Dressed For Dinner

Italy has a tradition of passeggiata (going for a long stroll) in the main piazza (square) each evening. I often wish we had that tradition here in the States. It would be lovely to see friends and stop to chat while going for a leisurely walk in the evening. Read more about the passeggiata here. See beautiful Italian ladies going for a stroll here.

We didn’t go for a stroll after dinner, but I did honor our tradition of getting dressed up a little to go out for the evening. I wore some of the oldest pieces in my wardrobe. The pants are about five years old. I’ve learned from similar purchases that you can often enjoy the item for many years if you buy the best quality you can afford. The tank is also several years old.

The Bandolino shoes are about fifteen years old.

I have worn this necklace many times. A decorative clasp in the front allows you to style it in numerous ways. It can look very different depending on how you wrap the strand and where you attach the clasp. The stunning necklace is here. (Use the code SAS10 for $10 off any one item at Beauty in Stone Jewelry.)

The clutch is about six years old. Evening bags can last many years if you buy a classic shape without many details. I remember choosing this one because of its clean lines and neutral colors. I can also carry it during the day because no detail screams evening bag.

If you missed the earlier announcement, everyone’s favorite skincare collection is now available in a carry-on kit. You can find it here.

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  1. Cheers!
    We go for walks around our property early each morning and evening, after dinner. Happily, wildfire smoke has lightened in our area and we can be outside without coughing! Hopefully, it will continue to lift and another fire season will soon be behind us.
    The walking is a healthy post-meal exercise and feels so good. We changed over to a keto lifestyle years ago and that low-carb dining adds to the energy.
    Wish I could say I dressed so beautifully for our treks! But, we are surrounded by mountains, forest, wildlife and peace so, wearing shorts and sturdy shoes is a very small price to pay for not being dressy.
    Walked with a porcupine two evenings ago, watched “our” herd of elk and saw a cougar last week. Life is good.
    May your walks fill you with discoveries, continued good health and relaxation, for many years!

  2. Those medium blues do wonders for you! I LOVE the whole outfit.
    Wouldn’t it be great to be in Florence right now!?

  3. I absolutely loved going to the piazza in the evening when we were in Italy and I had no idea that this pasttime had an actual name attached to it! Thank you for this information and I readily agree with you that it is a lovely pasttime that I wished could be brought here. Love your posts and your styling. You have helped me greatly through these past few years.

  4. I think one of the things that differentiates a daytime purse from an evening bag is the size. An evening bag is viewed as what you take on a ‘date’ where you only need room for a compact, lipstick and your keys. A daytime purse is usually larger and roomier so you can carry a cornucopia of items.

  5. Susan, I have been using. Beauty Counter Nourishing Day Cream which I purchased from you. I really love it! I tried to buy some and it has disappeared. What has taken its place?


  6. I intended to just glance at the video but became mesmerized! It was relaxing and I picked up several ideas – thanks so much for sharing! You look especially elegant in this outfit!

  7. Susan, I lived in Europe for three years in my twenties, and still remember really enjoying all the people watching occasions. Loved the billowing skirts and baggy crops in this video. Thank you for sharing!

  8. I see you carry a clutch frequently so I would like your comments from your experiences…… do you place it in your lap when eating? Do you cover with your napkins? Any comments would be appreciated. Often time I find that mine will slide off my lap so I shy away from using a clutch although I have several.

    1. I place my clutch behind me in my chair at the small of my back or on my lap underneath my napkin. You can slip it under your thigh if you find that it falls off your lap.

  9. Your summer cut is so chic. I’m thinking of going a bit shorter too. It gives the face a nice lift.
    The blue is pretty and adds so much to a white column. Another lovely look!

  10. Fascinating video of Italian women. What amazed me were the number of “older” women on their own riding bikes while stylishly dressed! No bike helmets in sight.

    I have enjoyed your examples of creatively using the clothes you have on hand. I have also appreciated your pictures of local areas and food.

    Ontario, Canada

  11. The Italian evening walk reminds me of my parents’ porch sitting after supper. They waved and called out greetings to folks who drove or walked by. Some folks came up on the porch to visit and have a drink and piece of pie. Now many our newer homes don’t have a big enough porch for such socializing. What a pity!

  12. Thoroughly enjoyed the video on Italian fashion. We are planning a Mediterranean cruise in 2022 and to spend a week in Italy.

  13. Classic is always in style and yes buying the best you can afford really pays off in the long run. Fine fabric, great construction and the cost per wear should really be considered. That blue is so beautiful on you…

  14. Your blue sweater is the extra touch. And the shoes are lovely. The square toe is back and I have a new pair of the same style in flats from the Nordstrom sale.
    I like to people watch so I really enjoyed your video. It’s no wonder I have read that Americans can be easily spotted by the people in Europe by the clothes and shoes they wear. I always change clothes for dinner out and look a little more put together thanks to you and the ideas you offer.
    You look great as always. Thanks.

  15. Susan, lovely as always. Your new haircut is perfect, it really accents your features. My husband and I live in Italy several months out of the year and the pass stats is always a time to dress your best, show off a little and see your friends.

  16. I haves enjoyed your fashion and local tourism postings, but a Russian language passeggiata doesn’t cut it. Believe me. I have enjoyed several evening strolls in Italy.

    1. The Russian woman did the only video I could find to show older ladies strolling around the streets of Italy. (I think she lives there now.) I would dearly love to go to Italy.

  17. The video of the fashionable Italians was amazing. Having been to Italy a couple of times, I am always struck by how fashionable they are. Do you know where in Italy this YouTube was taken?

  18. Hmmm. Fun to watch the video, but I still don’t find the strolling lady, or men either, fashions all that great. Better than old baggy t shirts but many of looked like they were wearing long nightshirts with no style or fit at all. Having grown up in European family I recall the 60’s and 70’s when we owned only 9 or 10 pieces of quality clothing that was well constructed to fit perfectly and didn’t deteriorate for years with proper care. And everyone was meticulous about their wardrobe maintenance.
    Not a lot of choice but unless one had really poor personal taste…it was effortless to look wonderful every day, even to do housework. Today, I’d say fast fashion has obliterated this lifestyle of true style almost completely, even in Italy.

  19. Thank you for sharing the video of the Italian ladies. They dress beautifully even for a casual outing. I also noticed they have great haircuts and beautiful accessories and handbags. They walk with confidence and aren’t in a hurry. Lovely ladies!

  20. I was first introduced to a passeggiata when my grandmother took me on a trip to her hometown in Pescara, Italy 50 years ago when I was 14. We went aboard the Italian Liner Raffaello because my grandmother was afraid to fly, and what started out as a summer vacation ended up being a year long stay with her relatives whom she hadn’t seen in over 30 years. My grandmother’s cousin’s 23 year old daughter took me to many of the little towns around Pescara, and I would go with her and her friends, male and female, for a passeggiata most afternoons or evenings. The walks were something I looked forward to, however, the linking of arms with other women was a bit of a culture shock for me, and I had to put up with some friendly teasing for my inability to hide my uneasiness.

  21. Dear Susan,
    I am a new subscriber and I appreciate your honesty in sharing the age of some of your favorite items. I too have many old favorites in my closet. I enjoy continuing to wear these pieces along with a few newer, trendier accessories. I also enjoy finding well-made treasures at second=hand stores to add to my wardrobe. The quality of materials and construction I find to be superior to today’s offerings. I’m so glad I found your posts on Pinterest. Have a lovely day!

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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.