19.5.15

Outfits: what to wear to an academic conference in the tropics

I've been putting together the last preparations for my Puerto Rican conference, and one of the most important (and fun!) parts of that process, is putting together a warm weather wardrobe to serve me through my days mixing professional and leisurely activities. I created a collage of the items I will be bringing. This is for the conference part of my trip, I'm obviously also bringing some more casual items: bikinis, sundresses, denim shorts. But you probably don't need help to figure out what to pack for some sunny days of hanging out by the pool or visiting quaint local neighbourhoods. Now, this isn't the most efficient list of items, but we're not travelling with carryon only and summer clothes don't take up a lot of space, so I could afford to bring some extra options. And the more, the merrier!

So, what I'll be bringing:
- a blazer and a cardigan in neutral colours that go with all of my outfits, for chilly airco moments during the conference
- three dresses that are fun, sleeveless and not too skimpy or tight. Air circulation will be a must to survive the +30°C temperatures, but I don't want to bare too much skin on a professional event, so this is the perfect middle ground
- two versatile sleeveless tops - a button up, and a shell top that go with everything
- two mid thigh, airy bottoms - a skirt and some shorts. Both of these go with all of the tops. I wanted to put together tops and bottoms that I could wear untucked, because tucking in tops is a total sweatfest when it's hot outside
- three pairs of sandals - one pair of low gold wedges (dressy), one pair of smart flat sandals (business-casual) and of course my trusty Birkenstocks (casual comfort)

This is what that looks like.

what to pack for an academic conference in the tropics
 McGregor blazer, H&M cardigan, H&M dress palm leaf print dress, Mango shift dress, Zara shirt dress, Mango abstract print skirt, C&A jungle print shorts, Geox wedges, Avance Coco Bella sandals, Birkenstock Salina sandals

And this is what a couple of my outfits will look like. I will probably be adding some accessories to finish of these looks - necklace and/or earrings, watch, rings. Those elements generally push a casual outfit more towards business casual. Also, some subtle make up (a day-time smokey eye) and wearing my hair up will go a long way to dress up a look, so this is just the fundaments I will be working with.

what to pack for an academic conference in the tropics

Apart from that, I'm also bringing a couple of sundresses for casual affairs and time off, and of course some bathing suits. Since I will be staying at the same hotel as a lot of my colleagues, I took special care to keep my off-duty outfits more modest as well: a one piece instead of a bikini, and a coverup of course. Think more oldtime moviestar visiting the tropics rather than Rihanna strutting her stuff on a Barbados beach. And since I will probably also be doing off-duty networking, I count the bathing suit as part of my professional attire! :-D

I'm ridiculously excited about this trip. Keep an eye on my social media for updates, and I'll try to blog while I'm there!

18.5.15

Outfit: Pinstripe shirtdress, duster coat and Nike Rosheruns

outfit: pinstripe shirtdress, dusty rose duster coat, mint Nike Rosheruns
outfit: pinstripe shirtdress, dusty rose duster coat
Polette sunglasses
outfit: pinstripe shirtdress, dusty rose duster coat, mint Nike Rosheruns
mint Nike Rosheruns
outfit: pinstripe shirtdress, dusty rose duster coat
outfit: pinstripe shirtdress, dusty rose duster coat, mint Nike Rosheruns
duster coat: Pimkie - shirt dress: c/o Oasap - sneakers: Nike Rosherun - watch: c/o Daniel Wellington - rings: Diamanti Per Tutti - sunglasses: c/o Polette
pictures by the lovely Maya

Good hairday alert! I owe it to this no heat curling method. Despite the curls disappearing much quicker than when I use a curling iron, it did leave my locks with more bounce and texture. I will definitly be revisiting this technique.

This outfit made me feel like one of those super stylish Antwerp girls, those students who seem to balance college with magazine worthy outfits and good looks. That's not a bad look to emulate, if you ask me! In other words, this outfit made me feel very beautiful, in a casual, rolled out of bed kind of way. Of course, the sun didn't hurt, nor did Maya's amazing camera. I so want a full frame camera you guyz :( It makes all the difference, but SO expensive! I'm keeping an eye out for any secondhand options popping up, though. Or would I be able to get the same effect as in these shots with a Canon 450D and a particular lens? Because that would probably be cheaper. Tips much appreciated!

Hope you like the outfit, have a great week :-)

17.5.15

Beauty: Guerlain Terracotta Summer 2015 collection, review and swatches

Time for another beauty post! I was sent over the  Guerlain Terracotta Summer 2015 collection to review (this never gets old, I always freak out when I get a package of reviewable beauty products), so read on for eye candy, honest opinions and some insta-summer feelz.

beauty: Guerlain Terracotta Summer 2015 collection: review and swatches

The products I'll be reviewing today:
- Terracotta Sun  moisturizer tan booster with SPF 30 - 44€*
- Terracotta Sun protection compact foundation SPF 20 water resistant - 61€*
- Terracotta Bronzing powder - 52.5€*
- Terracotta Summer Shadow in Blue Ocean - 32€*
- Terracotta Colour Lacquer in Blue Ocean - 26€*

*Belgian prices, and the collection will hit the shelves on June 1st. All of these products are limited edition.

15.5.15

Outfit: overalls, button down and Converse

outfit: overalls, oversized scarf and Converse
outfit: overalls, button down shirt and Converse
overalls, button down shirt, leather handbag
overalls, daniel wellington watch, satchel bag
overalls and button down shirt
outfit: overalls and Converse
outfit: overalls, oversized scarf and Converse
overalls, shirt: Pimkie - scarf: LN|Andes - watch: c/o Daniel Wellington - handbag: & Other Stories - shoes: Converse - sunglasses: c/o Polette - necklace: Diamanti Per Tutti
pics by Natasja

I'm a bit all over the place after this weird past week: two days off thanks to a holiday never fails to shakes me out of my normal rhythm. Which is a good thing, in a way, but also a weird thing. Almost like jetlag. I've been enjoying the extra sleep, though!

Almost everything is in order for our trip to Puerto Rico. If you haven't flown in over ten years, or if you haven't flown ever, it's quite baffling to see how much preparing goes into it all. Borrowing luggage, arranging transport to and from the airport, making sure your credit card works in the US, finding someone to house/catsit, buying yet another swimsuit, figuring out what you'll do during the hours and hours of transit time... Lot's of work, man. But the pay-off will be sweet! Sweet like coconuts on a beach. Oh yeah. 

Anyway, my outfit: something casual with a bit of prep factor, again a very Spencer Hastings type of look (still not over my Pretty Little Liars obsession). Hope you like the outfit, and have a lovely weekend.

12.5.15

Outfit: floral midi skirt, crop top and Birkenstocks

outfit: crop top, vintage floral midi skirt and Salina Birkenstocks
outfit: crop top, vintage floral midi skirt and Salina Birkenstocks
Polette sunglasses, Diamanti Per Tutti rings
outfit: crop top, vintage floral midi skirt
outfit: crop top, vintage floral midi skirt and Salina Birkenstocks
midi skirt and Salina Birkenstocks
outfit: crop top, vintage floral midi skirt and Salina Birkenstocks
crop top: ASOS - skirt: vintage - handbag: And Other Stories - sandals: Salina Birkenstocks - sunglasses: Tiara frames c/o Polette - watch: c/o Daniel Wellington - rings: Diamanti Per Tutti
pictures by Natasja

Ah, the joys of a casual workplace! Birkenstocks, crop tops: no issue in my office. I enjoy this to the max, because I like to dress as temperature-appropriate as possible. Big, snuggly sweaters in winter, and flowy and baring some skin when it's summer in the city. I will always love a good crop top + flowy midi skirt combination, so classically feminine yet still quite casual and relaxed. I've been leaning more towards feminine elegance in my outfits lately. Might be because I'm almost 28 (holla!), or because I've noticed my figure becoming ever so slightly fuller over the past two years or so. Can't say that I love it all the time (who is in love with themselves 24/7, amirite?), but recently I've been having a lot of moments where I look at myself and think "damn girl, you juicy". Especially when I'm embracing my newfound hourglass figure in the way I dress. I've always thought of myself as having a rather lanky, boyish shape, but turns out I had some curves and softness that was just waiting to be discovered!

I'm still contemplating whether this skirt is coming with me to Puerto Rico or not. Vibrant colour and flowy cotton says yes, longer hemline says no - fabric retains more heat than no fabric, so I'll probably go for shorter hemlines. I'll try to put together another capsule wardrobe post on how to pack for a conference bringing as few pieces as possible. I really liked the post I did last year, and since I'll be attending a professional event in tropical temperatures, I'm pretty sure my experiences will benefit someone else in the future googling "how the hell do I survive 33° humid weather while still looking polished".

Stay tuned!
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