The Path Ahead

Path in Jardin des Tuileries, Paris, in winter. More at une femme d'un certain age.

Style blogging in uncertain times…

A few people have asked me if I plan to continue blogging over the next few weeks or months. Quite honestly, I always assumed I would, though realized I’d have to be sensitive and responsive to the changing landscape.

It can be tricky to write about “trivial” topics (like style, beauty, travel, and lifestyle) without worrying that it will be perceived as trivializing the larger, more serious situation. I never want to be insensitive to the hardships that anyone is facing now or in the future.

Yet, I feel as though a thread of normalcy can be comforting when we’re inundated with worrisome news. We need some relief, and thinking/ reading/ writing about what we find enjoyable is one way to find it. It’s not about sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that everything is fine. It’s about giving ourselves a break, and believing that life goes on, and that yes, we can still like pretty clothes and look forward to sandal weather.

Life usually is not all one thing or another; it’s a mixed bag.

Daffodils and a vintage French travel poster. More at une femme d'un certain age.

And a little beauty is good for the soul.

A social space…

With so many of us practicing social distancing IRL, I’m hopeful that blogs like this one can provide an outlet for positive and constructive social interaction. We need each other, and a sense of connection, especially now.

So yes, I’m still planning to continue blogging. I’ll be putting the travel-related content on hold for a while, but otherwise will continue to write about:

  • style (what catches my eye, building a cohesive wardrobe, cute & comfortable shoes, scarf tying ideas)
  • beauty (products, routines, new finds)
  • and lifestyle

If there are any specific topics you’d be interested in reading more about, please let me know and I’ll do my best.

BTW, this Washington Post article by Robin Givhan is a great read, and echoes many of my thoughts about why style matters, even at home.

So as we isolate ourselves at home, our clothes can be our pep talk, an impassioned soliloquy. As we scurry along the street, dutiful in our social distancing, our clothes become glancing waves — reminders that at some point we will speak to each other again.

Robin Givhan

Stay in touch.

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135 Comments

  1. Carolyn
    March 17, 2020 / 6:44 am

    You and my morning coffee just go together. You are a friend and we need to stay in touch (even more so with this social distancing). We all need each other. Please keep writing. Nothing trivial about it!

  2. Cindy B.
    March 17, 2020 / 6:48 am

    Please do continue blogging about clothes. I still plan on wearing them!

  3. Sharon
    March 17, 2020 / 6:49 am

    Thank you for continuing. Life is crazy enough right now and we all need our routines.Reading your blog each morning is part of my routine that I enjoy so much.

  4. March 17, 2020 / 6:52 am

    Writing is also such a good way to reach out to people. I’m not teaching this week (setting up for online voice lessons to begin next week) so I suspect I may write more. And spend some time figuring out how to do my makeup for online lessons/videos because I did one and shrieked at it.

  5. Susan
    March 17, 2020 / 6:54 am

    We need you. Keep on blogging. And thank you.

  6. Diane B
    March 17, 2020 / 6:56 am

    Thanks for all you do for sanity. That Washington Post article is so on point. When I see a post from you in my inbox it makes me smile to get at it. You feel like a friend I have to connect with and it helps. Stay well and enjoy all the things you can. We will eventually get back to travel and it will mean so much more.

  7. Andie
    March 17, 2020 / 6:59 am

    Hi Susan!
    Please keep blogging! You are such a bright spot in my everyday!

  8. Monica
    March 17, 2020 / 7:00 am

    Do continue please. We all need the normal threads of life to remain while everything around feels chaotic.
    As others have said I too will continue to put my make up on and dress appropriately for life. Standards need to be maintained.
    Here in the UK we are warned that London will soon be suffering greatly with the rest of the country a couple of weeks behind. I pray that you all stay safe and healthy xx

  9. Janet
    March 17, 2020 / 7:00 am

    Susan, do continue! I haven’t commented in years but I read daily and enjoy it as well as the other comments which make a connection with so many other women! A spring break with our grandson and our upcoming trip to France, church , luncheons and friends gatherings all canceled-so many disappointments! Any part of our daily routine that can remain normal is so important. Once the cold & rain go away I can work in the yard & take long walks-looking forward to that! Stay well & thanks for all you do!

  10. Jill
    March 17, 2020 / 7:14 am

    I seem to be in good company when I say, “Please keep blogging!” As we practice social distancing and live in relative isolation, we need rays of sunshine, such as your daily blog.
    You are a smart woman, and I enjoy your blog every day. Please don’t take that away from me, too!

  11. Linda
    March 17, 2020 / 7:16 am

    Ditto about keep blogging. I am up for spring interior ideas as well as tips on doing spring projects. Hope Coco is doing better. Happy St. Patrick’ s Day to everyone. ☘️☘️☘️

  12. Nancy MK
    March 17, 2020 / 7:45 am

    Dear Susan, your blog is a joy, more so in stressful times. I wouldn’t mind hearing from you and others about favorite travel memories as a way to spark hope for future visits. Meanwhile, in serendipity I had just begun War and Peace so this Bay Area resident is ready for long-term inside activity, and thanks to your inspiration, becomingly dressed.

  13. Veronica Goddard
    March 17, 2020 / 7:51 am

    Oh, Susan, don’t even think about stopping your blog! I can only echo what so many have been saying, your blog is excellent, fun, interesting and just great! Keep going we all look forward to reading it.

  14. Joanne
    March 17, 2020 / 7:52 am

    Yes Susan, please keep posting. Your posts are always interesting, informational, concise and timely. I would be interested in what your “normal” daily schedule is like and how you make each day productive. Thanks.

  15. Elizabeth
    March 17, 2020 / 8:08 am

    I echo everyone else’s comments and affirmations! At a time of extreme uncertainty, your blog is helping all of us by maintaining the community you’ve created. We need community more than ever! Not only do you bring us your wonderful perspective on everything from fashion to film, you bring your readers together (albeit virtually) through these comments.

  16. Sally
    March 17, 2020 / 8:09 am

    Susan I agree with everyone: please keep blogging. It’s good to have some beauty and normalcy to look forward to everyday. Be well.

  17. Susan Champion
    March 17, 2020 / 8:10 am

    Susan, please continue to blog. I have been confined to my home for well over six months now as I recover from an illness that weakened my immune system and left me at risk if I needed more antibiotics or anti-virals. I’m doing well but will still be under “house arrest” another four months. I
    have found many ways to entertain myself as my busy life came to a screeching halt. One of those ways is to enjoy blogs, including yours. I have looked forward to new posts. I know I have needed these links to normal life and I know we will all need them as we ride out the pandemic. Our brains and our emotions need a respite from dealing with the danger of illness and the worries that it causes. Thank you for the pleasure and the information your posts give us.

  18. Sally
    March 17, 2020 / 8:14 am

    Thank you for today’s post. Yes, please continue writing and posting!

    • Ann S
      March 17, 2020 / 8:29 am

      trivial is a breathe of fresh air…please continue . Happy St Patrick’s Day, y’all!

  19. K Winch
    March 17, 2020 / 8:17 am

    yes, all dressed up and no where to go

  20. Brenda
    March 17, 2020 / 8:25 am

    You offer us positive distraction – thankyou!

  21. Kellee
    March 17, 2020 / 8:28 am

    YES! Please continue – this is the bright sunshine in gloomy times. Love the daffodils.

  22. Elizabeth gotsch
    March 17, 2020 / 8:37 am

    Please continue Susan. I look forward to your blog especially now . So after I check emails and reading the latest virus stories! I look forward to your pictures and comments about other stuff. Looking forward to going out again and wearing something else than old house clothes.

  23. Penelope
    March 17, 2020 / 8:42 am

    So glad to hear you will continue to blog for all the reasons many have mentioned above but I also think you are striking the right note in acknowledging the dilemma, and the current social reality which is scary and tragic. Those who are merrily chattering on about the latest fab outfit with absolutely no acknowledgement of the current context seem to me insensitive and tone deaf. You are anything but so bring on the daffodils and the fashion musings with context.
    I think the landscape of our communities will be changed at the end of this time. We will lose many of the boutiques, cafes and restaurants we cherish so if possible I will find ways to support or patronize them from a distance.
    In the future, we will so appreciate those next trips. Our upcoming one in May (with an appoint at Red Leopard too! ) will surely be axed but am retaining some hope for September. We shall see.
    All best wishes to you and yours.

    • Jan Whichard
      March 17, 2020 / 8:54 am

      We are buying gift certificates from our smaller shops. Cash now…shop later!

  24. Kathy Ludgate
    March 17, 2020 / 8:50 am

    Love your blog. We could add the books we are reading, the gardens we are planning or the artistic ventures we are creating to ease our stress.

  25. Jan Whichard
    March 17, 2020 / 8:52 am

    I look forward to your blog each day. I know it is incredibly hard work and I appreciate it so much. I hope everyone reacts to this virus in a way that makes sense to them. I hope everyone can keep the statistics and safety measures in perspective. As a former healthcare professional, I continue to use common sense, great hygiene, alerts from proper healthcare agencies, and perspective and ignore the media storm.
    Your blog is calming and sunny. Thank you and stay healthy! How about some thought on bathing suits and summer tops with sleeves for those of us like me who just aren’t comfortable anymore with so much skin exposure?

  26. Rondi
    March 17, 2020 / 8:55 am

    Your blog today was sensitive and spot on. It is important to think of other things and look forward to an end to this mayhem. Many of us have cancelled plans and celebrations. But we must not forget the hardships that others are facing that go beyond that. This is a difficult time for all. I am glad we have your blog so we can stay in touch and be beautifully distracted.

  27. Nancy
    March 17, 2020 / 8:55 am

    Thank you for your blog and for the daffodils! Please continue to blog as you are able and I think all of us who are doing our best to distance ourselves are grateful for word from the outside. Stay safe.

  28. Siobhan
    March 17, 2020 / 9:03 am

    I agree with the other comments. Please blog and share your perspective on the current trends, as you always have. No one is forcing others to read your blog but for many of us it is a source of joy and inspiration. Thank you! Now I’m going to wash my hands

  29. Lyn
    March 17, 2020 / 9:05 am

    Of course you will keep blogging — you are a writer and that is what writers do.
    Here a topic: What is it like to be a blogger? Surely you did not expect to have such a large and dedicated following. How and why did you start and what have you learned along the way?

  30. marilyn bornstein
    March 17, 2020 / 9:06 am

    Please continue to blog. It really doesn’t matter what you write about. Your blog is an anchor to our femininity, sense of self and normalcy.
    We must not forget our selves. We’re all in this together!

  31. Susan
    March 17, 2020 / 9:38 am

    There is nothing trivial about mental health, seeking joy and connection and diverting worry! Reading a well written and thoughtful blog is good for the mind and soul. This respite from the madness is appreciated. We will savour any topic you choose to reflect upon. Thank you.

  32. Alexis I
    March 17, 2020 / 9:43 am

    I’m just adding my voice along with all of your other followers – I enjoy reading your blog and your writing has always been thoughtful. I think that it helps us all to have this community!

  33. MGA
    March 17, 2020 / 10:00 am

    Please keep posting, I look forward to it every morning as part of my daily routine!! I enjoy reading your recommendations for fashion, books, beauty, shoes (Oh yes, shoes!!) and will continue to read as long as you feel comfortable and willing to post. Thank you, we are all in this together and need each other more than ever before!!

  34. Luanne
    March 17, 2020 / 10:01 am

    Please keep blogging, I need you. I am self-quarantined and I need human contact – that’s you and your followers. I need to look at pretty things – that’s the photos on your blog. I need to think about something other than my health and the health of others (and how some people are hoarding toilet paper) – that’s your text. Keep it up, we need you.

  35. Maggie Vita
    March 17, 2020 / 10:11 am

    During this challenging period of social distancing, your blog is a welcome and enjoyable distraction from the serious issues that surround us. It’s not insensitive or unsympathetic to enjoy a few moments to yourself, reading about things that give you pleasure and that you look forward to when this difficult time passes. Stress isn’t healthy either and “indulging” in stress relieveing activities – even while confined to our homes for the most part – will do us all good. Keep writing!

  36. Ann
    March 17, 2020 / 10:48 am

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks for continuing your blog. Here in Northern California we are beginning our shelter-in-place directive today. Staying in touch on our computers is the best and having a normal conversation about what to wear when we finally do get to go on that beach vacation or Europe vacation is fun. We’ll get back there, just not in the next few months.

  37. Mary Alice
    March 17, 2020 / 10:48 am

    This morning I got up and put on my fanciest pair of earrings. No one will see except my husband, dogs and cats, but it makes me feel more like myself.

  38. Francoise
    March 17, 2020 / 10:52 am

    Susan, I have been reading your blog for years–daily. I feel like we need this connection now more than ever. I’m trying to keep structure and normalcy in my life as well. These blogs and the community they create are not at all trivial, no matter what the content, and we can see that now. Thanks so much for continuing.

  39. Nancy
    March 17, 2020 / 10:54 am

    I do agree with all those who are behind you 100% ! I would ask that you continue to do some travel articles because I plan to travel in the future and love to plan and research.
    Stay well

  40. Linda G
    March 17, 2020 / 11:21 am

    Susan, thank you so very much for deciding to continue. The daily cheer of your blog is good medicine for all of us. Be well.

  41. Patti
    March 17, 2020 / 11:33 am

    Susan, I’ve been thinking about the frivolity of style blogs continuing in such an uncertain world, until I read yours that is. Thank you so much for setting me straight! Please do keep up your inspirational and totally caring blogs. I am certain they will be appreciated, especially in the weeks ahead.

  42. Mary Clifford
    March 17, 2020 / 11:58 am

    Susan,
    Yes, please keep blogging as you can. Yesterday I returned on possibly one of the last flights out of Paris to the States. Up until Saturday night, Paris was definitely quieter, but still somewhat normal. Last week, children were still going on last minute field trips before schools closed. Sunday, the emptiness was disquieting. I have never seen the city so empty. I could still walk and take in the windows, and enjoy some last few moments. I do not what travel will look like in the future, but have hope that I will be returning to France.
    For now, I am on a self-quarantine as I have returned from Europe. The school where I teach is closed for I do not know how long at this point. Like everyone else, I crave some normalcy. Your travel wardrobe capsules have always inspired and helped me, so even if your travel plans are changing, please keep the ideas coming!
    Every good wish,
    Mary

  43. Bobbie
    March 17, 2020 / 12:28 pm

    Absolutely yes, keep blogging. Everyone needs a bit of sunshine!

  44. Suz
    March 17, 2020 / 12:38 pm

    Yes, I agree with all the others. Please continue to write your blog as you see fit. Your insight and judgement is always spot on.
    Once again, thank you for all you do – I really appreciate it.
    Suz from Vancouver

  45. Judith
    March 17, 2020 / 12:39 pm

    Please keep writing your blog for us. Need to have that little pleasure available during this horrible time. Love reading your thoughts, not just about fashion & colors but everything else too.

  46. Elizabeth
    March 17, 2020 / 12:46 pm

    Susan, thanks for soldiering on during this unsettling time. I started to wonder how people made it through WW2 worn torn Europe & the UK, how people survived the Spanish Flu after WW1 and how people coped during the 1930’s Depression. I remember my grandmother ( born in 1890’s ) telling me she always listened to the Fireside Chats given by Pres Roosevelt & how they comforted one. She told me how bleach was the saviour during the Spanish Flu and even in the 1980’s, she continued to boil tea towels in bleach on her stove despite having a washer & dryer. These stories may seem like downers, but if our ancestors survived those turbulent times, I believe we will too.

  47. March 17, 2020 / 1:30 pm

    I, like many of your readers, are very happy to read that you do plan to continue blogging. A little something to cheer us and take our minds off a very serious world-wide threat is certainly welcome. Planning for the future, when the world rights itself, is good for our souls. I live in the Deep South where it is hot and humid many months of the year. It has been in the mid80’s already and will continue to get warmer and stay that way for many months. Please consider giving those of us in our sixties and beyond some tips for dressing for the extreme heat and humidity while looking smart and staying comfortable. Long sleeves and long pants are definitely OUT!

    Also, while we are all staying in our homes, perhaps you could lead us in book talks and reading ideas.
    We could exchange book topics that we have enjoyed in the comments section. It is certainly a great time to improve our minds!

  48. Amy
    March 17, 2020 / 1:41 pm

    I think your blog posts provide positivity and normalcy during this time. I look forward to each new post.

  49. Julie Jacks
    March 17, 2020 / 1:52 pm

    This is the first time I have commented on here but I just want to say “keep on keeping on” from Melbourne,Australia.

  50. Lois
    March 17, 2020 / 2:03 pm

    Yes Susan, please continue to post. I live by myself, and was diagnosed at the end of last year, with a very serious illness. I am definitely in the shelter in place mode. My mind is still going strong, so looking for outlets that provide a few minutes of pleasure. We all know how serious this pandemic is, but I believe we need moments of entertainment and joy. Thank you for helping to provide those.

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