Inspiration and Tips

Coco Chanel first presented the bouclé suit on August 5, 1923. The jacket is still a classic, often worn with skirts, faded jeans, or wide-leg pants. In these photos, I’m wearing my version with ankle pants found here.

I bought the jacket at Dillard’s last year, but it is still available here. Here is a similar one, and here is another one. While these jackets are classic and elegant, they can be tricky to style for busty gals with roundish faces. I’ve tried it with several other necklines, but the v-neck looks best.

I’ve worn that camisole countless times. (Here is a similar V-neck cami, and here is a silk one.) This time, I tucked it in and wore it with a belt because it is otherwise too long and loose to wear with the ankle pants and boxy jacket. When I fail to show any hint of a waistline, my combos can overwhelm my frame or look dowdy. Here’s another styling tip. If you have a short waist, wear a belt in the same tone as your top to visually elongate the torso.

The shoes and other items are also from previous years, so I’ll link to similar current items. My favorite no-show sock company (found here) also offers styles to wear with heels. Similar shoes here and here. BagBeltEarrings

The lip color is “Girls Night” here. My skincare is here. The shampoo and conditioner are here.

We always get dressed up for our dates, even if we aren’t going anywhere special. It lifts the spirits and turns the ordinary Friday night into an event. We took a drive through the old neighborhood to look for blooming cherry trees and early-blooming bulbs. Mr. Mickey and I have each lived in the Gump Addition neighborhood several times. That is where we met at a Christmas party more than fifteen years ago. We always enjoy saying hello to old friends out walking or working in their yards as we pass by.

After our drive, we enjoyed snacks and wine at my home. That’s Maytag blue cheese, Italian herb crackers, honey-roasted peanuts, and mixed no-salt nuts with various olives. I bought the last plate here, but other Juliska items are still available.

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  1. You look beautiful & elegant in your outfit today. I like that you both dress up for your dates. It says to your partner that you care to look your best for each other & I agree lifts the spirits. Also like how you make your refreshments look elegant & inviting as well. That is a good tip about wearing belt in the same tone if one is short waisted. Never really thought about that

  2. Looks like you didn’t walk far for this date! Wow. Some shoes! Your third “here” for the jacket does not link to anything like a boucle jacket.

  3. Thank you for the tip on using a V-neck cami with this jacket. That works so much better. Is it always better to wear high heels (not me anymore) or even ones with a block type heel with ankle length pants vs flats? I think you look very stunning in black and white.

    1. You can wear any shoe you like with ankle pants, but it looks more balanced to wear culottes with shoes that have elevation.

      When I dress up, I enjoy wearing the few pairs of heels I still own. If the heels are not skinny and no more than three inches high, I can manage them for a few hours.

  4. Very elegant – love the outfit! Chanel is such a classic look and I love the way you have brought this one piece to our attention. Since I’ve discovered your website, I have been venturing out with the V neck approach – it truly makes a difference. A slimming and classic look – and the belt suggestion is a winner! By the way, I have started using the BeautyCounter Countertime skin care regimen and I couldn’t be more pleased. The cleansing oil is amazing! Thank you for sharing all your tips, wisdom and recommendations!

  5. With Covid restrictions, it’s difficult to purchase new clothing items when you aren’t allowed to try things on and, it seems women’s sizes vary from one manufacturer to another. I’ve tried purchasing online and have not had any luck. How do you manage to find items that fit you so well without being able to try them on? Thank you.

    1. Many of the items I show you have been in my wardrobe for a year or more. I know from experience that certain brands consistently fit me well, so I rarely venture away. For example, Talbots, J.Crew, Everlane, for basics and shoes by Sam Edelman and Vince Camuto.

  6. You are beautiful Susan. I love how everything you wear and do is elegant and refined. Mr Mickey is very handsome. You are both inspirational.

  7. Great advice about the same colored belt as top, I am busty and short-waisted, and shorter legs, at least they are fairly thin and not too thick of thighs! I am going to try to see how works

    Thanks as always!

  8. Susan, I love this outfit. Would you wear this to a wedding? I will be attending a wedding this summer and need to find a classy, understated outfit. I would love your suggestions. Thanks!

    1. Separates are more flexible and easier to find in styles that suit me. You can put together any outfit from flattering elements, and they can be accessorized up or down. Look for items made from different fabrics with varying textures to create the most interesting looks.

  9. You look very elegant and classy. It’s hard to go wrong with a Chanel style jacket. I noticed it everywhere and with everything while on a trip to Paris 2 years ago.

  10. You have the gift of encouragement and inspiration, whether fashion, food or entertainment. I love seeing your outfits. Mr Mickey always looks sharp.

  11. Your look always inspires me.
    I have a question, with Easter coming, I would like to find a age appropriate look. But I’m really tired of wearing pants. I would like to find a dress that I could wear to church but not so dressy that I can’t wear it to casual occasions.
    Any thoughts?

  12. I think this outfit makes you look stunning. One of my favorite to put in my album of things to keep and remind me how you coordinated the items and why. Thank you for the tips. as they truly make a difference when shopping for me now.

    Clara from Iowa

  13. Your outfit is lovely and fits you so well. I am pear shaped but appreciate your tips, I just adjust them to my body shape, Just like you, I feel better about myself when I dress well. Thank you for your blog!

  14. I love the inspirational posting! Creating your own special occasions is such an elevating thought for all of us. There is really no reason to sit and wonder when we can experience fun and beautiful activities. You and Mr. Mickey take charge and make your own memorable times. I’ve been inspired to do the same. By the way, you both are looking fabulous while you enjoy yourselves.

  15. I don’t always comment, but I have to say how much I look forward to your posts. I regularly find my thoughts drift to photos or tips that you’ve shared, and it has positively impacted every facet of my life. You have such a gift, and I’m so appreciative to have a place to go to that has me put my best foot forward.

  16. You both look very beautiful and handsome. It is so nice to be able to get dressed up. An outing now is an event. I like your hair shorter and those shoes are very classy.

  17. Hi Susan, I enjoy your posts and always look forward to seeing your latest outfit even though I never wear anything similar. I’m an American expat, supportive spouse, living in Hong Kong. I enjoy living here for the lovely weather November thru March. When April arrives the weather changes to a tropical heat and humidity the likes I’ve never experienced before and I’m from Miami and have lived all throughout the American Southeast. I struggle to find my own style here because of the weather and the fashion style of Hong Kong. In general it’s very conservative covering most of your skin and frumpy, even for young women. I do see very stylish business women but it’s hard to find American size clothes. I’m a size 6 but in HK everything nice is cut very slim. I’ve found linen tank tops that I wear with above the knee skirts that have the built in spandex shorts. I don’t wear shorts and even linen pants are too hot. It doesn’t help that I have hot flashes! I apologize for rambling as I’m sure you have many emails. I would appreciate any tips you have to share.

    I’m 56, 130lbs and a semi hourglass.

  18. I love your style and try to copy the outfits. I am not busty though and have a long torso so I wonder if I should be following your style exactly or make changes.

    1. Thank you for the comment, Michelle. You are wise to wonder about your style. I attempt to minimize the details above the waist and create the illusion of a lower waistline. You can wear ruffles, waterfall lapels, and other interesting details above and across the bust. Your belts should be the color of your pants. You will look most balanced in high-waist styles.

  19. Susan, you look stunning in this outfit and the heels! Love the boucle jacket also. Do you wear your Shapeez bra under the camisoles with spaghetti straps and don’t take the jacket off? It’s difficult to find nice tank tops that are not form fitting to hide bra straps. But then again, I’m getting to where I’m not crazy about sleeveless tops on me anymore. So glad to see you two getting out and enjoying yourselves together. I can’t wait for this pandemic to end so I can go shopping and try on clothes. Pants and I don’t get along, so I have to try on any pair everytime.

  20. You look so elegant and Mr Mickey is looking very dapper. I think it is lovely that you dress up for date night in a world which seems to dress down for just about everything.

  21. Hi Susan, as always you look super elegant (love the killer heels!) and Mr Mickey looks pretty dapper too! I love your grey hair, please in a future blog could you offer some advice and tips for looking after grey hair. As a result of the pandemic and the hairdressing salons in the UK being mostly closed I decided to let my colour grow out. My hair colour is a very nice shade of silver but it needs a lot of TLC. Any advice you could offer would be much appreciated.

  22. Love coco her clothes and ideas were so far ahead of the times. In my painting room I have on my wall one of her sayings.
    In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.

  23. Love your look! The organized closet is an inspiration. I am curious if you kept your georgette blouses or them go; wondering if they are out of style as I have several.

  24. Another combo outfit to clip and put in my little clothing ideas file. Always so refreshing to check my inbox and find you there. My notes to myself “shoes and clutch.” Giving myself a little treat today. Off to the spa for some Botox. I have ignored things since Covid and have been hiding under a mask. I love your elegant snack too. Something else I will be returning to when my schedule allows it. Very important to do the little things isn’t it.

  25. I love that you get dressed up! It really does lift the spirits to do that. I am of the same mind!
    The jacket is so pretty and you look mah ve lous!

  26. Thank you for your informative blog. I thoroughly enjoy it & have learned so much from you!
    With the cami with thin straps, what undergarment would be best to wear under it?

  27. Thank you Susan, another very sharp look! The closest Shapeez store is almost an hour away. Maybe this week end I can venture over to Milford, MI and see them in person. Wish I could try on there, but not sure with covid that is allowed. Think I’ll call them to find out about the policy. Thanks! P.S. I have started my second closet purge. Just gave away 4 tops I no longer thought looked the best for me. I have decided to keep a bag in the closet to fill as I try something on, if I no longer like the fit, or style, it’s going in the bag. I only want to wear clothes that are flattering to me now, the best color and enhance who I am. Thanks again for all your insightful tips. Happy Spring !

  28. Susan – I am nearing 59. I love your blog because it inspires me to create an age appropriate look without being frumpy. I have recently lost 40lbs and I am working on the last 20. I am short, 5’3”, so I would benefit from a heel, but I have lower lumbar pain. Any suggestions on shoes that might be both comfortable and stylish as this lawyer looks to returning to the office at least a few days each week?

  29. What a dashing couple you two make. Thank you for inviting us into your lives (especially in these turbulent times) to remind us that we should get up, get dressed, and get out–even if don’t really have a place to go!

  30. Please tell me what to wear under the cami.
    a strapless bra, I would presume.
    Thank you for your posts.
    So helpful!
    We have the same taste. and I usually can find similar items in my closet but
    I have not thought about how to combine them.

  31. Love your wine coaster and enjoy your blog so much. My husband and I are quite the wine connoisseurs, too.

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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.