Sunday, April 14, 2024

thoughts on the summer 2024 dress and its friends

If you’ve been a rare long-term reader of this blog you know that I was a reasonably keen shopper of pretty things when I first started blogging.

And that I had that period (and quite a different financial status) with a fondness for expensive handbags. Oh the shame I feel with how ill spent that money was. And that the bags were leather bags, newly produced leather bags. I was simply a selfish idiot.

And even if I was slowly recovering from a very rough time in my professional life, and felt I was in my every right to ’treat myself’, I could have treated myself in so many better ways, given more to charity and saved more.

I’ve planned to sell most of those expensive preloved handbags (in excellent condition) for a long time now. Just haven’t gotten around to actually do it. Just do it.

But I will. 

Of course I’m not the same person now as I was when I began writing this blog. It will turn 19 years this September 2024. Which means I will soon be 19 (!!!!!) years older. How. did. that. happen?

Suffice to say, I have grown into a better, more insightful human being. In a world crazier than ever I connect the dots in a saner way than I used to.

And such a human being does not buy ridiculously expensive leather handbags. Or lots of colourful leather shoes/boots. Or too many new produced made to last garments. 

Even if it’s better than bad quality fast fashion, the only truly sustainable slow fashion is the one that is never made. But second hand, or repurposed from fashion that already exists, but no-one wants.

I try to be mindful with my shopping. And I wish I could only find perfect second hand clothes (like the ”prettiest 55 year old” dress). I try to go thrifting in my own wardrobe.

But yes, sometimes I do buy a dress or two. I do. And I know I will love and hopefully use it for many years to come. (Although the livable planet may change or seize to exist before that, as things look now…)

So I go for it. It’s vegan, it’s slowfashion. It’s pretty, it’s (most usually) colourful and it makes me happy to look at and wear. So I do it, a few times per year. I do. 

But I’m working to getting it down to less than that. I’ve come far in these close to 19 years, but I can definitely do better. I can. And I will.

Of course I had to give a context to the S/S dress of 2024 and its friends I recently gifted myself. And now it’s time I introduce them.

I remember writing about the Swedish tax refund years ago, and how I often used at least a portion (big, small or all) of it to get new clothes or shoes. These past few years I’ve mostly used the refund to pay bills. Most everything is more expensive these days, so however nice the tax refund is, bills are obviously a priority and the treats smaller.

This year I had a very rare opportunity to actually splash a bit and treat myself to a mindful wardrobe trio, that makes me very happy with their long-lasting quality, design and colours.

Every piece is made of organic cotton. Which is a huge plus obviously. The dress is made of my favourite crisp cotton poplin. Adorned with my favourite pattern, the Unikko (poppy) flower (which turns 60 this year!). 

I’ve been wanting a maxi dress for many years now, but not finding the perfect model for me and my body shape. This a-line shirt dress has pockets and even if it’s not quite down to my feet I still think it falls into the category maxi dress, right?

I absolutely love the vibrant colour combination of pink and orange. Isn’t it gorgeous?! đŸ§ĄđŸŒžđŸ©·

I inaugurated it last week, wore it with orange/peach coloured tights from Snagtights, my +10 years old Adidas sneakers (accidently vegan?) and the subdued Marimekko anorak I got in 2020 (?) with its matching Unikko print.

Turned out it was an unseasonally warm (but global warming normal) day with +18 C temperature. So it was a bit too sticky warm with tights and coat. But still loved the combo.

And I’m eagerly waiting for the next day to wear it. But without tights and summer shoes/sandals.

In autumn 2016 I bought myself a Levi’s denim skirt. It has probably been my most used piece of clothing ever since. As I haven’t used jeans for about 15-20 years now 

- I can’t be bothered to find a model that actually suits my body. And I’ve prefered skirts over trousers for the past 25 years anyway. As I find them more comfortable and liberating than I have ever felt jeans or other trousers to be -

but I would have loved to have a denim skirt instead.

It was impossible to find the perfect model (a-line) until then. And I’m sorry I didn’t get two of them when I finally found the model. As it has been discontinued since.

As I’ve been wearing it all year round, and it’s the only really neutral, versatile (with pockets) skirt I have in my wardrobe, I’ve been on the look out for a block colour, more neutral, skirt, that will also work all year round for a few years (and which I can switch the Levi’s skirt with, it needs some well deserved rest). In vain. Until now.

I’m very hopeful this navy-ish blue Marimekko (no not sponsored, but I do love the design, colours, quality and inclusive sizing) will do the job.

As you know I shy away from black and dark colours, as they don’t go well with cat hair and they’re just terribly dull, drab, depressing and void of personality, joy and sazz.

But I think this is a neutral but quite nice blue. I just hope it will be able to avoid attracting to much cat hair and lint.

As I only have one knitted cotton sweater in my wardrobe, lack a V-neck, and this one looked so lovely with that skirt on the website I went for it.

I know there’s a ’rule’ that you should always make sure you have several pieces that works well with already existing pieces in your wardrobe, before you commit to buying it. I haven’t been bery good at following that ’rule’, I have to admit.

Probably because I love colors and patterns so/too much, and single pieces can scream my name. Rarely a full outfit.

That’s why I’ve embraced the granny toddler style so much. Which is fun and joyful, but not always what I want. 

In 2019 (I think it was) I wrote something about focusing on more block colours, not more patterns. Apart from a couple of white T-shirts I don’t think I’ve been good at that personal mini mission.

But I hope I will be better from here on, and that this skirt will be a first new step in that direction. I have lots of patterned tops I want to wear it with and that will be so much fun!

And obviously I’m very excited to do this full sweater/skirt outfit above some day soon. 

Some days you just need to rest and reset your brain with little nonsense like outfits, mindful shopping, colours and other little pockets of joy. With the world being a more violent, scary and seemingly hopeless place than probably ever before, I need that. And probably you to. 

Kindness, compassion and peace.

And pretty dresses.

1 comment:

Poppy Q said...

Miss Pia, your new items are lovely and look like they are perfect for you. I too, think of how wasteful I was 20 years ago, and try to make better shopping choices now.

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