Macarons and roses

Fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera walks through the Palais Royal garden wearing a Floriane Fosso dressThe columns of the Palais Royal, captured by travel blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & VeraOutfit details on fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera, including a Celine trio handbag and Floriane Fosso dressWinnipeg style blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera eats Cafe Pouchkine macarons in Paris wearing Anine Bing sunglasses and a Floriane Fosso dressCanadian fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera sits in the Palais Royal garden wearing a Floriane Fosso dress and Le Chateau sandalsPortrait of Winnipeg fashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera wearing Anine Bing Paris sunglasses and a Galeries Lafayette straw hatFashion blogger Cee Fardoe of Coco & Vera in the Palais Royal garden in Paris wearing a Floriane Fosso dress and Anine Bing sunglassesFloriane Fosso dress (similar)
Le Chateau sandals (c/o)
Celine bag
Galeries Lafayette hat (similar)
Anine Bing sunglasses
Madewell rings

In 2010, I was in a rut. My day job in the insurance industry was as boring as anything I could imagine doing for a living and paid so poorly that I could afford very little fun in my off hours. I craved glamour. I wanted macarons and fresh roses and beautiful clothes. And, more importantly, I wanted reasons to wear them. When I started Coco & Vera, I gave myself a reason to wear the beautiful clothes I loved. And, as time went on, I received more and more invitations to the kind of parties that demanded those beautiful clothes. I collected gowns and tulle skirts and satin shoes and I couldn’t have been happier.

I was twenty-five in 2010. In the ensuing years, my life, and what I want from it, has changed considerably. I started to wear a lot more jeans – and let’s be honest, a lot more yoga pants. I still love macarons, but more because I want to snack on them than because of how they look. One day, about a year and a half ago, I opened my closet and felt like I was faced with a wardrobe that belonged to someone else. So I cleaned out a lot of the gowns and the tulle skirts. I replaced them with black dresses, the kind I am happy to reach for over and over. But it wasn’t that simple.

The thing that hasn’t changed is Coco & Vera. My original reason for dressing up, for expanding the horizons of my wardrobe, remains. And so do many of the shopping habits that came with it. I love these photos we took at the Palais Royal garden in Paris this spring, featuring a tweed dress made by my dear friend Floriane Fosso. But when I look at them, I feel like I am watching myself play dress-up. I won’t hold back the truth: this dress is gorgeous, but I don’t wear it. It hangs in my closet, waiting for photo shoot days. I don’t feel like myself in overtly feminine and deliberately pretty outfits, not anymore. But I keep wearing them because that part of me that craves glamour is still there. And she has yet to figure out her new definition of glamour.

Shortly after we took these photos, I made a promise to myself: I will no longer buy anything just because I think it will look beautiful in photos. It doesn’t matter how fully formed my idea for a photo shoot is and how breathtaking I know it could be. I knew when I made that promise that the transition would not be easy. Of course, I still find myself tempted by beautiful dresses and lacy skirts and all kinds of pretty things I will never reach for when getting dressed in the morning. But I’m trying. All this to say that as time goes on, there will be less and less pretty-dress-with-macarons-and-roses style photos popping up in this space because that’s not what I wear anymore. These days, you’re much more likely to find me wearing culottes and a cropped sweater. And I’m pretty okay with that.

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  1. I too started my blog because I wanted a reason to look forward to getting dressed everyday when my surroundings did not demand much more than to simply be clothed. I can relate to wanting things because they will look good in photos, but rarely do I wear anything just for photos, if I’m in it, it’s for the day (or at least the portion of the day I’ve got to interact with the world).

    It’s fun to wear beautiful dresses, carry bouquets of flowers, and snack on macaroons. It’s what we dream life could be all the time. Even though it’s not, and while I love having the photos, sometimes even the photoshoots themselves can be challenging and not the relaxing life-loving moment that is being conveyed.

    Of course I think you look divine in this dress, and you are making me think this is how I should next style my white knit dress, but I completely get that you want to blog about your real style, and not just the fancy dresses that hang in the closet 364 days a year.
    Chic on the Cheap

  2. You’re wearing THE dress, I love it sooo much!! But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with culottes and cropped sweaters either. In fact totally gorgeous! So important to wear what we love and stay authentic to our style! It definitely took me awhile to transition out of my original Girl & Closet aesthetic, mainly because I felt like I was letting my readers down, but now, I feel like I’ve found the perfect balance of life/blog style! Happy Monday lovely! xo

  3. It’s amazing how one can know exactly how to define one’s style, and know exactly what one likes aside from passing trends and fads, but still see that style change and evolve as years pass. I’ve worn bohemian style clothes since high school, because that’s what I like – but the pieces have become much less dramatic and more practical with time. You look gorgeous in this outfit, even if you don’t wear it in “real life.” But I respect – and can relate to – your desire to buy clothing you know you’ll use beyond photographs.

  4. Even if you felt like you were dressed just for pictures I think you looked marvellous in that dress.
    I work in a super tiny office with people who probably would not notice if I showed up in piyamas… so I give myself reasons to get dressed. I love shopping for cocktail dresses and yet only attend about a dozen a year… I have at least 10 new dresses hanging there, with tags, waiting to be worn. I guess sometimes I feel like I am just a colector…

  5. Good luck with this. I’m in the same boat – buying pretty pieces that aren’t really my style or are hard to wear.

  6. That dress looks lovely on you Cee and what beautiful pictures. I’ve followed you for a really long time and everything you’ve worn definitely looked like you. You go through different stages in life. What I thought was great in my 20’s & 30’s now seems not so now. HaHaHa So I understand how you feel. It’s all about growing up. Always be true to YOU! That’s why we love you <3

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