Shoes and Gardens

Elizabeth asked: “You always look so polished and comfortable in your outfits. I have reached a point where I can’t wear heels of any height because of hip and back issues. So, my outfit can be spectacular, but my footwear mars the effect. Do you have any suggestions?”

An almond-toe slender shoe in the same neutral tone as your leg or pants can look elegant. I tested my theory when I visited my friend Jo’s garden this year. We were going out to lunch after the tour, so I needed to be dressed for both events. The weather was sunny, with temperatures in the high 80s, so I wore a white linen shirt with light-wash jeans and flat sandals. The look was comfortable for a walk through a daylily garden and appropriate for a casual lunch later.

As always, I used accessories to elevate my classic casual clothing.

The watch is here. The sunglasses are here. The earrings are here. The clutch bag is here. A silver bangle is here. Pearl bracelets are here and here. Use my code SAS10 for $10 off your purchase at Beauty in Stone Jewelry.

My ring is many years old. The sandals are here. The shirt is from last year. Here is a similar linen shirt. The jeans are here.

When I am out for the day and must bring a camera, garden shoes, and other extras, a tote bag is imperative to keep it all together. My summer tote is sold out in black, but here is the tobacco one.

When I travel, I visit nearby botanical gardens, so I feel very fortunate to have friends like Jo and Greg (and Sophie!) who share their daylily paradise with us. Last year’s tour is here.

A backyard like no other!

Lillian’s First Bite

Each plant is meticulously labeled, and a database records the parents of each plant hybridized by Jo. I became overwhelmed with matching the names with the photos, so please forgive my omissions. I can’t imagine keeping up with more than 1,400 daylily plants!

Velvet Throne
I Missed That Day In Science Class
Dancing Rabbit
Volcano Queen

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  1. Belated happy 90th birthday to Mickey. I hope I look that good at 90, I have 15 years to go. You as always look stunning no matter what you are wearing. I wish your dad good luck with his pacemaker. 70 years of marriage is a goal most people do not reach. Congrats to your parents.
    You are an exceptional couple.

  2. Wow! I love flowers. So often we tend to take daylillies for granted . . . but these varieties are absolutely spectacular. Fabulous. I really enjoyed this post with the flower-theme. Compliments to those amazing gardeners.

  3. So many beautiful daylilies! You did manage to dress for your events in an understated, but elegant way. The accessories were key. I love your watch. This is a reminder to wear my watches more often. Wishing you a week of bliss!

  4. I love daylilies, but don’t have too much garden space, but these are so spectacular and unusual — does Jo have a mail order business? or, are her hybrids sold to other nurseries? We used to live in Ohio near a few daylily farms and enjoyed wandering around.
    Hope your Dad’s pacemaker is helping him!
    I loved this post!

  5. Beautiful daylilies and always love your outfits. I remembr my mother grew daylilies at our home in Memphis. One day, as she was weeding and trimming she came upon a rather large water mocassin. It didn’t bite her and moved on to another location. Hello to Mr. Mickey.

  6. You always look “put together” no matter the occasion! Thanks for sharing Jo’s daylilies! When we sold our last home and moved here 5 years ago, I left behind 84 named varieties of daylilies. I have since attempted to fill our 2.5 acres with as many flowers as possible, daylilies, true lilies of all kinds, dahlias, and roses. And can’t forget my daughter’s lantana and hydrangeas in every color I can find for her.

    Hope your dad is doing well with his pacemaker. 70 years is amazing, God bless them both.

  7. Susan you continue to age backwards! I love the simple yet classy look of this look. As always thank you for sharing

  8. You definitely always look polished and well put together with a classic style.
    I do like your hair but like it shorter better.

  9. The colour and patterning on the lilies is spectacular. What a lovely tour!
    And your look as always is subtle and perfect. Love the sandals, colour and style of the jeans and the cropped nature of the linen shirt. Every thing is spacially balanced. Thank you for a great post.

  10. Just gorgeous! Lilies and you! I know they work hard to grow so many varieties and they are spectacular!

  11. I looked at the website for your linen shirt and thought it looked longer than the one you have on. Did you hem your top by chance? I often do that if it is too long on me.

  12. Hello Susan!
    You look lovely as usual and the flowers are stunning. A lot of work went into that beautiful garden! Kudos to your friends.
    You are fortunate that you can wear flat flat flat sandals! Absolutely no arch support or heel height. I cannot and miss having cute shoes. Eccos, vionic, Birkenstocks and a custom made orthotic are my friends. So it limits the shoe choices.
    Enjoy the summer and keep taking time to stop and “Smell the flowers”.
    Another Susan

    1. At least 98% of my shoes and sandals have a heel, but I needed some flat sandals for those times when they are the appropriate option. These are fairly comfortable since they have a tiny block heel.

  13. Susan, thank you for sharing this feast for the eyes. Some of us only have deer resistant flowers, and these lilies are spectacular! To your continued good health ❤️

  14. Flowers are absolutely beautiful! Omission forgiven! Love your earrings! I use your suggestion for the shoes all the time! I feel it helps me feel better about all my outfits! As always, thank you for what you do!

    Gail McKelvey

  15. Gorgeous — you and the day lilies! Wow!
    Super post! Great to see casual made so lovely and classy!

  16. I always in joy your posts but today’s was extra special. The photos of the Day Lillies were spectacular! A beautiful variety and so lovingly labeled and cared for!
    Thank you for sharing.

  17. Susan, I love the look of cropped shirts. How do you keep skin from showing around waist? Sales
    Lady suggested tucking front of shirt. That would keep back from pulling up. Also I wear PS but a crop shirt from Talbots PXS. Your suggestions please.

  18. I love these flower photos! Such beautiful angles and detail.

    Susan, you have pretty feet. I do not. I get regular pedicures, but my once pretty, tanned feet have, ahem, aged. When I see cute, stylish sandals like those you’re wearing here, I think they look so good on you, and I wish I could wear them.

    I wear a lot of straight-legged pants (like you’re wearing here), so flats look fine with them. But what would you suggest for a good, non-foot revealing summer shoe that has a bit of a heel, classic style, and looks good with longer, flared jeans? I want a little height and lift, and flats look pretty underwhelming with that style of jeans.

    As always, thanks for sharing your beautiful styling ideas!

  19. Your sandals are lovely, but not appropriate for someone who has hip and back problems. I noticed that your garden hosts are wearing the type of shoe that gives a more stable support. Is there anything that you’ve found that would give that same support, and at the same time, look a little more fashionable?

  20. I look forward to your posts because as someone else said, you always look so classy so put together and yes, at the same time always comfortable. I can take what I have in my closet, my accessories and put together looks that not only look put together but also, and most important to me at my age, feel comfortable.
    Please continue to post.

  21. I love day lilies—one of the few flowers that can stand our Gulf Coast Texas heat! I also love today’s outfit. You look great. Don’t you ever age?!?

  22. This post was so helpful because I, too, rarely wear heels anymore unless they have a nice, cushioned platform. And flats must have a .5-1″ heel to be comfortable. It’s nice to have suggestions for something besides “old lady” shoes! And those day lilies!!! Exquisite! What a wonderful hobby.

  23. Just wondering if there is any news on when the Beauty Counter will be back in business. I am running low on the tinted moisturizer. Your skin looks great in the pictures. Have you been out in the sun?

  24. Oh, I don’t think I’d have been able to leave those flowers! Even for a nice lunch. Each one is more beautiful than the one before. My favorite is the peachy-colored one with the extra frills in the center – just gorgeous!
    Your outfit looks very fresh and comfy, Susan

  25. Hi Susan, I have been eyeing those linen shirts from the Gap, I loved the denim one you have featured before. How do you think the sizing runs? I am large busted and there is no give with linen. Safer with XL? Thanks!

  26. Beautiful day lilies! My goodness that takes some commitment to keep a beautiful garden like that.
    I’m looking for a fashionable tote. This one might work. I need to get organized and this might help. When I go out I have a small purse I like but it doesn’t hold my sunglasses or my reading glasses.

  27. What an assortment of day lillies. Beautiful! Your tips for shoes are great. Flats and sandals come in so many varieties.

  28. She has a knack for blending colors and the ruffles!! I love ’em! Will have to look online to see if I can find some of these unusual ones. Your photos are so luscious!!

  29. My sister’s mother-in-law did the same with iris. The different shapes and colors were amazing. Thanks for sharing all those beautiful day lilies.

  30. Love your style. I’m finding as i age, staying similar weight, but shape has changed a little. Can you give some tips to cover a bit of a tummy with jeans and tops. Thank you.

  31. So elegant Susan I love your outfit.
    Glad to hear your Dad is doing better.
    Your friends garden is absolutely beautiful..a garden to envy that’s a certainty. I see Jenny has asked for ideas to cover a tummy. After being slim and trim for years I also need to cover up a tummy.
    God Bless

    1. A top or shirt that ends mid-belly or just below is the most flattering. When the top is too long, it often hugs under the tummy and actually brings attention to it.

  32. I think your hair is gorgeous. It is the perfect length. Thank you for sharing the beautiful flowers.

  33. Hi Susan, your friend has a beautiful garden. So many colors.
    Have fun with the beauty and enjoy the view.

  34. You look so nice and cool in this hot weather. I really like the short white linen shirt. The lilies are awesome, so pretty and the colors! Amazing

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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.