New Arrivals

The grocery shopping and putting gas in my car outfit of the day includes a red wool jacket over a navy merino wool sweater and slightly bootcut jeans. The square silk scarf measures thirty-four inches. I folded it on the bias and draped it around my neck as both a buffer against the wool of the jacket and to add a bit of colorful pattern.

None of these pieces are new so similar items are linked: JacketSweaterJeansScarfBootsBagEyeglasses Frames

Many readers have asked me to share more shopping tips for the new arrivals and explain why I would buy them if I needed that item. I hope this post helps you locate items that will serve you well for years to come. Since Talbots is one of my go-to sites for classic basics of good quality, let’s begin with a few of their new items.

The easiest way to switch out heavy winter layers is to wear a denim jacket. A darker wash is perfect over almost any top or even a dress to create the illusion of a more slender shape. I like this style because it is relatively fitted, making it the perfect candidate for layering without bulk. Wear it over a longer shirt or top to create the illusion of a waistline while not showing your tummy. The denim jacket is here.

If I didn’t already have a navy cardigan, I would purchase this one. I found it here. I have this cardigan in three other colors and wear them over shorter button-up shirts, tanks, and long sleeve tees almost year-round. However, they are oversized, so I prefer my usual size.

I bought the blush pink version of this jacket last year, so I don’t need another one, but I love mine. It instantly upgrades a simple white tee and blue jeans for a smart casual look. The jacket is here.

I don’t wear shorts, but I have purchased several pairs as gifts for my sister, who loves them. They can easily be styled up or down, but they always look smart. (Many of you have asked me for recommendations for shorts.) The shorts are here in several colors. If you would like a longer length, a thirteen-inch inseam is here.

I would buy this twill utility jacket if I didn’t already have two red jackets, a red blazer, and a red raincoat. The pictured jacket is here.

The most worn item in my closet would have to be these white jeans. I bought them on repeat last year because I was afraid they wouldn’t be available again and I never want to be without them. For those of us with a flat bottom, the slim fit is here. The curvy fit is here.

I have enjoyed wearing Jo Malone’s Myrrh & Tonka fragrance for the past few years, so I treated myself to the set here. Applying a small amount of the body crème and then a light spritz of cologne or perfume allows for a more subtle fragrance that lasts all day. Before getting dressed, I walk through a mist of the cologne. My goal is to be so light-handed that you almost have to hug me before you get a whiff of my perfume. I wear it for me, not the whole room.

A favorite exercise is swimming, but buying a suit is my least favorite task. So I was happy to discover I could buy a flattering suit with larger cup sizes. I bought the blue one here, but it also comes in black.

I’ve been wearing Nordgreen watches for a few years, so I was excited to see they now offer an elegant metal bracelet style with gold and silver colors. A mixed metal band ties everything together since I wear mostly silver, but many of my belts and handbags have gold hardware. The linked metal band is much cooler than leather bands, so I’ll be wearing it often throughout the warmer months. Some of the companies I once collaborated with still allow me to share a discount code with you. The 15% discount code will be applied automatically on the checkout page (not the cart). Take advantage of the discount at Nordgreen, and use my link here.

I’ll be taking long walks more often, so I’ll need sunscreen every day. I use Countersun on my face because it blocks harmful rays without the white mess. Sunscreen here.

Spring is also the time I stock up on my favorite no-show socks. I wear the Active-X High Cut style on my walks since they are super comfortable and stay in place. All the types are here.

I also want to share a delightful book series I’m reading. “The Walk” series is making its way through my family, and everyone has had the same reaction. We love the gentle storytelling style of Richard Paul Evans.

I’m so proud to be the hostess for our little community. Did I forget anything? Was this post helpful? What are you searching for this spring? Join the conversation in the comments below.

Shopping links sometimes allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

  1. Grazie Susan, sempre ottimi consigli che bellissimi negozi avete ………Bologna non essendo una grandissima città non ci sono grandissimi magazzini quindi la scelta è limitata .alle grandi costosissime firme o piccole ma carine boutique.

  2. I bought the denim jacket in white even before I read your blog today. I will say it runs a bit small. I’m going to exchange it for the next size up. Other than that it is exactly what I was looking for.

  3. Your post are always so uplifting and a reminder to me that you can look put together even just going to the grocery store and getting gas. I shop at my local Talbots frequently and also find nice jackets at Chico’s. I live near The Villages in FL and I do almost all of my shopping and eating out there. I notice most people dress very casually even at church services. Casual around here is sweats, tanks, flip flops, bedroom slippers and well just very sloppy attire. I have a closet full of jackets like the ones in your post and I am going to start wearing them out more often even if it’s just to go to the grocery store. I also like your comment about the perfume being just for you and not the whole room. I plan to check out the sheecs also. Stay warm and keep the informative posts coming our way.

  4. Your posts are always informative. I look forward to seeing how you put together different looks using classic styles already in your closet. And, I have finally learned how to wear layers and not look like I gained ten pounds! Thank you! I especially like when you share ideas using clothes from Talbots. I buy nearly all my clothes from Talbots and it has been my favorite clothing store for over 20 years. I find Talbots to offer the best quality for my budget.

  5. Thank you for this blog! I am also a Talbots fan of 30+ years. As my life has changed, I have transitioned from suits and office attire to “mom” attire and now, finally to retirement. I like that I can look casual and still put together.

    I’ve learned how to time their sales and keep an eye on what I need. I’m also fortunate to have 2 outlets within 10-15 miles of home. I have the jean jacket in both dark wash and white and the straight-leg jeans in black, Venus wash and white. I bought those shorts in white this week at an outlet. I’ve bought 3-4 dresses year (family wedding). I figure these will be the basics of my wardrobe for the rest of this year.

    I love seeing how you put items together for new looks.

  6. I love the look of the girlfriend cardigan but I don’t care for dropped shoulders. For some reason, designers prefer the less tailored look, which I find to be unflattering. I also prefer jean jackets without obvious chest pockets, but they are hard to find. I find that the traditional trucker jacket just looks better on the younger set.

  7. I just want to thank you again for being an inspiration as I travel towards my 60th birthday next year. I don’t want to look old and out-dated. Your posts encourage me that I can be a stylish lady who has fun with her fellow.
    Today I will follow your advice and treat myself to my favorite scent.

  8. I was so happy to see the ruffled collar denim jacket in your post–I missed out on the pink one and have regretted it ever since. The new color is just as pretty, so I’m going to pop it in my shopping bag right away.

    The red and blue outfit you’re wearing looks stunning. One thing you’ll probably find if you do retire to Florida is you won’t be able to wear so many beautiful jackets 🙂 It’s just too hot and humid here most of the year.

  9. Liebe Susan, vielen Dank für die vielen Inspirationen, bin immer wieder begeistert. Habe festgestellt, dass ich sehr viele ähnliche Kleidungsstücke im Schrank habe. Seit ich Ihren Blog verfolge, finde ich viele Kombinationsmöglichkeiten.
    Da ich in Deutschland lebe, kann ich viele Geschäfte nicht besuchen, denn obwohl manche nach Deutschland versenden, wäre es nicht sehr nachhaltig. Suche dann immer nach Einkaufsmöglichkeiten vor Ort.
    Herzliche Grüße aus Mainfranken
    Monika Jacob

  10. Thank you, Susan, for this post containing so many ideas! I plan to purchases several of these items. I am trying to imagine what myrrh and tonka smells like and may purchase this just out of curiosity!
    I hope you do have the opportunity to retire to Florida. It is my home state and has so many wonderful things to offer! I never owned a coat until I moved to the north part of the state when I was 20. Very relaxed lifestyle. Can’t wait until you post a Florida wardrobe!! Thanks, Susan, for the time and thought you put into your posts!!

    1. I looked up the fragrance description for Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense. “Rich, hand-harvested sap of the Namibian myrrh tree, mingling with the warm almond and lush vanilla notes of the tonka bean.”

  11. Bonjour et avec beaucoup de retard mes voeux les plus sincères pour cette année en vous remerciant pour vos conseils
    toujours juste . Merci,merci beaucoup , je vous lis depuis le début et votre site est très agréable .Je regrette de ne pas parler votre langue. Plein de bonnes choses à vous ainsi qu’à Mr Mickey.,

  12. Susan, Thank you for another wonderful post. A sales associate once told me to go up 2 sizes for swimwear. Do you order a larger size or your regular size?

  13. Thank you for another informative post. I have recently made the decision to only purchase from Talbots and Chicos from this point on. Their clothing is well made and I know my size in everything I purchase. I can order only so easily. I have been trying to weed out of my closet on the true classic clothing and items that I wear all the time. These things can be easily mixed and matched for so many different outfit combinations.

    I would like to see another post about your daily eating habits and what you bring home from the grocery, if anything has changed.

    Florida is nice this time of year but very humid in the summer. You might want to keep a small summer place in TN.

  14. Hi Susan, I keep my cashmere sweaters in a hope chest that belonged to my mother. It no longer has a cedar smell. I got out a sweater and was sad to see a small hole. I’m assuming moth. I checked my other sweaters and did not see any additional holes. How and where do you store your cashmere things?
    Thanking you in advance and thanking you for your very informative blog
    Sandy Baron

    1. If you rough up the cedar with sandpaper a couple of times a year, it seems to help keep away the moths. I’ve not noticed any holes yet, and I have little cedar planks hung with the sweaters. In the warmer months, I clean the sweaters and store them with cedar planks in the drawer with the sweaters.

  15. I enjoyed that book series a couple of years ago! Thanks for the style ideas (although I don’t think the red utility jacket is very similar to your lovely red wool jacket)

  16. It’s been interesting to watch your style evolving. You used to be a big Shop My Fair Lady gal and now your recommendations are almost always Talbots and Nordstroms. I have always been a Talboteer, but I did but quite a few things from Fair Lady at your suggestion. So many great places to shop, so little room in my closet!

  17. Thank you for this blog. I often see items that you have accumulated that are no longer available. But they are not in my collection that I would like to purchase. Thanks again. Also I wear an Apple Watch for medical reasons but I would like to upgrade the band. What would be your suggestion?

    1. I found a metal band for Apple watches here. Look for a band that blends with what you wear most of the time. For example, a tan band might blend better with what you wear over a stark white one.

  18. These are wonderful, useful items and I’m going to order the white jeans ASAP. I find dressing in the hottest part of summer here in Austin to be my biggest challenge. Austin is more casual than other places in the south and when the temps soar, even denim jeans feel too hot. I would love a small collection of casual summer dresses- but it’s like looking for a unicorn. Either they’re polyester (miserable in 100 degree temps) or too young with spaghetti straps or too expensive. Any guidance or advice would be most appreciated!

  19. This internet shopping is a challenge. Either the picture does not in any way resemble what arrives at my house, there are no sizes in the colors I like, or the company is overseas (that was quite a learning event!). How do you shop on-line?

  20. I have to thank you Susan for inspiring me with your recent outfit which included a cognac belt. I hadn’t worn a tucked in top and belted jeans in a very long time but decided to go for it on an outing yesterday and have to tell you that I felt so, so much better (read younger, slimmer, more put together)! What a difference from my usual yoga pants and loose top! Thank you!
    I suggest another book series you might enjoy. Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown is wonderful!

  21. I really enjoy reading your blog and getting the wonderful tips. And super excited to check out the R.P. Evans books. I need something entertaining to read.
    Thank you for sharing your self-disciplined, gracious, and beautiful life style.

  22. Susan, I am interested in the Countersun, and the ingredients don’t list any fragrance, but is there much smell to the product? Thanks!

  23. I’m curious, after seeing your watch, do you carry a cell phone? I find if I need to know the time I just use my phone. I’ve never noticed one when you show your purses. And you never have the bulge I have from carrying it in my jeans pocket.

    1. I carry a phone in my bag, but I enjoy the lovely finishing touch of a good watch. I rarely look at my phone unless I check to see if I have a message or question from readers while I am away from the computer for the day.

  24. Hi,

    How do you store your cashmere sweaters? You may have already covered this in your posts; if so, I am sorry. Actually how do you take care of all of your clothes?


    Linda Lee Cusimano

    1. I hand wash cashmere sweaters and lay them flat or on a drying rack. Then, during the winter, I store them insideout on felted hangers so that the shoulder bump is inside. In all cases, I consider the care instructions on the garment. I rarely put items in the dryer for more than five minutes since it ages them more than anything. For example, I turn jeans inside out to wash them in cold water and remove them from the dryer while still damp. There is a rolling garment rack in my closet, which I hang things on to finish drying. I reshape and smooth them with my hands. Shirts and anything else that requires it get ironed. The key might be storage technique. All of my things have room to breathe since my closet is not at all stuffed.

  25. WOW, you look absolutely young and vibrant in this navy blues outfit. Somehow these colors really bring out a glamorous you for a casual look. I would look twice to see what you were wearing if I saw you out walking. Fresh and perky with a well put together look.
    With your guidance and informative suggestions, I have really felt better in choosing clothes for myself and love what I am purchasing. I am no longer looking for a bargain that sits in my closet because it is not a style that fits my figure. It is slow going but worth the time and effort to really stop and think before I buy now. Each time I read your blog, I seem to pick up a new idea or two.
    I hope you will be continuing your blog for a long time.
    Clara from Iowa

  26. I too like Talbots clothing and it is available in Canada. However, when I order online it comes from the USA and I have to pay duty. I don’t like to go to the larger cities during COVID but I may have to if I want new clothes.

  27. Hi Susan,
    I especially like the vivid colors of your outfit and how the scarf pulls it all together. You look really pretty. I just received the Sheec socks I ordered for flats and loafers and you are right. They are amazing! Very comfortable and never slipped at all. Thanks for the tip! I’ve been searching for a navy blazer with no luck. I’m allergic to wool and I live in South Florida so I don’t need anything heavy. I’ve looked at the usual places. Do you have any suggestions?
    I enjoy your posts and look forward to every one. Enjoy your day!

  28. I have run into a problem with my NYDJ and Talbots jeans, and I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this and found a solution. The problem is that some of the navy dye in the jeans is rubbing off on my car seat and the upholstered seat cushions in my house. Does anyone know what to do to stop this?

    1. I’ve read that clothing comes out cleaner and will be exposed to less friction when adding 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle or one-half cup salt to the wash to help hold in colors.

  29. Your articles MAKE MY DAY. Wonderful thoughts and ideas. Meant to tell you awhile back your haircut is wonderful. YOU ARE THE BEST. Wish we could find some less expensive clothes and bags. I LOVE DOONEY but would like a change. My dad always told me “it wasn’t the bag but what you had in it!!” .. We need clothes made in the USA!!!

  30. Thank you for your post. I always look forward to your ideas. In this time of isolation and pandemic, your post is a welcome diversion. I love your classic style and carefully thought out combinations, many from your closet.

  31. Loved this post and found it very helpful. I would like a swimsuit with more leg coverage as in a skirt.
    Is it possible for you to post the comments you receive., as I often find that can be useful?

  32. Thanks for great recommendations again. Love Richard Paul Evans too. Yes you’re the perfect hostess! I may need to buy that lavender jacket for our next gathering, maybe with tea and scones? Hugs! Enjoy your day!

  33. What do you think of wide leg pants – especially short people? Christine example Eileen Fisher washable flex ponte wide leg pants $198.00

  34. Thanks so much for sharing clothes ideas for transition from winter to spring. I am trying to downsize my closet this year and your basics are great.
    I have very sensitive skin and am wondering if Beauty Counter products would work for me.

    I am also looking for under garments that actually fit my changing older body. Any suggestions?
    Love your site and helpful ideas?


  35. just love that you teach women of all ages that you can look smart without spending tons, mixing up what you already have and only buying new pieces that will work with what you already have.

  36. Thanks for the book recommendation! I downloaded it from Audible after I read your comments. Now here’s one for you…. At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon. It’s the first in the Mitford series. Wholesome story about folks in the mythical town of Mitford, North Carolina. Main character is an Episcopal priest, and the things he deals with. Funny, sad, heartwarming, just good reading!

  37. Loved this post! Thank you. And thanks for mentioning the soft pink denim jacket. I rushed to buy it last year and have worn it once! 🙁 I just didn’t really know what to do with it, but I DO know I look great in that color. I’ll try the white tee and jeans now. And thanks for the link to Sheec socks. I like the texture of the ones you’re modeling. My black ones are a bit thicker, and of course, the nylon ones are thinner. Will order these today!! And those books look great! I’ll order one and see if my book club would enjoy them.

  38. This is so my style and enjoy your posts! Do you wear skirts? In the winter I wear them with my many tights. I am a fan of the pencil skirt and have a hard time finding them…

  39. I’m looking for white jeans that don’t wrinkle. Do these Talbot jeans wrinkle?
    Thank you for all your tips and finds! I’m going to order the Land’s End swim suit as it is so hard to find a cute DD suit!
    Thank you!

  40. I second your book recommendation.
    A friend told me about them some time ago and l enjoyed them. I’d love to hear what others you would recommend.

  41. I’m a few years older than you and carry my weight in my upper and lower stomach areas. Would love your best advice on what to wear to disguise that area. Thanks for all your great posts, I never miss them and always follow your links.

    1. Avoid any tops made from jersey knit since it grabs onto everything in its path. Tunics are often not the best option either. Tops that end just below your tummy and float across your body will be your best option. Layers of uneven hemlines will be most flattering. For example, a long loose top with a short jean jacket that is somewhat fitted.

  42. Thank you for all you do for women, you always have good, solid suggestions and
    advise. You are always straight forward and honest. YOU are appreciated, once in
    awhile it’s nice to be reminded of how wonderful you are.
    Sending smiles to you.

  43. Red is your color! Since I have stopped coloring my hair and now totally gray, l’m getting back to red myself. Still not comfortable with anything pink. I guess that will come with time. I have noticed that the browns and oranges no longer look good on me. Also noticed that the gold jewelry no longer works either. Thanks for the “heads up” on that.

  44. Hi Susan from New York. I always enjoy reading your articles and look at different ways of getting the best of everyday life. Thank you. My question is: can you talk about exercising for women over 60?

    1. Incorporate as much movement as you can into each day. I am enjoying trying yoga, pilates, and Tai chi. I walk a few miles each day (unless the weather is bitter), and I swim. Listen to your body; be gentle with yourself if you can’t do the full range of motion. Don’t push too hard. I’ve found some excellent teachers on YouTube.

  45. I have also read Richard Paul Evans book called The Christmas Box. It was wonderful too.
    Thanks for the advice. I just ordered Talbots White Chinos. White jeans are great, but a bit too warm for Southern Florida. I do love Chico’s So Slimming jeans, and I do have dark blue and white. I agree that bathing suit shopping is the pits. I have Talbot’s Miraclesuit in navy that I love, but I may try the Land’s End one in black. Take care and stay healthy as we weather the COVID storm.

  46. Since I can no longer click the red text & find the website, could you please tell me the brand of white jeans that you don’t want to be without. When you mentioned slim fit (which I need) i immediately thought of Talbots as that is what I wear most because they fit. I also like MADEWELL for a summer weight jean that is not tight.

    You always look great & put together. Enjoy your blog.

  47. Hi Susan, Fascinating that you would like to move to Florida. I am in Wisconsin so TN seems like a warm escape to me.
    If you do move I hope you are still blogging because I am interested to know how people, especially single folks, fare at starting a new social life. Thank you for hosting!

  48. You really make that red jacket look fantastic!

    I, too, thank you for introducing me to Sheeks. They make my feet feel so much better. I got one of the three packs just to see which styles I like best, then I will order more.

    Today, at Dr’s office, a young woman in the waiting room commented that my outfit was really cute. I felt so good! Susan, I think you might be my fashion fairy godmother. I am very grateful for your guidance.

    Also, I ran into the electrician who spent many hours hours at our house upgrading our system, and he didn’t recognize me at first.

  49. I have followed you for years and love your sensible clothing and lifestyle advice. I am recently retired and feel like I have not yet found my “groove”. I know how all consuming your career was, so I assume you too experienced a period of adjustment. I would love to hear more about your mental and physical adjustment to this phase of life!

  50. You sparkle in these colours, Susan, and luckily, these colours are excellent on me. Your photos are hard for me to take in because looking out the windows here, the snow is +1 yard deep & temperatures around -10 F! Cold, but beautiful with lots of sunshine & clear blue skies.
    Have a question for you…what colour of lipstick to wear when I’m in a purple turtleneck? I can’t wear mauve/purple base lipsticks because they make me look ill. My hair is salt & pepper and skin pale with pink undertones. Thanks, Susan.

  51. I wear Talbots 100%. I do love the slim ankle jeans and want to love the jeggings. Since I am 4/11″ with skinny legs, the jeggings don’t fit properly. The high waisted jeans, jeggings or pant will not work. I own several pair of slim ankle. So far no “at the waist jeggings in a 2 petite.
    I am watching the way you wear cardigans and jean jackets. Just invested in the new jean jackets and will make sure I have the tees to go with them, if I don’t want to wear collared shirts. Here in Houston, we have short winters, lots of hot weather and high humidity. The humidity really is good for our skin. Please keep up your articles. I SO enjoy!

  52. I really appreciate your sharing items you actually own rather than posting items off the internet that
    look good but have not been tried. Anyone can search the internet. I value personal recommendations.

    1. I do own all the items pictured in an older version. Since most of my items are more than a year old, the exact pieces will not still be available. Rather than trying to sell things, I try to share a dressing style and tips that can be adjusted to fit the needs of many style personalities. I offer some suggestions for similar things since many people ask for that guidance.

  53. I love reading. Thanks for the recommendation. I need an outfit I can wear to my daughters pharmacy school graduation then change up the outfit enough to wear 2 nights later at Commander’s Palace for a celebration dinner. I appreciate any suggestions

    1. Congratulations to your daughter! A dress or pant set that makes you feel confident and pretty is always appropriate. I’ll share some examples of looks that you might enjoy. A plum-colored dress is here. Here is another pretty dress. Here is an elegant navy dress. You will find several dressy pant sets here.

  54. Jo Malone diffuser in Pomegranate Noir is a wonderful fragrance for the home. I have one in my foyer for a subtle fresh smell when entering my home.

  55. Susan, I loved that red jacket as well, but I checked out the reviews and everyone was disappointed in the construction so maybe a good thing you didn’t need it, ha. I’m going to check out “The Walk”. Love your blogs. Thank you.

  56. Great article! Very timely. I’ve been looking for a white stretch no iron button up shirt with no luck. Petite sizes are my go to because the arm pits fit better. However, it seems that manufactures are reducing or eliminating their petite section of tops – easy to find petite pants. Any suggestions of where to shop for petite button up shirts is appreciated.

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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.