Dreaming of Summer…

favourite summer outfits

I don’t usually do recaps of my favourite outfits at the end of a season. Mainly because when the season is over, what’s the point? I guess you could say that I prefer to plan for the future…

However, I find it can be very useful (not to mention inspirational) to review favourite outfits from a year ago when preparing for a new season. And the new season in this case is summer, of course. As far as I’m concerned, summer is the only season worth preparing for, whether that means planning a wardrobe overhaul, a major shopping spree, or just going through the wardrobe staples to see if they need replacing or updating.

This may, of course, be a bit counter-intuitive, given that I live in a country where summer only lasts 3 months (and is at this point still a couple of months off). But hey, summer is the only season when you don’t need a coat/gloves/loads of warm clothes, and therefore the only season worth dressing up for.

Besides, I hate March. I really, really hate it. Even more than I hate November, which I hate mainly because it’s wet and cold and miserable, and you barely see any daylight.

But March, that’s a different beast altogether. March  is just evil. Think about it: the migrating birds are returning in droves, the sea is open again now that the ice has gone, and there’s more daylight every day. No wonder you start thinking that maybe, just maybe, there is an end to winter after all. And just when you think that now it’s going to get warm(er), it starts snowing again. And then you’re knee-deep in sleet…

As I said, March is evil: it makes you hope, only to crush your hope without mercy, time after time.

So, I need a little pick-me-up to remind me that no matter what evil tricks March has in store for us, one day it will be spring, and then summer, and we can wear nice clothes again.

And that’s why I decided to recap my favourite outfits from last summer. And by favourite I mean outfits that I remember without looking at pictures (in other words, it took me no time at all to find some photos) and that I would wear again tomorrow (if it was warm enough, obviously).

These photos will also be a useful reference point for me when I start planning what to add to my wardrobe. For summer, that is. Yes, I know spring comes before summer. But ‘spring‘ (at least in Finland) is just a fancy name for a sustained onslaught of  every type of pollen you can imagine (and several that you cannot), and I will be way too busy stockpiling allergy medication to even think about clothes and outfits.

Anyway… Let’s get to the point (I know what you’re thinking: ‘finally!’).

This is my favourite dress (OK, it’s really just a shapeless sack, or a ‘kaftan‘ for the more trend-conscious crowd) for really hot weather (= anything over + 25 °C). I also love this photo: I know it’s a bit cliché, but it’s so ‘Finnish Midsummer Magic‘ (I remember this photo shoot: it was actually Midsummer Eve, and this was after 11 pm).

Marimekko Unikko dress

And I still love the statement sleeves on this dress! I also remember when this photo was taken: it was my birthday…

Nouki dress

But my favourite piece must be the striped maxi dress that I was wearing all the time, everywhere.

The only drawback the dress has is that it’s sleeveless. And I need sleeves. Not for reasons  of ‘modesty’ (oh please, that is such a ridiculous concept. Besides, rules that only apply to women are not just offensive but also demeaning, so let’s not play that game. Ever). No, I need sleeves to protect my very pale, very sensitive skin from the sun. So, a lightweight, loose shirt will do the trick.

linen shirthow to wear a poncho

However, the dress also works as a foundation piece when the weather gets a bit colder. Then a cardigan is usually enough to keep me warm. Or, as in this case, I add one of my ponchos. And that’s the maximum amount of layering I can do: a sleeveless dress with a cardigan, with a poncho added for extra warmth. Two sets of sleeves (= a dress with sleeves + a cardigan) would be too much and would make me feel as if I was wearing a straightjacket.

So, that’s it: my out-of-season recap of my favourite outfits from last summer. These pictures are my starting point for my style tweaks for summer 2021. I will no doubt wear some of the same pieces, but I will also be looking for the same style elements when I go shopping or put together new outfits.

So, yes, there will be some stripes in my summer wardrobe. OK, fair enough: there will probably be lots of stripes, and navy and white, and gold-tone jewellery. And dark red, or burgundy.  If I can find it, that is: why is there always just pale pink in the shops for summer?!? I mean, who looks good in these paler than pale pastels shops are always pushing for summer??? Don’t answer that: I know, most people get a lovely sun-kissed look in summer. Well, I’m not most people: I’ll look like Miss Piggy if I’m not careful in the sun…


Are you going to wear your favourite outfits from last summer this year again?

Linking up with:

Elegantly Dressed and StylishHigh Latitude StyleA Labour of LifeCurly Crafty Mom, Doused in Pink,  Not Dressed As LambLiving on Cloud NineElegance and Mommyhood, Nancy’s Fashion StyleShelbee on the EdgeA Pocketful of Polka Dots Style SplashAway from the BlueMummabstylish , The Grey BrunetteMutton Years Style and I, Confessions of a Montreal Styling DivaIndependent Fashion Bloggers



  1. Donna
    21 March 2021 / 1:28 pm

    Where I live in the southern part of the United States ( Georgia ) we have summer most of the year and then a very mild fall/winter that lasts 3 months. On the extremely rare occasion we might get snow, and I mean years can go by between occurrences, the entire city shuts down because we don’t know how to drive in it! When I last visited Finland I panicked prior to coming because I was unable to find heavy enough winter clothing to buy. I ended up layering quite a bit and did okay. Finland is cold in February!! Especially in Rovaniemi but I did get to see the REAL Santa Claus! LOL!

    • Tiina L
      22 March 2021 / 12:01 pm

      Oh yes, it is definitely cold in Rovaniemi, it’s on the Arctic Circle after all. It may sound odd, but I’ve actually never been there. Somehow it seems so ‘far away’ (from Helsinki…). Perhaps in summer, if travel gets easier…

  2. Lise
    21 March 2021 / 4:30 pm

    Fabulous idea to get through this cold, gray “Spring afternoon” on the Black Sea, to remember my favourite outfits from last summer. I saw the first stork yesterday, the blossoms are on the plum trees but it is wet and cold!

    • Tiina L
      22 March 2021 / 12:04 pm

      Oh yes, there’s nothing like summer pictures to cheer you up on a miserable grey day! We’re still a long way from seeing any blossoms (or even leaves), but at least the sun is coming up. And it stopped snowing.

  3. arlene gomes
    21 March 2021 / 11:09 pm

    I can’t even remember my clothes from last Summer. Ha! It’s because I tend to wear mainly casual clothing like t shirts and cotton pants all summer. So nothing very exciting about that! I do like your striped dress and went looking for one last year and couldn’t find the right dress for me. They were too short or too baggy, etc. etc. I’m going to give it another try this year. I like the way you wear a thin shirt over yours . That’s a good idea! It was so nice out today here. We sat outside in my daughter’s yard for a casual lunch. It was like getting out of jail. Arlene from NJ

    • Tiina L
      22 March 2021 / 12:18 pm

      I wanted too see if there were any outfits I could remember wearing and liking, and these 4 came to my mind immediately. So, I though perhaps they were the ‘best’, or at least the ones I would wear again.
      Don’t be discouraged: It took me ages to find this dress. And I discovered that finding ‘the perfect striped dress’ is a lot more difficult and time-consuming than I ever could have imagined. And for sure I will try on each and every striped dress I come across this year, too, just in case. You can never have too many ‘perfect’ dresses, that’s what I believe…

  4. Maryellen Reardon
    22 March 2021 / 5:19 pm

    Love the clothes, but more than that I love the comment: “Rules that only apply to women are not just offensive, but also demeaning, so let’s not play that game. Ever.’ ” Yes. Yes Yes.

  5. 22 March 2021 / 11:35 pm

    Great styles Tiina, I too am dreaming of summer and more importantly holidays. xx Jacqui

    • Tiina L
      23 March 2021 / 2:30 pm

      Oh, holiday! Well, one day…

  6. Claudia
    24 March 2021 / 1:49 am

    Oh yes, I have favourites that I wear over and over again! One I’m already putting into good use is my long denim shirt-dress that I wear as a jacket in spring and fall, and as a dress on the cooler days of summer. I also get a lot of use from my kaftan with the blue Marimekko Kukkatori print, wearing it three seasons out of the year, on its own or paired with a cardigan or the aforementioned denim shirt-dress.

    I LOVE that Unikko kaftan of yours! That colour combination is glorious. That said, my absolute favourite of your dresses is the Nouki one. So, so beautiful. Everything about it is perfection. I had a look at their website, but none of the pieces in the current collection have that kind of flair. (Though I do like “KEMU kietaisumekko midi, vihreä-valkoinen’ though I don’t think the cut would suit me.)

    • Tiina L
      24 March 2021 / 4:53 pm

      Thank you! Yes, the Nouki dress is fabulous. I loved the statement sleeves so much that I got the same dress in another print, too. Wrap around dresses are often very flattering, and somewhat forgiving when it it comes to gaining or losing weight.

    • Tiina L
      30 March 2021 / 1:53 pm

      Thanks! It’s my favourite, too.

  7. 27 March 2021 / 11:21 pm

    Such a nice way to look forward to warmer days ahead! We are lucky it’s warm weather so much of the year here, winter is really short for us! But it means I have a wide range of summer staples in my wardrobe and these all seem like great ones to focus on for your upcoming summer! 🙂

    Also extremely jealous you can take pics like that at 11pm, wow! It’s never light that late here!

    Thanks so much for joining the #WeekdayWearLinkup! Hope you are having a good weekend. The rain has stopped here so we went out to one of the unflooded trails in the neighbourhood yesterday 🙂

    • Tiina L
      30 March 2021 / 1:55 pm

      Thanks! We’re so far north (about 700 km from the Polar Circle) that we get a lot of daylight in summer and hardly any in winter. It is really almost as light as day all night in early summer, for a few weeks.

  8. shelbeeontheedge1
    30 March 2021 / 8:59 pm

    I enjoyed seeing this recap of your favorite outfits, Tiina! And I completely understand the evils of March. I swear my climate in northern New York State (I am almost in Canada) is very similar to your climate in Finland. Our summer weather lasts only about 8 weeks. The joke here is that we only have two seasons…Winter and July! I am so ready for the cold and snow to leave me now! Oh and speaking of allergies, I recently started taking mullein leaf oil for seasonal allergies and it has been really helpful in minimizing most of my symptoms. I still suffer from allergies but not nearly as much as I used to…even when I took prescription or over the counter allergy medications. I just thought I would share that with you because it may be worth investigating if you have not already. Thanks for linking with me!


    • Tiina L
      1 April 2021 / 11:59 am

      Thanks! And thanks for the tip on the Mullein leaf oil, I must try that. I had some immunotherapy, which was really helpful, but that was over 20 years ago. And you know how it is with allergies, they come and go, depending on how much pollen there is. This year, we haven’t even seen any pollen yet, but I’m already having some symptoms…

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