Focus On Accessories

A wardrobe of classic, comfortable, basic pieces in neutral colors allows me to get dressed in minutes. Adding a few well-chosen accessories gives my simple combinations some polish and personality. I still have a few show ponies in my closet, but my usual daily uniform consists of effortless looks.

We take photos at my front door for several reasons. The lighting and location are convenient and proven, but it also allows you to see the look before a long ride wearing a seatbelt rumples the fabrics.

The dove gray Michael Kors top handle bag is from last year. When your handbag is close to the color of your hair, you will find that you reach for it often.

The geometric pattern cotton scarf is perfect to wear with jeans in any shade of blue, black, white, or gray. The poly-cotton blend of soft, supple fabric is very comfortable, and the size is easy to wear.

These Franco Sarto block heel loafers in the color bisque are my perfect nude shoe to wear with ankle-length jeans. I found them at Dillard’s recently. They are super comfortable.

This essential accessories wardrobe includes a few favorites that always look right with jeans. All these pieces are more than a couple of years old. The sunglasses are by Dolce & Gabbana. The watch is by Michael Kors. The ring was a long-ago gift from Mr. Mickey.

The white cotton knit cardigan is from Cali & York. The tank is from Express. The jeans are from J.Jill. All my items are at least a couple of years old.

I always tie or drape a scarf in an effortless way, but I strive for a V-shape in front and never too high on the neck. I folded the square scarf into a triangle and looped the ends over once.

The magic of a few well-chosen accessories is undeniable.

Have a beautiful day!

  1. The scarf exemplifies practical elegance in color and size. This outfit is marvelous and inspiring.

  2. The magic is indeed undeniable! The side-by-side photos really show the difference! This is such a perfect look! I have to tell you, when I first saw this I realized a mistake I often make and need to correct, which is why your blog is so helpful for me. I too often toss on a cross body bag and that would have completely ruined this look. I am going to be looking for a few structured, neutral bags that can’t be hoisted to my shoulder or slung across my body. Those bags are fine for some things, but certainly not for all as illustrated here!

  3. Blue and white: one of my favorite combinations! The placement of your side-by-side photos with and without accessories says it all. Might you occasionally do this more often? It’s a beautiful and effective lesson.


  5. Such a great reminder to look at our accessory collection to add variety to our basics! I love the outfit today! Perfect for many occasions. I look forward to more new posts every day and hopefully some more videos soon!! Thanks for the inspiration !

  6. You always look polished for certain and I appreciate the tips. When I feel polished I actually enjoy errands. Who knew?

  7. Accessories are icing on the cake in my world!! I’m so glad I’ve discovered scarves since I started blogging because they elevate any look!!
    And I can relate to the wrinkles after wearing my outfits—we go to different places to take blog photos now, so my clothes aren’t as pristine. But I’m trying to take it in strides, and embrace not only the wrinkles in my clothes, but on my face too…ha ha!!!

  8. Susan, you have helped me in numerous ways to be more aware of what is needed to look presentable, live healthier and enjoy living. At age 68, retired and enjoying it, I dont like to worry about getting dressed and what to wear.
    I wonder if you have any secret tip to keep a scarf in place. I have tried your suggestion for draping under jackets over shoulders but mostly like it to hang down loose to give me length. I wear them constantly for change, color boost and warmth. I identify so closely with your scarf adoration. I have many, including some of my moms scarves reaching back to the 40’s.
    I don`t do Facebook, only follow your blog which I happened upon on Pinterest just after you began, and have watched you for years. I probably miss some of your helpful hints on your other media sites. I have tried double sided tape, small safety pins (afraid of tearing) but still find my scarves sliding off, my worst experience was finding myself stepping on one in a restaurant! I have some old scarf rings but not happy with them, the walking on scarf experience has definitely made me more aware and constantly pulling and straightening! I like the V look with scarf tied low, but find it moving too! Maybe it is the one negative about silk!
    You are inspiring, beautiful and considerate and greatly admired for sharing your life story to encourage others.
    Please keep up the kind advice and encouraging tips you give, I look forward to coffee with you every morning, I repeat the previous days on the days that you don’t post. I enjoy all your interesting travels and pictures. I live in Lexington, Kentucky, so recognize many of the places you travel. In past years we traveled that area quite a bit.
    Thanks to you and Mr. Mickey for all your time and for adding inspiration to my days.

      1. I have the same problem with scarfs as Kathy. Thanks Susan for sharing the magnet trick and the site.

      2. Just keep those little magnets away from small children who may swallow them. A cool magnet toy I have bought for my grown children, Buckyballs, was taken off the market by the CPSC because children would swallow several and they would wreak havoc in their digestive systems. Still a very clever way to secure a scarf.

  9. I have been following your blog for quite some time, and it has changed my whole closet! I probably have become known at the office as ‘the scarf lady’! They add so much to a basic outfit, as you have so clearly demonstrated here. Those finishing touches transform basic pieces. My wardrobe is so much ‘simpler’ now avoiding trendy pieces. I am beginning to switch out my closet to better quality basic pieces that I can afford to spend more money on knowing they are classics that will wash and wear well for years. You have certainly inspired me, and I look forward to your posts. Thank you!

  10. I love the color and the style of this shoe. I am thinking of ordering it. The shoe looks great on you, but I wondered if it was true to size or if you had to size up or down. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  11. Hi Susan. Just found your blog and YouTube channel and have been binge watching and reading for hours. I’m so glad to find you. I am learning so much. Thanks for all the posts and vids. They are great! So helpful and informative.

  12. There to see. What a difference just a few accessories make!!! It is wonderful that a gal only needs to add some simple additions to jeans and a tee to appear put together. Thanks for making it so evident.

  13. Wow!!! That pic of the cardigan without the scarf is a dramatic difference! You are a genius!

  14. Susan – I was convinced by you a long time ago concerning the importance of accessorizing (and not overdoing). But the before and after pictures really say it all. I’m newly retired and I was heading out to do errands and my husband commented on how nice I looked for just running errands. I’ve learned the respect it shows others by looking my best. My Great-grandfather used to tell my mother when she was nervous about how she looked to do the best you can to look nice and then stop worrying about it and enjoy yourself and be there for others. I love this – it brings confidence to everything I do.

  15. As always you are full of little tricks we can all do. Thank you for all these informative great posts.
    Warmly, Carol from Chicago

  16. We don’t have Dillard’s in PA, but when visiting family this week I found three great pairs of shoes at Dillard’s Ashville Mall. Maria provided terrific service.

  17. Susan, you are such a great source of inspiration and knowledge. The magnets on scarves is such a great idea! Thank you so much and also thanks for the side by side pics. Awesome! Have Learned so much from you!

  18. You usually hit things right on for women who are I this age range – sooooo glad you switched to flats instead of the trendy heels!!! Look so much more age appropriate!!! These particular shoes have a long front area and look a bit masculine but the color is right one. We have all learned so many years ago that scarves and accessories “make” the outfit – good to see you are embracing your aging – as we all should. I like when you use more color closer to your face with the gray hair!!!! Keep sharing…..

  19. Susan, I admire you and your willingness to always offer wonderful fashion and food ideas…which are extremely helpful for those of us desiring to stay healthy and dress our best. I really like the navy scarf. A nice change from my black wardrobe. Any suggestions for locating a white sweater like the one you are wearing in the photos?

  20. Hi Susan,
    Wow, Wow you have done it again you look beautiful and so put together. I just love this outfit but the accessories really make it especially the scraf.
    Thank you for sharing all these lesson on wearing our basic items, using accessories to make our outfits come alive. We all have tons of accessories that we don’t wear anymore. I know for me since I’ve retired I’ve stop changing out my earrings. I will now use my earrings, scarfs and necklaces to get my outfits the wow affect. I will have to buy the scraf you are wearing as well it will go with so many clothes on my closet.
    Thank, thank you I am loving this series.

  21. I love the tree of life scarf, but don’t do orange, is that orange or a red color. thanks. julia

  22. Hi Susan, I always love your blog! Concerning accessories: I dont do it very well. I have lovely clothing but putting myself together has always been a challenge. I love scarvea but seldom wear them because they often look to me to be too voluminous or they dont stay in place. I’m continually messing with them. Do you have any secrets in how to get them to stay in place?

  23. What a difference between the photo on the left and the photo on the right. A picture is definitely worth a thousand words. Those accessories make you look like a million bucks.

  24. Susan…love the gray tee from Express but can’t seem to find on line. Can you share more info?

  25. I love your blog, read it regularly and follow many of your ideas.
    I do have a question though. When you wear shoes with ankle length jeans, do you wear some sort of stockings on your feet or do you go barefoot with your shoes on? Every pair of nude nylons I have tried that are cut short to wear with shoes, either shows above the show or slips off my heel and winds up all scrunched up in my instep. Pantyhose under jeans is much too hot and knee hi nylons show a mark under my jeans where they end. Help!

  26. Hi Susan,
    Can you please let us know when the navy scraf is back in stock. I have created a customer account.

  27. Hey Susan, Love all your looks…I don’t think you could look bad in anything…but my question is I am overweight and having a terrible time trying to lose but I have decided to try and look good even with the extra weight. How do I hide my heavy upper arms without wearing a sweater…I wear mostly black pants and Jeans but its the tops that get the best of me….Keep showing us we love you and your style….Nola

    1. When I wore plus sizes, I felt more comfortable in soft, lightweight materials that just skimmed my arms and body. If I wore clothing that was too loose fitting or made from a stiff fabric, I looked larger than I was.

  28. I love your style and how your focus is the whole presentation. I am over 70 and clothes are still very important to me; however, the fashion magazines target the younger women.

  29. I’m really loving this hairstyle on you. Have I missed a post where you blogged about your new do?

  30. Hi Susan,
    I received my scarf yesterday and I’m wearing it today to the Oakland Museum. I went outside to get the newspaper a received my first compliment. It’s very soft and drapes very easy over your shoulders.
    I will be visiting your website looking for a similar scarf to purchase.
    Thank you,

  31. Great tips. Never thought to match my hair and purse but I see what you mean – it does look good.

    1. Capris are difficult for me to wear because they bring attention to my wide calves. I prefer ankle-length pants since they stop at a more flattering place.

    1. That was a scarf I offered on my shopping site a couple of years ago. I bought all that the company had in stock at the end of the season, so I don’t know where to find more now. Here is the most similar one I could find.

  32. Smart classic outfit… I so enjoy your post.
    Question? What size scarf are you wearing? And is is the size you normal use in most of your 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.