Tuesday, 27 December 2016


2016 recap

Another year over, so fast...

Actually, I'm rather happy to see the back of 2016, given what an annus horribilis it's been... And I'm hoping trying very hard to believe 2017 will be better. But for once I don't want to dwell on the political upheavals of the year (yes, we'll get back to that later, rest assured) but will focus on something a bit more pleasant.

So, these are my 5 favourite outfits in 2016. Or, actually 4 of my favourite outfits; the last one is Professor M's favourite.

Let me know in the comments which one you like best, OK?

smart casual over 40
maxi dress
boho chic
leather jacket over 50
Right... for some reason all of these outfits seem a bit... summery. Maybe it's winter,  messing with my brain...

Oh well, a new year, new outfits... See you on the other side.




Wednesday, 21 December 2016

How to Wear Metallics: Classic

how to wear metallics over 40

I usually avoid anything trendy

I prefer timeless, classic basics spiced up with statement accessories. And I abhor artificial fibres and fast fashion, insisting on natural fibres and high-quality. But every now and then I succumb to the temptation of trends...

Take this metallic pleated skirt, for instance. Not only is it made of polyester, it' s also unashamedly trendy. So, am I going against my principles here?

Not at all. You see, I subscribe to the 80-20 rule (in both healthy diet and style): sensible, quality choices 80% of the time and anything goes for the remaining 20%. In other words, this pleated skirt (and a few other fast fashion items without longevity) are the burgers in my otherwise healthy and sensible fashion diet...

The skirt is also one of those items that are better in theory than in practice. As it is made of polyester, static electricity makes it cling to my body... And that drives me crazy. I've tried an anti-static spray (even though I'm not happy coating my garments with chemicals), and it works. For a few hours, anyway. But wear a coat over the skirt (as any sensible person would, it being winter and all...), and the effect is soon gone. So, it seems that my love affair with this particular trendy item is going to be rather short-lived...

how to wear a metallic skirt

Nevertheless, I styled the skirt in two ways: classic and trendy. You will see the trendy look in a couple of weeks.

As I'm not really into the whole 'festive' party look, I wanted to keep my 'classic look' understated rather than formal or glam. I don't really attend any formal events (honestly, I can't remember the last time...), and I don't enjoy 'dressing up'. Seriously, having to dress up in formal attire would be my nightmare. Besides, the focus of this blog has always been chic and relaxed everyday clothing; smart casual is my comfort zone, and I'm clinging to it for dear life. In these uncertain times, we need something that remains constant...

metallic pleated skirt

Outfit details:
skirt: Zara / top: Caroll / shoes: Hotter (old) / 
bag: Chanel / Necklace: Andiata (old)
location: Hilton London Paddington

How would you wear this skirt? 
Any ideas how to beat static cling?


Sunday, 18 December 2016

Just a Quick Hello...

cashmere sweater

This is a short post, very fitting for a very quick photo shoot...

The post is short because I'm exhausted. It's been a long, very busy autumn, but I've finally wrapped up work for this year. And I plan to spend whatever is left of this year sleeping. I'm not joking: that really is my main goal at this point.

And the photo shoot was very brief because it was damn cold. OK, maybe -5°C / 23°F is not really that cold, but it was windy, too. We also had to hurry a bit to catch the last of the daylight as the sun was already setting (and it was just after 3 pm, in case you're wondering).

Anyway, I've had this cashmere jumper forever, and I can't remember where I got it and when. And you've seen it before HERE. I'm wearing it here because I was trying to find some casual cold-weather clothes that would look good with my new bag... A lame excuse, maybe, but I was determined to wear something purple with the bag, and the only other item I could find is my purple trench. I think we'll revisit that idea in spring... 

over 50 blogger
leopard print bag
cashmere jumper

Outfit details:
cashmere jumper: old (lost the label) / trousers: Marks and Spencer / 
bag: Kate Spade / sunglasses: Marc Jacobs / Christmas tree brooch: Hirst Antique

What's your plan for the rest of the year?



Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Blizzard Warning


"Special Snowflake"

Remember the time this term referred to spoiled, entitled brats throwing a hissy fit when they didn't get what they wanted?

Recently, it has become the all-purpose insult that characterises 2016, quite carelessly thrown at anyone who expresses disgust at the racism, xenophobia and misogyny that define the current wave of conservative / populist politics.

Of course, terms like these don't exist in a vacuum, but are used to further a political agenda. In this particular case, 'snowflake' is used as a derogatory term for someone who points out obvious bias and prejudice in populist right-wing rhetoric. And because the term is an insult, its function is to diminish the person it is aimed at and trivialise their arguments as over-sensitivity. Thus, 'snowflakes' are supposedly people who 'get their feelings hurt' when they are targets of cyberbullying or online abuse, or 'whingers' who refuse to understand that in the populist newspeak democracy simply means extremist mob rule and freedom of speech is limited to ideas the alt-right Thought Police want to promote. Well, I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that the extreme right fashions its own version of political correctness to intimidate  and silence all dissidents...

Generation Snowflake 

The term 'snowflake' is also used to refer to young adults of today, the Millennials. The 20-somethings, often called the 'Generation Snowflake', who are supposedly so fragile and entitled that they need 'safe spaces' to escape anything that goes against their personal beliefs. You know who I'm talking about: they (and their parents) expect the whole world to tiptoe around them in order not to upset them. They speak political correctness as their native language, and find any criticism an attack on their values.

But they also have a heightened awareness of social justice and an earnest desire for fairness. They don't just pay lipservice to ideals such as equality and tolerance, but make them a fundamental part of their daily lives. And it is in this keen eye to spot intolerance and injustice that I'm counting on to challenge today's conservative / populist hate culture. That is, if Generation Snowflake can shed the self-styled 'I'm victimised by life' identity they carry around like a security blanket...

And what would I want to say to the snowflakes of the world (whatever age they are), to help them face the challenges ahead? Hmm... This isn't easy. Trying to be gentle, I mean; snowflakes are so easily crushed, and I don't do political correctness... OK, how about this:

Dear Snowflake

You are not alone. No, I'm not going to give you a hug and tell you you're special. Because you're not. There is nothing unique about you, and if you just pulled your head out of your [insert a less offending term for the body part in question here], you would realise that there are millions of others just like you. That's not a bad thing. Look how many friends you have! Imagine what you can do if you just stick together!

But first you need to toughen up a bit. You know, grow a thicker skin. Learn to talk back. No, not whining how victimised you feel because there are nasty people in the world. And don't even think of retreating into some cosy little bubble of a 'safe space' for a whine-fest with your newfound flurry of friends! You know what happens to snowflakes in warm and fuzzy safe spaces? They turn into slush. You don't want that, do you?

No, I want all you fragile little snowflakes to get angry and create one hell of a blizzard. Yes, I said angry. Not depressed and self-destructive; I want you to project that anger outwards, into the world. No, I'm not inciting violence here; I'm simply saying it's time to stop being a good girl. Good girls never get anywhere. Angry bitches do.

OK, fine, I get it, it's not your style... Listen, sweetie, the nasty people in the world don't give a shit about your feelings, and they don't speak 'nice' either. So, stop whimpering and start organising. It's your turn to change the world. What? Of course you can do it! Generations of young people have been there, maybe you can learn a little something from them. You could adopt the Baby Boomers' optimism, self-confidence and unwavering belief that they were destined to change the world. And the Generation X anger, resilience and self-reliance in the face of obstacles. It's all there for you to take and use as you see fit. And trust me, you'll need it to steer the world back on the correct course.

In the meantime, why don't you get to know your new friends, see if you can all get together and get that blizzard started? Huh? I know you have it in you. But I must confess; I'm a teeny bit worried where the wind will take you... But I guess I just have to trust the highly-tuned socially aware inner compass of yours guiding you in the right direction.

Tiina L
 the self-appointed strategist and spokesperson for Generation X 

The writer is not, has never been, and will never be a snowflake. Instead, the writer is a typical deeply cynical member of Generation X: disillusioned and practically teflon-coated, and admits to working really hard to control her desire to roll her eyes whenever she hears a snowflake going on and on about how special and/or sensitive they are. However, this is getting more and more difficult, and the writer confesses to an increasing urge to scream at self-absorbed whiners to stop trivialising the very real pain of victims of cruelty, discrimination and injustice by comparing it to whatever self-proclaimed 'vulnerability' the whiner in question abuses to get the attention s/he craves.


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Casual Style

casual style over 50

I'm a casual girl at heart...

Well, if I had to describe my style, I would probably say that I love classic, chic style, but deep down I know I'm a bit lazy and sloppy and can't be bothered to dress up...

Or, maybe I could say that I'm 50% classic chic, 20% quirky, and 30% Scandi Cool casual... Actually, that sounds better, let's go with that.

Anyway, we all have days when we don't feel like putting a lot of effort into dressing up, and that's OK. Then we just wear something comfortable and get on with life. The whole point of casual style is that you don't have to think about what you're wearing and can focus on other things.

For most people, the more casual outfits are reserved for weekends. And at first glance, this is a typical weekend outfit: jeans and a parka. And yes, as it happens, these pictures were taken on a Sunday. But that's beside the point.

Because I could also wear this to work, and I have worn something very similar on many occasions. I don't really need to dress up for work, and that's why I don't have a separate work wardrobe. And to be honest, there's not much difference between my weekday and weekend looks, either. Sometimes I go for a more sophisticated, chic look. And sometimes I wear something really casual. What I wear on a given day depends on my mood, the weather, and the situation. In that order.

casual over 40
over 50 blogger

Outfit details:
parka: Phase Eight (old) / top: Custo Barcelona (old) / scarf: Marja Kurki / 
jeans: Next (old) / shoes: Clarks / sunglasses: Chanel

Do you have a 'weekend style'?


Thursday, 8 December 2016

Minimalism Rocks!

minimalist style

Minimalism doesn't have to be boring

I consider myself a minimalist when it comes to style. I like clean lines and a limited colour palette. Yes, the whole Nordic aesthetic / Scandi Cool thing...

But I also like bright colour, and a bit of rock chic. And I see no reason why I couldn't mix these with the Scandi Cool minimalism. After all, minimalism is the perfect backdrop to showcase cool and quirky details with maximum effect.

Besides, this is an easy way to style an outfit: choose a few well-fitting basics and add statement accessories. The possibilities to mix and match are endless, and the whole outfit can be dressed up or down simply by changing  one or two pieces. For instance, I could swap the jeans and ankle boots for a pencil skirt and boots for a dressier version. Or swap the coat for a biker jacket for a more casual take...

And why on earth didn't I do just that, and post the pictures for you to see? Isn't that what you're asking right now? Well, I don't plan my photo shoots that way. What you see is what I actually wear on a given day as I go about my normal life. My photographer/husband is only available at weekends, and we have to fit a photo shoot around whatever activities we have planned (= we stop for 15 minutes to take a few photos when we find a nice location). So, the photo shoots are more or less improvised, the locations totally random, and the outfits something I wear all day. And in this particular instance was in London with my photographer/husband for a bit of shopping and sightseeing. So, I wanted to wear something that would be easy to get on and off in case I wanted to try on some clothes in shops, but dressy enough for lunch in one of hubby's favourite restaurants.

minimalism over 40
50+ blogger

Outfit details:
coat: Marks and Spencer (old) / top: Caroll / 
jeans: Next (old) / bag: Lancel / sunglasses: Chanel
location: Marylebone, London

How would you describe your style?



Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Independence Day


6 December 1917

Independence Day is solemn and serious in Finland. It is a national holiday, of course, and people celebrate by going out to dinner with their families. There are official celebrations of all sorts, for instance to honour the veterans who defended the independence (not only once, but twice, in Winter War and Continuation War, both against the Soviet Union). And then are all sorts of protest marches, demonstrations and counterdemonstrations by various fringe groups (i.e.extreme right/left, anarchists, fascist and anti-fascist groups, or any group that has an axe to grind with anything or anyone...)

And in the evening the President of the Republic hosts a big Reception, which is broadcast live. It's the most boring programme ever: the President and the First Lady shaking hands with their guests as they arrive. And this goes on for a couple of hours. So, why do we watch it? Well, to see who's been invited and what they're wearing, of course. Hmm. I wonder what happened to my invitation...

But, what should you really know about Finland? 

And what are Finns really like? 

To celebrate Independence Day, I'm presenting 5 facts, or myths (in the post-truth era, who really cares about the difference?), about Finland and/or Finns. And because I want to give you a balanced view, I've included things that make me proud to be a Finn as well as things that, well, dont't...


1. Finnish women have been able to vote for 110 years

Finland  was the first country in Europe and the second in the world to grant women the right to vote.  This was in 1906, 11  years before Finland (then the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland) became independent. As women could also stand for election, a total of 19 out of the 200 members of the first ever Finnish parliament were women.

However, it took ten years more for the country to get its first female minister, and almost a hundred years for the first female President (2000-2012).

2. Finland is home to the craziest world championships

Yes, anything Scandinavian is so cool these days... And when we think of Scandinavia, we think of Sweden and Denmark. And of course they're cool. But who cares about cool when you can be quirky?

And Finns are certainly crazy quirky. Want proof? Forget conventional sports and cultural events. Finland hosts annual World Championships in these interesting sports and activities: Wife CarryingSwamp FootballMobile Phone ThrowingPlaying Air Guitar...

But if you prefer something less competitive, there are also inofficial, flashmob-type events such as Beer Floating, or weird everyday activities/hobbies such as Winter Swimming.

3. Finns don't do small talk 

You probably know that Finns don't do small talk. Well, to some extent, it's true. Finns don't really feel the need to state the obvious. For instance, if it's snowing, a Finn thinks you probably see that for yourself and don't need it pointed out to you. However, Finns do talk when they have something to say. You know, express an opinion, or suggest a solution to a problem. So, instead of  just stating the fact that it's snowing, expect a Finn to say something like "where the hell are the shovels again?" or "someone should call the maintenance company to get their arses down here before we're totally snowed in".

Anyway, trying to have a conversation with a Finn may make you feel as if you're in some sort of a weird spy film, cast as the evil interrogator, trying to make your resistant victim spill state secrets by squeezing them out of him/her one word at a time...

Yes, of course I'm exaggerating a bit here. Finns get much more talkative when you get to know them a bit better. The challenge is first getting to the point when you can get a Finn to participate in the conversation to begin with. But, there is an easy trick to bring even the most socially awkward, shy Finn out of his/her shell. Just shout: "Open bar!". It never fails.

Speaking of drinking...

4. Never drink with a Finn

Seriously, don't. It's not a good idea. Never. Just believe me on this.

What? You're Scottish/Irish/Aussie/whatever and can hold your liquor? And you never have more than one drink, anyway? OK, but don't blame me when you wake up a week later in hospital with the worst hangover of your life, I did try to warn you...

Anyway, you may have seen Finns holidaying in popular tourist resorts (in Spain, Thailand, anywhere with lots of sun and cheap booze)... Well, some of them behave as if they think drinking is a competitive sport. Or perhaps they fear that the world will mysteriously run out of alcohol tomorrow, so better drink it while it lasts... In any case, unlike most other tourists (who stop drinking when the bar closes), Finns only stop when they either pass out or get hauled away by the police...  

5. There are things you should never joke about

Yes, Finns are quirky, sarcastic and can laugh at themselves. But some things are sacrosanct, and should never be made fun of. In particular, as a non-Finn, there are 3 things you should never, ever mock:


Well, obviously. And don't even think of telling a Finn how to behave in a sauna. Never mind the hotel/gym/spa has signs saying you must wear a bathing suit, or shouldn't throw water on the stove. Ridiculous ideas. What the f*#* do they know anyway? Generations of Finns used to be born in a sauna, it's in our genes.


Finns take sport seriously. Well, who gives a shit about football... But Ice Hockey, that's a different story. The highlight of the year? Beating Sweden, of course. There is nothing more important than that.

And the Ice Hockey World Championship, then? People actually take time off from work, and my students watch hockey on their smartphones. it's no use use telling them not to. This year the national team won silver, and the entire country was in mourning for a week or two. And the team had to sneak back into the country unnoticed to avoid public lynching...

And what happens when the team wins? The team gets the heroes' welcome and the President congratulating them, there's a huge street party with live music and thousands of people celebrating (you know, singing, dancing, drinking, climbing on buildings and jumping into fountains naked...). Don't believe me? Just click the link and see for yourself...

Heavy Metal

It may not be your cup of tea (nor mine), but you shouldn't say that out loud. Never. As I said, some things are sacred. The only time Finland won the Eurovision Song Contest was with a Heavy Metal band. That is not surprising, given that Finland has the most metal bands per capita in the world. Heavy Metal is not just everywhere, it is mainstream, and there is nowhere to escape from it. Yes, even the church features Heavy Metal...




Friday, 2 December 2016

Frills, Lace and a Bad Hair Day...

lace skirt

The brutal reality of being a style blogger...

This is what happens when your husband tells you he booked a table in a fancy restaurant and you were prepared for a casual meal in the Thai place...

First, you tell him - slightly annoyed - that there's no way you're going there wearing your old jeans and trainers. You will have to change, and he will have to wait, for however long it takes.

Then you frantically pull out every single piece of clothing in your wardrobe, desperately trying to find something that suits both the weather (cold and possibly some snow later), the venue, and your mood. It doesn't help that this is what women affectionately refer to as a 'fat-day' and nothing seems to fit...

Having tried on, and rejected, half a dozen pencil skirts that suddenly seem boring as hell, you pull out the cute skirt you bought last summer. And just like that, you decide you can't possibly call yourself a style blogger if you can't come up with a nice winter outfit around it. Actually, you don't give a hoot whether people find you credible as a style blogger or not, because at this point you're obsessed with the skirt and just want to wear it, no matter what. Mainly because for some reason you think frills would look fabulous with boots...

Now, all you really need to do is find a top to go with the damn skirt, something warm, of course. So, now all your cashmere jumpers and cardigans are strewn across the floor, and you hate every single one of them. For no particular reason; they just seem to be the wrong length, colour or style.

So, you're finally dressed, and your freezing hubby suggests quickly taking a few photos on the way from the station to the restaurant, while there's still some daylight. And then your divaesque hair decides to stop collaborating. Not that it has ever been very accommodating to your wishes, quite the contrary. But today it just decides to go crazy and curl up in all the wrong places.

Of course, you hate every photo because you look like a mess, and you're not sure about the outfit, either. But you decide to post the photos anyway. Because this is what happens in real life: you get dressed in a hurry, your outfit is a bit of a mishmash and your hair is determined to make your life a misery. But mainly because you are a style blogger, who also has a very busy work schedule and a hubby/photographer who is only around for two days a week, and you have neither the time nor the energy to have another photo shoot this weekend...

Yes, this is the (un)glamorous life of a style blogger...

frills and lace over 50
over 50 blogger
wool coat

Outfit details:
skirt: Zara / top: Boden / cardigan: Brora (old) / 
coat: Hobbs (old) / bag: Chanel / boots: Caprice (old)

What do you do on days when you hate everything in your wardrobe?

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