true to myself

last time we went to Stockholm, we went for a (long) walk around Södermalm. in order to keep me happy (said my husband), he reminded me about this second hand store that we once went to but didn’t have time to look around. he remembered that i wanted to stay to see the stuffs, but we had to go back that time already, so now he suggested we go there again. (this was quite rare of my husband to actually suggest we go to a store, so yes, it really was just to keep me happy! :D) without any map, just depending on our shabby memories, we tried to find the place… and found it!

the store is called Emmaus Stockholm, and as i said, they sell second hand things. i went to the basement one (there were 2 entrances to 2 separate stores), because that was where i went the last time. i’m still not quite sure what the difference was, but from Google translator i found out that the basement is where the vintage stuffs are.

there was one area full of designer brands, like Moschino, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Just Cavalli, and many more. i went straight there and sorted through them, hoping i can find something cool. i’m definitely not new to shopping pre-loved clothes, but i can honestly say that i had never succeeded in grabbing an original designer branded item when shopping for second hand items. i’m always amazed at people who can find these branded items in second hand stores.

i found a few things from there and tried them on. the first one was a pair of Moschino jeans. they fitted, but they were too long. they needed to be shortened, and they costed about 35€. next one was a Chloe top, simple dark blue jersey with colourful flower embroidery at the hem. it looked good, and costed about 30€.

i showed them to my husband, and he asked, “are those really what you want?”

i gave him my reasons (“they’re branded stuffs!” “all i need to do is shorten these jeans” “this is Chloe top!”), and all he said was, “that wasn’t what i asked. to be honest, i can’t even see the difference between the ‘branded’ stuffs and normal clothes, but i can see that there are nothing special with those clothes. the clothes you bought in Pasar Senen in Jakarta were better looking.”

wow. for those of you who are not familiar with it, Pasar Senen is a biiiig big area in Jakarta that is full of second hand markets (used to be, at least. don’t know what it’s like these days!). it was THE place for me to shop for second hand clothes, where i could get 10 different clothing items for as small money as less than 10€. my husband never went there himself (he would die from the heat), but he knew that it was a dear place to me, and that i bought most of my clothes there when i was still living in Jakarta. the clothes there were not branded, but sometimes i found Japanese brands in the midst of the sea of second hand clothes, like Lowrys Farm and the likes.

anyway, what my husband said reminded me of my old self, shopping and having fun with my girlfriends in Pasar Senen. who cared if none of the clothes were branded? if it was cute, we bought it. if it was unique, we bought it. after all, that was how i see clothes: a way to express myself. would i really be able to express myself in plain black jeans with the word “Moschino” stamped at the back? i’m not even a denim person. or in a simple jersey top that costed 35€ even though it’s no longer new, which no one can see is actually Chloe brand because the label is inside the top? are those really what i want?

as i came back to my senses, i put those items back on the rack. as much as i love fashion, i don’t think i can forgive myself for spending that much of money for second hand clothes that don’t show my true personality.

and almost immediately my eyes fell on to something else on a different rack (non-designer brand area): a cute black and white cardigan. i pulled it out, and right away my husband said, “now THAT’S more YOU.”

i agreed. and since this one costed 6€, i ended up getting it.


Monki cardigan, self-made jeans, custom-made shoes, Mango belt, Oasap earrings, & Other Stories clutch.

i can’t really say it’s unbranded, because it’s from Monki brand, which i also usually love. i like how the colours are actually quite basic (reminds me of a classic Chanel cardigan), but the bow details at the front make it more my style.

the earrings worn on the pic was my other purchase from which was another cheap find at less than 3€.

oasapearringssoon after grabbing this Monki cardigan, i saw another too-good-to-pass item.


COS top, self-made dress (worn under top) and skirt, shoes from Dappermarkt – Amsterdam, necklace gift from mum-in-law.

it’s an asymmetrical top from COS, yet another brand i love. both Monki and COS are from the same group as H&M, along with Cheap Monday, & Other Stories, and Weekday. and yes, i love them all. i especially love COS because they almost always have feel-good materials, such as cupro, silk, high quality cotton, merino wool. but because of the use of such materials, they are usually a bit out of the budget for me. so getting this high quality cotton COS top for 8€ was quite an achievement!

the necklace worn on the pic was a little something i got from my mum-in-law last Christmas (other than the Marimekko tights).

necklaceshe said she bought it from a place in Finland (can’t remember the name), but i think the fabric looks a lot like Indonesian batik. what a nice coincidence. 🙂

i am happy with my shopping, and the fact that i stayed true to myself (thanks husband, for the reminder!). sure, they weren’t any designer brands, but they look more like me, who i am, and how i like to express myself in dressing up. plus, they’re a lot cheaper than those designer brand items!

maybe one day i will be lucky enough to find a good designer brand item(s) for a good price that still reflect who i am. but until that day comes, i’m happy just being silly old me.

8 thoughts on “true to myself

  1. I am glad you got back to your senses. 🙂 You sew pretty cool stuff yourself anyway I don’t think you need any designer brand. I always think that handmade design by self has more value than branded items. Plus if I am as talented as you I would never have to buy any clothes ever again.

    • i actually think so, too. it makes me feel more proud to wear something i sew myself than some designer brand… but as a fashion lover, i sometimes do long for good quality & design in clothing that i don’t do myself. 😀 haha! maybe one day! thanks so much for your compliments though, i think my head just grew a few inches larger. 😉

  2. ……smart hubby! He really knows you very well 🙂 I can see the real “you” look here. And mom-in-law has also very good taste and knowledge of you, seen from her choice of tights and necklace for you! 😀

  3. Puni you don’t need branded clothes! your clothes are way cooler! Speaking about Pasar Senen…all females from my mum’s side are crazy about it. It is now moved to another part which I don’t know where. I went there in 2013 but the kaki lima there told me they have moved further away. I had many clothes bought there and so far only 1 that is still hanging in my closet..I donated the rest because they got too small for my size now LOL.

    There are many cool vintage shops/markets in Amsterdam and me too, I never find something that really original for my taste…or within my budget to say the least :p. The coolest vintage thing I’ve ever bought was my wedding earrings. Bought it at a tiny antique store in Haarlem, and they stole my heart from the very first sight! 🙂

    • haha, yeaaahhh, go Pasar Senen! 😀 next time i go to Indonesia, i don’t even think i’ll go to Jakarta (my parents & sister don’t live there anymore), so chances are i’ll never go to Pasar Senen again. BUT my mum has found a new similar place near where they live now, haha!

      anyway, like you, i feel the same about vintage shops/flea markets in Europe. they’re cool, but mostly out of my budget. i used to go to a lot of them, but after i got to learn how to sew, nowadays i prefer hunting for fabrics instead. 😉 lucky you to have found something as meaningful as your wedding earrings at an antique store!

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