black dress with blue flowers by EssentielThere are so many new things in this post that I am ashamed. I am very aware of the sustainability problems and the urgency to do something about it. Ron and I separate our rubbish, use as little plastic as we can, have 16 solar panels on the roof, double glazed windows everywhere etc etc, but I should not buy so many clothes and shoes. I never buy fast fashion and I give away everything I do not use, but the fact that I am still buying new stuff is not sustainable. I just cannot banish this devil.

The Saturday Loes took these photos, I had been to the hairdresser in the morning. Across the road from the hairdresser is Essentiel Antwerp and they are closing shop in my town next week. I went in because I wanted to say goodbye to a particularly good sales assistant (Sedje) who has always helped me so well. As it was the last week, the discount on all stuff was big and a black dress with blue flowers caught my eye. It was in the shape of a blazer which I thought would suit me very well. It didn’t. The alternative was an A-line dress and I really liked it on jeans. I have never liked dresses on trousers, which is an entirely personal thing. My friend Sylvia of 40+Style loves dresses on trousers and I really like them on her. This Essentiel dress was the first one which I liked wearing with my jeans.

Walking home I had half an hour left to change for the photo shoot with Loes. I decided to wear the dress immediately and in 15 minutes I styled it as a dress without the jeans. It would have been better if I had taken a bit longer to find out the particularities of this dress. More about that later.

Below: When the wind gets hold of my hair, it slumps immediately and even more when it is fresh from the hairdresser. Loes and I tried to find a spot with no wind and failed at that. The light was also very harsh so I wasn’t too keen on this spot. The ankle boots with the zip are the ones you saw me thinking about in my post two weeks ago. They are by Kendall & Kylie (not my favourite people but they have nice boots, I’ll give them that).

black dress with blue flowers by Essentiel

We decided to duck the wind by descending to the brick bench near the small canal.

Below: Here you see me inspecting the bench. A new dress and a bench out in the open? Is it wise to sit on it? The photo at the top of this post, shows that I have risked it.

black dress with blue flowers by Essentiel

Below: We found a little spot between the houses with hardly any wind. The light was still harsh but that couldn’t be helped.

You can see that the dress is longer at the front than at the back. That, however, is not true.

black dress with blue flowers by Essentiel

Below: I love it from the back. Only, the deep pleat in the middle means there is more material at the back than at the front. This causes the dress to pull and drop at the back, subsequently rise at the front. One of the “particularities” of this dress.

black dress with blue flowers by Essentiel

Below: Of course I had seen the drop to the back and thought I had solved it by pinning the dress at the front to the Uniqlo top I was wearing underneath for warmth. That wasn’t enough. When I got home I found out the trick was to put dress tape on my shoulders, thus sticking the dress to my skin. Too late for this post, the pictures were already taken.

Below: Details. The green bag is very vintage and I bought it two years ago in a vintage bag shop. It looks very flat and small but it holds a lot.

We went to another place where I was protected from the wind (mind you, not from the cold…).

Below: This is how I bought it: dress over my (new) jeans. I like the combination of tough at the bottom and feminine at the top.

black dress with blue flowers by Essentiel

These new jeans are my ideal skinny jeans. They are by G-Star Raw, which is a Dutch brand. I have long been searching for skinny jeans which were just that tiny bit loser at the thigh and even more at the calves and couldn’t find them. They were all like tights and I don’t like that on me. These jeans ticked all the boxes: they are midrise (check), very long so I can turn them up (check), the right mid blue jeans colour (check), elasticized for stretch so they fit my small hips (check) and as I mentioned, not too tight but still skinnies (check). How demanding can you get, right?

Below: Checking the hair. The heels of these boots (no, these are not the ones with the zipper at the front you saw above) look high but for me these are flat boots. Extremely comfortable.

black dress with blue flowers by Essentiel

Below: I found these boots in the sale as well and think they look tough. Husband Ron thinks they look common.

Black flat ankle boots with studs

Below: This photo illustrates the dropping of the dress at the back very well. See how the collar is gapping at the back?

black dress with blue flowers by Essentiel

Below: Yep, I think I prefer the dress with jeans. Who would have thought?

black dress with blue flowers by Essentiel

Below: And it has pockets.

black dress with blue flowers by Essentiel

Below: Close-up of the green ring. I have a bunch of these artificial rings. Nice for a change.

Green ring

Below: Of course I made Loes take off her coat as well. She was wearing a tweed skirt and gorgeous earrings.


When we got home to warm up and have a coffee, we looked through the photos and Loes said: “Is this tweed skirt too long for me?” We discussed the three horizontal sight lines in her outfit (hem of the jumper, hem of the skirt and the top of her boots). We also discussed proportions and I told her about the “ideal” 1/3 and 2/3 proportions. Then Loes tried the trick of tucking her jumper into the skirt.

Below: We both liked this.


What happened in my life this week

Saturday was a busy and lovely day. As I mentioned above it started with a visit to the hairdresser, followed by the photo shoot for this post. At the end of the afternoon Ron and I went next door as our neighbour celebrated his birthday. Party time! Drinks and an Indonesian buffet (delicious). During this delightful evening I met a woman who is starting a business and who needs a storyteller. Her plans are still to be developed but I am already recruited as storyteller haha. Love it.

Sunday: quiet day creating this blog post and doing laundry. With the last laundry load the dryer gave up. BUMMER.

Monday: work and fitness, nothing special. Phoned a friend who wanted to recruit me for the cancer institute he is working for; I had to turn down his offer. The job sounded nice but I know I am over-sensitive and cannot deal with all the grief and sadness I would see and hear. Phoned the dryer company for a repair man.

Tuesday: work again, nothing special. Got a phone call from a man of the dryer company with a tip to “repair” the dryer myself. This heat-source dryer is at least as sensitive as I am. It is on the blink very easily.

I was wearing my lilac Max Mara-outlet dress that day. One of my colleagues took the photo with my iPhone. They all know about my crazy hobby. If you want to see more pictures of this dress or the boots, here is the link to the post. In 2016 I called it a lavender dress but I think it is more lilac.

lilac dress Max Mara outlet

Wednesday: no appointments, did some errands. Got the dog bed from the seamstress with two new covers: looking good. And I tried the repair tip for the dryer: IT WORKED!! Apparently when you use liquid laundry detergent all the time, the little holes in the filters get clogged up. It will stop the dryer from working, even though you have taken the fluff out and you don’t see anything. The man had said: put the filters under the tap. If the water lays on the filter instead of seeping through, you’ll know that is the problem. Solution: put the filters in the dish washer on high temperature. Tssss… such an easy way of fixing. Never mentioned in the manual though.

Thursday: not much to say about this day, just work and a quiet evening. I watched an old episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot adventures. Knew who’d done it and how immediately. That’s what you get when it is a film instead of a book. It is far easier to recognize someone in a disguise.

Friday: worked from home and did a photo shoot with Kitty in the afternoon. You will see the result next week.


PS I am participating in the link-up with a lot of bloggers at Patti’s Not Dead Yet Style blog. The item is called Visible Monday. Do click to have a look.

No Fear of Fashion



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