The Versatile Basics

Many have asked me to suggest some basic pants with fuller legs. Today I’m happy to show new versatile pieces to mix and match with everything. The tank is longer with a higher neckline, the pants have a smooth pull-on wide waistband, and the legs are fuller. Notice that the armholes of the tank are not too large. It also has small slits on the side at the hemline. These are perfect pieces for layering with a jacket or cardigan. You can dress them up or down, and the forgiving knit fabric is very flattering since it skims the body and falls beautifully.

The top and pants are here and here. I am wearing a size small in both. Much of my clothing comes from Shop My Fair Lady since they offer many of the brands I enjoy wearing. Their service and selection are always excellent.

On Thursday, I wore the tank tucked into a pair of Levi’s, then threw on a leather-trimmed jacket from a few years ago. Similar jacket here. Similar shoes here.

My Valentina Signa top here with the pants and suede flats creates a great look for going out to lunch. Similar bag here.

The tank and pants can go out for a dressy evening if I add my Damee jacket here. Similar clutch here.

The pants look great with short boots and my periwinkle top here. I can throw a short moto jacket here over it on cooler days. (Below)

The pants also look great with a longer tunic with a deep side slit and ruched sleeve details. The tunic is here. Similar bag here. Similar shoes here. Bold earrings are here.

The lariat necklace here and my charcoal cardigan here look great over the tank and pants with short boots (similar here). Similar bag here.

I added my dark wash denim jacket (similar here) and white sneakers here with a large leather tote bag to give the pieces a very casual vibe. A similar small table here.

I’ll be sure to take these new pieces on my next vacation since they will be perfect to wear while flying and mixing and matching all week long. Many of these items are from Shop My Fair Lady.

You don’t need a lot of clothes, but if what you have fits well and is very versatile, you will always be able to assemble great looking outfits for any occasion.

  1. Thank you Susan for these lovely suggestions. Very flattering indeed. I do have a request. If possible, could you show us a few outfits that flatter an hourglass figure? Perhaps you already have done so and I missed it.
    After years of trying to convince myself that I look good in tunics and more flowing tops, I found that fitted styles suit my figure. Crossover and ruched tops, for example, look better but they seem to be few and far between. If I do find one, it is WAY too low cut, especially for the volunteering I do in elementary school classrooms. I did locate a beautiful red ruched-front top of the web site you referenced. I plan to purchase it. Thank you again for your advice. Every time I almost succumb to the temptation of a busy printed top, I think “What Susan would think!”

  2. those black palazzos are very tempting…..i have and love a few pairs of Chicos palazzos, but they are prints and I have to go with simple tops to please my eye….with these black ones, I would have more top options….love a nice knit, and the price is pretty good for those…

  3. You look wonderful…but I am so not ready for wide pants again. I look best in the skinny pants trend, You colors are my colors as well.

  4. Hi Susan! These wide leg pants look great on your 5’6” frame. Unfortunately I am just 5’, and I am wondering if someone as short as I am can wear a wide leg pant? If yes, what length top would work best? TIA, Kathleen

    1. Current casual trend. Keep in mind that I use myself as a model to show how others might be able to style and wear something. I haven’t found anyone with a different size or shape who will work for free. 🙂

  5. I have to disagree with you on your statement that the service is excellent at Shop My Fair Lady. It is apparently a small shop and they get easily overwhelmed with orders when you feature an item. I have found that they process your credit card right away but it may be a week or more before they fill your order, then ship it. (This has happened to me twice). Just don’t expect anything to be shipped out promptly. I wouldn’t wish to hurt their business but just be aware.

    1. You are correct that My Fair Lady is a long-standing family-owned small boutique, so they aren’t likely to have forty of one top on hand. The good thing about them is that they will get it from the manufacturer as soon as possible and mail it promptly and carefully packaged. I don’t expect immediate shipment from small businesses because I’ve owned them and know the difficulties from every angle.

      1. Although retired now, I also ran a family-owned business in the service sector, not retail. I found that people are very understanding when they are kept informed, know if any problems will be, or have been, encountered, and are just generally “in the know.” When I am forced to check on an order after no communication from the vendor, I just do not put that in the “great service” category. As I said, this is just my personal experience and I am not running a vendetta or something. I just thought your readers needed to be informed of what to expect, as they will not hear from the vendor.

  6. Received the gray jacket yesterday. Love it! I was having friends over for lunch when it arrived and one gal is working the International Furniture Market in High Point this week. She tried on the jacket, loved it, so I let her borrow it for Market. Hope I get it back!! Hahaha! Thank you.
    Sara Culler

  7. I really love all these looks on you! I will have to get a pair of white sneakers, now that you can wear them with these looks. I was excited to see the lariat necklace in your modeling picture on the Jess & Jane website! 🙂

  8. I’ve followed your blog from Susan 50, and marvel at how you have adapted over time. Looking at today’s post, I like all your looks but I challenge you to adjust some of your tops to a more “cropped” length. You have a great figure and your hiding too much of it. Some of the tops balloon too much, too much material for your slim figure!

  9. Today’s lesson on other options was very informative and just emphasizes why narrow or slim style pants look much better on you. I also agree that several of the tops, in concert with the wife pants, look a little overwhelming.

  10. Great post, Susan! Being exposed visually to any “new” concept gets us a step closer to looking at it subjectively. I applaud you doing this as I well remember some comments from your past post on wide leg pants.
    I am 5 ft 3 and carry my weight from waist down and especially tbe legs. I jumped on wide leg pants when first came available again. As you tell us, it is all about proportion. Defining the waistline is essential, especially if you cannot wear a snug fitting short top.
    Straight leg pants are my first preference also. But those legs can have much variance in width and for me always means I can’t wear all straight legs!
    I now have a variety of belts that I use with my wide legs, then either a jacket or vest over to hide the waistline. Long necklaces also help. It works, even with a flat shoe.
    I also wear white leather sneaks and love them! They are comfy, go with almost everything and stylish.
    I hope to see you style wider legs in future post. Imo, one of your greatest gifts to us is your ability to decipher what trends ladies of a certain age can wear (w/o looking ridiculous) with classic styles. Of course, opinions will vary on this.
    I have learned so much from you, Susan. Thank you for all the work that goes into your blog. I don’t comment very often and wish you much joy as you venture deeper into retirement.

  11. Susan, while I ALWAYS enjoy your excellent sense of style and style tips because I’ve learned so much from you, I just can’t get my arms around this look…not even on you. The white tennis shoes really lost me with this look! I seem to recall in one of your past posts, possibly a year ago, you frowned on this look, especially with flat healed shoes and a long top. Maybe I’m wrong but, in my opinion, I much prefer your usual style with slim or straight leg pants.

    1. I try to remain open to current styles (not so much trends). I also want to show how to style things that people ask me to showcase. It may not be the best look for my body type, but I hope I can share some helpful styling tips for those who want to wear the looks in question. White lifestyle shoes (sleek sneakers) are very popular with all ages now (even on the streets of Paris).

    2. Susan,
      I really enjoyed all the great ideas. I adopted the white sneakers a couple years ago and love them now. I enjoy wearing them with certain skirts and casual dresses in summer. Do you have any suggestions for comfortable, fashionable brands? I’m in the market for new ones. Thanks for all you do.

      1. Thank you, Jackie. Go into any department store or big-box shoe store like DSW. They will have a ton of options in lifestyle shoes in many colors. I found one style here that comes in all the classic neutral colors.

  12. I love the charcoal jacket. That is my favorite look on this post. Al of our bodies are so different but like you point out to us, it is about proportion. I am almost identical in body shape to you but you are much taller. If I duplicate a look, I have to tweak it for a short person. Thank you for tackling all body types for us.

  13. I love this look on you – hope it can work for me!!! Only thing is I’m only 5’2” with short legs and can’t wear a high heel cause as I’m 68 they darn well hurt when walking nevermi dancing!

    Could you pls get into an autumn look with longer warmer coats and also Xmas is going to be here in no time. So wherevto buy these clothes so to get shipped early. Thankyou

    1. I posted about my classic coat collection (video at the bottom) and showed different styles that look good on certain bodies here. It will be a while before I have to wear a coat. (I hope!)

  14. Love how you show all the looks you can get with just the two pieces.

    I know you had said in a previous post that you didn’t like to wear tennis shoes but there you are. I am self conscious about my size 10 feet; can you suggest a tennis shoe in white that minimizes the look of my feet.

    Tennis shoes are such a big style statement lately and I would like to be able to get in on it.

    1. Some days my feet demand that I wear active or lifestyle shoes. This type of shoe is designed for lots of walking, and they look less bulky than the sports shoes we used to wear. Go into a DSW if you have one nearby. I found this black pair and they will have many styles to try on. Try neutral colors such as black, khaki, navy, gray, or white.

  15. Wow!
    All those outfits with just a few pieces. You are so right – have a few pieces that fit well. One doesn’t need a lot of clothes.

  16. I love a lot of the tops you show, but I am only 5’1” and need petite sizes. Covered perfectly and Shop My Fair Lady don’t seem to offer that option. Do you recommend any other sources that do?

  17. Susan, I would love to see you style wide leg pants/jeans (crop/ankle) with low to mid heeled boots of various heights for fall/winter, especially for casual. Not necessarily palazzo, just wide leg.
    I so appreciate you striving to give us looks for different body types than your own and realize the difficulty in that. I’m on the short side and pear shaped with narrow sboulders – so opposite of you.
    I like all your looks today, but the grey sweater and denim jacket shots are my favs! Thanks for all you do…..

  18. I love when you do this type of posts! Being retired and traveling more, taking less items is both the goal and the challenge. This type of post is most helpful.

  19. Susan, how tall are you? I have short legs and I’m trying to gauge where these pants would fall to on me. I love the style.

  20. Gina,
    I agree with you regarding petite sizing. I checked out the Covered Perfectly website again, since Susan mentioned some new offerings of petite sizing. However seeing a difference in 1-2 inches for petites in comparison to the regular sizes still is not enough for me to not require finding someone to do further alterations. I am 5’1″ and would likely need the tops to be about 5 inches shorter in length! I am happy for Susan and others that find their sizing good for them.

  21. Susan, I am so glad I found your web site. You always look wonderful and have helped me in dressing! Your looks are so fashionable and classic. These looks are some of my favorite jackets and tops. But then, with every post I could say the same thing.

  22. Hi Susan,

    The looks you have put together with wide legged pants are lovely. I do feel that you are best served wearing your usual straight leg jeans/pants.

    Following with much interest and slowly purging my closet to follow your good advice and suggestions.


  23. The humble cardigan! The very garment grandmas everywhere wanted you to take along no matter where you were going! As a grown-up yourself, you probably see perfectly, now, the wisdom of having a women’s cardigan sweater available all the time as a light topper, but have you really thought about the role a cardigan plays in a well-planned and functional wardrobe? Cardigans offer amazing flexibility in a wardrobe basic, especially if you choose carefully for maximum versatility.

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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.