Friday, 23 June 2017

Midsummer

maxidress over 50

MIDSUMMER

So, Wednesday was summer solstice, the longest day of the year. And Saturday is Juhannus (= Midsummer), when we celebrate everything that makes summer so special in Finland: the midnight sun and 'the nightless nights' (in Helsinki sunrise is at 3.53 am and sunset at 10.52 pm on 24 June: in Northern Finland the sun does not set at all).

So, how do you celebrate Midsummer, then?

Well, there are bonfires by the sea/lake, music festivals and special events with singing and dancing.
Although, walking around the rather empty city streets you might be hard pressed to guess this is one of the biggest celebrations of the year. That's because most people celebrate Midsummer in the countryside.

In the past Midsummer  was a night for magic and spells. Today it often marks the start of summer holiday. It is the time to relax and catch up with friends and family. Or just sit quietly, watching the bonfires reflected in the water...

Hyvää juhannusta! / Happy Midsummer!

midsummer
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Outfit details:
dress: Oysho / cardigan: Soyaconcept (old) / shoes: Clarks (old) /
 bag: Lancel (old) / sunglasses: Marc Jacobs
location: Sirpalesaari, Helsinki

How do you celebrate Midsummer?

Tiina

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Summer Holiday...

summer pastels over 40

School's out!!!

Well, not school, actually, as I've been teaching summer courses, but you get the idea... It's summer holiday, and the busy teacher can do whatever she wants, whenever she wants. Sleeping till noon, staying up all night, it's going to be wild!!!

Well, let's get back to the wild part later...  I mean, there's so much I've been planning to do now that I have a bit more time. Now, let's see...

I should finally sort out my wardrobe. Or at least put away the winter cashmere. And decluttering, I've been wanting to do that for ages. And now I can go to the gym every day if I want to. Or not... Maybe a couple of times a week? And I can finally start learning German: I could study for an hour or two every day. Or ten minutes. Isn't that what I always say to my students: "a little bit every day is enough, and then it becomes a habit", maybe I should take my own advice?

But I shouldn't just withdraw from the world. Oh no, now that I have time I should reach out to other people, catch up with some friends. Maybe after they're back from holiday. And social media, I could finally put some effort into it and figure out how it works. Or at least sort out my LinkedIn page. I've been meaning to do that for at least 4 years...

Or I could just catch up on some sleep. And watch some TV, I have a lot of catching up to do there, too. Yeah, I think I'll start with that...

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Poola Kataryna necklace
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Outfit details:
t-shirt: J.Crew / pencil skirt: Boden (old) / bag: Furla / 
sunglasses: Marc Jacobs / necklace : Poola Kataryna sjoes: Clarks (old)

What are your plans for the summer holiday?

Tiina

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Saturday, 17 June 2017

Repeat Offender

how to wear pastels over 40

This is what I was wearing when I went sightseeing (OK, shopping, whatever...) in Barcelona. Yes, another hot weather outfit: loose and comfortable, covering as much skin as possible (to protect me from the sun).

And you may (or may not) remember that I posted almost exactly the same outfit a couple of years ago (with an orange linen shirt instead of a pink one). Yes, this is how long I keep wearing the same clothes... And why not? I hate the idea of wearing something just once, or even just one summer. I'm very much against throw-away culture and fast fashion, and buy (most of) my clothes intending to wear them for several years. And I don't mind repeating outfits, either.

That being said, the sandals here might not get a second outing very soon. They're very pretty, and felt really comfortable at first. Yet, they gave me enormous blisters. Seriously, I can still see the scars on my left foot, almost two weeks after these pictures were taken...

And the hair... That's not an updo. Not really: I just pulled the hair away from my neck and pinned random strands up, a bit haphazardly. My hair is actually rather thin and soft, but because it's naturally curly it looks bigger. And it sort gets a bit crazy when it's hot (or humid). This means that it gets even bigger and curlier and makes my neck sweat... So, I just pinned it up for comfort.

And no, I haven't thought of cutting my hair short. It's not that I don't like short hair, quite the contrary: my dream hair would be a tidy pixie cut... But, with a curly hair (like mine) that won't work. Trust me: been there, done that, destroyed the photos...  No, my hair has decided that it will only behave (to some extent, and not every day) as long as I keep it shoulder length. Hence the haphazard updo...

how to wear pastels over 50
summer pastels over 40

Outfit details:
maxi skirt: Ralph Lauren(old) / linen shirt: Marks and Spencer / 
bag; Furla (old) / sandals: Clarks / sunglasses: Marc Jacobs

What do you like to wear on a hot day?

Tiina

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Monday, 12 June 2017

Keeping Cool

smart casual summer

So, this is a half-hearted attempt at putting together an outfit for hot weather... 

Given that hot weather always makes me feel really uncomfortable, I've given up any pretense of sophistication and style long ago. Instead, I go for comfort. That is, anything that makes me a little less uncomfortable, such as loose-fitting cropped trousers and a loose top.

Now, this of course goes against all of the style rules I usually follow (more fitted tops, nipped in waists...), but on a hot day one has to prioritise. And avoiding a heat stroke is definitely a top priority.

Yet, even while sweating my face off I would like to look as if I at least made an effort... So, instead of an ethereal summery style statement, I go for the cool girl look. If it works, it looks as if I won't let hot weather mess with my style. And if it doesn't work, well, then I'll just look too cool to give a damn...

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Outfit details:
top: Next  / trousers: Onelife / bag: Lancel /shoes: Clarks /sunglasses: Chanel (all old)

How do you keep cool on a hot day?

Tiina

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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Birthday Outfit

kimono

Last Sunday was my birthday. And, as we've done for the past 10 years, hubby and I celebrated it by spending a couple of days in one of our favourite cities, Barcelona.

Yes, I know, this is the second time this year that we've spent a weekend there... Well, if I like a place, I usually go back. Again and again...

But, flying to Barcelona (from Helsinki) also reminded me that travel doesn't have to be hell on earth (= long lines at the passport control, unpleasant officials herding passengers like cattle...). It really is possible to just get to the airport, get on the plane, and get out at the other end without any hassle. If you travel within the Schengen Area, that is... Hmm, maybe we should have more holidays in mainland Europe from now on....

Anyway, on Sunday hubby took me out to lunch to celebrate my birthday, to one of our favourite restaurants in Barcelona, Mandarin Oriental.

Mandarin Oriental

And there was time for a quick photo shoot on Passeig de Gracia, the Barcelona luxury shopping street. No shopping though. It was Sunday, and in Spain most shops are closed then. Which was fine, as most shops on this street are a bit out of my price range...

As for the outfit, I decided to mix casual with luxurious: a graphic t-shirt and a silk kimono (seen before HERE and HERE) with cropped trousers. Please disregard the shoes. I had planned to wear a pair of white sandals, but they gave me such painful blisters the day before that I had to resort to another pair of shoes.

And the fabulous pearl, onyx and tourmaline necklace was a birthday present from hubby. Doesn't that man have great taste?

graphic t-shirt over 40
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over 40 blogger

Outfit details:
silk kimono: Esprit (old) / cropped trousers: Masai / t-shirt: Zadig and Voltaire (old) / 
bag: Rebecca Minkoff / shoes: Clarks  sunglasses: Marc Jacobs

There will be more posts on Barcelona later, of course...

Tiina

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Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Mix and Match Travel Wardrobe

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As you probably remember, I was in Barcelona over Easter. I know, it was a while ago, but I haven't really done a proper travel wardrobe post yet...

Anyway, it was a rather short trip, just a few days. So, no need to pack a lot of clothes, right? A few pieces that mix and match should be enough.

What's my 'packing strategy', then?

I believe that packing is not supposed to be complicated, and it doesn't require lists or weeks of planning. After all, what I wear when I'm travelling is not that different from what I'd wear on any other day.

I also believe that less is more, and I prefer to have a relatively small wardrobe. And when I travel, I tend to become a bit of a minimalist, especially when it comes to accessories. Although, while I can manage with one handbag, I need to have at least two pairs of sunglasses. But I think that's just smart: what if I lose or break one pair?

I often take a suitcase instead of just cabin luggage (unless it's just a day or two and I can get by with just a very small carry-on). I hate those people who hoard all the overhead locker space for their mismatched collection of various huge 'carry-on' bags so that there's nowhere to put your coat... I'm digressing here, sorry... My point is, I need a bag with enough room for 'souvenirs' (= anything I might find when going 'sightseeing' a.k.a shopping once in my destination...), so a suitcase is simply more practical.

And last but not least, I don't want to  plan ahead when I'm on holiday, whether it's about what to see, do or wear.

travel wardrobe over 40

So, about this trip to Barcelona... As usual, I started packing just a few hours before going to the airport. And it took me about 30 minutes. In other words, I decided which bag and shoes to take (which gave me the colour palette), and then I just tossed a few t-shirts, a couple of skirts and a pair of relaxed jeans into the mix.

Because all of the pieces in my 'travel wardrobe' mix and match seamlessly, I can decide what to wear on any given day depending on my mood (and the weather). Which is exactly what I did.

You've already seen the other two outfits (left / right) I wore during the trip: 

casual travel wardrobe

Yes, I'm wearing the same cardigan, bag and gold jewellery in all of these pictures... And that's precisely the point: less is more, and everything can be mixed and matched. Taking the stress out of packing (and dressing).  A holiday is supposed to be relaxing, after all...

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graphic tee

Outfit details:
t-shirt: Custo Barcelona / denim skir: KappAhl / cardigan Soyaconcept / 
shoes: Van Dal /bag: Kate Spade / sunglasses: Dolce and Gabbana

What's your 'packing strategy'?
More Travel Wardrobe posts HERE

Tiina

PS: Have you seen the latest Dilettante Artist post?
Dilettante Artist also has its own Instagram account now!

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Wardrobe Experiments 2: Theory vs Practice

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You know how some clothes seem like a good idea when you see them in pictures or in the shop, but won't really work in real life? This crossover shirt is one of them. I hate it, and I think I will never wear it again.

It was an impulse purchase, at Barcelona airport. It was the sleeves, I was totally mesmerised by them. And I still think they are fun and flirty. It's the rest of the shirt I hate.

Let's take the neckline, for starters. Why does it have to be so high? It's certainly not very flattering, at least not on me. And it makes me feel I'm being strangled. And yes, the crossover bit is supposed to be on the back, I checked...

puff sleeves
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Although why anyone would want to waste such a perfect v-neck this way is beyond me...

Which is why I decided to wear it the other way round.

And I still hate it.

This shirt is simply one of the most uncomfortable clothes I have ever worn. Sure, wearing  the v-neck in the front is more flattering and (marginally) more comfortable, but the sash still keeps creeping up towards my armpits, ARGHH!!!

These two sets of photos were taken a couple of weeks apart, and on both occasions I couldn't bear wearing the shirt for more than 10 minutes. And I kept adjusting and re-adjusting the shirt all the time...

The things is, I absolutely hate fussy clothes... My clothes need to allow free movement and feel as comfortable as pyjamas, making me feel as if I'm wearing nothing. Or that I could sleep in them and they would still look and feel wonderful. Yes, I know it's a tall order, but it's non-negotiable. Sure, style is important, but never at the expense of comfort. No, discomfort is a deal-breaker, it's as simple as that. Oh well, lets's just write this one off as an experiment...

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Outfit details:
shirt: Zara / denim skirt: KappAhl / jeans: Next / bag: Gloria Ortiz /
shoes: Clarks / sunglasses: Michael Kors

Have you ever bought something that seemed like a good idea at 
the time but turned out to be incompatible with you? 

Tiina

PS: Have you seen the latest Dilettante Artist post?
Dilettante Artist also has its own Instagram account now!

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Sunday, 28 May 2017

Wardrobe Experiments 1: Cute vs Attitude

summer skirt

"It looks like kitchen curtains"

That was the first impression this skirt made on my husband... But I liked it. It reminds me of the cute gingham summer dresses my mother used to wear. So, in a way the skirt evoked some happy childhood memories...

And it has pockets! And it allows free movement! It's practical!

So, the skirt appeals to me on both emotional and rational level, and in my book that's good enough a reason to get it. Hubby will get used to it.

The only problem is that I don't do cute. It's just not me. I blame all those frilly dresses I had to wear as a child, and a lifetime of being told to look pretty... Besides, anyone who knows me would describe me as terminally sarcastic, drawn to pessimism, and a bit of loose cannon when it comes to politically incorrect opinions. In other words, definitely not cute...

So, I needed to add a bad-ass t-shirt to balance the outfit out. After all, I wouldn't want to misrepresent myself...

casual summer over 40
casual summer wear over 50

Outfit details:
skirt: Zara / t-shirt: Mango (old) / bag: Furla / 
shoes: Clarks / sunglasses: Marimekko

So, what do you think of this outfit: kitchen curtains, too cute, or too much attitude? 
Let me know in the comments.

Tiina

PS: I want to thank debwlv for the very kind comment on an old post. I tried to publish it and accidentally deleted it instead... Should not try to do these things on the iPhone, I guess... Anyway, that was a very sweet comment, and it made me very happy.

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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Marimekko Summer 2017

Marimekko summer 2017

So, last Friday I went to see the annual Marimekko summer 2017 fashion show. The event is open to the public and held at the Esplanade park in the centre of Helsinki.

And these are some of the highlights of the show:

DRESSES
There were a lot of dresses (and skirts), of course, for summer. Now, I'm not a fan of the typical Marimekko style - boxy cuts and shapeless dresses -  but I really liked the flowy fabrics in this show. And if I was tall and slender, I would snap up this dress with a cape immediately...

marimekko summer 2017
Marimekko summer 2017

RETRO
This year Marimekko is re-introducing some iconic designs from the 60's and the 70's. I tried on the first dress a few weeks ago, but unfortunately it wasn't very flattering on my curvy body. Which is a pity as I just love the 60's fashion...

Marimekko summer 2017
marimekko summer 2017
marimekko summer 2017

Naturally, there were a lot of prints:

marimekko summer 2017
marimekko summer 2017
marimekko summer 2017

And Black and White

A bit too much black, is you ask me...

Marimekko summer 2017
Marimekko summer 2017

And if you'd like to see more, Marimekko posted a short video clip on Instagram.

Tiina

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Sunday, 21 May 2017

Travelling Light

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In my last post I said I have a few of these wool ponchos... 

So, here's another one, worn instead of a jacket. It's a very casual piece, yet it provides a little bit of drama and sophistication to this otherwise very plain outfit.

But the poncho is also the perfect travel piece: it goes with any outfit, and you can wrap it around yourself on the plane. And when you travel, you get a bit lazy as far as clothes are concerned, and need all your clothes to multitask. And if you travel a lot (as in every weekend, as I've been doing lately, commuting between two homes...), you might want to travel light.

This time, going to the U.K., I had just a tote bag (the one you see here). And it was wonderful: no fussing about the luggage at the airport, no dragging a trolley across London... Of course, I do realise that this is only possible because I'm commuting between our home in Finland and the house we have in England, and there's a wardrobe bursting with clothes waiting for me wherever I happen to be heading... Still, having no luggage made travel almost bearable.

Yes, it may come as a surprise, but I really do not enjoy travelling. Going to places is fine, interesting, exhilarating even at times. But the actual travelling bit (as in, airports, luggage, passport controls...) stresses me out. And when you do that every week... It's usually my darling husband who commutes every week (my visits to the U.K. tend to be less frequent but of longer duration), but lately I've been doing more of it. And I'm beginning to understand how stressful it is...

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smart casual over 40
smart casual over 50

Outfit details:
poncho: Marja Kurki / t-shirt: Gap / trousers: Marks and Spencer / 
shoes: Clarks / bag: Furla / sunglasses: Marc Jacobs
location: Bayswater, London

Do you like to travel light?

Tiina

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