Making a Statement

maxidress over 50

This is ‘the dress of the season’

I’ve seen it in every (Finnish) fashion magazine, on celebrities and news anchors, and even the Prime Minister was photographed wearing it!

Yes, this is the same dress you’ve seen before, just in a different print. But it really seems to be the summer dress everyone is wearing (everyone in Finland, that is).

statement sleeves 1300 x 1000

So, for once, I’m trendy. Make that super trendy. The height of fashion. I’m IT

OK, let’s talk about something else. So, this location… Well, you’ve seen it many times before, which is not surprising, given that this is one of Professor M’s favourite summer restaurants.

And yes, it’s on an island. And yes, there’s a marina… Is there something new I could tell you about it? OK, a fun fact: this is one of those places where you will inevitably hear some traditional drinking songs, usually in Swedish.

In case you’re wondering: there is a Swedish-speaking minority in Finland (not Swedes: they are Finns who speak Swedish as their native language), and this restaurant is also a Swedish-speaking sailing club.

 wrap dress

statement sleeves

But about the drinking songs…

It is customary (in the Swedish-speaking community, that is) to sing a little song before having the first drink of the evening (= ‘snaps’, which is basically a shot of strong alcohol). Finnish-speaking Finns tend to view this as an annoying custom that wastes valuable time (which would be better spent drinking)…

Unless they’re engineering students, of course. In which case they would be singing a little song every time they have a drink, (either in Finnish or in Swedish, or sometimes in both…). I think it might even be an essential part of their education. Singing drinking songs, I mean. And drinking. Why else would they have such an extensive, bi-lingual song book?

In any case, this is a place where you will always see groups of people bursting into song at some point of the evening. Or conversing fluently in two languages, sometimes switching languages mid-sentence. It’s actually really annoying. Not because they’re fluent in two languages, but because there seems to be absolutely no logic to explain why they choose to say something in one language and then suddenly switch to another… Only the Swedish-speakers do it, though: Finnish-speakers can of course understand Swedish (having studied it at school) but rarely speak it.

statement piece over 50

Outfit details:
dress: Nouki / earrings: Aarikka (old) / sunglasses: Nina Ricci /
shoes: Camper (old) / bag: Marc Jacobs (old)
location: restaurant NJK (Valkosaari, Helsinki)


So, what do you think of this version of the dress? Is it as pretty as the other one?

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 Mutton Years Style and I, Confessions of a Montreal Styling DivaIndependent Fashion Bloggers


  1. debwlv
    5 July 2020 / 9:10 pm

    I love the dress and think it looks fantastic on you. I think I prefer this one—-I am 5′ 3-ish” and just don’t have the confidence to pull off the larger print, wish I did! Great post, love hearing about the regional idiosyncrasies so thanks for sharing.

    • Tiina
      6 July 2020 / 5:51 pm

      Thanks! I think I’m about the same height as you (162 cm, not sure what that is in feet and inches…) and I tend to go for bigger prints. The bigger, the better; I always go for a real showstopper piece (or something totally bland and generic, a bit of a contradiction there…) In fact, at first I was wondering if this print is too small for me. But I loved the colours, so I got the dress because of that.
      But in the end, when it comes to choosing prints or colours, it really comes down to how the item works with your style and personality. I think it’s really important that you feel comfortable (and confident) wearing your clothes; it makes no sense to buy something just to leave it hanging in the closet (yes, been there, done that, too).

  2. 5 July 2020 / 9:48 pm

    The dress is lovely in this fabric too and looks fantastic on you! Thank for sharing the story of the drinking songs! I got tickled as I imagined sitting in the restaurant while some broke into song. As for those switching between Swedish and Finnish in the same conversation, it also happens with Some Latinos in California, switching between Spanish and English. Like you, I’m not sure why.


    • Tiina
      6 July 2020 / 5:52 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! This fabric was not an obvious choice for me: it loved the colours but found the print a bit small. Oh well, it’s good to try something new every once in a while…

  3. 6 July 2020 / 12:25 pm

    I think you were very wise to buy this dress. Is it prettier than the other one? Hmm.. no just different. Now you have two great summer dresses. A girl wants to have options, right?
    As for the drinking… I think it is merry and wouldn’t mind.
    Speaking in two languages in one sentence? You should hear Sylvia, she does that a lot: English and Dutch. Why? Just because you know the other one is just as comfortable with whatever language of the two you use.

    • Tiina
      6 July 2020 / 6:07 pm

      Thanks, Greetje. Yes, it would be difficult (and probably pointless) to say which of the dresses is prettier. I guess time will tell which one I’ll end up wearing more.
      Oh, the drinking (and drinking songs) is always a lot of fun in that place. And everybody knows the (Swedish) lyrics (even the Finnish-speakers).
      This switching between languages is typical for the Swedish-speakers here in the capital area (those living on the west coast don’t do it as they tend to live in more mono-lingual areas). But I think it’s not just because they’re comfortable with both languages. They typically speak only Swedish if everyone in the group is a Swedish-speaker and switch to Finnish if even just one person speaks Finnish as a native language (even though most Finnish-speakers understand Swedish well enough to follow the conversation without problems). But some of them do it even when there are no Finnish-speakers around. And it doesn’t seem to depend on what they’re talking about, either (= so that they’d have vocabulary for something in one language and not in the other). They just switch from Swedish to Finnish, for some random reason, and continue as if nothing had happened…

      • 6 July 2020 / 6:23 pm

        Sylvia and I do that too sometimes. It depends whether you know the word or the story better in one language or the other.

  4. mireilleftm
    6 July 2020 / 5:00 pm

    My parents and I sometimes switch back and forth from English to French in the middle of the sentence, but less now than we used to. I love the flow of your dress especially when it gets really hot!

    • Tiina
      6 July 2020 / 6:13 pm

      Thanks! I try to get at least one hot-weather dress each year, and I’m sure I will wear this one a lot.
      Have you noticed that bilingual people tend to do that, keep switching between languages? Especially if they grew up in a bilingual family, speaking different languages to each parent, I guess it’s natural.

  5. q
    7 July 2020 / 9:43 pm

    Is it really the same dress but different print? Wau… The dress really suits you and so do the both prints. I’d probably prefer this print over the other myself. If I were to find that dress and be trendy 🙂

    What an interesting discussion on languages. I find that kids sometimes choose more, which language they will use with a certain person. I’ve surprised some kids be switching to Swedish from my normal Finnish. Also I once created a problem for my colleague’s kid (the kid was 5 year old at that time) who spoke German at home with parents and Finnish in kindergarten. I was not a kindergarten person, so no Finnish for me, but unfortunately I can not speak enough German to have a conversation. So this kid had learned greetings in English for me as I spoke English with parents.

    But in general my guess is that mostly people switch between languages when they find a certain word more suitable or also if they have learned that word only in one language first or are more used to discuss that area in that language.

    I’m also a fan of bilingual conversations. It was actually very comforting to be able to mix languages when speaking Swedish in Finland after a longer break for speaking Swedish anywhere. But I do also language switching between English and Finnish sometimes in work environment, when there are both Finnish and English speakers and I don’t know or can’t remember the correct word for a specific term. Also I switch languages in middle of the sentence after warning “maybe some Finnish…” . So do many colleagues also to make the facts understood better. -q

    • Tiina
      8 July 2020 / 2:25 pm

      It’s amazing what a difference the print makes, isn’t it?
      Yes, for bilingual children it is quite important to associate each language with a particular person, so that they can learn both languages properly. I have friends who had the same set of children’s books in two languages, so the parents could take turns reading bedtime stories in their respective native languages.

  6. mummabstylish
    9 July 2020 / 5:57 pm

    Love the pattern on this dress, it’s gorgeous. Jacqui x

    • Tiina
      10 July 2020 / 12:31 pm

      Thank you, Jacqui!

  7. shelbeeontheedge1
    9 July 2020 / 11:28 pm

    Well, I have always viewed you as an IT girl even if you didn’t think you were! This dress is so fabulous and I can see why it is the hot trend of the moment. The print is gorgeous and the style is so flattering. I love the stories of the drinking songs and the language switching. I would love to visit Finland (or Sweden-because I do have Swedish ancestry) one day! But I am afraid that we Americans may be blacklisted from every other country in the world for an indefinite period of time! Thanks for sharing and linking up.


    • Tiina
      10 July 2020 / 12:36 pm

      Oh, thank you so much for your kind words!
      Let’s hope things improve soon, and travel bans can be lifted all over the world. It feels weird not having been anywhere for the past 4 months, as we usually travel all the time. Oh well, Finland is reopening the borders to most EU countries next week (except, paradoxically, to Sweden; the Covid19 situation there is quite bad still), and gradually to the restof the world, too, I suppose, over the next few months.

  8. Arlene Gomes
    10 July 2020 / 6:45 pm

    Hi! I love the dress! This is my kind of print. It fits you so well. How do you do that? That is very interesting about the Swedish speaking community. Didn’t know anything about that. I think it would be fun to be there for the first time and all of a sudden, people start to break into song. I guess if you are used to hearing this, it’s annoying but I would find it fun. Hope you get to wear your dress alot this summer. We are kind of still stuck inside mostly. There are some restaurants who have room for tables outside who have opened that area up for dining but we haven’t tried that yet. I kind of feel like I don’t want to eat outside in a parking lot. Maybe for brunch or lunch but definitely not for dinner. Enjoy your weekend. Arlene from NJ

    • Tiina
      13 July 2020 / 8:03 pm

      Thanks, Arlene. I loved the colours in this print, probably kore than the print itself (I tend to prefer bigger prints), so I couldn’t resist it. It is so rare to find something with ‘my colours’, especially in summer.
      The singing is actually fun, I love it. It’s the constant switching of languages, or rather that I can’t figure out the logic, that puzzles me. I can follow up conversations in Swedish without a problem, I’m just wondering what it is that makes them change languages all of a sudden (it has nothing to do with the topic of conversation as far as I can see because they often continue with the same topic). It’s just confusing.

  9. 13 July 2020 / 9:42 am

    That is a beautiful maxi dress, I can see why it’s so popular! The print is such a lovely combination of colours and I really like the statement earrings with it! Beautiful outfit to go out for dinner! 🙂 We haven’t been out to any restaurants yet although they have been open for a while with the relaxed restrictions. We have been ordering takeaway now and then though!

    Thank you for joining the #weekdaywearlinkup!

    Hope you had a lovely weekend 🙂

    • Tiina
      13 July 2020 / 8:06 pm

      Thanks, Mica!
      We’ve been to quite a few restaurants already, of course keeping a safe distance to other people. I’m more worried about taking the train or the bus (as we live in the suburbs, that’s the only way out of here) as they can get a bit too crowded.

  10. 13 July 2020 / 10:08 pm

    Such a gorgeous dress! The print is beautiful and I love the sleeves! I wish I was able to switch between languages…I’m currently learning four so keeping my options open! My stepmother is French and mixes French and English within sentences…she loves English swear words! Thanks for linking up!

    Emma xxx

    • Tiina
      14 July 2020 / 2:06 pm

      Thanks, Emma!
      Wow, 4 languages, at the same time! That takes some dedication. But it is totally possible (my opinion as a language teacher) though of course time-consuming. It also helps if all of the languages are from the same language family, e.g. Indo-European, and share similar features and vocabulary.
      I studied 4 languages at school, but that was a long time ago. However, it is nice to realise that although I cannot have a very extensive conversation in all of these languages, I can still understand all of them quite well. Besides, learning languages is always good as it helps us understand other cultures, and keeps our brains active. But I might be a bit biased, of course…

  11. 15 July 2020 / 2:43 pm

    That dress is sublime on you – the pattern and colours are perfect. I really like the random idea of more than one language, it sounds hilarious

    • Tiina
      16 July 2020 / 12:21 pm

      Thanks, Juliet. I loved the colours in this dress, but I found the pattern a bit small, so I hesitated at first. What can I say? I like my patterns big and bold…

  12. 16 July 2020 / 1:54 pm

    Lovely dress in both prints, glad you bought this one too. This kind of dresses are such a good investment!, comfy and easy to wear, but also elegant and cool!
    Lovely accessorizing too (as usual!)
    I’m always amazed that people can switch between languages in the middle of a phrase. My mother-in-law do it sometimes, as she speaks basque, spanish and french!. It looks like there are certain words and themes that come first to her mind in a certain language.
    I tend to ‘fill the gaps’ when speaking english, sometimes with random words from whatever language, even those which I don’t speak fluently!
    Languages are an amazing thing, so interesting to read previous comments!

    • Tiina
      17 July 2020 / 6:12 pm

      Thank you!
      I liked this dress for exactly the reasons you list here: it’s comfy and so easy to wear (it’s a wrap dress), and it also looks so elegant.
      I think that switching between languages is something people speaking minority languages do: they have to know the dominant language, too, but often speak their native language in certain settings or situations. This is definitely the case with a lot of Swedish-speakers here.

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