What I Packed

I spent five days in Cape Coral, Florida, last week. Many people have asked to see what I packed for the trip. My schedule, including sightseeing, walking on the beach, sitting by the pool, visiting museums, window shopping, dining out in upscale restaurants, and resting.

The photo above shows what I took and the bags I used. (The roses were waiting for me when Mr. Mickey picked me up at the airport.)

The hat is packable by Betmar. The book is “A Light in the Window” (Mitford Years) by Jan Karon. The sunglasses are by Dolce & Gabbana. The bag is from last year. I bought it at Finely House Couture in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

The silver slip-on canvas shoes are by Keds. The sandals are a couple of years old from DSW. The tan loafers are from last year by Louise Et Cie.

The carry-on bag is by CalPack. The Coach tote bag is more than thirty years old.

My favorite bras are the Ultimate and the Tankee, both by Shapeez.com. I took one silk scarf that is forty inches wide and a fifty-one-inch scarf. The larger one was also worn, tied under my arms and over my bust as a bathing suit cover-up. The blazer is by Elie Tahari last year from Neiman Marcus Last Call. The wine-colored jacket is from White House|Black Market last year. I took black patterned jeans from Stein Mart by Eric, two pairs of dark blue denim jeans, and two white pairs. I took a white cotton cardigan and a royal blue cotton cardigan. There were also white, black, and silver-gray tank tops and blouses in royal, black, and white. The blouses are the Portofino shirts from Express. The denim or chambray shirt is about three years old from Chico’s. The pajamas are flannel back satin from Miss Elaine.

The red vest is old. The navy top is here from Covered Perfectly. I wore it with Chico’s jeans and a low-slung belt I also purchased from Chico’s a few years ago.

When you shop with Covered Perfectly, you can buy two and get the third top for free. Susan After 60, followers can get a 20% discount on up to two items. Use the discount code FNF20 when you check out at Covered Perfectly. There are several excellent styles to choose from, and the discount will apply on up to two items; after that, you can take advantage of the buy 2 get 1 FREE special. Only one discount will work per order. The link to the Covered Perfectly site is here.


  1. I have read the Mitford series through a couple of times and love it. I actually have thought about you and Mr. Mickey when rereading that volume.

  2. Very helpful. We are leaving in a couple of days for two weeks — one week in Ft. Lauderdale and then a cruise. I always pack too much. This helps! One question — no dressy shoes?

  3. Jan Karon books are the best to read on a trip! I just finished “To be where you are.”. I feel like the characters are my people.

  4. Hi susan….I so enjoy your sharing your style so honestly with us…I’m 62 and retired and have never been what I would consider stylish…so you have given me many ideas . I am working on downsizing my wardrobe to coordinated items that are both comfortable and age appropriate…packing is always stressful to me…but you have provided wonderful ideas…thank you.

  5. I live in NE Florida and am wondering how you can tolerate the long shape wear bras in the summer heat. I’m very busty (38 DDD) and usually wear Bali or Lane Bryant underwire bras, but they are SO uncomfortable and/or stretch out and offer minimal support, so I’m looking for an alternative bra solution. I’d like to try the bras you’re recommending, but my goodness it gets so HOT here in the summertime that I’m not sure I could stand my entire torso being covered. Tennessee isn’t too far from FL, so I imagine the heat is similar. Can you provide any insight as to the breathe-ability of the fabric of the bras you’re wearing please and/or offer a different bra recommendation? Thank you in advance. 🙂

  6. Thanks,Susan! I will keep this to remind me to pack lightly but smartly. Often I don’t wear half of what I bring. I always appreciate your input!

    Joanne Basham

  7. I try to pack pretty light as well, usually taking a couple pair of jeans and then several tops that work with all of the jeans I take. Interestingly, my hubby takes a lot more stuff than I do.

  8. I have no sound at the moment but have watched your video. I would like to have seen you manage to pack that case with all those clothes and other item such as make up ;wash gear.etc.

  9. I always enjoy reading your site and I felt I dress better for it. You have helped me greatly navigate the transition of dressing well for my age without looking frumpy, or trying to look younger. Just looking good, and fashionable, but also without having to have an overwhelming large wardrobe. I also travel a lot and making the most of a few items is important for light travel. I looked up the carry you used and I was surprised it is almost 7 lbs. Any other lighter weigh carry on favorites? Or is that you go to carry on?
    Hope always,

  10. Glad you had a successful trip… I went close to that spot over 30 years ago from th UK, so it brought back good memories.
    Thanks for showing the items as well as listing them, that is so helpful . I was wondering how you wore the denim and chambray items, as presumably you didn’t do double denim ! Do the tan loafers / shoes mix with everything?
    I have a lighter chambray top but am not sure how to combine it with other clothes, but may use it as a sun cover up. Any suggestions?

    1. I wore the chambray shirt with the silver sandals and the white jeans. I would also wear it with black jeans or very dark denim in a pinch. The tan loafers go with everything.

  11. Susan, I always enjoy your blog. You always have relatable content to me, and good advice. What white jeans do you recommend? I have trouble finding white that doesn’t show more than I need it to. Thank you.

  12. Hi Susan, your next video will have to be on how you got all those clothes in that little bag. I’ve never been able to use a carry-on alone. Thanks for the great ideas.

  13. You do this so well! There is so much value in having what you need and feeling well and comfortably dressed in every situation. I can only aspire.

  14. This is another of your blog posts that’s going into my Keeper File as I shall be referring to it time & again as needed. Sounds as though you had a wonderful trip, Susan. I spent 6 weeks on Sanibel & Captiva many years ago in the aftermath of my divorce. I’d planned it well ahead, the idea being that I’d take some time to regroup & “heal” & what better place to do that than on hot, sandy beaches? The hilarious part is that it took me about 3 hours to “heal”: by the time I got off the plane & picked up my rental car, I was over my ex & over the divorce & so spent the next 6 weeks having a marvelous time! Although, as I recall, I packed way too much! I could have used your wisdom at the time 🙂

  15. Hello there. Love your daily blog posts. Which white pants/jeans do you recommend? I live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. White jeans/pants prove a year round staple. However, finding a flattering pair often makes me rather frustrated. I’m 5’8 and 134 pounds. If you kindly recommend a brand or a web site, I am most grateful.

  16. Was it cold in Florida when you went? I can’t imagine only wearing long pants in a hot place. No Bermuda/walking shorts or short sleeved tops?? Did you wear jeans on the beach? I live where it is hot and humid like southern Florida and can rarely wear a blazer, just too warm but love the look.
    Love your blog and looks like you had a great time.

  17. I enjoy so much all the information you share with us. You are so kind and generous with your
    knowledge. Thank you so much and please keep giving us such incredible information.
    Warmly, Carol from Chicago

  18. I enjoyed reading this post today, as usual. Liked the tips of being able to wear navy blue, royal blue and black together.

  19. The brushed-back satin by Miss Elaine are the only winter pajamas I own anymore. Unfortunately, each year they become harder to find.

  20. Great post, Susan. Can you please say more about the Portofino shirts from Express? (I believe you’ve mentioned them before?) I just looked them up online and they get great reviews. I’ve been looking for a shirt that will travel well/not easily wrinkle. I’m not typically a “shirt girl,” as I find the typical white cotton shirt too stiff-looking. It seems the Portofino drapes nicely? Would you wear this shirt alone? (Or always either under a jacket with with a tank top underneath?)Thanks.

    1. The reason I like those Portofino shirts so much is that they drape softly and have a low V neckline with a small collar. I wear the light colored ones with a tank because they are a bit too sheer for my taste. I do buy a size larger than I usually wear to avoid the gapping at the bust that happens so often.

  21. Packing for trips is my nemesis! So I really value your entries on that topic. I have one question on your five day trip packing, though. Why did you pack 5 pairs of pants for 5 days? I am an overpacker, for sure, but even I would have only packed 3 pairs. I look forward to your thoughts. Florida was a perfect choice for your solo winter getaway!

    1. I showed you the items I wore and carried as well as what I packed. It is normal for me to change clothes a couple of times each day. While traveling, I wore the blue blazer, white tank, and dark wash jeans and carried the wine colored jacket, so those items were not packed. I pack one outfit for each day, but with the thought of mixing and matching all of the pieces as needed to create more looks.

  22. Wow, that’s a lot of clothing for just 4 days! How many changes a day are you making? I take half that amount on my trips! I doubt I could do the carry on, my toiletries and cosmetics wouldn’t all fit in a quart ziplock for TSA, did you fly ?

    1. I was supposed to be there for six days. My first flight was canceled, but I didn’t repack. I was there for five days and changed at least twice each day. I did fly, but I didn’t take many toiletries at all.

  23. Hello Susan, I have a travel hack for you to share with your readers regarding hotel rooms + privacy-black-out curtains. When the hotel room curtains won’t stay closed, I turn a pant hanger vertically to clip it closed. Like you, I’m not a great sleeper either, but when I do fall sleep, I don’t like any ambient light.

  24. So glad you enjoyed your trip Susan. Thank you for the time and sharing that you put in your posts, they are always so informative. You have taught me so much. I love your style, even your casual outfits have an elegance to them. I love the red vest you’re wearing, other people must too as there are only 2 sizes left on your site. Are you wearing the medium? I love the drape and it doesn’t look clingy. I’ll keep checking back to see when you have other sizes in stock. Have a great weekend! Pam

  25. Hi Susan,
    Love your Portofino shirts, but when looking online I see they have pockets or no pocket styles. I wonder which you prefer?

  26. I love your style and enjoy your blog. I am 63 yrs. old, only 5’1″ tall and weigh approx. 170 lbs. I have a terrible time finding clothes like you wear that will actually fit me. Any suggestions on finding stylish petite clothing for a short, fluffy gal over 60? LOL! Thanks!!

  27. Do you purchase the slim fit or original in the Portofino shirts?
    Just came upon your site. Loving it!! Thanks for all your hard work on this beautiful site. Looking forward to purchasing many of the shown pieces.
    Also, would you or have you done a video on wearing your scarves in all your unique ways? I came across a couple in your pics.
    Thank you, Karen B

    1. I buy the original fit in the Portofino shirts. There are several videos on my YouTube channel. Some of them show scarf tips and there are more tips in the blog posts. Here is a post showing one of my favorite ways to wear a scarf.

  28. I love your packing suggestions. All of us pack too much when traveling. My husband and I are trying to plan a cross country trip as well as a Florida trip for 2018. I believe your packing suggestions work for both.
    I am 5ft 3 in and weigh 145 and struggle to stay there (would like to be 139) . The thicker waist comes with aging of course, short legs, etc. So I can identify with your clothes choices.
    I do have a question regarding how you manage to stop eating at 3p. I find that from about 5p on I eat more than I have eaten for breakfast and lunch and not the greatest of choices, even tho we have very little in the house that can be considered junk food. Also I have a glass of chardonnay every evening. Basically at this age it is about fitness, positivity and mobility. I appreciate your column and believe it has a wide appeal. Thank you.

    1. I must have a very sluggish metabolism. For my whole life, dinner has been much more of a bother than a joy. I love to have a big hearty breakfast and drink lots of water up until about 2 PM. After that, I am just not interested in food or drink. I do eat a small lunch, but if I get busy, I have been known to skip that as well, but I never skip breakfast.

  29. Thank you Susan for the shout out about your Shapeez bras! You have helped so many women find us and they are so pleased with their new smooth slim silhouettes with Shapeez!
    Staci Berner

    1. Capris do not look good on me with my thick lower legs, so I no longer wear them. I have given all of mine away. My favorite jeans at the moment are Lauren Ralph Lauren, Slimming classic straight-Leg white jeans from Dillard’s. I bought the short length, so I don’t even have to hem them. They will be perfect for most of the summer since they end right at the ankle bones.

    1. If I wear a tank as a layering piece, I like it to be smooth and fit close to the body. If I wear a tank in the summer with white jeans, I want it to be loose and breezy but with armholes that aren’t too large.

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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.