A Few Of My Favorite Things

Style bloggers often close out the year with a recap of their favorite looks. I have especially enjoyed this practice because it can help identify which combos served me well and others not so much. Doing this for the past five years has helped me to fine-tune my style. Getting dressed with confidence is so much easier now!

Over the next few days, I will be showing you my favorite looks from 2016. The post would be much too long if I did just one, so I categorize the looks to talk about why I enjoy wearing those items. While a picture is worth a thousand words, I enjoy reading a few words to help me grasp the subtle differences.

A great fitting pair of jeans with a jacket is my all-time favorite casual look. Those jeans might be coated (which means they look a little like leather), reptile embossed, faded, dark-wash blue, black, or even white, but they are best when they are straight and narrow. Because my legs are muscular, I have never been able to put on a pair of skinny jeans, so straight leg jeans are my only option.

I have an inverted triangle shape body, so wearing slim-fitting long pants that stop right at the ankle bone is my best choice. If I wear cropped pants with a short top, I look much shorter and wider, so my formula for success is a loose-fitting top or a jacket with slim-fitting ankle-length pants.

The addition of a jacket elevates a pair of jeans to a look appropriate in almost any situation. Add accessories such as a scarf or a statement necklace, a structured handbag, and an edgy pair of shoes, and I am ready in minutes for almost any event.

A pair of great-fitting jeans can be like wearing a comfortable girdle. They should hug in all the right places (but never too tight) and slim your thighs.

  1. I love the last look, where the jeans are a little longer and looser, giving more length to your leg, while the jacket adds shape but not bulk. You look taller and slimmer and really classy. You also rock red!

  2. The 4th picture from the bottom — with the green purse — has you glowing in those blue hues! I think you glow even more in those colors than the black/gray combos. (But isn’t black sooooo easy to use in our wardrobes?)

    We love your blog and wish you a Merry Chirstmas!

  3. These are all great looks Susan! Can you make a collage of them, all on one page, so I can them print out? I cop a lot of your wardrobe ideas and keep them in my wardrobe diary. It would be fabulous to include all of these favs. Happy Holidays to you and Mr. Studmuffin! 🙂

  4. I’m right there with you on the muscular calves. After years of working out with weights, I have muscular calves that impact my ability to wear knee high boots and skinny jeans. Although I think I would leave the skinny jeans to the young-uns even if I could wear them. And I never wear capris because they stop at the heaviest art of my lower leg and emphasize it. I’m still learning at age 64 thanks to your and another favorite blog of mine.

  5. That blue scarf is my absolute favorite item. Love it.
    As for muscular thighs, I would say mine are muscular but…..
    Anyway, they need to be hidden.
    Thanks for sharing and I loved your Santa picture and story.

  6. What is smart about the way you dress is that you know what shapes look good on you. You stick to that but have different textures and colors that give you the variation. I went shopping over the weekend and saw a lot of absolutely beautiful long long sweaters. I came home with the only short-ish sweater in the store (I am short waisted and long sweaters make me look short and take away from the saving grace of having long legs). I also came home with semi-skinny jeans that button at my waist (can’t do the midrise). I love the pictures you post. They really help.

  7. I love that you wear jeans.

    Jeans were a breakthrough for my generation. They were a bold step for those of us who can remember when skirts and dresses were compulsory for school, and when the dress code for women being allowed in a restaurant was finally changed to allow pantsuits. Jeans were the next step, just as I entered junior high school. They’re a symbol of freedom and comfort. The jeans you wear are today’s jeans with a modern edge, but they’ll always be symbolic to me. No matter how styles change, I will always wear jeans. I pledge to find the best ones for my shape and never to give in to elastic waistbands.

    Thank you for showing the way. Jeans can be dressy and appropriate for all ages and stages of life. You rock jeans, Susan!

  8. Susan, I want to just take a moment to thank you. I’ve learned (and continue to learn) so much from you. I still have a lot of weight to lose, but by reading your posts, I’ve learned how to dress in outfits that are stylish and flattering, despite the extra pounds I carry. Recently, I’ve noticed that other women, including store clerks, are checking me out, and often compliment me on what I’m wearing. I haven’t made any major, dramatic changes, but thanks to you, I’ve learned how to dress myself in a way that puts my best foot forward. Posts like these (your favorite looks, and why) are especially helpful, so thank you. I hope you and Mr. Mickey have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  9. Susan I am relatively new to your blog and I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyment it has brought to my day. You are a gal after my own heart. Classic with an eye for how to combine classic elegance with looking so “today”. I loved today’s recap of favorites.

  10. Susan, I would love to know what kind of shoes you would wear if you wanted to go really casual. My feet get cold in the winter so I always want to wear socks, yet sometimes don’t want to wear booties or boots. I haven’t found anything that looks age appropriate (I’m 62), yet still looks stylish. Any suggestions?

  11. Hi Susan, I just discovered your site and am working my way through all your posts! My question is: I’m 65 years old, about 5’6″ and 155 pounds (will work on healthier eating in 2017!) and love wearing jeans. I’m a pear shape (carry weight in hips and thighs) and am confused about what leg would look best on me. Is a straight leg better to balance out heavier hips and thighs, or are skinny legs a better option? What are your favorite jeans sources and/or brands? (Gap, Chico’s, Lee’s, LLBean?). Thanks!

    1. Welcome to our little gathering place Leslie. I like Chico’s jeans and NYDJ as well as Fabrizio Gianni and J.Jill. The best jeans for a pear shape body are the high waist stove pipe or slight flares in black or dark washes. They should just skim your legs but show off your slimmer waist. Wear them with shorter jackets and tops. Enjoy!

  12. Ditto the above comments. I too have been & continue to be inspired by your style tips. Please share your secret for wearing high heels – do you add any specific type of toe or foot pad inserts to balance your foot, to prevent the toes from being squished? Thanks!

    1. The secret is to wear heels that cage your whole foot or boots that come up over your ankle. In this style, the weight is evenly distributed over the whole foot instead of just the ball of your foot. I can’t wear pumps with a low vamp for very long at all.

  13. Susan, like your black quilted shoulder bag with chain strap. Is it available or do you know the brand? Thanks so much for your generosity in sharing what you’ve learned about style. I love when women help each other out! You are a good person. Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you for your kind words Cheryl. That bag was from Express a couple of years ago. I look at the fancy schmancy ones that cost hundreds maybe thousands of dollars and then go in search of something similar in my price range. 🙂

  14. Thanks Susan

    I have noticed that it seems like you never have a purse over the shoulder. Just curious why? When I am shopping the shoulder purse allows my hands to be free but maybe it is not the best look.


  15. I would like to tell you how pleased I am with the dark blue paisley scarf I recently purchased from your shop.
    It is gorgeous! It was one of the less expensive scarves in your shop, since we are so near Christmas and are watching our budget. The photo of it was accurate, but the feel of the fabric is very nice, and that can’t be shown in a photo.

    You always coordinate your clothes so stylishly, and have a great eye for color and for proportion. I am unable to wear high heels because of arthritis in my knees, so I always look for inspiration on the less frequent occasions when you wear flats. I have learned so much from your posts.

  16. I love the look of your heels with all your outfits, but can’t wear them EVER due to bone spurs and previously broken toe. I struggle finding shoes that are comfortable and look stylish with slim legged pants and jeans. Comfortable shoes seem to always have the frumpy old lady soles and heels. Please help!!!

    1. I am starting to wear flats more often during the day. I always look for slim line shoes with a pointed toe. If you show the top of the foot with a low vamp, flats can be very attractive. When comfortable shoes are necessary because of surgery or other issues, I vote for a simple style in a dark color and always wear dark pants with them. Bring the emphasis up to your beautiful face!

  17. Susan, I love your site as well!!!!


    I am plus size 1X and love the look you create with these jackets.

    Thank you

  18. What do you think about puffer vests? I live in the Midwest and my daughter in her twenties wear these a lot. I turned 50 this year and love your blog.

  19. Love the longer hair in the photos you selected as your favorites. You look so young, youthful and a little edgy!

  20. Love your styles so stylish and chic!! Love Your styles in jackets scarves and shoes. I am petite 5 ft. Any ideas where I can shop?? Close To Louisville and Lexington Thank you, Dee Gray

    1. I had to close my online shop last year when I lost my leading clothing supplier. Now I share the best links I can find for similar items to what I am wearing in the post, if not the same things. Just click on the blue highlighted links to go to the retailer.

    1. That post was from 2016, so I’m not sure where I got those jeans. I wore lots of ankle jeans from Chico’s that year. These days I love the fit and long wear I get from Talbots ankle jeans here.

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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.