Dinner and The Symphony

As the days become shorter and the weather turns colder, our adventures take place much closer to home, and photography becomes a real challenge. We still haven’t conquered the lighting issues with indoor shots. In the meantime, here are some photos that almost turned out from last night.


I promised to show you the Juliet Ankle Pants I purchased from Chico’s last week. I paired them with a long loose Vince cashmere sweater and boots by French Connection; both purchased at Saks Off 5th last year. The fur vest was a long-ago Christmas gift from Mr. Mickey. Wearing all one color can be boring if I don’t mix up the textures. The sweater, the pants, and the vest have very different textures, so light reflects differently, creating depth from the various surfaces. I love to wear all black and then add a pop of color, either in a scarf or statement jewelry. The long blue earrings were from Stein Mart a few years ago. The gunmetal colored box clutch was from T.J.Maxx last year.



These pants are very comfortable! I will be wearing them often with casual as well as more dressy looks. Since the fit is slightly slim on my legs, I will treat them as leggings and always pair them with a longer top. I like the slimming effect that comes with wearing a shorter layer over a longer layer with slim-fitting pants—continuing the line of unbroken color from top to bottom, including wearing black pantyhose.

Speaking of texture, I always take into consideration how textures flow across each other. If something drags and bunches over another piece, I will not wear that combination. For example, if I had worn opaque tights instead of pantyhose, the pants would have bunched up everywhere as they got caught on the rougher texture of the tights. Whenever I wear socks or hose, I am careful not to create a train wreck with whatever I am wearing over them. Have you ever seen the line caused by the tops of trouser socks showing boldly through a nice pair of slacks? I rest my case!


We enjoyed a lovely dinner at Gourmet and Company, followed by night at the Symphony. Someone recently commented that what I wore to the last performance was inappropriate for the “opera.” I took note of what the fellow in the seat next to me was wearing last evening. He and his date were similarly dressed. They were in their thirties, and he was wearing faded jeans and a plaid shirt while munching Peanut M&Ms throughout the performance. Interesting times.


One of our tricks of eating out often without overdoing it is to share an entree as well as an occasional dessert. Cheers!

    1. Because wearing both large dangle earrings and a statement necklace is visual overload close to your face. That combo can look very dated and much too busy. The vest converges high at the neckline, and so a necklace would mostly not show, so I opted for just the bold earrings.

  1. Your post is so timely as I was trying on my black fur vest just yesterday with different sweaters and boots! Mine is a more casual look though as my vest is an over-sized look.
    You are so correct in that when you wear all black, you really need to mix the textures. I finally settled on a long black sweater with ribbing details on the cowl neck and cuffs, black leggings, tall black leather boots with silver details and silver earrings. Red gloves are my touch of colour.

  2. Susan, I live in DC and frequent the Kennedy Center. What you wear to the symphony in Johnson City would do just as nicely here in the nation’s cultural arts center!

  3. You look lovely, as usual, Susan. I had to smile, though, when I read that someone suggested that what you wore to the last performance was inappropriate for the opera. I’ve been attending the opera regularly for the past 47 years, both the Lyric in Chicago, and the Dallas Opera here in Dallas, and I can tell you, everyone wears whatever they want to wear. Some people are dressed to the nines, and others are dressed very casually. What you were wearing was, in my humble opinion, both appropriate and beautiful. I enjoy dressing up, so I always dress up, and I love seeing the young people on dates, all dressed up for what may be their first opera. But I don’t care if they come in jeans and sweaters, so long as they attend, because my hope is that they become fans, and thus ensure the continuation of this wonderful form of art.

  4. You look stunning and elegantly dressed! Love all black and the different textures…great tips! What you wore to the opera was beautiful as well…..Thanks for the style tips….much appreciated

  5. Times are changing. Things have become more casual, even on opening night. I’m not a fan of jeans everywhere, but Susan, your outfits are completely appropriate and dressy. A little bit of shimmer and shine makes things special.

    Evening dresses won’t be in my future. There is so much more mileage in a look like yours.

    One more thing. I was surprised recently when attending a concert in a beautiful new concert hall. Drinks and snacks from the venue were allowed in the hall during the performance. I’ve not seen this at the same concert hall in the year since it opened, so this is new. I noted the lack of carpet and seat upholstery that is easy to clean. Times are changing quickly, but I wouldn’t want to ruin an expensive dress. I guess these new rules bring out a younger audience. Support for the arts among all ages is a good thing. (Not a fan of people who crinkle candy wrappers during a performance, though.)

  6. Perhaps what I most respect, Susan, about your continued willingness to put yourself out there in cyberland is your unfailing grace extended to those who have failed to extend it you. Learned, no doubt, from personally painful life challenges, thank you for continuing to model (!) the essence of true class, which cannot be purchased online, unfortunately. It may prove to be your lasting legacy to your subscribers. And what a dynamite mentor you are to young women who are struggling as entrepreneurs in a harsh world, projecting strength and conviction while standing firm within the blessings of strong womanhood. With gratitude.

  7. I have never seen you look inappropriately dressed for anything, you ALWAYS look brautifully put together and could go anywhere in your outfits, why would someone say that, why would they bother to take the time to make an utterly inappropriate remark like that? Continue to live a fabulous life looking absolutely radiant and stunning. I look forward to everyone of your posts and I learn so much.
    Thank you Susan..

  8. I’m wearing all black for a period of time as I grieve for what might have been in our country. Today was the first day I put together something more dressy (for church) and it worked out well. I wore a knit knee length dress with open work down each sleeve, black tights, black suede wedge shoes and black suede purse with fringe detail. I didn’t do color on purpose but wore my diamond stud earrings and watch with a sparkly frame around the face. By the way, I’ve NEVER seen you dressed inappropriately for any occasion and I’ve been a follower since the early days.

  9. Susan, I love this all-black, textured look on you. You’re so fortunate to have a symphony in your town where all kinds of folks can attend and enjoy. Vive la difference!

    Today (at age 71) I bought my first pair of 501 jeans (size 30/30). I told the saleswoman, “I’m making a list of everything I’ve always wanted to wear, because it’s time to wear them!” After Christmas at the sales, I’ll buy a black leather motorcycle jacket. I’m channeling Debbie Harry. 🙂

  10. I am unable to find the correct way to read the comments from your readers. What do I have to click on? I love your blog, and read all your topics. I am 74 years old—so you have all ages reading your blog. Happy New Year!

  11. We go to the symphony regularly and I can attest that, while most wear dressy casual type clothing you do see everything from jeans to formal wear. I’m just glad to see people going.

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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.