Anatomy of a Look

The secret to staying warm and looking sharp is to start rather dull. One of my favorite cold-weather combinations begins with a crew neck cashmere sweater and straight leg jeans.

Another smart foundation secret is my Shapeez bra. I would never wear a sweater without the Ultimate Style bra. Use the code FIRSTTIMEBUYER10 for a $10 off discount entered at checkout.

If you, like me, have a chubby face, short neck, and an ample bust, you already know a crew neck is not your best choice. When the temperature dips into the twenties, warmth becomes my priority over style, but I still want to look acceptable.

When I add a wool blazer and a few accessories, that plain-Jane look suddenly has more character.

Keeping with the shades of navy, I added a stroller length coat, gloves, and Danish Sunglasses by Jamie Looks. The scarf is from my inventory. You could be the winner of your choice of a silk scarf on Monday. Leave me a comment below to be considered in the random drawing.

The coat hanging on the over the door hook in the background is the one I wore the day before. I never put garments back in the closet until they have had a day to dry completely and air out. Even the tiniest bit of moisture can lead to mildew or unpleasant odors that transfer to other garments.

One of my favorite purchases for this year was a handbag by Dooney & Bourke here. The size, shape, color, and attitude are the perfect complement to most of my casual looks. It’s now on sale!

The elements of my looks are rarely new, so I share highlighted links to similar current items, often at luxury and medium price points. The shopping links in my posts may result in a small commission for me at no additional cost to you.

BlazerBagShoesGlovesSweaterJeansCoatSunglassesScarf

Don’t miss out on the 40% off sale at Beautycounter! I love these products so much I signed up to be a consultant a few years ago, and my skin has never been healthier. My Beautycounter site is here.

235 Comments
  1. Once again, you’ve outdone yourself. Navy is my go to color so I am loving this combination. Looking fabulous Susan!

  2. I look forward to receiving your posts and gain a lot of inspiration from what you wear. I would love to be considered for a scarf in your draw, thank you.

  3. Always enjoy your blog and seeing how you reuse your wardrobe items. I especially like your thoughts on using scarves and other accessories to change the look.

  4. I love your style , so cool and chic and smart all at once. I’m 61 and struggle to look smart, it’s so easy just to pull on track suit bottoms and a slouchy jumper. The new year may bring a new me ! All down to you.

  5. Susan I have enjoyed every post you have posted. Alway something useful for me to consider. Keep up the good work. I know it is not easy thinking of something useful to post all the time. You have a MERRY CHRISTMAS.

  6. I love the way you put it all together. A crew neck is not good for me either so thank you for showing me how to wear a crew neck and make it look good.

  7. I am still learning to work with scarves, but I agree that they can definitely add some pizazz to wardrobe basics. I would love to have one of your scarves; you have great colors and patterns!

  8. You have inspired me to wear scarves which are perfect to keep the AC off your neck here in central FL I have become the unofficial fashion model of scarves at our bridge games and if I don’t wear one they all wonder why!! Thank you for this giveaway!!

  9. Love this type of post! You are such a good inspiration. The red handbag is perfect for this outfit. It would be great to have a new scarf to recreate this look!

  10. I would be so excited to win a scarf! I’ve taken your advice and added several very plain cashmere sweaters and absolutely love them! So much warmth without bulk and scarves are the perfect accessory with them!

  11. Hi Susan
    I would love to be picked to receive one of your scarves from your inventory!
    Please pick me!!!
    Thank you
    Joyce Wiatrek

  12. Adding the blazer and scarf totally transforms the casual into an elegant outfit. I tend to avoid crew neck tops because of also having a short neck and a chubby face, however, adding the scarf elongates the look. Nice!

  13. Although I rarely post, I have been following you for years. “What Would Susan Buy” is my shopping mantra, when making an occasional purchase. I would love to be gifted one of your beautiful scarves. Happy Holidays.

  14. I’m currently packing to go see family for Christmas. You’ve given me some great ideas on how to build upon a few basics!

  15. I love all of your advice and have taken it on board when I shop now. I find I make very few mistakes now when clothes shopping. Can I say I adore the shot of you with your coat over your shoulders, it always makes an outfit a little more glamorous…tres chic. Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful new year.

  16. What a great tip on leaving garments out! Never thought of that. Merry Christmas to you! Thanks for such an enjoyable, informative blog! I never miss reading!

  17. Beautiful and classic as always. Would love a chance to win one of your scarves. I missed my chance to buy one before it was too late. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  18. I love your scarves, and was so disappointed when you closed your shop! I have several of your scarves, and I always get compliments when I wear one of them. I especially enjoy wearing the apricot and beige one which has a leopard trim.

  19. I would love to win one of your beautiful scarves! I have begun to wear scarves because of you …and I love the way I look! Thank you Susan

  20. Going to order your top three Beautycounter skincare products. Would you name those or do you have a link to your favs?
    As always, your looks are lovely on you. Thank you for classy tips for all of us.

    1. If I could only get three products from Beautycounter it would be these. Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil – Countertime Antioxidant Soft Cream – Counter+ Overnight Resurfacing Peel

      1. Thank you for being so kind.
        I am traveling and do not have the list you gave me at another time.
        I do have the OvernightResirfacing Cream soo next on your list would be…?
        Kareem B

  21. Your blog gets better and better. Thank you so much. What an inspiration you are. You show us how to style our essentials without constantly churning cheap fashion purchases. So classy and elegant, yet practical. Merry Christmas, and, again, thank you.

  22. Wow! It’s amazing how adding the blazer and accessories transforms that look! And I LOVE that scarf. If that’s still for sale in your inventory, please let me know. Thank you Susan!

  23. Lovely look as always, Susan. I love navy and red so this outfit is perfect and the scarf and blazer complete your look. I have two scarves I purchased from you and I always get compliments on them. Have a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for 2020 to you and Mr. Mickey!

  24. Thank you for the tip on styling for a round face and short neck. I will definitely try using a long scarf. And a double thank you for the suggestions in the Festive Details post. I purchased the JC Penney blazer and it fits beautifully!! I will wear it often. So enjoy your posts.

  25. I would love to win a scarf from you. Also would you please send a list of those you still have? Thank you so much and have a wonderful Christmas!!

  26. Susan, I am one of your Beautycounter customers. My skin thanks you for the lovely products. I too would like to be lucky enough to win a scarf. Thank you for all the research and sharing what you learn. Merry Christmas.

  27. Looking fabulous as always Susan! I too am a fan of Dooney purses and my staple go to accessory is a fabulous scarf. I would love the opportunity to be chosen to win a scarf from you.

  28. I would love to win one of your beautiful scarves. I also leave jackets or clothing that I intend to wear again hung outside of my closet at least until the next day.

  29. The outfit is ‘good-enough’ with the sweater, blazer and jeans but add the scarf and it’s elevated to great! Well chosen accessories make all the difference. I’d love to be the scarf winner in your give-away!

  30. I love your style and selections! Indeed, as we age, classic is more comfortable! I, too, am a scarf girl and have found some lovelies over the years – one cannot have too many! Yes, I would love to win one of yours! Do include me in your drawing. Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Santa!

  31. Susan,
    I LOVE your style. I am new at accessorizing with scarves and what a difference it makes.
    I feel so much more put together and always get compliments on my scarf choices.
    Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey. You two make the cutest couple.

    Karen

  32. Susan, I’ve always been a “classic” dresser so it makes perfect sense that I would have several scarves from your collection. They add so much to a simple outfit and make it remarkable. I’ve gifted several to my “classic” girlfriends and they were an instant hit. I would love to win another … you can never have too many! I wish you and Mr. Mickey a very Merry Christmas and a joyous and healthy 2020.

  33. Thank you for your wisdom. I would love to receive the beautiful scarf. Would you send details on how to buy them? Thanks and merry Christmas

  34. You mentioned that you hang your coats to dry before putting them away. That’s a great tip. Likewise, do you separate items, (like jackets, sweaters, coats, gloves and scarves) that you have already worn, from others that have been washed or dry cleaned? Thanks.

    1. I keep all the overcoats and jackets in the entry hall closet. Otherwise, I hang any sweater or jacket I have worn but does not require cleaning on a rolling rack to air out for a couple of days before putting them back with my other clothes. I always wash pants and tops after one or maybe two wearings.

  35. Oh I hope you have the very scarf you’re wearing in this post! I’ve been looking for a scarf with red and blue in it! Hope it’s my lucky day!!!

  36. Susan, you always look soooo put together and your comments so relevant for us over “60” ladies. I hope you and Mr. Mickey have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  37. Oh Susan, you’re too hard on yourself! You don’t have a chubby face, short neck or ample bust. I have a long face, I’d switch w/you in a heartbeat! gravity hasn’t pulled yours down, you still have golden collagen! You have a graceful neck & can wear the crew neck items well. I’m not saying these things to flatter you, they’re the truth! Hope you have a blessed & Merry Christmas!!

  38. Susan, your classic style never gets old! Thank you for continuing to use things that you already have…I have learned to forego impulse buys, and this is in large part due to you! There is just “so much room” in the closet!

  39. As an Australian reader & admirer, I have always coveted ☺ your scarves, but don’t know if I am eligible to be in the draw or to receive your gift. Fingers crossed anyway. Merry Christmas from a hot 36°C (96°F) here today.

  40. Two of the best tips I have gotten reading your blog: Shapeez bras (I wear the Silkee Short) and Sheec no show shoe liners. And I have passed both on to friends! I, like you, cannot stand to wear regular bras anymore. No more back bulge, no more straps falling down, and no more feeling like I need to rip my bra off at the end of the day! Just got 2 new ones today as they are having an end of year discount! Thanks for the great suggestions. Happy New Year!

  41. Love how you walk us thru your ensemble. So very helpful. Thank you for turning me on to Shapeez! I love them! I am now the happy owner of three.

  42. I was trying to think who you exactly looked like & you are the spitting image of the British comedy actress June Whitfield who in her last years did adverts for Stanna Stairlift – your doppelgänger – Google her & see for yourself!

  43. You’ve given me the courage and knowledge to not look like a dowdy old lady at 74. With your inspiration and style I make better choices. Thank you so much.

  44. Thank you for all the wonderful tip and advice that you share! They have made a real difference in how I dress and shop.
    Especially your tips for retirement dressing. After having to dress up for the working years it has been hard to make the transition and to dress stylishly for my new life.
    Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey and best wishes for a blessed, happy and healthy 2020 to you both.

  45. I just love how colorful scarves add so much brightness around our faces. I have many, my favorite being a winter themed Ralph Lauren silk scarf that my husband bought for me during a trip we made to NYC when we were dating.

  46. Here in Michigan where I live, with terribly cold weather and much ice and snow — once we get a snowfall of 8-12 inches, we won’t see the ground for three to four months — we must wear puffer coats, which are generally unflattering, and we must always wear a scarf or hat to keep our ears warm! The scarf that you show in today’s blog really makes your outfit!
    I usually dress pretty much as you do: jeans, a blouse underlayer for warmth, then a colorful sweater. Then comes the puffer coat. Mine, thankfully, has vertical stitching. With so much snow, boots are an every day necessity. I am about your size and height, and wear, I think, similar sizes. And, I enjoy your blog. You seem very practical and down-to-earth!

  47. I look forward to every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, just to read about your day or weekend. Your posts are very helpful.
    Hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

  48. I love seeing all your outfit combos You give me inspiration to shop my closet and then shop for a few items to complete the look. Also, I live in Knoxville, so I enjoy your travels in the area. Would love to win the scarf. Merry Christmas

  49. Love the look of the red and navy….classic. Your style is my style! You are forever giving new ideas for new combinations.
    Thank you.

  50. Love this look! So classy but comfortable and casual. I would love to win one of your scarves. Scarves add so much to an outfit and you have shown us that time and time again. Thank you for your tips!

  51. Always look forward to your new posts. Love scarf wearing and would love one of yours to add in my collection.
    Merry Chrismas, Susam, to you and your family.
    Leigh Gable

  52. I’m working on building that style wardrobe in browns and greens. What accent color would you suggest? I definitely would love a scarf that pulls it all together! Just today I shared your magnet trick with a group of friends.

  53. I love how a scarf can add such an elevation to an otherwise ho hum outfit. I am trying to utilize them in more of my outfits. I have two of your scarfs and have enjoyed styling them with items in my closet. Would be thrilled to own another one! Merry Christmas.

  54. I love your scarves, own a few of them from your store! Would LOVE to own another! Thank you for your blogs. We are built very similar, except I’m a little bigger! Your blogs have really helped me!

  55. Susan…Your scarves add such a sophisticated finish to everything you wear. I consider it your signature look. I would love to wear one of your scarves to add that same look to some of my outfits. Here’s hoping for a lucky Monday

    Merry Christmas

  56. I’ve been following you for the past few years. Your posts are enjoyable and I’ve picked up tips to help my look. Thank you for your time put into your post and sharing. Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

  57. Hi Susan,

    I just love your blogs! Please enter me in your random drawing for one of your signature silk scarves on Monday, December 23, 2019.

    Thank you.

    Celeste Watts

  58. Hi Susan,
    Your scarves definitely add style and interest. I’ve enjoyed some of your posts
    about different ways to wear them.
    Winning one would be a delight!

  59. Hi Susan, I love how you created an elegant and flattering cold weather outfit without adding bulk to your frame. Would you style outfits for a cruise and pack them into one suitcase? I’m going on a two week Caribbean cruise in February and am tired of overpacking so as to have a variety of outfits to wear for day and evening. I wind up not using half of the items in my suitcase. There must be a better way!

    Thank you, and Merry Christmas to you and Mr Mickey.
    Annette

    1. When I travel, I include only items that can be mixed and matched to create different looks. Scarves, jewelry, shoes, and bags can change a simple black top and pants from something semi-formal to a look for a day of sightseeing. If I include a white top and white pants, they will go with the black to interchange for many more looks. Add a royal blue top, and you’ve got a week’s worth of possible outfits.

  60. You look very elegant. I would love to win one of your scarves. Thank you for all you do to help us along our journey!

  61. Your detailed explanations of your outfits and hints for making the most of the items you already own set you apart from all other blogs. You have given me new perspective on my wardrobe as well as my lifestyle.

  62. Love your pulled together look. I do have a question about wearing your coat over your blazer. I always have a bit of trouble with bulk when I try to wear a blazer or heavier sweater and then add my coat. Unless the coat is oversized this is a combo I’ve found difficult. Any tips?

  63. Love bright colors on drab winter days. Nothing gives me a lift more than a luscious silk scarf infused with color. I recently rearranged my dresser so I could pull open a drawer and see all the lovely colors and prints. Thanks for sharing and I’d love to include your scarf in my collection. Here in Louisiana, as you know, we don’t get to wear much heavy winter clothing but adding a scarf to a cashmere sweater or tunic is the perfect thing for December dreariest.

  64. I am just starting to experiment with silk scarves and have purchased some pretty vintage ones on Ebay. I love how you wear yours.

  65. Thanks for the looks for jazzing up a plain sweater and jeans.

    Please enter me in the scarf give away. I love all of your scarves and the different ways you tie them.

    Thank you again.
    Patty

  66. I must be more ambitious with jackets now I’ve seen how you transform a basic, casual look. I wear scarves a lot but mine are all long, narrow rectangles—- never tried a large square.
    Wishing you, Mr Mickey and your families a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

  67. I love this look on you and the fact that it’s already in my closet makes it even better.
    You have really taught me to shop my closet first and I’m having fun doing just that.
    I love scarves and am always on the lookout for a new one.
    Some of my prettiest scarves have come from my local thrift store where I volunteer each week.

  68. Susan you always look perfect. I too love how accessories add such flare to my basics. I always wondered why I felt frumpy it a long sleeve t, now I realize it’s the crew neck, I have many v neck t’s that get worn more often.

  69. Susan, I want to thank you from the bottom of my ❤. For two months I have been going through a major change in my life. A lot of soul searching and internet searching. I decided to let my auburn color hair turn to gray, loose some weight and embrace this new “season” that I was coming into. I questioned, what other ladies my age might too be going through. In my research I found your blog. It appears we are about the same age. YOU have taught me not only about putting combinations of clothes together, makeup, bras, but also with style and grace. From you I have learned that I am NOT too old to dress classic and chic. Thank you!! I would dearly treasure winning one of your scarfs.

  70. I enjoy all your posts. I have incorporated many of your tips into my wardrobe. The red, white, & navy outfit brightens up these dreary December days!

  71. Thank you so much, Susan, for all the wonderful ideas for accessorizing this year. I have enjoyed wearing scarfs for quite a few years, but sometimes it’s difficult to find just the right one. Yours always look gorgeous and comfortable. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

  72. Dear Susan
    Please send me the scarves you still have and enter my name in the draw for your scarf.

    Christmas Blessings to you and Mr Mickey 🙂

  73. At 83 I’m still trying to look my best. I am always inspired by your look. Though slim is long gone-well maintened and appropriate still rule. Thank you for giving me a look to aim for. Merry Christmas!

  74. Your clothing choices are so refreshing in this time of disposable fashion. It’s so sad to see older women wearing ripped jeans trying to look young.

  75. Whenever I am overwhelmed I always click on your site to help me with my outfits. You have helped me so much as I believe I am a classic dresser as you are. My husband passed away yesterday and today I am a bit overwhelmed. I particularly love the scarf you are wearing above, and if I do not win this time around I wonder if, in the new year, the scarf you are wearing is still available to buy.

    Happy Holidays/Christmas and all the best in 2020. Keep on blogging. <3 Pat

  76. I am enjoying reading your blog and seeing how you put an outfit together. I am a recently retired teacher and have let go of most of my teaching clothes as they do wear out in a classroom. I am building my new “retired life” wardrobe which so far consists of a few basics: black and navy sweaters, black and dark wash denim and black booties. I also bought a red short sleeved blouse and a 3/4 sleeve polka dot blouse. I’m sure you see my challenge immediately: how to make these items look stylish and not boring?

  77. Wow, what a difference the added items made. Always appreciate your sharing the styling of clothing items you’ve found are worth the investment. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!

  78. Hey Missy Claus,

    I would love to be the lucky winner of one of your scarfs. I can tell they are TOP quality. You always style yourself so well with your add on signature scarf. Crossing my fingers and toes for this one.
    Warmly,
    Katherine in Arizona

  79. I love your look, which is why you caught my eye and turned me onto DYT. You always look put together, bold but not too bold, and chic. That scarf is to die for! Would love it!

  80. Hi Susan,
    I am so with you on the crew neck style being a busy gal but I, like you, want to be warm. I love the styling with a scarf that elongates the torso. Plus, you do NOT have a chubby face!

    Maggie

  81. Susan, I am thoroughly enjoying your blogs. You have encouraged me to start breaking out of old habits of dressing and be more creative. I pulled out an OLD silk scarf this past week when my husband and I went to lunch with friends to celebrate an anniversary. Close in stature and age, I appreciate all your fashion tips so much – and thank you so much for all your great ideas!

  82. I enjoy your advice and timeless style very much. We share the same general body type and age, and I find inspiration in your flair with the classics. Thank you for carrying on.

  83. Hi Susan,
    I’m a relatively new reader and have loved looking through your posts. I’ve seen a few references to your scarf inventory and would love to be considered for receiving one of my choice. I would at the very least like to see what your inventory of scarves includes. I’m learning a lot from you. I love your fashion looks. Keep them coming.

  84. Susan, I simply love your looks and have learned SO much from you in the last year of following your blog! I have since reduced my wardrobe to only solid colors, leaned into the cami bra, purchased some really reliable staples and rid my closet of the impulse buys. It is so liberating. I will never grow tired of the joy of a great scarf and also enjoy the warmth that a simple piece of silk can provide at the neck in a cold restaurant, airplane or on a chilly day out and about! I would love to be the “winner” of one of your scarves and hope you will consider me when you think of your favorite fans!

  85. Your look in the navy and red is so sharp! Love the scarf tying the colors together with the red and blue on a white background. I liked the handbag so much I just ordered one like it for my Christmas gift to me from me (always buy gifts for family and buy me one, too). Your blog is inspiring and fun- I hope you keep writing it for a long time. Merry Christmas!

  86. Girl…I would love to be considered for the scarf giveaway on Monday!!! Since I’ve been reading your fashion tips, scarves are my new BEST FRIEND!!! I also finally got mine hung in my closet just like yours…the way you showed us in the closet organizing video. My outfits look so much better! I live in TX now so not sure I can wear them in the summer. We’ll see! I am originally from a town close to you in TN…Morristown. I have a daughter in Johnson City though!!! Thanks for all your fashion wisdom! I am enjoying “the hound” (old East Tn saying) out of your blog!!!

  87. Love your style and look forward to receiving your posts in my in box. I wear a scarf everyday to pull my look together and would love to add to my collection

  88. I love your blog! Your tips have been so helpful, and have helped me step up my appearance.i would love to win one of your beautiful scarves. Merry Christmas!

  89. Hope the drawing has not taken place yet!! I certainly need a beautiful scarf to add pizzazz and color to my look. Merry Christmas to you no matter who wines 🙂

  90. Great tips,I always read your blog,and try to heed your advice,when I’m picking out an outfit for the day. What would Susan wear!!
    Merry Christmas to you and Mr Mickey

  91. I love the way you use your scarfs to add punch and brightness to your outfit. I am not a big jewelry person so the addition of scarfs keep me interested and complete my look. Thank you for the wonderful tips and of course, love your look. Happy New Year

  92. Love your site
    I am trying to reinvent myself and you’re helping me out a lot
    Love your classic styles
    Joanne Calcavecchia

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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

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