2016 Style Review

Over the past few days, I have been sharing my favorite looks from 2016 and explaining why they are right for my shape or my lifestyle. I hope you have enjoyed this project and that perhaps it has provided some helpful tips for you. Today I am sharing the final installment of the year in review.


I almost always wear a jacket when we go out in the evening. Accessories and a great jacket added to my basic tank and pants can take me anywhere in style. The comfortable red jacket shown above is appropriate for events in cooler weather. It is by IC Collection from ShopMyFairLady.com.

The jacket shown below is also from ShopMyFairLady.com, but it is a couple of years old. They always have similar jackets that have sheer details throughout, making them the perfect cool coverup to wear in summer.

Size and shape have nothing to do with my choice to wear jackets for the evening. I have never been comfortable showing lots of skin, but most definitely not at sixty. I am never deceived into believing that candlelight will make me look good in a skimpy cocktail dress. I always wear something similar to the looks above and below to black tie optional events.

Special Occasion

When I attend a wedding, give a speech or attend a special luncheon, I often wear one of my navy blue sets by IC Collection. I am never confident or comfortable in a dress, so these pant sets serve me well. The color navy can be a winner for anyone in any situation. You can wear gold or silver with it, and it flatters almost every complexion. I am lucky to have one pair of navy suede shoes that match this look, but I usually wear nude shoes with navy. Both these sets are from ShopMyFairLady.com. They often have what I am looking for or try to find it for me, so that is always the first place I check when I need something for a special event.


My travel wardrobe must be comfortable, interchangeable, and look good right out of my bag. Whenever we go away for the weekend, I take pieces I can layer and interchange as needed. Add a few silk scarves along with a white jacket as well as a pair of straight-leg jeans, and I can be dressed for anything in five minutes.


Black and white are the dominant colors in my wardrobe of easy to mix and match separate pieces. I take a good hard look at these items each time I wear them. Has the color started to fade? Is any part of the garment starting to wear thin or pill?

Basic items that are often worn, such as underwear, socks, tanks, and tees, should be replaced every six months. Keep in mind that if you have six white tees that you wear in constant rotation, they will all last longer than if you only have one tee that you wash and wear three times a week. White items will start to look dingy after a while, no matter how carefully you launder them. If you hold your old faithful (which you have washed twenty times) up next to your new white tee in natural sunlight, you will see what I mean. If you dry clean your white jackets often, they will start to get more off-white each time. I love white, but I don’t automatically reach for it without giving it a good hard look first. My closet and my laundry room both have daylight bulbs installed so that I can see true colors.

The outdated rule of “Never wear white after Labor Day” has thankfully been put to rest. If we are still following our mother’s style cues, we might be dating ourselves. Mixing your handbag color and shoe color is much more current than matching them, for one example. I never wear my fashion jewelry for more than two or three years. I wore big clip-on earrings in the eighties with my short hair, but I wouldn’t touch them now.

Speaking of white, white jackets are always part of my basic wardrobe. I have a short white trench coat, white denim jackets, white blazers, and white cropped jackets. They go with everything, but they do not last very long for the reasons stated above. They are always rotating out of my collection as they start to lose their luster. When I buy new white jackets, I always look for edgy details because I never want them to look like lab coats. Since I do not plan to keep the white jackets for very long, I always look for them at the end of summer on the sale racks.

Head to Toe

Honoring the seasons of our lives allows us to remain elegant and appropriate. Some of the things I loved in my fifties will no longer be part of my style. My hair will never be shoulder length again. I will never color it again because it looks good for about three weeks, and then it turns brassy and looks all wrong for the next year. I recently read the statement, “If you have had the same hairstyle for three years, it might be time for a new look or maybe a new stylist.” That is a great rule to continue to follow. Wearing the same style for too long can make us look less than our best. The angled smooth bob has been around for a few years, but it is certainly not a good look for everyone. My stylist asks her new clients about their lifestyles and considers their whole look from head to toe to help them come up with a cut and color that works in their favor. She never limits her view to just the torso in her chair. A hairstyle that is too large or too small for our bodies can make us look out of balance. My hair is different in summer than it is in winter. Dry heat makes it straight and unmanageable, so I blow dry it smooth in the winter. It is curly in the humidity of summer, so I just let it air dry. Working with what you have naturally is always easier.

I couldn’t wait to grow up and wear makeup! I still remember watching old black and white movies at four years old and thinking that wearing red lipstick must be the very best part of being an adult. It’s also time for a reality check in that department. Wearing too much makeup might look OK in a photo, but I know that it isn’t serving me well. The quality of my skin is different now. I have started wearing much less makeup than I did in previous years. Keeping an open mind is very youthful. Doing something because you have always done it can be very aging.

High heels have been my trademark for most of my adult life, but they are no longer added to my shopping carts. I am buying more block heels lower than three inches, flats, and wedges but no more four-inch stilettos.

I no longer accept products in exchange for reviews, but I share with my followers where I purchased the items I wear.

  1. I’ve learned a lot from you over the last year so you can teach an old dog new tricks. I’m looking forward to you enjoyable and informative posts next year. Hope your new year is very happy.

  2. Hi Susan, Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your life with us. You have taught us how to dress better and be more age appropriate. More importantly, you teach us to choose kindness in our daily lives. Your kind heart always shines through. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! We would love to see what Mr. Mickey gave you!

  3. Great tips in this post. The information about maintaining a fastidious and neat wardrobe really spoke to me. I am guilty of wearing clothes that are not in great shape and not paying enough attention to the details of grooming (nails, etc.) This is the area I really need to focus on. It not for lack of knowledge about what to do but more laziness and a feeling nobody will notice a couple of tiny holes! With your guidance and great blog, I am resolving to take better of these issues.

  4. Susan, I just started following you on FB “Susanafter60” I love your style! One question..how do you stay in such great shape? Ever since I turned 65 last year the weight has been kreeping up. I workout every day for the last 25 years. I guess it’s the food I’m eating. Any suggestions? I’m 5′ and 121lbs my normal weight was always 112lbs.

    1. Read the book “Eat to Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman to learn what to eat and why. It changed my life in 2011, and I lost 45 pounds. I no longer eat meat or processed foods and feel better than I did when I was 30. (I am also much thinner now than I was then.) My food choices include lots of fresh organic vegetables, fruit, unprocessed grains, nuts, and seeds. I eat a piece of wild caught fish about once a week.

  5. Susan, thank you for the inspiration you have given me this year. Your taste is simple and elegant and something I aspire to in my clothing choices. I am an overweight, older woman and I find that even though our body types are so different, these styles make me feel put together and looking my best.

  6. I just love, love, love your blog ! Am looking forward to all your sensible advice that you have to offer in the coming year. You are such an inspiration to all that follow you! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and here’s wishing you a fantastic New Year !

  7. Thank you. I hope you will consider doing a project on jewelry for our age. Although, I am Southern born, I cannot wear too many rings or heavy jewelry as some do. But, I do enjoy jewelry and wonder if you have some tips about putting earrings and necklaces together etc?

    1. Thank you for the question, Mary Ann. You may have noticed that I let one or two pieces of jewelry make a statement. For example, I do not ever wear a big pair of earrings with a bold necklace. That is just too much going on in one place. I never wear more than three bold pieces of jewelry at once. A small watch, a small ring and a pair of stud earrings are not statement pieces, so I don’t even count them. If I wear a bold stack of bracelets, I might wear simple hoop earrings but no necklace.

  8. Thanks, as always, for the great tips and suggestions! Love your blog and simple elegant style….always inspiring! Happy New Year, and I look forward to seeing you in my mailbox with lovely stuff in 2017!

  9. My mother always used bluing (specifically Mrs. Stewarts Bluing) to make sure white clothes stayed white and bright. It only takes a few drops in a load of laundry. I have had an 8 oz. container for at least 2-3 years and it is still nearly full. Mother also would recommend hanging whites in bright sunlight. As a bonus, doing that can also get rid of a scorch stain. I have discovered so many instances in which “mother knows best”. I miss her everyday.

  10. Dear Susan,

    I’m so glad I found you! I have been in a quandary trying to figure out what styles are for me. I am now 80. I used to model at fashion shows when I, too, was “over 50” and my style was always classic. I don’t know what happened since then! Was I trying to be younger? Who knows.

    The main thing is that somehow I found you (or perhaps you found me) and I am now on a new path to find my classic wardrobe. I am a ‘winter’ coloring and I like the reds, deep, deep blues, as you do.

    I have printed your pictures from your blog and take them with me to look for a new purchase. I want to make sure I’m purchasing the right thing.

    I know that you will have a wonderful 2017 because you deserve it. Thanks so much for your blog.


  11. Thank you for being you, and being genuine, Susan. Your sincerity always shines through in your posts.

    With New Year’s Eve approaching, I am reminded of one valuable lesson I have learned from you. Special occasion dresses will never again be something I buy. There is no need, when beautiful, classic tops and bottoms can look every bit as elegant. Better wardrobe mileage comes from items that can be worn many times, dressed up or down with accessories.

    There are so many valuable style and life lessons you have taught me via your blog. Many thanks! Here’s wishing you a wonderful 2017.

  12. The beautiful outfit in black. Cut out top and slim black pants. Where can I purchase that. Thank you, JoAnn

  13. I totally love all your looks. You always look like you’re going somewhere important. Do you have any “real casual” looks that do not look sloppy? I live in a very large city attached to a humongous city, however, everyone dresses very casual. Too casual for how I prefer. Also, the “new look” here is being called “athleisure”. I still want to try this look with out looking sloppy or frumpy. I also don’t want to look like I’m trying to look 20. I go to the gym everyday but don’t want to wear the same gym clothes later for errands. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks Susan.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.