My 12 favorite outfits of 2021 - une femme d'un certain âge

Here are my 12 favorite outfits of 2021

As we wind down the year, it’s time to share my favorite outfits from 2021. Just as I like to recap my travel wardrobes after returning home, I find it a useful exercise to review and select my favorite outfits from the last year. Maybe it’s that old “hindsight is 20/20” thing, but I can often get a better sense of what worked (or didn’t) in retrospect.

The Top 12: my favorite outfits of 2021

I’ve picked one outfit from each month to keep this manageable, though some months had several I really liked.

January

Zoom-ready outfit with a J.Crew blazer, turtleneck top and knit pants. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

earrings (c/o) | blazer | sweater (similar) | necklace (c/o) | pants | bracelet (c/o) | shoes

(sizes: jacket size 8P, sweater size 0/4-6, pants size 6P)

This look was from one of my most popular posts of the year, Versatile pants to wear at home now and out later, which featured Athleta Brooklyn ankle pants. We were still mostly visiting/working via Zoom, so I put this outfit together as a business casual video conference look. But I really liked this look and wore variations of it once we started going out more.

February

Susan B wears a cashmere sweater, distressed boyfriend jeans, yellow square-toe loafers. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

earrings (similar) | charm necklace | lariat necklace | sweater (Plus) | ring | jeans (similar) | shoes (similar)

(sizes: sweater size Petite Small, jeans size 27)

So often I find it’s the simplest outfits that I like the best. This one was from the post How to style boyfriend jeans for a refined casual look. I wear some version of jeans-and-a-sweater most days; what I really like about this one is the mix of rough and refined.

March

Susan B. wears a denim jacket, striped tee, white jeans, and leopard print loafers.

earrings (similar) | jacket (similar) | necklace | tee (similar) | bracelet | jeans | loafers (similar).

(Jacket size 0P, tee size Small, jeans 27)

This outfit was from the post A new spin on the denim jacket. Nothing extraordinary here, just really liked how this came together.

April

Susan B. wears a reversible kimono, linen pants, and espadrille sandals.

kimono (similar) | necklace (similar) | top (similar) | pants (similar) | bag | sandals

I fell head over heels for the colors and prints in this reversible kimono/haori. I’m hopeful that I’ll have more opportunities to wear it in 2022. Shown here in the post Another look with a reversible kimono, and on the opposite side in A “bordering on Bohemian”look. This kimono is sold out, but here are some budget-friendlier options HERE and HERE.

May

Susan B wears a casual date night outfit with a star print blazer.

jacket (similar style) | tank (similar) | necklace | bracelet | jeans (similar) | shoes (similar style)

(jacket size M, jeans 28)

I’d purchased this Scotch & Soda jacket just a few weeks before everything screeched to a halt in early 2020. So it sat in my closet for over a year, until things started to open up again. Originally shown in the post Shopping my closet: an easy casual date night outfit. I was able to wear it several times this year, and always received compliments on it.

June

Susan B. with dog, wearing striped tee, bandana headband, white jeans and espadrilles.

earrings (similar) | bandana | tee | jeans (similar) | bracelet (similar) | espadrilles (similar)

(tee size S, jeans 27 Petite)

I was going for a South of France vibe here, and felt like I nailed it. Sometimes just one accessory (in this case, the bandana worn as a head scarf) can really make the look come together. Original post here: A summery look with white jeans and espadrilles.

July

Susan B. wears an off-white and gold outfit with brown slide sandals

necklace (similar) | cardigan (similar) | top | jeans (similar) | bag (similar) | sandals

(sweater size XS Petite, top size XS, jeans 27 Petite)

Some of you have mentioned that I tend to wear the same few colors often. That’s true, and it’s partly due to what’s been available in my size, style and Spring color palette in the last several seasons. But I also LOVE rich golds like this cardigan (now sold out, unfortunately, similar HERE). This whole outfit, (originally posted at An easy summer look in off white and gold) was an 11/10 for me.

August

Susan B. enjoying a beer at Nepenthe. Wearing a Madewell bandana, Jenni Kayne cotton fisherman sweater, AG boyfriend jeans.

bandana | necklace | sweater | jeans (similar) | sneakers (similar)

(sweater size XS, jeans 27)

I had to choose this outfit as my favorite for August, only because it will always remind me of the wonderful road trip we took to Carmel-by-the-Sea and Big Sur. I was so happy and content here. Original post: Out and about in Big Sur.

September

Susan B. wears a colorful hoodie outfit: Johnny Was hoodie, rag & bone jeans, Frame sandals.

hooded jacket (similar) | tee (similar) | necklace | bracelet (similar) | jeans (similar) | sandals

(jacket size XS, tee size Small, jeans 27)

It was hard to pick one outfit for September, as there were a few I really liked. But I went with this one because I’ve worn some version of it frequently, and that gorgeous print on the hoodie just really takes any casual outfit up a notch. Originally shown in the post, A colorful hoodie outfit for fall.

October

Susan B. in the Galleria in Milan wearing a long navy blazer, striped tee, silk scarf, jeans and sneakers.

scarf | tee | jacket (similar) | jeans (similar) | sneakers

(tee size S, jeans 26)

And if I thought it was hard choosing one favorite outfit for September, October was even tougher! We spent a good part of the month traveling in Italy (with a quick stop in Paris at the end). There were several travel outfits that I thought worked really well, but chose this one which I wore on a couple of days in Milan. It was comfortable, and I felt put-together and appropriately dressed for our activities.

The outfit was originally shown here: Out and about in Milan and Piedmont, Italy. (And you can read my Travel Wardrobe recap from this trip here: How my 4-week Europe travel wardrobe worked out…)

November

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

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

I love it when new additions to my wardrobe mix seamlessly with old favorites. I picked up this top and pants when we were in London. The leather jacket was purchased from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in 2019. This combo made its debut here: Easy outfit with a casual jeans alternative.

December

Susan B. sitting on steps wearing gold coat, knot detail sweater, ivory jeans, ivory lug-sole boots.

earrings | coat (similar) | sweater (similar) | jeans | bag (similar) | boots (c/o)

(coat 6 Petite, sweater XS, jeans 27)

Here’s another mix of older and newer pieces. I’m loving the Winter White trend which inspired this look. The coat is from 2019; the jeans were purchased about a year ago. The sweater is new, and sold out quickly. You can see the original outfit post here: Gold and winter white for an evening out.

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48 Comments

  1. Karen
    December 30, 2021 / 4:20 am

    Gosh what a great way to wrap up 2022, a highlight reel of the best of the best!
    For what it’s worth, my favorites of the favorites. April because it’s your style, but it’s a step away from your usual tailored jacket. June, because it’s got an easy peasy feel, but feels so put together, I think it’s the headband that makes it feel complete. And October because I love how well the shoes, bag and scarf match without being matchy-matchy, and the coat, with the dressy but casual vibe just finishes it off perfectly
    Happy new year

    • Karen
      December 30, 2021 / 6:15 am

      Hmmm I see I’ve already moved on and put this year behind me.
      It should say what a great to wrap up 2021.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:52 am

      Hi Karen, thanks so much, and Happy New Year to you!

  2. Kelly
    December 30, 2021 / 4:31 am

    These are all great outfits but that picture of you in May is really stunning. Love your hair color, the gold glasses and the bright jacket. Thanks for all the inspiration.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:49 am

      Thank you, Kelly!

  3. Julia
    December 30, 2021 / 4:52 am

    All of these outfits look great on you Susan! So many people wear the same style all the time, I love the fact that you vary your looks often, sometimes more chic , sometimes casual. My favourite is the one in Milan! Happy New Year!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:49 am

      Thanks very much, Julia! Happy New Year!

  4. Cindy
    December 30, 2021 / 6:25 am

    I have LOVED following your blog. I felt like you epitomized the look I was going for …. a mature woman with a classic style who looked put together. Here comes the “BUT”. ……But, when I found you, you were in your previous color palette and it was so easy to adapt it to my purchases. Now, not so much. Happy for you. Sad for me. So, could you recommend one of your blogger friends whose palette runs to the “Winter” tones?

    • Penny Larson
      December 30, 2021 / 9:10 am

      Cindy, my thoughts exactly! I would love to see more examples that would help us Winters glow like Susan does in her colors.

      • Susan Blakey
        Author
        January 1, 2022 / 6:40 am

        Hi Penny, I’ve been trying to feature Winter colors in recent collages, and will be doing more of this in the future.

        • Penny Larson
          January 1, 2022 / 5:10 pm

          Thank you, Susan! I love your outfits and your style and look forward to ideas for cooler palates. And I appreciate that you feature high quality items, not fast fashion.

    • Brenda
      December 30, 2021 / 9:32 am

      I just look for similar pieces in my colours – maybe that will work for you, too?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:48 am

      Thanks, Cindy. You may like my friends Jennifer’s blog A Well Styled Life or Josephine’s blog, Chic at Any Age. And check out the “Daily Reads” tab in the top menu…lots of great blogs there too!

  5. Carolyn Varick
    December 30, 2021 / 6:28 am

    The marigold/sunflower hues are spectacular on you. I am loving how your outer transformation is revealing your inner light.

    Bring on 2022!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:47 am

      Thanks so much, Carolyn! Happy New Year!

  6. Jeanne
    December 30, 2021 / 6:50 am

    It’s fun to look back! Another great look was your June 28th post (“Trying something new…”) with light pink cardigan, aqua vintage print headband, and perfect shoes. Love that look! And anything featuring your tweed jackets, which suit you so well.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:46 am

      Thanks, Jeanne! That pink and blue outfit and the tweed jacket outfits were all close runners-up.

  7. Kami
    December 30, 2021 / 7:12 am

    Susan, you have great style! As I scrolled through the photos, I noticed that most of your outfits are built on common basics–a pair of jeans or slacks, a simple sweater or t-shirt–and then elevated by one or two fabulous accessories–a topper or jacket in a gorgeous color or print, a colorful scarf, interesting jewelry or shoes with an unexpected print, buckle detail or platform sole. You really excel at finding those unique items that take your basics from ho-hum to va-va-va-voom! I think that even if one is on a budget, it would not be too difficult to build a wardrobe of basics and add a small number of these more eye-catching accessories in order to replicate what you are doing here (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!) Even if the overall wardrobe is small, by sticking to a specific color palette, whatever it is, one has the ability to mix and match pieces to create a lot of different looks. I have been rebuilding my wardrobe one the last 2 years, and I have learned a lot from you. I would love to see more posts of you shopping your closet and creating different outfits–maybe taking a piece and styling it three ways? Love your blog and can’t wait to see what you do in 2022!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:45 am

      Hi Kami, thanks, and YES! That’s the beauty of working from a color palette. I will be doing a lot more restyling idea posts in 2022, as I think we all want to get the most out of our wardrobes, no matter our lifestyle or budget. Happy New Year!

  8. Mary Alice
    December 30, 2021 / 8:09 am

    This was fun to look back at your outfits. You have inspired me – I have very similar coloring to you and have made a resolution – no more black. It just isn’t flattering anymore. Can’t wait to see what you come up with in 2022!
    My biggest fashion challenge will be selecting a mother of the bride dress for my daughter’s wedding in Portland in August – I am not a dress person and may have to end up designing/sewing my own.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:42 am

      Hi Mary Alice, thank you! I’m not a dress person either but will keep my eyes open as the warmer weather styles start to roll in.

  9. NDakota Teacher
    December 30, 2021 / 9:21 am

    Your outfits make me smile every. day. and your monthly favorites are indeed well chosen! While your colors and climate are not mine, I find inspiration in the details which highlight and add seemingly effortless cohesion to your choices. Those details and the emphasis on fit are among my takeaways. I like using your ideas to enhance and utilize the wardrobe I already own, and occasionally add something new. You keep me current! I do enjoy clicking through your links to peruse what vendors are offering and learning about new sources, even though I may not be able to purchase much. I appreciate your inclusion of your travels, home, and family. I originally found your blog looking for clothing/shoes for travel and packing ideas – you continue to excel in those areas. I love your videos as I can hear your voice and see your facial responses. Thank you for your upbeat musings, advice, and photos. You work so diligently for us, but with joy and kindness. Happy New Year to you and yours!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:39 am

      Thank you very much! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog and Happy New Year to you!

  10. Kris
    December 30, 2021 / 9:31 am

    Happy New Year, Susan! Love all these looks – but maybe #1 is my favourite!

    Best wishes for 2022 – let’s kick Covid to the curb fro once and for all.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:37 am

      Happy New Year, Kris. Thank you and yes, I’m hoping for the same!

  11. SueMD
    December 30, 2021 / 9:43 am

    A terrific roundup. I love every single choice. I particularly like the way you have a defined personal style with thoughtful variations. Seeing all of these together is pretty inspirational.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:36 am

      Thanks so much, Sue!

  12. lynn
    December 30, 2021 / 10:25 am

    Thank you! Your a great teacher and I have enjoyed your creativity so much this year.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:36 am

      Thanks very much, lynn!

  13. Anne
    December 30, 2021 / 10:29 am

    Bravo! I love them all!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:35 am

      Thanks, Anne!

  14. Catherine Low
    December 30, 2021 / 12:01 pm

    What an excellent choice of 12 outfits from this past year! As I joined you in the spring, a couple of earlier selections were new to me, and very much like I would wear, Susan. I completed your survey a few days ago, and look forward to your blog in 2022.
    As for travel plans… a much anticipated , but twice cancelled , small ship PONANT Caribbean cruise has a 50% chance of going ahead , as we are still in the midst of this unrelenting pandemic. Swimming and snorkeling are on my wish list.
    Hopefully , in late April, a cruise from Lisbon to London ( PONANT) may still go ahead, as numbers may go down so much more. Time in London , with plans for a Red Leopard visit, and then a few days exploring places in Somerset & Dorset that I missed while there this past October. A short trip by train to Edinburgh to meet a young relative and his family for the first time, before returning home to Vancouver Island.
    Using your travel advice , I will have fun choosing what it is I love to wear and require.
    Warmth for balcony on cruise, a mix of spring colours, classy outfit for a few special dinners, and outdoor gear to explore a bluebell forest & walk the grounds of a large garden park.

    Lots of positive thoughts sending your way for a much better and healthier year ahead.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:35 am

      Thanks so much, Catherine! I will hold a good thought that you’re able to take that much anticipated trip. It sounds fabulous!

  15. Anon
    December 30, 2021 / 2:33 pm

    What a wonderful, colorful year!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:33 am

      Thank you!

  16. Linda
    December 30, 2021 / 4:48 pm

    The background info and where you were makes this so enjoyable to look at and read. Thanks for the time you put in to share that. What a fun and unique post.

    Happy New Year!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:32 am

      Thank you, Linda! I’m glad you enjoyed it, and Happy New Year to you.

  17. Alanna
    December 30, 2021 / 9:32 pm

    You look wonderful in all of these posts, but June is the look I particularly love. The photo speaks of happiness and contentment. Perfect.
    I like seeing the way you mix patterns – the striped top with the animal print shoes has inspired me to be more adventurous.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:32 am

      Thanks very much, Alanna!

  18. Mel in the mountains
    December 31, 2021 / 6:12 am

    Hi Susan, I am a new subscriber so many of these outfits are new for me. November is a unique and elevated style but May really caught my eye. I love the idea of a statement jacket. However, the star print would not be right for me. As you are looking for feedback ( I have completed your survey), I was delighted to see a jacquard print jacket option on your blog page for May which would be perfect. It is now on my radar so thank you! These additions all help me reimagine your inspirational outfits into my personal style. Your travel photos, both with you in your outfits, and of the sights, are also all gorgeous and I look forward to more in the future! Happy New Year!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:31 am

      Thanks so much, Mel, and welcome! Happy New Year to you too!

  19. Lyn
    December 31, 2021 / 10:08 am

    You are a gamine for certain! I have enjoyed your exploration of color this past year. Mustard seems to be your new favorite color. Quite a break from your old wardrobe. You look younger and more comfortable. Happy New Year!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:30 am

      Thanks, Lyn! Mustard/gold is definitely one of my favorites.

  20. December 31, 2021 / 1:57 pm

    Good choices. I remember most of these outfits from the original posts. Happy New Year!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:29 am

      Thank you and Happy New Year to you!

  21. Lisa
    January 1, 2022 / 5:11 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed this recap and following you on your journey. I especially like the way you use basics (my personal weakness) and add interesting shoes, accessories, or a jacket etc to add personality. It really makes your outfits your own. I would like to see suggestions for other style personality types (feel free to start with casual for a romantic classic). I love your blog and everything you do.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      January 1, 2022 / 6:28 am

      Thanks so much Lisa! I’m planning to get into more detail about the different Style Personalities this year.

  22. January 8, 2022 / 3:01 pm

    Oh my goodness! I kept saying, “This is my favorite!” and then I’d scroll down and say, “No, THIS is my favorite. WAIT WAIT THIS IS MY FAVORITE!”

    Fantastic. Really inspiring clothes!

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