Jul 22

Do Italians Inherit Their “Good Taste”? – real mom street style

If you happen to read yesterday’s post then you know about my envy/obsession with put together women.  Specifically, the put together women I often see at the Bologna Airport as we head out on our European adventures.

 

This time, I decided I would be one of those women (here’s what I wore), and at the airport, I kept my eyes open for the “Italian Flyers” so we could exchange glances of “oh my, don’t you look great”!

 

It wasn’t long before I noticed not one but TWO very put together ladies.

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I was heading into the washroom and noticed the woman on the right as she entered.  I really wanted to ask her if I could take her picture for my Real Mom Street Style series so I waited for her until she came out of the washroom.  That’s right, I WAITED for her outside of the washroom….I have officially entered into creepy, stalker, street style blogger territory!  While I waited I noticed the stylish and mature woman on the left.

 

Her jaunty Burberry scarf, her modern yet not too young for her age t-shirt, her cool but not over-kill sneakers and OF COURSE her “piumino” meaning puffy coat!  The Italian JULY essential, especially if you want to avoid getting a chill!

 

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She was so nice that she let me take her picture and, as I was taking it, the woman on the right came out of the bathroom.  And, you know what?  They are mother and daughter!

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“Good Taste” – Taught or Genetic?

 

I can safely say this is a typical “good taste” Italian family.   Not only is this older woman looking totally stylish for her age, but her daughter has obviously inherited some of her style genes.  I love her shiny, glitter loafers, her rolled jeans, mirrored sunglasses and of course her 5preview top!

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I recognized this top because a friend of mine owns a little boutique here in Italy that is filled with the trendiest street wear out there and he carries 5Preview! You can find the brand online here.

 

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Jul 18

Il mercato

This blog is a work in progress, but if you’ve been following along you know that I work in fashion for my husband’s family business and they are exotic leather belt artisans.  Technically, we make some of the world’s most absolute luxury products but don’t make luxury money! I’ve written a bit about what it like to work in luxury without making luxury money here.

 

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Working in the world of the rich, when you yourself are normal, means getting creative. Creativity in dressing isn’t always easy because the stitching on a poorly made top is always going to be bad, and fake leather anything doesn’t cut it with clients who are decked out in the real deal. I try to seek out unknown designers, Italian artisan brands and of course vintage finds so I can recreate a certain look without looking too cheap.

 

I’ve found a lot of cute things online but one of my secret weapons are the stalls at the Market!

 

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Il Mercato

 

In Italy “Il Mercato” usually refers to a weekly, or monthly temporary market where vendors sell housewares, clothes, vintage items, toys and everything else!

 

Not to be confused with the vegetable and fruit market!

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Note if you are looking for one or the other be specific when asking for directions, for example “il mercato di frutta e verdura” for fruit and vegetables and if you are looking for clothes you could say “il mercato dell’abbigliamento e indumenti” and for housewares you could say “il mercato di casalinghi”.

 

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I’ve written here about Italy’s Antiques and Vintage markets, but these are focused on antiques and authentic vintage items and not necessarily sell-offs, cheap, discontinued or used items. At “Il Mercato” you can find brand new kid’s clothes from big brands for 10 euro a piece (they are probably from the collection from two years ago), retro and vintage finds for a few euros each, bras for 7 euro, and scarves for 3!

 

MANY ITALIANS SHOP HERE! In many ways “il mercato” is how you survive in Italy, sifting through the stalls until you find a brand new, name brand top for 5 euro, or last seasons winter coat for 30! Not everyone admits to shopping at the market, but you’d be surprised who you run into!

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I’ve picked up some of my favourite things from il mercato (the market) like this scarf, a Missoni inspired short sleeve sweater and an ombre beanie.

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I took a BIG BREAK from blogging last week but I’ll be honest and say it’s nice to be back.  I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on and in many ways this blog is now a little piece of my life so I really missed writing while away.  But sometimes breaks are necessary so I can concentrate on real life and just enjoying the moment, which I did fully!

 

 

Sharing is Caring – What I Wore

 

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If you read this post about my blue Kimono, you know that I’m a lucky girl when it comes to receiving free accessories and gifts.  Now that I have the blog I also get a few more “gifts” in exchange for mentions on the blog, but not always.  Often, when you work in fashion, gifts come with the territory.  A girlfriend of mine is a fashion journalist for one of Italy’s major fashion magazines and her closet is FILLED with gifted designer pieces (I’m not quite so lucky), but I did get this great pair of earrings for free!

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I wanted to share the love, so I’m giving them away!! This isn’t a sponsored giveaway, it’s more like a “pass it on” sort of thing.  My readers have become new virtual friends, so I thought this would be a fun way to pass on these earrings.  I’ve only worn them once (to take this outfit shot!!), they came from a friend’s designer jewelry boutique and retail for around 130 euro.  I’m opening up the giveaway worldwide and will personally pay for shipping, just to say thank you.  I may start doing this more often in the future along with the sponsored giveaways,  but closet is pretty full so why no pass along things I don’t wear?  What do you think?

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

My shorts are 100% linen bought online here during a flash sale for 7 euro aka 10 bucks!!

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Jul 11

Is this too old to “blog”? – The Kimono

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I have a confession to make.

 

I wore this outfit THREE WEEKS AGO.  three. weeks. ago.  In blogger-land, that is like saying I wore this outfit in the 1970s and I’ve just decided to blog about it now.  I’m realizing that putting together a post takes me a lot of time.  I have to edit the photos, watermark them, upload, write the post, add in all of the tags, tweets, and everything else that goes with publishing something online that I actually want people to see!

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I really love blogging, and I have about 40 different posts I’d love to share but just can’t seem to churn out fast enough.  So, my confession is that I’m going to share them anyway, even if they are old news!!

 

The internet is FOREVER, and if the Kimono is back again in 2015 maybe, pairing it with cut offs and thong sandals (not that original, I know!) will inspire your own outfit.

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The Reason I Dressed

Before we went on vacation to the Riviera Romagnola, we spent a lot of time packing, washing clothes, and generally getting things ready, as all parent do before they go on any “get away”.   Since I exclusively watch Zeno, the poor little guy was stuck indoors with me while I prepared everything.  The weekend came and so, as a family, we spent a good 5 hours outside going to the park, buying some fruit at the market and breathing some fresh air so he wouldn’t get cabin fever.

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Jul 09

I’m going to see her face – an expat dilemma

On days like today I really hope that my husband isn’t reading my blog!  The house is a DISASTER, I have to finish packing…no wait, I have to START packing. The kitchen needs to be cleaned, I have to iron, prepare the travel sized versions of everything in the washroom, print maps, itineraries, walking tours, download, convert and upload to my iphone new episodes of my son’s favourite shows, find my camera, charge it…ahhhh the LIST GOES ON.

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And I only have one kid! What would I do with two?  What would I do if I was working full-time out of the house? How do other moms do everything?

 

Here I am blogging, so shhhh don’t tell my man.

 

Tomorrow I see her face.

 

Her sweet, beautiful, familiar and yet unknown face.  The face of my new baby niece.  The niece that was born a few months ago that everyone else in my family knows, and has held and has smelled and knows how to make giggle – in Canada.

 

I know I chose to live overseas.  I’m the one who decided to go away, who got involved with an Italian, who decided to “abandon” my old life, my family my country, my city, my everything in search of something that was missing.

 

My husband reminds me (often) that I CHOSE to come to Italy every time I want some sympathy for every birthday, Christmas, Easter, Picnic or family day at an amusement park that I miss. How can I complain if this is what I chose??

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Jul 08

Street Style + Shoe Trends for SS2015

Real Mom Street Style – Dr. Marten’s

 

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Before I went away on vacation in Romagna with my son I really didn’t feel like grocery shopping and cooking!! I was already in a vacation mode, and since my man was often working late, my two year old and I would head out by ourselves for late evening walks and street food dinners alone.

 

The Reason She Dressed

I was at one of my absolute favourite Tigella places in Modena (I have yet to write a tigella post…sigh) and we were having our “fast food” dinner together when  I started chatting with this mom.

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She embodies the coolness I know I have in my soul but just can’t seem to channel.   Her straight cropped hair, her bangs, her big smile (that she is shy about!!) and her awesome style. She is married to an equally cool man and together they have two boys that my son really enjoyed playing with.  Oh, and you may have noticed her tattoo, a dagger she got AFTER she became a mom that bares the names of her two boys – love that.

 

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What She Wore

 

You may remember, way back when, in mid-December when I was researching this summer’s biggest shoe trend the “ugly sport Sandal” (here is the post if you missed it).  The chunky Teva sport sandal was all over the runway, and at the time I was shopping the online SALES trying to find a look that would be in-style for the summer.  I ended up going with these Asos leopard sandals (this is how I’ve styled them).

 

Later, in April, I did a “Trend Update” since at that point every blogger and fashionista was sporting a pair (pardon my pun!)  This look is really starting to grow on me and now I am eating my words about the trend being “ugly” because you know what….THIS TREND LOOKS AMAZING ON THIS MOM!!

 

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Jul 04

Missoni inspired in the Riviera

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A few months ago when went to Mantua for an evening walk, I noticed this Missoni bag in a fancy shop window.

 

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I fell in love INSTANTLY.

I wanted this bag.  I loved everything about it, the multi-coloured plexiglass chain (otherwise known as Methacrylate), the way the raffia was woven, the color, the fact that it screamed SUMMER, the chicness, the relaxedness ….everything that is, aside from the 300 euro price tag :(

 

I live with a budget, often preferring to do things like eat, have a roof over my head and TRAVEL instead of buying luxury items  But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the beauty of luxury fashion, especially since I am surrounded by them all the time for work.  I didn’t buy this bag, but I did keep my eyes open for items that would help me recreate this look and low and behold my search paid off.

 

After a VERY LONG “buy nothing”  shopping ban you can read about here and here, I caved at the local Antiques and Vintage Market in Modena’s Piazza Grande.  I’ve written about the Antiques Market here, and about how to find a market the next time you’re in Italy here.  I found a marbled cream and brown plexiglass loop necklace and a vintage, rattan purse that I really liked, and have since worn all the time.

 

 

 

 The Reason I Dressed . Evening Passeggiate 

 

I was in the Riviera Romagnola last week, if you’ve read my standard daily itinerary while vacationing on the Adriatic Coast, you know that each evening’s dinner is followed by a passeggiata aka walk.  I stayed in Cattolica’s Port area (which I’ve written a bit about here) so my walks were along the boardwalk, out onto the pier, through the Port area or into the city’s centre.

 

Look N°1 With Shorts

I love pairing this necklace and bag with simple clothes like a white tank, teal shorts and thong sandals. My belt is tan python leather made by my husband and my bracelet was bought for a few euros from a street vendor.

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Look N°2 With Skinny Pants and a Short Sleeved Cardigan

I reused all of the same elements and swapped out the shorts for skinny rolled pants on a chillier night. I threw a yellow, big polka dot scarf and thin, cotton knit, short-sleeved cardigan in my purse so I could layer once the sun fully set.  I’ve you’ve read this post, you know that Italians kids stay up LATE.  Usually my evening walks would begin around 9:30 p.m. and end around 11 p.m., and since the port area gets breezy I always like to have something to keep the breeze off my shoulders and neck.

 

I’ve written here about how much Italians fear that their necks get a chill, hence why you’ll always see people in the evenings with light sweaters jauntily tied around their shoulders!

 

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Jul 02

beach going like an Italian

I over packed for my trip to the Riviera Romagnola.

I didn’t mean to, but there is really no way that I needed three hats, 5 different bikinis and something like 7 different cover-ups for a measly ten days at the BEACH.

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I was at the beach for God’s sake!  I could have gotten away with wearing the same t-shirt and shorts for all ten days, but the problem is

THAT’S JUST NOT FUN!

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Beach wear marketers all over the world have convinced me that I will feel so much more glamorous if I’m in a big hat, sunglasses, the latest 50s inspired high-waisted bikini, and I accessorize with bejeweled sandals, bracelets, a big necklace and a jauntily tied sarong.

So, as a good fashion lover and marketing victim, I packed all of the things I would love to be seen in, and then, subsequently ONLY wore the things I felt comfortable in.

 

At the beach I did NOT WEAR:

BRACELETS – they leave tan lines on my arm

BIG HATS – The beach wind may blow them off, and I just didn’t have the courage to wear my big billowy hat to the beach

SARONGS – What? And not tan my butt?

BEJEWELED SANDALS – Only flip flops for the beach so that they could be easily shaken out / washed

50s inspired BIKINIS – And not tan my belly?

OVERSIZED NECKLACES – I wouldn’t want anyone to confuse me with someone famous.

 

The year I got pregnant with my son I went to the most luxurious area of Sardinia, the Costa Smeralda on vacation.  There, for some reason, I felt justified in all things GLAMOUR!  I wore my big hats, all kinds of jewelry and all things fabulous.  Please let me know if you’d like to see these looks, I will dig them out of the pre-baby archive!

I’ve written here, about why vacationing in Italy’s Riviera Romagnola on the Adriatic Sea is a perfect family beach getaway.  It does not have the glitz and glamour associated with it as Sardinia, and certainly the beach is no where near as lovely, but if you are looking to actually RELAX at the sea side with kids, this is the place to be.

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That being said, I really DID want to wear my fun beach accessories, so I wore them during lunch walks, post-dinner strolls and aperitivos!

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What I Wore

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Permanent link to this article: http://reasonstodress.com/dress-for-the-beach-like-an-italian/

Jul 01

Gluten Free in Italy?? Is this even possible?

I’m not going to complain.  First of all it’s not me and my diet that is being influenced but my 2 year old’s…..which actually makes it so much worse!

 

ReasonstoDress.com gnocco fritto

 

It seems as though my skinny little baby, who has always been on the rather small side, is really starting to eat!  A lot! He loves bread, pasta, pizza, gnocco fritto, tigelle, piadine and all of the other specialty foods that this area is known for.  For the longest time he was such a picky eater, and then, all of a sudden in the last 8 months, his appetite developed and we can get him to eat most anything!  Cotolette di pesce or pollo (fish or chicken cutlets), fried calamari, tomatoe gratin….anything really.

 

So why is he so skinny?  Well, we just got back from our incredible vacation at the Adriatic Sea side on Sunday night, and Monday (yesterday) we had our checkup with our pediatrician who thinks he probably has a gluten sensitivity.

 

A What?  a GLUTEN SENSITIVITY!

 

He was tested for Celiac’s disease and according to the test he does not have it, however, the pediatrician explained to us that there are also gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity and both conditions cause absorption problems  of nutrients in the small intestine but neither condition have a direct test associated with them.  The best test is an elimination diet and then the evaluation of results.

 

It seems as though the more pasta, pizza, and bread he consumes the slower he grows, so there is a very good chance that he has a gluten sensitivity.

 

Ok.

 

So what do we do?

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Jun 25

Dressing for an evening out in Cattolica’s Port – Postcards from Romagna

I think you’ve heard by now I’m on vacation with my son in Cattolica.  I wrote about why we’re on vacation alone here, and what a day in the life of the Riviera Romagnola is like here.

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Basically on Friday night we drove from Modena to Cattolica as a family, my man stayed until Sunday and then drove back home alone.  FEAR NOT! I have company, because a girlfriend of mine, from Modena, is also here with her 15 month old son.  Both of our men were with us on Saturday night so we took a walk together to explore the area.

 

The Reason I Dressed

Last year we were in Cattolica for a week, however, I’m sad to admit I didn’t really explore the city much.  I stayed in the more touristy part of the city, which incidentally I also thought was lovely, but it had a completely different vibe from where I am now.  This year, I wanted to find the absolute best bargain, since I’m on a tight vacation budget, so I booked the first place that had the right price.  When we arrived I was pleasantly surprised to discover that we are staying in Cattolica’s historic port area.

 

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We spent the evening exploring the port area with our friends and I was shocked to discover how beautiful it is!  Did I mention I am fascinated by fishermen, fishing boats and all things fisheresque, even though I don’t know anything about fishing?  The dock extends out into a boardwalk that goes out into the sea, and there are bridges all around that connect Cattolica to the next city over.  JUST STUNNING!

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With a name like “Cattolica” I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that we stumbled across an outdoor mass, that was being held in one of the Piazzas at the Port with hundreds of people in attendance.

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If you are ever in this part of Italy and you are dying for a donut, the people of “Romagna” have something very similar called a “Bombolone”!  It is shaped just like a donut (but is yummier!) and you can get it stuffed with pastry cream (“alla crema”) or with sugar.  There are street vendors all around that sell fresh bombolone and the smell is intoxicating!

 

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The Riviera Romagnola is a kid mecca (I wrote a bit about it here), and in the evenings you’ll find ferris wheels, kiddie arcades and mini baby go carts all around.  Most things cost one euro, just be prepared to spend at least 10, since one ride is never enough!

 

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What I Wore

 

As with any good vacation the evening should be that special time when all moms have the chance to wear heels, make-up and a real purse and not feel silly.  I think this is why cruises remain a popular choice for people, because the evening dinners are usually a little more formal, and people look forward to the opportunity to doll themselves up.  One of the things I love about Italy, is how most woman get dolled-up in the evenings, take this and multiply it by 10 when they’re on vacation!

 

I wore this Missoni inspired knit cropped sleeve sweater.  It is Italian vintage that I found with the original tags still attached (if you want to shop vintage while in Italy I wrote a post to help you find a vintage market!), handmade and hand-dyed!  Oh and I paid 1 euro for it!

 

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I bought my shorts new online here, they were discounted, and with a temporary online flash sale, ended up being under 10 euro!

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My shoes are by the brand Mea Shadow, they are real leather, incredibly well-made and available here.  They were on sale for under $150!! I bought them for my best friend’s wedding and still love them!

<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XM5SYK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B003XM5SYK&linkCode=as2&tag=reatodre-20&linkId=GY45LQAF7LG2XGHA">here</a><img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=reatodre-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B003XM5SYK" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XM5SYK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B003XM5SYK&linkCode=as2&tag=reatodre-20&linkId=GY45LQAF7LG2XGHA">here</a><img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=reatodre-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B003XM5SYK" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

 

My bag was a gift from my man, it is real python leather and was his design……I guess there are some perks to being married to an exotic leather artisan!

 

Drive a Hard Bargain

My necklace was bought when I was three months pregnant with my son.  We were on vacation in Sardegna and went to this beautiful market called San Pantaleo.  It jsut so happens that in my blogging journey I have made an online friend!! Her name is Madaline and she blogs over at Pretty Thing & Co,  she is an American expat, also a fashionista, she is also a mom to a beautiful toddler who also happens to live in ROME!!! A while ago she wrote about San Pantaleo, and if you want to see what this stunning Sardegna market looks like, please hop on over to her blog!

You could say I have an online girl crush on her!

 

In San Pantaleo the market is very chic and for “V.I.P.s”,  I couldn’t seem to afford anything, but I was approached by one of the illegal African sellers.  Usually, they have a lot of counterfeit LV purses, Gucci sunglasses etc, that don’t interest me at all.  But this time he presented me with this necklace.  I don’t know what the stone is, but it is very heavy and beautiful.  He wanted 60 euro for it.  Considering I only had 20 in my pocket I said “no thank you” and moved along.

 

Have you ever been in a situation where you involuntarily start to bargain with a person?  He said “cinquanta” – “50″, and again I said “no, really I only have 20″.

 

Then I walked away and he came after me and said “ok, va bene, 20, here”.  Ummmmm.  I didn’t mean to drive such a hard bargain,  really I didn’t.  I really only had 20, and I gave it to him and bought this beautiful yellow stone necklace.  It remains one of my absolute favourites.

 

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Ok my little guy just woke up from his nap!  If you follow me on Instagram you know that we were the first ones at the beach this morning at 8am and walked the whole shore alone together…..needless to say I tuckered him out.  Now we are going to take the mini train that leaves Cattolica every 30 minutes for the seaside mountain town Gabicce Mare and try to head back before dinner starts in the hotel.

 

Have a great wednesday and I thank you again for your comments. I will respond to each of them, I read them all MULTIPLE times with a smile on my face, and be sure that if you are a blogger and you leave a link I will definitely visit your blog.

 

 

REASONS TO DRESS

 

 

 

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