Using Accessories To Make The Look

Susan B. wears a dark green sweater, silk scarf, skinny jeans and croc-embossed Brahmin bag. I call this look Relaxed Modern Classic. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Relaxed Modern Classic

The more I play around with style, the more I’m reminded that I’m happiest when I keep it simple. I feel most at home in softer, uncluttered silhouettes, using accessories and color for interest.

When I first saw this sweater, I loved the fabric and color, but hesitated for a moment because of the crew neck…not my favorite neckline. But it ultimately wasn’t a deal-breaker. I’ve used a silk scarf here to break up the space between my collarbone and  bust line, which makes the higher neckline workable for me. I’ve had this scarf for a few years; it’s a 70cm Hermés silk carré. Sadly, they don’t seem to be making this size anymore, but you can still find them second-hand.

Sunglasses (similar) | Sweater | Scarf (similar) | Bag | Jeans | Shoes

I really liked how these accessories worked together, and with the sweater. The sunglasses are Missoni, purchased in Rome last year. They’re pretty unique, but here’s a pair with a somewhat similar shape. The bag is a neutral color, but adds a nice bit of texture.

Those loafers are quite comfortable, despite the pointy toes. They run TTS and the leather is soft. This taupe color is a nice change from black, but just as versatile. (I hope they add more colors in the future.)

As I mentioned on Instagram, I enlisted le Monsieur to take photos this time, and think he did a wonderful job! He really enjoyed using my DSLR camera.

Chez Nous…

We had Jeune Homme with us over the weekend, and have really noticed a positive change in his behavior, even in just the last couple of weeks. He’s calmer and more communicative, and more agreeable. They recently switched his room at the group home; his prior roommate was more of a night owl, and they felt it was preventing JH from getting adequate sleep. The switch seems to have helped! We were able to take him out Saturday night to a new (to him) restaurant. Usually new situations like this provoke a lot of anxiety and it would have taken several minutes of coaxing him to get him inside (if at all). But this time he walked right in without a fuss, sat quietly and seemed to enjoy his food. (This place offers a lot of gluten-free options, including pizza, which he ate with gusto.)

We’ll be hosting Thanksgiving this year, and I’m thankful that we’ll have a smaller group (8) than in past years. I still haven’t done my shopping, but will be tackling that first thing in the morning.

Looking Ahead…

I’ve been working on a couple of gift guides that I’ll be posting this week; in the meantime you can check out some suggestions on my SHOP page. As with prior years, my focus is finding and giving gifts that are practical and useful. I hope you’ll find my ideas helpful!

And yes, my trip to Paris is now just a little over three weeks away! I’ll be narrowing down and sharing my travel wardrobe, and continuing to plan my itinerary. (I’ve booked tickets for the Klimt exhibition at L’Atelier des Lumières, am very excited about that one!)

What accessories do you rely on most to create a look?

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28 Comments

  1. November 18, 2018 / 11:02 pm

    The color looks very good on you. Also, your hair is looking great as you grow it out.
    The shoes and bag complement each other without being too matchy-matchy, thanks to the different textures. However, I am seeing more matchiness going on among French women, for example wearing all black with accessories all in one color.

  2. Ann in Missouri
    November 19, 2018 / 3:39 am

    I also love and wear my Hermes scarves and shawls as often as I can, which is much easier to do in winter than summer. Both the silk and the silk/cashmere ones are so warm and soft against my neck under a coat or jacket. BTW, I second your enthusiasm for the smaller 70 cm size and am sorry to hear they’re not available anymore.

    I struggle more with purses, especially the large and “statement” ones that don’t seem right in most of my daily styling situations. Also, changing purses from day to day is a far greater hassle than changing shoes (there’s all that stuff to find in the pockets and move to another purse with a different configuration of pockets).

    Speaking of pockets — I wish that ALL my clothes had more of them!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Susan. And for the umpteenth time, thank you for this lovely, informative, inspirational blog. 🙂

    • sophia montgomery
      November 19, 2018 / 5:15 am

      I just bought a purse insert on Amazon, many types and price points available. Transfer your “stuff” from one purse to another!!

    • Azqueenie
      November 19, 2018 / 7:16 am

      Admittedly, I do not carry a ton of stuff in my purse. I stock each purse with all the small, insignificant stuff — lip balm, mints, tissues, pens, etc. Then I just have to move my wallet when I want a different bag. It really simplifies things.

  3. November 19, 2018 / 4:12 am

    You look wonderful in this color, Susan! I am enjoying my Brahmin bag so much, I haven’t switched to another one since I got it. Beautiful bags.

  4. Lee
    November 19, 2018 / 4:15 am

    You’ve really been wearing more color lately and it suits you—that green is lovely. I enjoy hearing about your son and am pleased to hear he’s continuing to do well in the place he’s living. It’s nice to hear that you all are having good visits at home as well. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  5. November 19, 2018 / 4:22 am

    I agree with your philosophy Susan, comfort with style is my mantra.
    I’d love to buy a vintage Hermes scarf but they’re all so divine I can’t settle on just one!
    In terms of Thanksgiving, our first this year. We have a broken cooker! The landlord has been very slow to deal with it so I can’t imagine it being fixed or replaced by Thursday.
    I’m not sure what we’ll do instead, I’ve been working so much I’ve not had a chance to make alternative plans. Grrr…

  6. Ainsivalavie
    November 19, 2018 / 4:30 am

    What a lovely, put together day look. Pine green is not a personal favourite but any color would work and I do like your idea of using the scarf to visually modify the neckline. Like you I find crew necks don’t flatter me. The scarf is not to large as to add more visual bulk to the bust line.
    So glad to hear your son is doing well, it feels so good to see them thrive and move forward doesn’t it?

  7. susie
    November 19, 2018 / 5:36 am

    I have to say that if I did not accessorize with color I would be stuck! A year ago, after going totally gray, (love it) I threw out all of my clothes and re-wardrobed myself in gray, black, white, and jean color. How great! These always look good on me now, and I use accessories to introduce pattern and color. I can afford better pieces since now I have A plan.
    Wow. Life is so much better now! I stay in a palette of dark olive, smoky gray, a coolish dark brown, (not warm) Some amber/ dark rust. If I wear a pink or purple, even mint green….. pastel t shirt I look like a nursing home. Somehow I feel more dressed up in my new digs. I took your writing to heart when you did simpler wardrobes, thank you! So accessories are key to changing it all up.

  8. Cindy B.
    November 19, 2018 / 5:44 am

    It makes me happy to hear about your son, Susan. Small changes are to be celebrated with much thanksgiving. May your Thanksgiving holiday remind you all of that has been accomplished over the years. Thank you so much for all the work you put into your blog, taking us along on your trips and helping us feel comfortable in making fashion choices to keep us stylish. You’re a jewel.

  9. Linda B Kerr
    November 19, 2018 / 5:57 am

    Sue, SO happy to read about the good weekend with JH. The restaurant visit sounds like it went really well, and is worth repeating! As I’ve mentioned before, I work with special needs kids at the local high-school, so am a big cheerleader for these little successes.

    Enjoy making your Thanksgiving meal in your new kitchen. I’m sure your repast will be delicious. Are you trying anything new this year? Do you go traditional?

  10. Adele Miller
    November 19, 2018 / 6:28 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! How nice that JH is living in a home where there’s enough flexibility to meet his needs. I so understand the importance of a good night’s sleep, especially as they are such a rare occasion for me these days.

    Love the look of your accessories together, and the shades of taupe/grey in the bag in shoes really complement one another and your outfit. Do you find the the 70 cm scarf is more challenging to style than the larger format? I took a quick look at the RealReal website and there’s a beauty in a pattern I love…………….

    • Susan B
      Author
      November 19, 2018 / 6:41 am

      Hi Adele, thanks! Personally, I find the 70cm’s easier to wear most of the time. The larger squares tend to swamp me unless I wrap or twist them to minimize the volume.

  11. Gretchen
    November 19, 2018 / 6:54 am

    I am leaving for Paris in 2 weeks, although I am spending most of my time in Germany, and I look forward to seeing what you’re putting together. I’m trying to up my style game from many trips past and I appreciate the looks you feature!

    As an aside, your new profile picture is absolutely lovely!

  12. Diana
    November 19, 2018 / 7:35 am

    Love you in this shade of green! And DH deserves kudos for capturing such a great photo of you. Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Julie Anne
    November 19, 2018 / 7:39 am

    As always, you make casual look stylish. It’s the little things like the right scarf that make the difference. Your photographer has done well capturing it.

    It’s wonderful to read that your son is making progress.

  14. Vancouver Barbara
    November 19, 2018 / 7:39 am

    You look wonderful in that dark teal/pine green. I’m guessing that it goes with a lot of other colours beautifully. Love your choice of colours for the accessories. Great news about your son.

  15. Rondi
    November 19, 2018 / 8:16 am

    I love the way you address small issues in your blog. I don’t find crew necks flattering either and you provide such a simple solution. I do enjoy wearing color so I don’t necessarily have to depend on accessories for a pop of color. Nevertheless this post has made me think about accessories more. I especially appreciate the other readers comments about changing purses. I never seem to have the time or desire to change purses unless its for a special evening out. The purse insert may be a solution! I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving.

  16. Jane
    November 19, 2018 / 8:35 am

    Thank you so much for your comments about your son. Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!

  17. l
    November 19, 2018 / 9:37 am

    Great news about your son! And it is a good thing that more restaurants are sensitive to gluten intolerance, allergies and other issues now.

    I love dark green, forest green. I’d have to see a fabric swatch close up to see if it doesn’t veer too much into teal, a colour not for me. That sweater would also work well with black or dark grey jeans.

  18. Daniella
    November 19, 2018 / 12:10 pm

    Looking good without trying too hard. Great going. And more power to your son for small and great improvements!!

  19. Vicki
    November 19, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    Love the pine green on you. By any chance is the green of this EF sweater compatible with the green J Crew Sophie sweater blazer you featured? Thank you so much for the inspiration!

    • Susan B
      Author
      November 19, 2018 / 3:58 pm

      Thanks, Vicki. The two greens are close, but not close enough that I’d wear them together. The J.Crew jacket is slightly darker and deeper in color. The EF sweater is just a little softer and less saturated.

      • Vicki
        November 19, 2018 / 8:03 pm

        Thank you!

  20. Susan
    November 19, 2018 / 7:32 pm

    can’t wait to see your posts about your trip.I was with a group in Paris a few weeks ago and we went to the Klimt display,it was wonderful,Had lunch at a nearby bistro called Moseles ?It was really great!

  21. November 20, 2018 / 11:35 am

    That’s such a lovely, relaxed style. Most importantly, you’re wearing the clothes and the clothes aren’t wearing you. So nice.

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