Kelly Shop In Brussels

November 15, 2015 • BrusselsStyle

so i have a confession to make. i used to really love shopping for clothes – like, really, really, really love it. i spent days just browsing stores in my favorite cities all over the world. trying things on, comparing qualities, searching for the right fits, shapes, sizes and colors. you know how some people say ‘shopping is my cardio’? yup. used to be me. but then life happened, and gradually i started feeling like i could think of a million things i’d rather be doing than going from shop to boutique to concept store, trying to find what i had in my mind would be perfect.

as i got out of the magazine business, and with it out of the fashion industry, i also stopped caring about trends. i think it also has something to do with how i started reading blogs instead of magazines. suddenly, it was all about personal style, not following the dictates of the catwalk. surprisingly, that made shopping more difficult. i found myself asking tougher questions in the fitting rooms – is this really me? does it make me feel good? does this belong in my life? a lot harder to answer those instead of the one ‘is this in style right now?’ i became much pickier in terms of quality, too. and honestly, shopping for new clothes every season – because i do still love to add some new things to my wardrobe every now and then – became an insurmountable task.

last year i started a project on this blog that i wasn’t able to continue because of my pregnancy. i wanted to create the perfect capsule wardrobe, choosing only items in colors, styles and qualities that would perfectly fit into my life. admittedly, my pregnancy was only one reason why it became difficult to focus on the project. in reality, it was again such. hard. work. it shouldn’t be so difficult to find the right things, if you have such a clear idea in your head of what they should be, right? so this year, i decided i needed help. i thought about a personal shopper for a bit (and i still kinda like that idea – emma, we need to get in touch!) but i also figured it was all about finding the right shop.

if there existed a boutique that carried a selection of your favorite brands, and many more you hadn’t heard from before, that was perfectly catered to your needs, wouldn’t that make life easier? you’d just go there once at the beginning of every season, with a list of things in your head that you might need, and you’d know you could trust the friendly people in the store to help you find the right items, shapes, colors and sizes. i think i’ve found that place for me, and as you might have guessed by now, it’s called KELLY and is located in one of the prettiest neighborhoods in brussels.

when i first walked by the shop a few months ago, i was triggered by the beautiful shopping window. curious, i went on INSTAGRAM to find out more, and discovered a feed that dreams are made of. every single post was a picture of something that i could imagine myself wearing and loving for years on end. a few weeks later i finally had the time to return to the shop on a bright and sunny saturday morning. i asked the friendly ladies in the boutique to help me pick out a couple of outfits that they thought i might like – based on a short conversation about my style and preferences. they immediately went to work putting together outfits that i loved, and when i tried them on they were honest about what suited me and what didn’t, and then helped me find alternatives to the things that didn’t work.

i spent an entire morning in the boutique, basically trying on virtually everything they had in my size, and falling in love with more than a few items. i found some basics that i really, really needed, and a coup de foudre that i just couldn’t leave behind (hello, borsalino!) but the important part is that went home after maybe a three-hour shopping spree, and my wardrobe suddenly felt complete. i could wear the things i had in new and different ways thanks to the new additions that make everything feel fresh and updated. and that is just the. best. feeling.

i want to tell you more about this magical place soon – we took some pictures of the different outfits we put together out in the streets and at my favorite places close to the store. so stay tuned for more! in the meantime, if you recognise the feelings i’ve described here and you’re still looking for your boutique-soulmate, take a look at THE WEBSITE and INSTAGRAM of kelly to see if it might be the place for you, too.

i am wearing mostly vince in the pictures above – one of my all-time favorite brands, and very well-represented at kelly // photos by matthias rabaey and stephanie duval

Elisabeth’s Brussels

September 25, 2015 • BrusselsFood and DrinkTravel

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last week i had the honor to host a delightful bloggertour around brussels for ELISABETH CHOCOLATIER. you guys might remember i hosted another workshop for them earlier this year – which was such a blast, i had been looking forward to the sequel ever since we made plans for it. the wonderful joyce from JUST LIKE SUSHI, carrie from WISHWISHWISH, céline from MILUCCIA and oliva from WHAT OLIVIA DID joined us for two days filled with fun and sweets.

our tour started at the beautiful HAPPY GUESTHOUSE, where we had some time for tea, coffee and chocolates. we then explored the four different elisabeth shops around the grand place in the center of brussels. i’ve mentioned this before, but i just can’t get over how stylish and modern these shops look compared to the other stores in the neighborhood. there’s none of that tourist-trap vibe, just great design and amazing sweets made by local artisans. every shop has its specialty, so if you’re ever around the area, make sure you visit all four to get a good idea of what elisabeth is all about.

afterwards, we had a fun chat with the lovely owner of THE GAME design store, a glass of pink champagne in the pop-up boutique of DE GREEF, which used elisabeth sweets in their fall campaign. then it was time to head over to LES FILLES. we had lunch at one of their cozy communal tables, and later headed upstairs for dessert. we were challenged to create our own creative versions of three desserts using elisabeth products and we didn’t leave the premises until we were positively stuffed.

after lunch we made the trek out to the gorgeous HELLO JAMES shop, where te owners gave us a little tour of their basement workshop and sent us home with some beautiful handmade leather accessories. a quick touch-up of our make-up was added to the program when we passed by COSMETICARY, where jean used the bobbi brown magic on us. we left all ready for our dinner plans at COMPTOIR DES GALERIES – the beautiful restaurant of the hotel des galeries (more on that later!)

the next day we headed uptown to spend some time in my favorite neighborhood around the place brugmann, and i finally got to have lunch at ICI – i’ve only been waiting for that moment ever since it opened. it was such a fun experience meeting these amazing bloggers from france, the netherlands and the uk and showing them around some true gems in brussels. it reminded me i don’t spend nearly enough time in the capital of belgium, and i need to change that, stat. hopefully this little tour will have inspired you to do the same (and definitely say hi to the great team of elisabeth for me!)

photos by stephanie duval


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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