Do you ever judge a book by its cover? More than one woman has left me a comment similar to the following. “What could you possibly know about our everyday lives and struggles? You in your fancy house and clothes, going out to dinner and the symphony; you have nothing in common with me.”

A few years ago, I needed to lose 75 pounds because my health was negatively affected. Even after working two full-time jobs for more than ten years, I became homeless in my early forties after a heartbreaking divorce. I spent the next seven years working non-stop to rebuild a very different, independent life.

When I tell you I learned my life lessons the hard way, it is true. What I share with you here and in my talks would be considered too much private information made public for most people. However, if I fail to share my journey and struggles, I will not encourage the woman who is going through the same thing and believes there is no hope.

We were indeed on our way to dinner and then a symphony performance when these photos were snapped. The Travelers pants from Chico’s are at least eleven years old. The Ralph Lauren tuxedo style jacket with satin lapels is from Dillard’s last year. The top is this one by Covered Perfectly. The short French Connection boots are from last year. Some of the jewelry and the clutch are just random no-name objects I have picked up in my travels over the years. I do not usually wear earrings with a necklace, but these are just enough to cover the holes in my lobes. Now that my hair is shorter, I am wearing more small earrings for that purpose. The Versace scarf is from a few years ago. I wore gold earrings with silver jewelry and used the scarf with silver, gold, gray, and black tones to pull the look together.

  1. Hi Susan

    There will always be haters. I think you are wonderful and I have drawn
    much inspiration from you. Thank you so much.

    Lizer Pearl

  2. Well my motto has always been, do not judge. Period. But I usually add the caveat of “do not judge me by your life experiences”. We have all walked different paths to get where we are. We can all learn something from the people we meet. But we should never assume that our life choices would be best for others.

    I get many positive things from your posts.

    Thank you.

  3. I forget sometimes how many haters there are. You seem very humble and no uppetyish to me! Your blog is the first thing I read every morning. At my age, I am have a very difficult time losing weight….I reread that particular blog of yours over ans over for inspiration. And I thank you for sharing.

  4. Always enjoy reading your posts. You’re such an inspiration for turning your life around. Love reading about your adventures with Mr Micky!

  5. I have said this many times, You are such an inspiration Susan.
    Don’t you love it when you can pull something 10 years old from your closet and it still fits and is still in fashion? 🙂 And I intend to attend one of your events, but it will have to be late summer/early fall so I can make it a short vacation…. maybe somewhere near the wineries? LOL.
    Keep doing what you do – we love you for your honesty and bravery.

  6. Wow, Susan it is just amazing how mean some people can be. You are nothing but an inspiration. I have learned alot about fashion and life from you. Thank you for what you do.

  7. Susan,

    Count me in as one of your devoted readers who enjoys seeing how you have overcome challenges in your own life. I read many blogs and there are some that are a little too smug in my own opinion, but I don’t comment as I recognize that it is something in my value system that makes me uncomfortable with their boldness.

    Again, thanks for a great blog.

  8. Susan.thank you for sharing but personally I don’t think you have to. Please ignore the negatives. I’m a regular reader and your blog inspired me to start mine a year or so ago on style. I know your story from previous posts and have great admiration. You are an inspirational icon to me.keep it up.

  9. Susan — I am one of those whose life has been made just a bit easier because of you. One recent example I wanted to share: I was contemplating what to wear to the upcoming family Easter Sunday brunch. I was flipping through catalogs, mulling over the idea of a new dress when the inspiration came to me — just wear my jonquil yellow tank with navy slacks, my blue tweed blazer, scarf and navy sandals. No money spent (I am retired now), and I will be comfortable and presentable. This idea would not have occurred to me if not for your blog. Thanks again for helping simplify my life.

  10. Susan, what is your event/conference about? Did I miss seeing that information? Thanks!

    1. There is a link in the post where you can learn more about the event and buy your tickets if you wish. I start the talk out telling you a little about my battles with weight, depression, and homelessness. (We all have a story!) We have lunch together, and the last part of the event is an open discussion about anything you want. Door prizes, free scarves, and other goodies, as well as lunch, will be provided. The cost of the event is $75. (shipping is automatically added by the software on my site, thus the $63 original cost.)

      1. In fact, I will definitely be at one of your future events. Looking forward to hearing about more. (Maybe one in the summer?????)


    2. I will be visiting my family in Maryville, Tennessee that day and will just miss you. Perhaps one in the future!

      Break a leg, Susan. I know your fans will love it!

  11. I am amazed that someone would send remarks like that. I mean, THEY came to read your blog, you did not force yourself on them! You are just sharing your life with people (who choose to follow you and read about it!), not imposing government regulations. Good grief! So why would they feel like they needed to reprimand you for the life you have? I just don’t understand! I hope you didn’t allow them to bother you. Love your look for the symphony and I love mixing gold and silver too! Have a blessed day!

    1. Bravo Kim Street for your response! Social media reading is a choice, so if you don’t like something move on. We have become a society of critics without the training. I will continue to enjoy Susan’s blog and take away things that apply. Keep up with your positive ways, Susan.

  12. I noticed the gold earrings – but now I see how the scarf has pulled everything together. I have lots
    of collared tops. Need to invest in some collarless jerseys and jewelry to accent the neckline.

  13. I do not understand why anyone would feel the need to make that comment! I love reading this blog and am trying to figure out my new style in retirement (I found myself wearing sweat pants and a Relay for Life t shirt yesterday) and struggling! I will be following your tips. Thanks for,putting up with the Debbie Downers!

  14. I am sorry that you have to endure unreasonable judgement of your blog. I love your blog and get inspiration from your classic looks and tips. You know, if I don’t like to read a certain blog because they don’t apply to me, I just don’t follow them! I enjoy living through you and your adventures and jot some of the places you visit for places I would like to go. Please continue your blog in the same manner as you have. Don’t let mean spirited people dim your sparkle.

  15. Susan:

    I have tears coming down. Why? Because people can be so nasty and judgemental. I sometimes am also. I’m not perfect.
    However, I must tell you how I felt when I saw your beautiful pictures and so chic outings: I told myself: “She is so lucky, I’d like to do that and have no money problems etc..” But still, I didn’t envy you.
    I’m happy for you. You have good taste, good health, you look very good, have a nice life and it seems a loving husband. So why should I envy you?

    On my part, I’ve been struggling also and I can relate to you. I was born in a very poor french-canadian family. My father was a trucker and we were seven children. Later on, due to my mother sickness, we went in foster homes etc. But I was lucky as my foster home was loving and cheerful. Later on life brought me its share of sadness, ordeals etc. But I always was happy and supporting of people who tried and won over life trials.

    All of this to tell you that you have the right to have good times and you are to my knowledge a very nice person. Therefore, try not to be affected too much by ignorant comments. May God be always with you. Keep on the good work.

    I repeat that you are an inspiration to me.

  16. Susan, I can tell by the comments that your story and current lifestyle resonate with lots of us. I so appreciate your blog and often go back to reread some posts (for encouragement). Some people are just mean and hateful, some insecure and jealous so they lash out, and some are just “reverse snobs”. The adventures and venues you and Mr Mickey enjoy are not available to us but we can do something else, something different, just as much fun. I may not be able to afford some of the things you buy, but there are lots of consignment and gently used clothing stores for even the most stringent budget. It’s a matter of being creative. Your persistence in pursuing a better life for yourself is my mantra.

  17. Oh dear. So sorry about the judging comment. I admire you more than ever. I am so happy that through your hard work and perseverance you have made a beautiful life for yourself. I have learned much from you. Thank you Susan!! Cyber hugs.


  18. I’ve been reading fashion blogs for several years now and have hit on a lot that are for young women with very wild outfits being presented. I kept googling “over 40 fashion blogs” and found others more suited to my age, but not my personal style. I’d list them on my favorites and after a while de-list them. And then a couple of years ago, I found your blog. I was inspired by your story. Honestly, I think I’d have just curled up, taken some crappy job and lived in a studio apt. You show your bravery in what you accomplished. So don’t let the haters get you down. I’m sure the criticism hurts a bit, but just delete the comments and go on your way. If you ever have an event in central Illinois, please advertise it so I can attend. In the meantime, I look forward to your blog every day and am actually disappointed when you don’t post. And you show us that you don’t have to be wealthy and live in a fancy house to dress classically and classy. So thank you for showing us bits and pieces of your life.

  19. You are an inspiration for sure! Ignore the negative comments your advice is wonderful. I often imagine that people who spend time to spout negativity must lead very sad lives indeed. The way you so elegantly share your tips and wonderful adventures with Mr. Mickey give me joy. You get what you give and you are living proof of that. Keep sharing.

  20. You don’t owe anyone an explanation Susan! Class and empathy exude from every blog written – that says alot in itself! Through your sharing, you teach your reading audience each day! Celebrate the journey!

  21. If we could all keep kindness in our hearts, we’d be so much better off! Don’t pay attention to the haters-although I know it can be difficult to ignore. You’ve inspired me to look for classics everywhere I go-just last week in a local consignment store I scored a beautiful mint condition St. John open cardigan in navy that fits like a glove. I love it and it will have a new useful life with me! Your blog and the Vivienned Files blog are the two I read faithfully.
    Keep up the good work, you look fabulous and why should you not enjoy what you have worked so hard for? Best wishes to you.

  22. thats sad, to get nasty letters, I have been reading your blog for quite a while now. I love seeing the lovely places you show us, and thanks to that, If I do go somewhere nice, I know how to dress, for afternoon or evening. if some ladies do not feel like you understand their daily lives, thats their choice, and they don’t have to read any more, but as a way to improve one’s style and grace, I think your blog is a wonderful tool. I look forward to reading it every morning. thanks.

  23. Susan, you are an inspiration. I have been a fan for about 1 year now. Your blog is also the first thing I read in the morning. I am a recent widow and reading your blog has inspired me to get out and about when I’m not with friends. Had a full day of me-time on Saturday and this coming Sunday I”m going to see a community production of Madame Butterfly. So much better than watching tv. Please, when you start reading a negative comment just go to the next comment. If you were physically hurting yourself you’d stop. Right? Nastiness can hurt us too. The majority of your readers love what you write. Again, please ignore the jealous and ignorant. God bless you. Barbara in California

  24. Susan,

    You are lovely. You are always open and honest. You have shared your struggles from the beginning and for me and to me you are an inspiration. I want to be just like you when I grow up lol. Seriously, you are an inspiration. I’m so thankful you have had the opportunities you have. If I lived in your area, I would certainly love to attend an event you’re having. There will always be negative people who complain and put other people down. They could certainly learn from you and the example you are instead. Don’t let these negative Nellies get you down. Please continue to be the wonderful you that you’ve become and continue to inspire and encourage.

    I took care of my elderly mother for ten years and I put myself and health on the back burner because between owning my own two small businesses and caring for Mother there wasn’t time for me. Now, I’m taking care of myself and am on the way to being that person I want to become and you are part of my journey. Thank you.

    Patricia Unger

  25. so disappointed to hear you have received such comments , i dont go to the symphony or eat out as often , that just happens to be your life… i still appreciate your comments , i may not dress exactly as you , but i always look forward to your posts

  26. We all have or will have difficulties in our lives. It is how you handle and survive these struggles that will set us apart. I admire your strength and bravery to move forward! You are truly an inspiration to me and to many .

    Thank you

    Kris Ronchetti

  27. Mean. Mean. Mean. Why would anyone say that to you? If they don’t like what they read on your blog, then just move on. When I open my email, your blog post is always the first thing I read. You are beautiful and have many good ideas. I’ve learned so much from you. Keep on doing what you’re doing and when you get a stupid message like the one you’ve just described, please know that there are a 1000’s of women who feel completely different.

  28. Hi Susan: I’m so sorry you’ve had nasty comments; maybe we don’t have your current life style but so what – we’ve all had our own challenges and disasters – so we should understand how life can be and cheer on someone who is inspiring, teaching and encouraging us (me) with every single post. I always thought my life would end up like your’s did but even though I got a curve ball I wouldn’t trade raising my grandkids for anything and thanks to you I actually look good on the school runs and get compliments on the way I look. You look beautiful and classy at dinner, events and day to day and inspired by you I look beautiful and classy at Chuck E Cheese, school runs, dancing school, karate classes and the playground.

  29. I’m sorry that you have to deal with remarks that are negative. I wish people wouldn’t be so judgey and harsh! I am so inspired by your story! To me, reading your blog provides motivation and encouragement to work hard and treat bodies and ourselves well. Anyone can begin wherever they are.

    Thank you for sharing your story!

  30. It’s a shame that while social media has brought many people together to share their stories it also brings out the worst in some people. It is so easy to post a nasty comment about someone when you know nothing about their real struggles and life. It appears you are doing very well now but no one has any idea what it took to get you there. I’m glad you have overcome all your struggles and you have been blessed!

    I love how you don’t push new styles every single day – not that there is anything wrong with that – but it’s nice to see how you pull from your closet so many times and re-use what works for you.


  31. It saddens me that people can be so hurtful. Instead of appreciating your kindness and the amount of time you devote to helping people, there will always be someone who takes offense. I think you are marvelous and look forward to your posts, pictures, and stores every day. Thank you.

  32. I’m always bewildered at negative comments left on blogs by people who 1) don’t have a gun to their head forcing them to read said blog, and 2) seem to assume they have some kind of monopoly on hard times. MOST of the blogs I follow are authored by over-comers, and that’s a big part of what drew me into Fifty Not Frumpy two years ago. At the time I was exactly where you were a few years before – 55 years old, 50 lbs overweight, unhealthy and overwhelmed with the challenges and responsibilities in my life. Two years later I’m 40 pounds lighter, look and feel 100% better and enjoying my life. The challenges are still there but I’m managing them better because I know better is attainable. When your body is polluted with bad food and your mind with stinking thinking it’s hard to see beyond another hard day. We ALL have struggles of some kind, and I love that you, Susan, after mustering the determination to overcome yours, were compelled to help others find the motivation to do the same. God bless you and thank you!

  33. There are always those among us who see themselves as victims and resent those of us who seem to have our lives together. I was a probation officer for many years both in Family Court and Supreme Court and interacted with so many people who made excuses for their unhappy and often destructive lifestyles. Advice given to them was usually unheeded and their negative patterns were repeated over and over.

    As far as I am concerned, Susan, you provide women (who want it!) with positive, well thought out information on living a positive, happy and stylish lifestyle. You do not have to apologize or explain to those who don’t appreciate your blog. Thank you for all you do!

  34. I only mention this because I think it probably matters to you. There is a spelling mistake in the first paragragh….”When I started trying to – loose – the weight…” I enjoyed reading your story. It is inspiring.

  35. Susan, reading all the previous comments, you are truly loved and respected. I just want to join the choir and express my thanks and gratitude for your terrific blog filled with beautiful photos taken by Mr. Mickey, wonderful and informative information you share with all of us, and your gracious southern personality. Enjoy a blessed weekend.

  36. Hi Susan, I always look forward to reading your blog. After looking at another blog with the title “Women bashing women sucks” it pretty much said how I felt about the nasty comments some people make. Keep doing what you do, your blog is great.

  37. Susan – Like the writers of negative comments, my lifestyle, at this time, does not compare to yours. I currently live in a rural mountain community that is also a ski and summer resort. The full-time residents here consider formal attire to mean that you wash your sweat pants before attending the event. That does not mean that I don’t enjoy reading your blog. I may not have the same social calendar as you but I can use what I learn from you to help make my life healthier and to encourage me to make sure that I never leave the house looking less than put together. Please continue keeping us informed with what goes on in your world. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  38. I’ll never figure out why folks leave comments like that nor why they even read a blog if they take issue with the content or the person. Oh well, it takes all kinds of people to make up our world.

    I hope one day to be passing through East Tennessee on my way to and from Nashville and Connecticut when you have an event. You’re on my bucket list for sure. Sending happy thoughts and thanks for all you do for so many. XO

  39. Susan, you are a successful woman and have a lot to feel proud about!!! Some people can’t accept another person’s success for whatever reason and want to bring you down, make you feel guilty. That is their problem. They own it. I have enjoyed following your blog for about a year now. And, no, I don’t have your lifestyle in anyway, shape or form, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find your blog interesting and informational, which it is everyday. Keep it up!!!!

  40. Because 1) only unhappy, struggling people should blog?? and 2) these readers are somehow ‘forced’ to read your blog?? What a bunch of rubbish!

    I love your blog as well, and have really upped my wardrobe game since I started following you.

    And guess what? I live in a nice home, and go to nice restaurants and the symphony as well, as do many other people I know. So I say continue to live your beautiful life, and just ignore and delete the haters.

  41. Thank you, Susan. Jealousy and criticism require much less work than admiration and self-improvement. Keep up the good work!

    On a different note, I keep a jar of raw power porridge seeds/oats mix in the fridge ready to add quinoa/fruit and cook. Yesterday I was making bread to share with the family and decided to grind some of the mix into flour to use along with my bread flour. I didn’t say anything about it, but everyone exclaimed about how good the bread was!

  42. Susan, you keep doing what your doing? I for one love it. You show me that I can still be stylish and feel good about myself in my 60’s without looking like I’m trying too hard. I don’t think we should give up on ourselves just because we are older. So glad I found your blog. Thank you.

  43. Dear Susan, thank you for your honesty and openness. I believe when people speak negatively they are speaking out of their own pain and insecurity. I think you give hope and encouragement and possibly the negative speakers will come round and start getting a more positive outlook that if someone else can survive and rise above their situation they can too. Keep up the good work!

  44. I’ll keep it brief. Thanks for all the helpful tips and advice that you share. You’re blog is probably the best written one out there. No reason to give critics your energy. Have a fabulous weekend.

  45. I will never understand why some criticize another’s work. Envy is a sad and pitiful thing. You are a gracious and civilized lady and you have created a great life through your own hard work. I am among your many fans!

  46. So sorry that you such a comment sent to you. We all have our ups and downs in life and this comment was just rude.
    I thoroughly enjoy receiving your blog each day and have a life different from yours, but that is great, love to hear about other people. I am a Brit living most of the year in Spain.
    Keep up the good work!

  47. I have always adhered to the Eleanor Roosevelt quote, “Whatever other people think of me is none of my business.”
    I believe those who choose to criticize and wound others are in pain themselves. The best we can do is have compassion for them and their situations. I believe your reply was compassionate and helpful.
    Again, you have modeled how to live a “well styled life.”

  48. One of my favorite sayings is “That says everything about you and nothing about me.” and when someone lashes out,they usually do so anonymously! You be you, Susan!

  49. Don’t listen to the haters Susan. You are above that and so classy. You are also an inspiration to your readers. If someone doesn’t like you or agree with your posts, why in the world are they following you?! Keep doing what you’re doing. We love you!

  50. Wonderful post, Susan. I love sharing these with my own readers. About the gold and silver – imho the reason it works besutifully is that the earrings also have a cool color – the rhinestones (diamonds?) and the entire effect is classic and lovely. And as for the haters, yes, we all get them. (One of my personal favorites on my FB page was, “you suck!” ) I remember something I heard from the Sufi teacher Almaas: “There cannot be hate without love…it’s just not possible. I think that envy is just a convulated form of love and says, “I want to be like you.” I guess not everyone has the coursge to do what you have done, but you are giving all of us inspiration to try. God bless you.

  51. Thanks for sharing your story and congratulations on your success! Forget the haters and keep up the good work.
    BTW- today’s OOTD is one of my faves!

  52. Dear Susan,
    We rejoice with you in what you have achieved through hard work and perseverance.
    You are a model for woman to know what can be achieved even in the most dire of circumstances.Please do not be discouraged by any negativity.
    I love your understated elegance.Please know that even though our body types and
    lifestyles are different I still can apply tips and insight you share.
    I have learned to be careful with my clothing selections,I have made a decision to lose more weight and I have learned to take enjoyment of everyday blessings.

  53. You are a role model for me and many others here. Please keep up the great work.

    Thank you for being you. You are a daily source of inspiration.

  54. I check for your blog daily because it gives me a lift in a busy work day. I appreciate your tips and videos and have taken a little something good from each. Thank you for putting yourself ‘out there’ in such a positive and forthright way.

  55. Susan,

    I appreciate your “back story” and admire your successful efforts to rebuild your life. But I’m unhappy about your need to explain yourself. You’re right. We shouldn’t judge by the least amount of information we have about a person. My first reaction, after seeing the email link to this post was, “If those critical of your blog don’t relate, why not find another blog?” But after reading what you’ve gone through, I understand why you wanted to give us a little of your history. It sounds like it would make a terrific book. Have you started one?

  56. We used to call it judging your life (the person who said those things to you) by comparing someone else’s outsides (your life as it looks in the blog). Your business looks like a busy one that you would have to think about every minute. Just setting up the photography shots would wear me out. And then there’s the writing! You would either have to memorize everything you do or go everywhere with a note pad. And the shipping/mailing. How much fun can you be having??? I really get a kick out of the memes that are popular now: “I write for a living. What my mother thinks I do (picture). What my friends think I do. What society thinks I do. What I really do.” Yours would more than likely be pretty funny. Thanks for all of the fun and “glamour”.

  57. I love your blog Susan and always assumed you were human like the rest of us! Thank you for your real stories…including the trips with Mr. Mickey. Life is a journey and we all have amazing stories when we choose to share them. Thanks again for sharing some of yours!

  58. Hi Susan,
    I stumbled across your blog a couple of months ago. I became an instant fan of your fashion, style and grace. I am also in my 60’s and have gone through various life experiences. Your positive outlook and ways to improve your sense of style makes sense. Also, how to look your best and be comfortable as well. Please look past those uncalled for judging comments from people like that. There are a lot more people who appreciate and relate to your lifestyle. I appreciate what you are about and you are a strong survivor in the crazy world. Thank you for the courage to share on your blog.

  59. I second all the good things said above. And I wish you the best of luck on your upcoming conference. What a wonderful way to celebrate being “une femme d’un certain age.” (Hope I spelled that correctly.) Wish I were going.

  60. I find your blogs so informative and very interesting. I love to keep up with the latest fashion and you have been so helpful to show how to add something new with what is in our closets.

  61. Susan,
    Thank you for the light you shine on me and all of your readers. I get so excited when I open my email to see one of your posts, and there is always wisdom for me to use simply because you share it. When I turned sixty, I was determined to still feel self confident about the way I look, and with your help I am gaining ground. Bless you, Susan, and keep shining!
    Becky Johnson

  62. Women who leave comments like the one you described must be very unhappy women. I say if you don’t like the life you are living then change it. You did, you reinvented yourself and after years of hard work are now reaping the harvest. Kudos to you (fist in the air). I don’t attend the symphony either but I find your daily blogs an inspiration. Your story inspired me to lose the weight and not slip into old age (I’ve got 10 years on you) wearing sweat pants and oversized tee shirts to hide what I let myself become. I get up, put on my makeup and decide on an outfit for the day, even if it’s only jeans and a tee, add a few accessories and feel better about myself for the effort. Thank you for all that you do and the inspiration you provide. Strong women can do.

    1. I can identify with you Antonia, I’m just turned 73, I find Susan so inspirational from across the pond. I had BC a few years ago & seemed to have lost ‘me’ somewhere along the line. I love Susan’s smart casual style perfect for me. Like you I get up everyday & choose what to wear with care, put on some make up, lippy & mascara only some days. I do it for me.
      Set off with the dog for a walk along the beach, makes me feel good. I live on the wild East Coast of Yorkshire, England, some days can take you almost off your feet!!

      Thank you Susan for your daily inspiration.

  63. Dearest Susan,

    There will always be those whose lives refuse the Light; they live in darkness in every stage.

    Disregard their negative, cruel statements and pray for their salvation; who knows, maybe GOD has put you in this position to empower others!!!

    Loving you,

  64. You have a remarkable story and I thank you for publicly sharing it. Such a determined, brave and lovely woman. Your testimony is one that gives hope. Thank you again.

  65. I’m sorry you receive negative comments. I enjoy looking at your pics of dinner and the symphony. They are very inspirational to me and give me that extra nudge to remember to enjoy life more and not work and stress so much! I also enjoy looking at your beautiful outfits. It gives me ideas to try myself.
    Keep being you!

  66. I hope you don’t let the negative comments affect you too much Susan…As I’ve told you before I cannot understand why someone would take the time to send such mean feedback. I’m certain you know by now, that so many are inspired by your blog. I love to come visit with you. I live too far from you to attend one of your workshops – you can be sure I would be there is I could.
    Have a wonderful weekend Susan and thank you for all you share.
    Take care

  67. Susan, you do NOT have to explain yourself to others ever. That is the beauty of being an evolved, independent, woman with healthy self esteem. I feel sorry for those to have to criticize others -get a life.

  68. When people are at the bottom of their life experience they sometimes allow jealousy and pride to engulf them. And you are right, your “cover” is only part of your being. I am over-weight right now. I sure hope people can see more than my cover right now. I am attempting to do things that would help my health and overall lifestyle. It is hard over 60! But I enjoy fashion, creating outfits, accessories, crafting, etc. Let’s keep the fun in it all! Glad you were able to share…

  69. Susan, reading your previous blog encouraged me to lose weight and I now feel great. I also donated floral tops and other monstrosities that were in my closet! You don’t control people’s minds, or eyes, so if your blog upsets anyone they have the whole internet to search for something else to read. You go girl!

  70. This post compelled me to write for the first time after finding your site last year and reading every single post since the beginning of fiftynotfrumpy while sitting on the sidelines You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone,especially since you’ve worked so hard to get where you are now, and What you do here is a necessary and appreciated service to women everywhere, at every stage and level in life. I actually feel sorry for this woman, instead of being angry with her, because, obviously, she must feel a sense of hopelessness, which you can relate to. I, for one, applaud you.

  71. Hi Susan,
    I am a little younger than you, but I love your style and the way you put together outfits. I would not pay attention to the haters in the world, no matter how nice some people are, other people are jealous. If they don’t want to look at your lovely pictures, they should not have signed up for your blog! I think you should never have to explain yourself to get their approval, some people love to stay in victim mode. I would guess the majority of your readers applaud your experiences and even if I am not able to travel at the present moment, it is fun for me to see fun places you mention for future reference. I am in South Carolina and I am close to places you mention.
    It would seem you have come a long way in your journey, good for you.
    Have a great day and enjoy the symphony as often as you can!
    Sarah T.

  72. I’m very sorry that you receive emails such as the one you mentioned. It is a different world we live in and it seems these days that there are more and more people who live to bring other’s down. It seems this was the sole purpose of this person since SHE CHOSE to visit your blog. If she didn’t like what she was seeing then she could have just quietly left and looked for a blog more suited to her taste. I for one enjoy your Blog and the ideas that you share with us. Thank you!

  73. Thank you for sharing your story. We should never judge another because there is always more to their story than we know. Janet Whitworth

  74. Hello Susan: There are always some in the bunch who are so critical of other people when they have no idea what they have been through. I wish they would keep their negative comments to themselves. Some people lash out when they are in pain. I think your story is truly inspiring and want you to know I could never afford to live like you do but I appreciate you sharing everything with all of us. I have learned to live the best and dress the best I can because of your blogs. I also was homeless with young babies a couple of times after leaving an abusive husband back east and moving as far west as I could go to protect me and my children. I know what it’s like to live in a motel room and only have peanut butter and bread to feed my children and going to bed nights sometimes so hungry because I hadn’t eaten in a few days so they would have enough. Keep telling your story as I do because so many women need to hear that there is hope if you don’t give up. Blessings to you ….

  75. You don’t know my life, nor do I know much of yours. That said, I still enjoy traveling with you, seeing your garden (old posts), and getting ideas for wardrobe, food, health, etc.,etc..


  76. I’m not sure why people would even want to follow you if they feel the way you mentioned above in your blog….so sad. I hear our pastor’s wife tell me things that others say about her and I have to say I’m amazed the things people will actually say …. out loud! I LOVE your blog and just a few months shy of 50 I have learned more in the few years I’ve followed you about life and fashion….keep on doing what you are doing! LOVE IT!!!

  77. That is the most amazing story. I have never replied to a blog before. I am early 60’s small town woman in West Virginia. You are an incredible inspiration for all women.

  78. Life is difficult for many. Some express it in unhelpful ways, for themselves and others. Hopefully this person can gather their strength, as you have and make positive changes to a better life instead of being hurtful.
    I appreciate your sharing. It is inspiring!

  79. Thank you for sharing your life, great style and experiences, you are most generous. I have learnt a lot from you. Whatever you have you have earned and you deserve

  80. Susan, you help so many women improve their external appearance, and that is wonderful! Thank you. But for many, you help in a very different, more profound way. That, Susan, is a true and lasting gift. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  81. Dear Susan,
    Congratulations on creating ,by hard work and learning life’s lessons , a successful and happy life. Critical readers need to realize that your ‘look’ can be replicated for much less. For example, I bought 2 beautiful infinity scarves at Walmart for 2.98. I know they won’ t last as long as one of higher quality, but they will serve me well for now. I wash clothes in cold water, hang to dry to extend their wearibility. It’s not about the money. Oh , the symphony thing, and I love the symphony, many communities have free or almost free events. My local theatre opens it’s dress rehearsal to the public, price a donation. It’ s all about attitude and perspective. Don’t let it bother you.

    73 and still not dowdy! LOL

  82. It’s too bad that unhappy people want to make others unhappy….You are making a positive impact in my life and I am very happy that I found your blog. Please continue sharing because I am sure you are encouraging and helping more people than you will ever know.

  83. Susan,
    You are an inspiration to all women who are struggling with a variety of issues, especially how to face our own aging with style and optimism. I didn’t have the struggles you noted here, but I have had other struggles — as every woman has — and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that you are willing to put yourself out there and show us how to be our best, no matter what we’ve been through and no matter how “old” we are.

    Please don’t listen to the naysayers. Unhappy people strike out at those who triumph. Please know that the majority of your readers truly enjoy and appreciate what you are sharing with us. Your courage is wonderful. You are amazing.

  84. I am always annoyed with “judging” comments like those you mentioned. I think those people are looking for an excuse for their own lack of progress. You may not inspire everyone, but those who are inspired and appreciate what you share with us are grateful for you and celebrate your success at LIFE!

  85. I recently found your blog and love reading it every day. I also sent your link to my sister because she will be moving to the Ashville area this fall and she can get some tips on places to go and things to do from you. Please keep posting and those you love your blog will keep reading!

  86. In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion,[3] often for the troll’s amusement.

    I believe the above definition describes the people you have encountered. In this case the emotional responses provoked are from your loyal readers who read your blog for all the right reasons. Perhaps the trolls would be better off reading blogs on self improvement.

  87. I really admire and appreciate you. You have such class and have accomplished so much in your life. Thank you for sharing! Also, I ordered scarves from you and love them! Beautiful and look so much more expensive!

  88. I am so glad I found your postings and get your e-mails-thank you for encouraging me to work on looking, feeling and being better-I am sorry you have to deal with those critics-I am on vacation in Asheville but sure wish I would be here longer to go to your event on the 18th-wishing you all the success with it!

  89. Susan,
    I’m 58 and found your blog while I was recovering from an illness. The medications that eventually healed my body required me to research foods and ingredients to find my way back to health. I didn’t want to invest in items that I wouldn’t wear forever, and learned from following you, how to max my wardrobe.
    Lke you, I have run the gamut on finances. I am comfortable now, but what I LOVE about your blog is the practical advice and avoidance of rampant consumerism. I am learning to simplify, simplify, simplify and feel like I look more polished and professional and spend less than I have.
    I value the way you urge us as readers to 1) shop our own closets 2) dress to flatter our figures and 3) avoid fads that DON’T flatter.
    I’ve subscribed to many, but dropped off as I tired of being bombarded by sales pitches.
    Thanks for being a strong and encouraging voice for living authentically and expressing what makes me uniquely me!

  90. Thank you for sharing your story and your fashion style. At 70, I can still learn something about my personal style and your postings help me find good sources and basic wardrobe do’s and dont’s. Keep up the good work.

  91. I am so sorry that someone could be so nasty to you. I’m a newbie and just want you to know that yours is the first thing I look for when I boot up each morning. Am 77 yrs old and have just had my second mastectomy, however, throughout the years have worked hard not to become frumpy and/or depressing to be around. Your site makes me feel as if I’m once again sitting down with a dear friend and enjoying girl talk. Thanks to you and Mr. Mickey my husband and I went to enjoy a lovely lunch at The Starved Rock Lodge rather than a local run of the mill restaurant. I put on my heels (been a long time) and made that little extra effort. It was worth it when I saw the smile on his face. So, Susan, although we will never meet I want you to know that you have been the best of medicine for me.

    Thanks, Sandi

  92. Your blog is an inspiration to ‘Savor the Art of Living’ (Aristotle). It does not have to be expensive, it is about savoring each experience, each accessory, each moment with a dear friend within the means we have and the current situation in our life. There are ups and downs in every life, and new chapters are written every single day by courageous women. Ultimately, it is not about what you have, but about the fact that … “If it is to be, It is up to me’ (PK) and the fact that ‘There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth goring’ (IM). Thank you for all you share!Inspired in FL 🙂

  93. Thank you for allowing us to know you better. It’s incredibly inspriring to see a woman in my age group who is proud and of the way she looks. It feels like so many of us give up when we don’t fit into the “youthful beauty” stage any more. I’m curious, looking as beautiful as you do, do people still call you “dear” or “sweetie?” So demoralizing! Thank you for all your work.

    1. No. In this part of the country, they say Yes Ma’am, which is almost as bad. The first time someone said that to me, I turned around to see who they were talking to. 🙂

  94. I never judge. I have been judged so much in my life that I just expect it. We all no matter what you see on the outside have struggles and times when we couldn’t lift our heads enough to see the road in front. I try to be grateful for my struggles because they made me who I am. And I let haters hate. Peace! Cheryl Tucker

  95. I am astounded at the rudeness and poor manners of the woman who wrote such a snarky comment. First of all, your blog is not required reading. It is there for people who want to read it. I love seeing your chic attire and reading about your elegant outings. Who wants to read a blog about a woman who pulls on her mom jeans and goes to grocery store and then comes home and watches television? You have never represented your blog as one about everyday lives. You give us all a glimpse of life seasoned with glamour and I’m all for you! You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your life. You are Susan and you’re a Sterling example for us all.

  96. Susan:

    I admire your resilience, tenacity and ingenuity to bounce back from a not-so-good point in your life. You’re a graceful woman with style and panache and I enjoy following your blog. I wonder why women feel the need to comment so negatively and why they are so green with envy? I personally wouldn’t follow a blog that made me have such feelings. I like to feel inspired and empowered and you have a voice to impassion women people like me. Carry on, beautiful!

    Best regards,


  97. Susan, thank you for sharing your joy! It is contagious. We live in an imperfect world and each of us has a struggle. No one is exempted. You give and do not take. I think that is commendable.

  98. You look awesome in those dark “long pants”. You have inspired me to wear scarves. I work at finding the right colors, prices, and ways to drape them around my neck since they dress up simple tees to the max. I can copy you on the scarves but I can only wish for your beautifully cut silver bob. (Oh yeah, I’m wishing for Mr. Mickey too. LOL!)

  99. My My these people who leave you those negative comments must be very unhappy and insecure. Of course you don’t know anything about Me or most of the others who follow you Susan. But and a BIG But, I follow you because I appreciate what you have gone through and you teach me things about dressing and I love living a little through you and Mickey and your adventures. I may not do the same things you do but I am glad you do and share with us.

    No one is being forced to follow you so for all those people who don’t like what you do or say they should unfollow you.

    Keep up the wonderful blog. I love you as a sister, and I have never met you.

  100. Hi Susan,you look beautiful and i love to read you’re blog. You inspire me in the
    way you dress, what you do and the little snippets of what you do in you’re life, keep it up,you are truly worth following.

  101. I would like to join all the people that are so appalled that anyone would be so full of misery and so angry that they would be compelled to fill the world and your blog with such negativity. They are allowing themselves to just lash out and blame others for their circumstances instead of being brave and confident enough to change their circumstances like you did. With an attitude like that they are going to hurt themselves more than anyone they target and things will never get better for them until they wake up. .
    I am so sorry that they chose you to target–although I’m sure you’re not the only one they are venting on. Hopefully they read your blog today and see that people can change their circumstances like you did. You are an inspiration and I’m glad you wrote a response. They need to quit feeling sorry for themselves and make the changes you did. Maybe you made them think today. This might be one of your most important columns. BUt I too am sorry that you were the receipent of their venom. You don’t deserve It!!!

    Hugs, Gina

  102. You need not defend yourself!! Ignore the negative comments. Those people aren’t following you to enjoy and benefit from your knowledge and experience. They only seek to put beautiful, confident, successful women down. Keep doing what you’re doing! Those of us following out of genuine interest are blessed by you.

  103. One thing that really sets your blog apart from the others is your willingness to open your life to us. So many blogs are “here’s what I’m wearing, here’s where you can buy it”. I think it takes so much courage to put yourself out there. It also makes your blog feel as though you’re a friend not a cash register. Thank you. You are an inspiration to us all.

  104. I admire you for your accomplishments. Don’t judge me, but I think those woman who need to hear your story are not on FB or following you. I want to think you are doing some type of work with these women in your area.

  105. Jealousy and criticism will, unfortunately, always be around! You have many who find inspiration and joy from your posts so definitely focus there..Your struggles have contributed to making you the woman that you are today, and your willingness to share those struggles, what you have learned and what you have built from them are very very amazing! You are an inspiration to all of us….also giving us much needed wonderful fashion inspiration that is simple and elegant and very doable. Your blog brings much pleasure and great information so don’t stop doing it, and certainly don’t let a couple of poor comments make you feel anything but appreciated! These comments say more about THEM than you for sure!

  106. Dear Susan, You are a beautiful woman and you share yourself with people you don’t know and likely will never meet. That’s courageous. You emanate beauty and grace from the inside out. I see you as a loving, caring and genuine woman. We will probably never meet, though it would be an honor to meet you someday. I want to encourage you to not take mean or hateful words to heart. That’s not a reflection of you, but rather it is a reflection of the one sending those words your way. Take care and keep up the good work! Enjoy life!

  107. You go girl friend. I’m proud of you. Thank you for sharing your experiences and every day events with us. More women like your self should be this giving. Forget about the negativity in the world. Keep up the good work!!!

  108. Just to let you know i love reading your blog. I really inspirs me i am nearly 70 and need to lose a few pounds, am trying so hard, have a wardrobe of mainly black and white as do not need many clorhes as i lose these pounds and i feel so good in black and white. Thankyou for your blog i can’t get to meet you as i live in Perth W.A.


  109. Hi Susan,

    You have been a great help to me. I am going to be 63 soon, since you were brave enough to share some of your journey to looking so Amazing!!! I have been dieting and lost 10 lbs in about 3 weeks. I still have a long way to go but feel I can do this. I just ordered one of your scarfs a few days ago and can’t wait until I get it. I thought the comment above was rude and uncalled for. I feel if what someone sees bothers them then they shouldn’t look at it! I look forward to more videos and helpful advice from you.


  110. Susan, you optimise style . You make it look simple because it is second nature to you.
    When you have the right basics and accessories in your wardrobe as you do such as classic shoes, some well chosen jewellery, scarves, bags and neutral clothes it is so much easier to feel good. I have learnt so much from you and so admire all you do. Best wishes,Ann, Ireland.

  111. Susan, thanks for sharing. No one knows another’s journey until they have walked in their shoes. Your entrepreneur skills are top notch and your eye for complemementory fashion is so spot on. Keep up the great website and travels. Best wishes! Carol

  112. I do not believe Susan lets negative comments get to her so I don’t feel it needs to be posted – what is the gain but Sympathy? Susan does not seem to be anything but a compassionate caring person. I am new to her blog and love seeing what life is like for a 60 year old in TN as I am 65 in LA. I’m into Eric Clapton not the symphony but admire and respect all women our age! Go live a great life! Thanks every day for positive people!
    Karen Smith Spillane

  113. Hi Susan from New Zealand,

    At times I can’t sleep as well as I’d like to, one snorer and fidget-body beside me is challenging but hey, so is life. So I read, enjoy a spot of internet gazing and that’s how your website popped up under my restless fingers.

    What a joy you and your website are. Fiftynotfrumpy caught my eye initially then I followed from there and presto we met up.

    Your ideas and suggestions are delightful, and you’re certainly not to be judged for anything. You’re bright, breezy and smiling personality shine, and though some of your clothing is not me personally nor my lifestyle, its given me food for thought and a little more confidence to biff some and keep other pieces.

    I work at a local op-shop which has given me some lovely pieces to add to my wardrobe. These pieces are at times superb, nearly new, beautiful quality and the envy of my friends.

    So lovely lady its a big plus from me, keep up your lovely work. Now I’m off to suss out a couple of colourful scarves to wind around my neck, in a somewhat “artful” style, well hopefully anyway.

    Kind Regards
    New Zealand fan.

  114. Hi Susan

    Can you block them so you do not need to see their judgemental negativity? When people see me they assume I have always been middle class, well-educated and married….as though I was hatched this way. I think it is amusing and irreverent to pull out my accent and vocabulary from my background as a very poor inner city gal who had to wear baggies over my shoes attached by rubber bands during rare snow storms to walk to my car (pre-inspection days) which had no heat, no working wipers and no radio. I worked full time evenings while attending college full time, moved out of the crime and rat ridden neighborhood and kept on going. In between jobs, I cleaned houses. I enjoy seeing the reaction when those judgemental eyes widen and that narrow minded bitter person has no more negative words to use against me. I then ignore those who choose to compare rather than acknowledge our common humanity. You are so compassionate to even let those readers know about your background! Keep on keepin’on, Susan and wear those high heels too!

  115. You are rising above the negativity. You are a classy dresser and you are a classy lady!! I love your blog and I love that you share your life with us.

  116. Susan, I thank you for sharing your life’s education with all of us. You show us that we can change our lives for the better in many ways. I love your blog, video’s and advice and choose to think of it as “mentoring” for all those of us over 60. To those who have nothing in common with you,(or think that they don’t)I recommend they find a blog that they have something in common with, whatever that may be. We can all improve our lives in one way or another. This life is not a dress rehearsal, let’s be the best we can. Happy Blogging! Julie

  117. There will always be people that are unhappy about someone doing well and being happy. Even if that has been a long and hard fought road. Good for you. I have been a very fortunate person being married to a successful surgeon. I’m not from a wealthy background but I am grateful everyday for my lovely home and being able to educate and help my children. Be proud of everything you have accomplished and I wish for everyone to have love and exceptness in whatever life they have made for themselves

  118. I often wonder if the people who say ugly things online would have the gumption to say it in person. My feeling is no. My parents taught me that if you can’t say something nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all. I think we would all do well with a little more kindness in the world.

  119. Susan, you look so sleek and sophisticated in this outfit. I am very inspired by your looks and your story. There is HOPE for us all!!! I am on the lookout for some pants and a blazer similar to yours. But the real thing that you are showing us here is confidence and little bit of “get in there and fight for the things you want.”

  120. I for one think you are very brave to tell your story. That is something you did not have to do.
    I went through a similar experience and I am still walking up and down my street trying to lose the weight. I have found though that walking has helped me to meet my neighbors who I otherwise would not have even seen and they have been very encouraging when I explain why I am walking. I also went through a very bad time in my personal life and thankfully with a lot of hard work and long hours , have left the bad times behind and am having fun in my life now.
    Thank you for sharing your story and your encouragement. No, we all don’t have big houses and go to the symphony or for frequent weekend get aways, but we can all enjoy life in our own ways and work towards being the best we can be!

  121. You have worked hard to get to where you are, you have had your ups and downs, and now you are reaping some well-earned rewards, and most importantly, you are allowing yourself to enjoy them. It is inspiring to see how you are making the most of every minute of your life, be it in your work, with your partner in your time off, and how you dress and look after yourself. We should all be so wise! Thank you for the daily dose of inspiration.

  122. Oh Susan,
    I could only wish I was as pretty as you. I just turned 59 and I hate the way I look. I use to work and wear those beautiful outfits you have. I love your style and wish my life could be more like yours. You are so lucky and look very happy. That helps. Health issues have taken me in another direction in life. It would be so out of place to dress as pretty as you. I’m pretty much a stay to home person now. Married to a older man and I have lost my life. Oh well, it is what it is. Love your site and love your pretty cloths. Someday I hope to do a road trip to your part of the county. I live in Aurora, CO and hate it. I just don’t understand why people care enough to be so mean. If they don’t like your site then don’t look at it.

    1. Tanya, I sincerely hope you can find your spark for life again. Try to find some time to do or at least read about what you love each day. I used the worst part of my life to teach myself to make jewelry.

  123. I think you are an inspiration to all of us woman. Thank you. I am very glad I found you on. I enjoy reading and learning from you!

  124. Sorry people leave such rude & negative comments. It’s sad when people just can’t accept others good fortunes , success & hard work without judging. I so enjoy your blog & gain confidence, grace & wonderful tips from you daily. My life is very different then yours but I still enjoy reading about your strength, style & optimism on life, fashion & female confidence. Keep blogging & ignore the negativity comments. We ladies need each other. Tell Mr. Mickey that he’s awesome, too. He sounds like a great companion & perfect gentleman. I’ve been married to my great “mr. Mickey” for 46 years so I appreciate a gentleman & feel fortunate.
    Tell Mr. Mickey we just returned from a 10 day trip to DW. We’re Big Mickey & Minnie fans (67 & 68 years young!). We live in NE so it’s quite a trip to take!!

  125. Susan, you are awesome and such an inspiration to me! I desperately need to lose 30 lbs. and need a role model to inspire me to keep at it. At this time in my life, I’m 57, post divorce, and feeling very frumpy. Thank you for all the tips for looking good at this age. I, for one, am going to follow your lead!

  126. I enjoy reading your posts, Susan. You truly inspire me. Keep doing what you are doing!! You have grace, dignity and are always well-poised. My hat’s off to you.

  127. Susan,

    I’ve been a fan of your blog for several months now, and I am more convinced than ever that you should write a memoir about your life. It sounds like you have a lot of good material to work with. I think you should give that idea serious consideration!

    Thanks for devoting your time and effort to this site, which I view as a real service to other women.


  128. Loved reading all the interesting comments from so many positive people who wrote to you. I not only find all that you write inspiring, but am very impressed with your many followers. What a great group! Please keep on….we love you and Mr. Mickey!

  129. Susan -Thank YOU for sharing your great ideas and suggestions on your blog. It’s up to each reader to decide if they can relate to your suggestions or not. If they don’t, they should just stop reading. Unfortunately, there are insecure people who troll the internet and make it a point to say rude remarks because they can remain anonymous. Very sad. Please know there are a lot of people who do like your blog so keep sharing your ideas knowing we’re out here anxiously looking forward to them. Ignore the trolls.

  130. I love your blog! If there’s a competition to see who has it worst, I’m not taking part, and I’m glad you don’t either. We have to do the best with what we have. P.S. I saw you on a Youtube and was struck by how nice you seemed (and I’m sure are). Have a great weekend:)

  131. I am always stunned by how horrible some people are. I love your blog. It makes me smile and has helped me have a more positive attitude to my own life. I turn 60 this year and have struggled with a life threatening illness for the last 8 years. You have shown that life is what you make it.

  132. I wrote you recently after discovering your site and follow you on Facebook or wherever I see you referenced. Wanted to share that I wear a gold wedding set and my mother’s two-tone band of orange blossoms and wedding bells. Was always self-conscience of wearing silver with gold until I started wearing her wedding band. Now, I don’t really care! As you mentioned, I try to pull the look together with other two-toned jewelry, scarfs, purse chain, etc. Thanks for sharing this as I’m sure a lot of other women worry about this fashion faux pas. Continued success. Oh, and thank you for sharing your “history”. That takes a lot of guts!

  133. I almost didn’t comment because there are already so many positive comments here, but then thought there can’t be too many positive comments for someone who puts so much effort and helpful information into their blog.

    In every post that you write I find excellent information about how to combine clothing colors, shapes, styles. Your fashion tips are applicable to everyone. I’m very plus size and your tips are often ideas that I probably would never have thought of on my own. Last week I received a compliment on one of the beautiful scarves I purchased from your shop. It was my doctor who complimented me. I was surprised. They don’t usually take the time to say any more than necessary. It seems to me that when we make an effort to dress well, it makes a difference in the way we are treated when out in public. I think that this may be especially true for women who wear plus sized clothes.

    I enjoy reading about you and Mr. Mickey’s trips, and it is interesting to learn how you have changed your diet and changed your health. Inspiration for me.

    Thanks for taking the time to show us how you style your clothes and accessorize them with the great photos that Mr. Mickey takes, and then taking the time to explain the styling reasons why you choose what you do to pair together (for instance, wearing the scarf you did in this post to pull together the gold and silver jewelry). I would not have thought to do this.

    Thanks for writing a great blog!

  134. You look marvelous! You have such grace and style. Don’t let the meanies get you down, ever…

  135. Those who write negative comments to you are either jealous and envious or feel stuck in their current situation, and perhaps, feel powerless to change it. I have had my own struggles with failed marriage and finances, and now have what I consider, a wonderful life as you do, although I’m still struggling with the weight issue. I follow your blog, etc. Your style and tips are very helpful. For example, I always wondered why, when I wore a scarf loose around my neck and under a jacket, that it always seems like too much material bunching up in front, a place I definitely do not need more of anything! Then I saw how you made the scarf a triangle and laid it over your shoulders under the jacket so just some of the scarf showed. perfect! Your apparently wonderful later-in-life relationship with Mr. Mickey, echoes my reconnection with a college mutual attraction. We have now been married for 8 years. I’m 69, he just turned 70. With each of your posts, I look forward to the next one. You are an inspiration with your suggestions and tales of what works for you. I agree that sharing your personal story may help someone who has lost hope. As my husband says all the time, “Life is choices”. When bad things happen, how we deal with them is a choice we make. You GO girl!

  136. How easy it is to judge and we all are perpetrators and victims. Thank you for sharing your story. At the same age in life, I find your blog motivating to invest in my next phase of life and not fall victim to the current youth conscious culture in the US. Please continue to share your experiences and explorations and inspiration!

  137. I’m sorry about the “haters” but unfortunately that is part of the Internet exposure. You’ve given me some great ideas! Covered perectly are the only tops I’m buying lately. I’m not buying a lot of clothes lately and I usually feel pretty comfortable with what I’m wearing. Thank you!

  138. I appreciate your fashion and lifestyle advice. You have helped me to become a smart shopper by looking for quality pieces in basic colors to build a wardrobe that will last for years and save frivolous spending. I, too, watch my budget and often find such pieces on ebay for less than $25. I also get judged by my cover. Even my mother-in-law has called me “high fa-loot-ing” because I take care in my appearance. I feel great when I’m happy with my appearance. It’s their loss, Susan. It’s their choice to stay in their narrow, small-minded little world.

  139. Yes, you have some nerve showing us beautiful clothes/accessories and how to style them, sharing your adventures and offering advice, when asked, about how to make life a little better or easier.
    Good grief … I learned long ago that comparing yourself to others is a straight path to misery. Of course, someone may not be able to relate to everything on your blog, but a thoughtful person will find things they can apply to their own lives and leave the rest. Negative comments serve no purpose. Thank you for your hard work here. I look forward to every new post. (And I’m loving the cross-body bag I bought from your site!)

  140. Susan,
    No need to apologize or defend who you are. I recently came across your blog, and just like you, I have had my share of problems the past several years. Sometimes to the point of not recognizing myself and forgetting who I am and the way I once was.
    You are an inspiration in so many ways. Not only your beauty and your style, but your sincerity in wanting to share yourself and your great tips. Sometimes that’s what a woman needs to shake her out of her rut. You have done that for me and I enjoy your blog and look forward to it.
    Sadly, women will form opinions based on their own insecurities and self doubt. I’ve learned over the years that you can’t please everyone, nor will everyone like you.
    Do your best for others and feel good about yourself and the person you are.
    Celebrate love, celebrate joy, celebrate life!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Sandy. I do plan to celebrate women and the power we have at this stage of life for as long as I am able. I hope to meet you someday at one of my conferences.

  141. Please don’t feel you have to explain yourself; your blogs reveal you as a kind, nonjudgmental and sincere woman. Remember, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, and your readers/followers appreciate what you are doing. Long live Susanaftersixty!

  142. Susan, you are a positive role model in so many ways. Tune those awful comments out, pretty certain they are outweighed a hundred to one by us fans.
    When are you writing a book? You and your story are too amazing to leave off the bestsellers’ list!

  143. It is sad that as women we don’t support each other more. Instead some women make negative comments about you. I think you are beautiful and dress beautifully! You are my inspiration and I always look forward to reading your blog. Thanks and keep up the good work for all of us women who want to support each other.

    Sandi B.

  144. Wow. The poor thing. I can imagine how hopeless, disenfranchised and angry that poor woman is. Her words drip it. The truth is, it’s by staying stuck in that mind set that curses one to a miserable life. Change how you think, change how you feel, and your life will change too.

    Nobody gets through this life without major, painful challenges. It’s what you do with them that affects the way your story book cover looks. Yours looks peaceful and filled with beauty.


  145. Susan, will you ever share your story here? The fact that you experienced homelessness is especially interesting to me. I have a long career in Social Services and know that people from all walks of life experience hardship. I’m in California, therefore not close enough to attend your talk. Blessings to you. Your blog is a beautiful sharing place and you are its gracious heart.

  146. Thank you for today’s post. I truly can identify. It seems anyone today who makes some effort to look nice is subject to assumptions. Sad. I find you a kindred spirit and an inspiration!

  147. I enjoy your posts regularly!! How sad that individuals cannot see that what you share are your experiences, joys, triumphs and trials.

    I admire your energy, and certainly your courage!
    Please do not let the frustrated comments of a certain few deter you. There are so many like me who depend on your sharings.

    Thank you and keep up all your wonderful fashion tips!!!

  148. Susan,
    Unfair judgement is ubiquitous. It is unfortunate that some cannot appreciate a message because of their circumstances. We wish them the best.
    But I view your blog posts in a different light.
    By sharing information on your website, you encourage women to become the best versions of themselves. No matter their age. And, if you are empowering women with your ideas…all I can say is Brava!

  149. I love how you have “bared your soul” and shared from your past which couldn’t have been easy. You have worked hard to be able to enjoy life now and you do it with class and humbleness. Thank you for your blog and you are an inspiration to me. You also uplift my mind to a positive mind set and I like that. Keep up your good work.

  150. Your life is very different from mine, but we all can learn from one another. Your style is a little more sophisticated than mine, but I have learned how to think of a capsule wardrobe and I believe that can be done on any budget. Your jackets are not me as I like a less structured look. I am inspired by your attitude and accomplishments and that is coming from a 65 year old stay at home mom and MiMi to three grands . My husband is retired now so traveling in a RV this last year has been our style, but I always want to look my best even when traveling so easy travel fabrics are my priority.
    The comparison trap hurts all of us. Thank you for being you and in the end those who criticize are not happy people and use the internet to vent their negative feelings.
    Thank you Susan for sharing your life .
    Shirley Riley

  151. Why would anyone go out of her way to be so rude? Nobody forced her to go online and read your helpful posts. If I see something online I disagree with, I just close the window. I personally enjoy checking your posts. Thank you.

  152. I find it unfortunate that some women would be so negative about your success. We all have struggles and challenges, we should aaplaud your perserverence and determination to change and improve your life. I hope you enjoy every minute of your life!

  153. You need not apologize. I love how upbeat and positive you are and you have encouraged me to clean out my wardrobe (again) and carefully spend my $ on “quality” rather than on “fads”. I do appreciate your honesty about a part of your “story/journey” thru perseverance and hard-work. I’ve always loved the story about Daniel’s friends in the Bible who were thrown into the fiery furnace. It says that when they came out their clothes didn’t even smell like smoke. Your positive attitude and helpfulness with your blog exemplifies that, despite your past, your aroma is one of winsomeness, not smoke! It’s refreshing to find a blog such as yours!

  154. I applaud your honesty and willingness to share your experiences for the benefit of others. Unfortunately, jealousy and bitterness can make some people say and do mean spirited, hurtful things. Please don’t allow this minority the pleasure of changing you in any way. I, and many others, appreciate your advice and “anything’s possible” attitude. I find your journey very inspiring and wish you continued success.

  155. Susan,
    Thank you for sharing your story – and even more important being a strong powerful role model for others. I am sorry to hear of the struggles you endured, and worse the hurtful words and actions of others. I am not sure why people act like they do. I think we can only have peace to know that we learn from these people how not to treat others. I hope that you have healed along your journey.

    I am not sure if you believe in God, but I saw a declaration from Joel Osteen and wanted to send it to you wishing you a wonderful life!

    I declare God’s supernatural favor over my life. What I could not make happen on my own, God will make happen for me. Supernatural opportunities, healing, restoration, and breakthroughs are coming my way. I am getting stronger, healthier and wiser. I will discover talent that I did not know that I had and I will accomplish my God-given dreams. This is my declaration.

    I would also like to throw in that you will always find health, love, joy and happiness all of the days of your life. 🙂

    May you always know the blessing is on your life. Proverbs 10:22

    Thanks again for being an inspiration!

  156. I am so upset with meanness these days, if anyone has really read your posts they would know you are REAL and you have had struggles. I am 74, you inspire me, I am working on being healthy and strong

  157. Susan,
    I think you are wonderful. I have read many other blogs for women my age (over 50) and I appreciate and admire your style above all others. I do try to emulate your style although it is such a cold climate here in Michigan that I can’t wear the heals and some of the clothing you wear. Although our lives might be different, I learn a lot from your fashion style and your lifestyle. The Vegan life has worked for you. Your happiness is visible. I am happy for you. Boo to negative people.

  158. You are a beautiful lady! I so admire your story because I too have made myself over – a couple of times now. Losing weight, trying to figure out the right clothes to wear in the city vs the country / ranch town where I now live after 52 years of living in the suburbs. It’s tough! And EVERYONE judges. Now that I’m approaching 60, I need to stop dressing like the 40-yr olds with whom I work. I just found your website and…WHAT AN INSPIRATION!

    Thank you for taking the time to give me (and I’m sure many other women) some inspiration for the future!

    Sincerely, Susan W.

  159. I just caught on to your website and have been reading your comments about fashion. I work at Steinmart in Texas and just reading your advice has helped me. You are speaking from the voice of experience and I say that you must be inspiring women of a certain age. For that matter, you could teach a thing or two to women of any age, of surviving, aging gracefully and joyfully, and fashion sense! You go girl!!!

  160. Hello Susan,

    I enjoy your blog so much, and find that I have been your classic style for a number of years…I’m now 81. I am surviving the big “C” and I wanted to share a comment given at our recent cancer support group. The female facilitator told us who have this disease to never leave the house without primping…getting dressed. Because, “When you put your clothes on, you put your life on!” I think this is profound.

    This is a motto I believe in. I wanted to share it with you as I’m thinking this is your motto also.

    My question is: regarding the beautiful scarves…the picture of the mannequin wearing a scarf is 5.10. I am 5.5. Do you think the scarves measuring in the 35’s squares will be too massive for me?

    Thanks again for sharing with us.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Glenna. I agree with you and your facilitator that getting dressed every day is a very important part of taking care of yourself. I learned about that when I was a young woman serving in the US Navy. That is one of the many lessons that has stayed with me all of my life.
      I wish you many more years of good health and looking great! I am 5′ 6″ and wear all those scarves in the 35″ range easily. My mother is about 5′ 1″ and she wears them to church every Sunday. She loves it when people tell her how pretty she looks. This from a hardworking country woman who never wore makeup or a piece of jewelry other than her wedding rings. Now she loves it when I give her clothes and especially scarves.
      I hope you will visit and comment often.

  161. That outfit looks super on you and slimming. Your past struggles have made you the strong woman you are today. That’s the inspiration and thanks for sharing.

  162. I’m so happy to have found your site. A lot of good and sensible advise for putting together outfits, yet keeping it simple.

  163. Thank you for share your experience i like a lot your style and like to hear from you I live in Monterrey México and its not easy to find cloth like yours or to travel for the weekend and find places so beautifull like the Cities you and Mr B visit so thank you

  164. Dear Susan,
    I follow you from Sweden, I love your story, and it shows that there are always hope! Keep on posting your stories you really inspires me!

    Have a nice day!!

    Pia from Sweden

  165. By reading between the lines, I knew you have earned what you have and have no problem with you enjoying the fruits of your labor. Even if you hadn’t I would not be unhappy about it. Sorry others cannot enjoy watching you live a good life. Keep these posts coming.

    I have worked hard, too. While I don’t have what you do, it is enough and I am enjoying the fruits of my labor, too.

  166. Susan, I have found your blog inspiring and informative, as I am a woman age 63. What I would like to see you post would be a description of how you organize your clothes and the maintenance of your clothes and accessories-everything you wear looks so well cared for ! Would you indeed give us a tour of your closet?

  167. You are a fabulous woman and women from all backgrounds can learn something that will elevate their lives if they want too. Thank you for what you share. There will always be jealous ones but twice as many women that benefit.

  168. Afternoon Susan. I read your articles all the time and…I have to say, I admire your grit in coming forward in this one and stepping up to the plate full on with honesty and humility in addressing the negative responses you received regarding your apparent life style. Perhaps the comments are born out of a sense of frustration & disappointment. No one knows the struggles we all go through in our lives. However…in my opinion, one thing I think is certain is that women in general want to look nice & have a nice home regardless of income or resources. What I have found and learned over the 60 years I‘ve lived and worked is that it doesn’t take a lot of money or social standing to look and feel good about yourself. Much of my home furnishings and clothes over the years have been purchased from second hand stores…including Goodwill & Salvation Army and some were great unique pieces as well as some excellent quality garments and accessories.
    However I think what’s more important overall is how you feel about yourself. And again, while I don’t want to come across as “preachy”…in over 60 years of living, what I have observed is that while beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder…true beauty, appreciation, kindness and a joy of life comes from inside each of us whether we’re looking at ourselves or others and regardless of our status or the pleasures we enjoy in life.
    I love your flair for style and find your tips helpful, sensible, down to earth and thrifty …so thank you sincerely!

    1. Thank you for your comment, Sandy. My most treasured items, are ones I rescued from junk stores or salvage yards and remade to be useful and attractive pieces again. It isn’t the price tag that matters.

  169. There will always be judgemental people only too ready to put others down. Don’t give them air time Susan.

    I don’t have your budget, or lifestyle either, but you have given me so much inspiration from across the pond. I have cleared out my wardrobes (closets) of things I’ve never worn, or will never wear again, and bought some basic pieces to build my wardrobe and add to things I’m keeping. I love your smart casual style, and your choices for a ‘glam’ evening out are perfect.

    Thank you Susan.

  170. Hi Susan ! I just stumbled onto your blog and found it very fascinating. From homeless to where you are now is awesome! Mr. Mickey and you are a handsome couple! How blessed you both are that your paths have met! I’m 67 years old and love your tips on fashion, especially down sizing my wardrobe to basics!!! Keep blogging! ♥️

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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.