2023 Trends and Tips

The oversized trend continues, but the omnipresent puddling wide-leg pants do not flatter short legs. Instead, I’ve opted for a few oversized tunics since opaque leggings are the best option with coats and boots or long tunics. Thankfully, slimmer pants are coming back in 2023, along with moto jackets, bra tops, chunky metallic jewelry, platforms, and bright green. We may not embrace the bra top, but the other trends might work for us. It is not a color that looks good near my face, but a bag or shoes is a fun way to add a touch of green.

The shirt dress is here. The leggings are here. The bag in green is sold out, but the black one is here, and a similar green one is here. The booties are here. The Versace silk scarf is several years old. A large silk scarf is here.

The denim shirt dress is a nod to the oversized trend. While I will never wear a mini dress or skirt as such, it can be worn as an oversized jacket or a tunic, adding variety to my usual silhouette. While I mostly ignore the trends, they allow you to add the pieces you like while they are available. Adding one or two items to reflect current trends can inject fun and modernity into classic looks. When I add playful one-season items like the green bag above, they are not investment items. Bundling for warmth in winter can become dull, but topping the thin layers with one dramatic piece or a bright color can bring fun to our style.

The shirt dress is here. The belt is here. The pants are here. The tank is here. The Botkier bag is sold out, but here is a similar one. The sandals are here.

Pointed-toe shoes visually add two inches to your height. Platform shoes are an option if you want to add a bit of height to balance your proportions but no longer wear heels. The shoes below offer support, and the heel is not too high due to the platform in front.

This is a great time to break in new summer sandals, so wear them around the house with socks for now. These sandals will be in heavy rotation as warm weather returns since flat shoes are uncomfortable with my high arches. You asked that I share great pieces with you before they sell out, so you can find the shoes here.

The length of the dress is perfect for pairing with leggings and my oh-so-comfortable edgy combat boots. I always consider the flexibility of garments, so I think about the various ways I might style the item before I make a purchase.

The denim dress is here. The leggings are here. The tank is here. Similar boots are here.

The shirt dress can be worn open, layered over a cashmere sweater and black jeans, or my workout gear for a long walk. Other than summer, this dress can be worn as a jacket or tunic for much of the year here in east Tennessee. This is the primary reason for purchasing this dress, but I wanted to share some other styling options with you.

The denim dress is here. The leggings are here. A similar vest is here. The tee is here. The sneakers are here. No-show sports socks are here. Similar sunglasses are here. Similar cap here.

The fashion industry considers 5’4″ ( 164 cm) petite. The term refers to your height; however, if you have a short waist or short legs compared to the other parts of your body, you may find that petite sizes suit you. So, I’ll share some tips for elongating your looks. I use them often since I am 5’5″ (165 cm) with proportionally short legs. Now that oversized tops, pants, and coats are popular, many may benefit from petite tips.

Tailoring and styling to get the right proportions is a priority for all of us, but it is essential for petite ladies. If you embrace the oversized trend, add a more fitted garment for balance. When the weather allows, show your collarbones, wrist, or ankles since those are your smallest parts and will keep you from being overwhelmed in fabric. This tip will make you look taller and more slender if that is your goal. I use sleeve garters to keep my sleeves in place. I found mine here.

Wear one tone or color from top to toe. For example, it may be navy denim over black, but the goal is to continue the contrast level, so there are fewer horizontal breaks. For example, a lighter jacket with the same dark base will create a horizontal break at the hemline, and attention will be drawn there. Each horizontal break in an outfit makes us look shorter and broader.

I recently misplaced one of the keys to my car, which prompted me to buy a handy key pouch. The pouch keeps all the keys together in one place and protects my bag from the keys poking into the leather. Another excellent recent purchase is this case found here.

In recent posts, it has been very therapeutic to have a bit of fun with my style. If it has inspired you to do the same, I’m glad. If you know the styling rules but break them anyway, that’s part of the fun. When a trendy item fits your style, or you like it, by all means, try it. See you in the comments!

The summary of recent looks is here. As always, shopping links on this website may allow me to earn a small commission at no cost to you. However, I do not accept gifts to review or collaborate with companies, so what you see here are things I purchased myself.

  1. So interesting. Lots of unique ideas. It seems like a lot of work went into this piece. How do you know what trends are coming back – (slimmer pants, moto jackets, etc.)?

    1. Thank you, I worked on this post for about a week. I study style shows for the coming seasons, what people wear at Fashion Weeks and what the modern influencers are wearing on Instagram, and then distill the trends into things that might work for us.

  2. I love those black boots. They have a heel that I can walk in whereas the sandals are too high for me.

    I am short (5′ 1/2″) so have to be very careful that the longer pieces are not too long. I carry the little bit of height I have in my upper body with short legs. In that case, what would you suggest to wear for this trend?

    1. High-waist pants, jeans, shorter mid-hip tops, and jackets would be best for you, Pat. Tuck in the tops and wear a belt if you can. Leave jackets and cardigans open to show a column of one color beneath for an additional slimming effect.

  3. I am really enjoying these fun looks. Getting dressed and applying makeup is like art to me, so like you, I enjoy going “beyond the classics” to a certain degree.

  4. Hi Susan, Here is a tip for wearing leggings down in SW Florida. On the occasion days that we get cooler temps, you can wear the leggings under your golf skirt. Robin

  5. Could you please demonstrate how to use the sleeve garters? Sleeves are often too long for me. I haven’t noticed the garters in your posts, so I’m thinking you have a trick for hiding them. I always enjoy your posts. Thank you!

    1. Place the garters over the sleeves so that the amount of sleeve you want to show is below the garter, then push the garter and sleeve up to just above your elbow. Finally, adjust the top of the sleeve over the garter, so it is hidden in the sleeve folds.

  6. Thank you for all the tips in today’s post. I ordered the sleeve garters. I especially enjoyed the tips for wearing petites. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and helpful hints for dressing as we get older so we don’t look frumpy.

  7. These are great looks ! I especially like the black trousers and pointy boots. Can you tell me where they were purchased ? For some reason when I tap the ‘here’ button nothing comes up. Thank you !

  8. In what universe is that denim top a dress??? Unless a woman is very young, very short, and and very slim, it’s a tunic.

  9. Thanks for your blog. You look awesome. I really like the idea of the key chain purse. Seems like I have difficulty finding my keys even in my pocket book. Thanks for the idea.

  10. Thank you for demonstrating how to wear the denim shirt/dress in so many ways. I have a similar top, and I now plan to take it on a trip. My traveling companions may not even realize I am wearing the same piece over and over, and it will save me a lot of room in my luggage.

  11. Thanks for your post and evident hard work.
    I don’t follow trends these days if I can help it as at my age, I can’t bear to waste money on short term gain. It’s why I’ve always loved your emphasis on classic elegance. Shopping my wardrobe works a treat.
    I will say though, that one trend that I love is the tulle skirt being jazzed up – it’s been on Pinterest quite a bit.
    I performed late last year in a ballet concert and our costume was a black leotard with V-neck and beautiful black ankle length tulle skirt . This year, when I attend the theatre, I hope to glam it up with an elegant little top, very fitted and tailored short black leather jacket I own, patterned sheer black stockings and shoes that will set the outfit off – heels, ballet flats, whatever. But they must be party-smart and elegant.
    I have two gorgeous bags – one’s an orange clutch, the other a lizardskin taupe, navy, black and brown striped clutch. It’s an either/or depending on the top and shoes…
    Wish me luck.

  12. Thanks for addressing the petite issue! At some point over the years did you state you can only wear a particular type of ball cap? I can only do those that are made of firm fabric so the front doesn’t cave in or ones that have a cardboard insert (which really should be pulled out).

  13. Very informative article! I especially appreciate the guidance for petites. I’m in my 60s and for the longest time, petite in clothing just meant shorter length pants. Now there are several companies that carry a petite line where the length, stride, sleeve length, and torso are all proportioned for those of us under 5’4″. Thanks for all the tips to help us look our best!

  14. Susan,

    Thankyou for the research that was put in this very informative article. I realize I turn to all black top and bottom over a denim jacket when I go out many times( just yesterday) I’ll have to look for the denim shirt/ dress I think I would like wearing it often.

  15. Love these stylish ideas! Can you share your morning exercise and makeup routine? Happy New Year!

  16. Great post! I really appreciate all the hard work and extra effort you put into all of your posts. Your tips make so much sense. Thank you.

  17. I see that there are many here that like the new trends for 2023 shown in your latest two posts. Personally, I do not find them flattering, and I will not be purchasing them. I do wish everyone who loves those trends much joy in wearing them this year.

    I did find your tips on dressing the petite figure very helpful information! I also like your suggested color combinations of clothing and accessories. You do an excellent job of showing those color combinations in your photos.

    1. Some benefits of maturity are the confidence to embrace what makes you happy and the self-awareness to pass on things that do not suit you. I’m glad you found something helpful in the post.

  18. While you always look wonderful no matter what you wear, oversized tunics have been worn to death in my area close to Atlanta. My friends and I have cleaned out our closet of oversized clothes. Loose fitting tops are still in but less material and a closer fit. Maybe tunics is coming back in a different style. It will interesting to watch. Thank you, Susan, for all your great style tips.

  19. I love your posts! I’ve been following for many months now (even going back to older posts) and have been trying to pull together my wardrobe ever since. Thank you thank you thank you!

  20. Great post. I love the way you show a single clothing item multiple ways.
    Do you think denim and denim accessories are going to have a big moment in 2023?
    I realize denim never really goes out of style but is this the year we will see denim everything again?

  21. Hi Susan,

    Your recent posts about taking the boredom out of neutral basic wardrobe have been great. For me, your blog is the one out of the many I read, that I relate to the most. You always look terrific!

    Happy New Year to you and Mr. Mickey,

  22. I was just wondering how you kept your sleeves up when I read your post today about the sleeve garters!!! 🙂

  23. Hi
    I also am having difficulty with getting the pants link to come up…I’d love to look into those…and maybe consider those platform shoes, as heels are no longer comfortable but at 5’4” I’d like to add some height occasionally…thank you for your blog, and Happy New Year!

  24. I wanted to share this wallet with you and your readers. I know many, like me, have arthritis and may not be able to carry a purse all the time. I have found I can tuck my car key into this wallet, and there’s a large exterior pocket with a tab to hold your phone. I never remove my key from it, so it has become a great grab-and-go option for me. Hope it helps someone else. As always, thanks for all the great tips!

  25. Susan,
    Such fun outfits you have shown. I need a change to my “go-to” choices when getting dressed. The denim shirt is a really nice look with leggings and boots.
    Thanks for the post!

  26. I think neutral basics are the foundation of a well-curated wardrobe but sometimes we do have to shake things up. Not to say that we need to dress too young (unlike you, I do believe some things make us look “mutton dressed as a lamb”), but stretching and trying new things can be eye opening. I think trying items outside of our basic colors can do this. Not everything has to mix and match with items in our closet. Occasional wild cards can be fun.

  27. Love most of the “new” styles but some are definitely not for me or my body shape! Can you tell me what brand the combat boots are that you are wearing? They are different from the Garret Bootie by Sam Edelman that you wore in previous posts, and I like the buckle detail on these.
    Happy New Year ~ Clarisse

  28. I love all of the outfits. About the denim shirt – I was wondering if I should order my normal size because I am thinking I might splurge. Did you order your regular size? Heck I may try the flare pants too! Your red scarf is fabulous! Have you ever tried the brand Taos for combat boots? They are the most comfortable I have ever worn.

  29. I am really loving your foray into updates that perk up my traditional style. I’m also enjoying your thoughts about proportion…I am 5’3. Thank you for sharing your ideas about fashion and style.

  30. Just snagged the last size 7.5 of the Charles David Clout Combat Boot from Saks OFF 5th. In fact, it was the only size left at all, so hey, lucky me!

    I’m a little uncertain about how well I will wear them (how they will look on me) but you sure rock them so I’m giving them a try.

    I’ve gained weight recently because of some different types of proton pump inhibitors doctors have prescribed (all noted weight gain as a side effect) and therefore I’m not sure if the tunic would make me look huge. I think I’ll go over to Biltmore Village and try on the red Chico’s tunic you had on last week to see how it looks with my leggings and combat boots.

    Thanks for the great tips! I’m kind of excited to change up my style with these boots and leggings!

  31. Thanks for all the work and thought you put into your posts. I enjoy reading all the tips and tricks.
    I thought leggings were out? My daughter is 52 (very stylish – not trendy) and she told me not to wear them anymore because they make me look old. I do feel they make my legs look short and stubby. I’m 5’6” with a long torso and short legs.
    I feel better (and taller) in longer pants that almost cover the tops of my shoes.
    Have a happy and healthy 2023!

    1. Skinny jeans may be out, but leggings may always be here because they keep you warm, and they are the best option with a long top or a coat and boots. If you are like me and have a thicker waist and a larger bust, that combo of fuller-leg long pants and a fitted top makes you look twenty pounds heavier. I mostly reserve my leggings for working out or long walks with a long jacket.

  32. One thing you’ve always stressed is dressing, not only for our age, shape, coloring, etc. but for our preferences and personality. So, that gives a whole lot of latitude. I would hate for us all to look the same! Sometimes I feel like we do, actually. I’ve loved looking at the “Advanced Style “ ladies in Ari Seth Cohen’s book and blog. Those women are just so awesome! But could I dress like that in my little southern town? Ha! It’s sure fun to jazz it up a bit,though, and I wish I was daring enough to take it a little further.

  33. Thank you for all the time you spend on your very thoughtful posts, and what fun! I recently bought a bright blue wallet/purse inspired by your looks and I am delighted by how often I use it to liven up a mostly black outfit. Sleeve garters! who knew? I have very long arms and so wear all my sleeves rolled or pushed up since they don’t reach my wrists. I am ordering mine now. Thanks again.

  34. Love all of these looks, you make our day with your fun and informative shares. Thank you and Happy New Year to you and to Mr, Mickey!

  35. Your previous posts about making sure we have our clothing proportions balanced into the most pleasing ratio helped me so much that I’m finding it difficult to see you suddenly going back to embracing the tunics you tossed out when finding your most pleasing looks in clothing. While I can see the use of an occasional tunic length paired with slim trousers or leggings, it now seems like you’re pairing them with even flair leg trousers (the red shirt tunic). I suppose to each his own, and you’re beautiful enough to pull it off no matter what you wear, but throwing out the design principles for the sake of variety isn’t worth it to me. You mentioned once that drop shoulder designs weren’t the most flattering for you as they made your bust area larger appearing, and yet this denim shirt is drop shoulder. And are bulky looking combat boots really something that flatters? I feel like saying, “who are you, and what have you done with our stylish Susan?” 🙂

  36. Happy New Year! Love the outfits. What size did you order for the denim tunic dress? Thank you as always for your tips.

  37. Thank you for the petite tips!! I find them very helpful!
    Any time you might be able to incorporate them into your posts is much appreciated.

  38. I must confess that I too am somewhat bemused by the description of the denim garment as a “dress”. I saw garments just like that all over the place last year – at that time we called them “shackets”. I bought a lovely indigo corduroy one, which goes beautifully with my dark wash denims, so it looks like I am all set for 2023!
    Thank you once again for such an interesting post. You have certainly given us a lot to think and talk about!

  39. Loved that green bag. I can’t wear that color near my face either, so I have opted for sandals and a lime trimmed bag from Coach that is several years old. Thanks for the outfit inspiration.

  40. Nope. Nope. Nope. Not one of these looks is flattering, and the shoes and boots are hideous. Especially those awful heels. Classic is what works best on you.

  41. Lovely, lovely, ideas! I never thought of the oversized denim shirt as a piece to wear, especially with the sandals and black slacks!

  42. Ok, I’m late seeing this, but just had to pop on and let you know- I love your fun new looks, especially that denim tunic with the flare leg pants! If you saw you somewhere out and about I’d stop and assess to figure out how to get that effortless chic look. Keep having fun! You’ve really inspired me!

  43. Susan,

    Thank you for all the great things you share. You recently posted a dress with elbow length sleeves and midi length.
    I can’t find this kind of dress! I am 5’ 3 and a size 4 do need petite. Any thoughts you have would be so appreciated.

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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.