Adding Statement Pieces

Do you look forward to getting dressed each day? Do your clothes and accessories allow for creativity? As mentioned in a previous post, I grew bored with basics always worn conservatively, so I’ve added a few new items to spice up my classic wardrobe. A red tunic is the focus today, so I’ll show you a few ways I plan to style it.

I can wear the tunic with crepe slacks and heels for a dinner date with Mr. Mickey. The wild poppy tunic is here. (I’m wearing a size 1.) The crepe pants are here. Similar suede pumps are here. A similar clutch is here. Similar earrings are here. The pearl bracelet is actually a necklace wrapped three times around my wrist. It is here. (Use the code SAS10 for $10 off any one item at Beauty in Stone Jewelry.)

Unique pieces can bring some interest to the essentials we may already have. For example, combining only classic pieces with a matching bag and shoes can look dated and one-dimensional. However, the combination becomes much more intriguing if we add a bit of edge with modern elements. If, for example, you have forty plain basics, adding spice with a hand full of statement pieces will allow your personality to shine through. Likewise, accessories or a statement clothing piece can add personality, and shoes are an instant way to update a look.

The tunic worn with leggings, combat boots, and a newsboy cap is comfortable and fun. I would wear this to have lunch with friends before spending the afternoon poking around in antique stores. The wild poppy tunic is here. The leggings are here. Similar boots are here. The bag is here. A similar hat is here.

Leggings and tunics have been popular for over a decade, so we may now consider them basics. While I no longer wear cold shoulder tunics, I enjoy a button-up style that offers more styling options. I stopped wearing tunics with leggings for a few years because I need heels to balance the proportions. However, now that platforms are back, I’m embracing the trend since it honors my style personality and enhances my proportions.

Wearing the tunic open over a white tank and jeans makes a grocery store run a bit chicer. I could also wear it as a beach cover-up, so it is a great piece to pack for my next vacation. If you didn’t notice, it has large side pockets! The tunic is here. The white tank is here. Similar jeans are here. Similar boots are here.

If you often stare into your closet and think, “I have nothing to wear!” you may not have the basics to build upon. Examples include plain solid-color tops, pants, skirts, and jackets. However, those simple elements allow you to wear crazy shapes, colors, and prints stylishly. My wardrobe was bland because I didn’t have any unique pieces, and all of the silhouettes were very similar. But you may already have all the statement items you need.

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73 Comments
  1. I especially like the tunic with the leggings and the jeans. I bought a denim colored tunic similar in style to yours a few months ago. I haven’t worn it much, however, because I wasn’t sure how to style it. Now I do! I have had problems finding good leggings this year. I had read somewhere that they were “out of style”, but I still love them for the comfort and, personally, I like the look. Love all your posts!

  2. Absolutely LOVE that first look on you. Poppy is your color and your accessories are pop-perfect. (Unfortunately, at just under 5’1″, I look totally ridiculous in tunic tops–either like a little girl wearing a short dress with leggings, if I wear slim pants, or a petite person overwhelmed with way too much fabric, hiding something underneath!)

  3. I especially like the grocery store look, and red is definitely your color! Wishing you a very Happy New Year that’s filled with blessings.

  4. Ordered the same tunic a month or so ago and absolutely love it. When I saw your photograph, I thought immediately the top’s from Chico’s. I have one in every color. Versatility at the max.

    Happy New Year!

  5. I’ve already added way back classics combined with “pop” or jazz it up or the unexpected… but draw the line at the lug/combat boots and leave them for the under 35 girls, young ladies to wear and carry them off due to their youthful age.

    The cap and boots on a certain age draw stares as I’ve noticed (and those women and men with me or observed) must be saying “why- what- how sad”.

    Please don’t reach into the youth bag- I can tell you are proud of your transformation but keep it age appropriate and pass on the Che Guevara look. I respect your blog but this look over reached for the majority of your 60+ readers. Even the 50+ readers. I know my daughters would say MOM!! Are you okay?

    1. These are all things I purchased because I like them. Showing too much cleavage or wearing a short skirt might be considered dressing too youthful. However, I do not share your disdain for lug-sole boots and a newsboy cap. I’ve worn both items since I served in the US Navy many years ago, and both are comfortable and serve a purpose. I’m not seeking approval. I’m just sharing my style. You can take the tips and ideas that appeal to you and pass on the rest.

  6. I must say, Susan, you look fabulous in red! I have numerous longer hoodies and sweaters that have a similar look to your tunic ensembles that l like to wear. I read that leggings were “out” but l don’t think women will ever let them go now that we know how comfortable they are. By the way, l am 76 and wear combat boots and motor cycle boots. I don’t care if they say, “your grandma wears combat boots.” I appreciate the encouragement in your blogs.

  7. Hi Susan!
    May the coming year bring you good health, fascinating adventures and loads of laughs!
    You would look good in a paper bag.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Always so put together — love the red on you too. I thoroughly enjoy your posts and great fashions. Happy 2023 to you and Mr. Mickey!

  9. You look great edgy or classic! You obviously know exactly how far to take each look. Red is a great color on you. Happy New Year!

  10. Love the combat boots outfit. I work in retail and whenever I wear my combat or lug sole type boots, I gets tons of compliments from customers.

  11. Almost Happy New Year, Susan! Love the tunic with the jeans outfit on you and you pull off red beautifully. I too dove into a simple pair of combat boots this year, thanks to you. They are so comfortable, warm, and stylish. Question:
    The tank top from Chico’s looks nice on you. Comfortable lose without being baggy. For the life of me I cannot wear that tank. It’s either form fitting, hugging and accenting places I’d rather it didn’t, or going up a size it’s baggy and the armholes gape significantly. Gave up on it years ago. The only microfiber tank like that I wear is one from WHBM that I wear as an undershirt all winter for warmth. What am I missing?

  12. Love your wonderful posts Susan
    Great Style tips and ways to keep us updated and so much more
    Very helpful
    Thank you
    Question regarding the lovely tunic top
    When looked up it had a 20% off offer for signing up
    Then when I tried to sign up must have did something wrong as lost it
    Then when trying to order wasn’t able to get discount
    Not sure if your able to help me with this or if there is a promo code
    Also realize very good price but always nice to get more savings if possible
    Thank you

  13. I like your color combination of the jeans, white top, and the red top! It looks great for casual occasions.

    I plan to copy that color combination with a red oxford button up shirt (Tommy Hilfiger brand for women ) instead of the tunic length top.

  14. Hello Susan,

    I too love the red colour on you! As always, you find new ways to style your clothes that are both current and classic.

    I have been following you for many years. May I suggest the tunic would look better in a smaller size on you? It would look great slightly higher on the leg and not so large all around. Your white shirt worn recently in several posts was also a bit overwhelming. You have a lovely figure and I think you might believe that you are bigger than you appear.

    This ageing thing is a surprising challenge — I’ve noticed recently that while I haven’t changed weight in many years, I’ve lost the subcutaneous fat that gave the roundness under the skin. All of a sudden I appear smaller in my clothes, they hang differently, and I have to pay much more attention to fit and size than I’m used to. I really have to be careful to have more fitted or tailored clothes now, or ensure that I have a smaller size in open tunics or shirts, for example. Like you, I have a larger bust for my frame so I understand why you wear bigger shirts and tunics but I’ve found this needs a bit of re-think as I age.

    I would like to say again how much I welcome your posts and look forward to receiving them. Susan. I wish you and Mr. Mickey health, joy and all good things in 2023.

  15. Statement pieces – my classic look has always attracted comments and questions from onlookers. “I love your hairstyle” or “you look elegant”. Even when I jazz it up with a multi-colour pinstripe shirt with a black tie and red loafers with a small goldbuckle. I have noticed that at 70yrs of age I am wanting a spark of brightness in my life. My new go-to colour is rich purple, It highlights my complexion and tones well my greying hair. My basic colours are black, navy blue, mid grey and caramel. My new found purple marries beautifully with my basics. I find that I am seeking more and more colour around my face and shoulders.

  16. Great post! This is something I have trouble with, how do I add statement pieces to my white/gray/black and denim basics? Recently I looked at pictures I posted on Facebook over the years and I was wearing same stuff basically over last few years! Tried shopping before holidays but still couldn’t decide what to get. Would love to add couple of pieces to update, look more edgy. I’m in my 50-ties and still have two youngest teens at home, so I want to look more contemporary. It’s harder than I thought to add something to my basics. What would you recommend?

    1. Start with something in a different color and shape than what you usually gravitate toward. For example, I wear many of the same neutrals, so red was an excellent choice to work with all the things I already have. Next, consider a different shape, such as a tunic or even a shorter jacket if you always wear a long one.

  17. I agree with everyone – red really is stunning with your colouring. You wear it well.

    I haven’t got perfect ankles at all, my calves are very muscular and I’m only 5 foot 3 inches and 71, but ballet flats lengthen my leg and ankle and are the perfect look for me in slim leg jeans, leggings, jeggings, straight leg jeans and evening pants. (I’m a pants kind of person) . The more closed in and high-cut a shoe is, the chunkier and shorter the leg looks.
    Combat boots or any sort of chunky shoes just make my legs look plain ugly. I don’t wear brogues, just a lightly styled loafer or moccasin/driving shoe and my boots are mostly ankle height and always flat.
    Heels would be a dream (how I envy you!) but I have serious foot issues so I’ve learned what shape and style of shoes make my legs (and me) appear slimmer and most importantly comfortable without losing the elegance.

    It’s all in the eye of the beholder really, isn’t it? And balancing lengths, bottoms, tops, jewelry and the right style of shoe is the key.
    Happy New Year to you and Mr.M. I hope 2023 is a good one.
    And thank you for your years of elegance – it’s been wonderful. I do hope you can continue.

  18. Hello Susan,
    Do you have a list of basics that you can share? I’m a youthful 63 and recently relocated from NJ to SW Florida and my wardrobe needs a complete overhaul. Thank you.
    Karen

  19. Loved this post with all the fresh ideas to style the red tunic. I love the combat boots and cap, you have fun with fashion and I appreciate your creativity. Thanks for your continued posts, I look forward to them. Happy New Year!

  20. Susan, I am really enjoying your new looks with leggings, combat boots, etc. I totally agree with you about them being age appropriate, as long as they are styled in the correct way and are flattering to the wearer’s figure. I don’t think age is really the issue, but rather, whether the correct top is worn (that covers the tush) and how they look with the wearer’s leg shape. Please keep showing us more statement pieces!

  21. Fashion should be fun and we’ve reached an age where we should be able to wear whatever we like and not care what others think. Brava for trying new looks Susan.

  22. I like the tunic with the jeans and white tank the best. The other styles are nice but I really like the casual comfort of that look. Thank you Susan for some great ideas.

  23. I like your “new” look. And you look darling in each one.
    However, if I tried wearing the one with combat boots, I’d look like an old lady trying to look young. Not for me and not very feminine for my taste..
    Thank you for the updates and sage advice. At least you give us some pointers for a more updated presentation and as always you remind us to dress for how we feel comfortable and appropriate for our situations.

    Clara from Iowa

  24. Happy New Year, Susan! I just had to comment to tell you that red or poppy is really a fabulous color on you! Hope you will enjoy wearing it! Best wishes!

  25. I really missed seeing you in leggings and tunics and am glad that you have found a way to incorporate them into your wardrobe again.
    I feel that you can carry any look, with such elegance, especially when you find ways to style an outfit that fits in with your figure and stage in life. Thank you for helping me look my best every day.

  26. I wear lug boots too – in the winter in the NE, they are a sensible choice and much more attractive and “feminine” than trying to prance through snow/slush/ice in a pair of Manolos.

    Tunics are a great option, too.

  27. Wow- there sure are some people hatin on the combat boots. They may not think the boots are “classy” but your replies sure are! Where I live in the snow and ice no one would bat an eye. I own 2 pairs.

  28. I secretly want to wear combats. Guess I’ll un-secret that and go try a pair now. My weather is snow and ice half the year so am looking forward to another potentially great option, especially a comfortable one.
    Happy New Year to you and Mr. Mickey!!

  29. Adore the red on you. My favorite look is the one with jeans. Your hair looks great too.
    Thanks so much for all your wonderful styling tips. You have helped me immensely.
    Happy New Year to both you and Mr. Mickey

  30. I always look forward to your posts, Susan and agree with your fashion sense 99% of the time. I agree with a few of your followers about the red tunic being a little too voluminous and too long. You seem to have reversed your earlier views regarding showcasing maximum leg as a lengthening visual. The red color is great and so are those sturdy lug boots, but a too-long tunic shortens your leg line.

    1. Stay tuned! I’m just having some fun showing how I style something that falls outside my regular silhouette. Oversized garments are a trend that may not work for everyone, but it’s nice to try something different occasionally.

  31. You always look nice. I do think the tunics you have styled recently would look a lot better with a little fine tuning by a tailor. You have a great figure. There is no reason to hide it in a baggy top. I like the tunic idea, just talking about fit.

    1. I use a large round brush to dry one section of my hair at a time. There isn’t much technique involved, but I try to blow each section up from the roots. Here is a video that taught me how.

  32. I just saw a photo of you that popped up in the middle of a solitaire game. It was an advertisement for Lumina Luxe. I just wondered if it was an authorized photo. I am always suspicious of uninvited ads.

  33. Just wanted to let you know that my husband and I went to Gourmet and Company last week and had a fabulous meal. Thank you for you recommendation. And love the red tunic on you!

  34. Susan, I’ve always heard that with flowing, loose-fitting tops one should choose more form- fitting bottoms. However, your first outfit goes against this line of thought and is probably too much material for me. I absolutely love my black Dr. Marten boots and don’t feel like I need to wear other edgy accessories with them. I wear them with black leggings rarely ( maybe once a year). I love wearing them with bootcut pants or jeans and feel just enough of them shows to give a modern look. As you stated, they are so comfortable. I also have a handful of red items in my predominantly blue wardrobe I add during the holidays.
    Wishing you and Mickey a Happy New Year!

  35. Hi Susan, I just wanted you to know I loved this red tunic so much I called my local Chico’s and they had it in my size and it was on sale. I have it now and I LOVE IT!
    Thank you and HAPPY NEW YEAR

  36. I am in the same boat with Jacki F, above. I think what I love about Susan’s outfit with the wide legs is the color – I love me some red! I can imagine wearing a silk, red button up blouse with slim satin looking pants for a similar “feel” without all that extra fabric. Probably wouldn’t work for the grocery store .

    Happy 2023!

  37. You look absolutely stunning in the first “dress-up” photo! Love your collar turned up and the red is a very nice sparky color on you!

  38. Even though it is June now, I’m pinning the first styling to “Holiday 2023”! You look wonderful in these colors and this silhouette. A winner.

    I’m jealous of your combat boots. Adorable. (Unfortunately, I can’t find narrow or slim, and at 77 I’ve sworn off shoes that don’t fit.)

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan