An Autumn Afternoon

Driving through a beautiful valley surrounded by the first hint of color changes among the trees on the hills beyond is a delightful way to enjoy a clear autumn day. We traveled part of the famous Snake motorcycle route from Elizabethton, TN, to Shady Valley, TN, to Damascus, VA, and then to Nicewonder for lunch at Hickory.

In the nineties, I had a much loved and often worn pair of leather straight-leg jean-style pants. Whether I wore them with a red cashmere sweater or black wool blazer, I always felt like a rock star. The versatility and comfort of those leather pants made styling them effortless. I may never invest in another pair of genuine leather pants, but these faux ones are fun for occasional deviation from my usual choices. I bought my normal size six here.

The various textures within a look can create more depth and interest. I tucked a red tunic from Chico’s last year into the pants and added a simple leather belt to define the waist.

The same tone of red faux leather bag is by Sam Edelman from last year. The tweed-like Karl Lagerfeld blazer is also from last year. I found the lightweight silver statement earrings at T.J.Maxx earlier this year. The Quay sunglasses are here. The pumps are here. The sheer black hose are here.

Mr. Mickey said, “I AM smiling!”

A babbling creek carving through a rocky gorge always makes me pause to enjoy the moment.

The drive along the way to Backbone Rock is incredibly charming in autumn.

I’ve hiked the winding path through the woods and across the top of Backbone Rock many times.

Damascus, VA, is a lovely small town with parts of the Appalachian Trail and the Creeper Trail, among the many beautiful nature walks to enjoy.

We hope you enjoyed spending part of the day with us. A summary of recent posts is here. Shopping links on this site may allow me to earn a small commission without additional cost to you.

  1. My husband just hiked 60 miles on the AT. I stayed back at the campground with our 16 year old dog and did every hike available in Grayson Highlands park in Va. over the 4 days I waited for him to return. We stopped in Damascus on our way home on Friday and then on to Abington for lunch at the Peppermill. The area is absolutely gorgeous right now with fall splendor.

  2. Good morning Susan and Mr. Mickey 🙂
    You both look smashing! I adore the beautiful pictures of the scenery you shared. Wish I could be there 🙂
    Enjoy every day!

  3. Thank you for continuing your informative and beautiful posts. I’m thankful you and Mr. Mickey are doing great.

  4. Beautiful day you had for the drive. When we lived in Abingdon we often went to Damascus and the Grayson Highlands State Park. Damascus is a nice quaint little town and often either walked the streets there or the trails. Thank you for taking me back.

  5. So many beautiful and interesting places to visit! You both look well turned out for your dining date. Have a week of contentment.

  6. Great pictures. I am going to get a walking stick like Mickey. A few years ago I asked my daughter to get me a stick for a present. She thought I was kidding. Now I’ve torn cartilage in my right knee and will need a new knee. I am too busy working, but a walking stick should do the trick. A cane is too awkward.

  7. Thank you for sharing your delightful day. I always enjoy your travels. And outfits too! You look lovely Susan. Happy Fall !

  8. Susan, I have wondered if scarfs are out of style now. You used to include them often but rarely do lately. Should I think about retiring mine?

  9. It is so good to see you two out enjoying your travels again! I’m just wondering, since my husband and I are considering downsizing, what your thoughts are on your downsize now that some time has gone by. We are about your age and wondering if maybe life is better without the responsibilities of a large house and yard.

  10. Your pointed toe pumps look lovely but I wouldn’t they would be very practical if you decided to take a little walk in one of those beautiful areas.
    I am grateful for your style tips. I wonder what you would suggest for those of us who can no longer wear the pointed toe or any kind of pump due to foot problems or stability issues.
    Thank you for all your posts.

    1. I would never step off the sidewalk in pumps. If you can’t wear a pointed toe, by all means, look for square, almond, or rounded toes. Take care of your feet and wear what is comfortable. This is not the time in life to suffer for fashion! My feet are shaped so that pointed and almond-toe shoes are comfortable, so that is what I wear most often.

  11. Susan, yes I did see the wild ponies! We hiked up to Scales, north of Grayson Highlands and the ponies were hanging out there. Also ran into a few free range long-horned steer.

  12. Lovely people , lovely scenery. I just adore all the wonderful name places you visit I.e Backbone Rock, Creeper trail ,and loads of others you have mentioned in the past like Blowing. rock etc I can’t remember them all right now but Tennessee looks a beautiful place to live.
    Enjoy many more travels together and thank you for sharing.
    Pamela from Wales UK

  13. I am smiling! I wonder how many times I have heard that from my husband….or “This is what my smile looks like.” Obviously, he is smiling on the inside. It made me SMILE to read your comment!

  14. Fall is our favorite time of the year and your pretty day certainly looks inviting and so relaxing. You both look amazing and I’m so happy you are enjoying each day!

  15. That looks like a lovely time! Both you & Mr Mickey look so sharp. Thank you for pictures of that lovely scenery – I can only imagine how breathtaking it must be up-close! Hope you two continue to travel & share!

  16. Hi Susan and Mr Mickey, I must say how super you are both looking. Thank you for sharing your adventure. The photos are simply gorgeous!

  17. What a beautiful drive thru the country with smiling Mr. Mickey. Thank you for the post and the pictures to brighten my day.
    Patty V

  18. I love this look and so I copied and pasted it for my “Susan” album to help me dress appropriately, grin. I keep pictures you share that work for me so I can go back to them to remind me what looks good together and not forget the type of accessories you apply.
    Thanks to you, my luggage is much lighter when traveling now as you have ingrained the idea of mixing and matching as well as less is more when packing if using classic clothes with a touch of accessorizing and intermixing and reusing the same clothes, just differently.
    My favorite blogs from you are when you place side by side pictures of clothes you wore on a trip for each day. That was extremely helpful to me and I am sure to others as well.
    Thank you for your continued advice along with the scenic pictures you take when traveling. And by the way, Mr. M looks dashing as always .
    Clara from Iowa

  19. Delightful pics of the most interesting and fascinating places I wish I could experience.
    Such a joy to view your posts!
    Do hope you are feeling better Susan…as always you look beautiful.
    Mr Mickey looks rather dapper too. Kind regards and Blessings, Maureen from South Africa.

  20. Enjoying the scenery and beautiful countryside pics. Thankful that you and Mr.Mickey are doing so well. Also appreciate the fashion tips and hints. It’s our Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, I am thankfully blessed.

  21. “I am smiling!” Love it…Love it! I repeatedly say this to my wife. Why do you ladies expect us to replicate your beautiful smiles? Why? We just can’t!

  22. Lovely ride in autumn! I love red and black, a favorite of mine! Mr. Mickey is such a delight! I see his smile and a twinkle in his eye! Love to you both!

  23. Susan, I notice you are wering straight leg pants frequently now. When I wear straight leg pants I feel they make me look very large. Do you have some suggestions on how I should balance them with the other clothes I am wearing. I do have a visible waist, but my shoulders and rib cage are large. Thanks for any suggestions. I enjoy your blog and have found it very helpful in keeping my clothing selections updated.

    1. Always bring emphasis to your waistline. When we cover the smallest parts, we appear larger. That’s why I so often show my wrists and or tuck in my shirt and wear a belt.

  24. Looking chic as usual Susan! I love the sunglasses. Oh to be a size 6 and to be able to wear a belt! Maybe someday again.
    I enjoy seeing your looks. It gives me the incentive to lose the weight.
    I bought a pair of “coated” jeans last year that look very similar to what you have on. I understand the rockstar feeling. They’re just fun to wear. Hello to Mr. Mickey, and so good to see you’ve both resumed getting out and about!

  25. I’m 87 but your style is what I have always liked for myself. I still care very much how I look when I go out with my 91 year old husband. Do you think there’s someone out there doing a blog such as Edith after Eighty?

  26. Love your outfit! Both you and Mr Mickey are looking great! Headed to Damascus next week with girlfriends for a bike ride. Love seeing familiar places. Will have to plan a trip to the Inn. Take care.

  27. Hi Susan,
    This is a great look, and you model it so well. A couple of years ago, I got a good price on Eileen Fisher leather leggings, with leather fronts, and knit backs. I have only worn them once, and they are very comfortable. Do you think they are still trending? If so, what would you think would be suitable to wear with them. I am older than you, so is this something you would wear, and where? Thanks, and stay well. Pat

    1. When I wear jeans, leggings or leather pants, I’m careful to wear them with tailored pieces such as a long blazer, full length coat, or a long cardigan. The key to making very relaxed items work for us, is to wear them with more elevated items.

  28. I am so glad you are doing well and have a treatment plan. Life is full of surprises, isn’t it! You and Mr. Mickey always have interesting days/ fun to tune in to your activities. Thanks for all the styling tips!❤️

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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.