I believe that women can look beautiful and feel confident for their whole lives, not just when they are young. When I started to blog, I was only fifty-four, but I had lost my sense of style and confidence. Researching for more than one thousand blog posts has given me a keen eye for measuring the current trends and playing them against what is right for me. When I lost more than forty pounds, I thought, “Oh good, now I can wear anything I want.” That isn’t true!

When I wear clothing that fits my body, flatters my shape, reflects my personality, and is appropriate for this stage in my life, I feel tremendous confidence. Wearing clothing that is too tight or exposes too much skin, or is the wrong color for me drains my energy. The clothes in the Junior Department might fit my body, but I would feel so silly in them, I wouldn’t even step outside the fitting room. Just because I can doesn’t mean I should. There is so much more to style than size.

I am wearing a Clara Sunwoo Soft Knit Tunic Length Cardigan in Dazzling Blue with the matching tank (shown below without the jacket). These items were gifts from my friends at My Fair Lady. The pants are old from Chico’s. The black suede evening sandals were by BCBGeneration last year. The necklace is from Caravans in the Grove Arcade in Asheville. The designer is Petra Meiren, a German-based jewelry designer.

We were on our way out to dinner before The Music of John Williams concert by the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra. I wore the necklace because it looks a little like a galaxy. (John Williams wrote the music for Star Wars, Jaws, and many other famous movies.)

I always try to share helpful tips that you can apply to your style formula. Many of you have asked for suggestions for posing for photos. Use an icebreaker to help you relax and have fun because someone is taking your picture. If you are stiff and self-conscious, it will show. Do something utterly silly so that you can relax and have a genuine smile for the remainder of the photos. Never take yourself too seriously. Developing a healthy sense of humor is the best lifestyle tip of all.

  1. So pretty! The color is perfect for you. With the heels, the proportion is right. I did find a few (very few) Clara Sun Woo petites at the Von Maur website.

  2. Hi Susan
    This is a beautiful outfit on you, I really love that blue! I believe one of the keys to looking good is being confident in what you wear. I mentioned in an earlier message that I am a new follower and live in WEstern Australia, we are just going into winter so we are covering up more and it is easy to get around in warm track pants and hoodies! Do you have posts of winter, while it is easy to just dress warm I want to look stylish while being warm.

    Kind regards

    Susan from WA

  3. Those arms. Now you’ve opened another can of worms……when do you work out? Share your upper body work out. Thanks!

    1. I once dated a bodybuilder, so we spent many hours in gyms, but that was about twenty years ago. Now my workouts include nothing more than long brisk walks or hikes.

  4. I could not agree with you more! Just because we are thin/small/slender our bodies DO change and we can’t wear what a teen would wear. I see women all the time who make that mistake and am frustrated that elegant silhouettes are hard to find. I do rely on my tailor to make clothes for special occasions. When I was a little girl I always looked forward to wearing elegant grownup clothes. Perhaps we “Susan-ites” can begin a renaissance of elegant, adult, permanent fashion!

  5. Beautiful color on you. What a break out pose–great! I read your blog faithfully, in fact, when I discovered your previous blog I went back to the beginning and read everything. I wanted to know what your journey had been. Thank you for your service to our country.

  6. Your comment about dressing like a teenager really hit home for me. I admit to having a sincere admiration for the way Duchess Kate of England dresses and found myself looking for similar items. However, I soon realized that at 30 years older than her, the things she chose, no matter how classy or stylish, were not for me. My age and especially my body type ruled them out. Now I look to you for inspiration, or even my own likes. Like you, I’m learning from experience what suits me best. Thank you so much.

  7. You exude confidence. This is my favorite color, but I am so self conscious in this the of fabric. It looks
    great on you.
    One question — the hair style you had several months ago — that’s a different cut than you have now?

    Thanks for all your inspiration.

  8. Hi Susan
    Great post, great tips and you look so pretty in that top! Nice arms, by the way! :-). I look forward to your post every day. Big fan. I respect you.

  9. Great post Susan! I’ll keep those tips in mind when I next get my picture taken. Having my picture taken is something I absolutely loathe….and it usually shows in the picture!

  10. I have been reading (and enjoying) your blog for a few months, and had watched a couple of your videos, so I fancied that I had an idea of your personality. As I was scrolling down through this post, I laughed out loud at the “muscle” pose. I was not expecting that! A good lesson for me, and great advice from you about not taking ourselves too seriously.

  11. Hi, Susan

    It’s great that you have offered this thoughtful and encouraging post! We are all different, and feel confident when we are showing our true selves. That’s when the mantel of defensiveness and conformity are thrown off about who we are and how old we are. I believe that age doesn’t matter. You are right that what matters is what looks good on the body you have at the moment and who you are. I not only fit into the styles in the Juniors’ Department by my size but also by my personality. There are styles offered there that I cannot find elsewhere. I find fun and expansiveness there. However, the skimpy styles there are not good for any age in my opinion. That’s another topic. 😉


  12. Developing a sense of humor in case:

    The straps on both of your new shoes break at a formal event, and the hem on the lace jacket you’ve worn catches on a chair, spontaneously unhemming itself? That’s why a girl brings a spare pair of shoes in the trunk of the car, and transparent tape. Oh what a night! (And I worried so much about wearing the right outfit, when all that mattered was not falling apart)

  13. Do you dry clean your top? It’s beautiful and was wondering how you care for it. I see on their website wash in cold or dry clean. Thanks.

  14. I have enjoyed your blog for couple of years now. I like how your style has evolved and I appreciate your tips and encouragement.
    I love the cardigan and matching tank. It is just perfect with your complexion, hair and eyes. It is such a good example of what to wear that is flattering.
    I was wondering about the pants. They are short and tight everywhere, but particularly around the calves creating folds around your knees. Since the pants are so short your outfit is half top and half bottom.
    I was wondering if you think thirds are flattering.
    I would love to have additional ideas for those of us who are still socially active but can no longer wear heels.

    1. The pants are slim fitting but not at all tight. If they were a size larger, I would always be pulling them up. I have muscular calves, so even straight leg pants cling to them. The top of your shoes should never interfere with the hem of your pants. The fact that the shoes are black and a straight line points almost to the toe you would consider that the end of the bottom third. If both the tops ended mid-thigh, I would be visually cutting my body in half, as it is, they stop at the top of the leg where it bends at the hip.
      I will likely always wear heels out to dinner. Flats or pointed toe slim-fitting shoes with a low heel or a wedge could give a similar effect.

  15. Fabulous post and such a great color on you. Your facial expression and body language exudes confidence. I have learned so much from your blog and notice a positive change in my wardrobe and choice of clothing. Thank you.

  16. Well said! I love the way you dress!!! I will turn 60 at the end of this year and I just don’t feel like I’m ready to dress 60. Thank you for your blog–you inspire many of us!!! Joyce

  17. Great Guns. Agree..
    I wish I had the nerve to show more myself. Awesome arms.
    You are a wondeful person Susan
    …warm, kind and you know what you are doing. You have come a long way. Yeah….. Keep doing what you do and ignore the strange ones. You are about the best 50 plus blogger I know. Keep going….

  18. You look fabulous in that blue….love the entire outfit on you…and love that mindset and personality that comes thru in your blog. Blessings!!!

  19. I’m SO happy to have found your site, and I eagerly read each new post. Much of what you write about and show is about going from good to great, or better to best – which I really appreciate. Some folks just don’t get that, and think everything is just “fine”. You have become my style icon, and, like many other readers, I often ask myself in front of the closet and mirror in the morning “what would Susan do?”

    Keep up the great work, O Gal with Guns!

  20. This should be displayed prominently everywhere. “Just because you can fit into something doesn’t mean you should!”

  21. Thank you for showing us repeatedly that pants can go anywhere and be appropriate. You look great in blue and red and coral with black and khaki and white too. I enjoy reading your gentle advice and viewing the wonderful pictures of you, Mr. Mickey, your travels,and events.

  22. I love your blog posts. I notice that many of your tops are long sleeved. I am 63 but still experiencing personal heat waves. Any ideas for your readers who are still flashing?

  23. Lovely photos Susan. I adore this blue colour on you. The necklace was a great find and suits you beautifully. I’ve been taking more photos for my Stylebook app over the last month. It is amazing how having information in photo form helps to make more informed decisions. I can also see how much I am wearing my clothes and I’m amazed at how little wear most of my clothes get! Cost per wear has got me thinking about buying only things I really love and that fit into my style. Paying more for something that gets more wear and will last makes a lot more sense now, with information at my finger tips. I’ve seen a few things in the shops lately that I like the colour etc, but you know, I don’t need them, I’m not wearing what I have enough to justify spending my hard earned money. But I’m afraid – I’m afraid that next season they will not have that colour, or they won’t have that style or they will not have it on sale. I’m refusing to give in to my fear, and keep reminding myself that next season there might be something even better and it will be more up-to-date and I will enjoy wearing what I have bought because I needed it. Thanks for sharing your journey and giving me inspiration.

  24. Thank you for all that you share! Love everything!
    Your style is beautiful. Would love to know more about figuring body proportion as well as more info on your skincare and makeup routine. Have watched all your videos and find them helpful.
    The only makeup one I found was from the fifty not frumpy site. Have you done one lately?
    Thanks again and God bless you!

    1. I stopped eating any fast food or processed convenience foods, as well as reducing the quantity. Drink more water than any other liquid. Walk three brisk miles per day when the weather allows. Include as much movement in your daily life as possible. Sitting is the new smoking.

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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.