Essential and basic pieces in your wardrobe are the once that saves you on a rainy. The days when you don't have anything to wear, the pieces that you pull on and you look like the effort was payed.
This Top Shop lace shirt is one of mine, it's incredibly cheek and works with any bottom. Jeans, dress pants, skirts and more comfy pants even.

The great thing with this shirt is that of its material. It is 100% cotton. This means it, despite its long sleeves, is great for summer days as well as it breaths well. With a synthetic material, even the lace holes would of brought a sweaty feeling for through out a long usage.
The shirt is patterned in different lace pattern all over the shirt, and finished with some great detailing, that I will take up later on so keep on reading.

The sleeves of the shirt is made tighter on the upper arm. Towards the end of the sleeve about half way down, just after the elbow, the sleeve looses up and widens out and becomes big.
The pattern of the lace also changes from, being a stripy one to a lace with bigger holes through out the shirt

The neck is a half turtle neck with a button in the back. The button is a small round plastic one that easily buttons up to the loop on the opposite side.

One of the reasons this shirt fell in my liking is due to its versatility. It can be dressed down or up depending on ones preference. In its nature it is a  it more classy, elegant and seen as a dressing up piece. However, with the right bottom, this shirt even works well with sneakers. Commonly seen sneakers, as I see it, are not the statement piece to state elegance but more so a relaxed look. As the shirt can be combined with both stated styles, I see it highly versatile.
The big holed lace does not show off too much off yor body. And one still feels covered up and not exposed in this shirt.

On a windy day the shirt can get slightly chilly, but even then it can be dressed and combined with a cardigan with pulled up sleeves or even a blazer.

'It was easy and ready to go'
Xx lN

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A bag, a fine finishing touch.
I always loved a fine bag, a big one a small a convenient and one, most of all, that can.be worn day in and out, no matter of season and clothing in additional.
However, I always been the one seeking a bag for an occasion. I have my work bag, my city bag, travel bag and a night out bag. So when I finally decide to get a new one, I've often narrowed it down to be one specific one, and in the process of finding it, weighting pros and cons of all potential once.
This bag featured in the post is the new in for everyday use I invested in.

This bag is a Longshamp Le Pliage back pack. It comes in all the basic colours and a few more, so the colour range is wide. I decided on getting this bag as I needed an elegant city back pack when moving around by bike.
Longshamp as a brand is a very long lasting one and has so far always served it's purpose for me. The greatest with the bags is, that they always stay in style no matter of the season.

The colour mattered to me quite a bit in my choice for the bag. I wanted one that would not get dirty at once, but still be a pop out and finish a look completely. The one that served both these purposes was the dark gray, with the standard brown details. I love how the colours compliment each other and adds on to cheek final look of the bag itself.

When it comes to the size of the bag, this is just perfect. Not too big nor small, just exact. You will fit a water bottle and an extra shirt in it if needed for a whole day out. Or you can fit your iPad and notes in it if needed to school or work. Or even, you can fit an extra pair of shoes in it, if you will be walking a lot throughout the day. However, not all off the above mentioned at once just one of the scenarios. In addition to this you will naturally also fit the daily essentials, like your wallet and phone into the bag.
The bag even has a small pocket, besides the big department, main department. In the smaller pocket you can store keyes, lipstick or any fast needed essentials.

The top of the bag is also made square shaped. This adds on the space available in the bag and makes more of the space available to be used. Finally the bag is closed by a sip and a cover that secures the sip.

When it comes down to the details of the bag, the straps are secured with a plastic peace. The straps then loops around and in between the plastic to secure itself to the right size and length. Once secured it stays put and in case changes needed, one would need to do the adjustments without actually wearing the bag.

The straps are made in fabric. They are firm and string enough to carry a bit heavier load, not too heavy though. The ends of the straps are finished with a see through line, so the strap does not come apart.

On the top back part of the bag, the well known Longshamp logo lays. Down on the lower part of the back side is the significant button located. The one that you can fold the bag into a smaller travel size and secure it to such a size as well.

So far I am very pleased with the bag. I can fit a days stuff in it, and it is a classy back pack that can be worn with any outfits. The dressed up, the dressed down, the casual and lazy once. By adding the bag the final look always come off more fresh, cheek and thought through, so the bag is more or less a saver bag in my collection.

'Quality over quantity'
XxlN

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Travel and explore, see and try new things. On my way back home to sweden, I stopped by in Oslo. Gave it a day and a half and let the city show off all the good sides it has.
It took me a bit more than 33000 steps to cover most parts of the city the first day and 17000 the second day.
So lets see how far I got with these steps.

On my way to the hotel I walked through the city. Judging by the surrounding I saw (the pictures above) the shopping culture there is so much more than just a  building with some clothing, interior or shoes.
The streets were build in a lovely attractive way, decorated with flowers along the sides, benches to sit on and stoned streets to walk on or even bike on.
The shop were naturally located in the bottom of the houses, and the architecture of the shop building made the shop often seem more attractive. So a win win for the shop.
One shop I fell head over heels with, was Tint (last picture featuring clothing). This shop had the most beautiful and amazingly created shop window I've seen in a while. The creativity used inside the shop was also inspiring. It was clean and organised and beautifully structured. I can easily recommend this shop as one to pop in to next time you visit Oslo.

When it's down to the culture of Oslo, I can't but love the drive of the city. It surely has a lot to offer. For someone like me, always on the go and willing to see and experience new stuff, this city does not leave one short of options.
There is the national opera, a huge white building made to show off modern architecture. Quite a few of the Norwegians use this building, not only for entertainment but also, as their sun bathing spot on a sunny day.
There is the City Hall, also made to show off with it's beautiful architecture. Two towers and an aisle in between. Here I found a bunch of locals and tourists snapping that gorgeous picture for their social media.

Besides all the attractions the city has to offer, you can find streets inspired of the once down in Melbourne. These are filled with graffiti along the house walls and the streets radiate an urban rebel feeling of young artists.
Lastly, you can find small stands on the countless l markets that have different kind of art to offer. One of the markets I found had these life inspiring quotes, made in to wall pictures.

Kaffe brenneriet, a lovely little coffee place at the corner of "Princens gate". I went in for a quick bite as the place looked adorable from outside. They had decorated the entry with flowers next to the doors. The outside tables were prepared with blankets. And rather than removable chairs, the seating was  prepared with benches along the windows to the coffee place.
The girl, who made my coffee, was actually from Sweden, however she had her A game on with her Norwegian so I could not tell. This resulted in us speaking in english until the order and all was done, that's when we switched to Swedish.
Do pop in to Kaffe brenneriet next time, the girl making coffee in there is lovely and great at her job. However, don't let her fool you with her brilliant Norwegian. 

If non of this is something that catches you interest, you can always take the buss boat and visit the islands around Oslo mainland. I didn't visit these islands, but I sure hopped on the boat and enjoyed a bit of the see life.

In conclusion, I loved the city and would go back to see the islands as well. The drive of the city the amount to do and all the culture that shows off in different aspects really inspires one in so many ways. I recommend you to see and walk through the city and let it wash over you.

"Happiness is not a destination, it's a way of life"
-one of the quotes I found on the market

XxlN

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A new project at its start, this one has its inspiration originating from Chanel. I find the brand highly elegant and inspiring with all their designs. All the fine cuts and defining seems really brings the elegance to its very top. However the cuts, seems and pattern is nothing without the fabric. The fabric is the one that is commonly something I react on. For this project I found this beautiful baby blue fabric, resembling the well known fabric that Channel blazers are known for. I went ahead  with the blazer idea, with the pattern of a short one with cuts and seems to really show off the fabric.

Fabric details:
The fabric consists of: Wool, Silk, Polyester and Flax.
Wash instructions: Only dry cleaning
Fabric care: The fabric can be ironed with with middle heat.
Feeling/hand: The hand of the fabric is soft, non itchy, light and falls smoothly down along the body, does not wrinkle, has small holes and therefore, it breaths well.

Before getting started with the sewing, the ground work has to take place. Cutting the fabric is the starting point. Once I cut the fabric, it appeared that the edges were coming apart. Without ordinary machines, I still wanted to make sure the edges would not come apart too much. That way I would ensure a classy finish. This all was ensured by running through the edges of the fabric with sick sack stitches.

I always start my sewing with a thread well seen on the fabric and long stitches. With this technique I map out where I want the seem to be and create, a so said, mock piece before I run it over with the real unseen stitches.

Once the ground work is done, I can do the fitting of the blazer and make small adjustments to make it fit perfectly. By the end, I tailor the actual blazer to the finest detail and start the inner lining. I have the measurements of all seems, and so they can be mimicked onto the lining now. Once all this is done, it is only down to the finishing work to have the blazer ready to ve worn.

"Elegance is when the inside is as beautiful as the outside"
xxlN

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For the past year, I have had the opportunity to participate in a number of lectures held by some of the biggest fashion influencers in Finland. All the great knowledge they had to share, has resulted in me being certified in Fashion marketing. This has been my year...

When months of work is done and a collection is ready to present it needs to be promoted and brought from the design studios to day light. Here PR are a blessing as well as social media. The later one mentioned has grown to be mandatory withing marketing. The collection featured is the winter collection by Arela studio. A respected brand working with cashmere as the base and ground.

When the space is ready made and planned, the show is left to be performed. Now it is your time to shine, get the inner circle to  expand and make some new contacts as well. However, make sure the show still runs smoothly. In the pictures above Arela studio is featured. Mikko Ryhänen worked as the photographer and Paparazzi models were modelling. The model featured is Hclotta and the backstage makeup artist was Jasmiinamua.

It's all about the angles. Angel the pictures, angle the work angle your perspective. From above to bellow to the sides and around. The angle is what captures the the clients and customers eyes an interest. Come with the surprises, with the mind blowing new ideas and perspectives others has not seen or thought of.

Finally keep developing, stay true to your values and work as you deserve it all. Keep the bases in mind  and be brave to see the outside of the lines.

"The future is there to take, if one is willing to handle it" 

XxlN

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Strength, something that exists in so many forms physical, mental and all in between. Physical strength is easy to measure, you do a shoulder exercise with 20kg dumbbells in each hand or lift a hundred kilos just like so. Easy and measurable. However, when it comes to other forms of strengths, can we measure them as well and if so, how do we do that?
I was thinking about this over the week as the past months has made me feel like I have completely shut down myself from everything but school. Is that strong, I don't know? Surely everybody in my class, doing the same programme as me, has the same work load. Although, upon the work load given from this school, I have been running towards the finish line with my other school and started working as well. Can that be considered 'stronger' due to a few added components, I still don't know? I would claim that, that strength on a mental stage is when you can handle quite a few things at the same time and still keep up to speed with your social life and balance your days with things you need, want and have to do. Our days consists of different components that we feel are needed to make us happy. If one or the other is lacking, in the long run, it can't be called strength to be building days with a lack of a certain component. Thar would be, in my consideration, confusion of needs one has.

'Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will'

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Today I went back in time, in the textile industry, to around the 70's. I was placed behind a computer to navigate a weaving programme from this time. I did this together with a friend of mine. To keep it short, we made patterns for a weaving machine, that then went on and constructed a ready made fabric. It's amazing, that even back then, the construction of a pattern and a woven fabric was so similar to the construction work we do today. To have the opportunity to see and participate in the process of making something so basic as clothes, really adds value to the once you have. You start to understand the effort put into their making. It is one thing to read a label 'made in China/Portugal/Sweden', and an entirely different one to really understand what it means that something is made in Europe or outside of Europe. Long known, China has been big on clothing and their making and so they have been considered an affordable way to produce in. However, now China are developing skills so advanced that the production costs are reaching the once in Europe, that has been seen as a costly place to produce in. Once the facts settles in and the 'made in xx' tells you way more, than just the shipping origin of your clothing this, then with sure assumption it has an effect on the way we consume. So actually in the end, added value is really what we seek in consumption. Don't you agree?

'Times change but do we?'

xxIN

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Last weekend was quite the weekend for me. Not only because I had a couple of very interesting lectures in Helsinki Design School (find a post on the school further down on my blog) and because I sat and enjoyed my morning coffee in the sun on the balcony, not only because of those reasons was the weekend so mind blowing. I came across a couple of numbers, 40% and 65%. Quite high percentages that could be anything more or less. However, these numbers symbolize the unawareness of sustainability in the world. The 40% stands for the over all amount of the worlds population, that does not know that there is something called "Global warming" going on. The 65% is the number of people in the LEDC's that has no clue about global warming. How is this possible, I honestly don't know! It seems like it is what we ever only talk about these days, but apparently it isn't. What I do know though, is that the communication has not been effective enough. Even if people knows the word sustainable, do they really know what it refers to?

These numbers chocked me, and I started to reflect on easy ways to start off supporting a more sustainable way of living. We can't do everything, but as long as everybody does something we should get further. The coat featured in the picture above is one way to be sustainable. The coat is a Marimekko raincoat that is classy, trendy and cheek all at the same time. Having a coat such as reduces the need of having a bunch of coats hanging at home. If this however, is the case I would suggest to take a close look at all of them and recycle the once you don't wear. I can almost guarantee you will fin at least one coat like this. I surely did once i digged through.

As on the topic of clothes and recycling, why stuck up and fill your wardrobe with a bunch of clothes, rather than having a collection that lasts season in and out? The creative side of a human has no limits. This means by being creative you can combine less with more. Usually the basics are easy to combine with a huge variation of clothes and by doing so, an entire new outfit has been created and the wardrobe expands in variations but decreases in size.

.It is not only in fashion and clothes you can be sustainable. Even in the kitchen this is a huge deal breaker. For example, rather than using paper plates and plastic forks and knives, use washable once. This saves on the plastic waste that we have a too big tendency of making. A water bottle is a great way to visualize this with. We buy a plastic bottle from the shop because we forgot our own home. This bottle we then trow out by the end of the day for various reasons. Trash and waste are not favoring the earth, especially not plastic as it never really disappears from the earth.

As we once got into the topic of food, eating up is also a factor that matters. We never really think of the amount of energy consumed when making our lunch or dinner. However, it is quite a bit. A reason for being clueless about this could be the fact that the energy used, is abstract and we can't visualize it. This then translates to us as no harm done. This is not the case though. We still consumed a lot of energy making the food. So let's have a closer look at this. Let's say, I always leave the salad untouched on my plate. This takes up a fort of the plate. When I get on with the week, within four days I have wasted an entire meal, 100% of energy gone to nothing but harm. By estimating the right amounts we eat we can avoid this.

Lastly, just walk the way. Give up that car when the distance traveled does not require one. By walking or taking the bike you will save a lot of time and money (as an example) for the parking. You will also start feeling better, almost guaranteed, within a while as walking and using the bike will add on your daily exercise. It will also energize you. The gases from the traffic and cars are one of the biggest problems with the global warming and needs to be reduced. When walking or the bike is no option, brainstorm how it would be to take teh public or get a group together and share a ride.

So when you wake up in the morning, think what you have and how your impact matters. Start from somewhere and build it up gradually then. If nothing else, make awareness because, as mentioned earlier, there is still a remaining 40% in the unknown of this huge problem we are facing.

'What I stand for it what I stand on' with love, xx lN

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Consuming and shopping, something we all do and enjoy more or less. On a regular basis we find ourselves in needs and wants, can you relate to these feelings? These needs and wants, we act upon by doing some shopping mostly. So in very short terms we shop to satisfy a state of mind or to fill a gap that has come upon us. However, the habit of shopping has a way of turning against us at times as well. It is then, even more important to separate shopping from spending. So let me give you an insight of what I do when I say: I'll do some 'shopping'.

It was not too long ago, that it came to my awareness, that Bubbleroom was having a stock sale in Borås Sweden. So I thought to myself, this could be something worth seeing and experiencing and maybe spending some on as well. I took the 'buying' event more of an experience event and this made the occasion turn 180 degrees subconsciously. . The sale lasted for a couple of days. The first day being for staff only and the second day being for the public. I went for the public one. I arrived at the sight an hour after the opening hour. Already then the line had grown to be an hour (at least) of waiting to get in. The actual sale took place in a small storage with not too much capacity for people to be in there at the same time. This meaning, guards had to guard the door to keep the capacity of the shop at a humane level. A bit like outside of a bar, with the bouncers. There was nothing left to do, than to stand in the line and wait. The weather in springtime Sweden was certainly not standing on my friends (whom I went to the sale with) and my side. One minute it was sunny and pleasant, the next it was snowing and the third the storm was real. With some dedication we did manage to get ourselves pulled together and stood in the line until we got in.

So what happened once we got in then? Well then it was game on and the best foot forward! In simple steps the procedure looked something like the following. Get in, find your size, look through those racks for something that pleases your eye, once you find that item grab it and then start all over again from step one. This we did until the racks of our sizes were covered. Now we proceeded to the next step, decision making. Do I want it, do I need it, will I wear it, what is the material, will I want it even tomorrow and the day after tomorrow? At this point most of the items were put back to the racks for the others to look at. Some of the items did however, stick with us as the bag above shows.

This lovely and wonderful denim shirt was one of the items that stuck with me as I exited the storage sale Bubbleroom organised. I combined it to an all denim look, perfect for the season. The jeans and the denim shirt, both in similar blue colour, makes the outfit very fashion forward and cheek. The belt is of a dark brown colour that makes the entire outfit even more edgy but keeps it to a sense of calm and appropriate style still. It lies in the details when it comes down to fashion. If so desired the outfit could be completed with a big necklace. I love the minimalist way however, and kept it to a smaller necklace, gifted to me by one of my dearest friends. The outfit is perfect for making an appearance or just for everyday casual use. It looks like there has been effort and thought put in to it as well as makes the one wearing teh outfit loo comfortable. This in its turn makes the wearer of the outfit carry it even better and let the outfit speak for itself.

So to deliver my message clearly, don't make the shopping a matter of spending money. Make it a matter of experience and occasion/ event you go to. This does not only make the entire experience more enjoyable but also makes the bought items rise in value. Every time you'll be wearing that specific shirt or those specific shoes, you will think back at the experience you had when you first came across the pieces. So shortly said shopping is not the spending but the feeling now and after the actual purchase process has been done.

'Treat yourself to a little retail therapy every once in a while'

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Colours, sunny, energy... These are words most of us associate with spring time, me myself being one in the group. I visited the international food market in the small city of Borås over the weekend. It was overwhelming how many colours you can combine only in one food dish. So I started thinking, how much do we actually communicate through colours to each other? It is commonly known that about 70% of our communication is non-verbal. Looking at it from a fashion forward way, I believe quite a bit is said through colours in clothing. 

Whilst evaluating this I started to think of trends. The well known Scandinavian style, very basic, very sophisticated and yet playful, commonly uses a colour scheme of nudes, black, greys and whites. The north is also among the darkest places over the winter months. On the other hand, in more southern parts of the world colours, used in clothing, are more commonly seen where the warmth also lays. Isn't that somewhat twisted?

A person wearing black sends signals of elegance and authority. This colour is most likely the "to go" colour in any situation. At business offices and job interview this colour appears in one or more pieces of the clothing and the outfit.

White, a colour showing the good in people, honesty and truth. This colour combined with black is a classy an powerful 'save me' option when it ones to colour combination.

Dark blue, drives safety and calmness to a whole new level. A person wearing dark blue is usually easier to approach than one wearing black. Only imagine in a job interview...The interviewer wears blue rather than black, I can almost guarantee you feel more appreciated by the first mentioned interviewer then the second.

Red, this colour says a lot about the person. Bravery, strength, love, decision making, life etc. are only a few examples. Now imagine that this same interviewer wears red, what is your reaction then?

Green yellow combination, the colour signs  among other things for example growth, youth, cheerfulness and positivity. God bless us now if our interviewer is wearing this colour on that very important interview.

As I had walked around the market I was certain, colours do communicate more than we allow us to believe. It is a way more powerful element of our everyday. So next time you are going to that interview, spring gala, business meeting etc. think about the person you want to be and dress according to that using the right colours to complete the look. Because the colour of your shirt does matter in the end. We are telling a subconscious story for everyone out there to take part of, on a daily basis.

'Don't just live a life of black and white when there is a spectrum of colours available or you. Don't confine yourself, instead express yourself in who you are and have some fun'

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