In June we visited family and friends in the Netherlands and England. Not being light travellers, we popped our suitcases in the hold. So we had plenty of room to bring back treasures for our home, our snack cupboard and of course, our wardrobes. I LOVE bringing back pieces from our travels because they’re usually unique and a reminder of happy times. Closet souvenirs are the best. 

I should mention that these purchases exceeded my normal monthly budget quite significantly, but some of them were birthday gifts and I also set aside some money for travel purchases just because it’s an opportunity to get something different.

I brought back ten items: One pair of jeans, one denim jacket, two dresses, two handbags, a wallet, two pairs of shoes, and a pair of sunglasses. All carefully chosen over the space of four weeks to replace items that no longer work, fill wardrobe holes, and refresh my style.

  1. G-Star Elwood Skinny Jeans: G-Star is a Dutch brand, so it was appropriate that I purchase these from their home base. Having lived in boyfriend jeans for three years, and being a bit tired of the silhouette in blue denim, I needed to refresh my skinnies capsule. I chose a pair that are described as “white painted” — a mottled shade of bone. The asymmetrical zipper is fab, and the moto jeans styling is softened by the colour. 
  2. J Brand Classic Light-Wash Jean Jacket: At first I was dead set against purchasing J Brand in Amsterdam because it’s something I can get back home. But when this pretty powder blue denim jacket with extraordinary WHITE BUTTONS was the only one left in my size, fit perfectly, and was on sale, I saw it as a sign that it had to be mine. It was also a great way to remember my super fun shopping day with Inge and forum member Approprio. 
  3. Bradly Chain Crossbody Bag: I am not into crossbody bags because I typically find them uncomfortable, so this is a wild card. It came from a bespoke boutique in the Negen Straatjes in Amsterdam called the “Amsterdam Bag Company”. I was drawn to the tomato red right away and loved the gold hardware. I learned that I do like crossbody bags as long as they’re small and lightweight. That way they don’t feel uncomfortable on my neck and shoulders.
  4. Ray-Ban RB2180 Sunglasses: I’ve been looking for another pair of sunnies all year, but nothing fit the bill until I went back to trying on Ray-Bans at Schiphol airport on our way to London. Clearly I’m a Ray-Bans gal because they’re the sunnies that fit and look the best by far. I chose a fashionable oversized round pair in a classic brown tortoise shell. They were also on sale. Score.
  5. L.K. Bennet Wardour Lace Overlay Dress: Greg bought me a watermelon lace dress with silver grey lining for my birthday. We found it at an L.K. Bennet store in Kingston, close to where my brother lives. It was also the only one left in my size and on sale. It’s the most perfect Summer birthday dress.  
  6. Furla Wallet: I regretted not getting a turquoise wallet to match my Furla bag when I bought it in Hong Kong earlier this year. Then I found this gorgeous citron Furla wallet on sale in London. I’ve been after a smaller size wallet for a while because it will work better with my smaller bags. Every time I open my bag and see the pop of citron it makes me happy.
  7. Clarks Chinaberry Ice Ankle Strap Pumps: I’m always on the lookout for comfortable dressy shoes because my Okala pumps won’t last forever. As a lover of ankle straps, I was drawn to this pair of snakeskin pumps at a Clarks store in London. I like their trendy ‘90s low block heel and their amazing comfort factor. I’m a pointy toe gal, so the square toe is a bit of a departure for me. Another wild card. I love them, and as Greg said, they look modern. I wore these all day last week to preselect with clients at the NAS and they passed the comfort test with flying colours.
  8. COS Cotton Shirtdress: Adding more tomato red to my wardrobe was one of my style goals this year, as was getting an on-trend casual shirtdress. Originally, I wanted a fitted and belted style in a bright colour. But when I saw this ‘80s rendition, I changed my mind. The crisp cotton textured fabric “feels wet” and is amazingly soft. And since we’re having a lovely hot Summer in Seattle, this will NOT be orphaned.
  9. Gabor Gibson Perforated Zip Detail Flat Oxfords: These are possibly the most comfortable Summer shoes I’ve ever had on my feet. They are more comfortable than the white sneakers I bought last year. I prefer to wear closed shoes in the Summer so these are perfect for our current hot weather. Breezier than the white loafers and sneakers. They match my upscale white backpack and look great with the the COS dress and moto jeans. 
  10. Radley Millbank Leather Multiway Bag: I’ve had a light blue bag on my shopping list for while because it’s a versatile colour (much like faded denim). You can’t get Radleys in Seattle, so this one piqued my interest. This was a birthday gift from my brother and his wife, and it’s perfect. 

We’ve been back for three weeks and I’ve put all of these items to good use already. The wallet was christened right away. I’ve worn the denim jacket, white oxfords and both bags multiple times already because they’re very versatile. The sunglasses went into rotation as soon as I’d added prescription lenses. I’ve worn the COS dress a few times, but the jeans only once because it’s been unseasonably hot here in Seattle. And my lace dress will get its second outing for a fancy do this week.

I couldn’t be more pleased with my new items, especially since some of them are wild cards. My style is evolving and it feels good to have bought items that are a little different from my norm.