… and a few other style tips, tricks and confessions I never really told anyone.
There are some things that keep the universe together: the laws of Physics, gravity, Nutella… But it is actually cheap mascara, second hand stores and style tips that make for a truly meaningful life.
My grandma told me once that keeping secrets makes us more interesting. She was a sophisticated lady with the looks of Coco Chanel who spent her entire retirement pension in expensive tweed and pearls. Like grandma, like granddaughter.
She’d fumigate herself with L’Oreal Elnett hairspray before leaving the house and would make us all wait for hours until she was done. “You never know what your neighbours may whisper about you, but let they never talk about your lack of style” she used to say.
(Look at all those dudes checking grandma out!)
My style tips are pretty straight forward. But as I meet new people and hold conversations about fashion with them, I often see the look on their faces like: omg, you do what? So this seems like a pretty good moment to share with you all these bits and pieces that I keep to myself -and my drinking pals-.
1. I always hit the gym with my Prada bag.
Any of the three I own, really. They’re with me at all times, so why not at the gym too? Plus, they make a cheap H&M look, a messy bun and sneakers feel amazeballs and so put together.
Do you happen to own a vintage Louis Vuitton weekender? Then put aside that nylon fitness bag at once! Just remember to ALWAYS bring plastic bags with you for your dirty clothes and towels.
2. TK Maxx is SO totally an option.
It’s crazy but having worked in the fashion industry I sometimes find it hard to believe that everyone is shopping full price. Seriously, it’s just suspicious AF. Yes, you gotta be fancy, but at what cost?
I actually find shopping at TK Maxx an exercise for my mind and soul. My squirrel brain works 10 times faster than in any other shop and my reflexes just bloom. I feel smarter when I go there.
Plus, getting 90% discounted Stella McCartney pieces and other cheap deals on designer fashion? Come on.
3. … and so are second hand stores!
Very few things have me as hooked as second-hand shopping in Berlin. There’s this little called SOEUR where you can get pre-loved pieces from Acne Studios, Céline and Isabel Marant (among a bunch of other well-known brands) for less than a hundred bucks.
Half of my absolute top designer clothes are coming from this little shop. I pop by every week and go through every single rack and shelf, doing some treasure hunting. So addictive. It’s like getting a newsletter from your favourite retailer with all the “NEW IN!” pieces, only this time you have to actually do the edit yourself.
You know this whole new philosophy of “buy less, spend more”? Not for me. I say buy more but good and spend less. I hate empty closets.
4. If you find a bargain you could profit from, put a ring on it.
Say, you find a pair of Saint Laurent stilettos in the wrong size but in perfect shape for about 100 EUR. You know they’re worth 300-350 EUR on eBay. So what do you do? You go and get them, to then sell them.
I’m not saying you’ll go all Sophia Amoruso and build the next Nasty Gal BUT you can so make good money with this little technique. I’ve done that several times, last time with vintage Levi’s jeans (which I found in Bilbao for 10 EUR a pair and they were worth 60-75 EUR on eBay at the time!).
5. Cool jackets are the key to always looking well-done.
I stand by this statement. You could be wearing a 5 EUR lycra dress from Primark underneath, but a SERIOUSLY cool jacket will make you look like you’re made of 18k gold.
What I often do is wearing a boxy leather jacket on top of a wool coat. This combo creates the most unexpected effect I’ve ever seen. The contrasting materials and the combination of lengths make the look unique and interesting to watch. I usually wear my black/navy Alexander Wang jacket on top of a camel coat for a WOW effect.
As a side note, a leather jacket IS an indoors piece of clothing, and so are thin coats. Never let anybody tell you the opposite.