My New Year’s intentions (for style & more)

To kick off 2023, I’m going to share some of my New Year’s intentions regarding the blog, and the direction of the content I’m planning. But first…

Is style still relevant?

A few nights ago, we were having dinner at a nice Italian place in a nice neighborhood. Not super formal, but the waiters do wear black jackets and bow ties, and there are white tablecloths, even on the sidewalk patio tables. I couldn’t help noticing just how casually a large percentage of the other patrons were dressed. I’m talking yoga wear, or cargo shorts + fleece vest + Crocs, or tattered hoodies. And not just on the under-30 crowd. I’m all for casual, but there’s “casual” and then there’s “I can’t be bothered.”

At times I wonder if style is becoming irrelevant, and whether I’m tilting at windmills here.

Over the last 3 years, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride when it comes to how to dress for how we’re living. I think many of us are still adjusting and trying to sort out “the new normal.” When we were spending most of our time at home, comfort took top priority.

Parsing the new normal

Even now with many of us getting out much more, I’m not seeing the degree of shift away from athleisure and very casual (loungewear-adjacent) styles that I would have expected. Joggers are here to stay, apparently. (Though I do think they can look sharp and cool when worn with more structured pieces like a blazer.)

That said, I’m not advocating a return to rigid style rules or sacrificing comfort. But I do think how we present ourselves matters, for us as well as others. To dress in a way that’s an authentic expression of who we are is empowering, and a form of self-care. And being our most authentic, confident selves empowers others to do the same.

So yes, I do think style is still relevant. And if you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing it’s still relevant to you too.

Where I’m going with all of this: my New Year’s intentions

Come March, I will have been writing une femme for 16 years! I’ve had my hits and misses, but somehow it’s still the thing I love most, and what gets me out of bed in the morning. (That, and the promise of coffee ☕️ …) But I periodically take stock of where I want to go with this whole enterprise, and how much time and emotional energy I’m prepared to invest.

I no longer make New Year’s resolutions. They tend to be both onerous and easily forgotten. I like to think instead about intentions and directions. I want to keep this blog relevant, both to you and me, and that may mean shifts in direction over time. We’ll see.

For now, though, here are my intentions with regard to the blog:

I’m going to keep writing about style,

with a focus on building functional, cohesive wardrobes. Getting dressed and feeling put-together and stylish (whatever that means to you) shouldn’t require the sartorial equivalent of solving a quadratic equation every morning.

I’ll continue sharing style tips that I think may be helpful to you, as well as outfit ideas (both my own, and with collages). And I’ll be writing about color: why it matters, how to wear it & more, for those of you who are interested.

What you won’t see here: a daily parade of showstopper outfits, “throwaway” fast fashion, garments that are uncomfortable, tricky to wear, or require specialized shapewear.

Though we may not be traveling as much or as far this year, I’ll continue to share travel wardrobe tips and suggestions. I receive a lot of questions about what to pack for specific locales and itineraries, and in February will be launching a personalized travel wardrobe planning service, see details HERE.

My intention is to post here 3 times per week, and issue my exclusive subscriber newsletter 2-3 times per month. The newsletter will be more of-the-moment, to share timely sale finds, something that caught my eye, style tips & how-to’s, personal news, or whatever is on my mind. Subscribing is the best way to be sure you never miss a post, plus you’ll receive that exclusive content at no charge.

And I’m offering individualized color analysis & style services

Susan Blakey personal color analysis clients

I’ve been having so much fun doing color analysis, and hope to do lots more of it in the future. And I’ll be adding some online sessions for travel wardrobe planning and closet “detox.” If you’re interested, I’ve recently created a new page with more information and scheduling.

Have you set out any New Year’s intentions regarding your style?

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Outerwear that makes the outfit

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  1. I agree about people wearing any old thing out to dinner! It especially irks me when a woman is beautifully dressed and her male companion is wearing scruffy shorts, flipflops, and a clearly ancient tee. A quick rule of thumb: If you’d wear it to wash your car, do NOT wear it to a restaurant!

    1. I’ve noticed this, too! The gal is glammed and sparkling, and the dude is -meh-…Love the “car washing” criteria! haha

  2. Hi Susan, I couldn’t agree more with your comments about how casual clothes have become. Let’s face it some people look down right sloppy! I’ll admit that I too have relaxed my ‘look’ over the last few years and especially since lockdown, sometimes living in leggings. But there are limits. Just re-read this and I sound like a real tyrant – I’m not really! Best wishes for 2023 and thank you and good luck with the blog. Look forward to its development.

  3. I absolutely think style is relevant. Your blog inspires me to dress my best everyday. Audrey Hepurn said “Life is a party. Dress like it.” Thank you for all you do. Hoping the new year brings you many wonderful moments.

  4. Hello Susan, I’ve been reading your postings since about 2014 (memory is fuzzy !) and you’ve given wise and helpful advice on many topics. Thanks specifically to your suggestions, I traveled to Italy with a superb carry-on, wore the cutest leather sneakers (pewter color), and became addicted to a specific designer’s classic, black stretch-crepe pants — a wardrobe staple that has helped me, since then, to appear “put-together” while traveling in Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, and The Netherlands. I cannot thank you enough for your generous and thoughtful commentary on wardrobe questions and concerns. You are spot-on with the “what/how/why/when/where” of fashion for real women in the real world.
    Here in New England, we rely a lot on fleece and down. Thanks to your blog, I always find colorful, classy ways to look a bit less like the Michelin Man.

  5. Hi, Happy New Year! Thanks for your update. Very pertinent, I think.
    My style musings: Florida has more of what used to be called “resort casual” than California, I think. The blazers that look so lovely on you aren’t popular here outside the workplace. I’m beginning to look at Eileen Fisher and her timeless styles which look like they have the comfort of athletic wear but with an elegance that distinguishes them from “all things gym.” Years ago, the 90s?, in Naples Florida, a designer made similar clothes in an organic woven fabric she bought in Morocco. The pieces were perhaps $100 each and had a bit more tailoring, more of a French accent, than Fisher’s. I still have mine. Timeless. This designer ended her business. Retired/Covid. Fisher’s seem the closest. Any thoughts?
    A question: Do I have to subscribe to get your new newsletter?

  6. Happy New Year, Susan!

    In the blog world, finding someone who is a skilled writer is often hit and miss. Your blog posts are well written and interesting. Though I may not be a fashion maven the tidbits and good advice you dispense on a regular basis are welcome and useful to me. In particular, I appreciate how you have reinvented your style (and wardrobe) through getting your colour palette right first! You’ve brought us along on that journey with the proof of the pudding in the eating. You have evolved in such a natural, believable way. Thanks for sharing what you’ve been learning about yourself with us.

    Best for 2023! I’m excited to see how your new adventures in offering colour (and style) services evolves.

  7. We spent 10 days at an upscale resort on Oahu in October to celebrate our 50th anniversary and I was so taken aback by the lack of concern people put into their appearance. Here I was with my carefully chosen attire for the so called casual chic restaurants only to see women in bathing suits minus a cover up and men in shorts, ugly tee shirts and, heaven help me, baseball hats! Yes, I think style is very relevant and I love your content especially since I also live in California. I retired from a professional job 4 years ago, moved from NY to SoCal and I’m still culling through my wardrobe. I’ve gotten much better at donating what I don’t need. My style has always been classic but often I get looking too Talboty; my husband’s word to describe a look! For 2023 I intend to acquire some fun pieces, more color and less basics. I look forward to your travel suggestions as we have trips planned for the year.

  8. Happy New Year. I do like to read your comments and enjoy your suggestions. Yes gone are the days when a lot of people seem to not think about what they are wearing before they go out the door.
    I enjoy following you on trips, why will you be traveling less this year?

    1. Hi Gayle, thanks! A member of my family is having some health issues, so we need to stick a bit closer to home for the time being.

  9. It is appalling how and where people will dress down. I live in a resort area and which seems to mean anything goes. Just this past week as we were entering a beautiful steakhouse a man in his 70s was departing in a college team hoodie, floral shorts (swimsuit?) and flip flops. I regularly see dress from the inappropriate to the slovenly at the Philharmonic, downstown shopping even at church. Most days you will find me in a skort and sneakers living life, but at least I make the effort to dress appropriately when it is called for.

  10. I have two styles: one for everyday retired living, and the other for dinner out and socializing, concerts etc. I find I have too many of the latter clothes, that tend not to get worn as much. I’ve started wearing them more for everyday wear, but they’re not as comfortable. I’m trying to find brands and styles that can meet halfway. Suggestions are helpful. Love your posts, thank you.

      1. Happy New Year! I’m also a retiree and most of my inner circle is still working. So I try to make an effort when we do get together. Like you Susan I am a jeans and blazer kind of “girl” . This year I will try to find alternatives to jeans. Always look forward to your blog for inspiration because I also live in California.

  11. 100% agree with your view on style for these times. I live in a college town so it has always been casual but now it is similar to what you describe. The casual office is a struggle when you are a professional, especially when your office wasn’t very stylish in the first place. I can’t emulate higher up women like I did when I was younger. Very excited for more color content. I recently finally nailed down my sub season (always knew I was winter but not which one and dark winter was a shock for my fair skinned green eyed self). It has been life changing! And when someone is in the wrong colors it really sticks out to me! I very much appreciate your insights!

  12. Interesting post. I think of my mom and grandmother sometimes when I’m running errands, in particular; they wouldn’t have been caught dead in how I go out sometimes. That being said, I don’t go to restaurants like what you described dressed or as I just came from cleaning out the basement. I enjoy clothes and feel I owe it to myself and, honestly, the people working at the restaurant and my fellow patrons to be “presentable”. My husband and I enjoy an occasional outing to a very nice restaurant in our city and while I don’t believe I’ve ever seen joggers in there, we’ve seen some outfits that we don’t deem appropriate and others where the patrons were seemingly excited to put on their Sunday best. It runs the gamut. And, as I mentioned, I need to be true to myself. I do enjoy nice clothes so I’m going to put in the effort to go out.
    One more thought after reading your post: I’ve been reading your blog for a number of years, Susan, and it would seem to me that you have never embraced fast fashion. I appreciate that. As someone who is environmentally conscious and nearing retirement, I hope to scrutinize my clothing purchases much more going forward. I hope to largely work with what I have and make the occasional update through items like scarves or interesting jewelry.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us! Happy 2023!

  13. I personally prefer to dress up a little bit when I go out, even if it is just to the grocery store. We live in a very rural area where anything goes fashion wise. Dressing up, adding a scarf or anything fashionable stands out like a sore thumb. I have on occasion dressed very casually for an egg run to our local farm, but always feel better when I make an effort. When we first moved here I was amazed at what I saw women wearing. I’m used to it now but feel one should clean up a bit when appearing in public- no pj bottoms or fuzzy slippers for me!

    1. This is my dilemma, as well! I love to dress well, and also live in a very rural, rustic and casual area of Northern California. It’s tough to be true to myself, yet not alienate everyone else and look pretentious. I am finding that “jeans on the bottom, dressy on top” works pretty well for me and strikes a good balance. Shoes make a difference, too. I wear sneakers often, and that tones the outfit down a notch. Thanks for this comment!

      1. Me, too. I live on the Olympic Peninsula and sometimes it seems like people deliberately dress down– kind of a “why yes, I did just finish manuring the field” look. Or “I couldn’t take time to shower after that 10 mile hike.” I love beautiful clothes and like to at least look put together, but feel I have to dial it back a bit not to look out of place.

  14. I don’t like the prevalence of athliesure and wish it wasn’t “a thing.” I also don’t understand the “comfort is king” mantra, anyway. The clothing I find to wear manages to be both “dressed” and comfortable. Thanks for all of your devotion to your blog. It’s satisfying to see your journey parse into other fashion ventures.

  15. Wonderful direction that you are taking Susan! I’ve loved your blog for years and have learned so much from you! As I mentioned before, I’m interested in doing a color analysis with you in March but I’m wondering about the location in Los Angeles: is that information available on your blog or do you share it when clients book appointments?
    I might eventually do a closet detox with you as well ;-). Here’s to a wonderful 2023!

    1. Hi Sally, thanks! I’ll provide my address, directions, and other instructions for the color analysis appointment once booked. Just FYI, I’m the West Los Angeles area not too far from LAX airport.

      1. Thank you! My husband and I are still making plans so I’ll check your appointment dates and times once we have a better idea of our trip. We’ll be driving.

  16. Couldn’t agree more. The “just rolled out of bed” look is disgusting, especially in a restaurant, theater, etc. In traveling to Europe, I have never seen this type of dress. Casual, yes. Sloppy, no. Just because people here chose to look like this doesn’t mean I need to follow that example. Pls continue to share your excellent style tips! You do a great job

  17. Happy New Year, Susan! I particularly loved this statement in your post: “To dress in a way that’s an authentic expression of who we are is empowering, and a form of self-care. And being our most authentic, confident selves empowers others to do the same.” I think that summarizes what I have tried to do with dressing myself for years.

    Personally, I have found it hard to be inspired to dress creatively in the past three years. The combination of retiring at the end of the 2018/19 school year, with the pandemic meaning little time outside of home for so long did a double whammy on my former “ensemble artistry”. I never have succumbed to sweatpants, but I seem to live almost exclusively in denim, very casual usually, though of course there are ways to dress it up. I miss being excited to create a new ensemble with the elements in my closet. . .I also wear a lot of handknits, but my enthusiasm for creating a something new is lagging these days. (Admittedly, I find myself knitting things for my little granddaughters, these days.)

    I truly want to refind my inspiration and creativity in dressing in 2023. I look forward to your inspiring posts!

  18. Susan, I so enjoy your blog and writing. A huge thanks for continuing to offer your followers such well written and rich content.
    My new year intention is to buy fewer clothes and shoes! I have what feels like an incredible number of pieces, and have a tendency to buy things just because I find them appealing, regardless of whether I really need them. This is the year to curate and prune.

  19. Thanks for the heads up regarding the coming year, Susan – it all sounds great! I love this jacket and regret not ordering it in “cinnamon” (no longer available). Would this navy color work for an autumn?

    1. Hi Karen, the navy color is a bit cooler and darker than the navies in either the Spring or Autumn palette. BUT it might work depending on what you wear it with (here I’ve paired with a tee in one of my best colors to get it near my face). Navy can be tricky but also versatile, and I’m going to be devoting a post to it soon in coming weeks.

  20. Hi Susan,
    I so appreciate you and enjoy your blog! I absolutely love this statement: “To dress in a way that’s an authentic expression of who we are is empowering, and a form of self-care.” Self-care! Yes! I never thought of these words but they resonate. It’s not vanity to care about what we wear and how we present ourselves yo the world. I also have been stunned at what some people feel comfortable wearing to a nice restaurant. Happy New Year and thank you! Love your content and glad you’ll still include travel tips. ❤️

  21. >>Getting dressed and feeling put-together and stylish…shouldn’t require the sartorial equivalent of solving a quadratic equation every morning.

    LOL. I love your blog because you have a great vocabulary. 😉

    Seriously, thank you for all you provide to your readers. I vow to get out of my yoga pants this year!

  22. Wow…so much here I agree with. My son invited us for a meal on the patio at 3 p.m. after I mentioned dropping their Christmas gift.
    on Christmas day. When we got there my granddaughter was wearing her long john P.J.s… .!!! Her boyfriend was dressed nicely in casual clothing.
    Even more shocking was my D.I.L’s appearance…., she was dressed in the matching P.J. set !
    These are college educated, professional women and it was a shock to see how they viewed “entertaining” even if the company was
    mother-in-law and stepfather. Granted we were in casual clothing having come from a hike but we were still dressed appropriately for a a patio lunch..

  23. So glad you’ll continue your travel wardrobe tips, even if it’s just for a weekend away. I’ve become a much better planner and packer, thanks to your tips, but still have to fight against over-packing. Like other commenters, I live in a suburban area where, as my husband pointed out on a recent evening, nearly every woman we see could easily be on her way to a yoga class or the gym. But when we met some relatives for dinner last month in the most popular new restaurant area in downtown Washington DC, everyone there was beautifully, chicly dressed and accessorized. Thank goodness for my last minute decision to put on a nice midi dress and boots and a pair of statement earrings. I convinced my husband to upgrade his choices as well. It really contributed to us feeling like we had enjoyed an extra-special time. Now, of course, it’s back to suburban sneakers and stretchy pants, but it made me realize what making a little effort in dressing can add to an experience. Keep up the good work, Susan!

  24. And then there is the way people dress for air travel……I just got back from a European holiday trip and as with every time I do a long-haul flight, I swear we’ve reached a new low. And with travel, it’s hard to argue that these choices aren’t intentional.

  25. My daughters are taking me to Paris this October. I am in your age group. What do you recommend as a capsule wardrobe for a weeks visit?

  26. Style is absolutely relevant to me. But I do agree that post pandemic everyone looks like they just came from the gym. I hope that attitude isn’t here to stay. I feel so much better about myself if I make an effort to look nice.

  27. Thank you, as ever, Susan – for so many, many gems of style, wisdom and self-care…I found you in 2008, the year my mother was slowing dying and found such comfort in your posts…”getting dressed, with intention” got me through some very dark days. Fast forward almost 15 years and I care for myself with JOY and panache! My INTENTION this year is to wear every.single.thing. hanging in my closet…If I don’t “HAVE” and occasion, I’m going to “MAKE ONE!”…ALSO…a little 10 year old complemented my shoes yesterday at a neighborhood “open house”…it cracked me up…and she said, “I LOVE when things SPARKLE – it makes me HAPPY!”, Me, too!! PS – I was wearing patent leather loafers!! hahaha

  28. I agree with your thoughts on style – I think style has meaning, and that how we dress definitely says something about how we view ourselves and how we present ourselves to the world. Now that I am retired I am trying to find that balance of being comfortable for my new life while looking relevant. Your blog has been very helpful to me, and I enjoy reading your postings. If I could make a request (and maybe you have already written about it and I just missed it) I would like more information on clothing proportions on different body builds. Happy 2023!

  29. Hi Susan, I have been reading your blog for a few years now and always find it informative. I am a huge fan of the color conversations, and I think I am a soft summer. Sadly, I live too far from you in Oregon to do an in-person analysis. You sometimes show photos in your posts of women who have had their colors done with you (like you did in this post). I was wondering if you would be able to include the season with each photo. It would help me get a better sense of whether I am interpreting the colors correctly. Thank you for considering this and for all you do !

  30. Hi Susan,
    I’ve loved your blog for years and I’d be happy if you didn’t change a thing. But I am a winter and I would like to see my colors highlighted more often. Also, I still love black and would like to see it featured more and I would love additional information on how to adjust my colors as my hair goes grey.
    Thank you for your dedication. I have learned so much from you!

  31. Happy New Year, Susan,
    I’ve been reading the comments and find I agree with just about every one.
    I follow several fashion bloggers, and yours is by far the best. Well written, with a style that is current but not too twee. I fell in love with your travel wardrobes guides and have been a fan ever since.
    I live in the Atlanta suburbs, and find that most women dress casually, not sloppy. Yes, a lot of yoga pants, but usually “finished”.
    I’m retired and 70 years old..and I’ve found I’ve reverted to my college wardrobe…jeans with a cute top or jacket, leather sneakers, and always some makeup.
    When hubby and I go out for dinner, it’s always nice pants and a pretty top. Dressed.
    I agree with those who have requested you identify which season your models are…I’m too far away to do. A personal color analysis with you ( though never say never), and have tried doing my own…over the years, I’ve self-identified as winter, autumn, and summer.
    Wishing you a 2023 that’s filled with life’s blessings. Your post is one thing I look forward to every week.

  32. I was in Walmart over the weekend and was aghast at the young woman checking out next to me. Head to toe flannel pajamas! I have now seen it all. Have we all lost it?

  33. the last time we were in Tahoe at the chart house, the manager actually stopped us on the way out and thanked us for looking so nice when we came to dinner!

  34. I appreciate your approach to everyday style. I do not wear clothing once and toss it. I do not have an unlimited budget. I want my items to last without costing a fortune. I am moving away from wearing black by not buying more of it. The existing items can stay in my wardrobe. I do not follow fads. simplicity with a few tweaks? Yes, please. Sweats and gym gear? No, thank you.

    Looking forward to more color exploration, especially the tips about wearing the right navy. Happy New Year!

  35. I’m in my 60’s and find your fashion sense and style to be spot on for my lifestyle. I want to move to a simple Parisian wardrobe. Thank you for your continued guidance.

  36. I really have lost my style groove since moving to a very outdoorsy place. I miss getting excited to make outfits. In Oregon you wear mostly “gear” not “fashion”. I love being in California in the late winter where I let my style loose and find a little more inspiration.

    1. I agree with this. I live in the PNW too now. Between the rainy and cold weather and the frequent hiking, kayaking, dog park visits, etc, I live in outdoor apparel. I don’t look sloppy but I don’t have much opportunity for style or fashion anymore. I embrace my active outdoor lifestyle and all the joy that brings but sometimes I still do miss the more fashionable seasons of my life and wish I had some outlet for this.

  37. Looking forward to all of your posts this year, and wishing you all the best in 2023. And hoping your family member is better soon.

  38. Such interesting comments from across the USA and sadly mostly along similar lines that casual has become downgraded further. My phrase for this is “wearing clothes just to cover their nakedness”.
    What does surprise me is that, here in New Zealand, the more understated look has always prevailed, but doesn’t appear to have fallen to the extremes that your readers have seen. Maybe it’s because we have an “outdoorsy” lifestyle that has not, to date, swung to either extreme. I arrived from London,UK in the mid 1970s aged 22 where some formality had been part of my lifestyle and upbringing and subsequently learned to embrace a new way of life.
    Whilst sometimes frustrating, our small population of 5 million means less choice, but perhaps that’s now a benefit to attaining a more sustainable lifestyle.
    I’m glad I found your blog a few years ago as it keeps the global door open now that travel has become so costly.
    Happy New Year.

  39. Susan, I read several fashion blogs as time allows and yours is consistently the one that resonates the most with me. Thank you! I think style is, and always will be, relevant. I adore beautiful clothes and fashion and always have. When covid hit, I did not own sweat pants, athleisure wear or joggers. Three years later I now have a decent stable of these clothes and really enjoy them around the house and in certain applications outside the house but I always feel better when I make a bit of effort to put together an outfit with buttons and zippers, interesting accessories, and polish it all off with a little makeup. My outfits are definitely more casual these days even though I still work full-time, but I always strive to look appropriate, well-groomed, and stylish. I don’t think that will ever change and it’s nice to know there are other women out there who share my feelings on this.

  40. Regarding overly causal clothing, we have the same problem in NYC, which I have been lamenting lately. When I go to a concert at Lincoln Center, there are people who show up in running sneakers and backpacks looking like they are going hiking and people at Carnegie Hall wearing Uggs and leggings. Same for when I went to a jazz club one night. Most recently, I went to an expensive restaurant with a “smart casual” dress code and there were people in there wearing sneakers, graphic t-shirts, a child in a tie-dye sweatshirt and matching leggings, etc. Sadly, most of these people appear to be tourists and frankly, they are ruining the experience. When you pay a lot of money for concert tickets and food at a restaurant at beautiful venues, you want to see people dressed nice. They really need to go back to enforcing dress codes….

  41. I live in a rural small community and find that style isn’t really that important since Covid. I feel like I get out of bed and change from my nitetime pajamas to my daytime pajamas! I have a closet full of nice clothes from my career days, but just can’t get our of the comport mode. Is there hope for less “I just don’t care” attitude?!

  42. Thank you, Susan, for all your work on the blog. I always read and appreciate your suggestions, comments and colour-sense. So useful.

    I am hoping to visit my sister-in-law in Hermosa Beach in February – I hope to book an appt. with you as I think you are fairly close to her place.

    Very best wishes for 2023!

  43. I think most of us dress in what we feel comfortable in. I feel most comfortable dressed a little nicer than average for where I live. I also think many women just don’t know how to dress in other than leisurewear and it’s not necessarily a cost issue. Leisurewear can cost a bundle! Even though I’m in my 70s, I occasionally get comments from much younger women about how nicely dressed I am.. My 30-something DIL asked me to help her shop for clothes for her professional job. She says she didn’t grow up in a family where anyone ever dressed in more than jeans and tshirts or sweatshirts and didn’t even know where to shop or how to coordinate outfits. Now she feels very comfortable and put together in leggings or slim legged pants and longer cardigans.
    We’ve been on several cruises the last 10 years with the same small cruise line. As each year has gone by, the dress has become much more casual. On the 1st cruise, there were a number of women dressed in evening wear and cocktail dresses. Now that’s a rarity. While women are dressed nicely, it’s more often than not nice slacks and nice tops.

    1. My impression is that the cruise lines are responding to input from cruisers. 10 years ago, we cruised on Crystal and there were 2 dressy nights (cocktail or dressier). 8 years later on a Crystal river cruise, despite a dress code of elegant casual for dinner, a few (clearly wealthy) guests did not always change for dinner, wearing attire like white shorts… On a recent Viking river cruise in France, despite the “elegant casual” dress code, about 50% of the ship wore their daytime casual (leggings) for dinner! About half the ship was from California, not surprisingly.

  44. Hi Susan, in 2007 my children were becoming tweens and I decided to start taking more care of myself. I have always been interested in French fashion, so googled ‘French Style’ and yours was one of the blogs that came up (along with Frances of Materfamilias). Mid-year our family moved to a European country for a few years and my next door neighbour was French, so between the two of you I got a very good education in French Style! Congratulations on your blog still being relevant, with wonderful, well-written content – I see I’m not the only one here who appreciates a well-written blog post!

  45. I thought it was just Canada that had gone over the top casual. Pajamas/leggings, ratty jeans and of course the Canadian flannel. Baseball caps on men makes me crazy and of course not removing their hats at the table. Like many have posted, to see a woman dressed nicely at an event and her partner looking like so casual to my mind shows no respect to the woman. I still dress up, wear dresses and always do my make-up and hair even if I’m staying home for the day. I feel more productive. I doubt I’ll change and enjoy fashion and putting myself together each day. I don’t care if I stand out like a “sore thumb”.

  46. First off, big thank you for helping me look better!! You. have really opened the door in making me feel better about myself. Big question:Where do I shop for a winter-y palette? Im looking for dark cool evergreen, dark indigo, raspberry, grayish white, etc….. Seems when I look (J crew, Madewell, Lands end, etc) its so limited. I want cotton, wool, real fabrics classically made but I need lots of T shirts etc jeans for work. (I am a rancher). I get frustrated with yucky color choices. I’d rather have only 2 T-shirts of the right color than have 5 of the wrong ones. I will gladly spend more to get good quality. You get what you pay for. Much thanks!!

    1. Thanks, susie! Have you checked out Everlane? They currently have some tees in a Winter blue (“Horizon blue”) here: I’ll be keeping my eyes open for more as we move into the next retail season.

  47. Love your intentions especially more content about color! Thank you again for the Personal Color Analysis ~ was so fun. Excited to see more options for my Spring palette.

  48. Interesting about dressing down. I have a college-aged daughter and son. They have a style, but it’s just different than what I consider put together. My daughter thinks about what she’s wearing as much as I do but she’s not going to get all “Talboty”, as another of your commenters wrote. She’s 21! It was a hard enough adjustment for me to accept that Lululemon leggings are pants for her generation. If she wore anything more dressy than jeans or leggings, a knit top, and a fleece or sweater, she’d really stick out among her peers. I do appreciate that she and her friends always like to find a nice dress for going out, though.

    For myself, 2020 marked not only the beginning of the pandemic, but also permanent work from home for me. For the first year or so, I never wore what I thought of as my “work” clothes unless I had a big zoom meeting, and then I only wore the top half & kept the bottom more or less weekend wear. But I got sick of it after a while, and sinceI have a closet full of beautiful work clothes from the before times, I’ve just started wearing them. Even if I don’t leave the house, I feel I’m “at work” and looking my best when I’m dressed, and I’m ready for an unexpected zoom/teams meeting any time. It’s also better for my mental health.

    Lately, I’ve been focused on sweaters because my home office is so chilly! Cashmere this year came in so many tempting colors.

    Thanks for your comment. I appreciate the inspiration.

  49. I find colour analysis extremely interesting. I am a Winter with brown eyes, pale complexion and was naturally a dark brunette with a high value contrast and low colour contrast.. In 2021 I underwent 5 months of chemo and was bald for 6 months till my hair started to grow in white. Whist undergoing chemo, I craved bright colours and wore a lot of royal blue, purple, hot pink and navy and pale grey were my neutrals. Rather than getting a wig (none looked natural) I wore hats and head scarves in the colours mentioned above. I found that I had to tone down my make up colours as my brighter lipsticks looked too garish so I changed to softer pinks. Now that my hair has grown in bright white, I have reverted back to my brightest lipsticks and blush as the softer colours are now too washed out on me. In addition to my bright colours, black and white are very flattering but the lighter greys no longer work. I’m assuming this is due to my high contrast level.
    Just wanted to share an interesting personal observation.