Simplicity is Elegant

Should all your garments reflect your style? I believe that clothing should fit your shape and your personality. I never want to feel like someone I don’t know when I get dressed. Prints, crazy bright colors, and embellishments do not feel authentic for me. I prefer timeless, simple garments that can be styled in many ways and worn to almost any function.

The photos for today show the same base items styled differently. While working at my desk earlier in the day, I pushed up the sleeves of the cashmere sweater and kept the accessories minimal.

A similar cashmere sweater is here. The pants are here. Similar shoes are here. Pearl earrings here. The watch is here.

I had an appointment for my yearly mammogram, so I added a silk scarf and red wool blazer before going out the door.

Similar items are linked. JacketScarfBag

Later in the evening, I added a navy ruana, pearls, and pumps when I attended a holiday gathering.

Again, similar items are linked since none of my things are new. RuanaClutchPumpsGirls’ Night Lip Color – A similar Pearl Necklace (Use the code SAS10 for $10 off any one item at Beauty in Stone Jewelry.)

Those looking for all the latest trends may be disappointed with my blog. I show you pictures of what I wore for the day, and it is often classic simple basics that I may have owned for a couple of years or longer. Of course, I buy new items occasionally, but I always look for pieces that I can wear many times, in several ways, and for years to come. Shopping links on this website may allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

64 Comments
  1. Susan – We can always count on you for examples of elegant yet practical fashion Every time I start to ponder the purchase of a trendy top or wacky pair of jeans, I think of the photos you post. I truly do! My last purchase was a simple gray lightweight sweater. My skin doesn’t like cashmere, but I have discovered a brand of cashmere “look-a likes.” I am content with that.
    On a side note, I was wondering if you ever shared what your typical day is like in retirement. Thank you again for your blog.

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment. I continue to work on blog posts about three days per week. My parents need me a little more these days, so I help with chores, take them to doctor visits, run errands, and sometimes prepare meals to deliver to them. Mr. Mickey and I have a few date nights/days every month, and I do all my cleaning and cooking.

  2. During the worst of Covid, I studied and studied on how to dress well. Your blog and photos helped me transform my wardrobe into one I can easily find something to wear no matter the day or event. I am triangular shaped, and have embraced my new look and feel that i am the best dressed me I can be.

  3. You always look gorgeous in your clothes. I admire every outfit you put together. That ruana is the prettiest I’ve seen!

  4. Patricia do you mind sharing the brand cashmere look a likes? I love the look of cashmere but I also have skin that doesn’t like it. Thank you.

  5. I absolutely love your blog! I’ve followed you for several years now, and you never disappoint. I find it incredibly helpful to see how you style classics that aren’t brand new. You have truly changed how I take care of myself, and when I receive compliments from strangers on how I look, I’m always grateful to you for teaching me how to put myself together. Thank you, Susan.

  6. While I have a different body shape, I am constantly inspired by your posts and work to translate your principles to my figure shape.

    More than anything, you inspire me by your kindness and caring for people you have never met. Your generosity in sharing what you’ve learned is a beautiful gift you give to many. Thank you

  7. Susan, I love all of your outfits. Just looking on how you are styling your basics made me realize they can be worn in different combinations. Thank you for the blog. Very happy and joyful Holidays to you, Mr. Mickey and your family.

  8. Before I buy something new, I ask myself: Do I really need it ? Do I already have similar items in my closet ? How often will I wear it ? And most importantly, if it is on sale, is it an item I would like enough to buy even if it wasn’t on sale. I used to be guilty of buying clothing on clearance because I couldn’t resist “ a good buy”. Now I realize nothing is a good buy if you don’t need it & if you don’t really love it. You look so nice & timeless in your classic clothing choices. I do slightly disagree with you on one thing you mentioned & that is bright colors. I think you look great in bright colors. Red, bright blue, purple, turquoise, & fuchsia are colors that I think look great with your cool coloring & silver hair. Thank you for letting us know we do not need a closet bulging with clothes & the latest trends to feel & look our best.

    1. There is a time and a place for bright colors, but I usually feel too loud when I wear them. So I always try to anchor a bright with neutral colors. For example, a turquoise top with white pants with a tan bag and sandals on a bright sunny day is a favorite summer look.

  9. My favourite posts are those where you show the same garments styled in different ways – whether it’s a “do” vs “don’t” comparison, or just how to create different looks from the same basic pieces. I love the fact that you wear the same clothes over and over. Frugality and restraint are underrated virtues these days. Where I live there is terrible poverty and it breaks my heart when I see someone casually spend as much on a single outfit as would feed a family of four for a month. And yet you always look wonderful – polished and elegant, but at the same time unfussy and unpretentious. So thank you so much for yet another great and inspiring post.

  10. Holiday gathering… Sigh. A little envious, but living a very cautious life here. Can I ask if you had your booster? Were you at all anxious about the get together?

  11. I love ruanas and ponchos, but find that during winter there are few days/evenings that are warm enough to wear them even with a sweater underneath. Can you recommend any style of coat that would look good over them?

  12. Great post! My favorite posts are how to take a garment (or in this case, a couple of garments) and style them in different ways. Thanks also for your answer to Marilyn’s question (and thanks to her for asking something I’ve been struggling with)

  13. A wonderful post showing different styling for the classic sweater and slacks. The sweater is perfect for your hair color. I love the ruana and the stacked pearls. Very elegant.

  14. Hello Susan! With the colder weather, how do you keep up your exercise routine? Thank you for sharing with us and Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey and your parents.

  15. Thank you for your suggestions Susan. I always appreciate them. My 7 year old granddaughter thinks I’m elegant and says that even though I’m a grandmother I don’t try to look younger but I look “beautiful.” Now isn’t that the sweetest thing. I told her it’s called “understated elegance” and she agreed, Merry Christmas. I ordered the beauty in stone pearl necklace for my Christmas present. Gorgeous.

  16. You look very beautiful and classy. Thanks for all the ideas and I am so glad you shop your closet. You have picked the right items to add to your wardrobe. What is the difference between a ruana and a shawl? Thanks for your blog.

    1. A shawl is a square or rectangular piece of cloth worn as a covering for the shoulders, while a ruana is an outer garment resembling a poncho and can take the place of a sweater or jacket or be worn over them. Ruanas also have an opening cut-out for the head. I show you the shape in the post here.

  17. Susan, I’m never disappointed in your blogs and I love the way you style your clothes. As we age it’s hard to find the right style for us so please keep up the good work

  18. I so appreciate your classic style. Finally a true lady I can relate to. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and style.

  19. Due to my husband’s chronic illness we have lived on a disability pension for nearly twenty years. Our income is low and demeaning. I have to settle with clothing from thrift shops. Whose stock is a collection of throw-away fashion made with cheap fabric and poor fit. I love your blog. Everytime I see your photograpghs it reminds me of myself twenty years ago. Over the years I had managed to pull together a few stylish pieces. However in Dec. 2019 the black summer bushfire completely destroyed our property and all of its contents. We escaped the fire but with no belongings. Now we are starting over. Unfortunately the Thrift shops are mostly filled with cheap, clothing rubbish. For the past two years and in all seasons I have been wearing a short sleeve stylish blouse and tailored black jeans. Across the seasons I freeze and I roast. Our money is so tight that I dare not purchase clothes that I will no doubt regret buying. So, I struggle with my spring outfit, that is made to work in all seasons. Your blog keeps me sane and focused on reclaiming myself…..somewhere down the track. Cheers,Judith

  20. Your blog is never boring. Your base is so well thought out that you can tweak a wardrobe like this and make it yours whatever style you are. The foundation is there. You have to have that but you add those spots of color, a touch of metal, texture in just the right amount to keep it interesting.

  21. I enjoy your classic looks and how you combine pieces for different flavors as you highlight in this post. Thank you for practical and lovely insipration.

  22. I so appreciate your simplicity and classic style. You inspire me to purge my closet of trendy things that just aren’t me. I don’t want getting dressed every morning to be complicated.
    At age 74 I still want to look my very best, so keep blogging! I’m a big fan.
    Jonty

  23. Love your blog. By following your advice, I have fewer pieces in my closet but of significantly better quality. I’m no longer wasting money on trendy pieces. Thank you

  24. Thank you for showing that we can use things in our closet and just pick up a few pieces along the way to update our wardrobe. That is a cost cutting idea .

  25. Thank you once again for being a positive inspiration to so many of us! You look absolutely gorgeous…love that ruana and the pearls! We all struggle with what to wear, especially as seniors, but you know how to inspire us. I’ve been following you for several years and am always thrilled to see your posts in my inbox. Please keep up the good work Susan! Merry Christmas.

  26. I love your style! I am 76 years old and I try to dress timeless and try to be elegant at the same time.
    You were the person that I followed to learn how to dress for my age but yet be stylish and comfortable.
    Thank you for your blogging and have a merry Christmas and a wonderful new year.
    BRENDA

  27. These are timeless looks. I will have to try gold with grey, usually I opt for pearls or silver. And the JCrew link provided information about the cashmere sourcing which is important to know. There’s a lot of cheap cashmere out there and cheesy ply/ thread count. It pays to know your quality, source and yarn weight. With gentle care cashmere, like many real, that is not synthetic or man-made, lasts a long time. I have vintage cashmere sweaters from the early fifties that I wear from time to time. Thanks Susan. Hope you and yours are well.

  28. Susan,
    Your style advice makes getting dressed so easy for me. Buying quality clothing that lasts is especially important. Rather than having several pieces worn once or twice and then put in the back of the closet. I go for the classics. This can be done on a budget by shopping the sales. Otherwise, it can get expensive.
    No more moments of “what will I wear?” I did the same with my make-up routine (less is better) and get compliments.
    You pointed me in the right direction and I am very grateful to you.

  29. Susan I love you style of dress. Navy and khaki pants, white or pastel tops, and from your post a couple of jacket that you own.

  30. Susan
    I am NEVER disappointed with your blog. Always timeless , and elegant. I enjoy your information. Merry Christmas to you & Mr. Mickey

  31. I love how your ruana elevates a simple outfit for festive evening activities. It’s fabulous! And, there was no need to purchase a special glitzy holiday outfit that will be worn only once or twice. I only wish I had time to find one before this weekend.

  32. I absolutely love your blog! I never tire of watching you style simple, quality items in different ways. I am still learning, but you make it so much fun!

  33. Susan, I always enjoy your blog posts and have been following you for a few years now. I’ll be 60 next year and was looking for a classic-styled woman to inspire me into my later years without buying the latest fashions! You fit that exactly! It’s SO refreshing to find you do not chase styles. That to me is exhausting and never satisfying! It’s very frustrating at my age! My body just does not look like a 25 year old, which is the age and body type most fashions chase after. I do find that I like the classics and they look best on me. Some of the latest fashions are not age-appropriate or flattering on me. (My husband lets me know – Ha, ha!)

    Thank you for continuing to inspire me with what you have – you look marvelous! It’s encouraging to know that I can pare down my closet and buy wisely for now and into the future, thanks to your good advice. Know you are making a difference in people’s lives for the better! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  34. You look so lovely in each outfit, Susan. I appreciate you showing quick steps to change up a basic “at home” outfit without changing clothes. Must admit that since Covid started, I always change my clothes & clean my shoes when I get home from grocery shopping, appointments, etc,. Masks are mandatory where I live, so match my mask to my outfit!
    As women in our 60s, we are so lucky to have our parents. Mine still live in their own home & do most things themselves. I’ve often wondered if most of your readers are retired and would like you to post blogs on living well during retirement. Topics such as dressing well (you do this well!), latest health reports & suggestions, caring for elderly parents, book suggestions once a month-include your readers, a monthly forum of retirement tips from readers-in one sentence, a simple beauty tip/week, transitioning from a professional to a smart retirement wardrobe. This comment is very long, so thanks for bearing with me.

    1. Thank you for all your lovely comments, Elizabeth. I would love it if people felt free to share anything positive and helpful. Please tell us your favorite books, exercise videos, recipes, affirmations, tips for dealing with anxiety, anything positive that you would like to share is always welcome. This is your community!

  35. Your blog is never boring! You helped me so much to buy pieces that fit together. My personal style is similar to yours and my body too, so I love all your ideas and enjoy reading your posts. Could you make a post like what your day looks like? If you’re comfortable with it of course! Thank you for all you do. Best wishes from California,
    Nat

  36. Susan, I find you amazing! I wouldn’t have thought of using the same sweater and pants for three different occasions during the day. You inspire me! Merry Christmas

  37. What I love about you and your style Susan is your sincere interest in us and how to be your best self. If it is health or diet, you have great advise.. not for everyone, but us over 60 folks who the media tends to ignore.
    If it’s skin care, you offer basic, common sense solutions for protecting and highlighting our skin and faces. Lovely.
    On to fashion. This is your strength, Susan. A wise friend told me once, “you want people to see you, not your clothes.” What does this mean? I think your blog exemplifies this. A calm, dignified, and classic look flatters most women in our age group. Of course a sparky element sometimes adds excitement, but the idea here is to present the whole, healthy, well groomed person.

  38. I noticed you have on hose with your shoes which I love. The trend I am seeing is no hose which to me doesn’t look or feel right at my age of 66.

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan

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