Dec 21, 2013

When Santa gives you lemons

Ho ho ho, it’s that time of the year, when it is okay to have gingerbread for lunch and put up as many Christmas lights as we want without having to argue about how early is too early to bring out the decorations. It’s the time of the year, when we must again face the Mission (Almost) Impossible of making sure that our brothers, mothers, sisters, fathers, dogs, friends and cousins will all get a fair share of joy wrapped in colourful papers. The season is filled with cozy get-togethers around the Christmas tree, moments of laughter and many smiles, but also a few forced grins. “Gee, Auntie, this is...erm...awesome. Thanks.” Misfit gifts - they are the nuisance of the holidays and will be dumped to the back of people's closets never to be worn. Now, there are two things you can do:

1. Don't make it worse
Stop yourself before you drive yourself mad running around stores, trying to find something (or anything!) for your loved ones. If you don't have a faintest idea of what to give, then get your hands dirty with DIY and bake a tray of Christmas delicacies or write inside jokes on gingerbread cookies. The gift will feel much more personal than a random piece of soap bought from a random store, and cookies are sure to make anyone happy!

2. Learn to cope
When Santa gives you lemons, make lemonade. Read an article from Oh Marie-magazine written by our editor-in-chief Emmi and discover a few different ways of dealing with your misfit gifts.

Have a very merry Christmas y'all!

Nov 11, 2013

Dear Fashion Diary

Today we woke up to sunshine outdoors and limelight online: Amelia's Magazine, one of our all-time favourite indie mags, published an interview about the story behind the Dear Fashion Journal on their website today. Click here to read it!

But what is that book in the picture? Why is the article is titled "Dear Fashion Diary"...? Well,  Dear Fashion Diary is the latest project of Emmi (our editor-in-chief) and Laura de Jong, Emmi's friend and colleague and the founder of Free Fashion Challenge. Yes, it's a crime that we have not told you about the diary yet although it's been in stores world wide already since September, but before you call the police, give us a chance to tell you more about it now. (Better late than never, eh?)

Emmi and Laura met during their studies in the the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, and got to know each other during the Free Fashion Challenge when they spend a year without shopping. After the challenge, the girls decided to collaborate in hopes of inspiring others to discover the creativity of fashion outside the cycle of consumption. When Emmi started working on the Dear Fashion Journal, the girls started meeting up for brainstorm sessions in cafes, libraries and train stations. Time passed, the journal was published and it was time for something new. When BIS Publishers offered Emmi a chance to make a creative fashion diary, there was no doubt who she would ask to collaborate with her. So the girls kicked off a hectic period of 4 months, working during the days and leading a double life as book makers at night!

Next to their nearly identical names, Dear Fashion Diary and Journal share the same sustainable ideology: the better you know your personal taste and style, the smarter shopper you can become and the less impulsive, silly buys you will make. Whereas the journal is a magazine to read, the diary is an active DIY book that will let you document your fashion life, discover your taste and become your own style guru. It is your own personal collection of inspiration, leading you off the beaten tracks of fashion with over 50 creative assignments from making a wardrobe inventory to creating your own colour palette and analysing your signature items.

Dear Fashion Diary can be found in selected bookstores around the world and can also be ordered through Amazon or on the publisher's website here. In the UK, you can find it at Tate Modern, Podshop, Blackwells, Rizzoli Bookshop and Waterstones.

Curious to read more about the process behind the diary? Check Emmi's personal blog, where she wrote about the diary and the its launch event or follow the Diary on Facebook or Twitter!

Nov 2, 2013

Column: Dear holes

Are you a lazy fixer of loose buttons and holes on your clothes? No worries, for you are not the only one! Read the first "Dear..."-column of Emmi, our editor-in-chief, on Oh Marie! magazine, get a doze of Martha Stewart's DIY energy and grab that needle! 

Dear holes,

When it comes to fashion, I tend to stick to the safe side. I have made enough mistakes  to have learned what I like and what looks good on me (although these two don’t always go hand in hand). I say no to white jeans, to leggings and beige colours and welcome anything that is cozy, girly, dark blue or bronze with open arms! I can spend one honeymoon after another with my favourite outfits, wearing the same things in rotation for weeks until something forces me to change the routine. You know, having to do the laundry, dress according to what the weatherman says or change just for the sake of it, to prove yourself that the clothes aren’t glued on you. However, recently I have changed my personal dress code because of something else. Something very, very small that somehow ended up being an annoyingly big deal; a hole in my favourite cardigan! Combined with my utter laziness, that tiny rip has suddenly become the biggest factor in my daily choice of outfits. I don’t let trends dictate what I wear - I let holes do it instead! the rest here (in Dutch or English): Dear holes - Oh Marie!

PS. Already noticed that tab called "Free downloads" on top of the page...? Well, that's exactly what it is: a page for you to download stuff without any cost! Click the link and get a free illustrated darning guide for dummies, print it out, share it or send it to someone who needs a subtle hint!

Sep 28, 2013

Dear Fashion joins forces with Oh Marie!

Dear readers, friends and cyberspace surfers,

It's time for a newsflash: we are happy to announce that Dear Fashion Journal has found a bilingual Dutch-English friend (would 'soulmate' sound too sentimental...?), an indie magazine called Oh Marie! Oh Marie! is an online publication created by Marloes Snijder, a blogger and all-round creative with an incredibly sweet sense for style. Being all about the love of treasure hunting and creative exploration, Oh Marie! shares our passion to explore and develop one’s own creativity and style in whimsical spirits. And that, dear friends, is where the two magazines come together!

Our editor-in-chief, Emmi, has joined forces with Oh Marie! and become the lucky new member of their team! She kicked the collaboration off with an article called "Fantastic Fashion", published in the brand new issue that came out fresh from the oven just today! Click here to jump to Oh Marie's Circus issue to read it! (page 16)

Next to keeping Dear Fashion up and running, Emmi will be contributing to Oh Marie's blog, adding fashion to their mix of photography, art and design with a column exploring personal style and wardrobe matters. To make sure all you fashionistas can easily find the right place to read more stories written in the true 'Dear Fashion style', we will notify you on this blog, Facebook and Twitter and share links to the articles when they appear!

Until then, enjoy your weekend and the scarf favouring weather! Sayonara!

Aug 16, 2013

Think Boutique and letters to fashion

Just as much as we love receiving all kinds of messages and packages, we also love sending them! A while back, we shipped a Dear Fashion parcel to Scotland and it ended up landing on Victoria McQuillan's doormat. Victoria is an ethical fashion enthusiast and founder of Think Boutique, a web shop that "brings together the most exciting and fashion-forward UK ethical brands with a strong focus on stylish, high quality pieces". She aims to keep her business as green and fair as possible and does so by selling products many of which are not only Fair Trade, organic, sustainable or up-cycled, but also proudly made in the UK.

From Think Boutique's collection
We were thrilled to find pictures of our package in Victoria's blog, where she wrote about Dear Fashion with words that couldn't better describe the reason for the journal's existence: "I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel the focus is often on the doom and gloom when it comes to ethical fashion and I found this [Dear Fashion Journal] a really refreshing approach. Different people from all corners of the globe talking about their personal style and the items that they truly treasure in their wardrobes. As Kate Fletcher says in her prologue: Dear Fashion is an ode to what can be, to creation, expression, caring, much more than consumerism’s ‘have it all’ culture."

Those of you, who might not have their own copy of Dear Fashion Journal yet might not know that we left the last page of the magazine empty, giving space for you to write your personal letter to fashion. Much to our delight, Victoria did so and shared her letter to fashion on her blog:

Dear Fashion...

I think I love you.  Ever since the floral dungarees, colour changing socks, waist coasts and floppy velvet hats of my childhood you have been with me. I know its not always been an easy journey over the faux pas and crisis of confidences in items which are better left behind in the past. But you’ve always been there for me. A way to express myself and an instant pick me up in times of stress and gloom.

Discovering your darker side has shaped my business and my wardrobe and I've looked at you in a different light and learned to love you all over again.  I have learned to slow my pace and really enjoy dressing up (and down) and though sometimes the draw of indulging in feel good items is hard to resist I know at heart your best qualities will always prevail.

Dear Fashion, no matter what happens, lets stay together...

Yours Truly 

Click your way to the full article on Victoria's blog here. 

Have you written a personal letter to fashion...? If yes, please share it with us! If not, then grab a pen and a piece of paper, go sit under a tree and be the Jane Austen of your thoughts (or just type it on your what-ever-pad)!

Jul 19, 2013

Question of the week: How long is your hem?

Skirt (skərt). "A woman's outer garment fastened around the waist and hanging down around the legs." The definition of a skirt is fairly simple, however, there is more to skirts than the dictionaries tell, and economists know it as well!


There are countless different types of skirts: pencil skirts, flared skirts, maxis, minis, knee-lenghts and so on. Whilst some let their carefree hems flow in the wind, others head to the office in tailored pieces that leave no doubts about serious business. Depending on the type of skirt you wear, you can run, dance, hobble, swagger with self-confidence or sneak around pulling your skirt down, trying to keep the hem from reaching vulgar heights.

How, when and where you choose to wear a skirt is a personal matter, but did you know that it is not always just our personal preference that determines the types of skirts we wear? Just like fashion in general, also skirts hold more cultural and societal references than one might think. War times, the joyful roaring twenties and emancipation of women have all been reflected on the skirt trends. There is even a theory about hemline index claiming that the changes in economy have a direct impact on the style of these garments. The hemline index is calculated by measuring hem length as a percentage of the length from floor to waistline. According to this theory, the skimpier the skirts, the higher the index, the better the economy and the fuller the wallets! Many fashionistas have confirmed the theory right, but the scientific value of the hemline index is debatable. Ken Downing, the head of women's wear at Neiman Marcus, told the Business Insider that he does not believe the index is accurate. After having seen the skirt trends at Fashion Weeks last year, he commented: "It's interesting, as a fashion director I no longer believe hemlines are a conversation on trend because it's so particular to a designer and their point of view...We are seeing hemlines below the knee, at the knee and some that are still quite short."

by Stephen Wildish:

Now, we would like to know how long is your hem?

Have your skirts followed the hemline index and changed into maxis during the current financial crisis or is your wardrobe rebelling against the gloom with cheerful minis? And most importantly, do you think we should start analysing the stock markets on newspapers to try to forecast the trends of next season instead of jumping straight to the comic section...? Share your thoughts below in comments or join the hemline conversation on Facebook by clicking here!

For further reading on skirts, their evolution and more, check out a brand new magazine called Garment that is all about skirts, skirts and skirts! We especially recommend a column by Nikita, one of the magazine's editors, who steps out of her comfort zone, wears a different type of skirt every week and writes about her experiences. Giggles guaranteed!

Jul 3, 2013

Weatherproof summer activities for swappers, shoppers and other stylistas

Too cold to go to the beach? A weather too rainy for minigolf? No worries! In the coming weeks, we will present to you a few summer activities that can take place no matter what the colour of the sky is.

Bees are buzzing around the blooming flowers, yet they are not the only busy bees in July: clothes swappers from around the world have also kept themselves active by having organized some nice happenings for this month. For the first article in the series of sustainably chic summer activities, we put together a list of a few upcoming exchange events and shared some tips for organizing one of your own!


On Sunday the 7th of July in Amsterdam, Krijg de Kleren will take place in Roest, one of the most whimsical hotspots in the city. Be there or be square, for the weatherman has been promising an unusually sunny weather for the day and the location next to a canal is sure to add the much wanted beach feeling to your day!

In Australia, you can swap your winter blues away in Melbourne at an event organized by The Clothing Exchange on the 8th of July. Other than that, the Clothing Exchange team works in Sydney and Canberra as well, so all you Ozzies out there should keep an eye on their website for future events!

All the UKers can check out the agenda for fashion swishing events in UK here. They have quite a full programme for the month, and taking part should be a fun pastime activity whilst waiting for the royal baby!

Fashionistas in the United States can be good, green and glamorous by swapping their clothes on the 17th of July in California. To check out the event and to keep an eye on upcoming happenings in other states, click on their website here.

If we didn't mention your local clothes swapping event, be pro-active and do the following: Click yourself to Google and do a digital search for other clothes swappers in your area. If the number of your search results is a big round zero, don't let a frown turn your face upside down! Call your friends instead and invite them for a spontaneous swapping party accompanied with a picnic in a park or some serious wine sipping in doors. If you wish to organize an event that goes beyond a small get-together, don't hesitate to get in touch with fellow swappers for tips and advice: in Belgium, the local Swishers have even promised to support and help enthusiastic swappers in organizing self-initiated neighbourhood events!

If your friends and their clothes are scattered around the country, join Klädbyte, a sweet Swedish online service for clothes swapping or the more international Swapstyle, where fashionistas can exchange their designer goods. If you are more of a DIY spirit, you can also easily create a digital platform for swapping with Facebook. All you need to do before the fun can begin is create an event, invite all the stylistas in your network to join. After that, set the guidelines for the swapping procedure (shipping etc.) and ask all the participants to snap photos of their clothes and post them online with sizes and other specifications. Voilá!

Now press the play button below to get in the mood for surfing through your closet, choose your swappables and take them on a date to a fashion exchange party - it's partner-swapping at its best!

Jun 17, 2013

It matters

We don't often tackle Serious Issues, but rather write about nice things, funny happenstances and stories about people and their clothes. However, this time I would like to make an exception.

When an interviewer at the Women's Wear Daily CEO Summit asked Marc Jacobs why does fashion matter, he replied:

"Let’s see. It’s part of the art of living. Why does makeup matter? Why does fragrance matter? Why does fashion matter? Why does it matter to have beautiful furniture and nice interiors and books to read and good wine to drink and good food to eat? These are all luxuries and it’s human nature to want them, to desire them, to enjoy them, enjoy looking at them, wearing them. I think it’s just human nature. We want things to please us and make us feel good and maybe attract other people to us or just make us feel good about ourselves."
I agree with Marc Jacobs; fashion is a matter that matters in many ways. However, what was not mentioned in his answer was the amount of people working in faraway countries, to whom fashion matters in a much more tangible way than to most of us. The people who go to work to sew our clothes in unfair factories, putting their health and lives under risk to make garments to us and to support their families. With documentaries about ruthless production cycles, global warming and the recent news from the factories of Bangladesh, it is no wonder that when people talk about sustainable fashion, the discussion tends to have a negative, nagging undertone that shocks and makes you feel guilty. But negativity helps no one. This is why we at Dear Fashion Journal want to talk about sustainably sensible consumption instead of preaching about the poor state of fashion's production cycle. We want to share tips and tricks and explore how to be more sustainable on grassroot-level by caring about your clothes and making good purchases instead of impulsive ones. We want to talk about putting your money where your heart is.

The fashion industry in itself is so complex that having a 100% clean, fair and sustainable production cycle will probably happen the same day that beauty contestants stop wishing for world peace. This is why I think it is important for us to acknowledge that our daily thoughts, deeds and shopping behaviour matter more than whether the dress that we bought was from H&M's Conscious Collection or not, bacause changing into green this and fair that is not the only way of being more sustainable. (Of course, supporting sustainable and fair brands is always good, at least as long as you don't let your brain get greenwashed).

"You Matter" by Stepanka Peterka
Stepanka Peterka is a member of Slow Fashion Forward and the artist behind "You Matter", a piece of digital art telling that how we act as consumers on an individual level really matters on a community level. "It's related to how we can choose to use our garments, creating meaningful engagement that matters both physically and symbolically," Stepanka says."I chose to use my finger prints, pixels, and hand embroidery as design elements to represent the wealth of creativity, capabilities, interconnectivity, experiences and skills that we as individuals can contribute to each other and to our thought processes, as we use garments and make decisions around consumption."

With these thoughts, I would like to remind myself and all of you that everything great begins from something small: from drinking only fairly produced coffee, yes, but also from swapping instead of shopping, avoiding mispurchases and most of all, from being creative.

Because even the smallest changes that feel good in our hearts matter to the world.

Emmi "Idealist 4eva"

Jun 6, 2013

Question of the week: How to summer-ify your wardrobe?

"Spring without new dresses" collage by Vera van het Ho
Seasons are good. They bring the much needed changes into our lives, allowing us to housemouse in the winter and run outside with ice cream melting down our hands six months later. Seasons make the colours change from brown to white and green, and give a functional purpose to cashmere as well as miniskirts and sandals.

What we and the mannequins on display windows wear changes hand in hand with the seasons. It is always a good feeling to tuck your winter coat away and take out your skirts and shorts, but seeing everybody sporting their summer gear and reading lists of "Top 10 Festival Looks" can also cause an impulse to have something new in your wardrobe. Something with spice, something wow, something pretty, something NOW! However, these urges don't have to mean that you must go for an emergency shopping spree - instead, you can try to freshen the contents of your closet up in other ways! We believe in cutting old jeans into shorts, swapping clothes with friends and digging through attics on the hunt for long lost summer tunics from teenage years, but we would also love to know:


How do you freshen up your wardrobe for summer?

Do you rely on handy DIY tricks, accessories or multifunctional items that go throughout the year...? Share your thoughts and leave a comment below or join the conversation on Facebook!

Click here to check out our collection of DIY tutorials that will help you trend-ify your old clothes in a planet and wallet friendly way, or read how Vera and Jeanine from Fashion Reset are dealing with their non-shopping challenge (in Dutch)!

May 21, 2013

Question of the week: What are your rules for combining clothes?

"Wrong Combos" collage by Vera van het Hof
This year, fashion seems to be clashing everywhere: statement stripes are one of the biggest trends on the display windows and it doesn't look like bright colours on sneakers, jeans or hair are going anywhere either. However, combining clothes creatively and coming up with exciting yet chic outfits is not always as easy as it may sound, especially for the shyer dressers, who want to have a bit of fashion fun but prefer mild seasoning in their looks without too many quirks. Last month, Vera from Fashion Reset wrote about her thoughts on combining dresses, jackets and their hem lengths and shared her own "rule": short over long, long(er) over short or long over long. That leads us to the question of the week, which is:


What kind of rules do you have for combining your clothes? 

Do you rely on a certain colour palette, follow suggestions from style guides, never wear black with brown or clash your clothes fearlessly? We are curious, so share your personal rules and combination philosophies with us below in comments or on Facebook!

May 7, 2013

Interview: Two fashionistas, one blog and 365 days without new clothes

Meet Jeanine and Vera, two fashion professionals who decided to reset their fashion behaviour and stop shopping for a year. They write letters to each other on a blog called Fashion Reset, where they share their struggles, thoughts and successes. These girls get creative with fashion in an alternative way, and after a lot of digital penpalling, we finally managed to meet over coffee to talk about fashion, style and some “deep stuff”.
Let’s do it: 525.948 minutes without new shoes! Collage by Vera Van het Hof
 Please tell us something about yourself; who are Jeanine and Vera?

J: I’m Jeanine, a 34-year-old designer who graduated from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. I design accessories for private label collections and work on my own label that is to be launched this year.

V: I’m Vera, a 35-year-old freelance copywriter and stylist. I give branding advice for companies, but have also recently done styling for a music video, so my work is really diverse. Me and Jeanine met each other at a clothes swapping event called Ellie’sKledingkast, where we worked in the same team as stylists.

You started a one-year shopping sabbatical together in January 2013. Why? What were the main reasons for you to stop shopping?

J: A few people I met were doing the Free Fashion Challenge and they told me that not shopping hadn’t been that much of a struggle for them. It made me wonder how it would be for myself. I wrote on my facebook that I was thinking about taking the challenge and not shopping for a year, and Vera reacted with panic. (laughs)

V:  I was like “what are you thinking?!”

J: Yes, and I then told you to join me.

V: It made me really curious. First I thought “no way”, but then I started thinking that if I could buy second hand, maybe I could actually do it. The thought became more serious, and I got an idea that if we did it together, we could also write about it to each other.

J: So, two weeks before the New Year we got together and set rules for our non-shopping challenge. We also made a list of must-have items for last minute shopping spree.

What were the items on that list? 

J: For me it was mainly the basics: socks, underwear and a few tops...I was actually so focussed on finding good quality socks that in the end I completely forgot to buy any bras. (laugh)

V: I bought socks and underwear, too, but I also had a last minute panic and made a 200€ order to Topshop. I got myself leggings with a super trendy space print that you can probably wear only once and a stupid pair of shoes which I didn’t really even like. I basically made all the worst shopping mistakes the night before the challenge started.

Have you also worn those clothes? 

V: Some of them, yes. Despite the panic, I was still thinking practically and also ordered cardigans and things like that, but the silly impulse buys that I threw in – like the leggings – I haven’t worn once.

J: One of my friends gave me a good tip to put some of the things you buy before the challenge aside until the time you need them. I still have some things in store that I haven’t worn, and when you need them it will feel like you really have something new.

That’s a smart tip. How did you come up with the idea to write each other letters on a blog?

J: We wanted to get something extra out of the challenge. We both also wanted to do something with our talents, so the Fashion Reset-blog became a channel for us to do those creative things that we have dreamed of doing. 

V: The non-shopping challenge also makes you wonder about things about yourself. Why do you feel the need to have something new? It’s nice to record your thoughts somewhere, especially since fashion is everywhere and it means a lot more than just…fabric.

Apr 13, 2013

Q&A with Carlotta Cataldi

In the series of showcasing the contributors of Dear Fashion Journal, we now introduce you to our fashion cartoonist, Carlotta Cataldi. She adores polka dots and, being one of the members of the Slow Fashion Forward initiative, never gets tired of talking about sustainable fashion!

1. Name: Carlotta Cataldi

2. Age: 34

3. Please fill in: I am a ______ because ______.
I am a illustrator, consultant and educator in the field of sustainable fashion because I want to help people understand that we can truly live and love fashion without hurting the planet or the people working in the fashion supply chain.

4. What would be the name of your autobiography?
”The Diamond Quest”

5. What was the latest thing that inspired you?
A fantastic training for facilitators called ”the Art of Hosting”. It’s the second time I attend and it never fails to surprise me, move me, and inspire me.

6. Your biggest fashion fetish?
I don’t have any, I think. Or maybe I could say polka dots. They make me feel playful and elegant at the same time. I have tons of polka dots dresses.

7. What is your first fashion memory?
As a teenager, trying on dozens of vintage dresses that belonged to my centenary auntie, so that she could have a little fun from her armchair by looking at me catwalking.

8. What have you learned recently?
I have learned that I want to learn to forgive myself, because I am not perfect, and it’s ok not to be.

9. What are you known for amongst friends?
I am a big sustainability fanatic. I talk about it all the time.

10. What is the most important thing to have around you when working?
Music, and tea.

+1: What would your dream project be like?
I have many dream projects on my mind. One of them is to create a centre for sustainable fashion production where designers and different brands work in one open space and where manufacturing and finishing happens right on the same floor, in another large space. No need to send stuff on the other side of the world to have it made. So, more local employment, less kilometers, possibly spreading education on how to make real fashion etc. This is something that is hopefully about to happen in NYC! Check out this project here, and support it if
you can.

Excerpt from Carlotta's cartoon "Story of the Sad Pants", published in Dear Fashion Journal

Apr 10, 2013

The greatest of the great fashion tips

As mentioned before, last weekend we got to be part of a clothes swapping event called Krijg de Kleren. We spent the days before the occasion cutting, pasting, gluing and tinkering, making accessories for what was going to become Dear Fashion Journal's tip writing corner. Yes, we were on a mission - a mission to fill the wall next to our spot at the event with the greatest fashion tips from the fashionistas of Amsterdam. Here is our tip writing and reading corner and a glimpse of the Great Wall of Tips!

We promised to award one of the submitted tips with a surprise package filled with goodness from Krijg de Kleren, Essyello Jewellery and us! To select the winner, our critical jury put their heads together to make selection of the greatest tips that the fashion lovers of Amsterdam pasted on our wall. Here are our favourites:

Left: Let your new jeans soak overnight in water-vinegar mixture to keep their colour nice for longer!
Right: Soak your new stockings in warm water before wearing to make them last longer!
Right: Don't trust stores that call themselves "trendy" - trendy was cool in 1950.

Buy good (bio) basics and complement them with vintage and swapped clothes!
Right: Yellow stains under your armpits? Using baby powder and then deodorant will prevent stickiness and therefore also yellow stains! You can also soak your clothes in vinegar to get rid of yellow stains.
Right: You know a colour doesn't suit you when it only brings out the bags under your eyes!
Left: Use transparent nail polish to protect the colours on your jewellery from fading.

And the tip that put a big smile on our faces and will receive a surprise give-away is...
(insert drums of excitement here):

Don't bother matching your bra & panties - your cat won't notice.

 Congrats - we'll get in touch with you via email!

Afternote: In addition to many handy tips for preserving the colour of your jeans and making your stockings last longer, we also found some interestingly opinionated views on fashion on our wall. Apparently, the Dutchies aren't very big fans of their national shoe, Crocs. Some of them would also advice people to avoid wearing beanies, Uggs and leggins (as pants). However, we are not Trinnies and Suzannahs and won't tell tell you what not to wear. Instead, we will end with this tip:

Apr 4, 2013

Defeat closet blues & swap till you drop!

Have you ever found yourself standing in front of your wardrobe, staring at its contents, putting on an outfit, changing it into another one and repeating this until a desperate long sigh disrupts the routine? You say "what ever",  change into the same clothes you wore yesterday (and the day before) and leave the house uninspired by your outfit. It happens. It's called garderobe boredom, which is most often caused by the different seasons in our lives; the ones that begin when get married, change jobs, become groupies of a rock band, start a new study or simply realize that after a long and dreary winter, spring is finally here and we have nothing to wear.

Being bored with your closet can be risky: it clearly calls for reinvention, but sometimes we might end up reinventing ourselves in a way that wears off quickly (pink pants, anyone?), leading us back to the dissatisfying daily routine of changing from one outfit into another and grunting at all of them. A better way to freshen up your wardrobe is to invest on a few seasonal pieces that a) fit your style and b) will fit it also next year. Those pieces will allow you to rotate your garderobe just like your grandmother rotated her house decor by having a different set of curtains for each season. The trick is that after four months of staring at the winter drapery, some light green summer curtains would always give a feeling of something new even if they weren't new per se. The same applies when talking about wardrobes.

So, here's a golden tip on how to refresh your looks sustainably with new items: swap your clothes! It's not only fun, but also a safe way to go outside your comfort zone and do some outlandish style experiments without having to charge your wallet or our planet for it.

Swapping is also close to Dear Fashion Journal's heart (and mine, says Emmi The Editor whose favourite striped sailor shirt is swapped), which is why we are psyched to be part of Krijg De Kleren, a clothes swapping event that will take place in Amsterdam this Sunday (7th April)! If you will be around, drop by for a fashionable treasure hunt and come share your best style advice on The Great Wall of Fashion Tips that we'll be putting together on the spot - a surprise give-away filled with awesomeness might be awaiting you!

More about Krijg De Kleren here

Psst...Remember our earlier article about defeating garderobe boredom? You can read it here

Mar 19, 2013


No matter how long the winter or freezing the spring, the new trends are already taking us to the warmer seasons. We decided to do a bit trendspotting to show how to rock some of the hippest and the hottest items in a wallet and planet friendly way. Let's get trendy (not spendy) with tutorials from some of the most inspiring DIY fashion bloggers!

Polkadot bottoms

DIY instructions for polkadotting your own pair of jeans here: A Merry Mishap
Photo by Jennifer Hagler

Lace details and cut-outs

DIY instructions for embellishing your sweaters and shirts here: Trash to Couture
Photo by Laura Zpifer

Funky Accessories

DIY instructions for pearl glasses: a Pair & a Spare
Photo by Geneva Vanderzeil
DIY instructions for a multilayer necklace: Stripes & Sequins
Photo by Grace Atwood

DIY instructions for a geometric necklace: Sincerely Kinsey
Photo by Kinsey Mhire

Mar 11, 2013

Photo shoot: Where The Sun Is

Last week brought us a glimpse of sunshine, showing that soon it'll be the time to take off our coats, tuck them back to the attic and pull out the pastel coloured pants and light cotton shirts (or at least think of doing so)! To kick off the official beginning of the spring, we are showcasing a photo shoot called "Where The Sun Is". Photographed by a young Dutch photographer Jentie Youna Jelles, the shoot features beach fashion designed by Eline van Zwol, the make-up artist of the shoot. To create the pieces, she worked with fabrics found in the closet of her mother, herself and the photographer, giving the materials a second life and a 'high fashion' look.

If you are already hungry for a fresh pair of bikini, you better check out these photos for inspiration and consider cutting up your lace curtains or table cloths to pimp out your beach look!

Photographer: Jentie Youna Jelles
Model: Jessica van Den Berg
Make-up artist & clothing designer: Eline van Zwol

Feb 20, 2013

Dear Fashion film

Let us present to you: the Dear Fashion film! 

Dear Fashion Journal from Emmi Ojala on Vimeo. Produced at Homestudio Ltd. We would like to thank all the home appliances that helped us in the process, especially the mop that kept our lightbox from collapsing!

Feb 18, 2013

Wardrobe flow chart

Today, I made a great Monday morning discovery; a flow chart for cleaning your wardrobe and separating your must-goes from your must-keeps. It's made by Allie Mounce, a designer who also writes The Lazy Lady's Guide to DIY for Persephone Magazine. Worth of checking out, for sure!

Chart made by Allie Mounce. Click here to view the original article!

Jan 23, 2013

Dear Fashion Journal at Charlie + Mary!

Right behind Albert Cuyp, the famous street market in Amsterdam, there is a great little store called Charlie + Mary. The store is named after its owners, Charlotte and Marieke, who have made it their mission to provide all the lovers of fashion with fair brands and products that have a story to tell - including Dear Fashion Journal that can now be found on their shelves as well! The store is open from Wednesdays till Saturdays and locates at Gerard Doustraat 84.

PS. Are you as curious to know why Charlotte is called Charlie as we were? Follow this link to find it out:

Jan 20, 2013

Dear Fashion Journal at Dialogue Books, Berlin

Good news for all the Berliners and those lucky enough to get to visit this hub of underground arts; Dear Fashion Journal can now be found at Dialogue Books, the most charming little bookstore specialized in hand-picked English titles.

Go say hi to them at Schönleinstraße 31, 10967 Berlin! The store is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11:00 till 19:00 in the evening.

View Dialogue Books in a larger map

Jan 17, 2013

Golden Rules of Fashion by Jacq

Jacq is a 36-year-old lady with a 100% no-nonsense approach to fashion. She writes a blog called Another Frock - A Style Blog for Normal People with such a smart attitude that we could have jumped for joy when she promised to share her golden rules of fashion with us. Here is her list with four golden fashion rules for normal people:

Although I sometimes feel like I might be a bit too old to be a dedicated follower of fashion, there’s no denying that I still take a keen interest in what I choose to wear. After 20 years of keen observation, here’s what I have learned.

1. It’s not what you wear; it’s how you wear it.
In the late 1980s I was a teenager and the original supermodels ruled the fashion world. Linda, Christy, Naomi and Cindy walked with their shoulders back and their heads up, confidently taking on anything before them. As a tall, gawky, skinny girl, these women showed me how to look like you’re invincible, even if you’re daunted by your surroundings. I also learned that you can take pride in yourself and your appearance, even if you’re wearing a school uniform or a grotty pair of jeans. It’s all about the attitude. This golden rule has won me boyfriends, wolf-whistles and great jobs. If you look confident in what you wear, everybody will think that you look pretty good.

2. There is nothing new under the sun; 
save the clothing that you really love. 
I know that the fashion industry would prefer us to believe that we should clear out and replenish our wardrobes on an annual basis, but take a look at fashion trends over the past two decades and beyond: everything has been done before. The moral of the story is to buy clothes of decent quality, keep them if you still love them (and they still fit you), and just find some way of storing them. In our last house we had a loft, which gave me a lot of room to stow stuff, but you could do just as well with one or two of those plastic under-bed storage crates. You’ll be amazed at how lovely it can be to unearth a long-loved garment and weave it into a new outfit.

3. Know what suits you and dress accordingly.
Fashion is great fun, but the surest route to ‘fashion victim’ is to wear stuff that really doesn’t suit you. When you’re young, try out every new look – but do your best to narrow down your ‘look’ as you go. You can then cherry-pick from each new season’s fashion options. I invest heavily when the stars align and full-skirted 1950s outfits abound, but go into shopping hibernation when a 1970s revival hits.

4. Own at least one fantastic handbag.
Be smart and save up for it, or ask for it as a present to mark a special occasion. My husband bought me a lovely, simple black Gucci bag just after our wedding, nearly 14 years ago, and I use it nearly every day – it’s looking a bit battered now, but I like it even more in its distressed state. And I bought myself a Mulberry Bayswater a couple of years ago, and it elevates every outfit. Invest in classic accessories like this and you’ll be leaving them to your (very grateful) daughter one day.

Written by Jacq. For more, read her Style Blog For Normal People here:

Jan 10, 2013

Q&A with Suzanna Knight

Introducing to you: our copy editor Suzanna, who next to being a grammar geek also happens to be a brilliant illustrator. She draws, writes, plays Noah and the Whale on ukulele and makes cosmically good sweet potato casserole!
1. Name: Suzanna Knight

2. Age: 26

3. Please fill in: I am a ______ because ______.
I’m an illustrator because I was once was a radio journalist who realised she was scared of calling people on the phone. Also there’s a weird dent on my right middle finger that allows me to hold a pencil really well.

4. What would be the name of your autobiography? 
"Two Bottles of Wine and a Bad Idea"

5. What was the latest thing that inspired you?
The Anthology of American Folk Music. It’s this huge six-album collection of American folk & country songs from 1927 to 1932. It makes me want to call up all my musical friends and have a hootenanny in the kitchen.

6. Your biggest fashion fetish? 
Big comfy sweaters. Because they’re insanely comfortable. ‘Winter knitwear’ is pretty much the only way you could describe the contents of my wardrobe no matter the season.

7. What is your first fashion memory?
Having the exact same clothes as my sister in a different colour despite the fact that we’re not twins. We’re only a year apart though so I guess my mom thought that was close enough.

8. What have you learned recently?
That despite all expectations I can build an Ikea closet all by myself.

9. What are you known for amongst friends?
Everyone who knows me even a little bit knows I love snow and icy cold weather and therefore everyone who knows me even a little bit thinks I’m a little nuts.

10. What is the most important thing to have around you when working?
A record player, tea, a bottle of indian ink and a set of cheap Russian watercolour paints

+1: Which piece of your own work do you like the most? 
The illustration here.

Suzanna's portfolio: