Sunday, 27 November 2016

Is it blue or green?

how to wear color

Signature Style

Repeat, rewear, make it your own...
I posted an almost identical outfit  about 8 months ago, in spring. Well, the same skirt, the same coat, and the same sunglasses. Let's call this the winter version of the outfit. I'm wearing a cashmere jumper, after all.

Speaking of winter... Where has all the snow gone? Well, we had full-on winter for a couple of weeks, then some slush and sleet for a week, and then the snow was gone and we're back to warmer temperatures. Let's enjoy while it lasts. Because winter will be back, with a vengeance...

how to wear analogous color
over 50 blogger

Blending Colours

So I'm back to one of my favourite colour combinations: blue and green. Well, the coat is teal, and the scarf is aqua (which is basically just a lighter, sort of very diluted shade of teal)... In my book, teal (or aqua) is more green than blue. Yes, I know, some people say it's blue... Let's put it this way: teal is both darker and greener than turquoise. And turquoise is closer to blue than green, but definitely more green than, say, sky blue. Or my jumper here. Which is blue, but a warm shade of blue, which means that it's closer to green but it's not turquoise. And now you're starting to get a headache... So, let's just say that it's probably a matter of personal taste and very subjective where we draw the line between blue and green...

Never mind... I have neither the interest nor the patience to analyse this further. After all, the only thing that matters is that the colours in this outfit provide just enough contrast yet blend in harmoniously.

wearing analogous colors

Outfit details:
coat: Hobbs (old) / cashmere jumper: Caroll / skirt: Boden (old) / 
boots: Bronx (old) / bag and sunglasses: Chanel

Where do you stand on the blue-green conundrum? Is teal blue or green? 


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Let's Talk: Rebranding Politics

political satire


The following draft memo was leaked to us by an anonymous member of Nobody’s Bitch hacktivist group: 


for internal discussion and comments only 
TO: all Doublethink consultants
CC: Newspeak Media Ltd.
FROM: Doublethink Rebranding Services
SUBJECT: the upcoming global networking event

The Preliminary Programme 
for the International Populist Summit:
The Populist Toolkit’



Weazel von Toff, the acclaimed author of Showmanship and Opportunism:  How to Connect with Your Target Audience. The Modern Populist’s guide to dressing and talking like the ‘man of the people’

Moptop Simpleton, motivational speaker and the author of The Turncoat Manual: I Want to Have My Cake And Eat Yours, Too. The practical guide to adjusting your vision to the changing mood and situation.

Braggart Pantzonfire, the Marketing Manager of It’s All About Me Inc., and the author of Rebranding ‘the Elite’: Rich White Men as Born-Again Victims of Just About Anything and Anyone. Currently casting his upcoming reality show Who’re We Gonna Piss Off Today?


More established autocrats defenders of democracy have of course made appropriate arrangements to ensure unlimited access to sympathetic impartial media, either by acquiring the majority holding of a major broadcasting corporation or by establishing their own media outlets (for anyone interested, we still have a few tickets left for the seminar hosted by His Moodiness Emperor Big Ego of One State on The New Art of War: From Trolls to Little Green Men, scheduled for next spring)

However, aspiring demagogues anti-establishment challengers do not have to settle for being at the mercy of mainstream media. In this once-in-a-lifetime lecture, Mr Braggart Pantzonfire shares his award-winning methods for taking charge of his own narrative and controlling media exposure. The topics include:
  • The art of the 140 character temper tantrum: how to assume and maintain a victim identity to deflect attention from controversial issues and decisions
  • The loose cannon method: how to use targeted hate-speech to maximise media exposure and elicit a positive consumer response within the target market
  • The best marketing strategy for maximising the added value your elected position can bring to your business interests.

Make sure to sign up early, as this lecture is sure to be a hit!


Mme Marianne Faux-Nouvelle will be discussing her ongoing work on updating Liberté, égalité, fraternité. The new version of the product will be better suited to help her core customers express their freedom more effectively, by allowing them to proudly come out as more equal than their brothers (see the Newspeak Media practical manual, Rebranding Democracy, for more information on the colour-coded system for classifying various market segments).

We will also be assessing the consumer response to some recently rebranded terminology, such as ‘democracy’ (i.e. actively exhibiting and encouraging extremist refreshingly outspoken views, actions and language when it suits our agenda the needs of our target consumer segments) and ‘freedom of speech’ (which, thanks to the tireless efforts of our staff, now covers all heartfelt, genuine expressions as long as they are based on purely subjective, biased emotions without the diluting influence of facts). Note to our unpaid minions highly talented interns: how f*#*ing difficult can it be to find someone to hack into Wikipedia and replace the outdated terminology?!?

The Emotional Narrative Helpdesk will be on hand to offer assistance to anyone struggling with rebranding tired, old terminology or in need of a little boost with their personal narrative.

All characters and events are fictional. The writer cites The Simpsons, South Park, Scandinavia and The World, George Orwell and Yevgeny Zamyatin as her literary inspirations and role models for this piece.

The writer is not in the least worried about hurting the feelings of populist politicians. Given the type of language populists promote in political discussion, the writer assumes they should find this piece quite refreshing and delightfully outspoken. However, the writer acknowledges that some readers may be somewhat unfamiliar with concepts such as sarcasm and satire, and therefore this piece may provoke some adverse reactions. In case the reader wants to object to this piece, perhaps saying something in the lines of “That’s so unfair”, the writer has this helpful piece of advice to offer: “Stop being such a big baby. Grow up and get over it!” More extreme reactions will be dealt with as follows: abusive comments will be deleted; threats to the writer’s physical safety will be reported to the appropriate authorities and/or the perpetrator’s wife/girlfriend/significant other/mother, and the IP address where the threat in question originated from will be published here and all over the internet.

The writer is a (not very successful) wannabe capitalist, an advocate and a beneficiary of the equal opportunities afforded by the Scandinavian welfare state and the 4 freedoms of the European Union, and a gorgeous tall blonde. Because the writer is not a populist, only one of the above statements is a lie.

More posts in this series:  thoughts on 'snowflakes' and the post that explains what this series of posts is all about.


Friday, 18 November 2016

When life gets busy...

casual style over 50

A simplified wardrobe 

I've been practically living in this cashmere cardigan recently, wearing it with jeans or cords, or this denim skirt. Actually, I've been rotating the same set of 10-15 items for a few weeks now. Getting dressed is simple and fast: I just put on the first (reasonably clean) thing I find and rush off.  Doesn't do much for my style, but hey, sometimes there are other priorities... 

No, this is not some sort of a capsule wardrobe experiment. In a way, this is my version of the Steve Jobs / Mark Zuckerberg way of prioritizing: save your time and energy by eliminating the small, trivial decisions and focus on what's really important. As most of my clothes can be mixed and matched, there's minimal planning required, and I can get dressed in a hurry.

But doesn't that take all the fun out of dressing?

Yes, I suppose it would, if  this was a long-term lifestyle choice. Which it isn't: it's a stop-gap measure to reduce stress.  The thing is, I've just been incredibly busy all month, working long hours and sleeping way too little. The flat is a mess, and my clothes are piling up on the kitchen chairs. I haven't done the laundry for ages, and I seem to be living on chocolate and takeaway food.

over 50 blogger

Yes, I know, I should probably take better care of myself: do yoga and eat proper food and meditate... The truth is, my brain is wired so tight right now that it would simply reject all that as just more stress-inducing chores.

So, I prioritise and simplify my life (as well as my wardrobe) as much as possible: I tell myself that all I need to focus on right now is work and sleep. In that order. My 'self-care routine' at the moment consists of trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour (not easy for a night owl), and eating (something, never mind what) at regular intervals. Everything else will have to wait.

It's always like this in November. There are courses ending and new courses starting, and all the marking and planning involved. It will slow down in December, though.

casual cashmere
Outfit details:
cashmere cardigan: Brora (old) / denim skirt: KappAhl (old) / 
shirt: Next / belt: Diesel / bag: Chanel / boots: Bronx (old)

What do you do when life gets busy?


Tuesday, 15 November 2016

A New Series of Posts: Let's Talk

let's talk

Enough with the shitstorm

When I started this blog, I made a conscious choice that it would be a light-hearted hobby, a distraction to get me out of my own head. I would focus on style and travel, maybe spicing things up with an occasional witty little piece on something equally trivial. This was all in keeping with my long-term personal goal of reducing stress by becoming a more shallow, less analytical person: to worry less, and focus on the wonderful things in life...

But the shitstorm that this year has been has made it very clear to me that I can't fight my true nature, nor do I want to. Not anymore. I don't want to retreat into an artificial, cushy little bubble and trick myself into believing that if I just stick my fingers into my ears and sing 'la-la-laa' loudly enough the outside world can't get to me. Because it can.

For most of my life, I've been at the mercy of circumstances beyond my control and other people's whims (divorced parents, bereavement, getting downsized, the economic uncertainties of a freelancer etc. take your pick), being told to get on with it, suck it up, grow up, or just stop whining. And I've had enough. I'm done being the 'good girl', calmly watching as the shit hits the fan, again and again. 

So, now what?

The thing is, I'm not a fighter. I'm not an activist or an organiser; actually doing something has never been my strong suit. I'm a thinker, and I'm a worrier. I analyse, or over-analyse, everything, and my glass is always half-empty. I see it as preparing for the worst. And when the worst happens, I want to understand why and how and what next

So, I'm going to get back to what I do best: putting my thoughts into words, offering sarcastic commentary on all the nasty stuff we see around us. And this is why I'm starting a new series of posts where I plan to discuss all the topics sensible, polite bloggers usually prefer to avoid (yes: politics, religion, sex...).  

But I need to warn you: I don't plan to mince my words. I'm opinionated, and I don't believe in political correctness or sugar-coating. So, expect the kind of political incorrectness you've only ever heard from populists and raving lunatics (isn't that one and the same thing? Anyway, I'm neither, I assure you), sprinkled with plenty of sarcasm and common sense. I'm quite well aware of my own biases, prejudices and limitations and will point these out frequently. You may view these posts as my way of venting my frustrations, or as more serious commentary on the topics. Both views are equally valid and true.

But rest assured, even though I'm going to be a nasty, opinionated bitch, I'm going to be a well-dressed bitch.

So, to get started, I thought you might want to know where I stand on these issues:


Politics is not something abstract, taking place in a  galaxy far, far away, with no connection to real people. No, it's about everyday problems and how to deal with them. For example, as a taxpayer I want to know how the tax revenue is going to be spent: whether there's going to be enough money for quality education and health care, and whether I can feel safe in the streets. I'm happy to pay taxes, but I want something in return. No, let's rephrase that: I want to get my money's worth.

But politics is also about the values we share and the kind of society we want to have: do we divide the world into winners and losers, or do we want to give everyone a chance.

And now (this is for you, my British or American readers), if you're wondering where I might stand in the left-right continuum (Tory or Labour? Republican or Democrat?), please do not read my comments in the light of your own political system; it isn't mine. I live in a country with a far less polarised, more compromise-oriented multi-party system. To explain it briefly, this means that elections are much more boring, and there's always a coalition government. Yes, we have populists, too, even in the government. But theirs isn't the only voice that can be heard. And with the exception of the extremes (whether left or right), I've probably voted for most parties.

I'm vary of ideologies; I don't like a one-size-fits-all solutions or rehashed opinions. Politics, for me, is more like a buffet table: I pick and choose what I like and ignore the rest. And then there's the stuff I'm allergic to: then I get very vocal and demand it to be removed from the table. But I'm sure we all have issues we're passionate about, one way or the other. Anyway, this quote by Edmund Burke more or less summarises how I feel about political discussion and activism, and explains why I feel compelled to write this post:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.


I think religion (of any variety) is like alcohol. No, I'm not saying it's bad for you. I'm saying that a little bit every now and then might be just what you need to relax, to celebrate or to just make an ordinary day a bit special. That is, when it (alcohol or religion) is consumed in moderation. Too much might be addictive, or even downright dangerous. After all, there are people who turn into raving maniacs if they drink. Similarly, too much religion can mess some people up so badly they start chopping off other people's heads... Frankly, I think religion should come with a warning label.

And where do I stand on this issue? I was baptised Lutheran, but grew up in a secular family. The only time we ever went to church was for weddings or funerals. And I formally dissociated myself from the church in my late teens in the 80's, as a political protest when the church refused to ordain women. But times change: the Lutheran Church in Finland has been ordaining women for quite a while now (although, as far as I know, there is only one female bishop, and one transgender minister). However, religion only interests me as a cultural concept: as something that shapes our values and societies. But I do my best to respect other people's religious beliefs. However, this does not mean I want to learn from them, and I get annoyed if I detect any attempt at giving me the hardsell.



Why is the Internet full of bloggers, models and teenage girls copying poses straight out of soft porn? Why do women feel pressure to compete with porn stars? What the hell happened to the sexual revolution??? Maybe there never was a sexual revolution. We just went from women being expected to have no sexual partners to women being expected to sleep with any man they encounter... When do we get to the point when we can finally ask what women actually want to, or don't want to, do?

And the fuss with the number of sexual partners, what's up with that? Seriously, as far as consenting adults are concerned, can't we just agree to a don't ask-don't tell policy? I won't ask, and you won't tell. I don't need to know what you do and with whom, that's your business. 

No, I'm not being a prude; I just hate clichés.


Yes, I'm a feminist. No ifs, no buts. 

Yes, I'm aware of the linguistic appropriation this word is subject to these days, but I don't give a damn what misogynistic idiots think feminists do. I'm a traditionalist: for me a feminist is a person who wants to promote gender equality.

And no, I don't hate men. And I don't 'need a man like a fish needs a bicycle' (to borrow an old feminist slogan). I don't know about fish, but I might want to ride a 'bicycle' every once in a while...

No, I don't want to see myself as a 'victim', and I think it is dangerous for feminists to promote victim mentality, especially now. We need feminism to empower women, so that we can teach young women to fight back.

I come from a long line of very strong, independent women. And my father was a miserable male chauvinist. You know, the kind that tells you crude 'jokes' about women, belittles their intellect, criticises their looks. And lives off his mother. I'm sure you know the type...

So, I  hope you're looking forward to some pull-no-punches talk on controversial issues. I sure am. And please let me know in the comments if there are any topics you would like me to discuss.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Winter Came Early

black and white stripes

Yes, it's only November. And the white stuff you see all around me? Yes, that's snow. Yes, really. No, you're not imagining things. Neither am I, even though I wish I was...
It seems winter came early this year... I wish it would go away as quickly, too, but that's not going to happen. What? It can't be that bad, I'll get used to it? Hah! Oh course I'll get used to it! In my 51 years I've had plenty of practice getting used to winter. And guess what? I still hate it...

black and white in winter
Chanel bag
black and white dress

I don't like the cold weather (just for the record: I hate hot weather just as much). And snow, I could do without that, too. And the darkness: a few hours of daylight, that's all we get. Yes, blink and you miss it...

I know what you're thinking: it gets better in January when the days start getting longer. Actually, for me, it's the cold that really gets to me. I completely lose interest in going out. And by that I mean I could just camp out on the sofa, doing nothing. So, maybe it's a good thing I have to go to work, otherwise I would probably just go into hibernation until April...

over 40 blogger

Outfit details:
dress: Boden / cardigan: Brora (old) bag: Chanel / 
boots: Bronx (old) / sunglasses: Marimekko

How do you feel about winter?



Thursday, 10 November 2016

How to Pack in 30 Minutes


So, this is the second part of my 'what to wear in Madrid in October when the weather calls for summer clothes' post. And I'm going let you in on the ultimate secret, the holy grail of lazy travellers everywhere:


Yes, really, I'm going to reveal my biggest secret (No, not really, but it sounds dramatic, doesn't it?)

OK, this is how you do it:

Monday, 7 November 2016

Bye Bye Autumn

wool trench coat

These photos were taken only a week ago... Since then we've had some snow, and it's significantly colder now. But I decided to post these photos anyway.

Because these are the last autumn pictures for 2016. Yep, from now on it's going to be winter: cold, dark, dreary... for months and months...

Oh crap. I hate winter.

And that's why I'm posting these pictures, even though there's nothing special about them. It's not even much of an outfit. And I look really tired, as if I hadn't slept for a week. Or maybe that's just what a middle-aged woman looks like when she's been sleeping too little and working way too much. And she's having one of those 'I-have-nothing-to-wear' moments. Or 'I'm-too-fat-and-tired' moments. One or the other, maybe both. Doesn't really matter, they sort of look the same.

fall outfits
leopard print
Outfit details:
coat: Hobbs (old) / top: J.Crew (old) / trousers: marks and Spencer / bag: Chanel 

This is it: so long, autumn! I will miss you! You went by so fast, I had hardly time to enjoy the brief moment we had. And it will be a whole year before we'll meet again. It's tough, but I'm going to have to get you out of my mind now, and get ready for winter. Now, we both know that's never going to be a match made in heaven, but I'll make the most of it.

Are you getting ready for winter?


Friday, 4 November 2016

Bad Tourist in Madrid


So, I went to Madrid...

It was just a couple of days, in mid-October. I've been really busy with work, so it has taken me forever to get this post sorted. But here it is now: my grand tour of Madrid. 

No, not really. Grand tour, I mean. But what can you actually see in two days? Do I know Madrid better now, after this trip, than I did before? Because this wasn't my first time in Madrid. The first time was ages ago: I was attending a conference, and I didn't see anything.

This time it was hubby who had to attend a conference, and I did some sightseeing on my own. Which means that I went shopping, and spent an hour or so in the underground, going back and forth, trying to get to a museum (Museo Reina Sofia). One of the lines was partially closed, and I had to take quite a detour. But I'm proud to say I did manage to get to the museum, finally, and I saw an interesting exhibition, and Guernica by Picasso. Well, I saw the top half of the painting; the bottom half was blocked by a group of teenagers on some sort of a school field trip.

And what else did I see? Well, let's call these 'snapshots by a lazy tourist':


Yes, some architectural details again. I'm so predictable. It's just that I find architecture (both old and modern) fascinating. But I tend to ignore the so-called typical tourist attractions; I prefer to photograph everyday scenes and ordinary buildings. That's the real essence of a place; not the high-profile, fancy stuff that's supposed to impress you.

Madrid architecture

It's the details that tell you what the place is like: the colours, the ornaments, the signs of people inhabiting the buildings.

Madrid architecture

And then there's always something sweet and cosy. Or unexpected. This is apparently a cat café/shelter (I googled it), with all sorts of interesting courses and services related to cats: cat health, cat psychology... Unfortunately, it was closed when I passed it. Maybe that was for the better, given that I'm allergic to cats...


I hope you enjoyed the (not so grand) tour.


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Shop Your Closet: Coats


Shop your closet...

This is becoming a series of posts, isn't it? Oh well, why not. So, everything you see here you've seen before, many times. Maybe just not in this particular combination.

It was a cold, windy day... Just what you'd expect for late autumn. And I'm way behind in my plan to put away summer clothes and make room for winter clothes. And as I've been (and will be for a few more weeks) quite busy with work, it might well be that the big wardrobe overhaul will have to wait till December. Or January. Make that February. Or... Oh well, it's going to be spring soon again. Well, eventually, I mean... Besides, who's going to see what's in my closet?

Anyway... As I was saying, at least I've managed to resurrect outerwear that is more appropriate for the colder weather.

I have quite a few coats, and if I'm totally honest, I really don't need another one. Well, maybe a slightly shorter wool coat in a different style... Or a new puffa coat for winter... But I definitely don't need another long, belted wool coat. I have three of them. And I bought this one only last year. And another long, belted coat the year before that. So, one wool coat (sorry, but I simply can't call this a winter coat...) per year, on average. That's not so bad, is it?

No, I really have to get my coat addiction under control. This year, I'm going to focus on what I actually need. So, no new wool coat (yes, you'll probably be seeing this coat again...). But that new puffa coat might not be such a bad idea...

Anyway, about this outfit... Yes, it's an old coat, and an even older dress, and the bag isn't this year's style, either. That's life: you wear old clothes and make the most of it. And this is a personal style blog, and I'm a blogger who values honesty (most of the time, anyway).

And where was I going, wearing these old rags gems from my curated wardrobe? To dinner with hubby, and I wanted to dress up a bit, in spite of the windy weather.

coat for autumn
over 40 blogger
wool trench coat

Outfit details:
coat: Hobbs (old) / dress: Boden (old) /scarf: Shanghai Tang (old) / shoes: Clarks (old) / 
bag: Furla (old) / Necklace: Purificacion Garcia (old) /sunglasses: Michael Kors
location: Katajanokka, Helsinki

How many coats is too many?

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