Eliminating Items

Letting go of things you don’t wear or that don’t go with any of your other items frees up valuable space in your closet. Getting dressed in a snap, always looking your best, and feeling comfortable in what you wear are the rewards.

How many times have you stood in front of your closet stuffed with clothes and said, “I have nothing to wear!”? Purging the things that you don’t wear or that are uncomfortable each time you do wear them allows you to organize what remains in a way that makes it easier to get dressed. You will also see what pieces you need to add to make those items work better for you. If most of your tops are print and most of your pants are also prints, you will feel like you don’t have anything to wear because of the chaos. If you discover that a pair of lightweight navy pants would go with seven of your tops, that’s what you should look for the next time you go shopping. If you shop by impulse, you may buy another print top instead of the pants.

As I get dressed in my favorites last season, I look closer at the fit and flow. Does the top flow across my body smoothly, or does it highlight all those bits I would rather not display? Aging happens on a cellular level, so it isn’t just those folds and wrinkles around my mouth getting more prominent; my whole body is changing. There are differences from last summer, even though I have not gained weight, and I remain very active. Just because I can still wear it, it doesn’t mean I should.

The posts from this week don’t signal that I will wear only basics with flats every day; I may still try some over the top fun edgy pieces with my caged high heels (Stay tuned!). It does mean that it is a priority for me that my closet includes pieces that fit correctly and serve my daily needs. The problem arises when I don’t have quality basics to combine with statement pieces to create comfortable looks for me at this stage in my life.

The look I am showing you today is one I would wear out to lunch with friends or over to my warehouse and running errands in town. The top is by Clara Sunwoo via ShopMyFairLady.com. I now have this style top in almost every color. I enjoy wearing these tops so much because I can check off all the boxes. It has three-quarter length sleeves, a V-neckline, and the right proportions to wear with flats. The fabric flows across my body instead of clinging to everything on the way down. The uneven hemline draws the eye up and down instead of straight across. Every horizontal line or color break makes us look shorter and broader. When I wear heels, I can get away with a longer top, but my legs look too short when I wear a long top with straight-leg pants and flat shoes. Best Petite Tip: Wear tops that show the full length of at least one of your legs.

The pants are by Fabrizio Gianni, and I have been wearing them for the last three summers. I have learned that if I invest in quality items, they will serve me well for many seasons and keep looking sharp. These straight-leg style pants are perfect to wear with flats. The shoes are from Anne Klein Sport from a couple of years ago. The bold earrings are from Chico’s. (Always worn without a necklace because they are enough on their own!)

  1. Much more flattering look today! Sorry, but I thought yesterday’s look was too frumpy; bless your heart. Today’s look is more on trend and youthful.

    1. Proof that age appropriate is not always easy. I have been told countless times over the years that I need to wear looser longer pants and flats. That is the result.

  2. Love this look and you are so right about eliminating things. I struggle with outfits at this age, but it takes some experimentation. I do have a question about white pants and what to wear under them if the derriere is not covered:)

    1. Always wear undies the color of your skin. White will always show through. Look for dense fabric like denim that is not too tight which provides more non see through coverage.

  3. A perfect outfit today ,speaks to me. All last posts “eliminating items ” are great lessons . Thank you,Susan

  4. You could not be more right about how our bodies change on a cellular level when we age. I frequently see women our age who are slender. But they might be in a mini-skirt or clingy top. And because they are thin they think these looks work.

    They never do.

    Thank you for helping us to know what principles to follow “after60”.

  5. Good Morning, Susan!
    You look so pretty today! Love that little purse. It makes the whole outfit look more Springy (is that a word?). And by the way, looks like your hair is a bit longer now. My personal opinion…you look 8-10 years younger with a little bit of length! Thanks for taking the time to do these posts. I always look forward to reading them! I turned 67 this past April and I can relate to what you write about, even though my lifestyle is a bit more casual!

  6. This ongoing process can be hard on the self-esteem. Even items from a year ago that still fit can start to look wrong. I guess we have to face reality and set these things free. Thank you for the tip that aging happens on a cellular level. Aging also seems to happen in spurts.

    For those who say they have not experienced any body shape changes in midlife and beyond, I want to know where they bought their magic mirrors! Either they’re rare specimens, or they’re in denial. Some people age more slowly than the rest of us, but changes are inevitable.

  7. I love your attitude and how you care for your clothing. I have white pants a few years old and they don’t look as fresh as yours. Do you dry-clean many/most items or do you wash & wear at home, as I do?

  8. Love the lower height of shoes which I wear but like a higher heel, for special occasions and when I’m not doing a lot of walking! Great tips on how to wear clothing!! Keep up the great work, Susan as you are a “Blessing” to some of us, as we age!! Hugs!! Elaine

  9. Hi Susan,
    You look lovely. I’ve finally moved my winter items upstairs so I have room for my summer items.

    Is that their water fall top?

    Thanks so much Susan for all your help

  10. Very lovely look! Thanks for all the great tips and keep them coming. I too wear mostly pants and solid tops.

  11. I notice that with flats you wear longer slacks. They make your leg look longer. Ankle pants would shorten your outfit.

  12. Thank you for confirming something for me. Although I am the same size and weight as from a year ago, certain items don’t look or feel the same as they used to. Yes, our faces aren’t the only things that undergo change. You are so very helpful and I thank you for all you share with us. Can’t wait to see some of your “edgy” pieces.

  13. Thanks for these latest posts about dressing more casually in this warmer season. By the way, I received my embroidered bag from you yesterday and it exceeded my expectations – very good quality.

  14. That outfit is a knock out!! The purse adds the punch. I may have to order one from you!! You summed up this aging thing perfectly. I also lost weight 6 years ago and still weigh the same today. But the skin and saggy parts have shifted. So unfair!! I recently went through my summer items and discovered many things don’t look the same on me nor do they feel as comfortable as they once did. Also, I’m paring down and becoming more focused with my needs trying to use your method of solids that flatter. That is hard for me since I am drawn to prints. I’m retired and my lifestyle is relaxed with an occasional trip, dinner out, and/or theater. You have discovered the key to stylish dressing with well chosen pieces. Thanks for your hard work.

  15. Wonderful very helpful hints today, as always, that I will apply to myself. One thing I especially admire is your simplicity in jewelry. Considering you are a jewelry designer one would think you would adorn yourself in jewels. I agree with the idea that less is more, which adds to your very elegant appearance. Thank you Susan, for your honesty in the changes in your body that you are experiencing and ways to camouflage and draw attention away from these areas. At this stage we are all seeing this same reflection in the mirror and appreciate your superior tips.

  16. I have little by little been purging my closet and drawers and have found it true…it actually seems like I have more to wear! It also takes away that depressed feeling because what I see and put on…I feel good about. It is so uplifting to have a much tidier closet. I am going to keep sorting and purging!

  17. I love the tops you wear, but I am concerned about the poly/rayon/spandex fabric. I usually wear cotton and linen in warm weather and I am not sure the blend on those beautiful tops you wear would breathe and be comfy….Are you cool enough in those fabrics?

  18. Hi Susan – I’m a very new follower of your blog and just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying seeing your wardrobe. Many of the things you feature would suit my body shape and I’m only sorry that I don’t have easy access to the clothing companies you feature. Never been one for online shopping and living on a small island off the UK mainland the choice is not wide.

  19. Thank you for talking about body changes as we age. Awareness of these changes can make a big difference in the clothing we ought to be choosing. I really notice so many women wearing clothing that does not skim, but clings. This emphasizes all those jiggly bits you talk about. That clinging definitely ruins an otherwise nice outfit. I tried on all my clothes and looked them over, especially from all angles to make sure they actually fit well. Some items I thought fit nicely, but oh goodness, only from the front! Out they go! Thank you for taking us on your journey of learning about yourself and sharing your discoveries.

  20. The link for the top doesn’t go to that particular top…can you give the name if that top?

  21. Hi Susan,
    I am a relatively new follower from Vancouver B.C., Canada and loving your blog. I think today’s outfit is so ideal for so many occasions. It looks comfortable and perfect for a lunch out with friends and would fit in anywhere!
    So much so that I just ordered the top for myself! Thank you for all your hard work maintaining the blog with regular updates.

  22. Susan, I love this Clara Sunwoo top and I would like to order it online. I’m just not sure what size I should order. Do you find the tops are true to your usual size? I usually wear a 2 in Chico’s tops. Love your blog and all your good tips on building a wardrobe that works for me, not trendy.

  23. Thank you so much for this post!
    Your outfit is a winning combination, and you look great! I love everything about it!
    I need to follow your lead and clean out my closet. It is packed with stuff that doesn’t fit now. I had gall bladder surgery two years ago and I have gained 15 pounds. I keep thinking I will loose weight, so I refuse to buy anything new, and I end up wearing the same few boring items every week. You inspire me. Thanks for taking the time to create this blog and keep up the postings. I look forward to tuning in and reading them! Bless you 🙂

  24. Ah, the jiggly bits! Skimming them is important to me. My problem is that what I’ve found for tops seem to be to big and floppy. I do need to keep looking to find something more polished. I like the angle of this top and how it doesn’t seem to latch onto curves.

    A year ago I heard a talk by an ER physician, a woman, who emphatically insisted that it was time to give up the heels. I was 66 then. I gave them all away and have been looking for interesting flats or slight elevation heels ever since. It’s taken a year but I’ve adjusted.

  25. Love your outfit today. Thank you for all the tips. I still have weight to lose so finding non frumpy clothes is hard.

  26. Susan,
    I wanted you to know the impact you have had on my life. Since I found your blog I have read every post thoughtfully.
    I have become a more thoughtful purposeful shopper and I am working my way through my closet.
    I feel more confident and carry myself differently. I take care of my skin and have improved my makeup application. I am still spending time putting outfits together but it is no longer a rushed chore.
    Frankly, I never used to plan my jewelry.
    So thank you a thousand times over! You are a gift!

  27. Susan. Thank you so much for all the fun and helpful tips you share with us. I’m dumbfounded that anyone would suggest that you look frumpy. You always look great. It’s so hard to understand people offering up unsolicited opinions. Especially when they are unkind. You’re a lovely person inside and out. Thank you again for for your generosity.

  28. Thank you Susan for the insight you give to us and especially in today’s for us petites being I am 5’and 68. Whatever you wear, seriously, looks wonderful on you. Thank you for this different series for us all. So looking forward to your next pictures and hints along with your truths of life.

  29. Your outfit today is what I consider the ‘perfect go-to’ outfit. You look lovely! I have a similar top in a fine, black knit, always feel good in it and always wishing I could find the same top in different colours (I bought mine at a consignment shop and the label had been removed). I’ve never had the courage to order clothing online but now that I’m less mobile I think it’s time. Thank you Susan! You’re an inspiration!

  30. I love love this top. If you don’t mind me asking, what size are you wearing in this photo? I am trying to determine which size I should buy. I am 5 ft 4 in tall and I weigh 152. I thought I should buy a medium, thanks so much for your help. I love, love your blog!!

  31. Can thAt top be worn with a skirt? If so, what type and length?
    Thanks, Sue Gharring

  32. About purging – after reading your blog since the beginning of the year, and putting your good advice to practice in my own closet, I just took 7 bags of clothes to Goodwill yesterday. It feels really good to get rid of the things that are no longer working for me.

  33. As I inch toward 70, I find my body and style evolving. Things I could wear at 60, like sleeveless styles, are trickier now. And anything floral is out of the question. For me, it is especially difficult to avoid frumpiness while remaining fresh and current. I’ve been following the discussion on the blog, A Femme d’Un Certain Age, about Madame Macron, the spouse of France’s new leader. She is in her 60’s and a number of years older than her husband. Her outfits are being criticized for skewing too young. It must be so difficult to find a personal style that matches her status and yet remains both chic and appropriate.

  34. Today I have been looking over your blog and a couple of videos, you mention not wearing puffer jackets or vest tops (gilet? ) – what style of casual jacket would you go for instead to keep warm ? Is it best to look for streamlined shapes,so unpadded?
    (I seem to remember you wearing a short utility jacket but it was coloured rather than khaki.)

    Also what should petite frames go for in a raincoat – trenches seem to be long and have too many layers with trims and epaulettes and extra buttons for my style.
    Always like your tips and advise, especially casual and smart casual looks and styling outfits.

    1. Look for slim-fitting streamlined jackets and trenchcoats in colors that flatter your complexion. A 3/4 length coat might be better for your petite frame than a full length coat.

  35. Hi Susan,
    Loving the emails and ideas I have a quick question regarding the swing top you are wearing in this post is it a current piece from Completely Covered” the reason I am asking is that I am unable to find anything that looks like this on their website.

  36. I recently subscribed to your blog, am thrilled to learn all your super ideas for chic dressing over 60, though I think I look 45 but feel 50! Your clothes fit so well, obviously you wear the correct bra and knickers, any suggestions? I am 5’1″ and have to wear orthotic lace up sneaker style shoes, any ideas for suitable style pants/jeans? You and Mr Mickey make a sweet couple!

    1. I have covered undies here. My best tips for you are, wear straight leg pants that come to the top of your foot and always match the color of your pants to the color of your shoes. Make sure the tops you wear are not too long. Show as much of the length of your leg as possible.

  37. Not sure how I missed this post before today. But certainly one I needed. Or maybe it was God gives you what you need when you need it. I am 57 and reading your story about your body changing without your weight changing reaffirmed that I am not crazy. Thanks!

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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.