Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Setting the Stage

pattern mixing over 40

How to stage a spectacular setting for a photo shoot

Do you ever wonder how style bloggers find such fabulous settings for their photo shoots? Well, it must be your lucky day because I'm going to spill the beans and reveal some tricks of the trade. You know, how to find the perfect backdrop and set the lighting etc...

Right, so the objective here is to take this rather casual, plain outfit (which I wore to dinner at a nice summer restaurant) to a setting that makes it, well, less plain...

The ideal backdrop should be simple, and not too colourful so as not to distract too much from the subject of the photo (i.e. yours truly). And of course the light should be kind to the somewhat frazzled middle-aged model. I also wanted the red in these pictures to pop, and the blue and white of the outfit to blend in harmoniously with the surroundings. OK, so far so good, we have many ways to do this.

over 40 blogger
Coach bag

However, I also wanted to showcase the stereotypical, almost mythical Finnish landscape that travel brochures are so good at depicting... If we're talking about stereotypical landscape pictures (in southern Finland, that is), we have two choices:  trees, trees and yet more trees or water (sea, lake, river, whatever). And this time we're going to the seaside... So, where can we find a remote, uninhabited island bathing in the glow of late summer sunset?

Behind the scenes...

OK, so we found an island (not so remote, but who cares about such minor details anyway?), and it's just before sunset (i.e. just before 10 pm). If you don't want to destroy the magic, skip to the end now.

1. See that bit of rock in the picture, in the background, with some boats in front of it? Yep, that's the island we're going to. I took this photo standing on the pier waiting for the shuttle boat.

2. There's a boat every 20 minutes or so, and the trip takes all of 2 minutes. Really.

3. This rather modest looking building is the island restaurant, and the dinner was wonderful.

4. The light brown building in the background is a yacht club on the neighbouring island. Yes, the neighbour island (and another marina ) is just a stone's throw away...

The Magic of Photography

So, the aim here was to show the severe yet fragile beauty of Nordic nature, with the late summer sunset giving everything a hazy, romantic glow...

Finnish landscape
Helsinki archipelago
pattern mixing
Outfit details:
t-shirt: Zara / trousers: marks and Spencer (old) / pashmina: Balmuir / 
bag:Coach (old) / shoes: Clarks / sunglasses: Michael Kors

Outfits photos by Professor M, all other photos by Tiina L
location: Sirpalesaari, Helsinki

So, how did we do?


PS: have you seen the new Dilettante Artist post
It's a graphic novel style cityscape based on the skyline of my home town...


Sunday, 24 July 2016

How to wear a vintage kimono

vintage kimono

I bought this 1920's kimono in a vintage shop last year and have been wondering ever since what to do with it. I don't really wear vintage, or second-hand for that matter. And I certainly don't wear fancy silk dressing gowns at home (I'm more of a ratty old t-shirt and yoga pants girl..). But as soon as I saw this kimono, I just had to have it. Let's call that a temporary mental disorder, shall we?

Saturday, 23 July 2016



I suppose I could say this summer hasn't exactly turned out the way I had hoped. It's not that I had elaborate plans or anything, but I had hoped to de-stress and relax and recharge. You know, what people usually do when they take time off from work. Oh well, life has a way of surprising you, and not all surprises are good.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Travel Capsule Wardrobe: Mix and Match

Capsule wardrobes seem to be 'in' at the moment

At least in the blogosphere. I mean, which self-respecting blogger hasn't dabbled in that concept lately? But this is not one of those posts telling you how to create the perfect capsule wardrobe. I'm not one of those women who plan their outfits in advance and curate a minimalist capsule wardrobe with a certain number of items. I'm not that organised.  So, there will be no charts or flatlays explaining how to mix and match everything. No, this is more of a capsule wardrobe in practice, done on the fly.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Dressing for my shape: a fitted shirtwaist dress

retro summer dress over 40

Preppy, Retro and Figure-Flattering

That's what I thought when I saw this chambray dress. And even before I tried it on, I knew it would fit me like a glove, and I just had to have it.

I often find shopping for my body shape very frustrating. Finding a skirt that fits well is a challenge; finding trousers is nearly impossible. Even most sheath dresses tend to be tight around the chest and hips and have extra fabric around the waist. It seems that clothes are cut for a more athletic (i.e. straight up and down) figure these days, whereas I have the classic 50's hourglass figure. I'm also long-waisted, which means that the waistline in most dresses sits just a bit too high, above my natural waist.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Bad Tourist in Germany


So, this is the report on my great tour of Germany in June...

Actually, it was just one night in Dusseldorf, two nights in Dortmund and two nights in Cologne...

But it was a long-awaited trip to my husband's home country, and this time we were actually going to stay a few days and visit several cities.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Smart Casual in Hot Weather

pattern mixing

Smart Casual in Hot Weather

Sometimes you need to look a bit more pulled together, in spite of the hot weather. It could be for a semi-casual dinner party with the in-laws, or for work. Either way, you need to consider what is appropriate for the occasion, and chances are you need something a bit more conservative yet fun and summery.


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