Easy outfit with a casual jeans alternative - une femme d'un certain âge

Easy outfit with a casual jeans alternative

Susan B. wears a mustard yellow leather jacket, brown print top, brown pants.

Yesterday we met up with family for a lovely Sunday brunch al fresco to (belatedly) celebrate le Monsieur’s birthday. One of the best things about living in Southern California is being able to enjoy patio dining almost year-round.

earrings | jacket (similar) | top (similar) | pants (similar) | shoes (similar)

A “polished casual” jeans alternative

I probably could have worn jeans, but was happy to have a casual alternative. While I’ve always been a “jeans girl,” lately I’ve been feeling a bit burned out on them. I’ve been on the hunt for brown pants (that aren’t suit trousers) for several seasons now. Navy and black are relatively easy to find, but darker, warm brown has been elusive until this season. These are comfortable and easy to style, and I’m sure they’ll be a workhorse in my wardrobe.

Susan B. peering out from under sunglasses, wearing a yellow leather jacket, brown print top, brown pants, light brown oxfords.

If you’re looking for something similar, here are a few more polished casual alternatives to jeans:

Building a cohesive wardrobe

Many of you have asked to see more ideas for re-mixing favorite wardrobe pieces, so that’s what I’ll be focusing on with my outfit posts going forward*. When I first began revamping my wardrobe after my color analysis, I knew it would take some time. I’ve done a lot of experimenting, and had some mis-steps along the way, but I’ve finally found my groove. And after 2+ years, I feel like have what I need to cover the bases for how we’re living now.

Striking a balance between novelty and sustainability can be a challenge. But a cohesive wardrobe with pieces that can be worn in multiple combinations is one way to thread that needle. (I managed to get several different looks from my recent travel wardrobe, with far fewer pieces than I currently have in my closet.)

I’ll be posting more in coming weeks about creating wardrobe cohesion, and whether you’re looking to revamp or pare back your wardrobe, or are somewhere in between, I hope to have some helpful ideas and tips to share.

*I do have one prior commitment with a brand to share some new pieces next month, and will always disclose any relationships with brands or gifted items.

Is there a particular style or color you’d like to add to your wardrobe, but have found to be elusive?

Stay in touch.

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


  1. Robyn
    November 22, 2021 / 2:34 am

    One of the concepts I’m missing from bloggers our age is how to style outfits with what we already have. Most bloggers my age are buy, buy ,buy. For myself, Im having to relearn how to dress for my real self as opposed to my fantasy self. Outfit journaling, breaking it down into what my lifestyle actually is, what my style preference is, and what is needed for my real life has been helpful. The journaling process has helped me identify why I do and don’t like certain things. . So, I’m excited to see you focus on reusing what you have and wardrobe cohesion.

    • Nancy
      November 22, 2021 / 9:42 am

      Try Susan after 60. She’s about shopping your closet and doesn’t push to buy

  2. Marty
    November 22, 2021 / 4:39 am

    Wearing “one color” head to toe makes you look taller and leaner in that photo.

  3. BeckyH
    November 22, 2021 / 5:10 am

    It is not a particular color I find elusive right now, but rather non-floral patterns that are actually attractive. There are times when it is not practical to rely on a scarf to add pattern to an outfit. In those instances, a patterned top, like the one you have on in today’s post, would fit the bill nicely. They are hard to come by! (Here’s hoping cottage core has had its moment and is moving on).

    • Susan Blakey
      November 22, 2021 / 5:49 am

      I agree! We’ve been awash in florals for the past several seasons, and it’s been quite challenging to find non-floral and non-animal patterns.

    • Siobhan
      November 22, 2021 / 6:22 am


  4. November 22, 2021 / 5:17 am

    You look amazing in this, Susan! You are such an inspiration of how wearing our best colors is liberating!

    • Susan Blakey
      November 22, 2021 / 5:49 am

      Thanks, Pam!

      • November 22, 2021 / 11:41 am

        Reading your blog has really helped me to hone in on my style more than what color season I might be. I hadn’t ever thought of styles for me in that way. Now I’m finding why some things, although lovely, don’t seem comfortable to me. I’m not quite sure what style profile I am, but I’m sure finding out what I’m not. Several years ago I decided to try wearing florals, which I never had before. For the most part, they just haven’t seemed to work. Sometimes i find it’s the scale, but mostly I feel more comfortable in geometric patterns, stripes and dots. Lace and ruffles are out, but I love scarves and jewelry. I’m tall and love wearing longer jackets and cardigans. Anyway, thank you for leading the way down my style adventure!

  5. Kelly
    November 22, 2021 / 5:37 am

    I love the idea of helping us remix our wardrobes. I’ve been working on this for a couple years and it’s amazing how you end up with clothes for every occasion in the process. Look forward to your future posts on this topic.

  6. Rita Prangle
    November 22, 2021 / 5:56 am

    Tans and browns in jeans and pants have been elusive for several years now.

  7. Kami
    November 22, 2021 / 5:59 am

    I can’t wait to see your upcoming posts on remixing and wardrobe cohesion. Due to a change in both lifestyle and body shape, I found myself having to reassess and revise my wardrobe for the last year. After identifying my color palette and style, I have been paring down my closet and then trying to fill in the gaps with appropriate pieces. Even shopping with more intention, I have made mistakes along the way. I think it would be interesting and informative to hear what missteps you feel you have made. Also, I am glad you mentioned sustainability. One of the things I have realized is that clothes shopping can become a habit. Many of my “mistakes” have occurred when I was shopping out of boredom or continued browsing after being lured to a site by an advertisement (SALE!) This has become even easier as more and more shopping has shifted to online. While I love clothing and fashion, now that all the pieces in my closet actually fit and are flattering, I am trying to make a habit of shopping my closet first. Unfortunately, old habits are hard to break. Looking forward to a lot of inspiration!

  8. Lori
    November 22, 2021 / 6:02 am

    I’d like to learn from your mis-steps. I’ve started over to eliminate black. For me startling with Cabi pieces has been helpful because I love their novelty and the fact that they add styles each season to coordinate with what you have. I’ve been able to get things via Poshmark and EBay and prior season deep discount through my stylist which has helped to cost effectively build a cohesive wardrobe. I really struggle with finding individual pieces on my own with the novelty/more feminine detail I crave over a classic basic. Thank you for all your inspiration and sharing of your style and color journey. I also struggle with “spring” color all year.
    I’m currently going with navy/ivory/ginger neutrals with yellow and flame red as my color pops.

  9. November 22, 2021 / 6:09 am

    Happy Belated to le Monsieur — it was so good to see you two last month! (although it all seems a bit surreal now, doesn’t it? So many kilometres/miles and experiences since then). I love that second photo of you, lifting your sunglasses, that great smile! 😉 xo

  10. November 22, 2021 / 6:25 am

    What can you teach us from your miss-steps so we don’t make the same mistakes? I think that topic would make a great post/posts. Also, what I need help with is putting together chic but casual outfits (like what you are wearing above) that are not office-like. I retired two years ago and have been weeding out pieces of the office wardrobe that don’t fit my lifestyle now but need outfits that are a few steps above everyday casual for occasions like out to dinner or brunch with friends.

    • yvrjanice
      November 22, 2021 / 9:19 am

      Yes! I think that would make a great read.

  11. Stephanie Ashworth
    November 22, 2021 / 6:46 am

    You look fabulous! I have found pants to be very elusive. My shape calls for a low rise and flared leg. I have not found a pair yet!

  12. Karen B
    November 22, 2021 / 6:49 am

    Great look! In my opinion blue jeans and leggings are way overdone so I am really glad to see something that looks put together and not so casual.

    • November 22, 2021 / 6:26 pm

      I agree, the jeans get boring and end u all looking the same. Good to see you in something else.

  13. Eve
    November 22, 2021 / 7:07 am

    Just figured out my style.while purging my wardrobe of things I don’t wear. My Winter Retirement wardrobe should be Soft sweat shirts, cotton sweaters, pull on jeans, hoodie with zipper, sneakers, boots and where my money for winter should be going. That’s reality. That’s what I actually like. Got coats right though, Denim jacket, trench coat 3/4 serves as rain and warm coat. Bomber jackets, lightly quilted longer jacket. Summer is all about linen pants or drawstring cotton plus cute cool blouse or shirt and sandals. Climate has a lot to do with my choices. I live on Coast. Looking forward to the wardrobe help on color and mix and match.

  14. Barb
    November 22, 2021 / 8:28 am

    Great outfit, Susan! Although I’m comfortable with my color palette (a winter, even since I’ve gone gray/white), I’m still attracted to “teacher” clothes. I’ve been retired for almost six years! My current challenge is finding “winter” colors in petite-sized sweaters with v- or scoop-necks that don’t have dropped shoulders! I usually wear a petite large; regular-sized sweaters are too long in the sleeves and too wide for my narrow shoulders. And I don’t like tunic lengths on my 5’ 2” frame. I too am interested in learning from your fashion mistakes. Thank you for your wonderful and educational blog!

  15. Julia
    November 22, 2021 / 9:23 am

    That outfit looks fabulous on you Susan!
    As for elusive styles, I would definitely say LONGER sweaters (or tunics) and v-necks! You show us a lot of nice sweaters Susan but they are all short.

  16. Nancy
    November 22, 2021 / 9:54 am

    To echo the above ladies…..
    What clothing did you buy / outfits you put together that you thought looked good and later said “what was I thinking ?”
    We’ve all been there .
    Tell us ( and show us ). What was wrong and how would you do it differently.

    • Susan Blakey
      November 22, 2021 / 11:01 am

      Hi Nancy, it wasn’t so much “what was I thinking” as “hmm, that’s not quite it,” or the feeling that a particular style or outfit would be better suited to another style type. Something that doesn’t work for me might be brilliant on someone else. But let me see what I can dig up for a future post.

  17. November 22, 2021 / 4:56 pm

    Love today’s outfit, Susan. It really says SUSAN! Happy belated birthday to Le Monsieur!

  18. November 30, 2021 / 9:32 am

    You are right, creating more outfits with the pieces you already have is sensible, economic and sustainable. And look what a great outfit you created in this post.
    Alas, I am not too good on this front. Trying though.

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