The End Of Winter

The plans were to share a new video and summarize the items I have added to my warm-weather wardrobe today. Thanks to recent dark cloudy, cold days, I am putting that off until Friday so that we can take advantage of much better natural lighting.

It seems that most of our winter weather came at the end of winter. Even in February, we enjoyed a few pleasant sunny days. As was the case on the day we attended a memorial service for a dear friend. He wanted us to have a party and remember all the fun we had together, so we did. I wore something he would have heartily approved of. This long jacket with three-quarter sleeves trimmed in black lace at the cuff, and the hemline is from Dillard’s. It is by Preston & York. I wore it with slim-fitting straight-leg ankle pants from Chico’s and black suede heels from Saks Off 5th.

One beautiful Saturday morning, we drove up to Bristol to explore. A visit to Bristol is incomplete without a stop at the Blackbird Bakery. Be prepared to wait in line for about half an hour!

I threw on a pair of Jag jeans and a tank top with a long cardigan purchased at Chico’s during their end of season sale. I never tie a belt in front of my waist. Instead, I let it hang freely or tie it in the back. The bag is from a couple of years ago by Ralph Lauren. The suede sandals are from last year by Dolce Vita.

On a recent Wednesday date night, I wore a jean jacket from Chico’s with a pair of their So Slimming sateen Girlfriend ankle jeans in alabaster. I carried an animal print clutch from Express and wore suede-trimmed Gianni Bini shoes from Dillard’s last year.

Our culture has been youth-obsessed since the 1960s. Being an adult has so many more benefits. I embrace this time in my life with great anticipation and joy. A group of friends and I were discussing the merits of being mature women when one lady said, “Oh, I would love to be twenty again.” Another said, “Please don’t make me go through that again!”

For those of you who are not on Facebook, I posted the composite photo above this week. I thought it was an interesting study in form and texture to see how my face had changed over the forty years that passed between the first and the second. One of the many comments left on the image: “As they say, compare and despair. Wise words indeed.” My response was: “No despair here.”

It’s always interesting to me as an artist to study how people naturally mature. It is somewhat like a grand building surrounded by a beautiful, well-tended garden or fine furniture piece that has been polished and cared for. Some things and people get better with age as they take on a lovely patina and become a special part of our lives’ fabric. The woman on the right is infinitely happier than the youthful one. Aging is not a negative thing for me, rather a natural progression of life. I am enjoying this stage of life immensely.

  1. What I see in the comparison is a beautiful 20 year old and a beautiful 60 year old. It’s much easier to be beautiful at 20 but so much more impressive to be beautiful at 60. The world has an abundance of beautiful 20 year olds, what is needed is an equal number of beautiful 60 year olds. Thank you for helping the rest of us who are no longer 20 feel beautiful too.

  2. I love the shoes in the second picture and last year saw a pair of flat sandals very much like your heels. Unfortunately they didn’t come in widths Why do so many manufacturers think women’s feet are all the same width?

    I wouldn’t want to be 20 again unless I could start at 20 with my life as it is now. And I much prefer aging to the alternative at this point.

  3. You were a pretty 20 yr old, and are now a lovely and beautiful 60 yr old. Thanks for inspiring and helping us to look our best, too. Your tips and suggestions are appreciated.

  4. I read something about aging that resonated with me: growing older is a privilege for which we should be thankful, think of all the people we know who haven’t had that privilege.

  5. I have a hard time deciding if the scarf is flattering for cool or warm skin tone. I really would like to order one of your scarfs but this keeps me back.

    1. That scarf could work for either skin tone. However, it is best on warm. Keep in mind that the way you fold the scarf can show or hide colors you are not fond of while showing more of the colors you like. In my case, I fold it show more of the blue and less of the gold/brown tones.

  6. Lovely, as always. I love that military style belted piece which you describe as a cardi. I’ve never been on the Chico’s site but I’m off now to see if it’s still available, fingers crossed!

  7. i am much happier now than I was in my twenties. I turn 62 this week and will going to London for three nights. My husband and I have moved to England for his job. It is exciting to have such an adventure at this stage of life. I liked all the outfits in this post.

  8. Interesting to see the side by side photo. Both women are beautiful but how delightful to “know” the current Susan!

  9. Just love your blog, Susan. Was so excited to hear you were planning an event in Charlotte. Do you have a date yet?

  10. Susan:

    I write about the same thing on my blog (in french though). My main topic is accepting that we are no more in our prime years but that we have gained so much experience in being alive for the last 40 years that we must be grateful to still be able to enjoy life and its little pleasures.

    God bless you my dear. You are an inspiration to us.

    1. I agree with Sherry; you really are blessed with timeless beauty. And you help your readers make the most of their assets, so thank you.

  11. I am privileged to watch my child become a young man, not 20 years old yet. This is an exciting part of my journey. I don’t look back at old photos of myself, but I do look forward with a fresh set of eyes, hope and promise, as a new journey begins for my son. I am thankful for this experience.

  12. Susan:

    First, I love the StyleStacks! It is a great way to see what you put together and see how I can use it for my taste.

    Second, love these pictures and the various outfits you are wearing…

    Finally, I love my age now. I am more confident as I age…I am embracing these years and cannot wait to find out what happens next.

    Thank you so much for your site and the options and pointers you give all of us. For me especially I thank you for your shop!!!


    Kris Ronchetti

  13. Love your blog! Look forward to each one and have gained so much from them.
    Thank you for all you do to help us accept ourselves and to live in peace with ourselves.
    God Bless!
    Chris Waters

  14. I agree with you. I would never want to go back in time. I look forward to ageing with as much Grace as possible. It is interesting to see the changes. Inside I’m still in my 30’s . I value my journey and all I’ve learned.

  15. Amen Susan! I love living my life now, compared to when I was twenty! Just had my 70th birthday and feel great! People tell me how “young” I look. I think it’s been hard for women to admit their ages for fear of being thought of as obsolete. People say I look young, I believe because very few people tell their true age. In general, people do not know what 70 years old looks like. I love the freedom, as you said. It is fabulous!

  16. I’m with you, Susan! I look at the current picture of you and see a beautiful, confident and wise woman looking at life with love in her heart and a smile on her face. Perhaps a better saying would be “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many” Author unknown.

    To paraphrase Ann Landers, at 20 we worried about what others thought of us. By the time we’re 60 we realize they were never thinking of us anyway.

    Thank you for reminding us how to be our best selves at any age.

    Phyllis Kennedy

  17. I enjoyed the tour of your closet and I wonder if you use more than one closet. I noticed several of your handbags were missing, so I thought maybe like me you used your guest room closet. If so, do you trade out your summer and winter clothes? I have to do this and it takes me a week and more than 100 trips up and down the stairs. By the time I’m done, I need a vacation! Clothes, hats, shoes handbags–it’s a week long project. I wonder if you do anything similar. My husband is sure there’s not another woman in the world who does. I tell him I wouldn’t have to do iit if he gave me his half of the closet.

    1. I keep my high heels and all of my pants in the guest room upstairs. My green bag is the one I am carrying now, so it was in the entry hall when I shot this video. I have sold all the other ones. I don’t have summer/winter wardrobes that need to be switched out. I live in a moderate climate, and we don’t get much snow here. I can wear most of my clothes year round; I just layer them less at times.

  18. Dear Susan,
    I follow you religiously and love your posts. I am 63 and can’t wear the heels you always show off. Can you share more pictures of nice looking sandals and flats and what type of outfits coordinate with them?

  19. I’m with you on not going back. My 20s were a shambles. Your younger self had a nice smile but I felt you had less confidence. Your older photo shows a smile full of confidence and poise. Self assured Ness. Thanks for sharing Susan. I love your posts and learn a lot from you. It’s like having a older sister to learn from.

  20. I love all your looks, especially your shoes! Very stylish and trendy. Why can’t us “mature” fashion conscious ladies rock the trendy looks! Keep it up. I look forward to seeing your spring outfits.

  21. I enjoy seeing the 20 year old Susan. She is very attractive. The 60 year old Susan is equally attractive. I view your blog as a place to help me continue to be as vibrant and attractive as I can be, no matter my age. I don’t follow your style, but your inspiration!

  22. Hello Susan,
    Thanks for another inspiring post. I love to see how you put accessories together so the look is so … polished.
    Every post is a lesson for me and I appreciate you so much.
    Thanks again for leading me through this time in my life.

  23. The picture of the younger you is lovely but your smile doesn’t look as genuine and your eyes aren’t smiling. I, too, am happier in my older years– mostly because I parted ways with my “starter husband” and got it right the second time around. I, would hazard a guess your relationship with Mr. Mickey contributes to your happiness and genuine smile and glow.

  24. You were a lovely child and are still beautiful.

    Sometimes I have to see something else to solve my own problem. Thank you for the many tips you mention. When I saw your cardi tied in back, I thought, “Answer to what to do with my trench coat belt.” Not. It has 2 belt loops on each side of the front and two in the back. Can’t go through all those and back again with enough to tie; the two in back are too close together to be any good the way side seam loops are.

    I finally figured out to measure and pin the belt where it goes through the front loops and let the ends hang loose to the hem, pulling in the coat just enough to give it structure. My problem had been those flapping ends that kept getting pulled this way and that and caught in the car door. Now they’re shortened to equal lengths and secured, no need to tie in front. Thank you for helping me figure it out for myself.

  25. I love that green hand bag in the photo on your Shop’s site. I wish I could of bought it if it was up for sale. So enjoyed the two photos. You are a lovely lady inside and out.

  26. Love both photos but you have a definite glow in the beautiful 60 one!…..So inspiring to see that you are happy, healthy, confident, joyful and lovely inside and out. Keep up the great work. Love your blog, and it is such an influence on many of us regardless of age! I love the scarf you pictured but could not find it in your scarf section in your shop. Perhaps I just couldn’t tell the correct one. I was interested in purchasing it so wondered if you could tell me the exact one it is…Love it with jeans, etc! Thanks!

      1. Thanks for responding Susan! I will check out the others more closely. I have bought 2 scarves from you before and like them both.

  27. I love your attitude about aging. We are so much wiser for our life’s experiences as we mature. I also believe we have the capability of inner beauty which just adds. That is what I admire about you.

  28. Hello Susan, I am from Ontario Canada and love seeing your styles and reading about your adventures! I notice you do not wear patterned clothing, except in your scarves, and I was wondering why this is? Is it because solid colours are more slimming? I’m curious! Thanks, and keep posting!

    1. Prints are limiting because they are memorable. The eye is drawn to where ever you wear a print, so I do not wear prints on my body. I prefer to wear a silky print scarf near my face to draw the eyes up.

  29. Love the idea of the StyleStacks. Please post more. They are really a big help for coordinating an outfit. Thinking about being happier now in my 60+ years compared to in my 20’s and the answer is definitely yes. Not because I wasn’t a mostly happy person back then, but I find now I have more patience, acceptance, courage, and love in my heart. A lot of things I thought were so important back then don’t seem so important now. I think I have gained that through all of life’s experiences I have gone through. That for me is the happy part!

  30. Great post..both photos lovely. Enjoy stacks! Do you plan on carrying any of the scarf style sheer tops as 3rd pieces? Thanks much.

  31. Thank you! Agree I don’t want to relive my trial and error younger years. Age def gets better! Thanks for your style as we struggle to be timeless. I’m preparing for gastric surgery in the fall so planning a future leaner wardrobe is exciting!

  32. Hi Susan, I am so inspired by your posts. And with regard to your “young” and “older” pics, it’s the beauty from within that shows in both picutres. Aaah, as a young woman my skin was clearer and my eyes were brighter but as an older woman I, too, am so much happier and more self assured. I wouldn’t go back!

  33. You are amazing and truly lovely! I love your website and all the information that you share. You make me feel like I too can be stylish. Thank you, thank you.

  34. Dear Susan, I love the outfits above, they look great! I think the photo of you at 20 and 60 are both beautiful. I’m excited to see the handbags you have coming in soon. I did order the black and white top you had on a week or so ago. I’m anxiously waiting for it to arrive! In the next week I plan to go through my closet and take to resale the spring/summer clothes I no longer wear. Always put off this chore, because it is so tiring. Looking forward to your next post.
    Paula Cummins

  35. Hello Susan,
    I need a little advice from you please.
    I live in Mobile, Alabama I really enjoy the crazy weather. I would love to wear scarves, however, it is so hot and anything around my neck is just too much. I need a little advice on what to do.
    Thank you so much.

    1. I love to visit Mobile and Fairhope! When I am down that way, I wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light color garments in linen or cotton and more dramatic earrings and bracelets as my bold accessories. When it is too hot for the jewelry, I wear a wide brim straw hat and no other noticeable accessories.

  36. Susan,
    I so enjoy reading your comments as well as duplicating your fashion advise. I am 61 and have had the biggest transition in my physical body this year than l can ever remember having. So I love your positive spin on the well polished furniture that is aging gracefully… l too wouldn’t go back to my twenties unless l could take my matured mind with me.. l am certainly enjoying this time of my life but it has definitely had it’s challenges. Thank you for your encouraging words and your beautiful spirit as well.

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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.