Focus on The Best

Even supermodels have some features of which they are not fond. No matter how beautiful and seemingly perfect, every woman I have ever worked with wanted to change something or even a few things about her appearance. The trick to being content with your body is to focus on your best features while playing down the least favorite bits. Celebrate more and criticize less.

Postmenopausal women almost always acquire a thicker waistline. My inverted triangle shape is no exception. I also have a flat behind and an ample bust, but my thighs are slender, so you can see why I almost always wear a simple top with a low neckline and slim-fitting pants. If I wear a knee-length dress or pants with full legs and a crew neck top, I look fifteen pounds heavier because I have covered my best physical features.

Another example is the apple-shaped body; the torso’s most narrow part is likely just beneath the bustline. If the apple-shaped body wears a loose-fitting top, she will look heavier because she has concealed the most slender area.

Today, my photos show a typical look for a stay at home makeup-free day. Those days are precious and rare for me. One day out of a hundred might allow me to stay home alone and focus on thoroughly cleaning, organizing, rearranging, or putting some area of my home in order. To be alone and free of professional and social responsibilities for a few hours is pure bliss for me. I am a solitary creature by nature, but there is a downside to spending too much time alone. It is possible to slip into negative self-talk, playing back every unpleasant thing you ever did or said in your life and beating yourself up for something that is in the past. You can’t change the past by robbing joy from the present.

The conversations you have with yourself manifest the life you have. I practice keeping good posture, maintaining a small smile on my face, and always thinking about how much I treasure the life I have now. Words of affirmation that we speak to ourselves are the most powerful voice we will ever hear. “I am enough.” “Let it go.” “I bring all the things I need to me.” Louise Hay famously said, “All I seek is already within me.” More of her daily affirmations are here.

My super-comfy sweatshirt is by Focus via Shop My Fair Lady. The jeans are about four years old from Chico’s. The slides are a couple of years old by Sofft.

Referral and affiliate links in my posts may generate a small commission for me at no additional cost to you.

  1. I admire your courage to appear in your comfy attire instead of your usual perfectly dolled up self! You still look lovely!! I don’t have that courage…lol! I do have a question for you…did you notice a difference in your hair texture as it greyed? I am having a very hard time letting it go natural. My colorist actually prepared my hair by going very blond with highlights so the gradual change wouldn’t be so noticeable. The problem is the texture is so strange now…it is coarser and straighter then it ever was. Plus it’s thinning! I think grey hair is beautiful and look forward to having it all one color once again. Did you let it go naturally or let dyed hair grow out?? Thanks for the help…

    1. After my fiftieth birthday, I started to let my hair grow out from a short style that I maintained well throughout the process. I often wore a hat and sometimes used a temporary color in the early part of the process. I have never considered going back to the dye. Part of the natural aging process includes a change in hair texture and some thinning. I accept those changes and try to keep my hair in good condition and get fairly regular trims.

  2. Thank you for showing us a varied aspects of your life , even the less sparkly bits. Yep, I love an exhale and regroup day in my “burrow” on my own.

  3. Amen! You are a gracious, down to earth, honest woman who we can all learn from. So refreshing! Though this blog is primarily about beauty/fashion/make-up, it is in no way “superficial”. Beauty comes from within–from the mind, the soul, and a healthy body, of which you frequently remind us. All the rest is the adornments we add to make us project our best selves. So grateful you write this early in the morning, so we can start our day with something positive!

  4. “playing back every unpleasant thing you ever did or said in your life and beating yourself up for something that is in the past. “ I thought I was the only one! Thank you for the tips on what works for you. I love your blog. It’s more than fashion and beauty! ❤️

    1. We are all human, and we all fall short. If you find yourself beating yourself up over something that you said or did, and you can rectify that situation, by all means go ahead and do it. When my daughter failed her first college course, her initial reaction was to feel badly about herself. I sat her down and explained to her that we all fail at times. What’s important is not that we failed, but what we do about it afterwards. Sometimes there is a lesson to be learned from failure. Sometimes we just need to pick ourselves up and try again. When we feel like we have fallen short, it is important to recognize that we are only human and we all fail. It is important to forgive ourselves and let go of negative thoughts about ourselves. If we allow ourselves to become overwhelmed with self guilt about the past, we miss the wonderful things that life has in store for us in the present.

      Hope you find this helpful.

  5. Knowing that others have that playback feature in their brain too may make it easier to turn off. Life review run amok! I loved hearing about your at home days. I have more of them than you but love every one of them. It is good to do the physical work of washing and cleaning, but also so much fun to do what I call puttering. Just going where that flow state takes me, rearranging a tabletop, changing out a picture, discarding a few clothing items, checking out the top pantry shelf!

  6. Susan – I think this is my favorite of all your posts. Some days it’s enough just to wake up and say thank you for the life we have.

  7. Susan, I enjoy your blog very much. The input on what you cook and eat has helped me come up with new ideas for myself. And your styling tips are very clear and actually applicable to real life. You are beautiful even without make-up!

  8. Susan, your posts are not just about fashion and beauty. You are far more than just a pretty face or a well put together outfit. I find your posts most encouraging and the community you have built have all chimed in with interesting thoughts. This is out in left field but I wondered about the types of cleaning products you use. I am guessing you seek out nontoxic products. Enjoy your “free” day. We all need those from time to time.

    1. I do seek out nontoxic products in all areas of my life. Strong fragrances and lots of foam are not kind to me or the environment. Vinegar gets used for lots of cleaning jobs here.

      1. Thank you for your response! We keep several gallons of white vinegar for cleaning and weed control. My favorite room freshener is favorite essential oils in vodka. Works like a charm!

  9. Hi Susan. I loved this post like everyone else. I have recently retired from a very busy legal career and now have quite a few at home days when not minding grandchildren. I would love if you could just say a few words to recap the best casual look for pear shapes. I am fond of narrow jeans and figure skimming tops but maybe that is wrong for my shape. Your advice on everything is very valuable. Thanks. Margo

    1. Pear shapes look great in tops that bring the focus up to the face and shoulders and show off a more narrow waist. Soft dark pants or skirts that skim your body while ending at the most slender portion of your leg are very flattering.

  10. Hi,
    As someone who would probably be the pear shape, what styles would you recommend? I’m 62 and still struggle with my smaller bust and large waist size.

    1. Pear shapes look best in tops that bring the focus up to the face and shoulders. Don’t wear a long top in an attempt try to hide the lower half. Sometimes that highlights it and shows it more. A-line tops and dresses will look best on you. Soft dark pants or skirts that skim your body while ending at the most slender portion of your leg are very flattering.

  11. Susan, Since you made reference to us Apple shapes, I could really benefit from seeing examples of what to wear. I understand the area beneath the bust being smaller but if I could see some actual everyday tops and casual styles, it would help me so much! I have a lot of weight to lose and have a big midsection so I do lean towards those flowy tops thinking it hides things. Thanks for all you do!

  12. A quote that I really like is by Maya Angelou: “ I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

    I love your blog, Susan! Thank you for sharing so much of your life and time with us all.

  13. Hi Susan, I am now retired from a family business my husband and I started together – grew it from a mom and pop to a medium size business. My son merged with a national company after his father passed. I treasure my solidarity now, with time to broaden my many interest, and your blog is a favorite. I have many friends who encourage me to be more sociable, for which I thankful. Also, I appreciate your service to our country serving in the Navy. I would like to hear more about your experience, and what inspired you to join the waves? Thank you for sharing.

    1. I was working three jobs while trying to put myself through college. The interest rate was about 26% at that time. It was as much an economic reason as any other. I joined the US Navy in 1979 with an honorable discharged in 1983. My life has been on a much better course since, due to the self-discipline and many leadership lessons I learned while in the service. I am grateful for those opportunities.

  14. I loved everything you said today. You are so very wise and I thank you for sharing your thoughts with us all. Have a great week.

  15. Some good advice today! Keeping a bit of a smile on your face is so important. It gives you a lift and shows you to be approachable to others. I also treasure those quiet days at home to get a few organizing chores done. Have a good day!

  16. I have affirmations too. The tendency to be harsh with myself went unrecognized for a long time. I understand how destructive that is and how powerful are the moments of self praise affirming the best parts of my mind and body. It really is so important.

  17. even this look is beautiful. you can definitely tell you take care of yourself. I actually love this outfit too – it is SO me!

  18. Thank you for the gift you gave us today! We all can use positive self talk. You are beautiful inside and out!

  19. Wow, you look great without makeup and I love the outfit. At about 55, I finally learned to let myself go out of the house without makeup and in yoga pants on a Saturday if I wanted. It is so hard because we are trained by everything in the universe that we have to look a certain way every minute of our life.

    I’ve learned tons about lines and fit from you. Thanks for the inspiration

  20. Susan,Postmenopausal…..are you having or had HOT FLASHES ? Just wondering what are you or what did you do for yourself……I am going crazy….Please Help

  21. Love this post! It’s so good to hear how others create wellbeing in their lives. You look happy and healthy. I’m sure that radiates from your inner self. Yes, we all have bad days but keeping that voice inside us mostly positive is a powerful tool. Unfortunately I have a family member (not my immediate family) who is the opposite – it’s hard sometimes to keep from feeling resentful towards them and it so drags you down when you are around them. So all I can say is keep up the great work and enjoy your peaceful day!

  22. You never know when or how your words will touch someone at the right moment. Yours have resonated with me today. Thank you.

  23. You are so right Susan, too much time alone can be detrimental to one’s self talk. I love the fact that you point out your bad points and show how you disguise them. I also found it interesting that you quote Louise Hay… mother who has been gone now for almost 30 years died from a long debilitating disease and I recall Louise’s tapes used to give her some comfort – thank you for bringing back a nice memory. Joy (NSW Australia)

  24. Thank you Susan for that post – I really needed to hear it! We need to treat ourselves as well as we treat others!

  25. Thank you so much for sharing all your expertise with us, you are a truly amazing woman.
    I am an hourglass cross athletic shape, I don’t feel right in clothes that hang loose, I’m only 5’3” but I feel much more put together with tops tucked in. Unfortunately, my waist is not tiny anymore and I have a bit of a spare tire and of course a fairly flat bottom. I am a very young 74 year old. Since retiring I have not found my style. Help!

  26. Fabulous post today. I appreciate hearing your approach to life — as well as fashion and beauty as an expression of our lives. Keep it up!

  27. I love your posts! So nice to have someone still concerned about health and fashion:). I will be sixty in about 6 weeks….

  28. You’re the BEST!
    Thank you for showing your true physical self.
    I think it is inspiring for women to talk about and show themselves without the usual “cover” we project to the world at large.
    It helps all of us embrace who we are.
    Beth Reisman
    Scottsdale AZ

  29. Hi Susan – I am a huge fan of Louise Hay and consider her my teacher even though she has passed. I am not surprised you know her too since you are always so positive! Love your style and inner beauty. Thank you for your lovely blog.

  30. I love skirts. have never seen you do anything on skirts with boots. Short skirts, long boots, longs skirts short boots. Would like to see you do a segment with skirts and boots. Such a good look…………….I’m 5″3″ so need to be careful with the look

  31. “…playing back every unpleasant thing you ever did or said in your life and beating yourself up for something that is in the past.”
    And I thought I was the only one!!! Ah yes… Let it go, let it go

  32. I so needed to hear your words of wisdom! I like the part of not robbing pleasure from the moment to dwell in the past! Also thank you for reminding us of posture. Photos I see of myself lately show me stooping. Spines are so suggestive, I need to watch that! Keep up the Good Job of mentoring us!

  33. Oh my goodness! I love our “edgy” Susan. ❤️. I see you’re wearing Mr. Mickey’s fave shoes. You look fabulous!

  34. I relate so well to you because I too am an introvert. Your comments and encouragement were the most valuable to me in this blog. I will have a better day after reading this post and I’ll keep all your thoughts in my mind and heart. Thank you.

  35. I’m going through a difficult time now with lots of life changes, big and small. I’m 54 and see you almost as a big sister with your insightful perspective on life. As an introvert and a very private person, I admire your courage in putting yourself “out there”. Thank you Susan.

    1. I’m so glad that what I share had been helpful to you. Please write to me anytime you need to chat with someone. Putting myself “out there” can be soul-crushing if I allow it. (Those women who read my posts and then share them to make fun of me for one example.) Not everyone can understand that I share what I’ve learned with love.

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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.