Tuesday, 27 September 2016

I want to wear some colour!

how to wear color over 50

I want to wear colour...

And by colour I mean other colours besides blue and red. Not that there's anything wrong with blue and red, quite the contrary. After all, my wardrobe is full of blue clothes. In my world, navy is 'the new black'. And the old black, too. Navy is simply what I wear instead of black (so much kinder to my face).

And red... Well, I don't have a lot of red clothes, just a few accessories. But as I spent my entire childhood, and most of my 20's, wearing mainly red, I often feel that I need to put it aside and explore all the choices the colour wheel has to offer.

So, the challenge today is to wear anything but blue or red. That shouldn't be too hard...

gingham skirt

So, I need colour... 

Autumn colours, right? Something deep and saturated...

But not brown, at least not next to my face. Or yellow, no I don't think so. And I've been experimenting with orange  this summer quite a bit. OK, I have a bag and a linen shirt in peach, and a dress with an orange and navy pattern, but you get the idea. And pink... OK, I love pink, but maybe not for autumn.

And have you noticed how difficult it is to find any pink clothes in shops? I'm not talking about the subtle, barely-there blush or the bubble gum pink you see on little girls and reality show wannabes. I'm talking about the sophisticated pink that a mature professional woman can wear without looking like she gets her fashion tips from Barbie. So, no pink...

And why is my wardrobe a sea of blue clothes?!? What's wrong with me???

Help! There aren't enough colours on the colour wheel!

Well, I have a purple trench. And I got this mint green skirt a few months ago, and I haven't even worn it yet. And this Custo Barcelona top has subtle but quite unusual (for me) colours, and it goes with practically anything. Now, let's add a pale pink bag and green shoes, and I'm back in business. Yes! I'm kicking some colour wheel butt with this outfit!

Furla tote bag
over 40 blogger

Outfit details:
coat: Hobbs (old) / skirt: Boden / t-shirt: Custo Barcelona / 
shoes: Ecco (old) / bag: Furla (old) / sunglasses: Marimekko

What are your favourite colours for autumn?


Friday, 23 September 2016

Bonmarché Waterproof Mac


Another raincoat, really?

I have about half a dozen raincoats. So, you might think that's probably not the first thing on my list as far as autumn shopping is concerned. Yet, when Bonmarché asked me to choose something from their autumn range, I immediately zeroed in on this lovely waterproof stripe mac...

It's the stripes, I just can't resist stripes... And navy and white, it goes with anything.

Besides, when you think about it, you can never have too many raincoats, right? Especially if you share your time between two homes, in two countries, both with plenty of rainy autumn days to look forward to.

So, what do I look for in a raincoat? 

Well, for starters, I like a hood. Just in case the rains turns out to be more than just a shower and I need to prevent my hair from going totally crazy.

And the length, that's important. A raincoat must be long enough. However, what exactly long enough means varies. In other words, there is no 'one-size-fits-all': the raincoat, like any coat, is part of an outfit.

This is what I call a 'short' raincoat: it works particularly well with trousers but looks good with a casual skirt, too. Yet it's long enough to to protect whatever you're wearing underneath from the rain. It's also a very practical length for travel.
Bonmarche raincoat

I don't shop online very often

It's not that I like crowded shops; I just find waiting for deliveries a bit of a hassle. I'm sure it's very convenient for someone who spends a lot of time at home, or who can have their purchases delivered to an office (not exactly an option for an on-the-go freelancer...). So, I took a bit of a chance with this coat...

I asked the coat to be shipped to my Finnish address, for two reasons. First, I wanted test how well the international delivery works. And second, we've had really bad luck with deliveries to our British address in the past (parcels going missing or handed to random 'neighbours' on the other side of the development etc).

And I'm happy to report that delivery worked just fine: it took about 10 days, and the parcel was delivered to my local post office (which is open till 10 pm, allowing me to pick up the parcel when it suits me instead of having to plan my day around the schedule set by the courier company). Nice and simple. Thank you Bonmarché!


Outfit details:
coat: c/o Bonmarché / denim skirt: KappAhl / top: Jigsaw / 
scarf: Carolina Herrera / bag: Furla / shoes: Clarks
location: Tervasaari, Helsinki

This is a sponsored post: Bonmarché kindly gifted me the
 raincoat in exchange for this post, but all opinions are mine.

In your opinion, how many raincoats is too many?


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Summer recap, sort of...

maxiskirt over 40

This is it, the recap of my summer favourites...

What, you expected a post with photo compilations of all of my favourite outfits?

Yes, I suppose I could do that, but I won't. I don't have time to edit that many photos right now, and I don't really feel like doing it, either. And since these pictures were actually taken in mid-August, I think it's about time I post them.

Still, I'm going to call this a recap.

Why? Because for me, this outfit epitomises summer 2016. For starters, except for the shoes, everything is 'new', as in something I bought this summer. Well, I bought the scarf in April, but close enough...

Anyway, I was practically living in this skirt this summer, and I've featured the cardigan on the blog no less than 4 times, not counting this post. The colour scheme (blue, white, red and peach) has also dominated my wardrobe this summer.

Of course, we could also call this post the ultimate example of a capsule wardrobe.  Which is more or less the same thing as my summer favourites...

maxi skirt
casual summer style

Outfit details:
maxi skirt: Lexington (seen before HERE, HERE and HERE) / 
cardigan: Soyaconcept (seen before HERE, HEREHERE, and HERE) / 
t-shirt: KappAhl / pashmina: Carolina Herrera / bag: Furla / 
shoes: Clarks (old) / sunglasses: Michael Kors

What were your summer favourites this year?


Saturday, 17 September 2016

It's not so black and white, or is it?

ponte dress

This is how I wear black and white...

With a hefty dose of red. For me, a black and white outfit is just the backdrop for colour, never the centre of attention. It's not that I have anything against black and white, it's just a a bit bland. On me, that is. My face needs a good dose of colour around it. And my personality may need some colour, too...

Life is not black and white... Or is it?

My mother used to say that people who only wear black and white are inflexible in their thinking, and tend to see the world in rather mutually exclusive, either-or, black and white terms, too. Well, given that she herself wasn't exactly the most flexible person in the world, I wouldn't necessarily agree with this theory. However, I wouldn't say that we need to see 'all the shades of grey' in each situation, either. For starters, there's a whole rainbow of colours, and dozens of ways to see any given situation or problem...

And, even though polarised opinions tend to be rather infuriating, there might be a few issues that we should see in rather either-or, black and white terms.

Take human rights, for instance

There are countries where some citizens are denied human rights, because of their race, gender or sexual orientation. Or perhaps there are differing levels of human rights, with some people regarded as less valuable than others because of their race, gender or sexual orientation. For example, in many countries women might not enjoy the same rights as men, simply because they are women. Their behaviour is controlled in ways that men's behaviour is not. This is often explained on 'cultural' or 'religious' grounds, which in turn is expected to justify outright discrimination or even severe human rights violations.

These types of human rights violations are often either completely overlooked, condoned or even justified by many well-meaning people, either out of genuine wish to promote tolerance and respect for cultural differences, or for fear of being considered racist.  But isn't regarding human rights as somehow conditional - subject to cultural relativism, and thus with different 'interpretations' in different cultures - a bit hypocritical?

Yes, cultures vary, and we need to understand that whatever we call 'normal' is not the only way to live. But human rights should not be subject to different, culture-specific 'interpretations'. Unless of course we are willing to say that maybe, in some cultures, some humans are more deserving of human rights than others; or that some humans are, well, less human than others... But that would be whole different issue altogether.

And then there is is the concept of loyalty

We all have ideas and values we hold dear, and we expect other people to respect our views. Just as we respect their views, even if they differ from ours. Or do we?

It is easy to be tolerant of different opinions or values as long as the issue at hand remains more or less abstract and does not touch us personally. But sooner or later there comes a point where a simple difference of opinion crosses the line over to the realm of the personal, or encroaches on our core values. And it is my experience that when things get personal, loyalty and respect fly out of the window. But then again, shouldn't we first be loyal to our own core values? Even before things get personal?

Of course, loyalty may mean very different things to different people. However, I dare say that stabbing a friend in the back is probably the opposite of loyalty in most people's opinion. And if it isn't, it should be.

Yes, I think there are a few ideas and values that are rather black and white. Even for me.

smart casual poncho
over 40 blogger

Outfit details:
dress: Boden / poncho: Marja Kurki (old) / bag: Chanel / 
shoes: Clarks (old) / sunglasses: Michael Kors
location: Helsinki Central Railway Station

Are there any issues you see in black and white terms?


Thursday, 15 September 2016

Not ready to give up summer yet...

pattern mixing over 40

Summer is over...

Actually, when it comes to style, autumn is my favourite season, for two reasons. First, it's not too hot, I can finally feel comfortable. And second, it's still warm enough to wear nice clothes (instead of hiding under layers of wool and a heavy winter coat, that is).

However, before I unearth my autumn staples (trench coats, tights, pencil skirts, scarves, jeans etc) I plan to squeeze every bit of life out of my summer clothes. Why, you may ask. Shouldn't I be dying to get my hands on new season styles?

Of course I look forward to wearing new styles and new outfits. Or the old, time-tested favourites. But not before the temperature drops so low that I can't go around without socks and a coat anymore. Until then I will hang on to my summery outfits for dear life (with a jacket or a poncho added for extra warmth), only relinquishing them, one piece at a time, when I start freezing my butt off.

You see, where I'm from, winter lasts way too long for my liking. And it will be a good 7-8 months before I can even consider wearing a breezy summer dress again. So, enjoy it while you can, that's the idea...

autumn maxi dress

Everything I'm wearing here, you've seen on the blog before. Many times, in fact. For example, this is the third time I'm featuring the dress (see the first outfit with this dress HERE, and the second one HERE), and the second time I'm wearing the necklace (you've seen it HERE before). And the jacket and the bag... well, I've featured them in so many blog posts that I've lost count.

The truth is, I don't have a huge wardrobe. And I don't want to have  huge wardrobe, either. I'm completely against buying new clothes all the time, and I try to limit my consumption of fast fashion.

There are ethical concerns, too: indulging in cheap, disposable clothes weighs heavily on my conscience... I mean, if a t-shirt costs 5 euros (or pounds / dollars / insert your choice of currency here), how much can the people making fast fashion earn? And when clothes are that cheap, we don't appreciate them, either, and just discard them after a few washes. Not exactly environmentally friendly...

I haven't abandoned fast fashion completely, though. Yes, I admit: I allow myself an occasional quick fix in well-known fast fashion emporiums. What can I say? I'm not perfect. That being said, I treat my fast fashion purchases as if they they were classic pieces meant to last. Thus, I favour natural fibres and classic cuts, and stretch the lifespan of a trendy item until it's practically considered vintage (in fast fashion terms, that is). Mostly, though, I prefer good quality clothes that stand the test of time. And because I expect to wear all of my clothes for several years, I'm willing to pay a reasonable price for them.

However, since I have limited funds, I have to plan my purchases carefully and make sure I get maximum wear out of everything I buy. This means that I only buy new clothes if can wear them with something I already have in my wardrobe. And of course I should be able to mix and match everything at will, allowing me to come up with endless combinations and outfits with just a few pieces. As a result, I may not have a huge wardrobe, but it's one hell of a capsule wardrobe...

pattern mixing
pattern mixing over 50

Outfit details:
Jacket: Gerry Weber (old) / dress: Boden / bag: Furla / shoes: Clarks / 
sunglasses: Michael Kors / necklace: Poola Kataryna
location: Holland Park, London

Are you looking forward to wearing autumn styles?
Or are you clinging onto your summer outfits?


PS: Have you seen the latest DILETTANTE ARTIST post yet?


Sunday, 11 September 2016

One of Those Days...

casual style over 40

This is what happens when you stage a photo shoot when you have 'nothing to wear', and you're in the grip of a persistent cold. Or maybe it's not a cold but a flu. It's certainly a bit too persistent for a cold...

Whatever it is, it's making you miserable and cranky. And if that wasn't bad enough, you hate everything in your wardrobe. Nothing works, no matter what you try. But that's no surprise because you have nothing to wear, and your wardrobe is just a big mess of old clothes that you just want to get rid of. Seriously, you begin to doubt your sense of style and just want crawl into bed.

Maybe it's the flu. Yes, you hate your wardrobe, but you hate everything, including having your picture taken. Now let's just get this photo shoot over with, we have taken at least 38, 000 photos, there must a few decent ones you can use, or photoshop into something half-decent. Or not. Who cares?

It must be the flu...
casual over 40
graphic t-shirt over 50

Outfit details:
top: Custo Barcelona (old) / trousers: OneLife / bag: Lancel (old) / 
shoes: Clarks (old) / sunglasses: Michael Kors

What do you wear when you're having one of those days?


PS: Jonet of Fabulously Chic Over 50 interviewed me for her She's Got Style series on global fashion and bloggers around the world. Read the interview HERE.


Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The Perfect Dress and Red Accessories

accessorizing a dress

I'm wearing my new favourite dress again

Yes, this dress has quickly become a favourite. It's everything I could hope for in a dress: comfortable, low-maintenance and flattering. The cut is perfect for my body type and matches my personal style to a tee.

Most importantly, this is an outfit that makes me feel good. Not least because what I see in the mirror is exactly what I want to look like when I get dressed in the morning. And trust me, there aren't many outfits that make me feel like that.

What is it that I like about this outfit, then? The retro shape of the dress reminds me of the outfits my mother used to wear in the seventies: streamlined A-line skirts, timeless classics and simple sundresses. But the dress also reminds me of the 1950's Grace Kelly films: simple, well-cut and chic clothes in neutral colours that would still look perfectly modern today. Of course, I would never be caught wearing neutrals (they're just not very flattering on me), so blue is what passes for 'neutral' in my world.

over 50 blogger
leopard print

Yes, this is how I want to see myself: casual and elegant, with a hint of retro yet thoroughly modern.
I said this dress was perfect, didn't I?

All I had to do was was add a few accessories. I've kept the leopard print belt because, well, why mess with perfection? And in tune with my rekindled love affair with bright red, I thought red accessories would be the icing on the cake. And of course I had to try the dress with a striped jacket.... And you know what, I think I like this outfit perhaps even more than the one I showed you a few weeks ago.

chambray dress

Outfit details: 
dress: Phase Eight / belt: El Corte Ingles / shoes: Clarks / bag: Furla / jacket: Gerry Weber / 
scarf: Carolina Herrera / Necklace: Hirst Antiques / sunglasses: Michael Kors

Have you found your "perfect dress" yet?


PS: Jonet of Fabulously Chic Over 50 interviewed me for her She's Got Style series on global fashion and bloggers around the world. Read the interview HERE.


Sunday, 4 September 2016

Frills and Lace

how to wear frills over 50

Out of my comfort zone: frills and lace

This is me, facing my childhood traumas head on. Well, some of them. I'm talking about frills, of course.

When I was a little girl I was dressed in cute frilly dresses on a daily basis. I think there were very few outfits without full-on frills, ruffles or at least some sort of a lace border. My mother certainly went out of her way to prove the old cliché about new mothers wanting to dress their daughters like pretty, little dolls... And I suppose I didn't really have a problem with that, either; as I recall, I was the ultimate girly-girl. When I wasn't wearing my own little frilly outfits, I was playing dress up in my mother's old petticoats and frilly negligees...

elegance revisited
elegance revisited

But then I turned into an angry teenager, with a preference for jeans and a studded leather jacket... And since then I've had a bit of an aversion towards anything frilly or lacy.

Well, there were a few experiments with the New Romantic off-the-shoulder tops in the 80's, and the anything-goes-as-long-as-it's-trendy fashion school phase, of course... But mostly my outfits tend to be streamlined and simple.

stripes and frills
ballerina flats
over 50 blogger

But then I saw this skirt...

And I just had to get it. It makes no sense. Frills and lace, the two things I usually avoid like the plague, and I just couldn't resist...

Well, I have worn a lace pencil skirt on the blog before, so maybe this didn't come totally out of the blue...

Anyway, the skirt is navy, not black, and I thought it would look fabulous with a linen Breton top (of course).

And where did I wear this outfit? Well, first to work (notice the rather heavy tote bag I'm carrying...), and then to dinner after work.


Outfit details:
skirt: Zara / t-shirt: Zara / shoes: Clarks / Bag: Furla / 
sunglasses: Marimekko / poncho: Marja Kurki
location: restaurant Saaristo (Klippan, Helsinki) 

How do you wear frills and / or lace?

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