Wearing What Makes Me Happy

Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age wears an ivory sweater coat, a blue dotted scarf, dark wash jeans and metallic mules.

I’ve been going through a bit of a “style funk” lately. Not with my own wardrobe so much, but with what I’m seeing currently in shops and online, and with getting inspired to come up with new and fresh looks. (As a style blogger, that’s probably not something I should admit to, but there we are.)

Earrings | Scarf (similar) | Sweater-Blazer |
Top (similar) | Jeans | Bag (similar) | Shoes

Plus options: Sweater-Blazer | Top | Jeans

Part of it, I think, is the weather; it’s remained mostly cool and cloudy (some rain, even). I’m still in jeans and sweaters most days. And I just can’t get excited about breezy styles in lightweight fabrics.

Honoring Personal Style

And part of it is recognizing and acknowledging that my own style preferences aren’t in sync with most current trends.

I like: Simple. Clean and uncluttered. Softly structured pieces, and neutrals. I like using accessories to add interest. I’m not comfortable in anything too stiff or structured, or oversized, or with too much detail or print.

And I always feel such pressure to move away from that, to try to make my outfits more “interesting.” But then I look at the outfit above (which I wore out to dinner with le Monsieur a few days ago) and remember how good I felt wearing it. I felt in sync with myself. And I’m reminded that when it comes to personal style, that’s what matters most.

One of the perks of age is having learned to say “no.” No to styles that don’t suit us, and no to feeling that we have to dress to please anyone else.

How do you stay in sync with your personal style preferences?

5 Style Lessons From A Closet Clear-Out

Stay in touch.

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65 Comments

  1. Laura
    May 14, 2019 / 4:17 am

    Love that outfit…it looks great on you! And I know exactly what you mean. I have just come to the conclusion, albeit somewhat late, that I’m not a prints person. Give me solid colors, or maybe stripes or even tiny dots, but no checks, flowers, abstracts, etc. for my tops, skirts and pants. I will use patterns in my scarves though. That’s as adventurous as I get!

    • Kelly
      May 15, 2019 / 5:22 am

      I was always a solids and stripes person too, but when all the pretty silky, floral tops came out, I thought I’d give it a try. It’s really no different than a patterned scarf if you think about it. The key was to buy a smaller floral print and in a style that I’m comfortable in. For me that happens to be a somewhat fitted crew or jewel neck tee style. The pattern and elevated texture really dressed up the shirt to look nice with jeans to go out or, for dressier occasions, with ankle pants. Another trick is wearing what I call a “comfort piece” with it (for me that’s a white or blue denim jacket, but it could be a cardigan, duster, or blazer for someone else). You’re trying something new but in a way that still feels like you.

  2. Nancy
    May 14, 2019 / 4:30 am

    Great post and share your feelings about being disappointed with many store offerings at present. I think part of it is my weight. I cannot wear all the things I would like to wear ,but that said, those are things like pencil skirts and sheath dresses…just don’t want to buy them in size I need because I don’t see them as flattering on me at my present size. When I look at “new offerings” in stores…don’t want to spend money on short boxy tops, very trendy styles that will quickly go out of style. Keep trying to find “my store”…a place that I can always count on to have things I want to purchase. Would love to hear about any hidden gem stores for women over 50 that are reasonably priced with an on line presence…or at least a store in the midwest I could try and visit.

    • May 14, 2019 / 5:40 am

      Oh, I hear you about the weight issue! My wardrobe choices center around whether I can wear something and does it hide my belly! I don’t wear a lot of items in my closet since I have put on weight this last year and a lot of my older clothes look terrible on me now. I am always searching for something new that will make me feel I look better. Since I live in a very hot climate (Florida) I am very selective about clothing. Some clothing stores do have nice clothing for our age group, I especially like Macys. There are other stores that have an online presence but there sizing is all over the place, so I am frustrated with them! I am speaking of Chicos.

  3. Sheilah McAdams
    May 14, 2019 / 4:32 am

    Susan, I think that most of your readers, including me, enjoy your blog and value your advice precisely because we like your personal style and because we also do not feel in synch with current trends. A lot of the trends recently are not very kind to anyone, much less women of a certain age, and because of that, shopping has become quite frustrating. We want the best quality clothing that we can afford, that is versatile, appropriate for the different occasions we actually experience in our real lives, and that boosts our confidence because we feel we are looking our best. We want our clothing to be flattering and to be a backdrop that features the woman, rather than a showcase for the cleverness or edginess or avant garde-ness of the designer with the woman wearing it being just an after thought. It must be difficult coming up with different looks several times a week. Perhaps you could intersperse that with posts on wardrobe ideas for different occasions that your readers may be encountering- weddings, class reunions, funerals, etc. Anyway, chin up and ignore the pressure-we like you the way you are.

    • Téa
      May 14, 2019 / 5:20 am

      Beautifully said, Sheilah! I’m here for the inspiration from Susan! I mostly shop my closet to come up with a decent duplicate of whatever she’s wearing. I feel chic and put together when I do!

      • Nicole Kowalski
        May 14, 2019 / 4:29 pm

        I’m with you Tea and Sheilah! I come for the inspiration. I do end up buying a few things here or there, but after following Susan for about 3 years now, my wardrobe is in better shape and more versatile. So, I end up being disappointed at many things I try and add to be “on trend.” Thanks Susan!

  4. Ali
    May 14, 2019 / 4:39 am

    Cute blue scarf!

  5. Kixmiller Deborah
    May 14, 2019 / 4:39 am

    I completely agree! You were the first blogger I followed because we’re close in age, size, and I loved the simplicity of your looks. I’m not comfortable in prints or wide legged pants or high heels and have been disappointed with my go-to, Eileen Fischer, for a couple of years. When I find something that “works”, I usually purchase every neutral color offered. I may not be a style icon but will stick with my favorite look

  6. LeeAnn
    May 14, 2019 / 4:44 am

    I have coveted the scarf you’re wearing since the first time I saw it. Alas.

  7. Jeanne
    May 14, 2019 / 4:52 am

    I can totally relate. I am an event planner and plan a yearly meeting for 450 lawyers. My style is much like yours. I try to update my wardrobe for this event and others and find that I wear the same clothes on repeat for many years. A cool solid color dress I got at Anthropologie and always get compliments on, an interesting pencil skirt from AT, Cameron pants and a good blazer from the NAS, and the proverbial cardigans that are my signature look. And loafers from Sarto, another signature for me. It feels like a huge rut but nothing out there suits me much better for being in the spotlight for five days. I am a bit frustrated that about once every two years I get something I love from Ann Taylor or other stores, but generally a lot that is out there is cheap and fleeting. Even j crew is getting too bedazzled and fussy. So I stay in my lane, knowing myself. And sometimes a thrift piece is an inspiration.

  8. Ainsivalavie
    May 14, 2019 / 4:53 am

    I was thinking about this idea….you mentioned that “we feel ‘smart casual’ is as dressed up as we need to be” in reference to travel. I assume your use of ‘we’ includes your husband. Would you consider a post on ‘dress casual’ for the men in our lives? I had this discussion over the weekend with a few men in my life and the term dress casual had several meanings from ‘jeans with a dress shirt and blazer’ for a retired teacher to ‘casual dress pants with a ‘designer polo shirt with a cashmere cardigan’ for a businessman! Wouldn’t expect your husband to model of course maybe some ideas pulled together like you create for your readers.

  9. Adele
    May 14, 2019 / 5:00 am

    Your post came at just the right time — I was beginning to think it was just me. And the quality of clothes, even the “good” brands, just seems to have declined and declined. Even searching for the perfect replacement basic V-neck tee shirts has become an exercise in futility. I know I’m particular (picky?) but wanting shoulder seams that lie flat and don’t pucker doesn’t seem to be an unrealistic expectation.

    • E.D.
      May 14, 2019 / 5:34 am

      Check out Everlane. I’ve been very happy with quality so far.

    • Lynda Filkins
      May 14, 2019 / 9:46 am

      As I age, I know myself better and I’m not a slave to whatever trend comes along. I hate flowers , ruffles, big non-geometric prints. I still rock stripes, though… my mom used to call her style “tailored” and I guess I am too. But pleasure comes in the great shoe or the perfect scarf, or the top from Stitch Fix that I never would have chosen but looks great. Trends are for the trendy. I got a small neon pink purse this spring as my homage to spring trends and that’s all I need. You just have to love YOUR style and go for it!!

  10. Julia
    May 14, 2019 / 5:02 am

    I have just returned from a European vacation (northern France, Belgium, Holland). Expecting the weather to be cool and possibly rainy, I packed accordingly. April is usually not hot! But in fact we had two weeks of warm sunny weather and I regretted not having packed sandals, shorts or capris! They would not have taken up too much extra room in my suitcase. So be warned when travelling in Europe in the spring.
    One thing I noticed this year was how well-dressed Frenchmen are. No backwards baseball caps, camouflage pants, t-shirts with slogans or huge sneakers that you see all the time in North America.
    Clearing out your closet is a twice-a -year thing here in Canada as some of your readers have already said. Love your advice Susan! Great blog!

    • May 14, 2019 / 3:23 pm

      That is true; the weather is all over the map now. I definitely pack sandals or something similar. I don’t wear shorts or capris except for heavy housework or yard work. Skirts. I have a couple of nice casual ones that don’t take up much room, and a lycra athletic short to wear underneath. Québec style isn’t motherland French style, but fortunately most of the sins you mention are rare in Montréal.

  11. Jannie
    May 14, 2019 / 5:05 am

    Agree with the other comments on finding clothing that is appropriate and well made. I too like the classic, simple look…add a great scarf for a little more pizzazz. There are a few items I have kept for many years ago and cannot believe the quality that was then and is no longer! No wonder I have trouble parting with them even if they don’t fit as well!! Do have a priceless camel hair coat that I hope will last forever…Also like the addition of ideas for men on business/dress casual! Have a great time planning for your England/France holiday!

  12. Frankie
    May 14, 2019 / 5:25 am

    Thank you for including plus size options.

  13. Cathy
    May 14, 2019 / 5:26 am

    What a great post. I love that outfit on you and am loving your hair! I recently tried to grow my hair out and in a fit of “ Help, I can’t stand this for another second,” had a co-worker cut it! I agree that with age comes freedom to please ourselves with regards to what we want to wear, how we look and mostly, being comfortable with all of it! Have a great trip!

  14. Judy
    May 14, 2019 / 5:29 am

    Great post. I check to see where items are made and that usually gives me a clue as to why it is poor quality. I just returned from Australia and NZ and could find very few items actually made there. Same in Italy.
    I love this sweater on you Susan. However I ordered it in the white and promptly returned it. I felt like I was wearing a lab coat. Must be just me because each time I have seen it on you, I thought it looked great.
    I gravitate to black, which is hard to wear in Florida.

  15. AppleEverAfter
    May 14, 2019 / 5:29 am

    A very timely post about dressing to suit ourselves! You wrote a similar one a year or so back about wearing the colours that work for you even if objectively they don’t seem to flatter, which resonated so much.

    And a request: would you consider a post about a ‘smart’ capsule travel wardrobe? I often travel to big European cities and want to be definitely smart and casual which I find tricky to pull out of a smallish case for a few days ….. micro packing most definitely not being one of my superpowers 🙁 Perhaps somethiing based on outfits you’ve already tried and tested?

    • Susan B
      May 14, 2019 / 6:00 am

      Hi AppleEverAfter, yes, I actually have something like that in the works, stay tuned…. 😉

  16. Ann in Missouri
    May 14, 2019 / 5:31 am

    Susan, good post and good timing. Lately I’m reverting more and more to ME clothes.

    This morning while doing a quick weeding tour of some flower beds, I had the thought that the little navy lightweight Uniqlo parka/vest I was wearing may be the most satisfying piece of clothing anyone has designed during the last decade.

    In fact, I’m feeling quite Bauhaus right now about my clothes choices: “Form follows function.” Or it should.

    And that’s only one reason I won’t be sporting many maxi dresses this summer.

    Ann

    • Debra
      May 14, 2019 / 7:02 am

      I brought a Uniqlo lightweight down jacket to Paris at the beginning of April and it was my favorite suitcase item EVER. Easy to pack, stylish, and wearable through a variety of temperatures. Win!

      • Lori
        May 14, 2019 / 10:27 am

        I wont travel anywhere without my Uniqlo down vest. It is the best!

  17. No Fear of Fashion
    May 14, 2019 / 5:34 am

    Ah, but showing your personal style on your blog attracts people who LIKE your style. Women who might have the same aversion to oversized clothes and busy prints. And they will be loyal as they cannot find it elsewhere. Well, not that easily.
    Nothing wrong with your style anyway.
    Greetje

  18. May 14, 2019 / 5:43 am

    I do like your wardrobe choices Susan. You always look pulled together. I especially like your choices of accessories. Your bags and shoes are to die for! You should always wear what makes you comfortable.

  19. May 14, 2019 / 6:01 am

    Your outfit here was very similar to what I wore yesterday – I also love simple, long over lean looks. My neutrals are defined as navy, black and gray (but never gray next to my face, unless I’m wearing a scarf or brightly colored jacket over it). Jewel tones are my jam, because they bring out my eyes. And as I get older, my eyes are what I have left to emphasize.

    Yesterday I wore a similar very pale beige jacket (rare for me, but I found it on sale somewhere) over a purple floral (also rare for me) tunic over purple pants. The outfit made me happy all day. And that’s what matters!

  20. Vikki
    May 14, 2019 / 6:18 am

    I personally would rather see you in ‘your’ style instead of ‘trends’ — although, seeing you in camo pants last year was fun and unexpected. I ended up getting a pair but now ask myself what was I thinking…??! I really like your style and ideas, and especially your capsule wardrobes for travel. Thanks much!

    • Ann in Missouri
      May 14, 2019 / 9:44 am

      LOL! Confession: Susan’s camo pants inspired me to buy some camo tights for yoga class. 🙂

  21. Jeanette
    May 14, 2019 / 6:20 am

    I totally understand your dilemma. The weather here in the northeast has been rainy and on the cold side. Its hard to get excited about light clothing. I love your post, keep being you. No that I’ve entered my 60’s, I find myself being more aware of the trends and how I fit in. I believe it will all work out.

  22. Eileen
    May 14, 2019 / 6:41 am

    Actually, you have said the words out loud that many of us are thinking, where are the clothes? The simple , well made , adult clothes? Which planet, or country thinks it’s ok to be an adult , and look dignified? My answer from traveling, France and Italy, are in my opinion, a better place to enjoy adult styles. So I think when you get to Europe, you will perk up. We need a on line source like Net-a-porter “ adult”. I am currently in Florence, there are many shops with adult clothing, flat leather walking shoes, quality bags, leather jackets, wool coats, cashmere sweaters, and beautiful linen pieces. Now the question could be, are Americans interested? An interesting topic to discuss? What are the differences between American and European adult clothes?

  23. Sandy J
    May 14, 2019 / 6:46 am

    Style comes from feeling comfortable in what you are wearing. Your blog posts and have given license (and hope) to those of us who experience following the trends a challenge. Personally, I have given away bags and bags of “mistakes” I’ve made in trying to dress in something that, in the end, just doesn’t feel good.

    Recently, friends and I were lamenting the fact that often once we get all the pieces together for a cohesive wardrobe, the stores change their offerings and we can’t replace pieces we have come to rely on! Back to page one.

    Though my safe place is to stay with neutrals and solids, I notice that the “trend” seems to be pointing in the direction of patterned blouses. With that in mind, I was on the lookout for something that would work for me…and I found it. NYDJ has come up with a top they call “The Perfect Blouse”, and for me at least, it is appropriately named. If you are looking for something patterned, and well designed for fit, have a look. Nordstroms seems to have the market cornered on carrying the most selection. I purchased three patterned and one solid in white.

    My style is definitely casual — most days denim jeans are my go to and form the base for my “uniform”. With this blouse, you can wear it with a nice pair of dress pants or a skirt and feel great.

    The other thing I did recently was splurge on a wonderful pair of Mephisto sandals. Let me tell you, these sandals are worth every single dime spent on them. Comfort is my number one criteria when purchasing shoes and these definitely tick that box. On top of that, they are incredibly stylish! Again, they work just as well with jeans as they do with dress pants. Hurrah!!! I love it when a plan comes together — even by accident!

  24. May 14, 2019 / 6:54 am

    Thanks for this post! I have admired your Juliette collarless sweater before and inspired by your photo today I finally ordered it in heather khaki. I’m going to spend a little time trying to definitively define my personal style as I think it will then be easier for me to honor it and stay true to myself. And prevent those fashion faux pas that never get worn…

  25. Judy
    May 14, 2019 / 6:56 am

    After reviewing many fashion blogs in the past few years, yours resonates the best with me. You have the nack of combining simplicity with just a touch of the unexpected in accessories. Love it, love the hair!

  26. Debra
    May 14, 2019 / 6:58 am

    This photo reminds me of what I think was my favorite look of yours – you went somewhere in the desert and wore a long white or cream cardigan over a first layer of black. This is definitely your look and it shows! The hair, the outfit – you look comfortable in your own skin, as they say.

    I have just realized that the bloggers I most admire are those who, like you, have found a style and stick to it. This summer I am planning on taking a serious pass through my closet and will get rid of everything that is not ‘me’. It’s crazy to stand in a jam-packed walk-in closet before work thinking “I don’t have anything to wear.”

    Thank you for this post.

  27. Lee Rosenthall
    May 14, 2019 / 7:02 am

    I love your style! And that you are so thoughtful and write so beautifully. I like patterns more than a lot of your readers, but only in small doses. I have been unsuccessful at the scarf thing – even though they were a staple of my wardrobe in my twenties – so I find I need to add color and pattern in my slacks or in a blouse under something more understated. (And every once in a while in a kimono, ruana, or dressy jacket.) And while I, too, prefer neutrals, it’s fun to add a little color now and then, and I think you demonstrate that regularly. I do like the idea of some posts about “occasion dressing.” Just the idea of seeing you adapt your signature “smart casual” look for a variety of events has me excited.

    And I hear you on the weather. I met “May gray” and “June gloom” when I moved in May from sunny Philadelphia to San Diego two decades ago. Spring in the northeast is supposed to be beautiful, with wedding season starting, but it’s been in the forties and raining here for several days. I had to break down and get out my winter parka and gloves to walk my dog last night. Ugh. How I feel for those whose children graduated from college last weekend or had a wedding to attend. Alas, I fear we’ve met the new normal – every year I wait longer and longer to put away the hats and gloves, and every year I have to pull them out “one more time.”

  28. Sue L. Petersen
    May 14, 2019 / 7:22 am

    I love your simple classic looks. It is hard to find good classic clothes that are made in material that lasts. I am trying to switch more of my clothing from black basics to navy. It is harder than it sounds as there are so many shades of navy. I do like some print tops but I don’t spend a lot of money on them. Keep sharing your information. I especially love your travel stories and clothing suggestions.

  29. Anon
    May 14, 2019 / 7:47 am

    Oh, good. I thought it was just me in this fashion funk.

    There are very few choices in my size in clothing stores, and now those brands are scrimping on quality. Armholes have become tight, and sleeves squeeze. Fabrics have gone from natural fibres to some natural fibres, to the worst of the worst unnatural fibres. Many department stores and women’s clothing chains have gone under, and the remaining ones are on the fast fashion track to demise, ever cheaper, cutting corners. I have begun to think that what is in my closet now had better last for a very long time, because I won’t be able to replace any of it.

    What are they thinking?

    • Alison M Gunn
      May 15, 2019 / 6:22 pm

      This won’t be the first time in fashion history that stores lack good products. I remember living through a great dearth of wearable clothing in the mid-80s and 90s. You just make do with the few things you do like and wait for trends to veer your way again, but really, I think the best thing to do is use this downtime to find out what your dimensions are, what really fits you, and what makes you look the best, rather than focusing on ‘fashion’. If you shop carefully, you will find the things that work for you, rather than just fashion.

  30. Janet R
    May 14, 2019 / 7:59 am

    Susan, the high number of thoughtful responses to your post says in buckets how much value, inspiration and joy your blog provides, mostly because, as others have said, you ‘keep it real’. I only discovered your blog this year and you’re really helping me define my style. In a world of over-consumption and clothing waste, I like it that you seem to buy most things that are timeless and can be worn repeatedly in different ways. Since retiring last year (at 58) I am lucky enough to be travelling full time with my partner. We sold up everything in Australia, so I need a capsule wardrobe that works wherever I am in the world (currently in Vancouver). Your simple, clean, casual to smart casual looks and recommendations have really helped me create an on-the-move wardrobe that suits my particular lifestyle. And when you have a ‘slump blog moment’, your honesty to share that with us, is actually respectful and demonstrates authenticity, and probably why so many of us admire your ‘voice’. PS You look fabulous in today’s photo.

  31. May 14, 2019 / 8:07 am

    You look great in the posted outfit. And I know your readers are here for your style – the “new season” stuff is kind of like an accessory to what you do so well.

    I do find I’m shifting my style, a bit, simply because I like baggier trousers than I used to wear and that required a different kind of top, and of course my Achilles tendon injury requires a different kind of shoe, and there you have it! But the only “trend-based” change I’ve made has been to high-waisted pants and I have always loved those so I was happy to have the option.

  32. Lyn
    May 14, 2019 / 8:16 am

    You once labelled my cardigan-based style “Retro Sleek” and I’m sticking with it! Actually, it has been my style for about 40 years. I love your blog even though your long-over-lean style is not for me. It hides my best feature, narrow hips, and I am bothered by all the extra material and weight in the long layer. Your JCrew cardigan jacket was out once I hefted it.
    Nevertheless, I admire your style choices — they work well for you. And we have much in common that keeps me following your blog, from fine straight hair to a love of France and travel. (My favorite posts are the post-travel reviews of your packing choices.)

    • May 14, 2019 / 3:41 pm

      I want stone, brick and mortar shops. I’m hard to fit (very curvy, which is not a size but a body configuration that can range from small to large). So I want shops where I can try on the garments. Eileen, I don’t think that there is a binary American vs European offer. What do you mean by American? The US, or every American country from Canada to Chile, Alaska to Argentina? And there is as much difference from style centres to smaller towns on either side of the pond. Not to mention climates.

      I also like very plain clothing, though with a boho vibe, and I love skirts.

      • Eileen
        May 14, 2019 / 10:11 pm

        By American, I mean U.S. I live in California near San Francisco. I am currently in Florence for three months, and notice different clothing offerings here, that I wish I could purchase online. I take pics on my phone every day to send to friends of street style and store windows. When I ask if the store has an online site, they say yes, but only for Europe.

    • May 14, 2019 / 4:21 pm

      I don’t have narrow hips, but they are nice and firm from cycling a lot. That is why I don’t wear the long over lean – it would be hazardous on a bicycle. Trousers definitely skinny at the bottom (though my jeans are never skinny in the sense of tight. Tops not much below hip length. Also skirts, with leggings underneath.

  33. Jane2
    May 14, 2019 / 8:36 am

    When I think of influencers, I don’t think of the frantic “gotta have something up every day” or “gotta have new and fresh every day”. I think of people I read whose style isn’t necessarily mine, but who inspire me to look at my wardrobe differently. I think of people who are wearing pieces I’ve seen before – because *I* wear pieces I’ve seen before! I think of people who offer practical advice and good links to things I see that I want to know more about. Add the travel pics and you have it all!

  34. Min
    May 14, 2019 / 8:38 am

    You define relaxed, real elegance.
    My pet peeve is garments that are long in back and short in front. I can’t wait for this trend to sort itself out. Eileen Fisher is the worst for utilising this trend.

    • Cleo
      May 14, 2019 / 9:29 am

      I agree! Enough with the “high low” trend. To me it looks like poor dressmaking! ( worn by clueless sheep)

      • Adele
        May 14, 2019 / 9:42 am

        I *love* the high-low trend….mostly because I have a lot of assets to cover in back, and also like the illusion of longer legs with a shorter front. What I don’t like, however, is the very short or cropped length tops and sweaters I’m seeing everywhere. They look phenomenal on my 20 and 30 something daughters. On their 60-something year old Mom who had 3 kids, not so much :~).

  35. Kay
    May 14, 2019 / 9:38 am

    “Too much print” is an interesting idea. I find that people who “don’t wear prints” are often the ones who wear colorful scarves with everything. Evidently a detailed print on a scarf is different from the same print in a blouse or a full skirt. I am loathe to label my personal style because I find that restricts me, but if pressed, I guess I’d say it’s more like yours, clean lines and proportioned silhouettes, but with a touch of boho. I have several printed blouses in colors I like, and I pair those with neutral bottoms, but I always have a touch of boho in the earrings or in a fun handbag. The key is balance. It is possible to be “refined” and fun at the same time.

  36. Sondra Seeger
    May 14, 2019 / 10:19 am

    Oh, thank you, Susan! Two thumbs up on your comments!

  37. May 14, 2019 / 10:26 am

    I TOTALLY agree with the last two sentences of your blog post today. There is a freedom that comes with knowing who you are and what works for you. Thank you for sharing!

  38. Roberta A.
    May 14, 2019 / 11:11 am

    I so agree with you and all of the other comments. I follow your blog faithfully for inspiration because I feel that your style pretty much matches mine. You always look very chic and put together. I’ve ordered many items that you have worn and posted, and absolutely love them. Sadly, it has taken me years (I’m now 70) to finally figure out what suits me best – not fussy, not frilly and very few prints. Even though I have a closetful of different styles of clothes, the ones that I wear regularly are those pieces that I feel both stylish AND comfortable in. Keep up the great work!

    • Rita
      May 18, 2019 / 12:55 pm

      Roberta, it has taken me years to sort out what I really am happy with, I am nearly 70. If only I knew then what I know now! All that wasted time shopping for items that have never been worn and the cost as well.
      Susan, my travels are few and far between but in my mind I travel the world thanks to you and all the seasoned travellers who comment on this super blog. Thank you everyone.

  39. May 14, 2019 / 12:46 pm

    Bravo! I personally am committed to not buying anything. My clothes are good quality and in sufficient quantity that I don’t need anything. For a long time. I can look chic without killing the planet.
    And so I mix things up. It requires some creativity and research–checking out trends on places like your blog. The pieces are there; the question is which ones to put together.

  40. Chris
    May 14, 2019 / 1:05 pm

    I just finished another Great Closet Purge with a more ruthless eye over several days. I was able to consign a few pieces but most went to Goodwill. Even the pay-on-the-spot shops are getting pickier and some of the clothes I brought in weren’t very old! So I was ready to pack for a weekend getaway to Nashville with a relatively fresh closet. Thanks to your posts, my basic daytime capsule included dark jeans, EF tops and an unstructured denim jacket. (I bought the lavender striped EF scarf you wore a couple months ago and felt like a million dollars.) EF crepe pants and a silk top took me to dinner along with a French Kande necklace. I felt great about my style because I had gone to the extra trouble to think through accessories. Maybe that’s one of the style secrets. Even with jeans, I was more dressed up than 70% of Nashville. The total look made the difference!

  41. Rose
    May 14, 2019 / 4:28 pm

    I love your style as it is bringing me back to who I really am. I had a stylish but simple corporate wardrobe and always felt comfortable. When I retired, I was clueless as to what to wear. I’ve gone from too sloppy and comfortable, seduced by too many unflattering prints until finally I’m moving to more smart casual. I feel more like me and am getting compliments

  42. RebeccaNYC
    May 14, 2019 / 5:23 pm

    I am always trying to spruce up my wardrobe..So I buy stuff I think I am supposed to like, wear them a few times, feel totally uncomfortable all day, and revert to the things that I feel comfortable wearing. I love things quite simple and basic, in neutral colors, with an occasional pop of color, and very few patterns. One thing I DID buy that has been a great addition is that J Crew Sweater-blazer that you are wearing. AND I got it on a great sale! Win, win, win.

  43. Angela in NZ
    May 14, 2019 / 6:03 pm

    I have to own up to this year buying two flower print shirts. One French and one Italian, both with larger, sparse flowers in the design. I felt refreshed with just these two as a contrast to my now normal plain or striped tops. There won’t be any wide pants for me though, wrong body proportions. Sometimes a small elevation is all that is needed to prevent sameness in a classically styled wardrobe and instead of yet another print scarf, I took a chance and for me it paid off. Always good to stay true to oneself.

  44. May 14, 2019 / 6:11 pm

    I agree with you in so many ways. As we age, most of us know what we like and what looks good on us. That also means what we are comfortable wearing. My style is similar to yours, simple, classic, but casual. I also often add a colorful necklace or scarf when wearing solids. However, I love color and I love when I find a print that “ calls my name”. I know the brands that fit me and have a tendency to buy those brands more often than others. Occasionally, I buy something “ out of my comfort zone” just for the heck of it or because it called my name when I saw it. Yes, I have items that I’ve only worn once, but I never feel guilty about it. I loved it and bought it for a reason. I think clothing should make you happy and if an item makes me happy for a few hours or a day, so be it. If an item looked good, felt good and made me happy, it did it’s job.

  45. Cleo
    May 15, 2019 / 9:02 am

    So many responses to this post! Susan, you address what so many of us femmes d’certain age face…how to look put together, fashionable, on-trend but not “trendy”, and comfortable! And by comfortable I don’t just mean that my shoes don’t hurt or my undies aren’t tugging…I mean, I don’t even think about what I’m wearing ( until other femmes compliment me…and that’s a great feeling!)
    Finding things that fit that bill often seems more luck than anything else. I can spend hours at a mall or outlets and come home with nothing. A stop at a thrift for a picture frame can yield “designer” treasures still with the labels on; Maxx /Marshall for a citrus juicer and there’s one pair of my size Arche slingbacks, when I wasn’t even thinking about shoes. (OK, I’m always thinking about shoes.)

    I know what looks and feels good on me…I sometimes think I should step out of the same
    old, but I end up reaching for the tried and true because other looks just aren’t “comfortable”. I enjoy looking at the bold, fun “advanced style” outfits, attitudes and blogs, but at a certain age, the line between quirky stylista and crazy lady becomes very fine ( sez I). Those fun pieces have to be carefully integrated.

    As others mention, I too must try on, rarely have luck buying on line, even brands and sizes I know. But, where to shop continues to be a challenge. My closet is always the best place to start, as I generally buy wisely, take care of my things and mix and match in always changing ways. There’s nothing wrong with a ” uniform”, in fact it can be very liberating to get beyond feeling one needs a new, never seen outfit every time one leaves the house. ( As I did when I was younger)
    I’m still in the workplace ( at almost 67) and love when the “kids” compliment a very basic outfit that I’ve taken to a the next level with flea market jewelry, vintage scarves, Wal-Mart tees and sometimes even my own home sewing.

    I’m all over the place here…basically, thanks for your insights and inspiration, Susan.

  46. Kathy
    May 15, 2019 / 12:59 pm

    I wish I could wear light neutrals (oatmeal’s, pale grey,, ivory, etc) but they totally wash me out. I’ll have to try one with a bright scarf and see if that provides enough color.

  47. Alison M Gunn
    May 15, 2019 / 6:01 pm

    I’m not seeing much coming out this year that looks good or would be good on me, which is a blessing in disguise, because I do not need (or really even want) more clothes! I feel overwhelmed, and mostly just come to your blog and one or two others for ideas on how to use what I already have. Some of your purchases sure have tempted me, but when I take a long enough look at these pieces, I just cannot justify buying yet one more of anything. I don’t think we *have* to buy new clothes, just have enough of what works and what you want so that you can mix things. I am drawn back to my memories of dressing my Barbies; they had lots of clothes, and not everything went together, and I probably changed their clothes two or three times a day…. good times that I’m pretty sure I am reliving with the clothes I have now in a life that does not require two or even one change of clothes per day. My Barbies were living it up, but that’s not how I live, Barbies.

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