A Celebration

Deciding what to wear for special occasions can be a breeze if you use a few styling tips. Wear what makes you feel confident and elegant. Dress for the event and the weather to be comfortable and wear what flatters you for confidence.

Monochromatic dressing or wearing mostly one color is very on-trend this year. I rarely acknowledge trends, but if one appeals to me, I may embrace it. The best tip for wearing unrelated pieces in nearly the same color is to vary the textures. These textures and fabrics in soft white tones vary from nubby tweed to silk.

I shopped my closet to create this look to celebrate Mr. Mickey’s eighty-seventh birthday. The lip color I am wearing is Orchid here. Similar, if not, the same items are included in the following links. JacketCamisolePantsBeltShoesNecklaceBag.

Never wear white to a wedding, but you could wear a similar look in plum, peach, or navy. If you don’t like to wear dresses, there are pants options, from upscale casual looks to formal ones. Here is one formal example. If you own a variety of solid color basics, you can always shop your closet.

The birthday boy also shopped his closet to build his look for the evening. Similar items for gentlemen are included in these links. JacketShirtSlacksShoes.

We weren’t able to visit one of our favorite restaurants last year, so we were thrilled to see this approach to the Artisanal in Banner Elk, NC.

We thoroughly enjoyed another perfect celebration meal, starting with a champagne toast as the fresh from the oven sourdough rolls arrived.

A special delight was the baked-to-order Pimento Cheese Scones with pepper jelly and sorghum butter.

The impeccable kitchen is open so that you can watch the chefs create the magic if you wish.

Mr. Mickey had the Atlantic Salmon with sweet potato, lobster bisque, golden beets, pressed fennel, citrus, and tarragon. My choice (below) was the East Coast Halibut with cauliflower cream, NC shrimp, and trumpet mushrooms.

We shared the desserts, including Chocolate Petit Gateau with whipped chocolate caramel, hazelnut raspberry coulis, and Chambord ice cream. I couldn’t resist the Strawberry and Rhubarb with honey, orange streusel with crème fraîche, and basil ice cream.

Unique horse sculptures adorn the grounds and the lobby.

Shopping links sometimes allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Recent outfit summaries are here.

  1. Thank you again Susan for the tip on varying textures when wearing the same solid colors. I have been struggling with navy, there are so many different shades. I will look for a more textured piece to add to my collection.
    My mouth is watering for those scones and pepper jelly, the entire meal looks wonderful!!!!!!!
    Happy you both enjoyed a nice celebration.

  2. Happy Birthday Mr. Mickey! So glad you were able to go to Artisanal! That is one of our all time favorite restaurants!

  3. Lovely outfit Susan! Thanks for the tips about using the same colours in different materials. Happy Birthday to Mr. Mickey! That birthday dinner looks amazingly yummy too!

  4. Happy Birthday to Mr Mickey! He is looking as dapper as ever. Your outfit is perfect for an evening out. Love the textures and slight variations in tones.

  5. Dear Susan,
    Please share a belated happy birthday wish to Mr. Mickey. I always enjoy reading about your adventures. You live in a beautiful part of the country. Here’s to many more years to enjoy then together!
    Becky King

  6. Looks like a perfect birthday event! Isn’t it just lovely to safely celebrate occasions again!

  7. Happy Birthday to your honey! You both looked fabulous and your meal is making me drool….lol

  8. Happy Birthday to Mr. Mickey. You both look perfect for a night out. I rarely wear white because I always end up spilling something on myself, but your lovely outfit inspires me to try something similar this summer.

  9. Lovely monochormatic outfit. Great tip to vary the textures. Thank you for sharing photos of a special day.
    Happy belated birthday to Mr. Mickey.

  10. Happy Birthday Mr. Mickey! You planned a lovely celebration for the two of you. I realize now why my one color outfits don’t work well. . It’s the textures.
    Have a pleasant and productive week!

  11. Happy Birthday to Mr. Mickey! He has the warmest, sweetest smile! What gorgeous scenery! Basil ice cream? That’s something I’d love to try.

  12. You look very elegant, Susan. Lovely scenery and a delicious meal is such a great way to celebrate a very special occasion! I’ve always liked a monochromatic look, so I’m happy to see this style return. Do the whites have to match? Onscreen, it appears your jacket is creamier than your blouse and pants. I have found it can be challenging to get an exact match with whites.

    1. Don’t worry about exact matches. It looks more interesting when the colors are in different hues of the same tone. By this, I mean cool with cool colors.

  13. Every day is a celebration, isn’t it? Thank you, Susan for sharing your special time for Mr. Mickey’s birthday. Your style tips are spot on, & you’re a handsome couple. Your scenic vistas & dinner photos rounded out an intimate celebration. Thanks for all!

  14. Lovely. Everything. Would enjoy more examples, and your opinions on formal/dress-up wear with pants. You have such great taste.

  15. Happy Birthday to Mr. Mickey. You both look great. I really liked what you picked with different textures. Very beautiful. Glad you enjoyed an interesting dinner together.

  16. Happy Birthday to Mr Mickey
    Remember that the count is to turn the number in your favor.. He can be 78 again

  17. Happy Birthday Mr Mickey. Loved the pics. You make a handsome couple. We just celebrated our 63 wedding anniversary. Wouldn’t change a thing…we have been happy…three children…six grandchildren and one great grandchild due this month

  18. Your outfit is so pretty. I have always shied away from white as I’m afraid to end up with spots or spills. But I like the look so much in your posts, especially with the lighter grey colored hair that I started wearing white pants too now, with no problem. I just decided to be more aware and don’t wear these with the grandchildren around.
    I think I need some pearls though; beautiful combination.
    Please send happiest birthday greetings to Mr. Mickey!

  19. Happiest of Birthdays, Mr. Mickey! You look as handsome as ever! Susan, you are lovely in your monochromatic outfit!

  20. Hi Susan,
    You look thin. and I admire your discipline to stay that way. You and Mr. Mickey both look wonderful. Happy Birthday to Mr. Mickey, another Gemini. Thanks for sharing!

  21. How lovely your pictures are. Mr. Micky certainly does not look his age at all. You make a stylish and lovely couple indeed. Best wishes on his Birthday.

  22. You look so summery and beautiful, Susan! I feel monochromatic pairings are the ultimate in classic style, though because of my porcelain/fair skin I must avoid all white (it washes me out and I just blend in with it-lol), even though I adore the look. It’s funny because my profession had me in head to toe white for years. For the few years after I graduated from nursing school we still wore white dresses, white hosiery, white shoes, and a white nurses cap. On one occasion my friend visited for a few days and commented on the amount of white dresses in my closet and that I must really love white. We both laughed when I reminded her they were my uniforms.

    Your dinner looks sublime. I can tell it’s a nice restaurant just by the chairs. In my experience fine dining establishments offer the most comfortable seating, which I always appreciate due to back issues. I’m also impressed with that white chocolate engraved ‘wax seal’ on the dessert. It’s attention to the small touches that really stand out. And the surrounding landscape creates the perfect setting for a relaxing dining experience.

    I’m on my way to check out the rest of your recent posts. We’ve just returned from spending much needed time relaxing in the Smoky Mountains. We managed to get in some great hikes and scenic drives despite a few days when God was watering the earth.

    I send birthday greetings to Mr. Mickey!

    P.S. I really appreciate that you include your lip color in your posts. I’m a little obsessed with lip products, though my go-to’s always end up being Chanel Coco Rouge in Cecile (my perfect rosy nude), and Mademoiselle (when I want to go a bit bolder). Based on one you recently wore I have ordered my first lipstick from Beautycounter (I think it is the plum). It hasn’t arrived yet but I’m looking forward to trying it. It seemed to have cool undertones, which I always look for, since anything that pulls orange on me doesn’t go well with my skin tone.

  23. I love it when a post from you lands in my box. I wish I had the energy at 78 that Mr Mickey has at 87. He looks wonderful. You always look beautiful. That tip about different textures when wearing a monotone look is going to be very helpful. Thank you and Happy birthday, Mr Mickey!

  24. A very happy 87th birthday to Mickey. May this new year be filled with lots of wonderful moments.

  25. Happy birthday and what a classy couple you two are indeed!
    The tips were helpful, as always.
    Thank you

  26. Thank you for sharing this beautiful celebration with your readers☺️
    Happy Belated Birthday to Mr. Mickey.
    He makes 87 look good & you are lovely as always.

  27. Happy birthday, Mr. Mickey! what a beautiful setting to have a celebration!
    Susan, I enjoyed seeing your different outfits in this one post.

  28. Happy Birthday Mr. Mickey! Looks like you two had a wonderful time celebrating. Thank you for the pictures of the landscape.

  29. Happy Birthday, Mr. Mickey! Looks as if you had a wonderful celebration and you both look amazing. ‘God bless you both!

  30. Lovely, just lovely post! Loved your outfit, and a great reminder to use textures with monochromatic dressing. Mr. Mickey looked stunning, too. And, what a beautiful restaurant! Happy birthday, Mr Mickey…87?? Really? Thank you for your posts, Susan, I so enjoy them!

  31. Happy birthday to Mr. Mickey! Both of you look terrific! You are an inspiration to choose mindfully in order to live a healthy and elegant life. Thank you sharing your simple and wise advice.

  32. Hi Susan,

    Happy belated birthday to Mr. Mickey. What a special celebration you had. You both look so good, but the main thing is that you feel well.

    The scenery is beautiful.

    Sending you a joyful day.

  33. I bought the Talbots dress that appears in the sidebar of this post, AND the pants in the same pattern. Wearing the heck out of both of them! What good taste, m’dear…

  34. Wonderful post. The scenery, the mouth watering meals…oh my! Looks like you and Mr. Mickey celebrated in style.
    Your outfit is very pretty. Good idea to shop your closet. I could definitely put together a similar outfit. Very chic!

  35. Love your style! The white on white is stunning. Happy Birthday to Mr. Mickey! Also looking fantastic!

  36. Love the post! God’s richest blessings to Mr. Mickey on his birthday. Glad you are able to get out and about, we are still in lock-down in southern Ontario, Canada. Enjoy the rest of your day.

  37. What a terrific way to celebrate a birthday! My mouth is watering!
    I have to say that your blog about “shopping your closet” has inspired me. I went into my closet in search of a beautiful St. John’s jacket I wore to my oldest daughter’s wedding seven years ago. It’s a little bit snug, but I am now determined to lose the weight so that I might wear it to my youngest daughter’s wedding this Fall. See how powerful your words are? Thank you for inspiring me.

  38. Happy Birthday to Mr. Mickey and many many more. You both are dressed so eloquently!!!! The food sounds and seems to have been delicious!!!! Beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing!!!!!

  39. Many Happy Returns Mr. Mickey ! So glad you are able to go out and celebrate your birthday this year. You both look very stylish and coordinated. Thank you for sharing such wonderful photos – the food looks amazing.

  40. Happy birthday to Mr. Mickey ! Congratulations !
    It is wonderful, a dream, the monochromatic white outfit on you Susan
    Such a good idea the different textures .Thank you for this post with the celebration dinner.

  41. Such an elegant couple, the two of you! Many happy greetings to Mr Mickey on his 87th!
    Susan, thank you for bringing my attention to Shapeez bras, made here in Canada, but I’d never heard of before reading your blog. I just received the silkee shortee and it’s so comfortable in this hot humid weather.

  42. Happy Birthday to you!!!
    I wish both of you many fantastic, happy years together.
    Have a good time, and take care of your health.
    Elzbieta from Poland

  43. What a wonderful way to celebrate! I really like the mixed textures between the top and bottom pieces. The food looks so delectable and original. Makes me want to take a trip to see for myself. Thanks for the fresh ideas you offer with every post.

  44. Beautiful pictures. Mr Mickey looks well on his birthday. Love your outfit. Simple but perfectly put together.

  45. Happy belated birthday to Mr Mickey. You two are such a lovely couple and I hope you celebrate many more!

  46. Susan: Occasionally I show your posts to my husband who is quickly becoming a fan. 1) He does not believe you are in your 60’s. and 2) He thinks Mr. Mickey is a great role model for men who want to look sharp.


    1. I was able to file for medicare this month, so that means I am within three months of my sixty-fifth birthday. I don’t feel much different from when I was twenty, but I am much more confident and happy now.

  47. Happy birthday to Mr Mickey! What a blessing you were able to celebrate at one of your favorite places!

  48. Mr. Mickey 87th birthday? Wow, he looks great, I think he has a great attitude. Susan, this post is lovely. The beautiful ride and the food pictures are excellent. Thank you for sharing. I wish now I could live close to all those places.

  49. Wow! That food look delightful! I want to visit the Artisanal. It was recommended by a friend but we have not been there yet. I love your all white ensemble!

  50. Happy Birthday Mr. Mickey! You both look so happy and quite charming. I always look forward to your fashion tips Susan! Thank you for sharing your knowledge:)

  51. Every bit of this post is just so attractive. You look amazing the all-white ensemble. Mr. Mickey is as dapper as ever.

    We love Artisinal. We feel like we’re in France when we eat there because of the exceptional cuisine and the beautiful location.

    You take such excellent photos. Thanks for sharing this special time with us~

  52. Susan I ordered a shapeez bra. I absolutely love it. It may change my life. Haha
    Question.? Do you wear yours tucked inside your pants or wear it out over your pants.
    Thank you
    Gail R

    1. I’m so glad you are pleased with your new bra. I wear mine tucked inside my undies. The few times I’ve worn it over jeans or slacks in an attempt to smooth out the waistband, it always showed when I moved.

  53. Hi Susan. I’ve been following you for years and now have somehow fallen off your email list. When I try to re-subscribe I can an “invalid captcha” message. Any thoughts on how I can get back on the list. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Valorie. Your registration is confirmed, and I don’t see any reason why you are not getting notices. Please check your spam folder. Perhaps they are landing there.

  54. What lovely photos of a beautiful place and celebration. You both look wonderful! Thank you for sharing your evening, and for your inspiring teaching style.

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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.