Basic Black

My wardrobe contains significantly fewer black pieces than it once did, but I still find a black jacket, top, and pants the most effortless pieces to style. This week I showed you some ways I wear black garments to soften the sometimes harsh effect of black near our faces.

A crisp pair of black jeans can look appropriate in nearly any situation when I wear a jacket with them. The jeans in these photos are less than $50 here.

My scarf is old. A similar scarf is $$$ here or $ here.

The top is one you have seen many times before. It is sleeveless, so I wear it all year round. The beauty of this collection is that several pieces are available in the same material. TopCardiganPants 1Pants 2

The blue jacket has sold out now, but a similar style is $$$ here and $ here. My bag is from last year. A similar bag is $$$ here and $ here. The belt is a couple of years old, as are the shoes. Similar belt $$$ here and $ here. Similar shoes $$$ here and $ here.

Wearing a bright blazer with an equally colorful scarf is one way to break up the black; another is to wear a colorful top or sweater. My cashmere sweater is here. My long vest is here. A similar necklace is $$$ here and $ here. (That’s the same shoes and bag as above.)

I’m thrilled to team up with Nordgreen to offer you the chance to win your choice of a watch bundle. My latest gift is the Philosopher – BUNDLE Silver | Brown / Black / Navy Straps. I wanted to show you how the stunning collection arrives.

The winner of your choice of a beautiful watch and extra interchangeable bands will be announced in my Monday blog post on November 25th. It isn’t too late to enter your choice in the comments here. I will randomly choose the winner from the comments.

  1. I do focus on better quality items with an eye toward the longevity of the piece. I find that higher quality, fewer, and solid color pieces allow me to shop less, look better, and spend significantly less overall.

  2. The Philosopher watch in black leather is stunning and would jazz up any outfit. As a recent retiree, I am adding more casual, fun pieces to my formerly very corporate wardrobe and loving the changes! I always look forward to your posts!

  3. Infinity 32 mm grey leather

    I absolutely love this watch and the grey leather goes with everything!
    Thank you for the opportunity to win this watch and I love all your tips!

    Marilyn Pack

  4. Great post as always! The column of black I learned from you was what set me on a better path the easier dressing with more confidence. I do add beautiful colors with it.
    Philosopher with the interchangeable bands is so gorgeous and practical!.

  5. Love the stylish look of the black face Philosophy watch with silver, and I know my adult daughter would, too. What a pleasure it would be to surprise her at Christmas with such a beautiful watch! So nice of you and Notdgreen for this opportunity.

  6. Would love to have the Infinity watch with grey !either band.
    Look forward to each post and always check to see what your watch will look like.

  7. Hi Susan, I would love the white face watch with the grey band. You have helped me so much with my wardrobe and travel choices, not to mention nutritional guidance. Thank you!

  8. This beautiful minimalist watch collection signifies that time moves forward. Live your best life now. Although there may be hurdles, you are in control of your destiny. Your time is now!

  9. Your blog has encouraged me to discover what color my hair “really” is, which I suspect is primarily white/gray. I too gravitate towards a wardrobe based on black so all of your posts on how to continue to wear black without looking washed out and how to change your makeup have proven invaluable. Thank you!!

    1. I am lost without a watch and would love to win the Infinity 32mm silver/white dial with white, navy and silver bands. (I thought I had commented under the post the other day, but it is not showing up). Thank you so much for this opportunity!!

  10. Another great post, Susan! You look stunning!
    Thanks for such practical tips-you inspire me every day:)
    I love all the watch choices!

  11. The Nordgreen watches are truly exceptional styles that will go with whatever kind of wardrobe one has to wear, thanks to your advice and guidance, at least for me. Like everyone else, I hope I am the lucky recipient of this wonderful gift.

    I truly love your “new” look of colors with your black. More striking and a softer look on you. But then you always look lovely no matter what you wear.

    Clara B

  12. Scarves!?! I dug my motley collection of scarves out of various drawers, and found that I really dislike them all. I need to find some attractive scarves to go with my various outfits. Where, other than at your website, do you recommend shopping? And what scarves do you have available?

  13. You still look great in black and do such a nice job bringing in the color. Love the painted wall in this picture.

    I would love the Native with the navy face. It would go with lots of my wardrobe as I wear a lot of Talbot’s Indigo Blue.

    Thank you for being so generous with giving away a watch and sharing all your tips and advise.

  14. Would love the Infinity Bundle Silver with brown, black and mesh bands. Thank you for this opportunity to enter the drawing! Have followed you for many years and credit you when I receive compliments that I look younger than my 73 years!

  15. I read all your posts, but never post a comment. Thank you for the opportunity to win a watch. I am retired also and I admired the Native bundle with black dial in rose gold. Happy Thanksgovong.

  16. I would like to win the philosopher w/brown, black and navy! (As pictured above). Also, is it weird that I love the pictures of all the food?! Lol.

  17. Good morning from water-logged metro Phoenix, AZ! A bit inconvenient, but rain in the desert is a beautiful thing.

    I have loved your blog since I first found it, and it is now the only one I follow. Your practical advice speaks to me and my upbringing. I was taught to always buy the best classic styles I could afford and I would always be able to go anywhere and look great. I’m now 70 and retired and it still works. Thanks for showing me how to combine classics to still look relevant and stylish.

    An Infinity watch with a grey band would be the perfect touch. It’s something I won’t spend the money on for myself, so thank you for offering your readers a chance to win one.

    Keep up the amazing work you do, we appreciate the effort.
    I wish you and Mr. M. a blessed Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

  18. Susan, thank you so much for all your tips. I have learned so much over the years and will be sad when you eventually retire. Even though my shape and style are slightly different than yours, all your concepts still ring true! Winning a watch would be the perfect way for any of us to think about how much we have enjoyed your posts! The Native, 36mm, silver, white dial, bundle (brown, black, silver mesh) is my personal favorite! Always look forward to your posts!

  19. Susan I would love to have the Nordegren Philosopher Silver Bundle. It would be so wonderful to have such a stylish watch. I appreciate you making stylish outfits available to all of us. I know that you and Mickey go to all of work to make this blog available to all. I look forward to your postings also where the articles you are wearing.
    Thank You so very much. Melba T.

  20. Hi Susan,
    I love all your ideas on one can look great at every age. I recently celebrated my 60th birthday and I think I dress better than I did in my twenty’s thanks to you.
    I would love to win the Philosopher watch bundle and can see wearing it with many of my Susan ( like) outfits.

  21. I love, love, love these watches, and the interchangeable bands are great! I’ve been wanting a mesh band watch, so I’m asking Julemanden (Father Christmas in Danish) for the Philosopher bundle in gun metal. Fingers crossed!

  22. I look forward to seeing your posts. In addition to seeing your attire, I love to see the places you visit.
    My favorite of the watch choices is Infinitely, which would be a wonderful addition to my jewelry collection. Thank you for this give away.

    1. I want to show that you can spend a lot of money or significantly less money and get something similar. That $698 scarf is similar to the $60 scarves I offer, for example. I now share highlighted links to current items related to what I am wearing, at luxury and medium price points.

  23. Bless you for trying to pull us away from our workout wear and blue jeans.
    Reminding us how to act and dress like the beautiful a true women we are.

  24. Not interested in the watch. Too bulky for me!
    I have my little Timex and a second small wrist watch that belonged to my late Mom. She got it in 1936 as her 16th birthday gift! Still runs perfectly!!
    But, love the rest of your look, as always!
    Any preview of your Thanksgiving fashion & plans?

  25. As always, excellent wardrobe always look lovely.
    The Philosopher bundle is very attractive and the interchangeable bands add to the versatility. I like it very much.

  26. Susan, I love the looks with the black top and bottoms. Very beautiful. You said you had on a tank under the blue jacket. And I know you wear a lot of the Covered Perfectly silky tops under jackets also. What other kinds of tops would you recommend? This time of year I freeze, and the sleeveless and silky tops don’t work for me to stay warm. I do wear a spandex undershirt everyday as a base layer, but still need a more substantial top to go under jackets. I am waiting on some of the Everlane cashmeres that will hopefully not be too long to wear under a blazer for me. But I am stumped as to wear to turn for a top to go under a shorter moto jacket that will keep me warm. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mr. Mickey!

    1. Thin layers are the secret if you don’t want the added bulk when the weather turns cold. It was in the sixties here the day I took those photos, but if it had been colder, I would have worn a long sleeve Covered Perfectly top with a scoop neck or one of my cashmere sweaters from Everlane. An example of thin layers for freezing temps would start with my Shapeez bra, a thin tank top, a lightweight tee, a cashmere sweater, then a jacket, and possibly an overcoat.

  27. It’s “time” to step up my look! I love all your helpful tips and a up to date watch is the perfect accessory.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  28. Hello I would love to win the Philosphers gold watch by Nordgreen, it is my favorite because it has a second hand which would be very useful for me. thanks for this opportunity, love the blog!

    Ann Lee Sweeten

  29. I really enjoy reading your blog. You have a very easy but yet classic style. The watch is another classic element to any wardrobe.

  30. My husband wants me to wear bright colors and patterns. But I know I look better in solids and black/gray/deep blues/navy and occasional forest green. I have to go with what I feel the most comfortable in. Sorry honey! He loves purples, bright colors and patterns etc.but I do not!

  31. Hello, you are so sweet to include your fans in a special stunning give a way. Thank you for making us feel and look special. Happy Holidays and keep up the good advise. Take care.

  32. Hi Susan. Thanks for the blog today and I already signed up for a watch on the last posting. I would like to know what scarves you still have available. I ordered some a while back from you and love wearing them. I always get compliments and sometimes I just tie in the front with no fuss and they look awesome.

  33. They are indeed lovely. My dream win would be the Native gold with brown and navy bands. I love a larger watch.

  34. A lovely grouping which would go with anything in my classic style. Certainly would be a nice addition to my accessories. Thanks for offering this for all of us to have a chance for such a nice addition to our wardrobe….

  35. Wow, I love the package offered …. my previous response was the Philosopher – Gold not realizing the package was the assortment of straps! Even better! Thanks for keeping my name in the draw 🙂

  36. I’d love a nice watch with the white dial in silver, navy, black, And/or brown. I also enjoy your posts. You are always elegant.

  37. Always look forward to the latest blog. You have been quite an influence on my wardrobe, as I eliminate some mistakes and add new pieces you show and recommend. I’d love to win a new look in a watch, one I’m wearing has been with me a little over 20 years.

  38. Susan, I love your look in the photo with the blue jacket, black “column” and the silver belt. I have a bit of a tummy with a straight figure and tend to avoid belts because they seem to accentuate my tummy. Any advice how to wear a belt with this figure problem?
    In a recent blog, you used magnets with your scarf. A trick I use to keep a scarf in place is to push the scarf through the loop that is sometimes sewn above the label. Then I pull the vertical scarf lengths in front of me & adjust as wanted. The scarf stays in place & doesn’t get lost. For a dressy look, I use matching vintage dress clips ( I collect Art Deco ones ) higher on the jacket lapels to hold the scarf lengths in place.

  39. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win one of these beautiful watches. I would love the Philosopher Bundle silver with brown, black and navy straps. Really enjoy reading about all your trips and tips!

  40. Hi Susan. Great post as always. Love the black vest with gray lapels and red top. The Nordgreen watches are just my style, with their sleek lines.
    Wouldn’t say no to the Philosopher in the Gunmetal with Brown/Black/Mesh straps. Have a great weekend!

  41. I really like the philosopher bundle. I think that is my favorite. I am 79 years old, but I still take pride in my appearance at home and in public.. your news letter has helped me a lot. I like the idea of putting a few new pieces with old pieces for a new look. You do a great job.

  42. Susan, I showed this article to my son and he said, someday I will purchase a watch like that for myself. So, instead of me, if I should be so fortunate to win, I would prefer my son to receive the choice. His favorite is 40mm
    Infinity – Navy Blue Leather from the Men’s Collection. This would be the most wonderful surprise for him.

  43. I am definitely a “watch person”. So many people rely on their cell phone for the time.
    I would be very excited to win the Infinity 32mm silver/white dial with white, navy and silver bands.
    I appreciate your presenting this wonderful opportunity for us!

  44. Hi. Thank you for this generous offer to some lucky person! If I were to be so lucky, I would choose the Philosopher bundle with the brown, black and navy straps. 🙂

    Teresa S.

  45. I love reading your blogs. You almost always look great with everything you’re wearing. But I live in a country with a temperature of 30 to 40 degrees Celsius all the year round and most of the time very humid. I’m 67 years old, 1.70 m and 62 kg, rectangular shape. What kind of clothes should I wear?

    1. Lucky you! You will likely enjoy wearing linen, cotton, and other natural fabrics that flow across your body and allow air movement. When I am lucky enough to be in a hot, humid climate, I almost always wear a straw hat to provide shade and keep my hair out of the way.

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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.