Texture and Drama

Leather is trending this year, but it may be tricky to style, so I’m sharing some of my favorite tips. I purchased the faux leather Steve Madden jacket from Nordstrom last year and showed it for the first time here.

Black is a classic color option for leather, but other colors are available this year. Since it is still well-represented in my wardrobe, I wear black, but I’ve learned to vary the textures when I wear a monochrome combination. The variation makes the look much more interesting. For example, smooth leather with Ponte knit pants, chevron tights, and suede pumps with a tweed bag invites the eye to travel from top to toe.

Current leather blazers are here, here, and here. Similar slacks are here (mine are many years old.) The tank is here. A similar bag is on sale here. Similar pumps are here. Similar chevron pattern tights are here. A similar dome ring is here.

A note about pant lengths: I recently had these pants hemmed to a thirty-one-inch inseam since I no longer wear four-inch stilettos. My ankle pants are best at a twenty-nine-inch inseam, straight-leg jeans are best at thirty-inch inseams, and tailored slacks and boot-cut jeans are best at a thirty-one-inch inseam. The inseam measures from the crotch to the hemline of the pants. Learning which length is best for you helps tremendously with shopping and styling.

I’ve been using Beautycounter skincare since 2017. My routine is here. The necklace is here with an extender here. I always pair a bold necklace with tiny earrings. Similar earrings are here.

We chuckled when my handsome dinner date met me in the living room, also wearing black and gray since we didn’t plan the color coordination.

When I show you pictures of what I wore, it is often classic simple basics that I may have owned for years. Of course, I may buy new items occasionally, but I always look for pieces I can wear many times, in several ways, and for years to come. A summary of recent outfits is here. In addition, shopping links on this website may allow me to earn a small commission at no cost to you.

  1. Your look and comments are always very interesting to me. I love the classic looks and your information on where to find the pieces and how to put everything together. Thank you for your continued posts. I love them. So interesting.
    Barb Gilbert

  2. You knocked it out of the ballpark with this outfit. Beautiful look. I am going to duplicate it in navy, since I have the pieces.

  3. Great info on the pant lengths! Do you still wear the Clara Sunwoo liquid leather jackets?
    Have a great weekend. Thank you for continuing the blog.

  4. Lovely as always but you didn’t tell us where you and Mr. Handsome we’re headed. What an attractive twosome you make. Wherever you went I bet heads turned.

  5. Thank you thank you for your posts Susan! Your comments have been so much help as I navigate building a post career wardrobe. Your look for this occasion was simply lovely as always!

  6. Susan, I just want you to know that your pictures were being used on a pop up ad on The Daily Mail when I read it this morning. Hate to be the bearer of this news, as I am not sure what can be done about it. I cannot tell you the name of the company using your pictures as I do not click on these ads.


  7. This may be a dumb question, but when you say an item is “from last year”, do you mean that (1) you have had it for a year and are just now showing it or (2) that the item was first introduced last year and you bought it recently at a discount site?

  8. You have the most wonderful style and excellent tips. You always look so classy. I am most impressed that you look up to date without wearing silly trends. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

  9. I’m so happy you now include more photos of Mr. Mickey. He always is as polished & ‘put together’ as you, Susan. I always learn something from your posts. Thank you.

    1. The leg width and personal taste determine the pants’ length. I don’t care for pooling on the tops of my shoes or, heaven forbid, dragging on the ground, such as the current trend with the younger set.

  10. I love this posting! Thank you!
    Questions or thoughts – gold or silver jewelry with the black.
    Velvet top with the leather?
    Turtleneck, v neck, scoop neck? I see the scoop neck in the pic.
    I like the suede pumps.

    1. My cool skin tone looks better in silver jewelry, so you rarely see me in gold. Velvet with leather would be lovely. I have a short neck and a roundish face, so I only wear a turtleneck when it is super cold here. Scoop necks are my number one favorite, followed by the more casual-looking V-neckline.

  11. Hi Susan, I really enjoy your posts! They are very informative. Do you have a post about doing eye makeup?

  12. Loved that you took the time to comment on inseams. Having figured out that I’m best with a 31 inch inseam, your more precise observations about which inseam fits best on you according to the style of pants you are wearing is making me want to investigate further for myself. Ex: I recently discovered that with wide leg pants, that 31 inch inseam doesn’t work.

    1. I am 5’6″ tall, but my legs may be shorter than yours. Measure a pair of pants that you consider the perfect length. Place a tape measure at the crotch seam down to the bottom of the leg hemline.

  13. Another useful post. Thank you again for something I can also wear. In fact I have a function I have to go to this week and now I’m searching my closet.
    I know I’ve asked about skincare and am going to try the regime you use after I use up what I have. But what about foundation or tinted moisturizer and blush? Curious if I don’t wear something I feel washed out. I also have silver hair.

    1. Thank you, Paula. I haven’t worn any foundation since I started using Beautycounter. I also rarely use blush. Instead, I use bronzer since it looks more sunkissed and natural. First, I dust the bronzer over my eyelids, the tops of my cheeks, the sides of my forehead, and my chin. Then, blend it down onto the neck a bit to give it more of a natural look. I use the medium bronzer here since it mimics the color of my tanned skin.

  14. Hi Susan! I love the textures of this outfit. The tweed bag is super cute! I am always inspired by your posts. Thank you for sharing all your tips with us!

  15. Thank you Susan for taking your time to give us workable ideas and tips with clothing and food. I am slowly trying to move to a more plant based diet and hope to reach a level similar to your eating habits by the end of the year. Since you are now a renter and to not have to maintain a full house and property do you have an exercise program you follow with your extra free time. In the evenings do you watch a lot of television or movies or read. I remember reading you like an early bedtiime and rise early.

    1. I don’t have much free time yet since I care for my parents, help them with their house and landscape chores, and keep Mr. Mickey’s house and grounds in top-notch order. So I never watch television or movies, but I do read sometimes. I still walk about three miles daily and do Pilates and Yoga in the early morning hours.

  16. I never fail to learn some new snippet from almost every post you bring into my home. Thank you so much for continuing to inspire me to dress my best “me”. Instinctively I knew that the earrings I put on for church weren’t quite right, so I changed them out. And wouldn’t you know, it was because I had a bold necklace on and decided to put my stud diamonds on instead. Thank you for putting into words what I struggled with as I auditioned different earrings. Now I will know right away how to correctly pick the right earrings!
    Debbie in Crossville

  17. You and Mr. Mickey are such a lovely couple. Your ensemble is classy, very sharp! I have been doing so much better shopping my closet this past few months! Thanks for your support and inspiration!❤

  18. Thank you Susan!!! As many have said you do always look classy…as does Mr. Mickey! I look forward to each of your posts. Your choices are elegant yet you most often speak of how to utilize what we have and of how you do just that. this is a great help…..especially in the current economic times. While I am not nearly as slim as you…I some years ago began to take interest in fashion and how I look and it has been a fun journey!!!! Hope you are always there for all of us!!! Again, thank you!!!

  19. Yes, it does make a monochromatic combination more interesting when you vary the textures. I like to take my basic outfits of one color and add scarves of different colors/textures.

    1. I often wear scarves during the daytime but find a bold necklace is a better option for the evening. My next post will share styling tips and a new scarf, so come back tomorrow.

  20. Your posts are so helpful in planning a classic wardrobe. Any ideas for outdoor sports events such as evening football games in cool temperatures. What type of outer wear would you recommend?

  21. Susan, you certainly know how to redirect one from frumpy to edgy! This black outfit is perfect on you. I was going to the Stratford Festival here in Ontario, Canada and couldn’t decide on what to wear. It was a cold, blustery day. So I thought, like many of your readers, what would Susan wear? My outfit mirrored the one you show here, except for topping it with a slim fitting maroon jacket and black fedora winter hat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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.