I’ll Pass On That

Do you know what works best for your shape? I use myself as an example and blog about this subject often because it is most helpful in putting together winning looks. I hope to help you to discover your magic formula as well. Knowing your shape and your style personality makes getting dressed and shopping so much easier.

“Why don’t you wear dresses or skirts?” My thighs are one of my best body features. A dress covers the thigh area, and because of my larger top, I look larger all over when I wear a dress. Only my thick calves show in a dress, so that also makes me look heavier. To keep the proportions balanced for my body, I would need to wear a mid-thigh length dress and very high heels or a very long dress since I have short lower legs. Narrow pants are usually a much better and more comfortable choice for me. I still enjoy wearing my high heels when we go out to dinner, but this may be the last hurrah for these beauties. They are a bit too high even for me now. The shoes and bag are more than two years old.

When we attend any special event, I wear slim, more fitted pants such as these Lior Paris pants from ShopMyFairLady.com. The black Clara Sunwoo top with sheer sleeve panels pictured here is also from ShopMyFairLady.com.

An elegant top that is long enough to cover at least half of my behind is best for my shape. Mid-hip is the best proportion for me when it comes to tops and jackets. I enjoy wearing a statement necklace if the neckline and other details of the top are not eyecatching. The necklace I am wearing here is by Petra Meiren from Germany. I found it at Caravans in Asheville. A scarf folded on the bias is also often part of my look for daytime. I like the long and lean look they give me, and the color and pattern near my face is very flattering without wearing a print or bright colors on my body.

I have been wearing this tinted moisturizer lately, and I love the sheerness with just enough coverage to even out my skin tone. It has some SPF, and it doesn’t gather in my laugh lines or wrinkles. Hooray! You can find it on my site here.

  1. I love to wear dresses but can’t always find dresses that look good with my shape. I love how you have embraced wearing pants. I think I stress too much over not being able to find dresses that look good with my shape. You always give me something to consider, thank you.

  2. I understand your preference for pants. But in the few times you post a picture of yourself in a dress, I don’t see those flaws at all — in fact, I think you look lovely.

      1. You are absolutely right. If you don’t have the right heel for the dress it’s easy to look like a square — not that that has ever happened to me!

  3. Good morning Susan. Often times we are our worst critic. I have seen you in dresses on the blog and I think you look great. You’re harder on yourself than you need to be. For all of us, some dress styles are better than others and downplay our features we don’t want to emphasize. If you have the right style dress in a color(s) that flatters your skin tone and have alterations to tweak the dress to your body, you’ll look beautiful. If someone is wearing too slim of a pant, that can also emphasize heavier calves or thighs if that happens to be their problem area. I don’t mean any disrespect and hope I haven’t offended you. I love your style but I also love you in dresses too. God has given us each a unique body and very few ladies would say they’re perfect. It’s what we do with them and how we dress to emphasize our best features. I can remember some specific dresses I’ve seen you wear on the blog and you hit the mark of perfection. I don’t recall seeing you in a shorter skirt and maybe that wouldn’t work because of cutting you in half, but dresses can give you a long lean look if you have a style that flatters your figure.

    1. I attempt to teach you important points to consider when looking at your own style and what is most flattering for you, the reader. I am not being critical, just honest with myself and with you. Indeed, we all look best when we dress to enhance our best features.

  4. I never wear dresses either. They just don’t suit my apple shape, even though I’m not that big.
    I will miss seeing you in heels, although I understand where you are coming from! I can’t wear anything like the lovely silver ones in your post (bunions☹️) but I here in chilly Melbourne, boots are my first choice for all but the very hot days in January and February and even though most of my pairs are very comfy with just a medium heel, I find it impossible to do much more than go to and from work. My toes just burn! I now have several pairs of flat boots for shopping etc. and as I live in the city, walking everywhere or jumping on the tram is how I get around so I really have to think about what I put on my feet.
    Thanks for your hints and ideas, I really enjoy your posts.

  5. I’m 5’4″ and if we’re talking fruit, I’m an apple. I carry my weight around my waist which makes buying pants and skirts difficult. I have found structured clothes look best on me with my narrow shoulders. I really do not have a waist anymore. Flowy tops tend to add pounds so I try not to wear many of those unless it’s with narrow pants or jeans. I despair sometimes trying to shop. One size on the bottom and another on the top!

    1. I wear a size 10 on top, and a size 4 or 6 on the bottom, which is yet another reason dresses are not flattering on me. They always have to be altered a lot to look less tent-like.

  6. Thank you, I really enjoy your blog. What I really appreciate is how you identify why and how you dress. I one of those with too many clothes and nothing to wear. “Nothing to wear” translates to nothing I think looks good on me, doesn’t fit right, or is not comfortable or appropriate for the occasion. I am using your blog as a basis to weed out my closet and limit my compulsive buying to what looks best for my body shape, my life style and my age.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Johnnie. This is why I share what I learn. I hope that it will help others who are interested enough to read my words with an open mind. I want to know WHY something works so that I can apply the tips to my style.

  7. Hi Susan, You look wonderful as usual. I like the longer look tops but have a hard time finding them. I find the ones that look like a dress way too long for me. I’m only 5’2. I have a question about the vanishing back bra. I tried one one and it immediately smoothed the small wrinkle in the back of my shirt. Yay, just what I wanted. But it was padded and I felt like Dolly Parton. I have a large size on top but not on bottom. Do you have another bra suggestion? Wish they came unpadded. Thanks Judy

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and being so honest. Often I know what looks good for my shape without really thinking why it does, but with your posts, I’m learning why it looks better. This has made it easier when looking for clothing. It’s also nice to see how you put your outfits together. I so enjoy reading your posts and learning from all your tips. I also love your photos that are not fashion related.

  9. I have the shoulders of an NFL player. THAT is difficult to dress without truly looking like a football player. Lol. We each have our own stuff to carry. You always look lovely. You have indeed done your homework. Thank you for all you do. I enjoy every blog even the ones I envy. Lol!

  10. Lovely and instructive as ever! Jealous of those stunning silver heels & happy to see them before you deem them too high.

  11. Your ability to transform pants, top, scarf and jewelry into an attractive feminine outfit 100% of the time is either a super power or proof that you are a magician. Yet I want you to take the credit for all the time, energy, and hard work that you put into concocting such visual treats.

  12. Susan, I think with your great legs you’d be smashing in a pencil skirt with a floaty top and heels. The hem of the skirt would have to be just right and the top would also have to be the right length. Just maybe once in a great while to surprise everyone and change things up. Maybe in winter with black opaque tights? Do you ever wear booties?

  13. I’ve been following you for quite some time, and always find inspiration from you blog. I’m now retired and living on a fixed income (wish I could have saved more), so I find myself being very careful of what spend on my clothes, purses, shoes, and makeup. I have a membership at a gym and use is regularly. I want to THANK YOU for keeping me excited about what I look like. It’s always been important to me and it makes me very sad when I see other women that don’t care or don’t want to make the effort.
    God bless you always,

  14. I notice the polish on your toe nails and it made ma want to ask why you rarely wear finger nail polish. I never used to when I was younger but my favorite Aunt Jane used to say “a lady ALWAYS has her nails done”. As a “mature” woman, I now notice how important it has become to my overall appearance. Just asking…

  15. Just thought I would let you know that since I have discovered you and started following your advice, I keep receiving remarks that I “always look so put together.” I credit you entirely! Thanks!!

  16. We appear to have the same theory about our clothing choices. However I’d never thought about why I make these choices. Now I do! Thanks.

  17. Hello,

    After reading ALL of your blogs, I am now wearing the right type/style of clothes, AND ONLY purchasing colors that are suitable for me….I’m 81 and have often been told by make-up people that I am a “winter” coloring. So, in my closet are the blue reds, black, white, navy, cool greys…etc. I do not wear high heels but I’m enjoying a one or two inch heel. I want to give you a round of applause and thank you. I am much less in a quandary of what to wear knowing I’ll always find the perfect outfit in my closet.

    Glenna in Brea, CA

    PS: I purchased one of your scarves in the hot blue, red, etc. and anxious to wear it this Fall.

  18. Susan,
    You look very nice in this phto. Your skin looks radiant. I am your reader that lived in Yorktown, Va. I am living in England for the next two years. Trying to figure my style out here.

  19. I love your white jeans. Now how long into the winter would you wear them, with a sweater and boots? Casual dress. Or is the white before Labor Day ” in force,”

    1. That old rule is thankfully dead. I wear white jeans all year round. The fabric is thick enough to keep me warm and white jeans look great with tan boots. I don’t wear light color pants on rainy days because the splash back ruins them.

  20. Your tips are so helpful! My figure is a lot like yours Susan except I’m shorter. Now I know why I don’t look good with shirts tucked in or skirts that hit right below my knees:)

  21. Thanks for sharing Susan. Now I am trying to work out the dress/pants formula for my own body – 6’1 pear shaped, large thighs…I cannot get warm with the idea of A line skirts but feel good in straight/pencil pants (not too tight) and long loose tops
    warmest regards from Australia, Martina

  22. I’m not a big fashion blog follower, but I have to say–I can identify with a lot of what you publish on the site (although I pretty much stick with flats instead of heels, I do have some old multicolor Pfister needles that come out once in awhile). I recently gave away 3/4 of my wardrobe and pared everything down to black, white, cream, gray, and some primary colors to go with my recent “no more color” hair. Everything pretty much goes with everything else. We live in the very casual Pacific Northwest– having moved from NY– so the pare-down has as much to do with regional style as dealing with my slightly pudgy 4 ft. 11 inch self–which can be a challenge fashion-wise. Anyway, I’ve gotten a lot of good ideas from your blog, much of which has been to hang on to the quality and well-fitting old instead of buying new. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  23. I would love to purchase a a last tango cold shoulder top like you wear I believe from purple poppy. Can you tell me if it runs big or true to size?? Thanks so much.

  24. Those shoes are life! I just turned 60 and am having trouble with heels also. So sad. They make everyone look so much better. I have been wearing more platforms to take their place, but for the first time ever, I’m also wearing flats. I’d love to see a post about attractive flats.

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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.