Sunday, 26 March 2017

How to wear colours that don't suit you

how to wear leather over 50

Black and White...

Remember this dress? I Like it a lot, and find it very comfortable. But I find it a bit difficult to style because it's black and white...

Black and white, the two colours I usually avoid. Of course, I have both black and white clothes. And I wear both of these colours, though not very often. They're not the most flattering colours for me, and I prefer bright colours anyway.

So, anything black or white is always a bit challenging. To avoid looking like I'm a member of the Addams Family, I need to add some colour around my face. But the thing is, I don't like the look of black combined with bright colour. I don't quite know why; something about it just looks a bit harsh, as if the black is draining the brighter colour or something.

how to wear a biker jacket over 50
how to wear a leather jacket over 50

But this is black and white, so a bit softer than all black, and maybe a better match for bright colour. Because in my opinion this outfit (on me at least) definitely needs a dose of colour. Really, black and white may be a classic combination and timelessly elegant and all that, but it definitely does nothing to enhance my best features...

No, I've said it before and I'll say it again: a face as pale as mine needs colour. Sure, black and white may look fabulous on those olive-skinned, dark-eyed French women, or the tanned Mediterranean types. But a pale Nordic woman with pale blue-green-grey eyes and mousy brown hair needs a more delicate colour palette. Too harsh contrasts will just make her skin look sallow and emphasize every wrinkle. In fact, something a bit softer, say navy and white perhaps, would be so much more flattering...

Unfortunately, this dress is black and white, and the leather jacket is black, but like both of them... So, to make it work I need to add a splash of red. That always works; red is one of the best colours for me, and I can wear both warm and cold reds. So, red saves the day...

over 50 blogger

Outfit details:
dress: Comma / leather jacket: Karen Millen (old) / scarf: Carolina Herrera / 
shoes: Clarks / bag: Lancel (old) / sunglasses: Marc Jacobs

How do you wear colours that don't really suit you?


Thursday, 23 March 2017

3 Years...

blog anniversary

It's been 3 years since I started this blog, can you believe it? Yes, 3 years and 352 posts later, here we are...

As far as anniversaries go, I know it's somewhat customary to reflect on everything we've learned, and how much things have changed and yet stayed the same. But I'm not going to do that. Well, for starters, I almost forgot this blog anniversary. And second, I'm just not in the mood...

Well, as far as 'my style' is concerned, I've never really bothered analysing it. That does not mean I consider such topics trivial; I want to look good just as much as the next woman, just preferably without too much effort...

Besides, I originally started this blog to have a hobby that did not require me to analyse anything. You see, I'm not a laid-back, easy-going, go-with-the-flow kind or person. Quite the contrary. I usually find it very difficult to relax, and I tend to analyse and over-analyse everything, from every possible point of view, over and over again. That's because I want to be prepared for whatever disaster lurks just around the corner (as a typical the-glass-is-always-half-empty pessimist, I think there's always going to be a disaster, of some sort, sooner or later...). So, there is always something (plans, back-up plans, worries, or concerns, take your pick) occupying my mind, which isn't exactly condusive to reducing stress...

However, even I have a point where my mind gets overloaded, and therefore I try to eliminate unnecessary decisions. In other words, I don't want to think about what to wear; I just want to pull something fabulous (or, that failing, somewhat decent and clean) out of my wardrobe and get on with the must-do things in life. Like that pile of student assignments I keep putting off...

So, in case case you're wondering if my style has changed (or evolved, whatever) in these 3 years, see for yourself: these are the most popular posts this year (so far) and in 2016, 2015, and 2014...

how to wear boyfriend jeans over 40
40+ blogger
work wear over 40
transitional dressing over 40

By the way, did you notice that I'm wearing the same coat and cashmere jumper in the two first photos? I bought the coat almost 2 years ago, and the jumper last year, and they've both been featured on the blog many, many times. And even though I've travelled a lot and visited a lot places in the past 3 years (and some of them dozens of times, as you can see in the travel section of this blog) all of these photos were taken in my home town, Helsinki...

Thank you all for reading, commenting and coming back. It means a lot to me. 



Sunday, 19 March 2017

One coat that goes with anything, part 2

I showed you this coat a couple of weeks ago accessorized with warm colours. But it looks just as good with cold colours, don't you think?

Yes, you've seen everything I'm wearing here, many times. I have quite a small wardrobe, and I like it that way.

To be honest, deep down I'm a bit of a minimalist. Just a bit. Too much stuff makes me feel claustrophobic. And  I hate clutter.

But I don't live in a neatly organised, minimalist house... No, I admit there are piles of (mostly work-related) stuff and old magazines lying around. And my wardrobes (as in one in Finland and the other in the UK) are a chaotic mess and stuffed to the brim. But there are no dishes accumulating in the sink, and my dressing table is always more or less tidy. I call these my 'safe areas'. As opposed to 'messy areas' (= behind closed doors...).

Anyway, I try not to accumulate too much (clothes, or anything else for that matter), and actually wear (and use) everything I have. And I've noticed that a small, well curated wardrobe works for me. Besides, I'm all about quality over quantity...

And I tend to get very attached to my favourite clothes. They represent some sort of continuity and permanence in this unpredictable world. And I like it that (almost) everything I have can be mixed and matched. Not to create new outfits. I don't need a different outfit every day; I'm quite happy to repeat an outfit, over and over again. No, having a wardrobe that can be mixed and matched endlessly is just practical: I hate doing the laundry...

Outfit details:
coat:Jaeger / top: Custo Barcelona / trousers: Marks and Spencer / 
sunglasses: Marc Jacobs / bag: Chanel / shoes: Clarks

What about you, are you a minimalist? 


PS: Have you seen the latest Dilettante Artist post?


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Vintage Marimekko

1960s Marimekko

I went to see the Modern Life exhibition at Helsinki Art Museum a couple of weeks go. The exhibition brings together architecture, design, photography and fashion, and is part of the Centenary Celebration of Finland.

There was some fabulous functionalist furniture, glassware, art and design. And some 1960's fashion. Well, vintage Marimekko from the 50's and the 60's, to be more precise. As it happens , I love 60's fashion, and I love 60's vintage Marimekko...

Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera with me, only my iPhone. So, the picture quality is not optimal, and neither was the lighting. However, I wanted to post a few of my favourites.

By the way, Marimekko has re-issued a few of their iconic designs, such as the colourful Monrepos dress in the first picture (see HERE for more details)

Don't you just love these colour combinations?

60s fashion
60s fashion

So, what do you think?


PS: Have you seen the latest Dilettante Artist post?


Sunday, 12 March 2017

Boyfriend Jeans

casual wear over 40


Yes, this is me, sporting my brand new pair of boyfriend jeans. They're slouchy, comfy, ever-so-slightly distressed, and I love them.

And yes, this is newsworthy. First, because I hardly ever buy a new pair of jeans (or trousers) and second, because I actually found a pair of jeans I could squeeze my big bum in. That happens once in a blue moon. Which probably explains why I hardly ever buy jeans (or trousers)...

Buying jeans is right up there with having a root canal as far as unpleasant experiences go, at least for me. I mean, there I am, in that tiny dressing room, with an armful of jeans (or trousers or any sort), none of which fit. It's bound to have an effect on a girl's self-esteem: I can't even count the times I've left empty-handed and totally defeated, believing I must be some sort of a deformed mutant.

And then I always get angry and decide that there's nothing wrong with me; it's the jeans that are faulty. After all, most of them seem to be designed for people with no hips and legs twice as long as mine...

What usually happens is I can barely fit one leg in, and even then the damn jeans won't go past my knees (and yes, I've tried bigger sizes...). And  then I have to spend the next ten minutes trying to pull the said leg out, without destroying the jeans in the process. And even if I somehow manage to get both legs and my sizable behind into the damn contraption, the waistline could easily fit 3 of me...

So, whenever I find a pair of jeans (or trousers of any sort) that fit me, I usually buy them in every colour I can find and then wear them to bits.

And now you understand why this is newsworthy: I found a pair of jeans that fit me comfortably. OK, fine, I'm wearing a belt, so maybe the jeans could be just a little bit narrower at the waistline (but one size smaller would be way too tight around the thighs and hips), but you can't have it all.

boyfriend jeans over 50
elegance revisited

Outfit details:
coat: Hobbs (old) / jeans: Opus / cashmere jumper: Caroll /cashmere scarf: Fraas / 
bag: Chanel /shoes: Nero Giardini / sunglasses: Marc Jacobs

What about you, do you hate shopping for jeans?



Thursday, 9 March 2017

Bad Weather and Muddy Colours

casual style over 50

Bad Weather...

Now, I understand that your definition of 'bad weather' depends on your expectations and the season. What you might consider 'bad weather' in summer would be just fine in winter, for example. And of course, where you live also matters. For example, being a Finn, I expect winters to be cold (as in mostly below freezing), and there might be snow and ice. I'm not saying I like it (actually I hate winter), but I can handle it.

But there is 'bad' winter weather and 'good' winter weather. And contrary to what you might think, 'bad weather' in winter often means less snow and slightly warmer temperatures. And that, of course, means not just an overcast sky and no sunshine but also sleet. No, not rain: sleet. (for those of you living in places without much of a winter: sleet is sort of a mixture of rain and snow, or wet snow. It's unpleasant, wet, and doesn't exactly make you want to spend time outdoors)

Anyway, this is me prepared for 'bad' winter weather. And even though it looks dry, there was a lot of humidity (see how my hair curls up?) and lo and behold, we had quite a bit of sleet a couple of hours after these pictures were taken.

The point is, you need a completely different outfit for 'bad' winter weather. Forget wool coats; a parka is a better option. The aim is to stay dry, after all...

40+ blogger
how to wear a parka over 50

Outfit details:
parka: Phase Eight / scarf: Balmuir / jeans: Next / 
bag: Vivienne Westwood / shoes; Clarks

What do you consider 'bad weather' in winter? 



Sunday, 5 March 2017

One coat that goes with anything, part 1

casual chic over 50

I have  a lot of coats, sort of...

Well, I have 3-4 coats for each season, for sure. And I've distributed them more or less evenly between our two homes (if you're new to this blog, here's the story in a nutshell: I work in Finland, my husband works in the UK, and we have homes in both countries and travel constantly). So, the idea is that I have clothes (not just coats) in both homes /countries, and I can travel light. There's no need to take a suitcase, maybe not even a carry-on because whether I'm in Finland or in the UK, I have a wardrobe full of clothes I can wear. It works very well. In theory, at least...

The point is that I only have about half of my wardrobe available (because the other half is in another country). Of course, it's not a perfect system, more like work in progress, and some of my clothes and accessories have become very good at hitching a ride in my hand luggage...

Anyway, while my shoes, handbags and sunglasses seem to travel a lot, my coats are supposed to stay put in one country. I know, it seems a bit illogical, but it sort of makes more sense in my head... Coats take up a lot of space in a carry-on, and a long wool coat is a real pain to stuff in the aircraft overhead locker. So, whenever I travel, I wear something simple and easy. Definitely not what you see in these pictures (you've seen this coat before HERE). This coat does not travel (these photos were taken in the UK).

Having two wardrobes does have its challenges, of course. In essence, it's a bit like having a capsule wardrobe. Everything has to mix and match, and I stick to simple shapes and a rather limited colour palette. This is particularly important with outerwear.

So, whenever I buy a coat, I expect to wear it with all my clothes. And that's why I tend to go for very classic styles in colours that work with everything. And no, I don't mean neutrals, they wash me out and I don't like 'muddy' colours anyway. Besides, for me, blue is a neutral: it suits my natural colouring and it works with most of the other colours I have in my wardrobe.

And it can be accessorized with either cold or warm colours. Here I decided to add red, orange and burgundy accents to brighten up the look. But I think it would look just as good with some cold colours. I think I'll try that later...

wool coat
chic casual wear
over 50 blogger

Outfit details:
wool coat: Jaeger / top: Tommy Hilfiger / scarf: Carolina Herrera / jeans: Next / 
sunglasses: Dolce and Gabbana / shoes: Clarks / bag: Kate Spade / gloves: Global

How do you choose your coats?


Thursday, 2 March 2017


how to wear monochromatic over 50

I don't do neutrals

They're so unflattering on someone as pale as me. A far cry from the stylish and harmonious vibe they're supposed to convey, for sure. But I can achieve the same impact by wearing something monochromatic... in colour.

So, I wanted to create an outfit that looks neutral, with the colours blending in seamlessly, mixing soft berry tones, purple and a splash of bright pink.

This outfit looks casual yet put-together. Nothing stands out, but I don't have to worry about fading into the background, either. There's some pattern and different textures, yet the overall impression is very harmonious. The colours are very saturated, yet they look subtle and subdued.

Yes, you don't need to wear neutrals: you can just fake them, in purple and pink and berry...

casual monochromatic
casual monochromatic

Outfit details:
down jacket: Beaumont / top: Custo Barcelona / trousers: Marks and Spencer / 
bag: Gloria Ortiz / sunglasses: Marc Jacobs / shoes: Clarks

What do you think, is this outfit 'neutral' enough?


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