Pushing Back Against That “Groundhog Day” Feeling

Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age wears a gold linen sweater and scarf.

Getting up, getting dressed, and putting on a little makeup and fragrance has been helping me to feel put-together, present, and grounded. And mixing it up a bit helps to ward off that every-day-feels-the-same funk. It doesn’t have to be complicated or fussy. And yes, comfort is still paramount.

Earrings | Scarf | Sweater | Pants | Shoes

This yellow/gold linen sweater was just the thing last week when the weather was cool and dreary. It felt reassuring to wear something simple and cheerful, and the color-adjacent scarf not only kept my neck warm, but felt like a flag planted in defiance of Entropy.

If yellow isn’t your thing, this linen sweater is also available in a soft powder pink Misses / Petites / Plus . And the scarf is available in several color options too.

I liked these pants so much in the camel color, I decided to take a chance on the same style in “New Opal” . And it works! It’s a neutral light beige that seems to go with everything. The loafers are as comfortable as slippers, so I’ve decided to keep them for “house shoes.”

If the idea of the trying to come up with an “outfit” feels like too much work right now, here’s a “no-brainer” formula I’ve been using for those minimum-effort days:

Color + earrings (or a necklace) + lipstick (and/or fragrance) = Present & Accounted For

You can incorporate color with something as relaxed as a sweatshirt or tee. (Since my color consultation with Red Leopard, I’m finding it easier than ever to add color harmoniously. They’re now doing online consultations, just email them at sales@redleopard.co.uk ) Earrings can be your go-to studs or simple hoops.

What keeps you feeling “Present & Accounted For?”

Stay in touch.

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41 Comments

  1. Rose
    May 4, 2020 / 2:32 am

    Wow Susan—you’ve been having great luck finding pieces in your seasonal colors. I’m a cool winter and haven’t found anything new this spring that is in my color and have impressed me enough to purchase. So many times I’ll see something and say “That’s a Susan color”. Just wondering if your shoes are Birdies. I tried the link but it’s going to The earrings. I have a pair of Birdies in black and have enjoyed them.

  2. RoseAG
    May 4, 2020 / 4:25 am

    I’m lucky to have a job that has switched from on/off telework to maximum telework, so my days and weeks have a solid cash-generating structure 🙂
    Recently I’ve decided that weekends are for the best coffee, weekdays for the better coffee. So that’s a treat to look forward to.
    We finished watching “Picard” – I enjoyed the article to included about costumes for the show. All those Romulan eyebrows! I’m experimenting with giving mine a little more uptick than usual. I was on a video call and someone was talking about how tiring their daughter found it was to teach on-line. She felt she had to be more animated to catch her students attention. I was thinking that good eyebrows make projecting expression easier.

  3. Susan
    May 4, 2020 / 4:33 am

    If I click on the shoes it takes me to the earrings. Could you correct that please? Love the he outfit!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      May 4, 2020 / 6:24 am

      Sorry about that! I’ll fix it in the post, in the meantime here’s the link: https://bit.ly/33OsNOE

  4. Julia
    May 4, 2020 / 4:35 am

    Susan you look fabulous in that outfit!

  5. May 4, 2020 / 4:46 am

    I am still surprised to see you in so much color! I am not used to it yet. But having said that, I think you look really fantastic! Your colors are very pretty. I like how your glasses in this pic almost match the color of the sweater!

  6. Meg
    May 4, 2020 / 5:13 am

    THrilled to hear Red leopard is doing on line consults. I may never get to London… My blonde highlighted hair is gone and what is growing back is medium brown and pure silver. It’s been so long, I forgot what my natural color was. I suspect my best colors may change a bit!

    • May 5, 2020 / 4:23 am

      Hi Meg, I am another reader of Susan’s blog and saw your comment. I was a brunette when I had my colour analysis done. Yellow (bright and goldy) were among my best colours. Then I turned to blonde (to minimize the grey outgrow being very obvious) and to my utter surprise, yellow is still a good colour on me. So I don’t know how they pinpoint the colours but I am very pleased.

  7. May 4, 2020 / 5:15 am

    Love all of these colors together…particularly with the leopard shoes! You are beginning to really own your colors and it looks great.

  8. Mimi Wan
    May 4, 2020 / 5:17 am

    Thanks for this post! The last two weeks I challenged myself to wear the SAME THING every work day, in hopes of “reducing my carbon footprint” and to see what that does to my laundry load. I found that although it is totally do-able, that habit didn’t make me feel all that good. This week, I’m mixing up my routine AND changing clothes, plus showering in order to meet the more temperate days that are coming to the Northeast. This post is so timely!

  9. Nancy
    May 4, 2020 / 5:40 am

    Great outfit today. Very flattering. Love it.

  10. Lori H
    May 4, 2020 / 5:41 am

    Those pants are the best! I wear the green ones so much that I think I need another pair. Thanks for the recommendation.

  11. Susan
    May 4, 2020 / 5:55 am

    You look very casual chic in that outfit, the off white trousers complements the yellow perhaps more so than white and your choice of accessories avoids any element of drabness (as suggested by one reviewer on the Eileen Fisher website). Quite a while ago, I remember you mentioning Emmanuelle Alt- (a tall, somewhat gaunt, black clad creature who looked as if she would reek of ciggie smoke) as your fashion muse. Since your ‘Red Leopard’ makeover, your transformation has been absolutely fantastic; your embrace of colour is flattering and has elevated your overall look. I am now tempted to book a styling session with them when I can rebook my trip to Israel and Italy and would make a special stopover in London for thst purpose.

  12. Pam
    May 4, 2020 / 6:07 am

    You look absolutely fantastic in this outfit. I never could understand the drab all black look. Color makes us look much more alive. I also look good in this yellow color. It is such a warm, happy color. I love following your blog.

  13. Elizabeth
    May 4, 2020 / 7:14 am

    Susan, I love the whole outfit on you! Beautifully put together! I have been eyeing those pants, but Chico’s doesn’t have any information about the leg opening. Would you please tell me the measurement at the ankle opening? Thank you!

  14. Ann
    May 4, 2020 / 7:20 am

    Love the formula!

  15. May 4, 2020 / 7:49 am

    That scarf is just the thing that takes your outfit from nice to Romy Schneider/Grace Kelly. The scarf and the shoes.
    I’m taking a rest after swapping my winter clothes for summer clothes in the attic. Including sandals instead of boots. It feels so good. I tried on a pair of old pants, kind of crazy pattern but I love them, and they fit! Thanks to my extra-long walk/runs since lockdown, no doubt.

  16. Lauren
    May 4, 2020 / 7:50 am

    I like the look of the Birdies shoes and the webpage has a few other temping colours…..however, I have narrow foot and I hate ordering shoes to be shipped over the border to Canada only to stick my foot in them once and go “nope too wide” and then pack them up and ship them back (all at additional cost when the CDN is not healthy). Can you (or a reader) give me a better idea of the fit?…..especially someone who has a narrow foot….Thanks!

    • Lianne MacGregor
      May 4, 2020 / 4:08 pm

      Hi there! I’m a fellow Canadian but I live most of the year in the US. I bought a pair of Birdies. I have wide feet. I bought my usual size in the velvet version. They were a bit snug at first but they have really stretched out – probably because they’re fabric, not leather. I have to say, I wear them as slippers so I wear them a lot. I don’t wear socks with them and in no time at all they started to smell like feet. I tried spraying them with odor-control spray but it didn’t work. If I ever buy them again I’ll wear sockettes from Day One! Hope this helps.

  17. Cher
    May 4, 2020 / 7:52 am

    Hi Susan,
    What about your hair? If I remember, you are still having it lightened. What about the roots situation?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      May 4, 2020 / 8:41 am

      Since I went darker with my base color, the re-growth doesn’t show as much. I’ll be more than ready for another touch-up later this month, though (fingers crossed…our stylist is a friend comes to the house so we’ll see how things are going).

  18. Shelley Barrett
    May 4, 2020 / 7:53 am

    Wow you look absolutely gorgeous in that outfit!!!

  19. spacegeek
    May 4, 2020 / 8:10 am

    I have been feeling very “ground hog day” myself so your post is timely! I have been getting dressed (with jewelry and makeup!) every day since week 2 since I feel much better that way. Love you in those warm colors. So delightful to see mustard yellow as spring rather than fall (how it often reads to me). Thank you for your continued posts. Also your bed coverlet is gorgeous and perfect for those of us who have dogs-on-beds. 🙂 The all-white comforter seems like a good idea until you get a paw print. Ha!

  20. Debi
    May 4, 2020 / 8:25 am

    You look lovely

  21. Sue Lewellen
    May 4, 2020 / 9:48 am

    I’m glad someone else can relate to Bill Murray waking up everyday to the same day! I even prepared “Birthday lunch” for my husband the day BEFORE his birthday! I fall into that 60+ with underlying health issues group and rarely leave the house. Thank goodness it is finally warm enough to get outside and garden! I have found that geraniums don’t know what day it is either!!

  22. Téa
    May 4, 2020 / 10:59 am

    I don my “work out” clothes every day to “work” and then I shower and get “dressed” every day at 4:00, so I’m ready for “cocktails” and “dinner”, when me and my family gather…these are weird days…I’ve culled the wardrobe/jewelry and other stuff to that which really “sparks joy”…and this is so helpful to me – to keep myself upbeat and the rest of the family! “Keep Calm and Carry On’!! Thanks, Susan, for, yet again, another uplifting and calm post!!

    PS – Would you, perhaps, do a post on WHY it’s easier to find one’s “colors” in one’s “season”?

  23. MarlaD
    May 4, 2020 / 11:10 am

    Having my hair feeling and looking good is my most essential “present and accounted for” must even in the best of times. I’m fastidious about upkeep – I was scheduled for cut and color the first week of April and boy was I ready! I have fine hair and keep it just shoulder length – when it gets a bit too long, it is flat and pretty sad trombone. When it’s in good maintenance, I can go two, even three days without washing and styling if I push it but I’ve found that a daily wash and style right now keeps me feeling better and more optimistic about life in general. I’m not fussing with it too much, but it does make me feel better. My stylist showed me how to cut my bangs and I’ve been giving them a tiny cut weekly in an attempt to not let them get too far out of shape. I know what I’ll be looking most forward to when it is safe to go out!

  24. Kay
    May 4, 2020 / 12:20 pm

    I have a ponytail (and not by choice). My hairdresser is going to shriek when she sees me.

  25. May 4, 2020 / 1:13 pm

    I am also on the hunt for comfortable color!

  26. Janet D.
    May 4, 2020 / 2:15 pm

    Omigosh, you made me run to my closet! Actually the one in the spare room where stuff I rarely wear lives. In a box on the floor of that closet: not just the ONE bright yellow cotton knit sweater I knew I had, but a deep goldenrod one I’d forgotten all about! Two yellow sweaters! Why am I not wearing them? I have no idea. I hauled them both out & ran them through the dryer with a damp towel to freshen them up, tried them on — wow! Our home is a classic Pacific NW style with vaulted ceilings & beams of yellow cedar & I love them because even on the foggiest, wettest, coldest west coast day, the house is filled with a beautiful golden glow. The sweaters do the same thing. Yellow has always been a favourite colour & now I remember why. Thank you (especially on THIS cold, wet, foggy day). I’m wearing the (heavier) goldenrod sweater as I type this & have literally felt my mood — not bad to begin with, but pretty humdrum — elevate to Very Happy for no reason other than the colour. Well, that & the fact I changed my earrings to big dangly things that make me feel like a Gypsy fortuneteller 🙂 It’s nice to get knocked out of one’s rut now & again.

  27. May 4, 2020 / 2:30 pm

    What a fabulous look! Having been retired for several years, I’ve already made the adjustment to wearing what makes me happy. When I first retired, I went through a few weeks of just wearing sweats or whatever. I didn’t have a network of retired friends yet, missed my co-workers and didn’t see a reason to dress up. I was feeling pretty sad. I bought a few new pieces and started wearing them whether I left the house or not. I immediately felt much happier! It’s always a great idea to dress for yourself. I don’t wear much make up most days, but at least put on mascara and do my eyebrows. Then when I pass a mirror, I don’t scare myself.
    I bought those pants in three colors, but it’s been a little too chilly yet to wear them. I think my next step is to not wear jeans everyday. Who know, if this goes on much longer, we may all feel like wearing ballgowns around the house!!

  28. Lynn W
    May 4, 2020 / 2:46 pm

    Thank you, Susan, for the nudge. I’ve been eyeing this sweater for a while, but seeing the colour on you got me moving. And it’s on sale! Your adventure with colour has encouraged me to return to the warmer colours that I love and feel so much better wearing….especially right now. Thank you for the inspiration.

  29. Vive
    May 4, 2020 / 3:02 pm

    I bought that exact same scarf/bandana during quarantine (and a few other colors) and they’ve kept me feeling bright and lively in a dark and dreary time. I wear them in my hair! I love how you tied it and will try that out too. Such a versatile piece.

  30. Stephanie
    May 4, 2020 / 6:44 pm

    You look beautiful. Yellow certainly is your colour!! After seeing this outfit on you my next move was to head straight to Madewell and buy a couple of those bandanas!

  31. Marla
    May 4, 2020 / 11:57 pm

    I have continued in soft separates some of which are Barefoot Dreams pants. However makeup and small earrings and scent keep me not as sclumpy as I might be!

  32. May 5, 2020 / 4:41 am

    You look lovely. Comfortable, classy and elegant. The leopard shoes add some pizzazz.
    As you know I dress up every day. Even 1/3 of the time on high heels. Makes me feel wonderful.
    Greetje

  33. Jeanne
    May 5, 2020 / 5:41 am

    You look great! May I ask what size you wear in the pants. I am interested in ordering but have never worn Chico’s pants and wonder if they run true to size however their sizing seems to run a bit larger than others. Thoughts? The fit finder tells me I am a .5P/S. Have no idea what that translates to in other brands I wear.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      May 5, 2020 / 6:16 am

      Thanks Jeanne! I do find that Chico’s runs perhaps a size large compared to some brands. But within their system, I find the sizing consistent. I’m wearing a 0 Petite here and find that’s my size in most Chico’s styles (or a 00 in Misses).

      • Jeanne
        May 7, 2020 / 6:12 am

        Thanks Susan!

  34. Gretchen Brown
    May 5, 2020 / 7:35 am

    Always love your posts and got the Chico pants, which I love! I bought the green ones, but then bought another pair in a size smaller. Their sizes do seem to run a bit large. Planning to get some of the Madewell scarves too.

    I like having a casual but cute summer dress that I can easily wear with casual shoes. Any suggestions?

    Keep up the wonderful postings and stay healthy!

  35. Kathleen Blackmur
    May 13, 2020 / 8:49 am

    I love your equation! I’ve been staying afloat with something similar. Thanks for keeping it real

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