Scarves and Jeans

A great-fitting pair of dark jeans with almost any simple top and a pretty scarf allows for an effortless casual look that always feels more elevated. I look for scarves with blocks of bold colors that are right for my cool complexion and large enough to drape nicely. The fabric should be soft and supple.

I often get asked about the scarves I wear, so I’m happy to show you one that is still available here. Styling tip: take an oblong scarf by one corner and let it fall straight down, then drape it around your neck. Adjust one end to rest close to your hip, wrap the other end around again, and let it fall loosely down your back. Pull the front loop down to form a more flattering scoop neckline and keep the bulk above the bustline.

My jeans are in the dark color wash, “Cast Shadows” here. The size I am wearing is a 29 waist and a 30 length. The fit of the 724™ High Rise Straight Jeans is perfect for my shape since I have straight hips and a flat behind. If you also have lots of extra fabric at the hip when you try on jeans, it may be that you are trying on the wrong fit for your shape. However, if you always have a gap at the back waist of jeans, try a curvy fit.

I bought the navy blazer at J.Crew a couple of years ago. It is light enough to wear with a tank on a cool summer evening, but I added it over a v-neck cashmere sweater here. Unfortunately, the V-neck sweater from Everlane is about four years old. The neckline is too low for my taste, so I layered it over a sleeveless black blouse from Banana Republic. I try to share links immediately when I make a new purchase, but the older items are no longer available.

My eyeglasses are Ralph by Ralph Lauren RA7094, in purple and teal. Now that my hair is a little longer, I feel more comfortable wearing hoop earrings. I found these silver ones at T.J.Maxx a couple of years ago. Here is a bit larger but similar pair of earrings. The black crossbody camera bag is also at least two years old from J.Crew.

The slightly chunky loafers are by Franco Sarto. I bought them last year at Nordstrom.

I’m standing in Boulder Park at the VA in Johnson City, where we snapped a few photos before visiting my family and getting some takeout for a late Sunday lunch.

You may already have similar items in your closet, but I hope that sharing my styling tips and sources helps you build a wardrobe that makes you happy and comfortable. A summary of recent outfits is here. In addition, shopping links on this website may allow me to earn a small commission at no cost to you.

  1. Susan you are such an inspiration! I really love your style. I’m saving all your fall styling inspiration for next year as we are heading into spring/summer now in South Africa xx

  2. Susan, another great post; this time with ideas for cooler weather dressing. Have always loved the jeans and blazer combo. It is so versatile But still put together! Especially with your touches that you add.
    Enjoy this lovely season. I too save these tips for closet shopping ideas!

  3. Susan, l love your classic style and this outfit is exactly how l love to dress. You can never go wrong with a navy blazer. I’m so glad we have you to inspire us mature ladies to stick with the tried and true. I enjoy wearing clothes l’ve had for years, and still be fashionable.

  4. Are there certain types of scarves that are “out of style”? When I was in Italy a few years ago, I bought scarves with “lace-type” edging…but am not sure about the style now. Thanks.

  5. Susan—I didn’t receive this post in my inbox. What do I need to do? Do you send out the email to your subscribers right after the new post shows on your website?

    1. The email notices are sent out in batches so that Google doesn’t flag them as spam. However, it may be a couple of days before you get the message since there are more than 23,000 newsletters to send.

  6. Your latest posts showing casually elegant combinations have been so helpful in planning my fall outfits. They fit into my current retired but “out and about” lifestyle. Thank you for showing us how to dress casually but still look chic. You’re a bright spot in my email box-I love receiving your emails and the timely advise you offer.

  7. Twenty-three THOUSAND! And here I was thinking you were just chatting with me and a few friends! You must feel pretty good about that! Thanks for all your efforts. I look forward to each of your posts.

  8. Your outfit is stunning! That scarf; may have to add to my collection! I was studying the components to your outfit. They just seem to all blend so well together and well thought out. It seems true and interesting that one doesn’t need an enormous amount of clothes to be well dressed. The accessories add so much to the outfits you display. I learn so much from your posts. Now just need to incorporate what I have learned. Thanks and have a wonderful day!

  9. 23,000 subscribers is amazing! All those wonderful ladies you help! 🙂 I love this look. I too wear dark jeans, either very dark blue or black. I feel they always look more polished.

  10. I really love this casual style for fall dressing and this blue is truly your coloring that brings out the twinkle in your eyes…. I would look twice if I was passing by you, as you look so adorable, chic as well as classy. So put together from head to toes but then you always seem to be no matter what you wear. Incorporating your ideas for my own wardrobe has been very rewarding to me in my senior years, thanks to your advice and pictures to follow. I am looking forward to seeing what great looks you will be showing us next. My favorite blog is yours hands down.

    One question, I forgot the brand of water filtering system that you use. If you were going to purchase a new one, which one would you buy now?

    Clara from Iowa

    1. I have owned the Big Berkey for about seven years. It is a gravity-fed water filter that can hold 2.25 gallons of water and simultaneously removes bacteria, parasites, and heavy metals. I would repurchase it.

  11. Beautiful! Just ordered the scarf from Chico’s.
    Question: how do you organize and keep track of you denim jeans & pants?
    I don’t have room in my closet to hang them on hangars….so I keep ’em folded on shelves.
    Lordy how I try to know which pair is boot cut, straight or ankle, skinny: I’ve tried to stack ’em together by style,
    but alas can’t seem to get a system that works.
    Your thoughts and techniques?
    Thank you so very much for continuing your blog into your retirement! We’re the same age, coloring but not so
    much in shape: I’m 5’9″ 127 lbs. but LOVE your choices – I just need longer inseams 🙂
    Sharon Coolidge

    1. Try folding your jeans and placing them by type into labeled storage bins. The bins can be placed on your shelves and taken down as needed but will keep mixups to a minimum.

  12. You always look classy in whatever you wear. Thank you for continuing to provide thoughtful and timely advice and suggestions for active retirees. I’m so glad to see your hair a little longer. It looks softer and more flattering to your beautiful face than the severe short cut.

  13. I am a ‘scarf lady’ – a beautiful scarf can elevate the simplest outfit – and I love the way you have styled yours in this post.
    Apart from your perfectly put-together outfits, your posture is always so elegant too; you always look both relaxed and confident.

  14. Your advice is well taken. You have been a great source for getting my wardrobe back in order. Now that I have retired I need more casual clothes and less business ones. Thanks for your help.

  15. I purchased some of your scarves a few years ago from your website and they are beautiful however I don’t seem to be able to style them because they are such large squares.. do you have any suggestions as to how to wear them

    1. Try folding it into a triangle, placing it around your shoulders, and then fold one end over a shoulder. I also fold them on the bias, making them into a long rectangle which might be easier to style. Here is a post that shows that technique.

  16. I have followed you for years and always find your posts extremely helpful. We will be traveling over the next few weeks and I am packing a similar pair of jeans, black dress pants, neutral tops and several scarves — tips I’ve learned from you! In the past I’ve packed way too many separate outfits. This time I think I’m good to go!

  17. Hi Susan!
    What a lovely outfit and you wear it so well! I love the scarf so much I just ordered one from Chico’s. I have a sweater the same shade of blue in the scarf so I will be able to wear the scarf with black, blue or white which makes this scarf very versatile for travel. I love receiving your posts in my email! It makes my day.

    What a lovely park in the photos. You live in such a great location with fantastic scenery.

  18. How do you keep track of what you wear?
    I like to vary my outfits to different activities. My husband used to take my picture and I kept a log on my computer. But unfornately He passed away in 2020.
    Ant suggestions will be appreciated.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Janice.

      I’ve never attempted to keep up with what I wear, but I read that Betsy Bloomingdale used to place a tag on each garment indicating where she wore it, how she wore it, and the accessories she wore with it.

  19. I would love if you would post on your exercise routine. I’m 66, will be 67 in December, follow all your posts and wish that I were as committed as you to good health, exercise and diet. You are an inspiration.

  20. Susan,
    You’re a big inspiration to me as I age. With so many ads for the latest trends, it’s hard to strike a balance between tasteful style and going overboard. You keep it simple/updated and look fabulous. Since I have always been a bit of a “Plain Jane” your use of accessories has been especially useful to me. What a difference the right choices make for the overall look.
    Thanks for the post.

  21. I do struggle with jeans! I have a thick waist, always have, and pencil thin legs and thighs. If I get jeans to fit my waist they look like clown pants. If they fit my legs, I can’t button them! Does anyone else have this kind of figure and if so what brand of jeans fits?!

  22. As usual, I love your outfit and your style.
    I have read your blog about daily routine and am curious if you are essentially following the Mediterranean diet and a Blue Zone lifestyle?

  23. Susan, your tips are relevant and useful. Other sites have reviewed the Amazon sales and suggested purchases. It would be helpful if you also did that.

  24. I love your blog. So down to earth and full of practical tips to keep us looking our best. Thank you for all your hard work.

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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.