Welcome to Week of Outfits (or WOO), a regular column wherein I ask stylish women with closets filled with thrifted, vintage, and sustainable clothes to document their outfits for a week. Today’s installment features Tiia Van Meter and marks our first international guest!! WOWZA we going global kids. Tiia resides in Helsinki, Finland where she runs a second-hand shop and wears lots of wonderfully inspiring outfits that she documents on her Instagram, @tiiawears. While I have not (yet) met her personally, my highly-trained ability to read people through their social media profiles tells me that she is the sweetest. Keep reading to see what she wears in a week…
Monday was my day off. I slept in and went thrifting with my husband. I recently bought this pilot’s jacket at an army surplus store. Everything else is second hand. I like to experiment with new styles, and this jacket fits the bill. I saw it in the shop and it immediately reminded me of my teens. Bad boys in my class wore these types of jackets in the early-1990s, in suburban Helsinki. I appreciate clothes that trigger a memory or an emotion in me, but they also have to be practical. The weather in Finland is always something to take into consideration, and I walk a lot, so comfort is everything.
I have a small second-hand shop in Helsinki, and this picture was taken in our shop’s fitting room. I love wearing whatever I want to work. I’ve had jobs in the past where I had to wear a uniform, and that type of dressing really doesn’t suit me. I never plan my outfits, I just go where ever my mood takes me. This results in what I call #panicdressing: I rush around trying to figure out what to wear in the mornings, but I’ve come to embrace that last-minute chaotic creative process. My best outfits are often the ones thrown together in two minutes. If I can’t think of anything else, I’ll repeat an outfit I’ve worn before. That happened today — I love this print mix and I’ve worn a variation of this look often.
On Wednesday I worked from home. We had a snowstorm and I didn’t leave the house. I wore this ankle-length knitted Marimekko balloon dress from the 1970s. I love the bold shapes and patterns that Marimekko, Finland’s only major fashion export, makes. A lot of their vintage items were really ahead of their time.
I buy almost all of my clothes second hand. My job makes it easy. Socks, hosiery, underwear and the occasional pair of shoes are the exceptions. I buy second-hand clothes for two reasons: I believe it’s the only environmentally sound way to shop, and it’s more creative, too. I buy my clothes at flea markets, thrift stores, and vintage shops. I like to mix my fleamarket finds with second-hand designer clothes. I buy the latter from Vestiaire Collective, although this Christopher Kane skirt was a second-hand shop find.
I love bold clothes but I also appreciate simpler styles like a good shirt and a pair of slacks. For as long as I can remember, there has been a push and pull within me to care for both a minimalist and a maximalist aesthetic. There was a time when I tried to become a full-on disciplined minimalist, but it made me miserable. It took me a while to understand that minimalism and maximalism (in the aesthetic sense of the word) didn’t have to be mutually exclusive, that I could embrace both styles. I’ve come to accept that I like to have a lot of clothes to choose from, I like to play with a myriad of styles, and I no longer feel guilty about owning a lot of clothes.
(Everything is second hand, thrifted or fleamarketed except the boots.)
I am a bit of a magpie. I like shiny fabrics like lurex and brocades, especially when they are dressed down or styled with other interesting textures or prints, and I adore embroidered and sequined clothes. These Essentiel Antwerp trousers are so much fun and wearing them makes me happy.
(Everything is second hand, except for the boots. The trousers were new with tags.)
I try to never say never to trying out new styles. I like to keep an open mind. I didn’t think that I’d wear cargo pants again after the early 2000s, but here we are, 20 years later! I find inspiration on Instagram (the slow fashion community is wonderfully diverse, creative and supportive), but I also read fashion magazines. I don’t keep up with trends for the sake of them being trendy, but every now and then something really interesting pops up on the catwalks of Milan or Paris. My favorite fashion designer is Dries Van Noten. His collections have a lovely mix of hard and soft, masculine and feminine, cheap and elegant. I love those juxtapositions.