Bright Colorful Pattern!

Shown below is one of my favorite looks from last summer.

Summer 2016

Classic shapes in solid colors, lightweight fabric, and great fit are my summer wardrobe heroes. Wearing solid basics on their own is just the beginning. Adding a splash of color and pattern with accessories can make a rather blah look more memorable. Each time I carry this colorful clutch, people ask me where I got it.

It rained all morning on Wednesday, so as I was getting dressed for our lunch date, I eliminated white pants. They always get ruined from splashback while walking on wet sidewalks. The dark wash denim straight leg jeans I wore are from Chico’s. Here is a tip for you. If you want to get your pants hemmed just an inch or so, wear them and wash them once or twice first to allow for any shrinkage. Straight leg pants should end on the top of your foot without breaking. Palazzo pants and flares should cover your shoe and end about an inch from the floor. Ankle pants should stop just above the ankle bone. Cropped or capri pants should stop at the most narrow part of your leg. If you still wear shorts, your best length would be the same as your best skirt length, at the slimmest part of your leg just above or below the knee. Wearing a hemline that stops at the broadest part of your body directs attention there.

These jeans were purchased recently because I wished I had a bit longer jeans to wear with boots several times this past winter. I now only shop to fill a need. The shoes are by Gianni Binni via Dillard’s from last year.

Coral is a universal color because it looks great on most skin tones. Turquoise is another universal color that flatters most skin tones.

I sometimes get a comment about the fact that my shoes don’t match my bag. Shoes in the same tone as my pants make my legs look longer than they are. The matchy-matchy rule can make us look older, shorter, and heavier. For example, if you automatically match your belt to your dark shoes and wear light pants, you have created two additional color breaks on your body that will make you look shorter and broader. It would be much more flattering to wear shoes in the same tone as your pants to lengthen your leg visually. If you have a short waist, wear a belt in the same color and tone as your blouse; if you have a long waist wear a belt in the same color and tone as your pants. Adding a pop of color or pattern with your bag to complement (not necessarily match) the colors in your attire is a modern way to add interest to your look. If you wear a print blouse, you would be wise to go with a solid handbag that matches your pants. Following old rules may not serve you well or make you look your best.

The top is another of the ones I showed you in a recent video on my YouTube Channel. It is by Clara Sunwoo via Notice that I wore large silver and crystal hoops instead of a necklace. The V-neck’s straight lines and the tipped hemline of the top were enough vertical interest without adding more. I love to wear large earrings but never with a necklace.

  1. Thanks for the tips on pant length! Being tall I always struggle with that. And thanks for showing some summer tips without jackets, love them!

  2. Thank you for the tips on hemming pants. I copied that portion of your blog and will save it for future use. You give so many tips that have helped me dress more confidently. I look forward to each blog and have recently followed you on facebook also. I, like other comments from the last post, hope you never tire of your blog. It is so refreshing to read. Thank you for the time you take to inspire us to be our best.

  3. Pretty bag – it reminds me of the Mexican embroidered pieces that I purchased years ago while on vacation there. I agree with you about coral and turquoise being universal colors and they are both wonderful in the summer.

  4. Great ideas Susan. I love the bag, but didn’t see on your shop. Is it yet to be displayed/ offered or already sold out? Have a darlin’ weekend.

  5. Thank you for talking about not wearing white pants in the rain. I am in Seattle where we are having a wild April. Sunny one minute, a deluge of rain the next, all day every day. I am sticking to dark pants.

  6. Hi Susan, Love this top on you!! I also bought this top and wear it with light khaki pants; it looks great with jeans as well!

  7. This was an extremely helpful post! Thanks for all the great hints on pant lengths and jewelry styles with necklines.

  8. HI Susan, I love your blog. Where did you find the royal blue top in the first photo, I like the length in front.

  9. Another wonderful post filled with great information. Maybe you’ve already addressed this question. Although I hate anything sleeveless, I’d love to have a black v-neck, knee length tank dress for the summer. My question – what can I top it with to hide my 67 year old upper arms and not freeze in restaurants? Thanks for all you do for so many of us. Without you I think I’d combine the worst of two worlds and end up dressed as “frumpy lamb”!

    Phyllis from Phoenix

    1. I always keep a large flowing scarf with me. You can drape across your arm or tuck it inside your bag or even tie it around the handle of your bag. When you need an extra layer or fabric to drape over your shoulders, you will have it.

  10. Love this post…great tips!!! Also love the coral top. You always look so well dressed. I hope you never tire of the blog as I read it faithfully and love your looks and look forward to any advice you might have.

  11. I was just going to ask your opinion on where a capri length pant should end……THanks for beating me to the punch:)

    Mary Jo

  12. This is not relevant to today’s post but I wonder if you would answer this question — or expand upon a previous posting of yours: you posted about having tailor inset a v-shaped elastic waistband piece at the center back of pants to improve the fit/comfort of more tailored jeans and pants. Can you perhaps do this again with a picture also of the inside of the waistband. I.e., how are the seam edges finished to be flat and not bulky?

    Enjoy your posts very much. Thanks in advance for the info.

    1. You could use a serger to finish the edges and then add bias tape over the seams. I have not done this to any of my pants, so I have no examples to show you.

  13. Susan, I so enjoy all your outfits…I am past 60 and grew up when clothes were
    so special….and shoes did not hurt so much. I love beautiful shoes and my husband is always looking with me…he is a New York advertising hubby and enjoys looking like Mr. Mickey. Susan any suggestion to help make shoes more comfortable please let me know.

    I cannot wear the high heels and am always looking for attractive shoes.
    Love your website and am so inspired!!!!

    Thank you,
    Lorraine Lorenzo

    1. I wear the heels for a few hours at home when I first get them. I will only wear heels if we are going out to dinner since I know I won’t be walking much. Some designers are more comfortable to wear. I have had better luck with Vince Camuto, Sam Edelman and Nine West than some of the others.

  14. I absolutely love the unique creative purse. I like how you put your outfit together but still not overwhelming.

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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.