Look Variations

“Would you address how you adjust your looks to be more casual without losing your classic polished style?” Thank you for the thoughtful questions that give me practical subjects for content.

The blazer is several years old, but this one and this one are similar.

I feel perfectly content wearing a blazer and jeans to almost any function. However, my usual style can be too fancy for a casual Saturday afternoon lunch. I originally put together the look above, but it felt more appropriate for a dinner date. When I stopped to think about where we were going, I knew I would feel more comfortable if I toned it down a bit.

I removed the necklace and blazer, replacing them with a reversible vest to make the look more casual while keeping the same base elements. Adding more noticeable vertical earrings and putting on my glasses added styling details while keeping the look cohesive.

The weather on Saturday included full sun and temperatures hovering around fifty degrees, so a trenchcoat provided a warm layer when needed.

The tortilla-colored suede pumps gave me the elevation I needed for the wide-leg jeans. The sculptural heels are edgy, comfortable, and stylish. The nude color with a pointed toe elongates the legs since they continue the line of the white jeans. I wear white jeans with nude shoes on sunny days year-round.

Shoes here – Vest here – Since all of my other items are at least a year old, I’ll share links to similar items. Similar jeans here. Similar sweater here. Similar trench here. Similar bag here and belt here. Similar necklace here. (Use the code SAS10 for $10 off any one item at Beauty in Stone Jewelry.)

Proper foundations are essential in every look. The pantyhose are here. The longline shaper bra is here.

Recent outfits are summarized here. I hope my randomly shared posts give you ideas to use the beautiful items you may already have in your collection. However, if you use my shopping links, I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

  1. Again, a very relatable post! Love that you included the final layer of the trench coat. Gives a great picture of the whole look. Since you do pay attention to our responses, I am going to ask about formal wear. In May I will be attending an evening wedding reception at a museum as mother of the bride. I have looked at many sites and am discouraged by the amount of lace and chiffon… really not my thing. My one issue is that I have terrible vericose veins and wish to not draw attention to them! So I ask, can you stretch your imagination and offer suggestions as to what you might wear in this circumstance? Many thanks.

  2. Hello Susan, I’m off subject today. You have mentioned face shaving in other posts, I just found out about “dermaplaning” and wondered what your thoughts
    are or if you’ve even heard of it. Lots of rave reviews, but who can believe those.
    Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. Very informative post. Side by side pics illustrate your point perfectly. Thanks for all you do to help so many.

  4. Would you say your a cool undertone , I am a cool , yet still struggle with the color choices, in particular this gray… thoughts, do you have any tips to determine the difference..thanks

  5. Like the side by side photos that I can compare. The red jacked is especially good looking. I have hardly ever worn white jeans – tend to drip coffee, etc. However I just might try them again sans the coffees.

  6. Out of curiosity I looked at your formal dress options you provided for one of your followers. Wow! Those are absolutely beautiful stunning selections!!!

  7. Re glasses as a style element. I’ve worn glasses for sixty-one years and never thought of that. They have always been a part of me rather than an accessory. Currently, I’m searching for new frames that work with my newish salt and pepper hair. My bronze frames that were perfect with my highlighted brown hair must go.

  8. Love how you add or subtract articles of clothing and completely change the look! I love the look of vests (on others) and have two in my closet. I don’t wear them because I feel they accentuate my being rather large busted. They are the correct size. Any suggestions on how to wear them would be appreciated. Keep up the wonderful work!

    1. Try the vest open over a top and bottom of the same color but different from your vest. Keep the sides of a vest or cardigan in front over the bust but not closed to minimize the figure visually. Don’t let the front panels vanish under the arms or to the sides of your bust; it will bring attention where you do not want it.

  9. Great looks Susan. I have enjoyed your posts for years. Your thoughts are always relevant and appreciated.

    Thank you!

  10. I agree with others that the side-by-side photos are so helpful in making the point. May I ask, it looks as though you are wearing hose of some sort but perhaps it is just a trick of the photo. Could you clarify please.

  11. Enjoyed this post a lot! Fun to see how a few changes really made a big difference!
    Takes the struggle out of making an outfit!
    Joyce James

  12. Thanks for your posts and thoughts. They are such a nice change from the times my email seems filled with bad news and/or requests for donations. I love the outfits you showed us today; that shade of blue looks wonderful on you.

  13. Beautiful colors in these outfits. Also love the formal dresses recommended earlier in the comments…it wasn’t my question but I’ll he needing just exactly one of those type of dresses, so thanks for taking time to post that!!

  14. Another fabulous post Susan! I am a more casual dresser these days now that I am retired and many of my outings include a walk then a stop for coffee or lunch. I immediately went to my closet and pulled out a vest and a similarly-colored top. I still struggle a bit on color choices. I look much better in warmer colors— but for now I have settled on greens, teals and tan/brown neutrals.

  15. The Vince Camuto suede pumps are stunning and, I wondered if you would comment on the size you purchased. After reading the reviews on the link you provided, there are various comments about “true to size,” “order a size up,” etc. I’ve been looking for a pair of neutral pumps with a comfortable heel for a while now.

  16. You are the most helpful person on my computer! In the summer I am going to Bermuda to stay with my son and grandchildren at their condo. I want to take only carry on luggage. It will be in the 80s and somewhat humid. Activities will include boat rides, relaxing with a book under a palm tree and a few smartish restaurants. Any suggestions for a capsule wardrobe?

    1. Pick three colors that all go together: blue, coral, and white, for example. Take lightweight fabrics that breathe, such as cotton, linen, or viscose. Make sure all the pieces can be mixed and matched or layered as needed. Take tan sandals, white sneakers, a tan tote for the beach, and a small clutch for going to restaurants. Have a lovely trip!

  17. Hi Susan! You look great. I have finally decided to purchase the Beauty in Stone Pearl Lariat. I see it’s available in many cord colors. Do you have a suggestion for a versatile first piece? I wear a lot of black but want to be able to wear it often. What colors do you have?
    You look great. Thanks for all you do for us.

  18. I just love your posts! Thank you for all the great ideas and information. One question about today’s post. Are the sweater and vest grey or blue?!
    Thank you.

  19. I always look forward to your blogs and learned several new style tricks in this post.
    Having always been a rectangular shape, even when a super thin younger self, how would someone like me, at 5’4”, wear a belted trench coat? That look is not flattering on me, so I tend to wear straight cut longer coats without belts.
    Thanks for all of your valuable advice, Susan.

  20. Oh my gosh. You just make dressing up or down look so easy. Your explanations and the side by side pictures are so concise, helpful and understandable. Why you chose what color combination to wear and then add the jewelry and other accessories, even your glasses, is so informative. You certainly are a superb teacher and I for one have learned a lot from you.
    You always look great and a wonderful role model.
    Clara from Iowa

  21. Always excited to receive your posts in my mailbox!
    I love seeing how you style jeans and that jeans and a blazer are a common “look” for you!
    I’ve never been a “jeans” girl, although I do have them in my wardrobe. I know they’re current for any age, but I’ve never felt right about wearing them out to a restaurant; although I’m sure I’m alone in that; it’s all you see at most informal restaurants. Also, living in the NE, I definitely don’t wear white at this time of year.
    Love the side by side pictures, to be able to see how even with jeans on, the looks are elevated.

  22. Just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated you sharing the name of your hairspray. I love the Elnett Satin hairspray by L’Oreal Paris that I recently purchased! I have searched for many years for a good hairspray and finally found it. Again, thank you so much, Susan!

  23. Susan, you always look so polished and elegant – even in jeans and a vest. Your pieces are so stylish and elegant. I particularly love the items in this post. The trench coat was such a surprise and gave your outfit a finished look. Thank you for these great ideas!

  24. Hello Susan, I love both of your looks in this post. Regarding the question here “Would you address how you adjust your looks to be more casual without losing your classic polished style”, could you address the same thing for someone like me, retired, living in Jacksonville, Fl?

    1. I employ the same techniques to dress up or down summer clothing. The difference is the weight of the fabrics. For example, I might add a light linen shirt over a white tee and linen pants instead of a blazer. Adding or removing accessories and changing your shoes from sneakers to block-heeled sandals are other changes that take a look in a different direction.

  25. Sorry if you have already addressed this but can you share how you dress for a day when you are staying at home just relaxing or attending to household chores.

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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.