Shopping with friends in Zwolle

Shopping with friends in ZwolleRight, another shopping with friends post. This time with my ex colleagues, whom you have seen many times before (herehere, here, here.) We visited Claudia, who lives near the old and beautiful town of Zwolle. After coffee, cake and lunch, we drove to town for some serious shopping. Apparently I choose my friends on their eagerness to shop. Very few of my friends don’t like shopping.

Above: on Claudia’s terrace with windswept hair. Wearing my trusted skinnies (Denham) and a checked vest by “The Masai Clothing Company”. It is cotton/viscose. The jeans blue top underneath is by Eve in paradise. My silver pumps (Dune) are the ones I bought when in Eindhoven with my Shopping Saturday friends. They are very comfortable.

Below: Jilske on the left and Marijke on the right. As I said, we always start with coffee and cake. Claudia had made me a gluten free carrot cake, the sweetheart.

Jilske and Marijke

Below: there are serious things to discuss as well. Not all laughter and fun.

Jilske and Marijke

Below: Marianne, wearing a lovely cardigan. I told her not to dress for spring as there was a fierce wind blowing.


Below: Claudia and Marianne. Claudia was bending over and had her legs nearly in a split. She is very supple.

Claudia and Marianne

Below: full picture of Jilske


Below: Marijke. This photo is a miracle. That woman is so hard to photograph. Her face is in constant motion. And when she knows the camera is pointing at her, she makes faces. Drives me up the wall.


Below: Marijke was wearing a lovely dress with cardigan.


The above picture was taken after a lot of goofing around (hoisting her dress up to her behind).

Below: this was the least revealing photo of her hoisting. See what I mean? Nothing but mischief.


Below: we went into the garden to do a few shots of my outfit. Those heels are so much more comfortable than a stiletto heel.

Shopping with friends in Zwolle

Shopping with friends in Zwolle

Below: Claudia put on her tan sneakers and away we went.

Shopping with friends in Zwolle

Below: Zwolle is a very, very old town. People were living on this spot since the bronze age.

Shopping with friends in Zwolle

Below: a few more pictures of Zwolle to set the scene.

Shopping with friends in Zwolle

Shopping with friends in Zwolle

Below: when I see lovely old buildings like this, I always think they are defiled by these shop logos.

Shopping with friends in Zwolle

Shopping with friends in Zwolle

Below: right…. back to the shopping. Into the first shop…


Below: Claudia checking out this shirt.


Below: I loved this outfit in the window. Three reasons not to buy it: 1) it doesn’t fit my daily life, 2) camel is the worst colour for me near my face and 3) I was still on a strict no-spending budget.

In hindsight: this jacket would have really suited me. It is tailored, casual chic, it has lapels. What if I wore an orange top underneath?? Wouldn’t that have been nice?

Below: a couple of shots of Marijke, trying on this dress with different jackets and in another colour. She will be your mannequin. Her question mark face said: what shoes to wear with it?


Below: with a lightweight black jacket for cooler nights.


Below: or a white jacket for lunch. Although her face says something else, she really liked this.


Below: on her way to the dressing room she started to undress…. Claudia is holding up the dress in another colour.


Below: is blue better?


Below: of course we are all gathered around her to give our honest opinion. And believe me… the Dutch are brutally honest. No sugar coating…: “this makes you look fat”, “take that off immediately”, “no, I wouldn’t do it if I were you”… That kind of thing. All meant in a loving way, but to anybody else but the Dutch we are rude, impolite and offensive.


Below: Marianne in her lovely teal coat sometimes gets burried in our bags and clothes, which we hang on her wheelchair or dump on her lap. She is our keeper.


Below: the old town of Zwolle is surrounded by a moat. Too bad there weren’t any leaves on the trees yet.

Shopping with friends in Zwolle

Below: museum de Fundatie in Zwolle. The new addition on the roof of this old building, in the shape of an ellipse, is called the Eye (if you click on this link to the building, you know why) or the cloud. Of course people have given it their own names like space ship, egg, zeppelin. I quite like this addition.

Shopping with friends in Zwolle

Below: at the end of the day we all went for a coffee at Bagles and Beans. Such a warm hospitality there and a great cappuccino. As you can see I switched the pumps for sneakers. Just as nice and far better for a day down town.

Shopping with friends in Zwolle

Below: oh look.. there is Marijke goofing again.


Below: she is not the only nutcase ….


Below: some flowers for our hostess Claudia.

Jilske, Marijke and Claudia

Jislke, Marijke and Claudia

Back to Claudia’s place to eat her Indonesian fried rice dish (nasi), which was delicious.

Next week: visiting a museum in Groningen with Ron.


No Fear of Fashion

Linking to both hostesses of a link-up, called “How I wear my…”. This time the subject was Greenery.





  1. 9 April 2017 / 15:48

    What a fun afternoon with friends and some shopping! Zwolle looks absolutely beautiful!

    But I have a question, did you buy anything??? Or are you “hiding” it from us for the moment? 🙂

    • Greetje
      9 April 2017 / 16:09

      Whahaha…. good question. I can proudly say I did not buy a thing. Just a birthday present for Marianne which I had promised her. Doesn’t count. In the meantime my cards are out of the freezer and they still work. Back on the dangerous path.

  2. 9 April 2017 / 15:58

    It is funny how all your friends like shopping, but you know what they say…birds of a feather flock together!! And really, it is the funnest time for us reading too (except we didn’t get to try the cakes!!)
    I can see your point with the signs on the front of the old buildings, but I can also see it like the yin/yang of modern style! You get a little old remembrances, with some of the new style!!
    I must say, though, I don’t know how you go shopping without buying anything, Greetje! I mean, I can do it occasionally, but it doesn’t happen often!!

    • Greetje
      9 April 2017 / 16:17

      I cannot go shopping without buying something. Not at all. Unless I made a promise to someone who is kind enough to monitor me. Because then it would be betraying trust. Knowing this of myself is why I ask for help in restraint. Next stage is being able to not buy without anyone’s help. Still far away.

  3. 9 April 2017 / 16:25

    Greetje, as we talked about, I love the directness that is so characteristic of the Dutch people. I like the checked top on you. Your friends are all so gorgeous and stylish too! I love Marijke’s sparkly cardigan. And that town is just lovely.

    • Greetje
      9 April 2017 / 16:55

      Yes, apart from the weather The Netherlands have enough to offer. Come to think of it.. any country really. We all have something special. As for the directness.. I know you can handle it ???

  4. 9 April 2017 / 18:10

    I love these posts Greetje. It feels like I’ve come along with your friends too, which would be a wonderful thing. I really like honesty so would have no trouble if you told me how terrible I looked! I particularly like the block heels of your metallic courts, in fact, courts can look a bit staid (see, very honest), but the bronze lifts them out of the ordinary into something quite special. And I also like the fact that you’ve paired the (conservative) courts with the casual jeans – great styling, in fact you’re styling like a pro nowadays.

    Anna x

    • Greetje
      9 April 2017 / 18:59

      I live and learn Anna. The shoes are actually silver, quite shiny. The photo makes them look darker. I think they are quite modern although I find this look rather old-lady-like. Especially when the heel is lower. But I have learned (again) that they are fashionable. Took me quite a while getting used to and I still don’t wear them much with a dress.
      Me and modern shoes is still a stuggle but I am getting better.

  5. Rebecca
    9 April 2017 / 18:17

    What a lovely town and the weather looks like it was glorious that day. Your friends are all beautiful blondes with great figures like you. You are lucky to have so many wonderful friends – they are the best part of life in my view (apart from health and good living conditions)!

    • Greetje
      9 April 2017 / 19:02

      I soooo agree. Friends are the salt of the earth. I also gree that good health and good living conditions are very important too. I counted my blessings today. There were so many and I felt very grateful.
      And… blondes eh?.. Hmm at our age nothing is natural anymore. Having said that, my best friend has dark, thick and long hair and no grey hair yet and she is 62. Amazing.

  6. Carol W.
    9 April 2017 / 21:27

    Thank you for taking us shopping with you and your friends again. I love seeing how much fun you have together, but I also love seeing the town. You all had jackets/coats on, what was the temperature? (I’m always curious about things like that.)
    I am 1/16th Dutch-maybe that’s why I have the ability to not mince words when I want to be brutally honest. My co-worker talked about that last week. She said, “When you’re about to tell us what’s going on [at the administrative level] you always start out by saying, ‘maybe I shouldn’t be telling you this, but’…”
    Normally I don’t like heels with jeans but the silver ones work, I think, because of the block heels. Blue looks great on you. Yellow & blue-a classic.

    • Greetje
      9 April 2017 / 21:37

      Haha, well I hope your 1/16th part of being Dutch doesn’t get you in trouble. Most people outside of The Netherlands have great difficulties with us. I found a great blog about our differences:
      It is going to give you a good laugh.
      Contrary to you I love high heels with jeans. It is probably that dead common streak in my character haha.
      Temperatures were about 15 degrees Celcius that day, so you really needed a coat. Today (April 9) it is really hot, between 20 and 22. It doesn’t last but it was nice for this weekend.

  7. 9 April 2017 / 21:28

    I really should sent this post to my girlfriends saying: you see, it is possible to shop with a friend in a wheelchair! I’m sorry, you started with Dutch brutality!….And I just finished diner with to much wine…

    What a great day out! Did I miss what you bought????

    • Greetje
      9 April 2017 / 21:40

      No… I was a good girl. Didn’t buy anything other than a birthday present for Marianne. But that is allowed. However…. the cards are out of the freezer and somehow I don’t think I have learned much.
      We have been taking Marianne with us on shopping trips for at least 10 years now. We have been on holiday to Spain together for a week last year and the year before. It is nice that we are with a whole bunch. If one is checking the clothes or fitting, someone else can take care of the wheelchair. But really, no problem. I actually pick my car so it is a model which can hold the wheelchair in the back (with the back seats down).

  8. 9 April 2017 / 22:19

    I always love your hijinks… especially the shopping related ones! First, yes, you do need that lapelled camel jacket that you didn’t buy. Any colour would be great under it, and those cuffs! THOSE CUFFS! The silver block heel shoes you are wearing with your jeans are beyond fabulous. I want.

    I used to go to Bagels and Beans all the time in Amsterdam when I lived there; how lovely to know they’re still alive and well and have expanded! They always used to give special treats to my dog, a regular co-customer.

    Why have I never been to Zwolle? xx

    • Greetje
      10 April 2017 / 21:43

      You haven’t been to Zwolle because anybody living in the west of The Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, hardly ever travels east. Or noth. Or south haha.
      People up in Groningen don’t think twice of going to Amsterdam. But the other way around… very little.
      I found a statement of their way of thinking on the toilet of Bagels and Beans. So sweet. I will show you next week.

  9. Wendy
    9 April 2017 / 23:02

    Thank you for taking us on your fun shopping trip with friends. Love the jeans with heels.
    My Parents are Dutch so I have grown up with them saying exactly what they think!
    I have also had fun checking out the website “stuffdutchpeoplelike” …. even ordered a cookbook from them and made my Mother some nasi!

    • Greetje
      10 April 2017 / 22:04

      Oh great. I hope you will keep following my post and adventures. I bet you found the “stuffdutchpeoplelike” some time ago? Not through this post did you?

      • Wendy
        11 April 2017 / 03:49

        I did stumble across “stuffdutchpeoplelike” awhile ago! As I was fortunate to stumble across yours….. I always look forward to your new posts! Thank you!

        • Greetje
          11 April 2017 / 06:38

          That is sweet of you to say. So it is thank YOU. These posts are fun to make.

  10. 10 April 2017 / 01:57

    I love your shopping posts, Greetje! And all these beautiful smiling faces!

    • Greetje
      10 April 2017 / 22:04

      They get told off if they don’t smile haha. I am a terrible friend.

  11. 10 April 2017 / 02:00

    Your shopping days with friends always seem like a blast and that town is gorgeous.

    I’m delighted that you having lost your sense of appreciation for the architecture around you. Often times when we live in a place for so long we no longer see the beauty of it.


    • Greetje
      10 April 2017 / 22:06

      I need to take pictures to tell the whole story, don’t I? And as I have a lot of oversee readers, I thought it might interest them. The fact I am always having a blast being out with my friends, is why I like such trips so much.

  12. Marilee Gramith
    10 April 2017 / 02:01

    I just love you and your girlfriends out on the town! Shopping and laughing and snacking and smirking and laughing again!! You manage to stuff a lot of personality (s) and heart and “real” moments into these “shopping with friends” posts Greetje and they are so darn charming and delightful. You have a special talent for snapping the right photos at the exactly perfect moment. Each one reveals the joy of your friendship.
    It makes me think that the Dutch penchant for honesty and frankness has a wonderfully positive flipside for fostering trust among your friends, resulting in acceptance and love.
    You look great in this post with your navy checks, skinny jeans and shiny shoes! Did Marijke buy the tan dress?? It was great on her. I liked it the best with the black jacket and I love the rascal in her soul!!

    • Greetje
      10 April 2017 / 22:09

      I agree Jude, that is a very sharp observation of you. Honesty creates trust. You know that if you get a compliment, it is meant. But also through the years we have built trust in one another. Which means you know that when your friend is saying something you don’t really like to hear, it is said with the best intentions. Not to knock you. There is too much respect for that.
      And yes Marijke bought the dress.

  13. josep-maria
    10 April 2017 / 08:28

    You have very beautiful and elegant friends. I love Marijke’s dress, and, of course, I love to see you in your jeans again, and with this lovely checkered vest, it’s cute. And see you mix jeans with these heels! I always like to see your photos of the streets of Holland.

    • Greetje
      10 April 2017 / 22:10

      You are in for many treats then Josep-Maria as I show a lot of pictures of Holland.
      If Marijke would have a blog, you would follow her as she is quite elegant. Next week you are going to see the jeans and heels again but I promise it will be a skirt after that.

  14. Donna
    10 April 2017 / 08:30

    Love that jacket but as I seem to be your Aussie twin, I too, cannot wear camel 🙁 but that style is brilliant.
    love the shoes but thought the top was not as hip as compared to what you usually wear – please don’t hate me for that comment (I am married to a Dutch man). You did very well not to buy especially if your friends were.
    When used to go to Bagels and Beans all the time when there as I loved the coffee and the name made me giggle – for no reason really. So when we came home and added two lambs to our group of animals they had to be named Bagels and Beans

    • Greetje
      10 April 2017 / 22:13

      That is sweet and funny: my Aussie twin. It’s a keeper.
      I agree that the top is not as hip as I am used to. But I still liked it (although I questioned myself afterwards). To my surprise Ron really liked it. Men! I can never foresee what he will like.
      Love that you named your lambs Bagels and Beans haha. So funny.

  15. 11 April 2017 / 00:40

    You wear these silver heels like a champ. 🙂 I love your shopping-with-girlfriend posts. Truth be told, I live vicariously through them since I wish I could join in. It’s extremely rare that I have a friend around to shop with. Maybe if I flew over the ocean…

    • Greetje
      11 April 2017 / 06:37

      Yes if you haven’t got friends around to do such shopping with (and chatting and laughing), that is hard. Suzanne doesn’t live around the corner either. And I bet you two would be great together in vintage shopping. But I promise you, if you do cross the ocean we will go shopping.

  16. 12 April 2017 / 07:35

    Zwolle looks a beautiful place for a turistic tour and ( of course ) for some shopping! You didn’t mention any purchase or … did I read the post too much in a hurry?? 🙂
    In any case I am sure that you enjoyed the day with your stylish friends!
    Marijke has a great hairstyle, I love it!

    • Greetje
      12 April 2017 / 13:03

      As a matter of fact, Zwolle didn’t hold many shops which tempted me. There is one (an expensive one… of course) but I deliberately did not go in. The town itself is lovely but small.
      As my cards were still in the freezer (not anymore now), I didn’t buy anything. I was a good girl for 3 1/2 months.
      Marijke has fabulous hair and a good hairdresser.

  17. 13 April 2017 / 07:21

    What a beautiful place to visit Greetje. Looks like you ladies had an awesome time. I have fallen in love with the lovely wide brimmed straw hat in one of the photos – really NEED that 😉

    Have a great day and wonderful Easter.

    xoxo Yvonne

    • Greetje
      13 April 2017 / 08:24

      I thought the hat was beautiful too, but I know I will never wear it. You have a happy Eater too.

  18. 13 April 2017 / 18:16

    It’s a beautiful day and I think wonderful shopping 🙂 I love shopping trips with friends. It’s always a fun and enjoyable time.

    • Greetje
      13 April 2017 / 23:38

      Being with friends is always the best. Shopping with friends is a bonus. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  19. Lollo
    13 April 2017 / 23:23

    I seriously hope that Marijke bought that cream dress and the black jacket. That dress is fantastic on her. Like you, she has a great figure (so do all of your friends, it seems!) and would look great in many different outfits, of course.

    • Greetje
      13 April 2017 / 23:45

      Marijke has a better figure than I have. She is well proportioned, I am more of an inverted triangle shape. We all know very well how to hide our flaws haha.
      Marijke bought the dress, not the jackets. I presume she has jackets like this in her wardrobe.

  20. 14 April 2017 / 10:30

    The joy sparks of this page. You must have had so much fun. Your friends are ever so stylish.

    You look fabulous too Greetje!

    I don’t think I’ve ever been to Zwolle. Must visit some time….

    • Greetje
      14 April 2017 / 13:13

      Not that many good shops though Sylvia. If I were you I’d go to Maastricht, Den Bosch, Breda and of course, the creme de la creme in shopping: Haarlem haha.
      I am looking forward to seeing you again in June. You won’t be here just for one week in the week when I am on holiday in France, will you? (June 5-11).

  21. 15 April 2017 / 02:32

    There seems to be no shortage of lovely little towns in your country! You are such a stylish bunch – none of my friends here enjoy thrift shopping like I do, although I am able to drag Heather into a thrift store once in a while, but I always come out with more stuff than she does.

    • Greetje
      15 April 2017 / 17:46

      It is a shame that you and Melanie live far apart. She would love it. Put an add online? You never know who you meet. Unfortunately there aren’t many thrift shops in The Netherlands. And the ones that are, are not really very good. Not like in Canada or the USA.
      But yes, we do have a lot of lovely little towns haha.

      • 16 April 2017 / 04:40

        Yes, I am bummed as well that my Canadian friends don’t live closer. Fortunately I see Sue of a Colourful Canvas from time to time. Should I move to the Netherlands and open a cool thrift shop?

        • Greetje
          16 April 2017 / 09:17

          If you do that you need to figure out how to get good supply! But I doubt whether you would be happy in The Netherlands. Don’t quite know why, but I think our country is too small, too crowded, too rude, too loud for you. You need a lot of silence. I think.

          • 16 April 2017 / 21:46

            I loved Tokyo but that was long ago. I do still like bustle, but you are right, I need my times of silence. So does O, in a big way.

  22. 15 April 2017 / 18:55

    What a very picturesque town Zwolle is, with stunning architecture. I loved tagging along with you and your mates on your shopping trip and I’m so impressed that you didn’t spend a bean.

    • Greetje
      16 April 2017 / 09:19

      Don’t be too impressed Fiona. The (credit) cards came out of the freezer after this Zwolle trip and it appears I have learned nothing ?.

  23. 16 April 2017 / 04:39

    You guys, you seem to have the most fun together! What a fantastic group of women. I laughed at your comment that you only have friends who shop. And Zwolle is such a gorgeous place – it would be so easy to lose my head and spend spend spend. Your self-restraint is laudable! Also, I do love a block heel as well, so much more comfortable than weeny high ones. They are harder to find in thrift shops though. I have my eyes open all the time.

    • Greetje
      16 April 2017 / 09:22

      There were not a lot of shops in Zwolle this time which were to my liking. The one shop I knew was up my alley, I avoided (yes, very good of me). Being with friends is always the nicest thing, whatever you do. Although friends and shopping is a premium combination. By the way, the credit cards came out of the freezer after this trip to Zwolle. What do you think? Did I learn? You know the answer.

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