Looking Back: My Favorite Outfits Of 2019

Susan B of une femme d'un certain age shares her favorite outfits of 2019.

I’ll admit, this was a difficult year for me style-wise. I started out the year feeling rather stuck, that my Style Groove was becoming a Style Rut. Though a mostly-black wardrobe was easy and reliable, I was bored with it, and wanted a bit more variety and vibrance.

I knew I needed some help and fresh eyes. So knowing we would be in London in early Summer, I signed up for a color and style consultation with Red Leopard. It was revelatory and really a game-changer for me. But that doesn’t mean it’s been an easy transition. I’ve struggled a bit to find my footing and get comfortable with more color and different cuts. It’s still a work in progress. But lately I’ve begun to feel like I’m hitting my stride: staying true to what feels like “me,” while adding the fun and vibrance I was missing.

January

Style blogger Susan B. wears a camel J.Crew sweater-blazer over black separates, and metallic boots. Details at une femmme d'un certain age.

Even though this outfit from last January is based on a column of black, the camel topper keeps it from looking too dark and heavy. I could easily wear this with a navy, ivory or brown base, and a warmer, lighter version of the scarf.

Scarf (similar) | Sweater Coat | Sweater (similar) | Pants | Bag | Boots (similar)

March

Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age wears a pattern mix with a striped tee, floral scarf and leopard print umbrella.

I really liked the pattern mix in this outfit, which felt fun and fresh. I’d wear something like this again, this time using colors in my Spring palette.

Umbrella (similar) | Scarf (similar) | Jacket | Tee (similar) | Bag | Pants | Sneakers

July

Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age dressed for dinner in London. Travel outfit.

Yes, more black, but I really love how the patterned top and red sandals perked up this simple travel outfit. I’d wear this again as an all-navy look.

Jacket (similar) | Top | Bag | Pants (similar) | Sandals (similar)

September

Susan Blakey of une femme d'un certain age wears a casual outfit with a duster cardigan, leopard print tee, jeans and red mules.

Staying cool when it’s HOT outside, without freezing in the a/c inside. I felt comfortable and totally myself in this outfit. I love those pops of red…

Earrings | Cardigan (similar) | Necklace | Necklace |
Tee | Bag | Bracelet | Jeans | Shoes

October

Susan B. wears a travel outfit with jeans, a striped tee, faux suede jacket and fedora hat. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I wore a version of this outfit (minus the hat) on repeat for the better part of fall. A striped tee is one of my wardrobe essentials, and this one definitely earned its keep!

Jacket | Tee | Necklace | Jeans | Bag | Shoes (similar)

December

Susan B of une femme d'un certain age wears a caramel coat, lemon print sweater and gold beaded bag.

And finally…yep, that’s from yesterday’s post. This is my favorite outfit so far since my Summer Style Reset, incorporating both my Spring color palette and Gamine style personality. I feel I’m getting my style equilibrium back, without sacrificing what feels fresh.

Coat | Sweater | Necklace | Ring | Bag (similar) | Jeans | Shoes

While I’ll probably never stop wearing black entirely, adding color really has been enlivening, from the perspectives of both appearance and attitude. It’s been well worth the effort and even mis-steps along the way. I’m hoping to find a better selection of clothing in my palette in the Spring collections.

For those of you who wear different color palettes, I’ll continue to do my best to share outfit and travel wardrobe ideas in those palettes with collages and other images.

Happy New Year, everyone! May it be a healthy, peaceful and prosperous year for you!

Stay in touch.

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36 Comments

  1. RoseAG
    December 31, 2019 / 4:09 am

    March is my favorite, and it’s not because you’ve got black pants on. It most looks like something I’d wear.

  2. Laurie
    December 31, 2019 / 5:26 am

    I love all your looks! Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration you provide throughout the year. Happy New Year!

  3. December 31, 2019 / 5:27 am

    I don’t see a rut; I see consistency and a sense of what works. I love seeing what you are up to. Your pops of red are just right.
    I really liked your hair long, too, but I know that a few good photos might not reflect the amount of work or frustration with hair that otherwise doesn’t cooperate.

    • Nicole
      February 2, 2020 / 12:14 pm

      I agree about the linger hair. So much softer.

  4. Kristin
    December 31, 2019 / 5:56 am

    Great post! I get a lot of inspiration from your posts. I take your ideas and translate them over to my own colors. However, the area you have had the most direct influence on me is, oddly enough, shoes! At first, I just couldn’t get into the platform-shoe look. But you kept wearing them, and they really did look fun and cute. This past year I decided to try a pair, and I love them! I recently went shopping with my 19-year-Old daughter, and she was very impressed with my new shoe style. I now own several pairs of shoes that are fun and add a fresh look for me. Thank you!!

    • Catarina
      January 1, 2020 / 5:53 pm

      Same here with the platform shoes! I’m wearing Sue’s green tassel platform loafers so much I bought a similar pair in black suede.
      So comfortable, and I love the little platform “boost” so much I hate to wear my flats now.

  5. Karen
    December 31, 2019 / 5:56 am

    Well it’s clear that animal print Is a signature of your style no matter what color palette you’re wearing. And why not, you wear it well.
    I’ve loved taking this style journey with you, and looking forward to seeing what and where you go in 2020.

  6. DeeDee
    December 31, 2019 / 6:07 am

    Happy New Year to you as well as to all of your loyal readers! I have learned a lot from your blog this year and enjoyed the inspiration of you going through a style reset. Your example encouraged me to look beyond black. Although I have kept the black pieces, I have made it a point to only buy new clothes in a color. I have hit upon subtle colors that work harmoniously together and seem to look good on me. This next year I will challenge myself to go beyond my usual pairings and try new combinations. Always tweaking my style. I love it!

  7. Rita Prangle
    December 31, 2019 / 6:10 am

    I like all of them except the long white duster. I think long dusters are difficult to wear, too much fabric that drags on the ground when you sit down, and doesn’t flatter most figures. Long dusters just seem to costumey. But, do stick with animal prints!

    • Lyn
      December 31, 2019 / 10:00 am

      I agree on that white duster. That block of white looks at odds with the rest of the outfit. (It must be a sentimental favorite since it made Susan’s list.)
      On the other hand, I loved that striped October shirt so much that I went out and bought one.
      And December was Perfect! All Susan’s color and style trends of the past year come together here. (And I love those lemons!)
      Looking forward to next year.

  8. Eileen
    December 31, 2019 / 6:25 am

    I don’t see a rut either, I do see the reality of petite dressing. There is less for petite women to buy in stores, the unpredictability of online shopping, a repetitive offering of non color, ie, black, and a overproduction of synthetic fabrics. I see the clothing industry in a rut, not you. You will dig out the quality pieces and colors I’m sure, and I look forward to your journey, it reflects many of our lives right now. I’m a petite pear shaped lady, who knows how to sew, and I can see the limitations available to us. We need your insights more than ever. Thanks.

    • Joan P
      December 31, 2019 / 7:46 am

      Hear, hear! So much junk in the stores — bad fit, bad fabric, boring and washed out colour. Add to that the fit challenges for the petite — it’s hard work! I too felt like I was in the black and boring rut, and did a Red Leopard consultation. While it was fascinating, and surprising in many ways, it has been a struggle to implement in a way that works for my style and life. Brava to Susan for her honesty, progress and inspiration.

  9. December 31, 2019 / 6:28 am

    i read several style blogs but yours has always been the one most like my own style. since you’ve begun wearing more color you are even more my inspiration as i’ve always liked color and pattern paired with my neutrals. when i saw the october post i had to laugh–i have all the items you were wearing in my closet. most often i learn new combinations and sometimes i copy your looks right down to the shoes with only slight differences in color palette. thanks for everything and i look forward to seeing what you will be wearing in 2020.

  10. December 31, 2019 / 6:52 am

    Gosh, I love that lemon sweater, Sue. And the coat. Your transition to more colour has really inspired me this year. Hope that 2020 is good to you!

  11. stephanie ashworth
    December 31, 2019 / 7:13 am

    Happy New Year to you! I love your continued desire to invest in yourself and share it with us. It’s easy to let it ride but you inspire me so much. I love all the outfits. It’s interesting to see the expression on your face as the outfits get closer to “you”, the Golden Spring Gamine. I have booked my color/style evaluation with Red Leopard. I also added a shopping trip so I am beyond excited. I will keep you posted. Looking forward to 2020 in a big way!

  12. Elizabeth
    December 31, 2019 / 7:16 am

    I have been following you for a while and liked most of your looks when you posted them. However, seeing this post and how your look has developed over the past year, I am impressed by the change. You look lighter and somehow happier in your recent posts. Again, you always looked great – very put together – but you seem so vibrant these days.

  13. Cathy
    December 31, 2019 / 7:43 am

    I’ve enjoyed your style journey this year. I recently retired and that has meant some wardrobe changes, with more call for casual clothes while my former work attire gets an outing only about twice a month. It has meant retraining my brain so that when I shop, I search for what will work in my current, real life rather than with the career mindset of the past. I’m also trying to use less black in my wardrobe and your posts have given me some tips.

  14. Rondi
    December 31, 2019 / 7:44 am

    This post is a great way to end the year. Thank you for sharing your transition with us. It is very brave of you to put yourself out there as you try new things and experiment. It has been so helpful to me to follow your journey because it emphasizes that it’s not so easy to make changes! I have always embraced the seasonal color palettes. But I am now trying to maintain my signature look but also make age appropriate changes. Not easy and this blog is invaluable to me. Happy New Year! I look forward to another year of your very informative blog.

  15. Carol Montanti
    December 31, 2019 / 7:49 am

    I’ve enjoyed all your blogs this year and your style journey, thanks Susan! Looking back at the photos, I think that the change from January is amazing. I liked all your looks, and I like black myself, but now it seems that the January outfit, despite being classy, just wasn’t the best for you. I wonder if we should all take photos of ourselves wearing outfits we like and then study the photos, we might be surprised at what we “see”! Thanks again for the inspirations!

  16. Sara T.
    December 31, 2019 / 8:00 am

    Your blog is like a friend explaining clothing choices, colors, make up videos and most of all the wonderful travel stories you include. Have visited many of places myself making them memory starters. Love the new look and your pops of red.
    Happy New Year to all.

  17. Lisa
    December 31, 2019 / 8:12 am

    Some women just have style… you have it in spades. You always look so pulled together; although we know the effort that goes into that, you make it look effortless. Looking forward to seeing your spring looks. Happy New Year!

  18. Berenice Wolpin
    December 31, 2019 / 8:48 am

    Terrific post to end the year. It has been fascinating watching your style evolution; as others have said, you always looked put together, but to see the changes that the different colors have wrought is enlightening. Having grown up in NY and had a long professional life in Manhattan, I have always worn a lot of black. You’ve made me realize how unflattering it is, and how it ages me (of course I prefer ageing to the alternative!) Having spent a year of university in France, and been fortunate enough to travel in Europe – although it’s been a while! – I was an early convert to the magic of scarves. Having taken inventory, I realize that a large number of the scarves I own are not in my colors. The good news is that there is always someone to give them to for whom they work! You’ve inspired me to get rid of a lot of things in my closet that just don’t work for me, and to hone my eye as I see pieces that I otherwise might have purchased because I liked them and they were a ‘bargain’. I’ve known for a long time intellectually that if something doesn’t work, it’s not really a bargain, but you’ve helped me see that in real time. Wishing you a year of health and joy in your continued exploration.

  19. Katherine
    December 31, 2019 / 9:24 am

    A lovely recap of your favorite outfits. I appreciate the evolution of change being slow and deliberate; it shows as meaningful.
    Quick note: Suspicious link message occurs when I open your email post.

  20. December 31, 2019 / 10:06 am

    As a Seasonal Color & Style Consultant I know only too well how much work is involved in sourcing out clothing that matches your Seasonal colors, personality, energy and body signature. The first few years of stepping into my Spring style I wondered if I would ever get there — but garment by garment I found my way — I think you’re doing an awesome job and showing others how to do it — ie. if you can’t find it in clothing, use that season to shop for shoes & accessories. Eventually, as you are finding, your colors will come around again!

  21. Lisa Shoemaker
    December 31, 2019 / 10:36 am

    Susan, your new color palette is really stunning on you—you look more vibrant and fresh! Happy new year.

  22. Claire Dugoni
    December 31, 2019 / 11:11 am

    Happy NewYear! Thank you for breaking down your style choices and sharing your struggles. You honestly always look good and put together. I love that you have such different looks while being true to your denim first style. You dress in an affordable and relatable way. I love the white duster look. Without it the outfit would be plain and less interesting.

  23. Diana
    December 31, 2019 / 12:25 pm

    I love your new look! Makes you look “feisty”! It says “I’m here and ALIVE and ready for new adventures!

  24. Angela in NZ
    December 31, 2019 / 1:48 pm

    Loving your new colours. Quite a few comments over time have talked about retiring and making wardrobe changes. For me it’s been almost 8 years and I’m still morphing into a new lifestyle. Colour choices in the stores are most definitely the greatest hurdle.
    We are now travelling overseas much more (anywhere from New Zealand makes for a long journey!) and so all my wardrobe choices must be travel proof too. Beneficial knock on effect has been a more compact, cohesive wardrobe and all without sacrificing pops of colour.
    Very happy 2020 to you and your loved ones.

  25. December 31, 2019 / 3:26 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for several years and have always enjoyed your clothing choices. But since your visit to Red Leopard you’ve really branched out. I love the long over lean look and wear it often as it’s easy, but it’s getting a bit stale. I’m excited to see how you’ve changed to other looks that are fun, refreshing and different from the crowd. It really communicates more of your personality.
    Also, I’ve always wondered why I could never find that perfect little black dress everyone else seems to rely on. Now I know why. Head to toe black next to my fair complexion makes me look and feel half dead! I still have black in my wardrobe because as you’ve found, sometimes it’s all that works. But it’s a supporting player, not the main event. Skin tone and personality are so important when choosing clothes so we look and feel our best!

  26. December 31, 2019 / 5:19 pm

    Thank you Susan, for taking us along on your journey this year. It’s been fun to watch you reinvent your style. I only wish that people who don’t like a particular item, your shorter hairstyle etc would refrain from stating that. It’s not the point of your post, to ask if we liked a particular outfit. No, you were showing us your style evolving this year. And style is nothing if not a very personal expression. I marvel at how you can continue to put yourself out there even when people make unkind comments. But I think I speak for many who hope that you will! To a gentler, kinder 2020!

  27. patricia valentic
    January 1, 2020 / 6:12 am

    I just wanted to say I have always loved the Eileen fisher bone duster on you. I even bought it. I love the lemon outfit and the outfit with thhe striped shirt. All your looks are tasteful and chic. Happy New Years. patval

  28. Anon
    January 1, 2020 / 9:28 am

    It is a bit of work, isn’t it? Theres the quality and fibre content issue of what’s on offer in today’s marketplace. There’s the plethora of unsuitable colors, which in my case is those dusty fall colors. Then there’s size, scale and body shape. And finally, trends. Oh, my gosh. I don’t wear fancy sleeves of any kind since forever, and I do wear skirts below the knee since my 40s. All this just to get to personal style. It would be easier to forget about it and wear jeans all the time, but that’s another landmine of hemlines, leg shapes, Lycra, etc.

    Continue the grand wardrobe journey in 2020, Susan. It’s an adventure, and were all along for the ride.

  29. Chris
    January 1, 2020 / 10:15 am

    I recently received and completed an online survey by Eileen Fisher – I buy online and at EF boutiques when traveling. I didn’t realize how much your blog influences my style and purchases until I answered the questions. I mentioned your blog by name. I quickly realized how little fashion advice is out there in traditional media for women of a certain age. Thanks for all you do to keep those of us who love clothes fresh and energized about how we look! Happy New Year to you and Monsieur!

  30. Jan Whichard
    January 1, 2020 / 1:29 pm

    Happy 2020 and thanks for taking us on your journey! I’ve decided what I need to solve all my fashion “issues”….you need to clone yourself and then come into my closet and coordinate clothes into outfits! I have great clothes (too many however)…all they need is you!

    Peace, prosperity good health and fun to you and yours.

    Jan

  31. MARLA
    January 5, 2020 / 11:22 pm

    You look great in each phase of style! I thought your longer hair was very flattering but maybe not convenient! My fave pix are the January and the stripe tee w hat.
    I had a color consultation business in the 80s and do agree we each fall basically into 4 categories and indeed look better in our palette. I’m a winter but drawn to the warm and earthy tones. With a khaki jacket a look I enjoy, I do black and dark denim and make sure my makeup stays in my key.
    Your photos show that you are a woman who knows how to dress whether you are going glam or pert. Carry on Madame! Bonne Annee’!

  32. January 14, 2020 / 1:10 am

    This is how leopard print clothes should be styled! You do it perfectly. I love leopard print too, and zebra print as well)

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