Monday, 16 October 2017

On Capsule Wardrobes

pattern mixing

The rain stopped. For a moment, at least. Hurrah! The rain stopped!!! 
Shh, let's keep quiet about it, let's not jinx it...

OK, what I really wanted to talk about was capsule wardrobes. That's why I'm wearing the same top I was wearing in the last two posts, and the same scarf and shoes I was wearing with the down jacket. And of course the same sunglasses I've been wearing in just about every other post this year...

So, about capsule wardrobes...

I'm a huge fan of capsule wardrobes Yet, I've never actually created one, and I have neither the patience nor the interest for KonMari anything. In fact, my wardrobe is a huge mess. Always has been, and I don't think any amount of decluttering will change that (Hmm, maybe I need bigger closets...). Sure, I declutter once or twice a year, when I have time and feel inspired (this year I just haven't got to it yet, I wonder why...). But I'm digressing here. I definitely did not want to talk about my mess of a wardrobe but about capsule wardrobes.

That is, a lazy girl's capsule wardrobe. Let me explain. I'm often in a hurry in the morning (I'm so not a morning person...), and I don't have time to look for something to wear in my (very messy and disorganised) wardrobe. And the thought of choosing an outfit the night before is too much work; it's just not going to happen.

The solution: (almost) everything I have can be mixed and matched. And, like most women, I probably only wear about 20 percent of my wardrobe. But I'm OK with that. I keep wearing my favourite clothes over and over again, for a few weeks or months at a time.

over 50 blogger
pattern mixing

The Seasonally-appropriate capsule wardrobe

Most of my clothes are seasonal. I won't be wearing my 'autumn clothes' in winter, or my winter coats and cashmere jumpers in spring or summer.

In other words, my (very messy and disorganised) wardrobe contains several seasonally-appropriate 'capsule wardrobes': I have a limited number of clothes I can wear for a limited amount of time. And when the weather gets colder or warmer, I will need to move on to the next 'capsule collection' of seasonally-appropriate favourites.

fall smart casual

And this is what you're seeing here: an autumn outfit with a long-sleeved top and cords (warmer than jeans), a scarf and a smart coat.

I think I need at least 2 coats per season: one smart and one casual.

It doesn't really matter what's under the coat; the coat sets the mood and defines your style. And a smart coat makes an otherwise casual outfit more elegant. Just compare these two outfits:

casual fall outfit
smart casual fall outfit

Outfit details:
coat: Hobbs (old) / top: Gant / trousers: Marks and Spencer (old) / scarf: Marja Kurki (old) / 
shoes: Ara / bag: Longchamp (old) / sunglasses: Marc Jacobs (old)

How do you feel about capsule wardrobes?


PS: have you seen the new Dilettante Artist post?


Thursday, 12 October 2017

What to wear when it's raining

rainwear over 50

Rain, Rain, and more rain...

It's raining. Again. Or still. Whatever. It has been raining forever. Well, for the past two weeks, anyway. That's a lot of rain. Too much rain, if you ask me.

And it seems the rain isn't going anywhere anytime soon, either. Better get used to it, I suppose.

But it's not just raining all the time; it's getting colder, too. That's why I'm wearing a thicker parka: no more trench coats until spring... Oh well, soon it will be winter, and I will take every excuse to avoid going out. Which is more difficult than it sounds as I work 5 days a week at the moment.

But for now I'm trying to stay warm and dry. That's what the parka is for: it's water-resistant and it has a hood. Very practical when you're in the middle of  the Great Flood.

parka over 50
Marimekko umbrella

And yes, I'm wearing wellies (that's rubber boots for my American readers). You know, because it's raining. And because there's nothing sexy about wet socks. In fact, the best way to avoid getting a cold is to keep both your neck and your feet warm and dry.

So, now you know why I always wear a scarf. And good shoes that keep my feet dry. However, when you suddenly find yourself in the middle of the Great Flood, a.k.a the rain that won't stop, you discover that most shoes are in fact not water-proof.

In other words, there is a time and place for wellies (a.k.a rubber boots)...

rain accessories
casual rain wear over 50

Outfit details:
parka: Phase Eight (old) / top: Gant / trousers: Marks and Spencer (old) / scarf: A+ more /
bag and umbrella: Marimekko (old) / boots: Tretorn / wristwarmers: Brora (old)

What do you wear when it's raining?



Friday, 6 October 2017

October Colours

autumn colours over 40

October is a bit depressing. Not quite as depressing as November, but depressing enough to make me want to curl up on the sofa and shut the world out, at least for a moment. It's getting painfully clear that the wonderful, sunny but crisp autumn days are coming to and end. The days are getting shorter, at an ever-increasing pace,  and the sun seems to be playing hide and seek even on good days. Rain and storms dominate the weather forecasts. What are you supposed to wear?

I have a very utilitarian approach to changing seasons. If I have to leave home in the middle of the night (well, it feels like that, leaving before sunrise), then walk through rain and wind to the bus stop, I will be wearing something that keeps me warm and dry. And the rain is going to turn my hair into a frizzy mess anyway, so why bother with blowdrying? Late autumn is a survival course, not a catwalk show. Accept that, and move on to more important things, that's the idea. There's always another spring, just a few months away, might as well start planning for my spring wardrobe. Or at least dreaming about it...

However, accepting that this time of year is challenging as far as style is concerned doesn't mean wearing all black or depressing, muddy colours. Bad weather (combined with bad hair) is depressing enough; add boring and stark fashion and we'd get borderline suicidal.

Yet, I understand the allure of darker colours in late autumn. They feel safe, reassuring, fitting in with the overall darker mood. And some people look fabulous wearing darker colours, even black. But I'm not one of them.

The thing is, most dark colours are a bit... somber. At least on someone like me: very pale skin, very light eyes of indeterminate colour, and mousy brown hair.  My own colouring seems to scream for bright pinks and blues and reds, but somehow these colours seem a bit too much right now.

My solution is to go for a bit darker, more muted versions of 'my colours': plum, aubergine or purple instead of pink, and grey or navy instead of blue. The overall impression is darker, without being somber, yet still in harmony with my own colouring and the darker autumn mood.

40+ blogger
casual fall style over 40

Outfit details:
down jacket: Beaumont (old) / top: Gant / jeans: Next (old) / 
scarf: Marja Kurki /shoes: Ara / bag: Chanel

What are your 'autumn colours'?



Monday, 2 October 2017

Location, Location...

smart casual trench coat over 40

I wanted to have a photo shoot in the city...

Looking at my blog posts, you might get the idea that I live in a rural setting, or by the sea, somewhere far away from the busy life in the city.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I live in a suburban block of flats, a short train ride away from the centre of a big city. Yet, you hardly ever see any urban settings in my photos...

Well, there's a good reason for that: it's damn difficult to stage a photo shoot in the city.

For starters, there are a lot of people, and posing for pictures can be a bit awkward in crowded places. And I'm not sure passers-by are happy to be in photos, either...

And then there's the traffic. Yep, walking slowly across the street towards the camera as the traffic lights are turning red, and all the motorists are getting ready to mow you down if you're not fast enough... Great fun. Not. What is it with all those 30 something male drivers that makes them so aggressive? And it is always male drivers who think the city streets are their private property...

how to wear black and white

But it's not just that urban settings are challenging. In Helsinki it's just easy to find quiet places where you can pose undisturbed and take your time. Which in turn allows you to think about the backdrop and composition, and adjust the lighting... All of those things that make the difference between a good photo and a quick snapshot. It also helps to have a more relaxed model...

Anyway, this is what a hurried photo shoot in the city looks like. And this is my 'city look'. In case you were wondering...

smart casual over 50
fall smart casual
how to accessorize a trench coat

Outfit details (all old):
trench coat: Jigsaw / dress: Comma / scarf: Shanghai Tang / 
shoes: Clarks / bag: Kate Spade / sunglasses: Dolce and Gabbana

What's your 'city look'?


Thursday, 28 September 2017

Too Much Grey?

casual wear over 40

Help! I'm fading into the background!!!!

Wearing some neutrals (= blue and  grey for our purposes here) is fine. However, you can wear too much grey... Especially on a grey and rainy day. Or when you're staging a photo shoot by the sea. You know, when the sea is grey, and the sky is grey, everything is grey... OK, you get my point.

This is another example of what I was wearing most of the time for the first two weeks after my appendectomy. Let's call this the 'I can't be bothered' comfy look. Because there is no such thing as post-surgery chic. There's only 'I want to wear something that doesn't rub against the small incisions I have around my belly button' chic. Which pretty much means just loose tops and gym pants you can hoist up to your armpits... The challenge is how to make the above mentioned combo presentable.

And because it was one of those grey and rainy days (with unexpected brief moments of sunshine to add some confusion), I though a 'sporty' look would do the trick. More precisely, I went for an old Finnish classic: clothes for outdoorsy activities, worn casually in the city.

There's actually a verb (in Finnish) that is key to understanding this look: ulkoilla. It means getting some fresh air, spending time outdoors (which may or may not involve some sort of sporty activity such as going for a walk or jogging or something to that effect). Now, given that I'm a self-proclaimed city girl, and nobody in their right mind would call me athletic, this is a rather theoretical concept for me... Anyway, my interpretation of the idea was to wear something that looked appropriate for a nature trail. Or the seaside. Whatever.

In other words, I added a parka (it was raining) and good walking shoes.

Hey, I said this was the 'I can't be bothered' look...

And I can't even remember how many times we've taken photos on this island, in this exact same spot. Yes, this is one of our favourite restaurants (not to mention a great place for outdoor photo shoots), but this is our last photo shoot here. This year, that is. September is almost over, and summer restaurants will be closing soon. With no shuttle boat to take us to the island, we will have to wait till late spring to revisit this place. I think I miss it already...

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Outfit details: 
parka: Creenstone / trousers: Monki / top: J.Crew (old) / shoes: Ara / 
bag: Furla (old) / umbrella: Marimekko (old) scarf: Jigsaw (old)
location: Sirpalesaari, Helsinki

Do you miss your summer activities?



Saturday, 23 September 2017

How Many Coats Do You Need?

Zara trench coat

I bought a new coat

Now, I have a lot of coats. And I have several trench coats. So, we could easily assume a new coat is the last thing I need...

On the other hand, I live in a cool climate...

Which means that I can always justify getting another coat. Because, you know, I will wear it. As I will no doubt wear every single coat I have in the next 6 months. So many times, in fact, that come spring I will end up hating them all, simply because I'm so fed up with wearing the same thing all the time.

Because that's how it feels like, living in a cool climate, when a coat is not just a trendy addition to your wardrobe but a necessity.

And the truth is, you need more than just one coat, or two. Oh no, you need at least 2-3 coats per season. That is, 2-3 coats for early autumn (one for sunny, warm days and a different coat for rainy days), another 2-3 coats for late autumn (for those sunny yet cold days, and another coat for rainy and cold days). And then there's winter. But let's not talk about winter yet.

40+ blogger

And yes, you've seen this coat already: I was wearing it with my post-op sack dress...

Did I mention I have 3 trench coats for early autumn?

So, there really is no way I needed to get another one. But then I saw this one. And I debated with myself for a while (a whole 5 minutes), but it was really a no-brainer. Yes, I have 3 trench coats. But none of them is a neutral colour, or knee-length. See, if you try hard enough, you can always justify buying another coat... Actually, to be honest, I don't think I even need to try that hard.


Yes, about neutral colours... I know the coat is blue. Sort of greyish blue. In my world that passes for neutral. Mainly because I won't wear beige, for two reasons. One is because it really doesn't suit me. And the second is that a couple of dear friends of mine once promised to call the men in white coats if they ever caught me wearing beige. Seriously. And they're right, of course. Beige is boring, and it really doesn't suit me. Yes, I know some people look amazing (and not boring at all) in beige. My mother was one of those infuriating women. But I know my limitations. My face needs a bit more colour.

So, grey it is. Or grey-blue. This is actually the colour of my eyes, too...

The point is, this is a colour that looks neutral, sort of fake neutral, and it goes with most of the colours in my wardrobe. And to prove the point, everything else I'm wearing is old. Really old. As in something I've had forever.

Can I tell you a secret? I didn't get just one coat. Oh no, I bought another coat, too. You know, for those rainy early autumn days...

casual trench
Minna Parikka Shoes
trench coat

Outfit details:
trench: Zara / top: Custo Barcelona / jeans: Opus / 
shoes: Minna Parikka / bag: Furla / sunglasses: Marc Jacobs

So, the question of the day: how many coats does a woman need? 
Seriously, how many?



Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Autumn Pattern Mixing

casual pattern mixing

Seasonal challenges

Autumn weather can be tricky: one minute the sun is shining, and  the next it's pouring.  What exactly are you supposed to wear then???

My autumn outfits always start with a coat and shoes. It doesn't really matter what I'm wearing underneath the coat. But if I get the coat and the shoes wrong, I'm going to be miserable. Or cold, or wet, or both. So, a rainy day (even if it's just showers) requires a water-proof coat and shoes.

And because it was sort of a sunshine-and-rain kind of day, I decided to take this fun and quirky raincoat out for a spin. And I really wanted to wear something in a contrasting colour with it. But the problem is I don't really have long-sleeved (or short-sleeved) tops in solid colours. Seriously, looking at my wardrobe you'd think I have a mild obsession with stripes. OK, fine, nobody needs as many stripy tops as I have...

pattern mixing over 50
weekend wear over 40

easy-on-the-eye pattern mixing

So, what I'm trying to say is this  is sort of accidental (rather than intentional) pattern mixing: I decided to wear the stripy top that looked the best with the coat. And you know what? I actually like these two patterns together.

I'm not a big fan of pattern mixing, as far as my own outfits are concerned (some bloggers are very good at pattern mixing, and it also suits their personalities). I like my outfits simple and  minimal. Too many patterns in one outfit makes my head spin. It can look a bit too busy for my taste. But this, stripes with simple, graphic florals... This could work. At least for now.

over 50 blogger

Outfit details:
coat: Seasalt Cornwall (old) / top: Gant / jeans: Opus / 
shoes: Maripé (old) / sunglasses: Marc Jacobs / bag: Furla (old)
location: Katajanokka, Helsinki

Do you like pattern mixing?



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Saturday, 16 September 2017

The Post-Op Muumuu

Marimekko dress

If you've been following this blog for a while you probably know that I don't like a) layering or b) sack dresses. And yet, here I am, wearing a muumuu over a long-sleeved t-shirt...

For the past couple of weeks (since I had an appendectomy), dressing up has been a bit challenging. Mainly because at the moment I can't stand anything tight or clingy around my waist, and my abdomen is still a bit sore and swollen. So, I've been slobbing around in  gym pants and loose tops... Not very stylish, and I hope I can get back into proper clothes soon.

But about the muumuu...

No, I didn't buy it especially for this purpose (because, well, you can't plan for an appendectomy, and you definitely don't feel like shopping after one).

The thing is, I'd been eyeing this Marimekko dress all summer, wondering whether I should get it or not. It's loose and shapeless, so not exactly the best style for an hourglass figure.

But I really like the print and the colours.  And it's really simple, cut like  a kaftan or a kimono, which is exactly what I'd like to wear on a very hot day. You know, when I can't stand any fabric touching my skin.

I know from experience that I always regret not buying something when it's no longer available. So, I finally decided to get the dress, and bought the last one I could find. Yes, I know, it's autumn; not exactly the smartest purchase this time of the year. But I thought that there's always next summer..

casual dress and trench
over 50 blogger

And recently the muumuu has been the basis of my 'dressed-up look' (when I get tired of the more dressed-down gym pants and t-shirt combo). And because it's autumn and it's getting colder and rainier, I needed to wear a long-sleeved top underneath. Add the coat, and that's about as much layering as I can stand.

However, I don't think this will become a default look. It's OK, but's it's not something I'd choose if had other options.

Still, I will no doubt wear the dress again. In summer, on a very hot day, with fabulous sandals and big sunglasses, maybe with statement earrings...

summer dress in autumn

Outfit details:
trench coat: Zara / dress: Marimekko / top: Mistral (old)
shoes: Clarks (old) / sunglasses: Marc Jacobs  (old) / bag: Furla (old)

Would you wear sack dresses?



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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Casual in the City

casual wear over 50

I always dress for the occasion, and the weather. Well, the weather is getting cooler, windier, maybe even rainy. And the 'occasion'  in this case was sightseeing, followed by dinner in a lovely restaurant.

Now, these pictures are actually from a couple of weeks ago. But since I haven't been out much lately, and haven't had a chance to post them earlier, I thought I'd post them now.

Anyway, about this outfit... casual wear is the way to go: a wind/rainproof parka and good walking shoes. Let's not forget my current favourite pair of sunglasses. I have sensitive eyes. This is something I noticed after I had my eyes lasered (years ago): glasses protect your eyes from the wind and cold, too, not just the sun.

This is why you hardly ever see me without my sunglasses. The other reason is that after a lifetime of wearing strong prescription glasses I absolutely love wearing huge sunglasses. And I'm very lazy when it comes to makeup and don't even own a mascara. But I'm going to blame that on the sensitive eyes, too. It sounds better than admitting being lazy...

over 50 blogger
weekend wear over 50


Professor M and I took a little tour on this 1919 tram.  And in case you're wondering why the text on the side of the tram is in Swedish, let me remind you that Finland has two official languages. The same text is in Finnish on the other side of the tram.

The second part of our little sightseeing tour was a 15-minute ferry ride to a nearby island, to have dinner at one of Professor M's favourite restaurants.

Of course there are plenty of restaurants on the mainland, but since we didn't have time to visit the island this summer, we thought it might be a nice place for a little walk and dinner. And yes, casual attire is fine, and the old cobblestone streets and dirt roads on the island require sturdy footwear...


Outfit details: 
parka: Ril's / top: Vila / jeans: Opus /bag: Longchamp / 
shoes: Maripé / scarf: Alexander McQueen / sunglasses: Marc Jacobs

Do you ever go sightseeing in your home town?


PS: have you seen the latest Dilettante Artist post?


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Saturday, 9 September 2017

Dressing like a Fashionista

leather jacket over 40

What to wear to the fashion event of the year?

Every September the most prominent Finnish fashion magazine organizes a big fashion show. It's not Fashion Week, the clothes are already available in stores, and the event is open to plebs like me who can just buy a ticket. But it's sort of a big event in this town, at least for plebs like me...

The fashion show took place last Saturday, and these photos were taken as we left the venue. That was more or less exactly 24 hours before I found myself on the operating table having my appendix taken out... But that's another story.

Anyway, even an amateur fashionista like me would like to look somewhat credible, going to such a high-profile event... After all, there might be a few real fashionistas there. Or wannabe fashionistas. Or very stylish women. Whatever. What I'm trying to say is there's some pressure to look like you 'belong'. However, I do realise it is of course entirely possible that the pressure is all in my head...

So, it took quite a few outfit changes, lots of clothes tossed on the floor, some last minute improvisation, and endless patience (from my dear, long-suffering hubby) before we got to this outfit and these photos.

over 40 blogger
Chanel bag

I had decided on a black and white theme (because all real fashionistas always wear black, duh!). And I wanted to wear my new shoes (mainly because they fit the above-mentioned theme) and my Chanel bag (the emblem of a true fashionista if ever there was one). And I had sort of settled on the leather jacket, too (the hallmark of any self-respecting Cool Girl in Finland).  And I definitely wanted to wear my fabulous statement earrings (doesn't every self-respecting fashionista always wear at least one unique, unexpected item?). So, the tricky bit was to find something to go with all of this...

And, to ensure the whole how-to-dress-like-a-fashionista test wasn't too easy, the plan was to have dinner in an island restaurant later the same evening. Which meant that the carefully put-together, credible wannabe-fashionista outfit also had to be warm and comfortable.

Who knew dressing up could be so challenging. But at least I know now I'll never be a real fashionista. It's way too exhausting...

over 50 blogger

Outfit details:
leather jacket: Karen Millen (old) / dress: Comma / shoes: Ecco / bag: Chanel / 
sunglasses: Marc Jacobs / scarf: Alexander McQueen / earrings: Viktoria Boldt

What's your 'fashionista look'?


PS: Thank you all for your kind comments and well-wishes both here and on Instagram. I've been on sick leave, resting and recuperating, and more recently feverishly rearranging my work schedule for the next few months. It's because of this that I have been neglecting the blog a bit.


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