Being Cautious

We have enjoyed going for a drive during pleasant weather and then returning to one of our homes to enjoy take-out or something we have prepared. It has given Mr. Mickey and me something to look forward to during quarantine. We know that it is not yet safe to return to crowds of people.

Saturday was a beautiful day, so we drove up to the mountains to enjoy the stunning views and cool air. It was eighty-two degrees in Johnson City, TN, and sixty-two degrees in Linville, North Carolina.

I wore my favorite white jeans here and my seersucker jacket similar here. I learned long ago to bring or wear a jacket when we go on these outings. It’s fun to add a pop of color with a bag or scarf. My bag is here. Similar shoes are here. (Mine are by Ralph Lauren from a couple of years ago.)

The tank top is new, but I would not recommend it. I wish I had worn my old faithful layered cami here. I’m always on the lookout for plain scoop neck options to wear under jackets and cardigans.

Jewelry is always the frosting on the cake! WatchBangle BraceletLink BraceletPearl BraceletEarringsRing

There were no crowds at The Eseeola Lodge in Linville, so we stopped there to take these photos. We were shocked to see hundreds of people shopping, standing in a line out the door at the ice cream shop, and walking in large groups when we drove through Blowing Rock. Very few people wore masks or kept their distance. I prefer to be overly cautious, so we did not linger there.

  1. Thanks for sharing your driving adventures. Beautiful scenery and you look beautiful. I agree about being cautious.

  2. Good morning with me in South Africa. I love the way you dress and hope to also fall in your category. I am 62 and would love to look as confident as you. I love wearing a dress if you can post some pics of you wearing a dress. You are one of a kind of woman who always look stunning. Wow I love all your categories and are interested
    Thank you

  3. I notice you are usually wear white pants. No blue jeans or colored pants? Also, no crops? I notice at 5’1″ , crops just make me look shorter and plumper.

    1. I mostly wear solid color ankle-length pants. I have white, camel, olive, navy, black, and shades of denim. On summer days, I usually wear white. Capri or cropped pants end at the fullest part of my leg, so I avoid those as well.

  4. We were also in Blowing Rock on Saturday and extremely concerned about the lack of masks and social distancing. It showed such disregard for the health of the employees in the shops and restaurants. We sat on a bench and watched the chaos for a while ( with our masks firmly in place) then went on home. A lot of denial out there!

  5. Thanks for sharing your adventures. Beautiful scenery and you look beautiful. I agree with you about being around groups.

  6. Thank you for another nice post, Susan. I noticed that all of your handbags, shoes, etc., are always in perfect condition. Do you have any tips? Sometimes I just can’t seem to avoid dinging things up.
    Ms Scuff

    1. I am careful where and how I walk and where I place my bags. I always clean them a bit before putting them away. I use damp paper towels to remove dust and most little scuffs when I get home, and I also polish my leather items often. Military bearing lasts for a lifetime.

      1. Your last comment made me chuckle Susan! My husband is ex military and has been retired many years. However, he still polishes his shoes and my boots and shoes regularly! I have a pair a high boots I’ve had 4 years now. Last year a friend commented they looked new and they do.

  7. I love the pop of colour your handbag gives to your outfit. You have wonderful posture. When you are photographed from the side you are very straight without any of the forward neck posture or slight hump at the base of the neck. How have you managed to keep your posture so good without it looking forced or uncomfortable? Take care and thank you for adding cheer to these difficult days.

    1. I spent four years in the US Navy, modeled a little, and was in pageants when I was young. My mother and Aunties always told me not to slump. Someone was always reminding me about my posture.

  8. Susan, What hair styling products do you use? I could not find any product info on your blogs .
    Thank you

  9. Thanks so much Susan for your wonderful posts! I love reading about your outings and enjoy your beautiful photos!

  10. I agree that people are getting too relaxed about masks. I live in Illinois and we are still in process of reopening. Beautiful pics. You live in a beautiful part of the country.

  11. Another series of beautiful photos and great fashion tips. And thank you for being an advocate for safety and well-being for all of us as we live in these strange times of quarantine and fear. It is part of being a good member of the community to show care for ourselves and our neighbors. Your ideas for drives and socially-distanced sight seeing are so great. My husband and I are going to start taking some lovely drives just to get out of the house a bit. Thanks for being wise about all of this and sharing.

  12. I have been looking for a new pair of white jeans. Do these have stretch? I’m 5′, 105 lbs. (just lost weight) and I need some “nice” white jeans for summer. Are these truly your favs? I love slacks with a little stretch. Thanks and love your blog!

    1. My jeans do have a little stretch but not too much. I had been riding in the car for more than one hour when we took these photos. They are truly my favs! I have six pairs in different colors.

  13. Susan, I just love this outfit! The length of the pants, jacket and cami are perfect. Do you have any advice on how to achieve proper proportions when wearing separates?
    I am afraid that with so many people being too anxious to return to their pre-pandemic lifestyles, a second wave of Covid could be waiting to unfold ( in my country, too ). I am your age and had very elderly grandparents who barely survived the Spanish Flu pandemic after WW1. Today, their stories are like gentle reminders to not play with fire.

    1. I heard many stories about the Flu also. It was terrible!

      I try to wear a longer jacket with a shorter top, never the same length. If the jacket is short, I wear a longer top, which helps make my waist look smaller, and my legs look longer. If both items are the same length, it cuts a straight line across.

  14. Another beautiful, casual, polished look, Susan! Your incredible hair color (and isolation) have inspired me to take advantage of this time and stop coloring my hair….I also anticipate slightly softer wardrobe and make up hues. I would love to incorporate more tanks in my future wardrobe and your comment about not liking the one you’re wearing struck a note with me. It’s so difficult to find just the right tanks, not too tight across the bust, too big in the arm holes, pull wrinkles between the breasts, wear differently after washing, on and on. Could you please help your faithful readers by sharing brands, styles, reasons for not liking items as well as things you do like and reasons why?

    As a retiree I need to simplify my life and I love your style! Thank you for your help and inspiration.

    1. I like the cami I shared a link to because it has two layers. That helps it keep from being too clingy and it looks more polished. I wish I had bought the petite size when they had them. I would like for it to be two inches shorter.

      1. Thank you, Susan,
        Yes, the Express cami…..I wish they had more colors. At your suggestion, I’ve purchased some Chico’s tanks thinking they would be perfect to wear around the house then add a third piece going out. Unfortunately, no consistency in sizing, fit, length, etc. I don’t mind going to the tailor but customizing a tank seems a bit much…. You and I have similar styling challenges and prefer the classic look. I’ll keep following your posts, always appreciating your great suggestions.

        Stay in and stay safe, a faithful fan,

  15. Esther here from south Africa. You look beautiful and I like your outfits. I am 60years off age. And also like to dress like you.

  16. Thank you. I’m so glad you are commenting on being cautious during this Covid 19 time.
    You always look appropriately dressed and have a sense of what is flattering. If you are trimming your own hair, you should continue! It is such an attractive style. Also thank you for showing all of us how to get out and enjoy life even with our present circumstances. Best to you and Mr. Mickey.

  17. A beautiful day! You always look lovely! Here in Monterey CA masks are required in stores, but tourists are not wearing them as they walk through town. I am very cautious, always habe my mask with me, even on a walk!

  18. Your lifestyle is a dream, for a woman from the middle east is a beautiful dream, enjoy your life, all the best for you.

  19. I live in Florida and my husband and I have been eating out since that first started at 25 percent capacity. He is 70 and I am 65. I also was able to shop at my favorite boutique one of my friends owns to buy masks and was able to shop when I was the only person in the store. At first our dining was scary, but now we go at least once a day. Shopping too!

    We both commented that neither of us knew anyone who had tested positive nor anyone who had died. I am so miserable with the masks on that I am now mask free unless forced to wear one. I am no longer scared and much happier.

  20. I think it’s better to stay away from crowds.
    You have a lovely home and I’m sure that whatever you make or takeout tastes great from the comfort of your dining room.

  21. I believe you used to take a size 6 in the Sheri jeans; is that the size you take in the Talbot’s? Thank you in advance.

    You know I had a friend comment today about the masks–it looks as if anybody could wear them for the brief times they are around others in order to protect others. If the masks are uncomfortable, perhaps a different mask would help? My masks are soft material with filters in the pocket.

  22. I agree with you about being cautious and wearing masks. I rarely even get out. Your area is lovely and you look great as usual. Take care.

  23. Like your outfit but can see what you mean about the newer cami…..also like you my husband and I cannot understand why people aren’t more cautious….during all this isolation we have continued to be amazed by people we know well and had previously thought as sensible making the most irresponsible decisions whilst telling us how they are sticking to the rules! I continue to love how you “shop your wardrobe” and share photos of yourself in much-loved clothing…I am getting very tired of other blogs that only show people wearing new clothes ……possessing too many clothes has always been an issue for me and I need more people like you in my life to encourage less acquiring and more repurposing.

  24. Thank you for your words of caution. I live in Florida and so many are acting as if the virus has disappeared. They look at you strangely if you wear a mask. When I saw your blog about the black dress several months ago, I knew that I had to have that dress. I found it on sale and it arrived by UPS yesterday. I love it. Thanks for all of your great advice.

  25. Hi Susan! The cami you recommend has very thin straps, do you wear a strapless bra with it? I love the look under a jacket but do not like the thin straps.

  26. We have that same problem herein Las Vegas Vegas with people not wearing masks. Luckily us retired folk can stay safe at home. Hoping for better times.

  27. Hear Hear! Thank you Susan for speaking out about the crowds of people gathering all over and with no masks and not keeping a social distance at all! I keep thinking, “Do they know something I don’t?; or ‘Did I miss something here?” or “Is it over now?” How will we ever stop the Covid 19 virus if we don’t wear masks and stay away from one another? the Spanish Flu lasted for over 3 years, and now I know why!
    I for one will follow the rules to flatten the curve, I just wish everyone else would too!

  28. We are in the group of people who need to be especially careful. We go to necessary Doctors appointments and have been using the mobile app for groceries but now my husband goes into the store but wears a mask and picks less busy hours. We haven’t ventured out for entertainment but we are planning on taking a drive in the country,
    I love this soft summery look. I try to take some type of wrap because restaurants and stores around here compete to see who can freeze us to death when it’s boiling outside. I never see you with a cross body bag. Do you ever carry one?

    1. I rarely wear a crossbody bag or shoulder bag because they are so uncomfortable for me. Crossbody bags pull on my clothing and slip around to the back to bring too much attention to the chest area with the strap.

  29. I’m so glad to see you are being cautious. Our state’s numbers are not what they need to be, yet. Have a great time with Mr. Mickey and stay safe!

  30. Hi Susan,
    I’m new and really enjoying your blog. I’m noticing that your bags are all very expensive. Do you ever buy a knockoff same-style bag st Target?

    I just purged my closet and purchased all new Container Store linen boxes to make my walk-in more functional and beautiful. Have you ever done a blog on closets?

    And thanks for spreading the word to use masks and steer clear of crowds. It’s really important!!



    1. Welcome to the blog!

      The bags that inspired some of my purchases were in the thousands of dollars. I take inspiration from timeless high-end elegant pieces to influence purchases within my budget. If I buy inexpensive bags, they do not hold up well, and I have to buy another one in a few months. I started spending a little more but keeping those bags for ten years or longer.

  31. You are so smart to remain cautious about venues with large groups of people. Thank you for adhering to common sense policies. And thanks for your blog! I enjoy it so much.

  32. We drove up to Roan Mountain where there were crowds of unmasked people at Carvers Gap. We did not get out. I agree with you.

  33. Hi Susan,
    Thanks for the lovely pictures and sharing your tasteful wardrobe selections. I’m with you, as far as taking precautions. Unfortunately, these over eager crowds will find many of their members infected very soon. Be well, stay safe, and keep sending us your pretty updates.
    Best regards,

  34. Not only are you being cautious, but you’re being smart! We were in Florida at the beginning of the coronavirus spread. We returned to Massachusetts a few weeks ago. Things here are still tightly watched…and with good reason. Stay safe!

  35. Hi Susan,
    The Eseeolal Lodge in Linville is beautiful. The grounds are so lush and green, love the flowers.
    It’s so good you are being overly cautious, we are doing the same. It’s truly shocking to see how
    careless some people are. I wear a mask in public, not just for me, but also for YOU. Our Governor
    Ducey opened up Arizona way too soon, now we are seeing the sad outcome. The numbers are very
    Take care of yourselves, the COVID-19 wants to infect 50 to 60 percent of our population. We know
    how serious this is, especially listening to our family members that are both doctors. They are in tune
    and in the thick of it.
    Ending on a UP note, sending a happy day!

  36. Thank you so much for your inspiring posts. I enjoy every one of them. I am glad to hear that you are keeping safe. We need to continue practicing the techniques that have been successful in protecting us thus far.

  37. Has anyone else gotten the impression from everything that is being said that if we followed the orders to stay at home, and now we follow the rules to slowly start opening back up again, we will reduce the number of cases of Covid-19? That was my impression, until I heard an expert on a radio talk show.

    Remember in the beginning that we were told that we were trying to “Slow the Spread” and “Flatten the Curve”. Our efforts have achieved that, and we have been successful. The surprise – for me – was the explanation of what “flattening the curve” actually means. It doesn’t mean that we eliminate new cases. According to this expert, those who are going to get sick will still get sick. Flattening the curve simply means you spread out the period of time during which people get sick.

    Flattening the curve made a lot of sense in the beginning, because this is a new disease. No reliable test was available. We were in danger of running out of ventilators. We didn’t have enough PPE to protect health care workers, and we didn’t have any protocols to treat the disease. While we still have a lot to learn about this disease, we are now in a much better situation to deal with it.

    Opening things back up again is necessary, but it doesn’t mean that we are now safe from getting the disease. We will not be safe from getting the disease until an effective vaccine is developed, and we all receive it.

    In the meantime, I think this is a time that calls for personal responsibility. It would be wise for EVERYONE to wear a protective mask, stay a minimum of 6′ away from people who are not in your current household, and wash your hands A LOT. A mask should cover your mouth AND NOSE. Disposable masks should be worn in public no more than 3-4 hours (per my primary care physician) before being disposed of, and it would be prudent to wash cloth masks after each wearing.

    People over 60 years old, who have pre-existing health conditions, or who are significantly over-weight (all of my primary care physician’s patients who have been hospitalized with Covid-19 have been significantly over-weight.) should take added precautions to prevent exposure. Have your groceries delivered, or use a service like the one offered by Walmart, that allows you to choose you items online and then do a contactless pickup at the store. Shop at stores that don’t cater to a high volume of foot traffic. Order things you need online. When packages arrive, quarantine them for several days before opening them. Do this with you mail as well.

    The decisions made by our officials won’t prevent you from getting sick. I believe that personal responsibility is each individual’s best defense against getting sick. Be well, and stay safe!

  38. Susan,
    From this picture your tank top looks good. Gives your waistline definition. Since you’re the wearing it & don’t like it, that’s ok with me.

  39. Hi Susan! I still love your blog, as always! I agree with you about the crowds being unsafe, with no masks and no “social distancing,” but there are some places here in the High Country mountains of NC that you are safe. You are SAFE here in Alta Vista Gallery. I ask customers to wear a mask. We only open BY APPT. for now, so we can do social distancing. If you and Mickey want to take the lovely drive from JCY to Valle Crucis, please let me know what day and time. I always enjoy visiting with you two! Thank you for speaking out about everyone staying SAFE.

  40. Thanks for showing us your beautiful countryside. Your area is definitely on my retirement travel list. But we must abide by the current regulations regarding the pandemic. EVERYONE is tired of the lockdown but the virus is not tired of infecting our families, friends and neighbors. Two dear friends were confirmed with the virus this week. They were following the rules. We must remember this!

  41. I’ve recently started following your blog which I am enjoying very much. I have a similar story to yours in that as I’ve gotten older I’ve lost my way with fashion and sense of style, particularly as I’ve gained weight over the last five years or so. I’m looking forward to addressing these issues now with a little help from your blog. Many thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom !

  42. We live in Michigan and it has been bad Here We are still having a slow constant grow of cases in southwest michigan. But over all it is going down. Blessed be. But we too are worried over the growing crowds and lack of masking. I very much enjoy your articles. You and Mr. Mickey keep safe. Respectfully yours.

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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.