Styling Elements

Combining neutrals with pops of color, interesting texture, or bold geometric prints is an art form, and adding accessories can make the look yours. Yves Saint Laurent said, “Accessories are what, in my opinion, pull the whole look together and make it unique.”

Maintaining the correct balance for your shape is essential for successful styling. Proportion includes the consideration of how the parts affect the whole. For example, button placement on your jacket may fall well below your navel. The odd location can make your legs look very short. A long tunic worn with crop pants and flats can have the same shortening and widening effect.

The cashmere sweater tied over my shoulders kept me warm, but it also creates a long vertical line and a deep V. Since I am wearing flat canvas shoes, I chose a lightweight cotton top that stops at the top of my legs. The bright pop of color from the salmon-colored tote adds interest as well as function.

The casual dress code is always a struggle for me. I wore the same top and pants in the post here, which feels much more authentic to my style personality.

You can find my favorite No-Show socks ever here. They stay in place, even when I wear them on my three-mile morning power walks. Use the code SHEEC25 to get 25% off all Sheec socks until June 30.

I’ve linked to similar items if not the same: TopSweaterJeansToteShoesNo-Show SocksBraceletRingEarringsWatch

Mr. Mickey and I dressed in soft, comfortable jeans and layers for a long drive through the mountains on Sunday. A picnic was in our plans, but we decided we weren’t hungry, so we continued through the beautiful mountains and breathtaking valleys to enjoy the rare sunny spring day. New records have been set for rainfall here this year, so the landscape is lush.

We stopped to take some photos in the shady parking lot of the Carter Mansion.

For the next couple of hours, we drove through the mountains before passing through Shady Valley.

Trees at the higher elevations still haven’t produced full leaves.

Learn more about following the Quilt Trail here.

We have several nesting pairs of bald eagles around the lakes and rivers here. It’s always a thrill to see them, even though it’s usually from a great distance. We were passing over a busy bridge, so I couldn’t zoom in fast enough, but there are two soaring through the sky at the center of the photo above. I shot the image below during a previous spring outing.

Have a lovely weekend.

  1. I really enjoy following your blog, seeing your different outfits and “listening” to all your inputs.
    I live in Denmark – where in the USA do you live? Best regards – Vivi

  2. I love your blog. It is one of the very few I still follow. Your sustainable style tips were always on target but even more so now. Your weaving in the nature photos and lifestyle bits are calming. No one does it better. Thank you.

  3. I really like seeing how accessories can change an outfit. Amazing. And learning about proportions is so valuable. (Love the photos of Tennessee too!)

  4. You live in a beautiful area. So happy you and Mr. Mickey can explore and enjoy spring together. As always, you look beautiful! Have a great weekend.

  5. Lovely casual outfit. The pop of color in the handbag adds a lot. How do you clean your handbags with our virus problem?

    1. I take only my small cardholder or a zipper pouch when I go into a store. I held this one for the photo to show which bag I a brought with me. We didn’t go into any buildings or get near people.

  6. What beautiful scenery. And how lovely you and Mr Mickey can go out in a car together. Here in the UK we can still only mix with members of our own household, unless you’re at work. Living alone becomes difficult , I’ve not been able to visit my daughter and grandchildren for two months. Thank goodness for modern technology!!!
    Stay safe and well, Susan—- and the same to Mr M , of course.

  7. For pleasure, I have cut way back ln screen time. I enjoy fashion and decor magazines more and much easier on my eyes.
    I love your blog for the hints, tips and all else and will read it faithfully as long as you continue. Your passion to help other women by passing on your knowledge is so evident! I look at it as my thrice weekly lifestyle class! I don’t need any other blog which I consider a gift also.
    I wish you and Mr Mickey a wonderful and safe weekend!

  8. Susan
    I enjoy reading your blog admiring the style and beautiful scenery
    Its marvellous for you both to travel on your weekends
    Take care
    We are not allowed travel to far in Ireland as yet

  9. I can see that you are more at ease in the outfit you linked to as opposed to the one shown with the tennis shoes. On the other hand, you do the casual look beautifully and there are so many times when being quite casual is necessary for the activity. Thank you for showing us how to do both well.

  10. Love the comfortable look of the outfit!
    I have a skin care question today. I’m considering purchasing the Countertime set of products. I’m 61, but still have a very oily T-zone year round. What products would your recommend for me?
    Thanks, Elaine

    1. I have the same oily T-zone in warmer months. In the warm months, I increase the number of times per day that I use the Countertime Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence. I use it on a cotton ball on my T-zone about four times per day.

  11. You live in such a beautiful place Susan. In NZ we are now allowed to drive wherever we want and just keep up the physical distancing as much as we can. Since we were in lockdown for two months, I haven’t got out of that feeling of wanting to stay home. PS Love the tote bag.

  12. You look great in both settings! I love the pictures of the Eagles! What a blessing to see our National bird! Thank you for serving our country in uniform and for your postings to your fan club! We love you!

  13. I just loved all the history and the photos!! I grew up in the oldest house in Stratford conn build in 1777 by Capt.James Clark!!! Love finding old houses and reading about them!!!

  14. I just left a note about the “Catalpa Tree” Here in AL we pronounce it Catawba and yes we have many here I have fished with the Catawba Worms all my life, my parents had one on the farm but I have never seen a tree as big as your photo!

  15. Susan, as always I enjoy your helpful fashion tips and your photography of the beauty you see in nature. I have decided to purchase a French Kande necklace. Jewelry can be like clothes- you can have spend a zillion dollars on statement necklaces etc., have a box full and nothing classic. My goal is to replace with a few classic pieces of jewelry. A French Kande is an investment piece for me – what color and chain length would you recommend? I appreciate your input! Have a wonderful day.
    Freddie Brammer

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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.