A Celebration

Enjoying a quiet evening and delightful meal with the perfect companion completed my birthday celebrations. Earlier in the day, my sister prepared a light lunch for my parents and me. I’m happy to report that my mother is well, and my father has made significant progress and is doing much better now. We are thrilled!

Your questions and comments influence my fashion posts and styling tips. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do the research and distill the trends into wearable options. For example, I immediately loved the look when I saw tall, thin twenty-somethings wearing sweater vests with or without a shirt and wide-leg jeans. I prefer the vests with a thin v-neck tee that covers my arms and slim-fitting pants because those options are much more flattering to my shape.

This look was appropriate for early dinner reservations at a casual restaurant. If we had dined later in the evening, I would have worn a jacket instead of the vest and carried a small clutch. The simple small camera bag worked well with the sweater’s texture. The pants are so good; I’ve ordered another pair to get them hemmed to wear with lower heels. Layering can be tricky when you don’t want to add bulk, but the look is always more successful when you start with slim-fitting foundation pieces.

The long sleeve tee is here. The pants are here. I bought the sweater vest at Banana Republic Factory earlier, but it is sold out now. The Sam Edelman shoes and J.Crew bag are a couple of years old.

My handsome date’s silk jacket has the same black and ecru colors. Mr. Mickey is always so thoughtful! He stopped by our favorite local restaurant earlier in the evening with the flowers and gifts from him and his daughter, Regina. They were already waiting for me when the hostess showed us to our table.

After a toast with our favorite bubbly, Jacob, the chef, sent an amuse-bouche featuring summer flavors. (Amuse-bouches are not ordered from a menu by patrons but are served free and according to the chef’s selection to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse of the chef’s style.)

We always look forward to our delightful meals at Gourmet and Company. Mr. Mickey had the grouper special with seasonal vegetables.

I enjoyed his namesake entrée, the Jilton Vegetarian, served with pasta. It changes with the seasons, but this version is my favorite.

The chef also prepared Mr. Mickey’s favorite sharable dessert, topped with a golden candle in honor of my birthday. Unfortunately, you won’t find the warm brownie and ice cream on the menu yet, but if you ask for it, Jacob might put one together for you.

Thank you for being part of this community and for your kind comments. A summary of my recent posts is here. The shopping links on this site may allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

  1. So glad to hear your parents are doing better! It sounds as though you had a lovely birthday and ended it with a delightful meal! That dessert looks tasty!

  2. I always enjoy your posts and find your suggestions very helpful in putting my best self into the world. Thank you for sharing your world so generously. A belated happy birthday!

  3. I’m so glad your dad is doing better and wishing you a belated happy birthday! Where I live we will soon be entering a rainy time. I was wondering if you could do something about how to style rainwear, especially when it can be pretty heavy all day rains. TIA

  4. Susan, wishing you many more wonderful celebrations. Thank you for sharing with this community. Always enjoy your posts and appreciate the wisdom and good taste you model for us. Your style is timeless and elegant. I know we all love reading about and seeing what your adventures can inspire. Thank you!

  5. This post is full of good news! Thank you for sharing your birthday evening with Mr. Mickey and the wonderful news of your dad’s recovery (and your mother’s).

  6. You always look lovely in black and white. It sounds like your birthday was full of fun and great news on the parent front!

  7. Susan ,
    So happy to hear your mom and dad are doing well.
    Happy Birthday indeed, when loved ones can share it with you.
    Best wishes for a blessed year,

  8. I am happy to hear that both of your parents are better than weeks past. It seems you and your sister are a team when it comes to assisting your parents. Also happy to see you were able to celebrate your birthday with a dinner out with your guy. ❤️

  9. Happy belated birthday! I always look forward to your posts. Your suggestions have been enormously helpful to me. My very favorite is the way you have signature pieces that work as a basis to your specific look…
    Thanks happy to hear your parents are on the mend…

  10. A lovely celebration for your birthday. Happy Birthday! It is such good news to hear your family has weathered the storm and is on the mend.

  11. Happy Birthday! The size guide on the pants says to go down a size from usual size. Did you find this to be true for you?

  12. So glad to read your parents continue to do well. I love how romantic Mr Mickey can be. He is in a class with very few left. I so appreciate your tips!

  13. I’m so happy for you! I like your and Mr. Mickey’s black and white ensembles.

    I was reading about what is “On Trend” and what is dated these days. Apparently tweed is “Out”. The example they showed was a tweed suit with a nice jacket and mid thigh shorts as the bottom!? Who’s ever going to notice what the fabric is? Anyway, I love Mr. Mickey’s jacket, but no shorts!

    I reread your discussion about proportion, and the one where you show how showing your wrists and collar bones can be slimming. Among all my stuff, I have one blouse and one rayon blend knit top that I really like. Thinking about my items and your discussion, I now know why I like them and what to look for in the future. I think you make this point all along and I finally got it. So, thank you for sharing your research.

  14. Since you have moved has your eating changed?
    Some days it is hard as my husband does not share the plant based diet that I prefer.

  15. So glad to hear your parents are doing better. You are lucky to still have them. Sounds like your birthday was so special. Mr Mickey is one thoughtful guy (and handsome, too) !! Happy Belated Birthday !

  16. What a lovely happy post! Glad to hear your parents are doing well and that you had a lovely birthday. I love your look and Mr Mickey looks great too.

  17. Well, I never thought about pairing a long sleeve v neck with a sweater vest….really like that idea and must say I love your style….simple, but elegant….and, I might add, Mr. Mickey always looks so nice. Happy Birthday❤️

  18. So glad both your parents are doing much better.
    Your birthday celebration looks like it was just wonderful. Your outfit looked perfect.
    Happy Birthday!
    I share September with you….coming right up the 22nd

  19. Thank you for sharing your beautiful birthday! You deserve it! I’m glad to hear that your parents are better too. I really enjoy your posts. The information you share has helped me a lot in finding my style in retirement and in downsizing my closet. I hope you have many years of writing and many happy birthdays ahead!

  20. So sweet of Mr. Mickey. He is a thoughtful and caring man. Thanks for sharing your special day with us. Us September gals are special! Seems like many of us are happy to be a part of this community

  21. Being put together with elegance and grace brightens my day and you always bring the lightness to the day!

    Happy Birthday!


    Denise von Pressentin

  22. Belated Happy Birthday Susan! I am sure the news about your parents is an extra-special gift. Although I am a short (5’) pear shape your use of colour has been eye opening for me. My wardrobe is now pared-down and coordinated and it makes it so much easier to choose my outfit of the day. I follow your tip of making a list of what is needed for each season and sticking to it. I am now applying the ‘Mr. Mickey Smart Attire Test’ to my husband’s wardrobe too. Thank you both for everything you do!

  23. Happy Happy Blessed Belated Birthday Susan…. Looks Like A Fun Filled Day With Your Favorite People!
    Love Black & White Outfits. I have light hair also I feel good in that combo! Navy is a favorite of mine too! Sometimes I like to wear a Bright color with a black outfit…..like yellow or red…. Thanks For Sharing….❤️

  24. Thank you for sharing your celebration with us Susan! You and Mr Mickey both looked so elegant! Glad to hear your family is recuperating quite nicely. Birthday blessings to you!

  25. Happy belated birthday!
    Thanks for all of the great tips, love your classic style. And, you could be doing a million other things in retirement…thank you for your work and investment in your blog. You make this world more beautiful.

  26. so pleased that your parents are feeling better. Lovely look in black and white and your dinner companion is looking exceptionally dapper. Happy birthday

  27. Your Birthday and you looked wonderful and so festive is the occasion. I enjoy reading and looking at you and your partner having such good times together, now that Covid has eased. It’s fun to get out and enjoy life the way it was, looking full faced at everyone.
    Happy Birthday!
    The two of you are looking fabulous and happy. Glad you made the move-it’s a task and not an easy one.
    Keep enjoying and sharing with us even if it’s a winter’s day indoors.

    Sincerely, Nancy Neupert

  28. What an elegant celebration, Susan.
    Your blogs bring us inspiration and your joie de vivre energizes. Wishing you many more amazing birthdays, to our QUINTESSENTIAL Susan…the one and only.

  29. I really like the vest with the long sleeve tee under it. At 77 my arms are quite ugly so I never wear anything above the elbow. The outfit looks great on you especially the long slim pants which make your legs seem longer and you taller. And Mr Mickey!…..so handsome – he’s looking quite dapper in his outfit. Happy Birthday to you and glad to hear your Dad is better and Mum doing well.


  31. Happy birthday!,
    I truly enjoy reading your blog every week with my morning coffee.
    I wish you many more birthdays filled with happiness.


  32. Wow to everything about this post! Love hearing that your parents health is good, that your birthday celebrations were delightful and my thanks for your introduction to what appears to be a great pair of black pants. I’m curious as to the size you chose as the recommendation is to order “one size down” as the size guide says “will stretch with wear.”

  33. Happy belated Birthday.
    The vest worn with a v-neck is something I haven’t seen and looks great. Both you and Mr. Mickey look wonderful. And your dinner looks so delicious.

  34. I love the vest with a long sleeve T instead of a button down blouse. I would never have thought of that!! You & Mr. Mickey make a classy couple. I am so glad your Birthday was a wonderful celebration. I’m also glad to hear your Father is better and that your Mother is well.

  35. Happy belated Birthday! Would you like to share your birthday gift or is it too personal? I am just curious.
    Also, is the champagne Moet Chandon?Merci!

    1. After all the downsizing I’ve done in the past few years, I’ve asked everyone to stop giving me gifts. So, now they give me gift certificates.
      You have a good eye! That is Moet & Chandon Brut Champagne.

  36. Happy Birthday, Susan.

    You look lovely for your celebration with your handsome date, Mickey. He’s really a gem to be so thoughtful! Now, inquiring minds want to know what’s in the gift bag?

    Pat Fermano

    1. His daughter gave me a gift certificate for my favorite garden center, and he gave me a gift certificate for Fresh Market so that I could keep up my favorite hobbies. (Tending plants and making vegetable soup.)

  37. You always look so put together and confident, I appreciate you sharing your fashion sense here. Sending belated wishes for a very happy birthday.


  38. Happy Birthday! You and Mr. Mickey look happy, healthy and wonderful. Thanks again for your continued posts. They are always positive and I enjoy your helpful tips!

  39. Happy Birthday, Susan! Everything looks lovely! Glad to hear your parents are doing well. Thank you for sharing our special day with us!

  40. Happy Birthday!! I am glad your parents are feeling better. I very much enjoy your posts and thank you for sharing your fashion knowledge. I look forward to them each week. Where could your favorite tights and pantyhose be found as winter is around the corner? Also, please share your new purchases as soon as possible while they are still available. Thank you.

  41. So great to hear your family is doing better!!! Glad you had a wonderful birthday being with all the people you love!!! Thank you for all you do!!!

  42. Happy to hear your parents are doing well and hope this new birthday year brings you good health and happiness. Mr. Mikey, you impress me with your thoughtfulness. Best wishes to you both!

  43. Hello Susan, happy belated birthday! And just to say, again, how much I enjoy your blog. God keep you, Mr. Mickey and your family safe and healthy and happy!

  44. Happy birthday month. At our age we deserve to celebrate all month. I love that you teach us how to interpret the fashions we see on the young and slim into something suitable for us. May I share a trick I use that might benefit some readers? When I look at something on-line on a skinny mini, I often then click on the plus size version. Although I am not quite plus size, this gives me a good idea how it will look on a fuller figure. I can get a better idea if it will be flattering or not.

    Very glad to hear that your parents are both doing as well as can be expected.

  45. This was such a fun post. Wonderful news on your parents’ health! Thank you for sharing your birthday celebration with us. You both looked fabulous. I also would not have thought of wearing the sweater vest with a V-neck tee, much more appealing than a blouse at this point in time or in cooler weather. Oh, my goodness those food photos! My eyes popped out looking at the grouper especially, I haven’t enjoyed grouper since my last trip to South Carolina. My family and friends do the same with gift certificates for whatever their interest may be and I like to add in the gift bag maybe three truffles or whatever I see on display, tucked inside a small gold box with ribbon one of our local chocolate shops will do up. Your gifts were a lovely surprise and a perfect way to celebrate your special day. You are blessed. Best Wishes and keep celebrating for as long as you please!

  46. I would not have thought the sweater would look at all good on you, but it does! It’s very wide up top, even with a cap sleeve almost, yet it doesn’t seem to accentuate the inverted triangle thing you (and I) have going on. Do you know why? I can’t figure it out. Somehow, it does look really nice. I would have been afraid to even try it on.

    1. The deep V neckline and the slim sleeves allow you to see that I am not as large as an entire ecru sweater with a higher neck would make me seem. The secret lies in showing ankles, wrists, and collarbones.

  47. Hi Susan, the vest is an amazing find! The black pants look very comfy, and I like the no bulk in front. It appears you had a wonderful birthday. Wishing you many more. Thanks for all your tips and shares. Mary

  48. Hi Susan,
    Did you size down on the pants? The website recommends sizing down but there are no reviews to verify the sizing.

    Enjoy reading your posts. We like to dine each week in interesting restaurants too.


  49. Wishing you all the best on your birthday and in the coming year! I so appreciate your posts and look forward to the adventures shared with your delightful Mr. Mickey. He, too, is a stylish person and looks to be a wonderful, thoughtful companion.
    I was pleased to read that your parents are faring better now. It must have been very worrisome to all of you to have your father in hospital and your mother unwell.

  50. Happy Blessed Birthday Susan! I am so glad your special day was so lovely and, spent with those you love! As always, thank you for all you share with us! You are truly inspiring and, I’ve learned so much from you! On my bucket list is to have a closet like yours – so beautifully organized!!
    Mrs. Meggie Ulrich
    San Diego, California

  51. What a delightful way to celebrate another year. I so enjoy reading your posts. I am not a fashionista, and love following your suggestions. I’m trying to discover ‘my style’ now that I have retired. Jeans and a shirt were becoming my statement piece. I look forward to your suggestions.. And a belated Happy Birthday Blessing to you!

  52. Happy Birthday Susan! You are such an inspiration to me and to your many followers. Not only have you helped us find our best style, with your numerous suggestions, but you have also inspired us to live our best lives the way you and Mr Mickey do. I so respect you for the loving care you give to your beloved parents. You are blessed to still have them in your life.

  53. I just want to thank you for your blog. I have learn much from your journey. I too have lost 30 pounds and have kept it off for more than two years. My closet is more streamlined and I feel so much more put together. Happy birthday keep up the good work.

  54. Happy (belated) birthday Susan! You both look very dashing. May this year be filled with good health, love, joy and peace. So glad your parents are on the mend! I follow you with my birthday in December, we will be the same age. Enjoy your posts very much. Thank you for your time and effort.

  55. A beautiful birthday celebration. You and Mr. Mickey
    are perfectly matched. My best for many more birthdays to celebrate together.

  56. Always happy when your posts hit my inbox! Looks like you had a wonderful birthday. I love seeing yours and Mr. Mickey’s dinner outfits. So much fun, and yours I always want to emulate. I’m not big on sweater vests, but with your idea of what to wear it with, it may be something to explore.
    You look wonderful in black pants always and I know you’ve said you wear white pants all year round.
    I am trying to phase out (most) black pants from my wardrobe, because black isn’t my most flattering color. I don’t wear white pants in the winter; winter white maybe, but I’d love to see you model other color pants to see how you would style them with tops and sweaters for the colder months.

  57. Happy Birthday! Glad to hear your parents are doing better. Thank you for sharing your advise on the sweater vests. I was wondering about how to include it in my wardrobe.

  58. Susan-
    It’s been a while since you’ve posted regarding undergarments -bras, in particular. Comfort, lift & support are key! Size: 32G Recommendations?

    Thank you!
    Deb G

  59. Dearest Susan, I’m so glad you had such a wonderful birthday! Isn’t it great to have a man who wants to spoil you all the time, as Mr. Mickey does? You two are very lucky.

    Although I’m delinquent in wishing you a Happy Birthday, I will wish you a happy and healthy and adventuresome Birthday Year!

  60. Happy belated birthday! I love this look. I also saw someone with a sweater vest and loved the look. I have acquired multiple ones. One of my favorite looks is slacks (or a skirt) with a beautiful silk blouse and a sweater vest. I have a nice collection of sweater vests in various colors and styles. I am getting so much use out of my silk blouses now – before I rarely wore many of them. I know that the sweater vest will be a wardrobe staple for me.

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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.