How to Wear More Colour


Colours are back!




I get it, I get it. Getting colours right is hard. There are too many things that could go wrong and you could end up looking like a badly executed fauvist painting. I guess some people are more drawn towards colour than others. My sister, as a child, loved wearing anything bright. Her favourite Chuck Taylors had a bloody rainbow on them. I, on the other hand, would look down at her skinny legs in awe. “How can she be so bold?” I would wonder to myself, contrasting her bright orange leggings with my standard blue ones.

However, there was always colour on me somewhere, too. That is until a couple of years ago when the whole “normcore”, basic, call it whatever you like trend, swept away every last trace of colour from many people’s wardrobes. I was not an exception. My wardrobe might have looked like that of a penguin’s with a penchant for blue but it was my choice and I enjoyed wearing almost only neutral colours. That lasted until this season.

My red cardigan may have never left my side but that is not enough anymore. I’d forgotten how much a vivid blue can lift your mood, or how a deep pink, can make you feel ultra- confident. Colours manage to bring life back to me (and trust me I need it: from November to March I resemble a zombie more than a human) and especially on those cold and dreary days when you just feel like injecting some colour to the grey surrounding you, in any way possible.
Wearing colour will make you more noticeable, to be sure. In a good way, though. Gone are the days when I used to resent that. If you feel confident in something, show it and don’t apologise for it. I know I still have to make progress on that front but I’m getting there.

If you’re still not convinced, might I remind you how colourful these last two seasons’ catwalks were? Even Celine had colour! Everyone needs a change. Even though, I was never a 100% minimalist convert, I had definitely been swayed by some of its commandments. Those, still inform part of my wardrobe. However, I do wish I were at least 2 inches taller so they would fit me properly: I mean, I love a good pair of culottes but they do tend to turn me into a small bulk of denim. I’ll also never stop loving black. I just love wearing it and that’s that. But when I laid my eyes on all those electrocuted coats at Cristopher Kane or the maximalist's/eclecticist's heaven that was the Gucci show all I could think was, “Well, I already have the glasses, sign me up for the crazy colours too!”

How to wear them if your wardrobe is basically black and white.

Well, fear not my friend, the colour-wearing club is not exclusive. You can sign up anytime you want without any previous experience. Crazy, right? Not really, considering that you’re allowed to take it slow. Just dip your toes into its rainbow coloured pool, if you’re a first-time visitor. If you like it, then congratulations! You can enrol to a life full of colour! 
How to do that? Well, here are some thoughts:

Shoes and Bags

Pop some colour in your outfit by way of accessorising. I know, shocking! It’s a revelation! Well, not really but it definitely works. Get a pair of coloured trainers and get ahead from all those still wearing Superstars in plain white. A bright bag can also work extremely well, even if the rest of your outfit is just black. 


Red bag, blue trainers, black and grey winter outfit.
Adidas Gazelle trainers, H&M jumper, French Connection shoulder bag, New Look sleeveless coat, Asos bell-flare jeans.

Dark Colours

If you’re afraid of bright colours then darker, more muted ones will work just as well. All colours are welcome here. We don’t discriminate. A deep wine red scarf would look lovely, set against a deep grey coat. And what about that forest green clutch? It makes me daydream of going away in the country. Just don’t wear them together to avoid any Christmas associations. Unless it really is Christmas and you feel like being thematic.

Pastel Colours

If, however, your wardrobe is filled with white and each colour of the greyscale range, then why not try adding more pastels to it? They go with almost anything. This small tweed bag by Zara is the lightest pink you could find. You could even go bigger. I have a light blue, faux-leather jacket that I love wearing when I feel like my outfit is quite boring and I want to brighten it up. It’s actually my go-to for the transitioning season. In winter, you could get a lovely pink coat for example. Don’t worry I’m sure you can find lots that aren’t too sugary.

Lilac jumper and leather jacket, red bag and bright blue trainers.
Asos lilac jumper, Asos Lilac Biker Jacket, Zara soft tote bag, Topshop skinny jeans, Saucony trainers.



Small Accessories

Let’s not forget of course all those other small accessories. Hats or beanies, scarves, stone rings, dangly earrings, can all be great carriers of colour. A small furry friend in a bright colour will give your bag or keys a quirky attitude.

Prints

The thing with small colourful prints on neutral items, beautiful embroideries and bold prints is that they will definitely make you feel like a beautifully ornated work of art, be it from the Renaissance or the Keith Haring days. Need I say more? Just look at some Valentino or Laurence Dacade boots and you’ll be convinced. That’s a promise. I think I'm definitely buying a printed dress this season.


I’m already doing all of these! What now?


Get a Bright Jumper

I love wearing a brightly coloured jumper with my black skinny jeans. Red was all over the runways this past season and I just get all giddy inside, thinking about wearing a big, cosy, bright red jumper all winter long.

Get a Bright Coat

This one is not for the faint-hearted. I would really love to be able to pull that off myself but I’m not convinced I’d carry it well. I’m not giving up, though. For some reason (it’s called complete obsession) I’m still thinking of red, or burgundy, or even maroon. But any colour that speaks to you will work just as well.

Green military coat with floral blouse, simple black trousers, ankle boots and green rings.
Green quartz ring @ UO, Wolf & Moon ripple ring @ Asos, Topshop floral silk blouse, Asos green coat, Topshop ankle boots, Topshop black trousers



Mix and Much / Colour-block

Colours are meant to be combined. Go for opposites, for complimenting, for tonal combinations. The sky is the limit. If you’ve got an eye for colour you’ll probably be good to go. And even if you don’t get it right at first, remember that practice makes perfect (or better).


Pink jumper with red skirt and boots. Simple taupe/camel coat on top and chain bag.
&Other Stories pink jumper, Zara red suede skirt, Topshop green leather crossbody bag, Asos red knee-high boots, Asos taupe midi coat.


Bright Shoes!

This one needs a lot of guts but I saw a pair of (surprise!) burgundy boots at Zara and I just cannot describe to you how much I was drooling all over them but the damn Eleanor in me convinced me that I wouldn’t wear them that much. I think I’ll see them again having Marianne in charge of my brain this time. I think she would approve.

So what are you waiting for? Go out and get colourful!


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Some Thoughts on Sundays

Everybody's trying to have the perfect Sunday. What I do on a Sunday.

If you, like myself, spend slightly too much time scrolling down beautifully curated Instagram feeds, or stalking lifestyle, fashion and beauty blogs (among others), I'm sure you've happened upon some sort of  a Sunday post.
What that may be, varies.
It could be the usual flatlay photo of an extremely clean-looking and carefully articulated Sunday brunch. It could be a pair of beautiful legs emerging under a cozy grey blanket. Perhaps it's a tray of apple and cinnamon muffins just coming out of the oven. Whatever format it comes in, I think we can all agree that it’s inescapable.
I don't have any problem with them of course! I enjoy them at the fullest, to be honest.
No, then, it’s nothing like that. It's just that the flurry of them made me ponder lately if we have some weird obsession over how we spend our Sundays. We seem to be extremely interested in how others are spending their last (or first?) day of the week and admittedly how it compares to ours. I don't know about yours, but I find mine to always be lacking.
So what is it about Sundays? Why don't we spend so much time wondering "the best way to spend a Sunday" about a Saturday instead? Am I the only one that finds that odd? When and how did it all start?
Perhaps it all begins with the idea that Sunday in the one day for rest and leisure, (an idea that might be stemming from religion or not, but seems to exist throughout the world in some way or another.) In the olden days, people used to go to church, children wearing their “Sunday clothes” and all in all, Sunday had something unique about her. It was the most important day, the day a week of hard work was leading towards.
Then, Sunday was also the day when the father would finally be home for lunch. The "perfect housewife" would find the chance to shine on that day, the one day of labour that really mattered for her.
Isn’t it slightly hypocritical though nowadays to worship this leisure day that much? Most of us still work in some manner on Sundays and anyhow, don’t we place more importance on working days, our busy and productive days that run the everyday mechanisms of our capitalist society? Even an Instagram post is part of a business usually, either a big one or a small, personal one. We’re all promoting our branded selves.

So I’m asking if Sundays have turned into an “imitation game”. Is there a real authentic Sunday like the one we always seem to have stuffed down our throats? Or is it a simulacrum: something that was never true and real but through imitation became reality? Living in a voyeuristic society, basing the goals of our lives on some staged ones, is to be expected. We like things to look pretty. And that’s not bad. Isn’t it worrisome, however, that this ideal some are striving for, is that of a fictitious, simple, yet perfect and perfectly curated life?
Maybe you’ll say the audience should be alert and not be fooled; to know real from false. But is everyone always aware of what is true and what isn’t? Do we live too much inside of images? I know I’m exaggerating but perhaps for every exaggeration, there is a person out there who is truly baffled.
For some people -young, insecure, not yet found their place in this world, or anyone really- the feeling of inadequacy when looking at others’ perfect “Sundays” is inevitable. My sad bread and jam pales in front of the luxurious, hotel-worthy, croissant and coffee, staring up at me from a square border.
Pondering I might and I could go on but that’s the way things are, and I’m not bitter in living amongst them. I reckon most of us can make the distinction. Those beautifully set up breakfasts, provide at least some food (pun! oh, not a fan? too bad) for thought.
Well then here's how I spend my Sundays. Hope it makes you feel better about yours.
  • Wake up. The time depends on what time I slept and how. I usually wake up at around 9.30.
  • I'll fill my bottle of water and grab my book.
  • My parents are usually watching telly: morning news shows and I might sit on the sofa as well. I’ll  read for a bit, scroll down my Instagram and Pinterest feed and see if there're any interesting apps I want to download.
  • Then I'll go to my room and turn on my laptop. I'll read a few blogs, browse lazily my Facebook home page, open my emails.
  • I'll start working then on whatever I've got to do. It might be reading for a class, or writing, or practicing my French, or learning to code.
  • I'll usually be interrupted by my sister telling me it's time for our habitual and annoyingly time-fixated ride to get a coffee. Maybe we'll have a leisurely walk around the shopping and coffee shops area in our town, too.
  • Coming back, I'll carry on with whatever work I've been doing.
  • Mostly I'll be procrastinating  by looking at what others are doing on their Sundays.
  • “What? Where is she? It's so beautiful there I want to go too! Oh, it's close I could've actually gone.” *Cue emotions turning from anger and jealousy to frustration and annoyance and finally to disappointment as I turn to face the books looking up at me expectantly.*
  • I'll read and I'll do something cool in the evening. I still have time to turn my day around!
  • Lunch time! Sorry, but it's true. Sunday roast is the best kind of roast. I'm getting dangerously traditional here, but I don't even care.
  • Let's watch something then. After having eaten, I can never properly focus to do anything anyway. Maybe an episode of something. It's shorter than a film.
  • Let's try to study now.
  • I can still do this.
  • But what will I do in the evening?
  • It's already six! Where has the day gone?
  • God Sundays are supposed to be relaxing! F French, I hate them anyway!
  • Ok, just admit it: you won't go out tonight.
  • Well, that's perfect then. I can still be productive at least.
  • *Some focus is being restored. Information is being processed and stored in my short-term memory.*
  • 8 o'clock! Already?  I'm going to eat some food.
  • "Maro, do you want to watch something?" ....... "Well...sure, why not?" (You can see how reluctant I am when it comes to watching a favourite series or film.)
  • Oh, wow I'm yawning. The truth is, I'm kind of sleepy. Let me just work a bit more...
  • 30 minutes later: All right that's enough! I have Monday free as well anyway! I'll move today's to-dos to tomorrow. I'll wake up earlier than usual.
  • But I can't sleep so early. My insomnia will strike again and I'll be tossing and turning in my sheets for hours.
  • I'll just watch a few harmless Youtube videos.
  • Well, look at me, me! I didn't watch more than I’d planned! High-five to me! (Insert Liz Lemon high-fiving herself).
  • Time for bed. Pj's, check. Book for a bit of reading, check. Water bottle next to me, check. Alarm set for 8 o'clock, check.
  • Closing the lights after a normal amount of time, check.
  • I can't sleep, check.

What to Wear to Uni (College/School)

Going to university too? Deciding what to wear, especially when you’re first starting can be daunting. Even if you've been dressing for a school environment for many years, your wardrobe might still baffle you at days and leave you wondering what to wear. In my experience, you’ll get better (and faster) at getting dressed as time goes by. You’ll also be able to wake up later, which means you'll get to sleep more, which, in my experience, is the one thing you’ll really miss as a student.

You might find at first your instincts luring you towards creating elaborate outfits, seeing that you're the fashionable person you are. Resist that urge! I know I sound bossy- “I’m not, I swear!”- but I’ve found that the most successful uni outfit are the ones you feel comfortable in. Now if you manage to create an outfit both elaborate and comfy, then you, my friend, get an A+ on “Uni Dressing 101”!

For starters, a relaxed outfit could take a myriad of forms. The possibilities are endless. You might feel nice and cosy in a pair of jeans and I might feel comfortable wearing a skirt. Once you find what your favourite things to wear are, you can start building your outfits on that basis and then if you feel like it move on from there.

For example, my style has changed radically since I first started university and I now feel at ease with clothes I’d never have even considered wearing five years ago.

Whatever your unique case, here are some ideas on how you can style some key pieces that are very much on trend for autumn-winter 2015 (and you might already have similar ones) and make them work for college.
University outfit: roll neck, boots, parka, tote and denim dungarees
Zara Parka, Topshop dungarees, Topshop roll neck jumper, Topshop boots, Asos bag (similar).

My favourite dungarees are back! So comfy you can throw them on every day if you feel like it. They're also not in white this time because if you're anything like me you always run the risk of sprinkling those oh-so-horrible, yellowish-brown dots, courtesy of your shaky, coffee-baring hands all over your garments. This pair of boots is mighty fine but if you don't feel comfortable with wearing any kind of heel at uni, then by all means wear your trusty trainers. I know I probably would. 




University outfit, skirt, jumper, trainers, jacket and bag
Motel Skirt @ Topshop, New Balance Trainers, Zara Tote, Zara Jumper, Zara Shirt.

If a skirt is more to your liking this is the way forward. The colour is perfectly in tune with the 70's vibes all over this season's clothes and so is the striped jumper. To keep things modern, do like a true Scandinavian and pair yours with a pair of trainers and an oversized denim shirt as a jacket. Steer away from a backpack for this one though as the schoolgirl association would be unavoidable. Instead, opt for a roomy, simple and chic black tote.




University outfit: Jeans, jumper, suede jacket, ankle boots and backpack
Topshop Jeans, Bella Freud Jumper, Mango Coat, Topshop Leopard Boots, Dr Martens boots, Asos Bag.

This is an outfit for the girl who cannot imagine herself not wearing a pair of jeans. I feel you, girl. A pair of the so-called girlfriend jeans are loose enough but still remain fitted. Paired with a simple knit (or a particularly clever one by Bella Freud) it can work for all kinds of occasions. That suede jacket is already on my wishlist. Two shoe options prove this outfit to be a style wildcard. 



University Outfit: Black skinny jeans, oversized jumper, suede jacket, tote bag, dr. martens and scarf
Topshop Jeans, Dr Martens shoes, Asos Bag, Zara Coat, Unif Jumper @ UO, Topshop Neckerchief.


This one is based on what I gravitate towards on most days. A simple pair of black skinny jeans and an oversized top. Simple as that. If you want to make the outfit more on trend pair it with a suede trench coat and a nice neckerchief. The Docs will boost the youth factor of the outfit.


University outfit: dress with trousers, roll neck jumper, brogues, raincoat and black backpack.
Topshop Jumper, Mango Dress, Asos Raincoat (similar) , Zara Trousers, Zara Backpack, New Look Brogues @ Asos.
Have you seen any of the Spring Summer 2016 collections? That "trousers-under-dress" trend is spreading everywhere, so be an attentive student by adopting it in advance. I've always loved wearing roll necks under my short-sleeved dresses, but now I'm obsessed. Brogues will match the masculinity of the trousers but if you want to upgrade (pun very much intended) your outfit, add a shiny raincoat and a backpack.

Bonus Tip: All these outfits can be worn for a night out too. Just swap the bags for some smaller ones (how about a faux-fur one?) and wear some heels if  you feel like it. 

Let me know what sort of outfits you're wearing or would love to wear to go to uni!








Things you'll learn at University

Things I learnt at university



When you've been going to uni for four years you’ve reached the point when you can finally claim to be a seasoned, experienced, knowledgeable and mature student. What you've really learnt, however, is how to pretend you know what others are talking about and how to make an OK pasta. You can also make patronising lists of what you've learnt during those three or four years. You’re welcome.
1. You will meet all sorts of people on the bus: from really old ones to really young ones, from people being extremely loud on their phones to others skulking at you for now apparent reason. Try not to slap anyone's phone from their hands.
2.  You will also see all sorts of outfits (here, are some recommendations). They also saw yours so you don't have the right to criticise.
3.  If your uni is far you will wish you had a driver’s license.
4.  Or a car for that matter.
5.  Comfort comes above all else,
6.  but if putting an effort in your appearance helps you feel more confident and ready to take on the day then by all means do so.
7.  Especially on your first year you will meet everyone. That, however, does not correspond with being friends with anyone. I found that chemistry applies in friendships as well and that you might like someone well enough, but you can’t really feel close to them.
8.   At some point, you should start bringing in your own food, or you’ll go bankrupt.
9.   You and coffee will most probably become inseparable.
10.  So will you and the hand sanitizer.
11.  You’ll thank the revival of mum jeans and the invention of stretchy denim fabrics for letting you go to school without your tracksuits and remain comfy too.
12.   Attending courses (and paying as much attention as possible) will help you.
13.  Everybody feels like a fish out of the water at first.
14.  Everybody is completely over uni but will probably miss it too, at the end.
15.  There are always exceptions.
16.  There are all sorts of professors. With some, you’ll get along splendidly with others not so much. Some might be extremely pleasant people but really bad at teaching. The opposite is possible too. At the end of the day, they’re just people doing their jobs. Just remember not to take anything too personally.
17.  Not everyone studies and learns the same way. You might like noting things down or highlighting while others might prefer repeating stuff out loud. You might find it easier concentrating in a busy environment while others will prefer being alone in total silence.
18.  Give yourself the freedom to be different in the way you study.
19.  You’ll regret not socialising more or going to more parties. It’s part of the whole experience.
20.  Don’t take what others say about their uni experience as a blueprint. Especially not my list.
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