The birthday collection

With my birthday little over a month away, I thought it would be fun to introduce you to my birthday collection, a series of dresses I bought over the years as a birthday present to myself, which are then worn for the first time on my family birthday party.

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It all started with this L&L dress that I originally bought in 2010 to celebrate my birthday in Madrid, together with my cousin who lives in Spain (and has her birthday on the same day as me) and my sister.
Unfortunately the trip was cancelled and this became the first dress that became a special birthday dress.

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The next year I wore this Cassis dress, which was love at first sight, effectively saving these Tamaris shoes in a shoeper shoe save. In the mean time they have been replaced by another pair of nude Tamaris sling backs.

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This Bel&Bo dress was my choice for 2013. The boots were one of my rare impulse buys, I fell in love with them because of their outside zippers.

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This dress is one of only 3 JBC items I own, since even though they always have lovely clothes often in lovely deep colours, they only seem to cater to people without boobs (i.e. not me).
In 2013 I changed jobs and no longer worked near 2 shopping centers with lots of choice in dresses. My new job however has a JBC virtually on its parking lot, so I decided to hop over there during my lunch break just for heck of it… returning with this pretty green flowery dress, which I like to pair with these flower embellished tights.

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And then last year’s dress (again an L&L dress,so the circle is round), which can easily worn with tights and boots or, as shown above, with sandals and a cardigan… A dress for all seasons, which I can only love in a dress since they’re my favourite items of clothing.

I haven’t found this years dress yet, but I still have little over a month to find one, which is plenty of time since I’ll be at home working on getting back my energy at least until the end of September.

Do you have a tradition of buying yourself a dress or something special for your birthday or another occasion?

Long overdue wishlist update

Shortly after entering the Shoeper Shoe Challenge back in 2011 I decided to start keeping track of a shoe wishlist.
Since I last updated the list some things have changed, while others have remained the same.

Wishlist update

– Up until today I haven’t found a pair of brown court shoes that both please me and are available in my size. Since I’m an autumn type and brown is a typical autumnal colour, this kinda worries me.
I did find a pair of leopard print court shoes that work well with most of my outfits that feature brown as a primary colour and for the rest I made do with cognac or tan boots during winter, brown sandals and nude peep toes during summer and nude slingbacks in spring and autumn, but it is still making do…
– The fact that I still haven’t found any grey suede boots worries me less, since they are more of a nice to have than I must have in my book;
I’ve added a pair of brown boots to the boots-search since I have such a hard time finding a pair that suits me and I would like to have a new pair before the current pair is no longer fit to wear. Luckily I take such good care of my collection that I don’t have to replace them every single year.
– Still no red or back slingbacks, although I must admit I haven’t really looked for slingbacks anymore. I kinda forgot about wanting to add these to my collection… I might still add a pair of red ones for the in-between-seasons weather, but I’m going to throw the black ones from the list
– I found a gorgeous pair of court shoes with denim uppers and a cork stiletto heel from my (still) all time favourite brand Tamaris and they are even prettier than the ones I had been chasing down but were never available in my size.
Turns out they only started at 37, which isn’t uncommon with shoes with a significant heel or platform.
– I managed to buy two more pairs of summery wedges: a lilac one and a black peeptoe one. Since wedges are so comfortable I expect that some of my future summer shoes will be wedges.
– I’m looking to replace my silver sandals, since they probably won’t last more than another summer. I used to have an aversion to metal coloured sandals, but I can now appreciate their versatility

New addition

Since I changed jobs, I no longer have about 700 shoe stores at lunch break distance, so my collection hasn’t grown as much over the past few years as it would have a few years back.
I do hop by the two local little shopping areas to check out new collections, sales, special actions,.. but between those two shopping areas there are only 5 or 6 shoe stores…

My latest additions are

– a pair of black Mary Janes and nude sling backs, both from Tamaris, bought at the Torfs stock sale. Torfs has a similar sale in their warehouses twice a year and I try to pass by them if it fits my agenda. You have to have luck at your side in finding something during those sales, but so far I have found 2 pairs of shoes about once every second time I go there.

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Both pairs of shoes were bought to replace similar shoes that have served their time.

– the jeans and the white flats in the below picture. They are ideal for when my ankle acts up in summer and I’m stuck with wearing flats only. They are cute enough to work with a dress and are ideal for summer festivals and such. That is why each year I go to the store where they sell them to make sure that I have at least one white and one black pair and to add any other colours that I fancy and they have in their collection for that year.

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Right after taking this picture and storing all shoes again in their boxes in the cupboard, I realised I also have a lilac pair. But I couldn’t really convince myself to go to the attic to go and find them and redo the picture, so you’ll just have to believe me on that one 😉

Tripple party

In our family we have a tradition of celebrating everything we can celebrate, so last Saturday we had a triple party: celebrating my new position and contract at work, my housemate’s (belated) birthday and Sinterklaas, mostly for my nephews. And as predicted, I finally managed to get my picture taken.

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The outfit includes a Bel&Bo dress with cognac boots which took me ages to find, since once I’ve got a pair of shoes/boots in mind I’ll look for them until I find them and I won’t go for second best. Even if it means trying on over 70 pairs in a search of almost 3 years.
Me, stubborn, never!

75th Boekenbeurs – Shoeper Shoe Challenge #24

When I was little my mom took me, my sister and my brother along to De Boekenbeurs an annual book fair in Antwerp.
We looked at books and always got to choose one as a Christmas present and one to read straight away. I already was an avid reader back then, so very often I also bought 2 or 3 extra books myself.

The first weekend of November I got tickets to the festive opening of the 75th edition of the fair, and for old time sake I invited my mom to go along.
It was nice to have a mother-daughter outing and to go along in the buying books as gifts tradition by helping my mom choose a books for my two nephews (in the end it was me who chose all but 1 book) and buying a book for myself (Papillon, a classic which I read while still living at my parents, but didn’t own myself), but all the food and drinks we got did not outweigh the crowds or the rude people. So for the years to come I would gladly settle for a free ticket on a week day in stead of ticket for the opening night.

I took a bit of a gamble with my choice in shoes for the evening by wearing a new pair of black boots. I bought them to replace the interim bike boots, and they prove to be worthy successors since I managed to visit the fair as well as the 5-minute walk from and to the parking spot without ever knowing I wore them for the first time.

This scarf is my new favourite scarf. Bought it on our second day in Legoland in September, since I forgot to pack one (even though I had enough stuff with me to cover a 2 or 3 week in stead of a 1 week visit to Denmark, according to my partner).

Test drive – Shoeper shoe challenge #23

My partner is looking for a new bike. As he thinks my opinion as a passenger counts, he took me along when he went to test drive the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure.
Since it had been over 2 years since the last time we had a bike ride, I no longer have any decent bike boots, so I put on my oldest pair of black boots.

In the below picture they are worn in a more traditional way, with a wrap dress. One of the first dresses in the “buy a special b-day dress” tradition.

Unfortunately these boots are starting to look a bit worse for wear, and I’ve already looked into buying a replacement pair, but they are comfy as old boots so I’m just not ready to part with them yet.
That’s why I’ll keep them a while longer to serve as boots to wear to concerts, festivals,… where it’s important to wear comfy footwear that is a little bit resistant.