Casual Friday

Our Thanksgiving day was peaceful, happy, and yummy. I hope yours was as well.

Family time for us is always casual and relaxed. I wore straight leg dark wash jeans by NYDJ (Sheri Slim) with a gray and white polka dot Portofino shirt from Express. The shirt is half-tucked in the front. Otherwise, it and the cardigan were the same lengths. The J.Jill cashmere cardigan is from a couple of years ago. The shoes were by Marc Fisher last year. I have several shoes and boots from this company, and I am always happy with the comfort and quality.

My makeup is a lightly applied eight-minute version, with no foundation, and the hair is wash and go. The eye makeup is from the Smoky Eye Trio kit from Beautycounter. I use these three items, plus a brow pencil, lip color, and a bit of blush, to do my whole casual daily face. (I am a senior consultant at Beautycounter. You can visit my site here.)

This week, I received several questions about how I deal with holiday eating and all the special events we attend where food is in abundance. I view food as fuel and don’t need to be reminded how awful I feel if I eat creamy sauces, fried foods, or drink two glasses of wine instead of one occasionally. Cheese trays and other holiday treats do not tempt me because I don’t give them the power.

My focus is always on visiting with the other guests and enjoying the time together. I put a small amount of the foods I would like to try on my plate (think vegetables, salad, or fruit). I eat slowly, put my fork down between small bites, chew thoroughly, sip water, engage in conversation, and enjoy the time together. (You may know someone who focuses only on getting all that food cleaned off their plate so that they can go back and get more.) I choose the least processed foods in small quantities and do not make it a practice to have seconds. I no longer gain weight over the holidays or experience the uncomfortable bloated feeling. Headaches are now a rarity for me. One of the only things we can control in life is what we eat and how much. My reward for being mindful of what and how much I eat is a healthy body that stays about the same size all year round.

I hope you have a great weekend!

  1. You are so inspirational! I think success in anything we do is a matter of commitmment. You certainly show what can be achieved when we make make the effort. Thank you!

  2. You continue to be my favourite blogger. Your style changes but you always look sophisticated and elegant even when casual! I love your common sense approach to eating though at times find it hard to put into practice. Thanks for the reminders about what is important in life. Keep it up!

  3. Love this casual look…great colors for us graying and white-haired ladies. The thought of a big meal yesterday almost made me nauseous even before I ate. However, there is no need to follow the crowd and gobble til you wobble. What I put on my plate was about a saucer’s worth and I didn’t suffer for what I ate. You have been quoted several times: “The second bite doesn’t taste any better than the first” (I may be paraphrasing here). You do have an impact on your readers! Did you know that the actress Catherine Bell sells Beauty Counter also and is a firm believer in the products.

  4. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, your outfit was cute. I have noticed since my hair did a strange thing and turned white in the front and is still brown in the back, that darker and brighter colors look better, but you are the exception that proves the rule, you blue top looks great on you. Thanks so much for all you do!

  5. Love you gray boots. I’m looking for a low heeled gray boot that also comes in widths. Until I find a pair, when wearing gray jeans, would you think black boots (or loafers) would work?


    1. I do think that boots or loafers would work but be sure to look at this oxford style lace up shoe also. They are supremely comfortable and look smart with straight leg jeans.

    2. Kathy, Munro ( makes a grey (greige) boot called Sloane in five widths that is similar to the style Susan is wearing. I have a pair and love them.

  6. Love the outfit, causal but classy! I especially love the shoes. I have a high instep so traditional boots are just not an option but a tie shoe makes it possible. Thanks for all the ideas.

  7. Susan, I always enjoy your blog, especially the numerous ways of varying a jeans look. I live in jeans and take much inspiration from your looks.

  8. You said you tucked in the front of your shirt because otherwise your shirt and cardigan would be the same length. Is that a bad thing?

    1. Yes, for me it is. The straight line across the widest part of my hips/thighs can make me look shorter and wider than I am. It also visually divides my body in half instead of a more pleasing 1/3 over 2/3 ratio. Defining my waist, even a little in just the front suggests that I have a more shapely figure than I do.

  9. Love this casual look…it’s one of my favorites for myself. You always look lovely Susan. I should have read your blog last night. But that pie was calling my name. Your figure is A M A Z I N G!! Thanks again for all your wisdom.

  10. We’ve decided to change up our Christmas feast this year. No more turkey with all the trimmings. That has already happened. No cookies, chocolates and nuts lingering around the house as constant temptation. We’re having a non-traditional meal with a very traditional dessert as a small indulgence.

    Thank you for the reminder about mindfulness. This applies right now in the lead-up to the holidays, and to all aspects of what can be overwhelming excess leading up to the day.

  11. Hi Susan. I was thinking about you as I got dressed this morning. Do you start with a particular item ie: top, pants, jacket, scarf and build your outfit for the day from there or do you go about it in some other way? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Valorie. Sometimes, I start with the shoes and work up from there. For example, with these suede brogues, I needed to wear long jeans in a similar depth of tone. When I wear flat shoes, I aim to make my legs look as long as possible. I dress first for the weather. If it had been raining, I would not have worn suede shoes. Appropriate for the event is the next thing to consider. The fun part is when I get to play with color and accessories, which always comes last.

  12. Fabulous casual look, and those pointy toe oxfords are perfect. Thank you again for the reminder that we’re in charge of quality and quantity of the food we eat. Our feast yesterday had only one starch/sugar dish and that includes dessert. We enjoyed every bite and felt great afterwards. No carb crash! Thanks to your blog, I’m getting my wardrobe where I need it to be. I’m learning what flatters my best features and am much more in tune with buying pieces that fit the life I have now. Classically casual is me. Even “dressy” occasions are not as dressy as when I was in the corporate world. You are the only blogger I follow. Thanks for all your hard work and your sharing spirit.

  13. I hope you and your readers will indulge me. I would like to expand on a comment you made – about what we eat being one of the only things we have control over. I learned a while back that while we often don’t have control over our circumstances, or what other people in our lives say or do, we ALWAYS have absolute control over our own decisions – whether we accept our circumstances or fight them, how we respond to others, even when they don’t treat us well, etc. We get to choose to be happy and thankful for what we have, or we can choose to focus on what we don’t have and be miserable. I found this revelation to be very helpful in my life, and I am sharing it in hopes that
    It will help others as well.

  14. Lovely look as always! I no longer dread holiday food-centric gatherings like I used to. Thanks to my big sister Susan I have the other fun things to look forward to, as well as a comfortable but stylish outfit on. I enjoy knowing that I’ll feel good and be darn close to the same weight/size year round. Thank you Susan!

  15. How do you stay so thin! You always look wonderful in all your clothes. I hope this is not imposing but may ia ask what size you are?

  16. I believe the tucked shirt and belted is a very attractive look for you. It definitely is more youthful and slimming. Love it!! In fact this is my new favorite!
    So glad you had a lovely time with your family. I did too!

  17. Hi Susan……….this is one of your best casual outfits yet……..and I love that you do not wear the high “strappy” heels any longer: I always thought they were a no-no for your gorgeous outfits……..Just my opinion and everyone has one…LOL. Love your blog and follow along religiously. Keep up our inspiration for gorgeous looks after 60 and beyond.
    Thank you, Marinell

  18. Fun to find your site and get advice on fashion for my age. I think you are beautiful and offer simple, useful advice. Sharing your thoughts on holiday eating is right on target. Not much in life that we can control so might as well take good care of ourselves. Thank you for this blog and reminding us that we can be beautiful inside and outside at any age.

  19. I really like this look. It is so casual, yet still put together. No need to look sloppy when you want to be relaxed.
    The colors look great on you too.

  20. Oh my gosh, I’ve always loved polka dots! They always look so classy & well-tailored (and I’m not usually a “well-tailored” kind of woman). I never ever wear navy — but my favorite blouse (& it looks great on me!) is navy silk with white polka-dots. I can’t recall the last time I wore light blue, but I’d wear that blouse you’re modeling in a Montreal minute (that’s the Canadian equivalent of a New York minute, but with a soupçon of je ne sais quoi)! One of the outfits I rescued from my overly-zealous post-retirement closet purge a couple of years ago is a 2-pce skirt & flowy jacket in a Mediterranean blue with white dime-sized polka dots. On the (rare) occasion when I wear it, I always feel too elegant for words. [And now I’m seriously starting to think I might need that blouse you’re wearing . . . it’s almost Christmas, non?

  21. Did the gray polka-dot portofino blouse (Express) run true to size? I usually take a 10 or medium. Was wondering if I should order a medium or large in the blouse. Thanks.

    1. When I buy a blouse that buttons down the front, I always go up a size. That means the sleeves have to be turned up, but I try to avoid the dreaded gap at the bustline. I always order a large in the Portofino blouses. The medium would have fit fine otherwise.

  22. Susan – thanks for the Beauty Counter info and tip. I ordered the #3 facial oil and absolutely love it. Just ordered my second bottle from your shop/link. This stuff is miraculous, and perfect for sensitive, aging skin.

  23. I am 54. I love your style. I have too many clothes and no style. I wish you lived next door so I could have you go through my closet and purge then take me shopping.

  24. Your shoes, tho. I’ve reread the post and perused the comments. HOW IS NO ONE ASKING ABOUT THE SHOES?!! Where can I find them? Just found your blog searching for inspiration on this, my 51st birthday!

  25. Love the preplanning. Have you read the research on probiotics?
    Worth reassessing if you have tummy trouble.
    Delicious fresh is best i am sure.

    1. When good bacteria in the body are out of balance, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms like gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. Over time, it can also lead to nutritional deficiencies because the body can’t absorb vitamins and minerals as it should. “If the good bugs in the gut outnumber the bad bugs, you’re less likely to develop some of the conditions that we know are highly associated with obesity and certain cancers and a whole host of things,” says Cleveland Clinic dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick. (From WebMD)

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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.