Style Update: Adding Color & Pattern - une femme d'un certain âge

From Funk to Funky

Style blogger Susan B of wears a coral top in a whimsical poodle print. Read more about my style update at une femme d'un certain age.

A little over a year ago, I had to acknowledge that I’d fallen into a deep style rut. The wardrobe of simple neutral pieces I’d created over the years just felt drab and stale. And I felt as though the fun-loving, quirky part of my personality wasn’t being expressed in my style. I knew I wanted to wear more color and pattern, but was often intimidated by it.

Top | Bracelet | Bracelet (similar) | Jeans (similar) | Sandals

A Style Update

I needed an objective eye, and some parameters to help me refine what I’d been unable to quantify and put into practice on my own. Last summer when we were in London, I had a color and style consultation with the lovely women at Red Leopard. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was absolutely life-changing! (And if you’re interested, they’re doing online consultations now. Click HERE for more info.)

Since then, I’ve done a lot of experimenting. Some things worked, some didn’t. It’s taken a while to regain my style footing, as I knew it might. But what’s ultimately worked has been that combination of having a color and style “guidebook” along with trusting the feeling of YES! when something hits the mark, and leaning into that feeling.

We all process information differently, and that’s as true for developing or evolving personal style as any other endeavor. While some people know instinctively what works for them or doesn’t, I find that being able to quantify WHY something works to replicate good results is key.

Personal style is a way to put our best selves forward. We don’t stay the same all our lives; we change and grow, and our priorities shift. And our style should reflect and express that. So don’t be afraid to shake things up periodically and update your style. You may discover pieces of yourself that have been kept hidden and are ready to come out and play.

Have you done a style update recently? What prompted it?

Stay in touch.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for See my complete disclosure policy here.


  1. Robyn
    May 18, 2020 / 3:46 am

    Super cute, and the color is very flattering!

  2. Jill
    May 18, 2020 / 3:58 am

    Yay!!! This is sooo flattering and you look ten years younger!!!( I know, I know we’re not supposed to worry about that, but still…) As depressing as things are now, we need fun looks like this. Love, love, love!!!

  3. Kris
    May 18, 2020 / 4:42 am

    You prompted it. I have revisited “my colours“ which I had done decades ago. I should have done it long ago. (Got stuck in a black rut…) Your colour and style journey was the inspiration I needed. Suddenly my wardrobe is much more interesting. Even my neutrals have some life. ( I am a spring as well)
    I have a silk shirt on order in similar colours. You look fabulous in that outfit!
    Thank you for sharing. Look forward to your blog daily.

  4. Ann in Missouri
    May 18, 2020 / 5:18 am

    I love that look on you!

  5. Ann in Missouri
    May 18, 2020 / 5:20 am

    I love that look on you! I’m about to copy it. Thanks so much for your posts these days.

  6. May 18, 2020 / 5:24 am

    Love this blouse. It looks so good on you. This definitely is an outfit that “works” .

  7. Cynthia Dodd
    May 18, 2020 / 5:24 am

    I have subscribed to your blog for several years now and always loved your outfits and commentary. But I have been amazed since your color analysis just how much more interesting I find your outfits now. They truly do bring out the “happy” in your wardrobe. You look younger and brighter. It seems to fit you and your personality. Thanks for providing inspiration.

  8. SuD
    May 18, 2020 / 5:24 am

    Downsizing has prompted me to take a closer look at my closet. I tend towards a minimalist style (clean lines) with a twist (color and accessories). Nothing overwhelming for my petite frame.

  9. Meg
    May 18, 2020 / 5:30 am

    I covet that poodle print blouse sooooo much, but that warm red/ orange is not going to do me any favors, unlike how it makes you glow!

  10. Shelley
    May 18, 2020 / 5:59 am

    LOVE that look on you!!! Years younger! Also loving your hair a bit longer too. It’s all good

  11. May 18, 2020 / 6:40 am

    This is such a cute outfit! I love the blouse and the jeans and the sandals it’s just perfect in every way. So cute and casual but also fun. You look amazing.

  12. Avicennia
    May 18, 2020 / 6:42 am

    Susan — Their website didn’t explain how Red Leopard is doing color consultation via internet. Are they sending you color swatches via mail?

    • Susan Blakey
      May 18, 2020 / 6:50 am

      I haven’t experienced their online process, but I’m sure they’d be happy to answer any questions. You can email them at

    • Margaret Crow Rosenfeld
      May 18, 2020 / 7:17 am

      When I clicked on website links, it does explain how they would like photos of each client in many different outfits and that each person have fabric available (clothing, napkins etc) presumably so they can see you hold it up to your face during the video consultation. This was all in the link for “Online Colour Consultation.”

  13. Jane
    May 18, 2020 / 6:44 am

    Getting the suspicious link prompt again.

    • Susan Blakey
      May 18, 2020 / 6:48 am

      Ok, thanks. This seems to be happening with certain email providers. The link IS safe, and we’re looking into a fix.

      • carla
        May 18, 2020 / 10:54 am

        i am getting the suspicious link prompt again too. I enjoy your blog very much and look forward to it.

  14. Diane B
    May 18, 2020 / 7:14 am

    This redo has certainly suited you well. That quirky fun print works perfectly for you. On me, the prints like that go against my style personality, (feminine, soft classic) and if I do buy something like that, find I never feel quite right to go out. Lessons learned. You are right of course, they are there to give guidelines to follow and tweak to feel the best “you” you can be. When I wear the abstract florals and watercolours I don’t even notice the clothes, just feel good in them. If I wore a sharp geometric, I feel like the clothes are speaking not me. Thanks for the wonderful diversions you provide these days as always.

  15. Sharon
    May 18, 2020 / 7:15 am

    I can’t really call it a style update as all the clothes I had bought (on line ordered) recently I will just wear at home. For some reason all I want to wear are shades of purple and pink items, the brighter the better. They coordinate well together and lift my spirits during this tough time. My husband has been looking at me oddly wondering what’s with all the colors since I too would wear neutrals and black most of the time.I am really having fun coordinating different items scarves jewelry etc. I’m lucky that I am able to do this as so many people are having tough financial times right now. I recently read that there are color experts that say bright colors help relieve anxiety and create calmness. I think it’s working!

  16. Sandra J
    May 18, 2020 / 7:16 am

    Susan. Great shirt. It really is cute and suits you. I’m a “why” girl, too! My results are always better when I know why something works. I’ve seriously been contemplating the Red Leopard consultation process. It seems to have been a tonic for your in your style reboot.

  17. Kristina
    May 18, 2020 / 7:36 am

    Oh man! That is a great blouse. How does it run? TTS? Longish or shortish? I’ve got a standard labradoodle who looks mostly poodle – the frolicking dogs on that blouse remind me of her!

    • Susan Blakey
      May 18, 2020 / 7:45 am

      Thanks, I think it runs pretty TTS. I’m wearing the X-Small. Length on me (I’m 5’1″) hits at very top of my thigh.

  18. Carolyn
    May 18, 2020 / 7:44 am

    You are a perfect advertisement for color analysis! Your new colors brighten up your look. Love your poodle blouse. I find I am gravitating toward brighter colors now as a bit of a pick up. Thanks for your inspiration.

  19. Kathleen
    May 18, 2020 / 7:50 am

    You look fantastic!

  20. Judy
    May 18, 2020 / 8:05 am

    One of my favorite looks! Very flattering on you!

  21. Téa
    May 18, 2020 / 8:11 am

    I had a color analysis done about 5 years ago – and YES, it has changed my life! That may sound vapid, but I’ve implemented MY color palette into my wardrobe, my home and landscape…it has created harmony and simplified my “universe”. I’m an “autumn” – the least accessible color way in the US clothing market (winter/summer seems most popular) – requiring me to make deliberate, thoughtful purchases, instead of “randomly” choosing “stuff” that catches my eye because of a sale or a whole host of emotions. Knowing MY colors makes my wardrobe work BEST FOR ME!! Everything in my palette works with everything else! It’s been LIBERATING!!!

  22. Sarah
    May 18, 2020 / 8:18 am

    I’m completely with you on the color analysis. I had it done… hmmmm… 36 years ago (!) and I still carry my booklet of fabric swatches. I only recently discovered you, so I don’t know about your old wardrobe, but the new one looks amazing on you! Bright and fun!

    Do you think letting hair go gray ( something many of us are experiencing, willingly or not) would affect what “season” one is?

    • Amy
      May 18, 2020 / 11:48 am

      I’ve been wondering about that, too.

    • Anon
      May 18, 2020 / 3:46 pm

      It can change the intensity of the colors you wear. Some colors can seem too intense with gray hair. Softer colors can wash a person out once they go gray. The theory is that a person’s color season is the same for life, but things do need tweaking, in my experience.

    • Susan Blakey
      May 18, 2020 / 4:05 pm

      Hi Sarah, the color analysis Red Leopard does is based on skin tone, not hair color. What Annie has explained to me is that your season doesn’t change when your hair goes grey, but your “best” colors within the season may shift.

      • Sarah
        May 19, 2020 / 1:39 pm

        Thank you, Susan (and others)!

      • Tracy Liverpool
        May 25, 2020 / 6:47 pm

        Hi Susan,
        when i had my colours done virtually recently, and i was told the same thing. iIwas assessed as a true winter, which oddly those were colours I was naturally drawn to, but stuck with Neutral colours. for the past 5 years, i did a capsule wardrobe to hone in on my personal style. once I found my personal style, I wanted to add colour in my wardrobe. the problem was, I was afraid to add colour. I stuck with black, white, cream, gray, and Navy. Until, last month. Truthfully, your post on your colour analysis pushed me to move forward on getting mine done.

  23. Eileen
    May 18, 2020 / 8:41 am

    Thanks to you, and your new look, I have booked an online appointment with Red Leopard. My pics are sent ( hopefully the pics have good enough lighting!) and my appointment is tomorrow. I’m excited. I appreciate your journey, and your courage to try the changes. Again, thanks❤️

    • Carol
      May 18, 2020 / 10:44 am

      Will you report back to us on the process? Would love to hear how it goes!

      • Eileen
        May 18, 2020 / 8:31 pm

        Sure I’ll get back… I took alot of pics, I did notice the pics on my Ipad change my face color a little yellow, and sometimes I look pink ( which I believe is my normal tone) so I hope they see past that glitch.

      • Eileen
        May 19, 2020 / 7:45 pm

        Hi Carol, I did my online consultation with Red Leopard, 90 minutes Zoom online with Rachel. It went great, I am a “blue autumn”, the bluest of autumn colors and close to “summer” which was my original type in the 80’s. She also commented on my makeup and hair color/style recommendations. All my information came immediately, that was nice. The things I would note, Zoom made her and the colors she held up to the screen hard to see clearly on my end. I knew that would be fixed when I got my swatches online. I would love to get fabric swatches, but with the lockdown, this will have to do i suppose. She said I was “very clear” to see, I spent a lot of time finding the most well lit location, that paid off, when she virtually draped me. I did send 4 sets of pics x 30-40 colors, and 3 outside casual head shots of different hair colors, so she had a lot to pick from. I will probably do the style consult next, after i digest this first part. I found it helpful to get a different perspective, and fun to get a European perspective. As I digest, if I think of any other tips, I’ll try to write back.

      • Eileen
        June 5, 2020 / 6:08 am

        I’ve digested the online process more since having it done. Some other thoughts, I wish they offered fabric swatches, rather than online photographs of paper swatches. I was told it’s 50 pounds extra to get the booklet of paper swatches sent to me, I wasn’t sure if the paper would hold up as well, so I didn’t order it. I was told I was “ soft” coloring, and the drapes of fabric they use are shiny, so it was hard to envision the soft element of my look. They didn’t ask me to remove my makeup or wear a hair covering while online draping, which surprised me. the pics are important to get the right reading, take good clear ones.

        • Yvonne
          June 15, 2020 / 4:45 am

          Thank you for the updates Eileen. I have been wondering if the online consultation would be worthwhile or if you really miss out on the full experience of seeing the colours draped on you in person.

  24. LindainAR
    May 18, 2020 / 8:48 am

    LOVE the blouse on you!!

  25. Mary Clifford
    May 18, 2020 / 10:07 am

    LOVE! Just order the blouse!

  26. Carol
    May 18, 2020 / 10:50 am

    Mephisto has the sandals on sale! I’m been admiring them but that price is just a tad spendy, so I’ve hesitated to pull the trigger. But seeing them today had me asking the Google, and they were down to $194. I bought the rose gold. 🙂

  27. Kay
    May 18, 2020 / 11:33 am

    That blouse is so cute! So many women are afraid of prints. Not me.

  28. Lagatta de Montréal
    May 18, 2020 / 12:56 pm

    Love the doggies! That very orange red wouldn’t work on me either – a deeper, cherry red, or forest green would suit me better.

    Kay, I think it is because some prints can look frankly tacky or dowdy, but this certainly doesn’t.

    I don’ think going grey changes one’s season, but it can make certain greys look utterly spectacular.

  29. Cindy Gagliano
    May 18, 2020 / 1:51 pm

    That outfit is yes.

  30. Peggy Wallace
    May 18, 2020 / 6:03 pm

    Really! Just so cute.

  31. Tracy Liverpool
    May 25, 2020 / 6:54 pm

    Hi Susan,
    when i had my colours done virtually recently, and i was told the same thing. I was assessed as a true winter, which oddly those were colours I was naturally drawn to, but stuck with Neutral colours. for the past 5 years, i did a capsule wardrobe to hone in on my personal style. once I found my personal style, I wanted to add colour in my wardrobe. the problem was, I was afraid to add colour. I stuck with black, white, cream, gray, and Navy. Until, last month. Truthfully, your post on your colour/style analysis pushed me to move forward on getting mine done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

powered by chloédigital