Sartorial musings – The Blair Waldorf shirt

We’ve been talking recently about clothes we love and it seems to be the general consensus that days when we are wearing our favourite clothes are a little bit happier. Last week, I confessed that I found myself in a bit of a rut and decided to try to have more fun with my wardrobe.

Well, something wonderful happened that further motivated me to make a little effort and mix it up. On one of my late night Ebay trawls – what, am I the only one who does that? – I was looking for sparkly vintage necklaces but got a bit sidetracked and found a real gem. To the untrained eye, it was just a stripy shirt from an old Zara collection. But not to me! I immediately recognised it as the shirt Blair Waldorf wears in the very first episode of Gossip Girl. I don’t know about you, but watching Gossip Girl episodes is one of my guilty pleasures, and by now I’ve watched it so many times that I have a mental catalogue of Blair’s outfits.

The Blair Waldorf shirt @ alittleadventure.net

As good fate had it, I managed to pick the shirt up for a song, in perfect condition and in my size. Don’t you just love it when things just work out perfectly? I was so impatient waiting for it to be delivered and I believe I did a little dance when the parcel arrived. It instantly earned a place among “my favourites”! I really like the little ruffle detail, I think it makes it look rather fancy. I’ve been wearing it a lot; it’s as easy and comfortable as wearing a t-shirt, but it looks so much more special and makes me feel more dressed up and put together. A very good start for my 2nd Wardrobe Resolution!

Tell me, have you been trying to add a bit more fun to your outfits? Any recent additions to your favourite clothes?

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Conscious thoughts & being happier

Do you remember when Lorelai Gilmore had to learn how to fish to go on a date with some outdoorsy guy, and Rory, quite naturally, got some fishing books from the library to help her? Some, like Luke Danes, might think it’s ridiculous to expect to learn to fish from reading a book. While I too think that it’s slightly silly, I have pretty much the same attitude as Rory.* When I want to learn something, my first thought is to read a book about it. So a few months ago, when I was really struggling with my happiness levels and needed some help with organising my life, home, and time, I went straight to the library.

I started browsing the psychology and self-help aisle. Am I the only one who feels irrationally self-concious when looking at the self-help shelves? As if everyone else is judging me? Anyway, I ignored this feeling, because what’s embarrassing about needing help with some things? Nothing. I ended up finding a few very useful books that day, and overall I am pleasantly surprised at how a few little tidbits and words of wisdom have stuck with me and have actually helped me be happier.

The ambitiously titled How to Do Everything and be Happy by Peter Jones, offered some very practical ways to get organised and set goals. But most importantly, it made me more aware of the power of our thoughts. I began to notice that most of my thoughts had a negative tone. The book suggests thinking about your goals as if they are already done, which felt extremely odd to me as I’m more used to thinking about my goals as if I’ll never reach them. Which is bad, very bad.

I then read Gretchen Rubin’s Happier at Home which was inspiring on many levels. (It actually offered extra motivation for my Capsule Wardrobe Project.) This book really challenged my assumption that we act the way we feel. I think that’s a sensible assumption, isn’t it? As it turns out, Rubin found that quite often it’s the opposite: how we act, and how we think, affects how we feel! Isn’t that mind-blowing? So if we think kind thoughts, and engage in nurturing, positive activities, we can actually raise our happiness levels.


I began to think about the following statement, a bit like a daily mantra:

“Think happy, feel happy.”


 It was with this new awareness that I received the perfectly-timed newsletter from my favourite yogi, Adriene, last week. The topic was conscious thoughts and how powerful they can be. Adriene talked about the teachings of yogi Yogananda who really believed in the power of thought.


These lines really resonated with me:

“What if every thought you had were to be realised as truth?

Would you be more careful with your thoughts?

Would your thoughts demean you or support you?”


Conscious thoughts & being happier @ A little adventureOh my, did this resonate with me! I realised that most of my thoughts weren’t supporting me, in fact, quite the opposite was true and often they were actually torturous. I had to admit that my negative and pessimistic thoughts helped create situations that are affecting my happiness. Not good.

I am now determined to be more aware of my thoughts, to notice when they veer towards the unhelpful and the negative. To consciously check my thoughts. To focus more on positive thoughts and setting intentions. I really think more mindful thinking can have a significant impact on our happiness levels. Do you notice your thoughts? Are you careful to avoid negative and self-demeaning thoughts? I urge you to try to be more conscious of your thoughts and to use their power to support you instead of hinder you.

*Apologies if you are not a Gilmore Girls fan. But maybe you should be? 🙂

Sartorial musings – Wardrobe fun

These days, I mostly work from home, with the occasional visit to the library or a coffee shop for a change of scene. I could basically write my entire thesis in pyjamas. I do make the effort to change into proper clothes every morning as it makes me more productive (and it also makes me feel I’m like the normal people, you know, who have jobs and stuff), but most days I’m quite lazy with my outfit choices. It’s usually some variation of the ‘jeans and a t-shirt’ theme. While that’s fine, it’s also boring.

I’ve been thinking a lot about it. I have a lot of clothes that I think are cute and yet most days I go for the same old boring combinations. Do you do the same? I know that many people enjoy wearing basically the same thing every day, it actually gives them comfort and confidence and one less thing to worry about. For me, I think it’s because I feel there’s no need to ‘dress up’ so I don’t bother to make the extra effort, and at the back of my mind there’s also that silly idea of saving things for best or not wanting to waste a cute outfit on a boring day. Are you guilty of thinking like this? Tell me I’m not alone!

It’s a surprisingly stubborn mentality to change, this impulse to not enjoy things in the present and save them for some hypothetical day in the future. But I don’t want to wait for that special occasion; after all, I’m trying to see every day as a special occasion, as a little adventure! And why not dress up for it? Wearing basically the same outfit every day doesn’t make me happy. I’d like to take the clothes that I love, the ones that are “my favourite”, and try out different combinations. I want to try combining different patterns, wear colourful outfits, add whimsical accessories to my plain jeans and t-shirts outfits, get more wear out of my beloved Breton and polka-dot tops, and add more sparkle to my every day. I want my clothes to look fun, not be yawn-inducing.

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So I decided to make this simple statement my second Wardrobe Resolution:

“I will have fun with my wardrobe.”


I mentioned last week that the days when I’m wearing my favourite clothes are just that little bit happier. I’m hoping that following through with this resolution will make them even happier. Or at the very least more colourful and bright.

I don’t expect to look like the girls on Pinterest any time soon but I am looking forward to getting out of my style rut. I’m hoping getting dressed in the morning will be a little bit more fun and it will mean starting the day on a positive, happy note. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you try new things with your clothes or end up wearing the same things over and over again? Are your clothes a source of fun or frustration? How do you go about choosing what you wear every day.

P.S. I made the collage using images taken from my Style Inspiration board on Pinterest.

Sartorial musings – The capsule wardrobe

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about clothes. I find my thoughts turning to the things I wear, the things I’d like to wear, and what other people wear, surprisingly often. It’s not as if this is something new; I’ve always been interested in these very deep and important things. However, since reading Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton, which I received as a Christmas present, there have been a lot of clothes-related questions in my mind. This, combined with more and more frequent occurrences of the dreaded ‘a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear’ morning scenario (one of my least favourite ways to start the day, by the way), meant that I’ve been doing some sartorially focused soul-searching.

In trying to answer the question ‘What would my dream wardrobe be?’ I found inspiration from a very unlikely source. Not from all the fashion and style blogs I peruse daily, not on a Pinterest spree, not from leafing through glossy magazines, not from films and TV (although that’s not entirely true, Blair Waldorf is a huge inspiration). When it came to defining a basic, everyday wardrobe, I realised I wanted to have what my boyfriend has.

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Now, The Boy, is not fussed with fashion one bit, but I suppose he does have his own style, in the sense that he knows what he likes and stays pretty consistent with what he wears. I’ve always been jealous of his small collection of merino and cashmere jumpers in shades of blue and grey. In fact, I believe he actually has the perfect capsule wardrobe. He has a very pared down wardrobe, where everything goes together and is the right size, he wears all his clothes often, and perhaps most importantly, he likes pretty much everything he owns. This came in sharp contrast with what I found when I went through my own closet. I own many, many items of clothes that I never wear. They are either the wrong size, or they have the wrong fit, or they don’t suit my lifestyle any more, or they are too old and worn. I realised that not only do I spend more money on clothes than The Boy does, I also have a closet that is full to bursting with clothes that don’t even make me happy. Something had to change.


This is how I came to form my first Wardrobe Resolution:

“I will work towards building a wardrobe consisting of fewer, better quality items that fit my taste, my body, and my life.”


My goal here is to have a closet that is not full to the brim but instead contains pieces that work together and that make me happy. I love that feeling I get when I wear my favourite Breton top, or my favourite white summer dress. It seems like the days when I am wearing something I consider to be ‘my favourite’ are a little bit happier. Do you find this to be true for you? There is absolutely no point that I can see in having dozens of shirts if I only love and wear a handful of them. To me, the perfect Capsule Wardrobe consists of fewer pieces that are the best quality I can afford, fit me perfectly, are consistent with ‘my style’, and are ‘my favourite’.

The first step towards this goal is to sell, donate, or recycle all the clothes, shoes, and accessories that don’t fall in the descriptions above. This is hard for me, I expect to be sentimental about quite a few things and invent silly reasons not to get rid of them but I will do my best to be ruthless. This will certainly highlight what’s lacking in my wardrobe. I’m also hoping that this will leave me with enough stuff to actually wear… I will keep you posted!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you care about clothes? Are you happy with your wardrobe? What would your dream closet contain? Really, any thoughts on this that you feel like sharing are most welcome; I find that this is a subject I can talk about to eternity.

Welcome back, dear friends!

Hello!

Welcome to A Little Adventure.

After a rather long hiatus, I have renamed my little blog, given it a little spruce, and I am so very thrilled to welcome you back!

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I felt that the name change was necessary; I am still very much a bookworm, but I want to share so many more of the things that give me pleasure. It was very easy for me to come up with a new name for my blog. In the past year or so I’ve had to face a few difficult and unpleasant situations, some of which I’ve shared on here, and this has led to many – not particularly profound – revelations. All of them can be neatly bundled up in the rather cheesy sentiment that to be happy, I must see my every day as a little adventure. I’m making efforts to find beauty and inspiration, make new discoveries, and delight in the little things.

A source of additional happiness is sharing all my loves and small pleasures with other like-minded friends here. On A Little Adventure you can expect to find random ramblings and stories, a lot of pictures of the English countryside, travel diaries from places near and far, my culinary efforts, all my bookish pursuits, and pretty much anything that makes me happy.

I can’t wait to start sharing!

P.S. Some boring stuff:  If you were following my blog on a feed reader, you need update the url. You can grab the RSS feed by clicking on the button to the right. If you are following on Bloglovin, the blog name will change and you should continue to see new posts automatically. You can subscribe via email if you fancy. And of course, you can find me on social media sites, just follow the links in the right column.