Summer Wardrobe Refreshers - une femme d'un certain âge

A Long, Hot Autumn?

J.Crew band collar popover shirt in green stripe. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

While some may already be noticing cooler days that herald the approach of Autumn, many of us are facing down several more weeks of warm–even hot–weather. Our lightweight pieces may be feeling too summery, but our Fall clothes are still too heavy. I have a few suggestions. All are pieces that can transition into fall with the addition of a jacket or sweater, and won’t look dated come Spring.

Wear Now, Wear Later…

Above, a striped popover top. Wear now with white jeans, later with dark wash or trousers and a navy blazer. Sure, blue stripes are a perennial, but the green pops and feels fresher. Offered up to size 24.

Boden lace cotton top in ivory. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

What to wear out to dinner on the terrace? This simple lace top is 100% cotton (the camisole too!) so will be cool and comfortable. The streamlined shape will layer well under a sweater or jacket later on. Available up to US size 18. (In black also.) For those who are interested in the skirt, it’s HERE.

Madewell silk tee in sunflower print. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This silk top is SO pretty in person! It’s interesting enough to be the focal point of an outfit, will also layer well if needed. There’s also a dress in the same print.

Eileen Fisher sleeveless shift dress in coral. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Speaking of dresses, this easy shift dress is much better in person than it looks online. The fabric has a little crispness to it, so you could dress up for a summer wedding, or dress down for apéro by the water. The color is a bright coral, would look great with gold or turquoise jewelry. It’s also on sale…50% off! Here’s the same color in a similar style in Plus.

And here’s something that would look fabulous with it…

Cotton embroidered geometric print scarf. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

…a fun cotton scarf from the Chic At Any Age Shop. Drape over your shoulders as a wrap now, then around your neck when the weather cools. Josephine sources her beautiful and budget-friendly scarves from the marché near St. Tropez.

Boden jersey polka dot top in ochre. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Ochre yellows continue to be on-trend for fall. The gathers and button details on this knit top take it up a notch from an ordinary tee.

Eileen Fisher cap sleeve tencel tee in royal blue. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Cap sleeves tend to divide the masses: people either love or hate them. If you’re in the “love them” camp, this is an updated version of the silk cap sleeve tee that Eileen Fisher offered a few years back. This time it’s made from sustainable Tencel, and is offered in several colors. Royal blue is another color that seems to be making a strong showing for fall. In Plus, it’s available in a soft nude pink.

What are your favorite summer-to-fall pieces?

Stay in touch.

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  1. August 6, 2019 / 3:04 am

    I like the denim midi skirt! I can see the point of cap sleeves as those tops evoke a ballerina (and Audrey) style, but also like longer short sleeves. I have a green top like those ones; so hard finding greens, and I also love red.

  2. Sara
    August 6, 2019 / 4:42 am

    Hi, Susan.
    Sorry to be bearer of possible bad news, but I think your website tech problems have returned. Message on my email says coming through to your link may cause malfunctions and viruses.
    Think it is a glitch but…….
    Would like to access the website without worries!
    Best wishes,

    • Susan B
      August 6, 2019 / 6:16 am

      Hi Sara, thanks yes, I’m aware, and am working on some longer-term fixes to get rid of that and other glitches. It IS safe to click the link in the email.

  3. Mary Hall
    August 6, 2019 / 5:44 am

    The link to the floral silk top is blocked. It does not work.

    • Susan B
      August 6, 2019 / 6:14 am

      Hi Mary, I just tried and it worked for me. What happens when you click the link, and which browser are you using?

      • Mary Hall
        August 6, 2019 / 6:45 am

        We blocked access to
        http: //www. anrdoezrs. ne
        This site may compromise your device or contain dangerous content.
        To avoid these risks, select Return To Safety

        I use Chrome. Even when I try to ignore the message and click on the link, I get the same message.

        • Susan B
          August 6, 2019 / 6:47 am

          Hi Mary,

          Not sure what that website is, the link I posted doesn’t direct there. Try this link.

      • Mary Hall
        August 6, 2019 / 6:46 am

        What is the brand and the retailer?

  4. MJ
    August 6, 2019 / 5:46 am

    Bought the ocher top through your link – thanks for finding it for me! I love that you’re focusing on your color palette since I can piggyback on your finds. I agree with Lagatta about the denim skirt, even though I know I wouldn’t feel right in it. The “paper bag” top and longer length feel fresh and new.

  5. Kelly
    August 6, 2019 / 5:48 am

    Those white lace/crocheted shirts are so versatile. I can wear it with a silky floral maxi skirt or with jeans and a denim jacket. They are kind of delicate so I always wash it in a lingerie bag on the gentle cycle and it still looks like new (after 5 years). Love the styling of the denim skirt too.

  6. August 6, 2019 / 6:02 am

    Thank you so much for inclding our coral print scarf. We have had several orders and that colour way is now sold out however it is still available in the cool colour option. I really hope that you are enjoying wearing yours.

  7. Rondi
    August 6, 2019 / 7:37 am

    I like the idea of summer wardrobe refreshers. Living in FL I only need cold weather clothing for travel. These types of pieces work for me year round. And I love the ochre tee-shirt. It’s a bit different from a basic tee. I recently purchased a few tee-shirts in good for me colors. It was a nice boost to my wardrobe. Finding tee-shirts with a little different style makes a big difference.

  8. August 6, 2019 / 7:39 am

    I hope you bought that lovely silk print top, and if you did, what will you wear it with? Ordered the denim skirt, hope it fits! That’s will be very versatile for fall and winter.

  9. Jan Whichard
    August 6, 2019 / 7:46 am

    I have a topic! I love the look of the striped popover and the model is beautiful. But here is the topic. Tucking in. Many of us especially as we age have a little tummy. I’m in great shape and pretty lean now, but I’m over 65 and I do not have a flat tummy like the models and tucking in blouses make me feel “thick” and I don’t want to wear Spanx under my clothes!
    So…is there a collective thought here? Shorten everything and let it float away? Would like to hear your opinions.

    • Janet Utsey
      August 6, 2019 / 8:10 am

      I have the same problem and have a suggestion which I use all the time for the problem you mentioned. I do what you will see the stylists have done in lots of fashion photos if you look closely. Tuck in only the front and blouse it slightly so that it disguises your “problem area”. Let the rest remain loose. I read that it is called “ the editor tuck”, and once you get used to it, looks really chic.

      • Robyn
        September 16, 2019 / 2:46 am

        I like to half tuck too. It gives definition without being too structured. Often times blouses left untucked on me look a little overwhelming, bordering on sloppy. – has to do with body type. I do have some shortened but sometimes I don’t want to pay the extra expense.

    • Susan B
      August 6, 2019 / 8:47 am

      Jan, I don’t tuck either. I’ve taken to having longer tops shortened to top-of-hip length and wearing them out, or with just a tiny bit of the front tucked. You can also ask your tailor to have the bottom reshaped to a curved hem, which can be more flattering worn untucked.

      • Téa
        August 6, 2019 / 12:26 pm

        I’ve pulled out my sewing machine and am giving a “refresh” to a few tops I don’t wear because the proportions are off…I’ve made a curved hem, gotten rid of roll-up sleeves with the tabs that never stay put and shortened another hem. Simple fixes I tackle myself and try to make un-worn things work, when the return date is past. I also sew shut the area on a button-down shirt closed and just put it over my head. The trickier stuff, I bring to the tailor. I love following your new color story, Sue. It’s great to see what you come up with!

        • September 16, 2019 / 10:36 am

          Sewing down the button front is an excellent trick for those of us who are large-busted and don’t want to forever be fussing with the gaps, safety pins, etc. I also love the idea of having the bottom reshaped to a more flattering curved style, which gives some figure definition where it’s missing now due to middle-age thickness.

    • Eva
      September 16, 2019 / 11:34 am

      I wear tunics, even in sweaters.

  10. August 6, 2019 / 8:38 am

    Janet, that is actually what the photographer did with the (long, lean and young) model.

  11. August 6, 2019 / 9:24 am

    I first saw the semi tucked style on “Queer Eye…etc” but I now see it everywhere and personally still don’t like it . I’m naturally stroppy so it having become almost mandatory puts me right off ! I understand that tucking in is now regarded as old-fashioned – didn’t someone in a comment say ‘in the days when we used to tuck our shirts in ? . I guess I like old-fashioned looks because I try tops out ; if lifting your arm to shoulder level pulls them right out or bunches them ludicrously they go on top . If not just see which looks better , which will also depend on your trousers or skirt . You don’t HAVE to hide a curved stomach – very few women have one which is flat or concave . Above I think the yellow and blue tops would tuck in and I note that the camisole has been – so it isn’t yet a punishable offense .

  12. lily
    August 6, 2019 / 9:26 am

    I second Janet and Lagatta, I do a partial/loose tuck. I think it fools the eye. I tried on a very nice green and white striped shirt by Chaps, very similar to the one shown. Natural fiber, linen/cotton blend, $20 clearance. Unfortunately it gapped on me (button placement?).

  13. Mary A.
    August 6, 2019 / 9:32 am

    I cannot understand why anyone finds cap sleeves flattering. It cuts the arm off right exactly at the fullest point, so if your arms are a little less toned than you like it’s like putting a big red arrow pointing at it. Much more flattering to wear sleeveless or a slightly longer sleeve that hits mid-upper arm.

    • Susan B
      August 6, 2019 / 9:45 am

      I think it really depends on one’s build. From what I’ve read, people with narrow shoulders and broader hips may find a cap sleeve has a balancing effect.

  14. Rondi
    August 6, 2019 / 10:49 am

    I am commenting on the tucking issue and am glad Jan brought it up. I do not tuck either. I have a thick waist and its not my best feature. I try to find shorter tops and tops with a relaxed fit. I have not been crazy about the half tuck but I can see the advantage and MAY give it a try.

  15. August 6, 2019 / 12:40 pm

    Love that green stripe. It looks so fresh for Summer. Im going to copy the link for tape for bust gaps. Fun reading your comments. Good information.

  16. Robyn Moulson
    August 6, 2019 / 12:42 pm

    How to get around the error message: The way I got around the error message is that I went back 3 blog posts to one I could open without getting the error message. Then I used the arrow for NEXT POST at the bottom of the post to move forward to the more current posts.

  17. Kay
    August 6, 2019 / 9:20 pm

    I am big fan of your new color palate.

    • Susan B
      August 7, 2019 / 6:43 am

      Hi Kay, thanks! Actually not all of these colors are in my palette. I wish that floral top were, but it’s more for an Autumn. The green striped shirt is a little too cool for me. And the Royal blue is for those with a cooler palette. But they are all lovely!

  18. August 7, 2019 / 11:07 am

    Ooh, pretty tops! Nice choices.

  19. Coach Laura
    August 7, 2019 / 11:50 am

    Pretty choices! I have a off-white lace top from Ann Taylor that my daughter thrifted for me that I love. It goes with a lot.

    And I have the off-white silk Eileen Fisher top from ages ago. It is my only Eileen Fisher purchase so far because most of her stuff is too unstructured on me. Or too expensive. I may get the new tencel version in the pale blue.

  20. Cinzia
    August 7, 2019 / 7:56 pm

    I adore that coral scarf. It is so very similar to one that I purchased on Capri a few years ago. Every time I wear it, I’m transported back to a lovely vacation. Now if I could just go back and get another bottle of Carthusia perfume…

  21. Rose
    September 16, 2019 / 1:16 am

    Why are all these comments dated in August when this is today’s post-September 16th?

    • Susan Blakey
      September 16, 2019 / 5:13 am

      This earlier post has been refreshed and updated.

  22. Cynthia
    September 16, 2019 / 3:59 am

    Tencel –I want to like it! But I have this EF top in silk. The new Tencel one shows every lump and bulge–it’s not body-skimming the way the silk is. Does anyone else have this experience?

    • Susan Blakey
      September 16, 2019 / 6:11 am

      Yes, I’ve tried sizing up in some of the slimmer cuts.

      • Cheryl T
        September 16, 2019 / 3:34 pm

        I do not like this new EF tencel. Even with sizing up it is not worth the money.

  23. September 16, 2019 / 6:19 am

    I bought the denim midi skirt when you first showed it and didn’t have any problems with my usual size. Too hot to wear it but looking forward to pairing it with all sorts of tops and tights/boots when the weather cools off, all too soon here in MN! I love shopping your finds that I would otherwise miss, thank you

  24. Diane Horning
    September 16, 2019 / 7:04 am

    The post and images look to be a repeat from August. Was that your intention?

    • Susan Blakey
      September 16, 2019 / 7:12 am

      I’ve updated some of the content, but yes. It still felt relevant and I figured those who were on vacation in August and may have missed it might find helpful.

  25. Alexandra Martella
    September 16, 2019 / 7:42 am

    Love these tops! Does anyone have any tried and true tips for underarm/perspiration stains? I have been struggling with this and a dress I love wearing is basically ruined. I don’t use deoderant with aluminum, which I read is what causes the discoloration. I have tried using a baking soda paste, Shout, vinegar and nothing really works. I would love some help!

    • Susan Blakey
      September 16, 2019 / 7:45 am

      Hi Alexandra, have you asked your local dry cleaner? They’re often experts at stain removal, even if the garment itself doesn’t require dry cleaning.

      • Alexandra Martella
        September 16, 2019 / 7:48 am

        I will try that. Just wondering if anyone had any other tips for prevention or when washing!

        • Garden Goddess
          September 16, 2019 / 10:36 am

          Back in the dark ages of the 1980’s I ruined top after top with underarm stains due to deodorant/antiperspirant. The solution I came up with was to stop using it! When I get worried about a possible smell problem I use a salt stick; completely natural, non-toxic and available at health food stores (and it is very inexpensive). Problem solved.

          • Alexandra Martella
            September 16, 2019 / 12:41 pm

            I only wear Native deoderant now which has no aluminum so hoping that helps??

        • J
          September 16, 2019 / 5:55 pm

          The Laundress Stain Solution + Oxyclean worked in with a brush and hot water and followed by a soak will get rid of just about anything, including perspiration stains. The Laundress has a video that explains the how to. Not inexpensive, but their products do the job!

          • Alexandra Martella
            September 17, 2019 / 8:24 am

            Awesome, thank you!

  26. September 16, 2019 / 11:35 am

    Although I’m not a jeans fan, I love denim skirts! Great with boots and a sweater.

  27. September 20, 2019 / 7:42 am

    I have so many, I cannot choose haha. Actually I have a lot of clothes for “in-between-weather” and usually it is either hot or cold.

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