Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Pink or Red?


I love red and pink

Yet, while I often wear pink, I seldom wear red these days. But when I was a little girl, red used to be 'my colour':

wear red

Unlike most little girls, I never particularly liked pink. Well, at least I can't find a single photo of me wearing anything pink, but there are countless photos of me wearing red. And wearing red was definitely my choice, not my mother's (even as a little girl I was very opinionated about the way I wanted to dress...). Pink just wasn't on my radar, for whatever reason.

50 plus blogger

It's only now that I'm middle-aged that I've discovered pink. And I think it's one of my best colours, complimenting my pale skin without overpowering me. And other people seem to think so, too: whenever I wear something pink, I get a lot of positive comments, both on the blog and in 'real life'.

So, it's no wonder then that whenever I do wear red, I usually choose the cooler shades of red, such as fuchsia or magenta (the darker, more saturated cousins of hot pink). They are sophisticated, glam and work with my skin tone. What's not to like?

But recently I've started missing red. And by 'red' I mean the unapologetically vivid shade of tomato red, without any hint of blue (or yellow). I've even acquired a few bright red accessories. So, stay tuned...

stripy t-shirt

Outfit details:
t-shirt: Seasalt Cornwall / poncho: Marja Kurki / trousers: Marks and Spencer (old) / 
shoes: Clarks (old) / bag: Coach (old) / sunglasses: Marimekko

What about you, which one is your colour, red or pink? Or both?


Sunday, 28 August 2016

How to dress up a casual outfit

Boho chic

I'm a fan of casual clothing

Or maybe I'm just lazy and want my clothes to be comfortable and low-maintenance. Either way, 'dressing up' is often a bit of a challenge as so-called 'formal' clothes are not to my liking. Especially in summer. I mean, hot weather and clothes that restrict my movements, with shoes that are impossible to walk in... No, I don't think so. 

So, I decided to see if I could take a very casual outfit and dress it up a bit. Sure, this outfit is a far cry from 'formal', but it's perfect for a dinner in a nice restaurant, drinks after work, or a party. In other words, any occasion that would require me to 'dress up' (I don't even remember the last time I had an event that required anything remotely 'formal').

OK, so this is a casual but sophisticated outfit for hot weather (when your really, really don't want to wear anything tight or restricting). I can easily dress it down by losing the cape and the clutch. And yes, I could dress it up with heels. But I don't do heels, ever. My feet deserve better: shoes I can actually walk in. In other words, I'm going to wear my comfortable sandals, even though they're more casual than sophisticated. But I think that in order to look cool, I must feel 100% comfortable and at ease. And in the end that's all that matters.

boho over 40
clutch bag
sophisticated summer style
cocoon cape

Outfit details:
cape  Jigsaw / linen t-shirt: Monsoon / trousers: OneLife / 
sandals: Clarks / sunglasses: Michael Kors / bag: Diane von Furstenberg
location: University of  Helsinki main building

How do you dress up a casual outfit?


Thursday, 25 August 2016

Casual Boho Chic

wearing boho chic over 40

The paisley print silk kimono, take two...

Yes, you've seen the silk kimono before, with a pink dress... And yes, I was wearing the same sunglasses and a (different) strand of pearls then, too: 

boho chic over 40

That was the glam version; this one is more casual and subdued. Well, a bit more casual, maybe with just a hint of glam...

The point is, a fringed kimono can go from casual to glam, depending on what you wear with it.

I know: it would probably look good with distressed jeans and a graphic t-shirt, too. But you won't see that on me: it's a bit too much boho for my taste. It's the distressed jeans; that's just not me. The graphic t-shirt, on the other hand, I think you can never have too many of those.

Anyway, I wanted to put together a bit more sophisticated, yet still casual look, with  more structured elements to contrast with the freewheeling hippie vibe of the kimono. In other words, I decided to treat the kimono as a luxurious piece: something evoking the elegance of the roaring 20's rather than the 60's flower children...

boho chic
boho chic

Outfit details:
kimono: Esprit / t-shirt: Esprit (old) / trousers: marks and Spencer (old) / shoes: Clarks (old) / 
sunglasses: Marimekko / bag: Gloria Ortiz (old) / necklace : Snö of Sweden (old)

How would you wear this kimono?


PS: have you seen the new Dilettante Artist post?


Saturday, 20 August 2016

Denim and Leopard Print

chambray dress

Sometimes everything just clicks

Take this belt, for example. Now, I only ever wear belts for one reason: to keep my trousers in place. I've yet to find a pair of trousers with the waist-hip ratio to comfortably accommodate my body. A belt is what keeps me from constantly pulling my trousers up...

But back to this belt... I bought it in Barcelona in June, with no idea what to wear it with. I thought maybe I could use it to create a waist in one of those sack-like sundresses the shops are full of (I was getting a bit desperate at that point, not finding any dresses I liked). Of course, I really hate wearing a belt (or anything tight and close to body) in hot weather, so that's probably one of those ideas that seems good in theory but doesn't really work in practice.

And then I saw this denim dress, on sale no less, and I knew immediately that it was meant for this belt. So yes, I bought the dress to match it to a belt I already had... Oh well, why not? Of course, it didn't hurt that I also had just the perfect pair of leopard print sunglasses to complete the outfit...

summer dress
over 50 blogger

Outfit details:
dress: Phase Eight / belt: el Corte Ingles / shoes: Van Dal / 
sunglasses: Dolce and Gabbana / bag: Coach
loctaion: Liuskasaari, Helsinki

What's your view on belts: practical or decorative?


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Bad Hair, Pattern Mixing and Layering

raincoat over 40

Rain, rain and more rain...

Summer has taken a bit more autumnal turn recently. I wouldn't say it's cold exactly (it's only August, after all; we won't even mention 'cold' until late September, that would be bad Karma or something...)... Let's just say it's a little cooler, with some showers a bit of a Nordic monsoon these past couple of days...

Anyway, we had to take these pictures quite fast because rain does terrible things to my hair...

It's a bit like Gremlins... You remember Gremlins, right? I'm talking about the 80's film, of course, about the cute fuzzy creatures that turned into angry little monsters when they got wet. Yep, that's me, I turn into a Gremlin when it rains...

Well, let's just say that my hair sort of gets three times bigger all of a sudden. And curly. No, we're not talking about silky soft Rapunzel curls here, it's more like having a wet poodle on my head... So, a mere 15 minutes after these pictures were taken the hair was an enormous mess of small waves and frizzy, tight corkscrew curls... No, there are no pictures, it's not pretty.

And you know those hair products that are supposed to keep your hair silky smooth and control the frizz? Waste of money, totally useless. I know: I've tried it all. As my hairdresser once told me: only a teflon coating might keep my (very fine and thin) hair from turning into a frizzy mess in the rain. In other words, a rainy day is a bad hair day, get over it. Therefore, I'm trying to distract you here with my pattern mixing  and layering mania...

patterned mac
pattern mixing over 50

Outfit details:
raincoat: Seasalt Cornwall / cardigan: Soyaconcept / Breton top: Zara / 
trousers: Marks and Spencer (old) / bag; Furla / shoes: Clarks (old) / umbrella: J.Crew (old)

What about you, do you ever turn into a Gremlin in the rain???


Saturday, 13 August 2016

Casual and Understated, with a Twist

graphic t-shirt

Casual and understated, with a twist

That's how I would describe my everyday style. I'm not a dramatic dresser, and I put comfort over everything else. I wouldn't wear clothes that restrict my movements, or accessories that get in the way. I guess you could say I'm your typical 'jeans and a t-shirt girl', as I want my clothes uncomplicated and low-maintenance.

But that doesn't mean clothes should be plain. On the contrary: the simpler the outfit, the more important the pattern or the colour becomes. If you've been following this blog, you know that I don't really wear neutrals (they really wash me out) and I try to have some colour around my face. And I like luxury accessories that make a statement. Yes, I admit it: I spend a lot more money on sunglasses and bags than I do on clothes...

But I think it's justified. You see, my sunglasses (or bags, for that matter) are not just a necessity (I have very sensitive eyes) but often the starting point and inspiration for the entire outfit. That is the case here, too. First I decided which sunglasses I wanted to wear, then I chose the sandals and the bag. And then I simply selected a few casual, understated basics to go with them. Well, maybe the t-shirt isn't exactly understated, but I thought the outfit needed a bit of a twist.

over 40 blogger
graphic tee

Outfit details:
t-shirt: Custo Barcelona / trousers: Marks and Spencer / cargigan: Soyaconcept / 
shoes: Clarks / sunglasses: Dolce and Gabbana / bag: Furla
location: Marylebone, London

What's your starting point when you put together an outfit?


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Eurotrash in London

hot weather outfit

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King's horses, And all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again!

This is what I was thinking about when I was walking around in London. Yes, I'm feeling a bit snarky today, and I'm having real trouble controlling my sarcastic side. I thought I should warn you, in case you prefer to just look at the pretty pictures...

But first, about this outfit... It's very casual, maybe even a bit sloppy. But it's perfect for a bit of sightseeing (= walking around more or less aimlessly) on a hot and muggy day. This was one of those weekend London mini breaks Professor M and I are so fond of. This time we wanted to see the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibition at Tate Modern on Friday evening, then spend Saturday shopping, sightseeing, and taking a few photographs. And I had every intention of telling you about the wonderful exhibition, but then this post just sort of turned into one those rants...

I like London 

I find London very interesting. I like its energy, creativity and multicultural vibe: London has always been a very open, welcoming city, and people originating from all over the world now call themselves 'Londoners', having made this vibrant metropolis their home. I wonder how long this will last, though. Walking around London now I kept thinking that it was a city on the brink of being closed in, cut off from the rest of the world. Why? In the June referendum on whether the U.K. should remain in the EU or leave the EU Londoners voted to remain (as did the majority of people in Scotland and Northern Ireland). Unfortunately, the rest of the U.K. did not...

So, my little sightseeing tour was a bit bitter-sweet this time: I no longer see myself as a part-time resident in the U.K. but as one of those undesirable EU nationals the Leavers are so keen to get rid of. Which explains the deeply sarcastic title of this post...


I got thinking about all this because after we saw the exhibition, we had dinner at a nearby restaurant, then walked back to our hotel a few blocks away. Both at the restaurant and at the hotel we were served by very friendly, competent and hardworking Eastern and Southern European staff. And it's not just hotels and restaurants but also public transportation, hospitals, shops and finance that rely on workforce from the European Union. And this, the EU nationals working in the U.K., was the bone of contention for many people who voted for leave in the referendum. Obviously, this is, and will continue to be, a sore spot for me, given that both Professor M and I are 'European', now suddenly referred to as 'migrants' (instead of, say 'tax payers'...).

Anyway, I was just wondering what would happen if all EU nationals working in the U.K. suddenly just vanished? Or simply didn't turn up for work tomorrow, but went on strike? Just a thought...

And what about the populists politicians,  who will they blame for, well, everything, after Brexit? After all, it's so very convenient to outsource the responsibility for your own incompetence and shortcomings on someone else. I mean, whatever the problem, there's always someone you can blame it on: the 'elite', 'Europe', Brussels bureaucrats, immigrants...

I did warn you I was going to be sarcastic, didn't I? That's my way of dealing with loss and acknowledging my feelings.

Yes, I'm grieving. It's perfectly normal to grieve when you've experienced a loss, whether you've lost a loved one, a friend or a dream, or your right of residence in a country...

So, in the spirit acknowledging my feelings, I'm  just going to give the middle finger to all the well-meaning but clueless people who say it's not a big deal and it will be all right or just get over it already. And no, it's not 'just politics'; it's my life. The U.K. has been a big part of my life, and my husband's life, for the past 20 years (my husband works there, and we do have a second home there, after all...), and Brexit will change that life, one way or the other, but certainly not for the better.

But, personal grievances aside, let's just pause for a moment to consider the bigger picture: the Berlin Wall came down less than thirty years ago. And now new walls are being built all over the world. Or, in this particular case, perhaps a moat is a better analogy...

harem pants over 40
over 50 blogger

Outfit details: 
t-shirt: Gap (old) / trousers: OneLife / sandals: Clarks / 
sunglasses: Michael Kors / bag: Adolfo Dominguez
outfit photos by Professor M, all other photos by Tiina L


Oh, and because I'm a bit of a control freak (well, I like to think I'm in charge of at least my own life...) and I believe Humpty Dumpty deserves better, I rewrote the poem:

Humpty Dumpty  got into a tiff
Humpty Dumpty was pushed off a cliff
but Humpty survived and climbed out of the moat
and sailed away in a nice new boat...


Sunday, 7 August 2016

Repeat, Rewear, Add Some Edge

maxidress layering

I tend to repeat myself...

At least as far as clothes are concerned, that is. When it comes to what I have to say, that's different: I expect people to hear me the first time I say something. I'm quite impatient and get annoyed if I have to repeat myself. Except at work, of course. Then I'm patience personified. My husband has said on more than one occasion that if only I could be as nice and patient in my private life as I'm at work. I always reply that being the Good Teacher does not come naturally and therefore takes its toll, and he should just deal with it...

But back to clothes...

This is in fact almost the same outfit as the one I was wearing in Barcelona in June:

Boden maxidress

Yes, it's the same maxidress, the same sandals, the same linen shirt (but instead of the pale orange, this time I'm wearing the blue one from my last post).

The blue shirt and the leopard print glasses give the outfit a bit more of an edge, picking up on the darker tones in the dress. Or maybe that's just my rocker chick style personality coming through...

accessories for maxidress
over 50 blogger

Outfit details:
dress: Boden / linen shirt: Marks and Spencer / bag: Adolfo Dominguez (old) / 
shoes: Clarks / sunglasses: Dolce and Gabbana (old) necklace: Hirst Antiques

Which outfit do you prefer?


Linking up with: 

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Hot and Sticky Sightseeing

dressing for hot weather

Damn it's hot!

No, I definitely don't like hot weather. I know, summer is short and all that... Feeling sticky and hot (hot as in uncomfortable, not hot as in sexy...) just makes me irritable, and long for winter. Yes, really. As much as I hate cold weather, I may hate hot weather even more. I suppose I would be the perfect candidate to live in a controlled environment with an even 20ºC / 68 ºF  year round. That would be paradise...

In order to beat the hot weather, and to stay at least minimally comfortable (forget cool), I'm wearing linen, and long sleeves to protect my skin from the sun. Yes, of course I'm also wearing sun screen. I may not wear it every day, but I won't forget it when I plan to spend the day ourdoors, or go sighseeing, like today.

Staycation Sightseeing

This is the last of my staycation posts. Now that we've done the nature thing, and the picnic thing, and in general been around water quite a bit, it's time to do a bit of sightseeing. After all, that's what I always do on holiday: keep an eye out for interesting architectural details. And take pictures of them, just for fun.

But first, let's get a little bit of water in the photos, OK? It's a hot day, after all.

over 40 blogger

OK, that's better...

No, I don't live anywhere near here... But in my heart I'm a city girl, and I love the sea, and living just about anywhere in the centre of Helsinki would be a dream come true. A very expensive dream, though, which explains why I don't live anywhere near where these photos were taken. But hey, a girl can dream, right?

Anyway, these photos are from all over Helsinki, in no particular order, so let's call this an overview, just to give you an idea of the typical architecture. Yes, just like there's water all around (the southern) Helsinki, there are Jugendstil buildings such as these just about anywhere (except in the suburbs, of course).

Jugendstil in Helsinki
Jugend architecture

Home Sweet Home...

Of course, there's more to Helsinki than the sea and early 20th century architecture, but you're seeing it through my eyes now. Yes, it's a limited, edited point of view, for sure. But I wanted you to see what I love about my home town.

My home town. Such loaded words.

hot weather outfit

I wasn't born here, but I've spent about 35 years of my life here, except for a few extended stays abroad. Yet, this is the place I've always come back to, after my forays into the wide world. But I've never really thought of it as my home town before, just a place I happen to be living in, for the time being. You know, temporarily.

Recently I've been thinking about this a lot, why I've never 'settled down', or put down roots anywhere. Or maybe I have, in a way; after all, 35 years is a long time... 

Clearly, I have some sort of an attitude problem. FYI, that's a euphemism for 'I'm totally neurotic and screwed up'...

But this summer has also got me thinking about what it feels like to be seen as an outsider. And I've realised that I don't like it, even though it never bothered me before (I've felt like an outsider, for many reasons, most of my life, but it's a topic I find too boring and unproductive to discuss here).

Anyway, I've come to the conclusion that it would be nice to call a place 'home', to feel that I belong there. So yes, I'm going to call Helsinki my home town. After all, we have 35 years of history behind us, Helsinki and I...

Outfit details:
shirt: marks and Spencer (old) / skirt: Seasalt Cornwall / 
bag: Coach (old) / shoes: Clarks / sunglasses: Marimekko

How do you feel about your home town?

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