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.

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: September 13, 2013

So, this week, I took a shortcut to creating my style notebook entry.  I received an email from Jaeger this morning with a couple of outfits based around their new trench.  I really like the trench because of its very tailored styling and the nice detailing in the houndstooth fabric; makes it a little more fun and not so plain.

Style Notebook: Autumn Outfits
Style Notebook: Autumn Outfits

I like the red jumper in the more casual look.  Doesn’t it looks perfect with that bag?  The only thing I might switch, would be to exchange the scarf that they have with another one that I found on their site.  They have a scarf with a digital print of Jaeger’s Regent’s Street store on it that is so much fun, I’m trying to come up with a reason why I need to buy it.  And I think it would look great with either the black dress or the casual outfit with jeans and a jumper.  As an added bonus, the Regent’s Street printed scarf is about half the price at £85.00.

Jaeger's flagship store on Regent's Street printed right on a scarf!
Jaeger’s flagship store on Regent’s Street printed right on a scarf!

I have a £30.00 loyalty voucher for Jaeger that I need to spend by mid-November, so maybe I should put it towards the scarf.  And just think how great it would look with the blue suede Lanvin boots too.

I’m in Love with these Lanvin Boots

Lanvin Blue Suede Ankle Boots
Lanvin Blue Suede Ankle Boots

Every once in a while you see something while doing a little internet shopping, that just really catches your eye.  That’s how it was for me with these lovely suede ankle boots.  I got my daily email update from Net-A-Porter this morning and immediately was drawn to these.  I don’t know if it is the colour or what, but I just love them.  I’m not even the kind of girl that wears heels this high.  Ever.  But I want them. Here’s what the editors at Net-A-Porter have to say about my new favourite boots that I don’t own:

Heel measures approximately 95mm/ 4 inches. Crafted from supple suede, Lanvin’sbright-blue ankle boots fit like a glove. This beautifully sleek and luxurious pair fastens with a gold zip, which makes them easy to slip on and off.

I like that they had to bold the heel height.  Honestly, I thought they were going to be higher than 4 inches, but that’s plenty high enough to someone like me that is afraid of heights, especially when the height is all coming from my own shoes.  I wonder how comfortable they would be to actually wear? Aside from the heel height, the other most shocking thing is the whopping £665.00 price tag.  That’s enough to make me a little light headed.  I love them but I’m not sure my love can survive that kind of spending.  I’ve seen them on another site in black, which is more mix and matchable with things in my wardrobe.  Of course, I did lose a little bit of the infatuation with the black  boots.

As a result of sticker shock, I immediately started to search for something with the same look as these Lanvin beauties, but for a lower price.  So far I haven’t had all that much luck finding a replacement.  There’s just nothing that has the same instant appeal for me.  I did find some Giuseppe Zanotti boots that were nice, but not as alluring, but the price was just £100.00 less, so that’s not really that big a difference.   So, I guess I’ll keep drooling over these from afar, while I search for something less pricey but still as lovely.

Style Notebook: August 14, 2013

I’ve decided that I’m going to try putting outfits together digitally for a while and then I’ll slowly start feeling more confident and be able to do it in real life, I think.  At least I hope so.  Besides, it is much cheaper this way!

Style Notebook: Casually elegant
Style Notebook: Casually elegant

I want to be stylish, I really do, but it doesn’t come naturally to me at all. Historically, I’ve gone for the more practical clothing or kind of sporty looking things, and few accessories. I’m not trendy, I never will be, and I don’t really want to have that kind of look. I like classic styles and good tailoring; those are always the things that I am attracted to in stores. I think that’s probably the best direction for my style to move in too because it works the best with my body shape, as well. I really want to work on cultivating some sort of style that doesn’t scream hiking chic but is evocative of Audrey Hepburn or Lauren Becall. Of course, the hard part is that I am not really sure how to go about getting some style into my wardrobe.  I figure if I play around with putting things together here, it will become second nature to me to think of outfits this way.

The point of this isn’t that I’m necessarily going to buy any of this, but rather I just want to try to get some type of look going that I might actually wear.  Just for fun though, if I were going to buy this stuff here is what it would cost:

Wow, casually elegant has a high price tag.  Clearly though, all of the more expensive pieces are things that you could find lower cost versions of too. Though I must say I love love love those Lanvin ankle boots.  Of course, I know that you can buy lots of ankle boots in black suede for probably 1/7th of the price of those.  But aren’t they lovely?  The only piece that I’m not sure would actually work with this outfit is the scarf because it might just seem like too much going on and detract from the look that I want.  It’s certainly something that in real life I would probably put it on and take it off a few times before I decided one way or the other.

So, what do you think?  Did I succeed in getting a casually elegant look that is actually wearable?