Miracle wanted…

I want to believe in miracles. After spending 35 years of my life trying to be something I am not, I am in a space in-between. I am not in the life I used to have, I also haven’t landed yet in the life that is really mine. I am juggling things that are leftovers from the “old-life” and trying to get enough ground under my feet to start walking in the new.

So I need to believe something I never believed in before.

I have no proof yet I can do what I need to do in this life. I have to believe that beautiful and impossible things can happen in my life, and that it won’t go to waste!

What about a small miracle to start with?

According to the “Six degrees of separation” we are supposed to be connected to everybody in the world with a max of 5 people being the links. It means I could connect with anybody in the world, right?

I wrote a letter while coming back from a concert to the front man of Snow Patrol. Somebody showing their art will always inspire, as it did me, so I couldn’t hold myself in… At that time it wasn’t just the concert, the whole of that trip was important to me. (You can find a bit of this in the blogs that I have written, if you must know).

Anyway, back to miracles, what if I want, this time, my words to reach Gary?

I am going to ask a few people to point me in the right direction. They are in music, surely they know people that know people (x5) that can get me, euhm, let’s say an email address?

Would this work? It would certainly be a miracle if 5 peeps I don’t know would all help me. It would be cool if it works, though.

Might make it easier to be optimistic about life and what can happen if you just try…

Are you hiding?

Hello creative changemaker with a mission! 

Tell me, are you hiding?

Do you get up in the morning and consider the people that you might run into when you select what you want to wear? Would you want to dress more outgoing but you fear eyes looking at you when you pass?  

At the same time you are working on your mission, on getting your work out there and being noticed, but that isn’t doing what you like it to do, just yet?

How would dressing up the way you want to, unique and possibly in your face, help both situations? What would it take for you to dress up uniquely, be proud of who you are and where you stand, and how would that help both you and your work to be more successful?

My name is Marjolein, and I help creatives with their self-expression. While you would think that being creative means you have plenty of ideas on how to express yourself it is often more difficult for them to dress the part. No matter where a creative brain looks there are always limitations! There are limiting beliefs about what you are supposed to wear, and when you need to go straight through them in order to be who you are, as creatives will often have to, you will feel them more intensely too…  

Yet, it is the most important thing to do for you to feel more powerful. When you can be who you are under any circumstance you will feel confident, up to any task and will leave a lasting impression on others.  

What could happen when you show up confident to any presentation or situation that you are invited to? What could happen if you feel confident enough to share your deepest thoughts and stories online? What would happen if you would be strong enough to say what you feel you need to say under any circumstance? 

I know what it is like to put limitations on your own self-expression. What it is like to look around you in order to discern if what you are doing is “OK”. To only self-express within the limitations of the people around you. It means you can only show a small part of yourself. 

I also know what it is like to show up as myself. To dress as pure as I can. And with each garment that comes in my wardrobe I get closer to the real me. It means that I 

am growing more confident, that I will speak up when I feel the need to. It means I do not mind comments, the person commenting often will simply suffer by their own limitations. Besides, I mostly get compliments. 

And I have no problem with being visible online anymore. If I feel the need to share something I will. Whether that be in text, video or some of my work. When I feel the need to take the stage to share my story I will. 

It means my business grew too. Because the business of a creative individual is probably the most closely related to their own personality of any other form of business. It means that when you are strong enough to show yourself, your work will be stronger too. 

If you want to break those limiting beliefs about how you look, if you want to show up as the strong person that you are, wherever you want to be actively present, you might be the person I am looking for. I coach people that feel the need to be real and create for the public eye. People that want to develop and break down a ceiling or two in the process. People that know there is a strength to showing up as who they are on all occasions.

Stop hiding and start showing what you are made of!

Get in touch with me for a free 1:1 coaching call, to check if we are meant to work together!

Rethink on Facebook

You have probably seen this already, but from the 1st of March Rethink your wardrobe will be on Facebook for a max of 15 people.

I know you might be done with the online stuff that is going on, right now. All the webinars, the videos, the meetings. You don’t really want to be looking at another screen after you have been enjoying the blue light all day already… But this is not another online training. Most of the time you will be looking at your wardrobe, your life, or your reflection, not a screen.

You know that I hate and love fashion at the same time.

I never know exactly how to put into words how it makes me feel when something that I love so much, that is part of my identity, that I feel a certain responsibility for, is cause for sooo much stress and despair for other people.

It is like your kid, your awesome amazing fantastic kid, of whom you are proud and have tons of love for, has wrecked something really bad. You kid has hurt another child. And with your whole being you want you kid to make it right with the other child. You want your kid to understand what it has done wrong. Because this is not your kid. Your kid and the way you know it, would not do this. In its core your kid would never hurt others in this way.

It tears you apart inside.

To me fashion is the ultimate form of self-expression and a liberator. When you know what you want to wear and start to not-care what others think, wearing what you want feels incredibly powerful. Fashion is also the source of my biggest moments of creativity. Not just with my hands. Yes, I love making stuff and often that means that I accidentally fall in line with some of the world’s greatest designers. Designs that you do not see on the street very often and even less in the stores will be in my wardrobe.
But the creativity that I talk about is not just what is coming out of your hands. It also means channeling a sort of out of the box thinking that we are not used to doing with clothes. Instead of looking outside, I look at my core-values and try to find out what I need to do in order to have my clothes fit in with, well, me!
The fashion that I know and love is sustainable, or at the very least meaningful. Because non-sustainable fashion just makes me feel bad. It doesn’t make my steps feel light, it doesn’t make me shine, it doesn’t make me feel good about my clothes.

And it hurts to see fashion being a problem to others. I cry a little every time I see a documentary about the problems in production. About the horrible ways in which items are produced, how animals and people are treated. I know from experience that working in fashion comes at a personal cost, not just in a factory far away but also in the fashion-design-hubs all around the world.
It hurts even more to realize that this kind of suffering has no point. If we would feel fantastic looking in the mirror then maybe I wouldn’t care so much. That means that all the money and effort that goes into clothes would pay off, but it doesn’t! The fashion struggle continues in our own wardrobes! There are only a very few lucky people that feel fantastic in their clothes every time. Come to think of it, probably there aren’t any people that feel great with who they are all of the time. That hurts me too. Fashion is supposed to make you feel better, not worse. If you were to get out of bed feeling not so great, getting dressed in the morning should make you feel better, not worse. Most of the time clothes and the way we experience fashion is making you feel worse.

I want to change this.

Because everybody deserves to feel fantastic in the clothes that they wear.

Do we put so much time and effort and money into our clothes to feel bad?


We do that in order to feel great!

So lets! Let’s start to feel great in the clothes that we wear!

The Rethink your wardrobe group is an experiment. I want to find the best way to help people get the most out of fashion and self-expression. I am still going to put as much as I can into it so if you want to join I will send you a PWYW PayPal link. If PayPal is not for you or you have nothing to spare just let me know, I am sure we can work something out!

This Rethink your wardrobe course is for you if you aren’t feeling that spring in your step when you are dressed in the morning. It is for you if your clothes cannot get you out of a bad mood but rather put you into one. It is for you if you want to be more sustainable but trying to be more sustainable is a hassle and sometimes feels too negative and like a burden. It is for you if you want to finally feel confident enough to wear those bright colours and those combinations that you think you love but are afraid to wear. It is also for you if you feel your clothes are a bit boring. If they aren’t showing off the real you, because the real you is way more fun!?!

After 8 weeks your wardrobe will be more aligned with who you are in your core. You will be more confident because you trust yourself. You know exactly what you want to wear! Trends will have less grip on you, you know where to get your clothes. You will be more creative with your wardrobe, and you will never buy an item again that you are not going to wear. You know that curating an amazing wardrobe is a continues effort and you know how to have fun with it. If all that doesn’t do it for you, at the very least you will have a sorted out wardrobe, where it is easy to find things and you know exactly how to keep it that way!

Send me a message in any way and I will get back to you!

What is better than sustainability?

The other day I was presenting for a large group of people at an international event. It was a webinar, so I didn’t really know how many people were there. For all I know they could have all left the conversation while I was speaking and it would have been an empty room by the time I was finished. Didn’t matter, though, I was presenting a topic that I found super interesting, “standing out in the current fashion scene as a sustainable fashion brand”.

One of the things that I had to answer was, “what is sustainability?”. Before I gave my answer I quoted an answer that I found online, which was a bit like this; sustainability is a way to give the current generation what it needs without taking from the next generations. My answer was this; Sustainability is the status quo. Sustainability is normal.

If you want to make your wardrobe more sustainable, you just do that. You buy what you normally would buy in regular stores except you buy them from stores that sell clothes that are made sustainably.

Now why do I call buying sustainable the status quo when you are still finding it difficult to navigate the sustainable clothing-scene?

Well, because it is not.

Talked to me 10 years ago and I would have had a different opinion. Back than when I wanted to work with natural fabrics in a collection I would have had about 10 magnificent different hues of brown to chose from. I still have the patches that I requested online, at about 7 different stores that did online shipping of natural materials. There was no way I could get the materials from where I was living. They were all very crude, with washed down colours. There was no way I could do with them what I wanted to do with them. It was hard for a brand to produce truly sustainable items at that time.

Not now. Now there are so many ways to be more sustainable with your wardrobe and new brands emerge weekly. The ways to find these brands, one of the things that was troublesome in the past, are also coming up like mushrooms too.

If you are still struggling with buying more sustainable it is possible that you are thinking with too much limitations. You are literally trying to keep your old habits while just trying to be more sustainable. Like I said to the people that were listening to the webinar, what else can you do? Okay, so you are sustainable, what more are you? What are your core values and do you clothes represent those? You values do not stop at clothes, right? What else is there for you?

I am talking about sustainability+.

The problem is that sustainability works in such a different way from normal fashion that it is impossible to change without really changing. The struggle comes from the clash between how you are used to doing things and wanting sustainability to fit into those same habits. You want to buy the clothes that you are used to buying, only they should be made in a sustainable way.

Simply changing the source of your clothes will make you feel better about them, but doing it without looking at who you really are means you pass on a great opportunity to reconsider what clothes could do for you.

And that is sustainability+. It just doesn’t stop at sustainability because solving the problems fashion production represent through sustainability can mean so many things!

Fashion being sustainable might mean the production of clothes that are only worn one single time. It might mean wearing the same kind of pants for everybody. It may mean having no secondhand clothing anymore. It may even mean having only one outfit where many outfits can be projected upon. There is simply no saying what sustainability still has in store for us, but knowing yourself really well is the quickest way to a sustainable wardrobe that you love, right here, right now!

If you want to be more sustainable out of guilt for the environment it is not going to make you feel well. You could be more sustainable while having fun. You can have fun changing your wardrobe if you make sure that the things that you are trying to do are in line with your personality. Because changing to a wardrobe that suits you better is always more sustainable.

I will say that again, especially for you; a wardrobe that is filled with items that are perfect for you is per definition more sustainable. Clothes that are so awesome that you never want to let go of are the most sustainable option. You will make sure they do not wear out so quickly by washing them less or repairing them. You will use old to create new or have somebody create something new. You will feel fantastic washing an outfit that is soo awesome by hand because the outfit makes you feel fantastic and you want it to last.

Sustainablility+ is more than just being more sustainable. It means you look at what is important to you and integrate that into you buying, caring and wearing habits.

And it is more fun because it is not done out of guilt. It is done out of love for yourself.

What is your biggest sustainability-lifestyle-wardrobe struggle? Let me know!

How you live your life, is how you manage your wardrobe…

I hope you are doing fine. 

No, that is wrong, I hope you are doing fantastic!

I hope you get up every morning feeling fantastic, ready for another day! I hope that each day you get to do what you set out to do. I hope you are focused when you are working, relaxed when you make(!) make time for some self-care and that you are getting where you want to go in life. 

I hope you see the opportunities in each and every day. And that each and every day you realize you are sculpting your future. 

How you live you life is how you deal with your wardrobe, too. 

What you do today with your wardrobe makes a difference in how you feel about the clothes you wear in the future. 

Think about it. 

How you decide to live your life today makes a difference how you live your life tomorrow and the days to follow. When you are careful with your time your future will change. You can make decisions now that will pay off in the future. Decisions that will make your future life better or worse. Spend time on things now, that may help you, or simply make you happy, in the future. 

What about your wardrobe? Do you buy in the moment? Or do you think about what you want in the future from your wardrobe, and adjust your mind-set right now to what you goals are concerning your wardrobe in the future? 

Quite possibly you do not do it that way yet. 

You buy what you think you need right now, without having a clear idea about what is in your wardrobe or what you would like your wardrobe to look like in the future. You may look at trends, and if you think you do not, everything that is in the stores is trend-related. There are only 10% of brands that do very little trend related items. That is only the case because they have a strong brand-identity, a unique look which may or may not suit you. 

The effect of that is the feeling that it just isn’t good enough. 

Your life… Oh no, sorry… Your wardrobe, feels like it just isn’t good enough yet. You can’t seem to do what needs to be done in order for it to make you enthusiastic and happy. 

You deserve to be exited about the clothes you wear each and every day. I want you to jump out of bed in the morning, (Or maybe like me, a slow-motion-jump) exited for another outfit perfect to tackle that day with. 

Are you on Facebook? 

Rethink your wardrobe is coming to Facebook. In 8 weeks we will tackle old habits, create new ones, get in deep with the inner critic, and curate your wardrobe. After those 8 weeks you will be aligning your outside self with your, confident, inner self. 

You deserve to be seen. 

You deserve to be seen and to accomplish what you want to get done. 

It is your life, you have only this one, right now. 

What will it be?

Send me a message if you want to join us, from the 1ste of March! Come out of this isolation period like a butterfly and never go back to crawling!

Want to really make some change?

Are you a changemaker who wants to mean more for the people and the planet? Or do you want to be a changemaker but you aren’t even making enough change in your own world as it is? 

If you have the feeling you want to be more, I might be able to help you.

Lets take your wardrobe for example, as it is the most personal thing that we own. You want to change your habits because you know that a lot of the items that are in there are harming the people in production and the environment. You do not want to add to the mess we made on the planet. 

That is not all, though, secretly you wish you would dare to make more bold choices in what you wear. But in order to do that you need to stop challenging yourself and be more confident. You don’t know how to do that, so right now, you tell yourself you have to wear something like this in order to fit in at work/school. Some items you own because you feel that they are fine for the other roles you have in life. Like being a parent or a worker from home. Wearing bolder choices might draw more attention to you, and that scares you off. 

Besides, you do not know exactly what you would want to wear that could make you feel great. The things that are available in the stores do not reflect your personality. Especially when you take into account your attempts to make the world a better place. It is hard to give your wardrobe the additional attention and time that it deserves because you are not sure you deserve that. 

What goes for your wardrobe goes for your home and the other areas of your life. Not only do you want to stop being a problem to the planet, you dream about changing your lifestyle altogether. It is hard to think about work and feel like you are making a difference. Sometimes you dream about quitting your work altogether, but you would not know how to do this in a responsible way. When you talk about this with your partner or your parents, they pull up an eyebrow. That sometimes is enough to not think about it for a few days. Besides, you do not even know if that really is the change you want! 

At the same time you feel like there should be more. There should be other things that you could do that would make a difference. Maybe you already have an idea what you want to develop and put out in the world? Have you started something but it has failed? Or you have set up something as a non-profit, because you do not even dare to dream about it as a full-blown business, because that feels like too much or a challenge? Or you want to step up and form a charity for the benefit of something that you feel a deep connection to, but the idea of being the motivating force behind it scares you off? It would take you into the center of attention…

It is hard to change your life to start doing what you really want to do, but you feel it, you want your life to mean more!

My name is Marjolein, and I want to help you to feel confident enough to change your life. I want to help you to set goals, take action, learn and evolve. And I do this by starting at the core. You, which is the only right place to start. 

I want you to feel confident enough to show your ironclad personality. There is no need to look elsewhere for it, it is already there within you and it wants to come out. When you can show up as the real you, with nothing to hide, that is when you can be seen by others and when things start to move for you. That personality can and will have a unique wardrobe showing off your core values. It will help you to be seen. It will help you to feel confident. Because it takes into account what you think is important. Your clothes are perfectly catered to you, aligned with your core values. 

With an outfit that says, here I am, you can start to stand up for what you believe in. For you that might simply be the space to stand out of the crowd, showing you dare to defy how it seems we should be looking? Or it might be an out of the box idea, a service or a product, that you want to sell that is of benefit to others. You will be able to stand for the ideas that you have. 

You will be able to convince entire rooms filled with people. Simply because you are happy with who you are and how you look. You are proud of where you are in life. You are confident enough to show yourself off and reach out to the people that you need to help you to get to where you want to go. 

Rethink. Everything. 

My name is Marjolein, I am a motivational coach. I do not give you the answers, just more interesting questions that will lead to some interesting answers for you. I will get you moving. It is in movement where the answers lie, not standing still. I always wanted to change the world, and fashion, because I see so much that isn’t right. I cannot do this on my own. For years I have been cooking up great ideas in fashion, but my strength is in helping others carve their own individual unique paths.

The world is changing. The way we work, live and breath is changing. Fashion is my passion and that is only at the beginning of what it will be in the future. I want you to enjoy fashion and self-expression as much as I do. From there you will feel strong enough to do whatever you want. What you need to do is not written in stone. There is no book to read, no rules to follow, no steps to take because we live in a time where everything is changing.  

You are creating the steps you need to take one inch/cm at the time. 

Just keep moving. 

For changemakers that want to change more than they seem to be able to do on their own, I have developed “Rethink your wardrobe”. It is the light version of “RethinkPRO”. Both are online motivational programs aimed at making you feel confident so you can wear what you want to wear. There is no need to look at the world around you in order to know what you want to wear. It is important for you to know that you are worth it to be seen. When you feel good and have your looks aligned with your core values, you will be able to stand for what you believe in. RethinkPRO will then kick it up a notch. For changemakers with big ideas it will make sure that you carve your own path to success. The word is changing, and your ideas are new. There is no book you can read and no steps to follow that will help you to get where you want to go. You are going to create your next best step and follow that through with the help of the RethinkPRO-program. 

Want to know if either of those programs are for you? Just send me a message!

Tunnel vision.

Did you know that both consumers as well as creators in the fashion industry suffer by the way the fashion machine works?

I have recently read, again, that change in the fashion industry should not only come from the industry itself, but also from the consumers. Most of those times the remarks are aimed at sustainability issues. Often it seems that the changes we are talking about are simply changes in production methods (less CO2, biodegradable fabrics and so on.) It may implicate that all we need to do is to make sure production isn’t environmentally impactful and we are good to go.

But that is not enough. The whole of fashion should be changed, and could be changed. Because it isn’t just the impact of the chain of production, that is a problem. It is the soul of fashion that is hollowed out through so many years of high speed roaring of this fashion-machine.

Sometimes things needs to be repaired. We could make sure things improve. Things that need repairing are just signaling a problem. An opportunity, if you will.

Both consumers and creators in the industry are not happy with how the fashion industry works. For the consumers it means they have plenty of clothing but nothing that is really worth it to wear. I would like to add to that a feeling of inadequacy that is being fed by all kinds of media. Consumers do not feel well about how they look even after spending so much time and energy on their looks. If they would, there wouldn’t be a problem.

The creatives working in fashion, whether that is in production, design or in a store often are not so happy with how it currently works, either. They won’t often tell you this, though, because it seems so normal. It seems so normal to only worry about how many items you can sell in a day and not if that person is going to be happy with the outfits on the long run. It seems so normal to work extra hours when you are working as a designer or buyer in fashion, because, well, that is what everybody does! When drawing from my own experience, I have heard many manager or head of design say; “I expect them to keep up with the trends in their own time.” At the time it didn’t even sound like a strange thing to say, when you work in fashion you have a feeling for trends. But next to the workload and the extra hours you already work, it is not reasonable. What hurts too is that often creativity is not the real propeller. It is cold hard numbers that will decided whether or not a design gets through to the final stage of the process.

Fashion is strict; there are only a few ways to wear clothes. There are only limited ways to experienced fashion that you can see represented around you in daily life that is considered the right way to do it. That makes it hard for a consumer to look and be who they want to be. It is hard to dress the way you want because it is easy to stand out. Besides, standing out is hard when you do not feel confident.

For creatives it means that it is hard to do things differently. When they have out of the box ideas it is often hard to get them to work. Fashion has worked in a certain way already for years. It means that people through the entire production chain are used to the way things work. It makes creators feel like they are swimming against the current even if they want to do something simple, like having no sale.

And that hurts even more, on a deeper level.

On a deeper level fashion lacks creativity. Because fashion is so generic it is hard for creatives as well as consumers to think outside the box. Both should be able to find a way to be truly in love with the clothes they produce/wear. Fashion is only experienced, produced and sold in a very narrowminded way. If there would be more examples of fashion being made and experienced differently, for a larger audience, it would be easier to find a way that is novel still, and works for you. We all have a sort of tunnel-vision when it comes to fashion and what we expect from it.

How do you get rid of this tunnel-vision?

Well, you start to dream. You start to figure out what what you would want your relationship with clothes to be. How would you want to feel? Where should clothes come from? What should they have to represent in order to be that what you want them to be? What should they be in order to feel great in them?

When you start brainstorming what you think clothes should be, in their very core, it means you need to make sure you do not think in limitations. It doesn’t need to be here tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if you can afford it. It doesn’t matter if production can already be done that way. It doesn’t matter the current system doesn’t support it yet. It doesn’t matter that kind of fabric doesn’t exist yet. Fashion is rapidly changing. If you create a clear goal for yourself, you can start to take steps to get there. Without a long-term goal you wont get there. If you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything.

The only thing we have to wear are masks?

I do not understand this discussion on wearing masks or not wearing masks. I get a bit nauseated by it, actually. 

And angry. 

Seriously people, only now?

The way people argue over the masks sounds a hell of a lot like how people always argue about clothes. There are people that conform to the status quo and there are people that do not. The people that do not get called out by the people that do. 

It is just a little louder now. 

A video if you do not feel like reading, today….

Maybe because instead of a trend it is now a completely new garment. Maybe because it was fast this time rather than slow, coming onto you silently through the generations. 

Look, the oppression you are trying to revolt against (and please do, I love change…) is everywhere. But it sure is not new. We have always been told what to wear. We are just so used to it that we have stopped seeing it. We are in fact scared to see it, because when you do you realize we have sunk away in it, and getting out might be impossible. Once you have given away your freedom it hurts too much to realize how far it has gone. 

And you, my friend, are a cog in the machine. 

Do you think you are free to choose what you want to wear? Do you think that when you look in the mirror you objectively look? That the mask is the only thing that you have to wear, the other items are freely chosen?

How you are supposed to look is dictated to you. For a starter, you are fed information on how you are supposed to look on a daily basis. From tv shows, movies and commercials you get to know the newest trends, or simply how somebody like you is supposed to look. When you are a certain age you no longer wear short skirts, for example, or your hair really long. Often they will try and create a problem, like wrinkles, and have the solution for you to. You will have to buy it, of course. 

You know it is all about the money! 

One tool that is used to make us spend all our money are trends. Trends in fashion as much as trends in the beauty, food or car industry. Literally any industry, actually.

Here is how they work.

Trends do not come out of the blue. There are companies and people that have made trendwatching into a job. They are excellent in spotting vibes that are global, catch them and then sell them to the different stores so it is easier for them to design their new outfits. It is all based on the idea that when a complay doesn’t show the right trends things do not get sold.  

But it is a self-fulfilling prophecy, especially in the fast fashion. The biggest stores, through this workflow, all have their own interpretations of the newest trends. And they are everywhere. The biggest chains can afford to be close to you. They can afford to be in all the main shopping streets all around the world selling the same collections. They can afford the biggest ads and maybe be featured here or there. So then we buy it. And we walk around in it. What you see others wear makes the biggest difference in what you want to wear. What you see others wear is what you want to wear. 

It is so freaking simple it is difficult for me to write down. 

If everybody you meet would be wearing something truly different, truly unique, something that would fit with their individual personality perfectly, you would be wearing something unique. 

They don’t and you do not. We all wear the same uniform. 

So, there you have it, that is where you are making sure that the status quo stays the same. That is where we allow them to keep us in their grip. 

I’ll add a little example from my own experience because maybe I do not feel so appalled at wearing a mask because I am used to the feeling. 

I am used to the feeling of being trapped in what we are supposed to wear. I am used to having my outfits dictated, commented on. I vividly remember a Dutch guy in the Swedish Alps trying to give me a hard time about my outfit. He saw I wore a onesie ski-suit from the 80s, and was appalled. He told me how stupid he thought it was to actually still be wearing those things. (Rather have me spend more money on a new suit, did he?) It didn’t hurt me, the outfit was thought through by myself relentlessly. It just shows how he limits himself, how we limit each other. 

The biggest benefactors from our behaviour, are the people, investors, owners etc of the biggest companies on earth. Most fashion brands belong to the same people. Did you know that? They just keep getting wealthier and we keep feeling bad about ourselves because we cannot keep up with the newest trends, spend too much money on new ski-suits while the old ones are fine, or feel fat/hairy/old and try to work against that. 

Stop giving them power, please? 

How do you do that, you ask?

Try to think about what you really want to do, and do that. You want to stimulate a big fat spoiled albeit clever guy that is already wealthy? You can. Don’t change anything then. But there are so many new initiatives, cool designers and kick-ass brands that try to do something better! I would love it if we can give them more power. 

So, my message to the one that is trying to find the best print and the best shape for their home-made mask; take this approach with you to the rest of the wardrobe. You want to find what works for you the best? Keep at it and don’t you dare to stop at masks.

And to the one that is getting in trouble for not wearing masks; what is the next thing that you see all around you and you do not want to do? Keep up with this attitude and put it to f*cking work in the other things that you do too. What else can you challenge? What else doesn’t suit you? Don’t you dare to stop at masks. Walk around on your bare feet and in your naked bum, what do I care, as long as you are not hypocritical and start being critical of all the things that limit your freedom of expression. 

We are stuck in a loop.

It is morning. You are getting ready for the day. You count your blessings before sitting up in your bed, as you have been training yourself to do. But then, when you start to open the doors and drawers from the cupboards and closets that hold your clothes, you can’t help to feel a little disappointed again. While you are trying to decide what to wear today, you ponder over what you should be having in your wardrobe. What is it that is missing from these items that would truly make you enthusiastic about your looks?

Here is the thing, though, we are so stuck in how we experience fashion that we do not see a way out. Sure, you try something every now and then. You try to buy more sustainable, or only second hand for a year. Or a stop-shop all together. But it doesn’t seem to really work well, you do not get that great feeling from your clothes that you know you deserve.

There is not one thing that you could change to make sure you love what you wear. There are many things and it is difficult. It is difficult because one thing leads to another. You feel like buying something new because your wardrobe sucks. It is not as good as it could be. Because it sucks you buy something new on a regular basis, thinking that you are on a budget. You buy something that you will stop having an interested in soon, and BOOM, you have yourself another average item that adds to the feeling of craving something new.

This is the loop that we are stuck in, and that you need to break.

If you cut the cycle with better habits you will turn it in an upward spiral. A spiral that will continue to develop and grow upward together with your personality. While it works its way upward you will start to feel better in your outfits. That will be the time when you realize that changing your habits works, that you have the right and the means to feel as great as you want to feel in your outfits and how you look.

The Rethink-program will help you to break with the habits that are keeping you down. It tackles the 4 main reasons why we keep adhering to this cycle using lessons from fashion itself.

The 4 main reasons why we keep ourselves in the same cycle are;
The high beauty standards we keep putting ourselves up against. They are all around us, but it is thanks to ourselves if we allow it to have a bad impact on our lives and how we feel.
The need for new that exists because the items that we have in our wardrobe already are horrible.
The price per wear; we are used to a certain price-range, quality and look of the items we buy. We need to change how we look at quality, price and background story if you really want a different feeling from your wardrobe.
Shopaholic; we misinterpret the vibe we get from wearing something new with feeling good about yourself. Your old outfit should be able to give you the same feeling as a brand new outfit, if it doesn’t it is not good enough for you.

The Rethink program, (you can find more information here) works to cut the cycle at those four points.

How does it do that?

You know by now that I do love fashion. I just do not love the generic sell-more boring fashion that most of us have in our wardrobes… I’ll run you down some thing that you can take from the fashion industry that you can incorporate in your daily life so you can can get to a wardrobe that is better, too!

First up, the designers approach. You have been dressing yourself your whole life. You know what you like and what you don’t. It is just not enough in the center of your attention. If you get this more to the forefront you will never by an items again that you do not like!

Go into your wardrobe, and find out. Find out what you like the most, in terms of quality, shape, colour, print etc etc. The things you do not like? They might also be able to tell you something. But focus on the positive for now, kay? We like to keep an upbeat vibe because sometimes dressing is simply hard!

Second, how to be your own muse. Designers and buying teams work with a representation of their perfect client. You should be your own muse. It might be hard to look at yourself as a source of inspiration, but there really is no other way to be happier with your wardrobe. You should not dress for anyone but yourself!

There are many ways for you to feel better. For now I will leave you with one particular one that is going to make a change for you in all parts of your life. Let the compliments sink in. We tend to step over compliments and accomplishments with ease while we linger on the things that we did wrong, or that didn’t go well. Next time somebody gives you a compliment, reply with a “Thank you very much”. Do not try and write them off to other people that may have helped you. Do not stop to think that is was a piece of cake and that anybody could have done it. Let them sink into your heart. Remember them, write them down, repeat them, anything! So you let them give you the great feeling that you deserve to have.

Another thing that we can change is our state of mind. There is a lot wrong with current fashion. We have a strained relationship with it, where it could be a benefit and a joy in our lives. We try and dress so others might accept us, for example, or we give trends power over us by thinking that what you wear should be in line with current fashion.

In the course we will learn to recognize this and what you can do about it, cause it is kind of a big subject. For now I would suggest that you stop following accounts and things that give you a limited idea of what fashion is. Stop yourself being influenced by anything its sole purpose is to sell more. No more magazines in your post, no more newsletters in your email. Do not follow brands anymore that try to sell you more of the same. Clean them up, flush them out! Exterminate them!

We will look at how the world influences you. How others look affects how we want to look. What others believe to be important affects what we feel is important. How things are designed and made has an effect on how they look and feel. So how can you be aware of this, influence it and make changing easier for yourself?

There is a lot going on in the production of fashion. I recommend you find a documentary, prep yourself up on a couch somewhere and watch it. It is not going to be nice. But the clothes you wear are directly responsible for a lot of hurt. You know this already unless you have been living under a rock. If you allow yourself to take in the details it will be easier to change.

How do you influence the world/ environment around you? The struggles you have with your wardrobe are not isolated to you alone. You know that others might struggle with the same things, we are all people living in the same communities. The moment you take the freedom to express yourself the way you want to, you might be able to help others to do the same, because they see you confidently do it.

For now I would suggest to train your brain to be positive about others that look different to you. Stop making jokes at the expense of somebody else that didn’t get the trends right. Or that is wearing something you think is inappropriate. You are reading my blogs, posts and email because you are struggling with how you look. How you feel or want to feel, doesn’t match with how you look form the outside. I can guaranty that there are people out there that feel a bigger mismatch between how they look and how they feel. It is harder for them, start creating the freedom of expression for other too, you might feel more freedom for yourself too!

That is it, for now! I hope these tips might help you to increase the fun you have with the outfits you create for yourself. I hope if I were to meet you in the street at some point, I would be able to see who you are and what you stand for in life. There is just more fun in it, that way!

Jealousy as a guide.

When you look at how you look, it is normal to also look at how other people look. Lets take a look at at that!

Okay, that was a joke, I am not saying it is a good one. But I want to talk to you about how and why we, yes look, at other people, especially when it makes us feel bad!

Obviously if you can look at your friend, who has just lost all of her pregnancy weight and looks stunning in that newly (made) dress, you can feel different things. If you only feel good, for her, than you are fine. But if you look at her and get ideas in your head like, I wish I looked like that, or; if only I could also lose those extra pounds that I carry around, than something needs to change.

I have seen different ways of how people are tackling jealously. For example, they try not to feel it, which is understandable, as you might actually not feel super well about not wishing your friend to feel great. Some take it as a que, they make themselves think of compliments to give to others when they feel a streak of jealously coming up. I imagine telling your friend she looks lovely with clenching jaws still comes across as slightly false. You might want to start a different approach to tackling jealousy.

Jealousy can help you to plot a course for a life that you love. It might make you feel horrible until you realize what you need to change and put your energy towards that. Or it will stop hurting when you have realized that you just cannot change some things and you need to change your perspective.

You see somebody that has something you want and you can feel the “auch” coming up from inside. That might be things that they own, or they have a relationship or a child that you want but do not have. Or it is that girl around the corner that seems to sport the right colours every year, that gets you thinking: “every f*ck*ng season she nails it”, that sort of thing. The feeling lingers inside yourself like a sort of; If only I had or, If only I was….

Hate to brake it to you, but that rocks.

There is something inside you telling you what is not right about your life right now. But that doesn’t mean that all you need to do is get what they have and than the feeling will disappear. Think about it like this, what if you would have that dress that she is wearing, combined with those shoes, would they really look good on you? Or would that simply be her style that you are emulating? So what is it that your jealousy is trying to tell you?

Your jealousy is trying to tell you what you need. In the case of the fashionable girl around the corner, you do not want that dress and those shoes, but the confidence that what you are wearing is perfect for you. You need to feel and think through this jealousy to find out what it is that makes you feel this way. It is never what you think it is about initially. Something superficial will spark jealousy, while the solution is on a deeper layer.

I want to share with you a personal story, to illustrate… I am a tall brown-haired Dutch girl. My family is pretty strong. My grandfather is rumored to have saved his tractor from a ditch in his heydays using only his hands. My brother singlehandedly lifts washing machines up stairs and my mum used to be a pretty good shot putter in college, according to my dad…

Knowing what my genes are, I still used to envy short and petit build women. I felt they were closer to how women were supposed to look. And if I was unhappy with how I looked I decided that eating less was the way to go instead of working out. Working out would make me look bigger in no time, because I would increase the size of my muscles.

Eating less to look more like how I wanted to look had never worked for me, not in the way that I wanted to anyway. I was just too tall to be petit! It was absolutely ridiculous to want to be so different from who I was. I was just unhappy with who I was and decided that the total opposite was the way to go. I had to do some inner work in order to tackle this one.

That didn’t start with how I looked, nor with my wardrobe. I had all kinds of characteristics that didn’t fit in with what I thought a woman should be like. Not just how she should look but also what she should endure, how she should express herself and how she should live her life. And they didn’t make any sense with who I was.

But I had tucked that away somewhere far.

Only until I started to give myself some room to be and show who I was, often starting with what I wore, I started to realize that I didn’t want to be a long haired blond delicately playing the violin. Or the harp. With her perfect long fingers and her long eyelashes. I am a girl that sometimes listens to Rammstein, loves Lara Croft and knows a thing or two about Klingons.

in the background of this picture there is a little something that I would have never added to my home a few years ago… Can you recognize what it is?

The funny thing is, I always liked Lara Croft. She is more a role-model from my past than my present. Why I gave the idea of the perfect woman being petit more attention that Lara, has to do with feeling insecure and a negative feeling of self-worth.

Now, today, totally accepting the Lara in me, I am working out more than I ever did before. And I love it. It has shaped my body in a way that I would have never liked in the past. But changing my perspective means that I do love how my body looks now. I am not saying it is perfect, but it looks strong. (Want to know something funny, for those of you struggling with your weight, I now weigh exactly what I always wanted to weigh. Letting go of looking trying to look like a skinny model meant I now have habits that work better for who I am…)

It also means that I do not want to look like a petit woman anymore. I still think they look fantastic, and I mean it. It doesn’t make me feel envious anymore. Because they look great, but what the you-know, I look great too. Those things can co-exist. And if you do not feel that I look great, you are not ma thang!