Balancing clothing cost and quality - une femme d'un certain âge

Weekend Update: A Balancing Act

A casual summer look with white jeans. Most items on sale! Details at une femme d'un certain age.

More than almost anything else, what writing this blog for over 13 years has driven home is that trying to please everyone is a fool’s errand. 😉 Still, it’s my goal and hope to be helpful to as many of you as I can while staying true to my values and principles.

Necklace (similar)| Top | Sunglasses | Jeans | Bracelet | Sandals | Bag

Some of you reading this blog are looking for items to update your wardrobes. Some are looking for outfit ideas to help you “shop your closet” or for sewing projects. Back when we were still traveling regularly, many of you were looking for help with travel wardrobe planning and packing.

On yesterday’s post, some of you expressed, well…dismay at the cost of some of items shown. I get it, and have been trying to feature as many budget-friendly items and looks as I can in recent months. (Of course, the concept of what’s “affordable” will vary from person to person.)

I’m also trying to balance clothing cost and quality, as well as take into account sustainability, and ethical manufacturing practices. No company is perfect, I know. And it shouldn’t just be incumbent upon us as individuals to figure out who is using sweatshop labor or polluting local rivers. But common sense should tell us that if a top costs $5 at full price, we should be suspect of the conditions under which that top was made. (And of how long it will last.)

But I’ve also had feedback from some of you that you’d like to see more options from smaller, US-based brands. (Which tend to be inherently pricier.) So I’ve been making an effort to search out those that might be a good fit. And I’ve been trying to “walk the walk” of buying fewer, better pieces that I’ll be able to keep and wear for years.

I will try to remain cognizant going forward to balance more spendy items with more budget-friendly ones whenever I’m able. As I mentioned in comments yesterday, the quality and uniqueness of some items just can’t be replicated at a lower price point.

Recent posts featuring budget-friendly pieces…

Affordable Tees For Women

Casual Summer Look With A Linen Jacket

A No-Iron Linen Shirt

And I’ll continue to let you know when more popular items go on sale…

Chico’s – Semi-Annual Sale, up to 70% off

J.Crew – up to an extra 60% off with code SUMMER

J.Jill50% off summer favorites, 30% off all other full-priced styles, code 50SUMMER

Lands’ Endup to 60% off your order, code FLAG

Madewellextra 30% off sale with code GIANT

Nordstrom – Clearance Sale, up to 60% off (extra 25% off for limited time)

Talbot’s – Summer Sale, 40% off everything

Stay in touch.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for See my complete disclosure policy here.


  1. Barb
    July 11, 2020 / 3:25 am

    I think you do a great job! Keep it up, love reading your blog!

  2. Kim Isaacs
    July 11, 2020 / 4:20 am

    You be you:) Love your blog!

    • Liza
      July 11, 2020 / 11:30 am

      Couldn’t have said it better! Susan, follow your own North Star – love reading your posts for inspiration. xo

  3. Georgia
    July 11, 2020 / 4:21 am

    I think everyone knows what’s in the budget and what isn’t.
    I read you for inspiration … and you never disappoint. We all try to live within our means, but sometimes it’s nice to dream a little. Thanks for keeping up my spirits in these challenging times.

    • Kathleen
      July 11, 2020 / 8:14 am

      Susan, I look forward to reading and looking at your posts. You give me new ideas and inspire me to think about my wardrobe. Merci Mille Fois!

  4. Joan
    July 11, 2020 / 4:30 am

    I disagree with the readers who you are responding to . I think that you do a great job in presenting less expensive options for many of the key pieces ( and cosmetics) that you highlight
    I look forward to your blog every morning , and I’ve gotten many excellent ideas from it I don’t think that you need to change a thing

  5. Kelly
    July 11, 2020 / 4:31 am

    I’ve seen some bloggers give links for more affordable pieces that are similar when they show pricier items. It’s a nice way to see it all at once and make a good comparison. Sometimes I’ll decide the pricier item is worth it (like a bag I will use for years) and other times I feel a trendier item is better from the budget category. You did a good job of finding a similar look in today’s post.

  6. Dominique Moir
    July 11, 2020 / 4:31 am

    I appreciate all your posts and think you strike a great balance between reasonably priced (so subjective) and higher priced items. Your posts are positive, interesting, fun and delightful. I always look forward to reading them, especially these days. Thank you !

  7. Vivien
    July 11, 2020 / 4:56 am

    Good job in balancing! Would never have found out how fabulous Paul Green shoes were without you.

    • July 11, 2020 / 6:30 am

      Me too, and one of the things I’ve learned from your blog is that, especially when it comes to shoes, it is better to pay for better quality and an excellent fit for shoes you love and the cost per wear can be even better than buying inexpensive shoes.

      • Lagatta de Montréal
        July 13, 2020 / 11:03 am

        Shoes are one clothing item one should never cut corners on except in cases of dire necessity. Bad shoes can harm feet (and everything upwards) for good.

    • Jane2
      July 13, 2020 / 9:40 am

      Exactly! I went on the hunt for the Mephisto wedge sandals featured a couple of years ago, and discovered a whole new range of great footwear.

      I know my budget, and I know people have both more and less money to spend than I do. I take inspiration from the blog rather than “I will buy that exact thing”. In the case of the shoes, I did buy them (and several more pairs since). But as often, it’s “I love that colour or look”, and I click to the web site to look around to see what they’re offering and if there’s something I want. If it’s out of my price range, I look for similar.

      • Mary
        July 14, 2020 / 4:00 am

        First time commenter and long time reader popping in to agree and say this post expresses it well. Please keep doing exactly what you do so well: inspire with great finds in your colorful style and bring a welcome bright spot the day. And thank you!

  8. Debbie P
    July 11, 2020 / 4:57 am

    I think you do an AWESOME job!!!! You inspire me daily. You just can’t please everyone all the time. Keep up the good work!!!!

  9. Tracie
    July 11, 2020 / 5:00 am

    I follow you because of the quality of the items! I love your style and have no interest in shopping big box stores 🙂 Keep up the good work!!!

  10. Lagatta de Montréal
    July 11, 2020 / 5:02 am

    I couldn’t afford the very interesting top you posted the last time (I don’t mean I don’t have the money for it in my account, but I have other priorities, including potential vet bills for my best friend on earth, and have very little earned income right now – festivals and other cultural events have all been cancelled here, as have conferences). Moreover I personally prefer plainer tops, these days linen if I find it. But I find all your choices very interesting, even if they might not be mine.

    Moreover, your readers live in vastly different climates; some in the midst of major cities, some in suburbs, some in smaller centres or rural areas. This influences not only our wardrobe choices but also the ambient colours.

  11. Colleen
    July 11, 2020 / 5:02 am

    I’m a regular reader but rarely post. I’m trying to buy fewer items–items that are of higher quality, so I fully appreciate the clothing you share with us. I’m also very interested in buying my clothing from ethical companies so it would be great to see your finds. Thank you!

    • noreen kelly
      July 11, 2020 / 11:17 pm

      i agree completely. i would prefer to buy one top for 150 which is well made and will last than 5 cheap ones which are poorly put together by under paid piece workers. i dont spend a lot of money on clothes through choice but am working on quality over quantity.

  12. Carolyn
    July 11, 2020 / 5:09 am

    Enjoy your blog so much. I start my day with you. Please keep your blog just as it is! I have found some great items from you. Thank you!

  13. Lianne MacGregor
    July 11, 2020 / 5:10 am

    I sometimes flinch at the prices but I really appreciate that you always include similar items at more affordable price-points.

    I also love the color transformation! I (like you) was a skeptic that moving away from black can be equally as stylish and classic, but you’ve proven that there’s nothing to lose. Over the past year I’ve transitioned from blonde to my natural color (platinum grey) and the colors (or lack of color) in my closet really needed to change as well. I’m a “summer” so I’ve slowly been adding pops of blue and pink into my wardrobe, and anchoring my palette with more navy and grey and less black and camel.

    As you know, it’s a project and an investment. I’m learning how to gauge which items are worth a higher price tag and which aren’t, while scaling down my wardrobe, focusing on quality, and supporting brands that are sustainable and eco-friendly (which tend to come at a higher price). My long-term goal is to have a smaller wardrobe, anchored in neutral but versatile basics and punctuated with showcase pieces in interesting prints and palette-friendly colors. The top you posted about yesterday is a perfect example of a showcase piece – worth the higher price – which could easily be worn with budget-friendly jeans, shoes, and accessories.

    You’re an inspiration to me. Thanks to you, I’m enjoying the process of transitioning from “all black and camel all the time” to colors that flatter and add fun to getting dressed – even if I’m not going anywhere!

  14. Diane B
    July 11, 2020 / 5:15 am

    I am always thrilled to find your post in my inbox. As in the colour choices, styles and prices, there is NO way you can incorporate everyones likes. This is your journey and that is why I follow. If there is an item I would like to have and it is out of my budget, I will look for a similar feeling in another one. Do not feel you must try to please us all. If I was not happy with a blogger, I would take a break for a while, but not expect her to satisfy all my wants and desires. Keep up with your journey as you have. I like it.

  15. Karen in Texas
    July 11, 2020 / 5:15 am

    Susan, I love your high/low mix and balance. In 2018 you featured a Rag & Bone mini-shopper in metallic silver—way out of my budget. Your link took me to the bag, at 75% off! I think part of the fun of shopping is getting a great deal on a nice piece, or finding a good value substitute for a pricey item.
    Thank you for showing the way to smaller US based brands—it is like stumbling upon a fun boutique.

    • Stephanie
      July 11, 2020 / 7:32 am

      I bought that bag at a great sale price too! Still love it.

  16. Rosemarie
    July 11, 2020 / 5:22 am

    I actually never look at the prices as I follow your blog for your wonderful styling advice and even though I’m not the same colour palette as you I get so many ideas from seeing how you put yourself together! Keep it up!

  17. Sandy
    July 11, 2020 / 5:24 am

    I absolutely love your blog and look forward to it every day. I often use it to refresh my wardrobe. I enjoy the mix of more to less expensive and thought you looked fabulous yesterday! Keep it up. One question, you mentioned a Chanel foundation you use and I forgot the name. Keep up the good work!!

  18. Chris Reynaud
    July 11, 2020 / 5:32 am

    I also look to your blog for inspiration and your lovely accessible content… this doesn’t mean I want to copy and reproduce every outfit and item for myself, but it always gets me thinking and acts as a starting point. As I live in Switzerland, many of the brands aren’t available here (or with eye-watering customs taxes if we order from the US). It’s always fun to look for them when I do come to the US (alas not this year… the best mad plans of mice and men etc…) and find equivalent brands in Europe if I can.
    Stay true to yourself! You are doing a great job!

  19. Susan
    July 11, 2020 / 5:33 am

    I think we should all be encouraged to buy fewer, higher quality pieces of clothing, both for our planet’s sake and support of business closer to home. I for one, would prefer a minimal closet of quality, well-thought-out pieces to a bulging closet of bargain pieces. I have, in the past fallen down the rabbit hole of more is best and have been trying to adjust my mindset to quality and fewer pieces.

    • Kellee
      July 16, 2020 / 1:01 pm

      I agree – I am working on this now. I like the idea of a capsule wardrobe that I use my jewelry and scarf collection to jazz up (and by collection, I mean stuff I have picked up traveling, have had forever, flea markets, etc – nothing super pricey, although I would maybe sell my soul for a Hermes scarf!).

      I love this blog – Susan, you are helping me weather the COVID storm and remind me that someday I WILL travel again! Please continue to share your incredible style and tastr with us!

  20. Jill
    July 11, 2020 / 5:50 am

    Ditto to the other positive comments. I discovered your blog a few years ago and love to see your choices/recommendations. I agree with sustainability and choices that don’t involve any animal testing.
    Not every look is for everyone but the inspiration and beauty shown is something I look forward to every day. I also enjoy discovering brands that I didn’t know about before.
    Please continue to be true to yourself. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  21. Gertrude
    July 11, 2020 / 5:54 am

    Susan, I have been following you for years. You inspired a good friend and I to have our colors refreshed and our style personalities pinpointed. Your transition has been such fun to witness, and we have enjoyed our own, especially during these trying times. It gives us a chance to escape by sharing ideas and looking forward Please continue to follow your format. You often give alternate pieces for lower prices , but half of the fun is looking at pieces that that I may never see that may be ‘wow’ pieces. I am inspired to find my own at perhaps a lesser price. If all you showcased were familiar chain stores or catalog clothing, that would be boring. Most of us can do that, and have few other mortar and brick choices. That top yesterday was adorable and fit your gamine profile perfectly. It made me think about pulling out my sewing machine. The demise of decent near by fabric stores Is yet another issue, but there is a bead store not to far away! Your blog and your loyal readers ideas are always a boost to the day for style lovers. I think of you as inspiration, not a personal shopper; I can’t wait to see what your future plans are after your Red Leopard experience! A few more hints?

    • Susan
      July 11, 2020 / 10:46 am

      Gertrude, where did you have your colors refreshed? I’m looking for a local place. Chicago area.


      • Gertrude
        July 13, 2020 / 2:14 pm

        Unfortunately I am in Maine! Have you tried entering your zip code in House of Color website? I actually just googled color consultants in Maine and found a gal 20 minutes away who has her own company. What a boost!

    • Nicole Kowalski
      July 13, 2020 / 12:34 am

      Gertrude, I so agree with you! I actually don’t like all the Madewell/Chicos/J Crew etc items as I am familiar with them and have found the fit/quality (for me) to be poor. I’ve always found much of Susan’s blog to be aspirational and that’s fine.

  22. Deb s
    July 11, 2020 / 6:05 am

    Thank you for your blog. Undoubtedly it is more work than most can imagine. I have found many inspiring ideas, especially under the travel pieces. I have found Eileen Fischer and many other designers through your efforts to showcase a look. It is simply not possible to please everyone and I don’t see why you should try- it is YOUR blog. Thanks again.

  23. Kellie
    July 11, 2020 / 6:06 am

    Susan, stay true to yourself. You can’t please everyone, all the time. And if you stray too far from your mission, your content will become watered down. You’ve introduced me to some great brands that I had not paid attention to. And I’ve never been disappointed by the quality of those purchases. When it comes to certain things, you really do get what you pay for. I’d rather buy fewer but better. I enjoy combining the fine, with the not so fine. A great bag or high quality shoes can elevate a whole outfit. I go cheaper on the more trendy items. It’s an art! I get great inspiration from you, and appreciate the legwork you do to seek out great pieces. And your sale recommendations are great—I look forward to your Nordstrom Anniversary Sale post!!!

  24. Eva May
    July 11, 2020 / 6:17 am

    Hello from the UK! It’s a shame if some readers feel the need to make negative comments. I love this blog, and like all fashion viewing, I will take ideas and inspiration from the clothes shown and then if I really like something will try to find a version that suits my budget and – at the moment at least – will be delivered to my door. Or indeed, re-wear what I already have in a different way. So carry on, be yourself, and go with whatever you want to talk about!

  25. Marysue
    July 11, 2020 / 6:22 am

    I think you are incredibly gracious with today’s post and kind intentions to share a variety of price points when possible. Also agree with the many lovely comments previously posted that your blog is so well done and enjoyable as is! I am not the same coloring, height or geographic area, but just enjoy seeing inspiration from you, so huge thank you!

  26. Sharon Payne
    July 11, 2020 / 6:24 am

    Well said!!

  27. Susan
    July 11, 2020 / 6:29 am

    I read fashion blogs and enjoy them for their inspiration .I don’t believe your looks are meant to be bought and copied,but to inspire us to use your suggestions to express ourselves,at price points that suit us.Please don’t change your viewpoint!

    • Jill
      July 11, 2020 / 7:12 am

      I loved your outfit yesterday, so lovely!!! I think one issue with price is the color of the shoes/top. Since you started your style journey, you mostly post very colorful pieces. I don’t mind paying more for a neutral that I might be able to mix and match. I think it is fun to buy a few colorful/trendy pieces such as the gold you are wearing. I usually pick up two or three inexpensive pieces per season That being said, I will probably tire of these pieces more quickly because they tend to stand out more. I love to buy from local boutiques, because it helps our economy in an area where we rely heavily on sales tax. I actually picked up shoes that look almost exactly the same as yours for a fraction of the price. I adore clothes and hate to think about only looking forward to shopping my closet…

  28. Linda L
    July 11, 2020 / 6:29 am

    I read the blog for inspiration and enjoy your style and selections. My lifestyle and wardrobe changed drastically when I retired and moved cross country to California and I have appreciated your advice over the past 2 years. Keep up the good work!

  29. Mary Jane
    July 11, 2020 / 6:34 am

    You do a great job – and I find your choices inspiring. Quality costs – fabrics, designers, fair wages in the manufacturing. I’m tending towards fewer and better clothes, with a few fast-fashion items that will be dead at the end of summer.

    Keep up the great work!

  30. Sandra J
    July 11, 2020 / 6:43 am

    Susan, I read your blog for a few reasons, not the least of which is that you are simply a very fine writer. Entertaining and informative. I do admit that sometimes I hear my outside voice saying “Yikes” at the prices of the items you showcase. However, your point about paying $5 for a t-shirt and the ethics of the manufacturing of that piece of clothing is a good one. Buy the best you can afford. As a work wardrobe staple, I’ve paid A LOT for black pants and never regretted that choice for even one nanosecond. It’s the same with jeans. Cost per wear is pennies.

    There is such wisdom in the adoption of the curation of a wardrobe vs buying “what I like”. Based on the excellent results of your style/colour reset, I had a pre-COVID thought that a Red Leopard session would be worth the trip. A stop in London is still on my radar, though it is anyone’s guess when that might happen.

    One of my retirement goals is to pare down my wardrobe. Heaven knows that I have the time these days though I find my self lacking motivation. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy watching how you are employing the tools of your trade to make good choices. Keep up the good work!!!

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      July 12, 2020 / 5:06 pm

      I have a hard time with that too, perhaps due to youthful deprivation. Try to think of giving things in good condition to someone who may need decent, quality clothing for work or job seeking.

  31. Janet
    July 11, 2020 / 6:46 am

    I agree with all the above-I read daily, starting way back with the 12 piece travel in one carry-on, as a source of inspiration and ideas, not to necessarily run out and buy the exact items! I think you have always shown a wide range of choices in similar items and price ranges. Keep it up and “to thine own self be true”!!!! Stay safe, Susan!

  32. Susan D.
    July 11, 2020 / 6:50 am

    Please continue showing us the high quality (and perhaps higher priced) items that you find as well as less expensive items that have some similarity. With very few exceptions, I’ve found that buying quality for those items you will wear again and again is a wise thing to do.

  33. Linda
    July 11, 2020 / 6:51 am

    I subscribe to several fashion and lifestyle bloggers. I look forward to the posts for inspiration on wardrobe, travel and regional activities etc. I particularly enjoy your blog as I grew up in Venice CA and you post many pictures of places I know and love. Please don’t change a thing, it’s your blog…I admire you for content and opinions.

  34. Marilyn
    July 11, 2020 / 6:55 am

    I look forward to your posting and like it that you show a variety of items. My daughter has tried to encourage me to buy better quality and have less. That’s why I love it when you list the places having sales. It is interesting that the stores you list are mostly the ones I like so it is great when you put the links so I can quickly check.

  35. Elizabeth
    July 11, 2020 / 7:00 am

    Chiming in to agree with all those who’ve posted thus far in support of your blog, your voice, your choices. Please don’t change a thing! It sounds like you have a sizable group of readers who love exactly what you provide! While I too find many of your selections beyond my budget, you are pretty egalitarian, it seems to me, in swinging from a $200 sweater to a Lands End coverup… And when we someday return to travel, I look forward to – nay, LONG FOR, your travel posts and tips.

  36. Merilyn Brooks
    July 11, 2020 / 7:10 am

    What I love about your blog is you not only share information and ideas, you also share your thinking around everything, too, which has more value to me than the information and ideas (not that they aren’t important, too). One of your subscribers said “you be you”, and I second that motion!!

  37. Melissa
    July 11, 2020 / 7:14 am

    Personally, I find that I prefer your posts that feature better quality, ethically made items with relatively sustainable fabrics. I can find inspiration in other blogs that feature items from bargain retailers but I am no longer comfortable buying those pieces so I come here. Fashion that meets sustainability and ethical guidelines is going to be pricier. While I might not be able to afford some of the items you show, I find I can make better choices after looking at your posts. Keep doing what you are doing.

    • Karen
      July 11, 2020 / 7:42 am

      Susan – I agree wholeheartedly with this response. I enjoy the posts where you wearing your own clothes the most inspirational. I can see how the garments fit you and I also come across brands that I was not aware of before. Please keep up the good work and continue to be authentic to yourself.

  38. Sally
    July 11, 2020 / 7:18 am

    Agree with all the positive comments! Keep on keepin’ on!

  39. Karmen
    July 11, 2020 / 7:32 am

    I love the balance you show and think that sustainable ethical clothing is our future, if we want a healthier planet and workers who aren’t exploited. As a Canadian reader, may I suggest also seeking out Canadian sources similar to your higher priced items? There are several sustainable manufacturers springing up and it would also offer your readers from the US a built in 20-25% discount with the exchange rate. Love your blog.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      July 12, 2020 / 5:14 pm

      Yes, I try to buy as local as possible (Montréal) but it isn’t always possible.

      One sad thing is that in the ruins of Rana Plaza, Dacca, there was not only fast fashion such as H&M and Joe Fresh, but far more upscale lines.

  40. Jean
    July 11, 2020 / 7:37 am

    I admit to being one of those whose eyes pop open at the prices. Could I afford them? Yes. Do I want to pay those prices? No. However, what your blog does (as others have said), is give me ideas. @BrendaKinsel (or should it be #BrendaKinsel??) is another blog I follow for style options. I got my one and only pair of Paul Green booties thanks to seeing her in something similar. Bought them on Poshmark for far less than new price, and they have served me well for two years so far. So…I read what you post, and see if I can find a similar brand/style on a gently used site for a far “better” price (for me). You give me direction to follow, if I choose to do so. It’s all about choices 🙂

    • Kay
      July 11, 2020 / 1:28 pm

      I am a fan of Poshmark. My house burned down last year, but I was able to replace some things by finding them on Poshmark. Most were new with tags and substantially less than I paid for them the first time.

  41. patricia valentic
    July 11, 2020 / 7:39 am

    In my opinion you are doing a fantastic job. You have always told us you are in the less is more category. You buy very nice pieces but you are selective. You have great taste. Your outfits are chic. Your ideas can be inspirations for those on a budget. Also, I have scored some Eileen Fisher pieces on sale. patval

  42. Jan Whichard
    July 11, 2020 / 7:41 am

    Like a line in a movie said….I love you just the way you are. And I do. Don’t change. I love looking at everything from high to low priced. I tend to buy pricier “timeless items” as they last longer but I was in Chico’s just the other day exchanging the metallic jacket and tank you were wearing!

    I like fine clothes and accessories and appreciate your thoughts and ideas. I appreciate you keeping negativity out of your blog. I appreciate that I feel a friendship with you!

    As for US based clothing…Yep…no more Chinese made clothes Or other items for me if otherwise available or absolutely necessary for health or safety. Again, I will shout out to The Reset. Quality all the way. Great sale prices. High mid range other times. Eco conscious. I used to wear Eileen Fisher but am tired of the boxy cuts, blah colors, and the quality for the price is no longer acceptable.

    I look forward to you every morning…THANK YOU!

  43. July 11, 2020 / 7:55 am

    I liked the items you picked out for today’s blog very much. The boxy shirt style is interesting. I imagine it would be cool for the hot weather we are experiencing. There is an art to your balancing of the colors. Good job.

  44. Ellen Frank
    July 11, 2020 / 7:58 am

    I love reading your blog. More than anything, I think it’s your “voice” I like; it feels like I’m listening to an intelligent friend with an interesting take on the world. I also like how open you are about when you move on in the journey and change your mind. Lately what I have been enjoying most is anything you write about your experiments with new colors (I’m so over black) and what you are learning about sustainability and eco-conciousness in fashion. Thanks for doing what you do. It is a bright spot in my day.

  45. Sandra
    July 11, 2020 / 7:59 am

    Your blog is a delight. Please don’t feel compelled to change it-we’re all clever enough to adapt your suggestions to our own pocketbook/style preferences/flattering colors.

    I’m 5’6″ and an autumn-vastly different from you. Nonetheless, I manage to derive some inspiration from your posts. Stay true to yourself!

  46. DeeDee
    July 11, 2020 / 7:59 am

    I agree with all the supportive comments that have been made. I appreciate being introduced to brands I would not find myself. I am fascinated by the ace and jig clothing. The personalities of the designers and their clothing just shine through. I think Susan is able to cut through a lot of the noise and find interesting, beautiful clothing.

    I used to buy a lot of Eileen Fisher (lived near an outlet!) but don’t find their pieces as compelling anymore.

  47. Book Goddess
    July 11, 2020 / 8:18 am

    I loved yesterday’s post, and as a textile enthusiast, I spent some happy time looking at the Ace & Jig website. I think your blog is fabulous and I second all the comments above. For me, looking at beautifully made clothing is educational and helps to train my eye to quality. Thank you for everything you do!

  48. Lisa Foley
    July 11, 2020 / 8:21 am

    Have never commented on your blog, but have subscribed for several years. I enjoy your posts. You are a good role model for balancing expectations of society and self appreciation/confidence. Thank you for being you.

  49. Debbie
    July 11, 2020 / 8:41 am

    Love your beautiful picture for Chico’s online. You look stunning!

  50. Mary
    July 11, 2020 / 8:48 am

    I’m all for buying fewer pieces of better quality. I always appreciate your posts, and they’ve made me a more discerning consumer.

    My daughter is a dedicated ethical fashion shopper. She’s a vlogger who lives in Seoul, and recently designed a necklace for a company called Ana Luisa. She’d purchased a few pieces from them and loved their business philosophy. They use recycled material whenever possible, and a family owned jeweler to create the pieces.

    Between you and my daughter, I’m making better and more sustainable fashion choices:)

  51. Nancy MK
    July 11, 2020 / 8:49 am

    “A man’s reach must exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for?” Pending heaven, where I will be dressed by Balenciaga, perhaps, I like to see products I would not buy. I very rarely buy anything “imported” but look for Italian, French and USA. This would not suit everyone, of course, but I buy high-end items such as sweaters on ebay and even the black dress of my dreams, on my quest to dress like my icon Princess Paul. For t-shirts I would rather buy one from Three Dots than several “imported.” So the gist of this is that I enjoy the blog, it’s refreshing to begin the day here and not with the news.

  52. Linda
    July 11, 2020 / 9:13 am

    I very much agree that you can’t please everyone especially when you’re reaching out to a wide audience, you do a great job at balancing it. I also have searched out smaller US based companies to support hoping they’re able to ride these challenging times. Like you I live in CA but Northern CA, a small biz that was brought to my attention is Lesley Evers. A small design company in Oakland, CA, everything is designed and manufactured in Oakland. I’ve been very pleased with the tops and dresses I’ve purchased, very nice quality and easy to purchase online with true to size pieces and affordable pricing even more so now during their sale. If you’re not familiar take a look -

  53. Lin
    July 11, 2020 / 9:17 am

    Reading your blog is akin to thumbing through an issue of Vogue. I don’t do it because I can afford an outfit from Prada or Chanel, but because I find it inspiring and entertaining. I am really enjoying your foray into the world of color. It aligns your style more with my own. But I enjoyed you in the past when you were showing mostly neutral tones. I applaud your ability to change. That, in itself, is inspiration!

  54. Char
    July 11, 2020 / 9:17 am

    I agree with all the above! Keep doing what you do so well! There are many ways to find
    similar looks for a lesser price as many mentioned. Also buying better quality that
    is an investment then you don’t need 10 pairs! I love your blog and am now thinking of
    adding some color to my love of black, white and neutrals!!I Don’t change your
    approach please as most of us love how you write and show things that we may not
    have considered before!!

    • Susan
      July 11, 2020 / 12:24 pm

      You do you! Like many said before, that’s what makes your blog so enjoyable…..

  55. Kerrie
    July 11, 2020 / 9:29 am

    Oh Susan, I just love you! In these crazy times, you Inspire me to get up and at least put on a clean t-shirt 😉
    You always have something for everyone so cheers to you and yours.
    See you tomorrow!

  56. Susan McBrine
    July 11, 2020 / 9:30 am

    Love your blog . Everyone is in a budget with covid affecting income . Chicos off the rack outlet has good quality and better prices and I never buy from chicos or almost any site unless I get a sale or discount price … we all have more time perhaps to compare and look for deals . Your style tips are great

  57. July 11, 2020 / 9:40 am

    And the other issue we’re all navigating is how to compensate design talent. When has a designer reaped enough rewards from their concept that it might be just for the mass market to start offering alternatives/lookalikes?

  58. RoseAG
    July 11, 2020 / 9:51 am

    I think it’s to your blogger advantage to offer style items that are in a range of prices, as not all readers have the same price points, but I’m not offended or put off by featured things that are out of my budget.
    I love to shop and to have new things rotate into my wardrobe, so I often gravitate towards the middle-range of wardrobe offerings.
    Allison at Wardrobe Oxygen has put out some breakouts of why she features things that are at higher price points – feedback from readers on cheaper goods, issues such as size ranges or availability, even ethical considerations. It’s just part of the business.

  59. Patricia BC
    July 11, 2020 / 10:49 am

    Susan, you are an amazing fashion mentor and I have been a dedicated follower for probably 10+ years. This is my very first comment here today. Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge, I appreciate you immensely. Most of my wardrobe is Eileen Fisher and I smile and know I’m on the right track when you appear wearing an EF creation that I just received in the mail the day before. And Mephisto shoes, and Chico’s casual wear, etc. I would never have known about Red Leopard without your referral. Wow, one of the best experiences of my life, doing the online color consultation with Rachel of RL. I’m a Blue Autumn, not a Winter! It’s been fun to watch you switch seasonal colors so joyfully and I’m two months into making the changes as well. Such a pleasant task and it puts a smile on my face. All my EF basic black is stored in a guest closet, waiting for the thrift stores to re-open. I can’t be anything but happy when I look in my main closet and see lovely Autumn colors. I’ve told friends and family I’ve been pursuing a project during pandemic lockdown, they are going to be shocked to see the bright and happy new me, sans black, when I can again travel. You are a wonderful, positive inspiration to me. Thank you, thank you!!

    • Susan
      July 11, 2020 / 12:29 pm

      You do you! Like many said before, that’s what makes your blog so enjoyable…..

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      July 12, 2020 / 5:26 pm

      Yes, I also say thank you for your witty and well-written posts – so many have poor spelling, grammar and syntax. But black makes me feel bright and happy! Black is the colour of my exquisite little Livia (black cat).
      So do other colours though, and in summer here I’m very much drawn to greens.

    • Eileen
      July 13, 2020 / 9:20 am

      I am a blue autumn as well, by Rachael of RL online. I was categorized as a summer in the past. How do you like blue autumn?

      • Patricia BC
        July 13, 2020 / 2:21 pm

        Eileen, I love Blue Autumn, all the colors I never thought I could wear. Summer favorites so far, navy and bone basics with geranium, marigold, olive, teal as accents. I take pictures of everything and oh my, what a nice difference. Rachel is fabulous. Enjoy!

    • Queenie
      July 13, 2020 / 1:50 pm

      Ha! Where do you live? Maybe some of the readers would buy the Eileen Fisher from you!

      • Patricia BC
        July 13, 2020 / 2:27 pm

        Queenie, they will be available at hospital thrift store, Sunshine Coast, BC Canada (when they re-open).

        • Queenie
          July 14, 2020 / 8:33 am

          Thanks .

  60. Francesca B.
    July 11, 2020 / 11:15 am

    Love your blog Susan and your creativity! Thank you:) I really like the way you offer new directions like going to Etsy, or send me on a search for Murano jewelry, something fun to explore….I probably won’t buy anything right now as both me and my husband are both in the Entertainment industry which is still in lockdown because of Covid, so no work, but it is such a pleasure to think about new looks, and new ideas for self expression. I broke up with an old boyfriend in Venice you can imagine the flight home….sitting next to each other.
    Thank you hugely for brightening my day! Love seeing your post in my emails.
    You be you! You rock lady.

  61. Wendy
    July 11, 2020 / 11:16 am

    I think your blog is gracious, thoughtful, and balanced. I’m a sultry winter according to Red Leopard so I’m the opposite of your coloring, but I still take inspiration from your writing. Thank you!
    I do historical costuming as a hobby so I love quality, beautiful clothes and the craft of making them. (I refuse to make costumes for non-family because well-meaning people think I can make them a fancy gown for $100 and do me a favor!!!) I also work in manufacturing in another industry so I don’t flinch at “higher” prices. Well-made, ethical items will cost more. We’re fortunate to have so many options to fit different budgets and priorities.

  62. July 11, 2020 / 11:22 am

    Susan, an interesting a generally well made company is uniqlo. I have enjoyed their linen shirts which soften beautifully with washing…I sometimes edit them by cutting off the sleeve above the button placate and having my dressmaker hem them on a machine. Their summer underwear/tanks are great (arizim) and winter warm underwear I have in three different weights….their merino sweaters are wonderful. It’s all on line for me here in arizona but I have shopped in Paris so I know about sizing for me.

    At any rate, keep up your work, you are the one who introduced me to Eileen Fisher and I’m a black and white wardrobe person. She’s cutting back on Tunics, but I certainly have a good supply and they last for ever. Loved your outfit yesterday. If you would like check out my website (artist)

  63. Karen McFaddin
    July 11, 2020 / 11:34 am

    I continue to follow you BECAUSE of what I feel are your carefully chosen pieces.
    I have learn of many companies I have never heard of from you and yes, are they more expensive than I’ve paid previously? They are but the quality, styling and material shows. Am reevaluating my choices, should I buy 4 $50 blouses or one good quality, $200 that stands the test of time.
    Alternately, I can take your styling choices and search for a similar, less expensive alternative!
    I’d never heard of Boden the company before, love their items and guess what…I found a lovely blouse at Nordstrom Rack recently by them…I love it.
    Thank you for what I feel is one of the best blogs on the internet.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      July 12, 2020 / 5:33 pm

      I’d say that it depends on what you are wearing them for. Some people work in fields where they will soil their clothes. That doesn’t just mean low-skilled, low-paid workers, but also those in skilled trades and for example, a friend who is a veterinarian. Others don’t.

  64. DM
    July 11, 2020 / 11:36 am

    I appreciate this post, Susan. For me, it’s ultimately about growing awareness. We are living in a time of great uncertainty, and maintaining an awareness of the struggles that your readers may face is something you can offer. We are all in different places in terms of what we choose to and/or can afford. I for one read your blog for accounts of travels to France and your overall sensibility and style. We each must develop our own.

    The other aspect is the reality of online shopping. I am having a hard time not shopping in person when I need something; it’s hard to find the right styles online. Perhaps you could focus on that aspect of the pandemic?

    • Florence
      July 11, 2020 / 1:50 pm

      Thank you!

  65. Kay
    July 11, 2020 / 1:23 pm

    Possibly the people who object to your choices are reading the wrong blog. There are others out there who talk about less expensive options.

    • Rondi
      July 11, 2020 / 2:27 pm

      I think most readers do buy the best they can afford. But it seems some have lost touch and forget that not everyone has the same shopping budget. Cost per wear is a relative term based on your personal budget. Let’s support each other and not judge. Most people are doing the best they can. That’s what I love about Susan’s blog. She does provide something for everyone. Let’s all enjoy looking at the beautiful things Susan shows us. Purchase may or may not be possible. And that’s ok.

  66. Angela in NZ
    July 11, 2020 / 1:34 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me, in the era of social media, just how many people feel they have the right to openly criticise others who’s outlook doesn’t match their own. It is very simple to just “unfollow” if that’s the way you feel but please don’t bully bloggers to change what others find interesting and informative.

    As a follower from New Zealand your season’s are opposite, it’s prohibitively expensive or unavailable shipping, I’m not Gamine style nor Spring colouring, our NZ lifestyle is different and retail choices are extremely small for a population of only 5 million, BUT, none of this detracts from the pleasure I get from reading your blog.

  67. Mary Ann
    July 11, 2020 / 2:04 pm

    Please do not change your blog… tooooo much! Sometimes I look at something you share and think “Wow that is expensive!”, then turn around and buy something else for the same price or more! It is all in what an individual can afford within her budget, what she is willing to spend on a particular item (and perhaps go out of her budget if it is a great purse!!!), and her own needs. I look to this blog for inspiration and education (new brands/items I’ve tried that I wouldn’t have otherwise had you not shared) and I do love your “look”. Looking forward to many more great blog posts!

  68. Anon
    July 11, 2020 / 2:24 pm

    These ideas are an inspiration. I use them as a jumping-off point, within my own budget. A raffia bag, you say? Mine is navy blue. Wedges? Mine are closed espadrilles. You are you and I am me. We are each unique.

  69. Mary
    July 11, 2020 / 3:17 pm

    On a different topic, our daughter just recommended a BBC Amazon series called, “A Stitch in Time”. It recreates iconic looks as seen in portraiture or from actual historic garments. The historic tailoring team uses techniques that would have been available for tailors at the time. Fascinating! It is also wonderful to have a look into some of the historic homes and palaces where the original garment might have been worn. I think many of you would enjoy the series.
    Love the blog and all the ideas. I also don’t mind the ads. Mary

  70. Alexis I
    July 11, 2020 / 3:44 pm

    I’ve been following your blog for about two years, and I always look forward to reading your posts and seeing your ideas and suggestions. Your process with color and your curated ideas and collections have expanded my horizons and have helped me determine how I will develop my style and my own wardrobe. I feel that you have always provided a good range of clothing as far as price, and you also provide the links for sales. It’s true that none of us can make everyone happy all of the time – but I think that’s ok! I think that you are doing a great job!

  71. Lynn
    July 11, 2020 / 4:20 pm

    Susan, I think the balance you strike is perfect for me. Keep up the good work.

  72. Brenda
    July 11, 2020 / 4:26 pm

    I love reading your blog – and I love the styles you show. I so appreciate all the hard work you put into it, and your responsiveness to your readers’ questions and concerns!

  73. Kate
    July 11, 2020 / 6:36 pm

    I’m always willing to pay more for wardrobe workhorses—jeans, jackets/blazers, or dress pants. I know my pear shape looks better in dark, bootcut or trouser style pants, so I don’t follow trends like skinny jeans. I tend to look pay less for tops. Again, I don’t follow trends so I look for classic, v-neck tees and other tops. I know what colors look best (I’m a winter) so I don’t buy colors that don’t flatter me. Many of the spring colors weren’t right, so I didn’t buy much.
    Keep offering options at different price points! I love your style even though I need 34” inseams and can’t wear your color palette.

  74. Elizabeth
    July 11, 2020 / 6:58 pm

    A lot of current personal situations are uncharted waters for many of us. I think Susan writes a beautiful, carefully considered blog. However, the comment that seemed to start this whole thing actually began with two lovely compliments and ended with another. It feels that there has been a bit of piling on today.

  75. Maria
    July 11, 2020 / 7:20 pm

    I love your blog just the way it is! Like many others, I look forward to reading and seeing your posts.
    I don’t need to buy every item, and while I’ve purchased many, I sometimes take the concept and seek something similar that better fits me. Often, products you showcase go on sale, which is a a bonus!

  76. Suz G
    July 12, 2020 / 6:10 am

    I appreciate you addressing this issue. I’ve recently been making a deliberate choice to buy from sustainable, fair-labor sources. It’s hard! I looked for US made bed sheets and eventually found some, but there aren’t many choices. As consumers, we often want many options. I had to be OK with only having one sheet choice. On the upside, wow, are they comfy.

    So with clothing I want to make similar choices. I want to have products that are made sustainably by people who are paid fairly. I want clothing that’s comfy and flattering. And I need to be willing to pay for those qualities. I’m saying this as someone who’s budget is not generous. It’s about priorities for me.

  77. Lyn
    July 12, 2020 / 7:06 am

    I started reading your blog about 5 years ago because of the French name and the travel advice. I look forward to it every day and am slightly disappointed when I find you have taken a day off. I am simply along for the ride, just hearing how you are doing and following your color journey with great interest. Keep it up. Your readers can get fashion tips anywhere. We read your blog because it’s You.

  78. Cindylou
    July 12, 2020 / 11:13 am

    I love what you do. I have followed your recommendations for Eileen Fisher pants for travel which I now wear almost every day during this pandemic. I love the silk tanks from EF. I save them for cruises and travel to nice places. Same with the French Kande jewelry scarves. My latest scarf was a Christian Lacroix I bought at his shop in Arles. It is so beautiful and worth every penny and it was much less costly than Hermès. I know where to get inexpensive items for every day wear. I really like the jersey swing tank tops from Old Navy. They cost between $10-12. The same with their swing dresses. But when I want to look chic I follow you.

  79. Cynthia
    July 13, 2020 / 7:37 am

    Please continue your own way of expressing yourself in your own way. That is what You do best. There are many online blogs, and those seeking something different are welcome to seek them. I love to read and look and what you offer.

  80. Eileen
    July 13, 2020 / 9:42 am

    Just be you. I follow different bloggers for different reasons, yours, for French inspiration, travel, upscale items, and a very interesting color journey. I had my closet re organized by a lady who said “ you can afford “ nice “ things, if we add up how much you’ve spent on multiple less expensive things, it easily adds up to one “ nice” thing” , she was right. So I got my dream Burberry trench, used, and altered to fit, cleaned, and so forth. … I wear it so much, and so happily, because it’s more comfortable, than the less expensive ones I kept buying and not liking. Quality has value to me. Thanks for your blog.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      July 13, 2020 / 2:54 pm

      And, assuming that like many of us here you are at least middle-aged, that Burberry will last you till the end of your life! This also emphasizes the importance of such skilled trades as tailors, shoemakers etc.

  81. Juti
    July 13, 2020 / 11:46 am

    Your post reminds me of something… I read food blogs looking ideas and inspiration, the same way I look to yours for ideas about colors and style. In one food blog, the recipe was for something like a classic Quiche Lorraine, and there in the comments someone wrote, “I’d like to make this for my family, but my son is allergic to eggs and my husband can’t tolerate onions. Please advise.” The blogger turned herself inside out trying to find alternatives for her reader. If it had been me, I would have written, “I advise you to seek something else to cook.”

    Thank you for your kindness, tolerance, and excellent taste.

  82. Vive
    July 13, 2020 / 2:17 pm

    Long-time reader here. I’ve been thinking about this discussion since you posted your electrifying yellow outfit before the weekend, and I want to chime in. You should absolutely run your blog according to your own style, leanings, and goals. Of course you can’t please everyone. But I feel concerned about the reader response that suggests the blog is under attack when the original comment was made amid compliments and with good spirit and inquiry. I admit to having done the same as that reader–totaled up the items in a post and wondered if that’s really what people pay for clothes. I was glad to see her question asked and am a bit dismayed by how many of these 100 comments want to dismiss her. It feels important to say that those of us who can’t or won’t pay $200 for a shirt are not necessarily buying $5 toss-away shirts nor not considering the ethics of our clothing. My closet is filled with clothes I’ve worn for years, none of them luxury items. Clothing decisions are complicated, as is running a blog in these fraught times. I appreciate you, Susan–and like another reader, I think that outfit may be my favorite that you’ve ever worn–and I also hope we can keep making room for these kinds of discussions.

  83. Gayle Mattson Kollitz
    July 13, 2020 / 2:26 pm

    I love that you want to remain true to yourself and values. I also like that you show outfits and items in various price ranges. I am one of those who prefers to get a few, high quality, timeless pieces that I can wear season after season without looking out of style, but classic. High quality does command higher prices or the items start to look tired and worn after a few washes. Don’t stop showing the higher end pieces along with the more economical choices. Here and there I also enjoy a more trendy item and I would not pay as much for something that may look dated after one season. Thanks.

  84. July 13, 2020 / 3:26 pm

    You know what they say, you can’t please all of the people all of the time! I enjoy your posts, just as they are. As others have said, it’s about inspiration. I also agree, sometimes it pays to spend more on a piece that is timeless and high quality. There are other times, I want to spend as little as possible, for instance, summer wear that I know will get ruined with sunscreen stains. I don’t expect my summer tees to be at all presentable after one season, and sometimes, I don’t even get a full season out of them, so inexpensive is better. I like that you are interested in featuring more 100% American made products. I do understand they will be more expensive, but if the quality is there, it might be worth it. Anyway, thanks for all you do! You are an inspiration to many!

  85. jeanette sclar
    July 14, 2020 / 9:46 am

    It’s late to chime in on the price of clothes controversy, but I want to add the obvious: I choose which clothes to scrimp and which to splurge on depending on how important they are to me. I buy modestly priced items when it’s a trendy fun thing, and things like summer tee shirts that get washed and wear out quickly. Never buy anything from fast fashion sellers because I want the people who make my clothes to be paid adequately. However, I splurge when it’s something that will last! I adore the Paul Green sneakers you showed on your blog. Take about pricey! But I’ve had other Paul Green shoes and they are a godsend for problematic feet! Worth every penny. I’m at an age when I don’t NEED any more clothes, except to replace worn pieces and to have fun with something new. You seem to strike the right tone for me! thank you!

  86. July 14, 2020 / 11:44 am

    Don’t ever change who you are and what you like. That is how you started your blog, that is you, that is genuine. As you say, you cannot please everyone. And as the song continues: ‘so you gotta please yourself’.
    I also agree that a better quality piece will last longer and will (hopefully) run a lower risk of sweatshops and polluting the environment.

  87. July 14, 2020 / 1:09 pm

    Well done, Susan. You make an excellent presentation for what’s available in a range of prices. We have been in the disposable | cheap bubble of clothing for a while. We have overconsumed and this is a good time to rethink our personal contribution to this trend and make a difference. I’m not buying anything, except a new mask. We can make a difference.
    thanks for opening this up for discussion.

  88. Sadie
    July 16, 2020 / 5:48 pm

    Thank you for this post! I admit I do read you as an ‘aspirational / inspirational’ blog. (And because I want to see how you’ll change your style next.) Though your sales links do show me, ‘Hey, I can do that.’ I’ve dipped into investment pieces like a Lo & Sons Pearl bag through you.

    And I’m glad we share a concern for quality and ethics in clothing. It’s been a huge peeve of mine that clothing quality has dropped perceptibly over the past 10 years, and that polyester has become ubiquitous.

  89. Brenda
    July 17, 2020 / 11:24 am

    I appreciated the discussion here and the different perspectives (nice to be able to talk from different viewpoints without “calling out” those we don’t agree with). I found this article by VETTA (American sustainable clothing company) about what goes into the prices we pay for fashion so interesting. I thought I’d share it here in case others also find it valuable.

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