When Summer Arrives

Hot weather can be challenging when you want to look polished and put together. Even though I’ve purchased a few items in anticipation of summer, we are still in the frosty morning stage. However, you might enjoy a sneak peek of what I will wear later.

Linen is always comfortable for hot weather, so I purchased a navy linen blazer and some linen tops. The blazer will look great with white jeans as well. I bought a size 10. It is not fully lined to allow for airflow and comfort. The blazer is here.

Sling-back shoes with a low heel or flats, if you prefer, are very on-trend. I found mine here. They are comfortable and easy to style with straight-leg jeans.

Light-wash straight-leg jeans hemmed to the top of the foot are an excellent summer weather option. The length and style are also perfect for wearing with sneakers, sandals, or heels. I found the straight jeans in the Elia wash here. I am wearing a size 28 Classic.

While we are on the subject of jackets, let’s discuss that X stitched over the open pleat of many coats and blazers. It is a temporary stitch to hold the pleat down while the garment is shipped. (You might never get the crease out if it became crumpled or folded upward.) The customer is supposed to clip it free and remove the string before wearing it. Pockets are also stitched closed for the same reason. However, you may decide it looks neater to leave pockets stitched closed, but please remove that pleat stitch.

After finding a few styles that suit me without dipping too low, square necklines have become a favorite.

That’s the same jeans with a linen top. I purchased the black and lilac tops as well. When the sleeves are pushed up, the effect is feminine and cool, but I also like how they look down. The shoulder seams have a small snap to hold your bra strap neatly out of sight. I am wearing my usual size (medium). The top is here.

I’ve been looking for a white straw bag for a couple of years, so I was happy to find one here. It is the perfect size for the daytime. I do not like white sandals or pumps on me, so I wear nude shoes instead. My slides are a couple of years old by Sam Edelman.

The tank is the same one I wore with the linen blazer above. (Travel capsule wardrobe?) I found the tank and square-neck tops with sleeves here. I bought the crinkle cotton beach pants to wear when I walk over to our neighborhood pool. They have an elastic waist and pockets, so they are perfect to wear over a swimsuit. I bought them in a size small here. A similar hat is here. A similar tote is here.

The sandals are the most comfortable ones I’ve ever purchased. I ordered them in a size nine here. (My usual size is 8.5 M)

If you enjoy summer reading, I highly recommend “Becoming Mrs. Lewis” by Patti Callahan here. It is fiction but loosely based on the love story of famous writers. I adored it!

I was so pleased with the colorful breakfast I put together this morning that I took a picture for you. Yes, I have vegetables for breakfast! Muffins and other sweet foods for breakfast start the craving for more sweets all day.

My breakfast often includes olives, a boiled egg, cucumbers with aged balsamic vinegar, black beans, baked sweet potato, and organic baby peas. At other times, I may have steamed broccoli, red pepper slices, cherry tomatoes with good olive oil, and avocado.

My posts are sporadic now that I am mostly retired, but I always enjoy hearing from you. The shopping links I share on my website may allow me to earn a small commission without cost to you. Recent outfits are summarized here. You may sign up for the newsletter here to learn when I share a new post.

  1. I just have a hard time with the pairing of jeans and high heels…even kitten heels. It’s like an wardrobe that’s incongruous..”am I causal or am I fancy”. I always enjoy your vids

  2. Absolutely love those straight leg jeans and the way you styled them. Simple, modern with an elegant sensuality.

  3. I too have recently purchased a navy linen blazer and as we are going into autumn here in Australia, I was able to get it on sale, less than half price and excellent quality. I’ve already worn it twice and it’s perfect for our fairly mild autumns here in Melbourne. Love the tip about the stitched back seam. I see so many people with the stitch still in place and I always feel like snipping it off for them! Lovely post about one of my favourite topics; linen clothing! I have at least 20 linen jackets/blazers and many shirts, blouses, tops and frocks. Love it!

  4. So glad to see your post today! It has been a while and I was worried you may not be well. Your posts are a great way to start the day!

  5. Hi Susan, You always have such good ideas! I totally agree with you about the white sandals. I’ve never been a fan but never understood exactly why until I started reading your blog! Thanks for the confirmation!
    Debbie Robinson

  6. Good morning, I was glad to see a post from you that all is well, too. Thank you for sharing your latest read. I’ll have to put that on my list. I just finished “Finding Margaret Fuller” by Allison Pataki. In June, “The Comfort of Ghosts” by Jacqueline Winspear will be released. The last of the Maisie Dobbs novels. Do you warm the sweet potato before enjoying your breakfast bowl? It looks yummy. Because of you, I discovered I like balsamic vinegar more and more. Thank you!
    Your posts always make me smile and brighten my day.

  7. Love the square neck tanks. I’ve never considered that style. Thank you for sharing your breakfast choices. I think I don’t eat a big enough breakfast because I’m hungry again by 11am! I’m plant based so this breakfast is perfect except for the eggs.
    I always look forward to your posts.

  8. These are some good ides for summer. I have always liked your style and get many ideas from you. This book does sound like a good read. Good to see your post but I do understand you being retired now. Just please keep these conversations coming at your pace.

  9. I really appreciate you keeping your blog even though you are retired. My personal journey is very similar to yours — long professional career, recently retired. Even including the selling of the house and downsizing. It is difficult to find voices of women post-career, but it is a big and important part of life so I sincerely mean your ideas, tips, thoughts, and sharing are helpful and inspiring. Please keep up the good work!

  10. I have never owned linen, and am wondering about its reputation for wrinkling. Do your items look rumpled after sitting in the car, or otherwise wearing all day? It is so beautiful and I would like to try it.

    1. My friend Louisa used to call them “rich wrinkles”. Yes, linen wrinkles, but less so in high humidity. The higher the quality of the linen, the more it wrinkles.

  11. So happy to find your post in the inbox this morning! I’m mulling the linen top with square neck you showed. I love it, but do I need it? Will I wear it? Those are the questions. Living in the Pacific Northwest doesn’t usually require linen, but we do get some warmer days. I always enjoy seeing what you are eating for inspiration on incorporating more nutrition in my meals. Thanks for all you share! By the way, I was getting frustrated with flyaway frizz bits in my gray hair. I’d tried all kinds of products with uneven success. I finally had a clear gloss applied by my stylist. Wow! What a difference! My hair is shiny and soft with wonder texture. No more frizz. I’m so pleased! It will last three months with a salon product. Apparently, this can be applied at home too with a home product. Wishing you and Mr. Mickey good adventures this week!

  12. Your outfits are always great on you and your breakfast looks amazing. I hope you both are well.

  13. I enjoy seeing what you’re eating and reading. The clothes and shoes are fun to see what you’ve put together but I have to look for less expensive choices. I’m a widow on a fixed income and can’t afford those expensive things.

  14. Susan, thank you for responding about warming the sweet potato with a bit of real butter. Even better! For those times I need a meal to warm me up, I steam carrots, broccoli and cauliflower sprinkled with Penzeys Sunny Paris Seasoning – purple shallots, chives, green peppercorn, French basil, French tarragon, chervil, bay leaf, and dill weed. Fortunately, I have a Penzeys store very close by so I can pick up my favorites when my supply runs low. The label indicates it’s a flavorful, rich seasoning, perfect for chicken, fish, vegetables, salads, potatoes, rice, veal, scrambled eggs and omelets.
    Keep those food photos coming!

  15. If you enjoyed Becoming Mrs Lewis, try “Shadowlands,” a movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger. It tells their story very beautifully. My husband and I both found it very moving.

  16. Hi Susan when I saw your post today I was so pleased. Was a bit concerned that you were unwell. I retired almost 4 years ago and do things in my own time after 46 years of working in the corporate world so I can relate to your posts being when you can or want too.
    I do crafting or just watch Television in the day. Retirement is wonderful I am enjoying it. Your posts are something I look forward too all the ideas and tips are so useful thank you for sharing with those. Enjoy you retirement and keep well. Bless you for your kind heart.

  17. Thanks again for an informative post. I too look forward to hearing from you. I admire your style and now I’m craving a sweet potato! Your style is classy and always on point!

  18. Susan,
    Great selection of classy comfortable summer attire! Thank you for continuing to help us age beautifully. The helpful suggestions about healthy food Choices as well as the practical tips, (pleat stitch) are greatly appreciated. Looking forward to reading your books selection as well. Happy Summer!

  19. Hi Susan

    I love to read your post. I’m 54 and hope to find my style one day. Right now scrubs are about all I wear. Thank you for your lessons and suggestions when creating ones wardrobe. May God bless you and continue to keep you healthy.

  20. You look lovely Susan, It is such fun to hear from you and it is appreciated.
    Here in NZ we are getting the first cold winds of autumn.
    I live in the capital city of Wellington so we get some impressive winds – hats need to be a very snug fit!
    Happily I spend a lot of time in the local country area of the Wairarapa. It has amazing rivers and lots of open farm land.
    Thank you for bringing your excellent style ideas into my part of the world.

  21. Hi, Susan , as always thank you for what you do. You and Mr Micky bring so much light to us followers in another wise troubled world .
    My favourite colours at the moment are various shades of blue, navy and of course white . Will spring ever come to
    UK it’s been soo cold. We all need a good summer to recharge our batteries.
    It must be difficult keeping a blog going for as long as you have but you have made a difference, I speak personally
    when I was diagnosed with breast cancer not long after you and same procedure and Hormone inhibitors for 5 yrs.
    As you know I took a leaf out of your book and your strength and courage you shared with us all was incredible.
    Thank you .
    I look forward to summer trips around beautiful Tennessee and all the gorgeous food you and Mr Mickey share with us , not literally of course lol . It’s nice to hear about the history of your beautiful locations etc.
    Please don’t give up on us yet even if it a post now and again .
    Best wishes Pamela Wales UK

  22. Hello Susan, I am always excited when I check my email and see your posts! You always have suggestions and styles that ring such a classic, put-together style vibe.
    I have always loved linen pants, skirts and loose dresses but am a new convert to linen jackets. My dilemma is always in the care of the of the more structured linen apparel pieces. How you care for your jackets. Do you hand wash and dry flat, hang or dry clean them? I have such an issue with them appearing limp and sloppy. I try steaming and ironing but can’t ever achieve their original appearance. Please, what is your linen care regimen?

    1. I plan to machine wash my linen items and hang them on a dress hanger to dry on a rail. I will steam them as needed, but will accept the fact that linen wrinkles.

  23. So happy to see your post this morning. I so appreciate all your style advice. Your breakfast looks yummy. Thanks for all you do.

  24. So good to hear from you this morning! You always brighten my day! I love that you choose to continue to share your lifetime of wisdom with your readers. Grateful that you are willing to continue, at the pace that is comfortable with the season of life you are in. It seems to be true, there aren’t many voices that speak to our age range and the life circumstances, both positive and negative that we encounter. Every stage of life is an important part of our journey. Thank you for shedding light onto this truth. We are not done yet!❤️

  25. I love the square necked top! I’ve never owned anything linen. Is there any special care tips I should know? Why don’t all designers put snaps in shoulders for straps? I think I could add them my self, and may try.
    Thank you for all your tips.

  26. Susan, I adore your posts! Bought the linen blazer! On sale!
    Do you have any insights or thoughts you’d like to share about BeautyCounter temporarily closing? I’m heartbroken. I love their products.

  27. Your breakfast looked so enticing, I decided to have a similar one for lunch. An hour to go here and my mouth is watering. I love the look of gauze or linen with light washed jeans. Perfect for summer.

  28. Since, I, too, am retired, I’m glad you’re taking time for yourself and enjoying your retirement! I, also, especially enjoy your posts now because we have a similar lifestyle. I still enjoy a polished look when I go out, even to run errands. Your classic capsule wardrobe is just right for me, too! Thank you for contort share your style and adventures with us!

  29. Hi Susan,
    Love, love your posts! I so look forward to all of your style and lifestyle inspiration!

    Kindest Regards,
    Katherine Harrington
    Alberta, Canada

  30. Thanks for the book recommendation. I’m currently reading an older book on the same person, Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis. I think I’ll suggest this one to our book club.

  31. The straight leg jeans always look great on you – so classy.
    Now that you’re older, what skin care are you using to keep your neck and décolletage smooth?

  32. Enjoy your posts so much. Never thought of sweet potatoes for breakfast. Will try that for sure. I enjoyed both the book ‘Becoming Mrs Lewis’ & the movie ‘Shadowland’. Just about anything about or by CS Lewis is good reading. Thank you for all you share about style, food and travel.

  33. I love linen . . . theoretically. After 5 minutes (max), I always feel a rumpled mess. (I did once read an article where Giorgio Armani says that he doesn’t use linen for that reason.) Should I learn to love the rumple? So enjoy your posts. . . thank you.

  34. Susan, you look as stylish as ever in these outfits. But it is your breakfast that I want to make a comment about. I have been looking for some ways of adding more protein to my breakfasts, while reducing breads and cereals. Your breakfast looks so delicious! I plan to use it as a model for my breakfasts going forward. Thank you!

  35. I am not keen on linen but I love your looks. You always look great. I too look forward to your posts and am happy whenever they appear. I live not really that far away from earlier poster Carolyn in NZ. I am just up the road on the Kapiti Coast so appreciate her comments about windy Wellington LOL. Autumn here and looking forward to wearing jackets and boots again. Love love love your posts Susan. PS we need a post soon of more of Mr Mickey’s socks. Hope you are well. Best wishes.

  36. You are right! Becoming Mrs. Lewis is wonderful! I downloaded it to my Kindle as soon as I read your post. I can’t put it down. I am an avid reader, but this is the most refreshing book I’ve read in a long time.
    Helen Wishman Milam

  37. Love your breakfast idea and outfits. I need boot cut jeans or a slight flair or my legs look too thick. I can not do linen. I just can’t do all the wrinkles.

  38. Thanks for the excellent recommendation of “Becoming Mrs. Lewis”. Always looking for the next great read!!

  39. Love all your new outfits. They are perfect for me. Will be going to buy these items. Thank you for all your posts

  40. Although married and retired I look after a great grandchild almost full time. I love a good book but find magazines repetitive so stopped buying them. I absolutely enjoy ready your blog. So lovely to read how another woman of my age is living across the pond (I’m in the uk). I too have a signiture look not as polished as yours but it suits my life currently jeans, striped t shirts in varies colours, pumps and hoodie style sweatshirts. All suitable for chasing after a four year old in the park or play zones. My look is freshened up by a nice top, wool cardigan/jacket and smart black trousers for the times we go out to a restaurant. I would love to loose a few pounds and your food suggestions may help me get healthier alongside more walking and swimming so I plan to try them. Thank you for writing I do appreciate reading and looking at your style tips.

  41. I’ve had those same Minnetonka sandals for years and can’t bear to part with them, so glad to have a source for replacing my tired pair. Love the book recommendation and requested this from our library.

  42. I look forward to your posts but wish you the best in retirement. Post when you have time and let us travel and age with you.

  43. You are always so polished and chic even in warm weather. The hotter months are always a challenge for me in Southern California. Wearing even a light jacket/blazer or anything with sleeves isn’t practical when the temperatures are in the 90s (and above!) I look for sleeveless or short sleeve tops at Boden, Garnet Hill, J. Jill, and Chico’s as they usually have stylish clothing that is also age-appropriate without be dowdy.

    I appreciate that you never (or rarely?) wear cropped pants or capris. Unless you are quite tall with long, slender legs they tend to “cut off” the legs making the wearer look shorter. Lightweight linen or similar pants that reach the ankles seem more flattering for most body types – or a dress or skirt. That’s my observation but wear what makes you feel good!

  44. Hello Susan! I enjoy all of your posts. Your face is so warm and glowy in this post. Do you use a special facial tanning product. I have yet to find one that I like. Would love to hear what you use.
    Glad you are enjoying retirement! So many fun things to do and see.
    Tonya Bowman, Virginia

  45. Always great to “see” you! Looking beautiful as usual. I always love your posts, advice & suggestions. Don’t fade out too fast…
    I hope Mr. Mickey is okay. I know in a past post you mentioned that you two weren’t getting out as much.
    My goal is always to leave the house looking as chic as you!

  46. Hi Susan!
    I always wore thong sandals by Bernardo when I was young…unfortunately after years of standing at my easel and teaching art I have some foot and knee problems… so no thongs or high heels.! Love the looks you showed in this post.

    On a constant search for elegant ww shoes!!

    I am thinking of adding a style section to my Social media and so enjoy reading your blog…always very interesting, informative and an inspiration!
    Deborah Sherman

  47. You look amazing and the breakfast looks so good! Can you tell me where you purchased the small black bag with handle? Thank you.

  48. Ha, I love the tip on the pleat X! Thank you for sharing your delicious looking breakfast. I jotted down your ideas as they look good and healthy.

  49. Susan, thank you for these great tips as you transition to a summer wardrobe. I enjoy reading how you change up the fabric of your clothing for warm weather as well as handbags and footwear. I would love to hear more about changing accessories including jewelry for warm weather. I enjoy all that you share with us.

  50. I am worried about you and Mr. Mickey as it’s been a while since your last post.

    Thinking of you.


  51. Susan,
    You are so nice !!!! you are always elegant and refined, you are magnificent. Jerome

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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.