Warm Fall Dressing Tips

Many followers who live in warmer climates have asked for suggestions on dressing more fall-like without overheating. A few styling tips can help you celebrate the season without melting.

Balance the exposure on the top with the bottom. When you wear a three-quarter sleeve top with a low neckline, show a bit of skin at your ankles too. Closed-toe shoes or short booties are another way to make your look more appropriate for fall. Skip the heavy socks or tights for now, and wear no show socks instead. I like the socks here because they don’t slip off as I walk.

Wear bold or darker colors in fabrics that aren’t heavy. My lip color today is Girl’s Night here.

The top has bell sleeves and a V neckline, which are very flattering for gals with a large bust. The color is perfect for cool skin tones. It was a gift from Covered Perfectly (here). When you buy two tops, the third one is free! (Or use the code FNF20 to get 20% off one or two items.) Only one promotion will work.

My jeggings and handbag are both a couple of years old. My short booties are also old. Similar here.

When I show photos taken inside my home, I often get decorating questions. I tend to collect items that appeal to me and keep them for many years (as I do with my wardrobe). The cushions on my sofa looked very tired, so I picked up new throw pillows (similar here) this week. The change to more contemporary fabrics made a significant impact.

I appreciate your questions and positive comments, whether you are asking about solo travel, healthy food options, skincare or makeup, styling tips, or decorating. I’m always happy to share what I’ve learned or go searching for more info so that I can respond helpfully.

  1. Hi Susan,
    I saw a similar top on QVC recently – does the zipper on your top go all the way around the neck? I was thinking that might feel uncomfortable on the skin even with a little fabric in between. Also, I don’t think I have seen you wear bell sleeves before – would you wear a jacket over them? I have been following you for quite a while now and I really like your style. You are a great role model. Thanks!

  2. Long time follower here, when the seasons change in Southern Illinois I struggle with pants length,ankle to full length, and socks/no socks. Today’s post leaves me wondering again. I would have not worn pants that showed ankle with booties , though I did like that look on you today. Sign me, all mixed up!

  3. Hello Susan,

    I have been reading your blogs recently and have enjoyed them especially your jewelry items.

    Since I am an interior designer and you mentioned getting new pillows in this blog, I decided to pass along a few tips for you. You have a lovely home with nice furniture pieces and special decorative items you have collected thru the years. My style too is traditional, but I have tried to update a few decor items keeping in mind I cannot change everything. I see you have a lot of gold tones and dark art in your home. Try to select another brighter color, maybe one from your rug, as an accent color. Three pillows in red or navy blue would be nice on the sofa. It you don’t care for that idea, try going much lighter with your gold color….say cream.

    I live in Richmond, Va., so if you ever visit Richmond or Williamsburg, I would love to meet you and have lunch and talk design!

    Good luck. Another tip is to look at magazines for ideas, but I am very picky about them too. I like Traditional Home but my favorite is Veranda. My favorite designers are Bunny Williams and Charlotte Moss. I also enjoy Sarah Richardson out of Canada.


    Beverly Martin

    1. Oooooh, I love these same designers, especially the Carolyn Roehm decorating books. There’s a stack of them sitting on a table in the living room. Traditional is a timeless style, like clothing style. Very elegant. All the new HGTV contemporary decorating styles are not for me at all. It’s so nice to know there are others out there who have stayed true to what they like.

  4. I enjoy reading your posts. I’ve incorporated many of your ideas into my wardrobe. I’m a very youthful 72 year old.

  5. I’m letting my hair go grey, and would love to know about hair care routine and products. I currently wash and blow my hair dry every day. It’s cut short to help hasten the process.

    1. That’s what I also did. I used a temporary color a couple of times, but that was when I turned fifty. Stylists and Colorists have gotten so much better at helping you transition to your natural color. I use Beautycounter daily hair products here. About twice a week I use Tone it Down to keep the yellow out.

  6. Susan, have you noticed any of your modal tops getting holes in the stomach area after 2 or 3 wearings? I bought several from Nordstrom’s that now have small holes in them . Most were T shirts and they were not inexpensive. I wondered if the fabric was thicker , maybe I would not have this problem. It also happens with cotton slub clothing from Chico’s. It is very discouraging!

    1. It happens to me when I wear them with jeans. I have a suspicion that the metal button on jeans causes the little holes. My male friends have complained about the same issue.

  7. I was getting small holes in my knit shirts and discovered the metal button on my jeans was rubbing against my quartz countertops while cooking. I ruined quite a few tops so I’ve switched to pull-on jeans. Problem solved.

  8. You look wonderful, as always! I love the new cushions. They really give a fresh, new look to the sofa and the whole room!

  9. Regarding the colors in the living room. I’ve three generations of matching colors to that rug! I also forgot to mention in my email I have the baby brother of the big Karastan. I really like the new pillows and especially that they aren’t matching. The metallic one echoes the pattern of the rug. I love it.

    Since that rug has 14 colors (yes I just counted mine) nothing truly would not match. My mom went with gold a lot. My grandmother was of the antimacassar era and eschewed throw pillows. My sister in law put a white brocade sofa and love seat set in her living room when the rug lived there. She had very exotic Moroccan style pillows with an enormous square oak table in the center of the space. Sounds horrible but was stunning. I just took my rug in to have the fringe removed. Shocking, I know but my housekeeper kept letting the vacuum consume it.

    Love the low booties by the way. And I bought Sheecs. Love them. Got all three styles. Very happy you recommended them. The customer service is absolutely fabulous as well. Unparalleled in today’s era of disaffected millennials.

  10. Me again. I live in Florida – hot and humid outside – cold inside. What would you throw over that top when indoors in the AC? Thanks.

  11. Thank you for the link on the booties as I need new ones but so many show around the edges of my flat shoes! I see there is low low booties I will try!

  12. In Michigan, our weather has already turned windy and cool and our condo’s heat is already on. This week I dug out my turtleneck tops and vests and have begun to layer using your basic “fashion rules” My only issue is that I have a short and thicker than some neckline and most scarves just add to that visual thickness. (Thanks to my German grandmother!) To this effect I usually turn to thin fabric turtlenecks or cowl necks to keep my neck warm in cool weather without adding a lot of extra bulk Any other suggestions would be very welcome!

    1. I am with you on the benefits of layering thin fabrics to stay warm without looking like an advertisement for a tire company. Use long necklaces or open outer layers (plain cardigans or jackets) to give the thinning illusion we seek.

  13. My mother suggested I wear an apron when I complained about holes in my tops around the belt-line. The aprons completely resolved the problem for me.

  14. Good Morning Susan,

    I need to invest in a quality dark blue or black jean that fits at the waist. I retired a few years ago and am trying to incorporate causal clothing. What brand and where do you shop for your jeans. I am going on 64 and live in Louisiana.
    You always dress classy,

    1. Levi’s, NYDJ, and Liverpool Jeans Co. offer a variety of fits and styles. For example, I recently ordered jeans from Levi’s since they provide slim fit straight leg jeans in 30-inch inseams. I have no behind, so that style fits me well. Take measurements of your waist, hips, thighs, and inseam. That will help you narrow the choices.

  15. In New Zealand we are in Spring (quite changeable weather here, one day can be 22 degrees and sunny and the next 12 degrees and wet and windy) and about to go into Summer. But I love seeing what you are wearing anyway and love this outfit. I love your blog.

  16. Hi Susan,
    I really enjoy seeing your fashion styles and travel details. You are just amazing! So glad to learn more about your decorating ideas too. Would you please share the paint color on your living room walls? It looks like a creamy yellow sometimes and other times it appears to be more tan. Thanks for all you do!!

  17. I’m 5’6” y’all. I was always skinny until I hit 50 yrs old. (I weighed 96lbs when I married at 22 yrs. old). I am 72 yrs. old now and weigh 178 pounds. I still have long thin legs but my body is fat. I carry my weight in my middle (small bust). I don’t know what to wear anymore. Can you help me?

  18. Hello Susan,
    I appreciate your blogs – they do provide ideas and inspiration. I’m curious about what product your dentist uses on your teeth for whitening. They look lovely. Thanks, Joy

    1. I don’t have any of the syringes now, but I use the 10% strength solution. Honestly, the brand name changes from one visit to the next. I had the trays made to fit my teeth years ago and always buy the solution from my Dentist.

  19. Hi Susan, I appreciated your link for the Sheec no-shows. I have tried others (Bombas, etc) and while they work for low-top sneakers, they don’t work well with many of the flats we often wear. I am keeping my fingers crossed that these will prove up to the task. I saw certain shoe brands that I wear in their example pictures so that bodes well.
    I miss your scarf shop but am still delighted with those I did buy. Thanks for your thoughtful curating in the links you provide.

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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.