Statement Sleeves and Birthday Blues

wrap dress over 50

Today is my birthday

This is a significant birthday: not because of my age (no, it’s not a round-number birthday) but because this is the birthday my mother never got to have.

And that makes me think about all sorts of things: am I living on borrowed time? And shouldn’t I make something of this ‘extra’ time I have been given? And what is the purpose of life, anyway?

To be honest, I always feel a bit depressed before my birthday. No, not because I’m getting older (that would be stupid, wouldn’t it, given the alternative…), but because the approaching birthday always makes me think about my life and how it has turned out. You know: the dreams and goals I had when I was young, and all the excuses I usually come up with for not reaching them… That sort of thing.

maxi dress over 50

statement sleeves

You know that person who always sees the silver lining in everything? I’m sure you know someone like that.

Well, I’m the opposite of that: I always expect the worse, and try to anticipate what could potentially go wrong. And even when things are bad, I can still imagine something a hundred times worse. Yep, that’s me: the Oracle of Doom and Gloom. Or simply ‘always the pessimist’, as my darling husband puts it.

Anyway, besides my usual birthday blues, I’ve also been agonising over what is happening in the world today: inward-looking politicians engaging in ideological wargames over a global crisis that puts people’s lives and livelihoods at risk; narcissistic dictators playing with matches when the world is already on fire; and pick and mix hatemongers gleefully using anyone they come across for target practice.

And especially how awful it is that anyone with even a modicum of common sense is too afraid to say anything at all these days, for fear of being convicted of thoughtcrime by the court of social media identity warriors.

Nouki dress

But I don’t want to think about any of that today. I want cake and champagne. And I want to dance and laugh and be happy, and feel pretty in this dress with these fabulous statement sleeves.

statement sleeves

Outfit details:
dress: Nouki / sunglasses: Marimekko (old) / necklace: Kalevala Jewelry /
shoes: Ecco (old) bag: Chanel


What have you been agonising over lately?

PS: Guess what? There’s another Dilettante Artist post, a selfie, of course…
Did you know that my Dilettante Artist alter ego also has an Instagram account?

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, Independent Fashion Bloggers


  1. 4 June 2020 / 11:04 am

    Happy Birthday! and wish you’re having cake and champagne and lots of fun!. And you’re looking so fabulous in your beautiful dress, love its ‘clouds’ print, its magnificent sleeves and its shape. You totally rock!.

    Actually, it’s imposible not to be worried these days. I think that your description is really accurate. However I’m not really a pesimistic, as I try to ease off my imagination which always tends to anticípate catastrophes (most of them improbable dystopic disasters). But it’s difficult to keep myself focused on doing the stuff sometimes.

    • Tiina
      8 June 2020 / 2:36 pm

      Thank you so much! Yes, there was cake and champagne, and even a birthday lunch in a restaurant (a day later, though), and a relaxing long weekend to round things up. It’s difficult to get back to ‘normal’ now (whatever ‘normal’ is these days, it seems just as hectic as the ‘old normal’)…

  2. 4 June 2020 / 11:07 am

    I think this dress looks terrific on you. You will turn heads my dear. Of course I congratulate you with your birthday. As you say, the alternative of not getting older isn’t one we would choose.
    Your command of the English language makes me a little envious. A sentence like: “and pick and mix hatemongers gleefully using anyone they come across for target practice”… is sooo good. Unless I would live in an English speaking country I can never reach this level. But I can enjoy it by reading your posts.
    Don’t get me started on media and journalists… They put oil on fire. I have a very interesting book from a Dutch author to read for you on this subject. It recently was published in English. Here is a link to the Guardian talking about a chapter in the book:

    • Tiina
      8 June 2020 / 2:39 pm

      Thank you, Greetje.
      Well, as to my command of the English language, I suppose being an English teacher has its benefits…
      I remember reading the article you mentioned, a while back! Very interesting.

  3. Lise
    4 June 2020 / 12:39 pm

    Happy Birthday! Cake and champagne sounds good :) Actually I think if you imagine the situation could always be worse then you are actually an optimist. Do you see how you can spin that around? Or maybe I am a pain in the butt optimist ;) Lise

    • Tiina
      8 June 2020 / 2:40 pm

      Thank you! Yes, you’re very good at spinning it, I can see your point there.

  4. 4 June 2020 / 1:15 pm

    Happy Birthday Tiina , I do hope you do enjoy that champagne and cake. Your wrap dress with those sleeves is all kinds of wonderful. As for those supposed world leaders , quite sure they are a concern for most thinking souls , the narrow thinking is surely taking us back in time. Regardless , enjoy your birthday Tiina.

    • Tiina
      8 June 2020 / 2:41 pm

      Thank you, Jill.I love this dress so much that I also got it in another colour. That’s a bit crazy, isn’t it?

    • Tiina
      8 June 2020 / 2:42 pm

      Thank you! Lots of cake, too much of cake… Can there ever be too much cake?

  5. 4 June 2020 / 9:11 pm

    Happy Birthday, Tiina! Champagne and cake sounds wonderful—-my bday is in exactly two weeks and I think I will do the same. I am writing from the suburbs of Los Angeles, California and your musings on the present state of the world are in line with my own. I have been shell shocked and dumbfounded since 2016 and after four plus years of “up is down and down is up” …. I’m exhausted. I wonder if you can out grow optimism? I used to be an optimistic person but growing older really tempers it….in your 20s, 30s and even 40s, an ailment would elicit the response, “it’s probably nothing“ and, it usually, almost always, was nothing. Then in your 50s, “it’s probably nothing”, almost always turned out to be something! It takes its toll on this old optimist! Add in the state of everything else and, well, we’re all feeling the need for a break from this endless cycle of bad news! Anyway, for me, your posts are always a welcome break —-so, have a wonderful birthday and keep posting!

    • Tiina
      8 June 2020 / 2:46 pm

      Thank you! We all need some more cake and champagne, birthday or not, I think. At least it’s something to drown our sorrows in. The way things are getting in the world, I’m beginning to think I need a break, too. So, eating cake and drinking champagne, watching the world go by (or, in my case, giving the world a figurative finger) is sometimes necessary maintain mental health.

  6. 5 June 2020 / 3:28 am

    Happy Birthday – maybe you are a “cautious optimist” like my mum, in other words once everything has gone pear-shaped she is often quite happy, not because things are bad – but she expected it to be like that… Every time she makes me howl with laughter as normally I am the very irritating glass half-full-which-is-just-perfect type as that means the glass can then fit a little ice or a paper brolly to really cheer things up…. Absolutely loving the dress, you look divine

    • Tiina
      8 June 2020 / 2:52 pm

      Thank you, Juliet! I can see your mother’s point: expecting the worst you’ll never get disappointed… Not to mention you get to say ‘I told you so’ to all those carefree optimists (hey, everybody need to feel important every now and then…)

  7. 5 June 2020 / 4:26 am

    I think you made a lot of your life and you can be proud of yourself. And be happy of every further trip you get around the Sun. So many people are denied it. Happy birthday my friend. You are awesome. And I am so happy to know you even if it is such virtually.

    • Tiina
      8 June 2020 / 2:55 pm

      Thank you, Nicole. Yes, every birthday is a reason to be happy, you’re right. When my mother died, I made a decision to celebrate getting older instead of lamenting it.

  8. 5 June 2020 / 10:25 am

    Happy birthday, Tiina! You look fabulous in your dress with the beautiful statement sleeves. I hope you get that cake and champagne.

    As to what I have been agonizing over…., America has a wannabe dictator fanning the flames of racism and encouraging police brutality, as he continues to deny the severity of Covid-19 and plays games with peoples lives so his stock market portfolio looks better. But he has his cult followers who love him for his casual cruelty. I’d love to wave a magic wand and send them all to their own planet.


    • Tiina
      8 June 2020 / 2:58 pm

      Thank you, Michelle! Yes, there was (lots of) cake and champagne.
      I can totally understand what you mean about what’s going on in America (it looks quite scary, seeing it from Europe, too).

  9. isthismutton
    5 June 2020 / 12:35 pm

    I hope you had cake and champagne! I know what you mean about birthdays being a time to review your achievements, and not always in a positive way. I have a BIG birthday in November and already dreading how I will internalize “the review.” I’d love to see you at my link up on Wednesdays!

    • Tiina
      8 June 2020 / 3:00 pm

      Thanks! plenty of cake, a bit less champagne. Yes, the internal review can be quite gruesome at times.

  10. q
    5 June 2020 / 5:11 pm

    Happy birthday. I too hope you had your cake and champagne and cheerful day. That dress is truly beautiful and you look fabulous in it. -q

    • Tiina
      8 June 2020 / 3:01 pm

      Thank you! I think I had enough cake to last me till next year. As for champagne, well, there might be some room for a bit more…

  11. Flora
    5 June 2020 / 5:51 pm

    I love your dress you look great, happy birthday. These landmark dates are hard. My cousin who lost her husband before she was 40 tells me she has been a widow longer than she was married. Impossible for you not to feel a bit blue thinking of the years you lost with your mother.

    • Tiina
      8 June 2020 / 3:04 pm

      Thank you, Flora. Well, birthdays (and anniversaries etc) should also be something to celebrate, that’s what I’m trying to remember.

  12. mummabstylish
    6 June 2020 / 12:49 am

    Love the sleeves and then I saw the length, now I love it! Jacqui x thanks for sharing on the #linkup

    • Tiina
      8 June 2020 / 3:05 pm

      Thanks, Jacqui. Yes, it’s a maxi dress. I prefer longer dresses in summer (= better sun protection).

  13. Jess
    9 June 2020 / 6:58 pm

    Well you should feel pretty in that dress, as it is fabulous on you! I love the colors and the sleeves are so stylish, the wrap style is one of my favorites. Happy Birthday! I do hope you have a great day!
    I can get in the doom and gloom mood if I let myself, given the state of the world, but I try and get out of that funk, too!
    thanks for linking!
    jess xx

    • Tiina
      10 June 2020 / 12:26 pm

      Thank you, Jess. Yes, I had a great birthday. A bit more quiet than usual, though.

    • Tiina
      10 June 2020 / 12:26 pm

      Thank you, Celyn!

  14. 10 June 2020 / 8:52 pm

    Tiina, I hope you had a wonderful birthday and got to enjoy cake and champagne and dancing and laughter and that beautiful dress with gorgeous statement sleeves! As for this…”And especially how awful it is that anyone with even a modicum of common sense is too afraid to say anything at all these days, for fear of being convicted of thoughtcrime by the court of social media identity warriors.”—Gosh, I hear you, sister! Great post, my friend. Enjoy all your moments!


    • Tiina
      12 June 2020 / 3:44 pm

      Thank you. yes, I had a great birthday, with lots of cake and champagne.

  15. 15 June 2020 / 2:02 pm

    A very happy belated birthday to you! A day with cake and champagne sounds wonderful – and we have to cling to those moments of joy don’t we, with all that’s going on in the world right now!

    Hope that you had a great weekend :)

    Thanks so much for joining the #WeekdayWearLinkup!

    • Tiina
      16 June 2020 / 4:43 pm

      Thank you, Mica! We all need more cake and champagne, even when it’s not our birthday…

  16. thestylesplash
    17 June 2020 / 1:50 am

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday! Your dress is beautiful. What a strange time we’re in, I’m waiting for the grown ups to take charge. At least the U.S can get rid of Trump in a few months, we’re stuck with our shambolic government for another four years. What a worrying prospect that is! Thanks for linking up!

    Emma xxx

    • Tiina
      19 June 2020 / 3:26 pm

      Thanks, Emma!
      What worries me most of all is all the seemingly ‘normal’ people who keep voting for these immature narcissists into office, time after time. It’s almost as if there’s and pandemic of stupidity going around, too…

  17. 19 June 2020 / 6:44 am

    Happy Belated Birthday Tiina! In some ways, in regards to some subjects, I too only see the worst in things! I am usually a realist – not a pessimist or an optimist. I see the glass as half, mostly as half full, rarely as half-empty, usually as a half anyway. But Birthdays also bring me a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment, they bring out my writing spirit and in many ways are a metaphor of life – all the years gone by. I hope you did have your cake and champagne in your fabulous bell-sleeve maxi dress!

    Loved this post so much, I featured you on Thursday Moda today. CHECK IT OUT BELOW. =)

    Welcome by and join the linkup again today. Thanks, Ada. =)

    • Tiina
      19 June 2020 / 3:28 pm

      Thanks, Ada! And thanks for the feature, too.
      I like your attitude: birthdays should bring on a sense of accomplishment. I’ll have to remember that, for next year.

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