Summer Workwear

work wear 40+

Does my off-duty style differ from my work look?

Well, not much… I tend to go for smart casual outfits, anyway. And for an outfit to be appropriate for work, I just need a bigger dose of ‘smart’ and a little less of ‘casual’…

This is what I was wearing on the first day back to work: a new course with 22 people who’d never seen me before. So, a good first impression is obviously important here.

As I work in adult education, I meet people of different ages, from all walks of life, and with varying interests. What they all have in common, though, is that my course is mandatory for them; some of them might be enthusiastic, others less so, a few downright terrified… And my job as a teacher is to make them all feel at ease, create a supportive environment and help them gain confidence.

Thus, I must appear approachable, nice and professional. And a little bit crazy, or scary… Whichever makes them do the work required to pass the course. I find that while a classic, even a tad conservative look works best (though I would never wear a suit, it’s way too formal and puts people off). However, adding something a little bit quirky or unexpected serves as an icebreaker: it makes people think I don’t take myself too seriously.

smart casual over 40

That ‘ something quirky’ here is not my fab new pair sunglasses… I won’t be wearing them indoors, after all. So, the soft pink of my top will have to do (trust me, in a slightly colour-phobic country such as Finland pink is often quite a statement…). Now that I look sweet and girly, I can charm my way into my new student’s hearts, make them feel that taking my course is the best thing they ever did… Poor little lambs, they have no idea what’s in store for them…

oversized sunglasses

I’m wearing:

top: Jigsaw (old) / trousers: marks and Spencer (old) / shoes: Clarks (old) / bag: Coach (summer 2014) / sunglasses: Dolce and Gabbana

Does your work affect the way you dress?


PS: Check out the new Dilettante Artist post

Linking up with: 

A Touch of TartanElegantly Dressed and StylishHigh Latitude StyleSydney Fashion HunterThe Pleated PoppyStyle ElixirGet Your Pretty OnHappiness at Mid-LifeA Labour of LifeDoused in PinkCurly Crafty MomFashion Should Be FunRachel the HatSincerely Jenna Marie, Spy Girl


  1. Suzanne Carillo
    5 August 2015 / 4:59 pm

    LOL you have lured them into a sense of false security : ) Those glasses are quite spectacular.bisousSuzanne

    • Tiina L
      6 August 2015 / 1:44 pm

      Thanks! : )

  2. Connie
    5 August 2015 / 6:07 pm

    It absolutely works. I started out thinking about how sweet you look in pink and now I'm a little scared.

    • Tiina L
      6 August 2015 / 1:45 pm

      Be afraid, be very afraid… : )

  3. Shybiker
    5 August 2015 / 9:30 pm

    You do look charming! Pink always makes us look approachable. My work clothes are business suits designed to look severe. Black suit, white shirt, formal tie. Ready for combat.

    • Tiina L
      6 August 2015 / 1:48 pm

      Thanks! Well, what we wear to work is a sort of armour, right? It helps keep up a professional image: credibility, authority… Or, in my case, makes people think I'm there to hold their hand whenever they need me… Or kick their butt, if that's what they need more.

  4. Jazzy Jack
    5 August 2015 / 10:57 pm

    I'm with Connie. Since I don't know you in the flesh, so to speak, I think you look sweet and a tiny bit intimidating…perfect! Looove the sunnies! All the best with your teaching. Xo Jazzy Jack

    • Tiina L
      6 August 2015 / 1:49 pm

      Thanks! So, mission accomplished, the perfect balance of supportive sweetness and tough love…

  5. Carrie
    6 August 2015 / 5:02 pm

    Good luck with your first day back teaching! First impressions are important to me, too! I used to teach in college (community college) and although my class wasn't mandatory, I had a lot of different aged students in all different walks of their life. That pink top looks great on you and I love that ombre bag that matches!

    • Tiina L
      7 August 2015 / 8:16 am

      Thanks, Carrie! Yes, first impressions are important. I really want to make me students feel at ease. Learning is so much easier in a relaxed environment.

  6. Petite Silver Vixen
    6 August 2015 / 10:07 pm

    I'm smitten by your great ombre bag and I have to agree with Suzanne – those glasses are spectacular! My work definitely affects the way I dress! Working hours are spent in lycra and leggings. I wish I could wear skirts and dresses but I would look very bizarre teaching in them in the Pilates studio! To avoid living in black, I choose brightly coloured leggings and tops and some of the geometric and abstract prints of the leggings are good icebreakers. Clients often say 'oh I love your leggings, where did you buy them'! That usually makes them think I'm going to be easy on them in their sessions and then I make them sweat!

    • Tiina L
      7 August 2015 / 8:19 am

      Yes! I have the same approach: I look totally harmless, and they think I'm going to be easy on them… and because I'm being so nice, they don't even realise that I up the demands gradually…

  7. Nicole Mölders
    7 August 2015 / 6:34 am

    Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. Pink and gray is such a great color combination. A perfect outfit!

    • Tiina L
      7 August 2015 / 8:19 am

      Thanks, Nicole! The trousers are actually beige…

  8. Jane in London
    7 August 2015 / 10:52 pm

    Hey – your new leo print shoes would also work nicely with this outfit imo! Jane

    • Tiina L
      8 August 2015 / 9:50 am

      Great idea, and how perceptive of you! Unfortunately, the leo print shoes are in England, these pictures were taken in Finland… The story of my life: my shoes (bags, coats, whatever) are never in the same country with me…

  9. Dawn Lucy
    8 August 2015 / 11:28 am

    You look so pretty and the bag and the sunnies really make the outfit pop! Thanks for sharing with Fun Fashion Friday!OXOXDawn Lucy

    • Tiina L
      8 August 2015 / 7:14 pm


  10. Alice Warren
    8 August 2015 / 8:47 pm

    Love that you use colors to lure them into your class! I work in a very conservative environment and always look ahead for what's plan for the day for outfit planning. Thank you for joining TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you next week. Have a great weekend!

    • Tiina L
      9 August 2015 / 10:25 am

      Hey, we have to do what we can, right? These days I wear mostly smart casual for work as I work in a rather casual setting, but often in many different places (even during one day). So, I sort of try to hit the middle ground that work for any environment.

  11. Natalia Lialina
    10 August 2015 / 4:53 am

    Now you're scaring me! AHHHHH! :))) Love love love your new glasses, such a cool frame. I also bought a new pair recently, waiting for it to arrive soon.

    • Tiina L
      10 August 2015 / 6:25 am

      : )A lttle bit scary is good… At work, that is.

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