Everyday Classics

For those making long-term retirement plans, a wardrobe of classic basics makes perfect sense. I plan to travel as often as possible when I retire, so a flexible wardrobe that is comfortable and interchangeable without being trendy is a priority. I want pieces that can be dressed up or down to look appropriate for any occasion using just a few key elements.

Thunderstorms were predicted on Sunday, so I grabbed my trusty umbrella on the way out the door. It has gotten a lot of use this summer! Mr. Mickey often says, “Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.” A similar one is here. Notice that even my umbrella is classic and neutral.

The thunderstorm passed us by, so our walk through town was pleasant. Since we were grabbing a late brunch at the very casual Label Restaurant after visiting my parents on Sunday, I dressed appropriately. I will wear this white cotton button front relaxed-fit shirt for several years. I bought it from Everlane last year. The most recent style in linen is here. My favorite jeans (here) have no expiration date either. Those sandals are at least three years old. (Similar here) A similar belt is here. Referral and affiliate links in my posts may result in a small commission for me at no extra cost to you.

(Pardon my seatbelt wrinkles!) I bought those Vera Wang sunglasses three years ago at Kohl’s. (Similar here) The earrings and ring were gifts from Mr. M. years ago. The Beauty In Stone link bracelet is here. Use the code SAS10 For $10 off any item. The gifted Teddy Blake bag is here. I chose this bag because of the neutral gray color, size, and of course, the elegant classic style.

The perfect gifted Nordgreen watch is here. I will wear this one for the next decade! Nordgreen is offering you a discount code (SUSAN15).

My classic wardrobe pieces and my small collection of high-quality accessories, along with a few silk scarves, will serve me well no matter which city in the world I visit. I always feel confident, appropriate, and comfortable in my classic basics.

Johnson City has an ever-changing display of Public Art throughout downtown.

Did you enjoy the posts this week? My goal was to show you the pieces I wear most often to create comfortable day to day looks (instead of date night looks). I hope you have a lovely weekend!

  1. Hello Susan.
    I enjoy your blog so much! It’s the first thing I read each morning that you post. One thing I would like your opinion on is how much jewelry to use when you wear glasses full time. I don’t wear contacts and have always struggled with whether to wear earrings or not and should they be kept small like a simple stud or larger? A necklace or not? Sometimes I feel it’s all just too much. I’m sure that I’m not the only one that wonders about this so maybe a good subject for one of your posts. Also maybe some tips on eye makeup for glasses too would be helpful! I love your classic style and tips and look forward to seeing your suggestions!
    Thank you so much!
    Debbie Barr
    (Turning 65 next month! )

    1. Yes, as always I enjoyed this weeks posts. It is what I look forward to with my coffee every morning. I appreciate all your time and your generosity in helping women with so many aspects of living.
      Love you and feel like you are a trusted friend even though we have never net.

    2. Thank you, Debbie. Wearing glasses full time means you always start with an accessory. Be careful what you add so that the area around your face isn’t too busy. Small hoops or studs and a long simple necklace would be subtle. A short statement necklace, bold earrings, a collared shirt, and a headband or hat would be way too much going on in one area.

  2. Since retiring, I have definitely gone to basics and casual. Much like you, I have a wardrobe of tee shirts, jeans, and (unlike you) shorts in the summer. I wear loafers mostly, with a pair of New Balance sneakers on occasion with jeans. I only have a couple of pair of dress pants and blazers in my closet for dress up. It sure makes getting dressed easier. Stay cool this hot weekend.

  3. Love your focus on classic styles that can easily be accessorized. On a trip to Paris this May, my favorite – and most practical – souvenirs were colorful scarves. Great way to refresh a semi-minimalist wardrobe!

  4. I always enjoy & learn from your posts and look forward to them each day. Thank you for taking the time to share what you’ve learned.

  5. A flight attendant friend of mine says that you can get into any restaurant in the world with a pair of black slacks, a white belt, and a strand of pearls. I’ve been to 81 countries, and that’s the “uniform” I take along for nice restaurants. Basics, like you suggest, always work.

  6. I enjoy your posts tremendously! As a jewelry designer it helps me as well, design simple, classic pieces as well as simple bold pieces for the uncluttered look! Thank you always!

  7. Your date night looks are stylish and I enjoy seeing them but your ‘day looks’ are most helpful (since that’s what I wear probably 80% of the time) Thanks for sharing!

  8. Your posts have been so spot on for me this week. I am thinking about my look and how to simplify both closet and my look. Thank you susan!

  9. Loved seeing this week’s more casual looks. Always something to think on and consider. Thank you for the time and effort you invest into your blog and all your readers.

  10. I enjoyed today’s read very much! You always look terrific. Today’s outfit is so easy and attractive. Your cut is flirty and fun and youthful. I have several lovely cotton shirts and haven’t worn them for awhile. Thanks for reminding how very nice they can look! I appreciate your commitment to the blog and all of us who read it! It has got to be some work!

  11. Yes, I love the casual style of dress posts, since that is what I wear most. I appreciate your advice, tips, and photos of casual attire.

  12. Being retired I find I wear the basics most of the time in place of my former work clothes. I did wonder if any of your outfits were as basic as mine, so nice to see that they are.

    Thanks for sharing and inspiring us.

  13. I have thoroughly enjoyed this week’s blog, as usual. I like the look of a crisp white blouse, but hate to iron. Also, I have too much tummy to look good with tops tucked in. I tend to like the tops you wear that aren’t tucked in. Would you ever wear a white shirt like the one in this post untucked?

  14. I very much enjoyed seeing your summer every day looks. They are perfect! Thank you Susan for all the work and research you do for tbe blog. I appreciate it so much.

  15. I love your posts! I am trying to remove the many pieces in my closets that I never wear so seeing your posts helps me decide which pieces must go. Our styles are very similar and I realized that I too have my own tried and true pieces that I continue to mix and match with my favorite basics.

  16. I always enjoy your posts and have learned so much about finding looks that suit me from following your examples. I look forward to reading your blog every day!

  17. This has always been one of my favorite looks. This is Coast dressing. We wear a lot of shirts instead of knits here. Another favorite around here is a navy top,
    with white pants.

  18. I have enjoyed the posts! You inspire me to strive for a better fit—I think I was buying what was on sale instead of what fits great. For a future post, I wonder if you have suggestions for how a button-down shirt should fit. I keep buying them but not wearing them as they don’t look good on me. Thanks for all you do.

  19. Thank You Susan!
    I follow You from The Netherlands and I like it very much.
    I have learnd a lot.

  20. Thank you Susan! I enjoy your posts so much. They have helped me update my wardrobe as well as become more comfortable with my age. I actually feel younger these days! I even traveled to Europe this summer with my youngest daughter. She is 16 and I actually was able to keep up the pace with her and I am 60! I look forward to more fashion advice from you.

  21. Susan, I hope you can give me some advice. I have lost weight recently and wear a different size. I have accumulated so much clothing over the years, some I haven’t worn. I have a hard time purging, thinking I may need these at some point. Maybe I just answered my own problem! Lol If someone else had this issue I think I would know what to tell them. I am trying to go with basics at my age too, I’m 61!

    1. I’ve lost about fifteen pounds lately, so I too am finding that my bras, some jackets, and tops are way too big for me now. I tuck things in or wear a belt much more often now.

      1. @ Susan: Hope you do not mind me chiming in but rather than tuck a top in or wear a belt; as an alternative solution when a waist band is too large it can be easily adjusted provided it is constructed in three pieces (with two side seam allowances) and consists of two separate pieces being the outside and the inside.
        Method: a) Working from the inside only. b) Open up its side seamS to create a pocket. c) Insert an elastic that is close to the same width and about 1″ – 1½” LESS between the two points. (Attach a safety pin on one end and thread it through the pocket securing the opposite end with a pin. ) d) Stretch/adjust for sizing and pin loose end into place. e) Machine stitch ‘both’ ends into place. (This stitching will be barely visible if aligned with the channel of the seam allowance stitching on the outside of the garment.) f) Close up the waist band seams by using a hand stitch.
        Footnote: As a DIY project; elastic can be found in the sewing notions of many stores however if you do not have a sewing machine many North American Malls have alteration/tailoring kiosks and their prices are often more than reasonable.
        Enjoying your many excursions and appreciating you valuable wardrobe insight. -Brenda-

  22. The first item I purchased after first reading your blog was a classic leather “ grown- up” purse. It’s amazing how that alone has elevated my every day look. Thank you!

  23. You look beautiful as always! I find that long sleeve tops are too hot for summer here. This is a personal question but I would like to know what brand of antiperspirant you wear since I get yellow underarms stains when I wear white tops. I switched to Schmidt’s which I love but due to the essential oils, it leaves stains. Any recommendation on how to remove underarms stains . Not a nice topic, I know but I would appreciate your help. Thank you!

    1. I use Tom’s of Maine deodorant. I have not experienced stains, but I’m not outside in the heat for very long. The long sleeve tops I wore this week are super lightweight (almost sheer). Soak the stain in white vinegar for about an hour and brush the deodorant stain with an old, clean toothbrush. Then pop the garment in the washing machine with a biological detergent. Soaking deodorant stains in white vinegar is suitable for both white and colored clothes.

  24. I’m glad to see that you don’t always wear a necklace. I assume with this outfit, it’s because the earrings are enough. Love the way your purse, belt, and umbrella looked to be a soft gray. You looked very pulled together.

  25. Hi Susan
    Thanks for your classic ideas. Always like reading your blog. It’s the first one I go to!! Still learning at 87!!

  26. Susan, I’m on vacay in Nashville/Memphis area. I’ve never experienced heat/humidity like it. Do you still wear jeans on days like that? How do you keep cool and look smart? I know you do it, you make it look easy. I follow you and drool over your look(s) and can only dream I’d have half your class/style. Heck I don’t even have a hair cut I like. I thought at 63 I’d have my sh%t together by now. Unfortunately not. Sigh.

    1. Hi Isabel, It is much hotter in the middle and the far end of the state because you are at a lower elevation. I have some jeans that are lighter weight twill. I wear those on the hot days. I hope you enjoy visiting TN!

  27. Just stumbled on your website just recently and so pleased I did . This is just the look I want and seeing it simply put together is amazing, thank you

    Looking forward to your next posting

  28. I really like this look as it is one of my favorites for myself….very classic. I need the shoes and the handbag though – you always look so “finished” Susan! Thanks for the inspiration!

  29. Last night at a “young” woman’s party, I went out wearing a pair of stretch jeans, booties and a button down shirt. Seeing the photographs, (particularly a tighter fitting button down shirt!!!) it occurred to me that I’ve gotten older (I’m 66 in December) and this was the first time in my life that I realised it.

    Lots of rethinking of my clothes and that’s ok. Just gonna make sure that I look elegant (I’m an hourglass).

    Keep posting please because at my age, elegance is just lovely to look at.

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.