Outfit fail

Thus proving Angie's point about the need for length mirrors at home. I had to make some returns at the Bay. Thank goodness the store was pretty much empty. Catching a glimpse of myself I felt like my mother in the worst possible way. Is this what they call Chicos-tastic? 

Anyway, it's the opposite of the cool dramatic style suggested for me earlier this week. 

There are some things I could do with blonde hair that just don't work with grey. 

Onwards! :)

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • replied 4 years ago

    What do you think is the big fail here? Just trying to understand why you don't feel good.

  • Sterling replied 4 years ago

    I understand exactly what you are asking.  I just don't know how to respond.  I am interested in hearing what Angie and others have to say.  

  • torontogirl replied 4 years ago

    Um, I'm not seeing a fail here ... agreeing with the request for elaboration :)

  • replied 4 years ago

    If I'm looking for something wrong here, maybe the proportion of the shoes feels heavy. Not sure why. But your skin is glowing and I think you look fresh and summery.

  • Lyn D. replied 4 years ago

    I think IKWYMightM in that I too feel a bit exposed with lower necklines, and that shorter hair exposes even more skin?
    That being said you always look Fab to me and others would only see a very well put-together outfit on a stylish lady!

  • El Cee replied 4 years ago

    I do not see a fail. I see a gorgeous lady in a modern classic summer outfit. Edgy or dramatic? No. But certainly not unstylish. The peplum blouse and block heel sandals are current and fabulous. And the white bermuda shorts are a summer classic.

  • torontogirl replied 4 years ago

    Yep, what el see said.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thank you for your kindness. 

    I think I felt like it was too "matchy matchy" and that with the grey hair this made it look sort of Sears Catalogue. 

    Lyn, you're right I don't usually wear a lower neckline but I had a tank underneath and it's a hot day, and actually, that didn't bother me today. I also like the top. But maybe with all the white and the structured blue bag and the retro sandals I just felt like my mum, circa 1970, in the worst possible way? I'm not sure! 

    Maybe I was being too hard on myself. Or maybe I'd like it better with kick flares or slim jeans...there was just something about this that read retro and "old lady" in the way I don't like....

  • Lyn D. replied 4 years ago

    Maybe the top just needed to show more pant as in the model pic?
    Love the white shorts BTW!

  • carter replied 4 years ago

    I think you look great, but I understand feeling matchy matchy. Perhaps brightly colored shoes or a different color bag would have fixed that. When everything matches, it feels like "where's the thought? where's the creative genius in this?" I equate it to walking into a furniture showroom and buying an entire bedroom suite or living room set.  No creativity or style required.

  • jill58 replied 4 years ago

    Hmm. I thought you looked great too, but you have your own associations with the look that may spoil it for you. That, I do understand and it sounds like you don't feel like yourself in this outfit.

  • skylurker replied 4 years ago

    Mmm, I've identified the problem : you're wearing too many hats at once.

    Seriously now, that's a fine casual outfit.

    Interesting that you have such a visceral reaction against it though.
    May be a passing bad mood today. Or passing by an unflattering mirror. Or maybe you really feel ready for a style change.

  • Beth Ann replied 4 years ago

    I think you've stopped short of "maximal" here, so I don't think it's "old lady."  To our modern eyes, however, you have a pair of white shoes, a colored bag and a print top -- and all of these carry a bit of drama, while carrying a traditional silhouette.  Perhaps if you simplified one of these? Cognac sandals or bag?  Switch the top out for a solid? 

    Not a fail at all!  Perhaps you just are trying to head a slightly different direction?

  • Beth Ann replied 4 years ago

    Oh -- and I should mention it's very flattering!  I like the modest skin reveal, and the length of bermudas/pedal pushers makes you legs look great!

  • Mochi replied 4 years ago

    I think it's not bad but I understand what you mean. To my eyes the culprit might be the shorts. I just ordered a very similar pair of white Bermuda shorts and am finding the silhouette very strange (on me).

  • replied 4 years ago

    Maybe your hair is a real game changer and you may need to rethink how you combine things to feel as stylish as before.
    Your previous look had a kind of youngish fun person thing going on and now you look more beautiful and dramatic. You really have a kind of almost ethereal quality which can hardly be a bad thing.

  • Vildy replied 4 years ago

    It's just the bag, I think. Too large, dark and sensible in that outfit. It does look like you grabbed Mom's bag off the hall table. Gently kidding. If you imagine yourself in a catalog - either Chicos or even Sears - imagine some tropical or mediterranean carefree setting . Now, what's the bag you'd have with you on that stay? Got anything a little frivolous and carefree? I love navy but with that outfit looks like you tried to kick back but remembered to stuff all your troubles in your ol' kit bag.

  • rachylou replied 4 years ago

    It's a good outfit, but conventional. It's not you without a twist...

  • Janet replied 4 years ago

    I haven't read the other responses yet, but I don't see what the fail is. I would change out the shoes -- maybe a metallic sandal? -- but otherwise you look great.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Janet, I think you're completely right. And it's an irony. I was returning a pair of GOLD sandals. Because (with the new silver hair) I'd decided I wanted silver instead. (I've ordered, re-ordered, and returned these sandals multiple times now, LOL.) 

    Rachy, that's it. And the hair makes it more obvious. I could go undercover as a blonde. Incognito. 

    Vildy, you have a good point. Maybe I need a straw bag. This one is not navy but more cobalt -- colours aren't true in photo -- but it is a practical shopper bag. 

    Isabel, thank you. That is flattering and food for thought. I agree I need to make a shift. 

    Beth Ann -- cognac would have been brilliant here!  I don't have a cognac bag but do have sandals. I could have used my navy knapsack and cognac sandals and felt a lot better! Thanks!

    Isabelle, you made me laugh -- thank you!!!! :)

    Jill, really good analysis. I somehow didn't feel like myself. 

    Carter, Lyn, you both make great points. Thank you. 

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    I don't see a fail. If the blouse had been straight bottomed and an old lady print,maybe; but the brush pattern and peplum look fresh to me. My mom did wear the Sears stuff and this is not it.

  • Sterling replied 4 years ago

    Having read all the comments, I am stilling have trouble deciding why this outfit might read Chicos-tastic.  From my perspective, it is NOT the matchy-matchy.  I love matchy-matchy and would never have a problem with it.  

    It is also NOT the neckline combined with the shorter hair.  I hadn't even noticed until a poster commented on it.  

    I don't think it is the purse either.  But once that was pointed out to me, I could see how some might have not liked it as well as other choices.  

    So I must have some subconscious association with my Mom as well.  I will say that I have looked at your picture quite a bit today.  I finally concluded that my eye had to "adjust to something."   Whatever that something was, I am now good with it.  I have come to love this outfit on you.   

  • Aquamarine replied 4 years ago

    I think maybe it's one white item too many that's causing this reaction for you Suz. I agree that changing the sandals to another color would help, but I honestly think you look fine.

  • replied 4 years ago

    Without reading the other replies first - swap out the bermudas for white jeans and you're fine.  I think it's the combo of white shorts  and white sandals that's throwing you off. Well, it's throwing me off ;)  The top is fine!  Or, with those white shorts, don't wear bright white sandals :)  Something a little less "perfect" would take  away the Chico factor.  Lol.  

  • JAileen replied 4 years ago

    If it were Chicos it would have sparkles on it. My mother wears white pants (not shorts) and white sandals all the time. I think that's why I avoid white sandals.

    ETA: she loves Chicos!

  • annagybe replied 4 years ago

    Like others have mentioned it's the white Bermudas. They're too snug, especially as compared to jcrew pic.
    I actually like the white shoes.

  • crazyone replied 4 years ago

    I agree with annagybe, I love the white shoes.  They actually make the outfit modern to me.  I do agree with the others that it's the shorts.  Slouchy olive shorts with rolled up hems would look better, I think.

  • rabbit replied 4 years ago

    Echoing that I have trouble with white bermudas, I tried on various different cuts and even though the color and the shape seemed classic and versatile to me in abstract, my mind has trouble seeing them as ageless for some reason in the mirror --- assuming I'm not a Ralph Lauren model on a yacht lol.  I'm sure it can be done with unexpected accompaniments though.    I also think you look great overall, you might have been wanting a slightly different vibe, which is different from an outfit not 'working' to my mind.

  • MsGreer replied 4 years ago

    I kept looking, reading, going back, reading and still dont see a fail??? You look lovely. I hope were not text book nit-pickin..lol
    let me read back on all the feedback and see where the mystery lies
    Gorgous as usual :-)

  • Peri replied 4 years ago

    Sorry, but you are goofy! I see no fail. This looks better than I usually look (which may explain what I said in Janet's post about never receiving compliments, especially from random strangers). Anyway, I think you are being too hard on yourself. I think your hair has thrown you a bit in how you perceive yourself, and that you haven't yet quite worked out what makes you happiest. Your perspective is a little off...you are looking for yourself. That is a stage, not a fail. I'd be happy if I looked like this. 

  • catherine replied 4 years ago

    Not a fail, just maybe a little less of a statement than your usual. You are so very pretty in every photo.

  • kellygirl replied 4 years ago

    I've seen the Chico ads but you don't look anything like that. I think it might just be the optic white bottoms with the optic white shoes. Really though, you look great!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    You know, I think those of you who have hit on the bermudas are right. They're actually not J. Crew at all, but Mexx (I just don't have the Find for them) and they're not snug IRL (though yes, probably snugger than on the J Crew model, given my thighs...). But there is something about them and the sandals that is not making me happy, and maybe it is a bit too much white for me now with my hair as well. Great analysis -- thank you!!

    C1, I can try with my olive BF shorts -- that might be fun. Thanks. I'll also try with cropped jeans, white or blue. 

    The sandals are SUPER comfortable, by the way. I love them -- just don't love them here. And I was also thinking that maybe I need some more texture in this outfit as well -- maybe that's where Vildy's comment about the bag makes sense. The shoes and the bag feel really similar. 

    I don't mean to be tough on myself. Peri, and others of you who have observed that maybe I just need to come to terms with a new me— I'm sure you're 100% right. Mostly I'm happy with the new hair but I admit it does take some adjusting to -- hence my sudden shopping and picture taking! :) I am actually feeling positive about it overall, and didn't mean to be harsh on myself, really. I just like to analyze why something feels good and why it might not so that going forward I have a high happiness factor! :) 

    BTW, Mr. Suz loved the top, so I think IRL it works on me. He is pretty fussy about prints and doesn't like Chicos-tastic. 

  • shevia replied 4 years ago

    I am so mesmerized by your hair that it is hard for me to see what could possibly be wrong, but refocusing I think it is the bermudas with the white shoes. Longer white or regular jeans are a great suggestion. Or darker shoes. I think the top looks terrific on you!

  • replied 4 years ago

    I was thinking about this - and had to come back with a few thoughts.  There IS nothing "wrong" with this outfit.   And even if it is Chico's tastic, what's wrong with that if that's what you like?  You're wearing a clean/kind of country-club-ish look that is very put together and tidy. Nothing is off balance proportion -wise, and nothing is ill-fitting.  I felt bad about chiming in with a bunch of ideas, because those are what I would do if wearing this outfit.  But we have vastly different tastes , and the minute we decide that what we like is wrong somehow - is the minute we lose our individuality. If you had asked a specific question like " how can I make this less preppy, or how I can I tone down the matchy-matchy aspect .....that would be one thing. But I think this is a perfectly lovely outfit for YOUR STYLE.  I think your hair is indeed changing things though - and with the colour and cut you have, you are now more aware that your clothes should reflect your age-sensibility (I made that up because I can't think of another way to describe it)  .  Putting very matched and clean and white looks on silver hair can skew the way you might not want it to - which may be more of what's going on here than anything. 
    Or make you think of your mother.....I don't know , I'm rambling now. But at the end of the day, this is a cute outfit that's very clean and polished. What's wrong with that?  (this coming from someone who is scared to venture out it public on Monday with a too-dark and too short  butch-looking  haircut and has no idea what to wear either) 

  • Gaylene replied 4 years ago

    OK, definitely not a fail, but I can empathize with your "yikes, I look like a senior citizen" feeling. Retro, classic, and matchy-matchy can be a less than stellar combo when worn with grey hair.

    I think Anna's suggestion to swap those classic, fitted white Bermudas for something more modern is a good start. Or carry a more unusual bag. Or mix up the colors with a mustard-colored tank under the top and oversized earrings. My mantra is to always wear at least one thing that wouldn't be popular with the "retired snowbird resort" crowd.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Shevia, you are so sweet. :)

    Lisa, I think this is the thing -- it's a perfectly nice outfit but I don't feel perfectly nice.  ;) 

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not a mean girl. (Watched that movie with DD last night). I am in fact pretty nice on the whole. And I can't do tough, RATE, grunge...

    I do like polished. 


    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. 

    As for you, you are going to look amazing with whatever hair you have on Monday. Styling well is the best revenge...

  • marianna replied 4 years ago

    I also don't see fail... it's a classic summer outfit. I wore bermuda shorts for the first time this season last week and felt sooooo frumpy and BLAH. I wonder if you have to style such a classic short with something edgier to not feel the frump.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Gaylene: My mantra is to always wear at least one thing that wouldn't be popular with the "retired snowbird resort" crowd.

    Snorted my tea.....  :) 

  • Maneera replied 4 years ago

    Ok I haven't read any replies. I think you're asking for 100% honesty, so that's what I'm going to give. Pls pls plz don't hate me...it's 7:30am and I'm still drinking tea in bed and only half awake.

    I think what's throwing you off here is combining a "frilly top" and "shorts", and that too with heels. With your silver pixie, this outfit is lacking drama AND GRACE. Nothing wrong with the outfit...it's a great one to wear around the house. But to me it does not look effortless....and I've always associated your outfits with effortless styling.

    Now the top is very pretty and the minute you switch out those Bermuda shorts with flared/cropped white jeans, you'll look effortlessly elegant again.

    Or, change the sandals to silver flats. That would bookend your hair and look more casual & pretty with this outfit.

  • Sally replied 4 years ago

    It looks fine and flattering but if it's not you, it might be making you feel less than fab. I have had people say I suit something but if I dont feel it's me or it has associations for me, I won't feel great.
    By the way what is chicos? And what is the association? We don't have it here.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Maneera, you're totally right. I'm going to try it with white crop jeans and silver sandals (now that I have them). I'm also going to try with cognac sandals or even my black ones and darker denim. 

    Marianna, you're right, too. I need to go for something a bit edgier with the shorts if I am wearing them -- or something very clean lined and classic, which is my usual fallback. Like a button down or a boatneck tee. Both of those feel fine to me with bermudas. But not this feminine top. 

  • replied 4 years ago

    I'm going to push this a bit further , because I feel like it. You say you "can't" or drama /edgy is "not you". Try again. We cannot expect our look to work for our entire life . Change is a good thing . One piece of a RATE-r look can take the edge off the snowbird look. Now I can't get that out of my head - thanks Gaylene. I try prettier looks and office-y outfits and nearly die from self consciousness and feeling like a mumsy blob but it's a work in progress . I'm now thinking it's the shorts that are the culprit. Anyways - one foot in front of the other . I'm following your lead with this hair /style issue , ma'am.

  • Olen replied 4 years ago

    I don't think a matchy look is necessarily bad or something. To my eye, the problem lies in the shorts. Maybe they should be just a little more relaxed and roomy in outline... Or maybe they just need to grow longer to just above the ankle.

  • annagybe replied 4 years ago

    The shorts aren't Chicos, they're Costco-esque
    I was just on the Costco website looking up something for Dad. All the shorts were Bermudas except one pair of sweats.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Lisa, I didn't say I couldn't do drama. I said certain kinds of drama or edgy aren't me. Not all. Obviously...or I would not have gone for an extreme pixie, which is pretty edgy in its own way (at least by some standards). :)

    So...the skull patterns and jewellery that are so fab on you and Una aren't me, and I don't want them to be me. Black drapey drama the way Debs does it (and does it so stylishly) is also not me, and I don't want it to be. I think my style does incorporate some drama, though. Just drama of a different kind. 

    The question is, how do I evolve it to meet the new hair? I think I have some ideas shaping up, but I do need to keep experimenting. 

    I understand what you're saying about feeling mumsy in full on classic or office-y -- that's what I was feeling today. Full on classic is definitely not me. Polished is me, and I am afraid that's a given -- I'm born that way and feel equally self-conscious and awkward in RATE. For me the trick is finding a balance. But the balance may  have shifted with the hair. 

    Anyway, thanks for humouring me in this self-analysis and I hope it may help someone else on their own style mission! :)

    Olen, I think you are 100% right. Thank you. 

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Anna, Drat! I should have got a bargain and got the family size!! :) Oh well. Bermudas work for my work-at-home life, but maybe they're staying at home this summer.   ;) 

  • replied 4 years ago

    I'm sitting here reading magazines tonight . Specifically the June InStyle . And Julia Roberts is wearing a lot of unmatched different shades of white in the same outfit . Preston Davis is all over this in her blog too - mixing creamier and colder whites together - and even throwing in ivory or creme with white . It's so gorgeous and unstudied looking . Ok, I really must stop now . Good night .

  • annagybe replied 4 years ago

    I have to run, but I have other ideas for white shorts for you.

  • RobinF replied 4 years ago

    I'm late to comment, but I like the top and think you just need to mix up the shorts and/or shoes. I don't think either piece is bad itself, just doesn't quite work all together. Love your attitude! It's hard to put ourselves out there and ask for criticism but you do this very gracefully.

  • Colette replied 4 years ago

    I saw your picture earlier and could not figure out why you thought this outfit was a fail so I didn't comment. I had a busy day and just getting a chance to check back and chime in and say you look radiant, polished and very well composed. I see the problem as your eyes needing more time to adjust to your hair. Which is so fab!

  • catgirl replied 4 years ago

    I think you look great - the only issue for me is the white tank under the sleeveless V neck. I have a bit of a poison eye for that exact thing. If the tank were a dark blue, it might not bother me. Then again, I'm currently buying pinafores so I could be wrong!

  • catgirl replied 4 years ago

    Also to make up for aforesaid pinafore comment, what do you think of this Topshop print shirt which also reminded me of you?

  • rachylou replied 4 years ago

    My thought is to get edge inspiration from high fashion...or the sunnier subcults...

  • catgirl replied 4 years ago

    What do you think of these? Not literally but in terms of aesthetics...

    Oh, and the last one for me (it's Etro)!

  • Deborah replied 4 years ago

    Suz, forgive but I did have chuckle reading your post:)  Looking in the mirror and seeing my mum (stylistically speaking) is my worst fashion nightmare?  I think you look nice, but what struck me was the white shorts and stark white sandals. I need to be sensitive because Bermudas have never been an item of clothing I could personally relate to. Cropped white pants or jeans and say a silver sandal would just make the look more interesting in my very humble opinion.

  • rachylou replied 4 years ago

    I like 4 for Suz! But Una, ya almost gave me a heart attack with that low power bar. Lol. Thought that was the power bar on MY phone after charging it up! Haha!

  • anne replied 4 years ago

    Suz you do provoke the most interesting threads!

  • goldenpig replied 4 years ago

    I definitely sympathize with not wanting to look like your mother fashion-wise! It's funny that you are worried about looking too old--I feel like my mom dresses way more young and glam than me, LOL! Her favorite stores are bebe and Forever 21. She loves fashion and dresses well, but she's more into the low-cut/body con and blingy looks so I kind of shy away from that. She also bleaches her hair. I want to put some highlights in my hair but I'm afraid of looking like my mom! I think she looks very pretty and she loves it that people always say she looks so young, but there's something to be said about striking out on your own fashion path. DH would have a cow if I started dressing like her!

    As to your outfit, I think it looks great and I'm not sure what is making you feel Chico-tastic. Maybe the white block sandals and Bermuda shorts combo? The white tank top under the print tank? I think all of these pieces still seem like they would work for you, but maybe all together they're too conventional feeling for you and you just need to break them up and add in some more edgy pieces? Like the white sandals with some harem pants or culottes? Or the print top with some leather leggings? Your hair looks fantastic and I think maybe you're just still getting used to it.

  • catgirl replied 4 years ago

    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...

  • rachylou replied 4 years ago

    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 ;)

  • Tanya replied 4 years ago

    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.

  • replied 4 years ago

    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.

  • Traci replied 4 years ago

    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.

  • Sterling replied 4 years ago

    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.  

  • Janet replied 4 years ago

    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!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    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. 

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    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. 

  • replied 4 years ago

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

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

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

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    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.  

  • replied 4 years ago

    Not a fail in my eyes either Suz.

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

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    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! 

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    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). 

  • replied 4 years ago

    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 - :)  

  • Janet replied 4 years ago

    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. :-)

  • Vix replied 4 years ago

    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!).

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    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. 

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    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. 

  • Ledonna N. replied 4 years ago

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


  • annagybe replied 4 years ago

    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.

    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

  • catgirl replied 4 years ago

    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?

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    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!! 

  • catgirl replied 4 years ago

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

  • deb replied 4 years ago

    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.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

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

  • CocoLion replied 4 years ago

    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.

  • Gaylene replied 4 years ago

    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*

  • Elizabeth P replied 4 years ago

    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!

  • Vivian replied 4 years ago

    Should I feel bad that I see nothing wrong with your look Suz, in fact I think I could duplicate it tomorrow and feel good.

  • rachylou replied 4 years ago

    Naw, I say, Viv! It's a personality thing, IMO. Not to get all serious, but this is one of the things that led me to YLF. I was trying to get rid of dissonance in my dress v. my true nature. People feel it. You feel them feeling it...

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Rachylou is right, Vivian. (And thanks for weighing in, Rachy). It's absolutely a personality thing. Nothing *wrong* with the outfit, per se. Just not right for *me.* And I needed to figure out why. I have a much clearer sense of that now. 

  • Style Fan replied 4 years ago

    I haven't read all the responses Suz but the outfit looks fine just not you.  White jeans or kick flares might work.  I am not the biggest fan of Bermuda shorts so there is that.
    I am clueless about Chicos.  I will have to check it out so I am up to speed.  I just walk by the store and have never gone in.

  • krishnidoux replied 4 years ago

    Sears Catalog! LMAO!!! That analogy is too funny, it would put a damper on any outfit and make anyone confidently stepping out of the house suddenly feel like crawling back in as quickly as possible. 

    I think what you are expressing is that now you feel your new hair is demanding more drama in your outfits. Without at least a hint of it, you associate it to images we Canadians have all been traumatized with since childhood: cheap, coarse, non-sexual ready-made outfits for different times of life, outfits that scream "I have given up"...

    Of course, and I want to insist, the present outfit shown here is NOTHING like that. You look fresh, put together, very jolie. Your footwear brings it all together IMO. But I do understand what you mean and that's why I suggest you inject more dramatic pieces/accessories. After studying the present pic, I have determined it is the combination sandals-Bermuda shorts  that may be the real offender for you. Why not trying to wear the same thing, but swapping the Bermudas for a long straight cotton skirt ?

    BTW we have similar proportions, and this year I tried my white Bermuda shorts and 2 min later back in the storage bin they went. I just felt they were not me this year, and it may have also to do with the present boho trend dominating now. My preppyish golfy Bermudas were just clashing with the silhouette I favor these days. 

  • lyn67 replied 4 years ago

    Didn't read any comment, but think if any fail at all(???)it may be only the shoes. Dunno, perhaps straps are too wide for that bright white...a bit looking like old lady's comfort shoes for this outfit....otherwise it is a great modern classic, what's wrong with it???:-(

  • texstyle replied 4 years ago

    Great post! Thanks for posting Suz and garnering such a great variety of input that indeed teaches us all.

    FWIW I also sometimes wear an outfit that makes me feel like you indicated this one made you feel. I probably would retire the shorts and go for white denim shorts as a replacement -- if you wanted white shorts. Or maybe wear these another way - with a long asymmetric tunic over them maybe? I just got a pair of white denim jeans but they feel too heavy for our summer so I'm not sure I'm going to keep them. But the other thing about them is that they somehow feel too preppy or old school. Maybe I need distressed white denim, or a tighter fit (or both) - I tried white kick crop flares but couldn't get them off my body fast enough.

    I also have the navy bag (I think it's the same one or very similar) and though I love it's size, usefulness, etc., I do sometimes feel I have to "work" it better into my outfits because it is SO classic and I like a little bit of RATE.

  • Thirkellgirl replied 4 years ago

    I don't think there's anything wrong with the outfit, although I agree metallic sandals might look a little spunkier. Having gone through similar crises of confidence since my hair has been getting greyer, I think your problem isn't so much the outfit as your hair, and getting used to it. I still have a moment of "who IS that?" when I first look in the mirror in the morning, but I'm mostly used to it now and I don't see that disconnect between my hair and clothes the way I did last year. I think this is about the time when women who are transitioning to grey hit the hair dye, and I encourage you to wait it out. As the ads say, it gets better. ;)

  • MsMary replied 4 years ago

    Holy cow! I go away for two weeks and you cut off all your hair and... go gray? Wow!!

    I don't see one single thing wrong with this outfit. I would wear it!

  • Sal replied 4 years ago

    Wow, this has been a long thread!!  I wonder what the comments would have been if the title was WIW = not Outfit Fail.....

    Suz - you look wonderful and fit and healthy and chic:)  

  • Vicki replied 4 years ago

    First impression, I like it, as a clean, polished summery outfit.  Yet, if it doesn't give you that "feel good" emotion, then the suggestions made here are helpful.

    I know what you mean about "a look" that just doesn't feel like "you" and you want to take off the the outfit, immediately, and figure it out.  I don't wear bermudas or shorts, of any kind, except on a particularly hot day, I have one pair, some longer just-above-the knees denim shorts, which I like for their casual vibe.

    Honestly, Suz, I applaud you for always pushing the envelope in all directions.

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