Better On The Hanger – Part II

In theory, the utility jacket was a great idea. These jackets are very appropriate and functional when worn with jeans and other casual looks. I knew that the typical Army green color would not be right for me, so I searched for a more flattering color. When I saw this wine-colored one at White House|Black Market, I was sure I had found the casual jacket that would work for me.

The photo above from Pinterest (no credits included) was one of many that inspired me to search for a utility jacket.

Let’s discuss why this style and color of the jacket is not for me. If I had stopped to count all the horizontal lines the style features create, I would not have purchased this jacket.
1. The collar extends out in an almost straight horizontal line.
2. Epaulets take up space on the shoulders’ tops, which visually shortens the neck and makes my face look more round.
3. Pockets at the chest and hip level create even more horizontal lines.
4. The gathered waistband with a tie creates another horizontal line, and there is yet another tie with gathers at the hemline.
5. Even the cuffs have horizontal line details.
6. The muddy color of burgundy is not flattering on my complexion.

A better option for me is this straight, simple knit jacket in pale gray. It was from Cali & York a few years ago. The soft, supple fabric and the clean vertical lines and uncluttered design are much more flattering and comfortable.

I am five feet six inches tall, and I have an inverted triangle shape, which means the shoulders are the widest part of the body. I hope that the information provided here on this blog helps you find your fashion sweet spot to help you look your best every day.

  1. Visuals like yesterday’s and those today do show the point. The burgundy jacket color and lines were seen as distracted and busy as well. Thanks for illustrations that make me analyze a few pieces I have purchased and I don’t wear.

  2. I’m learning a lot from these posts, thank you for doing this! While I am quick to consider the color of a garment, I would not have stood in a mirror considering the horizontal lines. I know that I will in the future after reading this. When you show the side by side photos, it’s easy to see why you’d pick the gray jacket over the burgundy. Same as it was so obvious with the top you featured on Monday. Maybe the trick would be to take the two different styles into a dressing room and really stand back and consider. This will be my practice in the future!

  3. Good morning Susan!
    So sorry Sweet Susan, but I have to disagree with you on this one. I think your Burgundy jacket looks just as good as the gray.
    I like the contrast of the burgundy, grays and your beautiful skin color. Your lipstick brings the outfit all together and I think you look really “cute” and dare I say,…younger!
    I love the more tonal gray outfit as well and is a nice change and you look lovely. Let’s face it, you can wear almost anything and look gorgeous! I know everyone has to be comfortable and happy with whatever they decide is right for them but again I think you look great in both!
    Have a blessed day 🙂

    1. Style and “fashion” are subjective. I prefer the burgundy jacket : it is shorter and does not cut the body in half like the white jacket.The collars of both are similar in width. The white jacket also makes the top half look larger. And lastly the shoes would be better if they were as dark as the denims to avoid another horizontal line and shorter legs.

  4. Such a fun and informative series! It’s helping refine our knowledge about what really gives that long line that we femmes d’un certain age need to look out best.

  5. Good morning Susan! Sometimes I don’t like what I’m wearing, but can’t put my finger on why… thanks for helping my eye be more in tune! The burgundy jacket I doubt would flatter anyone with all the “horizontals”, and the color looks liked it’s a washed out version of a berry or wine color. I do like the back of the jacket though, and I’d probably end up wearing it with a dark solid top underneath (navy or black), and try to help it out with a long chain necklace . The gray jacket is very nice, but I love seeing you in colors… a soft aqua with the gray tee would really flatter your coloring

  6. I see what you are saying about the horizontal lines of the burgundy, but to be honest, I like it better than the gray. It just seems to go with jeans better. The gray is nice but because it looks softer, it also looks dressier. I think it depends on what level of casual you are trying to achieve.

    1. The burgundy jacket is more flattering. There is no absolute in fashion and this just proves the point that style is subjective.

  7. At first I thought you were being too hard on yourself, but then I saw the side by side photo, which clearly brings your point home.

  8. Once again your sharp, analytical, and experienced eye is right. I like the burgundy color more than the gray, but the gray’s style/ design works for your body.
    One is good but the other is “goodest”.
    I can’t wait to see another lesson of Better On The Hanger. It’s taught by a master teacher.

  9. I actually think the wine color is very flattering on you and makes your face glow. In my opinion, that color in the style of the grey jacket would have been a perfect combination.

  10. Always enjoy your posts and the detail you provide about so many fashion components that I have never considered. Thank you for all you do.

  11. Hello Susan, I actually prefer the burgundy jacket. It appears a little small or perhaps that is because it is not closed or does not closed in the front. I agree with an earlier statement in which someone remarked you look longer in the burgundy jacket. I am enjoying this series. It is causing me to consider other factors besides color when making clothing selections. Thank you, Barbars

  12. Until I saw the side by side photos, I thought the burgundy jacket looked fine. I can now really see the difference and will certainly remember this tip when purchasing jackets. Thank you!

  13. Having spent years as a pathologist looking through a microscope, where I could not afford to miss any thing, I would say I have a trained eye for detail. The “horizontal lines” in the burgundy jacket did not strike me as a negative, because of the solid color, and I think the color is lovely on you.

  14. What a great post! When I first saw the burgundy jacket on you, I thought that it was somewhat different than your usual style. I’m so glad when you revisit a style that does not work for you and show what you use in its place.

  15. Glad to see you address this topic, as most all fashion bloggers recommend the utility jacket (green) as a must have essential. You explain perfectly why these “essential wardrobes” don’t work for every body type and coloring! Thanks for this series…it’s enlightening!

  16. I will add, that I did think the burgundy jacket looks cute on you, though…I do understand why the green one would not be as good for your hair and complexion. 🙂 As always, you look great! I think your makeup blended nicely with the burgundy jacket, too.

  17. I used to like utility jackets when I was in my 20s. I wore the green version. My hair color has changed. I’ve gained weight. This look doesn’t work for me now. Simple lines are best for me.

  18. Susan you look great in both. I abolutely hate gathered waist on anything. And all the pocket and shoulder details are not necessary. Side by side though I think the grey is a bit too long and the color of the wine is so pretty on you. Toss up.

  19. Thanks for all your great tips! I’m learning slowly. However I’m wondering if you have a guide or tips for those whose body type is slightly different? I’m 5’6”, small shoulders and wider hips and short waisted.

  20. When you showed the side by side you can really see the difference. So much going on with the burgundy. Great tips. Question – in the pic from pinterest, the woman is holding her bag and the shoulder strap is just hanging. Is that how to wear the bags now when just using the handles, leaving the shoulder strap on? I just purchased a new bag and was going to remove the shoulder strap and just use the handles.

      1. Susan, doesn’t a removable shoulder strap invite purse-snatching? When I shop for a shoulder bag or cross-body bag, I always look for one with the ends of the strap stitched on or otherwise firmly connected. Or am I just being paranoid?
        About today’s “lesson” — it’s a perfect example of the well-thought-out analyses you so often give us. They are priceless.

  21. You have just shown us another level of considerations for our clothing selections. i would not have thought about all the horizontals on the jacket, but there are many! I actually think it was not a bad choice, because you have a good figure, but can see the better choice for you clearly. Thank you for another lesson!

  22. I agree with you that utility jackets are not very flattering. I am mostly annoyed that EVERY SINGLE ONE has a drawstring waist. I am long waisted and these never look good on me. Even if you don’t use the string, the line is always there. Same with the short cropped jackets, I can’t wear them. I am finding it very difficult to locate a stylish Spring jacket to wear casual/dress-up with jeans.
    Any more suggestions would be great.

  23. wow! Your analysis is amazing… now I know what to look for and those pictures really prove your points.

  24. I did the same thing last year, but purchased the olive green color, which was ok with my coloring. It looked so good on everyone else, but it made me look HUGE! I gave it to my 14 year old granddaughter. She was thrilled! I have not found a replacement yet, though (after a whole year!) any suggestions? I am 5’2″, large bust and about a size 10.

  25. I love my olive green utility jacket and I love yours, too! I get your reasoning but I think you wear it well – you just need to push up the sleeves.

  26. Well, now I understand my mistakes! I just could never tell why I loved some things immediately and never warmed to others. All your blogs are fantastic, but this one is SO helpful!! Thanks, once again, Susan, for your generous coaching.

  27. Obviously, how one feels in an outfit is really all that matters but, for the record, my husband and I both prefer you in the burgundy jacket. He found it “sporty” and youthful and I like the color on you and feel the length is better.

  28. Susan, I have followed you for many years, and these latest posts about what does NOT work and why have been the most useful. To be able to see side by side really helps. I have same body type as you and must wear flats so the effect is even more damaging. Thanks, I like instructional posts the best!

  29. I knew you were not going to give this a good review for you. I like the other one. I am learning to stay with styles
    I know look best on my shape. Thanks for the post.

  30. i really enjoy reading the analysis you share but I don’t see the same things you mentioned. I hate that all I seem to be doing it disagreeing! I think the gray jacket looks old and dowdy- very “Alfred Dunner”. The burgundy looks youthful and sporty. I don’t see the roundness in your face or any of the other widening of your figure. I would have preferred a Navy or dark grey color. I think the more colorful the items the more “off” they seem- they utility jackets the young wear are Olive, Navy or Grey They sell them in colors to appeal to older customers who like a lot of color – pastels and colors that stand out. Sorry — I’m an older woman and can’t stand the colors they market to appeal to my demographic. Notice it’s a market to” the older ladies” lady jacket because not only the color but the collar IS small like that… utility marketed to youth has the large flapping collar or the mock stand-up Neru type.

  31. I’m with several others on this one in disagreement. I prefer the burgundy one on you although both would be great in your closet or mine. Sorry, long reply but several issues at play here.
    One. You had your colors redone. Your “new” analysis was Winter, not Summer. But these two color palettes can be almost interchangeable depending on the amount of one’s personal contrast and make-up worn. Personal color analysts can make mistakes and are not immune from telling us what they might think we really want to hear. Your coloring seems almost identical to mine – pale blue-undertoned skin, blue or light eyes, silver-gray hair, low contrast. I’m a Summer, always have been, and it’s even more evident now with gray hair and fading complexion. Respectfully, I have never thought that black was great for you. Supposedly a more “sophisticated” neutral (thanks a heap, Coco Chanel!), black is clearly a Winter neutral. It’s sure easier to work with and find. I think you’ve said you’re leaning now towards softer tones, less makeup. The pale grey is fine for a neutral, but the burgundy IMO looks better near your face – casts lovely rose tones. I have tops and jackets in both these colors and definitely need less lip and cheek color with burgundy.
    Two. It’s amazing how past experiences can have a profound effect on one’s attitude to certain music, fragrances, foods, colors. “I don’t want to hear that song, smell that cologne, eat sushi, wear those colors that I used to wear, see that person ever again.” Again, with respect – and compassion – I have seen you in muted cool colors that you’ve shown us in photos from your earlier life. Yes, you were overweight and ill in spirit and body, coming out of a very sad time in your life. It would be natural not to want to be reminded of that time. Perhaps you may never feel comfortable in softer muted Summer colors again. That’s okay. But it doesn’t mean you don’t look lovely in them – maybe even lovelier than in brighter clearer colors – in others’ eyes.
    Three. Differences in facial expression and body language, although subtle, can also affect our perceptions unless we are being very observant and analytical. In your side-by-side photos a slightly wider smile and perkier pose in the grey jacket make you look happier, “better”. Well, you prefer the gray one, no matter the reasons, and I think that’s the bottom line for anyone. Don’t obsess too much over your clothing but wear what makes you happy.
    Finally, Susan, you are an excellent wordsmith. Some readers may not realize when you use words with negative connotations – “muddy” to describe burgundy rather than “muted” or “grayed”; “uncluttered” to describe the gray jacket rather than “plainer” or “lacking in construction details” – how they can, perhaps unknowingly, influence opinion. The chest pockets on the utility jacket, untrimmed as they are without other color or zippers are IMO unobtrusive. Yes, the gray jacket is simpler. But it doesn’t look better or worse than the other. They’re just different styles, giving off different vibes. The burgundy, pulled in at the waist, is slimming on you. It says sporty, active, up for any adventure, suitable for city street or off-the-beaten-path. To my eye, the gray, although still casual, reads quieter, staider, more formal, and with a boxier shape, dare I say, more matronly? Chuckle. See what I mean about word choice?
    Bless you, Susan, for putting yourself out there for all of us to learn from and wishing you continued happiness and the adventures of your choice!

    1. I’ve never had my colors done, but I did get wrong guidance from an online class I took a few years ago. It took me about two days to realize the information was not an actual match for me, so I went back to what I know feels right.

    2. Nan, those are very astute observations that a writer can definitely influence people’s opinions by their choice of adjectives. I personally like the utility jacket better on Susan, but she could put on a tow sack and still look beautiful. It’s all a matter of personal choice and what makes you feel comfortable. I’m 5’3″, 130 pounds (short waist and longer legs) and I love the two utility jackets I have.

    3. Interesting comment, Nan, although I don’t necessarily agree with much. I do take issue with the mantra one hears all the time–“Wear what makes you happy”. Who in the world wears what makes them unhappy, that is, if they have a choice? Learning about proportion, lines, dressing for one’s own body shape and personality–all very important for looking good, even more so than color sometimes. I dare to posit that most people instinctively know what colors look good on them (due to positive feedback over time from others) but it takes a little more work sometimes to get the other elements right. I know we will never all agree (partly because neither of these looks is all that bad, per se) but Susan knows her own personal shape and colors better than anyone, and side-by-side pictures, though extremely helpful for examples, don’t tell the whole story. I like and agree with Susan’s analysis and think her look her will stand the test of time.

  32. I like both jackets on you! I do see that the Cali and York jacket does give you a slimmer, less fussy silhouette. However, I believe that the military jacket is a bit dressier. And, frankly, you do carry the look as well as anyone would! I guess it all comes down to personal preference – I also prefer more classic lines.

    I do have a question: is Cali and York out of business? I was very interested in their website after seeing your jacket. However, the website appears dead. I would greatly appreciate it if you could tell me what you know.

  33. Susan, you are so inspiring as always! I don’t photograph myself in every outfit I own but I’ve gotten so much better at seeing what works on my frame thanks to you! I shed no tears as I say buh & bye to things that don’t flatter me any longer or never did. How freeing to just admit it was better on the hanger than it is on me- and maybe be on to let another lady benefit from my mistake. Hugs for all you do to help us live our loveliest lives!

  34. Hi Susan,
    I received the navy blue long sleeveless dress – perfect to wear on the Viking River Cruise I’m going on next week to Amsterdam! I love the light gray tie up sneakers you have on in your email today – where did you get them? They look comfy!

  35. Hi, Susan

    I also have an inverted triangle shape, and I love my olive utility jacket from Nordstrom! In fact, I collected lots of ideas for how to use the jacket to create outfit combinations and am posting my article on the Utility Jacket tomorrow(4/29/18) on my blog. I also have a burgundy utility jacket which I use as a light cover-up in the fall and winter. I think it depends on your style. You tend to like classic styling much more than I do; I use classics as a base, but I love bohemian, rocker chic, and experimenting with lots of other styles. I agree with what Judith Presgrove said above, that the burgundy utility jacket makes you look younger, while I would say the gray jacket makes you look more conservative. That is fine, because my guess is that’s your comfort zone; what makes you happy. We should all wear what makes us happy. That’s the bottom line.


  36. Hi Susan,
    Another lesson well done I’m am so enjoying this new show and explain series.
    Thank you and keep them coming

  37. Oh Susan, You look super cute in the first image when you are doing the “Athleisure” look and you look young and contemporary. The key is skinny jeans or leggings with sneakers.. That’s what this looks was designed for. If you dress it up too much with a silk scarf, then it doesn’t work so well. (second photo). Also the straight leg jeans are not compatible because they add bulk to your legs. (bulky top and bulky bottom).

    That being said, I guess it depends on whether you want a super casual look or a dressy one. You rock the dressy look all the time. And I have learned a ton from you about how to dress appropriately for certain occasions.

  38. I love that you share why something is wrong for your body type AND then show us the RIGHT choice. I am shorter than you, but with similar body types these posts are invaluable. Thanks. I am learning…

  39. I have to disagree with you on this one. Although I don’t love the color of the burgundy jacket the style is more youthful and fun with jeans. I also think you look thinner in this jacket. I find the gray jacket “old” looking.

  40. This was an excellent lesson
    And astute observations.
    You are so right. And really look
    Great in the gray sweater.

  41. Susan, I will have to disagree with you this time. I think you look better and younger in the burgundy. Sometimes, as we get older, we try to play it safe too much. The white one is nice but looks a little old ladyish. The burgundy will be good with a lot of colors, the details in the back makes your waist look tiny and overall more tailored. You look darling in anything but the burgundy brightens you up and makes you look younger.

  42. I have similar issues as you state but not a full triangle, but short wasted, large busted and shorter legs….your concepts are well posed and help me to think more clearly….I seem to pick what i think should be good, but really it does nothing for me…i appreciated the earlier posts about the large flowing tops…they do nothing for me. thank you

  43. Your “Better On the Hanger” articles are very helpful. I hope I can remember to pay attention to all of the details when I actually look for clothing again.
    You are my favorite. I am never disappointed in your posts and I think your clothing choices are always elegant.

  44. I love your blog.
    I have to admit I bought an Army green utility jacket more than 10 years ago. It was languishing in my closet until I decided to purchase patches from the countries I have visited and had a tailor sew them on. It is just a fun thing to wear.
    May not look ‘sleek’ but it is a conversation piece.
    gypsy jane

  45. I love this kind of post – certainly helps me notice things I never would have thought of before. Do’s and dont’s with pictures – love it!

  46. Wow, interesting. I thought the maroon jacket looked okay on you. I didn’t see what you were talking about until you put it next to the pale grey one. I have tried a couple of these utility jackets and don’t think they look that good on me either.

  47. The gray jacket does look better for all the reasons you point out. There’s still one more thing which makes it the better of the two…’s length. I have begun looking critically at where a top hits my own legs. I like the longer length for me. I’m only 5′ 5 1/2″. I really enjoy your fashion when it is something I can buy now….and not something from a few years
    ago. Would some of these stores allow you to try on clothes and discuss the pros and cons without your having to buy

  48. I think all of these comments prove the point that fashion and style is so subjective. As are our moods and feelings when we wear and even buy items.
    I’ve seen you many, many times and you almost always look so put together and stylish. Yet I don’t feel that way with the knit jacket. But on further inspection, I’m sure that it’s more because of the other components with it. I wouldn’t consider this comparing apples to apples. If you had on your black skinnier pants, along with heels,—yes, then I think the knit jacket would be a better choice.
    But all of those horizontal points about the utility jacket don’t bother me or detract from your beauty at all. In my personal and humble opinion, I think a print shirt could pull it all together (however, I know you don’t love print shirts.)
    Truthfully if you were my mom or stepmom, I would tell you that the utility jacket is fabulous on you—-and I hope you try it with other combinations. But like all of us, you have to wear what you’re comfortable in!

  49. Like many others here, I think the burgundy jacket looks great on you, especially in the first photo. I do appreciate this series though!

  50. Actually I disagree. The wine color looks good on you. It not only makes you look younger but it gives you a bit of a waist and it’s the right length.
    Where as the gray one washes you out and the length is wrong for you. It makes you look boxy.
    With your beautiful silver hair you need color.
    Anyway, you look great in the wine.

  51. On my computer, the burgundy color looks good on you, reflecting a healthy pink onto your face, where the white jacket does not. The simpler lines of the white jacket, do of course, look less bulky, but that burgundy jacket wasn’t bad on you at all. Use it for walks in the woods, etc. when you need pockets for carrying water, snacks, camera.

  52. The two jackets are night and day. Love the detailed description you gave about why it was not for you. Something we all should look for. I take snapshots of myself with the garment on before I make a purchase. That helps me tremendously.

  53. Thanks for the tips. I too am 5’7” with an inverted shape. The gray jacket is more flattering on you but I think the burgundy military style is also nice on you. You’re a true beauty and I admire your classic style.

  54. I’ve never replied to your posts but have to On this one. Susan, we’re not old even at 67, like me on Sunday, anymore. We can wear the new trends some of the time if we do it right. The green jacket is not right for anyone below 25. But the burgundy jacket, in my lowly opinion, was perfect on you. You looked like you were in style and loving it. I think you were testing us to see if we’ve learned anything. The side by side says it all. The light jacket says on my way to the grocery store. The dark jacket says on my way to a day of sightseeing at Biltmore House and lunch with Mr. Mickey. I can picture it now. Have a great day in this outfit. I want it even though I’m 5,2 and 105 pounds.

  55. You have a beautiful glow in the pale grey jacket and the style of the grey jacket looks wonderful on you. You are so classy you could wear most anything, but I see your point about how the grey color and style enhance you better.

  56. Thank you for pointing out we really need to look at the details of a garment before purchasing. Especially because we do so much online purchasing now. I also need bright true colors because they look so much better with my coloring.

  57. Dear Susan, I am 67 and have a 23 year old son. Both he and his fiancé are very aware of fashion and are always well turned out. I strive to look a bit younger so I am not mistaken for his grandmother! I have found he knows instantly what looks fresh, youthful yet age appropriate….or simply too old . Yes, he will tell me! I have learned to not dispense with everything that is young to cover up every possible problem area that my critical eye sees. I think the burgundy jacket is far superior to the gray….age appropriate, lively, eye catching and fresh. I am going to show my son both pictures and see what he says….I am certain he will choose the burgundy!

  58. I like the burgundy jacket better. It just looks more fun and youthful. They grey one is just so-so, rather blah looking. If you just wanted to blend in with the woodwork (and sometimes that is the case), the grey one would work.

    Interesting about the horizontal lines though. I had never thought of that!

  59. I love this segment that you are doing. I had never thought to look at the horizontal lines and epaulets to see how they made my face look or shape of the collar etc.. Thanks for all of your advice

  60. Susan,
    Your style is so classic and your instructions so succinct. I just unsubscribed to another fashion blogger I’ve followed for a bit because, compared to yours, her style is just one hot mess. And yours is helping me define mine.

    Keep up the great work.

  61. I’m late to this party but have to admit I also prefer the burgundy jacket on you, but I suspect that’s because I find the jeans, top & shoes — which work with it — feel too casual a look for the grey. I don’t actually think of the burgundy as a true utility jacket, either, as it’s fitted, the collar’s small & tidy, the silhouette slim. I think it looks great on you! But I’m probably biased. I love my 2 utility jackets (one in olive, one a lighter khaki), but they’re the real deal: loose-fit, big collars & pocket flaps, oversized zippers, big snaps & buckles. I wear mine with slim fitting tapered jeans, a plain v-neck white tee, very plain boots with heels & I limit my jewelry severely (for me) because of how “busy” the jacket is, cutting back to a couple of bracelets & rings, nothing at the neck & simple studs or small hoop earrings (granted, that still runs to 5 earrings, but they’re a subdued 5). The jackets look good on me in spite of the fact I’m only 5’4″ & they’re loose fitting, but they’re proportioned well & the higher heels on the boots make me look both taller & leggier (neither of which is true in reality, alas!). This is a great series, btw — it appeals to my analytical brain!

  62. I am really enjoying these posts. It’s so much easier to see when you look at pictures. I liked the burgundy coat and then I would read your descriptions of all the lines and go back up to the picture and think, agree, agree, agree…. then I see your other jacket and completely understand why the other jacket looks better! Thank you so much for this series!

  63. Thank you for going into so much detail with these lessons. I have always thought your style to be magical but I could never pinpoint what made the magic work. You are very generous to share your knowledge like this. Best to you!

  64. I wear lightweight jackets a lot, my wardrobe could have room for both. The burgundy one looks more waterproof than the gray, and I like the big pockets. When you’re a dog walker they come in handy. I’m more pear-shaped and horizontals across the chest are OK for me.

    One thing I don’t like about either jacket is the zip-only closure. I prefer a jacket with a zipper, a fly and snaps. That way I can zip it up when it’s at the cold end of the jacket range, or just snap it when it’s warmer and I want more airflow. It is a more casual look, but I have a mostly outdoor commute and the coat has got to work to earn a spot in my closet.

  65. Susan,

    I’m happy to realize I’m not the only one having difficulty with the utility jacket might it be green or else. The only colour which could possibly make me change my mind would either be a bright red or orange or maybe a soft pink. Otherwise, no thank you. Also, I prefer your pale gray vest as the lines are vertical. Great idea to show us both pictures: we immediately see which is best for you and which is a “no no”! Thanks.

  66. From your pointers on utility jackets, these would also apply to denim jackets as they have lots of horizontal lines,flaps and buttons. So is that another style for the “to go” pile?
    Softer less rigid jacket and cardigan style tops are great when you can find them.

    1. I have given away and sold almost all of my denim jackets. I always pair them with long, lean, simple tanks and wear them open on the rare occasions when I do wear them.

  67. I completely disagree. The wine utility jacket is much more flattering. Color bring color to your face, style is fitted, which is slenderizing on you, and style is youthful. You’re wrong on this one; The straight grey look is bag lady style.

  68. In addition to the things you’ve mentioned, it’s just not your style. You consistently present a very ladylike, classic, more traditional style. The utility jacket is kind of a rumpled, natural, grab & go look. Not your presentation.

  69. Of all the dozens of outfits I love that you do, I must disagree with this one self assesssment.
    The boxy full style of this jacket and the color are not flattering.
    The burgundy jacket looks lovely.

  70. I must say I like the sharper, burgundy jacket on you more – the grey is much more old ladyish. But you dress beautifully, and I think this is more about your personal style than any cut issues.

  71. When I first looked at the pictures I just knew that you were contrasting the light grey with the improved burgundy. I read your reasoning (that was the opposite) and of course it all boils down to whether or not we feel good in something. At least I felt I hadn’t lost all style when I read so many comments that agreed with me that you looked younger and prettier in the burgundy. I hope you kept it to mix things up!

  72. What a difference in the jackets. I am an inverted triangle also, so I understand your plight. I have learned so much about fashion choices for older women. The major thing I noticed was that the majority of your clothes are solid colors. Love the idea you can chose from your wardrobe blindfolded and you will look good. Keep coming with your fashion tips.

  73. You are lovely, lady!

    One thing I try to watch out for, besides the horizontal lines you mention, is the space between the jacket edges (or open shirt or sweater.) I mean that part of the shirt under it that shows: I ask myself what shape is that?

    As your photo shows the grey jacket makes vertical lines so that the shirt beneath makes a wider vertical line. But the burgundy jacket being narrower over the chest and progressively wider as it moves toward the hips makes a narrow to wide curve that is not as nice as the straight vertical lines.

    Being 5’4” I am very aware of what lengthens and what doesn’t: vertical lengthens the appearance, especially if the under-top is the same color as the pants.

    Having a bit of belly I am very aware of what seems to accent a belly: the smaller-top/wider-bottom curve will do just that. You don’t have a protruding belly, yet that burgundy jacket makes it seem so. Imagine what that same curve does to someone with a belly?

    Just thought I would point that out. I think the horizontal lines in the burgundy jacket are less a problem than the curved lines at the zipper!

  74. Thank you for this post! Now 59, but never been very fashion savvy. Horizontal lines beyond striped fabric never occurred to me to notice. I’m 5’1” and also inverted triangle. You probably spared me some bad purchases for the next 10 years, at least! You look great in everything I’ve seen, however.

  75. I actually thought the left photo was Before and the right photo was After…bc the burgundy jacket looks so much better. Seems to fit you better – the other jacket looks way too big.

    You are very beautiful no matter what you wear! Thanks for the tips!

  76. IMHO I prefer the burgundy jacket colour and style. The lighter jacket is boxy and the look is not as flattering. Both look good but the burgundy one looks so much better on you even with its’ many horizontal lines.

  77. I really like the burgundy one on you. The white one looks like an old lady jacket. The burgundy one does make you look younger!!! And you are slim enough to handle it well – the horizontal lines are fine!! Just my opinion!

  78. I just landed on your site after seeing My name is Susan, I’m also 5’6″ and have an inverted triangle body shape!! I think your posts will be very helpful for me as I navigate this stage of my life. I’m liking what I’m reading already and I’ve just started! Keep the great information coming….

  79. I actually like the burgundy jacket better on you! I had to read the article for your points, but beg to disagree. The color is better and the shape creates a better waistline. A suggested 1/2 tuck of the sweater would also reduce the boxy shaping which hits at your hip.

    You have such natural beauty and style…… just love your blogs!!!

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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.