Comfortable and Casual

In all but the hottest summer months, my casual looks include a tank or a long sleeve tee, a cardigan or jacket, and comfortable jeans. I often add a scarf to pull the look together and add a finishing touch. A pair of loafers, low boots, or oxfords are usually on my feet when the weather turns colder. I want to be comfortable, but I also want to look presentable and put together.

I wear belts more often now and at least partially tuck the front of the top in since adjusting to wearing mostly low heeled shoes. If I leave both layers untucked, it often creates a straight line at midthigh, which, when worn with flat shoes, cuts my body in half and makes me look wider, and my legs look much shorter. If you do not want to tuck the first layer in, I suggest wearing one shorter layer. If the jacket and top are not the same lengths, the uneven line creates the illusion of height and helps make us look more slender.

The jeans I am wearing here are Levi’s. I miss the classic slim cut they used to make. They have so many fits, styles, and washes now; it is easy to get confused when trying to order online. I have learned that if I am ever going to get the right fit, I will have to visit a store that stocks their jeans and try them on. Like bras, jeans need to fit correctly. Otherwise, we end up with a diaper butt in about two hours. Don’t you hate that?

The bag in black with cinnamon trim and a convertible handle is from Finley House Couture in Blowing Rock, NC. The Samoe Style collection is manufactured with a mechanism that easily converts the handle to three different lengths.

I purchased the soft, comfortable long-sleeve white tee from Covered Perfectly. I wear one of these tops almost every day in the colder months. They are the perfect first layer when trying to keep warm. The material is soft and supple, adding no bulk, and other fabrics slide across it without dragging or bunching up.

Some of you may remember that I used to model for Covered Perfectly before I retired. I am wearing the same top in this photo from one of the photoshoots.

When you shop with Covered Perfectly, you can buy two and get the third top for free. Susan After 60, followers can get a 20% discount on up to two items. Use the discount code FNF20 when you check out at Covered Perfectly. There are several great styles to choose from, and the discount will apply on up to two items; after that, you can take advantage of the buy 2 get 1 FREE special. Only one discount will work per order. The link to the Covered Perfectly site is here.

The long sleeve cotton cardigan was from Cali & York last year. I love it when the weather is mild enough to push up my sleeves. That little trick also makes me look taller and more slender than I am. The loafers are old by Nine West. The sunglasses are by Vera Wang via Kohl’s. The dark gray crew socks are from Belk by Ralph Lauren.

We took these pictures on the campus of The Mountain Home VA in Johnson City on a recent sunny Sunday afternoon before spending time with my family.

  1. Susan. I follow your blog every day from Ireland and really value your advice even though I am different colouring to you and a pear shape. One thing I notice is that you wear open cardigans and jackets but not sweaters I wonder if this look is suited to a pear shape too ? At the age of 66 and about to retire I am trying to rethink my wardrobe in a relaxed but smart way and your blog is by far the best for helpful advice
    I would appreciate a bit of guidance on this and apologise if you have already dealt with it

    Also do covered perfectly ship to the uk?

    Thank you for all you do on the blog and warmest wishes to you and Mr Mickey for Christmas and 2018


    1. Hi Margo! The Covered Perfectly company is owned by Pauline Durban who is an Essex girl so yes, she is delighted to send to the UK. Sweaters (jumpers) are tricky to wear because they can hit you at just the wrong spot, pointing right to your bum or your middle, neither of which I want to show off. I do have a few cashmere sweaters, but I try to wear a jacket or scarf over the top of them or a longer shirt under them to break up that straight horizontal line. I love hearing from people who enjoy my blog, so thank you for your kind words very much. Merry Christmas! Susan

  2. Susan, I read your comment about jeans and I use to feel the same way but I have found that JJill makes great fitting jeans, I personally like the smooth fit, which have a slender but not “skinny” leg. They do not stretch in the butt however fit nicely. Since I am fairly tall I hang them to dry. Check them out, they also have bootcut if interested!

    1. Yes that was a new one for me! Had to look it up on line in “Urban” dictionary! Fortunately I don’t believe I have ever had that problem with any of my jeans.

  3. Since you were at the VA for these pictures, I thought I would put in a good word for their medical care. All you hear from the media is horror stories, but my husband is being treated for multiple myeloma, a plasma cell cancer from exposure to agent orange in Vietnam Nan. It is an incurable cancer, but they have him in a solid remission and he even was able to get a stem cell transplant last Spring. Top notch, cutting edge care!

    I like Talbots jeggings. I can wear them multiple times with no saggy butt or baggy knees, and very comfortable. I have to be careful with Chico’s girlfriend jeans. They can give me a very diaper butt quickly.

    Wishing you and Mr. Mickey a very Merry Christmas and a blessed, happy New Year!

  4. Susan, love your blog! Have been reading for years, so thank you for your service! I was wondering if you wear mid-rise jeans or high waist when you tuck in your top. Almost all my jeans are wide band pull ons (thanks for that advice), but I’m like you and wearing high heels less so I need to do some tucking. Thanks again for all your great tips!

  5. Mid rise jeans with stretch are messing with my shape although I never give up.
    NYDJ has some regular rise. LL Bean makes a regular rise with stretch and I breathe a sigh of relief when it is time to wear them. Mid rise jeans are sometimes advertised as the most flattering shape and I am here to tell you that is not so. Levis are a disappointment right now.

  6. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and Mr Mickey. I have enjoyed each and everyone of your blogs. Thank you for the time and effort that it must take to do this twice a week.

  7. Hi Susan, I really love finding your newest blog posts in my email. I find them informative and entertaining and I appreciate that you share the beautiful places that you and Mr. Mickey visit. I do have a question for you…what is the name of the Bra that you included in one of your posts? It shows no lines. I tried to find it by looking at your older posts (which I loved looking at again) but I could not find it! Thank you for your time. Maura

      1. Speaking of the Shapeez. I am afraid that I will, like you, never go back to a regular bra again. Truly the most comfortable bra ever, straps never fall down, shape is so uplifting and minimizing. I am petite so I opted for the Silkee Short (no padding in cups) and I have it in nude & black. I even wear it to do pilates. (The long version was too long for my torso and the bottom rim would have shown through my pants. Staci, owner Shapeez suggests tailoring just like you would for clothes. But that seems a bit much, since I have to pay for shipping already and these bras are not cheap!) Wish I could find them in stores and avoid the shipping charge. But they are worth it!

  8. Hi Susan,
    You recently showcased a beautiful scarf in blue and grey. I can’t seem to find it on your web site.Can you help me out?
    I love your web site and all your great tips. Thank you!

    Susan Allen

  9. This is my daily outfit of choice – a great jacket, fitted t-shirt and slim jeans (I love Madewell jeans because they have a hi rise that is better for me). May I ask why you have started to wear belts again? In your earlier posts, you mentioned that you didn’t feel they were flattering to your figure type.

    1. I only wear a belt when I wear an open jacket or cardigan, or with a shirt, half tucked in. I never tuck the shirt in all the way and wear a belt with no jacket because I have a thick waist and no behind. Wearing an open jacket or cardigan with the belt makes it look like I have a bit of waistline.

  10. Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey! Enjoy the holiday season. Great pics – you look great in jeans – and great photo shoot with your shadow in the background – Cute!

  11. As a pear shape, my challenge is with the waistline of jeans. If they fit in the butt, the waistline often gapes. I have found skinny jeans work best for me now. Most have plenty of stretch, so I get a much better fit in both the waist and hips. I must never put them in a dryer, though. Cold water wash is best. I swore I’d never wear skinny jeans. I never buy pants without trying them on.

    1. I agree with you! Slim fitting jeans are so much more flattering on the female form. Skinny, straight or slim cuts, which show the shape are always better than too much fabric.

  12. Susan, a great post, one again. I live in SW FL and struggle with wearing clothes that are flattering but not too hot. You mentioned a FL vacation. Would you please do a post on what you are wearing while here??? Merry Christmas! !

  13. Hi Susan. I love to read your posts but when you have to wear a coat or something a little more substantial what would that be?

    Lynda B

  14. Love your look. Just curious as to which month this would be perfect. Here in the summer that would be too much fabric. I personally prefer looser fitting clothes. Also, if I wear a scarf (for style only) people ask me if I’m cold. Wondering how you get away with wearing scarves during summer. I adore scarves.

    1. I wear something similar to this on all but the hottest days. In June, July, and August I wear a top with a necklace more often than a scarf. I do love scarves because they look so elegant. Europeans wear scarves beautifully all year round, but many Americans dress so casually that accessories are often left off entirely. The Covered Perfectly site offers styles that are looser fitting. The one shown here is my favorite for layering.

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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.