Wednesday, March 15, 2017

FASHION DISTRICT – MINIMALISTIC WAY OF THINKING



JUST A HYPOTHETICAL THOUGHT: WHAT IF YOU THREW ALL OF YOUR CLOTHES AWAY?


Don’t worry, I’m not ordering you to throw all of your clothes away, but just think about it... What clothing items would you purchase if you had to re-stock your clothing? To be more precise, what pieces would you buy if you would have to build a long-lasting, timeless closet? 



So what exactly do you have to look for when you a) ‘rebuild’ your closet or b) are trying to improve it?

If you want a successful closet that is timeless, I would suggest going the ‘minimalistic’ way. What I mean, is that you build a closet with limited items that you can combine in numerous different ways. Here are some tips you can follow, which will help you throughout the process of creation.




1. QUALITY

Now listen, quality might be the most important thing in the entire process. You never want to waste your money on items that are not worth it – low-quality items. Think about it, why would you buy a low-quality item that loses its shape, color or rips apart after a couple of washes? Instead, you can save that money and buy a piece of better quality clothing that will last you forever. I understand, better quality equals higher price, but trust me it is worth paying a couple of bucks more.

RISKS YOU ARE TAKING

Low quality not only looks bad (because usually, it is pretty easy to spot), but it can also damage your health. It might sound far fetched but it makes sense: you are buying an item that didn’t cost anything to produce, which is filled with diverse chemicals that finally touch your skin and penetrate your breath, right? Not only that, but some materials are not good for your skin and health in general. For example, materials that contain Polyester, Acrylic, Nylon, and Rayon should be definitely avoided.


WHAT IS RECCOMENDED

Personally, I would recommend looking for natural material as for example cotton and wool. You also have to make sure that the fabric is 100% cotton and not only a small percentage that is mixed with something different. As for accessories, I would recommend looking for real leather or something similar, as it is very durable (then again, you have to keep the cruelty in mind.

Also, don’t forget! Always check the stitches of the clothing (or bags, shoes) because even if the material is good, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the work was done properly and with no defaults.

Finally, something that you always have to keep in mind is that expensive brands do not always have great, high-quality items. Most of the time you are paying for the name and not for the quality. This thought goes vice versa, as not all ‘cheap’ brands have bad/low-quality items. For example H&M sells affordable clothing with not always good quality, however, they also sell organic cotton t-shirts and other pieces for the same price as the rest.




2. WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Following the minimalistic way, you have to think practical. The pieces you will acquire, are items that you can combine in numerous ways, for example, a dress that you can wear during the day but also for a night out. Usually, these items are simple but chic, easy to combine and not too extravagant.




There are some items that you should have to have a successful closet:

1. BASICS

Every closet needs basics; make sure that these are also in ‘basic’ colors like black, gray and white. This will help you with the combination of different outfits. Basics combined correctly can quickly look super trendy, chic and classy. For example look for basic black and white t-shirts that you can combine with blue/black jeans and sneakers (perhaps also add a blazer to look super trendy!).

2. PANT(S)

Honestly, you don’t have to go ham with jeans and pants, 2 pairs is more than enough (if you’re a real minimalist); it is important to have a good pair of black jeans/pants, it is most definitely an essential, since you’ll be able to combine it with practically everything. For the second pair, look for a blue simple jean, perhaps a ripped jean (but good quality!) if that’s what you prefer to wear.

3. CLASSY CLOSET

As I said before, you can easily combine basics to make the entire outfit look classy by adding a special piece. This piece could be a blazer for example. To complete your closet full of basics (wow that almost sounds like you entered the ‘basic’ section of H&M) you need to add a couple of dressy shirts, blazer(s) and dresses.





4. MAKE YOUR STATEMENT

Okok, I hear you. You don’t want to be that basic, I understand. No need to remain that plain and basic. There is always space for statement pieces, your colorful jacket or your crazy dress that you bought last summer. Statement pieces are amazing and they add up to a perfectly combined outfit.




SIDENOTE - This principle applies to everything in your surrounding, not only your closet is concerned. This can also apply to overall organization (post might follow) and furniture and general possession.





My point is, don’t go overboard with clothing that you don’t really need, instead invest in good quality items that will be by your side forever.



Just remember – LESS IS MORE.


xx Lisa
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Monday, March 13, 2017

Ola Lisboa



Lisbon is a beautiful city, no doubt. In my case, it was the 3rd time visiting and honestly, I have no idea why I took the plane to go back to rainy Luxembourg. Instead of writing an entire essay about my trip to Lisbon, I'll just share some of the pictures I took. I'll also add some comments to the pictures, which might also be interesting for my fellow travelers. 



This is a picture of the 'Ponte de 25 Abril' which connects the city of Lisbon to the municipality of Almada. Since we were staying on the other side of the bridge, we were traveling back and forth every day. Even though it is 'just a bridge' it is quite impressive (and fun) traveling through it. The bridge makes a total of almost 3km which is a joke compared to the 'Vasco da Gama' bridge in Lisbon, which makes a total of 17 km! Excuse me? 17 km? In fact, it is the longest bridge in Europe. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it, but just imagine this bridge in white (and 17 km long).








As you can see in the picture, we are enjoying a beautiful burger and a marvelous bowl of potato fries. Ok, let's be real: I am not a big fan of burgers (or meat in general), but when I bit into this burger I lost my mind. It is truly the best burger in the world and don't get me started on the fries! So as you see the fries are literally 'shaved' potatoes or whatever they're called and they are super crispy on the outside and sort of soft on the inside. They are the best fries/chips I ever had. If you ever visit Lisbon, you absolutely have to visit this restaurant. It is called To Burger or not to Burger (here is the link to their Facebook page) and it is located in the Chiado area.




Both of these pictures were taken on one of the main streets leading to the 'Praça do Comércio', there is no story to it other than me liking the pastel color of the hotel as well as the architecture of the building. In addition, the constellation the buildings in the entire street almost give you the feeling of being projected in the past since all of them kept their original design. Nevertheless, it also has a modern touch with all of the new shops and restaurants, which finally create a beautiful contrast between the old and the young.






Talking about 'the other side of the bridge', here are some pictures I took in the regions of 'Costa de Caparica' and 'Sesimbra', which is the 'calmer' part of our stay.





As we were staying in Sesimbra I immediately noticed that local people tend to plant lemon, orange and mandarine trees in their gardens and as you see in the picture found the possibly biggest lemon in the world. No, but really, look at the size of that thing! And if you're wondering, yes I had to get it off the tree by myself and yes I could not reach it and yes I had to hit it with a huge piece of wood so it would fall off the tree. I obviously also ate it and it was super delicious and super sweet! It almost tasted like an orange.  




Finally, we had to conclude our journey with a trip to the most famous (and most delicious) place in Lisbon: 'Pasteis de Belem'. It is most certainly the place where you get the BEST pasteis de nata ever. Now listen, if you ever find yourself in Lisbon and you can only go to one place, then you most certainly HAVE to go to 'Pasteis de Belem'.

All in all, the trip to Lisbon was a success (even though we got sick and lost a couple of days) and I can't wait to be back in summer and enjoy the sun and to relax on the beach with a glass (or a pitcher) of sangria.

Lisa xx






























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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

February Favorites





Hello guys! Time goes by so quickly and we have already completed the second month of the year. I really have the feeling that time goes by so quickly, perhaps its the age, that already shows its signs... Welcoming March, we are not only welcoming a new month but also the beginning of spring, and most importantly: International Women's day, which is on the 8th of March. Here, in Luxembourg this day was never really celebrated, however my mother (and our entire family) kept the tradition to celebrate this particular day and I think all of my Russian friends can relate to that. Nevertheless, I am going to talk about my favorites of the previous month.

I will most certainly begin with my all time favorite and not only of the month, but of my entire lifetime: Tea. I am a huge tea-drinker, and yes I am aware that I'm sort of contradicting myself by calling my blog 'Black Coffee', BUT tea has always been a rather big part of my life and routine. As a child I was used to drinking tea, because in Russian families the only thing you are allowed to drink is tea. Personally, I love drinking black tea or earl grey tea, however these past months, I discovered a new green tea in our local 'Russian Shop'. The tea itself is your basic average green tea, but with a twist of white peach and strawberries. Usually I don't like fruit-flavored tea, however this one does not taste like it at all. The brand of the tea is TESS and I've never seen it in any shop here in Luxembourg other than the Russian shop. 



In the beauty and make-up department, I've had a couple of favorites, that I have been using quite regularly. First of all, I've discovered two products by KAT VON D. Recently, the Sephora of Luxembourg started selling the products by KAT VON D and naturally I was obliged to try some of them out. So the first product I've been using, is the LOCK-IT foundation. It is a high coverage foundation and for now, I really like it. I can't really say anything more about it since I've been only trying it out for a few weeks. The second product that I've tested it the Liquid Lipstick in the shade 'Lolita'. I can definitely confirm, that the lipstick is very long-lasting, does not feel heavy on the lips at all and in my opinion doesn't dry the lips out. Another monthly favorite (also an all time favorite) is MAC's 'Velvet Teddy' lipstick. I've been using this particular shade for probably a little less than a year and it is my favorite nude shade of all times. Already MAC's formula on their matte lipsticks is great, so nothing to complain there and the shade of the lipstick is perfect for an everyday use.


To conclude, I would like to share my two favorite songs of the month, which are both by Ed Sheeran. I guess that by now everyone is going crazy and experiencing a mental breakdown because of his new album, but I guess I'll talk about that next month. The songs I would like to talk about are 'Shape of You' (link to the song here) and 'Castle on the Hill' (link to the song here). Both came out at around the same time in January, but I've been obsessed ever since. When the songs came out without the video-clip I really liked 'Shape of You' more than 'Castle on the Hill', however after seeing the video-clips I started to prefer the song 'Castle on the Hill' as the video represented the context better.

I guess that would be it for my February favorites and now I can close this past chapter in peace and calmly enjoy the rest of this month.

Happy International women's day!

xx Lisa


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Sunday, March 5, 2017

a must-have in your closet


In every girl's closet there is a collection of items that are absolute must-haves, it ranges from fine attire and statement pieces to basics. 

Today, I am going to talk about an absolute must-have which is you can find in the basics category: a casual body con dress. Before I actually tell you more about that piece, let's travel back in time. In the early 1980', Azzedine Alaia, the so called 'King of Cling' designed a collection of body con dresses, revolutionizing the fashion industry as well as standing up against the 'fashion dictator' Wintour.

Looking back on Alaia's collections, you notice that the pieces are timeless. They remained simple and classy throughout history. 

Almost everyone has at least one in their closet and that's exactly how it should be. A body con dress can range in length, color, design, fabric and much more so it leaves you the freedom to chose whichever one you desire. The advantage of a body con dress is, that it is very light and it doesn't take a lot of space in your closet (or luggage if you're traveling).

Now that we've covered the practical side of the dress, let's talk about the best part: wearing it. Traditionally, a body con dress was made out of a thick and robust elastic-like material, however today you can find it also in cotton and other fabrics which makes the dress more casual and comfy. A body con dress can be perfect both for day and night. Depending on what you decide to pair it with it can look very casual or extremely classy. It leaves you the freedom to mix and match and to adapt it to your personal style and occasion, allowing your creativity to act out. That's the great part about a body con dress, it is one piece that you can wear in a 100 different ways, making it look like you're wearing a different dress every time. 


This is an example of casual wear of a body con dress, a comfy outfit that I wore to walk around Lisbon. 


The body con dress that I'm wearing is from Zara (the trafaluc collection) and it is in the color khaki and made of cotton which makes the dress very lightweight and comfortable to wear. It is perfect for daytime as well as a night out, I usually pair it with a pair of heels and a blazer or a loose jacket and statement necklace. Furthermore, I love bringing the dress while traveling since it doesn't take any space in the luggage and doesn't wrinkle, but that's just an extra advantage.


As for jacket I wore yet again a khaki jacket by Zara that I bought years ago. The lapel of the jacket is studded with golden studs and small stars and on the waist area there is an adaptable string to adjust to your waist to make you look slimmer. The shoes that I'm wearing are Prada Linea Rossa Slip-on sneakers in beige and finally my bag is a Michael Kors Jet Set in black. 


Long story short, get a body con dress!

xx Lisa


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