady.Amsterdam Bijenkorf purchase (1 van 1)Do you have any idea why you would not be allowed to take photographs in a department store? Are they afraid you will copy the collection? Or photograph people who do not want to be photographed? We did ask the service department afterwards whether it was forbidden to take photos as we never saw a sign telling so. They said it wasn’t forbidden but please don’t photograph other clients. And if the security guard would make another fuss, to send him to them (as if he would do so haha).


No Fear of Fashion




  1. 15 March 2015 / 19:10

    I think they worry about lawsuits and sickos who take pictures they shouldn’t. But, it would be nice if we could actually carry in a camera and not a cell phone. Your top outfit is my favorite weekend look…almost my uniform..except I can no longer wear those great heels!

    • Greetje
      15 March 2015 / 19:59

      We did actually carry in a camera haha. And I am waiting for the moment when I have to stop wearing those great heels as well. What naggs me is that most fantastic outfits are built on high heels. And in my free time, when I am running around I cannot wear heels. Bummer.
      Which is why I love my golden biker boots.

  2. 15 March 2015 / 21:13

    Hi Greetje, great new website layout!
    Did you sned a link to this post to the Bijenkorf ? or Claudia Stater for that matter, what a ridiculous way to react! And you stayed a complete lady, very well done. I take photographs in public places and I always take care there is nowone other than me in them or my own children. People don’t always react nice, I find, Alac alas!

    • Greetje
      15 March 2015 / 22:01

      No I didn’t send a link. As much as I hate making a scene in public, I don’t like to make a fuss with a complaint either. Too much negative energy. I will just forget about it. After all, I got my photos.

      • 16 March 2015 / 00:52

        Complain! Maybe you’ll get something free! LOL

      • 17 April 2015 / 05:27

        You’re right about negative energy and such. And not liking nasty public conflicts. As you may know, my husband is just like Ron in these situations. I have to defuse the situation
        sometimes, if it really gets out of hand. Or rather: before;-).

        Love your outfits! All of them. Even the figure-hugging dress looks great on you, altho i agree with Ron, that the effect of the underdress makes it look weird.

        The only two reasons I can think of are the two you suggest yourself, in regards to photographing. It puzzles me too and it annoys me often. Especially as a blogger.

        I WOULD send this link though, to both De Bijenkorf and to Claudia Strater. Not to make a fuss. And in a polite way. In order to contribute to a different attitude and understanding.

        Yesterday in a restaurant, the design of the paper menu had changed and also the food was presented differently. I ordered something I had ordered ten times before and it did not taste as good. Too little chicken, too much plain salad, not enough dressing.
        After dinner I gave feedback to the waiter, asking him to tell the chef about it. All in a friendly tone, not demanding anything, but if they don’t get feedback, how will they know?

        • Greetje
          17 April 2015 / 07:52

          I agree about the feedback in a lot of situations. With this particular one, I can not be bothered. these organisations (shops) are too big, too much red tape or people in middle management to get passed. Takes me too much energy.

  3. 15 March 2015 / 21:45

    Okay, I’m not entirely clear on what you ended up buying…but, NOT the red biker jacket? Oh, I’m so bummed Greetje…I think it’s awesome, and I would have thought you would have loved it’s clean edgy lines. The cardigan seems so? Ermm, well, the opposite. Suzanne Carillo…help me out here, LOL. I agree on the black dress…there is a headlight thing going on…meh…not so good. Now, the yellow and black and white outfit is a stunning ensemble…really, really Euro chic!

    Okay, enough about you, I’ll take a pair of those light blue shoes walking up the wall…okay, the salmon ones too!

    • Greetje
      15 March 2015 / 22:05

      Whahaha… Headlight thing.. What a good explanation for that. I bought the cardigan outfit. Not really my thing either (I never buy cardigans), but Ron liked it. And sure enough I get lots of compliments over it. Not my thing but very very comfortable.
      I also bought the black shoes I am trying on. And something else you are going to see in a later post. No not the red jacket, not the black dress. Do you like the jeans outfit with the black jacket?
      The yellow with black and white was a bit overpowering because of the yellow.

      • 15 March 2015 / 22:18

        You can’t go far wrong with skinnies and a black jacket! YOU wear this silhouette fabulously! {It’s those lovely legs.} I almost always go for at least a bit of colour, and the anchors provide that for me! Having said that, the black on black is more of a ‘artist-uniform-chic’ look, which suits you very well! I can appreciate that you found the yellow sweater ‘too much’. Yellow is tricky to wear and feel comfortable in!

        PS Forgot to mention that I love your new header! Well done!

        • Greetje
          16 March 2015 / 05:45

          Completely agree with you.

  4. 15 March 2015 / 23:11

    First off, great shopping ensemble to begin with, both the first photo and the outfit with your fabulous anchor blouse. You do know how to go shopping with style. Love the jeans with your black pumps, it just sets such a chic statement. Smart woman you are to replace them when you felt the need. Also approve of your new trolley, I actually use one very similiar for my little getaway trips ( I do know how to travel light).
    Now for your shopping spree, I am head over heels in love with the bright yellow outfit, I can’t believe the two of you decided against it. You look fabulous wearing this bright color and the combination is perfect. Oh well, maybe you saved it for me . . .(lol). I do like your cardigan ensemble you purchased and put together, you will most likely get a lot more wear out of this and there is something quite classy about a beautiful cardigan.
    As for the picture taking incident, you and Ron just crack me up that you actually are this brave to take photos in crowded places, but I applaud you 100% and see absolutely nothing wrong with it. You never include strangers (unless you ask their permission) and you are very tactful. Some sales people obviously need some better customer service training. You handled this situation brilliantly.

    • Greetje
      16 March 2015 / 05:48

      Lovely comment Trina. The trolley is purely for work as I never know how to travel light. So when I come to Vancouver I will schlepp a lot of stuff with me. Even for four days.

  5. 16 March 2015 / 00:51

    Well this photo taking issues is certainly a thing I’ve only ever run into in Holland. Also I thought they were super rude when it came to that. Here that wouldn’t fly. Plus I’d be getting the manager. Remember when you and I were in that hat store and I started to argue with the salesman who also wouldn’t allow me to take photos? What BS!!! Seriously He lost a sale because of that. You smoothed it all over but I wasn’t impressed. It’s silly.

    Here everyone takes photos of everything with their cell phones and no one cares.

    Enough of me saying how ridiculous I think they are about that.

    I do love your first look, very chic. Very Paris.

    I am sad about your black dress. I think it looked AMAZING!!! Ah well. Maybe that is because I don’t mind looking at women’s boobs? LOL

    I also like the red leather jacket. Red on blonds is so fab. I agree with Sue…compared to the other outfits at the end it was like you suddenly shopped for a whole different body.

    I find the yellow a bit too bright. It’s not my favourite colour for you, with the grey either. I think it washes out your skin a bit. And of course too bulky and oversized. Kind of a Mr. Rogers look. LOL I’ll let you look that one up, but he always wore a cardigan that he’d put on at the beginning of his show.


    • Greetje
      16 March 2015 / 05:59

      I know Mr. Rogers as I looked it up before when you mentioned him on your blog.
      The red leather jacket…. yes I did like that very much, but I do think Ron was right that I will not get much wear out of it. I never do with leather jacket. The green one I have shown a couple of times is the first execption.
      And as I said to Sue, the cardigan is just for relaxing and comfort. A totally different purpose. I wasn’t shopping for any kind of look, just whatever my eye saw. Very dangerous way of shopping.

  6. Happiness at Mid Life
    16 March 2015 / 06:41

    I love these jeans on you and they are perfect with those black heels. I have not taken photographs at department stores before (only inside dressing room to show clothes I am trying on) but have heard another blogger get approached not to photograph at a boutique. The explanation they gave to the other blogger was they do not want their merchandise recreated by people that do things like that.


    Hope to see you for TBT Fashion link up.

    • Greetje
      16 March 2015 / 18:30

      Sounds like a logic explanation, although would not really apply to our situation. As they advertise with the things I bought. So easy to duplicate, you don’t need my photos. LOL

      • 17 April 2015 / 05:33

        Fear is a bad advisor in regards to that. Confident brand- or shop-owners will respond with a big smile and open arms. Giving you a positive and pleasant feeling. Being afraid, overprotective, etc is not good as a shop-owner or artist, I think.

  7. Mrs C
    16 March 2015 / 08:59

    We really take shopping business seriously, don’t we? Well, I do. So when I am out shopping, I prefer to be by myself or with another girlfriend who shops as seriously as I am. By serious I mean one who’s take 10 clothes into the fitting room, tried them on, ponder, ask opinion, try again and buy or maybe not at all but still feel that it was worth an outing. My husband has this 1 hour shopping limit. After an hour, his face would go green. So better without him than with. When I’m out at the mall with him, I’d send him to the book store where he would be more than happy to be for hours!

    I like the jacket you tried on and the dress actually not too bad too. The blazer look is spot on. Jeans look extremely fabulous on you and this pair is one of the best I’ve seen on you! Oh, love the new page design too!

    • Greetje
      16 March 2015 / 18:32

      Thanks Mrs. C.
      My husband doesn’t like shopping anymore either. He did last for four hours in the old days. Nowadays I have to put him on a terrace as well. But in this case he had a mission: to photograph me. Perhaps I did stretch his patience….

  8. 16 March 2015 / 10:49

    Loved the outfit you were wearing. That anchor blouse is so great here. Much better (imo) than the all black at the top. That jacket is superb too.

    You cracked me up about your butt. All I can say is: great butt!

    I was going to say that I actually agree with all of Ron’s comments as a stylist. That red jacket does look cheap. As you know I just bought a red leather jacket so love the look, but I think texture and color are very important for it to look good. This one is too bright and slippery and looks like plastic (at least on this photo). Agree on the dress too and the yellow. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of the cardigan as I don’t like its shape on you. But it looks good with the scarf and from the front, and as you say it’s for relaxing and super comfortable so that’s important too. And if you wear it around the house and Ron loves to see you in it, then it will still be a great buy!

    • Greetje
      16 March 2015 / 18:36

      Well, cardigans are not my thing either. But I did get a lot of compliments on it when I wore it to the office (I can wear anything to the office). Which surprised me highly.
      I agree about the anchor blouse with the black jacket. But… I do also like the all black outfit with the jeans (stole that idea). And I am glad that I made you laugh with my butt story. Laughing is so nice.

  9. Marianne
    16 March 2015 / 12:40

    I know you are not a cardigan girl, but I am, so I really appreciate your new trophy, I like it very much, it looks very comfy and soft to me. And I like the grey/yellow combination. You went from photo reportage to telling little stories. The next step will be making videos. I’ll be your first fan.

    • Greetje
      16 March 2015 / 18:36

      Ohhh I know, video is the future. But that still scares the hxll out of me.

  10. 16 March 2015 / 13:31

    You look so happy shopping….lol. Who won’t be? I love that yellow tee. Feels and looks like sunshine. The black dress is stunning. Excited to see how you put them together on the blog…xoxo Dixie

    • Greetje
      16 March 2015 / 18:38

      I didn’t buy the black dress Dixie. Because (as Sue put it) there was a headlight thing going on haha.

  11. 16 March 2015 / 13:31

    And by the way, those legs and amazing!

    • Greetje
      16 March 2015 / 18:38

      Thank you very much.

  12. 16 March 2015 / 16:06

    Ron is certainly a gentleman. To ask Fred to shop and photograph would be requesting too much 🙂
    Besides the photo taking situation with security, your day sounds fun. Most stores welcome bloggers because they know it’s free publicity. However once I was at the Getty museum with my sons and I notice a man snapping pics of them and I told security. Your shopping outfit is nice. It looks like you mean business.

    • Greetje
      16 March 2015 / 18:40

      I know they can never trust everybody in that respect, but I hardly ever publish photos of people without their permission. I went out of my way to cut them out of these pictures too.

  13. Greetje
    16 March 2015 / 18:40

    Thank you Marilynn. I had a look at your blog and really enjoyed some of the art.

  14. 16 March 2015 / 20:09

    Your shopping outfit looks great! Why not lots of butt photos when you have a good butt in those jeans? Heh. I laughed at the headlight comparison. I like the cardigan outfit you bought but I would have been very tempted by the red leather jacket too.
    Many stores here have No Photography stickers on the door, even my grocery store. I laugh because I think they don’t want customers stealing their display ideas or product lineup and they don’t want you to do price comparisons, but their displays are often messy and poorly designed, the product lineups are the same you’d see in many stores, and it’s easy to check prices online. The clerk was very stuck-up and rude and I’m glad you had a positive experience to make up for it later.
    Between your potato face and my turnip head we’d make a great stew!

    • Greetje
      16 March 2015 / 21:05

      Hahaha…we need another person, one with a porky face, to make a good stew. LOL
      Photographing prohibited: sometimes people don’t see the bigger picture. Fear is a bad advisor. I think I would photograph the sticker on your grocery’s store.

  15. 17 March 2015 / 07:41

    I forgot to mention it but I love your new header. Your blog look is so professional!
    I don’t know who we’d get to volunteer for the porky face. A birdly or beefy or fishy face would work too. Hehe. We don’t want to discriminate.

    • Greetje
      17 March 2015 / 09:34

      No… definitely no discrimination haha. Glad you like my new header. My husband didn’t like it and as he is usually very good (as in.. better..) in these creative things, I take his advice very serious (or seriously?). But in the end I decided to follow my own path/taste.

  16. 17 March 2015 / 09:26

    I can see a new photo and a different look for your blog…I like both! I whould do the same on mine! ( in my next summer holidays perhaps )
    About your shopping day : men can hardly understand how important is try and try again a pair of shoes before buying them!!
    You have a sense of humour that makes you very sweet! Will your suitcase be the one you are going to use in April?? 🙂
    Beautiful and very versatile blazer…

    • Greetje
      17 March 2015 / 09:36

      No, this trolley is far too small to use in April. I am contemplating on how many suitcases I should bring haha. (Oh no, I said I didn’t need anything new, didn’t I? LOL)

  17. LoriM
    17 March 2015 / 14:18

    I don’t get the “no photos” thing, either. I learned about it while shopping for wedding dresses – no photos, even in the dressing room!! What??

    People are going to see the clothes, out on the street anyway? I don’t get it.

    • Greetje
      17 March 2015 / 21:43

      Perhaps they are afraid you were going to copy that wedding dress? At home, sewing away hahaha

      • LoriM
        17 March 2015 / 21:52

        I guess. But again – the fashions are in magazines and catalogs and other people are wearing them and getting photos taken, so…. I dunno.

  18. 19 March 2015 / 14:55

    You are a great storyteller. The adventures of Greetje and Ron! Your candid photos are the perfect accessory to your department store caper. I love your shopping ensemble, by the way. And the pieces that you tried on were interesting and unique. Like you!

    • Greetje
      19 March 2015 / 20:20

      You are always so nice in your comment. What can I say? “We aim to please” LOL

  19. elle
    20 March 2015 / 04:50

    Oh Greetje! Where to start…
    First, off I have the same trolley and I love it. I am away now and it is so a handy.

    second. rule of thume, if one is well endowed in the derriere department, ( not to big, not too small) one should point one’s but to the camera!

    Love the fist shot of your in the casual and polished outfit, every piece is impeccable.
    Your jeans looked wonderful with all of the pieces you tried, I especially love the anchor printed blouse and the espresso sweater in yellow and grey ( and gorgeous scarf(

    I can not believe that security was called… You would think they would be glad of the publicity,
    I can sort of understand it, if they thought you might be there to copy something, and posing as a customer, but that is silly, really.

    I di not like the black dress on you, your figure looks good but the pattern is off somehow,
    I did love the yellow and black color block skirt- maybe with a different , less bulky sweater.

    Anyway, this was such fun to read!
    XX, Elle

    also, i love your new blog photo !

    • Greetje
      20 March 2015 / 08:05

      You flatter me LOL. And I am not “well endowed” in the derriere department, but these jeans suggest I have a good butt. They are by Denham and I love them for this feature.
      Indeed they make any outfit look terrific.

      • elle
        20 March 2015 / 18:06

        WellI hope you have them in 6 colors.
        xx, elle

        • Greetje
          20 March 2015 / 23:05

          No, not really.

  20. Red Tag Chic Los Angeles
    21 March 2015 / 05:49

    Wow that was quite an experience – kudos to you for not adding flame to the fire & staying like a lady. I have always loved you in yellow so that cardigan is my fave!


    • Greetje
      21 March 2015 / 16:51

      It is because I hate scenes. Not so much because I am a lady but thanks for the compliment.

  21. 21 March 2015 / 18:32

    Greetje, that yellow cardigan looks fabulous! Of course I am in the US and you are in Holland, so the laws may be different, but it seems they are the same when it comes to private property. You have no inherent right to take photos on private property. If there was already a sign forbidding it, here they can ask you to leave. If not, you will have to stop. They do not have to give you an explanation, it is their property and can make policy as they see fit. When I get in that situation, I simply smile, apologize, and stop. There’s no point in escalating, especially since in the US we are not as civilized and I might find myself in handcuffs on the floor with a gun pointed at my head. Or worse. Having said that, some of the smaller stores (always a good place to shop) have set up well-lighted ‘selfie-stations’ for customers to try on different outfits and shoot. I was shooting in one just the other day.

    • Greetje
      22 March 2015 / 13:44

      I don’t know whether it is the same here. The Dutch don’t take kindly to changing the rules during the game. Neither to “it is my store and I can do as I please when it pleases me”. I think there are rules of having to warn you with signs and so on. Nevertheless I would have complied if they asked me nicely. Which the lady most certainly did not. I get very rebellious when treated unfairly. Fortunately no way we are having guns and security…. Hopefully we can keep on avoiding that.

  22. 21 March 2015 / 18:51

    I should add, since you are a blogger with a following, a better strategy might be to approach management and let them know who you are and that you would like to take photos and feature them on your blog. If they’re very corporate they might decline and/or ask you for insurance (as they would here). But maybe you’ll get lucky and they’ll give you a latter you can show and maybe it will get you the royal treatment too!

    • Greetje
      22 March 2015 / 13:48

      If the shop is small I do that and give them my card. In a department store you will not get to speak to management. Only scaredy cat PR people. If you are lucky and persistent. Waist of time.

  23. Rosa Virginia
    28 March 2015 / 13:34

    That was no lady, indeed!!

    • Greetje
      28 March 2015 / 14:41

      Well at least it was not a kind lady.

  24. 17 April 2015 / 05:42

    I always ask (if it’s for my blog), give my card and explain. The responses vary from a kind ‘no’ to ‘sure, go ahead’ and everything in-between.

    I have learned via a friend who designs and sells stuff, that there will ALWAYS be people that will copy you, so you may as well forget about that, as a store-owner or brand. Except of course when someone copies your stuff into a whole production-line.

    • Greetje
      17 April 2015 / 07:56

      I met a jewellery designer in Torino who was copied by Moschino (one of their shops is right around the corner). Quite a compliment really, but not nice for him. So he was a bit reluctant at first. I gave him my card and promised to mention his address. No problem after that.

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