After yet another reorganization last year I was unceremoniously made redundant. I decided to have a sabbatical to reinvent (or at least better) myself; a period of reflection and reorientation. Suddenly staying at home left me with a very big question: ‘what to wear during one’s sabbatical?’ Fashion Sabbatical Dress started as a lighthearted project to rekindle old loves and develop new skills. One of the goals I set was a thorough investigation of my existing and future wardrobe. Another was get to grips with social media. What I gained besides a number of (psychological) benefits is to be part of a lovely, lively community of like minded individuals who I can share my passion for clothes with. Just great!
Now my sabbatical is over and working life beckons. I expect I will be working from home a lot in the near future. Working from home can have a nasty effect on your attire. I call this the freelancer’s trap and I've seen it happen to a few women around me unfortunately. It is so easy to say to yourself ‘nobody sees me anyway, so I might as well slough around in joggers or a onesie behind the PC.' You wouldn't apply this thinking to your house, would you? You wouldn't reason that because there isn't a photographer from an interior magazine coming round, you might as well let things slide. Not me at least. (granted, I get called the aesthetic police). It simply not true that nobody sees you. The most important person to see you is: you!
When I look down on my arms when tapping away on the keyboard of my computer I want to see nice arms, wrapped in lovely fabric. When I look further down my body when I unload the dishwasher I want to see nice bottoms and shoes. When I walk up the stairs I can see my self in a floor length mirror and I want to like what I see. Simple.
On dressing & talking about it:
Dress the occasion not your age (or what you perceive you should be wearing at your age). Every day is an occasion to wear something nice. If you like wearing jeans, you should wear the nicest jeans you can find and afford. Life is too short to wear bad clothes. My style is a mixture of typical Northern European practical understated elegance and some funky items (I cycle most days). Not necessarily a fashion follower, think more Gentlewoman meets Parisian in Holland. What I want to show on this blog are the outfits I wear in real life and that actually work. I aim to combine all the items I own in as many ways that I can find (the famous price per wear theory)
Like most 40-something women, my life is hugely governed by ratio and I find that clothing is one of the few area’s in which the emotional take precedence. I love clothes and shoes (I’m less of a bag lady) and I love looking at what other women wear. Blogging is an ideal medium to bring these interests together: acceptable people watching in detail and chatter about style! My lovely and very dear friends are somehow all women who I can’t share my love for style and clothes with. They do care about their appearance but not to the same extend as me and the more academic among them find talking about clothes too superficial. I'm truly glad I found a circle of mature women online with whom to discuss clothes and style in a inspiring way.
Bit more info:
I'm Dutch and live in Rotterdam with my three favorite men (husband & two sons who sometimes appear in the photographs). The Netherlands are great (bar the weather) but I have a very special bond with London and the UK. I have lived in Exeter for a short period of time during the early nineties joining a student exchange program. It was then that I fell in love with Britain. Later I moved to London to study ceramics at the Royal College of Art. After graduation I stayed on in London for a few years, sharing a studio with other ceramic artist and living of various odd jobs. My life made a U-turn after an accident when I had to (reluctantly!) move back to the Netherlands. In time I gave up ceramics, found a decent job, retrained and specialized in occupational health/HR. At the moment I’m on the brink of making this U-turn ever sharper by specializing further within my chosen field. Which is great and important to me but I have a tendency to take life too seriously sometimes. I plan to let Fashion Sabbatical Dress function as a healthy counterweight to all things occupational & legislation. I also find that having a creative outlet again makes me feel very happy. Other things that make me happy are builder’s tea (a friend keeps me in a steady supply of PG-tips), flowers, orange, lots of food, a good natter with a friend, fits of laughter, books on tap and my life with my family in general. Yes, and clothes. And new shoes...