Summer in the City…

Summer in Finland… The countryside, the lakes, sauna… Clichés for sure… but also true: when I think of summer I think of childhood memories. I used to spend my childhood summers at my grandmother’s holiday home by a lake…. and I hated every moment of it, and haven’t been to the countryside since the mid-seventies. The countryside and me, we’re just not a good match. For starters, I’m allergic to just about anything growing there, so you can imagine how much fun it is…. And sauna… I have one in my flat. I use it to store dirty laundry.

Well, maybe I’m not a ‘typical Finn’ (if that even exists)…
However, when SacramentoRosy and Elena  invited bloggers to put together outfits and blog posts evoking summer for the share-in-style link-up, I thought we could have some fun with these clichés about summer in Finland…

40+ casual summer style

The cliché / public opinion states that summer in Finland is very short, therefore you must not waste a moment of it. And it always rains. Except when it doesn’t. And it’s usually cold… except when it’s very hot. A hot day is considered a good one, and must not be wasted (because tomorrow it might be raining… and even if it isn’t, there’s always the long, dark winter just a few short weeks /months away…). The hotter it is, the better, and only tourists seek solace in the shadow.

This little island is located between Helsinki market square and Suomenlinna, the location for this photoshoot.

The clichéd  way to spend your summer holiday

(or vacation for my American readers) is at the family holiday home / summer cottage: a rustic, preferably old wooden building located by a lake or the sea, and as far away from other people as possible. As there are a bit over 5 million inhabitants and almost 200 000 lakes and the Baltic sea around, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a suitable location.
And what do you do at your holiday home? Well, nothing… A summer holiday is the time to de-stress, relax, chill out… get away from the big, bad world and reconnect with nature, listen to the birds sing and watch the midnight sun…

bag: Coach /  trousers: Marks & Spencer / cardigan: Gina Tricot / T-shirt: Pepe Jeans London / sunglasses: Miu Miu

Dress code: 

a ratty, old T-shirt and shorts (who’s going to see you in the middle of nowhere?) for both sexes, although for men the shirt is optional. This sort of conditioning during our formative years may partly explain, though not excuse, the appalling dress sense of some Finnish tourists visiting Spanish holiday resorts…

So, what do snobbish city dwellers like me do to recreate the summer holiday experience /cliché that is so intrinsic to the Finnish psyche? Lucky for me, there are several places in and around Helsinki where countryside-phobic residents can go to soak up the sun, with SPF “as high as possible”, of course… (I did mention that the summer is short, and only tourists hide from the sun, didn’t I?)

Photos by Professor M

Maybe I’ve been living in a big city far too long, hiding under my sun umbrella (which I left in Homebase 2…): a few hours outdoors on a hot day (30°C  / 86F°) make me feel uncomfortable and red-faced (even with SPF 50). Then again, you’ve heard me complain about the hot weather all summer… Feel free to remind me of that in winter, say, around early March or so when my moaning about the never-ending winter reaches its peak…

Those of you going on holiday: enjoy the summer, 

and those of you (like me) who are back to work: keep cool, by whatever means.


                           Linking up with SacramentoRosy and Elena  for Share-in Style


  1. Kizzy Von Doll
    18 August 2014 / 8:18 am

    You look wonderful doll, love this look 🙂 xx

    • Tiina L
      19 August 2014 / 10:43 am

      Thanks! Of course, this look is a bit tongue-in-cheek, not too serious…

  2. Marea Dotz
    18 August 2014 / 5:35 pm

    Your post reminded me of our summer in Finland (way back when) . Loved the boat trip out to Suomenlinna and the Market Square by the harbor. It sent us in search of a good seafood restaurant and we found one across from the train station.

    • Tiina L
      19 August 2014 / 10:46 am

      Suomenlinna was the location for this photo shoot, too. I doubt much has changed since you visited it, except that the area where the military base and Naval Academy are located is now open to public, too.

  3. Jacqueline Stewart
    18 August 2014 / 11:58 pm

    I remember living in Rovaniemi a long time ago and being so happy when it finally became summer. Great t-shirt too! 😀

    • Tiina L
      19 August 2014 / 10:47 am

      I've never been that far north, but I can imagine how it must feel that the winter never ends. Hell, I feel like that in Helsinki, every March!

  4. Jill James
    19 August 2014 / 6:00 am

    I can`t picture you at home in the country side, however beautiful it may be.City living and city dressing much more your style. Enjoy the latter part of summer and try to keep cool.

    • Tiina L
      19 August 2014 / 10:48 am

      Spot on, my dear, I'm a city girl…

  5. Val S
    19 August 2014 / 2:29 pm

    Well, I think the idea of a rustic summer cottage on a lake sounds heavenly! At least for a week or two. Without mosquitoes or spiders. The old photo of you is sweet!

    • Tiina L
      19 August 2014 / 8:58 pm

      Unfortunately, mosquitoes are part of the deal, no escaping them. And I swear, it's like they can smell a city girl… and very often these lakeside cottages are rather basic, some don't even have running water or electricity, apparently since the idea is to 'escape' the modern world and get back to basics or something…(how very Thoreau… ). When I was a child we lived literally a few minutes from a lake and a beach in a nice, modern terraced house with a big garden, and then we had to go to this old cottage, just two kilometres away, (by the same lake) just because 'that's what people do in summer'… I shudder at the memory…

  6. Spashionista Alicia Searcy
    20 August 2014 / 12:31 am

    We have a lot in common! I'm not a country girl, either (even though I live in a very rural area) and I'm not a fan of excessive heat. I just love your Marilyn T-shirt ;-)

    • Tiina L
      20 August 2014 / 8:07 am

      Thanks, Alicia! Yes, I think some people are just meant to live in urban areas…

  7. MIS PAPELICOS Sacramento
    20 August 2014 / 7:24 pm

    Thank you so much dear Tina, I would love to visit Finland one day and welcome you in Malaga as well XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    • Tiina L
      21 August 2014 / 8:54 am

      Thank you, Sacramento. I used to go to Malaga quite often when I was studying in Granada (that was a very long time ago…)

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