On the Beach

how to wear a kaftan dress over 40 

No, not a bikini. Or even a swimsuit. Come on, I can’t even swim; what do I need a bikini for???

Sunbathing? Seriously??!!?? Does this paler-than-pale face look like it has seen much sun? (BTW, in case you’re wondering, we do get plenty of sunshine in summer in Finland, practically around the clock. I just stay away from it.)

Anyway, last weekend I was in Barcelona (yes, again), and we went for a stroll on this very crowded Barceloneta beach. As it was a very hot day, I decided to wear my all-time favourite hot weather outfit: the kaftan. Accessorised with my trusty old sun umbrella, of course. You know, because that pasty pale skin doesn’t stay pale without some precautions.

I usually stay out of the sun because I burn very easily. And no, I don’t wear sunscreen. I hate it; it smells disgusting, and makes me feel sticky. I do, however, wear a moisturiser with SPF 30 (or higher), and not just on my face and neck but also on my arms and feet. And of course I eventually get a slight suntan, too. Not that you’d notice; no one except me ever does. Apparently the ‘suntanned’ version of me looks a bit like most people look like in mid-winter…

But, for the most part, I carry a sun umbrella to protect my delicate whiter-than-white face, mainly because I don’t like sun hats. They don’t suit me. And they never fit properly; my hair is too big.

how to wear a kaftan over 50

Marimekko kaftan 1300 x 1000

But let’s talk about the kaftan dress. I bought this one last summer. It’s basically just a shapeless sack, but it looked so cool on the tall, slender models when I first saw it at the Marimekko fashion show…

Anyway, I decided to try it on, and guess what, it didn’t look too bad on someone a lot shorter (and somewhat less slender), either. So I bought it. And I wore it throughout the horrendous, weeks-long heatwave we had last July and August. And I’ll never wear anything else on a hot day again. Ever. 

I’m serious. Yes, It may be just a shapeless sack, but it is the perfect outfit for hot weather. For starters, it keeps me cool, as much as that is possible. And it barely touches my skin. And that is just wonderful.

Now, if you’ve been following me for a while, you already know that I really don’t like hot weather (for the record, anything over  +23°C / 73°F is ‘hot‘; anything over 25°C / 77°F is ‘unbearably hot‘; and anything over 30°C / 85°F is ‘my-brain-is-melting-get-me-out-of-here hot‘), and I can’t stand anything touching my skin on a hot day. So, belts and tight clothes are out of the question. And since I can’t walk around wearing a tailor-made, human-size ice bucket, my options are a bit limited. This is my way of saying that while muumuus and kaftans may not be the sexiest summer outfits, they are the most practical. And for me, comfort always comes before everything else. Besides, who cares about looking sexy when you can look (and feel) cool?

Marimekko kaftan 1300 x 1000

Outfit details:
kaftan dress: Marimekko (s/s2018, see this year’s version HERE) / sandals: Camper /
bag: Marc Jacobs /sunglasses: Prada / sun umbrella: James Smith & Sons
location: Platja de la Barceloneta,  Barcelona

What do you wear on a hot day? And what do you consider ‘a hot day‘ ?


Linking up with:

Not Dead Yet StyleElegantly Dressed and StylishHigh Latitude StyleStyle ElixirA Labour of LifeCurly Crafty MomFashion Should Be FunColor and GraceThe Wardrobe StylistNot Dressed As LambStyle NudgeLiving on Cloud NineA Well Styled LifeElegance and MommyhoodPosh Classy MomNancy’s Fashion StyleShelbee on the EdgeA Pocketful of Polka Dots Style SplashThe Fashionista MommaTina’s Pink Friday, Away from the BlueMummabstylish , Mutton Years Style and I


  1. 9 June 2019 / 2:09 pm

    It’s such a cute dress and I love your bag! I do feel a little bad though, it’s 23 degrees at the moment in the middle of the day and that’s winter for us, haha! It is just starting though, it will get down to the 20s soon and overnight it can drop under 10. When I went to Scotland last month it was spring at 12 degrees and it was like the middle of winter for us! We were not used to it, haha!

    Hope that you are having a great weekend! We had our son’s birthday party yesterday, it was loud but fun 🙂


    • Tiina
      12 June 2019 / 9:29 am

      Thanks, Mica! Huh, our winter sounds like my summer…
      Congratulation to your son, I hope he enjoyed the birthday.

  2. Flora
    10 June 2019 / 11:23 am

    I am looking for something similar to your lovely dress. So many I’ve seen are sleeveless and that’s too much exposure for my skin. Also not very flattering for oldsters. In Summer I wear a lighter version of my Winter clothes, trousers and blouses or tees, with a jacket and scarf in Winter. The weather is mild where I live, mostly.

    • Tiina
      12 June 2019 / 9:33 am

      Yes, it’s very difficult to find summer dresses with sleeves. I always want to protect my skin from the sun as much as possible, so I prefer (short) sleeves and long dresses or trousers. And I’d like to find an alternative to t-shirts, too. I love t-shirts, but they tend to get a bit sticky in hot weather. Something loose and flowy and silky would be ideal…

  3. thestylesplash
    10 June 2019 / 1:36 pm

    Very stylish kaftan, I love the print. Perfect for a hot day. We are having no such problems in the UK as Summer seems to have forgotten about us! Thanks for linking up!

    Emma xxx

    • Tiina
      12 June 2019 / 9:35 am

      Thanks, Emma! This is probably the most iconic Marimekko print, it’s older than I am! They feature it in every collection, though.
      Let’s hope the weather warms up soon for you, too!

  4. Arlene
    10 June 2019 / 3:37 pm

    You look great in your kaftan. It does seem like it would be very comfy! I have fair skin too, being a natural redhead. But I don’t have the pinkish tone most redheads seem to have. I have a slight yellow tone so if I wanted to, I could get a light tan. I rarely go without some kind of sunblock. I had terrible sunburns as a child and into my teens. We didn’t have sunblock back then. I’d put a tee shirt or beach coverup on but too late most of the time. Your vacation looked wonderful. Barcelona!! What a lovely city to visit. Hope you ate at some of the good, local restaurants. Arlene from NJ

    • Tiina
      12 June 2019 / 9:38 am

      Thanks, Arlene. Yes, this dress is so comfy! It’s loose, of course, and the fabric is rather heavy viscose, so it sort of floats around me. It’s just perfect for hot weather.
      This was my second time in Barcelona this year (I was there at easter, too), but we stayed in a different area. And there were so many wonderful restaurants…

  5. Suzy Turner
    10 June 2019 / 6:42 pm

    I love to see people wearing kaftans. I think they’re super sophisticated and you look fabulous in yours. I’ve never owned one though. Perhaps it’s something I ought to look into. I’m not much of a sun worshipper either and I, too, hate sunscreen because it’s usually too sticky and / or thick. I hate feeling like I’m wearing it, if you know what I mean. But living in the Algarve means I must use it if I do venture to the beach (which isn’t very often lol!!)
    Suzy xx

    • Tiina
      12 June 2019 / 9:41 am

      Thanks, Suzy. I know exactly what you mean about sunscreen. It feels as if you have a layer of something sticky and smelly on your skin. Whenever I wear sunscreen, I need to wash if off immediately after getting back home. And you really need to scrub well, it doesn’t come off so easily!

  6. 11 June 2019 / 2:26 pm

    That is such a great dress , it looks so cool and comfy. Living in Australia , the country with the highest skin cancer rates in the world wearing sunblock is just a fact of life if you ever want to go outside. I did smile at your temperatures , mid twenties is considered mild here . I am sure you enjoyed your time in your favourite Barcelona.

    • Tiina
      12 June 2019 / 9:47 am

      Thanks, Jill. Yes, high temperatures in summer is something I’m not used to. Although it does get warm in Finland, too. When I got back home, it was just as warm in Helsinki as it was in Barcelona. Minus the air conditioning, and with more daylight hours…

  7. 12 June 2019 / 6:11 pm

    Actually I believe that comfort can be sexy too, probably not the kind of ‘going outside almost naked’, but a more elegant and cool kind of sexy!. And I love your kaftan, the design and print are amazing and I think that it’s far away from ‘shapeless’, it hungs nicely, very flowy, and look fabulous!. Really, you look fabulous wearing it!.
    It’s amazing to see you on the beach!, glad you were well protected under your umbrella!. I’m a huge fan of massive hats in the summer, even if sometimes people stare at me. So ridiculous that hats are not popular here in the sunny Spain, they’re a very sensible thing to wear!. Obviously, I don’t even consider it’s really hot under 30ºC!, mwhaha. Actually, I can deal with hot days if nights are colder!

    • Tiina
      14 June 2019 / 11:30 am

      I’m all in favour of bringing back the ‘cool and elegant’ kind of sexy! I’d actually like to see people dressed up, or just dressed, in public places….
      I wish I could wear hats. But my head, or my hair is too big, they never ‘fit’ right. My mother used to wear a hat in summer, and of course she always looked amazing. You can make the sun hat your signature accessory: it’s cool and practical, and people probably stare because you look fab.
      Yes, I know the Spanish summer temperatures… But you also have houses that are cool. I spent a few months studying in Granada once, and my flat was always cool and pleasant (and really cold in winter), even on a very hot day.
      We do get 30ºC temps in Finland, too (anything over 25ºC is considered a heatwave here), but the problem is that as it doesn’t really get dark in the evening (in summer), it never cools down at night. Hot weather turns my flat into a sauna. Last year we actually checked into a hotel that had air conditioning because we simply couldn’t take it anymore.

  8. Nicole of High Latitude Style
    16 June 2019 / 7:57 am

    Your hair is beautiful and not too thick. Your curls are stunning. The umbrella is your signature style. A while ago, I bought an umbrella for a dance performance. It is some sort of eyelet style. It would be a perfect summer umbrella for you. Thanks for sharing your look at the Top of the World Style linkup party.

    • Tiina
      16 June 2019 / 3:05 pm

      Thanks, Nicole.
      I actually have several sun umbrellas. This one is the ‘travel size’, as it’s a folding style. In my opinion, a sun umbrella is useless if it’s very small (as the pretty, decorative ones tend to be), but I have one of these, too. The best one I have is huge, so it provides enough shade. But it doesn’t travel well, as it’s too big to fit into a suitcase.

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