Bravissima! is a group of women who made a yearly commitment to sponsor the Arts in our region. I am proud to be a charter member with many other delightful women who value the performing arts.

On Saturday, we gathered at the lovely home of one of our members. As some of us were chatting in the kitchen, I commented about how beautiful her back yard is. A patch of woods punctuates the rolling landscape before the Buffalo Mountain rises above it all. Just as I was mentioning, she must get to see abundant wildlife; two deer wandered out of the woods. The “performers” were right on cue!

Mr. Mickey seems to have just the right thing to wear for every event. (Note his Phantom of the Opera scarf.) We were delighted by performances by Matthew Potterton, Chair of the ETSU Music Department, Karen Smith, Director of the Opera Department, and various opera faculty and students. These incredibly talented young people gave us chills with their powerful voices.

I turned to some old favorites in my closet, as I always do for special evening events. The satin lapel jacket is by Ralph Lauren. The scoop neck top is by Covered Perfectly. I tucked the top into flocked pattern black pants, which were from Chico’s. The suede pumps are from Nordstrom. The evening clutch is from Cloth, a boutique located in the Grove Park Inn. Sheer black tights here.

  1. Your outfits are always classic and so flattering. The fit is perfect- both sleeve length and pant length. Nothing is ever baggy or ill fitting. How do you manage to look so polished. The shoes are always perfect for the pants length and proportions are perfect. Do you recommend having a tailor on hand? Also, I admire your selections in clothing that are reasonably priced and accessible from local stores like Chico’s, Express, Nordstrom, etc. So it is possible to be classic and well dressed for an average budget. But the fit and fashion combinations take a special eye. That is what takes time and talent to achieve. Keep the great advice coming. Thank you.

    1. I sometimes have to get lengths shortened, but I shop for pants in ankle lengths or straight legs so that I have a variety of styles to choose from. That’s my reason for having several pairs of black, white, or navy pants or jeans. They may look the same from a distance, but the shoes, jacket style, or length of my top will determine which pair of pants will be appropriate.

  2. Love how you combined the sleek jacket with the flocked pants! Was this an evening event? What would you wear to a dressy daytime event this Fall?

    1. This was an after five event. I would likely wear a silky top in red or purple with a similar jacket and silky black pants and pumps for a formal daytime function. The fabrics should be more elegant for dressy events.

  3. You really stand out in your style, and these photos of you standing next to others you certainly caught my eye for your clothing selection for this event.
    I have noticed you wear primarily shoes that are pointed. I noticed them in this post, as well as the recent tour of your closet that showed many shoes. Why is it you chose pointed shoes — what does this do for our fashion sense and how does it affect our over-all look? I have a hard time with the fit of pointed shoes as the narrowing of the toe box makes it harder to “squeeze” my toes into the toe box. If I go up a size, that does not always contribute to a good fit. Any tips on this and how to select pointed toes? There are so many rounded-toe shoes at the store, I am glad you can find so many selections. I am 5’4″, 117# — would wearing pointed shoes make my legs look longer and slim at the same time?
    Thank you for your excellent fashion advise. I always learn so much.

    1. Thank you for your questions. Our feet have different shapes. Greek is my foot shape so pointed or almond toe shoes fit me well. Pointed toes or almond-shaped toes are more dressy and visually elongate your leg by about two inches. Rounded toes are very casual and they make your foot look shorter and wider. Square toes are very trendy right now.

  4. If a woman is comfortable showing the shape of her legs and her top is long, I don’t think there is a cut off time. I’ve seen 80-year-old women wearing leggings and long tunic/dresses with cute flats while looking fab.

  5. I echo the comments of ‘classy & sophisticated’! This is a fabulous look for you Susan. I know you’ve said you don’t like to have black near your face but with this outfit – perhaps because of the necklines and fabrics – it really looks wonderful.

  6. You look stunning, Susan! And your date is certainly dapper. What a handsome couple you and Mr. Mickey make!!

  7. Getting the right fit is always a problem for me. I find my flaws just work against each other, By that I mean what would work to disguise one flaw just points up the other one. i do wish I had paid more attention to posture growing up. You have beautiful posture and carry yourself with such confidence.

  8. Hi Susan

    I always enjoy your stories about the events that
    You attend; and particularly your fashions . You dress absolutely lovely and

    However, I admit I was disappointed in the whole black outfit that you recently wore. Too harsh and aging. A bit of color; even if just a scarf
    Would have made all the difference .
    Rita Minsky

  9. Susan, you look so elegant! This lovely outfit is going to be my inspiration for putting together something for a fancy company dinner party at a very upscale country club next month. I absolutely freeze in the winter and refuse to don a dress and expose legs to the chill anymore. Did that two years ago and was miserable. Now I can quit putting off shopping for things for this event. Was clueless. Thank you!

  10. You look beautifully put together. I love a classic black outfit, so elegant. All the ladies are lovely and have a touch of class! Bravo to you all!

  11. As an opera/classical music/clothes fan, I really appreciate the elegant outfits in the incredible setting and the opportunity to share the experience with other music lovers. Life is a banquet and you are definitely having the opportunity to taste of the many flavors, visual and auditory. Lucky you!

  12. Regarding your closet tour and the rack with many black pants, how many different styles would there be ?
    Thanks for all of your hints, tips and showing us all good taste in general.
    I am following from Vancouver, B.C. Canada

  13. I love your blog. Period. You have been so helpful! On my new shopping… I think … What would Susan suggest❣️

  14. I purchased a trio of BeautyCounter volumizing mist, shampoo and conditioner. And am trying to purchase another trio and cannot find it n your wedsite.

  15. Susan, your outfit is elegant and it is so similar to what I often wear to symphony concerts, ballets and operas.
    I am so happy to read that you support the arts in your area. I do a lot of work as a volunteer for our symphony. Some of our fundraising events take hundreds of volunteer hours. What kinds of fundraisers does your group do to support local arts groups?

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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.