Out and About

Denim is a favorite fabric for pants, jackets, and shirts, so I wear jeans several times weekly. The styling options are unlimited, and they are very comfortable. Sharing how I styled jeans this week might be helpful. The temperature was around seventy degrees, with mostly sun each day.

I avoid jeans with more than 2% elastane since too much stretch looks sloppy after a few hours. The slight bootcut or flare style is most flattering for my shape. Structured fabrics, such as denim, are much more flattering on my legs than pants made from soft, thin, supple materials.


Shirt – (Similar other items) – SweaterJeansBeltBagBootsEarrings

The Tuesday look includes a pale blue button-up shirt with a Merino wool sweater tied around my shoulders. The boots, bag, and belt are a rich cognac color. My mother had to run a few errands, including grocery shopping.


(Similar items) – JacketJeansBagHoops

The shoes are here.

I had skin cancer a few years ago, so getting checked every few months is part of my routine. So, on Wednesday, I had a dermatology appointment. I wore a White House Black Market jacket and the new pumps I recently showed you.

The young receptionist seemed to take delight in my outfit. She greeted me with a big smile and complimented how I looked twice. However, when I turned to take my seat in the waiting room, I noticed that, without fail, the other fifteen or so women waiting for their turn were wearing a uniform of sneakers, leggings, and a sweatshirt.


(Similar items) – TopJeansBagShoesEarrings.

I visited Ulta in the mall to restock my brow pens here. This is the only brow filler I use now. It looks natural if you use a light hand, and it stays in place. I get the Cool Grey color, which blends well with my hair.

Another item from Ulta I always have in my arsenal is Nail Envy. This is the best strength I’ve found for my splitting nails.

Nail Envy here.

Walking on Thursday afternoon and just playing with a styling variation.

(Similar items) LeggingsLong TankSneakersHat – Red zipper pouch to hold phone, keys, and tissue. Duster/CardiganBeltBagBracelet/CuffEarrings.

On Thursday, the afternoon sun was so warm that I walked for a couple of miles without a jacket. I sometimes exercise in leggings and a long tank. There are many ways to wear leggings if you wish. For example, if I traveled, I could also elevate this base to save space in my carry-on bag.

The shoes are here.

I can hear your protests from here! However, the shoes are very comfortable even though they are sky-high. I usually wear them with long, loose-fitting black pants, so they don’t show.

I’m a mostly retired, five-foot-five-inch-tall, sixty-six-year-old woman who shares her style and sources. Recent outfits are here. My items may no longer be available, so I share links for similar items. Shopping links may allow me to earn a small commission at no cost to you.

  1. Thank you for continuing to inspire me. I wonder whether you or other readers can help with a shoe question. I have quite narrow feet. Do you know a shoe brand or source for up to date dress shoes? I really like the Vince Camuto shoes in terms of appearance but simply cannot keep them on my feet. I cannot wear a medium width shoe. Thank you for any advice you may have for me.

  2. I love the shoes and they look great. I can tell they are comfortable because of the toe platform, your foot feels flatter than it seems.

  3. It’s wonderful to be able to get out and enjoy the pretty days! Thursday’s look is my very favorite and right in my comfort zone! Red is a very flattering color for you.

  4. Hello Susan, As I have retired, denim has become my staple but I do like it to look a bit more polished and not drab or grungy. I’m becoming a minimalist so the use of scarves, as I have learned from you, can really make a difference in the look and style. Something so simple can make such a huge difference. I’ve learned a lot of helpful tips from you!
    I love all your looks as always! I also use the same eyebrow pencil from Ulta and LOVE it. I will have to give the Nail Envy a try though. Why do our nails split, crack, and get ridges more as we age? Such a bother.
    I am 60ish and experienced my first heart attack (the dreaded Widowmaker!) about two weeks ago (got a stent) and start cardiac rehab at the end of the month. My mom and her sister both died at age 62 so I intend to improve on that and be diligent with my new lifestyle. I immediately thought of you and your daily walks etc. So you are an inspiration for caring for our bodies with diet and exercise. We’ve had extreme stress in our lives from an outsider for about 6 years (it’s so very complicated), which hopefully is coming to a long awaited end or change this year.
    I am transitioning to a Mediterranean Diet for my heart but keeping the carbs low, mostly coming from the veggies to also help me lose weight. It’s a process to change up your eating habits and create new ones but I am determined. Also, destressing the mind and body (that’s been in place for years) will hopefully help my heart situation.
    My brain thinks I should be able to do whatever I want while my heart/ blood pressure dictate differently.
    I so need to get in my closets and pantry and such and do some clean out, decluttering, organizing… but it may have to come along quite slowly… as I can tolerate. I guess I’ll have to eat that elephant one bite at a time, right?!
    If you have inspiration or tips for those like myself, perhaps you can share a post with those things sometime? Take care and God Bless you 🙂

  5. I had to laugh when you talked about your experience at the dermatologist’s office. It does seem some people just don’t care about how they look. I know I can easily fall into that bad habit of just throwing something on and not care. But it does affect my mood. I just feel better when I try to not look too sloppy. Yes I wear jeans a lot but I wear a nice shirt, sweater or even a nice sweatshirt and also put some makeup on. It just feel I can get through my day much better.

  6. Susan, your post has come at the perfect time for me. Many, many years ago, I purchased a pair of (expensive) black leggings and a few tunics—attempting to give them a try despite my lack of enthusiasm for the look. I never wore them because they just weren’t my style. So today I had finally given up and put them in my car to take to Goodwill. Then, I see your post. I had actually never considered them for my exercise attire! Thank you very, very much for showing me a way to enjoy these items. I just retrieved them.

  7. As usual, you look divine and totally polished. I am always inspired by how you dress and never want to be one of “those women” in the waiting room or airport wearing sneakers/leggings/sweatshirt! I’ll share 2 things–I too have used the OPI nail strengthener but recently I found DIOR Nail Glow which I love as it gives just a tinge of pink. For those of us who still have brows with only a few whites or grays and still color our hair–I have found Anastasia’s brow gel in a jar amazing. You can apply it with a slanted brush exactly where you need to fill in and it covers those grays/whites perfectly! I am a dark blonde and my eyebrows are medium brown so I find taupe to be my go to shade. I am presently recovering from a big toe joint replacement 2 days ago and cannot wait to wear pretty shoes again! So I am living vicariously through you today!!

  8. Dear Susan, I like to occasionally thank you for all your advice and tips that help us to use what we have in our closets and to save money at the same time. I have followed you almost from your beginning posting, what I had missed I went back caught up from the start. I have gained so many useful ideas, not to mention being introduced to the Sheec socks, Beauty In Stone Jewelry, healthy eating ideas and helping us get many items that are sale priced from the companies on your site.
    You have a wonderful life story and you are even more special for sharing it with your viewers.

  9. Thank you for sharing all these great options to wear denim. Also, I like the addition of the added look to your exercise outfit.

  10. Hi Susan,
    You are so fortunate to be one of those rare women who is more stylish with some length to her hair. I think you look younger and even more fabulous with added length on your hair.
    Carolyn Shaw

  11. Appreciate your comments on “the uniform” so many folks wear-tennis shoes, leggings and sweatshirts! I rarely wear tennis shoes as I equate them with frumpy and old. I’m almost 75 and you would have to work hard to catch me in tennis shoes anywhere but when I’m exercising! I know they are trending but just can’t live in them! You look awesome!

  12. You are always lovely and give us so many styling ideas!

    But for this reader, I have to say no to the leggings when out and about.

    But… you do you!

    Have a lovely weekend.

  13. Love the jeans and ‘Chanel’ jacket day, love the plain shopping day, love the red shirt day.
    You do jeans so well.
    But the only time I would choose to wear leggings is to go to ballet class and walk the dog. I’m 71, 5’3 and they really don’t do me any justice at all. I could dress them up forever and they would still be plain, unattractive lycra leggings, fit only for exercise.
    Jeans though, are one of the world’s great basics and to see them elegantly glammed the way you do it is perfect.

    Also, being blonde and with the palest brows, I go through brow pencils constantly – love that the ones you suggest are waterproof as I also swim a lot. And my nails split and dip so I shall try the OPI treatment.
    Thank you for all the hints!

  14. It is very nice that the receptionist at your dermatologist office complimented you on your outfit, but you don’t know, she may have complimented one or more of the fifteen women you claim to be wearing a “uniform” of leggings, sneakers and sweatshirts. All outfits can be dressed up or down, but in defense of leggings I do feel they are often appropriate. According to Tori Burch “ leggings are as essential to our wardrobes as T-shirts and jeans .” As a lifestyle blogger I’m sure you support the thought of “wear what you feel good about yourself in.”

  15. I have enjoyed your posts almost from the very beginning, thank you for the time and effort! I did want to warn you about the nail polish. I too used it in the past until I found out the original formula has formaldehyde in it. Unless they have changed it, Just wanted you to be aware. Have a great day!

  16. I have had a few nice shirts, sweaters and pants ruined at the dentist’s, Dr.’s and salon, from spills or things catching etc. I stopped wearing nice clothes when I go so I guess I am part of the Yoga pants/sweatshirt/t-shirt/athletic wear crowd. Also I hate having to take things off and I find that wearing elastic and what have you eliminates a lot of that. Plus when one is feeling sick getting dressed can be a real bummer. I spent many years in the medical field and that’s my observation. Your outfit looked cute, I can see why you got compliments.

  17. Love your comment, “I can hear you from here” so cute! You can wear anything and look gorgeous. I agree — dress to feel good for yourself each day. I enjoy always continuing to learn from you!

  18. Yay for you, and me! I am insistent that I don’t wear the dreaded trifecta: sweatshirt, leggings and sneakers to somewhere other than exercise class!!! I have a body (fortunately) that looks pretty good in almost anything BUT just because you can doesn’t mean you should!!! Love your posts. Hugs to your Mom ❤️

  19. You look wonderful, as always, Susan. I’m definitely going to try out that eyebrow pencil; it’s so hard to find one in gray. My hair is mostly white and my brows are disappearing. The blonde pencils look reddish on me and brown and black are just too harsh against my skin. Finding a gray one has been a real challenge but there is an Ulta store near me so I’m hoping it will carry the pencils.

    I’ve been following you for years because I love the way you style jeans to suit an older age group. I didn’t want to give them up as I aged but was afraid of looking foolish if I continued to wear them. You’ve made selecting clothing fun again!

  20. Hi Susan, thank you for such inspiring posts and for helping so many women look and feel their best. I have passed along your blog to other women as well. I have noticed that you seem to be wearing a bit less jewelry than in the past. Is it just lifestyle? Could you comment or perhaps do a post on jewelry sometime in the future with any updates?

    1. If I wear noticeable earrings (larger ones), I don’t wear a necklace. I may wear a bold necklace with small earrings in warmer weather, but the same necklace would seem too much with a blazer. If my look feels too busy, I reevaluate the jewelry since it is easy to overdo those pieces.

  21. I agree that when one is very sick and needing to see a physician, whatever one can pull on is appropriate. And no one should be wearing something that could be ruined by going to the nail tech or beauty salon, as accidents can and do happen. But Susan was visiting a dermatologist for an annual exam, a different animal altogether. She looked lovely! I think her whole point was that, barring unusual circumstances, we could all look more polished and better put together when presenting ourselves to the public. With the prevalence now of leggings, sweatshirts, sneakers “uniform”, I am afraid that ship has sailed. And who gives a fig what Tory Burch thinks?

    Before my elderly mother passed, she always took time to dress neatly and put on a little powder and lipstick before going out. I am sure she didn’t feel up to it at times, but she did it for her own pride in appearance. I applaud Susan for presenting a better way, and I am with her on this!

    1. I press any creases or wrinkles away when needed, but mostly I hang my pants and jeans on pant hangers to air dry after a few minutes in the dryer. I never press a crease into my pants or jeans since I prefer a nonchalant effortless vibe.

  22. Susan, you look so polished in every photo. Though retired now, I just cannot go out wearing leggings/tights, t-shirt/sweatshirt & sneakers. If others are ok with that look, that’s fine with me. My casual now is a plain navy or black blazer, turtle or shirt & slim fit jeans. A look I’ve used for years when travelling is athletic wear like this: a silky fabric 2 piece matching zip front jacket & slim straight leg pants in black with nice knit top and lug sole loafers. I won’t buy these items if there are logos on them. This look is comfortable for long haul flights, can be dressed up a bit & great for everyday errands. Once I was without a dressy outfit for the opera when in Europe. So used this same knit athletic suit & bought a cheap sparkly tank & pretty low heeled black silk shoes. It worked & I’ve worn the shoes many times these past 10 years.

  23. Loved all! By the way, those heels may look scary to some but the truth is they only end up being 3 inches in the heel due to the front platform.

  24. My grandmother and mother both even in their 90s took time to dress, use a touch of makeup, style their hair when they needed to go out. Both classy and beautiful women, they passed to me that same self respect. I notice others enjoy seeing someone taking time to appear nice. I just feel better when I take the time for myself. It’s like saying, “you’re worth it, woman! Go conquer the world!.”

  25. Hello Susan,
    You look very “polished” in all your outfits. Nice! Glad to hear you have changed your mind about only wearing the tapered or very straight jeans to add wider leg and boot cut to your wardrobe. They can all be flattering depending on the top and shoes. I am very happy that I kept many of my jackets that I once wore for work – they really dress up jeans and are still in style – I, too, see so many people coming to doctor’s appointments in their leisure outfits, but I understand that there are a few legitimate reasons for that. One reason is wearing something that is super comfortable to take off and on for exams and treatments. I learned that the hard way – so I try to think of it that way. Sometimes just trying to get jeans on and off is difficult. I am fortunate that I often ask if my husband can come along in to help me change my clothing and everyone is always very kind about that…….Just a thought. Prayers for good health in 2023,

  26. Susan, I enjoyed your comment about your experience at the dermatologist’s office as I had almost the identical experience at the doctor’s office. The nurse doing the preliminary check-in commented that I looked “lovely” – a very nice way to start the day. But as I exited the office I scanned the waiting room filled with mostly over 60’s were not just dressed in leisure clothes but in an array of thrown together outfits. It’s disappointing to me that older women, in particular, seems to give up on themselves. And I am surprised at some of the above comments that seem to take you to task for your observation. Thank you for keeping us on our toes in the appearance department!

  27. Love the White House Black Market jacket with jeans! I think it’s a great combination and out-of-the-box thinking! Janet

  28. I like the style and the color of the jeans that you are wearing.

    I also like that your dermatologist’s office seemed to have a good number of patients there that day. It’s so important to remember that a check-up with the dermatologist is so very important.

  29. Thank you so much for continuing to publish your blog! I never had a sister, and my grown 20-something and 30-something daughters have some good ideas for me about what to wear/makeup, etc., but 64-year-old-skin is way different than my daughters’ skin. And what’s appropriate for someone a generation or so younger is not necessarily a good thing for me to wear!

    It’s really nice to have someone who looks great to share beauty tips generously – in spite of the changes that go on in our lives and our families’ lives during this period of our lives.

    I love your optimism and your clear belief that it’s a good thing to always do the best we can with what we have at every stage of life!

  30. Susan, you look wonderful in all the outfits in this post. I’d like to share a concern that I, and possibly some of your other followers have. I have enjoyed fashion all my life, and would never have gone out in the type of clothing you described the other women at the doctor’s office were wearing. However, in the past several years, the crime rate in many areas has been increasing and now I wonder if standing out in appearance can attract the wrong type of attention. If a purse snatcher or someone intending to carjack a woman saw you, looking prosperous and put together vs. a woman in a sweatshirt, leggings and sneakers, who would be the likely victim? Not trying to say we should all dress way down out of fear, but I’m wondering if this thought has occurred to others.

    1. In larger cities with higher crime rates, there would be a valid reason for dressing down and leaving your good jewelry at home. Fortunately, that isn’t the case here in east Tennessee. I am one of the old guard that still enjoys putting together outfits for my pleasure. I’m more comfortable dressing up a little, even staying home alone.

  31. PLEASE do a blog on what to wear to a funeral or to church. I come from a generation where you NEVER wore pants to either. Also, ALWAYS wear black to funerals, Has this changed?

    1. I attended a funeral earlier today, and I saw everything from black dresses and skirts with heels, boots, and flats down to much more casual looks that weren’t black at all. I wore black dress pants and blouse, a black tweed blazer, and heels.

  32. Susan, I love your posts. With your help I am finding new ways to use what I already have and to be much more focused when making a new purchase. You mentioned a problem with your nails, I was having problems with mine peeling and developing think vertical ridges. I tried collagen protein and and within three months I could really tell a difference. I talked with my Wellness Doctor before trying it to get her input and she approved. You might take a look at that, it doesn’t hurt to do some research on it.

  33. I enjoy your articles so much. This one was meant for me as I have gotten really bad about myself when I’m not going out with friends. Definitely going to start tomorrow morning to spruce up appearance when running errands. Also like the extra tips such as the OPI NAIL ENAMEL as I have a problem with ridges in my nails.

  34. I thoroughly enjoy reading your articles and am usually a reader only, however you got my attention with “splitting nails” and I’m curious is this down the nail into the flesh e.g I need to keep two of my nails very short as they keep splitting.

  35. You always look so chic & stylish in the fashions you wear, styles you choose. I have to agree the leggings outfits are ok for an early morning walk but they do not become you at all, nor do they look stylish on any woman.

  36. I enjoy following you and have started applying your guidelines to my wardrobe. However, there is one area that I am having difficulty with. I wear a size 8.5 – 9 wide to double wide shoe and have bad arthritis in both feet. The most comfortable shoe for me is a tennis shoe with my orthotics. Are there any recommendations you can give that offer comfort and style? Unfortunately, I usually end up wearing my tennis shoes and it isn’t very attractive.

    1. Get a black pair of comfortable shoes with no logos or colors to wear with black and dark-colored pants. Also, get the same cream, white or tan style to wear with your light-colored pants. When the shoes blend in with the bottom half of your look, and you wear something interesting or colorful on the top half, no one will notice your feet.

  37. Hello! I never miss any of your posts. I enjoy them immensely, and have for years. I look forward to them when I get home from work and wind down. However, I seldom leave a comment. Today, I am especially loving the way you are rocking the new style denim! They look better in your pics then in the adds your links take me to! They seem to make your legs look longer! I have been reluctant to give up my skinny leg jeans, but you look so good in the wider leg styles I will give them a try! You mention visiting the derm for post skin cancer follow ups. I know you have been using Beauty Counter, but may I ask if you have ever had any facials or treatments that you liked at a spa or elsewhere? Did you have scaring from the skin cancer removal, that required treatments to fade the scar? Thanks for sharing!

    1. I have not been to a SPA or had a facial in a few years. The scars from my surgery are minimal and near the hairline. They have mostly faded now, but I don’t obsess over them. The Beautycounter products have helped me achieve the clear, smooth skin I always wanted.

      Regarding the jeans, look for a pair that fits snuggly through the hips and thighs before a flare that starts midthigh. The pleated versions and wide-legged jeans are overwhelming, so I stick to boot cuts and flared styles.

  38. Hi again, I only asked about your height because I’m trying to see, how your smart and dressy outfits will dress me. And I am 1.74 meters 5′ 8.5039. But from what you orherwies write I think you are 1.68 m. I use meter because that is what we use in Denmark ,-) Have a nice day and thank you 🙂

  39. Hello, Thank you Susan for another excellent post. I’ve been trying to reply to Fayth’s comment, but the reply link won’t load. Anyway, regsrding wide width shoes, I recommrnd and have purchasrd from Orthofeet.com. I wear size 9w and have bunions and arthritis on the top of one foot. Puchased some black Mary Jane type shoes to wear with jeans or casual slacks. Very comfortable! Nice wide toebox. Look for a sale or coupon. Return policy is very good. I also wear Hoka sneakers for long walks/ hikes. Love them! Good luck!

  40. I finally bit the bullet and got powder brows. It was the best thing I could ever do for them. No more coloring them in. I love them!

  41. “Structured fabrics, such as denim, are much more flattering on my legs than pants made from soft, thin, supple materials.” Amen, Sister, to your sentence. I only wear denim pants—black, white and medium to dark blue wash. If the event or outing calls for more than that, I wear a skirt.
    You look lovely!
    Thank you for your time and energy toward encouraging your readers to level up on their personal presentation of presence to the world.

  42. You are such an inspiration to me. I too make it a point to dress nice when I go out in public. I think it’s so sad to see women wearing sweat pants and a t shirt with clunky tennis shoes, or even worse pajama bottoms at the grocery store or physician’s office. I feel it’s disrespectful to ones self as well as the people around us. Please keep sharing and inspiring!

    Warsaw, MO

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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.