Elevated Casual

This summer, I’ve worn a dress more often than ever before. So naturally, I’ve looked for new ones to purchase. I like the wrap or fit-n-flare styles in solid colors since I can wear them with a jean jacket, scarf, or sweater in cooler weather. Small subdued prints or stripes are also proven winners.

The links are for some dresses that I am considering. HereHereHere and Here. When I travel, dresses are perfect for most outings and take up very little space in my carry-on. My favorite skincare products are now available in carry-on sizes! You will find them here.

Mr. Mickey and I didn’t let the gloomy and rainy weather keep us inside on Saturday. Instead, we drove to Banner Elk, NC, stopping at Bodegas for margaritas and a snack outside on the deck. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t allow us to take many pictures, so I’m sharing photos of the meal I prepared the night before for Friday date night.

This is some of the bounty from my parent’s garden. I made bruschetta and served it with fresh corn. My adventure partner declared that it was a total success.

I got the idea for making the bruschetta in the video here.

6 medium vine ripe tomatoes ( 1 1/2 lbs)
1/3 cup basil leaves
5 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1 baguette
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Some shopping links on this site allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

  1. You look lovely and Mr Mickey is always dashing! I don’t currently own a dress, but you’ve shown several this summer and always look beautiful and comfortable. I’m going to look at your links for the dresses you are considering. The bruschetta really got my attention. Will try your recipe this week. Thank you!

  2. That looks like a delicious recipe, Susan! Did you sauté the corn after you cut it off the cob?
    The dress is lovely and simple. Is that a scarf from the collection you had at your on-line shop? I like the colors in it. Thanks you for always providing us with great ideas! Hope you stay cool today.

    1. I did warm the corn in butter and sea salt after removing it from the cob.
      Yes, that is one of the scarves from the now-closed shop.
      More rain is in the prediction for us this week.

  3. You and Mr. Mickey always look so nice! Thanks for the recipe. We are overrun with tomatoes and this will be a delicious way to use some of them. Kudos to your parents for continuing to garden. My husband and I are in our mid-70’s and are thinking about cutting back on the amount of gardening we do.

  4. Hello Susan,
    The bruschetta looks so appetizing and is a perfect appetizer for so many occasions. I hadn’t thought of adding corn but this will be a wonderful way for me to use up the corn I’ve got (I’ll also be freezing some). I often toast ciabatta bread instead of baggett, add toppings and serve with soup. It’s so nice to have access to a garden. My tomato plants are doing so well this year and this week I’ll be starting my lettuces, broccolini, kale and Swiss chard for the fall and winter months. I also plant herbs and veggies in decorative containers for the winter. Decorative pots of Swiss Chard are gorgeous as well as tasty and you may be able to grow them through the winter in TN.

    I’ve been wearing a dress every day – mainly because of your inspiration. Every so often the current trends suit my taste and my body and this was definitely a year for dresses. I don’t normally wear dresses because I have terrible looking legs now but I found a few maxi dresses on sale at J Jill that I love and they are so easy to accessorize. I also purchased matching linen cardigans to hide my flabby upper arms 😀 It’s such a relief to get up and just put on a dress without all the fuss with slacks, shirts, etc…

  5. I am grateful and happy to read your post today.
    I like the dress, l like your bruschetta,and most of all ,I like you say “my adventure partner” .

  6. Hallelujah! I’m so glad to learn that the skincare kit now comes in travel size — just placed my order! I recently took a trip and I didn’t take my Countertime collection with me, and I definitely noticed the difference.

  7. I do this but use garlic bread that has cheese on top from the freezer section of our grocery store. Looks yummy. I am
    5’ 5 1/2” & I feel I look taller when my dress comes just to the knee or slightly above the knee. I’m 72 & wonder if people think it’s too short. Guess at this age I should trust my instincts. Love the dress. I only own one and need to get more. Thank you.

    1. I am 5’6,” and my legs are not a part I want to draw attention to. That is why I always wear midi-length dresses with a bit of a heel or platform to give me some balance. However, you are correct in wearing a length that is a better proportion for your stature.

  8. Thanks for the Bruschetta idea, to make with the fresh tomatoes. I will definitely make it. You and Mr. Mickey seem to have so much in common. I adore you both.

  9. I have found (through many mistakes!!) the dress shape that works for me. It’s a round neck, sleeveless, slightly fitted through bodice and hips, with a slight flare ending in a “just under knee” hemline.At barely 5’4″, if I find a dress that works but is a longer length, I always have it hemmed up to just below the knee. It took me 78 years to find the perfect silhouette, but now that I have there are fewer fashion mistakes. I love all the helpful life style, travel, and wardrobe tips in your column! Thank you!!

  10. You look lovely! I am 5’3”, 115 lbs and with a small body. Probably close in age. Do you think I can wear a dress like yours? I’m always afraid a long dress wouldn’t work for me. Thanks.

  11. Susan you look simply stunning in dresses, they suit you. Mr Mickey always dapper,.its great to see a couple like you making an effort to dress smartly
    instead of mature people trying to look younger in dreadful ripped cut off jeans or t shirt with tacky slogans splashed on the front and back.
    Yes that’s their choice the world over, but your choice is for me understated elegance without being over the top. I have followed your blog for many years
    and it gets better and better , and you and Mr Mickey give so many people inspiration. The supper you made looks yummy scrummy.
    As always you both take care and continue to inspire us.
    Pamela from Wales UK xx

  12. I think midj=length dresses can easily look frumpy on a lot of mature women. The shoes, the correct length for one’s height, the prints, etc. They are tricky for many ladies.

    1. You are correct, Cheryl. I find jeans much easier to style but struggle to find cooler options for the hottest months. Dresses tick off the cooler box, but they are very tricky for me.

  13. I have a greenhouse filled with tomatoes and just harvested my garlic yesterday, so it’s your bruschetta recipe for lunch. Thank you —- I was looking for a different way to use the tomatoes. 🙂

  14. Susan, I enjoy seeing your posts that feature dresses. Is there a reason that you rarely show midi-length skirts with a coordinating top? I’m interested in looks that will add variety to my wardrobe.

    1. I find skirt waistbands to be as hot as pants waistbands, so I don’t wear those. It is the airflow that dresses provide that I appreciate. In cooler weather, I rarely wear a dress or skirt.

  15. Thank you for the recipe – looks delicious and must give it a try too! So pretty in our blue dress – always styled perfectly!

  16. As always, you and Mr. Mickey look stunning.
    Thanks for the recipé. And I’m beyond pleased to order the Countertime travel set!

  17. This post is fabulous. First, I want to say that Mr. Mickey looks healthy and I’m happy that he is doing so well after his fall. You must be a wonderful caretaker.
    Loved this post as I have been wearing a few dresses that I purchased this summer. Thank you for giving the little tweeks that set the lovely looks.

    Have a great day,
    Sandy from CA.

  18. Nothing, absolutely nothing in quotidian dresses beats a wrap dress. NOTHING (just in case I have not made my point clear.)

  19. Thanks for the recipe. I adore fresh foods and light meals during the summer months and this is perfect. Your posts about what you buy/prepare at home have influenced my diet too.
    You look great in a dress and Mr. Mickey is very fashionable.

  20. Love this type of dress, especially with the sleeves to the elbows, no sleeve-lees anything for me anymore. Thank you for including your other considerations. I especially like the wrap in the cobalt blue from Nordstroms, may have to make a purchase myself. You look great as does Mr. Mickey. My (recent) late husband and I enjoyed taking care how we dressed also. At 6′ 4″ and slim but well built, he was always striking in whatever he wore. I miss him very much, so thankful for our 30 years together. May you have many more adventures together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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.