Showing posts with label wardrobe tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wardrobe tips. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Shop Your Closet!

Carefree dressing means something different for everyone. I like the concept of having a few good pieces that all work together and can be worn dressed up or down to serve my needs.

Have you had to change the slices of your wardrobe pie over the years?

I have a very busy social and work life right now. I do not attend many casual functions or relax at home very often. That means my wardrobe pie may be sliced differently than yours. 

In order for your clothes to serve you well, you need to be realistic about your life. For example, if you have a closet full of office appropriate clothes that you never wear anymore because you have retired, maybe it is time for a good purge.

I have purged my closet several times since I lost forty-five pounds a few years ago. I certainly didn't get it right at first!

I now own mostly separates in solid colors, and I hang them in my closet by type. My tank tops are together from lightest to darkest. My blouses are hung together lightest to darkest and so on. When I walk into my closet, it makes it easy to "shop" for the look of the day. 

I also store my accessories and shoes in a similar manner so that I can tell at a glance what I have to choose from.

As I am getting dressed, I think first about the weather. I never wear white or light colored pants on a day that might include rain. The pants will become permanently stained as the grime gets on the back of your legs as you walk. Thankfully that silly rule about not wearing white after Labor Day has been put to rest.

If you know the colors that look good with your complexion and the shapes that flatter your build, those items can be worn together much of the time.

This old top from Chico's is a good example of a piece that I have worn in many ways. I like it because of the simple neckline and unique hem. The three-quarter-length sleeves help me appear taller and slimmer. The asymmetric hemline also breaks up the horizontal line so that the eye is not drawn to the hip area nor does that break line cut my body in half making me look shorter and wider. Wearing a dark color on top visually minimizes my largest half.

The fabric of this top is also three season material which means I can wear it for most of the year.

This same top could be worn with slim black pants and heels with fabulous jewelry out to dinner or to a formal function. 

I could just as easily pair it with faded jeans and a pair of flat sandals to be worn to a casual function.

When the elements of your wardrobe serve you well, you spend much less time saying "I have nothing wear!" and lots more time living your life and looking great while you are at it.

That's why I share what I have learned. I hope my tips prove to be helpful to you as you build a wardrobe that works well for you.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

All words, styling, and creative direction are my own.
I no longer accept products in exchange for reviews.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dress For Your Personality

A lot has been published about what colors and styles to wear or not to wear. I believe that dressing in what makes you happy is the key to successful style.

We met with friends over drinks and hors d'oeuvres to discuss a project a few days before I got my hair cut. I always try to dress appropriately for the weather, the event and lastly I bring my personality into the mix. I have been saving these photos to share with you when the post calls for it. 

It was a cool evening, and the professional nature of the event called for a more polished look than my usual combos.

Even though I am wearing old pieces from my wardrobe in the picture above, I do not usually put them together in this way. The more relaxed cut of the dress pants combined with low heeled shoes and the loose fitting tank top with a neutral blush color jacket do not reflect my nature. The edgy straw clutch bag along with the jazzy necklace were my attempts to add "me" into the mix.

Yesterday we were going to visit my parents and then to have a light dinner to end a great weekend. The lack of an "event" to dress for meant that I could just put on what felt right for the weather. 

You can see how much happier I look wearing clothes that reflect my personality.

Not just because I am acting silly, but you can tell that being true to myself in the way I dress makes me feel more confident and happy.

The tips and tricks I share with you are intended to help you evaluate what is in your wardrobe and determine if the pieces work for you and with each other. The secret to success is found in how you put the items together and then accessorize them. It does not matter what color they are (certain colors and tones will indeed look better on you than others), or how much they cost, or where you bought them. If the elements in your collection can be combined to show your unique personality and make you feel confident, that is what matters.

This way of dressing does not require that you have a huge wardrobe. It is all about knowing what is right for you and your lifestyle. What I wear, including my heels, might not be right for you at all. My budget may be entirely different than yours. The colors that comprise my core wardrobe may not be right for you. The points I make here are intended to show you how I use these elements to put together looks that work for the event, the weather and my personality. I am just using myself as an example to hopefully help you use these basic guidelines to figure out what works best for you.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

I purchased all the items I am wearing in this post. 
As always, all words and styling are my own.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Basics!

A wardrobe that includes items which can be mixed and matched will serve you well.

1. A good trench coat can go to the grocery store over jeans or to the opera over an evening gown. Just remember to tie that belt in front or in back and push up the sleeves and scrunch the collar to keep it from appearing too stiff. There are other colors that might flatter your skin tone more than the common tan color. Consider gray, navy or red for your go to coat. Avoid Polyester. 
2. Great fitting dark wash jeans are almost always appropriate. 
3. A low heeled comfortable boot in black or brown can take you through most of the fall and winter.

1. A black straight or A line skirt that ends at or below the knee. 
2. A blazer in a color that you like to wear near your face. It can go over jeans, dresses, skirts and slacks. Wear it belted with sleeves pushed up with a pair of jeans for a great casual look.
3. Tank tops can be worn as a first layer all year long. Slim fitting, not clingy is a good investment. Chico's has really great ones. They don't cling and they launder beautifully
4. A black pair of pumps. It doesn't matter what heel height or toe shape but you will want to own at least one pair.
5. A clutch bag for evening or any special event. A bulky shoulder bag ruins the lines of any outfit. 
6. A pair of earrings that make you feel special when you put them on.

There has been at least one little black dress (LBD) in my closet since I turned 18. 

Note the amount of cover of the shoe relates to the amount of cover of the dress. The coat, jacket and sweaters also shown here here on this page can be worn with these dresses to totally change their look.

1. A straight leg (not skinny) pair of black jeans or tailored pants will serve you well on many occasions.
2. A simple white long sleeve tee that fits close to the body, not clingy, will work well under vests, jackets and partially buttoned cardigan sweaters.
3. Scarves in bright colors that flatter your complexion can make an otherwise dull look come to life and tie an outfit together.
4. Flat comfy brogues for those days when you know you will be walking and standing a lot.
5. A casual bag that isn't all one color and is made of durable fabrics such as canvas and leather.
6. Accessories add the finishing touch. Don't forget them even on a casual day!

I also find it is great to own neutrals which can be worn with everything else. Nude pumps, a luggage color bag, tortoise sunglasses, khaki pants and last but not least a white blouse.

One last important note: There is never a time that a white bra will work. It will show through no matter what you wear it with. A nude bra (the color of your skin) is always a much better choice. Foundation garments are just that, the building blocks upon which everything else rests. If they aren't doing their job, you will never look as good as you could in your great new wardrobe. Get a professional bra fitting. You will be so glad you did!

Thank you for reading my blog and for joining me on this journey through midlife and beyond. 

Susan Street is the President of

I am on Polyvore!
I am also on Pinterest!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Wine Club

Mr. Mickey and I are charter members of a wine club. Last night we attended a tasting which included the Italian wines Baraolos and Brunellos.

I am wearing a long black, red and cream sweater over a long sleeve red tee with a bold Asian inspired tassel necklace all from Chico's. The straight leg black pants are from Stein Mart a couple of years ago. The shoes are from Nordstrom. The bag is by Tahari via T.J.Maxx last year. 

Before the tasting I studied that large map of Italy showing all the wine regions on the easel behind me. 
Have you been to Italy? 

I hope you have a lovely weekend. 
Thanks so much for reading.

Susan Street is the President of

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Saturday In Abingdon

Located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Highlands, Abingdon, Virginia is home to historical attractions, many musical events, fine lodging and dining. Here you will find the Barter Theater, the Martha Washington Hotel and Spa, the Heartwood Artisan Gallery and so much more.

For our day in Abingdon I wore gray side zip pants from Talbots, a twill fuchsia jacket, a white tank top and a chiffon animal print scarf all from Stein Mart. The bag is by Tignanello.

The Heartwood Gallery showcases the work of the finest regional artisans including furniture makers, potters, jewelry designers, fiber artists and many more.

When we have plans for dinner in a neighboring town I usually dress for the daytime activities but take with me other shoes, jewelry, a jacket or wrap and an evening clutch to switch to for dinner.

 For daytime I wore low wedge comfortable black Alex Marie shoes from Dillard's last year. I had my hair cut again on Friday but I haven't had time to "customize" it yet. Do you do your own texturizing around your face? I invested in a pair of texturizing shears years ago. They are more forgiving if you just can resist trimming the front of your own hair when you are past due for a cut. 

Barter Theatre was founded during the Depression by an enterprising young actor named Robert Porterfield. He and his fellow actors found themselves out of work and hungry in New
York City. Porterfield contrasted that to the abundance of food, but lack of live theater, around his home region in Southwest Virginia. He returned to Washington County with an extraordinary proposition: bartering produce from the farms and gardens of the area to gain admission to see a play. These days they are happy to accept cash or credit cards instead of a pound of potatoes for entrance.

The Martha Washington Hotel and Spa across the street is one of our favorite retreats and places to enjoy fine dining. 

There is a grand piano in the main floor ballroom of The Martha Washington Hotel. I read music but I can not play by ear or memory.  I am in awe of those who can.

I've switched to a different fuchsia double breasted jacket, Ros Hommerson shoes, blingy jewelry and a small leather clutch for dinner. This jacket is also from Stein Mart. 

In front of the fire in the library at the Martha.

More bling and a small leather clutch for evening.

The Spa is world class...
so is their fine dining restaurant "Sisters at The Martha". 


 The first course... lobster fritters and 
a lovely Sauvignon blanc.

Thanks for reading!

I hope you have a great week.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Many Shades of Gray

The sky was many shades of gray today and so was my attire.

When our temperatures dip into the teens I would like nothing better than to sit by the fire and read for the evening. However, Mr. Mickey was taking me out to dinner so we were on our way out the door when these photos were snapped.

Sweater from Coldwater Creek. Black long sleeve tee from Chico's. Pants from Talbots. Necklace by Erica Lyons from Belk. Shoes are from a couple of years ago DSW. Evening purse from T.J. Maxx.

I hope you have a warm and cozy weekend! Thank you for reading.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Red Jeggings!

Saturday was a beautiful day here! 

For shopping and running errands I wore red jeggings. Yes me in jeggings! (They are leggings cut like jeans.) I found these at T.J. Maxx. I wore them with Ralph Lauren cognac brown booties (via T.J. Maxx) and a blue Tencel material tunic from Coldwater Creek

The suede animal print bag is more than twenty years old. Proof that if you buy timeless classics they will serve you for many years. I normally do not wear a shoulder bag but this one is a small style that is good for hands free shopping. 

I purposely kept all my other accessories minimal and in a gold silver combination. The large face watch is from Stein-Mart and the large silver with gold hoops are from B'Dazzled in Blowing Rock North Carolina.

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Autopilot Dressing

Last evening we attended the Jonesborough Progressive Dinner, a wonderful holiday ritual for Mickey and I. The event takes place in the oldest town in Tennessee which is only about eight miles from my home. We take a tour of several historic homes throughout the town and have one course of the meal at each home. There is live music and the owners are there to tell us about the history and architecture of the home. Along the route one of the Historians is on board the bus to tell us about the building we are about to visit and it's relation to the history of the town.

Knowing that we would be going in and out of the weather and in a variety of settings I opted for layers which could be peeled off as necessary. During the small amount of time I had to get dressed for the event, not one but two dear friends called! Friends always take priority so of course I chatted with them while getting dressed which means I had a total of three minutes to actually think about what I was wearing before Mickey arrived. This thrown together at the last minute look carried me through the evening but it isn't a winner in my eyes. Let's talk about why.

A better look would have been to button the jacket most of the way up with only the top fold of the scarf showing at the neckline. The open jacket and flowing scarf add too much width at my torso which doesn't balance with the fuller leg tailored pants. Autopilot dressing means I don't have the extra few minutes it takes to apply a critical eye to what I've put together. The up side is that I accomplished what I wanted to by wearing festive layers that could be removed as needed but remain appropriately dressed for the event. (Wearing red is about as close to a Christmas sweater as I will ever come.)

The pants are from Chico's and the red long sleeve tee is also. The jacket is from Geiger. The shoes are from Ros Hommerson (similar here). The scarf is something I picked up at Ross and the evening bag is from T. J. Maxx.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Come as you are... Really?

Our society has become so very casual that we now see grown women at the Post Office in pajamas and fuzzy slippers. Would you really want to run into your boss, your potential client or your high school rival in your pajamas in a public place? It takes only three minutes to get dressed for running an errand if you have a couple of planned outfits hanging in your closet together and ready to slip into. You will be glad you took the extra minutes to put on actual clothes when you have to look someone in the eye and speak to them whether you know them or not. 

You say you are more comfortable in jeans and a tee? These three looks are built around jeans and a tee. The sources for all these products can be found at my Polyvore page. You can look really nice and well put together no matter what you feel most comfortable in. 

As our American Thanksgiving holiday approaches I am so grateful for the chance we have had to get to know each other over the past year. I look forward to sharing more with you in the coming years!
Thank you so much for reading!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Invest in Your Style

The confident well dressed woman understands that her core wardrobe will serve her well for years to come if she invests in quality, classics and colors that complement her own coloring. She updates her look with a few trending items each season to stay current. She does not feel the need to dress in all the trends of the moment from head to toe.

Dressing in too many trends at once actually makes you look older and as if you are trying too hard. Rather than sporting a color blocked peplum top with skinny jeans, an animal print bag and platform shoes try adding a colorful animal print scarf and red flats to update your look. It's a subtle way to say "I know the current style but I also know who I am."

You may shop for the items pictured here on my Polyvore page. 
Thank you for your kind comments on my last blog post!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Friday Date Night!

Friday is always date night for us. We get dressed up and visit our  favorite gourmet restaurant. Even if we just share an appetizer and have a glass of wine, it is a ritual that we both enjoy very much. It is our time to relax and share the events of the week, our hopes and dreams. One must always have dreams!

This week I wore a jacket I bought earlier this year from the half off sale rack of swanky boutique in Asheville. It is now too big for me but I layer it with a tank to still make it work. Here I'm wearing it with wider leg black crepe trousers and a black tank with a draping neckline which is a bit dressier than a form fitting one.

My stylist gave me a great wash and go cut today. Thank you Allison! I am not one to spend any time on my hair so it will always be a simple let it be style for me.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Animal Print Vest

The weather was unseasonably warm for late October so my outfit for date night included light weight layers and black sandals. 

The long sleeve black tee is from Chico's. The pants are by Anne Klein in a wonderfully smooth heavy knit fabric from my fabulous haul at Ross yesterday. The animal print flowing sheer fabric long vest is from Coldwater Creek. I love these vests as a third element. They can be worn as a scarf, a wrap or a vest and will serve as a year round accessory. I've found them at Chico's and Coldwater Creek in several color combinations.

The necklace is by Erica Lyons from Belk. The black sandals are from Stein Mart and the pewter clutch is by Kenneth Cole Reaction via T.J. Maxx.

Thanks for reading! I hope the rest of your week is fabulous.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Formula

Do you have a formula for the way you dress? 

Long ago I realized that if I wore smooth flowing fabrics in a soft palette of colors I would be able to layer items or combine them in different ways to create outfits for many occasions. My closet includes basic pieces that can be worn with different accessories to elevate them from daytime work wear to elegant evenings with friends. I won't buy a wardrobe of clothes which serve only one purpose (such as evening wear). A silk blouse I might wear with jeans to run errands during the day can also be worn with a black pencil skirt or crepe pants for dinner with friends. Accessories are the key that make these combinations work for me.

Large scarves, wraps or shawls are a great way to add dramatic color and 'temperature control' as is so often needed at this stage of life. Sunglasses are a daytime staple for me. I never leave without them. Earrings with a button top and dangles or hoops are much more flattering than those little wires that pass through the hole in your ear. A large link bracelet or a stack of bangles (or both!) are great accessories to add to almost any outfit. If I wear a statement necklace, I balance the drama by letting it take center stage and wear minimal other accessories. 

Structured handbags and clutches are much more flattering than big shoulder bags that make you look lopsided and sloppy. 

Interesting but comfortable shoes are a must! Life is way too short to wear boring shoes. 

This is my formula for shopping and getting dressed everyday. I have soft contrast coloring and a subdued quite personality. These tips serve me well and have helped me get ready for any event for most of my adult life. 

If you have high contrast coloring such as dark brown eyes with an olive skin-tone and dark silver gray hair and a bold outgoing personality your formula would be very different from mine.

I hope that sharing my concept of a "Formula" for dressing will help you put together easy, fabulous outfits so that you can get busy enjoying life.

If you would like to shop for the exact pieces I use in my fashion sets here and on my Facebook page you may visit my Polyvore page.

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wearing Tights

I love the look of chunky booties with tights and a pencil skirt for daytime in the cooler months. When the proportions are right for you and the skirt isn't too short you can still turn heads in a good way. 

Proper fit is always important but especially so in a skirt. If the skirt is too tight or short you will not be comfortable or appropriate. Wearing a skirt with tights during the day in the cooler months is a great fresh look. Tights are opaque leg wear that allow us to get away with so much more than sheer stockings would. I normally wear sheer black stockings for evening only. Wolford makes top of the line tights which are well worth the investment. (They create lots of other fabulous items we need too!)

Here I've paired a graphite skirt with a loose fitting graphite long sleeve tee and a scarf. The scarf brings in the other colors to add. Burgundy is the color for us! It's very flattering to the face and can be worn with all the neutrals so well.  Add a few gold tone bold accessories and you can seize the day.

If you would like to shop for the exact items I've shown here you can visit my Polyvore page where I create wardrobe and outfit ideas. I normally list only items that are less than $100. I don't shop for high end expensive items but I do want to look current and attractive. Those are the tips I share with you here and on Facebook

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you have a wonderful day.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Confidence looks good on you!

Celebrating our fiftieth birthday often means a rounder body is the gift we receive. Hormones and lifestyle play a part in this new body shape but we still want to look nice and dress in a way that is both flattering and comfortable. I've been a larger woman for most of my life so these tips are ones that I have always used to conceal a tummy that will never be flat no matter how much weight I lose.

1. Wear a top and pants or skirt in a similar color. Always wear a scarf, an open jacket, a blouse or a sweater in a different color to add a vertical line. The top should never be tucked in. If it stops just below your tummy that's a very good thing. Look for pieces that have smooth finishes that flow across your body rather than clinging to it. Avoid anything quilted or bulky. Pants and skirts should fall from the widest part of your body. If your thighs are that point, pants should skim your body to that point and then flow smoothly from there. Skirts should end at the slimmest part of your leg which is normally just below the knee. Pants should stop at the bottom of your heel. If you wear Capri pants, always wear a platform wedge shoe with them to lengthen your leg.

2. Look for silky smooth scarves in oblong shapes. The idea is to add a nice long vertical line, not bulk. Don't tie the scarf around your neck so that it ends with even tails in front. Try tucking it under the collar of your jacket so that one end is shorter than the other. Avoid horizontal lines of any type across your body. If the scarf is long enough try looping it over itself to create a V below your bust. A V shape neckline is usually more flattering than a round one.

3.Try to always wear a thicker, low heel rather than a totally flat shoe. Carry a bag that isn't too small or puffy. A sleek and structured bag looks much neater and doesn't add width to your silhouette. Be cautious with shoulder bags that hang right there beside your hips giving you more width where you least want it.

4. Wear the biggest clip on earrings you can get away with. Earrings with strands or movement are a great friend to us. Never wear a pointless little button stud earring that barely covers the hole in your ear.

Hold your head up high and smile. Confidence is your best accessory!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Long Sweater Vest

When the evenings start to turn cooler, I find that a long sweater vest is the extra layer that works for me. This one is from Chico's. It's a soft tone of blue red that isn't too bright. I've paired it with a crossover tee in black and tailored gray slacks. When I want try something trendy like these fun wedge boots in black I look for a cute inexpensive option. I found these at Target. 

Mickey was taking me out to dinner so I switched to a small black and gold leather clutch bag. I'm wearing a red bangle with gold medallion details and gold with silver hoops. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a great rest of the week!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Layers are Great!

Fall is in the air which brings out the sweaters and jackets. This can be a great look for all figure types if you use layers to your advantage. 

If you have long lean legs you can wear leggings or straight leg jeans with almost any type of boot. Just remember to balance the slender bottom half with a layered longer top half.
Create a long slender line with one color in different tones. Add color around your face with a scarf and a long cozy sweater.

If you have a few extra pounds around the middle (don't we all?!) remember to keep those first layers smooth and sleek. The sweater may have to come off as the day gets warmer so I normally wear a large scarf as well. Later in the day it will be the outer layer I drape across my shoulders when I have to take off the sweater for the afternoon.

Petite Layers

If you are petite (5' 2" and under), a cropped cardigan or jacket and tailored pants will likely work better for you. Wear a smaller silky scarf and carry a more tailored messenger bag. The best jacket or sweater for you will end at your hip bone or just below your natural waist and close in a V shape. Steer clear of double breasted closures.

Enjoy this beautiful time of year and stay comfortable in layers. 

Thanks for reading!