A New Season

September has always felt like the beginning of a new chapter in the book of life. My birthday is on the thirteenth, but it is also the month that fall begins and jacket season returns. I find joy in small things as the days grow shorter and the light becomes softer.

After the last stressful few weeks, I’ve learned the value of a cohesive wardrobe and various accessories. Getting dressed each day brings a sense of calm which helps the rest of the day flow more easily.

The elements of a wardrobe need to be cohesive parts of a whole. That is the one rule I’ve followed for the past few years, and it has served me very well. For example, I found this denim jacket with silver snaps here. Even though I already have a couple of denim jackets, they are much more casual.

I’ve found that variety within a category allows for ease in dressing a look up or down. For example, a relaxed white cotton oxford cloth shirt, a tailored no-iron white shirt, and a soft white silk blouse each have a different vibe and serve unique purposes.

Comfortable shoes don’t look the same for each individual. However, I believe they are a priority because it will always show on your face if your feet hurt. If you also have a high arch, you may find that flat shoes are not the best option. A block heel with a bit of height is always a more comfortable choice for me. The nail polish is OPI’s Baby, Take A Vow here. A structured bag is always more complementary to my soft rounded features. The black bag is from the brand By Far.

I wore the pants in previous posts here and here. I’ve worn that tank at least once a month for the past five-plus years. I buy microfiber tanks here at Chico’s. Sizing up keeps the front from pulling across the bust.

We took a few hours off on Friday to travel to Asheville, NC, to enjoy the perfect weather and a delightful lunch with dear friends Lenora and David. Their great style and smart fashion choices serve them well, even when traveling for months at a time.

Thank you so much for your kind comments, emails, and cards. I treasure the connection we’ve made through this blogging journey. A summary of recent posts is here. Shopping links may allow me to earn a small commission at no cost to you.

  1. I had my chuckle for the day when I read that you have soft fleshy features!!!!!!!!
    Would that we could all look as beautiful and firm as you look in your pictures, you don’t show any fleshy muffin tops, layers or rolling saggy flesh. If you have one ounce of “soft fleshy” it goes to prove that knowing how to dress your body makes all the difference. Always beautiful and classy you are and a beautiful smile to top everything off.
    Love the denim jacket and black together. Thanks for another post.

  2. September is my favorite month —and birthday month- as well and I always look forward to sweater/jacket season. This post brought up a point I think is lacking in my wardrobe which is variety within a category. For example I have several cardigans but they are the same sweater in different colors. It was easy but it doesn’t give me variety in styles. Thank you for this post. I learn a lot from you as I put together my wardrobe.

  3. Happy Birthday, Susan!! I hope you have a wonderful day…..and month!! Thanks for all you do to help us develop our wardrobes.

  4. You are the best teacher! I learn every time. Less is more, simple over flashy, structured and streamlined flatter the figure. Appreciate all your efforts.

  5. Happy Birthday! You need to be celebrated all month long. Mr. Mickey is always so good to you. Lovely pictures of your friends and I especially like the picture of you and Mr. Mickey. Ahem, and I would say that you have lovely soft, feminine features, not fleshy features.

  6. I always prefer Fall. Thank you for all the dress tips you have given me. In my 80’s but I do want to keep up to date. Always look forward to your blogs.

  7. Happy Birthday, Susan. Thank you for sharing your fashion tips with us. You keep me motivated. You always look beautiful in an effortless way. That’s the true definition of “stylish.”

  8. Happy Birthday Weekend.
    For a few moments after reading your post…..I hit my internal panic button with all thank you’s you said and then the statement summary of recent post I was thinking that you were going to stop. I reread and I think I was reading too much into your statement. I look forward to any post from you. I like the comments about clothing, food, Mr Mickey and ALL your comments. I do really realize that it takes your time to give us such joy and I know you could be doing something else. I think I am a little selfish because I do not want you to every stop. I will always be thankful of the generosity of your time.

  9. Happy September, Susan! You bring such intelligence to fashion, explaining why particular combinations, fabrics, colors, textures and styles work. I have a different lifestyle and body type than you do, but I can generalize from your insights to make better choices for my wardrobe. I hope September is a calm and happy month for you and yours.

  10. Those shoes are fire on you! Gorgeous. I love this outfit. I’m very tall (almost 6 ft which is rare for my age group) and can’t wear anything over 1 1/2-2 inches in a heel. Very flattering outfit for you.

  11. No comment on your parents’ health. Praying they both are improving. You and Mr Mickey both look well.
    Love the raised collar look.

    1. My parents are elderly and frail, with numerous serious health issues. My sister and I are doing everything in our power to care for them so they can remain together in their home for as long as possible.

  12. Happy birthday to you! Mine was Sunday the 4th. I’m 68 and my 4th grandson is 3 weeks old Boy do the years fly by!

  13. Happy Birthday Susan!! You look gorgeous! Have a wonderful day filled with special memories.

    My son’s birthday was yesterday

  14. OMGosh, I love the pop of red with your outfit. It goes form functional to glam! And not just in color, but a wonderful style! Look forward to your postings every week.
    It can be a lot of work, so I hope you don’t stop.

    Tomorrow is 9/11

  15. I wish you great peace and happiness in this your birthday month. Thank you for the the joy you have brought to me with your guidance into not only fashion but health and beauty. I look forward to the scenery you show us on your trips, especially the beautiful mountains.
    Happy Birthday, Susan!

  16. A very happy birthday to you! I also celebrate a September birthday! You seem to get prettier each year, and I too love the change of seasons and especially enjoy the fall! Love jackets too. Enjoy your special day!

  17. Happy Birthday! Enjoy everyday . Your outfit is so good…column of black with blue Jean jacket. Your friend also has black with cognac pants. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Hi Susan! Happy birthday to a fellow Virgo! My day was the 9th. Fall is my favorite time of year too with anticipation growing towards the holidays. The red sandals really took your outfit up a notch in my opinion. You always look beautiful and put together!
    Take care and enjoy your special day!

  19. September is a big birthday month in our family! You and my son share the 13th. Wishing you a wonderful day and a year full of blessings! My heart goes out to you in caring for your parents. My sister and I did the same thing for years. Looking back, one thing I know for sure is that we did what God intended for us to do…I have never regretted one moment, although it was certainly not always easy! Prayers for your strength.

  20. You look absolutely stunning!! Happy Birthday and many blessings and less stressful days… in case you don’t blog between now and then!

  21. Happy birthday. I hope you have a lovely day. Mine is in a couple of weeks and I am going off to visit my daughter, her husband and two of my beautiful grandchildren. I haven’t seen them for almost three years as they live in Australia and our borders have been closed for so long. I’m using one of your travel wardrobe ideas to help with my packing as I am a chronic over-packer as I hate to be either too hot or cold.

  22. Dear Susan,

    Always look forward to reading your blog postings. I try to remember your thoughtful & wise comments about staying away from prints.

    Hope that your parents are feeling better.


  23. Happy Birthday, Susan! Wishing you another year of happiness and blessings.
    I appreciate your list of basic wardrobe pieces. I printed it and now am checking off what I have and what I might need to buy as I look at my fall/winter wardrobe. My local Clothes Closet will be receiving a few bags of donations!
    Thank you!

  24. Happy birthday to you on the 13th. I am thankful your father is better.. My oldest granddaughter is a nurse in Asheville. She and her husband enjoy hiking and camping and other outdoor activities. You and Mr. Mickey always look so elegant and happy.

  25. A very happy birthday to you in advance and also my congratulations to Mr. Mickey and your parents . Have a nice day and God bless you!

  26. Your style and life so parallels mine. Thank you for the idea of black with denim. With similar pieces in my wardrobe..will recreate your look today..as “dear friends” are coming for Sunday dinner. How well I understand your comments regarding your parents declining health and maintaining them in their own home, for as long as possible. My siblings and I did the same for our Mom, though my sister and I assumed the major tasks. Also involved was Hospice, wonderful neighbors and friends. Contrary to common thought, Hospice is available for more then immediate end of life. They came daily, administered medication, took blood sugars, vital signs, bathed and did light tasks. You may want to explore this resource, if you haven’t already. It truly does take a village to meet a parent’s desire to stay in their familiar residence! Mom passed last summer at age 93. Looking back, us Kids very happy that we assisted Mom in her goal of Independent Living (with support). Best wishes and prayers.

  27. Happy Early birthday Susan.
    In the Chico’s microfiber tanks, you mention that you size up to prevent pulling across the bust. So which size do you order ?
    Also, while sizing up to prevent the pulling, do you find that the armholes and coverage in the underarm is adequate ?

    1. The armholes are too large when I get the size 2, but I rarely remove my jacket when I wear a tank or camisole. I always wear a black bra with a black tank, so if I should have to remove the jacket, it won’t be as apparent as a nude bra.

  28. I bought that very same jacket and just love it. Wore it once so far (Connecticut) and got tons of compliments! Love the longer cuffs and flattering cut
    You look fabulous, as usual, and serve as such an inspiration to me (68 yrs old).
    Thank you.

  29. Happy Birthday. I too have celebrated a birthday this month. Yes September is the best month. Just anoreason we have so much in common. I so look forward to your posts. Keep up the good work!!!

  30. I am having some minor surgery on Tuesday, your birthday, so want to wish you a Happy Birthday early. Hope you have a wonderful day.!

  31. Happy, Happy Birthday…I hope it’s the best one yet.
    I really love reading your blog and appreciate your advice,
    always classy. I have a question….Do you wear white jeans or slacks after September?
    Thank you once again

  32. Thank you for always giving the best advise and information. Wishing you Happy and healthy birthday. I have learned so much from your posts and I have become more selective and careful in my shopping. Be well and have a wonderful and joyful birthday with your loved ones!

  33. September is my favorite month! I wanted to wish you a very Happy Birthday Susan even if a little early. I will be travelling next week and so sending an early birthday wish. Have a wonderful day.

  34. Susan,
    Perfect casual outfit for your day. I love your shoe choice and agree that a heel is more comfortable. Your friend Lenora looks very stylish too. You have a good outlook on September that will help me. Usually, I just think of the cold weather ahead, and since I can’t move to a warmer climate embracing it will serve me well. You help with just about everything.

    Thanks for the post.

  35. Wishing you a very happy birthday Susan! It’s a nice birthday month to feel the Fall spirit. I can see in your face that shoes must be very comfortable:) You look so very fresh and I love your outfit. I just got my pointy toe mules in and can’t wait to wear them.

  36. Happy Birthday, Susan!
    I love your blog, and your style! I have many of the clothes that your model but your eye for fashion gives me great ideas for taking the outfits to the “next level. For instance the eye popping shoes and the scaled down bag!
    Wishing you much joy and happiness!

  37. Dear Susan, Your post is always so uplifting! It’s a lovely gift in the morning. I gather wonderful tips on enhancing my appearance – without spending for new items constantly.
    You are a treasure for this sunny AZ friend – “the soft light” will be added to my lexicon.

  38. Happy Birthday, Susan, from another Virgo. I love your style and am inspired by it. I’m 5’6” but have short arms (most long sleeves are 1”-2” too long on me). Do you think the sleeves on that beautiful jacket would be just unmanageably too long on me? I would be ordering a size XL. Thank you.

  39. Susan, you look so smart in this outfit. I have a love/hate relationship with jean jackets and then realized, just this summer, I prefer soft fabric jean jackets. They are more comfortable and easier to button/snap up.
    Many happy birthday wishes to you! You & I are so lucky to have both parents at our ages. My dad is very frail, but mom still driving & looking after dad.
    Keep well, Susan.

  40. Happy Birthday and best wishes on your special day! Another great post and one of my favorite go to styles that I personally enjoy. What September means to you beginning a new chapter resonates with me. I thank my 97 young at heart mother every year for giving me life on October 8. The number 8 represents a new beginning, a symbol of harmony and balance. I am grateful to live in a place that has all four seasons, but Autumn is a favorite of so many as the earth becomes quiet after a busy summer. It is a solemn day once again for our nation on Patriot Day.
    Thank you for all you do for our community. There are many blogs out there to choose from, but I only follow you and Dressed for My Day (I appreciate her faith-based blog). Just know you are so appreciated and like a dear friend to all of us. Happy Birthday and may you and Mr. M. clink wine glasses and toast your new chapter!

  41. Happy Birthday, Susan!

    Your blog posts are a gift to me – I enjoy each one, and have learned a lot about how to upgrade my look from frumpy teacher to graceful retiree. Also, I love your photos of East Tennessee because my grandparents lived in Johnson City and Bristol – many happy family memories for me.

    Wishing you many more years of graceful living!


  42. Happy Birthday to you. My birthday is Sept. 25 & my husband is Sept. 26, same year. He married an older woman. Lol! Love the denim jacket. FYI – I just saw on Pinterest a video of you promoting a Sora bra but your name was changed. Thought you’d want to know.

  43. Hi Susan
    Hope you have a wonderful birthday.
    Love the outfit. I actually have those heels.
    The jacket is beautiful with the black. I dont get to wear jackets often in My warm climate.
    Clicking on the link of the pants I’ve seen you in a couple times. One is Carmella and the other Lucia. Which are you wearing in this blog piece?

  44. Great outfit! I notice it has been a while since you have done a video on your YouTube channel. I miss those videos. Will we be seeing any more videos in the future?

  45. Happy Birthday Susan. I’m a virgo also. My birthday is the 14th.
    Love the outfits above, but its too hot here in Florida for jackets.
    Hopefully in another month or two.

  46. September always feels like a beginning to me, too. My birthday is the 19th and perhaps that has something to do with it. Maybe it’s that I always loved the start of the school year or maybe that I love autumn, I don’t know. I hope things are settling down for you and that your family is healthy again. I think I will steal your black and denim outfit idea for a much needed outing with friends next week.

  47. I went through parental caregiving, too. The last four years were extremely stressful. Blessing to you for doing this much-needed work for your parents. It is not easy.

  48. Hello Susan,

    First, I want to say Happy Birthday. So happy to hear that you and your family are doing okay. Thanks for all your
    advice on what and how to wear. I do shop at the business that you have in the pass listed.

    Diana Scott

  49. Susan, I loved the new tailored, shorter cardigans you showed from BR with a longer tank. Do you have some suggestions using the same concept with the first layer top under the cardigan that is heavier than a tank? I need the longer, skimming first layer to cover at least the upper pubic bone area. Love the tank, but as the weather gets cooler a tank is too cold for me. Any ideas?

    1. You might be able to use some of the tunics offered by Chico’s or ShopMyFairLady.com. The tunics by Clara Sunwoo are thin enough not to add bulk, but they skim the body and provide coverage and warmth since they are often made in polyester knits.

  50. You look absolutely fabulous in that outfit!!! Love the pop of color in the shoes. Thank you for you guidance in how to look terrific.

  51. Happy Birthday Susan. Give Mr. Mickey a hug from me. Tell him to take very good care of you. We all love your blogs & hope you continue for many years to come. I pray your parents are improving.
    Thank you for the excellent classy advise you always impart to us.

  52. Happy happy birthday for tomorrow! I hope you have a wonderful day and thank you for your thoughtful blogs- I enjoy them very much. I’m sending this message from the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park and I hope mine will be the most exotic message you’ll receive! Much love Nancy

  53. Susan, I have a question about wearing brown. I have your coloring and when I let my hair go gray several years ago I got rid of all the beige, tan, gold and fall colors. I did keep a column of brown, a tank, slacks and shoes. Partly to keep me from purchasing anything in those shades. I have tried on almost every jacket and shirt I own (navy, grays, red, purple, a sorta teal green, and a pale pink) trying to come up with a fall outfit! I know you would make it work and look great. I can’t seem to get it to work.
    What is best with a medium to darkish brown that isn’t another fall color?
    Thank you again!
    Happy Birthday tomorrow ❤

  54. Hope you have a wonderful birthday on Tuesday! Thank you for all you do with the blog. Blessings to you for the upcoming year.

  55. Hi Susan,

    Sending you a joyful birthday tomorrow. I’m sure you will be paid attention to by Mr. Mickey. He knows how to treat a lady.

  56. Hello Susan! Sending you wishes from Minnesota where it is also starting to look and feel like Fall- my favorite season! I wish it lasted as long as our Minnesota winters❄️.
    I read this saying on a Birthday card and would like to send it to you. I think it embraces who you are and how you reflect yourself-
    “ May your day be filled with Joy and Happiness and May your life be full of Grace and Gratitude.”
    Wishing you a very happy birthday. I also want you to know I have been praying for all of you for improved health and healing and for patience and strength in the process.

  57. Hope you have a great birthday. My mother Jewel’s birthday was on September 13. My daughter and I celebrate that day by eating her favorite coconut pie. She was a true “jewell” – as are you.

  58. Liebe Susan ich wünsche Ihnen alles Gute zum Geburtstag, viel Glück und Gesundheit sowie viel Kraft, die Sie zur Pflege Ihres Vaters benötigen. Haben Sie einen schönen Tag.

  59. Happy birthday! Interestingly, we have the same birthday and birth year, and have adventure partners a bit older than ourselves. Enjoy the day!!!

  60. Happy Birthday, Susan! And, thank you for the time you invest in your blog helping women become their best self. Your fashion tips have made a difference in my life. You are special.

  61. Happy birthday, Susan! Thank you so much for your blogs. I have enjoyed them for years. I have traveled the caregiving path with my late, sweet Mother (dementia) and please know that those of us who have been caregivers understand the challenges. I really enjoyed the book Mr. Mickey’s cousin wrote about her journey with her late father.

  62. Happy Birthday Susan! Wishing you many more years of happiness. I’m so glad your father is home and recovering. Enjoy your day celebrating you.

  63. Happy birthday Susan! Plus, I had to tell you that I found the denim jacket you are wearing and ordered one. I’m copying your classic style.

  64. Lookin’ good as usual Susan! I’ve always had a “thing’ for red shoes and I love yours. I am one who cannot wear a heel like that anymore. Wish I could.
    Glad things have lightened up for you a bit and Happy Birthday! It’s a good day; it’s one of my dear Aunt’s birthday too.
    Hope you had a fun day!

  65. Your cheerful outfit will go down as a favorite for me! Red is my favorite color, and I think I have the ingredients for a similar outfit for me because I own a column of black and a jeans jacket thanks to you. I already have several pairs of red shoes.

    I also own an ancient black Coach bag that looks similar to the one you are carrying. I bought it probably 30 years ago off eBay. It still looks very good. I think it was made in the 1970s.

    Happy birthday. My eightieth was 3 weeks ago. Yowza! I claim to have been conceived on Pearl Harbor Day.

  66. We share a birthday! I turned 70 on Sept 13th! Hope your birthday was wonderful filled with family , friends and lovely surprises.

  67. Happy Birthday, a bit late, I am also a Virgo, on 5th, and l was born in 1946. You have been an inspiration to me over the years, thank you Susan

  68. Love the black pants with denim jacket and red shoes. This will be my outfit for tomorrow but will wear a button up denim blouse instead of a jacket. Great inspirational style!

    1. About ten years ago, I bought it in the boutique that used to be in Old Eadward’s Inn in Highland, NC. A similar bracelet is here. (Use the code SAS10 for $10 off any one item at Beauty in Stone Jewelry.)

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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.