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Charon wearing slouchy shorts
Charon wearing slouchy shorts

Top image: LOEWE Paula's Ibiza dive in mask sunglasses, LEMAIRE Mens long-sleeve (see here, at Arket here and here), WEEKDAY Great heavyweight t-shirt, REYEM wool shorts (similar here and here), KHAITE Marion flat sandals - or here (these and these are very similar), SC103 Silver links tote and SOPHIE BUHAI 18kt gold vermeil hoop earrings

It’s been nearly three months since I (Charon) moved to South Africa, just outside Cape Town, amidst the lush countryside. I've been living out of one big, overweight suitcase, attempting to put together outfits for 182 days straight, as I still have three full months left with this bulging Rimowa. Over the past few months, I've gone from feeling uninspired and reconsidering fast fashion to gaining a whole new outlook on wardrobe building, thanks to Phoebe Philo’s recent interview with The New York Times.

Looking back, it may have been for the better, but before we moved here, I didn't realize how complicated it is to shop online from my usual suspects such as Net-a-Porter, Farfetch, and Mytheresa. Sky-high import costs make it unnecessarily expensive. So, I went on a forced fashion diet, and for the first 1.5 months, it worked. We did just move to another country, so my bank account could use some rest, plus I was finally able to wear my summer clothes. But when these new season items dropped, I couldn’t contain myself any longer. For the first time in over a decade, I found myself browsing fast fashion websites that easily ship within South Africa. Adding items to my online basket that, in my restless fashion craving, seemed adequate. These were items I deemed as okay for the time being, a strategy I'm relatively unfamiliar with. I’m much more the 'wait till I find the perfect piece to invest in' type, but sadly believed it to be my only option from now on.

ALAÏA Rectangular sunglasses (similar here), LEMAIRE Mens long-sleeve (see here, at Arket here and here), RAEY Giant pocket-side combat shorts ( or here and here), Vintage pair of Speedo’s (see here and here), CELINE Vintage mini bag and KHAITE Marion flat sandals - or here (these and these are very similar)

One night, while reading Phoebe Philo’s interview by New York Times' fashion director and chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman, I found renewed inspiration and closed the tabs on my phone one by one. In the feature, Phoebe emphasizes quality over quantity, encouraging a coherent wardrobe not dictated by seasons. And, as she aptly stated, 'that tends to come at a price point' and with time. Initially, there was confusion when the brand announced intentionally producing fewer items than the demand. Some thought it was a strategy to create FOMO. But Phoebe clarified that it was simply about avoiding excess inventory and understanding production needs. After reading this, I left my shopping basket incomplete, back to being a true believer of the 'Philo-sophy'. In practice, this means in my current situation, I refrain from buying anything until I have access to pieces I truly desire—items that are comfortable, versatile, and enhance my wardrobe. Most likely, I'll have this opportunity while back in the Netherlands this July. This might become my future wardrobe-building strategy: a hoarding and hibernation situation, ‘all you can eat’, once again followed by a thorough detox. This process could lead either to a true understanding of what I miss and need in my wardrobe or to a situation where I keep passing up on investment pieces - Miu Miu boat shoes, I am talking about you.

On the left: LOEWE Paula's Ibiza dive in mask sunglasses in acetate, MAISON COLLECTION fitted dark grey wool blazer (similar here), RAEY Giant pocket cargo shorts (or here and here), KHAITE Marion flat sandals - or here (these and these are very similar). Right; SC103 Silver links tote, CELINE Vintage white mini bag, MAISON MARGIELA White shell pendant necklace and my son's NIKE Sunray sandals

So, while there might be a personal gap between fashion investment supply and demand here, I also noticed that not shopping made me more creative, eventually. All of a sudden, I find great inspiration in outdoor clothing. By going on hikes as much as possible, I've been introduced to mountain cross—a blend of motocross and BMX apparel set amidst stunning natural landscapes. Living close to the ocean, surf-related brands like Billabong and Quicksilver are popular here as well. All these new outdoor influences unconsciously prompted me to use my current wardrobe (and my boyfriend's) in a refreshing way.

LEMAIRE Deep v-neck (also here or here in black), RICK OWENS Mesh helmet hood, Y-3 3s track top and ALL-IN White level thigh soft tall boots

Looking at cool kids wearing oversized shorts over swim shorts or leggings, slouchy sun-bleached T-shirts over motocross shirts, I couldn’t help but think of pairing it with fall 2024 Miu Miu inspired gloves, black helmets and Phoebe Philo’s Bombé inspired goggles, all covered in dust. Keeping in line with Phoebe’s aesthetic, I spotted black and grey BMX trousers in her new delivery. And I can't help but think this Philo Cut collar t-shirt in black washed cotton would complement this story, and my wardrobe. Having a weakness for sports heritage brands, I couldn't resist buying some 90’s inspired Billabong shirts for my son. Seeing how cool this oversized look was on him, I realized I only owned fitted long sleeves and discovered the need for a looser version as well, which instantly adds a cool yet chic appearance. Luckily, I persuaded my boyfriend to buy one from Lemaire a while ago (should we do a newsletter on men's fashion? It has saved me from a few dressing dilemmas). Also considered masculine, and as I predicted in January's newsletter, my go-to attire while living here consists mainly of oversized slouchy shorts. (These Y/project Souffle shorts and Walles Bonner Adidas shorts are two of my The Ceiling’s WARDROBE favorites.) Despite the onset of fall weather, cropped bottoms remain my number one choice and taking the lead in this early fall—or for the other side of the continent, spring looks.


 OLIVERS PEOPLE X THE ROW rectangular sunglasses (similar here), ACNE STUDIOS Unisex hoodie jacket (similar here and here), Vintage pair of Speedo’s (see here and here), REYEM wool shorts (similar here and here) CELINE Vintage mini bag, KHAITE Marion flat sandals - or here (these and these are very similar) and SOPHIE BUHAI Gold vermeil hoop earrings

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