Jumping Ahead

Susan Blakey of une femme d'un certain age wears a transitional season outfit with a faux suede jacket, croc-embossed bag and brown pants.

Trying to create outfit posts this time of year is always a challenge. While much of the hemisphere is gearing up for Fall, in Southern California we’re just now heading into the warmest weeks of the year. And it usually doesn’t start to cool down until late October. But I want to share some of my Fall Finds while they’re still available, so will be styling a few pieces even if it’s still too warm to wear them here. (And when it does finally does cool off, I’ll have some workable transitional season outfits ready to go.)

Jacket | Necklace | Necklace | Top | Bracelet | Pants | Bag | Sandals

I’m really impressed with this faux-suede jacket! The quality is quite good, as is the fit. (I’m wearing 0 Petite. Chico’s has their own sizing system; this corresponds to 4-6P in standard sizing.) And it’s machine washable!

Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age wears layered gold necklaces from the French Kande FK Petite collection.

The gold layered necklaces are both from French Kande’s FK Petite collection. These are lightweight and perfect for everyday wear.

Detail: Susan Blakey of une femme d'un certain age carries a Brahmin croc-effect bag.

Taking a shot at Fall’s “tonal dressing” trend, I decided to go with a croc-embossed bag to add some texture and visual interest.

I haven’t had much luck finding non-denim pants that are in my color palette, and in a style that works for me. So much of what’s currently available is either too full, too wide, or too high in the rise. These are what I’ve found so far, and I still have a couple other styles on order to try.

My weight’s crept up about 5 pounds in the last year, and I can really see it in how my clothes are fitting. Yes, I’ve added some muscle since starting Pilates a year ago, but I don’t think I’ve added that much. 😆 I’ve been a bit lackadaisical about trying to drop those pounds. But now that I’m looking to revamp my wardrobe, I think this is a good time to address it. A few people I know have had good results with FASTer Way to Fat Loss, so I’m giving that another go. (I started it last year, but dropped out after a few weeks.)

Detail: Susan Blakey of une femme d'un certain age wears Mephisto wedge sandals with cuffed pants.

The sandals are probably a bit more rugged than I’d like for this outfit, but I have yet to find anything better that’s as comfortable.

Have you started planning your transitional season outfits yet?

Stay in touch.

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68 Comments

  1. September 10, 2019 / 3:35 am

    I really like those colors on you, and they work so well together. I find it difficult to get browns to play nicely together. As soon as one has the least cool undertone, the others look orangey. You have a good eye–I would think two pieces would work, only to get home and discover they were a big fail.
    We are having our first cool day of fall and it’s the first time in months I’ve even thought about a sweater.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:34 am

      Thanks very much! It’s really helped me to have a color palette to follow…makes combining so much easier!

      • Anne R
        September 14, 2019 / 8:37 am

        Un million de merci for your Red Leopard share! I follow them on Instagram now. Pure Joy and I love the scarves they have by https://ivananohel.com/ .. how gorgeous.
        Well worth a shout out!

  2. Maggie
    September 10, 2019 / 4:13 am

    Very nice! You look so much nicer without those blue jeans all the time!

    • YCoh
      September 10, 2019 / 1:00 pm

      I don’t know if you meant it this way, but that could be read as a backhanded compliment. I’m pretty sure that Susan wears what she likes, and if she wears a lot of blue jeans it’s because she likes them. “Look so much nicer” makes it into an external judgement rather than discourse about style and personal preference.

      • Susan Blakey
        Author
        September 10, 2019 / 1:09 pm

        Just wanted to respond…I didn’t take any offense. I know some people don’t like or wear denim jeans as much as I do. 😉

  3. Adele Miller
    September 10, 2019 / 4:31 am

    I love the Chicos jacket, it looks fabulous on you! but wish they had it in black or gray……warm colors do nothing for me. I have learned over the years that even though I love the way beiges and warm browns look on everyone else, they just don’t work with my wardrobe and my winter pallette :~(.

    • Katrinka
      September 10, 2019 / 5:01 am

      Susan, you make putting together a tonal look so easy to do. And, I know it’s not as mentioned by Taste of France. When I try to do it everything looks blah. This is a fabulous outfit!

      • Susan Blakey
        Author
        September 12, 2019 / 9:30 am

        Thanks very much, Katrinka!

    • Lee Rosenthall
      September 10, 2019 / 7:24 am

      They have a black faux leather (as opposed to suede) jacket just out too. And the “Vintage Brown” jacket (Susan’s color) also comes in something called “Duchess Blue.”

      • Adele
        September 10, 2019 / 7:42 am

        I have my eye on the longer black faux leather jacket! The Duchess Blue is a little too bright for me.

    • Linda M
      September 11, 2019 / 4:11 am

      I have and love the Chico’s camel jacket. For the commenter looking for cooler tones, there is a black one cut along the same lines, but in faux leather, not suede. I have that one also, and love it too. Susan’s also comes in a rich blue. After a long hiatus from Chico’s (it looked nice on friends but was too embellished/boho for my classic wardrobe), I have been shopping there again. They have absolutely wonderful basics – check out their Juliet pants and their no stain, no iron blouses in various sleeve lengths and many gorgeous colors and elegant stripes or geometrics. The quality of everything I have purchased is excellent, especially for this price point. Sales are frequent and often are a significant percentage off the entire store.

      • Jill Ann
        September 11, 2019 / 6:24 am

        I never shop at Chico’s, at least partly because there are no mirrors in the dressing rooms! That just irritates me. Plus, as you mentioned, I felt their pieces were too “embellished”. Maybe I should give them another look, though.

        • Susan Blakey
          Author
          September 12, 2019 / 9:04 am

          I’ve been seeing some good basic pieces on their website lately…am going to visit the store later this week.

      • Susan Blakey
        Author
        September 12, 2019 / 9:04 am

        I have a pair of those pants on order…will report back! 🙂

  4. Memee
    September 10, 2019 / 4:48 am

    Love everything about this outfit and how great it looks on you. Unfortunately, in North Carolina we are still at 90 degree days with high humidity, so the thought of putting on long pants and a jacket is just beyond feasible. My daughter and I are SO tired of our summer clothes and long for a change to autumn wear like your outfit. Is anyone else feeling this way?

    • Jill Ann
      September 11, 2019 / 6:26 am

      Me in Houston!!! Temps in the mid-90s every day, and humid. Envious of people who are starting to wear jackets and long pants!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:33 am

      Thanks Memee! I understand that end-of-season malaise…hope some cooler weather heads your way soon.

  5. Jannie
    September 10, 2019 / 5:14 am

    Hi, Susan, You mentioned 5 pounds creeping up on you…join the club of aging! Has happened to me also and is frustrating (most is in my belly area which I never had before). Have been a bit remiss in my exercise routine so that doesn’t help. And the clothing…I’m a lover of Chicos Bridget pants that have a special smoothing layer to hide the belly. Love that jacket and think I will have to add it to my list! Still quite warm in PA…not ready for our harsh winters. Enjoy your lovely weather.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:29 am

      Hi Jannie, thanks! I find I can never lose with exercise alone…always need to adjust my food.

  6. Elizabeth
    September 10, 2019 / 5:20 am

    This is beautiful, Susan! You’ve stayed true to your colors and style without looking overdone, and that’s not always an easy task. This jacket is warm without limiting undertones. I’m an autumn and it works well with my coloring, too.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:28 am

      Thanks very much, Elizabeth!

  7. September 10, 2019 / 6:29 am

    I’d wear this outfit in a heartbeat, Susan. I’m glad you’re showcasing the FK Petite Collection. Um, may have to add the chunkier necklace to my cart!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:28 am

      Thanks so much, Kimberly! I love these lighter necklaces, so easy to wear!

  8. stephanie ashworth
    September 10, 2019 / 6:48 am

    Lovely outfit. It looks so good on you. I have done FWTFL and had good results. I’m on round two now and wish you good luck with it.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:27 am

      Thanks very much, stephanie!

  9. Kathy
    September 10, 2019 / 6:49 am

    Shoes are perfect with the outfit. Less fussy than a more “tailored” shoe so fits the casual pants and more relaxed look

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:26 am

      Thanks, Kathy!

  10. Denise
    September 10, 2019 / 7:30 am

    I’ll say just one word on the weight issue – Orangetheory. It’s intense and it works! I was walking and doing light weights at least three times a week for the past eight years and once I hit 50 (four years ago), I instantly began gaining. Nothing I could do including eating even healthier than I had been, increasing protein, or limiting wine worked – but Orangetheory has. The secret is high intensity cardio (broken into manageable intervals) and heavy weights. Of course, this can all be achieved on your own too. It takes motivation and the willingness to be “uncomfortable” during exercise but I promise you, done right, this type of exercise works.

    • September 10, 2019 / 1:19 pm

      I’m a fan of Orange Theory Fitness too! I go 3 times a week and it has tightened up my core and given me upper arms I can bare in sleeveless tops. I haven’t lost weight but stopped gaining and have more energy.

  11. Jen
    September 10, 2019 / 7:52 am

    Love the petite necklaces on you! I am on round 2 with FWTFL and I really like it. I did go on vacation a couple weeks ago and it was hard but its a doable program. Good luck to you!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:22 am

      Thanks Jen! I’m in a good place to do the FWFL program now, as we don’t have any more travel planned for several weeks.

  12. Jan Whichard
    September 10, 2019 / 8:02 am

    Did you have the Moto jacket tailored? I tried it on Friday and the cut was “off” lots of fabric under the arms and the sleeves seemed too wide. Nice jacket however and looks great on you!
    Jan

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 10, 2019 / 8:23 am

      Hi Jan, no alterations done, this is right off the rack. Thanks!

  13. Michelle McDonald
    September 10, 2019 / 8:40 am

    Susan, this outfit is amazing on you, and I like the sandals with it. This is a “study” in how to style tone on tone beautifully! I’ve admired your style for months (even though I’m a “classic” with what used to be called “Winter” coloring); I learn so many tips and tricks from you.

    Faster Way to Fat Loss is amazing. I highly recommend doing at least the first session; then you can take it on your own as I did. I started 2 yrs ago at age 56 and didn’t do the exercises, just strictly followed the food plan. I lost 15 lbs, am back to size 10 (my size in high school although things have, um, moved around a bit since then), and my tailor marvels with me at what a difference FWFL has made in my body. My tailor has certainly benefited financially from this, ha ha!

    Please keep up the wonderful columns, which I look forward to each morning!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:19 am

      Thanks so much, Michelle! I’m really committed to following through with FWFL this time, and even on day 4 I already feel better and less bloated!

  14. Marguerite
    September 10, 2019 / 11:17 am

    I envy those who can wear fall colors in Fall My coloring is so cool and mousey soft. Grey all the time. I sympathize with the weight issue. Have gone back to Weight Watchers now known as WW. It works for me. Love your new gold French Kande necklaces. Perfect on you!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:18 am

      Thanks, Marguerite! Sounds like you may be a Summer. I’m seeing a lot of your soft and pretty colors in the shops at the moment.

  15. September 10, 2019 / 11:33 am

    What a beautiful autumn colors, love the bag and the necklaces too!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:17 am

      Thanks, Nancy!

  16. Darling Lily
    September 10, 2019 / 11:46 am

    Love this entire outfit. You look gorgeous!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:16 am

      Thanks very much, Darling Lily!

  17. Daniella
    September 10, 2019 / 1:11 pm

    Well, good to see the blue jeans replaced!!! The jacket, though, is too slouchy and I still believe that for your shape long over lean is still “ de rigeur”. Colors work well, but with this outfit a loafer (leopard?) would do it some justice and would add some punch to a safe yet very conservative look.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 10, 2019 / 1:18 pm

      Heh! I knew you were going to say that about the jeans.

  18. Elizabeth
    September 10, 2019 / 2:47 pm

    Love this outfit on you, Susan. The colours are perfect. Sorry about this comment, but I think that booties in a soft coloured suede would look better with this outfit. However, you have hot weather where you are & it has been quite cool here in Canada, west of Toronto. I couldn’t imagine wearing booties in hot climates! Give yourself a pat on the back for changing your look and for going with this new colour range.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:16 am

      Thanks, Elizabeth! I would definitely add booties to this look; they just feel a bit too warm and heavy at the moment.

  19. Rondi
    September 10, 2019 / 3:18 pm

    You look great! I love the shorter jackets on you. With your weather I’m sure that a light jacket with sandals works often. It does where I live also. And why is it so difficult to find pants that are between jeans and dress pants? Something casual but not denim. Hard to find. As far as creeping weight gain I think I am going back to low carb. Less sugar helps me keep weight off my middle.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:10 am

      Thanks, Rondi, and yes I hear you about the pants! It’s hard to find styles that are simple but not too “office-y”.

  20. Nicole Kowalski
    September 10, 2019 / 4:49 pm

    Very nice Susan! Style journey continues…

    Weight. Ugh. I found low carb, healthy fats, plenty of lean protein, exercise and mindfulness meditation worked. Lost 20 pounds over 4 months. I started with a program here in Marin where I had to see a coach every week and get weighed. It was pricey, but life changing.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:09 am

      Thanks very much, Nicole! Glad you found something that’s worked for you.

  21. Suz
    September 10, 2019 / 4:51 pm

    I love this look, Susan. You’re so talented – well done! I’m a shorty and find that wearing cuffs on shorts or trousers doesn’t help the cause to try to look taller! I wonder if you might re-capture the full length photo with and without ‘cuffs’, post it and ask everyone what they think?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:08 am

      Hi Suz, thanks! I’m a shorty too at 5’1″ 😉 . I cuffed the pants because they’re a little too long currently, am going to have them shortened.

  22. Cinzia
    September 10, 2019 / 6:28 pm

    It’s still so hot where I live. It will be at least six weeks before we get to cooler weather. I am starting to cast longing looks at my drawers of fall/winter sweaters…

    I think your outfit works great for you. It really illustrates how the textured bag can add interest when the colors are all very tonal and close. Always learn something from you!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:07 am

      Thanks so much, Cinzia!

  23. Michelle
    September 10, 2019 / 6:34 pm

    Just want to offer encouragement as someone who has been trying for 30 years to dress well with warm “autumn” coloring. It can be done and can be great, but it is never as easy as wearing black, grey, navy, blue denim, and pure white. It’s as if the fashion industry has conspired to make all the basics and “classics” in just those colors, which–added bonus!–all work with each other. Other frustrations: the best time to find one’s warm colors in stock tends to be during summer and autumn, while black and white, etc., are “seasonless,” and spring may offer little except reds and blues. There’s also the difficulty of achieving with a warm color the simple elegance and drama of black (although Eileen Fisher’s “cassis” is excellent). While all-black is chic, all brown is not. And “you can’t go wrong” in black or grey but most certainly can in orange, teal, gold, green. And most blacks can mix together–don’t try that with brown!

    The fashion dominance of the cool palette can seem a bit unfair and burdensome, but making an effort to wear the right colors has flattering rewards. Thankfully, faded blue jeans, whatever their tone, remain a perfect base for almost any color top. These are my observations over time. Best of luck with your adventure!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:06 am

      Yes, yes, yes! I think we’ve also been trained to believe that cool, dark colors are more slimming and chic. And I’m with you on the faded jeans…I wear them often because they really do go with everything! And thank you.

  24. Julie Mills Wentz
    September 11, 2019 / 8:43 am

    Thanks for showing something from Chicos.
    They have incredible quality for the money.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:03 am

      Glad you like it! I used to have a lot from Chico’s a few years ago, but then they seemed to go in a really embellished direction, and it was just too much for me. But they seem to have some good basic pieces, so I’m taking another look.

  25. Sandra
    September 11, 2019 / 8:54 am

    I am in the process of losing weight (25 lbs. since January) and the secret is no added sugar and low carbs. Myfitnesspal.com helps me track, not only my calories, but the set amount for each food group. I only eat the natural sugar found in fruits and vegetables. I walk 5-8 miles most days and use the elliptical trainer when it’s bad weather. The real challenge will be if I can maintain my weight while spending a month in France! Leaving Sunday with 30 RX bars in my suitcase 🙂

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:02 am

      I almost never gain weight in France, even though we eat much more than we do at home. I think that’s usually because we walk enough to offset. But this summer, I did gain a pound or so because it was too hot to do a lot of walking.

  26. Adele
    September 11, 2019 / 8:58 am

    oh, I LOVE RX bars. they’re the only non-candy-like protein bars that really carry me several hours. good for you for walking almost every day. I try to get in exercise 4+ x per week but it’s always a struggle. I keep telling myself it will be easier when I retire.

  27. Jan Whichard
    September 11, 2019 / 7:17 pm

    I have a couple of things: I was in Chicos last Friday and happened to try this jacket on. For me at 5’4″ and size 1 there, the jacket was too long and the sleeves were a great length but kind of a lot of material but the sales lady said if I ordered a petite the sleeves would be 1.5 inches shorter!

    I really want this jacket but while it look tremendous on Susan, I’m just having a visual problem with it.

    Next, I have been living a ketogenic lifestyle for over a year now. I am over 65. I’m 30 pounds lighter, tons of energy, clear mind, and no gastric reflux. No bars. Nothing but real food including “fake” sugar that is real because I use only monk fruit. Anyway…I raise this because now I can be excited about fashion again and not feel or look thick and heavy and old!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 12, 2019 / 9:00 am

      Hi Jan, I think we all have to take our own proportions into account. I’m broad through the shoulders, so maybe that’s why this jacket worked for me?

  28. Lulu
    September 13, 2019 / 4:23 pm

    You always look lovely, Susan. While, I don’t know much about the “season colors”, I can’t help but notice that you look very washed out in this photo. Could be the photo, I know, but there is little distinction from your face and your clothing. I say this respectfully, honestly. In your “stay in touch” photo above, you are wearing a green sweater and scarf. You look 10 years younger in that photo. Just sayin….

    • Sheilah McAdams
      September 15, 2019 / 2:29 pm

      I was thinking the same thing-in the stay in touch photo, her face glows like a lovely portrait, but in the recent outfits, the color of the clothes is what my eye goes to, and Susan’s head and face just sort of blend into the background. Some years ago when color palettes and personal seasons were also very big, hair color definitely was a factor to be considered in determining seasons. I also remember being advised that some colors in the palette would not be as flattering as others, based on the intensity or delicacy of one’s coloring, including hair color, and to discard those colors that were too soft or too strong. Susan’s fair skin and blond hair would look lovely in Spring’s light clear yellows, aquas, peaches, leaf greens, and reds, but the currently popular golds, oranges, and tans seem too close to Autumn’s palette for someone so fair. As she feels her way through this transition, I am looking forward to seeing her experiment with other sections of the Spring palette.

      • Susan Blakey
        Author
        September 15, 2019 / 3:05 pm

        Hi Shelilah, I’m looking forward to experimenting with them too! 🙂 I’ve been limited by what’s available in current collections; hopefully Spring collections will offer more color choices.

  29. Anne
    September 14, 2019 / 12:08 pm

    You look adorable, head to toe. If I had warmer coloring like you, I would take full advantage of the fact that earth tones are so popular this year.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      September 14, 2019 / 12:43 pm

      Thanks so much, Anne!

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