Trip to Helsinki: What to Wear?

Helsinki is gorgeous on a sunny day!   Too bad we'll only have rain.
Helsinki is gorgeous on a sunny day! Too bad we’ll only have rain.

Dave and I both really like Helsinki, so we decided to have a nice little four day city break there this weekend.  Yes, we did stay home for the three day bank holiday weekend, which seems to make no sense, but Dave couldn’t get away from work until late this week.  In any case, it is a shame we weren’t there for the bank holiday because they were having gorgeous clear, sunny skies with weirdly (for them) high temperatures in the 25 C /77 F range.  But sadly, our travel luck just isn’t that good, so it will probably be raining for much of the weekend that we will be there and the temperatures look to not even be out of the teens – 13 – 18 C /55 – 65 F – for highs and more like 8 C/46 F for lows.  So, now I’m stuck with the dilemma of what to wear for the soggy, cold weekend.  Though of course, I am always hopeful that the weather forecast will change by then.

I am a big, huge fan of packing light and with items that can be worn in different ways so that I don’t end up dragging a bunch of luggage with me, this is especially true for a short trip.  Luckily, we travel enough that I have this down at this point.  And, I’ve got a great carry on sized suitcase that allows me to pack a lot of stuff in not too much space.  But for a short trip like this, we might only take one bag and split the space (I know, shocking).  I must admit, I am much better about having outfits all ready to go for winter trips, somehow summer trips are always more difficult for me to style.  With the temperatures being so completely not warm this weekend in Helsinki, I will most definitely go with the casual jeans look and my Converse All Stars since sandals are definitely out.  For short trips like this I also pick a colour scheme to work around to make sure that all of my items are interchangeable for the best set of options: red, white, blue/denim, and black for this trip, I think.

Lyssé Knitted Ankle Leggings in Denim
Lyssé Knitted Ankle Leggings in Denim

On the plane, I always try to wear something comfortable like leggings or a knit dress.  It might not be super fashionable, but it is comfortable when I’m going to be sitting around for a few hours; 3 hours of flight time from London to Helsinki.  I haven’t found a great summer type knit dress for flying but I do have a pair of denim-look leggings, or jeggings, that I like for summer trips, plus they work well with my chosen colour scheme this time.  And let’s face it, skinny jeans aren’t super comfortable on a flight, so this is a good comfortable compromise.  I have a number of white shirts that I like to pair with my leggings, but my favourite is probably a very lightweight cotton tunic with buttons down the front and a bit of detail around the neckline, under which I wear a tank (necessary since you can totally see through the tunic).  I am always getting cold on flights, so I have some waterfall cardigans that I like to wear with my leggings to keep me comfortable and warm.  The two that I have, one in red and one in purple, are made from a t-shirt type material which makes them great for travel because they don’t get really wrinkled looking and are easy to pack or carry around if I get warm.  I’ve also found that if I want a slightly different look from them, I can wear them with a belt and they look more like a blouse with a drape neckline.  On the way back, I will switch out the white tunic with a casual white silk shirt that I have that works perfectly with the rest of the pieces.  So that takes care of the two days when I’ll be actually flying.

Pepperberry: The Classic Shirt, perfect for travel
Pepperberry: The Classic Shirt, perfect for travel

On the other days I will probably wear jeans, either bootcut or skinnies depending on my mood when packing or maybe both if I have room.  I might take the slim leg jeans because I’ve been wearing them a lot lately and they are actually pretty comfortable and look cute with with All Stars or my ballet flats.  I will definitely be taking my Pepperberry Classic Shirt in white because it always looks so tailored, yet is really comfortable.  Plus, it goes well with or without the waterfall cardigan, as dictated by the weather.  Also, a plain white shirt can so easily be jazzed up with good accessories, like a fun scarf, a big necklace, or even a really cool belt.  I will probably also take a black cashmere v-neck sweater that I almost always take along with me when we travel.  It goes with everything and cashmere packs well and can be very warm too; it’s the perfect travel companion.  For my other daytime look I think I’ll take a heather grey top that I have that is great for transitional weather.  It is long, hitting me around the mid- to top of my thighs depending on how I play with the ruching, plus it has a draped neckline that is both comfortable and flattering.  I like it because it is made of a soft, cotton that is like a sort of thick t-shirt material, so it is super easy to pack, but has some style about it while still being very comfortable.

Red trench or black jacket with hood?
Red trench or black jacket with hood?

We haven’t decided if we’ll be doing anything special for dinner any of the nights we are gone, so I’m kind of skipping that part of my packing.  However, if we make that decision to have a nice dinner out or something, I’ve got a wrap-style dress from Pepperberry (like that link, except with longer sleeves so it is less daytime) that I would probably take because I know it packs quite well and looks very flattering.  Of course, if we do that then I have to bring other shoes and Dave will have to pack more stuff too and that wasn’t really the type of trip we were planning.  So, we will probably just stick with the very casual style trip.  Dave is definitely in need of a trip where he can just totally take some time off and relax, so for us that means easy packing and no pressure to find someplace spectacular to have dinner.  Those types of things are for other trips, not a quick and fun city break like this one.

Obviously, I’m going to need a coat or jacket that can take the rain for this trip as well.  I’m trying to decide between taking my red trench coat or my black lightweight rain jacket.  I love my red one because it is good in cold, rainy weather, however, it doesn’t have a hood if you’re caught without an umbrella.  The black one is cute and has a bit of a trench coat style but only comes to my hips and it is rather thin making it less great when it is cold, but it does have the helpful hood.  The other good thing about the black jacket is that it can pack up to almost nothing, which is probably why I will take it.  Since it is black, which can be very bland and boring, I often pick a fun scarf to wear with it to give it a bit of colour, I have a paisley black, white, and red silk scarf that I will probably take since I know it will go with everything else that I am bringing.

Phew, so now I’m all done figuring out what to wear and am ready to go on my trip and relax.  Well, except for the actual packing.

The Outnet Clearance Sale is Now On – Up to 85% Off

I know I just wrote about The Outnet last week, but I thought I should definitely point out their terrific clearance sale that started today.  You can get up to 85% off a ton of different items for the next week.  Everything seems to be between 75 to 85% off, I haven’t noticed anything below that.  They currently have over 800 items in their clearance sale, so a pretty wide selection to shop from. The clearance covers clothing, bags, shoes, and accessories; there is definitely something in there for you.

The clearance sale lasts for almost 7 more days, 6 hours 21 hours and 15 minutes as I’m writing this post.  They have a very helpful counter at the top of the clearance sale pages so you’ll not be in any doubt about when this sale is going to end.  As I’m writing this they still have 872 items available but they seem to be going fast, super fast, because when I looked just an hour or so ago, there were over 1300 items.  So, if you like to shop tremendous sales, don’t lag about with this one.  You need to get over to the clearance page at The Outnet and start shopping.  What are you waiting for?

Check out Net-A-Porter’s Sister Site: The Outnet

Do you have a weakness for designer clothing, beautiful shoes, and great designer accessories?  But maybe you really hate paying the high prices often associated with those types of items?  Well, you’re in luck because The Outnet is an outlet store that is perfect for the fashion lover on a budget.  They offer great fashion items for HUGE discounts, some as much as 75% off.

THE OUTNET:  The Most Fashionable Fashion Outlet
THE OUTNET: The Most Fashionable Fashion Outlet

The Outnet was created by the team behind Net-A-Porter and has over 250 designer brands.  Their collection is as carefully curated as that on Net-A-Porter so that you are getting a great selection at outstanding prices.  Sure, it’s not all from the latest collections, but for 60% off, you can probably deal with that.  Since they offer more than 250 designers, you should be able to find just about any brand that you love, designers like Alice + Olivia, Charlotte Olympia, Diane von Furstenberg, Issa, Miu Miu, Temperley London, Tory Burch, and Valentino.  Seriously, there are a ton of great designers to choose from.  Plus, they get new arrivals every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday so there is fresh stock quite often.  Since they are a sister company of Net-A-Porter, I imagine that the customer service will be just as outstanding too, with nice shipping options and easy returns.

And before you start having flashbacks of all of the horrible outlet stores you’ve ever been in before, with their out of date and ugly options, I will just say that this is not that outlet store.  The selection does not seem to be made up of all of the ugliest designer items ever created, most everything I have seen while browsing it is still just as gorgeous as you would expect from the designers.  The only downside is the limited selection of sizes.  Since it is an outlet, not every size is available so it might take some extra searching by you to find something.  However, you can quite easily search by size so that you only see the things that will work for you.  Also, if you sign up for their newsletter you can select a size and they will tailor your emails for your specified size to make your shopping time more efficient.

I really like their “Dress Me” section since I’m not that great at putting things together all the time.  They list different style types or occasions so that you can see some example outfits and buy the looks that you like.  They have a tailored selection of the appropriate clothing, accessories, shoes, and bags so that you can pull off a specific look.  It certainly makes shopping a little easier, especially on a site that has so wide a selection.  I can’t wait to really take a good look around and find some deals!

And to make it even more attractive, right now they are offering free shipping.  You just have to enter SHIPFORFREE during checkout.

Style Notebook: Jaeger Winter Sale Now On

If you’ve been slow getting into all of the post-holiday sales, there are still some great values to be had in the Jaeger winter sale.  They have lots of their beautiful clothing and accessories on sale currently with reductions of up to 50%.  As part of my effort to upgrade and improve my wardrobe, I decided to take advantage of the sale to get myself a few items.  I even got Dave a gorgeous new jumper too.  And of course, I’ve just been browsing and found an item or two that I might consider getting as well while the sale is still on.

Jaeger Winter Sale Now On!
Jaeger Winter Sale Now On!

I love the clothing and accessories at Jaeger and have quite a bit of their stuff in my wardrobe.  So, naturally, whenever they have a sale or a special deal on for loyalty card holders, I try to take advantage of it.  And their winter sale was the perfect time for me to get a couple of items to add to my winter wardrobe.  And at a great savings too.  I purchased all of the items on the left of the image above and I’m seriously considering getting the cute black and white striped knit dress too.

All in all, I ended up saving quite a bit due to the outstanding winter sale discounts, not to mention another £47.60 from a special deal for loyalty card holders that took an additional 20% off of everything.  Each of the cashmere jumpers were £99.00, representing a discount of £51.00 from their original prices of £150.00 each.  Both of the cashmere jumpers are gorgeous and luxuriously soft.  The cowl neck jumper, the blend of the two jumpers in my image above (the ivory of the one sweater and the cowl neck of the other), is very nice with the cowl neck being quite comfortable and not too tight and constricting.  I love the cashmere jumpers because they are lightweight and not at all bulky, but so warm that they make the perfect winter layer, even for the most unpleasant cold weather.  Dave isn’t really a v-neck fan, but I convinced him that such a nice jumper was worth it and the v-neck isn’t very deep, so it doesn’t bother him but still looks nice with either a t-shirt or a collared shirt underneath it.  The skinny corduroy jeans were originally £99.00 but were reduced to £40.00 in the sale, which I thought was a great deal for such well made trousers.  So, I was pretty pleased with my post-holiday shopping since all of the items I purchased would have originally cost £399.00 (without the £3.95 for shipping) but with the sale and my additional 20% off I was fortunate enough to pay just £194.35, even with the £3.95 charge for delivery.  I like anything that saves me £208.60!!  How can you not like that savings?

And all of that savings has me eyeing the nice black and white knit dress.  It was originally £180.00 but now it is just £80.00.  It is very tempting.  I like the knit dresses for winter because I can wear them over tights or leggings for a fairly effortless, but stylish look.  It would go perfectly with my black knee high or ankle boots too.  I think I’m talking myself into this the more I type. LOL

If you’re on the lookout for some great deals, you should check out the Jaeger sale.  I’m not sure when it will end, but I’m guessing it will end by month’s end since they are saying that they are having final reductions now.  So, if you’re interested I wouldn’t wait too much longer to check it out or make your purchases.

Personal Style Resolutions for 2014

I’m not really one for making resolutions at the start of the new year, they always seem to get broken or ignored.  However, I do like to set some personal goals for the coming year.  So, in 2014 I’ve got some goals as far as health and fitness, of course, fashion, and beauty.  I try to stick to things that I think are actually feasible for me to achieve.

  1. Goals for 2014
    Goals for 2014

    Exercising:  I would like to consistently exercise five days a week.  This is a fairly constant goal of mine, actually.   Since I have rheumatoid arthritis this goal is kind of a necessity for me maintaining full range of movement and being able to deal with my health situation as best I can.  I do a fairly hard workout four days per week and then one day per week I do things like walking and less high impact exercise.  I’ve had RA for about 15 years now and because of sticking to my exercise pretty faithfully I have been able to maintain my joint health pretty successfully.   Not to mention, exercise is good for maintaining weight and general health, and is essential for healthy skin.  As always, I’d like to lose a bit of weight this year, but I’m more concerned with being healthy than skinny at this point.

  2. Beauty: I’d like to tune up my skin care routine.  I’m pretty good about taking good care of my skin, but there’s always room for improvement.  And to be honest, sometimes I am really bad about being lazy at night and not properly cleansing and moisturising my skin before bed.  I’ve been using Lancome products for a number of years for my skin care.  Lately though, I’ve been thinking I might need to try out a few different products to make sure that I’ve got the best lineup for my skin.  I definitely want to find a good purifying mask and/or exfoliant and think I need to find new daytime skin care products.
  3. Beauty: I must find a new eye cream.  Currently, I use Lancome Hydra Zen Yeux Neurocalm Eye Contour Gel Cream but I don’t think it’s the right choice for me.  I have been noticing that my eyes seem kind of irritated and at first I thought it was my contacts, the solution, other things I use on my face, but I think I’ve really narrowed it down to this eye cream.  It is nice but something in it seems to be irritating my eyes and making them all red looking.  And that is certainly not stylish.  So, I’ve got a few samples of things from DHC and Molton Brown that I’m trying out now.  But I am going to have to do some research to find something that will work well and not make me look like I’ve been crying for the last week.  It’s always so hard to find new skin care products, so I imagine this is going to take some time.
  4. Beauty:  I’d like to try some more exciting makeup looks, especially for nighttime.  Pretty much my daytime and nighttime makeup looks are fairly consistent.  Okay, to be honest, they are identical.  I’d like to try eyeshadow in colours that are not in the beige or brown family.  I bought a purple Dior eyeshadow and have only used it once so far.  Tsk tsk tsk!  I have a look that is more like that fresh faced, I’m not wearing makeup I just have great skin type of look.  But really, sometimes it’s okay to look like you are actually wearing makeup and I’d like to get comfortable with that kind of look.  Not that I need to do that all the time, but sometimes, it would be nice to have a more dramatic look.  I have hazel eyes, so I’m going to start with some purple eyeshadows and maybe even get the courage up to try some greens by the end of the year or a really bold purple.  We’ll see.
  5. Beauty:  I’d like to finally figure out how to straighten and style my hair as well as my stylist.  The guy who cuts and colours my hair is brilliant and I always leave with gorgeous looking hair.  However, when I try to do it at home my results are inconsistent and never as smooth and sleek as when he does it.  And he doesn’t even use fancy products or things that I don’t have at home.  I have noticed that he takes a lot more time than I do, so I think this might be the key.  Also, he uses more of the volumizer, Philip Kingsley Maximizer, than I do and I have a feeling that is an important difference in the results.  Because that is honestly all that he uses on my hair and yet it looks leaps and bounds better than when I do it at home.
  6. set and reach goal conceptFashion: I want to wear scarves and jewellery and not look awkward when I’m doing it.  Fashion is something that does not come naturally to me and anything that I’m not used to wearing always makes me feel awkward and like I’m a dorky 13 year old again.  I’d love to be able to wear scarves and jewellery as accessories and make it look chic and not odd.  I’m pretty sure that accomplishing this goal is just a matter of forcing myself to do it so that it starts to feel more natural to me.  I have a number of scarves that I’ve bought over the years that all hang tidily in my wardrobe never seeing the light of day.  I think if I just start popping one on with my jumpers this Winter to finish off my looks, by Spring I’ll be feeling pretty used to it, enough to wear them more often certainly.  The same goes for wearing earrings and other jewellery.  Currently, I really just wear my watch which is lovely but a bit more would help to really put the finishing touches on my look.
  7. Fashion: I’d like to wear heels more often.  I’m fairly tall, so wearing heels has never seemed like a necessity to me the way it has to my shorter friends.  But really, sometimes I would like to wear them and not feel like a cross-dresser; and a new cross-dresser at that.  I would like to look elegant not lumbering.  This is one of those personal perception things, more than how I actually walk.  It’s a bit like the scarves, I’m just not used to doing it so it feels abnormal.  Like a lot of new habits we all try to cultivate, it’s just about trying it repeatedly until it feels normal.  The only downfall with this is that I mostly walk places and the pavements aren’t all that smooth necessarily so I have to be careful about the heels that I choose.

I’m sure that I have more things that I should focus on in those categories, but I feel like that is a good solid start.  Plus, all of those seem like things that I can accomplish if I just try a little bit harder to step out of my usual routines and habits.  It’s hard to make changes, but I’m pretty dedicated to it, so hopefully I’ll be able to do it.  Plus, now I have this blog and I feel like I’m more accountable this way.  I just have to make a bit of a plan and stick to it and in no time I’ll be making some definitely progress on my goals for 2014!

So, what are your resolutions or goals for the upcoming year?  How likely do you think you are to accomplish them?