Elevated Errands

Polished casual outfit with long navy blazer, tan bag and horsebit loafers. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I didn’t have any social engagements on my calendar this week, but did have several projects around the house and a long list of outside errands to run. As I was getting dressed yesterday morning, I thought “why not?” take my style up a notch for a few hours out of the house. Even if it was just to do mundane things like buying dog food.

Wearing: earrings | scarf (similar) | top (similar) | jacket (similar) | bracelet | bag | jeans (similar) | shoes

Polished Casual

Our weather’s cooled off again, so I took advantage of the opportunity to wear my lightweight wool navy jacket, purchased last year in Venice (Italy). I love this jacket because it has all the versatility of a navy blazer without looking like the top half of a suit.

More navy jackets: J.Crew | Eileen Fisher  | Marina Rinaldi (Plus) | J.Crew | Eileen Fisher (Plus)

I felt as though making the extra effort to look put-together energized me. I was able to get a lot accomplished without losing my initiative.

Kenzo cotton silk scarf, French Kande pearl bracelet, Loewe puzzle bag. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

The scarf is from Kenzo, and was purchased a few years ago in Paris. It’s still one of my favorites. The print reminded me at first of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” I only later realized it was also an abstract leopard print.

These Gucci Jordaan loafers are classic and SO comfortable. Well worth the splurge! Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I picked up these classic Gucci loafers in Paris a couple of years ago, and actually wore them around there for a few hours right away. Without socks. I know, I live on the edge. 😆 But they were (and still are) amazingly comfortable, and add just the right amount of polish to a casual outfit. I had my cobbler add a rubber half-sole to help extend their life. Here’s a similar budget-friendly style that’s well-reviewed.

How do you like to elevate a casual outfit?

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34 Comments

  1. Janice Quinn
    April 5, 2018 / 4:42 am

    I love that you used the word “cobbler,” as it usually is only used in New England. Since I have to dress casually in my job as a florist I enjoy ramping it up a bit on days off with a stylish coat. I work in the city in a sea of black down puffer coats for what seems like 9 months out of 12 so it is a nice pick me up.

  2. Kim
    April 5, 2018 / 4:51 am

    What a pulled together casual look. I’ve started elevating my errands, as well. I decided I feel all around better if I add effort into looking more polished as I run around town. It seems people respond to me more positively, as well, credit it to looking good or feeling good or both. I’ve been eyeing a FK bracelet and was wondering if it would feel too hot and heavy for our warmer weather…

    • Susan B
      April 5, 2018 / 7:11 am

      Hi Kim, I agree. I think looking like I made an effort improves the quality of my interactions as well as my mood. I think the bracelet would depend on your wrist size and personal tolerance. They fit me loosely, so aren’t a problem in the heat.

    • Kathy
      April 5, 2018 / 9:27 am

      I totally agree!

  3. Elizabeth Johnson
    April 5, 2018 / 5:31 am

    I love your spirit. I love your sense of style. I love your authenticity. Your blogs are always uplifting, thoughtful, and creative. I enjoy them immensely. Thank you for yet, another excellent piece.
    P.S. I happily ‘discovered’ you through the fabulous Lisa Carnochan @AmidPrivilege. You two are kindred spirits.

    • Susan B
      April 5, 2018 / 7:09 am

      Thanks so much, Elizabeth!

      • amidprivilege
        April 5, 2018 / 8:04 am

        Thank you Elizabeth<3! You are right about kindred spirits. Sue and I have traveled together, twice, and I have enjoyed her so much both times. Also, hi Sue:).

  4. Jana
    April 5, 2018 / 5:52 am

    I have a question. I love to wear navy pants and usually wear them with luggage colored shoes. I noticed you are wearing black loafers with navy jeans. Can I wear black patent or black leather loafers with navy pants? Thanks

    • Susan B
      April 5, 2018 / 6:28 am

      Hi Jana, I’d say absolutely yes you can!

  5. April 5, 2018 / 6:03 am

    Love your outfit, Susan, and agree it’s fun to dress up a bit even when we’re just doing errands. These days, I’m wearing more fitted tops instead of T-shirts with my jeans. I find that makes me feel more put together when I go out.

    • Susan B
      April 5, 2018 / 7:12 am

      Thanks, Heather!

  6. April 5, 2018 / 7:32 am

    Oh, wow. We are on the same wavelength this week! You look great. I love that scarf. I’m on the hunt for a bright spring scarf to go with my new Montcler anorak. I love a long jacket like yours with jeans. Hmm. Maybe I’ll pull out my black Ehie Tahari jacket, which is so long it can double as a coat, and wear it with my black loafers. Thanks, Sue. You always inspire me.

  7. Suz
    April 5, 2018 / 7:51 am

    I agree, it is nice to elevate the outfit even for basic errands. I try to do that sometimes now because what else am I going to be saving these nicer clothes for??? Sheesh most of them will be unworn if I wait for a special event….It makes me feel better too!
    And your outfit is perfect, what a wonderful navy coat. You look great. (as always)
    Thank you Suz from Vancouver

  8. Susan GillieusanG
    April 5, 2018 / 8:01 am

    I have a collection of long jackets and vests, kimonos, artist smocks, dusters and ponchos. They’re used daily to “punch up” outfits.

    Also, shoes; shoes add so much to an outfit. (Completely changed my attitude toward sneakers last year after going to Europe. Now I have a wonderful collection that are attractive and comfortable.)

    A subtle perfume never hurts.

  9. amidprivilege
    April 5, 2018 / 8:07 am

    You look fantastic. If I lived in SF full-time I would absolutely elevate for errands. Down here on the sleepy, tech-y, student-y Peninsula, I’d feel weird dressed so well in the aisles of Whole Foods:). Hence the sneakers, tees, field jackets, to say nothing of the long gray braid. I like to dress in the context of my community.

    And if I lived in Manhattan! All bets would be off;).

    Like I said, you look fantastic, and with just that tinge of LA casual glamour to my eye.

  10. April 5, 2018 / 8:32 am

    The things you find in Europe!! .
    Love that Kenzo scarf. One of my favourite top designers. And softvshoes you can wear with bare feet? Heaven.
    Greetje

    • Susan B
      April 5, 2018 / 8:55 am

      Thanks! I shop like a ninja in Paris!

  11. April 5, 2018 / 9:11 am

    I think this idea of elevating every day dressing is key as we get older. If we present ourselves haphazardly, we are easily overlooked and unheard, even disrespected. When we dress with pride and elan, we elicit more respectful responses.

    • Angela
      April 5, 2018 / 1:27 pm

      Spot on. It really doesn’t take much to pull an outfit together. Sadly with generational change it seems there is less pride in appearance. Retirement has also given me extra time to think an entire outfit through. My husband jokes that after applying my daily makeup, it’s another 10 minutes deciding on jewellery. It’s his way of showing appreciation for my efforts.

    • Marla
      April 5, 2018 / 7:38 pm

      YES! So right! The French always respect a well dressed person and her age does not matter!! Just do it! ( and I’m plus sized)!!

  12. Barbara from Guelph
    April 5, 2018 / 9:14 am

    sSo getting ready to dash off to the bank etc: Barbour jacket, plaid Barbour wool scarf, tights and a bean marinere, Ugg boots because there is snow on the ground, darn it. Doesn’t somehow look as dashing as your outfit but cést la vive!!
    Love your style and your thoughts. They provide inspiration and more.
    Thanks

  13. Lisa B
    April 5, 2018 / 10:49 am

    Love those Gucci shoes and I agree they are amazingly comfortable. I owned a pair of two tone navy/ white Gucci loafers in the 90’s and found myself wearing them around the house as slippers. I just ordered a pair of Tod heeled mules from Saks. Was going to try the Gucci mule but I am SHRINKING and felt I needed some height. I LOVE my navy jacket and am so glad you shared that information with me last year. Still way too cold here in New England for anything but a down jacket. We’re getting more snow this weekend!!!

    • Lisa B
      April 5, 2018 / 12:32 pm

      Susan, Where did you find the frayed jeans?

      • Susan B
        April 5, 2018 / 12:42 pm

        Hi Lisa, these are AG’s from a few seasons back. This is the same style, but a different rinse: LINK

  14. Lisa B
    April 5, 2018 / 2:52 pm

    Thanks, Susan! We don’t have a lot of great stores her in Rhode Island ( No EF store, closest is an hour away ) but we do have an Anthropologie!

  15. Janet Higgs
    April 5, 2018 / 5:33 pm

    Hi Susan, I’m going shopping this weekend for new mascara. Can you tell me what brand you recommend? Thanks very much.

    Janet

    • Susan B
      April 5, 2018 / 5:40 pm

      Hi Janet, I’ve been using Charlotte Tilbury’s “Full Fat Lashes” mascara lately and really like it. LINK It doesn’t go on clumpy, stays put all day, and is easy to remove at night with cleanser and water.

      • Janet Higgs
        April 5, 2018 / 6:44 pm

        Thank you, I’ll give it a try.

        Janet

  16. April 5, 2018 / 5:38 pm

    Love this ensemble, Susan — and the purposes for which you wore it.

    In contrast, today I was on the go from 7:30 am — starting with yoga class, then a long physical therapy appointment, making catering arrangements and delivering invitations all over town for a big friends and family social event, grocery shopping, picking up the mail, seeing my banker, and filling up the car with gas. Not to mention housecleaning and paying bills. I still haven’t started packing for a week-long trip that starts early tomorrow morning.

    And now I’ve collapsed in my chair after dinner wearing what I started out wearing at 7:30 am — yoga pants and a yoga pullover. Sheesh!

  17. Daniella Karo
    April 6, 2018 / 12:47 am

    interestingly, but not unexpected, you look really chic when you don’t try too hard!!

  18. plutrell
    April 7, 2018 / 3:37 am

    I love this look, Susan…it is elevated errands. I need to wear my loafers more. I tend to forget I own them and I really love the look! I always feel better when I dress up to run errands.

  19. April 8, 2018 / 1:05 pm

    Love the look. First thing that caught my eye was that coat. Love the longer lenght. Then looked at the shoes. You look great. I’ve been wearing a boot on my fractured foot. I felt so sloppy looking. Nice getting it all together. Great look.

  20. Rita
    April 8, 2018 / 4:51 pm

    I love that jacket, the structured shoulders are a nice touch.

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