I feel old…

Right next to where I live, there is an elementary school, and a middle school. These are just the terms I use, since I’ve lived in the US; you might call them something else. Elementary in Norway is 1st through 7th grade, middle is 8th through 10th, and that’s all the compulsory school there is; it’s illegal for a parent not to have their child attend school for those 10 years (I don’t know the rules regarding home-school, long term illness and such, but in general, 10 years of school is compulsory). Next month, it’ll be 9 years since I finished grade 10, and I’ve forgotten a lot of things, but living next to a school triggers memories of when you were in school yourself.

I was not yet 6 years old when I started 1st grade, and I had to walk to the middle school to take the bus to the elementary school. I remembered getting in line for the bus, and being scared by the middle school kids, because they were so much older, and scary. But I noticed things about them – some of them smoked, which was something only adults were allowed to do. Some of them wore a lot of black and a lot of makeup. And some of them wore chokers. This was in 1998.

Almost 20 years later, chokers are now back in fashion. The last few years, I’ve started noticing things that I remember from my childhood coming back, and it’s a weird feeling when you notice it for the first time. When I was in maybe 5th grade I was allowed to get a rainbow colored choker, and a while later I got a black one (black was edgy, and a little bit scary). Being almost 25 and seeing them back in style now, is weird, and personally I cannot imagine myself wearing one. It’ll probably happen, someday, when I find one I like, but I can’t imagine it. The same goes for faded, light blue jeans that are not skinny jeans. And mustard yellow clothing. I cannot imagine wearing it, because I remember it being worn by older people when I was a child. I know that fashion always goes around, but I didn’t expect it to come back around so soon.

I probably make myself sound old.

There is a development up the hill from where I live. I live at the bottom of the hill, and a bit further down the road is where the schools are. A lot of the school children live further up the hill, and therefore I can see them walking past my window around 2pm every day that I am home. And one thing that I’ve noticed is the surprising amount of people who wear sweatpants to school. When I was a child, sweatpants is something you only wore when you were sick. I didn’t even wear them when traveling in a car for 10 hours. For many years I didn’t even own a pair. And now everyone wears them, all the time. When I was in school, we wore jeans. Boot cut jeans, most of the time, before jeans that had cuffs around the ankles became popular. And at some point it was in to have your socks on the outside of your jeans, to imitate cuffs, before cuff jeans were a thing. And at one point, camouflage pants in all colors were in, too; around 7th-8th grade for me. I had a pink and a blue pair. And hoodies, from “WOW”, at the same time. I only ever owned one because they were expensive.

And if you didn’t wear makeup, you were weird. I found that out on my first day of middle school, when it was just me and one other girl who didn’t wear any. She had chosen not to – but no one had informed me of the unspoken rule of popularity that if you didn’t wear makeup you were weird. I haven’t studied the faces of the girls walking past my window, so I don’t know if they wear makeup or not. I know some girls in town walk around with a full face of makeup and sweatpants. Such a contradiction, to me. If I’m gonna do my makeup, I’m gonna wear proper clothes. If I’m gonna wear sweatpants, I’m not gonna bother putting on any makeup, or at least not more than some mascara at most. But that might just be me.

I find it strange how, at the age of almost 25, I’m sat here feeling old, because fashion is recurring and I’m shaking my head at the clothes worn by girls in middle school. I’m sure people my age have always done that. I just didn’t really realize it until just now.

Until  next time,

~ Julie

Shopping of the Day

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen of WordPress! Today I just wanted to post a shopping entry, sharing some of this beautiful incredibly fake jewelry that I bought today! Everything in the picture is from H&M.

Purse pompoms! I got one in sky blue and one in lime green. Spring colors! I might have an obsession with these lately… 

Rose gold bracelets! These came in a pack of four, and I was delighted to see that they were exactly the same color as an equally fake ring I got from wish.com over a year ago! 

Next up are pearl earrings in the same shade of rose gold. I might be slightly obsessed with this color too. Especially since it’s also on the set of four earrings I also got – roses, hearts, anchors, and bows. Super girly, super cute, and I absolutely love them all! 

Lastly, I got a necklace in gold color with white stones on it. I thought it will look lovely on a dark background top, so that’s what I’m planning to wear to work tomorrow! 

The best part of it all is that these were all super priced down due to a sale, so cheap fake jewelry on sale for me! 😀 

~ Julie 

A Closet Full of Clothes but Nothing to Wear 

Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way? Every time I need to get dressed, and by that I mean change out of the sweatpants I should’ve washed three weeks ago and the t-shirt I’ve slept in for days, I open my closet and it’s full of clothes but I have nothing to wear! 

And I think it’s because I have too many clothes. What I like to wear is always in the hamper from the last time I wore it, because I don’t like doing laundry when I have to pay for it, and everything in my closet is just stuff I can’t get rid of. 

So the real question here is, why can’t I get rid of stuff? Some of the things have emotional value, like all my Harry Potter t-shirts; I can’t imagine getting rid of those. But what about the washed out white tank tops? Or the “nicer” tops I never wear but have been given by my mother? It frustrates me that I’m incapable of getting rid of something because I have too much stuff. And in a few months I need to move again, and pack up all this stuff again, and I wish there wasn’t so much stuff, so I need to get rid of some stuff! 

Anyone got any tips on how to get rid of stuff? 

~ Julie

The Great Bikini Problem

Two posts in one day – what a treat! Well. Depends on whether you like long rants and text that’s not accompanied by any sort of pictures. Anyway. Like I said in my previous post, I’ve spent this weekend with my parents and brother in my childhood home. I also said there were four reasons why I went home, not counting the fact that I like spending time with my family and given the options of doing that or sitting in my bedroom in the city, there wouldn’t even be a  discussion on which one I’d choose. My last post was about one of the reasons I went home, this one is another (or, at least part of it).

I needed to get my swimsuits. Bikinis. Two-piece swim suits. Beach wear. Whatever you call it. The stuff you wear to the beach when you want to go swimming. I needed to pick up some of that, and I knew I had several here.

One of them, a very patterned bikini from a few years ago (read: 7 years ago), was completely ruined. The elastic in the waist on the bottoms and the part you tie around your body on the upper half was completely gone, probably due to bad washing after swimming pools and lakes and oceans. So that had to go in the trash.

Next up was a purple one with white polka dots, bought at the same time, but used less. That one had a safety pin put in on the side of the bottoms to hold it together. I removed it, and the bottoms fit better than they ever have (I should mention that I probably weigh more but I am a lot happier with my body now than I was a few years ago and I know I’m healthier than I was when I bought these). GREAT, I thought, I have bottoms that fit. The top however – can I just say OW! Much squeeze. So ow. Not very nice looking – or comfortable. This one used to be too loose, just like the bottoms, but the bottoms now fit and the top is too tight. Oh well. Next bikini.

I found a dark blue bikini I also bought a few years ago, although I don’t remember when. This is the kind where you have to tie everything, and a naughty person pulling on one piece might make everything incredibly awkward for you. And what do you know – another bottom that both fit well and looked good! The same situation happened with the top here, which also had the same style as the previous one… However, I was in luck – my mom had given me a top that didn’t fit her that was exactly the same color, and that one wasn’t so bad! At least I can wear it without being squished. But I would worry about it falling off, going up or down… Either way, moving on.

I have a bikini top that I bought less than two years ago to wear at home with shorts if it got incredibly hot that summer – it didn’t. The top was only ever tried on in a fitting room where I decided it looked good. Who knew that breasts could change size so quickly in your early 20s, when you haven’t really changed much else in your life? Back then, I’d been working out quite a bit. I’d gone from a B cup to a C cup, and down in the size around the body. However, in the last year I’ve gone up yet another cup size, and I don’t know what’s caused this, about 10 years later than you’d expect! Either way, the beautiful top I got a year and a half ago is way too small and going onto my donation pile as it’s not visibly used (as it should be, since I haven’t used it)!

That left me with one more set to try on, a tankini I bought about three years ago. Back then I didn’t think I was that unhappy with my body, just that I didn’t like stuff too revealing, but in retrospect I can clearly see that I was not happy with myself at all. This tankini is kinda cool – it has a halterneck top, but from the breasts and down there is a crochet kind of material that covers your body down to your hips. The bottoms are high wasted and cover up all the things I usually cover with jeans, at least in the stomach area. And I’m not throwing this one away – however, it’s not what I want to wear to the beach on vacation now, I want something a little less covered up.

So that leaves me with the dark blue bikini from three paragraphs ago. But my mom told me of a shop in the city where they sell pieces separately, in other words the more body friendly way of doing it, and the staff are comfortable and helpful as well. My mom told me to go there, as I haven’t bought anything new in three years (that I’ve used) and I also haven’t gone swimming since then. She told me to indulge myself, to treat myself to something new. So at some point this next week I’m going shopping, and trying to resolve this ever-lasting bikini problem.

Anyone else ever experience fashion crises like this? Anyone got any stories they want to share?

~ Julie

Sweater DIY

Hello everyone!

I don’t know why I’ve started writing that, I think it’s because I’ve watched a lot of YouTube the past couple of days and everyone always starts off their videos saying some version of that… Anyway, it’s kind of rude to start a post without saying hello, isn’t it? It doesn’t really invite to interaction, when it’s so very article like… Or what do you think?

As I mentioned in my last post, I did a little bit of a DIY project today (Sunday), and it was inspired by this video by Jordan Lipscombe on YouTube:

I am the kind of person who doesn’t really have one set style when it comes to clothing. I wake up wanting to wear skinny jeans and plaid shirts and converse and heavy eye makeup one day and the next day I want flowy dresses and braids and natural makeup and heels. Like Jordan said in this video, it doesn’t matter, just be yourself. And that’s what I try to do. At the end of the video she shows herself cutting a hoodie into a cropped hoodie because that was more her style, and I absolutely love that she did that.

Over the past two years or so I’ve sort of become obsessed with cleaning out my closet. For many many years, as long as I can remember, I have been the kind of person who will only get rid of things if they don’t fit or are worn out/ripped et cetera. But lately I’ve changed into the kind of person who doesn’t want to keep more than what’s absolutely necessary. I’m not talking full on minimalist here, I do own a hell of a lot of stuff, as was proven to me when I went to pack up and move in December, but the way I see it there is no point in keeping things that you don’t use. And I’m not talking about formal wear that you’ll wear to specific occasions only, I have a lot of that myself, but when it comes to normal every-day clothes, I don’t see a reason to keep stuff that you don’t use. Better to donate it to the good-will or salvation army or whatever there is in your area that accepts used clothes that’ll either resell it here or ship it to other countries that need it. And trust me – literally everything can be donated. If you go to a thrift shop, you will see all kinds of clothes including bras, socks, and underwear. I only ever throw away worn out stuff that cannot be repurposed, such as holey socks or underwear that’s been through the washer/dryer weekly for years and no longer resembles anything. But even ripped jeans and t-shirts can be repurposed – here, we have donation boxes that will accept these kinds of materials that’ll be made into cloths or cut up and woven into stuff. My point here is: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Okay. Now that that’s out of the way. I’ve been thinking about cleaning out my closet all week. And what I usually do is I get a bag and I just start putting things in it, and then I leave it for a couple of weeks or sometimes longer, and if I don’t miss any of the items in there and I haven’t gone back to get anything out, then I put the bag in a donation box. But there are still some items that I struggle to get rid of… In particular, I have three sweaters that are almost identical – all grey hoodie-material (but without hoods), one has blue flowers on it, another has lace/crochet material on the shoulders and a zipper in the back, the last is just plain grey. And I don’t wear the much because I don’t really like the shape of them… They’re kind of short, loose/wide, a bit 1990s looking really. And I don’t feel like I look nice which makes me not feel comfortable either. So after watching Jordan’s video earlier today, I decided to get out the plain one and attack it with a pair of scissors.

Here is what it looked like before…

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And here is what it looked like on me:

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Not the prettiest sight, right? Please ignore my mirror – I didn’t realize it was dirty until the sun came through my windows but by then it was too late to retake the before-shots with a clean mirror! I also only have that one mirror in my current room, and no full-length mirror, which kinda sucks, but I’m only living here temporarily… Also very difficult to get a flattering angle without getting the sink in the way!

So basically, what I did was cut off all the ends. I cut off he (not so) elastic part at the bottom, as well as the cuffs, and the neckline. The end result looks something like this:

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Excuse the finger! This phone is a lot smaller than I’m used to…

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And again… I’m sorry, you guys! I am not a bad photographer when it comes to scenery and stuff like that, but I am definitely NOT a blog photographer at all – my previous blog was anonymous, and the one before that was basically just documenting my exchange year for people at home to read, so the pictures didn’t matter much. If I do this again in the future, I will make sure to take better pictures, I promise! And yes, I know my jeans are ripped on the inside of my thigh – that’s where all my jeans rip, but my not-ripped ones are currently hang-drying so these were the only ones I had!

So the end-result, then, is a loose sweater with cut-off ends, that is a lot more comfortable to wear, and I think can be styled up, if you know what I mean. What I would probably do is wear this with my not-ripped black jeans and boots; a necklace that’s either a longer chain on the inside of the sweater, or a choker of some kind (which I don’t actually have but I think it could look good with this); and some makeup, let’s say my normal full-face routine, brown/neutral eyeshadow, a bit of liner, and a red lipstick. And I would actually do something about my hair, which I also didn’t do for these pictures – maybe some waves, or a top knot even.

But yeah. Now this sweater is one that I might actually use! We’ll see what I end up doing with the other two… I’ll probably cut off the bottom on the lace one, I don’t know about the one with the blue flowers yet… I also have a pair of sweatpants I want to cut the legs off of, around knee height, or just above the knee, for sweatshorts!

Anyone else into altering the appearance of their clothes? Done anything cool? Let me know! 😀

~ Julie