Today’s post is written by fabulous Euro forum member, Inge, who is Belgian and resides in Antwerp. Inge is a freelance translator and personal book shopper whose spunky and creative style is often a source of inspiration on our forum. Inge, LegacyOfPearl and Zeynep recently met for a fun shopping trip in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This is how their delightful day went down.
Recently on a sunny but nippy Saturday morning, I donned my A.B.S. dress and jeans, added my cream bomber jacket and drove to Rotterdam for the first ever European YLF gathering. At the Central Station, fellow YLF member LegacyOfPearl (LOP) and her stylish friend Zeynep were already waiting for me. Unfortunately, Elika had to cancel last-minute and Angie, who had actually been considering flying out here for the event, couldn’t make it either due to other obligations.
A five minute walk brought us to the city centre with its numerous shops, and we decided to systematically work our way down to the Koopgoot (Dutch for “buying gutter”). Zeynep, who has a predilection for Italian clothing, immediately struck gold in a small independent boutique specializing in Italian brands. The earthy colour of the sleeveless dress with pleated skirt looked stunning on her, and it was 50% off!
Next stop was a funky shoe store were LOP fell in love with a suede sand-coloured pair of sandal booties that she ended up buying the next day in Amsterdam. We trotted from shop to shop all the while talking up a storm. Zeynep snapped up a cute gym bag with fluorescent animal print in a discount store and then we hit Mexx. On the sales rack my two lovely companions found me a fantastic dark brown sleeveless dress. The utilitarian vibe was right up my alley and it proved perfect to wear with leggings or jeans. While I was paying, LOP spotted a two-toned grey strappy dress. She’d been looking for a Summery frock for an upcoming wedding in Turkey. Something festive, elegant and mom-friendly that would still allow carefree playing with her son. And there it was.
Successful shopping makes me hungry, so we headed over to “De Bijenkorf”, a huge luxurious department store, for a spot of lunch. At their Restaurant La Ruche we were spoilt for choice: fresh fruit juices, sandwiches that resembled works of art, sushi, wok dishes, colourful salads and delectable pastries. We toasted to Angie and all the YLF forum members over strawberry tartlets and yummy chocolate gateau!
On our way out the three of us drooled over the Karen Millen collection and a gorgeous navy & white Armani frock with amazing detailing. At H&M, LOP and Zeynep bought black leggings, and convinced me to go for grey leggings with a bit of sheen to them (jazzercise anyone?).
Vila, a budget-friendly Danish brand with a somewhat minimalistic feel comes highly recommended. Zeynep went home with a fab white button-down tunic and a dressy sleeveless top in a gorgeous purplish blue. We also witnessed an on the spot style transformation: in the dressing room LOP unbuttoned her beautiful white & yellow ruffled cardi, revealing her blue cami, popped on the just bought leggings under her denim pencil skirt and topped it all off with a skinny belt. “Now I feel like myself again”, she sighed relieved. Fun!
Suddenly a slight panic broke out because we thought the shops were open until 7 pm, when in fact, they close at 5 pm. We hurried over to another H&M and then sprinted to Zara. Good thing we persevered, since LOP walked away with a patterned black scarf and the cutest pair of green pumps.
Catching our breath we plopped down on a terrace to enjoy a well-deserved drink and admire our purchases. Drinks turned into dinner, during which we chatted happily about language learning, eating Nutella straight from the jar, how to start your own book club (wine is the secret ingredient apparently), Indonesian and Turkish cuisine, luxury brand shopping in Istanbul, American menswear, children’s clothing, dressing for a corporate environment…
It truly was a marvelous day, and we were especially pleased to discover that as three solo shoppers at heart, we hit it off so well and actually made the perfect shopping team. Thank you Angie for creating the opportunity to make this happen! And thank you LegacyOfPearl and Zeynep, you are two super sweet lasses and a dream to shop with!