About

Style blogger Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age.

Welcome to une femme d’un certain âge!

My name is Susan Blakey, and I’m 61, married, and a mother to a special-needs young adult son. I’m a former administrative executive who loves style, Paris, coffee, leopard print, history, travel, jazz, cute and comfortable shoes, and the perfect shade of red lipstick.

This blog is about helping women be their best selves at any age: expressing themselves through style, experiencing what the world has to offer, packing lighter and smarter, and leading a balanced, adventurous and delicious life.

Thanks for reading, and for joining me on this journey!

 

43 Comments

  1. Marylou Cate
    May 27, 2015 / 12:11 pm

    I have been so confused. When I googled une femme d’certain age Tish Jett came up so I thot you were her model. Now I see that blond YOU are the author.

  2. Susan Gosman
    June 10, 2015 / 11:17 pm

    I would like to know where your little scarf tutorial went.

  3. October 31, 2016 / 6:09 am

    Oh, Sue! Thanks for this post. I am thinking hard about these questions. At age 70 it’s surprising that my personal style commands so much attention. I’m in a new phase of life (retirement after a life of work with more energy now available to address my own needs and those of loved ones who need my help). Amidst these changes I find I don’t want to default to my younger incarnations.

    We all learn from role models of various kinds, but there are so few style models 70 or older. I don’t fancy at all the “Advanced Style” popularized by Ari Seth Cohen. The simple styles of Georgia O’Keeffe, Lauren Hutton, Katherine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Gloria Steinem reflect what I would like to present. It’s time to wear less jewelry, prints, and trends and to shed things I’ve saved but never wear.

    I hope you continue to write about these questions. I could use the inspiration.

    • Erika
      March 10, 2017 / 2:25 pm

      I enjoyed reading your post! I’m turning 50 this year and am looking forward to the next phase of my life. Any advice that you’d give your 50 year old self?

      • Susan B
        Author
        March 10, 2017 / 3:04 pm

        Hi Erika, welcome! I’ll be celebrating my 10-year “Blogaversary” in a week, and am working on a post looking back and looking ahead. I hope you enjoy it!

  4. Brenda N
    October 31, 2016 / 2:33 pm

    Hi Susan, I discovered your blog a few weeks ago & it immediately became a favorite for so many reasons! I completely relate to today’s post. At nearly 57, I’m slowly getting over decades of hating my body’s perceived “flaws”. I never received criticism at home about my shape, quite the opposite- when I’d lament my slightly larger frame & very normal height (and weight), mom would say “you have a cute shape”. Mom loved wearing all the latest fashions, whatever her size & I never heard her complain about her size or shape, ever. Food was always celebrated in the household & everyone was skinny (not mom, no problem!) I’ve often wondered where the entrenched negative feelings came from, probably media & peers, especially mean boys and the American pressure on women to be perfect. Now I say, this is the body I received, let’s be grateful & make the best of it! I’m getting the same joy from clothes that I did when I was little & the hand-me- down box from the cousins would arrive, always with the exciting potential for something special.

    Thanks again for your great blog. I’m also in Southern Calif., so that helps me with choices & recommendations for our climate. Also, with the help of your blog, I feel newly inspired & I’m enjoying refining my look every day- there’s a new leopard top from J Crew in the closet (amongst other things!) & my wish list at Nordstrom is a mile long! 🙂

  5. Anne
    November 3, 2016 / 7:55 am

    Sue,

    I recently discovered your blog, and I’m so happy that I found it! I’m retired, in my mid-sixties, and find that my wardrobe expression is evolving into a more relaxed chic than what I wore when working. I’ll definitely be looking to you for inspiration.

    • Susan B
      Author
      November 3, 2016 / 8:03 am

      Hi Anne, thanks so much and welcome!

  6. Rita Blanks
    November 11, 2016 / 9:32 pm

    Was introduced to your blog today, and have had such fun looking at your fashionable travel capsules – and the glorious places you have visited. In just a couple of weeks I am off to cruise down to the Amazon River, and packing just the right amount, but not too much, is major on my mind. Your taste in clothing is all I want mine to be, so shall be peeking in each day to see the decisions you have been making. Thank you for sharing your adventures, in clothing and in travel destinations.

    • Susan B
      Author
      November 12, 2016 / 8:21 am

      Hi Rita, thanks so much and welcome! An Amazon river cruise sounds so exciting, enjoy!

  7. December 2, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    I’ve only just discovered your blog but I am enjoying it – did the Girl on the Go trench work? – I”m also considering it for Paris and would like to know if it’s reasonably fitted (since I have a waist, I don’t want to wear shapeless clothes!). I also like the fact that you’ve got colour and interesting patterns in your outfits – I see so many travel and capsule wardrobes that are totally boring and nothing like what I would wear (I wear lots of dark red, dark purple, burgundy the cooler months, I love colours and patterns). Having been for my first overseas trip (with husband and three teenagers in tow) in June/July this year, I am now looking forward to revisiting Paris in April, but the weather will be cooler and less predictable, so thinking that that trench looks perfect, the ones that I’ve got don’t offer much warmth and I really feel the cold.

    • Susan B
      Author
      December 2, 2016 / 4:17 pm

      Hi and welcome! I wound up returning the trench. The fit was fine, I just thought a packable puffer coat was going to suit my needs better. I’m afraid you may be disappointed in my final wardrobe choices…because I’ll be spending probably most of my time in outerwear, I’ve decided to let my scarves carry the color/pattern load. You’ll definitely want something for rain in April. I’d suggest giving the trench a try to see how you like it.

      • December 2, 2016 / 7:29 pm

        Yes, I’ve also decided that my Paris scarves will be the main items with patterns that I pack (plus one colourful shirt from Coton Doux – if you haven’t been there, worth a visit, one of the few shirt types that I’ve found in my life which are nicely fitted, because I am not flat chested most shirts look like a maternity smock on me – Coton Doux women’s shirts have a lovely cut, don’t need ironing after washing, and have lots of choices in patterns and plains). Although I’ll have some red in there with sweaters.

        Thanks, I think that I’ll give the trench a try, if it’s a nice fit then that plus some scarves will make things easy on the cooler days – April in Paris looks like it could be anywhere between warm and very chilly (and I like the idea of the removable lining, since I’ll be there in spring probably won’t have the warmth need that you’ll have in December). I live in Melbourne, Australia, and coat choices are quite limited here compared to the US.

        Enjoy your trip! Oh, and I wore long boots and packed Skecher style Mary Janes when we went in summer. And short boots. I didn’t use the short boots much, but as my long boots are comfortable, I wore them on the plane and they were great on the cooler days (wore them more in London than in Paris); we still got some cooler rainy days even in summer.

        When you get back, can we have a blog post of any clothes shopping purchases? Whilst I did a fair bit of wandering round and shopping in the Marais district (plus Galeries Lafayette), I’m sure that there are lots of shopping delights that I missed! (was told to go to Forum des Halles, super boring, even the teens didn’t buy anything there).

        • Bernadette Connolly
          May 29, 2018 / 5:15 am

          HOBBS (UK) do great trench coats, the closest you will get to Burburry ones, but at a fraction of the cost. They are so well made and come in various colours, and lengths. Perfect for Northern European climates. Im from ireland, so know all about the rain, though its gloriously sunny these days.

  8. January 28, 2017 / 2:40 pm

    Looking forward to your blog, which I learned about on Fabulous After 40. Now that More magazine has folded, women of a certain age are in need of great role models. So thank you for doing this. I’ve just discovered fashion bloggers my own age, and couldn’t be more thrilled. You ladies are giving the rest of us the courage to spark up our style and try things we didn’t consider before. Thanks so much and I look forward to my new subscription!

    • Susan B
      Author
      January 28, 2017 / 2:42 pm

      Hi Cindy, welcome and thank you for subscribing!

      • February 6, 2017 / 4:54 pm

        Thanks so much for your work here — beautiful and inspiring for all of us!

  9. February 6, 2017 / 4:53 pm

    Thanks for providing a link to other sites like yours. This gives me an idea for a future newspaper column for my 50-plus readership. Cheers!

  10. Galina
    March 12, 2017 / 9:03 am

    I like your blog and your style, its simple and beauty. My name is Galina and I live is Moscow.)

    • Susan B
      Author
      March 12, 2017 / 9:23 am

      Hi Galina, thank you and welcome!

  11. Glenda
    March 26, 2017 / 1:27 pm

    Going to France on a tour in Sept 2017, any thoughts on what to pack. Rick Steeves bus tour Paris and northern France. Thank you

    • Susan B
      Author
      March 26, 2017 / 1:34 pm

      Hi Glenda, you might want to check out some of my prior travel wardrobes here for ideas: TRAVEL WARDROBES The same kinds of items can often work for both spring and fall.

  12. April 28, 2017 / 12:58 pm

    Hi Susan, I have been really enjoying your posts. Do you ever travel with your special needs son? I have a teen son with a developmental disability and we are planning on taking a trip to Europe in 2018.

    • Susan B
      Author
      April 28, 2017 / 9:09 pm

      Hi Bernie, we used to travel with him a bit when he was younger, mostly to beach resorts (he loves the water) and skiing (he loves the movement). But when he started having behavioral issues at around 15, it just became too difficult. (Our son’s cognitive functioning is at about the 3-to-4 year old level.) Best of luck with your travels!

  13. Sandi Mcdougall
    June 5, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    Just found your site & love it. Wondering if you have ever been to Prague? I live in Fargo, ND USA, am 66 & I too have a son with disabilities.

  14. Margo
    September 17, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    OM Goodness, I cant believe that I finally found a blogger my age (Im 55) that shares my style sense and that I can relate to from an age and stage point of view. There are lots of bloggers out there in their 20s and 30s who share my style and are very talented but beyond clothes and some beauty recommendations I cant relate. As they say, ‘been there done that;

    • Susan B
      Author
      September 19, 2017 / 6:23 pm

      Hi Margo, welcome!

  15. Elizabeth
    September 25, 2017 / 12:32 pm

    I was wondering how tall you are? I thought you were a taller woman, but when I googled petite women bloggers your site came up. I often feel as if your clothes wouldn’t fit my 5.1 frame but if you’re short and you look so great in them, that gives me hope!

    • Susan B
      Author
      September 25, 2017 / 12:36 pm

      Hi Elizabeth, Thanks! I’m 5’1″ too. 🙂

  16. January 12, 2018 / 12:17 pm

    Hi Susan,

    My name is Merrissa, I just had to stop by and say that after reading your “About”, I honestly feel like I’m looking at the future ME. You really took it home when you mentioned loving your dogs, coffee, Paris, wearing black + Champagne. Can’t wait to dig in to your posts. Happy New Year!

    xx

    Riss

  17. LISA DAVENPORT
    February 5, 2018 / 4:11 am

    Did I miss a response to my question about walking shoes?? I am just wondering?

    Thanks,
    Lisa

    • Susan B
      Author
      February 5, 2018 / 5:30 am

      Hi Lisa, can you tell me where you originally posted the question?

  18. February 21, 2018 / 9:18 am

    For some reason, although I’m an avid Not Dead Yet reader, I had yet to link to your blog. Very happy I found it. Love the travel tips which mix style with travel so well. I’m over 60! and reaching toward one of those ‘important’ birthdays so your last post on style and aging was right on the money. Thank you!

    • Susan B
      Author
      February 21, 2018 / 9:25 am

      Welcome, and thanks very much, Linda!

  19. Kathy Hendrickson
    February 23, 2018 / 6:15 am

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you so much for writing your blog, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy it. I look forward to each and every post, it brightens my day!! As I was searching your archives for warm climate travel wardrobe suggestions, I noticed several posts about Palm Springs. I am traveling in 10 days with girlfriends to Indian Wells/Palm Springs. We will be spending most of our days at the BNP Paribas tennis tournament, but have an extra day to explore the area. Can you recommend any galleries, shopping, dining or spas? We will be packing mostly casual attire and love anything involving a margarita!! Thank you so much for any insight.

    Kathy Hendrickson
    (58 yrs, 5’2”, Oklahoma City ☺️)

  20. Roberta
    May 8, 2018 / 5:11 am

    Merci bien! We are not our mother’s 60’s, so our role models back then were sensible clothes, sensible shoes, and hairspray. We baby boomers are breaking it up and breaking out of whatever molds we were supposed to follow. Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, the gaggle of starlets who are entering their 50’s, and the dynamic duo of Frankie and Grace (Lily and Jane) are trailblazing our fashion and attitudes about aging, bunions, arthritis, wrinkles and all.

    And then there’s you. You have made sense of this new pioneering fashion movement with grace, style and practicality. I always walk away with a nugget or two from your posts. Brava et merci bien!
    R

  21. September 17, 2018 / 3:43 pm

    So helpful- I am going to Normandie next July. I hate to go anywhere looking like a schlump, but comfort is key.Are shoes like Sketchers a good choice for walking on rough streets?

    • Susan B
      Author
      September 17, 2018 / 5:27 pm

      Hi Penny, I’ve never tried Skechers, but any sneaker-type shoe with enough padding in the sole should work.

  22. Melanie D Millar
    September 24, 2018 / 7:02 am

    I am 65. I used to live to dress. I could pretty much wear anything. Until me mid 50’s I weighed between 138-142. I weigh 148 now. Its not just the weight, my weight distribution has changed. I have never had a belly!

    So. Here is my question. I look at your ensembles and outfits and wonder how it would look on me. Would you mind sharing your height and weight so I have a frame of reference?

    I understand if you decline to share that info!

    • Susan B
      Author
      September 24, 2018 / 7:10 am

      Hi Melanie, I don’t mind at all. I’m 5’1″ and weigh around 120 lbs. (I say “around” because my weight fluctuates within a 4 lb. range.) I’ve *always* had a belly, so find a softer top worn untucked works best for me.

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