One of the brains behind LENA is Suzanne Smulders (30). LENA opened its doors in 2014 and functions as a library where you can borrow clothing; a fashion library. LENA features a collection of both new (young Dutch fashion designers) and old (second hand and vintage).

14-5378Green wardrobe
I have loads of second hand clothing and I’m really good at selecting. If I buy something I invest in something that I’m really going to wear a lot. When I was younger I was more of an impulsive buyer. But through time I developed my own style and know what looks good, what I like to wear and what I can combine well. I turned into more of a conscious buyer. Since LENA I hardly buy anything anymore because I just borrow something new and bring it back. Pretty green if you ask me.

Organizing clothes
Me and my boyfriend have a big PAX IKEA wardrobe. One side is all for folded clothes and the other side for hanging. I think ¾ of the closet is mine. All the hanging clothes I sort by color like a little rainbow and my folded clothes are organized by style; tanks, shirts etcetera. This structure works really well for me.

Personal style
Clean, Scandinavian style. I like beautiful basic pieces with a simple cut that fit perfectly. I have a tendency to like one color pieces but from time to time I’ll wear a print.

Finding your style19-5624
It’s basically all about trying and not being afraid to go wrong. My inspiration comes from looking around me. I don’t really look in magazines and catwalks. There are so many different styles on the streets of Amsterdam to inspire me.

Vintage Love
I’m fascinated by the 50s and 60s and was totally in love with the TV show Madmen. I really enjoyed the beautiful decors, the way the men were dressed. But also the women in their dresses. It was awesome to see how much the clothing suited the way these people behaved.

Sentimental pieces
I have a couple of beautiful pieces that I don’t wear because they’re not my style but they have a special meaning to me. One is a dress that belonged to my grandma, she wore it at my parents wedding. I also have a couple of my mom’s clothing pieces, one I really like is this long leather skirt. I love to have this as a memory of her. It’s the vintage love again. The story behind a piece of clothing and that people I care about wore this during important life events. So even though I don’t wear them I cherish these pieces.

Dare or not to dare
I really appreciate people who dare to do go all out in their style. I think I play it kind of safe usually. I wouldn’t mind wearing something more sexy sometimes. I think that could be really nice, but then it doesn’t really feel like me.

Shopping habits
I hardly shop anymore since LENA. But finding something at LENA does feel like shopping because I take it home to wear.

13-5319LENA borrow considerations
I pay attention to color and quality. So I look at material, the way it’s been made and comfort. For example, if it’s a beautiful pencil skirt I know I can’t bike in it and because I bike a lot that might not be the best choice. I also think about how I can combine it with what I already own.

A lot of people think it’s very expensive to shop more sustainable but I really believe in long term investments. If you buy a 7 euro legging at H&M it won’t last longer than 10 times in the washer/dryer. But if you buy one for 40 euro from Miss Green or FAIR and FAIR it will last you so much longer. I think that the expensive part is relative because people think mostly about the moment itself they’re spending the money.
I am a big supporter of second hand clothing because it’s so much fun to wear something unique. You have to go through some more trouble, but it’s worth it. And it’s usually a lot cheaper too.
I also love swapping clothes with girlfriends and organizing clothing swap parties.
I like to take my time to consciously look at my own wardrobe and try to find new combinations.