Friday, 28 October 2016

What to Wear in Madrid in October

smart casual over 40

 Packing light vs complicated travel plans 

I was in Madrid in mid-October for a couple of days. That's not a long time, so packing should be easy, right? Well, as it happens, it was a bit more complicated than you might think...

OK, let me explain: So, I flew in from Finland, with a stopover in Manchester. Now, changing planes is never a good idea, and changing planes in Manchester is a terrible idea. Especially if your starting point (Helsinki) and your final destination (Madrid) are both within the Schengen area  but your stopover isn't... So, to simplify matters and to speed up the process (and to make sure my luggage would not get lost in transit) I decided to travel with cabin luggage only.

Only, this isn't the end of the story... You see, After Madrid, Professor M and I would be spending a day in London before we could get back (to our second) home in England. And then, after 2 nights in England, we would be going to Germany for the weekend. And back to England again, for one night. And then I would fly back to Finland on Monday evening...

A bit of a packing challenge, then...

Right, let's start with the weather. So, it was quite cold in Helsinki, quite warm in Madrid, and something in between in London. And in Germany it was almost as cold as in Finland. What this means is that I would need two coats: one for cooler weather and  one for Madrid.

OK, my cabin luggage can fit clothes for 4 days, sure. That's Madrid and London sorted, then. And I can repack (for Germany) when we get back home (our second home in England, that is). I must have a coat suitable for cooler weather there... No? OK, it seems all my autumn clothes have mysteriously relocated to our home in Finland... Better pack a light-weight down jacket, then.

So, I would be wearing one coat, of course, and the other one would be packed. But still, this trip would require not just one but two coats that travel well... OK, if you want to see the other coat (i.e. the one I was wearing in cooler temperatures, see HERE).

Basically, what I packed (for Madrid) was just a variation of  the minimalist travel wardrobe, built around (this time) two coats, two bags (one of them a folded canvas bag), and two pairs of shoes. Yes, it all fit very nicely into my cabin luggage and there was some room for shopping, too.

But what to wear in Madrid in October?

It's important to dress in a way that is seasonally appropriate. In Madrid, the weather was fine, around 20 °C / 68 °F by day, a bit cooler by night. Well, for me, as a Finn, these are summer temperatures, more or less... 

The locals were wearing their autumn coats and heavier shoes, of course, and I didn't want to stand out too much,  i.e. wear anything that screams tourist. Easier said than done when the weather reminds you of early summer... Anyway, I thought I should at least wear a coat. But I just can't make myself wear a puffa jacket / wool coat when the temperature is still in double digits, so I needed to pack a trench coat. And I must confess, for the most part I ended up carrying the trench folded over my arm instead of wearing it. It was just way too warm...

As I've been wearing  autumn coats and warmer clothes for weeks in Finland already, flirting with a bit more summery attire was actually quite nice. I also thought this trip would be the perfect opportunity to wear my red suede ballerinas one last time before I store them for winter.

Hmm, I think I said my goal was to avoid looking like a tourist... 

Anyway, this is the first of the two outfits built around the blue trench coat, the red tote bag, the leopard print sunglasses and the red shoes. You'll see the other one next week.

over 50 blogger
Outfit details:
trench: Hobbs (old) / jeans: Next (old) / shirt: Marks and Spencer / 
bag: Furla / shoes: Clarks / sunglasses: Dolce and Gabbana

Do you find it difficult to adjust your style to different climates?



Wednesday, 26 October 2016


So, I was on holiday last week... 

Well, I took a week off from work, it being mid-term and all... And if you've been following me on Instagram, you know that I've been travelling a bit. OK, that was a bit of an understatement... I was 'on the road' (i.e. on the plane / train) most of the week. And no, this is not a full report of my travels, just a quick post on what I've been up to.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

What is luxury?

fall style

I like luxury

Yes, I said it: I like luxury. And I make no compromises as far as that is concerned: only the best will do.

Of course, what is considered luxury varies from person to person. So, let me explain what it means to me. Luxury means quality and attention to detail. And luxury means being comfortable and at ease with yourself and the world, without having to conform to someone else's idea of beauty or style.

Or, as one of my role models, Coco Chanel said: "Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury". Can't beat that as far as a definition of luxury is concerned, huh?

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Inspiration: Nature's Own Colour Palette

fall colors

Don't you just love autumn colours?

When we talk about 'autumn colours', most of us think of warm, slightly muted colours: rusty reds, mustard yellows and rich burgundy and plum shades. But there's more to autumn colours than that.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Minimalist Travel Wardrobe

travel wardrobe

Two nights in Aberdeen...

So, this is the travel wardrobe post you've probably been looking forward to. Remember, I spent a couple of days in Aberdeen a few weeks ago... Time flies, right? But, better late than never... 

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Blogs vs Fashion Magazines

The same old...

I bought this jacket a year ago, and have featured it on the blog no less than 5 times (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE). And now, in the spirit of shopping my closet, I have styled this jacket in two different ways: casual (which I'll show you in another blog post later) and smart casual.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Shop Your Closet

shop your closet

New season, old clothes...

Shops are full of new season clothes and accessories, and fashion magazines tempt us with the latest trends. Every fashionista is busy writing wish lists and test driving the IT piece of the moment. And here I am wearing an old dress and a poncho, both of which have been featured on this blog before...

Well, I like to shop my closet first, before hitting the shops, and keep the wish list as short as possible. There are two reasons for this. First, I have neither the funds nor the closet space to get a whole new wardrobe every time the season (and trends) changes, which is probably the case for most women. And second, when I do hit the shops, I look for classic, quality pieces with longevity.


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