Evolving Style

I enjoy reading the comments and emails from you. However, after diving into trends and sharing some of my newer purchases, there were outcries of “NO, don’t change, keep your classic, predictable style.” So, today I wanted to share an example of how the subtle evolution of our style can represent the person we have become while expressing our unique personality. I am always open to change and have selectively embraced trends since my first job in the fashion industry in 1976. But remember that emergent trends and passing fads are very different things.

2023 Susan After 60 Saturday afternoon lunch date.

The fur vest was a gift from Mr. Mickey more than sixteen years ago. I thought you would enjoy seeing how I used the same piece and style formula from 2015 again eight years later.

2015 Saturday afternoon lunch date from a Fifty, not Frumpy post here.

Over a decade of blogging and researching information for articles has taught me a great deal about many subjects. I hope that sharing my style evolution and some of what I have learned has helped you to hone your wardrobe into one that serves you well and represents the woman you have become.

The blouse in the 2023 image is here, and the jeans are from last year, but similar jeans are here. None of the other items are current. Shopping links may allow me to earn a small commission at no cost to you.

  1. I love your new look items which will work really well with your classics. You can wear both. We can’t stay wearing the same styles all the time otherwise we will all look very old fashioned and dull, as if we have given up on fashion. We just need to pick and choose what works for us. Love the poncho which reminded me I have one tucked away in my wardrobe and practically unworn. It is now out and ready to wear.

  2. As my kids say, “you do you, mum!”. Unless the time stamp is wrong, you posted this around 3AM. Are you staying up late or getting up early? !

  3. You look chic and polished in the 2023 photo. I think many of your readers were put off by the leggings and combat boots, along with the rather “different” cap. Also, including the oversized look that is popular now but breaks a number of fashion “rules” for looking slender and tall that you have included in your previous columns was jarring. It is your column and your wardrobe, and I doubt you have abandoned your entire fashion philosophy and authenticity. We all evolve with the times when it comes to fashion, and that is to be expected. Looking forward to your columns and looks for the New Year

  4. Please keep spicing up your wardrobe choices! Basics are necessary but can be boring. I really like what you’ve added to your posts! Thanks for keeping us updated and current!

  5. Susan you amaze me with how you look much younger now than you did in 2015. I love and look forward to your posts, they has helped me with my fashion choices many times. Thank you and please continue.

  6. I love spices you are adding to your wardrobe. It was a good reminder that I need a few dashes of color and newer style s to my classic wardrobe. Thank you!

  7. It is a new year and always a good time to evaluate and make changes. No, most do not want to join fads for teens, but we do want to look like we have adapted some trends into our style. The difference is to select carefully those that enhance our particular figure and personality. Fortunately you show us how to do it and keep us currant. Because I’m a very different body type and live in a different part of the country, I don’t select the same clothing and accessories, but adapt what you are showing to myself. I value all of your blogs because they help me look and do better. I am ready for another encouraging food posting. Darn, it’s hard to stay focused on improving my diet and physical being! When I read one of your blogs it helps me to stay the course. Thank you for continuing to inform us.

  8. Gentile Susan
    Dopo tanto tempo sono riuscita a rintracciarla,che grande piacere mi è mancata molto,spero di continuare a ricevere sue notifiche,.Sono Dora Renata Pala da Bologna Italy . grazie a presto.

  9. Change is good. Everyone can add something new occasionally! You are still a very classic dresser. You just get better & betterHappy 2023

  10. Hello, Susan: I’ve been following your blog since the early “Fifty Not Frumpy” days and part of the reason is because it is so much fun to share the growth and change that keeps us current – as you point out, there is a difference between a fad and an emerging trend – and for me, now in my late 60’s, staying current with cultural and social context is important and involves awareness of trends, even if I don’t choose to engage with them. What a gift to be flexible enough to add color when we need it in our lives, and to enjoy new or updated shapes and designs! You look happy and at ease, and I just assumed that was reflecting in your style choices. Thank you for what you do here, and wishing you and Mr. Mickey all the very best in 2023.

  11. I need to go back and reread your posts about what you eat and how you take care of yourself because, as someone else mentioned, you look younger now than you did in 2015. Even your hair looks healthier. Thank you for all the fashion tips and ”rules” you’ve shared. Although they were for yourself, they worked for me too and I’m sure a lot of others. I have been wondering for some time if you did any beauty pageants in the past because when I look at your 2023 photo from this post I can’t help but picture you in a beautiful gown with a sparkling crown on your head and an armful of long stemmed roses.

    1. I was in a few Miss America preliminary pageants in my youth. My most treasured trophy was “Miss Congeniality.” It was an honor that the other contestants voted for.

      Since 2015 I have continued to learn more about nutrition, and I’ve lost another ten pounds since then. Using Beautycounter since 2017 has vastly improved the health and appearance of my skin. I have also learned to cut and style my hair in a simple way that serves me well. I’ll share more in a future post.

  12. To refuse to change is to begin to die. I have many pieces that I bought new and are now considered vintage, but I still like them. But I mix them with items I just bought this year or last. It’s like the song about making new friends but keeping the old. I love my classic pieces, but getting something new is always a little thrill. I’m glad that you are always open to adding new looks to your wardrobe.
    Don’t let the nay-sayers get you down.

    May I add that your captcha verification is extremely annoying. Sometimes I hit their third set of pictures and think,”This isn’t worth it,” and just close the page. I don’t see why this degree of protection is required. It’s not like money is changing hands here.

  13. I struggle with following my personal style while remaining current. I appreciate your ideas. You look so happy and healthy in 2023! Happy New Year to you and Mr. Mickey.

  14. Congratulations for the changes ,my dear Susan ! Bravo !
    I am a follower and admirer since many many years !

  15. I’m loving your “new” look! I had almost stopped viewing your blog due to kinda being the same ole thing! So keep up the change! Love it!

  16. My own style is ever-evolving. I went from formal business, the silk shirts and structured suits, to retirement and tried to incorporate my previous clothing into a retirement wardrobe, but it never really worked. I don’t want to wear heels or structured anything anymore, at all. If it’s not comfortable, I just don’t wear it. I don’t want to have to fuss w dry cleaning and special handling or ironing. I’ll take care of a good sweater but about 5 years ago I wore a $300 almost new gorgeous Eileen Fisher purple silk tunic to Thanksgiving and got salad oil on the front. That did it for me re incorporating my old wardrobe or fussing with fabrics. I also feel more casual all around and since my husband traveled the world in his work, and I have a low desire for external entertainment I want to stay home and just be comfortable. (We live on a lake so have rather casual summers.) However, I also want to look like I care, even when I’m staying home and see no one but my husband who doesn’t care what I wear but I care what he thinks about how I look. I have always enjoyed style and nice clothes and dressing up, but that now means something entirely different. I am almost 75. My closet is crammed with quality items I never wear and all the new easy wearing stuff I’ve acquired. It kind of breaks my heart but it’s time to get rid of almost all my “good” items, many of which were expensive, but none fit my life now. Any advice on accepting this?

    1. I appreciated each item for the joy it brought me and then donated, sold, or gave away all the silk suits and other corporate attire that no longer reflected the life I live now. I’m free of the clutter and no longer reminded that I have things that are not being used. Instead, those items currently serve others who need them for the place they are in their lives.

  17. I too had bangs back in 2015 too I wore bangs for years and I’m glad you don’t have them now(neither do I). The newer style opens up your face and also makes the face skinnier looking. I also love your hair color. Now that I went natural, I get lots of compliments on what I call my “God given hair color”.

  18. I didn’t want to be the only one saying “don’t change!!”, so I’m glad that there have been others. You have inspired me so much to dress better after retiring from the corporate world. It was so easy to slide into sloppy especially with covid. I don’t like the big heavy boots on the kids, let alone anyone older. I gave up tunics after watching your posts!! They definitely add unwanted weight and leggings can be replaced with lovely straight leg or flared pants.
    PLEASE make your changes subtle!!

  19. We definitely have to evolve to stay vibrant and not stale or dowdy. I enjoy your blog because you do just that while not embracing fads but remaining in style. Thanks for sharing.

    Susan B.

  20. I love the new slightly more elegant look, it suits you beautifully. Soft and so tasteful.
    You and Mr. Mickey are a lovely pair.
    Happy New Year.

  21. I for one love how you incorporate newer trends to your own style. People are probably freaking because they thnk you will go “whole hog” into embracing whatever. We need to keep that “spark” as we age and keeping it small makes us look current but not “way out there>”

    So I say, thank you!

  22. I’ve never commented before but now I want to let you know how much you have helped me over the years. I make better choices, feel more confident and look more professional as I’ve used your blog for guidance. Eliminating most prints was a big help! I love that you share your evolving style and explain why you make certain choices, all with the intent to help others. Your blog is seriously the best. THANK YOU for sharing!

  23. I totally get the way you dress, and I love it! I do it myself! I dress classic but I always like to throw in a touch of edginess. That’s exactly how you do it and I love it!

    It’s not fun to be predictable and the same ho-hum. You can look elegant and well put together with sophistication and still throw in that splash of fun unique edginess. That makes it your own!

    When it’s something you like, and you gravitate towards it, it shows in your attitude when you wear it and it works!

  24. Susan, you do you. Don’t listen to the naysayers. I may not agree with everything you promote, but I defend your right to make those choices. I like many of your new twists into making your fashion more fun. I refuse to listen to comments about mutton into lamb. Go for it!

  25. You are aging beautifully! Your hair is so much lighter and shinier in the 2023 photo compared to the 2015 photo. Has it just lightened over the years or do you use a product to get it to the pretty white color? And how do you keep it so healthy looking?

  26. I love the new little changes, it’s nice to see using some nice older items in a fresh new way. Or adding an inexpensive trendy item just to change it up to see if you like it

  27. Isn’t it amazing how the full length jeans also add height to your silhouette? And the pointed toe shoes do the same. I enjoy your efforts to spice your wardrobe up. Although I’d never do combat boots, I did recently did a newsboy cap, and my husband loved it. Also a nice fedora, which was a hit with friends. It takes so little to make a statement…
    Keep on being you, it’s fascinating!

  28. I absolutely love your classic style!! Everyone has to adjust a bit and be willing to try a few new trends to update their wardrobe without going all out for fads!! Keep on keeping on!!!
    I am 67 and still working fulltime at a university so I see the fads on a daily basis! I don’t desire to look 20 but I still want to look stylish and up to date. I get a lot of my inspiration from your posts!!
    I also love Beauty In Stone jewelry and now own several pieces! Thanks for letting us know about her gorgeous statement pieces!

  29. Change is important if it helps illuminate the person you have become.
    I like seeing the pictures from 2015 to 2023.
    I like the person you have evolved to in style, fashion and you.
    Thanks for sharing!
    These two pictures say you are only getting better with time!

  30. I look forward to your haircare post. I believe growing out the bangs has made your hair appear healthier. My hair is very much like yours. Personally, I find the white gray hair more wirey and bangs just puts this texture front and center. The bangs also made your round face appear rounder, the lack of bangs elongates your face.
    I grew out my bangs shortly after I stopped coloring and let my white grays shine.

  31. I love all of your posts but especially enjoyed the recent ones. Classic with an edge …. and you do it so well

  32. I really like your emerging style. It helps me put clothes together that I would have not thought of. Keep emerging; I admire your choices!!

  33. WOW way cool. I really like that vest! You look great in both pictures. You have not aged at all. Keep up the great work on your blog.

  34. Hi Susan,

    Anything that you wear always looks outstanding on you.
    Knowing how you usually present yourself on the blog is usually a classic look. When you created the fun modern edgy look, especially modeling the edgy combat boots I thought that would take some of your readers back a bit. As a rule some folks are resistant to change. That would make an interesting topic of conversation. Speaking of the boots are those “Doc Martin’s?” I think they are fun, especially with a cool looking sweater. I say change it up and have fun with

  35. Love the fashion evolution & your respect of changing styles & most importantly, of yourself. An off-topic – what would you wear to a formal winter wedding? I’m struggling with this as a retired 63 year old who has a casual wardrobe with many classic pieces.

  36. Basics are great and we all need them but to only dress in basics would be pretty boring! I, for one, am happy to see a little bit of spice added to your wardrobe. It makes things so much more interesting. Just because you chose to wear leggings or combat boots does not mean they would be comfortable for everyone but I loved them. That is what fashion is all about. We all need to wear what works for our body shape and comfort level! Keep up the great work Susan!

  37. When I add a few light modern trends to my classic style , my husband of 50Yrs says “that’s the girl that I fell in love with”. I have an autumn outfit – dark blue jeans, a blue,tan, burgandy parsley pattern shirt, a dark red men’s tie and a crushed deep blue velvelt, hip length cardigan. Complete with deep red gold buckle loafer footwear. A proven crowd pleaser outfit that was purchased at thrift shops. I fully agree with you. We can maintain our classic style and basics while having a modern fling. To avoid the risk of becoming stale……..on occasions we need to break out and break free.

  38. Love both pictures. The thing I notice most, in 2015, your bangs might be a little overwhelming to your face. I love your current, classic bob. Also, your lipstick in 2023 makes you “come alive!”
    Both outfits are quite doable; I love your short fur jacket and your 2023 shoes are less prominent.
    Black works so well with your coloring, but I wonder if you ever wear winter colors like royal blue, purple or fuschia? Just curious!

  39. I discovered your blog about three years ago. Inspired, I have curated my wardrobe to classic pieces with only the occasional statement piece. You always look classy, and my favorite looks for you include a blazer, either casual with jeans or dressy with slacks. I am enjoying your foray into other silhouette pieces.

  40. Yes!!! I , too, love your classic style!!!!

    You are such an inspiration to us Senior Ladies who still want to dress well, but are now on a tight budget!! Love the way you update an oldie by wearing something “current” along with the classic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Loving you in Texas!!!!

  41. Hey – what was considered old is now new and current. I see the “younger” women wearing items – jewelry, shoes, even dresses and suits that I wore in the 70s. Why did I ever give those things up? I gave away a pair of Frye Campus boots – made in the USA- a pair I bought in the late 70s. I bought a new pair – classic that never went out of style- to replace them a few years ago and they will always work. I love the fur vest. Some things are just forever things. I like it with the jeans, a classic look!

  42. I love how you are blending some new trend items and old items into your classic style. I want to look contemporary in a classic me way.
    I want to purchase the boot cut pants you wore….my legs are short and I can no longer wear heels so finding a length that works has been difficult. I could have them hemmed but not my first choice. Btw, they looked great on you and you said you have short legs.
    Love your blog!

  43. Happy New Year, Susan! You already have given mine a lift. You are stunningly exquisite. Have a wonderful New Year! Thank you for all you do.

  44. I applaud you for your evolving style! Especially since you don’t go to an office every day, a relaxed and fun approach is refreshing. I was beginning to feel your ensemble’s were too predictable and staid. I would never have commented that because I would not want to hurt feelings, but since the issue has come up I’ll chime in. I love your new pieces!!!!! I also like that you are bringing in more color. I am 65, and feel black is just to severe for a woman my age.

  45. Love your explanation of blending the old with the new, both in clothes and trends. You also have a natural flare with using what you have and incorporating new items to make them look awesome. You give us older ladies a boost in how to use “new” idea’s to improve and spice up our wardrobes for an updated look. Thank you.

    Clara from Iowa

  46. YES, keep your classic self-expressive style, but don’t be afraid to try something new and fresh, so long as it is comfortable (in both senses). And also be open to restyling your beloved older pieces.
    I have quite a lot of clothes from the 80s and 90s which I adore and still wear, styled with much more recently-acquired pieces. For example, embellished long jumpers, which I’ve been wearing with leggings and boots over the festive period.

  47. I, for one, love evolving style. Nothing is more dating than being stuck in a style… especially when it’s classic. Keep up the good style!

  48. I love the blouse and the bell sleeve trend in general but please answer a question for me. How do you wear this style and eat/drink without dragging a sleeve into something?

  49. Your style is still very classy and classic. Heck, last week, I bought a pair of jeans with a very small distressed area and a pair of modern sneakers.
    I actually love the look—except my toe now catches in the hole in my jeans!:)
    I’m 64. I do what I want.

  50. Thank you. How can one be satisfied with their own style journey if constsntly following others’ opinions? Be true to ones own self.

  51. Another great post. The two pictures of you are amazing. I do think you look younger today than the 2015 picture. It shows what good nutrition and as you say skin care can do. I have been using Beautycounter for a while now and like it a lot.
    Looking forward to seeing what you have to say about your hair. Very interested in how you trim it yourself.

  52. I laughed when I read your comment about not receiving any comments asking you to stay true to your classic styles. I didn’t send a request asking you to remain classic because I did not want to appear critical in any way. Your posts are always informative and I think we all like to experiment with new trends occasionally, but classic is what I build my wardrobe around and classic is the reason I follow your blog.
    I thoroughly enjoy seeing how you purchase basic items and combind them in different ways. That allows me to stretch my clothing budget further and it eliminates my feeling like I need to shop for new items for upcoming events. You have taught me how to shop in my own closet.
    Having occasional posts that focus on current trends can be helpful for some, but I prefer posts that remain true to your classic roots.

  53. Hi Susan,

    In 2023, you look so polished and elegant, yet comfortable. In my book that is a winning combination. In my book, staying modern requires some evolution. As a 50 year old, I can remember looking at ladies 10 or 15 years older and thinking that there were things they wore that were downright dated and were aging.Your neutral basics with a few colorful trending pieces is a recipe for a classic modern look. I love it!


  54. Susan. I love your style, however, I’m still hoping to see you wear pink or purple as an accent. Maybe a bit of a pattern too.

  55. Started following you in Fifty not Frumpy and enjoy the evolution that your style has taken. I thought the jump from your style in your 50’s, a little jazzy to your retirement styling, a bit bland but stylish was not completely your heart but maybe more what you thought it should be. I went through the same. Your addition of a few trendy pieces has brightened you up. You feel more Susan, no frump!! Still enjoy your process and thoughts. Thank you

  56. Hi Susan,
    In reading your post today I had to reach out and say that I love the changes!! I’m 75 and found the newer pieces so refreshing and youthful! In my humble opinion, a modern haircut, some pizzaz in style choices and, of course, healthy eating and exercise are just what the doctor ordered. I, too, have tired of a total classic look that makes me feel like a long stretch of cold, cloudy winter weather.
    I really hope you will continue with these trendier pieces. I ordered combat boots yesterday!!!

  57. I love your style but there’s no way I would pay $100 for a pair of jeans unless it was a gift! I’m almost 83 years old and I still want to look attractive but I’d rather spend $100 on 2 pairs of jeans. Not cheap, just thrifty. Thank you.

  58. Susan,
    Your vest is very stylish and I really liked your previous post showing leggings and boots. Trying new trends is a great way to update our wardrobes. We can wear whatever we want and judging from the response there are many that feel the same way. Evolving fashion choices are refreshing!
    I agree with Mr. Mickey’s statement. Some refuse to try new looks and have strong feelings about anything outside their comfort zone. That’s okay for them.
    Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Cathlyn. To be clear, Mr. Mickey was talking about himself first and foremost when he said, “Old people do NOT like change.” He once told the manager of Kroger he would never shop there again if they moved the peanut butter again. Change causes him real stress.

  59. I love how your style is changing to reflect your lifestyle now. Life is ever-changing, and so should your wardrobe!

  60. Susan,
    So glad you are staying with your “classic, predictable style.” You always look so elegant, whether you are casual or dressed up, and this is why I started following your blog. The others are right. Don’t change! Thank you for the help and inspiration.

  61. Absolutely stunning! I actually purchased a gorgeous faux fur vest a few years ago, after seeing you wearing one. I keep all of the “supporting pieces” conservative and the vest is that perfect trendy piece that keeps me current. You have been my style inspiration for many years and you will continue to be for many more. And I think your 2023 outfit…and hair…are so much more attractive than the 2015 one. You are a great example of older can be better❤️Much love and best wishes to you and Mr Mickey❤️

  62. I was considering taking my black fur vest to a consignment in our area because I have not worn it after purchasing it @ 4 yrs. ago and thought it was outdated. Thanks for your post, I’ll wear it now.

  63. I thought your recent posts were very smart as you outlined a pragmatic way of looking at modern trends and being intentional about adopting these to your life and lifestyle. I like to follow trends so I look modern and current, but don’t adopt every trend. I will think about it for a while and consider if it suits my style and lifestyle as well as how it might look on me. I will sometimes try a trend on and know that it is a hard NO. Other times, it works. I usually try to purchase trends sparingly or try not to spend too much on it. Your more recent looks have been inspiring me to try out some different looks and consider things I did not think of trying. I appreciate the thought you put into creating content. I think it is great to see you have pieces that you have had for a long time AND that you encourage curating our closets on a regular basis. I have thrown out worn out or faded or stained items. I have had great success selling items to resale shops and on Poshmark (selling items secondhand means they are less likely to go to a landfill). As I prepare for retirement, I am not purchasing work wardrobe items and am selling those that no longer serve me. Keep up the great work!

    1. Thank you very much for your comment, Pat. You’ve captured my blog purpose and style essence in a few words. I mix the old with the new and enjoy what is in my closet.

  64. Hi Susan, as always you’ve got it spot on! I so look forward to your weekly posts and I have learned so much from them, Thank you and keep up the good work

  65. I think you look more elegant and put together than you were 10 years ago. It’s true we are evolving as we age. Things change.

  66. Your style is lovely….Inspiring too! However we all need a change from time to time, something to perk up old favourites, add some punch or just to make us happy. That’s what I love about your wardrobe. You add something new and stylish but never over-the-top trendy and continue to wear your classic pieces which you may have had for several years. It all works beautifully and you show us how to incorporate both.
    Please keep inspiring us!

  67. I have enjoyed reading your posts for over 10 years. I think our style changes as we enter new stages of life. I know I am wearing a blouse that I loved so much in the 90’s that I kept it and am enjoying it today. When I was a teacher, I dressed in a certain way. After retiring, I found tee shirts met my needs more. I’ve found in the last couple of years that vests, both casual and dress, appeal to my tastes. I still try to wear clothing whose colors and styles look best on me. Most of all, I want my look to say to others that there’s joy in my life. I don’t want to look like a restrained fuddy duddy. Yes there’s times when dress suits and heels come out. But whatever I’m wearing, I want a smile to grace my face because so many are just struggling. Do I struggle? Do I have aches and pains? Oh yes! I lost my precious 25 year old grandson two years ago this month, and I’m entering my 70’s this year. But I want to be a good example for those who may have to walk this sad path. You have helped me through many trials over the years with your smiling pictures and savvy taste. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your openness about health, beauty, and finding one’s true style. Pam

  68. You’ve aged beautifully. You look stunning.
    As I am beginning to show more aging, I’m going through a crisis. I think I look
    so old in everything that I wear.
    Thank you for the post and all the great advice. I look forward to each one.


  69. Oh my. You look SO very elegant and you are definitely, like a fine wine, getting better with age! The switch to darker-wash jeans and adding more sophisticated accessories (shoes & bag) is a winning combination.

  70. I have a black furry vest I bought about 5-6 years ago at Chicos. I wear it every winter and it still looks new. It was really a great buy!
    I enjoy your posts a lot! Thank you for doing them.

  71. Dear Susan,
    Having never written to you, the responses to your post “2023 Trends and Tips” has compelled me to reply. I, too, have tired of the classic look and have been searching for a refresh. Your post spoke to me and I’ve already purchased a pair of combat boots, which are not only stylish but very comfortable for an active lifestyle. At 75 I am committed to fitness, nutrition, an updated style for my grey hair, which I have never dyed, and trendy additions to my wardrobe. Thank you for this wonderful post!!!

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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.