It’s A Mod, Mod World

Susan B. wears an Ace & Jig lightweight summer top, white jeans and yellow Eileen Fisher sandals. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Recently, I’ve had several conversations with friends about the future of style and Fashion (both as an industry and driver of aesthetics) in the next few months and years.

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

Will the current upending of “normal” life permanently change our relationship with clothes and style? “It’s anybody’s guess,” is where we mostly concur. But I think that the momentum toward sustainability will continue. And that authentic, unique, individual style will become and remain more important than following rules or chasing trends.

A throw-on-and-go lightweight summer top

Susan B. wears an Ace & Jig top, Venetian glass bead necklace. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

A few weeks ago reader Wendelah mentioned ace&jig clothing in comments. They’d fallen off my radar in the last couple of years, but I went back and took a look. Though not all of their styles are my style, I was impressed with their mission to create beautiful, artisanal fabrics, manufactured with the environment in mind. And I did spot this top, which I LOVE LOVE LOVE.

It has that sort of mid-century Mod vibe that absolutely rocks my world.

Ace & Jig Dockside top details. More at une femme d'un certain age.

Not only is the gauzy cotton fabric gorgeous, but it’s lined with an equally lovely fabric! Even so, it’s very lightweight and breathable, a perfect throw-on-and-go top for warm weather. It’s beautifully made, the kind of unique and timeless piece I’d hope to keep and wear for years. I’m wearing size Small.

Susan B. wears Eileen Fisher "Luck" sandals in yellow. Info at une femme d'un certain age.

These sandals are fun and very comfortable to walk in. They run TTS, and are probably best for a narrow to medium foot.

Shop similar styles…

Have your style priorities changed in recent months? Do you think the changes will “stick” once we’re past the pandemic?

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  1. What a beautiful outfit. The top colour looks good on you. But, I’m wondering if it’s possible to show clothes that someone with lesser means could afford. This outfit totaled $1,389.80 which I do not have for a jeans outfit. I realize that most of that was the earrings ($600) but even at $789.80 that’s an expensive outfit for some of us. I also realize I don’t have to buy ever piece you are wearing! But to get the complete look that’s what it would cost (without tax and shipping). I’m not inclined to spend over $200 for jeans. Can you show more reasonably priced outfits, especially during COVID? I love seeing what you wear but I rarely am willing to pay this much for a summery do. Maybe this blog isn’t for me and if not, do you know of someone that has good taste but in a lesser price range. Or, when you have the expensive items can you suggest something that doesn’t cost as much. Aside from that, I have to say, I have bought some items from viewing your site and am happy that you showed them because I would otherwise not known about them.

    1. I totally agree but if you shop about I’m sure you can get the look for a fraction of the cost

    2. I ordered a linen jacket that Susan shared a few weeks ago from Chico’s for only $46! I love the way the jacket looks and feels, great buy!

    3. Hi Cecile, I’ve been making an effort lately to focus on more budget-friendly pieces. Here are a few recent examples: Affordable tees, Wardrobe Gold, Summer Prints.

      In this particular outfit, I’ve had the bag for a few years and have shown it many times in outfit posts. The earrings were purchased during a promotion at 65% off. The jeans are from a prior season. I purchased them during a markdown, and will probably have them in my wardrobe for years. But I’ve also shown another pair of white jeans here that are much less.

      That said, sometimes the quality and uniqueness of an item can’t be replicated at a lower price point. Just as not everyone will want to wear the same colors or styles that I do, I hope my outfit posts my provide ideas that you can apply to your own wardrobe and budget.

    4. Susan often shows items at lower price points, which I notice because I read this blog regularly (all right, daily!). I appreciate the range because I personally shop at a diversity of price ranges. Might spend $200+ on jeans or $20 on a tee shirt. And I just loved the Chico’s utility pants that have been featured a lot and often as low as $69 on sale.

      1. Bought 2 pairs of the Chico utility pants for closer to $40 a pair or less. I agree we all have budget constraints yet love Susan’s ideas and suggestions. With our very hot weather have not worn anything more than shorts and tees…today in Pittsburgh 95 with heat index of 100 + humidity!!! Still so closed up due to COVID-19. Stay safe, wear masks and enjoy each day!!

    5. I totally agree; well said..oftentimes, I will do a quick calculation and think “nope, not for me.” I’m glad you mentioned this as I am of the same opinion. The clothing and accessories are gorgeous…but pricey. It’s nice to actually see clothing and accessories that are more in my price range but that doesn’t happen often. Please, Susan, try to find more affordable clothing/accessories for those of us who have a strict budget.

    6. Hi Cecile, I don’t spend that kind of money on clothes either, for the most part. I understand that my budget, and creativity are my own. I use Susan’s site as inspiration. Colors, shapes, fabrics, and combinations of accessories.
      I get my white jeans from Gap. That brand fits me to a tee. No gappy waist!
      I have a great gauze top from Madewell. Similar vibe to the Ace and Jig top. Quite reasonable in price!
      When I popped into the Ace and Jig website, the very first thing that caught my eye were the beautiful plus size models. They carry up to a 4x! That’s a positive, and lovely thing. I spent some time on other sites yesterday where an XL was a size 10-12.
      I’m of average size myself, but raised a beautiful plus size daughter, and that is my hot button! I’m always pleased to see Susan include women of every size.

    7. Please don’t give up the blog, there is some great content! I can’t afford the outfits on here either, for example, the bag is 148 but I was patient & looked around. I found one so similar you can hardly tell the difference in the two bags. However, I spent 35 on it; a very reasonable price. I do that with lots of the clothing I see here & other places. Always look for a sale, look around at different stores to find the a similar item & look for sales. I hope this helps!

    8. Hi Cecile,
      I know it can be frustrating to see beautiful clothing that is artfully styled that you can’t afford. But every item Susan shows has something similar you can find, on your own, at a much lower price point and fairly quickly. I mean, white jeans? Those are everywhere from Target to Neiman Marcus. That bag? It’s been knocked off at a million places at lower price points. I just found one at Shein for $23.00. Those earrings? Again, similar citrine available for under $120 at Ross Simons or cute raw citrine at Etsy for under $30. And the same with yellow sandals. Some really cute Naturalizers for $70.

      The top may be difficult as I agree with Susan that some things just can’t be found at lower price points. That level of detail, the lining, the buttons at the shoulder, made in America? Nope. But a search for “yellow pattern blouse” brought up all kinds of alternatives.

      I guess I just don’t look at blogs as being by personal shopper. But, as inspiration for me to use items in my wardrobe or find similar looks that fit my budget/body/style. Susan’s new colors aren’t mine, but the silhouettes are still useful and I appreciate the work.

      Good luck!

    9. With all due respect, it should be up to you to take inspiration from the outfits and do research to find what works for you. Imagine how you would feel if you had a blog with clothes you chose in your budget, and people were constantly harping about how cheap they were and asking you to find something more expensive. Same difference.

      Susan’s intent isn’t to have us slavishly copy her, but to inspire us and expose us to new things.

  2. Susan, I love this look. What a beautiful top. It is great to see such variety in your wardrobe. It is helping me to branch out also!

  3. You look stunning in that outfit! Those colors and artistic designs are definitely for you, Susan. I look best in soft cool colors, so it’s fun to get style ideas from your excellent taste and then explore what’s available in my color palette.
    Regarding the comment about the prices of this particular ensemble, I enjoy looking at beautiful and artistic fashion at all price points, even if I am not purchasing anything. And I have found many great bargains, thanks to your blog, at several of the stores that you have featured in past posts. Your love for color and your ability to coordinate an appealing look is always a delight to see. Thank you for all that I learn and enjoy from your blog!

  4. The Ace & Jig shirt looks so nice on you and I loved all the patterns on their website for that shirt. On your question of style priorities changing, I would guess that as things get back to normal, people will revert to their old ways of dressing and buying (for good or bad). I’ve already noticed that I’m no longer seeing only athleisure styles when walking in my neighborhood. I’m back to putting on jewelry and something nicer than jeans and a tee since I’m making errand runs or eating outside at our favorite local restaurants. And I have to say it feels good to dress more like my pre-Covid self.

  5. Love this top and love the sandals. Too bad you are a petite (it will look very different on me) and the stuff is sold in the USA.
    I agree that Ace & Jig does fabulous shirts. Although I know you veer away from black, I think their black with camel top is spectacular, very chic.
    You did well my friend.

  6. You look fantastic in this outfit! Every time I open your email now, I am still shocked by you wearing color! I guess I am still used to your black/navy color scheme! lol The top is gorgeous. I looked up their website but wow they are expensive! Also, for me I might splurge on a purchase, but these tops are awfully short I think.

  7. I also should add that a lot of your clothes are out of my price range! But now all the good websites for women our age are having sales! I for one, love Macys. I got a very cute linen jacket with frayed edges for $14! yes, just $14! So, just look around and pick up a few items now! Also, I should add sometimes I think, why am I buying clothes now??? It is beyond sad now, during COVID, when the only time I get to dress up is when I go to the grocery!!!

    1. I certainly had a similar feeling earlier this year. I thought I shouldn’t be shopping when so many were out of work and struggling to make ends meet.

  8. You look beautiful in this! I have to admit that I wasn’t loving your style change at first. Definitely growing on me and making me rethink my own comfort zone. I have really enjoyed your site over the last few years and thank you for helping me improve my wardrobe and feel better about my style.

  9. Beautiful top!
    I love your inspiration, but have completely different colors os I always try to see “the look” and interpret it for ME!
    I haven’t sewed for years but this top is so interesting that it inspires me to think how it might be sewn.

  10. I love the top and such a shame it’s not reversible as the inside is as lovely as the outside. I’ve followed your change in colour choices with a great deal of interest, it’s taken me a while to get used to the new shades you’re now wearing but over the past couple of weeks it’s finally “clicked” when I read your posts (if that makes sense?) I love this shade on you. It’s made me wonder whether I should try something similar and whether I could be weaned away from my beloved navy!

  11. Wow! Of all the outfits I’ve seen on your blog, this is my favorite. All the pieces go together so well, including your glasses. You are really getting the hang of wearing your new colors.

  12. I love the outfit and colors on you! The most expensive top I ever bought was a Nic and Zoe at Nordstrom. I always feel good in it and expect to have it for years. I also enjoy reading some of the comments from your readers. Sometimes I cringe because they may be a little too honest but you always answer them respectfully.

  13. The yellow lightweight shirt looks amazing on you! It looks like a cotton gauze, which breathes. Thanks to your recommendation, I had a virtual color analysis with Red Leopard during quarantine. I defaulted to black thinking it was “chic”, but realized how draining dark colors can be on me. Now I am refreshing my wardrobe with autumn hues. You are an inspiration!

  14. Ok! You look beyond fabulous! Color is stunning on you! I love EF flatworm sandals! I have many pairs and Nordy Rack will carry them too sometimes.

      1. Oh, Marla! Your “flatworm sandals” made me do a startled double-take & I thought, FLATWORMS???? Then I read your correction & laughed for about 5 minutes straight. Thank you! Best crazy autocorrect I’ve seen this week (& I’ve seen some doozies!). You made my entire day.

  15. That shirt looks lovely on you, and is a delight visually! Not my style or color, but I would smile if I saw you on the street! 🙂

  16. Please tell us where you bought the necklace or where we can find similar, funcky bead styles. I rarely buy necklaces but it’s a fun way to bright up and expensive or inexpensive outfit….

    1. I bought this necklace on our first trip to Venice in 2011. I’ve been trying to find something similar to show, but so far haven’t found one that’s close. You might try searching for “Murano glass beads” or “Venetian glass beads” on Etsy or ebay…sometimes you’ll find a one-of-a-kind piece that’s similar.

    2. I’ve found some great selections of fun, reasonably priced jewelry in museum gift shops. Although many/most museums are closed right now, their online shopping is still available and it’s a great way to support them.

    3. Marlie, go to ebay & search for “funky necklaces” or “bead necklaces” or “artisan necklaces” or any of a dozen other search parameters (you have to be a little creative) & you’ll be stunned at the stuff you can find for reasonable prices (just watch you don’t get hosed on shipping!). A lot of it is pure junk but I’ve found some astonishingly good buys with a bit of patience & common sense (the Chinese sellers play fast & loose with their descriptions — you’re unlikely to find real jade for $2.75!) Also, if you’re handy, shop for loose beads & make your own. Etsy is also a great source for beautiful custom-made jewelry, although I’ve found a lot of junk infiltrating there too lately so be cautious. And as others have mentioned, thrift & consignment stores are a fabulous resource. I have boxes of jewelry I’ve bought for next to nothing, some of it high quality, expensive stuff.

  17. What about an article or series of articles on recycling clothes, especially as working from home is becoming more & more the norm? Thoughts on “closet shopping” & principles for finding a new, more appropriate aesthetic.
    Our current situation has further brought into question our conspicuous consumption society & what the genuine need & priorities are &/or should/could/might be.
    ‘Just some reorientation possibilities…

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I actually have done a couple of posts on this, and I often re-wear pieces in my outfit posts. I’ll continue to do so in the future, and will start referring back to prior outfits that feature the same pieces.

  18. To be honest, I’m as poverty stricken as one can be but I follow you because you are the most inspiring fashion blogger I know. I always take something away from your post. Mama use to tell me. ‘”Dear, just take what you need and leave the rest” so that saying applies to most things for me. I love your beautiful blog. I will look for a similar top in gauze. It’s such a great fabric for summer.

    1. Eve, what was your uniform? An aunt of mine was a nurse in the Canadian Army (and hence an officer) for many years. My mother was a war worker in Ottawa, but civilian, not military. She did play a significant role tracking down corrupt suppliers and other contractors (there were a lot of inflated rents charged to military on the shores). Also things that simply “disappeared” such as a regiment laundry unit somewhere on a short stretch of country road in France. Of course her work was grossly underpaid and she was sacked after VE day.

      Susan, yes, that was beatifully made and suits you very well. (Wouldn’t suit me at all). I agree about the sales as there is a huge glut of clothing. While I’m avoiding shopping as I have very little earned income right now (I do have the 65 and over pension but it is very bare-bones), I did buy two sleeveless tops; one in grey linen (a marvel in the heat) and another in supima cotton in a lovely sage green (less yellow than olive green, which makes me look sick). Both were $10, marked-down about 50/70%, at Simons, a Canadian chain which started in beautiful Québec (City).

      I mostly feel sorry for the Bangladeshi and other global South seamstresses who aren’t being paid for the clothing they’ve sewn, not only for “fast fashion” but also higher-end firms.

      1. Lagatta, I was a Navy Wave during the Vietnam conflict. Your family story would make a great book. Have you though of writing one? So many great stories like your families get lost. I would love to read about it.

  19. Susan, you just look cute as a button in this outfit! You’ve really nailed your best colors and style! I appreciate that you’ve worn that stunning necklace several times. It’s nice to see how you work it in to many outfits.
    One thing I was thinking was that a person could come close to recreating the necklace by taking the photo to a bead shop and I bet they could help you find beads with a similar look. Just three large beads on a cord would not be very expensive at all. Another thing I’ve done is to buy a really cheap necklace at a thrift shop, take it apart and restring the parts I want. It was really easy! Another time I found a necklace at a brand outlet on sale for less than $10, but there were no matching earrings. So a bought a 2nd necklace, took it apart to make earrings and had enough beads left to also make a bracelet.

    1. Susan b
      What a great idea to buy two necklaces and make other jewellery out of it. Filing that one away for future use. Thanks.

  20. Susan,
    This is a gorgeous look for you, and I too am rethinking my style choices during this time. For my Zoom consulting work, I am choosing leggings and a cute, comfy, unique shirt. I took a look at Ace & Jig, and wow! They show their clothes on beautiful models – real women – that reflect all aspects of our different shapes, sizes, colors, ethnicities. This is so refreshing.

    As far as price goes – I am with you, Susan. Splurge and save. Wait for things to go on sale. Shop my closet. Use accessories to change up my look (scarves are very inexpensive secondhand!).

    You are an inspiration and I love reading your blog with my morning cup of coffee 🙂

    1. That’s where I’m at too. I’m doing purely telehealth now, and what I’ve found myself buying is fancier but still comfortable and colorful blouses and tunics, like Johnny Was – things that are busy enough I can skip the big earrings I favor, because I feel confidentiality is honored better when I wear a headset or earbuds. I’m wearing more big necklaces for that reason too. And I do actually wear real pants, but I confess, they’re more like jeans or loose linen pants nowadays – way too casual for my taste for actual office wear. I’m still wearing some skirts, but I see the lure of the comfy pants.

  21. That top — the whole outfit — is just stunning! I notice you’re wearing a lot of gold & mustards & had forgotten how much I love these colours & how good they look on me — or used to when I was still colouring my (naturally blonde) hair as it greyed. I’ve let the grey grow out & absolutely love it & am playing with my “old” colours to see what still works & what isn’t as flattering as it used to be. What I’m also finding is how you have reignited my love of fabric & sewing. I’d stopped sewing my own clothes when I was working full time, but I miss the creative outlet it gave me. I used to buy really good fabrics & finish the insides of the garments with as much attention to detail as the Art & Jig folk do & I’m finding myself drawn back to that in a big way. In fact, we’re spending this weekend rearranging the spare room so I can set up my sewing machine & the ironing board . . . . Who knows what you’ve wrought! 🙂

  22. You always looked good before your color analysis, but now you look younger and your skin glows. It’s amazing what the right colors will do for you.

  23. I’m thinking now that whenever you open your wardrobe door it feels like the sunniest of days in a tropical location shining back at you.
    Absolutely stunning!

  24. I love the way this yellow top looks on you. I can’t do yellow close to my face, but I have a bag, and those sandals are calling my name. A yellow pair of pants seems like a good idea too . I too don’t have the budget for many items you show, but like others I use them as an inspiration to find affordable to me similar items. Also like others you are inspiring me to get back to sewing, hmm maybe those yellow pants I’m thinking of
    Also I have to say, I really enjoy this positive, helpful community. The comments are as useful as the posts.

  25. I will quite happily pay a hefty price for an item that is Classic and will be in my closet for years (I just save up to buy). This is a very ecco friendly way to buy clothes when you figure the cost amortized over years. The trendy stuff is where I will find a cheap version…..but I don’t buy much since cheap throw-away clothes are not ecco friendly. Please don’t change what you post…..every adult woman can choose for herself whether she is going to go for the pricey version of find the cheaper copy

    1. I know some of the clothing Susan (so beautifully) chooses and puts together is expensive. And I think that it choosing clothing produced in a sustainable and ethical fashion is always going to be more expensive.

      Nevertheless, it is the eco-friendly and sustainable way to buy – always thinking “fewer/better” and “cost per wear”.

      I don’t want to sound preachy (because I often get sucked into buying things I know aren’t sustainably or responsibly produced), I think we also have to think about what “cheap clothing’ actually costs – in terms of its impact on the environment, and even more critically, about its impact on the women/children (mostly) who work in horrible conditions without making a living wage to produce the cheap t-shirt, sweater, top, etc.

      There is just no way to pay people a living wage and treat them decently and still bring goods to market at the cheap prices we see in so many stores. The real cost is hidden to us – and it’s a huge human cost and really is modern-day slavery.

  26. Love this top, and thank you to whomever mentioned that Ace & Jig is now going up to a 4X. I’m more of a 0X or 1x up top, but sizing can be wonky, and that’s a company I’ll definitely keep in mind.

  27. The colours look lovely on you. I definitely believe in saving up to buy the best quality clothes I can afford and taking good care of them. I have a Max Mara coat and a couple of Emporio Armani jackets that I bought in the mid-90s. I still wear them so the cost per wear is now negligible. I try to buy investment pieces in the sales and fill in with more budget-friendly tops and tee shirts.

  28. I think the CVOID-19 shutdown has given me a preview of what my retirement wardrobe should be.
    I don’t plan to retire for 3-4 more years, but working from home has me wearing pants and tops way more than dresses/skirts, particularly in cooler months. Once the weather heated up I’m loving dresses, again.

    I’ve also found that I’m running outside constantly and all footwear needs to be walkable. My work shoes have been totally unworn for the past 4 months.

    When we return to going to work, which I hope is before I retire, I will be updating my wardrobe with my work at home style in mind. Fewer dressy items, more pants/sweaters/easy dresses.

  29. YOU LOOK AMAZING! That color is glorious on you. I’m thrilled you took another look at Ace&Jig. Their fabrics are beautiful and suit the climate in Southern California perfectly. I’ve been all about their dresses but now I’m thinking I should branch out and save up for a blouse next time.

    The comments complaining about cost? It never occurred to me to attempt to duplicate a look by buying every item, even if I could afford it. Fashion is for fun. Blogs are for inspiration.

    My favorite jeans are from Marina Rinaldi, purchased on sale ten years ago. Yes, they were expensive but the cost per wear comes down to pennies. I buy the best quality I can afford. Less is more.

  30. Stunning top. The transformation since you’ve had your colors “done” is incredible. You look vibrant, healthy, and confident. I read often but have not commented before.

  31. I am so in love with this top — well, actually the entire outfit. I noticed you wore white jeans…do you think the fabric color would work with ivory jeans? I noticed the models on A&J’s website seemed to be more “fall/winter” so it was great to see the color on you…