Updated Twin Set

The twin sets from our school days included a slim fitting cardigan with a matching shell, and most of my friends wore a little strand of pearls with them. This combo was often paired with a pleated skirt, knee socks, and penny loafers. Preppy looks have been classics since the 1940s, but I’m afraid those slim-fitting elements no longer look good on my soft rounded curves. Thankfully, there are also more grown-up options to help us feel confident and look well dressed without much effort.

We recently visited Abingdon, Virginia, to enjoy dinner at Sister’s American Grill located inside the Martha. There was time to explore before our dinner reservation, so we visited Foxglove Antiques and a few other shops on Main Street.


Dinner was delicious! A shared dessert makes the evening a little more special.

While traveling or when the weather changes a lot in just a few hours, a twinset like this one in navy and cream is the perfect thing to wear. This twinset by IC Collection was a gift from My Fair Lady.

The smooth waistband pants in the same cream color are from Belk last year. The shoes were from DSW a couple of years ago. The bag is also a couple of years old. 

Layers can be worn in several ways to remain comfortable all day. These more elevated layers provide a look that could take me to dinner, the theater, a wedding, or any other special event.


  1. Great outfit. I thought the pants were white and the trim on the twin set was white also. Are they all cream?

  2. A really pretty look you have with that outfit and even just the shell minus the cardigan is terrific. The scarf and jewelry make it happen.

  3. Susan, thanks for this excellent update on the “twin set.” I think that when an older woman wears a traditional preppy twin set, she looks as though she is trying too hard to look younger, or is too nostalgic for bygone days, or lacks imagination. So it’s not just a matter of what suits your own build and shape. Your outfits always look fresh even when they are built on classic pieces. (But just as I write this, I’m wondering–maybe it would be fun for you to model a traditional preppy twin set one day, with a single strand of pearls instead of French Kande, so we could all have a good giggle and renew our appreciation of you for dressing the way you do!)

  4. Susan I love your style. Do you have a promo code for the French Kande necklace? If not do you have any other suggestions as it is kind of out of my price range?

  5. Hi Susan, It’s a beautiful look on you. Can you tell me how low the back goes? The pictures on the MFL website do not show from the back. Thanks!

  6. A simply beautiful outfit. absolutely marvelous. Susan, any tips on what other pants to wear with the navy and white? There are such a variety of shades of navy I find. Thank you.

  7. You look great! Love all the options! I just broke down and purchased that beautiful medallion necklace because I can see that it is so wearable with everything.

  8. Hi Susan,
    I think that this is my favorite outfit that you have ever worn. I love that twinset! All the ways you show it are fabulous. Dale

  9. Oh my! That is gorgeous! I love this on you! What a great twin set and so versatile. I can see you wearing this a lot. A real winner in my book!

  10. Appreciated your photos of various ways to wear the twin set and the scarf! Many of us struggle a little to figure that out, even when it seems simple. Since the scarf is not the silky material of many of your other large scarves, does it feel more bulky or is it still very soft? I am interested in purchasing. TX

  11. Susan,
    I started following you a couple of years ago because I enjoy seeing your classic way of dressing. If I were as thin as you, we might be similar in build. I have read that you changed your way of eating to remove excess weight. Can you share with me where I can find references to your eating plan? Abingdon is where I am originally from, and I love getting glimpses of the beautiful Tri Cities area. Thank you for sharing.

    1. In truth, I changed my diet to correct several health problems that were robbing me of an active life. I eat mostly grains, greens, beans, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and some fruit. I drink lots of filtered water each day. I do have a glass of wine occasionally and two cups of black coffee in the morning. I eat less volume and a better quality of natural foods. (Never fast or prepackaged convenience foods.) I read the book, “Eat to Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman to learn what to eat and why. I’ve given you the Reader’s Digest version here.

  12. Love the twinset! Just wish they would make the same style in all cotton or a cotton/modal blend as I just don’t find that plyester, even the new ones, breathe at all. 🙁 You look fabulous, as usual!

  13. What a lovely, elegant outfit. You look stunning. Thank you for sharing your take on style — I enjoy your insights.

  14. Love the outfit. I need to get with the program in the area of shoes! I always wear flats and feel that I look dumpy.

  15. Hi Susan,
    What a delightful outfit, very spring like. You look very chic indeed and I love your hair styled like this, it’s a neat length and your subtle make- up is always beautifully applied, without looking heavy or overdone.
    Yours is one of my favourite blogs, I only follow two in the UK ‘Country Wives ‘ and ‘ Midlife Chic’the others I follow are American based.So please Susan keep up the good work.
    I do enjoy yours and Mr Mickeys adventures they are so interesting and the photos you take of a scenic nature are so uplifting, I love them.
    Pamela from Wales UK.

  16. I love your taste in clothes, partners and desserts!
    Do you have any suggestions for hourglass shape with a well defined waist, flat stomach but large hips.
    I have a difficult time dressing for my age and figure.
    Thanks, Diane
    P.s. I live in Canada and the stores you mention are not available. I might plan a trip to Syracuse.

    1. Whatever you wear, make certain you define your waistline without adding any bulk to your bust. Wrap dresses and tops are great for your shape. Solid colors are always flattering. Short shaped jackets and close fitting tailored pieces are best for you. Soft fabrics and V necklines are your friends.

  17. Love your outfit – very stylish, very you. I have an updated cardigan and tank outfit in black and white. The knit cardigan is about hip length with white binding around the cardigan, elbow length sleeves, and the two front pockets. The tank has the white binding around the neck. Every time I wear these two pieces, I always feel comfortable and confident. Also, I took your suggestion about slacks/jeans having a flat front so there are no additional unwanted bulges around the stomach area. I bought my first pair of black slacks (Slim-sation) with no front zipper or snap. They are pull on with a wide waist band that doesn’t curl up, and they are heavenly to wear. You are a terrific teacher Susan and a great inspiration. God bless.

  18. Hi Susan,
    You look wonderful in the navy and white twin set. I remembered loving you in the black and white one as well. I recently lost 25 pounds and I just ordered the twin set in black and white. Keep sharing all of your outfits and tricks to keep us older ladies looking our best.
    Your dinner and dessert looking amazing and I know you and Mr. Mickey had a wonderful time.

  19. Susan, I know you don’t usually wear sleeveless but that shell with your necklace looks stunning on you. You look great wearing sleeveless.

  20. Love the French Kande necklaces. Would you please let me know which ones you are wearing in the photo.
    Loved the embroidered handbag that I purchased from your site.
    Thank you

  21. The look is beautiful, Susan, in every picture. Enjoy the two piece can be worn with or without scarf, and worn effectively as a shell only. Sorry, but I was unable to determine if the top layer is straight across the back hip length, shorter or a bit longer.
    Thank you

  22. These pictures are just beautiful! You look amazing in these so appropriate outfits! I am sure that both of you looking so well dressed encourages the excellent service you receive! More people should strive to achieve this look.

  23. I hope you don’t mind me saying that the shoes look too dressy for the outfit. I believe I have seen you in the two toned pumps which I think would be perfect. Just my opinion. You do a great job, which is why I read your every blog. thanks, julia

    1. Really? Fashion girls wear this type of shoe with faded jeans, so I thought I would dust them off and wear them with this because the color and toe shape are good with the pants.

  24. Susan, I just love seeing all of your outfits. I really like the navy/cream twinset and would love to buy it myself but I live in the UK and the shipping costs from USA make it very expensive. Do you know if there are any stockists in the UK? I have done a search myself on the internet but so far no joy …..

  25. Susan, the shoes look fabulous! I have no idea why people offer up unsolicited opinions like that! Grrr ‍♀️

  26. Readers come from a variety of different cultures which might explain why some people freely share their opinions without giving it a thought while others are very offended by the practice.

    As a child, I was taught that it is rude to offer your opinion if you were not asked. As a journalist, I was taught that your opinion is irrelevant to the story. I served four years in the US Navy. On the first (yes the first) day, we were taught this crude lesson. “Opinions are like a ** hole. Everyone has one. No one wants to hear yours.”

    As a blogger, I share with you all the tips, tricks and proven facts based on math and science that I have spent many hours studying and paid thousands of dollars to learn. I do my research on every topic and question before I share what I have learned and show images to help you see the results of that research in action. The reason I allow comments at all is so that you can ask questions or make suggestions for future topics. I monitor comments to delete spam and porn, which also requires a lot of time.

    I want to hear from you, but please remember the spirit in which this blog is offered.

    1. A woman I worked with years ago had a slightly more polite version: “Opinions are like elbows. Everyone’s got a couple & things run more smoothly when we keep them out of other people’s faces”

      I read the other day that there are people who find fault as though they’re getting paid for it. I laughed, but it’s true. Finding something wrong seems to be a second job for some folk. All you can do some days is laugh.

  27. OK, so I had to laugh. I’ve realized that when I come here the very first thing I do is scroll through all the pictures to see what shoes you’re wearing! Only then do I go back & actually read your post & have a closer look at the photos. LOL! D’you suppose I have a bit of a thing for shoes? [I like these ones a lot, btw. They really make the outfit, as shoes often do.] On a related note: a shoe bag on the back of the bedroom door fell apart the other day, depositing a huge pile of my shoes onto the floor. I’m thinking it might be time to get rid of some of them [said with a sigh].

  28. One of your best looks ever! What a spectacular “twin set” — we should all hope to look that good.

  29. I just ordered this scarf from your site. It’s what I’ve looking for but could not find anywhere. So glad you showed if off and the many ways it can be worn.

  30. Wow Susan, I absolutely love everything about this “twin set” and the different ways you have styled it. Really does suit you. I can see you had a wonderful day and evening.

    We also had the “twinset look” in Australia as well, although we didn’t wear long socks with our pleated skirts as it was a big deal to get to an age when we could wear stockings (and a suspender belt – what a torture they were) with very small heels.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful outfit and bringing back memories from my youth.
    Joy Lattin
    NSW Australia

  31. I really love your look. You are an inspiration to my wardrobe and shopping. Now when I go shopping I ask myself “is this something that Susan would wear”?

  32. Hello: I often come across your style tips and pictures. I must say I always love what your wearing and I love your tips about makeup. While I love your style I am often disappointed because you represent the tall well proportioned ladies of our society. My disappointment is due to the fact that I cannot wear the same things you model mainly because I am much shorter than you and find it extremely difficult to find clothing that fits especially for height and weight. I am not overly overweight, but when you stand five feet tall even 4-5 pounds can make a big difference.
    As I said, I really love your style but there are many of us who are dealing with buying clothes that almost fit and at my height there isn’t a lot of choice. We end up wearing things that are too big for us. I sew and can alter most things for length, but it is very difficult to alter blazers etc. I live in Canada so maybe you have more choices in the USA.
    For me, I would really love to see you find a petite 60 year old model so that we could see some smart style for our type. I know this probably does not fall under your purview, but I wanted you to hear what a lot of other women are dealing with. Thank you, Anne from Canada

    1. I share my life and all that I’ve learned about style, color, living well, and focusing on a healthy diet. Use my inspiration to get ideas on wearing classic styles and then tailor your clothing to fit your body. If you study the elements of my looks, they are almost always basic pieces.

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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.