Easy Breezy

Strolling in Venice, CA. Wearing a pastel blue silk-cashmere scarf, round bag, striped shirt. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

A Style Formula…

Over time I’ve abandoned most hard-and-fast style rules, but I find that having fallback formula makes getting dressed a breeze. For me, that formula is jeans + tee + jacket. When I’m not sure what to wear, I start with that combo. Then I add accessories to suit my mood.

scarf (c/o) | top | jacket (similar / Plus) | bag (similar) | bracelet | watch (similar) | jeans (similar) | shoes

Out and about in Venice Beach. Wearing a long black jacket and pastel blue scarf. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I often warn people who are visiting Southern California for the first time that evenings can be chilly, especially near the coast. The wind had picked up late in the afternoon, and I was very glad I’d brought along this lightweight scarf (gifted) to meet up with my photographer in Venice. It kept me from shivering through our session.

The striped top is a nice easy v-neck, here. I’m wearing size 2 (Small). For warmth, I’m wearing a silk tank underneath.

Boyfriend jacket, stripe tee, long scarf. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

The scarf is a silk-cashmere blend, very light and soft. I adore this color. It’s definitely going with me to France!

My style formula: jeans + tee + jacket. Add accessories and go! Details at une femme d'un certain age.

The jeans are in keeping with my current preference for styles with more ease. These are the AG “Ex-Boyfriend” style, and quickly becoming a favorite in my denim collection. This dark grey wash sold out in a heartbeat, but with any luck it will be re-stocked. The hems were already raw, so I just hacked another couple of inches off to shorten.

I’ve had this Eileen Fisher silk boyfriend jacket for a few years now. It’s an oversized style, and probably not the most flattering jacket I own. But it’s one that I’ve worn most often, because it’s such an easy piece to throw on over just about anything else.

Outfit details: Brahmin round bag, French Kande bracelet, Cartier tank watch. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

So yes, I succumbed to the charm of a circle bag. This one’s from Brahmin, and I like that it has a flat bottom, so will sit upright. Unfortunately this color (Coconut) seemed to sell out quickly in this style. But there are other colors here.

And here’s a similar color (Pumice) available in several styles.

The French Kande pearl bracelet is one I wear almost every day. It just goes with everything!

Detail: L'Amour des Pieds metallic mules. Still a favorite! More at une femme d'un certain age.

I’ve had these mules for over a year and they’re still favorites. They’re so unique and comfortable.

Wearing a pastel blue scarf, black jacket and metallic mules for a stroll in Venice Beach. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Do you have a style formula or two that you rely on?

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Photos by Tannaz Telikany Photography. Instagram here

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34 Comments

  1. April 19, 2018 / 4:41 am

    Love your hair in these photos, and that scarf? Luscious color!

    • Shirley Sloan
      April 23, 2018 / 6:57 am

      I love her hair style also! Would love to print a picture to take to my hairdresser, but I can’t seem to figure how to print it.

  2. Lynn
    April 19, 2018 / 4:44 am

    This looks great on you! What kind of watch are you wearing?

  3. vtaloni
    April 19, 2018 / 4:52 am

    Susan, you look great as always. Jeans are “my outfit,” for half of the year and that’s when I typically feel good about what I’m wearing. But, I live in Florida and for 6 months of the year it’s too hot for jeans and during those very warm months I really struggle with what to wear!

    • Rondi
      April 19, 2018 / 11:01 am

      I live in Florida also. When its too hot for jeans I turn to long shorts (to the top of the knee) and a sleeveless or short sleeve blouse instead of a tee. Or very casual skirts (to the knee, maxi, or anything in between) and tanks or tees. Pretty colors. Fun shoes.

      • Shirley Sloan
        April 23, 2018 / 7:02 am

        Vitaloni and Rondi, love your ideas and comments. I too live in Florida. I can’t wear sleeveless, I’m 73 and have all that creapy skin on my underarms, but I do wear the longer shorts. Jeans are my all time favorite

  4. April 19, 2018 / 4:59 am

    I sympathize with the woman who says she lives in Florida!!! This has been a great winter for me because it was chilly. I could wear leggings many days with a light sweater and a scarf! Now we are back to shorts and t-shirts. Yuck!!! I am sooooo tired of shorts and shirts. I’ll wear a nice pair of capris to restaurants for dinner but even then I am HOT outside. Then, the actual restaurant is ice cold! Crazy!!! I have not worn jeans in 3 years! Just too hot down here!

  5. Dale
    April 19, 2018 / 5:42 am

    I am planning a trip to New York City the second week in May. My formula for day is jeans, t-shirt, and jacket. However, I can’t decide between a medium-weight cashmere blend indigo blazer or a leather suede moto jacket. Will your readers tell me if the suede jacket will be too heavy for then?

    • Meg
      April 19, 2018 / 5:50 am

      Dale, you could have anything from 80 degrees to 30 degrees in May in NYC. Or Rain.. I was in New York 5 years ago in May. Got caught in a drenching thunderstorm and no cabs to be had. Then cold air moved in and I froze. Really needed a winter coat. I would go for the blazer and be sure your outerwear can layer over it if needed.

      • Dale
        April 19, 2018 / 6:06 am

        Thank you!

    • MJ
      April 19, 2018 / 1:24 pm

      I live in NY. The suede jacket may be too warm in May (although it’s unseasonably cold today), and it also would not work if it rains. So I would definitely pick the blazer. (Or you could bring the suede and then buy a new jacket to suit the weather….)

      • Dale
        April 19, 2018 / 5:46 pm

        Thank you.

  6. Meg
    April 19, 2018 / 5:47 am

    For the Florida Heat and Humidity, I find gauze pants in a loose cut to be a great option. I look for the crinkle weave which hides wrinkles better than a linen pant. Covers the legs but lets the skin breath.

    • Shirley Sloan
      April 23, 2018 / 7:03 am

      Yes! I love the gauze pants. Going to Tarpon Springs in May and hope to find some for my September cruise.

  7. plutrell
    April 19, 2018 / 5:52 am

    I just love what a beautiful, soft touch this scarf is to the entire look. Lovely job!

  8. Lisa B
    April 19, 2018 / 6:10 am

    First off love your hair. The color of that scarf looks amazing on you. If you had your colors “done” in the 80’s I would guess you’re a summer. My uniform is jeans and usually a button down shirt either white, black or chambray. Sometimes a turtleneck in the winter or a plain tee in summer. My idea of going “rogue” is a small check or a stripe on a tee or button down. Floral anything throws me for a loop. I just never warmed to the idea of flowers anywhere but in a vase. Here in New England a heavier coat is still needed to keep warm. I was able to put away my heavy down coat but only to switch to a lighter down! We New Englanders keep LL Bean in business. Temps are ranging from the low thirties to mid forties. Starting to wonder if the weather here will ever warm up. Can’t wait to put away the down coat and break out a jacket!

  9. Elizabeth
    April 19, 2018 / 6:35 am

    Susan, you look so French and so pulled together. And Lisa B (above) I hear you! I live west of Toronto in Canada and we have a half foot of snow with a wind chill of -8C. So, yes, I’m still wearing a down coat, warm hat and gloves and often boots for extra warmth. But underneath all that, I’ve started to wear bright spring-coloured warmer tops like Susan’s striped top in a cashmere blend. Also, got so sick of black that I invested in a bright pink cashmere turtle that is so spring-like and cheerful. So my uniform? Under the winter coat, a spring coloured light cashmere top, skinny jeans and a knit jacket which is more comfortable under a winter coat. A colourful scarf, too!

  10. Julie Anne
    April 19, 2018 / 7:17 am

    My fall/winter/spring formula is jeans and a black tee with a jacket. Depending where I’m going sets the tone for jewellery. It’s Canada so our jeans season is long.

    In summer, my base is a black skirt instead of the jeans. I’ve been searching for a new plain top quality cotton or linen replacement. I’m trying to avoid polyester or synthetic. It seems impossible to find, let alone in a petite. I do wear some easy care dresses, they’re just not as versatile.

    • April 20, 2018 / 7:07 am

      I’m a skirt person in the summer as well. I wear shorts only for gardening (but not tasks where I could get scratched or cut) or heavy housework. And it is very hard to find natural fibres. Mine have to be a-line or gore/panel designs because I cycle everywhere; pencil skirts don’t work!

      Sometimes I see what you want at LLBean or Land’s End, but even there, there are many synthetics. I can actually find quite decent jeans at Reitman’s (modestly-priced Canadian chain) but they have almost no skirts, and most are too short or gimmicky.

  11. rose
    April 19, 2018 / 7:19 am

    This is a fabulous look on you, Susan.
    Perfectly put together and balanced–interesting, classy, but not fussy.

    And those SHOES–Yes, I do own two pair thanks to you, but I do wear the silver ones in the photo more than the red leather.

  12. April 19, 2018 / 7:23 am

    I love everything about this post, not least that you’ve taken us back to Venice (California-style 😉 and those beautiful backdrops. We’ve got sunshine here today after weeks of rain, and your polished ease is inspiring me to do some quick closet updating — that scarf and blazer make a perfect transitional look. And that bag is so cute.

  13. Lyn
    April 19, 2018 / 7:36 am

    Venice! At first I thought you had sneaked off to Italy without warning us. Then I remembered Venice Beach, a little closer to your home.

    I bought my first pair of those beloved Eileen Fisher washable crepe pants for my trip to France in a few days. They will be my dressy alternative to jeans. What I like most about them so far is that they don’t make noise! I have tried out a lot of tech fabric pants, and the nylon-based ones make a swishing sound. (Tourist approaching!)

  14. April 19, 2018 / 7:46 am

    I’d love to hear your tips on changing handbags so often. I have quite a number of them but it’s such a hassle to switch, I end up us g one or two mostly. Thanks!

    • Angela
      April 19, 2018 / 12:52 pm

      Buy yourself an organiser that just slips in and out of any bag. I have a medium size one since I decluttered after getting shoulder ache. For my smallest crossbody bags I just put in essentials, no “just in case items” which of course begs the question, should I declutter further?!!

  15. April 19, 2018 / 8:00 am

    The scarf is what makes the outfit. You have the length just right–with the jacket. It’s long enough to add some drama and color.
    When I want a little warmth yet want to look more spring/summery I roll up the cuffs of my jeans and my jacket. Just having an extra inch or two of bare skin makes the outfit look lighter, but it barely changes the warmth factor (or you can roll up during the day and roll down in the evening).

  16. Mary
    April 19, 2018 / 9:39 am

    Hi Susan, I have a question for you about Eileen Fisher washable silk tops. How do you care for them? I feel I’m doing something wrong as after less than one season of wear, they “show” an outline of where my bra is worn after I take them off. I wear smooth spanx t-shirt bras, so wouldn’t think there’d be that much friction to etch the silhouette into the silk. I wash on delicate with laundress and hang to dry. I’m very frustrated after spending $150 on a beautiful navy silk layering tunic. Didn’t even make it through the season! Does this happen for you, too?

    • Susan B
      Author
      April 19, 2018 / 9:42 am

      Hi Mary, I’ve never experienced that problem. I usually wash mine in the machine, cold water/delicate cycle, using a “delicates” wash. Then line dry. You might write to EF customer service and ask if they have any ideas or suggestions.

  17. valletta
    April 19, 2018 / 9:45 am

    Love the scarf, too, great color.
    My go-to is a black dress. I must 50 of them! Lots of different cuts and materials but a basic v-neck tee cut is my causal staple, with a more fitted breathable material with a slight stretch for dressier days. Easy to accessorize up with heels and nice bags, jewelry or down for the pool with (nice) flip flops and beach bag.
    Jeans are a very tough fit for me but more than that they are hot! I run very warm all the time, ugh. I have my whole life so don’t anticipate that ending 🙂

  18. April 19, 2018 / 9:57 am

    Hi Susan!
    LOve this outfit on you. I think for me, one of my style formulas, may be a dress and moto jacket. I am wearing more jeans these days after discovering soft pairs from Old Navy ( rockstar) which I heard were similar to AG denim. ( i would like to try this brand). The soft light blue scarf is a gorgeous color on you and I am a big Brahmin fan as well, lusting after this exact bag, but the color, as you pointed out sold out. I will admire from afar!
    Have a great day!
    jess xx

  19. marsha calhoun
    April 19, 2018 / 10:59 am

    That last photo is a perfect summation of your fashion philosophy – you are so happy and confident, and the clothes complement you, rather than the other way around!

  20. Angela
    April 19, 2018 / 1:19 pm

    Thanks to your blog I have finally found my style happy place: tee type tops, button down shirts, jeans/pants, jackets/cardigans. For spring, autumn & winter I have developed a deep love affair with scarves to pull an outfit together. Summer was more challenging until this year when I bought half a dozen shift/A-line, knee length, linen mix dresses in various colours. On all but the hottest days I put on statement jewellery to finish the look. My physical wardrobe is now far better organised too.

    • Pat
      April 23, 2018 / 5:28 am

      Angela, please share where you found your dresses…I am looking for linen blend shift dresses.
      Thank you so much,
      A style sister,
      Pat

  21. April 20, 2018 / 9:10 am

    Yes, my go to style is similar to yours. Jeans (usually skinny or boyfriend), top and jacket.
    You look good in this formula, the accessories take it to a higher level. Nice mules. Quirky and unique. I love that. I somehow often seem to get my heel on the hard rim of the mule. Perhaps my feet have too low an instep? I dismissed mules for this reason. It hurts.
    I adore your bag for at least 5 reasons. Such a shame it is not for sale anymore. Because I need a white bag and a new marine bag.
    Greetje

  22. Francoise
    April 20, 2018 / 10:30 am

    I have to echo the other comments that the pale blue scarf looks gorgeous on you, especially with your hair color and soft red lip. A great color on you and one I don’t remember seeing on you before.

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