Casual Weekend Look

Longtime reader Carol M. asked me this week, “Do you ever dress down or do something not so fancy?” Another reader, Beth, asked, “What do you order when you go to a regular restaurant with a menu that doesn’t include vegetarian fare?”

On Saturday, the weather was changing to rainy, colder, and overcast, with temperatures barely reaching fifty degrees after being in the low seventies earlier in the week. We completed a few chores, then drove to Kingsport for a late lunch at Riverfront Seafood Company.

With a loyal fanbase that includes many older couples and families, the restaurant is always busy, so make a reservation if you go. The service is excellent, and the food is always fresh and tasty.

The view from our table featured the southern fork of the Holston River rolling by.

We shared a few appetizers and a decadent dessert with a couple of glasses of red wine at three in the afternoon and didn’t eat anything else for the remainder of the day. My coping mechanism when the food offered is mostly the typical standard American diet is to eat tiny portions and drink lots of water.

From the cold appetizer portion of the menu, we ordered a shrimp cocktail featuring Gulf white shrimp with house-made cocktail sauce.

Above is Fried Crab Bites from the hot appetizers. They feature lump crab meat with pepper jack and cheddar cheese served with remoulade sauce.

Those are the small Crab Cakes above with fresh crab meat served with remoulade sauce.

A few bites of the Triple Chocolate Brownie Sundae was enough dessert for the rest of the month! It includes a warm brownie with milk chocolate chips and chunks and white chocolate chips, topped with vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate sauce.

After this meal, Mr. Mickey will be smiling for the rest of the week!

I wore a blazer layered over a black cashmere cardigan for extra warmth. I’ve had both pieces for at least three years. The boots, bag, and belt are also a few years old. The cute white top is here, and the jeans are here.

I took the time to visit my stylist this week to get back on track. She did an excellent job! April is at the Van Kye Salon in Johnson City, TN.

The eyelet tank here is so comfortable and cute; I also got the black one. It’s one of those items I buy in multiples to have backups.

I’m wearing a size medium top (Chico’s size 1), and blazer, and size 4/27 jeans. For perspective, I am a bit more than five feet, six inches tall, or 1.68m, and I weigh 137 pounds, or 62 kg.

The jeans are here. Similar items are linked since nothing else is new. BootsBagBelt – Jacket here or hereCardiganEyelet tank.

Shopping links on this site may allow me to earn a small commission at no cost to you.

  1. I find that many resturants serve up very large portions. I think the strategy of splitting something rich is an excellent idea. Hubs and I both really like french fries and when we go out one of us will have fries as a side and the other a salad and then we’ll share.

    It’s helpful that your diet doesn’t preclude fish. Many resturants have a meatless offering, but sometimes it’s mundane.

  2. I have a question regarding care of your slacks. I believe you use a steamer and do not dry them. Would you elaborate on this? I used a steamer years ago and did not get good results as I remember. Maybe it was the brand of steamer or my process. Thanks so much. I enjoy your post and look forward to them.

  3. Susan, you and Mr Mickey look so comfy casual and so polished! I live in a very large city in the Midwest and get not so subtle comments often about why I’m “dressed up” from my peers and family members. These are kind people who don’t purposely try to hurt someone. I am at a loss as to a reply that isn’t hurtful or snide! I am overweight and look better in structured items such as jeans, utility jacket/vest etc versus soft knit jogger/pajama pants and over sized tops. I’ve even gone to the point of dressing in their way just to show how ridiculous I look and they compliment me and say I look relaxed!
    I see comments similar to mine being made on line so know I’m not the only one feeling this way. Do you have any suggestions on what to say to people?? Letting them know that I am comfortable just isn’t enough it seems.
    Your advise is timeless and I so appreciate all the help you give us!

  4. You always look so nice and appropriate for your dates. I see that if you want to change your jacket or boots during your errands it would be easy to do. I really like those boots and the black jacket. I am going to have to look into those boots. I really like your new haircut too. I finally let my hair grow out and it is white! I am finally getting so I don’t scare myself in the mirror. Have a wonderful week.

  5. I struggle with having the self-control to skip dinner like you do sometimes.
    I get hungry.
    I’m not sure if you have any tips for that.
    Sometimes I wonder if it means I’m not choosing highly nutritious foods.
    Perhaps if I chose nutrient dense foods more often (not necessarily higher calorie foods), I wouldn’t get hungry for dinner?
    I’m not trying to get medical advice here, I’m just wondering what your opinions might be on this topic.

    1. When you eat nutrient-dense foods, your hunger will abate for a longer time. It is also a mindset. If you think about fasting for five days, skipping dinner is a snap. Eating at a specific time is a habit we can break with practice. Giving your digestive system a break for a more extended period has many proven benefits. Read more about it here.

    1. Some of us aren’t using the metric over here in the US, so I had to google the answer. The conversion for 5’6″ showed 1.72m, but when I reversed it and checked for the conversion of 1.68, it came up 5’6″ also. That might be why some of us are so confused about the metric system.

  6. Hello Susan,
    I was touched by the honest remarks by Ann who lives in a city in Midwest and I think she speaks for thousands ‘world’ over.
    Yes it’s nice to feel comfy and relaxed at home even that doesn’t have to be ‘ scruffy’. Put on some pretty earrings, a slick of lipstick and a subtle spray of gentle perfume. Thing is why the heck should one feel guilty about looking dressed up or smart when out and about.
    So Ann be smart when you go out please yourself not others but I understand why you have those niggles. Susan your answer and was simple,
    say thank you. Always sound advice Susan. Of course we would world over look daft going into a Supermarket dressed up Old Hollywood
    full on glamour! Oh those old. Films and glamour to die for. I adore North by Northwest and if you notice the scene in New York Central
    Station all the hundreds of men and women all looking fantastic and full on ‘ Smart’ not a jog pant insight lol. I didn’t even know that in Britain in the 50s it was frowned upon for ladies not to wear a hat. Then the dreadful 60s came and the Beatles I was never a fan then and still not but that era change fashion to the bouffant hairstyle, well a hat would look silly.
    This era even World wide of sloppy dressing has taken a hold, So Susan and Mr Micky stay as fab as you are, even jeans can look casually smart.
    I just love the shine on Mr Mickeys shoes always but I see he is wearing ‘ trainers’ or is it sneaker you call them in America?
    Your hair really suits you a bit longer and the classic bob never goes out of fashion.
    Susan you must realise by now over the years I only comment now and again but when I do it’s almost an essay! Please forgive me and readers too.
    Stay safe everyone and if you want to look smart like Susan and Mr Mickey do so with pride and confidence.
    Best wishes,
    Pamela from WalesUK.

  7. Ann, I was asked why I was so dressed up only once, but I took it that the person was saying I was over/inappropriately dressed. It wasn’t a good feeling. When I realized that after COVID, people are dressing even more casually, I decided to be a bit more creative and see if I could come up with casual, but stylish outfits. I can’t wear jeans due to a medical issue, so that makes it even more of a challenge. What I’ve come up with so far is wearing elevated sweatshirts that actually look more like a sweater; layering a cashmere hoodie under a blazer or vest, buying smaller scale jewelry, and wearing shoes that are either loafers or elevated sneakers. It’s a work in progress, but so far I’m happy with the results. A side benefit is that my level of dress now matches the casualness of my partner’s clothing choices. Perhaps clothing from Eileen Fisher or J Jill would fit into that middle ground for you?

  8. Susan, I love this look. I do have a question about color and skin tone. I have tried to wear black, white and even navy, but it makes me look so pale and lifeless. I feel like a Halloween witch in black! I just can’t seem to settle on a basic color for a classic look. I look best in greens and teals — so much so, that people actually comment on how nice I look in green. Brown just seems so drab. Do you have any suggestions for a basic color? I just can’t seem to find any wardrobe basics in those colors. Thank you.

    1. It is indeed difficult to find basics in any colors other than black, white, navy, and tan. However, some companies, such as Chico’s, come out with collections in specific colors at different times of the year. For example, you can search for “STRIKING TEAL,” on Chico’s website, and a few options will come up. If that is a color you find flattering, stock up on the pieces you can wear in various combinations. Some of their garments are too trendy and memorable, so look for pieces without extra details or prints.

  9. Hi Ann, I’m from the Midwest and I get this comment a lot too. I think people see you and think you look great, AND realize they they too should have taken a little more time with their appearance before going out! It’s probably not about you at all. I usually just respond “this is what’s comfortable for me”.

  10. I think your response to rude comments about your level of dressing is most appropriate! We owe no apologies. I think I am far past the age that I must follow the crowd.

    As to dresses, they generally do the post-menopausal body no favors. There are exceptions, of course. Fortunately, we live in a time where pants are accepted everywhere.

  11. You and Mr. Mickey are an inspiration! Such a happy, attractive couple, enjoying fun outings.

    Wishing you two sweethearts a lovely Valentine’s Day!

  12. I like you’re most casual outfit….like you, I always seemed dressed up to others…which doesn’t bother me one bit. I’ll be 75 in May and everyone always asks me where I buy my clothes ( I make most of them) and rarely by RTW anything and no jeans at all…….I feel confident and comfortable at all times.
    Today is book club, which is a great looking black/bright blue check shirt, with great buttons that read HANDMADE, ditched the cuffs so it looks more like as jacket, and black slacks…..looks great with my salt and pepper hair.

    Keep up all your inspiration.
    Love you’re posts……and Happy Valentines Day tomorrow, yes, I will be wearing a red cashmere sweater!

  13. I really like this classic casual look! Again you have given me some good ideas. Ideas about what to wear but also about what to eat when I go out. The portions at most restaurants are so huge I can’t and don’t want to eat it. I like the appetizer ideas. Thanks.

  14. Being questioned: “Why are you so dressed up?”
    Answer: “Why not?”

    Turn the question around on them. You do not need to defend your clothing choices, to anyone. Ill-mannered questions from others do not need any explanation past a short response (or, even bothering to respond at all!).

  15. Both you & Mr. Mickey look so “put together” on your Saturday outing! The food looked delicious too and such a nice view! Happy Valentine’s Day to you both!

  16. Thank you Susan, for another great post. I have taken a lot of your suggestions and my wardrobe is a work in progress. I have loved working with the mindset of buying less but the best quality I can afford in classic pieces. I envy the thought of wearing a shirt or tee tucked in with a belt. I feel very uncomfortable when I do as, like many women, I have that post menopause belly. I know that making better choices in food would help, but it is so hard. I am not overweight, just hold it in the wrong places! I have been motivated to work on buying safer products for my skin care routine, but that is also a work in progress.

    I do have a tip that has helped me get ready for my day. I take photos of myself dressed for work and have placed them in an album on my phone. I refer to it almost daily as I think of my day and the weather forecast. It also comes in handy as I pack for vacations, I lay the outfits out and take photos, with accessories, and place them in an album on my phone. This helps me choose my outfit daily, and also would come in handy if my luggage was ever lost.

    I look forward to your posts and appreciate all the work you put into them. Happy Valentines Day to you and Mr. Mickey!

  17. Susan,
    Your outings are always fun to read about—the river view and delicious-looking food. Finding out-of-the-way places to visit is one of my favorite things to do. Both you and Mr.Mickey look great as always.

    Your tank top and blazer add just the right amount of polish to jeans and boots. Since I had my 65th birthday I decided to get away from my “clothes rut.” The realization that retirement wardrobes vs. a more social life are different.

    I have a funeral to attend and wonder if hose with my at the knee black knit fit and flair style dress are okay in sheer skin color or black? Michigan weather at graveside service is chilly in February.

    Thanks in advance if you have a moment to reply..much appreciated!

  18. You both look so sharp! I could almost taste those scrumptious looking crab cakes just from the picture! I’d say y’all know how to make the most from a chilly, gray afternoon! Thanks for sharing! (Your hair is lovely, as always!).

  19. Susan…I was just noticing that your image was used on a bra ad and that your name is Brenda Grace…I am sure yiu have seen it but thought I wud mention it….love your posts

  20. You are such a great example to us all. I never used to wear jeans because I found them uncomfortable. When I retired I found denim jeggings that look just like jeans and I wear them all the time in our mild winters. But I like to look put together so I wear a nice top, earrings and a third layer, usually a cardigan or light vest. I wear booties or nice sneakers and in cold weather a scarf. When my husband takes me out to dinner I take it up a notch and I try to wear jewelry he has bought me on our travels. I dress for me and have been complimented on my outfits. Even my son complimented me once on a combination I put together. I have some nice things and I like to wear them. I really like shopping my closet and I have purchased some items you featured in your posts. Thank you for your posts.

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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.