Summer Special Occasions

Getting dressed for a special summer occasion can be a challenge for those who don’t show a lot of skin. I wasn’t comfortable in a slinky cocktail dress in my forties, so I certainly am not going to wear one now.

Add a lightweight jacket with sheer or mesh material in a similar color and a few bright silver accessories, and I am ready. I want to feel confident, comfortable, and appropriate for every occasion, so I stay true to myself. I wear a little more dramatic makeup in the evening, but I use a lighter hand in the summer.

I resist the temptation to add lots of rhinestone accessories. A general rule is, the more attention-grabbing the pieces are, the fewer I wear. One bold statement necklace may stand alone, but the pieces I am wearing here are all medium to small in scale. I never wear more than one ring per hand.

I still wear heels in the evening, but they are now my “limousine shoes.” That means I get out of the car and walk into the restaurant and sit down. If this were going to be an event where I would be walking in the grass, standing a lot or dancing, I would wear a low wedge, block heel, or flat dressy strappy sandals.

The jacket I am wearing here was purchased from last year. It is by Damee NYC. The silver clutch is old from T.J.Maxx. The shoes are a couple of years old by Nina.

Make it a special occasion, even if you are only going out for a dinner date with your sweetie. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  1. Hi Susan! I have truly enjoyed reading all your posts. You have fabulous style. I am much taller than you but I find all your suggestions work well for me. Thanks for being there for us over 60’s!
    Fashionably yours,

  2. This black and white jacket is dynamite!
    Your comment about “limousine” shoes is much funnier and appropriate then calling them “sitting down” shoes.
    My fingers are crossed that you will be able to offer tall sizes in your collection in the future.
    I appreciate your after 60 fashion wisdom.

  3. Susan, I love your blog.,, you always give excellent advice and make it easy to put together an outfit for any occasion..Thanks for all the hard work and great fashion ideas.

  4. You look awesome Susan! Your posts in this series have rung a chord with me. You’ve given me the excitement I needed to purge my closet and only keep the pieces I feel good wearing.

    1. Yes, me too because I have my eye on those ankle pants!!! I think if I got the regular size ankle pants they couldn’t be shortened correctly.

  5. Susan, I know that you build your wardrobe on solid essentials. Do you ever purchase multiples of certain items that you wear frequently?

    Thank you for guiding mature women to looking their best EVERY day.

    1. I do! If I find a tank top or a pair of pants that fit like a dream and will work with most of my other items, I will buy two so that they both last longer.

  6. Love your jewellery today, prefer the smaller to medium scale earrings and necklace especially. Simpler styling to go with the statement jacket.
    Please can you expand a bit more on your choices, as I am confused about the rounder earrings shape – as I remember you saying you do not wear round items as you need to contrast with your face shape.

    1. Those are very small hoops so that the holes are just covered. When I mention round, I mean round like a dime. Hoops read as ovals because you don’t see the roundness right beside your face straight on as in a round button earring.

  7. Hear hear about the slinky special occasion dresses. I get so frustrated when I need to wear something to a wedding or the like. Everything is sleeveless or off shoulder, etc. I just want to look fashionable without showing all my skin. LOL.

    Do you have dresses or skirts in your collection? You know, if it’s an occasion where I don’t want to wear pants?

  8. Love the description “limousine” shoes! It’s perfect. Classically beautiful outfit as usual. I hope you have a special dinner or event you’re going to. Have a wonderful weekend.

  9. love the jacket. glad you are going to go toward some navy. you have given me some great ideas. your textured idea so that clothes don’t “grab” your body is great, but I also have to look at how much bulk there is since I am 5’3″ and no longer 120 lbs. jos

  10. For years when getting dressed I’d ask myself “What would Audrey (Hepburn) do?” Now I find myself thinking “I bet Susan might wear this!” I just adore your honest and practical advice. So fun seeing you in things you look great in! (And also one or two you look just ok in. )
    Happy weekend!

  11. The timing of this article is so appropriate for my needs! I have a late summer wedding to attend that will be held at a winery in Napa Valley. The whole affair will be outdoors in very hot weather. Typically low 90s that time of year. The dress is cocktail elegant but I’m told dinner will be served on long tables under an arbor on gravel floors! So shoe choice will have to withstand walking on an uneven surface yet the clothing needs to be cool but dressy. I like the idea of black pants and tank with something lightweight or see through over it. Have you ever carried a paper fan with you to keep yourself cool? Wondering if that would look stupid.

      1. Love your blog and appreciate so much your willingness to share your expertise. I am petite and also hope that you will be adding that size.

  12. I have followed your blog since “Fifty Not Frumpy” – and never commented before. I love today’s outfit on you, it would be my choice but truth is, it looks wonderful because of your very pretty face, otherwise it is just a very nice outfit. I won’t stop trying and enjoying but cannot measure up to your looks.
    Thanks for the fun!

  13. I had to laugh at how you labeled your heels your “limousine shoes”. My girlfriend and I call our really high heels our “David Letterman” shoes. If all we had to do was walk from our dressing room to his guest chair, cross our legs, answer a few questions, look fabulous, and then strut right back out, then those would be what we would wear. I love heels, so I am always on the hunt for some “David Letterman” occasions (where I have minimal walking and lots of sitting where I can show off my shoes!). You look great. Don’t stop blogging!!!

  14. My question is about the pants. In your shop they look wider at the ankle, but on today’s post they look narrower and do they have a little slit? I’m trying really hard to find some pants that look right whether I’m wearing flats or heels. Is that possible? Any suggestions would be great. Thank you!

  15. Oh sorry, Susan! I just noticed you have two different styles of pants in your shop! Never mind!☺️

  16. A wedding used to be a certain type of dress. In the last 3 years we have been invited to weddings that sounded like a regular wedding, but were held in a tent on a horse farm, in a football stadium, and in a cider mill/winery. Once we knew that, they sounded informal. As it turned out, one was very casual, the other two were formal. It’s hard to always know, so it’s best to scout around a bit when that is possible. I liked your look. It would fit into casual if one misread the tone of the event, although those shoes would have been a hoot at the horse farm and trudging up football stadium ramps, 🙂 .

  17. This blog came just in time for my 40th High School Reunion and was perfect! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  18. Susan,

    Meant to post the other day when you had photos of you in kimonos from your shop. They looked fabulous and I was able to get a better idea of what they actually look like as compared to “in your store”. I bought one! Please consider doing more of that in the future….. you bring the piece to life!
    Have a great weekend!


  19. Thank you for all the helpful fashion advice. The necklace ( elegant and understated) is very attractive. Where is it from?

  20. Susan, Are you feeling well? I know you have said you are changing your makeup style – which I completely understand – but lately you have a VERY tired eye look. Hope you are well.

  21. I would love to wear your clothing, but at 5’2″ everything is too long. Have you considered carrying petites?

  22. Hi Susan, you look fabulous. I love the overall look and also love the silver sandals, being a shoe girl myself. I love seeing all the looks you post online. Best wishes, Jayne

  23. Susan,
    You are a beautiful & classy woman who dresses well. My only recommendation would be is to be careful about wearing white on top because you’re bigger on top. White tops emphasize that. Emphasizing your long legs seems to be more sensible.

    Keep up your creative & helpful posts! I deeply appreciate them!


  24. Super look on you; You look polished & pretty. The sheer jackets & kimonos are wonderful ideas for this time of year. In this area of the South they work for about 3 out of 4 seasons. Thank you!

  25. I’m also glad you will start carrying petites. Your blog is so helpful I used your photo posing tips while on vacation and the photo came out so much nicer. I looked 10’pounds slimmer.
    For a future post could you please talk about selecting a jacket, the correct lengths for petites and where to find stylish investment piece jackets. I live in Florida, I’m warm blooded so I only own a ratty ten year old fleece jacket that I wear three or four times a year. I’m going to visit my daughter in Boston so I need something stylish but not too heavy. She took me to Nordstrom off rack Last year, I found one that was hip length that I loved. They did not have a bigger size and could not get one.

  26. As always you look so pretty and pulled together. The concept of your outfit has been a real “go to” for me when I had work cocktail parties! Love the shoes and agree– limo only!! Hope you had fun. Thank you SO much for all the wonderful fashion ideas!!! Julie

  27. Susan,

    Please consider offering your basic crepe pants and tanks in colors more flattering to us “summers”. Perhaps in burgundy, taupe or soft blue-gray. I would snap these up in a minute!

  28. I love the whole look. That jacket is amazing. Loved your comment about the “limousine shoes”. And, yes dress to make every event special.

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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.