Personal Style Evolution - une femme d'un certain âge

Monday Miscellany: A Work In Progress, A Trend I’ll Skip & More

Detail: Susan B of une femme d'un certain age wears dark wash boyfriend jeans and metallic square toed mules.

A few of you have commented on my last few outfit posts that you liked my “old” style better. I get it, and do appreciate the honest feedback. I knew when I set out to do this “reset” that not everyone would like the changes. And I knew that it would take some time, experimentation, and missteps to incorporate some of these changes in a way that feels organic and seamless.

Personal Style Evolution: It’s A Process…

A few months ago, I felt very stuck with my style. I knew I wanted to add more color (or at least ditch some of the black), and add elements that expressed my quirky, playful side. Having a color and style analysis has helped get me unstuck. I’d painted myself into a corner so to speak, and now feel as though I have more options.

Top photo: these quirky square-toed mules have been favorites for a couple of years now. Thinking about adding a pair in red… 😉

Shopping has always been challenging for me. At 5’1′, I have to either stick to Petites ranges or to styles that can be altered. I’m also broad and curvy, which limits what silhouettes work for me. Long-over-lean has become a safe choice, but was feeling limiting (and a little stale). Changing that up a bit has put me well outside of my comfort zone. I’ve tried on a lot of new styles, but have kept very few so far. (And most of what I have kept is for cooler seasons ahead.)

Which is all a way of saying, I’m still getting my bearings. I don’t want to completely lose what felt innate and authentic, but rather freshen it up, and have some fun.

It’s been interesting, actually, to read your different perspectives. Style is about so much more than our physical selves. How we perceive certain styles or colors is a reflection of our region, culture, upbringing, and aesthetics. Which is what makes it so interesting to me.

The Glitterati

Sequined clothing at Neiman Marcus. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Yesterday I had to return something to Neiman Marcus, and decided to browse around the “contemporary” floor a bit. (Hope springs eternal that I’ll spot something perfect on the sale racks that I’d missed before, but nope.)

Striped sequined dress with fuchsia shoes. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

What I couldn’t help but notice though were Sequins. Lots and lots of sequins. It seems Fashion is having a Studio 54 moment. 😆 While I’m not averse to a little sparkle and glam occasionally, this feels a bit like Sparkle On Steroids. I’m guessing it’s the next stage of “Fashion, But Make It Instagram-able.”

Fall trend: Sequins! Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Those of you who are Style Magpies will have lots of fun shopping this season! I’ll sit this one out…

About Those Tee Shirt Holes

Having done a little research, I’ve discovered this is a common complaint. It’s (mostly) caused by friction with belt buckles or the button/snap on pants. Seatbelts and standing against kitchen counters will exacerbate the problem. It’s also become more of an issue lately due to lower quality cottons with shorter fibers. I’ve started making a point to wear an apron again when working in the kitchen, to try to prevent at least some of the wear.

How has your personal style evolved over the years? Is it something you’ve done on your own, or did you have guidance?

Stay in touch.

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  1. Maryann
    September 2, 2019 / 1:54 am

    I guess my biggest style evolution was regarding colour. I wear less colour and feel more me. Black is the solid core and I have banished navy from my wardrobe as it doesn’t make me happy. The only blue in my wardrobe is denim. The only colours I wear are green (olive and forest), deeper burgundy reds and darker grays both summer and winter. I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it works for me. I will be 60 next year and I have never been happier with the items hanging in my wardrobe.

    • lagatta à Montréal
      September 2, 2019 / 8:11 am

      Those are also the colours that make up the bulk of my wardrobe, along with a certain deep violet (yes, I know some purples are horrid on anyone, but this is a far less garish colour). I do wear bright red as well, but a cooler one as opposed to a Chinese red.

    • barb
      September 2, 2019 / 1:05 pm

      I find that funny, as I neared 60 I found that black was no longer “dramatic” but just drained the color from me. With the aging I became lighter in skin and hair. Now I still have a ton of black bottoms, but I have moved to navy for my tops. My colors have gone from black, blue and plum, to olive, navy, sky blue and navy.

  2. Patricia
    September 2, 2019 / 3:16 am

    I have started using black and navy as my core colors, usually as a column of color. Eileen Fisher’s “midnight” is a nice navy and I’ve been purchasing pieces as they go on sale. Ditto with her black. I find that I am avoiding prints, instead adding interest with jewelry or scarves/kimonos. And even those are pretty subtle. Also, I’ve always had problems with my feet and as I’ve aged the problems have multiplied. So I’m really limited in my choice of footwear, and that has actually made shopping for shoes a breeze. Naot sandals, Naot mary janes, Aquatalia boots, ECCO sneakers. And all with my trusty Birkenstock blue insoles.

    • Katie
      September 2, 2019 / 4:50 am

      I never gave much thought about color when I was working; – style and fit were more compelling. The exception being that I avoided pastels and anything in the brown family. Now my retirement/travel wardrobe is predominantly black and grays with a touch of navy and white. Although I have some summer stripe tees, I also avoid most prints and love wearing my Hermès scarves. Eileen Fisher has been my go-to brand since the 80s. I now participate in her recycling program.

  3. Liz
    September 2, 2019 / 3:33 am

    I like your old style, I also like your new & evolving style ! The boost of colours you have injected are making you look alive & vibrant – case in point, your leather moto jacket in the “Spirits & Spices” post. You inspired me to go out & get my own colour analysis done – but low & behold, they took my favourite colour “black” out my colour wheelhouse along with olive/khaki green & a few others as well. Leaving me with grey / brown / plums as the new base, all of which I will admit is a struggle, as I’ve only ever felt comfortable wearing black or denim (usually darker washes). I loved your “Tools not Rules” reference in the MAKING IT WORK post, so I am trying to use that as a guide, as I navigate my own wardrobe & try to come up with outfits that work, as ultimately ditching & replacing my existing wardrobe is neither practical or feasible.

  4. September 2, 2019 / 4:11 am

    What I liked about your previous style was how dramatic your dusters were. They seemed daring and chic and not the safe choice at all, especially for someone who is petite, but you always looked great. Maybe when you become used to it, it no longer feels fresh and edgy. Now you’re more focused on colors, and that’s cool, too.
    As for sequins, sure, for going out. Maybe they are out in anticipation of winter parties?

  5. Laurel Armstrong
    September 2, 2019 / 4:25 am

    I’ve recently met with a lovely energetic wardrobe consultant. The result is I’m paying more attention, exploring one-of-a-kind items in colours that appeal to me from a ‘Fall’ colour palette.
    I’m 5’4″ and heavier than average, soon to be 70 and feel like I’m tired of the notion that I should fade away. I have made time to explore more creative activities and include that creative energy into wardrobe pieces.
    I’m also practical about my wardrobe – it has to earn the space in the closet by being multi-functional. No more dresses for going out – interesting jackets, tailored pants, funky shoes and boots without high heels – comfortable, colourful and something that might be hand-made, and I won’t see someone else wearing the same item.
    Enjoy your process and progress as you make your changes. I’m enjoying your postings – thanks!

  6. Susan B2
    September 2, 2019 / 4:25 am

    Love that you keep it fresh! Your style refresh has been an inspiration to consider not only fashion ruts, but how we choose the familiar even when we might prefer something different. And then any return to the familiar is a decision, not just a habit. Keep the inspiration coming!

  7. September 2, 2019 / 4:31 am

    I want to encourage you, Susan, that your personal style is exactly that…YOUR personal style. We all have to do what we believe it right for us and it is difficult as a blogger when we have so many opinions…some good, some not. Years ago I decided I wanted to communicate messages with my style and I have stuck to those style adjectives and developed them over the years. In the past year and half, I decided I wanted to be more creative and approachable, and less professional. I did this because I want more of my clothing to transfer into a retired life whenever I am ready to retire. I also wanted to reflect more of the community where I live….San Antonio is very colorful and multi-cultural. So, I have stepped up the color a bit. However, I love my neutrals and will continue to have them in my wardrobe. As long as I say with my clothes, what I want the world to know about me then I am being true to my personal style. I look in the mirror each morning when I dress and ask myself…what does this say about me. That is how I became more confident with my style. In regards to the sequins…I still would love to own one great sequined jacket, that is affordable just to have for fun times. I do attend a lot of local events where it would work. But, so far, the price does not justify the amount of times I would wear it. Do what you feel like is Susan. Do who Susan wants to be right now with her life. Be confident and strong and do not allow the naysayers to discourage you. No one else is une femme…only you!

    • Sandra
      September 2, 2019 / 8:19 am

      I totally agree with what you just said. The energy and confidence that a women projects is her best style!

  8. Sydney
    September 2, 2019 / 4:38 am

    To weigh in on your new direction — I love it! I love that it’s you, that it’s personal, and it’s not going for the universal. It encourages me to do the same.
    Wouldn’t it be great to have a blog that witnessed three or four other women, all with different styles and color profiles, going through a similar process of evolution?
    Thank you for taking the plunge.

  9. September 2, 2019 / 4:38 am

    I’ve followed your blog for awhile, even though I don’t believe I’ve ever commented! And actually I’ve made a few purchases along the way of things that you’ve introduced! But I did want to comment about the “comments” you have received regarding your style revamp. And I make these observations, based on a conversation I had with a group of women just last night! We were talking about “CHANGE”! The subject was my hair! I have always had short croppy, puffy hair…..just as tall as product would take it! But then I had the notion that “it’s time”! Time for a change! And suddenly I was growing it out all one length, sleek and parted on the side! It took FOREVER! But I have now arrived. It was interesting how the discussion has gone regarding this process. Nobody liked it at first. (It was CHANGE) People weren’t unkind…. they mostly waited until I had “arrived” and THEN they told me how they had felt! And I agreed with them. I had felt the same way. But now EVERYBODY tells me how much better it looks and don’t ever go back. And really, I think it’s just that they have gotten used to it. And I have, too. Enough time has gone by that I finally look like “me” again….. the new me! So hang in there “French Susan” (that’s what me and my sister call you…. because we can’t ever remember the name of your blog!) Being willing to change and revamp and adjust is the very thing that keeps us from growing stale and predictable!

  10. September 2, 2019 / 4:40 am

    We were in Paris after you were there this summer and we were lucky to have missed the heat wave! I did buy a navy blue tee shirt with a sequined anchor on the front. It was by Mat de Maisanne. Too many sequins reminds me of The Golden Girls! I agree, we all have our own style and wear what we feel comfortable in. It is good at times to add more color and different styles to what we already have in our closets. And, of course, we always have to take into consideration our figures. I just hope you did not get rid of too many items from your wardrobe and some day regret it! I say that because I have done that many times! I will wake up in the morning thinking, “oh no, did I get rid of that?” lol

  11. Linda
    September 2, 2019 / 4:53 am

    I have been enjoying your blog for several months. In recent months, I have discovered tiny holes in two of my favorite tee shirts. It is so annoying as they are not cheap ones and should have the quality. While not happy, I am glad I am not the only one.

    • Kathleen
      September 2, 2019 / 7:30 am

      I have noticed those type of holes, too. I was blaming my kitty who knows how to open drawers and the tees out. Now I am not so sure!

      • lagatta à Montréal
        September 3, 2019 / 4:21 am

        If they are “good” t-shirts, such as in linen or pima cotton, I darn them. Be careful to get the same shade, at shops for people who sew professionally or as a hobby. Kitties have superpowers, as we all know.

  12. Kathy
    September 2, 2019 / 4:56 am

    I’ve evolved on my own and now that I’ve retired, I find that many of my clothes are just hanging around unworn. Guess I need a clean-out (again!). I will not wear sequins unless it’s a costume which they tend to remind me. And thanks for mentioning the t-shirt holes. I’ve had many, especially Eileen Fisher and thought it was all my dog’s fault, but agree that the quality may be at issue.
    Thanks for sharing your evolution and hang in there!

  13. Elizabeth M
    September 2, 2019 / 4:56 am

    I too am a petite. I’ve stayed away from a long over lean look as I feel like it drags me down if the long is especially long. Your recent leather jacket is on a scale that would look good on me too. I really loved that piece. Not only is the scale good but the color is sensational. Wouldn’t it look good with a monochrome look of navy pants and navy top underneath along with some of your gorgeous French Kande jewelry? It would be great to see more items like this.

  14. Jane
    September 2, 2019 / 5:00 am

    Susan, I was so amazed at how much life the new colors brought to your complexion that finding my colors has become a complete obsession. You always looked good and stylish. But your new direction is definitely a good direction for you. Thank you for the inspiration.

  15. Konda
    September 2, 2019 / 5:07 am

    I love your new look with the colors and style shift. The colors, glasses, hair make you look young and pretty. The new style looks good on your shorter body. I am 5’3″ and wear a similar style. Everyone has an opinion, but you do you. I think we all know when we are hitting our sweet spot of looking our best.

  16. Mary
    September 2, 2019 / 5:21 am

    Thank you for sharing your journey. At almost 69 years old, I still am trying to find the real me. It is not effortless. Your candor about the process inspires me.

  17. km
    September 2, 2019 / 5:21 am

    I think your new direction is fab. The colors really make your style and you pop. Keep it up!

  18. Maire
    September 2, 2019 / 5:31 am

    I usually wear an apron when cooking because I’ve decided that my t shirts attract splashes.

    However I recently came across these – I haven’t tried them because I don’t have those pesky little holes in my t shirts.

  19. Ellen
    September 2, 2019 / 5:33 am

    I think the move to more/new colors was overdue, same for trying new shapes. Its very easy to say “this is my style” and stick to it too long. My one comment would be that as you look for new shapes and styles to suit your “gamine” style, I think you also need to be exploring new stores. Always shopping in the tried and true places is going to keep taking you back to the tried and true styles. You have a huge city to explore in this regard, and it would be fun for your readers to join you in that exploration.

  20. Laurie
    September 2, 2019 / 5:34 am

    Susan, I love that your personal style is evolving. Your posts are always very inspiring and I like that they offer some takeaway for many different women. I especially like your attitude, “tools not rules”. My style has been evolving slowly over the last five years which is when I retired. At retirement my clothing needs changed greatly. Also about a year and half ago I stopped coloring my hair and had it cut pretty short. My hair is growing out and now salt and pepper, but I expect it will become lighter sometime in the future. My hair color has a big impact on which colors look good on me and my usual make-up colors really don’t work anymore. I’m having fun experimenting with different make-up products and hair styles.

  21. Anne
    September 2, 2019 / 5:43 am

    I can’t believe people are giving you grief about your style evolution! You be you, girl! I personally have LOVED hearing about the “why” of what you’re doing. I’m also stuck in a rut with all neutrals, so I am inspired by the colors you’re incorporating into your wardrobe. I also switched out black for navy and camel as my neutrals and am loving building a wardrobe around them. Love red and camel! Thanks for putting yourself out there to grow and evolve. Don’t listen to the naysayers

    • lagatta à Montréal
      September 2, 2019 / 8:37 am

      Yes, really, “t’aint nobody’s business if I do”. Except for red, very few of Susan’s current colours are mine, but why should they be? We live in very different climates for one thing. Light wash jeans look too beach casual here, but are probably fine in LA.

    • Kellee
      September 7, 2019 / 4:47 pm

      I agree! I appreciate you educating us on your process. I have learned a lot from your blog and have purchased several items that you have recommended (YES to Lipault luggage). To me the beauty of getting older is getting to be ME! Not who my kids, spouse, co-workers, parents, want me to be, but who I truly am.

      You go girl!

  22. Diane B
    September 2, 2019 / 5:45 am

    After finishing my colour and style consults, I am amazed at how much more ‘me’ I am feeling. I didn’t even realize how stuck I was. Strange how when I look at pictures of the old style and new me, I can see how the length and shape of a top can make the world of difference. I am now embracing my figure in a more ‘romantic’ style, just softened up to compliment the softer bone structure. People are slow to grasp change if it is not the way you have dressed in the past, but personally I am loving it and will continue to grow with it. If someone says ” oh, you look so different” I will reply that isn’t is great that I feel so much more me now. I will still keep the unusual jewellery I love, and make sure there are no rough edges and square details, which just don’t feel right anyway. You just remember you are an inspiration to many out there and keep going.

  23. Katrinka
    September 2, 2019 / 5:52 am

    Two years ago I had my colors done. I have been accumulating the “right colors” in clothing pieces since then but always thought I could keep black pieces and make them work with my colors. Then you, Susan, got your colors done and I realized my black pieces must go.

    Black is not a good color for the majority of women but we’ve heard over the years that everyone needs a “little black dress”, and the “perfect white blouse” (pure white is also not a good color for many people). It’s all marketing. Black and white are easy colors for manufacturers to produce. White and black look awful on me as I also have a warm undertone.

    • Rondi
      September 2, 2019 / 9:37 am

      Exactly! And black is not necessarily slimming either. I don’t need a little black dress or a perfect white blouse.

  24. Marie
    September 2, 2019 / 6:04 am

    Just love your blog, Susan. I love that you are willing to experiment with your style. Everyone is unique and what works for some, does not always work for others. I just say no to anything sparkly unless it’s a holiday or black tie event. But that’s just me! I’m also short (5’) and have a small frame. I’m overweight at the moment from battling Hashimoto’s Disease and it is making me crazy trying to get my diet and weight under control. That said, it’s totally affecting my wardrobe. I’m restless with my style too, and want to make some changes and bolder choices. Just turned 65, am in the process of being divorced and moving to a new city – new life, new wardrobe??!! Anyway, you have been a real inspiration and following your sartorial evolution has given me hope for my challenged wardrobe! You always look wonderful!

  25. Robin
    September 2, 2019 / 6:09 am

    I guess I’ve had the opposite reaction to your new style. Just looking at the expression on your face, you seem more comfortable in your own skin, so to speak. I enjoy your new look and it looks like you are too. Thanks for taking us along on your journey. It’s really quite inspiring even though I’m quite opposite in coloring.

  26. September 2, 2019 / 6:16 am

    If I had somewhere to wear it I’d buy a fabulous sequinned jacket. But I don’t, so I won’t. Unless I find something in vintage. Now there’s a thought.
    I love the new looks, Sue. I still remember back when you cut your hair very short, the first time. I gasped, actually gasped, in delight. I think short hair is perfect on you. So youthful, and way more appropriate for your laid back retirement lifestyle. Ditto the new colours. Although I have to say I always thought you looked great. Now you just look greater.:)

  27. Leoni
    September 2, 2019 / 6:34 am

    I spent months trying to determine why I had tiny pinholes—up to seven or eight of them – around the middle of my shirts. I finally realized that I always wear a cross-body purse and I had started wearing jeans again after weight loss two years ago. The friction of the jeans closure against the fabric with my purse hanging exactly at that level when I walk created the holes. I had to eventually throw away six or seven good T-shirts and blouses and now I am very careful to buy pants that pull on. No more regular jeans.

    In addition, I am one of those who comes down on the side of preferring your previous hair color and color palette. While I do love the way the bright shades perk up your skin tone, I think that the hair and clothing color palette you chose before was ultimately more flattering.

  28. Marcia
    September 2, 2019 / 6:35 am

    I’ve been following you for a few months now and have enjoyed reading about your style transformation. The Red Leopard posts were so inspiring and have motivated me to re-examine my wardrobe style and colour choices. As fall approaches, I look forward to shopping with a more selective plan. I love your new lipstick colour and how your new wardrobe colours enhance your skin tone.

    • September 2, 2019 / 11:31 am

      I too have always enjoyed your blog. I find it presented in a fresh conversational way, like a friend. Maybe that is why some have felt comfortable critiquing your style and you are always very diplomatic in your responses. I would love to have a style and color analysis. Nothing is an absolute and appreciate how you are tweeking your changes with the “older” ones. I too am feeling stuck fashion wise and look forward to making some well thought out changes.

  29. Cate
    September 2, 2019 / 6:44 am

    I just want to chime on on the tee shirt holes. This has been a problem for me for years and the demise of many knit tops. I’m going to warn you that wearing an apron at the kitchen counter may not help because the counter will still push the apron — and the tee shirt behind it — against the button of your jeans. The only thing I’ve found that works is a little doodad called Shirt Guardian. It’s a rubber covering that fits over the button on your jeans and gives your tee shirt something soft to rub against in place of the metal. It really works, with a couple of minor drawbacks: if your buttonhole is tight, the extra bulk of the covering can make it hard to button and unbutton, and it does easily pop off in the wash or when taking jeans on and off. But worth a try if you have lots of lightweight tees that are getting ruined.

  30. Eileen
    September 2, 2019 / 7:07 am

    I love your new look! I had two thoughts about the color black; one is, the travel suitcase dilemma, as we have smaller suitcases, the rise of black clothes increased. Two, the grey hair dilemma, as some have let the grey grow out, black may have increased as a wearable color. I don’t wear black, as I’m a summer coloration, so these are my observations. As a spring, in your case, or a summer, in my case, we are probably in the minority color wise, compared to how many winters and autumns there are. I have struggled for many years trying to find my colors. Keep going, your look is inspired!

  31. rosefloyd
    September 2, 2019 / 7:13 am

    Susan, thanks to you I have added some unique and utilitarian items to my wardrobe–the metallic square toe shoes you feature and mentioned you might want in red–I purchased them both several years ago when you provided the link.

    If they’re still available, my advice is to go for it! I wear the red almost as much as the metallic shoes.
    They are comfortable enough for most daily activities and add style and interest, particularly when paired with beige, gray and denim.

    I find at this stage in life it is easy to vascillate between taking great care and effort to be put together every day and deciding it’s all too vain and superficial and a huge time waster. Having been known for a love of fashion and taking the time to dress well, it’s a suprising conundrum.

    You inspire us to keep up appearances and your recent foray into a different look is a good reminder that we should try new things, always.

    • September 2, 2019 / 11:37 am

      I had to respond as I too feel conflicted about fashion. While working I had a doable fashion style and enjoyed shopping. Now that I have been retired with more time I find myself somewhat disinterested and would just like to find a ” uniform” way of dressing.

  32. Laura
    September 2, 2019 / 7:17 am

    I love your new color palette and style! The gamine style with shorter fitted pieces (like that fabulous leather jacket) appears just right for your shape and size. But those long lightweight linen-knit dusters still work I think. And as hard as it must be, eliminating black has revitalized your look IMHO. As a sales associate in an Eileen Fisher store, I am seeing more and more women with your coloring say no to more black, switching to other neutrals like midnight and camel tones, and experimenting with more color. I had my colors done years ago and knowing my winter palette of black, grey, pure white, and rich cool jewel tones looks best on me has guided my shopping for decades. My now silver hair works well with these collars, too. I’ve loved reading about your style revolution. Can’t wait to see your fall outfits!

  33. P T
    September 2, 2019 / 7:23 am

    I always wear an apron. I like to keep my clothes clean.

  34. Sally
    September 2, 2019 / 7:24 am

    Susan this has been such an interesting process and I’ve really enjoyed your willingness to shake up your style and color choices. It’s brave to show the process to all your followers as well. Here’s what I found for myself—-
    I had my colors redone by my artist friend (she did them way back in 1990 or so when I wasn’t silver haired). My colors hadn’t changed that much but my palette isn’t bright for the most part but rather more muted or the tones being grayed down. To her artistic eye a person with light skin, light hair and medium to light toned eyes should be wearing muted colors so that they’re face is framed in a balanced way, rather than being overwhelmed.
    So I got some education there, but I also realized that I had favorite pieces that were black or navy that I wasn’t willing to give up. My palette is so muted that it’s difficult for me to find anything wearable. So I just decided to adapt a little at a time, as you are doing. Adding color helped me get out of a rut as well but I’m more comfortable wearing clothes and colors that are subtle and not ‘shouty’. Thanks so much for this wee journey Susan, it’s been fun!!

  35. Anon
    September 2, 2019 / 7:25 am

    Life changes. We change. Our bodies change. Have fun!

  36. Ivmfox
    September 2, 2019 / 7:33 am

    Good for you Susan, I appreciate your honesty. Like you, I am feeling “stuck” and I am in the process of beginning the journey toward some positive changes. Still in love with black and wary about color, but remember that “It’s the journey, not the destination. “

  37. Belinda
    September 2, 2019 / 7:51 am

    Just a couple comments
    Love love those mules! Do they clomp a lot?
    Sequins… just say NO
    I for one am all aboard your style reset!
    You always say you are short, broad, and curvy. I don’t see that in your photos. So you either wear exactly the right fit or you have a wrong self image. Give yourself some grace

    • Susan B
      September 2, 2019 / 8:19 am

      Thanks, Belinda! No, I don’t find they clomp much.

    • Carol
      September 2, 2019 / 2:01 pm

      Amen, Belinda! You hit the nail on the head.

      Although I see the petite 5’1 frame that fits nicely into a 6P, I do not see the broad curvy shape that Susan describes. With all due respect, I think it is indeed a matter of wrong self-image, not that there is anything wrong with broad and curvy. We sometimes internalize comments uttered long ago and we allow those words to have an undeserved shelf life in defining our bodies. Susan, please know that the way you characterize your body does not accurately reflect my perspective of what I see in your photos. I think the style reset shows what a great figure you have because the long dusters overwhelmed your petite frame.

      • Susan B
        September 3, 2019 / 1:06 pm

        I should clarify that when I say “broad and curvy,” what I mean is that I have broad shoulders, a full bust and bottom, and have soft rather than angular contours. (“Curvy” has often been used synonymously with “plus-sized” which might be part of the confusion.)

  38. Lisa B
    September 2, 2019 / 8:02 am

    I love your new style and hair color!! Good for you for shaking things up a bit! I have friends who are still wearing the most boring outfits who make me think twice before wearing my camo pants when out with them. I haven’t seen a dramatic change in your taste as you still push the envelope (.good for you ) in your fashion choices and I just love that. I’ve purchased several items you’ve recommended, the AG chinos and the navy blazer from Italy, to name a few.
    Thanks for addressing the hole issue in the tees. I’ve found Everlane tees to hold up the best, although I did experience the dreaded holes toward the end of the season.

  39. Pamela
    September 2, 2019 / 8:05 am

    Another cause of holes: open zippers in the washing machine. If this might be a problem, do up zips (especially the metal ones in jeans) and turn the garment inside-out.

  40. Irene
    September 2, 2019 / 8:12 am

    I find the new colour choices very refreshing. It is interesting watching your wardrobe evolve as you change things up a bit. I particularly like the brighter colours. I look forward to each post. Thank you for letting us follow along.

  41. Karen
    September 2, 2019 / 8:12 am

    I love your new style – mostly because it reflects you. The colors are certainly flattering. It seems that you were ready to wear what you loved, rather than what we’re all told looks right. At a certain age, we get that. I agree with your point that location/regional styles matter, too. In sunny climates, we wear brighter colors, for instance. For urban life, darker colors make sense. Career wardrobes often dictate style. That’s why it’s such fun to finally decide to wear things that say, “This is actually me.” I’ve observed many women thinking they have to wear super dramatic clothes to express that urge and it has actually become a uniform with little individuality, but you’ve done it in an elegant way – finding your own path.

  42. Sharon Neff
    September 2, 2019 / 8:25 am

    I started following you just before your color analysis. I love your new colors! I do not like black (except for evening wear) and wear dark brown(mainly) or khaki as my base color. I actually gravitate to bright colors and prints. But I’m paying more attention to you since I’m 5’1″ and curvy as well. I’m 65 and I’m determined not to dress like some of my dowdy friends. I like a bit of sequins sometimes. But not much of what I’m seeing these days. Thanks for all of your ideas!

  43. Wendy
    September 2, 2019 / 8:27 am

    Love love love your new style, palette and haircut. I’m pale, but with a warm skin tone, and I’ve dumped the majority of black in my closet for warmer alternatives. So liberating. Like you, I find the psychology of colors, how we feel about them, how they affect us, fascinating. Also, our robust reaction to change! From your writing and new images, I sense your lightness and wit. I’m so enjoying seeing it reflected in your outfits and thoughtful posts.

  44. Lyn
    September 2, 2019 / 8:31 am

    Seat belts! I think those are the culprit for those little holes in my wool sweaters. I suspected moths, but the holes were always in the same place.

    I’m a Summer, but I won’t give up my black. It just works too well for travel and going out. I always feel good in it. That said, I have a large collection of colorful print tops. Magenta and orange cardigan with lime-green chrysanthemums? I’ve got it, wear it, love it. Your blog endorses it — “We all need a splash of bad taste…” I’m willing to take that chance — it’s too much fun not to.

  45. lagatta à Montréal
    September 2, 2019 / 8:55 am

    There is much evidence that sequins are very bad for the environment. I know that many aspect of the garment industry are harmful to the environment and to garment workers, but it is something to consider. Personally I’m not fond of it in any case.

  46. kathy
    September 2, 2019 / 8:59 am

    I have followed you for years and always enjoy your posts. You seem to be a lovely person! I think your new colors and evolving style make you look even prettier. I agree that the colors make you look younger. You are brave to do all of this out in the open so to speak.

  47. Rondi
    September 2, 2019 / 9:04 am

    I do like to embrace my sense of style. It’s a little harder when you are older. The style from my youth can be tweaked and revamped because I like my style. I am self taught although it would be fun to hear what professionals have to say. I have worn short hair most of my life and love it. Color wise I am a soft autumn. And the Gamine style has always been attractive to me even before I knew what it was! Long over lean doesn’t really work for me. I don’t care for black or pure white on me. And they are not in my palette. My fashion instincts have been pretty good. But discovering the soft autumn palette has been a lifesaver. Warm but muted colors are not the easiest to find but I do look better in them. Learning never ends and I am always eager to read your posts.

  48. Debra Johnson
    September 2, 2019 / 9:04 am

    I love seeing you in color! You look so happy. It’s refreshing. I love color. Wearing it always boosts my spirits. I’m also petite – 5′ and a bit heavier than I like…will be 63 in October. Working on getting those pounds off. Would love to get my colors done since the last time they were done was in the early 80s. Everyone should evolve – nothing is static – if it is, then that’s a problem! 🙂 Keep having fun! I still want a tulle skirt! Never too old for fun!

  49. Debra
    September 2, 2019 / 9:19 am

    I think at our age (I am 59) it is fun to reinvent yourself from time to time – and your style reset is just that. I did like many of your older outfits (someone commented on the dusters and yes, I did love those) but I also am enjoying seeing you move in a new direction.

    As you move away from black I am moving towards it, in an attempt to adopt a more minimalist style. I’ve entered into a self-imposed clothes buying moratorium until next year, and am enjoying the perspective it is giving me. Thank goodness for your new direction – I am shopping vicariously through you and love seeing the new pieces that you add from time to time. Thank you! I really do love the thoughtful way that you approach style and life in general.

  50. Florence
    September 2, 2019 / 9:20 am

    I’ve always loved color & it’s gone well with my dark hair & dark eyes, but as my hair has greyed, it’s become more of a challenge to understand what works. I feel more washed out & my hairstylist & I have discussed adding highlights of my original color for balance. It’s a work in progress.
    I’m also short & gamine, 5’1” on a good day. Dusters have been good for masking & disguising, but I know that proportionally, better fitting clothes are preferable. Also, as our lives change, so too do our wardrobe needs, which doesn’t make us stop wanting those unnecessaries. I agree that functionality & versatility rule.
    Please forgive this rant, but this seems like the appropriate place. I know that this is going to sound sacrilegious, but I keep feeling that Eileen Fisher has lost her spark. She used to have fabulous colors & more interesting shapes, but she’s gone boxy, boring & repetitive IMO. I still try to shop there, but I miss her former reliability.
    Thanks for the note about holes in cotton tees at waist height.

    • Susan B
      September 2, 2019 / 9:26 am

      I agree with you about EF and the unrelentingly boxy shapes. I think it’s a combination of current trends and being cheaper to produce than more fitted pieces.

      • Florence
        September 2, 2019 / 11:12 am

        Sadly, the key word is “cheaper” but that hasn’t lowered her prices 🙁 EF built her business on “women of a certain age,” but now isn’t doing us any favors. I even mentioned that she’s become boring to my local EF store & they didn’t seem to know how to deal with my politely given comment. Women have curves. Young girls are straight. Some DESIGN would be appreciated!

  51. Marjory
    September 2, 2019 / 9:27 am

    My kitchen counter has riveted trim around the edge and I am certain those rivets contribute to my t-shirts developing holes in the front. (Though jeans buttons may contribute.) An apron is the obvious solution, thank you!

  52. Gerri Russell
    September 2, 2019 / 9:35 am

    Hi. I read your ‘style and color’ analysis with interest because I had the great fortune to have Joan Songer (the founder of the PSC method) ‘do’ my colors in the late 70s in Oakland, California. I believe your colorists follow the same theory. As you know, it’s more than being identified with a ‘season’. The are various qualities that identify and make up your style, from: Romantic, Dramatic, Classic, High Spirited, Natural and sevral color harmonies: Rich, Stiking, Animated. (These are mine). That said, it does take some concerted thought to find the rhythm of your style. You are on your way. Enjoy the process!

  53. Linda
    September 2, 2019 / 9:43 am

    I also had trouble with holes in t-shirts. I found the largest culprit was the METAL button at the top of my jeans. The edge of that button dug into the shirt when ever I leaned against anything, esp kitchen counter top! I have changed out all metal top buttons to something else, and the hole issue went away.

    • Adele
      September 3, 2019 / 8:57 am

      I never had the problem with holes (but my daughter did), however I always disliked the way the closure of my jeans or trousers would stick out a bit at the waist. I have since bought a couple of SkinniBelts ( and they are really fantastic at protecting clothes and creating a more streamlined look. Have turned several of my colleagues onto them as well.

  54. September 2, 2019 / 9:47 am

    It is fascinating how the discussion of “color” so often focuses on “black”. Certainly the retail market has made it easiest for us to purchase basics in black. But I think, in North American culture we’ve begun to associate black with “slimming”, “professional”, “chic”, “easy”, “classic” etc. and therefore when people balk about giving up black it’s out of a misplaced belief that they will be giving up the look/feel they associate with it. I was once married to black (I wanted to be chic) and I look at my old photos and I am shocked at how old black made me look compared to my current dark neutrals (navy/dark green). Black usually works for those who have/had black hair. For the rest of us, not so much. I, for one, applaud every woman who has the courage to choose color & style that truly supports them and allows them to be seen. In a sea of black, be you!

    • lagatta à Montréal
      September 2, 2019 / 11:28 am

      I love dark green, but it is still relatively hard to find, although it is supposedly fashionable. Navy always feels dowdy to me.

    • lagatta à Montréal
      September 2, 2019 / 5:52 pm

      That is certainly NOT restricted to North America. Little black dress and all started in France.

  55. SS
    September 2, 2019 / 9:47 am

    In the past, I would have a style crisis and feel as though I had nothing to wear. At some point, I realized the crisis would happen at the end of a season. Once I learned it was more of a calendar-crisis rather than a fashion-crisis, I just let it happen. I am 5′ 4″ light skin and blonde-now turned-brown hair, and I love to wear classic styles in black. To liven things up, I wear red lipstick, funky reading glasses, scarves, fun shoes, bags, etc. I pretty much do the same with my home, but rather than black, neutral tones that I liven up with artwork and pillows.

  56. Kathleen Blackmur
    September 2, 2019 / 10:29 am

    I’ve followed you for years. I’m also SoCal, so your outfits really represent what will work for me. You always look chic, but I agree that the “long over lean black bottoms” can read “stale” and I applaud your new silhouette and color adventure. Moving away from black is refreshing and I’m trying to do the same, so thank you for the inspiration. Style is for fun and self expression and as long as you feel fabulous, I say go for it. Life is too short for playing it safe with style!

  57. citizen spot
    September 2, 2019 / 10:38 am

    The only thing about my personal style that has changed over the years is the choice of fabrics. Cotton knits have overtaken cotton twill as they are more accommodating to my, uh, broader horizons. : )
    Thanks all for the info on the mystery of the t shirt holes. I used to blame the cat, but never to his face, of course. Cats have sneaky ways of getting even. : )

  58. Ann
    September 2, 2019 / 10:41 am

    While I was in college in the 70’s, I dated a gentleman who was a florist. As a young college student I followed the trends including the colors that were seasonal, including browns and tans. He told me that the colors that I should be wearing were black, navy, forest green, and reds and burgundies that are blue based. He was right…I get more compliments when I where those colors!

  59. Brenda
    September 2, 2019 / 10:45 am

    Susan – thanks, as always, for your work on the blog. I’m glad that you are experimenting with new styles (as Benjamin Franklin said “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished”) and trying to find what’s right for you right now. I don’t always love the outfits for me (who cares, you’re wearing them) – and I do like them for you!

  60. September 2, 2019 / 11:24 am

    Wow. As I read through these comments I had many thoughts. I agree with all that your courage to tweak your wardrobe is admirable!! As an artist I often try new things just to keep growing and not become stagnant. And I’ve found, like many artists, that we often learn more by “failing” than sticking to what is “safe”.I believe we just get better by trying new ideas on. And those that don’t work have a way of being eliminated. Among my friends (all over 60) that we seem to be coming to an age where the color black is a bit too harsh for some of us. And head to toe black often makes us look more massive. Plus there is the “widow” look of wearing a lot of black when one is a senior. Color, if it is dead on, can make a person look so much happier, prettier, ageless. Some seasons, the colors which suit us best are in short supply. We just have to be patient. I have found a few great pieces in a consignment boutique where the seasons don’t seem to dominate the color choices. As many of you have mentioned here, I’m wearing less and less black also and I think it’s been a great decision! Susan I applaud you for taking the leap!

  61. Carol Spears
    September 2, 2019 / 12:03 pm

    Wow! I was really surprised to read that you had any negative comments about changing your style. I love the colours you have added. I have been wearing too much black over the past couple of years. As a redhead, your new look reminded me of the importance of colour for those of us who have light hair and are fair skinned and that black often overwhelms us. I am now following Red Leopard on Instagram – thank you so much for featuring them – and am starting to redo my wardrobe in the autumn colours that suit me best. Because my hair and skin has softened over the years, I am focusing on the less intense colours of the autumn palette. Thanks again for the inspiration!

  62. Lucretia Roletta
    September 2, 2019 / 12:28 pm

    It doesn’t matter one bit if some people don’t like your new style. You probably wouldn’t like theirs!!
    I do like your new affair with color that suits you. I think ones style evolves over the years.
    I think the holes are coming from the vastly inferior and cheap fabrics being hoisted on us. These fabrics once used on cheap fabrics are filtering to higher priced items.

  63. Jacqueline DeWolf
    September 2, 2019 / 12:34 pm

    I like both your new and old style. I think you look fantastic. Yes go for the red mules.

  64. Mary Fisher
    September 2, 2019 / 1:00 pm

    Dear Susan: Thank you for your most interesting blog. It is always one of the bright spots of my days. I think everyone gets to decide what and how to dress (within reason and good taste of course) and I love to see what you chose and what others think. I say, do another completely different re-set next year. It will be a lot of fun to see that too! Thank you for the info on shoes (my feet hurt most of the time) and fit on all items. Your blog is better than any fashion magazine though I know the magazines have different goals etc. In the US and western Europe there are plenty of clothes to wear and to buy. That is a blessing. I do think we all need to think about having less in the closet and more items we love for many years. For most of us that purposeful consideration of clothing is somewhat new. It was not new for our grandmothers who had to make things last, and I guess for many women in Europe, less is more and better quality have long ruled the fashion experience. Brava to you and all of your readers.

  65. Daniella
    September 2, 2019 / 1:27 pm

    It will take you a while to learn how to incorporate more color in your wardrobe without going overboard with it. Since the weather in SO CAL is mostly mild and the natural light there so bright, having more color in your wardrobe is a given for you. But, I would not totally give up on black, navy, gray or tan. They can all be embellished with a sprinkle of color in the colder seasons. In the warmer months you can add a lot more color and perhaps replace from time to time the old comfy jeans with more twill or other lighter weight fabrics for interest and variety. The goal is always
    “Nonchalante chic”, rather than a too studied ensemble. You are certainly on your way. Keep going!!

  66. September 2, 2019 / 1:35 pm

    It’s been fun to see you add more color to your wardrobe. As someone who has always loved color, I have always had a variety of color in my closet. I do gravitate to certain colors and stay away from others due to my hair and skin tone. For me it’s more instinct, although I do have my ‘colors done’ over 30 years ago. What I learned back then was that my instincts were good and I was wearing colors that looked good on me. Over the years I have made very few clothing blunders, but once in a while something will call my name and I will succumb. Very rarely do I regret a purchase, but if it happens, I happily donate it so someone else can enjoy my error in judgement.
    Oh, I love a little sequins, but sometimes it’s too much.

  67. September 2, 2019 / 2:46 pm

    Susan, you do NOT owe anyone an explanation about your style reset. People who dare to criticize are ridiculous. Style is about feeling comfortable in YOUR skin wearing what YOU want to wear. It is beyond gracious for you to even address those comments. Not that it matters, but I loved your former style and I love your new style. Both feel authentic to you and while there is more color now that I am comfortable wearing, it is no less enjoyable for me to see the evolution and ride silent shotgun on your journey.

  68. CindyF
    September 2, 2019 / 4:03 pm

    Good Morning Susan,
    Thought that I would let you and your readers know that I was having trouble with holes/rubbed areas on my tops and as well as the seatbelt causing them the straps on some of my sling style bags was a factor as well. I have now found a new ‘use’ for my scarf whilst in the car and also I try to use my scarf to protect my top from my sling type bags as well.
    I would also like to add that I am using you as a guide into incorporating some colour in my fairly ‘black’ wardrobe as I think that you are doing a terrific job.
    Your blog is the one that I always enjoy, so thank you.
    Regards CindyF

  69. Angela in NZ
    September 2, 2019 / 4:33 pm

    If we didn’t make changes and take risks, life would be very dull. Even if we end up back with our favourites there has at least been an interesting journey. I have now found my happy place with colours both in my wardrobe and in my home. There have been countless accessories which have come and gone, mostly scarves and cushions, but, by and large, the basics have remained the same. A recent change for me has been deciding what to pack for a 3-week trip to China. Practicality has taken centre stage and it will be black, grey and red. It’s been a while since I’ve worn much black on the top half but with judicious makeup, statement jewellery or scarves I’m happy with the result. I’m also a firm believer that brighter lipstick is the key to looking fresh as we mature and you’ll never catch me without it.

  70. Jen
    September 2, 2019 / 5:13 pm

    I have felt in a rut myself and was intrigued by your color analysis experience. I found a lady in my area of Ohio who does the same thing, and my best friend and I went this past Saturday and spent the afternoon with her. We both were not expecting the results we received. It was so much fun to have the colors draped and see a huge positive or negative change. (I am an Autumn and most of my wardrobe was probably black or light spring colors). Our consultant also went through all of our makeup and then helped us choose new makeup that worked best for each of us. She has her own skincare and makeup line and works directly with manufacturers on color and ingredients. We each got a little makeover and loved our results. I’ve been able to follow the simple makeup application she taught me and have been getting lots of compliments. I am so glad you shared your experience.

  71. BethW
    September 2, 2019 / 5:32 pm

    Your new style is wonderful. It looks great on you. Don’t let the naysayers steer you off course. You look great in the new style!

  72. Kari
    September 2, 2019 / 7:17 pm

    I like the new style direction you are going and find it reminds me of your old style before long over lean. As I recall the old style was based an a really great collection of motorcycle jackets and skinny jeans. It would be interesting to revisit some of those looks for how they fit in with your new profile. I think it might be a lot of them and maybe you just lost your way for a while.

  73. Ainsivalavie
    September 2, 2019 / 7:53 pm

    I applaud you exploring your personal style! I think it is wonderful that you are moving out of your comfort zone and trying new colours, styles etc. The only thing I struggle with is the use of the term ‘gamine’. I went online to check out the definition and invariably I saw ‘young boyish girl or young woman’ ‘sweet and slightly naive’ ‘slim hipped and boyish’ Oy!!! The emphasis on YOUNG arrggggh!
    I find the term confusing for a mature woman.
    I get where the stylists were coming from, you don’t have to be petite and boyish ( Audrey Hepburn, the queen of gamine was 5’7″) instead of ‘gamine’ maybe funky, eccentric, carefree? I know, semantics!
    I went to my Parisian friend for his opinion, he actually felt that calling une femme d’une certaine âge a ‘gamine’ might be a bit insulting…
    “but chérie a grown woman simply can’t be gamine because…she is a woman!!” He felt that gamine and ingenue were terms that denote lack of experience, naïveté, cute but hmm not terribly desirable…well, he is very, very French! Hilariously he was completely flummoxed as to why a “grown woman would chose to be called gamine!” He may have been stuck on the idea of androgyny so I explained that it referred to a way one styles one self when dressing. Shrug….and some Gallic under breath comments. Double Oy!!!( his favourite actress is Fellini’s wife the late Giulietta Masina, I pointed out that she could have been thought ‘gamine’. “She had curves, no.” “In La Strada?” “Chérie, she was acting.”)
    ..I remain confused …..
    I think we all, on occasion, like to mix it up style wise but still have a ‘look’ we identify with be it boho, gamine, romantic, classic etc. I will simply think of you as a woman of ever changing style!

    • Susan B
      September 2, 2019 / 7:56 pm

      Yes, I struggle with the nomenclature too, but haven’t been able to come up with a better single-word description.

      • Angela Pea
        September 4, 2019 / 6:22 am


        • Susan B
          September 4, 2019 / 6:30 am

          Daedalean is complex, perplexing, convoluted, which doesn’t seem to apply to how I understand Gamine. But it’s a great word!! 😉

  74. Rita Blanks
    September 2, 2019 / 8:19 pm

    Speaking to the problem of holes in one’s tee shirts, I had the same problem. Found it was caused by my jeans and the button and/or corner edge at the meeting of the two parts of the waist band. I started wearing an Invisibelt clear belt with my jeans or pants (ones that had belt loops) when I was going to wear a tee shirt that I would not be tucking into my pants. The problem was solved. No new holes developed. Hope this suggestion helps others.

  75. Wendy
    September 2, 2019 / 10:01 pm

    Based on your posts about Red Leopard, I actually had my color consultation with Annie (who was lovely!) a few weeks ago when we were in London. I thought your new colors and clothing choices made you look refreshing and “brighter” if that makes sense.
    Going in, I had a feeling I was a winter since camel/beige colors make me look ill. But it was eye-opening to really see the difference and to discover colors I never considered before. I only wish I had more time to do the style consultation too. (I think I’m a classic & gamine.)
    Thanks for documenting your experiences even though it attracts some opposing opinions sometimes.

  76. Vicki
    September 2, 2019 / 11:58 pm

    Your post certainly struck a chord with me.
    The hole in the middle of T shirts I worked out a while ago, lost a lot of nice T’s through belts, benches etc.
    I’ve struggled with ‘my style’ my whole life and, will admit to losing my way at times.
    Living in an all male household hasn’t helped (all have an opinion) and I own about 18 style guides by assorted authors.
    I always thought I was a Winter till four years ago a Stylist I saw informed me I was a Spring.
    The colours in my wardrobe are changing. As I’m ageing I’m embracing more colour.
    I like quirky, unusual and different which is hard to pull off when you still work fulltime.
    I’ve enjoyed seeing your style recent evolution and aren’t we all works in process.

  77. September 3, 2019 / 12:48 am

    Sometimes people don’t like it when someone familiar changes!!
    It takes time for the change to become the norm.
    The main thing is that you feel great about the new, refreshed you!
    We love the way you are embracing colours and the gamine.

  78. Ann
    September 3, 2019 / 4:48 am

    Your ‘old’ style was nice. Having said that, your ‘new’ style is targeted to you, your lifestyle, your coloring. Finding your way towards this new look is clearly energizing you, and it’s contagious as you invite us to think beyond black, which is not my best color. Keep going. You are on a great path.
    And thanks for the note about tshirt pin holes. They are maddening, sometimes showing up after just one wear!

  79. Eileen
    September 3, 2019 / 9:25 am

    I had a thought, the French gentleman friend of your reader should be asked, what do the French call a mature gamine? The young gamine does grow up.

  80. Sandra
    September 3, 2019 / 2:22 pm

    “Gamine” in French does not evoke the playfulness of the word as it has come to mean in English when speaking of a wardrobe style. There was nothing “little girlish” about Audrey Hepburn’s style, IMHO. I think you look great, Susan.

    I have lived in NY all my life, except for the last 4 years, where we are now in Chicago. All I owned was a 99.99% black wardrobe. How liberating to be in another part of the country where color is embraced, especially if one is an Autumn!

    Funny story: A NYC radio DJ said “Summer is coming. Time to put away your black winter clothes and take out your black summer clothes!” 🙂

  81. Flowersgirl
    September 3, 2019 / 4:19 pm

    I like your new style I think you look youthful and fun!. I think black does no favors for women in their 50’s and 60’s unless you happen to be a Winter color palette. A few years back, I put on a navy sweater in a JCrew dressing room and knew I had found my core color. It made my skin sing. I am sure your skin is humming now too with your new colors. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  82. anon
    September 4, 2019 / 11:09 am

    One of the most memorable comments I ever received on my style was from a dear friend who said 4 simple words that have stayed with me for over 30 years. She said, “What were you thinking?” I remember the outfit and although some would say this was a critical comment, it was a friend telling me she thought I could do better. You know what? She was right! I have noticed that when your readers say anything that is not ebullient praise the comments are interpreted as mean spirited. Other readers say things like “People who dare to criticize are ridiculous” or they describe these comments as “giving you grief” or “critiquing your style”. The readers who are saying that they like your previous style, or colors, or whatever, are just saying so because they feel like you’re a friend and they want to tell you their opinions. Please don’t be defensive. It’s not a personal attack. I always thought you looked classy with your neutrals because that’s MY taste. I have a harder time finding inspiration from your new colors, but that’s just me. I’ve been a longtime reader and Ive always enjoyed the community of commenters, especially when it’s a lively conversation with different opinions. As we all get older we need to tweak our style but true style icons maintain a basic format that keeps them ageless. Thank you for putting yourself out there and for sharing your journey.

    • Alison M Gunn
      September 6, 2019 / 12:45 pm

      I would not be able to wear ANY of Une Femme’s new colors, but my aesthetic sense goes zing every time I see her face in the colors that make her face glow. And I *was* one of the detractors of the old black.

  83. Alison M Gunn
    September 6, 2019 / 12:42 pm

    The associations we make with color must form very early. I never thought of navy as a ‘bad’ color in any way; when I was very young, my favorite suit was a navy dress and jacket with a lavender rosebud motif, and then when I was about 8, I had a navy raincoat, which I wore when we moved to Tokyo. Also, my uncle was in the Navy, and his uniform spoke to me of foreign places and ships. For me, navy never went out or in, it was just my favorite neutral. I still prefer it, and it helps that it is good for my skin color. When I had my colors done, navy was described as my black, but I also have charcoal grey. It does seem very difficult to find a true charcoal grey.

  84. Renée
    September 7, 2019 / 9:47 am

    I’m late to the party, but I wanted to say that it’s brave of you to do a style change in public and leave yourself vulnerable to negative comments. Even if they’re not intentionally hurtful, they can’t be easy to take.

    With the different reactions to the changes, I’ve been moved to look at your style history (google image search on “Une femme…”) and a few things stand out to me (N.B. my perception only!). You always manage to carry off whatever look you try, even when it’s not the best on you when compared to some looks. I think a gamine crop of whatever length is definitely more flattering to you than longer hair. You look *lovely* in cinnamon and off white. Interestingly, flats and chunkier shoes like your mephistos are much more attractive on you than dainty kitten or slim high heels, so necessity here supports a more flattering style! And, last, the pared down jewelry is nice and streamlined.

    It’s been very interesting to follow your style evolution. I look forward to seeing how it develops it as you continue to refine it. Good luck and thanks for letting us share it with you.

    • Belinda
      September 7, 2019 / 10:01 am

      Renee, you really summed up my thoughts too.

    • Susan B
      September 7, 2019 / 10:19 am

      Thanks so much, Renée!

  85. Wendelah
    February 11, 2020 / 9:26 am

    You look amazing! Love the new colors!

    My style probably hasn’t evolved as much as some since I retired because I never had a work wardrobe: I wore scrubs, provided by my employer. Thanks to my 32 year career as an RN, I have varicose veins and broken capillaries on my legs, so I wear longer dresses and skirts, perhaps? I’ve always worn color because it makes me feel cheerful. I wear prints. I stopped coloring my hair when I got pregnant with my son 35 (!) years ago and I’m still contented with that decision. My fashion choices have been somewhat limited for a long time because I wear size 16-18 and I have a 32 inch inseam. Most plus-sized trousers are too short. I don’t understand why men can buy different pant lengths and taller women are stuck with whatever. Most plus-sized tops tend to be shapeless and too big in the shoulders, so having a good seamstress is essential. I was thrilled that Anthropologie started carrying plus-sizes last year because their style matches my aesthetic. My favorite fashion looks of the past decade are trainers with long dresses, dresses over pants, and clunky sandals like Birkenstock. I love prairie dresses, too. If I was taller, thinner, and much, much, much richer, I’d be wearing something like Gucci’s multi-tiered cotton skirt and matching blouse from the Resort 2019 collection. Sounds like I need to get out my sewing machine!

  86. Eileen Miller
    February 19, 2020 / 10:33 am

    Hi Susan, I’ve been following you for over a year now and have commented a few times – mostly to urge you to darken your hair just A LITTLE and add blonde highlights (or low lights) to add more contrast with your skin. You did! And I LOVE it! The cut is also great. I think adding color and a few style changes has really made you stand out. I’ve always thought of myself as a “classic” style person with something thrown in for whimsy. As I’ve gotten older (almost 70 now – yikes!), I don’t wear as many patterns, although I do have a couple of patterned blouses I love to wear in spring with a solid jacket. I’m short too – 5’3 although at my last doctor appnt., I noticed they put me down as 5’2 after measuring. But I haven’t noticed anything different in the length of my pants! Many years ago, I had a color analysis done and was told I am a “winter”. And, I am. I look best in cool tones and in blue/red colors. My hair has gotten lighter so I have to be careful with make-up so I don’t look washed out. I wear black pants and skirts but little to no black on top. Navy is also good, as well as deep green and shades of teal. Don’t do well with a lot of yellow or orange. I can wear some brown. I love looking at your wardrobe picks and what you choose for yourself. I think the choices you’re making suit you well!

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