Transition To Fall

Fall arrives next month, so it’s time to start thinking about pulling out the light jackets and sweaters. Since all my fall/winter items are in a storage unit (that post is here), the transition will require more planning this year. The rolling rack I purchased earlier (that post is here) will be vital for the upcoming task. I’ll switch my summer tops, thong sandals, straw bags, and floaty cotton dresses for lightweight tees, loafers, and leather bags.

The jacket is now on sale here. The simple white sneakers are here. The basic scoop neck tee is here. The white jeans are here.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I don’t shop often. Instead, I plan my purchases based on how I dress now and buy only what I need. We go out to dinner occasionally and have lunch with friends sometimes. But, I also get together with women friends, shop for groceries, and run errands. My style is comfortable, functional, classic, and subdued. I may live in the south, but not the deep south. Since I am closer to New York than Miami, I rarely wear bright colors or floaty dresses, and I never wear shorts. Your location may also impact your choices and what you feel comfortable wearing.

The denim jacket is here.

Any new purchases are planned around what I already have so that everything is cohesive and works together. For example, wildcard pieces and bold colors always hung in my closet without being used, so I stopped wasting money. I refuse to buy anything that doesn’t suit my shape, coloring, and lifestyle—no more shopping for a fantasy life of travel and rooftop dinners in the city.

The top is here. The jeans are here.

My favorite transition to fall looks include a denim jacket with white jeans and a light blouse or a cotton sweater with a tank and dark-wash jeans. Layering and accessorizing are the keys to making most of my wardrobe work for me through three seasons.

The short cardigan is here.

I share links to items that are still available. Those links may allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

  1. I really like the Banana Republic Factory Store. Have bought quite a few basic tops there. I don’t wear tee shirts and prefer blouses and they have lots of good options. Wish we were transitioning to Fall. Still blistering here in north Florida

  2. Susan you always look great!!
    I like Banana Republic Factory too. The prices are great. But I have found the company takes forever to process a return. I waited almost a month on different items. I’m talking about from the time they received my returns. Always track it.
    Maybe short staffed like most places but not really acceptable to me.

  3. Susan,

    I’ve followed you for several years and always appreciate your advice and your stylish, yet always tasteful choices. That said, I hope you’ll laugh along with me when I tell you my mouth dropped open when I misread “thong sandals” as “thongs”. I thought, “Whoa, have I missed a few posts?” Thank you for all the helpful advice and also for the hearty laugh I had, misreading your post when my eyes were tired.

  4. I feel like often it is particularly the stylish shoes that really lend elegance to the otherwise simple outfits you wear so well. Unfortunately, I am increasingly being forced to limit my shoe choices because of significant arthritis (and pain) in my feet and so my attempts at dressing simple/casual but elegant–often end up seeming frumpy because I can’t put on a nice pair of heels. 🙁 On another note, I too have found that returns, but mainly to outlet type stores, take forever to process and can get screwed up fairly easily. I will never again shop SaksOFF5th. Customer service nightmare.

  5. You are so right Susan! I constantly have to remind myself to not buy for my fantasy life. I don’t need fancy wear. I need good fitting pants, tees, casual shirts and a few sweaters or jackets. I buy a few cute, but comfortable shoes. That’s about it. Combining these into attractive outfits is my challenge. Thank you for your realistic and wise advice.

  6. Hi Susan,
    Ballet flats, especially the square toe style appear to be making a comeback this year. What are your thoughts on this type of shoe? Love your style which I can relate to since I’ve retired and, in my 70,’s. It’s fun when sometimes I’m reading your blog, I think to myself – oh, my gosh. I have something in my closet just like it or similar that gave me another idea to put together. You are appreciated!

    1. Hi Karen,
      Thank you!
      Ballet flats look good on ladies with slender ankles and feet, so they are not a good choice for me. Square toes cut off, but pointed toes elongate the leg and make us look taller.

  7. You look so put together and classy in all the outfits. I really like the poppy colored jacket on you. Have a blessed day. Hi to Mr Mickey.

  8. Regarding Banana Republic Factory, I ordered the seersucker blouse you featured several weeks ago. Yesterday it was supposed to be delivered. Lo and behold, I was sent an empty sealed envelope! That’s a first! Customer Service said they credited it when I called, and is sending me a new one with free shipping. To be continued…

  9. I love all of these looks! I’ve found we often wear the same size – what size is the white BR tee-shirt that you are wearing?

  10. Susan, I notice the poppy red jacket runs on the large size and is non returnable now. What size did you purchase ? Thank you.

  11. I love the white blouse , long blossom sleeve. Looks like cut out on the sleeves. Do you have it in size Med. Or 8 however it is sized.

  12. I’ve followed you for a long time, and I still appreciate your succinctly stated wisdom.

    I think your comment regarding colors and the fact that you live closer to New York than Miami, and how your geography influences your color choices is very helpful.
    It does seem true that when I am in my Ohio home, I’m more comfortable in black & white & solids, but when I’m in SWFL, I’m more comfortable in brights, whites & prints!

    Do you ever feel uncomfortably hot in your ankle jeans in the summer? I don’t wear shorts anymore and I don’t prefer the cropped length pants, but have hesitated to wear ankle jeans for that reason.
    You look great!
    Thank you again for provoking thought and responsible spending decisions!

    1. The ankle jeans in white or light-wash denim with appropriate-for-the-weather footwear are comfortable year-round in East Tennessee. However, I found them to be too hot while visiting Florida.

  13. Nice outfits – we are leaving winter and heading to spring here in Australia. Looking forward to that.

  14. What a fantastic series of clothes. Love the images and combos – as always, so elegant.

    I did laugh when I read the comments on thongs. In Australia, it’s common parlance for everyone to wears ‘thongs’ (footwear) in summer in the heat. It’s been known as our national footwear!

    I’m interested in your comment on ballet flats as so many of us can’t wear heels or narrow points. Ballet flats are ubiquitous with simple elegant dressing thanks to Audrey Hepburn and others. I have short legs, so-so ankles and a broad foot with a high arch, so ballet flats are my all-time go to. Higher cuts make my legs look fatter and shorter. But I can’t wear heels with any joy.

  15. You are so inspirational! I have followed you for a few years now and have learned so much. I too prefer a comfortable, classic and subdued wardrobe. Thank you for helping me turn it up a notch so I feel confident and put together. Love that you pointed out we can occasionally buy for our imagined life and not our real life. Often those items still have the tags on them in my closet. Thank you for taking the time to share your great photos and advice.

    ps I have major shoe envy – your collection is amazing!

  16. Hi Susan. You look great, as usual. Always an inspiration! Wondering if you will announce a color scheme for the upcoming fall and winter seasons. It was extremely helpful to shop for your suggested navy, white, pink ND blue for the summer season. I could always go to my closet and know there was always a choice that appeared put together. Thank you for helping us feel put together and teaching us your tricks.

  17. I bought the jacket in beige. This is the 2nd item of yours I have purchased. I sure hope you get the commission!

  18. Love the outfits and the explanation of colors for clothes. I too look better in subdued classic clothing, now that I am in my 60s. I especially appreciated your comment about no longer shopping for your fantasy life. I have a few pieces of clothing that I bought that I never wear-for a fantasy life. Haha.

  19. Thank you for the statement about fantasy shopping. I’m guilty of this too but I’m learning to make better choices thanks to you! Please do a blog on jackets and coats. I need to downsize mine. Have a great weekend!

  20. Love the denim. It is a really nice transition to Fall. I have many of these pieces, but putting them together as you do really helps me make the most of my wardrobe.

  21. I love your posts and style! I need the encouragement you give to stop shopping and live with my wardrobe. I am too critical of my wardrobe, and even when I shop, I tend to wear the outfits that I find comfortable and classic. Your style is my preferred look at my age (75) when comfort and style are important to me. I would like to purchase a pair of heels that are comfortable to dress up outfits as I notice you do. Thank you for blogging so honestly.

  22. I have only recently found your blog, but I am inspired by your sense of style and color. They are almost identical to mine. However, I live on a farm and own and ride horses for pleasure, so I have a more western style. I just love all your helpful hints and suggestions. I also think Mr Mickey is grand and use his fashions to inspire my husband. Keep on inspiring young folks of our age!!!

  23. This is how I shop!! I have few bright colors. When I do it’s for summertime in a v-neck 3/4 tee in my Spring colors!!! Otherwise I find I am neutral all the way!!! This is me!!

  24. Always good advice to dress your lifestyle! I learn something from you all the time. Thank you for providing us with making smart and frugal decisions!

  25. Susan,

    Shopping for the imagined life holds true for me too. Buying for a fabulous night out just isn’t in my plans since the choices of places to go are few. Since Covid, even the more upscale places to dine became casual. I have enough should a rare dressy occasion invitation come my way.
    Pointed toe shoes are a favorite of mine. I need a small heel to walk without getting an achy back. Ballet slippers are very uncomfortabe to me.
    We had temp changes this spring that were as much as 20 degrees in 24 hours. I not in a hurry to change out seasonal clothes and keep the lighter cardigans and pullover sweaters to layer if needed.

    It’s always pleasant to to find your posts in my inbox.

  26. Susan, I love the red jacket on you, what a fabulous look! With record breaking heat in most of the country, it’s difficult to think about Fall. In my opinion the timing of the seasons have changed in recent years one can’t rely strictly on the calendar.
    One would think the retail industry would have caught on already and adjusted their roll out of fall and winter clothes. The last thing I feel like doing right now in 99 degree heat outside, is think about or buy fall/winter clothing.
    However, as always I look forward to and enjoy your posts, you have certainly inspired me to look my best every day!

  27. Really lovely outfits, Susan! Are you able to walk comfortably in the high heels you show on your photos?
    I know each outfit would suit me perfectly. But here in southern Ontario, Canada, we’re suffering through another heat wave with temperatures close to 100 F.

  28. Susan, you stated that the poppy jacket you were wearing was a size medium. I never know when something is boxy, to order a medium or large. It is only available in medium when I last checked wit no returns. Did you find it to be a bit oversized or a good fit? It looked good with the white, maybe more for spring, but good anytime. Thanks’ Pat

  29. I just figured out what I need in my pared down wardrobe. Few cotton sweaters. I just went through m closet and did a major purge. I’m left with quite a few long sleeve blouse, long sleeve shirts. Some sweaters. But I don’t have any cotton ones. So I will start looking for a few starting tomorrow. I’m so glad I read your blog I felt like I was missing something. Now I know and I will ge them and I will have a full wardrobe. Thank you.

  30. Hi Susan, appreciate your fall blog, here in Canada one needs to buy when advertised. Rec’d an LLBean catalogue, my question is regarding their sizing, hope you can advise. Enjoy the rest of your day and looking through your storage items. Thanks

  31. Hi Susan, I am in my 70’s and love that I can still wear blue jean jackets. I find most jeans and pants are too hot to wear in summer and appreciate a light linen dress as cool pants are hard to find. Do you ever wear skirts and what would you recommend$

    1. I no longer have the legs for skirts, so I prefer to wear straight-leg jeans and pants or midi-length dresses. Choose a flattering skirt style for your shape and look for neutral colors.

  32. Hi Susan, love your styling but have you noticed the move towards joggers (I’m talking nice ones) and away from denim? I’m seeing more and more of that as I go out to shop. The “younger set” (almost anyone besides me, at 78) are clad in joggers or leggings, not denim! Since I’m not a fan of leggings worn as pants (Oye!) I’ve found some nice joggers in shiny fabrics for fall and some closer to the body cut styles, all by Zella. I hit the big sale at Nordstrom (online for me since the closest Nordies is 3 hours away). I’m styling them with 3/4 sleeve knit tops, white shirts and cute tennies. Yes, even a 78 year old wants to look fashion forward!

    1. Joggers are not yet propular here, but I still see a few younger women wearing leggings. I’ve tried countless styles of pants, but slim-fit straight-leg jeans look best on my legs.

  33. Great looks, all of them! Especially like the short black card paired with the longer shirt. Love the simple casual jackets over your often favored blazers. Really enjoy your blog and look forward to reading them!

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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.