An Elegant Attitude

A blog follower has asked me to share ten tips for being more elegant. My first thought is that it has no price tag. (1) Elegance is a mindset.

(2) Dress in classic shapes, neutral colors, and don’t overdo the accessories or makeup.
(3) Be mindful of your posture. Stand and sit with your back straight and your head held high. Carry yourself with grace and confidence.
(4) Take small bites, chew with your lips closed, and only eat while sitting down at a table. Relax and enjoy your food. Never stand, walk around or drive while eating. Employ good table manners, even when you are alone.
(5) Practice good grooming and hygiene from your styled natural looking hair to your clean short nails painted a nude or red color. Do not wear so much perfume that it enters the room before you do. Fragrance should be noticed only when someone comes close enough for a hug. Spray it into the air and then walk through it to get the lightest application.
(6) Speak and laugh in low tones. Never dominate the conversation but always be well-read enough to participate.
(7) Give and accept compliments gracefully. Send handwritten thank-you notes.
(8) Wear a scarf around your neck, tied to your bag, or draped across your shoulders. Scarves add instant elegance and pull your look together, even if you are wearing jeans.
(9) Avoid clutter. There is nothing elegant about clutter, in your home, at your desk, in your car, in your handbag, in your way of dressing, even in your thoughts.
(10) Be generous. Help others in any way that you can. It might be holding a door for the person behind you or donating money to fund a community project.

My skincare products and makeup, as well as my shampoo, are all from Beautycounter here.

The occasion and the weather called for wearing my more than thirty-year-old faux fur trimmed velvet opera coat in the style of Erté. The leather gloves are also fur trimmed. I wore a long black on a black paisley scarf for extra warmth and lug-sole high heeled boots (old by Calvin Klien) for walking a very short distance in the snow. I still enjoy wearing some of my high heels at night. The first layer of this look is a long sleeve, Covered Perfectly black simple comfort top, which is almost always my first winter layer. The pants are a couple of years old from Chico’s. The stunning IC Collection jacket is on sale right now at My Fair Lady.

I always try to get the companies I shop with to give you a discount. When you shop with Covered Perfectly, you can buy two and get the third top for free. Susan After 60, followers can get a 20% discount on up to two items. Use the discount code FNF20 when you check out at Covered Perfectly. There are several great styles to choose from, and the discount will apply on up to two items; after that, you can take advantage of the buy 2 get 1 FREE special. Only one discount will work per order. This is the link to the Covered Perfectly site here.

Mr. Mickey wanted all his fans to know that he is back to neatly groomed hair and beard. His piano scarf is from

We snapped these photos as we were on our way to dinner and the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas performance. Funding for our beloved Orchestra is always a struggle, as it is for many. My dear friend, Belinda Kiener, devised a plan which worked beautifully. She formed Bellissima!, a group of prominent women from our community who have each committed to contributing the same amount each year. At the concert, she announced our collective contribution, which will fund a Master Concert and partially fund other concerts throughout the year. She is very adept at fundraising. Brava, Belinda! The arts and beautiful music are essential in every civilized society.

  1. I appreciate this post so much in a world of ripped jeans and underwear as outerwear
    Thank look lovely, and Mr Mickey looks elegant.

  2. Most of us know at least one woman who would be elegant in a potato sack, and more than one woman whose fine outfits are at odds with a sloppy demeanor. Susan, your list of precepts tells that clothes are important but attitude and bearing even more so.

  3. Did you go to Stevens College in Missouri??Elegant to me is feeding the homeless!! Volunteering my time to help those in need… After that maybe maybe sitting down for dinner and yes i know toooo chew with my mouth closed …. My being elegant is living in reality….

    1. You should take care of yourself so that you can help others as well. I have been homeless but never without hope. That is why I share so much with others now.

      1. In regard to DS above:
        My mother was an elegant woman…elegant on a very small budget. She lived by the same principles Susan spoke of in her blog post. As a child who spent much time in a hospital ward, her elegant demeanor and slight scent of perfume when she hugged me always made me feel better, and all the other children wished she was theirs. she did not have much, but what she had she wore with grace and a good posture.

        She was a volunteer…nothing glamorous mind you, but doing what she could to help those less fortunate and the elderly…there were no homeless we knew of in those days. Her elegant manner elevated and dignified all those she assisted. Until her death at age 91 from Alzheimer’s she was referred to as “such a lady”.

        I try to follow in her footsteps, grateful for the example she set.
        Thank you, Susan, for your example to women in a less-than elegant world.

  4. You certainly exude elegance Susan and your Mr. Mickey does as well. I’m often told in a group, that my voice does not carry….I much prefer being this way than having people turn around to see who is talking so loud! lol

  5. Susan, you and Mr. Mickey look elegant as always! Is the lipstick you’re wearing from the Beautycounter Collection? It’s a wonderful shade of red and suits both you and the holiday season perfectly!

  6. Elegance has good manners as its root. Good manners are a form of consideration and respect for others and ourselves. Modern good manners are not so much about which fork goes where, but mindfulness about how our actions affect both ourselves and those around us, whether or not anyone is watching. From the inside out, how we act and carry ourselves really does matter. Elegance in clothing is a way of carrying those respectful attitudes out into the world.

  7. First of all, you and Mr. Mickey look elegant and wonderful! You have such terrific tips on elegance and I agree with them all. One other tip I can mention is the way we walk. So many people today stomp or shuffle which may be a result of constant wearing of flip flops and sneakers. I think a graceful walk is delightful to see and rare. I live in NYC, and everyone (including me!) is always racing quickly around. However, I do try to be mindful of the way I walk because I think it is so important.
    P.S. Your coat is exquisite!

    1. Walking like a duck with feet pointing outward is a common issue I see in all ages. Walking with improper alignment or wearing flip-flops for long periods of time can ruin your spine, your knees, and your ankles. We often don’t realize the damage we are doing, until it is already too late.

  8. Thank you Susan for all of your style tips. Your hair looks beautiful and glamorous. You gave me a tip on how to buy pants that won’t bag later. I bought the army green girlfriend pants from Chicos. I bought them really tight but as I wore them they were perfect. I went on a short four day trip to Asheville and for the first time I was able to put together some outfits easily. I took a few scarves too. The only thing I need is a black wool jacket if you have any idea where to find one. I’m getting better but not there yet.

  9. Awesome coat!!

    I so completely agree with you and Prairie Poulet .

    Best wishes to you and the dapper Mr. Mickey in the new year.

  10. I appreciate this blog post and the follower that requested you to write it. At first I thought it would be about what to wear, when to wear it, and how to wear it. But this list encompasses elegant behavior that anyone can accomplish even on a budget. One thing I try to work on is remembering a person’s name if I have just met them. I have noticed elegant women always address the person by using their name. You are truly at the top of my list of elegant women that practice what they preach. Thank you for your wonderful blog!

  11. Susan, you are the picture of elegance in so many ways. I love this post! In particular, you mentioned two things that have been on my mind and in my conversations lately:

    1) Wearing fragrance lightly. As I age, I am more sensitive to strong fragrance in my cosmetic products, lotions, and perfume. I have to purchase carefully now — which is one of the reasons I appreciate your tip on BeautyCounter products. In terms of fragrance: I recently found a line called Lavanilla, which bills itself “a healthy fragrance.” It has a delightful, natural vanilla scent that is light and refreshing — and I can’t tell you how many people stop to ask me what I am wearing.

    2) Writing thank you notes. Amen to that. My husband and I have sent countless checks, cards, and gifts to nieces and nephews who live out of town over the years — and not one ever calls to even say “thank you,” let alone write a note to thank us for our gifts. We are always left wondering whether or not the gifts were even received. And we hate to ask. These young people are college age and older now, and you’d think they would know better. My husband has decided to stop gifting them, period. We have trained our own son to be more grateful, caring and thoughtful than his cousins — and it helps him in other areas of his life.

  12. I am so glad you mentioned handwritten thank you notes. I think they are both elegant and classy. I’ve always sent thank you notes, yet I rarely receive them! I will continue to send cards, letters and thank you notes. It brings me as much joy as hopefully, the one receiving them. This is a great post.

  13. Susan, Thank you so much for responding to my email request. I appreciate your thoughtfulness, and as always, your elegance.

  14. I agree with sending thank you notes. I have ended giving nieces and nephews gifts, never a thank you. It is disheartening. I have given very nice wedding gifts and no thank yous.
    Hopefully, like Cindy, I taught my son how important thank you notes are. He is 31 now and he does send thank you notes…..and giving personalized thank you note cards is a great gift idea.

  15. Thank you, Susan. As always, a great post. I am printing a copy for my planner. I love your gentle reminders. Thanks again for all the effort you put into your blog. It’s my favorite source for fashion tips – I am 63.

  16. Just beautiful! The opera coat is stunning, the jacket is gorgeous and I love Mr. Mickey’s scarf (ditto the burgundy one he wore in your last post).
    What a wonderful couple you are!
    I also love your hair Susan! You’ve inspired me to let mine grow longer again. I wore mine in that same style for quite some time and then, for some reason, decided it needed to be short. Now I feel I look like the typical “better than middle-aged” lady with short, grey hair.
    You look elegant and sophisticated. Thank you for being an inspiration!

  17. Great post Susan. Thank you!
    I think your 10 tips are very valuable. I hope it is OK that
    I printed them out to keep in a special book.

  18. You look gorgeous in the coat! Well you look gorgeous in everything – but that word “elegance” is all over you today. I must look into Beautycounter — I never learned how to apply eye makeup – I just use mascara but at my age I need all the help I can get! Thanks for your elegance tips. You are so kind.

  19. This is a really nice post on elegance, thank you so much! I have a question, aside from this topic: I’ve noticed that some of your readers post an avatar by their posts. How do I post an avatar on your site?

      1. First of all Susan, you are wearing my all-time favourite coat!!
        Regarding the Avatar showing, Google “Gravatar” and you can set up a profile there which will show on Susanafter60. “Gravatar stands for Globally Recognized Avatar. … Most popular applications like WordPress have built-in support for Gravatar. When a user leaves a comment (with email) on a site that supports Gravatar, it pulls their Globally Recognized Avatar from Gravatar servers. Then that picture is shown next to the comment.” Hope that helps.

  20. hello lovely lady – I really appreciated the thoughtful post, thanks for taking the time to communicate so beautifully! ~ ruth

  21. What a handsome, classy couple. I love your posts filled with great ideas. Thank you for all your hard work putting this blog together and sharing with those of us “ over 60”.

  22. I enjoy your blog, but have to say that stiletto heels or even high heels state “Look at me, I’m trying to look young”. Not all that attractive on older women and not all that safe, either.
    A 70+ RN and fashionista

  23. I have recently started following you blog and I enjoy it immensely. I typically don’t have time to read blogs. Your comments are so uplifting and helpful. I love your elegant taste. I’ve grown tired of women 50+ trying to appear like they’re 25. Keep up the good work. I have make up that I love but would like to learn more about your line – especially the eye shadows. Thank you again and again. Stumbled upon you and so glad that I did!

  24. Hello Susana,
    I have finally discovered a blog I do enjoy reading. Your tips for being more ellegant are worth following. And so TRUE.
    Thank you Susana. 🙂
    Wishing you and your family wonderful Christmas and good health and happiness in 2018

  25. Love this post! It’s really about refinement! And with today’s relaxed attitudes on dress and morals refinement is becoming a thing of the past. I’d like to add a couple of things to your elegant list
    1. The way we speak is important but also what we say. Swearing and vulgar talk aren’t elegant!
    2. Modesty in dress which means no low cut tops or too tight clothes. Kate Middleton is the epitome of elegance and would not ever be immodest.

  26. Susan, beautiful post and outfit! Love your blog and inspirational message,
    The opera coat is divine, Merry Christmas and thanks for all that you share with us.

  27. Absolutely Elegant….you are so refreshing showing women
    to take the time to be beautiful.

    Merry Christmas

    Lorraine Lorenzo

  28. Susan, you are a woman of timeless elegance and impeccable manners. Thank you for mentioning Bravissima! You and Mr. Mickey are wonderful contributors to our community, and your blog is a blessing to women over 60 everywhere!

  29. You continue to guide and inspire. I am so grateful for your blog and your example. There is no manual for navigating this phase of life with style and poise, so we rely on women like you to show us the way. Your persona jumps off the page through your words and pictures. Keep it coming. We need you!

  30. I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and to thank you for your blog. It is very helpful to me as I adjust to a different age myself. I have also enjoyed my breakfast of your porridge recipe each day since I learned about it. Thank you again.

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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.