First tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Saskia, where does she come from, where does she want to go and what are her biggest dreams and goals.
My name is Saskia van Rij and I live in Vlaardingen, which is a small town in the Netherlands, near Rotterdam. It is my dream to live in Paris, as I’ve been in love with the city basically all my life and I also really love the French language. I don’t really know what it is that charms me so much about Paris, but when I walk the streets of Paris, it feels a bit like home. I just hope I can make this dream come true!
When did you first get the idea of starting a blog to showcase your outfits and promote your overall interest in fashion?
My friend Anouk started a blog named Style Memories and she told me that I was “blog-worthy”, as she called it *laughs*. So I thought: why not? I’ve always really liked fashion and I’ve always wanted to stand out through fashion (I’ve had my gothic period and such *laughs*), and starting a blog would mean getting a chance to make my ideas about fashion known to the whole world!
Why did you decide to name your blog “Former Parades”, did it have something to do with the fabulous jacket featured on this post?
How I got the name of my blog is actually kind of a stupid story… Do you know those codes you have to fill in before downloading something, or maybe before commenting on a blog? Those codes written in a strange type of writing or anything like that. Well, that’s where I got my name. And indeed it also has something to do with that jacket. I really love those military / parade style jackets, so after reading that code, I thought: “If I ever get a band or anything like that, I’ll name it Former Parades!”
For how long have you had your blog and what were the greatest experiences and/or opportunities it has provided you so far? (New friends, magazine features, meeting other bloggers, etc.)
I started my blog on the 4th of January in 2011. So far I’ve been very lucky, as I got invited to some store openings. I also met some other bloggers in Amsterdam and Rotterdam last year, which was great! I also had some features on websites and other people’s blogs. And one feature kind of blew my mind… I downloaded a Fashion app on my phone a while ago, and when I opened it one day I saw my face there, with a picture from this post. It felt so incredible to be featured on a fashion app!! Unfortunately, the app was free for only 30 days, and after those 30 days you’d have to pay for it, so I deleted the app. Also I’ve been featured on TeenVogue’s “best dressed reader of the day” page twice. You can find the outfits here and here.
You were nominated Best-Dressed Reader of the Day by the Teen Vogue website in March 2011. How did it feel to get featured like that?
It felt amazing. This feature on Teen Vogue was my very first feature, I think. And it was only 2 months after I first started blogging! I had never thought that I would be featured so fast.
If you’d have to pick 3 favourite posts from your website which ones would they be and why?
Stay in School, Kids
This has probably been my most successful post so far. It got me featured on Teen Vogue again, on the fashion application and more.
I got this dress from my mother’s best friend, who died of cancer. I was a little kid when she died and when I got the dress. Finally being able to wear it made me feel very special.
And Your Bird Can Sing
I just love the shorts and the blouse that I’m wearing in this post. The mustard colour is so pretty, I bought in in my favourite vintage store in Paris. I bought the shorts in Barcelona, at Blanco, after the Miu Miu collection came out with all the bird prints. I immediately fell in love with the collection and when I saw those shorts I just fell in love. And I still get compliments every time I wear it, even though I bought it about 2 or 3 years ago! A timeless piece of clothing, right?
What blogs and websites do you follow and why would you recommend them?
According to Annika
She has an amazing sense of style but recently heard the terrible news that she has cancer… When you read her posts in which she tells us about her disease you can see how strong she actually is.
The Maven Post
Marie Hamm, who writes this blog, is gorgeous and her style is gorgeous as well! Every time I read this blog, I get so inspired for either DIY projects, outfits I’ll wear or things I want to buy!
This blog is also very inspiring and Liz seems like a very sympathetic person. I’m very jealous of the fact that in all of her posts the sun seems so nice and warm, as we’re currently experiencing weather that’s freezing cold.
And some blogs of my friends (I’m not going to put all of them here, as it would be a list that’s way too long!)
Style Memories + Jennie From the Blog + Peanut Butter and Fairy Tales
How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as feminine. Most of the time I’m wearing skirts or dresses with heels, and I must say that I feel best when I’m wearing a skirt or a dress. Sometimes I wear pants, I own beautiful Jane Norman Palazzo pants which are feminine as well… I also wear jeans sometimes, but that doesn’t happen way too often. I own 1 pair of jeans *laughs*. I do own some amazing black Zara pants with a subtle snake skin print, which you can view here. I’m wearing the pants here with my Lanvin for H&M blouse from the men’s department. To make this outfit more feminine, I paired it with cute leopard heels.
What are your main sources of inspiration when you’re putting together your outfits?
My main sources are other fashion blogs, lookbook.nu and forums like girlscene.nl and cosmogirl.nl. I also get inspired by my friends.
Name one person who has had the biggest influence on your style?
I honestly don’t know the answer to this question *laughs*. Multiple people influence my style. The people who influence my style are the people I get my inspiration from.
Who do you consider the most fashionable public figure of current times and what do you like the most about the way the dress?
I really like the style of Miroslava Duma to which I dedicated one of my first blog posts. I also like the styles of Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. I got addicted to their styles after seeing some of their red carpet looks. They wear the most amazing dresses on the red carpet! All three of these girls have such an effortless style and also very feminine.
Do you consider yourself to be a trendsetter or more of a fashion follower?
I consider myself both. I like to try new things when it comes to fashion, but I also watch the trends of the moment and try to find items that match those trends. I am kind of a mixture of a trendsetter and a fashion follower, as I always try to match trendy pieces with original pieces, to make it look less “everyday”.
What are some of your favorite legwear brands and shops? (Either physical or on-line)
H&M has amazing tights. They have regular black tights, but also tights with cute patterns like polka dots. And they offer different materials. In the winter I like to wear woollen tights, which H&M offers in lots and lots of colours.
Which was the priciest hosiery item you’ve ever bought? And which was the cheapest?
The cheapest tights I bought were polka dot tights from the Wibra (an extremely cheap store in the Netherlands, great for DIY-finds though!). I was looking for some polka dot tights in black, and a friend of mine told me about the polka dot tights from Wibra. They’re only €1,50!
The most expensive tights I bought were thermo tights. They’re amazing for the winter, as I can wear tights now without having my legs frozen. They were about €10.
What was the last pair of pantyhose/leggings you bought? Did you buy it to match a particular outfit or did you simply fell in love with it?
The latest tights I bought are dark green tights. I fell in love with that colour not too long ago, so I figured that I had to had some tights which would match my favourite colour of the moment!
Walk us through your legwear drawer, what are some of your favourite items and why? (You can provide links to particular posts on your website that feature those items)
My legwear drawer contains mostly black tights. I also have some colourful tights, which I loved wearing 2 years ago. I never threw them away, as I might get some colourful inspiration someday soon! I also have dark green tights which I told you about, and some wine coloured tights. I also have some tights with cute patterns like polka dots and something ethnic (but then just in black and shine through, no ethnic colours). I also own some over the knee socks, they’re also nicely warm!
When buying legwear do you normally buy it to match specific clothes or do you buy an item out of the blue and, afterwards, you go around shopping for a look that would match it instead?
Both. I sometimes have an outfit in my mind, but not the tights to match that outfit. Then I’ll go out to find the perfect tights for this outfit. On the other hand I sometimes buy tights which I think are amazing, but then when I come home I find out that I actually have nothing to wear with the tights. Then I feel so stupid for some time *laughs*, but afterwards I feel good about it, as those tights just gave me an excuse to go shopping again!
The way you cut your leggings up for your beach photo shoot was really awesome, do you have any other DIY projects concerning legwear you can share with us?
I don’t have any legwear DIY projects yet, but I recently got my eye on some amazing peacock feather tights. I’ll try to do a DIY project on them soon! I also saw studded tights on The Maven Post lately, which will also make an interesting DIY project!
What are your favourite type of motifs, prints and textures when it comes to tights, leggings and socks?
I love the polka dot tights, but unfortunately it is too cold at the moment to wear them… I also really like the woollen tights with a vertical striped texture. They’re classic, but timeless.
What do you think is going to be the next big trend in the legwear universe?
I think simple black tights will always stay big, as they can be combined with everything. Furthermore I hope there will be some pastel coloured tights, as pastel colours were pretty big on the S/S 2012 runways! Especially pastel pink would be so cute! Also I think the tights like the polka dot tights will be big again, and those kinds of tights with small bows and other cute figures.
Can you give us some style “dos and don’ts” where it comes to tights and leggings? For example, the whole “leggings as pants” look, are you okay with it or completely horrified when you see it?
I really don’t like seeing someone wear her leggings as pants. OK, there are some thicker jeans leggings which can be worn as pants, but they’re made for wearing as pants… Wearing regular leggings as pants is just horrible. I recently saw a picture on 9GAG which showed exactly why you shouldn’t wear your leggings as pants.
What is your view on the whole “mantyhose” phenomena? Do you think that tights will one day become a standard clothing issue for men as well as women?
I don’t hope so… In my opinion jeans or a suit are so much more sophisticated and classy for men than tights. Men in skinny jeans is OK to me, but tights are a bit too much.
If you’d have to choose 3 of your favourite photos on the Pantyhose Party website, which ones would they be? Please tell us what you like about them.
Dual colored dark blue and yellow tights, beige shoes and flower print skirt
This picture is so cheerful! The tights are amazing, I love the fact that there are two colours in them! I’m so gonna search for tights like those!
White wool ribbed tights with short green dress
The combination of the white tights, the green and the flower printed heels is so amazing! And the heels are great, they’ve been on my wish list for a while now! Her fake fur coat is gorgeous. Those tights are exactly what I meant with my favourite type of woollen tights!
Beige opaque tights with long navy blue coat and checkered dress
The entire atmosphere of the picture is so amazing! The colour of her tights is amazing, it goes perfectly with the coat and the dress. It’s a perfect look for cooler weather, but at the same time it doesn’t look too layered (as winter most of the time means layering layering layering)!
Are there any suggestions or comments you’d like to make regarding the website?
None! I love the layout and all the pictures on the website are amazing. They give lots and lots of inspiration. Mostly tight-inspiration (at least I’ve got some more tights on my wish list right now…), but also amazing outfit-inspiration!
Thank you very much for giving us this interview and we wish you the best of luck for your blog!