Natalie, do you ever watch Jane the Virgin? The mom wears tight tops and booty shorts while her daughter is in demure (for Miami) dresses...

Lol. Ok. I was just looking at your outfit here again, Suz, and the striking debate / number of posts ... and all of a sudden, I'm *like* HOOCHIE HOOPS! And then I'm *like,* 'Suz just needs to get out of MY WAY.' I've got a hammer - aka Hoochie Hoops - and everything is looking like a nail...

Run, Suz, Run! Hehe

I am late here, but like most of the comments, there is nothing really wrong with the outfit and the top is beautiful on you. I also think the white knee length bermudas are the culprit, I used to have a similar pair and felt a bit frumpy in them till I cut them off to mid thigh. Another option would be a pair of white denim shorts instead.

Suz, I have read your post and all the comments several times and I still don't see any problems. In fact, I like this outfit. I think you look younger in this with your new cut and grey hair than you might have with your former cut and colour. If I had your tan legs and wore shorts (too cold), I would go out in this outfit and, when I passed that long mirror in the accessories department, I'd feel great. Honestly and truly.

But take that FWIW, because I love classic and I live by matchy-matchy. Clearly I still have a lot to learn here at YLF, but I have just landed on the style descriptors that eluded me all along: I am a Costco-packing, Chico-tastic snowbird.

I think this is another example of you looking perfectly fine, but like I said last time, you're used to looking more than fine.

I think you nailed it that the edgier hair is begging you to be replicated elsewhere in the outfit. I think Lisa shared a pile of various edgier jewelry pieces that I think may be the salve you need.

I'm also now on the hunt for hoochie hoops, ala Rachy. I get hooked on one accessory that just seems to freshen everything for me. Hoochie hoops for summer! Love it.

I think this is exactly correct:

The hair is changing the type of polish that works for me internally somehow. And I think I want more juxtaposition, somehow. One of my favourite looks is denim with something polished. So I need that type of mix even more than before or else I skew "older" than I feel. The hair does not age me (in my mind) in itself -- but with the wrong outfits it could be aging or just dampening. And these are outfits that might have worked perfectly well with the blonde hair.

You have a learning curve ahead of you. Certainly you are up to the task, but it will require some experimentation.

I think Sterling emphasized an excellent point -- one I have become more aware of myself as I have entered my 50s and feel like my aging body/face are becoming a bit more apparent. A combination I wore happily a few years ago can feel a little too polished or match, leading to that Chicos-tastic feeling, but I wasn't sure why I was getting that feeling. Thanks for helping me identify that unease!

Wow, a person goes to sleep and the whole party keeps talking. I love it!! Rachy's the life of the party, of course, with her hoochie hoops....

So. Upshot so far...I need to avoid matchy matchy more than I used to. I've always been drawn to it -- it's how my mum taught me to dress! But I'll have to shake things up a bit more now to feel like me.

Traci, I have been on the hunt for jewellery but that is very tough for me. Jewellery and bags are two areas of fashion that I basically feel hopeless on, despite a fair bit of effort! I tend not to like very much jewellery for my own style (though I don't mind some), and bags, well, with bags I never feel confident that they will work with my outfit and my life and if they don't, I just don't use them. I do know that unstructured bags make me insane with fury, so that sort of rules out a large category that could theoretically help with the "too polished" factor. Hmm.

Tanya, thanks. I sometimes roll these shorts. It's so funny how subjective it all is and how outfit dependent. In previous years on the forum these very shorts have garnered a ton of compliments! They happen to be super comfy, easy wash/ dry. 5 pocket jeans style in a different fabric.

Aliona, you crack me up! You are always so posh and elegant looking and never mumsy.

Note -- I'm not actually worried about looking "old" per se. That's one thing I will say 100% -- first, the hair doesn't make me feel old, and second, if anything I think I look younger with it.

Lisa, thanks — I often do white out thanks to Angie and feel great in it. Still. Even more so with some hits of silver.

Anna, will look forward to your thoughts.

Robin, thanks! It’s all about learning and fun.

Colette, thank you!

Una, you’re awesome. How sweet are you to go dress shopping for me.

I like the Topshop shirt but have a similar one (ha ha!!) in blouse form from Club Monaco. Still looks good with the hair but I tend to wear with strict navy which crisps it up.

As for the dresses, Rachy nailed it. The only one I’d look at seriously is #4.

Why? Hmmm..indulge me.

#1 is nice and might work with the new hair but it’s a bit structured and conventional for my life. If I worked in an office, yes. But I have nowhere to wear this kind of dress and I'm all about dressing for my real life.

#2 I pretty much avoid fit and flare dresses of this type — they skew way too ingenue, as I am sadly discovering with my new floral silk skirt which I love in theory but hate on me in practice.

#3 Too sporty without the luxe, and too unstructured. Plus long sleeves — this makes it dumb for my climate. (I.e. when I need a t-shirt dress, I need a sleeveless one. I’d feel like I was wearing a nightie.

#5 Gorgeous dress and a possible for a special event (e.g. an awards ceremony) — I love the style. But I suspect that particular blue is too strong for me, too intense. It’s the wrong shade, and with the contrast of the black, even more so. On me I think it would scream: I'm a woman of a certain age who still has it going on, y'all!!!! I’d try it on, though, to see. If I had an event to dress for.

Love #4 and would try it. Smiled at #6.

Rachy, the “sunnier subcults.” You are smart. Thanks.

Debs, I will try the same outfit with the silver sandals and longer jeans. Thank you!

Anne, thank you!

Natalie, that’s right. I need to wear the sandals with edgier pieces and break things up.

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Oops - I was thinking of mixing shades of white /not white in this particular outfit tone down the optic ...

Yes, Lisa, I got it. White out can include a tonal mix for can go for textural mixes, too, which sort of has a similar effect, esp. if there's a weave that's a bit's nice -- I really like it.

I only have the optic white bottoms just now. (Or another colour, obviously). I do have some cream jeans but they're warm for this time of year due to the fabric composition. Love this idea, though -- I could wear the shorts with an off-white top.

This is not a fail at all. It's a good outfit by anyone's standards.

My suggestion, Suz. FWIW!: you've outgrown the fabness of those Bermuda shorts. They don't complement the shoes, top or statement hair. My guess is that if you'd have worn trendy bottoms here - you'd have felt a lot sharper.

(Same goes for the JC skirt with the tux shirt. If you'd worn a trendy cropped ink jumper with the new skirt, you'd have felt sharper).

LOVE the white shoes.

Not a fail in my eyes either Suz.

I do love Angie's ideas though. So fab.

Angie, thanks. I am going to try the outfit with a different pant. Trouble is, this top is really meant for summer heat and so the reality is, I will wear it (and need to wear it )with shorts. Longer pants are just too hot in my climate in summer. That might make it a work from home look that doesn't go out on the street. Which is okay.

Re the trendy top with the skirt...I'll try, but I have some doubts. I've been experimenting with it a bit and I just don't think I'm going to love it, alas. But that's how things go -- a wild card sometimes works out brilliantly and sometimes fizzles. Not a problem.

Diane, thanks!

Suz, those white sandals are begging for longer pants, jeans or skirts. The Bermuda shorts are a beachy "t-shirt, thong sandal, and sunhat" type of vibe - if you know what I mean.

The finds below are examples of VERY breezy and more fashionable white bottoms, that would change the vibe of the outfit. (Not saying you should get them. Merely showing visuals because it's helpful).

Here's another thought - based on Angie's comment about using trendier pieces: you like your Bermudas, they work for you. How about fraying the hem, and making THEM a little more current-looking (and yes, they were forum faves last summer...and perfect example of how quickly things change in fashion eyes) and wearing them with a grey semi-tucked tank or t and cognac and silver accessories?

I need to stop with this now -

OK, see, here is where it becomes so subjective and goes to our personal biases. I look at those cropped white pants in Angie's response (the second one in particular), and those are totally what my mom used to wear in the summer when she was pushing 80 years old. The bermudas look younger *to my eye* than those pants. Horses for courses, I suppose.

Hi Suz --

I read allll the comments before logging in to see the outfit, which is always kind of fun.

I don't think it's a fail either, I think it's just a bit too sedate for you.

For me the main culprit is the combo of white shorts (of any length, l won't scapegoat the poor Bermudas) + white sandals. Especially thick-strapped, block-heeled white sandals, which -- on trend or not -- scream "sensible."

[And I say that as a fan and owner of many block- and Cuban-heeled shoes!]

I'd wear any of the suggested combos and see how you feel....

The grey can cause some weird shifts, that's for sure. Even though I think I look younger with my natural hair color(s) there's more a sense of moving onto the "other" side, age-wise.

With the so-called granny hair trend, it might be an interesting exercise to imagine that you have hipster hair vs ok-kind-of-transgressive-aging-woman hair and see if it changes anything internally (and/or externally!).

Vix, thanks -- I am totally imagining the hair that way and feeling that way, to tell you the truth. I have no problem with the hair except wanting to tweak the cut as I go and wishing it would grow super fast so I can cut out the remaining blonde. It does feel hipster/ transgressive to me and so perhaps I need to avoid outfits that are in my mind "mumsy."

Janet, I'm with you. I actually have some great white linen pants but no way I am pairing them with this top and those sandals! This top is going to have a new life with non white shoes and non white bottoms. The ONLY type of bottom I might pair it and the sandals with is white kick crops or super slim denim crops. I don't own the kick crops but do have the slim denim. So we'll see.

Lisa, these particular shorts won't fray due the fabric (they're not denim). But I do style my denim white shorts as you've suggested. Did so often last year. Maybe these shorts are ready for retirement.

Angie, thanks. I agree the sandals like longer trousers. I'll wear them that way and a different top. I do have white linen trousers that I still love from J. Crew.

HAH, Janet. Your response makes me smile because items seem frumpy right up until they are fashionable - and very fashionable in fact. It's a common theme!

Vix, I'm high fiving your response.

Suz you better throw in those sunglasses and work that walk. Play superwerlk by Rupal in your head and get to getting.

Ok I've been digging around for outfit ideas. Most white shorts out there seem to be very short and cut of denim.
I think you need wider stiffer shorts.

The shorts are mid-thigh, tailored. White jean jacket tones it down. Dark sandals add contrast.,pd.html

Ok these shorts are shorter, but notice they are tailored and wide. Asymmetric top and moto boots. I realize the boots are probably too hot for your summer climate.

I really like this. White boxy polo shorts, again wide tailored shorts and white platform sneakers. I think this would totally work with your hair and climate. I think your white sandals would also work here.

These are denim cut-off, but longer and again stiff. The button down is softer, plus dark edgy sandals.

Very short shorts, But I really like the sport logo tshirt with a blazer

Dark striped structured top and wide shift culottes, dark loafers

Hey what about your sarong skirt? It's the short equivalent of harem pants... I know it's not white, but something like that in a lighter color?

Una, yeah, I will try the top with those. I love them.

Anna, thanks! I really like #3 and can duplicate with a different pair of white shorts, an old Zara top, or switch up a bit with olive or grey shorts that are similar.

Ledonna, that is perfect, thanks! It's all in that attitude!!

Drat! I was hoping you'd say you don't like them anymore and are sending them to me.

Alright, I am late to this all-nighter party but when I first saw your pic it was the shoes that threw the outfit off. They sort of screamed WHITE SANDLES to my eye. I thought your shorts were fine but after reading all the comments I am walking, not running, away from this pc and putting all my shorts in the donate bag.

Deb, don't do it!! The shorts are salvageable, I'm sure. Just the wrong outfit for them.

I haven't read all of the comments but there's something about the interplay between the shorts and sandals that has me stuck. Try different shoes or shorts as a start. You look beautiful, but if you want to go edgier those are my thoughts.

Angie's comment "You've outgrown the fabness..." made me sit up and start thinking. Is this our fate? Do we find our style groove, feel happy we've finally found what "works", only to make an update which feels right but causes our yesterday "fabness" to evaporate, along with all our carefully internalized "I am THIS, not that" guidelines. Fashion is such a cruel mistress.

*weeping at the unfairness of it all*

Wow, this has been an absolutely fascinating thread. I can't add anything, but I can say that I've learned a lot from it.
Thank you Suz!