Many of you may already know Susan (61) from her blog Une femme d’un certain âge where she’s been writing about personal style for women over fifty and her trips to Paris for 11 years now. Our 5’1″ blogger is a jeans and trousers gal with a relatable Trendy Modern Classic style. She wears a lot of neutrals with touches of colour, and jazzes things up with arty statement jewellery and scarves. She is a strong believer in the power of the jacket, likes to sport maxi cardigans, and wears footwear that goes the distance.
“I left my corporate job a little over two years ago, and it took a while to untangle my own style preferences from what I felt I needed to wear to be ‘office appropriate’ (albeit a casual office). While I’ve shifted to a softer and more relaxed style, I find I still want to look polished and put-together. I’ve become more confident about adding a little drama, either with a long outer layer, a bit of movement or a pop of color or bold print. I’ve learned to stay away from anything that feels too fussy. And I’ve learned to disregard some of the ‘rules’ for my height and shape. I’d probably describe my current style as Polished Casual With A Side of Edge.”
When wearing double denim, Susan likes to mix washes for a less uniform look. Here she has paired relaxed straight-leg jeans in a light wash with a darker wash denim shirt dress. Sporting a dress unbuttoned as a duster-style jacket is a great way to get more wear out of your favourite dresses. The simple black tee is a good backdrop for her eye-catching medallion necklace. The long strand and open duster create vertical integrity. Rolling the hems of the jeans showcases Susan’s pewter wide-strap sandals that have a bit of a gladiator vibe. Two antique-style bracelets and quirky bag add extra personality.
Adding a knee-length jacket is one of Susan’s go-to ways to dress up a casual outfit, and adds drama to her classic look. Here, she’s opted for a cotton twill topper with a showstopping leopard print that adds tons of oomph and casual glam. She keeps the rest of the outfit simple with a black tee and straight leg jeans with soft frayed hems. The solid tee picks up the black in the leopard print, and again is an easy way to draw the eye to a set of arty necklaces. The cracked leather and fringe detailing on our blogger’s dressy rose gold loafers add subtle texture and shine. Susan’s lipstick matches her red-rimmed specs, which look great against the brown leopard print.
Susan has a real knack for finding unique jewellery that suits her style to a T:
“I wear a lot of French Kande jewelry, because it just resonated with me immediately. I’m a Francophile, so I love that aspect of it, but the designs also strike a nice balance for me between edgy and refined. I also have a few pieces from Aurélie Bidermann, which also hit that sweet spot. And I have some fun costume pieces (like an old acorn necklace from J.Crew) that are quirky and add a lot of personality, and sometimes are just what an outfit needs. I think with accessories, and especially with jewelry, you need to trust that ‘yes!!’ feeling. Don’t overthink it or force it. Go with your mood. That’s where the ‘personal’ comes in to Personal Style.”
You don’t see this shade of salmon pink all that often, so Susan’s bag and shoes immediately caught my attention. They add an unexpected colourful touch to this neutral Summer look. Susan is sporting a silk, scoop-neck tank dress with flirty tiered hem. The stripe print adds texture, while the floaty material complements the lightweight, slightly see-through fabric of the cardigan beautifully. The cream maxi cardigan creates layering interest and casualizes the outfit. Our blogger’s pearl medallion necklace and bracelet, and the gorgeous fringe tassel clutch dress up the look. The texturized surface of the clutch and soft suede slides create even more outfit depth.
Susan loves bringing back sartorial souvenirs from her trips to France and Italy. Here she is combining four of them for a polished casual Modern Classic look that made her feel great during a day of running errands. She created a column of colour with a navy top and dark wash jeans, and kept the colour continuity by throwing on a navy jacket she bought in Italy. The jacket is structured on the shoulders and made from a lightweight wool that drapes nicely and adds movement. Classic black horsebit loafers and a tan satchel with geometric puzzle pieces look dress up the outfit. Susan finishes off the look with a pearl bracelet, thin hoop earrings, and pink trim leopard print scarf in shades of blue.
This is a fab example of Angie’s Duster and Separates Outfit Formula, and a variation on the jeans + duster outfit shown in outfit #1. Switching out the denim dress for a black and white gingham shirt dress, and replacing the black tee with a white linen tank creates a different look. It shows how versatile this outfit formula can be. The sheer fabric of the duster is great for providing lightweight arm coverage on warm days. The tab sleeves explosing the forearms create structure. Our blogger’s black suede block heel slides echo the black in the gingham pattern. The silver metallic mini shopper bag works great with the neutral colours and adds a bit of polished bling. Susan is a master at layering necklaces and picking bracelets that complement both the necklaces and the rest of the outfit. Red toenails and lipstick are the perfect pop up colour.