Successful Styling 2018

Earlier this week, I shared some of my not so stellar choices from 2018. Today, I am sharing the looks in which I felt most comfortable and confident. No matter how expensive or elegant the items are if you aren’t comfortable, it shows on your face and affects how you carry yourself. You won’t feel or look confident.

Establishing your formula for shopping and putting together outfits takes the guesswork out of looking your best. The key is getting the proportions right for your shape. Keep scrolling, and I’ll share my formula as an example.

A top that ends fourteen inches below the armpit is just right. Pants that have a thirty-one-inch inseam are the perfect length. Straight cut pants that skim the leg without hugging the calves are golden! A V-neck or scoop neckline falling a few inches below my collarbone is best for my face shape. A scarf is a perfect accessory. When I think about what I enjoy wearing most, the pieces are always classic, timeless, and comfortable.

I chose these looks at random from the blog posts for 2018.

  1. Lovely outfits! I just wish I could find shoes that were more dressy than sneakers that I can actually wear. The jeans with nice tops I can do, but just ruin the effect with sneakers! Your look is so inspirational!

  2. Susan,
    Love the white sweater, blue scarf and beige lofers look. I want to try to copy the look. Can you please let me know where you bought the complete outfit. So classic….Thank you for all you do!

  3. What a spectrum of great looks, from casual to evening. They illustrate many of the important points you have emphasized consistently in your blog–proportion, accessorizing, dressing to the strength of one’s particular body shape.

  4. I so totally agree! And you can adhere to these guidelines and still have a lot of options in your wardrobe. I’m know all this, but find it hard to implement and keep myself from trying new things that suit others and not me. It is very helpful to see you display it visually. I love that you have the exact measurements of perfect lengths. Im going to do that. Thank you so much. And you look outstanding in each of these photos.

  5. Susan, I need to ask how do you wash the 100% silk scarves? I love all your looks but the last brown and denim are my personal favorites because they’re perfect for my warm coloring I hope all is well for you and appreciate all you do.

    1. Silk scarves can be washed by hand or dry cleaned. Lay them flat on a towel to dry. Use a cool iron to press them. I leave everything out on a hanger on a rod or a hook to air out a day or so before putting it away. Unless you spill something on it, there may never be a need for washing a scarf. (I never under any circumstance spray perfume on my clothes or scarves.)

    2. Silk is a protein fiber, like hair. An excellent inexpensive silk wash is plain baby shampoo. Swish the scarf gently in a sink full of warm water with a dime-size squirt of baby shampoo. Rinse once with warm water, then again with warm water and a tablespoon or two of white vinegar. Hang or dry flat until just damp, then iron on the silk/wool setting until completely dry. The vinegar keeps the silk soft and lustrous. Susan, I’m a silk painter and after reading your blog I started painting larger scarves. My clients love them. Thank you so much!!

  6. I like every look but especially the outfit posed by the car. Is that a black or navy jacket? Would like to know where you got it. Love all the scarves you’re wearing. You accessorize every outfit perfectly!

  7. Now that was a hit out of the park; loved them all. You wear blue so very beautifully and you enjoy your jewelry which always highlights the outfits giving length with the long straight lines. Your personal style is fun and elegant at the same time, something to try to emulate.

  8. You look fabulous! Everything you chose is exactly what I would have chosen myself. You wear it well……thank you for your blog I have learned so much from you and all for free! Keep up the good work your doing a great job.
    Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2019

  9. I never wore my navy pieces with black, but it looks wonderful! I like the navy jacket in the 9th photo. I love the style and the slight shimmer in it.
    Where can I find it? Thanks for sharing your knowledge and tips. My fashions are very similar to yours. Suzanne from Canada

  10. I love the navy jacket in the 9th photo. Where can I find it?
    Thanks for sharing your styling tips. I find them useful.
    Thank you!
    Suzanne from Canada

  11. Thank you Susan for all of your advice. My shape is similar to yours and it has been invaluable seeing your posts. Have a very Merry Christmas Jane Ayers

  12. As usual, I loved your pieces…blog pieces and clothing pieces. I found it interesting to see all your hair styles….close to the same but with subtle differences AND you look great with all the styles. I’m wondering about the shoes you’re wearing with the all black outfit and coral purse. Where might I find them? Thanks and happy holidays.

  13. I love the outfits and it’s been very helpful in giving me some guidelines, since, I too, seem to be a bit of an inverted triangle but with a pouch.

    Where can I find something similar to the silver chain you are wearing in the third photo? It’s worn with the black outfit.

    Thank you.

  14. Susan, you look fabulous in everything. These outfits are fantastic. My absolute faves are numbers 6 and 11. Wowza!! You are such a babe!

  15. Thank you for being so open and honest about what works and what doesn’t. I find myself standing in closet and thinking what would Susan wear.
    You always look so great and put together.
    I do appreciate what you are doing.
    Please keep the advice coming.

  16. I love my IC jackets but looking at your photos I might need to try wearing them open. I am short with a large bust and this may be more slimming. Thanks for all your insights. Your advice is priceless.

  17. Susan, I love your classic style. I’m having difficulty finding a white sweater similar to the one you are modeling. Your guidance would be appreciated.

  18. Dear Susan, Thank you so very much for sharing all of your amazing tips. You truly are an inspiration and I look forward to reading your posts. Here’s wishing you the happiest of holidays and all good things in the year ahead! Peggy in Fountain Hills, AZ

  19. I just love your style and sometimes buy your suggestions. I am wondering why you like the blue billowing jacket in photo ten. Why do you find that it works for you? Also the high heels in photo six surprise me since they do not portray a sophisticated style to me. Am I wrong or are these heels something to rethink? I’m sorry,, I know this section is generally only used for total praise.

    1. The blue jacket is a stunning fabric and color. It is appropriate for my age, my shape and the event I attended. I still occasionally wear a pair of heels in the evening. I believe that designer suede heels are appropriate in the evening with a perfect pedicure if that’s what you wish to wear. I share what I wear and why, but I never tell anyone that’s what they need to wear.

      1. The blue jacket is fabulous and I love those shoes. I think that a glamorous shoe (when the occasion merits it) is a great way to lift an outfit. I’m in my early 50s and live in the UK and I think your styling is great – age appropriate without being frumpy.

  20. Wanted you to know how much I have enjoyed your emails. Your style is so similar to my style that I have copied so much from you. As hard
    as I try, I am not able to see myself in scarves YET. I wear long necklaces to make the eye look down in much the same way that you use scarves. Scarves give you the color in your face that I need so repeating myself, I will continue to try.
    Last night I went to an event and did not “dress up” as I should have. I use my basics when I dress and adding a different jacket would have changed my outfit. Lesson learned… level up at this time of the year. I was fine but could have used some sparkle! I need to order the crepe pants and expand my basics. Definitely will do that.
    Thank you again and keep up the great work that you are doing. Merry Christmas. Diane

    1. Diane, I have purchased and donated scarves for decades as I just couldn’t “get it right”. I despise fussing with my clothes and scarves would just never stay put. Fast forward and currently, I’m purchasing scarves from Susan’s store every month.

      What made the difference was:
      1) Watching Susan’s videos on how to choose them, fold them, and secure them.
      2) Purchasing the silk twill styles. They feel great around my neck, especially in cold weather when a necklace would be cold. They are so soft and elegant but easy care.

      Keep trying and if you haven’t already, splurge on one good 51″ silk twill style. The satin I found to be slippery and that bothered me but the silk twill is going to eventually take over my closet.

  21. After seeing how pretty you looked in the powder-royal blue tops, I ran across one and bought it. The only problem is, it is short sleeve, and a tad longer on the sides than in the front and back. It is a very soft material, not fitted, kind of tunic style. I don’t know what to wear over it, as I definitely need something now for the cold, and also in air conditioning. I have fitted black slacks to wear with it. Do I need something longer or shorter ? I am pear shape. Thanks. I thoroughly enjoy your blog, and have used some of your suggestions, even though my shape is different.

  22. Susan. You are always spot on. All of the things you shared today are helping me decide what to keep and what to buy.

  23. Hi Susan, I have only just discovered your website and live in Victoria, Australia. You dress just the way I wish to dress, and really inspire me. I am 72 years young, am on permanent holidays from my work as a nurse, and love your style. Thank you for your inspiration!!!!

    Kind regards
    Ottie Oswald

  24. Thank you. Helpful.
    1. I’m confused about twin sets or tops that match the jacket in color. Should they be the same length? How does one avoid drawing attention to the hemline at a specific point on hips or thighs? I have several good sets that I’ve been hesitant to wear but I want to use them due to their high quality knits.
    2. I love the feel of leggings. Can you give some advice re fit and high waist?
    Thank you and God bless!

    1. When I wear a matching set, I like for the inside layer to fit snug and be shorter or longer than the outer layer. The same length defeats the purpose of wearing two pieces and often cuts you in half. Wearing a belt over the first layer defines the waist and shortens it a little. I love the way leggings feel too. I only wear them now with long tunics that come just above the knees. They look best with chunky or long boots.

  25. You look beautiful! I would like to know how you tied your scarf in the last picture awith the white cardigan and the picture with the brown tee.

    Thank you.

    1. In the photo with the white cardigan, fold a large square scarf into a triangle and place the point in the back of you. Fold the ends over in front. In the last picture, I folded a large square scarf on the bias and folded it over once in front.

  26. I so appreciate your sharing of your formulas and outfits. I really like your classic and comfortable style. I am same age as you, but have a much more casual and outdoor lifestyle and I struggle with looking my best and still being appropriately dressed . I am a triangle, not an inverted triangle shape like you, and I have a difficult time “translating” your looks to what my shape needs. Any advice or suggestions as to how to determine my best silhouette/dressing strategies?

  27. I always love your looks and also think before I dress, what would Susan wear? I also have a fear of being “overdressed”‘, which sometimes holds me back from making style decisions which I know would look fabulous but have a horror of standing out. I live in a country with a very casual lifestyle but I love looking smart and chic. Funnily enough when I see anyone else looking fabulous I just think they look fabulous. Is it a self confidence thing? An age thing? It was never something which bothered me when I was young.

  28. I love the French Candy jewelry but the pieces are a bit steep for me. Chico’s right now has a jewelry set called Mixed Metals and there is a necklace a lot like one you are wearing in the blue moto jacket photo. Reg price is 59.+ I got it for 29.00 0n sale.

    I quite often look for less expensive item of good value.

  29. I love the scarf you have on with a white sweater and a gray top . You have sunglasses on and wearing jeans.
    Thank You

  30. Yes!! Your outfits are on trend but get out there and document your images in settings that compliment your outfit. Results, a much youthful even hip senior attitude about yourself. I LOVE IT!

  31. Hallo dear Susan,

    I found your blog in Pinterest and I am so excited. Many evenings I spent with your blog “Susan 50 not frumpy” and now this new. Today I try to start my first comment.

    Your style is very very beautyful, preppy and well-groomed, nice to look at again and again. In this contribution my favorites are the looks number 1, 2, 4 and the penultimate one. The most looks benefit from your wonderful scarves at first. But you always look beautiful with your outfits. Since last week I am 60 years old, too (my hair is still ashy, and I am only 152 cm tall) and I prefer similar looks like you.

    Especially your high heeled shoes within your well-groomed and nice looking feet I have noticed on your blog “Susan 50 not frumpy”. What was the reason, why you suddenly wear radically flat shoes? I already wondered that you could wear such (wonderful) heels all times in your looks. My habit is to wear one day heels, other day flat. I like both. But to go with flat shoes is easier and more comfortable 🙂 Did you sold all your heels or gave away?

    Finally my great compliment for your interesting and likable blog to you. Fashion, nutritition and health are my favorite themes here.

    Now have a nice sunny week and I am looking forward to a message from you.

    Best regards from switzerland


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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.