Statement Piece Styling

When your wardrobe includes all the basic neutral pieces, it is a lot easier to style the statement elements. A pair of coated jeans (looks like leather) in Merlot can be a bit edgy, but when you pair them with classic neutrals, they appear more elegant.

The question of footwear often includes socks vs. hose vs. bare. One helpful rule to remember is this: If the shoe shows the top of the foot, wear sheer hose or bare legs. If you are wearing loafers, oxfords, short boots, or any other shoe style that covers most of the top of the foot, you can wear socks or tights with them to stay warm or continue the line of color beyond your hemline.

My Sam Edelman shoes are at least three years old. The black sheers are from White House|Black Market.

Animal prints are considered neutrals. If you have cool undertones to your skin, you may find that many of them are too warm for you. I always look for animal prints without gold. Since this bag includes only black and taupe on a white background, I can carry it with almost all of the solid neutral colors in my wardrobe.

When I wear black near my face now, I always add a scarf or necklace to bring in another softer color. As a warm first layer, I often start with a top in a micro modal fabric. This one has an elegant neckline, and it is very soft and supple, so it doesn’t add any bulk at all. I am wearing a white long sleeve Simple Comfort top from Covered Perfectly here. (When you buy two tops from Covered Perfectly, the third one is free!)

The French Connection jacket I am wearing is several years old. The Merlot coated jeans are from Chico’s.

On Saturday evening, Mr. Mickey and I enjoyed another delightful dinner at Sister’s American Grill located in the Martha in Abingdon, Virginia.

Mr. Mickey’s wardrobe also includes classic pieces in neutral colors to mix and match for the occasion and the weather. We hope you have a great week!

  1. You look fabulous, and I love that you wear the sheer black stockings. So elegant. I don’t love the bare leg in winter trend at all.

  2. I love your look! I have the coated jeans in petite and had them hemmed; however, I didn’t have them hemmed enough. How do you decide where the bottom should hit? I thought I had them at my ankle bone, but obviously I didn’t. Also, due to horrible knees (having both replaced as soon as school is out), I can’t wear heels higher than 1 1/2″.

    Thanks for encouraging readers to sign up for the Style Over 40 course. I’ve signed up and eagerly look forward to it!

    Wishing you and Mr. Mickey a happy New Year filled with joy and blessings!

    1. Ankle pants should end a couple of inches above your ankle bone (or at the most slender part). I no longer purchase heels either. Something similar with a low block heel will give you a similar look. Good luck to you!

  3. I agree with Cheryl. I hate bare legs in winter, to me it just looks sloppy and undone. I guess if I lived in a tropical clime I’d feel differently. But nothing’s worse than cold icy water in your shoes or splashing on your bare ankles!

    1. I went to an event around Christmas time one year. (It was 23 degrees F.) Two women wore knee-length dresses or skirts with bare legs and dressy very open high heeled sandals. (???) My first tip is to dress for the weather.

  4. I too like that you had hose. I dislike the look of bare legs/feet in cold, frigid weather. Thank you for the information on wearing hose, socks, tights. Have a good day.

  5. “Sustainability” is the buzzword on many style blogs in 2019. You’ve been doing that all along, Susan. Classic pieces are sustainable. A wardrobe of classic pieces is sustainable. The magic is in the details of rewearing, mixing up the combinations and accessories like shoes and scarves that we already own! Of course, things do wear out and need replacement from time to time. Affordable sustainability can be about choosing reasonable quality items that wear well and stand the test of time. It’s not just about expensive organic materials.

    Congratulations for your foresight, and for showing those of us with real-world budgets and closet space how to look stylish without falling victim to the whims and waste of fads that quickly fade.

  6. Another great look with pieces you own. My closet has lots of blacks in neutrals that serve me well, and I often can shop my closet for a look and never have issues getting dressed. This looks so elegant – and the heels and black hose give it that special look. I love the clutch. Animal print is a neutral for me, and I love leopard print! Happy New Year to you and Mr. Mickey!!!

  7. Helpful to me as I live in Michigan with cold winters that often don’t permit bare legs and feet. Guidelines are great. You two look so terrific together! Enjoy

  8. Random question about your shoes. I just bought a similar pair and I have issues with the ties coming loose when walking….does this happen to you or any suggestions other than tying a double knot which makes me think I’m 7 again – ha. wasn’t sure if there was a trick to getting those type laces to “stay” better.

  9. Lovely, just lovely! I don’t know how you do it! I signed up for the seminar with Sylvia and looking forward to it! I have a problem with having too many clothes and it’s just too much to choose from. This is my New Year’s resolution, to get my clothes organized!

  10. YOUR CLASSIC STYLISH PIECES. You have explained that you put on lots of weight and then lost the weight. So, if you have had a few of these stylish garments for several years, you obviously kept them safe for the day that you could wear them once again. Is this right?
    I know that I have. Over the past eighteen months I have gained weight. Mostly due to an accident that cause a lack of movement – i.e. arms and legs. At the moment too many of my stylish items do not fit me. Currently and slowly the weight is coming off. I am motivated by a black and white polka dot shirt with a mandarin collar that is hanging teamed with a three quarter length caramel/gold pure linen jacket that simply oozes style. Due to cut and the fabric.
    Compliments abound everytime I have worn the outfit. I am not tall. Although this outfit appears to make me look lean and tall.

    1. I lost excess weight in 2011. I have kept a few things that are not very structured for many years. I hope that you fully recover and get back into your favorite clothes soon.

    1. I always pack an assortment of lightweight pieces in colors and fabrics to mix and match. Accessories can change the look from casual to more dressed up. For example, jeweled sandals can be worn during the day in a casual way or with black gauze palazzo pants and a dressy top to create an appropriate look for dinner.

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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.