Vacation Looks

I am the first to admit that I took too many clothes on my trip. When it comes time to pack for my next warm-weather vacation, I will take one pair of jeans in black, one in white, and another in blue in addition to the jeans, blazer, and shirt I wear to travel. Tank tops in white, black, and gray, and three or four shirts will be enough. One sweater for when I get too cold will do nicely.

The temperatures varied considerably during the day, and it was downright cold in the evenings. A warmer outfit at breakfast than for daytime activities and another look for the evening meant I sometimes changed three times in one day. I recreated those looks so that Mr. Mickey could shoot some pictures for you since there were so few outfit photos from my trip.

The blue blazer, white tank top, dark wash denim straight leg jeans worked well for shopping and having breakfast at the hotel.

It was sometimes very windy near the water, so I often wore a scarf to keep my hair from whipping into my face as I walked each morning since the hat would blow off. White jeans, a white tank, and the royal blue cardigan were the look of the moment here.

A white tank top, white shirt, and dark wash jeans were a good look for going out to lunch.

The white cardigan, blue blouse, and white jeans were the look of the day for the boat ride over to Fort Myers Beach. I was so glad I took that cardigan. It was freezing on the open water.

My sweet friend, Rhonda, drove over to Cape Coral to have dinner with me one evening. I wore a black tank, black jeans, and a navy blazer. It is not a fashion faux pas to wear black with navy.

I spent a few minutes by the pool one afternoon, which gave me a chance to wear my new swimsuit. I used a large silk scarf as a cover-up. I am much too impatient to lie in the sun, so my time by the pool was brief.

I met with a Realtor to talk about properties in the Cape Coral area, so I wanted to look more professional. I wore a black shirt and white pants with the white cardigan tied around my shoulders.

On the day it rained often, I was glad I took a jacket with me. The sun was blinding when it did peek out from the clouds. The sandals were the most weather worthy shoes I had.

The denim shirt over the silver/gray tank top and white jeans were comfortable looking for a sightseeing day in Fort Myers and Naples.

Another evening look included white jeans, the white tank, and the navy blazer. I tied a forty-inch turquoise scarf as a necklace and tucked the ends into the top’s straps.

I walked all along the docks and looked in the shops’ windows on the boardwalk by the hotel on the first evening. The jacket over the white tank top and dark wash jeans were a good option for the cool air near the water.

I went to Barnes & Noble twice while I was there. Do I read too much?

Black with white is one of my favorite color combos. The black tank, black jeans, and white cardigan were another late in the day look that served me well.

This long-sleeve tee was the only item of clothing I purchased while on the trip. I wore it as I was walking on the beach one morning.

The most valuable lesson I have learned from packing for travel is that I don’t need many clothes. I do need items that can be mixed and matched to create looks that are changed with accessories. I favor the classic silhouettes that work with my shape, and I have been applying this same lesson to my wardrobe at home lately. Some may say that this is a boring way to dress, but why reinvent the wheel every day with looks that may or may not work for me? Trendy items look dated in a few months, and I tire of them very quickly. I can wear clothes I have now for years.

If you wish to look back at the blog post for what I packed, it is here.

  1. Welcome home. You look lovely, as usual, and that was a great idea to recreate your outfits for us with a home photoshoot by Mr. Mickey! I am inspired to pack for my 5-day trip next week to HI next week by your suggestions and by some of the commenters last week. Last night I was thinking about what to wear on the long plane ride(s) so that I will be comfortable. I’m guessing your flight to FL was a short one, but perhaps a future post about how to dress for air travel, especially long flights, might be useful.

      1. I love how you dress. I’m trying to dress more classy, age appropriate ( late 60s). I see you can pull off white tips, gray tops but they don’t look good on my skin tone at all. Most compliment me on corals, turquoise etc….Need to find what you’d pack for a beach resort in Mexico for a week Photos.

  2. Thank you for sharing your vacation looks. You make it look so easy! Could you please share the name and shade of lipstick you’re wearing in this post? I have been unsuccessfully trying to find a red lipstick that doesn’t look too bright on me. Your’s looks perfect!

  3. Looks like a very versatile wardrobe for your trip – you look lovely in each outfit. The black shirt/ white jeans and cardigan are my favourite. I have to admit though that I can’t get my head around wearing black and navy together. It has always been such a big no-no for me but when I mentioned this to a younger woman recently, she didn’t understand what I was talking about! I do see it all the time when I’m out and about so maybe – one day…!

    1. Omigosh, you made me laugh, Jan! I know exactly what you mean about having nonsensical rights & wrongs so deeply embedded in our heads they’re hard to get rid of. I finally got over the navy & black thing (it took years), but what I’m now struggling with is a blouse that hangs out from under a jacket, which seems to be a thing these days, or wearing a tank top over a regular bra so the bra straps show. I have good shoulders & arms thanks to years of lifting free-weights & like to show them off now & again, but, wow, I hate my bra straps showing! What I guess I AM showing is my age! But I don’t think it’s a look I’ll get used to any time soon.

  4. Thanks for sharing! I love the look of the dark wash jeans. Which brand are you wearing? I too cannot wear super skinny jeans due to the size of my calves.

  5. Thank you for your post! I am preparing for a trip to Central America and this post has helped me a lot!.
    I all the pictures, as always, you look beautiful!.

  6. Susan, your outfits are never boring.

    I love the combination of black with navy (and FYI, I am older than you, so maybe I’m an exception to my generation).

    Tucking the ends of your scarf into your tank top sleeves under a jacket is a genius idea! I’m going to try it.

  7. I absolutely love the way you dress, Susan!!!! Do you wear cold shoulder tops or would you rather stay away from items you can only wear 1 or 2 seasons and then it’s out of fashion?

    1. I have worn cold shoulder tops, and I think they can look nice, but I never purchase them. When you see me wearing any trendy items, you should know that they were gifts. I always ask myself, “Will I wear this for five years?” “Will it go with three or more other items in my closet?” “Is this a good color with my skin?” If the answer to these questions is no, I leave the item in question in the store.

  8. Susan, a capsule of clothes makes more sense than a closet full of clothes we don’t wear. It is a good discipline. You look wonderful as always. You mentioned looking at properties, so do you plan to retire there someday?

  9. I love black and navy! Based a whole travel wardrobe to Paris around those two colors and always felt well dressed. White and turquoise accents-can’t go wrong!

  10. I probably would have done a lot more repeat but taking a few classic items that all can be interchanged is so smart. I try to envision what I will be doing and then plan the clothing around those activities. And I’ve found it a good idea to have maybe one extra shirt or pair of pants incase something gets spilled.

    So are you planning to re-locate or simply get a vacation place? Good luck!

  11. Susan, thanks for the individual shots of what items you put together while on your trip. I know you had mentioned in a previous post that your shoes are Keds. What color are they? They look grey but wanted to ask anyway. They seem to go with lots of different outfits. Thanks…

  12. While hitting that sweet spot of packing just the right amount, I want to say that a little extra is a good idea, for all sorts of reasons. Plans change, weather changes, accidents happen (I saw a waitress spill a whole tray of iced sweet tea on a customer once), flight changes or simply changing one’s mind. I guess the mantra “be prepared” is my guide. As long as I don’t overload, having a little extra is comforting to me.

  13. Hi Susan!
    Thanks for sharing your outfits and ideas with us! I have a question about the gray slip on sneakers. I have been thinking about purchasing a pair myself, but I wondered…do you wear any type of hidden socks with them. And if not, do they cause blisters from walking so much?

    1. They did not cause blisters. I do not wear them with socks. You can wear socks to break them in at home so that when you wear them without socks, they are more comfortable because they are broken in.

  14. Hi Susan,
    You look wonderful.My daughter was married on Sanibel Island a few years ago. Wonderful area. I am crazy about your hat. The roll up brim is my favorite style. What color is it? Did you order it online or in a store? Although I am older than you, you are such an inspiration to me. All the best.
    Holly Rigby

  15. Susan, the white cardigan is exactly what I’m looking for but can’t seem to find. I’d like cardigans that are V-neck, longer length and smooth texture. Would love some with a light cashmere blend but no luck this winter season. Suggestions as to where to look greatly appreciated!

  16. Thanks to Mr Mickey for the photo shoot! You look fabulous and very appropriate in each outfit. After seeing your vacation outfits, I am on the search for a white cardigan. Later this month I will be flying to Dallas to visit my daughter and her family. The cardigan would be nice on the plane and for chilly evenings.

  17. Thank you for repeating all of your outfits! It was very instructional. I think the Silver Keds was the most useful shoe! I need to get a pair! I also like the button shirts you took along. Lots of ideas here! Thanks again.
    Next time you vacation you might find yourself relaxing with a book by the pool. I had to teach myself to be mindful and learn to relax!

  18. All great put together looks Susan, and some wonderful fashion ideas! Loved the scarf tied around your hair like that! Will have to try that one! Sounds like you had a well deserved rest and a fun trip!

  19. Susan, I love all of your clothing choices, and you look so good in all of them. I live in Michigan, but am spending 3 months in Punta Gorda, Florida. How would you change your looks for days when the temps are in the 80’s? Do you wear short sleeve tops and if not, how do you stay comfortable in very warm weather? Thanks Susan!

    1. I have learned to dress in layers so that I can remove or add to stay comfortable. I stay inside during the hottest part of the day so you might still find me in a sweater even in the dead of summer.

  20. Love the looks. I’m a great fan of navy for my neutral instead of black. Just softer and so classic.

  21. I’m going to Sanibel soon and I wonder if you remember where you purchased your gray top with the Sanibel logo? Also do your Keds support your feet for longer walks? Thank you…really enjoy and learn from your blogs!

    1. Those shoes were very comfortable on long walks. I normally wear New Balance shoes when I walk for exercise. I bought the tee at the T-Shirt Hut. Sanibel & Captiva Islands 1504 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island, FL 33957. Contact: (239) 472-1415.

  22. Love every outfit Susan! Sounds like all of your fans will be looking for those silver/grey Keds! Thanks for sending these great photos!

  23. Hi Susan,
    Your style is not boring! I am a jeans and T-shirt gal but the accessories make the outfit.
    Thanks for all your great suggestions.

  24. Some great ideas. I always pack too much, this will help. I do wonder however, how you can wear 1 pair of white jeans 6 time, they aren’t easily washed in a hotel bathroom sink. I may stick with darker colors.

    1. I took two pairs of white jeans, two pairs of blue jeans and one pair of black jeans. I only wore each pair for a few hours. Nothing was dirty, so I didn’t need to wash anything while I was there.

  25. I really appreciate this post as I am headed to the same area in about 3 weeks! Thanks for the advice on packing!

  26. Thank you Susan for all these tips. I have to say I love color but seeing what you did here I think I would like to do the same and use accessories as a pop of color.

  27. Thanks Susan. Yes we also experienced that in our trip to Nice France. Comfortable shoes were key because your feet take a beating on the cobblestone. Packing with a simple color scheme (capsule wardrobe) is the easiest way to manage the temperature changes.

  28. Susan, thanks so much for taking the time to recreate your outfits for us — & thank Mr. Mickey too. I know you gave us the list of what you took, but seeing the items “in action” is so helpful. I love the look of a shirt over a top: it’s so versatile & classy-looking & can be dressed up or down as needed. I’ve never had much luck with knit cardigans. I’m a little busty & a knit cardy always seems to emphasize that more than I’m comfortable with, but the white one you’re wearing makes me want to try again. I know it’s just a matter of fit. Thanks also for the inspiration re shoes! This is always where I fall down when I’m traveling: I pack what I need, then think, oh, but what if [fill in footwear disaster of choice] & add another pair or two that I never wear. Even when we’re on the bike I’m out there at the last minute cramming just ONE more pair into the Harley’s saddlebags while my partner’s gently reminding me (through gritted teeth) there are stores where we’re going. I’m going to use this post to keep myself in check! 🙂

  29. Hi, Susan. The way you accessorized and combined your pieces for different looks was in no way boring! You always looked chic and polished, no matter the occasion. You have given me inspiration for packing lighter on my own vacations.

  30. Excellent! Love the tips for packing light. A classy and simple look always in style. Thank you for your emails, they are always so helpful. I am now enjoying a month in North Fort Myers, and wish I would have seen this email before I packed. Now I know better for next year. Thanks again!

  31. Recently, my two daughters and I enjoyed 12 days in England and Scotland. We only did carry on luggage. By careful planning and deleting, we were prepared for each occasion…And no lost luggage!

  32. The multi-colored clutch is the perfect accessory to add whimsy to your otherwise classic outfits. If you are looking for a lovely vacation spot in Southwest FL, check out the waterfront community at Burtstore Marina. It is tucked between Punta Gorda and Cape Coral.

  33. I just love your hat and keep going back to look at the picture of it. Where did you find it? You look amazing in all of your casual clothes. I will be looking for ways to duplicate them with what is in my closet. Thanks for all of your valuable advice.

  34. Thank you so much for posting these pics! I love your site and am learning so much from you. I am around your age and in the process of losing a great deal of weight. Right now I feel frumpy at 60. I hope to look as great as you when all this weight comes off. Thank you again for all the information you give us not only about fashion but makeup & healthy eating.

  35. Thanks Susan for all you do. I was wondering what is the fabric on those tanks. Is it a silky stretchy fabric? I am so like you with the color thing and prints. The black and white is such a classic and smart look. I keep trying patterns but every time I do, I think of how you look. Solids are the best for me too and just adding accessories can change the whole look. I’ve been following you for more than a couple of years and love your blog. I’ll be 60 in March.
    Thanks again,

    1. Those tanks are the MICROFIBER CONTEMPORARY tanks STYLE: 570113984 tanks from Chico’s. I buy a size larger than I normally wear because I don’t want them to pull tight across the bust.

  36. Hi Susan,
    I am so happy that I purchased that large BEAUTIFUL scarf
    from you! I love it! Thank-you for all your efforts in helping
    those of us who need a little direction in finding the right
    items. You are truly a blessing!

  37. Learning how to have a capsule wardrobe and what styles are flattering to my shape has made it much easier to shop, edit my closet and get dressed each day. I feel I have more options when I dress even though I have fewer clothes. And I am not tempted to buy much now because I know what I have and what looks good. I do still fall prey to buying too many accessories though!

  38. Thanks for sharing your great tips. I know that you said you walked several miles each day—-did you also bring a pair of workout shoes that allowed you to do that in comfort or did you do all of your walking in those three shown pairs? That always seems to be my challenge on trips, looking put together and “fresh” while being able to walk 5-10 miles sightseeing or working out. I feel like I fall “flat” (pardon the pun) on the shoe comfort vs style.

    1. I walked in the shoes shown, but I did not move at my usual pace when I am walking for exercise at home. I wear a thick pair of white socks and New Balance shoes with support for my workout walks in the neighborhood.

  39. Thank you for sharing your vacation outfits. I love your style and you are my favorite blogger. I am learning a lot from you. Please keep doing what you do!

  40. Thanks so much for all your wonderful tips! I am going to France in April and you have given me much inspiration for planning my travel wardrobe. I’m looking for a rain jacket and love the color of yours. Source? Thanks!

  41. Susan, please visit during the sultry days of summer. Would love to read a post about dressing for that time of year in SW FL. I live in Venice (about 1 hr north of Cape Coral) year round. I walk for exercise and it is a struggle to dress appropriately.

  42. I loved every one of the outfits and think you are a beautiful woman…I loved your hair also and the glasses are a great way to go…

  43. Hello Susan,
    I love your blog! How do you keep your Express Portofino blouses from clinging? They are so cute but mine have terrible static cling!

  44. I have searched and searched for ideas for packing and style ideas. By far yours was the best! Now I’m going shopping and picking some items you wore. Thank you.

  45. Your photos and style are beautiful! I’m 77 yrs old and 4’ 11” and a little pear shaped…can I wear a similar style? Thank you for your inspiration.

    1. Since you are petite; proportion is very important for you. Never wear sleeves, shirts or jackets that are too long. They should fit well and show the full length of your legs and your wrist. Pear-shapes can wear more details at the shoulders to bring the eyes up to the face and the upper part of the body.

  46. I’m going to Barcelona first of October for 3 days then a cruise for 12 days. Having trouble deciding what I need for Barcelona
    I love yours style!

    1. Have a fabulous time! I would take basic items in three solid colors, all that mix, and match. A casual jacket, a dressy jacket, something special to wear for dinners and some accessories like scarves that can be used to change and upgrade the looks as needed. Take a pair of comfortable walking shoes such as short boots, ballet flats or loafers, and a pair of heels to wear to dinner.

  47. I love all of your choices of clothes. My question is that I’m 4’11 , 74 years young. You mentioned to another follower not to wear long sleeve blouses or jackets. Since I’m short should my pants and top always be the same color? I love the white cardigan but where should it end on me?

    1. You can wear any color you like, but if you wear the same tone from head to toe, you will look longer and leaner. For example, a cream colored tee, with a camel colored cardigan that ends before your fingertips with a pair of white jeans and nude sandals would look smashing!

  48. Susan, love all of these outfits & ideas, thanks for sharing. Are the white jeans NYDJ also? I have worst time trying to find jeans that fit. I’m 6 ‘ tall, but unfortunately carry most of my weight on my thighs

  49. Love the black, white also blue shirts. They look very. Comfortable. Where could I find them?
    Love your style and appreciate your fashion advice.

  50. I am really enjoying your fashion wisdom. I am in a dilemma as to what to wear on a vacation that includes a St Louis Cardinal baseball game in July. I am over 60 and prefer to be comfortable in the heat but will not wear tee shirt and SHORTS. Any ideas would be helpful.

    1. Look for fabrics such as cotton and linen and shapes that are loose-fitting to allow air flow. Sunglasses and a hat can be your best friend in the heat.

  51. You are so right. I see you took several of the Portofino blouses that you got me hooked on. I also love their Downtown Vneck camis to wear under jackets or cardigans. I love things for travel that weigh very little and that certainly is these blouses. I also like some of the print Portofinos because they have the colors of my pants or my tanks or the color of my crossbody in them. Makes it very easy to mix and match. Great video.

  52. Sure wish I saw your site before my warm weather vacation . I definitely overpacked . I ended up wearing only 4 of my interchangeable outfits . Next year I’ll pack light . Thank you for the great pictures you gave me some wonderful ideas . Rockport Texas I’m ready for you next year ! Annie

  53. I love your style. Less is best, not boring – mix & match is the way to go, literally!! May I ask where do you shop? I want to clear out my closet and only have outfits that are becoming, tastefully coordinated, quality items.
    Thanks so much

    1. If you click on the highlighted links in my posts, you will be taken to the shopping site where I purchased the products. In some cases, it will be something similar because I keep items for a few years and wear them on repeat.

  54. Great choices! Loved every outfit. One suggestion: I never travel with a “clutch” handbag. Need my hands free.


  56. Saved your post. Will take some tips on how not to pack too much on our Alaskan cruse. Warm days and cool nights.Love all your outfits.

  57. Hi Susan, I like your blogs. They are very well put together. They give ideas what I can do with clothing and accessories that I already have. Thank you

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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.