Buying Decisions

“How do you know which style to buy? What makes one garment a better choice than another similar one? Why do you choose one fabric over another?” Your comments and questions give me reason and inspiration to keep blogging to share what I’ve learned. Thank you so much for taking the time to correspond.

Please keep reading to learn why I purchased the cardigan in the featured photos. As I told you in the earlier post here, I have been looking for a better quality in this style to replace a similar one that I’ve had for a few years.

Since the cardigan I’m wearing is almost sold out, I searched for additional similar ones. Herehere – and here are more cardigans. Similar examples of the other items follow JeansShellBootiesBagScarf and I shared a video here to show you how I tied the scarf. Shopping links may allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

I’ll share how I make decisions when buying something new. Let’s discuss a casual top since that’s what we seem to be wearing often these days. The cashmere hoodie top below caught my eye, so I will share my thought process as I consider making a purchase.

It’s best to start on a positive note so let’s discuss the green arrows first. I include some points that make me take a serious look and consider buying. In addition, this exercise may help you adjust this process to suit your shape and needs the next time you go shopping.

If this hoodie is the right choice for you, you can find it here.

The Green Arrows

1. The white ties create a vertical line and break the expanse of the bust. My top half is two sizes larger than my bottom half, so I prefer to wear things on the top that visually minimize or at the least neutralize that fact. Cashmere is my first choice in knitwear since it does not add bulk like other knits or fleece. Merino wool is my second favorite option for timeless knitwear.

2. The subtle striped pattern reads* as gray from a distance. (*When you look at a print from eight feet away, the color you see first is dominant.) Cool tones of gray go well with my hair and most of the garments in my wardrobe.

3. The top length lands at mid-behind or a few inches below the tummy. This is the perfect length for short legs since none of the leg length is covered. When the top lands below the belly, it is more flattering if it flows rather than grabs. If you stop here, you might think this top is in my shopping cart, so keep reading to learn the deal breakers for me.

The Red Arrows

1. If you have a short neck or a fleshy face, a hoodie is not a wise choice since it can close up the neckline too much and make you look as if you are drowning.

2. Drop shoulders make me look frumpy since they “point” to the bust and make me look as if I am slumping.

3. Sleeves that are too long and puff at or below the elbow bring attention to the hips and tummy, making them look wider.

Instead of the hoodie, I purchased the cardigan found here. The cardigan is also cashmere, so it isn’t bulky but warm and soft. The v-neckline and button front flatters and diminishes my width. The mid-bottom length is the perfect choice for me. Note that the shoulder seams point to the face instead of the bust.

The cardigan is also a classic shape, color, and fabric that I will enjoy for years to come. The color goes with everything I own. Since cashmere is so flexible, I can envision myself wearing this cardigan with a simple dress and sandals even in the summer. Push up the sleeves and leave it unbuttoned for a lovely summer coverup when the air conditioning is a bit too much.

Thank you for all your comments this year. Please feel free to share anything positive and helpful to other readers. Tell us your favorite books, exercise videos, healthy recipes, affirmations, tips for dealing with anxiety, anything positive that you would like to share is always welcome here. Ask questions, make suggestions, or share something that made you smile this week. Thank you for being an essential part of this little circle of friends.

  1. Love this look.! My life now is more casual. So this will work for me too. Can you show what you wear when just staying home and working around the house?

  2. Hi Susan
    I just wanted to send you and Mr Mickey greetings from Ireland for a happy Christmas and new year. Your blogs are always inspiring and give such useful ideas to us mature ladies. I love how your style is not frumpy but classic in a modern way. This is very hard to find on the blogosphere and you definitely do it best
    Please take care in these difficult times and your idea for chats among us all will be very interesting next year
    Best wishes


  3. I’m always happy when I see a new post at SusanAfter60. It’s a positive little pick me up and I think as we age it is so important to have a few “girls” to shepherd us along as positive role models. I too have an ample top (but with high waist & long legs) so your tips on that whole topic (like avoiding bulky sweaters) have helped me immensely. I only wear Shapeez bras (and I only wear Sheecs with shoes)! I am sharing something that has changed my life lately for the better–what to do with unruly, long, curly eyebrows (yes I know I am lucky to still have them)– I was always reluctant to brush upwards and trim but boy has it made a difference! I use tinted gel to color the few white ones and enhance the fine ones and I fill in any gaps with pencil strokes and/or brow shadow. It is so worth taking time with your brows–along with lipstick, a little concealer, mascara & some cute earrings–that’s my everyday natural look. (Of course I moisturize & wear sunscreen when going out.) Happy holidays to Susan, Mr. Mickey, and this little circle of friends!

  4. Me gusta formar parte de este pequeño círculo de amigos. Eres una inspiración y una bocanada de aire fresco en estos tiempos convulsos que vivimos. Te sigo desde hace años (eres la única blogger a la que sigo) y he de decir que espero con ilusión cada una de tus publicaciones. Gracias por tu visión positiva de la vida y por contribuir a hacerla un poco más fácil

  5. Hi Susan,

    I always look forward to reading your blog and especially the ones like today that show why certain things don’t work for our body types. I recently found an online store that sells good quality cashmere for bargain prices and wanted to share it with you. I have ordered 3 sweaters so far and have been very happy with them. I am not associated with them in any way, just wanted to share with you and your readers. Merry Christmas!

  6. I too love Quince and have bought a lot of their cashmere. Very happy with the quality and the service the company provides.

  7. My big win of the year has been pretty much curing my eight-year insomnia. There, I’ve said it – up until now I’ve been so astounded, I’ve not dared even to whisper it, just in case it’s yet another flash in the pan. But no, I’ve been sleeping so much better for more than three months now. Over that eight years, I tried every single thing I found in books, magazines, online, wherever – relaxation, meditation, mindfulness, body scanning (solo and guided), deep breathing, yoga poses, hypnosis, white noise, a carbohydrate snack just before bed, hot milk +/- inulin, cutting out caffeine, cutting out alcohol, smaller/earlier suppers, cognitive behavioural therapy with trained online support including sleep restriction (gruelling and sadly I fall into the 20 per cent of folks for whom it’s ineffective), alpha wave stimulation, CBD oil (yuk), and of course “bedroom hygiene”. The only thing that worked consistently was sleeping pills and I wasn’t prepared to go down that road.
    My salvation lay in a book called “Teach Yourself to Sleep – an Ex-insomniac’s Guide” by Kate Mikhail. It contains a whole panoply of small things to do at every stage of the day (and night) to improve the quality of your sleep. It’s the cumulative effect – one percent here, two percent there – that seems to have done the trick. I’ve had more 5- and 6-hour solid sleeps in the last three months than in the whole of the previous eight years, nothing short of miraculous. I still often wake up in the small hours, but the difference is that I now can get back to sleep readily in 15 minutes or so, rather than lying awake for 1-2 hours unable to stop my whirling thoughts. If you have trouble sleeping, put this book on your Christmas list – I wholeheartedly recommend it. Teach Yourself to Sleep (sorry I can’t do a hyperlink!)

  8. Hello Susan,
    I have been wanting to try a shapeez long line bra that you have mentioned so many times. I finally decided to just do it! It arrived yesterday…I think I am going to love it. It is very comfortable and does make a huge difference in smoothing my upper body. Thank you for all your informative blogs.
    Merry Christmas

  9. Good morning Susan,
    I am a long-time follower, since the Fifty Not Frumpy days :)) and I suppose I will be a forever follower!
    Well, this was helpful! I’ve never considered these things before Susan. As I followed the green and red arrow comments, I immediately saw what you were saying, and the hoodie above would not work for me even though I think it is quite cute! Would you please share more posts like this? You’re great 🙂
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. Susan, I read your blog every day and have learned a great deal. My question is this: What do you hang on hangers, and what type. What do you put in drawers, how do you store shoes, etc., and why.

    Thanks for all you do.
    Fran from Florida

  11. Good morning! Thank you for your tips. I’m working on coming up with my own for my body shape. I still try on things that I ought to know won’t work for me. I need to quit wasting my time!
    I’m with Marsha and Val, having ordered cashmere from Quince several times. The price can’t be beat and the quality is good. I must say I have some cashmere from the sixties and I don’t think that quality exists any more. I also ordered several silk items from quince and am enjoying them too.
    Have a lovely week and keep healthy!

  12. Thank you for this post. Like Teresa, I would enjoy more posts like this. You are a very good teacher! I also appreciate very much that you don’t do sponsored posts. I have stopped following other bloggers because I feel like they are just pushing the fashions of whoever is paying them that week. It is wonderful to know that you are giving us your real opinion based on experience and not just being a commercial. You are my favorite blogger.

  13. Thank you so much Susan for the last few posts that are so uplifting and a wonderful way to ease us out of another year with so many more pandemic difficulties….which seems to affect everyone, no matter how positive one is! I grew up in an environment where having extra clothes other than the bare minimum and dressing in anything less austere was frowned upon. Everything had to be ‘good and serviceable’…but being a fashion lover since age 4 made that a bit hard for me. Luckily my Mom loved her fashion too so there was some leeway with her support but still I’ve realized that even to this day I hesitate to look my very best just from long standing habit that this isn’t a worthy goalunless it’s a really special event. I’m with the others here who have voiced appreciation for this blog being so authentic and real and filled with genuine information. For me you have been a true role model that even simple clothing can and should be chosen with great care and life will be so much getter just for the self respect and satisfaction this generates. I think this os a real need for any lady who has survived at least 50 years, not to mention 60 plus! Many thanks and warmest Christmas blessings to both you and Mr. Mickey!!

  14. This was an excellent post in determining what is a good purchase for an individual. I hope you will continue to write posts of this type with different articles of clothing. It helps to avoid impulse purchases and focus on what is best for you. Thank you!

  15. I am a forever reader of your blog although rarely comment as others often say things better than I could. However, just wanted to add my pennyworth to say a big thank you for all you do and the advice and help you give on fashion & beauty. Although my body shape and colouring is different to yours I still find your blog full of advice that I can adapt for me. I also enjoy your travel blogs. Your recent articles have been particularly helpful. Wishing you and Mr Mickey a Merry Xmas and a healthy and happy 2022.

  16. Love this post! I hesitate to buy cashmere or wool since I hate to “lay flat to dry”, or otherwise fuss with care. Maybe a column on how you care for your garments and/or make it easy for yourself? If such a thing is possible! Hanging to dry is about as fussy as I want to get, as well as I don’t have the room to lay things flat to dry.

  17. Thank you, Susan, for continuing to teach and inspire. I am passing along your advice to my daughter and I find that I really think about all that I’ve learned from you when shopping.

  18. Susan- I am so grateful for your willingness to share and point me and others toward wise wardrobe choices. Have a beautiful holiday!

  19. Thank you so much for this type of post, and YES to more of these showing why you didn’t buy a certain item! I’ve finally noticed that I’m often unhappy later with certain types of purchases that involved drop shoulder, and even certain dolman or raglan sleeves. I would put them on, then decide they made me look frumpy. Now I can see the reasons more clearly because of your blog, even though my body type is somewhat different. Hopefully my “mistake” purchases will decrease. Thank you!

  20. This was very helpful, Susan! I look forward to each and every one of your posts! Thanks for all of your wonderful tips! They are much appreciated. 🙂

  21. Thank you for another excellent post! This recipe for Creamy Wild Rice Chicken Soup with Roasted Mushrooms may appeal to you or your followers. It’s from
    I know I mentioned this book in a previous post, but I thought I would include it once again. It is getting closer to the release date of February 15, 2022. The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki. There’s always a book on my nightstand and I’m hoping this will be an enjoyable read from one of my favorite authors.
    Wishing you, Mr. M. and your family a holiday season filled with peace, love and joy, for good health and best wishes in 2022. And let’s clink our glasses for a toast to see where you take us in the new year!

  22. Always enjoy your blog. You’ve remained helpful in so many ways over the years. I love this gray sweater — and of course the suggestions for body types. I hope you and Mr. Mickey have a wonderful holiday season. Cheers to 2022!

  23. Susan, as always you are spot on with advice and guidance. I have recently discovered the brand Quince for cashmere at an affordable price. Check it out if you get the opportunity. I am currently ‘test driving’ their v-neck cashmere sweaters and giving them a good workout. We’ll see how they hold up-I was very happy with the quality and feel out of the box. Not affiliated with Quince, so this is solely my opinion!

  24. Susan, first of all, I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts, observations and inspirations with all of us! It makes me happy when I see that you have posted your blog! I really enjoyed this post. It’s the first time I have considered the reasons why something works or doesn’t work for someone. I hope you can do this again periodically. Wishing you and Mr. Mickey a great Christmas and New Year season

  25. Hello Susan, I have enjoyed your posting and have found many great ideas for a perfect wardrobe. I noticed that you’re much slimmer lately. Would you consider finding and recommending a wardrobe for a classic plus size women. It’s getting harder and harder to find larger size quality clothing in the department stores. I’m a 1x or size 16-18., so I’m stuck between misses and plus size . I’m also 5 foot 8, and many items tend to be short on me. Thank you for your help, if at all possible.
    Mary Kusecek .. Chicago

  26. I never took into account how the drop shoulder could make you look like your are slouching. Thank you. These are such great tips. Merry Christmas, Susan. You’ve been a blessing to me this year. It’s been a hard one.

  27. What a joy to read your posts! I take the time to read all of the comments and answers to questions. I especially love all of your examples of whys and why nots. When I saw the hoodie I knew exactly why you didn’t pick this item because I have noticed I can’t wear the tops or sweaters with the dropped shoulder sleeves either. My biggest mistake so far this season is buying so many cute sweaters when I live in FL and today the temperature was 85. Merry Christmas to you and yours

  28. Thanks for this post and for all you do. I’m petite but never understood why every time I bought a hoodie or dropped shoulders I was unsatisfied with my appearance. You nailed it and explained it perfectly. I too look best in simpler classic styles. Now I know why. I hope to make fewer mistakes in my future purchases!

  29. Susan – this post is so informative. Most people do not know or consider the WHY of how an item is not flattering to them, my frame is similar to yours larger on top and short legs. I know the basics that v necks look good etc but I don’t intuitively know what you mention her. Keep them coming. Thanks

  30. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I am 72 and still learn something from your blogs and have my choices reinforced by your comments. Please continue your blog. You ARE a fashion expert and dear Person!

  31. Love your blog! You reinforce my choices or teach me new ideas. Have a merry Christmas and happy new year! Hope to continue reading your comments. I’m 72 and you are my go to expert. Thank you!

  32. I never knew how neck, sleeve and length styles could be unflattering and why they are. I appreciate your sharing this knowledge. I have been practicing your advice as I update my wardrobe to suit my 60s year old lifestyle. You wear minimal makeup which is lovely on you. Any advice about makeup in general for us? I always believe in enhancing what I have by using natural colors. How can we choose the correct shades and hues?

    Thanks, Susan. Really love your blog and this community of women.

    1. Look at the colors in your eyes, skin, and inner lip areas to find the tones and colors that look best on you. I always aim to enhance what is already there rather than create a feature I don’t have. For example, false lashes, pushup bras, and contouring are some things that do not make me feel comfortable or confident.

  33. Such a useful guide – so often one reads the plus points of something to encourage us to purchase but to have the ‘not so good’ indicated as well is so helpful, I am learning so many tips and hints from you, thank you

  34. Merry Christmas Susan and Mr Mickey, hope you have a wonderful time. Thank you for the year of very useful information and tips. Much appreciated.

  35. Love your arrows
    Very informative and useful. I am 74 and your thought process for purchasing garments has been very helpful. Merry Christmas and Thanks.

  36. I just finished making your fruitcake recipe for my husband’s birthday! Last year was my first at making your fruitcake, and it is certainly an annual thing in December. Thanks for sharing last year!

  37. Thank you for this information! I often buy things that look great on the model but not so much on me and wonder why. Now I have an idea of what I should be looking for. Could you please talk about belts? I saw one of your outfits that had a sweater under a blazer and you wore a belt. It looked great but I wasn’t sure why you did that.

    1. I sometimes add a belt to emphasize my waistline when the other garments are boxy. The effect can be frumpy if all the garments are oversized, boxy, and longer than your torso. Leave the top layer open so that only the front belted section shows for the most flattering look.

  38. I appreciate you sharing this analysis. You pointed out details I never took into consideration. After 2 years at home, I will be back in the office 2 days a week and I need to rebuild my office wardrobe. My office dress code is “dress appropriately” with jeans being the most common pants worn. I’m looking to elevate my jeans with blouses and sweaters. Thanks again for sharing!

  39. Susan, your information is so timely and helpful! I love that you point out the reason something works, or doesn’t work, for your body type. My body shape is different from yours, but using your information, I’ve been able to improve my wardrobe.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience!
    Merry Christmas!

  40. Susan, I’m still struggling with paring down my clothes. I go through them twice a year but still have way too many clothes. How did you do this? Did you try on every piece? I need a spark to get me motivated to let go of clothes I haven’t worn but once a year, or clothes that are my favorite color but just don’t work anymore. Help! Love your blog and look got to them every week.

    1. Hi Jayne. A few years ago, I started donating or selling three items for each one I bought. That’s when I noticed I was always happy to let go of anything print because if I wore it three times, I was tired of it. When I saw pictures of myself wearing overly bright colors such as fuchsia or bright coral, I realized they were too vibrant for my coloring unless I wore a lot of makeup. Also, after I stopped wearing heels, I found that tunics with slim-fitting pants no longer looked so great on me. So those are the garments I let go of first. Then, as I started to purchase new items, I thought about what feels most authentic and versatile for my current lifestyle.

  41. My book group has been meeting on Zoom; we are a diverse group of women who have met for Thirty Years, welcoming new ladies who have moved to our community! Yesterday we reminisced about our being a support group for one another without really planning to be! Getting one another over the bumps in life just as what characters in books do!!! (Don’t miss The Huntress by Kate Quinn~strong women and a marvelous work of historical fiction!!)
    Merry Christmas!

  42. Who do you recommend Florida clothing styles . You look beautiful in Florida we don’t wear sweaters that often. It has been 80 degrees here in Dec.

    1. When I am fortunate enough to visit Florida, I wear cotton, linen, and twill fabrics. Lightweight dresses or shirts in the same materials, over cotton pants. Light colors and lightweight garments that skim the body are the best options I’ve found for hot and humid weather.

  43. Reading your blog brings a smile to my face. Keep up the good work and looking forward to learning more. I’m retired now and gave away or sold lots of my clothing. It’s easy to find comfortable clothing for around the house and grocery shopping. But lately have had to go to funerals and a wedding and felt underdressed. Another thing to work on!

  44. Thanks Susan for sharing this. It is very helpful. I also have Grey hair and some colors in tops aren’t a good choice for me.

    I hope you and Mr. Mickey have a blessed Christmas and a happy New Year.

    I look forward to your post next year with more great advice.

  45. This was so helpful, Susan! I tend to buy clothing that I like without any thought to my body shape. So, I have a closet full of clothes that I rarely wear. That is changing in 2022. I am learning so much from you!! Thank you. I hope you and Mr. Mickey have a wonderful holiday! Looking forward to your blogs next year! PS…I miss your You Tube vlogs.

  46. Mary, try looking at Wardrobe Oxygen. It’s by a 40+ woman, moderately plus, with a different lifestyle and clothing style from Susan’s but with a consistent focus on a wide size range, always including plus. Although her site is her main source of income, she is totally transparent about what brands she will work with based on her values. It’s refreshing to read a fashion site by a real person who lives a real-life (like our Susan!) and uses clothing to enhance her enjoyment of that life.

  47. I always enjoy our posts. This one is helpful. I really like the posts about your area and outings. I hope I can come to your area soon. It is beautiful. Merry Christmas

  48. I am glad I’m not alone in these observations. As someone with broad shoulders and large arms, the drop shoulder and hood are always deal breakers for me. I just got dressed and I see my vertical mirror as the honest sister. With a few tweaks I created more center and upward focus. The little tweaks are what help us look our best.

  49. Thank you for all the styling information. We are never too old to improve our appearance.
    I look forward to your upbeat blog and have made many changes in my wardrobe.
    Wishing you and Mickey a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  50. Thanks for these tips! I’m larger on top also & always wondered why drop shoulders looked a bit off on me. Now I know! I stay away from vertical stripes also, but now maybe I’ll check out a very tiny stripe that would appear as a solid. Have a great day!

  51. I have so much “stuff” in my closet. In going through it I found a black suede jacket which I had never worn. I thought “why” am I not wearing this??? It is a name brand and has a smart cut. I tried it on several times. Then I decided that it was the shoulders that I do not like. They make me look bigger than I am. So I decided I would take the should pads out and take the shoulders in about 1/4 inch. I am not an expert seamstress, but I thought that if I did not wear it, it is of no value. So do it! It turned out to be just what was necessary. The construction was so well done that all I had no trouble following the lines.

    Anyway, maybe it pays to look at some of that stuff in the closet before you discard it. I am wearing that black jacket with several pants that I have–black and white checked, houndstooth, etc., etc…

    Merry Christmas!

  52. The cardigan is the best choice for the taller gals too. The length, the style, all of it. I am 77 and 6 ft and take a 16 or 18 top as a rule and 12 /14 bottom depending on the style, so I am not too heavy.. I tried the hoodie look , for what reason I don’t know. Maybe as it is a style more fit for my daughter or granddaughter. It made me look frumpy, dumpy and ridiculous. I hope it pleases someone who shops at our thrift store. Note to self. Stick to what you know looks good. AKA Susan style, Love your blog

  53. Hi Susan, love your blogs. So helpful to someone who tends to buy the wrong items. A question came to me about your choice of cashmere. How do you prevent moths from noshing on your precious items? I’ve gotten away from all wool because so far it’s been an impossible choice for me. Thanks!

  54. Hello Susan
    Thank you for your knowledge and tips. I have been following you for years and you keep getting better and better. Also, you have a great following with great comments and ideas which is also a great testament to you. Merry Christmas and a blessed healthy New Year.

  55. It is interesting about the cardigan color as I also have silver hair and was under the impression that a darker gray was better for us. The cardigan looks lovely on you.

  56. Thank you for this valuable information when picking out clothes.
    It is difficult to get something just right because everyone is made different.
    I have learned alot from your posts and have bought some things suggested.

  57. Wonderful tips from you, Susan, and your readers.
    I haven’t been sleeping well so I appreciate the tips from your reader about that. Also the nurturing
    soup recipe for mushroom soup and the tip for cashmere shopping.
    A wonderful comforting soup I love is from Frances Mayes book, The Tuscan Sun Cookbook for Kale, White Bean, and Sausage soup. (On Amazon.)
    There’s many Italian-inspird recipes I love in that book.
    Her Under the Tuscan Sun book is a good read about her adventures with moving to Italy and the movie
    later produced by that name is still a favorite.
    She was formerly the head of the Creative Writing Dept at San Francisco State University and is also a poet and novelist.

    As for dropped shoulders in clothing, I can see that it can become sloppy with casual-wear hoodies but I really do like a dropped shoulder in a sweater. My shoulders are broad for the rest of my size, bust a bit larger (have problems with shirts gapping at the bust – a medium size 8 fits everywhere but the bust and a size large is too long and generally just too big.)
    In a lightweight pullover sweater, the dropped shoulder (and/or a V-neck) seems to give me the needed extra room at the bust while diminishing my broad shoulders and enables me to wear a size medium to fit the rest of me.

    I still also like set-in sleeves so, the solution then is to knit my own sweaters and make adjustments to fit my body. Can’t really get that in ready-to-wear.

    Thank you for your lovely blog, Susan, the great tips, and inspiring motivation.
    Happy Holidays!

  58. I’m a seventy year old woman who’s been following you for a couple of years now. Many of your suggestions are similar to what I do style wise, but I usually learn something new and useful also. I’ve especially appreciated your scarf styling tips. Thank you for taking the time to post. I always look forward to reading them.

  59. Susan,
    Your gray cardigan is a nice shade. Not too dark and heavy…. for all seasons. I have several cardigans but not a gray one in sight! I will have to shop for one. The dropped shoulder hoodie is a great example of your consideration of body type.
    Narrow-shouldered women like myself need a defined seam on the shoulder too.

    Wishing you and Mr.M a lovely Christmas!

  60. My favorite exercise videos have always been anything “Bodies in Motion” with Gilad. Upbeat aerobic exercise program which can be modified to suit physical abilities or disabilities. Also fantastic for those who need a distraction from some of the challenges of these days.
    What made me smile this week? When my cat woke me up 3:30am to eat by gently touching my face with his paw.

  61. Thank you so much for posting your blog. I read every one and make many of my wardrobe decisions based on it.

    Christmas Blessings to you and all you hold dear 🙂


  62. Thank you! This was such a helpful post, as so many of your posts are. I am a visual learner and I could see this. I don’t like the looks of tunics and long sweaters on me, but I couldn’t figure out why. I now understand that they make my legs look shorter than they are. And off the shoulder seams I thought just looked oversized but now I see them pointing at my bust!
    Thank you again!,
    I hope you, your parents andMr. Mickey have a wonderful Christmas & a healthy new year!

  63. Wishing you a very happy holiday, Susan. I love your blog and feel that you always look very classy and elegant, and I really appreciate and am learning from your explanations of what you buy and why you buy it. I’m shaped differently from you, but I still can learn from what you share. I’m slowly trying to upgrade my wardrobe to reflect my current life and body, buying “less but better.” Thank you so much for sharing!

  64. “Buying Decisions” was very helpful. I look forward to reading your Blog and have made many style changes because of it. But reading the latest one now allows me to make better decisions for purchasing clothing choices for my body shape. Thanks for the tips. This one most helpful. Dee Kelly

  65. I recently acquired a Pilates Reformer my daughter was getting rid of. That little floor exercise machine is the greatest thing! It’s fun because it glides your body for resistance with stretch bands. I find it not boring so I enjoy it. Pilates is great for keeping your motion and rotations active as we get older. The resistance is as easy as you need it to be for beginners and strong enough for men. It’s so satisfying to feel the good stretch that it gives. I added it to my walk routine and it’s been great to have when the weather doesn’t permit the walking.

  66. I have throughly enjoyed reading your blogs this year! And, I’m one of the lucky ones who have learned how to coordinate and create new looks from clothing already found in my closet. (My husband especially thanks you for that!) Enjoy the upcoming holidays and I wish you good health and much happiness in the coming year!

  67. Cashmere is expensive and not everyone can afford it. what would be a less expensive choice. Also if you cant wear gray what colors would be better. Also the care for it. Does it always have to be hand wash and lay flat to dry. I purchased a navy cashmere v neck and washed it for the first time. Will find out if it survived or not.

    1. Some cotton blends and other lightweight knits can look sleek as well. Sweaters and fine knits will always fare better when you lay them flat to dry. Don’t put anything you treasure into the clothes dryer. They shorten or end the life of garments.

  68. Jacki F., thank you for sharing your eyebrow comments and link! I’m struggling, too, with sparse, wiry eyebrow hairs that I want to hang onto, because my brows are sparse, so I do trim them, but they need gel, I think. I copied and pasted your link into my notes.
    Thank you, Susan, my sister told me about you, I have followed you for years, and I look nice and save money, because of you!
    Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

  69. Hi Susan! I recently found you and I’m so glad! In the last 6 weeks I have spent lots of time reviewing your years of posts and tips. I even take notes! I now go into the stores and assess clothing and accessories in a whole new way…a new world has opened up to me!

    I do have a question. Since you like tank tops or sleeveless shirts under a cardigan or blazer, how do you deal with underarm deodorant and moisture getting on your cardigans and blazers? Do you have to wash them every time you wear them? I wear shirts with sleeves so I can get a few wears out of whatever goes on top. I’m curious how you deal with this.

    I would also LOVE to know the specifics of how you wash your clothes. Do you have a drying rack? How do you wash and dry your cashmere? By hand or by gentle cycle in a bag?

    Thank you!
    Rachel Fritz

    1. I have a drying rack, but I don’t always wash things each time I wear them. I am cold most of the time, so when I wear a cardigan or jacket, it isn’t likely I will perspire. I usually wear the look for only a few hours rather than a whole day. Hang jackets and sweaters inside out on a rolling rack or hook after you wear them to let them air out for a couple of days before putting them away. When the weather is hot and humid, I wear something I can throw in the wash at the end of the day. I wear Tom’s of Maine unscented deodorant and never spray perfume or hairspray while I am dressed.

    1. You can successfully wear a longer cardigan that falls below the bottom. Another tip to follow when you tuck in a shirt and wear a belt is to match it to the shirt color.

  70. I love this post. You show very clearly the do’s and don’ts. Thank you so much. I went shopping with a friend today and she kept trying to get me to buy things I didn’t like. You give me the confidence to say no to her.

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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.