The Joy Of Dressing For Yourself

Getting dressed for something as simple as grocery shopping gives me pleasure. The art of arranging clothing and accessories in a way that pleases us is communicating without words.

The jeans are here.

The look is fun, modern, and appropriate for my age. I found inspiration for wearing these pieces in this combo on Pinterest. I often save images from Instagram or Pinterest when I like how things are worn, and I know I have something similar. Sometimes you can breathe new life into a garment you’ve had for years simply by wearing it differently. Inspiration is free!

I found the inspiration photo on Pinterest. Unfortunately, no credit was given, but it appears to be a photo taken at Paris Fashion Week.

When I was a child, everything was decided for me. My mother purchased or made my clothes without my input and told me what to wear until I was a teen. I remember watching old movies and the women around me that I admired. My primary life goals included wearing red lipstick and high heels!

The shoes are the Kamerna Pointed Toe Pump by Vince Camuto. I bought them at Nordstrom, but they are now sold out.

Dressing for yourself means wearing what pleases you and makes you feel like the best version of yourself. I don’t care one whit if I am the most dressed up woman in the restaurant. I consider it a badge of honor to wear what makes me happy and get dressed to please myself daily.

The top is old from Chico’s. A similar top is here.

I tell you where I bought things or share a link to something similar, but I blog not to try to get you to purchase more items. Instead, I hope you find joy and inspiration to get dressed to please yourself today.

The bag is here.

Shopping links on this site may allow me to earn a small commission at no cost to you.

  1. I really agree with this post. I am often asked “why are you so dressed up?” I love nice clothes and putting outfits together to look my best. You always have good advice about selecting what looks good on your body shape. Have a great day!

  2. My question/comment concerns white jeans. It doesn’t seem to matter what size or shape woman is wearing white jeans, they all ripple and pucker at the seams. One might think that the white jeans are too tight, but that is not necessarily the case. I have seen this in all prices of white jeans and fabric content. Is it the dye/or lack of dye in the fabric? Your thoughts please. Thanks.

  3. I don’t care if I am the most “dressed-up” female in a place either. I feel I am appropriately dressed, I am comfortable, and I enjoy making the effort to have a co-ordinated, accessorized, pressed and polished outfit. I had an usher at an opera performance thank me for dressing up when many patrons showed up in blue jeans and t-shirts. I don’t mind the sartorial choices of others, I am sure they feel appropriate and comfortable too. However, when one dresses like that all the time, there is no “honouring of occasion “, no significance or effort or extra joy that I feel when I do dress up. Not to mention the respect others feel when one dresses up for “their” special occasions. Clothing speaks volumes.

  4. I agree-we should dress to please ourselves. And maybe a little bit to inspire others? I see so many sloppily dressed people of both sexes out and about. I remember being complimented at one time by a flight attendant on a plane going back home from Paris. I had on a simple cotton knit black dress with a scarf as a belt, and a knit jacket. Very easy to wear and comfortable to fly in for a long time. Now people dress in their pajamas and take off their shoes-it is horror!!
    Nothing at all wrong with showing people how it could be done, and how much more special you feel when you do dress for the occasion.

  5. I realised with your previous post’s comment that my jeans look “floppy” because they have a higher Lycra content. They’re never going to look smart, well pressed, sadly but this is because I have fibromyalgia. Traditional jeans hurt me so I’m glad to see today is dress for yourself. Mine will just have to be the floppy jeans look.

  6. Susan, can I say I love your houseplants and I’m on the search for blue and white planters, they look perfect with the green of the plants.

  7. This blog post echoes my philosophy exactly. Even if I am not going anywhere, I enjoy choosing and accessorizing my outfit for the day.

    Your posts are always inspiring. Thanks for all you do.

  8. I always enjoy your posts. Unfortunately I cannot wear pointed toe shoes. Which makes me so sad.
    I have bad bunions that force me to wear box toed shoes. Highly unfashionable.
    Do you have any tips of how to hide these fashion travesties?

    1. Ironically, I have to wear heels and pointed toes because I have a bunion that “screams” at me every time I wear flats, especially loafers. I vote for wearing shoes that are comfortable for your feet, and if you prefer not to draw attention to them, match the shoes to the color of your pants or legs, as the case may be.

  9. Susan, your youthful ambition to wear red lipstick reminded me of a time when I was eight, gazing at a pair of magenta cotton socks that I wore with my brown oxfords, and resolving to wear lipstick in that exact color when I grew up. My mother never wore lipstick, nor did any other women I knew, but I was already an avid consumer of women’s magazines and tuned in to fashion and makeup. Fortunately, by the time I was old enough to wear lipstick I recognized that magenta would clash with my coloring. So much for that childish fantasy!

  10. Love this look! Funny…once when I was asked why I was so dressed up, I smiled and looked at the lady and said, “Thank you, but I guess I could ask why you are so dressed down”! The blank look on her face was priceless!

  11. “I don’t care one whit if I am the most dressed up women in the restaurant.”

    I stand and applaud you!

  12. Thank you Susan, for your many wonderful suggestions and inspirational articles. My mother and I have continued to follow you through the years and found your insight to be very helpful. We also greatly appreciate your emphasis on, and information about healthy living. The Joy of Dressing for Yourself, was a timely reminder as the world of trends becomes insanely revolutionary.
    Our best to you…. and to Mr.Mickey.
    Gail Oliver
    Edna Canter

  13. Thank you for supporting women like me. I am retired but still want to look pulled together and relevant. I love your style!

  14. I like to dress up and make my outings as special as I can. It makes everyday a bit unique. I also always have a touch of make up on just to please myself. It’s great to look forward to special occasions looking smart. You always look elegant and prepared for any activity that comes along. And the bag! I love that little elegant bag! The question is do I need it? Maybe!

  15. Fabulous post! I love getting dressed to please myself and feel good about myself. I’ve always been this way ever since I was able to buy my own clothes. Many years ago my husband got ill. Even in my darkest moments when he was going through chemo or surgery or tests and awful procedures, getting dressed kept me going. It was one thing I could control in my life where there were many I couldn’t. It gave me some small feeling of normalcy. He passed nearly 8 years ago and I have continued to dress for myself all along. It still gives me that feeling of some sort of control; I look forward to getting dressed each day!

  16. Your message of dressing for one’s self really resonated with me. In the past, I relied too much on what others thought I should wear. However, now at 68, I know how I want to look, what colors and styles I want to wear. I’m truly enjoying dressing for myself each day.

  17. I love “Inspiration is free.” I feel the same way about “dressing up” makes me feel happy about myself even when it’s only to go to the grocery store. The Joy of Dressing For Yourself is the perfect title for this message.

  18. Once again you have brought us your sensible approach to getting dressed. I have always loved clothes, color and makeup and I hope I never stop learning how to present myself in the best way possible. We all need to feel confident and dressing up a little makes me feel that way. Like others have mentioned, I’m appalled by how lazy and/or sloppy some people are “dressed” when they are in public.
    I also want to comment that you look spectacular in black. Many of us cannot wear it as we get older, but you look so striking in it. Please continue inspiring us to be the best version of ourselves.

  19. Thank you for this marvelous post. I had the same experience as a child and we had to line up and have inspection before we could walk out the door. I am 68. I love to dress well, and agree i do it for myself. Feel great about my age in life!! Thanks. And FYI. I am a huge fan of Beauty in Stone jewelry. Thanks for sharing Suzanne with your audience. I have been on African safari for 36 days straight and get compliments about looking so put together and polished.

  20. ‘ I don’t care one whit if I am the most dressed up woman in the restaurant. I consider it a badge of honor to wear what makes me happy and get dressed to please myself daily.’ Yes, yes, yes. And the little bag is perfect elegance.

  21. I hope you never quit blogging. Your smile, desire to live life to the fullest and fashion knowledge is such an inspiration

  22. Susan, love your attitude and approach! My husband and I recently went out to dinner with friends to an upscale restaurant and we were the only ones “dressed for dinner”. Lots of shorts and work out clothes. Please keep inspiring us with your knowledge and passion!

  23. Hi- I love your blog and ideas. The thing I’m having a hard time getting my head around is wearing heels with jeans, especially lighter colored jeans. They look nice but practical for the grocery store?

    1. My grocery store visits are brief, but yes, heels are more comfortable for me than flats. A bunion on my left foot makes walking in flat shoes very painful unless the shoes are soft sneakers, and even those need some elevation.

  24. Perfectly polished! I so enjoy your wisdom and encouragement. It’s wonderful to feel good about how you present yourself. I agree, make everyday special! Love that top too!

  25. Thank you for saying this! I totally agree and get referred to as “fancy” often. When in fact I am simply in nice jeans, a nice top and a good quality shoe. It in my opinion is not fancy, but just putting some thought into how I present myself no matter where my destination.

    You are an inspiration and I love to read your post and appreciate your blog and style. I appreciate that your blog does not attempt to sell us new items, but rather how to incorporate items we already have and be the best version of ourselves each day!

    Thank you

  26. Such a beautiful and classy outfit. You always look so vibrant, youthful and contemporary yet age appropriate. Thanks for the inspiration!

  27. Susan, I love reading your blogs. I’ve tried copying your style but I love being a chameleon too much to limit myself to a particular style type. I’m very curious though: how much do you rely on buyers’ comments/reviews when buying clothes or shoes online?

  28. Susan, I remember you said you purchased the bag in French Grey. Is the color accurate on the website? It looks more like a light tan or taupe to me. Is it a true grey?

  29. It’s nice to hear from so many like-minded women. I decided a while back that it was silly to save things for “special” occasions, so l wear my favorites on a daily basis. I’m usually the most dressed up but c’est la vie. Life’s short. Live for today.
    Thank you, Susan for the reminder and reinforcement to do as we like.

  30. I am with you Susan! Often times I’ve heard “you don’t have to get all dolled up”. Haha, I don’t care what they say, it makes me happy to be the best version I can be of myself in public. It’s fun to see what I can put together for the day.

  31. Hi Susan,
    I love your message about pleasing yourself….thank you!
    Just a suggestion, it’s hard to see the style of your black top due to the dark background.
    I’m a long time follower and look forward to each and every post. Many thanks.

  32. I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment about looking nice. My mother instilled it in me. She would fish and hunt with my dad and trust me, she was stylish doing so. Then they’d dress up and go out to a play. We just got back from a cruise and my husband and I both dressed up a bit. He was approached at breakfast to ask if he was a certain movie star. (fun!) And as we walked down a hallway a man saw us (formal night/long black dress/updo and black tux) he reacted before he could think and it was “wow!”. That felt amazing. Although others are careless and casual, I try not to copy that I do fail and look frumpy at times but I still “get back up on the horse”. Thx for inspiring me!

  33. Hi Susan,
    I love the new looks you are wearing! I’m retired and in my late 60’s. I owned a large real estate and appraisal company and always dressed in business attire. It has been difficult to dress down for my retired lifestyle. You have helped me navigate my wardrobe to use many pieces in new casual ways!
    Thank you!

  34. When you get a free moment, could you please email me the name of the bra shaper you wear. Also where do you order it from/purchase it? I know you’ve mentioned it before, but I can’t remember the name of it.

    Thank you.

  35. Love your posts and your attitude! As I have gotten older, I find that what I wear now is something that makes me feel good about myself, that is at the same time comfortable and fits.

  36. You are my hero, I love jeans and you often show how to dress them up. thank you….I like to dress myself so that I feel good, people often say why are you so dressed up at home…I am wearing jeans, nice top, not silk but maybe a wool sweater and comfortable shoes…I have light makeup on, simple eye shadow and mascara, lipstick… me this is general grooming… workout clothes and a sweatshirt and sneakers unless I am going to work out,

    I have learned so much from you and continue to……thank you

  37. I agree with you that we should dress for ourselves. We need to wear what makes us feel good no matter where we are going. This is some good advice because we will feel better about ourselves if we do this.

  38. You always look so nice!! I agree about not caring if you are the most dressed woman in the restaurant. I sometimes just want to look extra good!

  39. Great look Susan! I’m with you; I get pleasure out of dressing everyday, even if I don’t usually go anywhere. Clothes have always been fun to me. Same thing about being the most dressed up at a restaurant! Why not dress in something amazing when everyone around you is dressed like (maybe) they don’t care.
    Wish I could wear heels like you show. They are gorgeous and fun!

  40. I love your narrative about dressing up if it makes you feel good. I do the same even though most people don’t give much thought or effort it seems these days and that’s ok for them. I went to the dentist last week for a cleaning and was asked by the hygienist why I was dressed up, was I going somewhere? I was wearing a casual blazer, button down shirt, pants and loafers, similar to what you often wear. Of course all the staff was wearing scrubs. Because it makes me feel good is the perfect answer I wish I had thought to say.

  41. I love your style. Yours was the first blog that inspired me when I wanted to change my style and I still appreciate it today. I love that we can communicate across the continents. Keep it coming.

  42. I recently took a Viking ocean cruise from England to Norway. I was absolutely appalled at the clothes that the travelers wore, both on and off of the ship. Most looked like they were going to the beach in flip flops, sloppy tank tops or tee shirts, and shorts. The only time most people looked respectable was when they ate at the main restaurant. My husband frequently wore a sport coat because of all of the handy pockets, and one lady actually asked him why he was wearing it!

    I also dress to please myself and I am often asked why I am so “dressed up.”

  43. I loved this post of you against the version you sort of copied. Personally, I think YOUR version is so much better, wink!
    I enjoy the variety you offer us to see how you integrate old with the new and vice versa…. I have passed these posts to family and friends and now they are also watching for the new options you present to us. Thank you.

    Clara from Iowa

  44. Dear, dear Susan
    You are a gem! Thank you for bringing such a positive message to us again. I look at you and feel very proud of you for how happy you are to dress in a way that you choose.
    That you are beautiful and elegant is also inspirational.
    My heartfelt thanks

  45. You look great as always! Question…I thought I remember you saying in prior posts that you no longer wear heels. Just curious, these are gorgeous!

  46. You look great. I have always love a black top with light wash jeans. I still remember the first time a friend said ,” you look great!” I had on a black turtleneck tucked into light wash jeans…a winning combination in my book!


  47. This outfit looks fabulous! Now I’m retired, I miss getting dressed up for work so make the most of any outings, yes including grocery shopping or trips to the market, to wear my good clothes and accessories in a toned down way. As you constantly show, a blazer that could be considered “officey” can look fabulous dressed down with jeans and a plain tee.
    I love your heels! I have the opposite problem as my bunions are painful when I wear them, but I do miss them. I remember you saying that you had got rid of many of yours and replaced them with flats. Do you regret it or are you having fun building a new collection?

  48. Apt for today. It’s my birthday & plan to wear my favourite bright pink blouse with silk black & white splotchy slip skirt to smart casual lunch during another warm Aussie summer day where I guess others will wear the casual part of smart casual. Love your outfit.

  49. Hi Susan
    I also dress to please myself and I’ve been retired for 10 years now! In fact, I dress better now than when I worked in an office – because I can dress for myself AND I now have time to shop. Thanks to you, I have a collection of lovely scarves and when I travel- if I find a good quality scarf that will work with many of my “colors” and outfits, they make my favorite souvenirs. I agree – I dress and put on my “made up” face for myself and don’t leave the house until I look presentable. I just feel better and have more confidence as a 69 year-old, gray-haired woman. It breaks my heart sometimes that women present themselves so poorly or cheaply in the effort to appear “sexy”, instead of giving off the message of “I’m worth it”. God Bless you and Mr. Mickey – and thank you for keeping style and grace in the forefront. DeeDee

  50. Susan again thank you for the inspiration to stay true to who we are by expressing ourselves on how we present ourselves. I saw the trend of sloppiness and Ultra casual public dressing many years ago when the restaurants even the white tablecloth restaurants relaxes their dress code. It all went down hill from there, and along followed the workplace. Right before I retired a few years ago, I was the dinosaur in the office who actually took the time to look presentable enough to be in a public workplace. I too try to dress my best every day and make the most out of an opportunity to be out and about. I have received sideway glances from other women probably wondering why I was in their opinion overdressed. The way I look at it, it’s them who are way underdressed. They should take a lesson from us and learn something.
    My parents were both tailors, I learned from them all about the fabrics, caring for them and the difference between junk and quality, I might add, it’s mostly junk what I see in the marketplace today. I have less clothing, but better quality items.
    I can still wear sensible heels for a short time, but my bunion has the opposite effect than yours, lol

    Thank you.

  51. Love your look and share many of the sentiments here. Just some info on “bunions” and other foot deformities to share. I just had foot surgery on my left foot last Wed., after having had the traditional bunion surgery 8 years ago on my right big toe. Things have changed! One should never have surgery just for cosmetic reasons, but if the pain is so bad that it interferes with function and you can’t walk as much as you need to, have no fear. They are now doing big toe joint replacements for bunions and other conditions such as hallux limitus/rigidus (arthritis). I was on my feet immediately bearing weight, wearing surgical sandals for 3 weeks and then I will transition to sneakers. Minimal pain/discomfort. Find a podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon who is familiar with this newer technique. I got 2 different opinions before being offered this alternative by a 3rd surgeon. Much easier recovery and I look forward to wearing all of my pretty shoes in about 2 months!

  52. Hi Susan I love your style, your personality and your sass! I just turned 80 (people tell me I look 65) but I always dress to look nice for myself, makeup and jewelry too. Due to circumstances, when I was 69, my husband and I had to rescue his three and a half year old grandson. He is now 15, 6 feet tall and plays ice hockey. I say this to say that I always dress better than the other “hockey moms” and still learning from you.
    Love, Glenda

  53. I agree, I’m just like you, I dress for myself , I get compliments of my style
    classic , casual and elegant too
    thank you sharing

  54. I agree with you 100%…I always feel better when I am dressed nicely and do my hair and makeup…you always look so elegant and beautiful…❤️

  55. Susan, as I am getting older and after our 2 yrs of isolation, I find I need less and tend to wear what I already have. That said I find you also inspire me to do things a little different at times. In a good way. Thanks for the ideas.

  56. Susan, if you don’t mind, would you share again the brand of the long sleeve t shirts that are used for layering, or even perhaps a more substantial one to wear as a transition from sweaters as the weather gets warmer. I know you shared the information before, but I can’t seem to find it. I need to replace a few that get on my nerves. They fit fine if I don’t move, but when I do or put up my arms they ride up and then I’m forever pulling them down in place. That’s not my idea of a well fitted t shirt.

    Thank you, you’re the best!

    1. Here is a good tee for layering since it fits snuggly. I’ve also purchased tees from Land’s End, White House Black Market, and Chico’s. Talbots had some nice Pima cotton ones last year. I hope they offer them again because they are nice to wear alone without a layer.

  57. Always love your inspiration and upbeat posts! I dress for lineage society meetings a couple of days a month in dresses or skirts and jackets and oftentimes stop by my favorite stores on the way home to browse since I am already dressed up. The sales ladies are always so complimentary and light up when they see my outfit. I think they appreciate seeing the end result of what is being sold. Plus, as your readers write, so many women dress so casually now in what I call the “Target trend” of thin nondescript muted color cotton knit clothing. Both My daughters dress like this! Or leggings – I will wear leggings but with a tunic! The body con style has been taken too far, revealing every bump and lump!

  58. I always love your style tips! Whenever I look on pinterest your old posts show up! Your style from 10 years ago continue to be classic! I have learned a great deal from you in the last 5 years!

  59. Wowie-Zowie! Those zebra striped shoes set fire to a classic black top and denim flares!
    You put the model in the shade.

  60. I love this look on you! But I’m writing to say thank you. Inspiration is free, and you have been mine in a 3-yr journey to reduce my wardrobe by 2/3 and wear nothing that doesn’t make me feel my best. I’m now 77, but I still plan to be the best dressed for every occasion. All the best to you and please know that your sharing is a blessing to many.

  61. I like your take on fashion. It’s all about pleasing yourself, especially as we mature. You always look cool, calm and put together. I love that.

  62. It’s not possible to double click on your photos to get a closer look.
    What does standing up your collar on blouses or jackets accomplish

    In my early years it was suggested to match your purse and shoe color. Noticed you rarely do this I’m 74 years wise
    I have enjoyed your site.

    Also consider showing and teaching laddies how to pose for photos. I’m trying to teach my granddaughters not to stand like a man (where a train could go through your legs. )
    This is especially true for how to sit. Royalty women never cross their legs
    Also show the do and do not examples.
    Another thing that women do is wear their pants to tight. Showing their camel toes. ( vaginal outline) and wearing shirts that hug your tummy looking like a sausage casing.
    I am an actress and model on occasions in Phoenix Az.
    I have learned a lot over the years and seeing the way some women wear drives me crazy

    Recently my husband and I went to a nice restaurant. A customer dropped a spoon. The waitress bent over enough to show her underwear.
    Women should not wear a style of dress they wore in elementary school. This is true for hairstyles.
    Please focus on these issues. Thanks Susan I enjoy reading your posts.

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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.