Winter Basics

cashmere basics

You know those articles in fashion magazines that list the clothes every woman is supposed to have? I find them stupid. As if we all live the same life and therefore need the same items in our wardrobes.

Yes, there are clothes I would consider ‘essential‘, or ‘the basics‘. But my ‘basics‘ might not be the same as yours. 

What you consider ‘basics’, or ‘essentials’, depends on where you live, your lifestyle, and your personal style. Perhaps you need a more (or less) formal wardrobe for work, or live in a very cold (or very warm) climate.

It’s easy to see how your definition of ‘the basics’ is shaped by geographical location: you need different clothes depending on whether you live a stone’s throw from the polar circle or on a tropical island. But the way I see it, adjusting to your climate is just that: adjusting your personal style and lifestyle to suit the weather.

It’s your lifestyle and personal style that really define what you consider ‘the basics’.

cashmere basics

how to wear winter basics

For me, ‘the basics‘ mean simple, good quality clothes I can wear everyday. And I mean every day: I don’t have a separate ‘work wardrobe’, or ‘festive clothes’, or clothes for ‘special occasions’.

And when it comes to personal style, I have a strict no-frills policy. In other words, I hate anything fussy or complicated. I prefer casual, comfortable, low-maintenance clothes with longevity. That’s a fancy way of saying I’m basically a simple trousers (not jeans) and a t-shirt kind of girl. No fuss, no ironing, and certainly no layering.

Obviously, winter complicates things a bit… Or not. I simply swap t-shirts for cashmere sweaters and I’m good to go. 

So, how do I cope with the cold weather? Do I add an extra layer under my cashmere sweater and corduroy trousers? Hell no! I can’t handle more than just one layer of clothes. And I never wear tights (or pantyhose, for my American readers) under trousers. For starters, I hate tights /pantyhose, and only wear them with dresses (and only when it’s cold). But with trousers, I only wear ankle socks (or knee-high socks if it’s really cold). Besides, it’s never cold indoors in Finland (quite the opposite), so one layer of clothes is enough. And outdoors… Well, that’s what a big coat is for.

how to wear the basics over 50

Outfit details:
cashmere sweater: Adagio / trousers: Cut & Pret / bag: Lancel (old)


What are your winter basics?

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 , Living on Cloud NineMutton Years Style and I


  1. q
    2 February 2020 / 7:56 pm

    My winter basics are pretty similar to yours: cardigans over t-shirts or shirts I use also in summer, knee-high socks, woollen trousers, which do not need a layer underneath. I only layer if I do sports unless you want to it layering, when one adds a cardigan over shirt? If it would be that cold in our office I’d probably use more shirts us such with woollen trousers. Basically just longer sleeves and trousers in stead of skirt. And the same applies at home: I only use joggers there during winter. And for outside activities: Good quality winter coats and shoes are a must.
    I wonder how much of the choices are from the same cultural background as I happen to live in the same latitudes as you.
    And burgundy sure suits you as always. -q

    • Tiina
      5 February 2020 / 1:53 pm

      Yes, cultural background influences the way we dress, for sure. My personal style is definitely rooted in the minimalist, understated Nordic aesthetic and pragmatism.
      Just out of curiosity, would you wear a cardigan over a long-sleeved shirt? I only ever wear short-sleeved t-shirts with cardigans, I can’t stand having two sets of sleeves, it makes me feel constrained and bulky.

      • q
        5 February 2020 / 7:26 pm

        Now that you asked, I’d wear cardigan over long-sleeved shirt if the cardigan has loose enough sleeves, but never over a long-sleeved tricot. Even the idea of the latter feels weird. But to be honest, I prefer short sleeves as well. -q

  2. debwlv
    3 February 2020 / 2:26 am

    Well, CLEARLY layering or not layering is wired into our DNA and not necessarily driven by the environment we live in! I get such a kick out of the fact that we share EXACTLY the same feelings about layering and pantyhose even though I live in southern California where layering is almost never necessary but usually is just a fashion statement, and you live in Finland where it’s easy to assume that layering would be an absolute necessity! I have never been able to stand having more than one layer of clothing on. Turtlenecks make me feel like I am being strangled. Pantyhose and Spanx make me completely MISERABLE and even kneesocks upset me, which, thank goodness, I can pretty much avoid wearing in Los Angeles! So, I can relate on so many levels. Also, I have also always resented the advice that there is a uniform list of “essentials” we should all own…if I read one more article about how every wardrobe MUST have a classic white button down shirt, I will scream!!!! Love this post…thanks for sharing!

    • q
      4 February 2020 / 8:24 pm

      Oh yes, that “essential” classic white button down shirt every woman should own. I’ll scream with you, when the next article is out there. šŸ˜‰ Maybe it was essential in the 80s or might still be in the most conservative business environments. But for “every” woman? No thank you. I’ve tried and oversized is best I can wear, all other versions make we feel uncomfortable, but also as I’m a waitress in formal old fashioned restaurant. -q

      • Tiina
        5 February 2020 / 2:12 pm

        The ‘classic white button-down shirt’, my pet peeve… I had one, once, ages ago. Never wore it. For starters, white makes me look like a ghost, and I hated the way the stiff cotton felt on my skin: like wearing a straight-jacket.

    • Tiina
      5 February 2020 / 2:09 pm

      You might be onto something here… I have a lot of friends who like layering and find it practical, especially when it’s cold. I find that a big, warm coat is all I need when the temperature drops.
      Incidentally, when I first visited California, in July (a very long ago, like the early 90s), I was always freezing in the evenings. That’s because I had only packed light summer dresses, and then it suddenly got dark (literally, the sunset was as if someone had switched off the light all of a sudden, it was so fast), and I realised I should have brought a cardigan or a coat, too, for the cooler evenings. You see, in Finland, we have daylight almost around the clock in summer, and the evenings tend to be quite warm. So, in some primal part of my brain, ‘summer’ equals ‘it never gets dark or cold’, and the early sunset (by my standards) always spooked me out completely.

  3. 3 February 2020 / 1:58 pm

    I totally agree that those lists of ‘essentials’ are total nonsense. Not only they don’t consider climate nor lifestyle, but they also ignore personal taste. I’ve always liked layering, even when I lived in the south of Spain and had to ‘adjust’ my style to long hot summers (and freezing air conditioning). Not my favourite climate anyway.
    Layering or not is a choice, and totally love the way you express your own cool, elegant style picking quality clothes and interesting accessories. Knowing your own style is the best ‘essential’ thing.
    Black trousers and a lovely cashmere top look fab, and I love your bag!

    • Tiina
      5 February 2020 / 2:24 pm

      Oh yes, the freezing air conditioning! You sweat outdoors and then you go indoors and you freeze… I spent one very hot summer in New York (a very long time ago) carrying a cardigan and a big scarf everywhere I went because the air con was just brutal.
      I also spent a few months in Southern Spain as an Erasmus student (a very long time ago), and I remember the hot days… But all the houses were absolutely fantastic in summer: even on a hot day, it was never hot indoors but really cool and pleasant. It was so easy to escape the mid-day sun (I wish I could do that in my flat in Finland on a hot day; but this place turns into a sauna as soon as the temperature reaches 25C…) On the other hand, I’ve never been as cold in my entire life as I was in Granada, in my small flat, in mid-winter, and heating cost a fortune.

      • 6 February 2020 / 2:43 pm

        mwhaha, I usually say that I’ve never been as cold as I was in Huelva in the winter. It was miserably wet and we only had a ridiculous electric heater. I missed central heating so badly!. Even if winter only lasts two months, it is pretty uncomfortable.

        • Tiina
          9 February 2020 / 9:28 pm

          I can relate to that: I only had an electric heating in Granada, and it was useless. For someone taking central heating and two sets of double windows for granted it was a very cold winter…

  4. mireilleftm
    3 February 2020 / 3:39 pm

    It is interesting how people like different things: here I like to layer because the weather can change a lot in one day: for example today it started at 34 degrees F and it is supposed to be 75 this afternoon. Like you though no hoses or tights. I do wear leggings under skirts and dresses in winter if it is really cold.

    • Tiina
      5 February 2020 / 2:33 pm

      Yes, I can see your point: if the temperature fluctuates a lot during the day, layering makes sense. It also makes it more difficult to plan what to wear, or how to carry a cardigan/coat around all day. I’m always taken by surprise by this when I travel: I end up either freezing or overheating, simply because I always expect the temperature to remain constant throughout the day

  5. 6 February 2020 / 1:29 am

    I was smiling reading this. Me too to everything that you wrote. I can get a bit insecure when I see all of those wardrobe suggestions out there, because they do not suit me nor my life. Not to mention my wallet.

    • Tiina
      9 February 2020 / 9:32 pm

      I know: there are so many blogs emulating fashion magazines these days, with designer labels and new styles every day. It is just not sustainable, or practical. And I don’t believe for a second a blogger could actually live like that, with new outfits every day.

  6. 6 February 2020 / 1:52 pm

    Haha, I find those wardrobe essential lists kind of stupid, too! But I am definitely not a minimalist when it comes to my wardrobe either and I am the queen of layering! See, totally different needs in our wardrobes for you and me. I am loving this sweater on you and the contrast against that yellow wall is super cool! As always, thanks for linking up, Tiina!


    • Tiina
      9 February 2020 / 9:36 pm

      Well, your wardrobe should suit you and your lifestyle. Maybe you just need some variety, or like change. I’m really a minimalist at heart: too much stuff makes me feel like I’m suffocating. And I get really attached to my favourite pieces and want to wear them all the time. Crazy, huh?

  7. 7 February 2020 / 7:55 am

    You look stunning in burgundy. That’s my favorite color on you. Thanks for joining the top of the world style party. I hope everything is fine for you and your hubby after the brexit.

    • Tiina
      9 February 2020 / 9:37 pm

      Thanks, Nicole. I think Burgundy is my new favourite colour, it’s flattering but never overwhelming.

  8. 10 February 2020 / 1:14 pm

    Oh my winter basics would definitely be nothing liek yours – it’s rarely that cold here and the “winter coat” I have is just a simple trench coat – haha! I don’t need all the layers or super warm fabrics. I basically just swap my shorts for jeans, add tights to skirts and maybe throw a scarf or cardigan on top. Some days it’s cold enough for a leather jacket but it warms up so much during the day it’s not like I need to dress for anything too cold!

    Hope you’re having a great start to your week! A bit of a wet one here with all this rain!

    Thanks so much for joining the #WeekdayWearLinkup!

    • Tiina
      11 February 2020 / 7:42 pm

      Your winter is probably like our summer, or spring… Sounds nice, though.

  9. Natalie
    30 August 2020 / 2:48 am

    Our style isn’t the same. I love fashion and layering. The more the better! But, I love seeing another women my size. Keep it up!

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