Classics on Repeat

One of my favorite things about classic style clothing pieces is that they don’t look dated after a season. I’ve been removing expired codes and links on my website this week. As I visited posts from previous years, I saw some combinations I would never wear now and others that I still wear often.

The photo below from 2016 shows a look I still enjoy wearing today. I gave away all my stiletto heels, but otherwise, my style hasn’t changed a lot. For the past few seasons, I have been collecting high-quality, comfortable pieces in neutral colors that I can mix and match and wear for years. I’m as happy with those items almost five years later as I was when I purchased them. (The 2016 post is here.)

I wore the cool, comfortable navy shirt with my favorite white ankle jeans and nude loafers to walk the Doak House Museum’s grounds in Tusculum, TN. Tusculum University (founded in 1818) is next door to this historic site. (The Museum remains closed due to the virus.)

Those are chestnuts growing on the beautiful tree above.

Mornings already require a jacket here, but the daytime temperatures reach the eighties. I’ll share photos of looks styled for fall on Thursday.

  1. I love the pictures of the house with all the beautiful chimneys and the rail fences, such a peaceful feeling.
    I always enjoy how classy you look with a simple shirt and plain pants. I want to laugh (or cry) when I look back at old pictures of gaudy patterned shirts and sometimes wild pants too, how could I think they looked good???? You have taught me so much about color, design, and what looks good on our bodies.
    Many thanks to you Susan.


  2. Would love it if you show us the old posts that you wouldn’t wear anymore and explain why. I learn so much from your blog and enjoy your style.

  3. Thank you for continuing to blog! Your blog is the highlight of my Tuesday/Thursday mornings! I never tire of your inspiration to “shop my closet” or remake an outfit of the past as it fits with my motto of downsize and minimize! Reflecting back on previous posts/outfits is a good reminder of how blessed we are to be able to move forward in our current times without dwelling on what we “want” at the present.

  4. I enjoy your posts on slow fashion (basics, sustainability, quality over quantity…all while looking stylish and attractive). Your comment about ‘combinations I would never wear now’ intrigued me and I think that would make an interesting future post. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I also would LOVE to see some looks you would no longer wear. If I see myself in them, I’ll know I need to make some changes.

  6. I love the colored blue blouse with your white jeans instead of the all white top and bottom you showed in an earlier blog. The all white would have looked better if you had included one of your lovely scarfs to give it a little oomph! This blue gives you the wow factor which makes others want to take another look, at least in my opinion. You still looked good in all white but this makes you “really” look good.

    The pictures you include are truly awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    Hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

    Clara from Iowa

  7. Hi Susan,
    The Doaks played a role in my family history in early Augusta. It’s a a huge pleasure in seeing these historic sites you get to visit. Rev. Samuel was born in 1749. He graduated from Princeton College of New Jersey in 1775. He founded St Martin’s Academy (now Washington College) in Limestone Tennessee in 1783. In 1818 he freed slaves inherited from the family, and became an ardent abolitionist, and founded Tusculum College. He passed away in 1830. I’m posting this in case no one knows who he was.

    It’s wonderful you are getting out and about. Good to see that blouse again. I’ve been a fan of those for years. Not suitable for our current heat wave though. It’s been in the 105° to 110° range lately and so smoky we can’t leave anyway. Your blog reminds me daily that there are parts of America still inhabitable.

  8. Hello. I am yet not 60, but I really enjoy following your blog. Actually this is the only blog that I find worth following. It is very inspiring and helpful 🙂
    Bente from Norway

  9. I would repeat so many of the comments above, just what I was thinking after reading today’s blog!!
    Love the side by side comparisons of past and present. This is so helpful, Susan. I am decluttering and cleaning out all things not just clothing. So much wasted money on things I didn’t use or want!! And I have worn out one shredder and think my current one is on its way out.
    Thank you for the beautiful scenery pics. My apartment looks out on a pretty green manicured courtyard that will soon turn brown in the Midwest. My only animals are toads, ducks and rabbits with few birds so really enjoy your nature pics with animals.
    As others have also said, your blog has been my only one for some time now because it is the only one I need! Less quantity, more quality is so liberating. Thank you for teaching us, Susan! Have a great day……

  10. Thank you so much for continuing your posts. I’m so glad I discovered you years ago (Fifty Not Frumpy), and I still read and enjoy every one of your posts. I’ve tried to incorporate many of your ideas into my wardrobe selections, but I haven’t reached your level of expertise yet. I really wish that I could duplicate your eating and walking habits because you look fabulous. Thank you again for all the good advice.

  11. I love the royal blue and white contrast!
    Susan, what moisturizer do you use at night? I have looked back through your old blogs, but couldn’t find it. Thank you, Susan. I always learn so much from you!

  12. I enjoy checking your posts as a bright spot in the day and for the community you have gathered together. I agree on much of your style and enjoy seeing the beautiful scenery in your part of the U.S. as well as the many lovely restaurants you have—when there isn’t a pandemic! I’d love to see you style members of this group from their own closets—when there isn’t a pandemic!

  13. Why haven’t I received your last blog? I really missed it. I so enjoy all of your pictures & fashion advice,even though I’m 81 years young . Also Mr. Mickey And I share the same birthday he’s just 5 years older than me. I was born in 1939. I remember D Day my 5th birthday Mr. Mickey surely remembers more than I do.Keep up all you do it’s so enjoyed and informative. Thanks Joan

  14. I look forward to your blog. I’m still fascinated over the closet notebook. Such a clever and simple idea that I’m definitely going to use. Thank you for all of your ideas and suggestions. You’ve helped me so much.

  15. I don’t whether to laugh or cry. I almost always buy something from you posts. I love your posts! Hope you’re feeling well these days!

  16. You are always an inspiration! White pants and jeans are a favorite of mine now too thanks to your fashionable ideas. I too enjoy the beautiful sites you share. I am looking forward to cooler temps in the fall. I will “shop” simply by going to a different section of my closet thanks to you again!

  17. I do love the Portofino tops. I have two, one white, the other black. I wish they still carried the royal blue. My question is about the sleeves. The fabric is so soft that find it hard to keep it rolled up even though I use the strap. I would never wear it as long sleeved so I think I might sew them to keep the sleeves stable. How do you keep them looking so freshly folded and not sloppy looking?

  18. I love the posts where you show looks that don’t quite work, because they are so often the sort of thing that I would wear – quite possibly have worn – without understanding why I’m not entirely happy with them. They’re not terrible, just a bit … off. You have a real talent for spotting exactly why a certain look works or doesn’t work and you explain it so simply and clearly. I have learnt so much from you, but there is always more to learn, so I would certainly welcome more posts of this nature.

    1. This is what happens to me while trying to put together an outfit. Thank you for stating it. Something just appears “off”. It usually happens with a top and jacket/sweater combo and lengths. But can occur with other outfits. I can’t wait to see how Susan can help us with this. Have a great day, ladies!

  19. Looking forward to more info on ‘what not to wear’ as well. You’d think we could figure that out by looking in a mirror or two mirrors at once for a side and back view…….but no, it just doesn’t work that way!

  20. I totally agree with Shelley’s comment. Couldn’t have said it better. I’m so excited for next weeks post!!
    Thank you Susan.

  21. Thanks Susan! I wondered where you did your “shoots” and thanks to the great pictures I now know in TN. DDJ

  22. Thank you for posting this, I have often wondered how long I should keep a garment that I really love!
    I think you helped me tremendously

  23. Thank you Susan. I love classic styles and have had some pieces for years. I bought 4 of the Talbot’s long sleeved crew neck tees and the no show socks too from your previous post
    Thank you for your recommendations!

  24. Glad to know I am not the only one to give up on high heels. I still have some two inch,but those have block heels. Still looks fashionable and less likely for me to take a fall. Love your Posts. . Very uplifting and creative.

  25. Susan, I really enjoy your posts. Your fashion sense is perfect for those who like a classic style. Also, the photos you include are so much fun to see. Your part of the country is so different from mine here in San Clemente California. All the greenery where you live is so beautiful. Have a great day.

  26. Lovely pictures of historical sites in Tennessee make me want to travel to that part of the country.
    You are so right about classic pieces of clothing…they can be worn for years!

  27. You have taught me so much about dressing at the time of my life(64). I was cleaning & purging my closets yesterday. The comment you make about shopping your closet is the most valuable advice I have received. I still like to wear something trendy, probably always will but I am so glad I have so many neutral’s now. It is still very hot here in Arkansas, I put on a sleeveless leopard print tunic with white jeans & some really pretty gold sandals to go to the grocery store. Then it hit me! I can wear this with my camel cashmere sweater & boots when the weather does get cooler! THANKYOU THANKYOU!! Portia

  28. Wish I could take a trip to your area, you have so many awesome places to visit between KY, TN and NC. We did visit TN and NC in 2018 and loved every minute, can’t wait for a return trip and push further on into S.C. Love the classic look and am eager to see next weeks posts on what really is not a good look. Thanks Susan for all your time and effort, it is greatly appreciated.

  29. I wanted to comment on the suggestion to sew the Portofino tops’ sleeves in place. I mentioned that to my ‘corporate dressing style’ daughter. Here’s here reply. Taken her context not mine since I no longer work outside the home. She dresses daily in her “uniform” which consists of almost always a Portofino blouse (she has at least 20) with either dress slacks or a pencil skirt and matching jacket, finished off with 4 in pumps. As an executive in marketing she needs to project a confident, poised and polished appearance. She never rolls up her sleeves and buttons them unless she takes off her jacket. She allows the bottom edge of the cuff to extend past her jacket cuff. If she takes off the jacket to eat lunch or work at her desk she does roll them up. Last year at Christmas she wore a beautiful deep claret top with covered buttons. As soon as she removed her jacket she stuck her arms out for me to roll the sleeves. I had completely forgotten that! I distinctly recall her saying she could not stand the feeling of pushed up sleeves inside her suit jacket. (In our family the ladies dress nicely and the gentlemen wear a tie to dinner. After dinner, all bets are off and the living room is strewn with discarded shoes and ties!

    My advice is to anyone who loves these shirts as much as I do is to not make a permanent seam or such. Maybe a tailor’s tack? I only have 3 of them, and my absolute favorite is the white one with a gold half zip, no collar. If you like these buy them when you can. Express changes and stops certain colors, much to my dismay.

  30. Thanks. Good advice about buying good quality items that won’t go out of style and update with shoes, bag, jewelry. I went to Tusculum College in 1971 for my freshman year. Have a beautiful autumn.

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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.