Answers to Your Questions

A lovely reader recently asked for tips on showing skin. When the weather is warm, I bring out the ankle pants and push up my sleeves if they aren’t already three-quarter length. It is a bit of visual trickery, but you appear more slender and feminine when you show the collarbones, wristbones, and ankles. These are often the smallest parts of the body, so covering them hides that perspective. Conversely, if you have thick ankles, you may not want to show them. Choosing shoes in the same color as your long pants or legs (in a dress) will allow your upper body to become the focus.

I wore this look to have lunch on the patio at Gourmet & Company with a friend recently. None of my items are recent purchases, but a similar eyelet cotton top is here. Similar slacks are here. Similar Sam Edelman shoes are here. A similar bag is here. My sheer lip color is Plum here. My haircare products are here.

A few days ago, I sat in the stylist’s chair for a trim. As long chunks of hair fell into my lap; I realized her vision of a trim was radically different from mine. At first, I was horrified at the extremely short style, but now I have adjusted to the change. Here are the much-requested photos from each angle.

My tiny shade gardens at the entry are thriving at the moment. Someone asked for more info, so I am sharing a few photos of the progress. After mid-May, I often add a few new plantings. This year it was Elephant Ear bulbs.

I share my outfits and examples to give you ideas for putting together items you might already have in your closet. The links are to the retailers where I often shop rather than the exact items because my basics are hardly ever new. Shopping links on this website may allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

  1. Your haircut is very becoming and looks perfect for the hot summer months. Even if it was a shock at first, it looks very good on you.

  2. The haircut really is nice on you!!. Aren’t you finding it easier for styling as well as maintaining its shape throughout the day? I’m debating a shorter cut on my stylists advice to that end. The cut he describes seems very similar….he says it would be a lot easier to maintain some volume at the top especially in hot himod weather.

  3. You look very pretty (as always) with that haircut! Also, I love your shade plantings! Thank you for sharing.

  4. I have to agree. The haircut is flattering and youthful. Less bulk makes it light, airy and attractive. Thanks for sharing. Your garden is beautiful and looks great for enjoying a good book.

  5. Love your outfit and your tips for appearing more slender (and a bit taller)–I use them now all the time. Your gardens are lovely. And your hair looks cute & perky! It’ll grow!

  6. The new hair cut looks good on you. But, the layered cut in back is too old for your youthful appearance. I hope you did not pay the stylist. And, get a new one that listens.

  7. I agree with how you felt after you got the short hair cut.
    I went from shoulder length to very short. I was s but shocked but as I grew accustomed to it, I enjoyed the simplicity of it. I have received so many compliments not only about the hair style but also my natural gray hair.
    Your new style is very becoming.

  8. Wow. I love y our hair cut! It slims and lifts your face. And it could be the exposed ankles and wrists, but you definitely look taller.

  9. I really love your new hair cut. It’s very attractive on you. Would you please tell us what hair products you use to keep your hair so beautiful and white ?

  10. I agree with Marcia that the back of the haircut is aging, even though the top and sides are pretty and fluffy and youthful. So many women, once they have passed that “certain age,” opt for the default very short utilitarian haircut that would be a cute pixie-type style on a young woman but merely proclaims “I’ve given up” on an older woman. Susan, I am older than you, and I keep my hair long enough all around to show some volume and movement. My stylist is forbidden to clip the back!

  11. Your very talented hair stylist had a beautiful vision as she trimmed, cut and styled your hair. It is very flattering. Love it!

  12. Your haircut is a fresh, modern warm weather style that looks good on you! And your yard is beautiful; those plants (hostas, elephant ears, ferns etc) are thriving. Curious as to whether the elephant ears are perennials? Do you have to dig up the bulbs and replant next spring or do they winter in the ground?

    1. The elephant ear bulbs will not overwinter in my area. So if I want to keep them, I will have to dig them up and keep them in my basement until the last frost has passed.

  13. Your hair looks amazing! Just now in the process of finally embracing my grays or in my case white! I turn 70 soon and have been colouring since my 20’s. You are one of my inspirations! Thanks so much.

  14. It seems that the older we get, the shorter the hair. Why? I find that a shoulder or chin grazing style is much more youthful. Movement is key. Yet stylists always want to cut it short. I would be livid if my hair was cut short without my consent.

  15. I love the hair, perfect for summer hot days!!!! What is your opinion on shorter pants. Such as capri’s or peddle pushers ( can’t think of what they call them now). I am short only 5 foot. I think a full length pant gives me that longer leg look, which I need to make me look taller. Thank you, I always look forward to see your post. I enjoy your tips and all the info you give me.

    1. I stopped wearing shorts and crops or capris a few years ago when I realized they were doing me no favors. Ankle pants which stop a couple of inches above the ankle bone are as short as I go now. When a garment ends at the widest portion of a body part, it will always make that part look like it has more girth.

  16. I love the shorter haircut! It looks so fresh and cool. I’m usually not a fan of short cuts, but this one does compliment you nicely. The fit of those pants look terrific too. This is a one stylish outfit! You must have enjoyed the lovely area the restaurant has for dining. Have a delightful week!

  17. Hi Susan. I love the fashion/style look in this email’s photo. You look terrific! Also, for what it’s worth, I think the haircut is great also. I recently cut my hair from mid-back up to my shoulders; it always makes me feel lighter and a bit more sassy.

  18. Dear Susan,
    I notice your new haircut immediately and have been admiring it since it appeared. I think it is very becoming. (I think it makes you look taller.)
    I, too, have silver hair with the dark fringe at my neck and I keep my hair short. Except that my cut seems to emphasize the fact that the tips of my ears stick out like an elf’s, I like it.
    I am planning to show my hairdresser your pictures and see if she can shape the sides to cover the tops of my ears they way your cut does.
    Thanks for sharing. You are an inspiration.

    I love your garden too.

  19. Love your new hairstyle it makes you look younger. Why hasn’t Mr. Mickey been in any articles or photos. I miss seeing dapper Dan.

  20. Your haircut looks great on you and the style is very current. As it grows out, you can always perfect the exact length that suits you personally. I find that the length in the back depends on your head shape. My head is flat in the back so I need more length. You have the perfect shape in the back and it looks very chic. Thanks for sharing all angles! Love your style.

  21. Love your new hair cut! Looks great on you as well as your outfit. I love a nice crisp blouse in summer.

  22. “Horrified!” are you kidding? The minute I opened this post I LOVED your hair.

    You already have gorgeous natural texture and color and the cut is to die for. My son and daughter-in-law have just moved to Johnson City (we love visiting your beautiful city.). Could recommend a stylist???

    Belinda Stevens

    1. My stylist is April Atkins at Van Kye salon (423)-360-0747 516 W Oakland ave suite 103, Johnson City, TN. Unfortunately, my communication was not good. I normally show her a picture so that my descriptions can’t be misinterpreted. Even though it is shorter than I intended, I am happy with it now.

  23. I like your new ‘trimmed’ hairstyle. It accentuates your beautiful complexion & eyes.

  24. Susan I love your new haircut it look great on you. At this point in time of our life we should be able to wear our hair how ever we want. My mother always told me if you have nothing nice to say keep your comments to yourself.
    I’ll never understand why people feel it’s acceptable to be so negative about someone else appearance.

    Love your blog and looking forward to your next post!!!


  25. LOVE your hair shorter!! Takes years off & brings out your lovely features. I was wondering when you’d cut off the longer hair. Perhaps for winter months the longer hair will be more appropriate! My hair’s shoulder length, but I wear it up all summer long! I don’t look good in short hair, so that’s not an option for me.

  26. The new hair style looks fabulous!!! And it looks like it may be easy to maintain which is always a plus. I think t’s a terrific cut for you! Enjoy!!!

  27. Love the new hairstyle. It looks very stylish. You’ve inspired me to go shorter next salon visit

  28. Susan, I’ve been following you for some time now and I have always liked your hair shorter. I think it looks great!
    Nice cut and very flattering on you. In fact, I’ll be taking your photo to my stylist when it’s time for my next cut! Thanks for all your great info and tips!

  29. Perhaps the words of Bob Ross are fitting here. “There is no such thing as a mistake, just happy accidents,”
    I love the look and the top is really pretty.

  30. Love your haircut. Sensational look. Anxious to hear how you have appreciated such a chic cut. Hopefully it’s easy to style and maintain.

  31. I really like your new hairdo, but like you, I’m surprised that a hairdresser would consider it a “trim”!

  32. My previously dark hair is now gray because of your inspiration. I’m very happy with my natural color thanks to you.. I always say I get a puppy cut for summer when I get my hair cut shorter. Now you have one too. It looks lovely and highlights your eyes.. I think you always look pulled together and this is no exception.
    Your elephant ears look like they are thriving. They remind me of my Dad who planted them each summer.

  33. I think the new cut shows your eyes and cheekbones to a better advantage. Its lovely, if initially an adjustment.

  34. Seu corte de cabelo ficou maravilhoso e te remoçou muito. Parabéns pelo belo jardim!

  35. Thank you for the tips on showing some skin. I will be turning 70 in a few months and no longer wear shorts or capris so the tips today were helpful. And you reminded me, I am way overdo for a haircut!!

  36. Always enjoy your articles AND LOVEEEEEEE your new hair style; classic, stunning and I dare say youthful ! Just lovely !

  37. Yes I love your style and outfits. It also gives me great ideas on how to use items in my closet. I have Michigan winters so my yearly is usually a lot more clothing on
    Like this morning it dipped to 42 it’s July. Of course I love it can’t tolerate heat. So thank you so much for letting me look in my closet and reimagine my wardrobe.

  38. Susan that haircut is very cute on you! Hope you enjoy it and the ease of styling it.

    Hi to Mr. Mickey.
    Patty V.

  39. I really like your haircut,if you are like me,it will be the length you wanted originally in 2 weeks!!
    Your garden is beautiful. I am now at a stage in life where I can devote more time to the garden and enjoy watching all the different birds that I never saw before.Feeling Blessed

  40. Your shorter hair style is very becoming! May inspire me to cut mine!
    Also I love your garden!

  41. I agree with Marcia and Anna the hair salons like to cut the back too short. I remember a salon near my house that appeared to only do one style. I saw the clients going in and out…and they were “of a certain age”. Your hair is lovely no matter the cut and it comes down to what you find works best.
    Your garden beds are really interesting with the mix of plants. And so very healthy and lush.

  42. I don’t know why hairstylists (especially the good ones ) love the shortcuts.
    They want to show on the client s head their inspiration .
    I do also the trick to show them pictures .

    I love your eyelet cotton top ,very feminine.

  43. Susan I love the new hair! That is the first thing I noticed today and it gives you s more noticeable polish. You bring class snd elegance to the 60s and I’m always grateful for your input snd fresh ideas.

  44. Susan,

    Your shorter haircut is so flattering! It allows others to focus more on your face & eyes. It makes such a difference in your photos.

    Thanks for posting so regularly. I take your advice & “shop” from my closet. I’m finding simpler is better in all areas of my life. And thanks for sharing your lovely home & yard.

  45. I love your haircut – it looks good both ways but this enhances the flow of your hair. Very nice look and “cool” is what we strive for these days. Have a nice weekend. Also, plants look lovely!

  46. I love Elephant ears. My mother-in-law had beautiful plants that she would put out in spring and take back in in the fall. When she passed, my daughter took the plants and now they are planted in her yard in Hampton VA. They are thriving. Your hostas and ferns look lovely.

  47. Susan, your fresh, new cut is brilliant.
    And I bet it takes no time at all to style.

  48. Hi Susan,
    Beautiful, lush garden, you create such a serene environment. What great shade it offers to your home.
    Your trim I understand was a shock, the blessing is it will always grow out. I think it’s nice, but then look at your
    lovely face.
    Sending you a happy day.

  49. Your hair looks wonderful. The shorter cut makes you look much younger and even more beautiful. Love the outfit and the shade garden.

  50. Susan, you look beautiful! Since you’re covering so much skin long pants, long sleeves) as I do, did you have your Vitamin D checked? I know this sounds as a weird question but the reason for my asking is since I have dressed like you (no shorts or short sleeves) which is a personal choice, I went to have my Vitamin D checked and my doctor told me I was borderline deficient. Do you take Vitamin D to compensate for the lack of sun exposure? Just wondering and would you recommend a brand? Thank you for sharing your expertise on fashion and hairstyle.

  51. Ahhhh The spelling was right in the first email… I checked with my husband. Time to let it go LOL

  52. You hair style is lovely and fresh looking! I have learned through the years that hair grows back and provides a new adventure.

  53. Your haircut is so beautiful e! I am on my way to my hairdresser for a ‘trim’. I will show her this cut! You posts are always fun and inspiring. What could be better than clothes and gardens and friends.

  54. Your shorter hair makes you look much much younger!
    I wish we all had such a talented hair stylist.

    Jan Hebbard

  55. Hi Susan,
    You hair looks lovely.
    Would you ever be able to give information about traveling alone? I know you do from former posts, however, I wonder do you ever get lonely? Do you ever feel fear? Is it hard sometimes to motivate yourself to explore when alone? I am 64 and debating about buying a little camper but, half my brain says I get sick of myself! Thank you,

    1. I have spent many years of my life alone, so I am comfortable with solitude. I never feel lonely, but I am always careful about where I venture. Always trust your gut and never take chances. I always make a list of several things of interest in the area I am visiting. If something turns out not to be my cup of tea, I move on to the next thing on the list.

  56. Oh, my gosh Susan your hair looks fantastic and such a cool do for the summer heat. Enjoy Karen Sheridan Ziegler

  57. I like your hair cut! I think you can wear it pretty much however length you want. It always seems to flatter!

  58. Love your new cut and style, Susan!
    Also, I’m jealous of your elephant ears, I planted those bulbs
    for the first time, and they are a complete disappointment.
    They are hardly growing.

  59. Thank you, Susan, for another delightful post. It started my day off on just the right step. You always give me lift. Best wishes always fo your styl anad beauty nd insights into living.

  60. Votre nouvelle coupe de cheveux vous va parfaitement. Courte, trop courte, peu importe. L’essentiel est de toujours bien dégager vos oreilles … ceci allonge la ligne de votre cou et confirme votre grâcieux port de tête … Vous paraissez dix ans de moins

  61. Hello Susan – my emails from you come a bit late so hope I am not too late in responding. I LOVE short hair and I think you look so much more youthful and current in this shorter style. I read all the comments and did not see anyone mention that anyone wore a bit more update sort of “messy spike-type hairdo”. Not structured. I always wore my hair about like yours now But……..after completing my Cancer treatments a few years back, I thought about all the time I spend on “grooming” – especially blow drying and styling hair – so I had my hair cut in that updated look and knew I could grow it out quickly if I did not like it. I just love it! It is so easy to do (a very good and frequent cut is absolutely essential with this) – I feel. Find a great stylist. I am 73 and have no grey at all but have blond highlights put in every eight weeks to just brighten things up. I can easily very easily smooth things out with a curling iron and brush if I do not want this look on a given day. I have had so many compliments that I have continued to wear it and it is just a suggested thought for some. Great salon hair products are also a must. Just my thoughts – enjoy every day to the max. Blessings to all. Thank you for your personal suggestions in your blog.

  62. Hi Susan,
    I love your blog. Very helpful as far as wardrobe/activities/how to style from your closet.
    I do have a question. Camisoles? Where do you find the ones you wear? Are they spaghettis strap? If so what type bra do you wear underneath? I love the look, and like you would not remove jacket, or sweater when wearing. But I am larger on top and narrow through the waist & hips/legs. Could I wear a regular bra if not removing jacket?
    Or would that just be tacky? I have never been able to find a strapless bra in my size.
    I appreciate any help or suggestions you may have.


    1. I wear my usual bra, the Ultimate Pretty from underneath camisoles and tanks. The best camisole I have is a silk one with adjustable straps from Lilysilk here. I’m like you, I’ve never found a strapless bra that was up to the task, so I don’t remove my jacket.

  63. I have not been receiving your email blogs for about a month. Can you check why? I love them and have missed them!

  64. Your haircut is really nice. Gives your face a very youthful look. One thing about hair, it always grows out. Thanks for sharing.

  65. You looked rejuvenated. Your stylist knows what they are doing. It’s also nice to see that you do wear heels from time to time, when it suits you.

  66. Susan, you are always perfect. I saw a post of maybe 5 years ago and you had much longer hair, which I think is much more youthful and flattering.

  67. Your new hair style is very modern and flattering. Thanks for sharing the photos. Your posts always inspire me.

  68. Susan, I have followed you for some time, I am 10 years older than you , also September birthday. I just love my big scarves, and your comments on fashion, health etc , and always look forward to your updates.

  69. I think your haircut is lovely! It is perfect for you! And I’m sure easier to style and cooler for summer. I hope you weren’t too upset but truly, I believe, the haircut suits your style.

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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.