Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Encouraging outfits

Do clothes improve our health? Yes and no.

Of course you cannot cure diseases or mend broken limbs with clothes. But every improvement to our mental well being, which no doubt is influenced by how good we feel we look, will also have an effect on our physical health. A good reason to dress well - both at the doctor's as well as with friends.

On Thursday last week I had an appointment with one of the specialists. As I felt sorry for myself I wanted to be as comfortable as possible, so I went with joggers and a t-shirt. Adding pearls and leather made me feel better dressed without sacrificing my comfort in any way.

Kaffesoester in joggers, t-shirt, pearls and leather jacket
Funny how a teenage room can stretch to every corner of the home!

Glitter, sparkle and shimmer

Friday I had a lunch date with the girls (my old BFF and my new BFF). Aren’t they gorgeous?

The sweetest best friends in the world!

However, everyone’s having health trouble and not feeling very well, so I wanted to wear the most positive and fun outfit I could think of. In the end I put together a somewhat "Christmassy" outfit, all sparkly but in fall colours. 

Kaffesoester wearing Phase Eight skirt and M&S shimmer knit top
The necklace is almost diamonds, from Zara a few years ago

The colour of the top normally doesn’t suit my skin colour, but my soul craved it! As an excuse I can add, that my skin colour has actually changed recently due to a large, regular intake of sweet potatoes. Now this mustard-yellow-greenish colour almost suit me - and that’s good enough for a beautiful colour, agree?

The cake is a caramel cheesecake - fantastic!

The back of the top is quite special, and I forgot to get a photo! So, borrowing one with a younger and slimmer model...

How could I forget to get a photo of this?

The skirt is an old one from Phase Eight. The sequins are not very shiny, and the colour is a dark gold.

The boots are from Evans, last year, and EEE width. Since the material is man made I only wear them indoors or in really good weather - and we were indoors all day, perfect!

We had a great time, eating and talking all day, and no shopping!!! That's a first EVER!

Gold and Oriental print

Saturday I had a day long meeting in another part of the country, so I had a bit of a train ride to and from the destination and needed a flexible, warm and comfortable outfit. As it was early and I was tired, I never got a proper camera out to take photos... Apparently my husband was tired too, please try to ignore his hand!

Kaffesoester in patterned joggers, gold t-shirt and Japanese patterned kimono
Tilted and with part of a finger - sums up Saturday morning!
What the poor quality photo doesn't show is that the top is gold shimmer, a favourite colour. I find that nothing lifts the spirit like a touch of gold. Here's the outfit without the tired model:

The items of Kaffesoester's outfit
Everything except the Monies necklace

Sunday evening birthday party

In April I saw a dress by Adrianna Papell in red and pink colours, perfect for me, but not in my size. Maybe also too expensive. I had put it on my wishlist but had really given up trying to get it. 

Pink and red dress by Adrianna Papell
Faux wrap dress in great colours - now mine!

Then last month it was suddenly on sale at House of Fraser, and there was a single one in my size - at a VERY reduced price. I hardly breathed until I had placed my order. Of course I had to wear it at the first opportunity which was this Sunday night.

Kaffesoester in Adrianna Papell dress
The dress! With favourite Irregular Choice shoes, homemade necklace and H&M bag

Every time I look at the colours and pattern I get a 1970's feel. I remember seeing my mum in prints like this. 

Kaffesoester seen from the back wearing new dress
Even the length is just perfect!

Funny how sparkly I felt without wearing anything shiny at all. This dress is certainly healthy for me!

Next week is going to be busy too, but with a huge reward: Monies is having a sale! Not that I really need more jewellery... Only joking, I always need more jewellery from Monies! Anyway, all the other customers are incredibly stylish ladies and I always sit and watch them after I've made my purchases. I hope I can get a few pictures for you all to enjoy.

Lots of love to all


Monday, 23 October 2017

Happy feet

I’ve mentioned several times how problematic my feet are. In the last couple of weeks I bought two new pairs of shoes. One from the Wider Fit online shoe shop, and one from Yours Clothing.

Kaffesoester's new patent leather shoes from Widerfitshoes.com
The Fife by DB shoes

The first pair is a good quality patent leather in a reasonably simpel design. I do like how there’s no decoration or embellishment. For some reason most wider fit footwear come with little flower decorations either embroidered or laser cut. I’m not a little girl - and I don’t do little flowers, so I’m very pleased with these shoes. The fit is bearable though not perfect. 

Kaffesoester wearing new patent leather shoes from Widerfitshoes.com
Can anyone tell me how to pose on a staircase?

You can see me wearing them in this quick photo using my phone, one EARLY morning, on my way down this cork-screw staircase. I didn’t know how to pose as you can see! The leather jacket is one of the very few thrifted items in my wardrobe.

The second pair of shoes is a trainer type with Memory-foam sole and a stretch fabric upper.

Kaffesoester's new memoir foam soled shoes from yours clothing.com
They were only 32€!

This is like walking on feathers! Really, I was was in the seventh Heaven when I got these. I kept them on all day long. They only needed a little suede cushion at the heel to stay on. So when I was going to Copenhagen for a girl’s day out this Friday, they were the obvious choice.

Kaffesoester in leopard print coat and new shoes
In front of Design Museum Danmark

In this panic photo taken by my daughter using my phone again you can see the shoes and how straight I’m still standing, after walking several kilometers. I’m not sure these shoes will ever be considered beautiful but they’re so extremely comfortable that I ordered another pair straight away. Apart from that I’m a bit of a mess, the new leopard print coat not hanging straight, my hair looking like the feathers on a sick chicken! But I’m having a great day with my daughter, my mum and her sister.

Kaffesoester's cake with dried cornflower petals on top
A raspberry filled cake with dried petals of cornflower topping the icing, superb!

The girl’s day out included a coffee and cake start at Torvehallerne food stalls, a bit of shopping in our famous pedestrian street Strøget and a visit to our design museum to see dresses designed by Erik Mortensen for Balmain. 

From the exhibition I'm black velvet
The exhibition also included a number of his sketches

The exhibition was breath-taking. Erik Mortensen mastered the clean, sculptural silhouettes as well as exotic and ornate pieces in luxury fabric with lots of metallic embroidery and beadwork. This exhibition is called I'm black velvet, and it does contain lots of black velvet gowns, fit for a queen. In fact he did count several queens among his customers. If you love couture gowns this is the exhibition for you!

Up till Friday morning I worked hard on a family project, tracing the footsteps of our ancestor’s. I’ve been doing genealogy before, but concentrated on my grandmother’s branch. This time I looked at my grandfather’s family.

Much to my mum’s and aunt’s surprise I revealed that their grand father, my great grandfather, was a slaughterhouse worker. All they (and later I) ever heard was how fantastic their grandfather was. He was a talented joiner who co-owned and ran Høng Stolefabrik, right up till his death. My great grandmother had the manners of a Duchess, and cleverly bypassed the fact that she had married a common worker’s son! Also, my grandfather was born less than four weeks after the wedding - no where near comme il faut in 1915!

Ad for Høng Stolefabrik
These chairs are now highly collectable!

Apart from those fun facts, my aim is to trace the part of our family that emigrated to Argentina in the early 1900s. I know one of the women quite unusually was named Benny, so I should have a fair chance of identifying any far out relatives in the Danish community that still exists. I mean, who doesn’t want to meet their Aunt Benny?

That’s it for now - a busy week and weekend awaits, hopefully resulting in lots of outfit photos showing some of my new clothes.

The best to all of you, 

Love Kaffesoester

Friday, 13 October 2017

A Cinderella story

Although, not how I found my prince!

When you read my introduction on the right side of this page, it says I’m a shoe lover. Funny that I hate shoe shopping, right?

For as long as I can remember I’ve had issues with shoes. Since I usually buy them 2 sizes larger than I really need, they’re too long. And they come off! I’ve dropped shoes everywhere even with all sorts of "stuffing": On dance floors, stair cases and crossing the street. 

It’s so embarrassing, and quite dangerous! I bet there’s a few princes who’s had a good laugh over the years. They never came to my rescue...

Sometimes I buy just one size up, and live with the pain of too narrow shoes. However, just getting to the point of actually finding a shoe that I can squeeze my foot into is hard work, and painful. Well, that’s hopefully all in the past now.

A few months ago a shop assistent in a specialist shoe shop took the time to measure my feet. No doctors or specialists has ever done this before since my feet do look “normal”. She told me that I should give up trying to find ready made shoes - my feet are simply too abnormal. It turns out the length of my feet equals the width (so I’m more like the evil sisters than actually Cindarella). She recommended bespoke shoes.

Example of orthopaedic shoe
The typical orthopaedic shoe
That’s just not fair to a shoe lover!

However, I have had a bit of luck since that horrible day, finding the Wider fit shoes online shop in the UK. They’re both manufacturers and retailers.

They provide shoes in widths up to 8E, D being a regular shoe, E being a wide fit, double EE = Extra wide and so on. Not only are the shoes wider, they’re also have a deeper toe box - just what I need!

I have bought several pairs now, but only one is a near good fit, after adding extra padding in the heel. But it’s still so much better than what I had, and looks better than what the usual Danish bespoke shoe makers offer. 

Kaffesoester's new black patent leather shoe
Not the most comfortable but still quite good - and not so boring!

Kaffesoester's new black leather shoe
The best fitting, but a bit boring

Style-wise there’s a limit. Have a look at the sandals and you see why I haven’t been able to get myself to buy a pair. Boots are a problem too, and wellies are not in the range at all. 

Kaffesoester possible buys from Wider fit shoes
My possibilities - colour options are not shown here

My hope is that next summer there’ll be one or two sandals that are more to my taste. 

Normally this is where I would place a photo of me in an outfit showing my new shoes. BUT last week I had a haircut. It was a disaster! Instead you get to see the picture I brought to the hairdresser showing her the result I wanted, and an “after” photo.

Left side Kaffesoester with wanted hairstyle Right side The disaster
Left side: What I asked for and showed my hairdresser - Right side: The result!

Can you believe it? She came with good references from local customers, some also with curly hair - probably not as curly as mine though!

This is far from the first time I’ve had this experience with hairdressers. Apparently my hair is extremely difficult to cut. Even though I give a warning every time, they’re all experts on curly hair, until they’ve had a go at mine. My hair is very fine and sparse and cutting it this short allows my scalp to show in several places. Not what I had in mind. I actually think my husband does it better (he had to cut it a few times when I was very sick).

Late update

It was really my plan to update last week, but I spent all my energy on my friend's funeral. 

Later I learned that as I sat in church my BFF had a heart attack - and luckily survived! But how scary: While burying one friend another one fights for her life - is this the future as we're ageing?

Karen was 77 years old, so not unnatural to have a heart attack, but my BFF is only 57 - a bit early? It does run in her family, but still, at this age? Anyway, filled with chock and sorrow I didn't feel like blogging at all.

I hope you're all safe and well, and having a great time. In Denmark it's school holiday next week so I'll see if my daughter and I can get together with my mum and have a girl's day out in Copenhagen. And maybe a proper outfit post?

Best wishes to everyone

Love Kaffesoester

Sunday, 1 October 2017

A limited rainbow

As promised in my last post here's more, or everything, on my developing wardrobe.

Kaffesoesters yellow and white t-shirt and red leather jacket
A close up of a former orphan t-shirt (and my red leather jacket)

After you've bought a bouquet of lovely dresses (because they’re easier to fit), a handful of cheap, ill-fitting t-shirts, a few random trousers plus two coats that strangle you - you discover your wardrobe is a kindergarten of orphans!

A selection of Kaffesoesters new dresses and coats
Great dresses and strangulating coats

What to do?

You experiment and find that a uniform of jersey trousers and fitted t-shirts are great combined with a kimono or a longline cardigan - so far so good. There’s a small problem though - having to return so many things bought online that the extra shipping expenses would buy you several new outfits. What’s wrong? Could it be buying without a plan? Or trouble meeting those fit requirements (as well as problematic feet)?

A selection of Kaffesoesters returned items
A selection of returned items

The elements of a buying strategy

First you need some style direction - how do you get that? I have read so many style guides, and unless you see yourself fitting into one of the cliches “Minimalistic”, “Classic”, “Boho” and so on, you’re on your own. Particularly if you love dressing in a riot of colours with lots of gold and glitter on top!

How do you then determine your style?

Anuschka Rees has a post on her blog called “50 ways to break a style rut”. Not doing all 50, I found one in particular was clever: Name your 3 favourite movies (for their visual qualities).

If for example Marie Antoinette (by Sofia Coppola), Memoirs of a Geisha and The Devil wears Prada make your list, you could then identify the elements from each movie that you especially appreciate - like luxurious fabrics of the 1800th century French court, with a good dollop of gold, anything Asian, and how Miranda Priestly always uses layers and looks so polished. These are the elements you translate into your style.

Pictures from the films that inspire Kaffesoester
These films are a visual feast to watch!

The dreaded colour palette

Now all style guides will tell you to come up with a limited colour palette based on a couple of neutrals like black, navy or charcoal, and a few additional accent colours ensuring everything in your wardrobe goes together. If you’re a peacock sort of person those neutrals are probably not going to “speak” to you and the accent colours will be too few.

The colours so often recommended by stylists
The colours so often recommended by professional stylists

Again, turn to Anuschka Rees! In another blog post she suggests 36 different colour palettes each consisting of nine colours. It may be that none of them are a direct hit. Then how about you then select the nine most common colours from your wardrobe and turn them into your colour palette? Unless of course, you’ve filled your wardrobe with colours that you hate - but how likely is that?  

Kaffesoesters colour palette of nine colours
I'm quite relaxed about matching the colours 100% as long as they still work

With the basics determined it’s time to add the style elements: Brocade, silk and jacquard from one film, Asian flower prints and kimonos from another and maybe more attention to make up and hair in order to look polished or a few tailored jackets, from the third film?

A close up of brocade fabric of Kaffesoesters jackets
Lovely brocade fabrics

Marriage of style elements and colour palette

The result could then be that you only buy items that are in the colours of your palette, with focus on jersey basics and top layers in luxury fabrics. Step by step you would then build a cohesive wardrobe based on what was already in your closet and hopefully stop waisting money

Most of Kaffesoesters wardrobe, picture one
Most of my wardrobe, without all the dresses though!

Most of Kaffesoesters wardrobe, picture two
The red leather jacket isn't mine, but I was missing a proper photo

Since we all have mood swings you have to leave room for that too. In my wardrobe it’s statement necklaces in natural materials, a well worn denim jacket, and leopard print in not natural colours, that has nothing to do with the style inspiration for the rest of the wardrobe. I’m also dreaming of a pair of combat boots (something to give a good kick when called for).

Leopard print in not natural colours
Fun leopard print in not natural colours

The last check list to go through is the different situations you have to dress for - have you got everything covered? Have you got outfits for all the things you do on a daily basis? Personally I do, however, I know many of the locals think I’m overdressing (I’m really seen as the village idiot by many) in far too many colours with way too much bling. But you know, I couldn’t care less!

Anyway, I feel I’ve come a long way with my new wardrobe. I have given myself buying guidelines for the future and hope to save money and have more options in combining everything.

Later I may try and expand the colour palette, or build another one. I like to see a rainbow when I open my closet doors!

Finally, as I wrote this post I got the sad news of a friend’s death. I dedicate this post to her. 

In loving memory of Karen Palsgaard - a dear friend who fuelled education, personal growth and friendship across continents and cultures, through decades

A spirit who planted a forest of trees for others to walk in

Karen Palsgaard

Rest in peace Karen