Cleanse The Palate

Wearing separates all in one color with different textures, and similar shades of that color is monochromatic dressing.

I consider these looks my palate cleansers. I will wear a monochromatic look for a couple of days, and then I am ready to go back to wearing more color. There is something very soothing about wearing all black or all white. Perhaps it has something to do with the neverending data and decision making that is part of every day of my work life. I need to reboot occasionally.

We spent Sunday afternoon at The Biltmore Estate enjoying a late lunch or early dinner on the Veranda at The Inn.

Sometimes a reboot of hairstyle is also necessary. My hair has been cut several times lately by different stylists. (My friend Myra has been taking some much needed time off.) Not all stylists can cut fine curly hair well. A bad haircut can mean that it is difficult to style, and I often end up with a look that makes me appear to be wearing a strange hat. After four cuts in as many weeks, I have found a stylist who is getting me back on track. It will take most of the summer to recover my appropriate length.

Mr. Mickey is always the dapper gentleman.

As I was taking photos around the hotel’s lobby, I saw this handsomely dressed couple, so I asked to take their photo for the blog. I enjoyed chatting with them for several minutes before others in their party arrived. They voiced the same weariness of seeing ball caps, shorts, tees, and flip flops every day and for every occasion.

The textured jacket is by Moonlight, and it is so lightweight I felt chilly as we sat down for lunch. (It was about seventy-three degrees.) I am wearing a Clara Sunwoo thin tank top underneath. Both these items are from  The jeans are girlfriend ankle jeans from Chico’s. The wicker clutch bag was purchased at J. Mclaughlin last year. The Kivah block-heel dress sandals are from Macy’s.

  1. I’ve never felt confident wearing the monochromatic look. Even with varying textures, all I see is the true difference in shades; I see colors that don’t “match”! Just yesterday I saw a woman going into the market with all white on…except, I see different shades of white in each clothing piece which just looks odd to me. When our church choir does our concert look, all black. All I see is 200 different shades of black! LOL

  2. Thank you for always putting a link to the places you visit. I love looking at the different websites.
    Biltmore looks beautiful.
    I live in the U.K, on the South coast and about 3 miles from Agatha Christie’s home, which is open to the public.
    Within 10 miles I have 2 castles, a 15th century Manor House and the Arts and Crafts era house and beautiful estate that belonged to the D’Oyley Carte family,. Always interesting places to visit.

  3. I love the ease of “flyaway” sweaters, but in fact, they often fly away. I’ve tried several different options, but I wish I could buy a jewelry clasp that keeps a sweater without buttons closed. It would have to be light enough to close thin loosely woven knits but also work for more solid knits. Your little sweater has a loop and a button; do you have something in your jewelry line that would solve my problems?

    1. I do not have very many finished jewelry options; rather I sell the components to make jewelry. Perhaps you could create something using a vintage button and then adhere it to a pin finding. (You’ve given me a great idea!) Thank you!

  4. You do the all white look so well Susan – love that jacket!!
    I have a similar hair issue with my fine, wavy hair. If the layers are not cut properly, when it starts to grow out, it looks like I’m wearing ear muffs LOL.
    And “dapper” is the perfect word to describe Mr. Mickey – reminiscent of the Cary Grant era.

  5. So blessed to be able to see such a nice panorama and eat at such a beautiful place. Enjoy dear Susan.

  6. How do you deal with jeans (or pants) that you buy and then they seem to “grow” during the day where wearing a belt won’t work because of the top you are wearing (it hangs out not tucked in). I try and look at the material but still get surprised at times. In fact I have a pair of khaki chico’s that I LOVE but they fit beautifully at the beginning of the day but by the end they feel too big.

    BTW….I LOVE an entire white outfit!!!!

    1. I buy jeans in size smaller when they are made from cotton, polyester, and spandex. Years ago, the girls at Chico’s told me to buy jeans to fit like a girdle. In about an hour they will be fine, because jeans, other than raw denim are made to stretch for comfort.

      1. I learned that anything with more than 3% spandex in it will stretch out and end up baggy by the end of the day. A lot of jeans have 6% spandex in them so you have to do as Susan says: buy them a size too small and then they will have the stamina you need for the end of the day!

  7. Susan, lovely as usual. I think you may have found the correct hairstylist- your hair looks very natural and pretty. Thank you for the photos and description of the many places you and Mr. Mickey enjoy. I live in southern Ontario and look forward to the day when I can visit some of these places.

  8. My husband and I also hate the ball caps, shorts, tshirts, tank tops and flip flops we see for nearly every occasion here in Florida. The heat is no excuse for not dressing properly. We always dress nicely and for the Florida weather. It can be done. Our country club, Marsh Creek in St Augustine, has recently completely given up on a dress code and now many members and guests come in in totally inappropriate clothing for a country club. We no longer consider it a country club. We’ve been members for 20 years and are very disappointed. You and Mr Mickey always look very nce.

  9. I’ve never thought about monochromatic dressing as an antidote for decision fatigue. Makes perfect sense. Thank you.

  10. You look very pretty, fresh and cool! The texture on the jacket is very nice & showed up well in the photo. A good hair cut for me is one that still looks good after I try doing it myself! Enjoy your afternoon.

  11. You look so lovely all in white Susan! AND – the new hairdo also looks very, very pretty. I’m quite jealous – LOL! Isn’t it sad that we straight haired gals envy your curls and you probably wish for straighter hair? Thank you to you & Mr. Mickey for sharing some beautiful venues with us! The Biltmore Estate is now on my ‘bucket list’.

  12. Hi Susan,
    I really like your jacket. Do you know where I may purchase one online and if it comes in other colours ?

    Thank you


  13. Love to see your pictures of Biltmore and Mr. Mickey is indeed dapper. My husband and I have been married almost 40 years. We visited the Biltmore on our honeymoon, at Christmas, with one of our sons, and several other times. We moved from SC to Vegas 10 years ago so I doubt I will ever visit there again. I will have to be content with your post. I enjoy every one of your posts and appreciate your willingness to share with your readers.

  14. I have a similar problem as Lynn, in that I see differences in tints and shades of same color. So I wind up wearing a topper (jacket or sweater with a print or pattern of harmonizing hues), to pull it all together. More in the mode of “Column” dressing? I would be washed out in all white and all black would be too harsh for my skin tone. But Susan, you look great in all white monochromatic dress. The Biltmore pics are soooo beautiful. Oh to visit there someday and soak it all in!! Thanks for sharing.

  15. What I learn from this outfit is that when going the monochrome route, mix up the texture. The texture in your clean-line top is perfect contrast to the smooth jeans.
    I did wonder why your hair had changed, you must be missing Myra who worked your lovely curls so well. It does take some hard work to find a stylist who ‘gets’ your hair, I think I have found one, finally.
    Yet one more thing I love about this post – you’ve featured the estate many times, but each time you find a new take to photograph, revealing new aspects of the superb building, decor, gardens and vistas. Today’s photos are stunning!

  16. I had visited your previous blog, and now, I will keep following on your new one. You are so great.

  17. Still want a nice close up of your hair front and back. ..this what I want mine to grow out to

  18. Hi Susan,
    I have never thought a lot about handbags and purses and part of one’s outfit and to be changed on a possibly daily basis before, but I am now on the lookout for new purse options. What I am curious about is, what do you carry in your bags and how do you swap them out so frequently?
    Typically I have changed my bag at each season, and for special evenings or events, but each time I do, there is a learning curve when I can’t find anything.
    How do you manage this?
    Thank you!

  19. Missed getting the “fashion gene” so pairing tan shoes with black outfit is new. I need the help to even care about clothing Thank you

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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.