True North - une femme d'un certain âge

True North

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If someone told me I could only wear one outfit for the rest of my life, it would probably be some iteration of this: black sweater, jeans, and pointy toe shoes. This is my style True North.

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I’ve been so pleased with this bag. It’s a perfect “casual day” bag, and wonderful for travel.

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Outfit was inspired by this pin, including the nude shoes. I’ve come to feel a bit defensive about posting outfits with black so frequently, but the truth is I never tire of it and feel like myself in something simple and black. It’s not about hiding either; I feel very visible in black, grounded and solid.

Earrings: Pearl Paradise, similar // Sweater: Eileen Fisher  (also in Plus) // Tank: Eileen Fisher (also in Plus) // Jeans: Eileen Fisher (Petite and Plus) // Watch: Michael Kors // Bag: Givenchy // Shoes: J.Crew

What’s your style “True North?” Is there a particular color, style or look you continually find speaks to you?

Linked up with: Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.


Also, just a note, I’ve updated my Things I Love page with some items inspired by Sophia Coppola’s “Grown-Up Redux” style…
Screen shot 2014-06-12 at 7.35.28 PM

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  1. June 13, 2014 / 4:26 am

    Never apologize for wearing what you love. You look chic, at ease, and Visible (hint!). Love the flats too.

    • June 15, 2014 / 3:16 pm

      Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, too!

  2. GingerR
    June 13, 2014 / 5:06 am

    The bag is different. Can you carry it unzipped without everything falling out or being easy to pickpocket?

    • une femme
      June 13, 2014 / 5:51 am

      Ginger, yes because of the orientation of the zippers, you can carry unzipped. I’ve never had a problem with anything falling out. I always keep bags zipped or fastened when out in crowds, though for day-to-day errand running if I’m wearing the bag cross-body may not bother each time.

  3. Cathy
    June 13, 2014 / 5:18 am

    Great casual look. I have some nude ballet flats; I need to remember to wear them more often.

  4. Ellen
    June 13, 2014 / 5:33 am

    You are wearing my winter “uniform” , although I’m not at all a fan of nude shoes, and I would probably step this up with bright colored footwear. When summer comes, I try to brighten up more, and in addition to wearing brighter colors, I put away my black handbag. But hey, I live in the upper midwest where summers are short, and we live them up as much as we can. When fall sets in, I would be dressed like this 4 days a week, at a minimum.

  5. Leigh
    June 13, 2014 / 5:35 am

    Love it!!! I totally agree. I just don’t really like to wear color. I do it, but then wish I had my neutrals on.

  6. plutrell
    June 13, 2014 / 5:35 am

    YES! This is me as well…and I love how you added the nude shoes. When I was in Houston last weekend, I expected to see women in all kinds of color…but, surprisingly, the opposite was true. The majority wore some type of black outfit. They looked so chic even on a summer’s evening. You look great in your comfort zone!

  7. Michele Stanton
    June 13, 2014 / 5:54 am

    I have tried to break out of my black but, like you, I feel most like myself in black. I do like red shoes and handbags but other than that, it’s exactly my style. I love that handbag, it’s beautiful.

  8. Susan
    June 13, 2014 / 6:10 am

    You look great in this ensemble. However, in our Texas climate, we would/could not wear so many clothes in the middle of the summer! It’s sleeveless tops for me most days. Today, I have on the EF sleeveless nomadic print top (close fitting) over a long skirt. It’s good I think that EF is branching out to some prints! Like you, I tend to wear a lot of black–mostly for practicality.

  9. June 13, 2014 / 6:37 am

    The black suits you and you feel comfortable so you should wear it as often as you wish. My wardrobe is in transition right now but I am wearing a lot of linen clothing that I bought in London. Soft blues and golds which are very different from my usual look. I would like to get a pair of nude flats.

  10. Lise
    June 13, 2014 / 6:42 am

    Oh, I just loved this post ! Thank you .

  11. June 13, 2014 / 7:38 am

    I love your outfit! You look fantastic

    • June 13, 2014 / 7:54 am

      You should always wear the colors you feel comfortable in. Listen to your heart and feel beautiful in your own style.
      I like to wear colors but that is a personal choice ! 🙂

      fashion 55

  12. June 13, 2014 / 7:50 am

    Love that bag. I have a black satchel in my “thinking about it” pile at an online site at the moment. You’ve just made me pull the trigger. I hope you’re happy 😉

  13. June 13, 2014 / 8:18 am

    You look GREAT! I like the downward tilt of your head and your blonde hair. It’s so appealing. Not sure if I could pull it off with my brunette hair. Beautiful sleek casual look. The Givenchy bag is gorgeous…out of my price range but gorgeous.

  14. June 13, 2014 / 8:32 am

    Love those nude shoes. Don’t apologize for posting about what you love and what you know looks great on you! That is what makes blogs so interesting to read and so much fun to write. They are very personal to the writer…not controlled by corporate bosses, publishers, or advertisers.
    I wear a LOT of black and white, or black and tan. It seems that white jeans or a tan skirt or shorts with a black top and sandals is an outfit I have been wearing for years!

  15. KPL
    June 13, 2014 / 8:51 am

    You look the most like you in outfits like this and your comfort and confidence shine through. I do have my “True North” uniforms, and am always sorry when I stray.

  16. Karen
    June 13, 2014 / 9:46 am

    Hello! I’m new to this web sight and just loving all of the information that you provide. This look you have now is wonderful. I love wearing black also. It makes me feel more slender and chic. Going to Paris in July. I want to pack only my Eileen Fisher clothes. Want to wear my Harem pants, either the black or midnight. I feel more comfortable in them than a skirt, and they are so much fun to wear. Can I get away with them in Paris do you think?

    • une femme
      June 13, 2014 / 10:07 am

      Karen, thanks so much, and glad you enjoy the blog. I absolutely think you could wear the “sarouel” pants, as they’re known in France. I didn’t see a lot of them on this last trip, but the weather was still pretty cool and wet for most of it.

  17. Jeanne Maxon
    June 13, 2014 / 10:15 am

    Love this look! And it’s very close to my own “True North”. Sadly, my feet have become so bad lately that I cannot find flats that don’t cut my bunions or smush my bad toes 🙁 And I used to be the biggest “shoe girl”! So I seem to turn to sandals in summer and boots in winter – but I love the look of the flats.

  18. June 13, 2014 / 10:52 am

    Black and I have never coexisted well. I wore it for work because that was the uniform. Outside of work I found myself in chocolate and navy. My True North outfit would be a simple blue dress and pointy toe nude flats.

  19. June 13, 2014 / 11:48 am

    Ok, YES, YES and YES. If I “had” to wear one outfit for the rest of my life, I would indeed wear almost that exact same thing, only my nude Pandora bag with my black d’orsay flats. But indigo skinny jeans and a black sweater. YES. It’s really the perfect uniform!

  20. Marguerite
    June 13, 2014 / 12:44 pm

    I love your style, as it’s so similar to mine. My True North would be dark, straight leg jeans, a black or grey cashmere turtleneck and black low heel booties. Since I live in Texas, I’m only wearing it 4 months a year! You look beautiful, Femme.

  21. Lori
    June 13, 2014 / 12:48 pm

    I love your ‘True North’ – don’t change a thing, you wear it well! I’ve been in love with black since I was in college; it makes me feel confident and appropriate for any occasion.

    So happy I discovered your blog!

  22. Patricia
    June 13, 2014 / 12:50 pm

    This is such a simple but stylish look! And you can (and have done) so much with it. Like Ellen, I live in the upper midwest and try to avoid black in the summer, but I’m still drawn to it. I’ve been substituting navy for black and trying to brighten it up with lemon yellow, hot pink, and turquoise. I love it when you spice up an outfit with colorful shoes; the shoes often make the outfit pop. I’m not a great fan of the nude shoe on me, even though it is supposed to visually lengthen the body. I often look like I’m barefoot, instead.

  23. Murphy
    June 13, 2014 / 2:15 pm

    You look great! Thanks for reminding me that it is okay to stick with the favorite items that I know make me look and feel good. My default outfit is dark jeans with a dark top – not necessarily black, could be navy or brown or teal or berry – I always feel pulled together in this.

  24. Molly
    June 13, 2014 / 4:13 pm

    You look so nice in black — it is so chic on you, why be defensive? I always feel haggard and wan in black so I rarely wear it. For me, gray is the color that I over buy and always feel calm and centered in. Gray and cream is my go-to combination. If you are not comfortable in a color, you will not be happy and your beauty will not be as apparent. I really envy your style so much – you know what works for you in a way that I am still trying to learn. I notice you rarely wear cardigans, and would be interested in a post on best ways to wear various types of sweaters.

  25. Jeanne Maxon
    June 13, 2014 / 4:53 pm

    As I mentioned above, I have difficulty finding flattering flats – the “comfort” ones always just look clunky to me. I would be interested in anyone’s input who has found stylish, wide-ish flats.

    • une femme
      June 13, 2014 / 6:41 pm

      Jeanne, these skimmers from Cole Haan come in several colors and wide-widths:

      • Jeanne Maxon
        June 13, 2014 / 6:58 pm


  26. June 13, 2014 / 10:59 pm

    I like black on you Susan and I like it on me too and, like you, not for reasons of hiding — quite the reverse. I love your shoes but sadly I have very high arches and can’t wear a lovely flat or pump like that. Have you had your hair cut just a tad shorter? It looks lovely.

  27. June 14, 2014 / 1:48 am

    No need to stop the black. It looks fantastic on you. And I’m noticing your hair is looking mighty fine. I’ve kind of stopped changing my bag since I became attached to my tool box which has a satisfying heft. The two zips on your bag are great. My True North? Tough question. I have an ultra huge white smock and black jeggings which I love, and then I’d mix it up with footwear.

  28. sybes1
    June 14, 2014 / 5:19 am

    I love this look and you look great in your ‘True North’ ensemble. Your purse is so interesting–I had to look at many images to understand the construction. My True North would be the same ensemble but with these possible variations: navy sweater and jeans; black sweater and leggings; white V neck tee with navy or black jeans or leggings. Love the look. It feels uncluttered, elegant, Tres Audrey and very much Me.
    You look absolutely stunning! Well done! Sally

  29. June 14, 2014 / 7:43 am

    I agree 100 percent on this. A black top and jeans can go almost anywhere and you’ll feel like you fit in – the park, shopping, restaurant, concert. I like black, but I just get tired of it sometimes. I guess that’s what colorful scarves are for!

  30. Judy
    June 14, 2014 / 10:51 am

    Above 70 degrees, I am too hot in jeans and therefore very uncomfortable. I’ve had to resort to skirts

    and tank tops or long dresses to stay comfortable. I find that these are cooler than shorts. I also have to

    get flats with elastic in the heel because otherwise I walk right out of the shoe! My heels are too narrow

    with the low slung toe design otherwise I can wear a loafer design. Loafers don’t fit skirts/dresses.

    When I do wear jeans, I find that I have switched from a black top to a white shirt and scads of pearls if I

    am in the mood. For warmth, a color or simple black cardigan if needed.

    YOU look wonderful! Thanks for your posts. You get us all thinking!

  31. June 14, 2014 / 4:59 pm

    You look wonderful. It’s so great to know what we feel good in. I don’t have any black b/c I don’t feel good in it. I love to wear white!

  32. June 14, 2014 / 10:11 pm

    I agree with so many of yr commenters–no need to feel defensive when you look this good in black. why mess with success?!
    Btw, in response to Karen above, I’ve seen those Eileen Fisher sarouel pants 3 times since we got to France, and now I really, really Want my own pair!

  33. Suz
    June 15, 2014 / 1:37 am

    I don’t think this qualifies for hiding at all. I would notice this outfit straight off – the nude shoes are a great touch; that is likely what would catch my eye. This is comfortable minimalism at its best.

    Its also a timeless/ageless outfit. Very casual but pulled together. The pieces have interest on their own – I think that may be the key. I strikes me as very Sofia Coppola (I have decided she is now an adjective if just for fashion choices).

    • Suz
      June 15, 2014 / 1:44 am

      HA! I just now looked at your store pics and I noticed the Sophia Coppola style ref. I swear I am not a kiss a** 😀

      Perhaps I need to do things/read in the right order. Oops.

  34. Christine
    June 15, 2014 / 1:31 pm

    I just embarked on an 8 day Rhine River cruise and used une femme’s blog as my fashion North Star. New Eileen Fisher skinny jeans and a loose sweater made the flight over a comfortable one, along with the 8 hours before we checked into our cabin. I changed into EF crepe knit black pants for dinner – another superb choice. Sticking with comfortable, classic basics assure smooth fashion sailing!

  35. June 15, 2014 / 2:59 pm

    Have you changed your hair colour? It looks very good, platinum blond suits you.

  36. June 15, 2014 / 5:11 pm

    Please don’t ever stop or apologise for wearing black:) Firstly, I adore black:) Secondly I love reading blogs that are ‘authentic’. I don’t need to see women always wearing the latest in fashion (not that you are not extremely fashionable and stylish) and never wearing the same thing twice. I am drawn to and inspired by women such as yourself who share their real life style.

  37. Jess
    June 16, 2014 / 8:00 am

    Elegant. I love the jeans on you, and am such a fan of the nude flats! I love the color and they go with everything. Pretty!
    From the link up, jess
    Please stop by

  38. jangrahammcmillen
    June 16, 2014 / 8:34 pm

    Post away in black, or whatever you want to share with us. Before I read of your reticence to post uniform outfits in sombers, I thought, “What a nifty boost those perky patent and blushy flats give her dramatic black. Great styling!” So not so predictable as it might seem. We don’t see you everyday!
    I’m not sure I have an outfit I love so much …

  39. Nan
    June 17, 2014 / 9:24 am

    My hair color is (ahem) vanilla blonde, similar to yours, and the contrast that black provides for fair hair/complexion/eye color is almost a requirement. If I were looking for invisibility, put me in a beige or pastel and I am wearing a cloak of invisibility like no other. If not black, then a deep saturated color. The up side is that the paleness is so neutral that the color clashes of my youth between hair and clothing are gone. I can wear nearly any color, as long as it is saturated.

  40. Linda
    June 17, 2014 / 9:41 am

    Susan, your blog makes me so happy, every single day. I have never before found style blogger to whom I relate so closely. What a gift you have been… This is my True North, also. And the way you described your affinity for black–“feel like myself in something simple and black. It’s not about hiding either; I feel very visible in black, grounded and solid”–is it silly to admit that it brought tears to my eyes? Twice I have actually had people ask me, in a disparaging manner, “Why don’t you ever wear color?” Because I feel like somebody else in colors–and I feel like ME in black! What an affirmation to read your words above, which I could never exactly articulate myself. Thank you for your wonderful blog. Now, don’t ever go away! 🙂

  41. Linda
    June 17, 2014 / 9:45 am

    P.S. Via your link, I notice this sweater does not appear to be available in black, in petite sizes (often the case, sadly). Are you wearing a regular size here?

  42. Karen
    June 18, 2014 / 1:17 pm

    OMG that hair of yours!!! TDF!!! Get me to your colorist!

    I love your True North outfit. I could be happy in it too. I agree with your feeling on black. I am starting to appreciate it again–nothing can do what black does for a certain feel in an outfit. I don’t care if it makes me look older, I like it now.

  43. June 19, 2014 / 12:44 pm

    I also wear lots of black, my favorite color. I also don’t feel like I’m hiding out when I wear it, I feel stronger and more grounded when I wear it. Love that bag!

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