Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Nautical Dress

fashion over 40

Stripes again...

So, it didn't take long for me to get back to my old habits... In spite of my self-imposed shopping freeze as far as anything navy or stripy is concerned.

Oh well, I'm a creature of habit. And I like uniform dressing: if something works, stick with it. Life is hectic and demanding as it is, no need to complicate it further with trivial matters such as trying to decide what to wear. Yes, I really feel this way, more often than I'd like.

I might find dressing up a creative outlet of sorts if I could find more clothes that I like. But I don't see that happening any time soon. And I really don't enjoy shopping, at all... Shopping usually means hours of  trawling the high street and coming home exhausted and convinced that a) I'm an oddly-shaped, chubby ogre and b) fashion designers seem to think we only want to wear shapeless sacks in strange colours...

Well, that's one way of justifying buying more of the same... But I swear: this is the only navy and white stripy dress I have...

pearl earrings

And pearl ear rings is nothing new, either, in my case. But you don't often see me wearing ear rings, and there's a good reason for that. Well, two reasons: first, the ear rings would have to be the size of Christmas tree ornaments to compete for attention with my hair and second, I have quite a bad nickel allergy. Which means that I can only wear gold or silver... And so I bought myself a little birthday present (you only turn 50 once, it's worth something a bit special, right?). I wanted something very classic that would go with anything, from casual to dressy, and would be comfortable and light enough to wear everyday. Mission accomplished.

linen jacket stripy dress

 I'm wearing:
dress: KappAhl Hampton Republic / jacket: Country Casuals (old) / shoes: Clarks /
bag: Gloria Ortiz (old) / sunglasses: Chanel (old) / earrings: Annoushka

Do you find shopping frustrating, or is it fun and creative?

Tiina
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Saturday, 27 June 2015

Barcelona Shop Shutters

Shop Shutters...

I'm fascinated by them. I have been photographing shop shutters for years, on my annual visits to Barcelona. And now I want to share a few of my most recent photos with you.

Why? Well, because after the shops close, certain areas in Barcelona turn into an open air, urban street art gallery.

And, as I believe that art should be experienced, not explained, I will not provide any commentary but let you see them for yourself:


Barcelona shop shutters
graffiti
barcelona shop shutters
barcelona graffiti
shop shutters
Barcelona shop shutters
street art

So, this is what I photograph when I travel, what about you?

Tiina
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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Out Of my Comfort Zone: Blush and Orange

track pants

Blush and orange...

Two colours that are practically non-existent in my wardrobe. Given my aversion to anything that is 'not my colour', you probably didn't expect this... Yet, here I am, wearing blush and orange...

I know, just a few weeks ago I said this year I would just have to stock up on basics in blue and white and hope that next year will bring back colours I feel more comfortable with. But I think I have reached the saturation point with blue, or navy in particular, and just need something else. So badly that I'm willing to step out of my comfort zone completely and try some blush and orange...

Custo Barcelona

It started with this linen-mix t-shirt I bought in Barcelona... I love Pop Art, and the print was just calling my name... and then I needed something to go with it.

So, if I'm going to get out of my comfort zone, might as well go all the way... thus, the tencel track pants. Very comfortable for warm weather, although as the colour is so similar to my skin tone, I don't think I will be rushing to get more clothes in blush tones any time soon...

BTW, I think I need to point out that this is me with a tan. Yes, I said I'm tanned. I am, honestly...

how to wear blush

I'm wearing:
track pants: Marks and Spencer / linen-mix t-shirt: Custo Barcelona /
bag: Adolfo Dominguez / shoes: Clarks (old) / sunglasses: Miu Miu (old)

So, what do you think, are blush and orange my colours? Or should we just call it a passing fancy? Or the side effect of heat exhaustion: being temporarily out of my mind?

Tiina
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Friday, 19 June 2015

Midsummer

HYVÄÄ JUHANNUSTA!

HAPPY MIDSUMMER!

Summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the midnight sun... We don't really see the midnight sun in Southern Finland, though... However, it doesn't really get dark at night, either; it is impossible to see the stars (until mid-July) and there's really no need for streetlights. But, just for fun, let's compare:

Midsummer daylight hours:

in Helsinki (Southern Finland): 18 h 55 min, sunrise at 3:55, sunset at 22.50 pm.
in Utsjoki (Northern Finland): 24 h, sunrise was on 16 May at 01:49 am,  sunset will take place on 28 July 00:50 am.


Midsummer also marks the beginning of summer holiday (vacation for my American readers) for a lot of people, including me. I will take time off from work, till August. Yes, that's a long holiday... the 'perks' of being a freelancer (along with irregular income...): there's never any work between Midsummer and August. But that's OK as I'm going to need a bit of me-time and relaxing before a very busy autumn.

So, what am I going to do on holiday? Well, there will be dinners with friends, commuting between the homebases, spending a bit more time with hubby (well, in the evenings and at weekends; he's still working...), and blogging, of course.


Do you celebrate midsummer?

Tiina
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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Casual Summer Travel Wardrobe, part 2

travel wardrobe 40+

Linen: love it or hate it?

That depends... I love it when I first put it on. And hate it exactly 10 minutes later. And I really hate it when I'm contemplating whether or not my linen shirt needs ironing...

Yet, here they are: the two identical (except for the colour) linen shirts that form the backbone of my summer travel wardrobe for a hot climate. And yes, they were comfortable and kept me coo(ish) enough on my recent trip to Barcelona. And now that I have washed them, they will probably be be waiting forever for me me to 'get inspired' to iron them...

over 40 blogger

There used to be these types of shirts made of washed silk, log ago. I'm talking about the late 80's-early 90's here. remember those shirts? They were made of thick silk, but you could just toss them into a washing machine, and a dryer. No ironing needed, ever. I miss those shirts...


Anyway...
My travel wardrobe necessities (besides shirts with long sleeves to protect me from the sun) are comfortable shoes (only flats) and a sun umbrella.

over 40 travel wardrobe

A Sun Umbrella?

I'm not romantic or nostalgic or even retro; there is a purely practical reason for carrying a sun umbrella. It provides instant cover, and I can forgo the sunblock (I really, really hate the stuff). And, as you can see, I'm quite pale (and remain pale, even after my holiday, not to mention the almost around the clock sunlight we get in Finland this time of the year), and some sort of protection is a must. BTW, it's a folding sun umbrella, so it's easier to carry around and pack into a suitcase (see the end of the post for a link where to get one)...

Adolfo Dominguez tote

I'm wearing:
linen shirts: Marks and Spencer / pink dress: Ghost (old) / trousers: Marks and Spencer (old) / top: H&M (old) / white shoes: Gabor / gold shoes: Clarks (old) / pink and white gingham bag: Coach (s/s 2014) / brown bag: Adolfo Dominguez /sunglasses: Tom Ford (left, old), Miu Miu (right, old) / necklaces: East (left, old), Hirst Antiques (right) / sun umbrella: James Smith & Sons


Which linen shirt look do you prefer, the left or the right one?

Tiina
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Saturday, 13 June 2015

Bad Tourist in Barcelona... again

Barcelona

I've lost count how many times I've been to Barcelona...

Maybe a dozen or so? We usually go there once a year (twice last year), around my birthday. It's Professor M's (my wonderful husband) birthday treat for me.

I've also featured Barcelona on the blog before: I've written about shopping, food, even hotels... And because I don't want to repeat myself, I decided to focus on something different in this post, namely the fabulous architecture and design.

Well, you've probably heard of Gaudi...

Gaudi architecture

Nope, didn't visit la Pedrera this time, either, even though we stayed in the neighbourhood, just a few blocks away... There's just something about queueing I don't like.... so I don't do it. As my 50th birthday present to myself I decided that now I'm old enough that I don't have to do, eat or wear anything I don't like...

Anyway, I should tell you that my interest in architecture is not very deep. Or rather, it's as deep as my interest in most things: very superficial. And in this case 'interest' means that I take pictures of anything I find interesting. Details, mostly, as there are tons of books by far better photographers about entire buildings and history.

But, about the details: this is Loewe flagship store on Passeig de Gracia. In my dreams I will actually go in one day (in my dreams I have enough money to do that...)

Barcelona architecture

And I find this tower across the street a bit further down just fascinating:

art nouveau Barcelona

But what I find even more fascinating is how ordinary buildings are made more interesting by adding some unexpected design elements:

architecture Barcelona
Barcelona

We always stop by this little gallery to get our art fix. In his dreams, Professor M would be rich enough to buy a painting there... In reality we sometimes get (a much smaller) picture at a (significantly more affordable) little gallery in Barri Gotic...

art in Barcelona

I'm always fascinated by the design aspect of everyday objects. And Barcelona is of course one of the best-known Art Nouveau (or 'Modernisme' in Catalan) towns in Southern Europe (BTW: Helsinki is one of the best-known Jugend / Art Nouveau towns in Northern Europe...). So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that street lights look like this:

Barcelona streetlights

So, obviously there's a lot I didn't get to see in Barcelona. Which means of course that we have to go back... next year.

What do you want to see when you go on holiday?

Tiina
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Thursday, 11 June 2015

Casual Summer Travel Wardrobe, part 1

cocoon cape

I'm not  a fan of hot weather

I know, summer's short, should enjoy every minute of it... But I just don't like hot weather. My personal 'comfort zone' is something like 10°C/50°F - 22°C/71.6°F, and anything above 25°C/77°F makes me feel as if my brain is melting... And, as I burn easily, I really need to protect my skin from the sun, too. But, if it's hot, I don't like clothes. Correction: if it's hot enough, I don't give a damn about what I'm wearing, that's how uncomfortable I get. And at 30°C/86°F, as when these pictures were taken... the ice bucket challenge suddenly seems like a brilliant idea.

Dressing for hot weather is always a compromise. I don't want to sacrifice style, but comfort always comes first. That doesn't necessarily make it any easier. This is how my reasoning goes:
I want to wear as little as possible, just one piece. Absolutely no layers. And I want to keep my skin covered. Nothing tight. Correction: nothing that even touches my skin: I want something loose that doesn't make me feel sweaty and sticky. I hate shapeless sack dresses...

So, a summer heat wave is a sartorial nightmare (not to mention how irritable and uncomfortable it makes me), and a travel wardrobe for a hot climate can be quite a challenge. But I do have a few tricks up my sleeve, and this is how I put them into use during my recent trip to Barcelona.

cocoon cape

SUN PROTECTION

I hate sunscreen, it smells revolting and makes me feel sticky... And I admit that I don't wear it all the time. Yes, that's right: this pale-skinned girl sometimes goes bare-faced... under a sun umbrella (to be featured in part 2). And I like long sleeves to cover my arms, too.

Enter this lovely silk cocoon cape. The fabric is thick enough to actually provide some protection (who wears those ridiculous transparent chiffon capes, anyway???). I suppose a kaftan would do the trick, too, but they always make me look more like Edina Monsoon (the chubby, frizzy-haired one in Absolutely Fabulous) than Elizabeth Taylor, so I'll pass... Of course, the cape is real silk. And of course it's washable.

cocoon cape

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Boho, hippie, flowerchild: tons of jewellery piled up, thick belts and fringes... Err, no thanks.

As much as I like this look on other people, it just doesn't work for me. Yes, it's the Edina Monsoon effect again (hippie style looks better on someone slimmer and taller than me), but I also prefer my clothes a bit more streamlined. And since my unruly hair sort of provides that carefree hippie-chick element anyway (whether I want it or not), I prefer to keep the outfit looking a bit more polished. As curly hair tends to get totally out of control in hot weather, the outfit is the only part of my look that I seem to have any control over...

And chunky jewellery... it looks so nice, but it's really uncomfortable when it's hot... Now, I do love a nice statement necklace, but for me summer is the time to embrace minimalism.

And belts... When I'm already sweaty and uncomfortable, the last thing I want is something tight around my waist making me even more sweaty and uncomfortable.

cocoon cape

The more I think about it, maybe I should just sit the hot weather out, in a refrigerator... But as that is not an option, what I'm wearing here is a reasonable compromise...

I'm wearing:
cocoon cape: Jigsaw / trousers: Marks and Spencer (old) / green t-shirt: Ann Taylor (old) / embroidered vest: Custo Barcelona (old) / shoes: Clarks / sunglasses: Tom Ford (old) / 
necklace and bangle: Kenneth Jay Lane / bags: Michael Kors

What do you wear when it's hot?

Tiina
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PS: the crossbody mini bag is a good way to keep your valuables safe; Barcelona is the pickpockets' paradise...

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Monday, 8 June 2015

My Five Decades of Style

I turned 50 last week...

And if you've been following me on Instagram, you know that I celebrated my birthday in Barcelona (like I've done almost every year for the past 10 years or so...). I will of course post pictures of Barcelona, and travel outfits, in due course.

Now, however, I'm back home, having landed an hour and a half ago. And it's late. Or early morning, rather. Really early (it's was a late flight...), and I'm glad I don't have to go back to work until Wednesday...

Anyway, since big birthdays are supposed to be a time of reflection and taking stock (you know, past achievements, future plans, that sort of thing...), I thought a look at how my sense of style has evolved is in order.

So, here it is: my five decades of style...

Starting with the late 60's:

60's child

A very trendy holiday look from the 70's:

70's child

I was a fashion student in the 80's (made the dress myself):

80's fashion

Big hair and florals in the 90's:

fashion in the 90s

A brief love-affair with black in the 00's:

black sundress

And now I'm 50 and fabulous:


Or 50 and very tired, given that it's 5 am and I got home half an hour ago...
So, let me wish you good night, or good morning, and have a great week.

Tiina
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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Seeing Stripes... Again

Hello,  my name is Tiina and I'm a stripe-a-holic...

Yes, there's no denying it: I can't resist stripes. And navy and white stripes? Please, that's like shouting 'Happy Hour' in a room full of alcoholics... Go on, call the men in white coats, lock me up...

But wait, while I have a few (OK, lots of) tops with horizontal navy and white stripes, I've never worn anything with vertical stripes. OK, I've never worn anything with vertical stripes on the blog before... Fine, I have a black and white silk jacket, very similar to this one, but I can't remember the last time I wore it...

striped jacket

OK, fine: I'm an addict, a stripe-a-holic, what can we do about it? 

Personally, I've always thought that we should stop trying to 'cure' or 'improve' ourselves, and just embrace our neuroses, call them quirks and wear them with attitude. It would certainly save a lot of time and energy. Maybe I'm just being lazy...


Maybe I should try some sort of extreme therapy: being forced to wear nothing but florals for a month, or try a polka-dot overdose...
Or I could take less drastic measures and look for stripes in any other colour but navy  and white. Or just stop buying anything in blue, at least for a while...


The reason why I've been buying mainly blue, or navy, clothes recently is that I don't quite know what to do with all the other colours in the shops. I love colour, and I would like nothing more than to find something in green or purple or pink... and that's the problem: there are lots of (pretty) colours in the shops, they're just not my colours...


So, instead of just forgoing shopping completely this year, I buy clothes in colours I can mix and match with clothes I already have, and in colours I know I'll be wearing next year, too.

So, for me this is the year to stock up on basics in navy and white...

I know, all addicts have very good excuses for not changing their behaviour... Maybe I just need a dose of coral? Nah, I'll wait till I can have hot pink again. Until then... well, stripes are not really that bad, right?

I'm wearing:
jacket: Gerry Weber / shirt: Sand /chinos: Marks and Spencer / shoes: Clarks / 
bag: Gloria Ortiz (old) / scarf: Alexander McQueen / sunglasses: Chanel

Do you keep buying a certain colour or type of clothes?

Tiina
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