Styling Points

How you present, yourself speaks before you do. Great style isn’t about spending lots of money, but it is wise to make better choices when you shop and as you get dressed.

A thoughtfully curated wardrobe certainly makes it easier to get dressed successfully. When I am confident, comfortable, and appropriate, I consider the look successful.

Below are some of the styling points that help me achieve my style goals.

  • Quality over Quantity. It is far better to have one good pale gray cashmere sweater than ten poor quality ones that pill, fade, and lose their shape. One dark wash pair of great fitting jeans will always make me look better than shredded faded ones.
  • Timeless over trendy. A classic pale blue cotton shirt can be worn all year round and in a variety of ways. A bright floral cold shoulder shirt with sequins cannot.
  • Balance your look with your shape. When I wear a loose-fitting long top, I appear to be wearing a tent. More fitted shirts that stop at the hip bone are a far better choice for me.
  • Neutral, classic clothing with accessories that personalized my look is the magic formula. Wearing neutral solid colors and adding the pizzaz with a colorful patterned scarf or a dramatic jewelry piece works well.

If you run into someone you admire at the Post Office while wearing the worn-out leggings and T-shirt with holes that you wear around the house, you will likely try to dodge them. While we are on the subject, why not present yourself better at home too? I read the following statement years ago, and I’ve never forgotten it. “Your family should also see you looking your best.” Even if you live alone and work from home, your outlook will improve when you make an effort to get dressed each day. You will have more confidence, and you will be more productive.

If I had to choose a favorite cool-weather look, it would be similar to what I am wearing here. My comfort zone includes very little makeup, windblown hair, a soft buttery moto-style jacket over a cashmere sweater with straight leg jeans and loafers or short boots. Throw on a pretty scarf to keep warm, add some silver earrings, and it doesn’t get much better than this for me.

We shot photos inside the Post Office on Sunday because the light was reasonably good there, and the wind was blowing at gale force all day. We were on our way to visit my parents, so my look was very comfortable and casual.

Several readers have asked about my natural nail choice. Since I have small nail beds and short fingers, I do not want to call attention to them, so no polish for me. I often get pedicures and manicures, and I almost always choose Dutch Tulips (here) by OPI for my toes, and my fingernails get a natural buff. Red or pale sheer pink (here) are the only two nail colors I consider.

The sandals are old by Born.

My eyeglasses are by Life is Good. The silver hoops were a gift from Mr. Mickey. The moto jacket is from Express. The V-neck cashmere sweater is from Everlane. These are by far my favorite jeans. The blue suede loafers are from last year. My light taupe bag is old by Dooney & Bourke.

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  1. Love this look Susan. I have been inspired by you to create a more paired back wardrobe but it’s still a work in progress. I am pear shaped so have to change things to suit me better as I need a more fitted top half. Love the photo of your toes, I had learned from your previous post what type of feet I have and guess what they are exactly the same as yours! I now get a red varnish pedicure Thanks for sharing, Sharon x

  2. Je vous suis sur Facebook, il est très intéressant. J’aime beaucoups votre style chic sport, les couleurs sont toujours de bon choix .

  3. the combination of your glasses with your shorter hair makes you look 20 years younger and add your beautiful smile and I’d say….that’s just about as perfect as you can get.

    1. Good morning, Susan! I forgot how great you look with short hair. I love your choice in clothing too. The creamy pink with blues is very flattering. This is a classy look! Have a fine day!

  4. You look wonderful with your new shorter hair cut, perfectly shaped glasses, and blush moto jacket. Everything else is super fine also. Thank you for being a calming voice in the loud shouts and crazy talk that fashion can be.

  5. You are such an inspiration to so many of us, Susan. For some reason, the top photo especially reminded me of the actress Annette Bening and I realized that you both share a number of traits: stylish, sensible, vibrant, intelligent, friendly, and always with something interesting to say and a joy to watch. Thank you (yet again) for helping us navigate these waters and steer in the right direction!

  6. Hello Susan…
    Thank you for sharing all your styling points with us! I have been following you for several years and have learned so much!! It’s funny how when shopping I find myself stopping to think–is this a classic piece?…does it fit with what I have learned from Susan? I have always been a scarf wearer but have learned so much from you on how to use a scarf to enhance any basic outfit. I also love handbags and your Dooney & Bourke handbag (shown above) is such a classic! My budget does not allow me to shop the high end items/stores but I have been taking notes and try to imitate your pieces with something that is more budget friendly for me. I cannot tell you how many times I have been complimented by friends and strangers on an outfit or accessory choice! My 10 year old grandson gave me my most cherished compliment! He said, “Grandma B, you sure are fashionable!!” Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience–it has been such a confidence booster! I also enjoy seeing your adventures with Mr. Mickey!!

  7. Just when I think I’ve got it all down from reading your posts, you throw out a few more gems. And I like that you give updates on why you have a change of heart about something in particular. Some things just don’t occur to me until you post about it, and I thank you for that.

  8. You look great in this outfit. It becomes you and says who you are… a very confident woman! I’m working on discovering what works best for me and at the same time training myself to shop with discipline as you do. Just recently while checking out Spring fashions I reminded myself to take the time to think about “my style”. It is close to what yours is with some differences. I really appreciate the time you take to talk about yourself. And I love your manicures! So feminine.

    1. Susan you look stunning as always! The hair style, glasses & the pink jacket equal a great look.
      So appreciate the thoughts you share.

  9. I love your style! You always look so classic.
    Do your Levi black jeans fade? Do you launder them in a particular way to keep them from fading?

    1. Jeans will fade a little over time. I wash all dark denim together in cold water and only put them in the dryer for a few minutes. I hang them on a rolling rack in front of a fan to finish drying which helps reduce fading some.

  10. I love the idea of looking nice at home, but usually end up going for comfort over style. How do you dress comfortably yet stylishly at home, for chores or lounging after a long day?

  11. Hi, Susan! I am 70 and I am having trouble with finding the right shade of lipstick. Years ago, I was deemed to be a “winter” and the colors were absolutely on target. Now, however, they tend to look odd on me. I do love the shade you are wearing today and think it would be more flattering to my complexion. Would you please tell me what shade it is on your
    Beauty Counter website? Thank you so much.

  12. Susan, you are so right about looking your best at home and sometimes I work from home. Our daughter worked in the call center for Service Merchandise while she was in college. Even those the customer service people were never seen, they were told to dress professionally so they would come across the phone professional to the customers. If we feel our best and confident our clients will sense that confidence and trust us. Great blog today.

  13. Hi Susan, love your haircut and glasses!!! You look great! But you always do, with longer hair or without glasses. I don’t comment very often, but I appreciate all the time and effort you put into this blog! I’ve learned so much from you. Thank you! .

  14. I also agree about looking your best, whether you are alone or with others. I have lived by this rule since I was a teen and continue it as I approach sixty. Even on days we never leave the house or have any visitors, I still have to look in the mirror!! My appearance definitely affects my mood. I’ve heard my husband on many occasions telling others how he loves the fact that I take pride in my appearance even if we are just lounging around the house. Susan, you are truly an inspiration to so many of us with your classy style and healthy living. Thank you!!

  15. I think that you are absolutely correct about the impact of black as we age together with grey hair. It is too powerful. In these photos you look very much younger. Thank you for the comparison to the last post photos. I enjoy your very thoughtful comments and have found the eating section to be a great help to my own food choices. Joel Fuhrman’s book has been invaluable. Isabella

  16. Hi Susan! Love your blog!
    Would love to know what style number your glasses are.. they look fantastic on you.. I also have a very round face and been looking for the right frame for my face shape!
    From a previous post I saw your raincoat from Everlane..I’m curious what size you ordered.. I’m also an inverted triangle shape but only 5’3 and about 125 so I was wondering if you ordered a small and if it was a more relaxed than tailored fit.
    Thanks Susan!

  17. You look sooooo much younger in your new “shorter” cut! Very becoming on you Susan. You always inspire me and wish I could get rid of a lot of my clothes.
    Maybe one day.

    All the best

  18. Outstanding blog Susan! Fabulous! Thank you for the nail (toe and fingernail) information. You have great feet; I have bunions. However, even though various sandals are my go to choice of shoe throughout the year, I’m finally going to paint my bare toenails and fingernails. In a future blog, would you please discuss hats. Primarily for sun protection. I’m a recent Sepsis Survivor. One long year in a hospital paralyzed from my hips to my toes. It’s taken me two years to learn to walk again without a limp, cane, etc. This spring I plan to start walking in my local park again; but, I need a stylish hat for sun protection. Can’t find a thing that doesn’t look silly. Would so enjoy your thoughts and suggestions.

  19. I love your make-up and especially your lipstick. As always, you look well put together and stylish. Thanks for the continuing helpful hints and inspiration.

  20. Susan I love your style of your hair & you look fabulous in those eye glasses. Thank you so much for your articles!

  21. I love these tips. So happy about your nails, I almost got mine done again(gel or sns) and when I do, it takes months for the damage to grow out. I love your simple elegant look. I have so much to purge, I am afraid. Why is it so scary to get rid of clothing I really never wear.



  23. I love this look and this colour on you! Very pretty, very natural. I like your philosophy of simple, clean, neat and tidy with the best quality your budget can manage.
    Cheers you are a wonderful inspiration!

  24. I love your new haircut! I love scarves too and wear them often with my outfits. I follow advice I heard years ago that said to get up and get ready like you are going to a job even if you are staying home. When the kids were little, people would often ask me if I was going to work. If I go out shopping during lunch time, I think I get better service because people assume I have to get back to work.
    How very blessed you are to still have your parents to visit.

  25. Great glasses! One of your best looks ever. Another vote for comfy but stylish, please. I used to wear LLBean perfect fit pants, but have lost some weight (not a lot, so don’t celebrate!) and they just look frumpy and not at all stylish. They are soft but don’t hold their shape. I have an Eileen Fisher pant that is nice, but the big bottom is a detraction (mine, not Eileen’s) and the legs are a bit skinny. Also the fabric, while wrinkle-free is not soft. I don’t need cashmere, but not scratchy would be nice. Holding shape would be even better!

  26. Tears sprang to my eyes when I saw your beautiful and oh, so fashionable glasses! They look similar to mine, and it felt great to see my surrogate sister wearing them. Sending bouquets of hearts to you, Susan. You’ve made my day!

  27. Absolutely LOVE the new shorter hair style! Love all your tips and information. It makes growing “older” a lot more pleasant!

  28. Susan:
    Thank you for posting “Styling Points” I really enjoyed it!
    Question -what do you use (or do) to keep your neck and décolletage so young looking? I have a lot of redness due to sun damage. I’ve even had a professional laser treatment, but it only improved it a little. I have the same on my hands. I know the sun is the worst.
    Just wondering if you have any tips!

    Thank you,
    Terri Shapiro

  29. I realize that the “Pop of Red” outfit is for different purposes, more Businesswoman, but I think the difference in colors really stands out to me. You look very happy and pretty against pink/blue/white. You’re plenty pretty in black, but don’t have quite the same glow.

  30. Hi Susan! Have enjoyed your videos because I truly have no sense of personal style. I’m over 60, and your suggestions and advice are exactly what I’m looking for: simple yet sophisticated. Thank you from Northern California.

  31. Thanks for the tip on the grey jacket, just ordered it. Greys, teals, and bright blues seem to have taken over my closet. I didn’t wear a lot of grey b4 my hair turned grey/white and now all my browns are “wasted” on me and I have a ton of them. I’m going to phase brown out but maybe keep the very very dk browns and add scarves to liven them up. Thanx again.

  32. Love your style, I try to keep to the basic colors & classic look, my mum was from Amsterdam, had her own flare also passed on her love of scarfs, can’t believe all the different style uses tho very helpful.
    Thank you, looking forward to more of your fashionable ideas.

  33. Love your style. It’s inspiring to me . turning 64 and wanting to look pulled together is a work in progress for me.

  34. This may be a stupid question but I’ll ask anyway. When you wear a jacket or top with a metallic zipper/buttons do you always try to match your earrings/jewelry to the color of the metallic in the zipper? I say yes, my friends say no!

  35. you are stunningly beautiful in this picture. you got it perfect in these combinations. i have been following you for a few years and enjoy keeping up with your adventures! and mishaps. the first time i saw this entry i tried to leave a comment – so glad i came upon it again. lol

  36. Just found your wonderful blog and love your style. I am 70 and am really trying to keep a style and youthfulness appropriate for my age, such as recent Invisalign, Botox for frown lines, dermaplaning for pigment lighting, watching my weight. These things have helped in subtle ways, including my confidence. My question is, since you are so open about your regimes, how do you get your teeth so beautifully white? I can’t quite find that solution…need info! Thank you for sharing your secrets to staying so chic.

  37. I like all the looks you post. You give me some great ideas in order to be elegant in my seventies too! (following U from Brasilia- Brazil)

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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.