Effortless Casual

Fewer meetings and less responsibility mean my style is becoming more casual. Warm weather dressing has always been a challenge for me because I have never enjoyed wearing skimpy clothing that clings. Finding tops with coverage and some texture without the bulk can be difficult, but the one I am wearing here fits the bill beautifully.

This knit polo top was a gift from Cali and York here. I also have a black and white version. Both tops will get lots of wear because they are comfortable for three of our seasons here in East Tennessee. I am wearing the top over the cooler version of my favorite Shapeez bra, the Tankee Short. The white jeans are by Ralph Lauren via Dillard’s. The bag is an old favorite from Express. The silver sandals are from DSW and are at least three years old. The sunglasses are by Dolce & Gabbana. My lip color is Scarlet – True Red from Beautycounter here.

That’s a Blue Passion Flower above.

When I downsized a few years ago, extensive flower gardens and terraced rock borders that surrounded my five-bedroom home, shown below, were left behind. The work to maintain them required full-time effort from both a gardener’s helper and me. My new garden became a postage stamp size planting near the entrance of my much smaller home. I added mostly perennials that will return each year without much effort from me. Downsizing is wonderful!

  1. We just downsized a couple of years ago, and don’t miss the yardwork either!!
    I know many people still love to do it, but we’d rather go out and appreciate nature done naturally!!

  2. I live in Florida and the challenges of dressing in a hot and humid climate are really difficult.
    Thanks for showing this cute outfit for fashionable casual dressing in the warm weather. I deal with this 9 months of the year!

  3. You got your bangs trimmed. Looks great! You are wearing my summer “uniform”: white pants + cute light weight top.

  4. Hi, Susan!
    I retired last year to create my blogging business, and have also been dressing more casually since working in my home office. I am finding that loose, flowing clothing is comfortable and beautiful. I am enjoying tunics, maxi dresses, skirts of all kinds, and full pants such as palazzo pants and harem pants. All of these are super comfortable, especially in lightweight fabrics such as silk, gauze and linen. I also find thin t-shirts and thin, cotton shirts to be cool and comfortable. Your home was/is gorgeous!
    Thanks for covering such a needed subject!

  5. Hello! I always loved Cali & York and thought they had disappeared. How great that they’re back!
    Thanks for telling us. I love your outfit. Enjoy your weekend.

  6. Love the top! I am not sure what size to order as I have both PS and PM tops. Do these tops run small or large? Thanks for any advice….love your blog and your style! Met you and Mickey in Blowing Rock a few years ago…at the ice cream/fudge shop. 🙂

  7. Is your watch two tone or silver? I’m shopping for one presently. I tried the larger size and it felt too big to me. I like the size of yours. Thanks.

  8. I take it you are getting ready to retire? Saying fewer meetings and less responsibility makes me think you are ready to do more things Susan wants to do. If this is true I am very happy for you. I like the outfit you have one.

  9. Susan. The shirt is darling! Have to chuckle at the warm weather woes. In Alaska we struggle because we are bundled up so much due to cool temps -we tend to wear our baggy hooded sweatshirts, jeans and XtraTuf rubber boots year-round, a very lax version of ‘casual.’ Your site has completely inspired me to improve my casual! Love the Shapeez Ultimate bra I purchased based on your suggestion! Love the Express shirts and Chicos travelers black pant/tanks travelwear I use all the time in my new casual wear now. And love how you infuse common sense, beauty and fun in your style posts! We need you to come to Alaska and give us over-50 ladies lifestyle seminar in person! Come visit us here. We need Alaska to get off the “worst dressed state in the nation award” list!

  10. You have such a good eye! I have two tops very like yours. One red/white, the other turquoise/white which I wear in the cooler months. It had never occurred to me to team them with white trousers !
    Please keep on blogging .

  11. Hello Susan,
    Thank you so much for honestly sharing important tips for women in their 60’s…
    I am 62 and retired thus my at home dress is very casual. When shopping for an event or getaway
    I find that I am thinking of the points you have made , which are so helpful to me.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  12. Beautiful pictures and that blue flower so complex and pretty. Love your new look which shows in these pictures .

  13. I love that top. I will check it out with the link you provided. I would love to downsize but hubs is not quite ready. And we have two dogs that are very elderly and don’t feel they would do well if we moved. But when we do move, I will have no more pets and no more large gardens to maintain. I will miss them both, but we don’t want those responsibilities any longer.

  14. Some lovely pictures I loved the blue Passion Flower, I have just the ordinary one, I did see a blue one on hols in the Isle of Wight, but never managed to grow one here in the East of England think perhaps they need a warmer climate.

  15. Susan, that top is so “me” I’d be surprised if it doesn’t have my name inside it! It combines one of my favorite colour combinations with that great shirt style neckline that I find so much more flattering (on myself, anyway) than either round or crew-neck. That & vee-necks work best for me & looking at this photo of you, I can see why — they provide such an attractive frame for your face, drawing the eye upward. I know you’ve said seeing a photo of yourself in a given outfit helps you see what’s right (or wrong) with it, and I can certainly see what you mean here (even if the photo I’m looking at is one of you & not myself!). Love the silver sandals, too. I always have at least one pair of silver sandals (& maybe a pr of silver slip ons, too) in my closet. I wear only silver jewelry & I’ve noticed that silver sandals (with prettily manicured & painted toes, of course!) & silver accessories really elevate a pair of jeans & even the most casual top to something a little more elegant. Thanks, as always, for the inspiration.

  16. Hi Susan
    I have just found your page and cant thank you enough for your tips and ideas of dress style and for different occasions. I am trying to sort my wardrobe into styles like yours and it is giving me so much confidence. You will be my role model from now on.
    Just wish I could find a denim jacket like yours as the websites you recommend are only in your country and I am in the U.K.
    But will keep looking and following your tips.

    (74yrs young )

  17. What size Callie and York do you wear? I prefer Petite sizes, usually now wearing a PL…do their sizes run large or small or true to normal?

    Love your summer looks!!!! We in Houston…..needless to say, wear a LOT of summer clothes about 9-10 months of the year!

    Happy Summertime!!!!

  18. Hi Susan, I really enjoy your posts and your classic style. Can you share tips on buying white jeans/pants? Thanks! Ann R.

    1. I look for the thickest material I can find. My current favorites are by Ralph Lauren, and I bought them at Dillard’s. I always wear them with skin tone colored (nude) Vanishing Edge Panties from Soma. White or any other color might show through white clothing.

  19. What a beautiful flower. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Although I love your outfit I was wondering if the diagonal texture in the purse is too busy for the delicate red and white stripes.

  20. Hi Susan, I just bought this top in black and white this week (Yay it was on sale) and it came today. I love it. I don’t by online too much because I hate returning items if they don’t fit. The medium in this is a perfect fit. It’s a soft fabric and it’s not too long for my short frame. Thank you for recommending Cali and York

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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.