WIW: On Retreat

I'm packing to leave Banff tomorrow. I've had a short, but very productive, working retreat, and I came away having accomplished what I'd hoped. 

Meanwhile, the big surprise? And an absolute first in my lifetime?

"You have the most amazing clothes!!" "You always look so great!!" "Wow, where do you get your stuff??"

And so on.

It is especially gratifying to get these compliments because they are coming from women 10 to 25 years younger than me. Oh, and especially considering that since I got here I've been having terrible allergies so my eyes are red and puffy and my skin is a flaking, dry, and an excessively wrinkled mess!! (This didn't happen when I was here in the summer so I can only conclude that I am reacting to some pollen in the air.)

My outfits, as you will see, are the opposite of fancy. And there was frequent repetition; I packed quite lightly, and the weather dictated more warm clothes than I had expected for the first week. 

 These are my regular "work-at-home" uniform type of clothes -- slouchy skinnies, toothpicks, white jeans for bottoms; Gap mesh sweater, BR or LL Bean striped sweater, or J. Crew shirt. Scarves when required for the cold or for a pop of colour. 

My Cons and my SE Petty booties got constant compliments. 

Special shout out to Mo: on the first few days after I arrived it was super cold and snowy. I wore your cashmere hoodie set and was so grateful for it! 

Then, just as suddenly, it got HOT, and I have been struggling because I did not bring shorts or sandals!! 

As you can imagine, I lost no time in telling people my secret. YOU LOOK FAB!! -- Angie and the forum!!!! We may get a few new members in the next few weeks.  :-) 

ETA: the last photo was taken at home but I wore the very same outfit first night I was here. Thanks to K, the artist formerly known as K Can Shop, for the inspiration! 

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.


  • MsMary replied 7 years ago
    Suz, those compliments were well-earned!  You look super, effortlessly, fab!!  As does that magnificent scenery and your "deer friend!"  ;)

    And I am seeing a few items that you and I have in common!!  FUN!!!!
  • Suz replied 7 years ago
    Mary, that scarf is genius, as are the LLBean Breton and the Kut Skinnies!! 
  • MsMary replied 7 years ago
    Yep!  Three of my very very favorites of all time!!
  • Adelfa replied 7 years ago
    Packing posts are my very favorite!  Thanks so much for taking all the pictures to show us how your selections worked together! You look just wonderful in your clothes. The fit and proportions are to die for.
  • rae replied 7 years ago
    You earned every lovely compliment! So easy, relaxed, and chic.
  • Marley replied 7 years ago
    You look great Suz!  I can see why you got so many compliments!  Isn't that fun?
  • Mo replied 7 years ago
    Perfect casually pulled together capsule!  (glad the hoodie came in handy :))


  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago
    How wonderful & well deserved - Y do LF:)
  • AJ replied 7 years ago
    SQUEE!!  Despite the hiccups with the weather, you traveled stylishly!  Chic, effortless and polished when you needed to be.  The compliments must have made you feel like you're now a YLF graduate! 
  • Suz replied 7 years ago
    It's hilarious -- looking at these, I think, I wore the same thing every day!!! Which is pretty much true. But except for hiking and exercise class I was pretty much in my room alone most of the time!
  • Firecracker replied 7 years ago
    What a great set of outfits. No wonder you got compliments. Yes, you had a similar look many of the days, but each outfit shines on its own. I like your glasses--they are so chic and pretty and suit you so well. Thanks for sharing the scenery and wildlife photos too. What a serene setting for a retreat.

  • Lantana replied 7 years ago

    Suz, what a successful retreat for you all round with your goal accomplished plus some well deserved sartorial appreciation. Thank you for posting pictures of Banff, they quite took my breath away.

  • Ingunn replied 7 years ago
    No wonder they said that! You look effortlessly chic in every single outfit. Never too much or overdone. I also appreciate the coherent style and confident flair you project. What a wonderful place you've been to - Canada is moving up rapidly on my list of places I want to go to in the near future. 
  • replied 7 years ago
    Yes! you do look great! Every compliment well deserved :)  Each iteration is unique even if it is a similar formula. Your inimitable stamp is evident.
    Thanks for showing us some pics of the area, it looks like a beautiful place. I hope you accomplished your writing goals too.
  • replied 7 years ago

    This is an example of when a formula just works. You might have worn 'the same thing' but you managed to make each iteration fresh and Suz. You look great!

  • rute replied 7 years ago
    Gorgeous! Love your casual (but chic) style!
  • Eliza replied 7 years ago

    Suz- You look so put together and current. I really admire your seemingly effortless style and how you optimize casual.

    It must have felt good that people noticed. Well done and thanks for sharing.

  • Karie replied 7 years ago
    Well, no wonder you got compliments - you looked fabulous! You packed such versatile pieces and were able to make many different outfits with them. That LL Bean striped top has been on my wish list for some time, I think it's time for me to go and get one! 

    The scenery pictures are breathtaking - what beautiful mountains!
  • kkards replied 7 years ago
    YLF!  it's no wonder you get complements, you look current and fashion forward, and both age appropriate,  and ageless. 
  • Krista replied 7 years ago
    If you and I were on a retreat together, you'd be hearing all of those things from me as well! Each of these outfits is crisp, modern and comfortable.  Love it!
  • shevia replied 7 years ago
    Those compliments were very well deserved and no doubt just the tip of the iceberg of what people were thinking in admiration. Every single one of these outfits is the epitome of chic - more than just stylish you look so integrated, like the best possible you. Well I don't know exactly how to describe it but it certainly is fab! Have a safe trip home and thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures!
  • Janet replied 7 years ago

    Definitely well deserved compliments -- you are so consistently stylish, even in your "uniform." So glad you had such a wonderful experience (allergies aside -- I had that in New Mexico last month of all places!).

    Now I want to go back to the Canadian Rockies! I was there 10 years ago for our honeymoon. So beautiful and peaceful.

  • Kim replied 7 years ago
    It's hard to say which outfit I love the best, cause they are all FAB!  This is great inspiration for me who also works at home (with kids) so I need casual, but not yoga pants...LOL

    Can you tell me where you got the first striped sweater (the one in the first pic with the solid blue on the top.)? I'm on the lookout to replace a favorite Jacob sweater and this one looks like something I'd like to check out.  (Hope it's not from Nordies! LOL)
  • Glory replied 7 years ago
    Suz you are inspirational! I certainly agree with the retreat contingent on how fabulous you look. So put together, fresh and stylish. 
    Thank for posting. Glad it was such a success.

  • missvee replied 7 years ago

    You are such an inspiration with your wonderful casual style. After seeing your post early this morning I put on dark jeans,taupe and yellow striped sweater, white jean jacket and off white oxfords. Thank goodness for YLF!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 7 years ago
    Well of course you got tons of compliments - you look GORGEOUS in every single one of these outfits Suz. And more than that, you look comfortable in your own skin and confident. Well done!
  • hedgiehog replied 7 years ago

    Of course you received compliments, you look adorable! You're a beautiful, stylish lady who is very well put together.Thanks for sharing your photos with us, it looks beautiful there.

  • pil replied 7 years ago

    Well deserved compliments indeed.
    Suz, you give the Banff scenery a run for its money : )

  • Vix replied 7 years ago
    Hi Suz --

    Agree you made your style look effortless and setting-appropriate! Nice to come home with a few souvenir compliments.

    Sorry the PNW has been having a gorgeous hot spell but I hope you forgive us for roasting your toes. ;)
  • texstyle replied 7 years ago
    Oh Suz, it's easy to see why you received these compliments - I esp. love the outfits in #11, #12 and #14. And what beautiful scenery - looks like such a fun trip for you.
  • Carole replied 7 years ago

    All terrific outfits, Suz, and so nice to be validated with the compliments about your fabulous style, well deserved, I might add. Magnificent photos, too! Good heavens the photo of the mountain and landscape would make a fabulous study for a painting.

  • Angie replied 7 years ago
    Very well deserved compliments for a stylish lady who looks more beautful than her gorgeous surroundings :)

    You have your style down, you stunning creature!!! xo
  • Mochi replied 7 years ago
    Suz, you deserve each compliment you received, and more. You are truly an example of living, doable style. You are now reaping the rewards of your thoughtfulness and effort. 
  • sarah replied 7 years ago
    Suz, that is such a wonderful story. You look and sound so happy to have come into your own style-wise - way to knock the socks off of those young 'uns!

  • K. Period. replied 7 years ago
    OMG! Suz, you look fantastic! I can imagine why the gals were so impressed. Such a hip, modern, yet not in any way trying to be anything but yourself mix.  And with limited items. Naturally they were in awe of you!!!  If they weren't, I'd have had to wonder about them.  

    (And your shout out? I'm glowing. You look fantastic in it! Love love love!)     


    The K. 

    The Poster Formerly Known As K Can Shop

  • Suz replied 7 years ago
    Oh, thank you everyone, for your sweet words. Now to pack!! Sad to be leaving, but it is good to have been here. 

    Kim, the sweater in the first picture is Banana Republic, but from the fall -- an Angie pick. I don't think it is still available, but I might be mistaken. It was sold in a number of colours and many of us on the forum have it! 
  • merwoman replied 7 years ago
    late to the party - but had to chime in and say how wonderful and happy you look in all of these outfits. It must have felt so good  to be able to pack and choose items from your existing (beautiful) wardrobe, and not be in a panic over "what am I going to wear"!  
  • rachylou replied 7 years ago
    Ya, which one of your outfits should I wear?

    The Banff scenery is beautiful!
  • ElleH replied 7 years ago
    You do look fab. Especially in white!
  • Beth Ann replied 7 years ago
    You've found your "Writer's Retreat" groove, that's for sure!  You're also modeling to the younger women in your midst how freeing finding a personal style and working capsules that build on a central theme can be.  You aren't relying on the trendiest or most amazing pieces, but are building looks in which the sum is greater than each of the fab parts.

    Banff was the highlight of a 3 week "Western" trip I took with my family when I was 12 years old.  I've always wanted to return.  What a glorious corner of Creation it is!  Amazing!
  • Makrame replied 7 years ago
    Yay!  You look great and so does the scenery!  What a perfect travel/writing capsule!
  • Scarlet replied 7 years ago

    Not surprised you got compliments because you look seriously adorbs and your style is so cohesive too. Which jeans are those? They look amazing on you.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago
    Scarlet, thank you. I have three pairs of jeans in the pics. 

    One is the J. Crew toothpick skinny (dark rinse). 

    One, the white Diana Kut from the Kloth skinnies. 

    One, the Banana Republic slouchy distressed skinny from several years ago, much, much loved by me!! My favourite jeans ever, actually. They work as slim BFs, too, when I roll them. 

    I am also wearing a pair of Gap Really Skinny pants in one pic (with the navy turtleneck.)
  • catgirl replied 7 years ago
    You may be surprised, but I am not - you are a consistent and stellar style icon.  And again, your hair is the crowning touch (pun intended, if that's a pun).  I love you in white!
  • krishnidoux replied 7 years ago
    Wonderful! I am glad you had a productive retreat in such a nice setting too. You certainly were dressed the part and more! 

    Suz, when you get back, visit a doctor and ask to be prescribed eye drops called "Pataday". I too suffer from terrible sudden allergy bouts - it must be a very specific pollen in the air - sometimes it's not the eyeball itself but eyelids, they become red and inflamed as if burned. I have discovered that spreading one drop of this liquid medication topically directly on the eyelid (as opposed to inside the eye) stops the itching/burning right away. I put another drop on the eyelids at night, and it heals without the scaling. I get a prescription with refills and always have a bottle handy because those attacks are so sudden. Esp. when travelling. 

    PS I was prescribed this medication after having been on a one year long waiting list to see an allergist. Ridiculous. But the medications he prescribed took care of all my allergies, which had become debilitating. It's a shame one would have to wait one full year to discover them, though.
  • Kyle replied 7 years ago
    Stunning. Get used to the compliments. You have found your style groove and it shows, pure and simple. Nailed it, Suz.
  • kellygirl replied 7 years ago
    What a wonderful story, Suz! You really do have the best polished style! I love every one of these. You totally deserve every compliment you received--and I agree with Kyle, get used to it!
  • Sveta replied 7 years ago
    Yep, these compliments were very well deserved, Suz. You style SO skyrocketed in the last year it is really amazing!
  • Day Vies replied 7 years ago
    As always you are so polished. It's you and your you-ness that are coming through and how your personality shows up in your outfits. I am not surprised that you had the young'uns clamoring for your clothes.  It's the juxtaposition of classics, your personal taste, and texture in your outfits that make people say I want to be like HER! 
  • Joy replied 7 years ago
    You deserve your compliments.  You look radiant and polished in your photos. 
    Yay that the retreat was a success.  What a gorgeous place! 
    I'm suffering right now with the same symptoms you describe and tree pollen is high and wonder if they sell Krishnidoux's suggestion in the US. 
  • Mona replied 7 years ago
    It is great that you got these nice complements because they are well deserved. I am so glad that you enjoyed your trip and was able to wear your cons. They are so comfy. In the last pic, you look like the most beautiful creature  on this earth. I could just hug you, Suz. The arm candy, earrings, white blouse and bright lips are just too fab.
  • Deborah replied 7 years ago
    You deserve those lovely compliments Suz.  Great set of outfits.  You look amazing.
  • Debora replied 7 years ago

    You look fabulous and are such an inspiration! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. Love all the photos! :)

  • replied 7 years ago
    What a treat to wake up this morning and see your fab Banff style! I can't imagine your packing could have gone any better. Hopefully you took your meals in a common dining hall so everyone could admire you. The work on your wardrobe that you've put in this last year or so is really paying off. You have paid careful attention to your lifestyle needs and searched out items that suit your style while still being comfortable enough to actually wear. I think this is what we all aspire to. 

    The distressed jeans, the snakeskin booties, slouchy sweaters and crisp button front shirts are all so perfect on you. No wonder you got so many compliments from the younger set. You probably don't dress like anyone they've ever seen (younger or your age) because you have developed your own unique style. How refreshing! And you look absolutely beautiful and relaxed here. I'm glad you had a productive time working and I can't even tell that your allergies were bothering you.
  • Elizabeth P replied 7 years ago
    Wow Suz, I'm late to this party, but just had to add to the compliments.  You really have hit your stride.  YLF!!!

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