In Retrospect: Favorite Outfits Of 2018

Better late than never, my Five Faves from 2018…in chronological order. After some experimentation, I’ve come back around to my preference for simple, clean, modern classic looks, or what I call “polished casual.” While I still wear black and love wearing it, this year I worked to incorporate more color and lighter neutrals. These are the outfits that I felt best achieved that polished casual aesthetic, and that I would happily wear again (and have!).

Winter

A touch of bright pink in this Burberry check scarf livens up a neutral outfit. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Neutrals with a pop of color and/or pattern are my sartorial “happy place.” I’m still loving grey denim as an alternative to blue, and using texture to soften up black pieces.

(You may notice a common thread here: most of my favorite outfits are based on a long-over-lean silhouette. 😉 In many cases, the pieces I’m wearing are no longer available, so I’ve linked to similar items.)

Earrings | Scarf (similar)| Jacket (similar) | Sweater (similar) | Jeans (similar) |
Bag (similar) | Boots (similar, also offered in Wide calf)

Plus options: Jacket | Sweater | Jeans

Spring

Strolling in Venice, CA. Wearing a pastel blue silk-cashmere scarf, round bag, striped shirt. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

What I loved about this outfit was the fluidity of the pieces, and the contrast created by the lighter accessories. That jacket is a few years old, and still one of my favorites. It’s a bit oversized so I can throw it on over just about anything, but because the silk fabric has such a nice drape, it doesn’t look bulky.

Scarf (similar) | Jacket (similar) | Top (similar) | Jeans (similar) | Bag (similar) | Shoes

Plus options: Jacket | Top | Jeans

Summer

Style blogger Susan B. styles a pair of camo print pants with a linen rust cardigan and metallic sandals. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I challenged myself here to go a little outside of my comfort zone with the camo-print pants and bright cardigan, but really loved the result. And it prompted me to find that v-neck blouse, which has turned out to be a wardrobe workhorse.

Earrings (similar) | Cardigan | Top | Bag | Pants | Shoes

Plus options: Cardigan | Top | Pants

Fall

Style blogger Susan B. wears a camel sweater coat and forest green bag. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’m a big fan of the sweater-coat. Or coatigan. Or whatever you want to call it. These pieces are a wonderful weight for our climate, and just structured enough. Two other favorites here: the leopard print boots and the sleek bag in dark forest green.

Earrings (similar) | Scarf (similar) | Sweater-Coat | Top | Bag | Jeans | Boots

Plus options: Sweater-Coat | Top | Jeans

Susan B. wears a dark green sweater, Hermes scarf, skinny jeans and croc-embossed Brahmin bag. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

At times I find myself drawn to a look I’ll call “sleek retro classic.” This outfit hit the bullseye for me. I love the color of the sweater, and how well an old favorite silk scarf tied all of the colors in this look together. I’ve worn some version of this outfit often, adding outerwear and swapping out the shoes for ankle boots as the weather turned cooler.

Earrings | Scarf (similar) | Sweater | Bag | Jeans (similar)

Plus options: Sweater | Jeans

I always find that selecting my favorite outfits from the prior year is a good reminder of what works for me and why. And reviewing these looks has given me ideas for new combos with some of these pieces! I also have a couple of runners-up to share that were a bit outside of my usual. Stay tuned…

Do you record and review your outfits at regular intervals? Has it helped you to refine or refresh your style?

Stay in touch.

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34 Comments

  1. January 15, 2019 / 2:14 am

    Your photographer is very good. I like the outfits, of course, but I also like the variety of poses. Bravo.

  2. Karen
    January 15, 2019 / 5:54 am

    Love this post and all the outfits. Color combinations are divine. Parfait!

  3. Brenda
    January 15, 2019 / 5:58 am

    Just a New Year’s thank you for all your posts . You have encouraged me to think more carefully about what suits me and so to buy more carefully. Love all the faves , especially the cameo pants
    Bonne Annee !

  4. Bonnie
    January 15, 2019 / 6:46 am

    these were great – but did you notice how your hair style changes through each season. I like thelenght you have ow

    • Bonnie
      January 15, 2019 / 6:48 am

      Sorry – I didn’t look up from the keyboard before I hit “post” so it should read ” I like the length you have now”

      • Susan B
        January 15, 2019 / 6:59 am

        Thanks, Bonnie. I do too. I’m just letting the ends get evened out and will probably keep this length for a while.

  5. Lyn
    January 15, 2019 / 7:02 am

    Sleek retro classic!! I love that term … and that outfit! It is also the closest to my style.
    At my age, and living in Florida, there is a fine line between “Long over Lean” and the dreaded “Golden Girls.”

  6. Susan
    January 15, 2019 / 7:08 am

    Hi, Susan. “Polished casual” is exactly my style as well. I love these outfits, though for me I’d have to pair them with a more fitted topper. You inspired me to get that white Vince Camuto blouse in your Summer look. What a perfect piece! The V-neck paired with the soft pleat in front creates such a long, lean look. BTW, I love your longer hair — it’s very flattering on you.

    • Barb
      January 15, 2019 / 8:20 am

      I just ordered the blouse in navy to wear with my dark wash jeans to create a column effect! (And to disguise my muffin top. )

      • Jill Ann
        January 15, 2019 / 4:44 pm

        I have that blouse in pale blue, and a similar one in white from White House/Black Market. It’s an excellent style for those of us with the dreaded muffin top! It flows over the midsection, but isn’t too voluminous or bulky. I might get another color ot two!

        • Jill Ann
          January 15, 2019 / 4:46 pm

          *or two

  7. Mary
    January 15, 2019 / 8:00 am

    I love look #1, but I have a question: do you find close-toe mules easy to walk in? I cannot walk properly in them, whether they are flat or heeled – i either shuffle along or use my toes to try to grip and keep them on which ends up with aching feet! What am I doing wrong?

    • Susan B
      January 15, 2019 / 8:18 am

      Hi Mary, it really depends on the mules and how they’re cut. These are easy to walk in. I find that a) a higher vamp and b) just a little bit of heel both help.

  8. Jacqueline
    January 15, 2019 / 8:05 am

    Great post as always! I have a question about the loafers you are wearing in the final photo, with the teal sweater & jeans. Great shoes! Where does one get them and do they come in black? Thanks!

  9. Rondi
    January 15, 2019 / 9:33 am

    Great post Susan! I wish I could think of a way to record and review my outfits. It’s a great idea. But since I’m not a fashion blogger I think I would feel uncomfortable. I’m not sure how to record them to review later other then taking selfies or writing outfits down. Does anyone do this or have suggestions?

    • Susan B
      January 15, 2019 / 9:43 am

      Hi Rondi, I’ve found mirror selfies to be quite helpful when I’m in a hurry or the weather won’t allow photos outdoors.

  10. Julia Lovatt
    January 15, 2019 / 9:45 am

    Susan, I love your blog but I am always surprised by how a woman who lives in Los Angeles needs scarves and boots. They look nice but wouldn’t you be too hot in California dressed like that? I live in Canada and we definitely need scarves and boots, for warmth as well as fashion.
    Anyway, I appreciate the fact that you include clothes for cool-weather people, as you do for your trips to Paris.

    • Susan B
      January 15, 2019 / 9:48 am

      Hi Julia, people often assume Los Angeles is warm year-round, but that’s not the case. Today our high temperature is 57F / 14C. That’s actually warmer than it’s been the last couple of days. And living near the coast as we do, it’s often chilly in the mornings and evenings, even well into the summer.

      • Angela in NZ
        January 15, 2019 / 4:32 pm

        Perfectly suits me in the northern part of New Zealand. I just have to check back in the archives for our Southern Hemisphere seasons. 😉

  11. January 15, 2019 / 9:48 am

    I’m with you! I call it “elevated casual,” but they’re always classic clothes. Accessories are where I add trends and color. Your choices in this list were wonderful. Brenda

  12. Jane Burkhart
    January 15, 2019 / 11:38 am

    Thank you for all the lovely posts. Definitely one of my happy places.
    Jane

  13. Lee Rosenthall
    January 15, 2019 / 12:16 pm

    Love all your selections, Susan, but your Sept. 4 “haori post” deserves an honorable mention. It may have been slightly out of your comfort zone, but you looked really beautiful, and everyone should have a surprise (or two) up her sleeve! I ventured completely out of my comfort zone as a result of that post and bought one myself I plan to wear with basic black separates to a February wedding in Sarasota.

    • Susan B
      January 15, 2019 / 12:18 pm

      Thanks Lee! I’ll be featuring that in another “favorites” post later this week. 😉

  14. Daniella
    January 15, 2019 / 12:43 pm

    Nice transition from black to some color. Your new hair style gives you a softer look but I find your short style a great deal more youthful and with more “Pizzaz”. Just an observation.

  15. Belinda Manley
    January 15, 2019 / 2:15 pm

    Love the ones with more color near your face. Sorry but camo pants, no way ,no how!
    And I’m one who loved your pixie cut!
    Mostly I love how effortless these looks are, not contrived.

  16. Diana
    January 15, 2019 / 5:45 pm

    So glad you included the green sweater with H scarf outfit. That was one of my favorites on you this year!

  17. karen
    January 16, 2019 / 3:29 am

    i like them all, but my fav was/is the camo pants–love that it was really true to your preferred silhouette but still a slight fashion stretch.

  18. Cinzia
    January 16, 2019 / 11:12 am

    Your blog has really helped me elevate my own style and see things with a new eye. Like you, I had thought of camo as a “never” but after seeing the post with your pants, I purchased some cute Cole-Haan camo-print street sneakers (gray and black) that I was on the fence about. I’ve loved them — they were great in London in October — and I have gotten a lot of compliments on them.

    I also credit you with re-focusing my buying habits. I love Italian knits, so sweaters are my go-to obsession. But I was having trouble finding quality basics (pants, shells, tanks and tees nice enough to serve as the first layer for my cardigan-based outfits). Enter Eileen Fisher. Her pants are my go-to thanks to you: washable crepe in warm weather, ponte in cooler weather. Hallelujah. It IS worth it to have fewer pieces but ones that you actually like and wear.

    • Susan B
      January 16, 2019 / 5:20 pm

      Hi Cinzia, thanks! I’m glad you’ve found the blog helpful.

  19. Ali Fraser
    January 17, 2019 / 4:06 pm

    Hi Susan
    My favourite look from this post is your winter one. I must say that I think you are looking super fabulous. As well as your clothes, your hair and make-up and glasses really suit you too.
    I love reading your posts, even if your seasons are the reverse for Australia.

  20. Ann in Missouri
    January 18, 2019 / 3:56 pm

    Susan, you really are so talented at putting together ensembles that honor your chosen style. I know it’s a lot more than “just talent” though — you’ve given so much study and attention to detail to this arena of life that is important to your readers. You’re just such a pro! And you’re a role model for us all in sticking to what works.

    By the way, you are also such a pro at blogging. Your posts show up on your predicted publication schedule, copy edited to perfection, with clothing examples that align to your themes and links that work. I admire all of that so much. You’ve built such a strong reputation with me and hundreds (thousands?) of your other readers.

    Thank you!

    • Susan B
      January 18, 2019 / 4:43 pm

      Thanks so much, Ann!

  21. January 19, 2019 / 8:32 am

    You are still the queen of low(er) heeled shoes and boots to me. That is how I found your blog. When you were featured on Sally’s blog. Great collection and you wear them well.
    Greetje

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