Cultivating Everyday Elegance: Searching for Summer Casual Chic

John Mark styles on Over 50 Feeling 40

Summer is a difficult time to decide to redefine my style to casual chic.  It can be oppressively hot especially with high humidity added in and I find it difficult to feel elegant when sweat is pouring down my back.  Nevertheless, I will persevere through it with a determination to prove I can learn everyday elegance. With a desire to play with styles and colors, I headed out to my favorite place to shop in San Antonio, Dillard’s at The Shops at La Cantera to meet with Sheri Hammett, the talented store manager. 

John Mark Summer Styles at Dillards on Over 50 Feeling 40

Sheri gave me these steps when keeping summer heat in mind:

  1. In order to feel elegant in the summer, then we must not forget the importance of a proper FIT, so we feel comfortable when out and about.
  2. Breathable, natural fabrics are key. “I personally love fabrics which flow and drape for comfort and elegance, “ she said.
  3. Shop for brands which make you feel good and be willing to invest in those quality pieces with great style and fit. The high loyalty brands at Dillard’s for women over 50 include Eileen Fisher, Ming Wang, and Bryn Walker which all offer exceptional foundation pieces to build your wardrobe upon.  Spending in such a way as to own great fitting foundation garments which will be worn over and over again is worth it.  This is the basis for a functional wardrobe.
  4. Then you can add some fun garments for elegant color from Ali Miles, John Mark, IC Collection or Calvin Klein
  5. An elegant woman is confident in her clothing, so it may take a lot of trying on in order to discover the personal style you seek and believe is ultimately YOU!

Sheri and her sales associate, Denise, spent time with me and we tried on a lot of different looks.  Denise is pictured above.  I had her remove her mask so I could get her fun look that day.  She wore a stylish, confident look and I believe she portrayed her own version of elegance.  I did leave with a couple of pieces you will see later…one tomorrow.  But, here are a few which had me pondering….and, of course, asking myself, “Do these say elegant, intelligent, confidence, approachable, creative…Pamela-style? “ It makes a huge difference to shop with your adjectives! The looks here stayed at the store for various reasons, all having to do with my own personal style adjectives.  But there were some very fun pieces….the great brands at Dillard’s made the decisions more difficult…so I pondered longer!  Also in the first picture of the blog, I am wearing Eileen Fisher leggings.  The first two looks above are by John Mark.  Here are some other styles I tried on…..

IC Collection at Dillards on Over 50 Feeling 40

IC Collection

Bryn Walker on Over 50 Feeling 40

Bryn Walker

John Mark on over 50 feeling 40

John Mark


I am reading two books which a couple of you suggested I add to my “elegant textbooks.”  In A Guide to Elegance by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux, the author defines chic as the essence of casual refinement.  So, I looked at several definitions of refined and liked this one:Developed or Improved so as to be precise or subtle.  

I can work with that; furthermore, Dariaux writes: “In order to increase your chances of acquiring chic when it is lacking, the first requirement Is to be aware of the fact that you do not possess it.”  No problem there either…I have admitted, I do not possess it thoroughly at this time.  But, then she says, “You can then entrust to experienced specialists the responsibility of changing your silhouette, coiffure, make-up, gestures, and wardrobe.”  Most of us to do not have the income to hire professional stylists, but that is why I am here… I am going to attempt to use the experts in the related industries and the research through books to guide us through.

I am so glad that my Dillard’s has the experts to help me out.  I want to thank them for a fun day and encourage any San Antonio ladies to The Shops at La Cantera for shopping…they have taken all safety precautions.  Also, Dillard’s has incredible sales…in the store and online.

There will be more about cultivating elegance into our everyday lives tomorrow.  Hope you will join me then. 


Note: The other book I am reading is Audrey Hepburn, an elegant spirit by her son Sean Hepburn Ferrer.  This is truly a beautiful book. 

By Pamela Lutrell

Disclaimer:  I was gifted product for this post, but the words are my own.


Pamela Lutrell for Goli GummiesThere are several ways that I generate income through this blog in order to cover business expenses and give myself much needed income.  Purchases through the slideshow links is one way, ads on the page is one way and a new way is through ordering or re-ordering the GOLI Apple Cider Vinegar gummies through me with my GOLI LINK HERE.  Again, if you are not familiar with the benefits of apple cider vinegar, you should speak with your personal physician.  My husband and I are sold on the benefits and I am proud to represent this product.  I am going to leave this at the bottom of my posts so that when you, friends or family would like to order you can use my link.  Thanks for the support.  This is a great product; as well as, the ones below!



My Complexion Loves Chamonix:

Chamonix on Over 50 Feeling 40


All natural, plant-cell technology skincare


By Pamela Lutrell


  1. Thanks for sharing; headed to Dillards this morning! I like the same brands that you mention except IC. Going to look them up today.

  2. As always, you look lovely in all the outfits, and they are very wearable. But… I would not wear any of them for a really hot day. Today in England we are experiencing one of the warmest days of the year – almost like being out in the Med! So, to cope with the heat, I am wearing a loose, sleeveless knee length dress, though I would wear a light cardi over the top when I leave the house. On days like this, even my linen trousers and skirts seem too warm. However, it is not something we have to cope with too often here.
    Loving your blog. I love that you give us ideas to think about, as well as attractive clothes.

  3. You are so precious, and all of the outfits looked cute! What struck me – and I’m displeased because this isn’t what fashion is enjoyable to me right now – is how strikingly great the all blacked seemed. Elegant, yes. But also Cool – which is one of my 5 words. I’ve recently switched to boho hippie chic from business casual as my choice for fashion and decor because it reminds me of happy childhood days. Lately, the veneer of boho bright really makes me perk up; I see all the colors and ask Alexa to play music from the sixties and seventies. There are four adults working from home in my house, and so it’s good for us all to feel perky and upbeat. However, this trippy old hippie was surprised by loving your all black look. Have an awesome day!

  4. Loved your comment, Laura. That outfit is actually navy blue! I liked it too!

  5. I absolutely love you in the first outfit with the white blouse. So flattering. You look like million bucks. Also like the all black outfit. Lends itself to your added creative touches. Just saying!

  6. Thanks, Sue! I also liked that white top, but did not have a need for another white top…but I do like it! The other outfit is navy blue rather than black…but was super comfy and cool!

  7. If that outfit is navy, even better! I like all the clothes on you except for the Sienfeld pirate shirt!!!

  8. I am not sure what you are talking about, Katee. What is a Sienfeld pirate shirt?

  9. You look great in that yellowish green color. Many people can’t wear it, but you rock it. The coral top looked very cool, comfortable and polished. The navy outfit looked like each piece was flattering, but I think a more fitted top works better with a full pant. I like where you are going with these looks. An idea for a post, could you please consider showing us how navy, chocolate, cognac, or gray could replace black in a “super chic” or “Uber chic” look? I’m finding black harsh as I age, and am looking for a new, very stylish foundation neutral. That could definitely fit with a search for elegance.

  10. Google Seinfeld puffy shirt episode. I liked everything except the navy, I don’t think such a full shirt over wide leg pants is a good look on anyone.
    The rest are great especially the red!

  11. I remember the Seinfeld episode now…I think it was pirate shirt that threw me off. Thanks for stopping by, Dale.

  12. Of course, Linda…great idea. I was encouraged to see a lot of navy on the racks when I went to Dillard’s. I would also like to incorporate more navy into my wardrobe! let me work on how I might do such a post and will try to do it in the near future.

  13. For me, the second one (the yellow with big black or navy squares) is the most elegant, in your Pam-sense : casual, simple, but a little bit bold, saying strong, confident and intelligent. And “at-ease”. The first white shirt is cute, but a bit too cute/fussy to achieve this, I feel – one looks at it more than at you, because it is a bit complicated (the sleeves are beautiful, though…). Of course, I am just playing here the game of “who is the “elegant-to-be-new Pam” : you are great in all of them ! A little hello from Paris (France) in the middle of our own heatwave.

  14. Altho’ all are good looking, I think that the ones that look elegant are the black/white one and the all navy. Partly, I think, due to the old adage “less is more.” Worn with your wonderful smile they are simple and elegant. The other toppers show your creative and playful side. But they distract from your beaming smile and take the eye to the outfit, not the woman.
    Even with the ruffles on the white shirt it’s less busy than the others and combined with the black pants is classy—-and, yes, elegant. The navy has some modern to it with the cropped pants and the flared top, so it’s not quite as streamlined and classic, the neckline is flattering on you since it doesn’t have to compete for air space with your hair that hovers at collar length and it lets your smile beam right out.

  15. Love hearing from you in Paris…sorry about the heatwave though…as I said, I did not bring any of these home with me. But, I did bring two you will see in the future…one tomorrow. I am looking for that balance between the new poised, polished…yet, creative Pamela-style. Thanks for being here, Catherine.

  16. First…thank you for the “smile” complements…so sweet. Second, this is a very constructive and helpful comment. Thanks so much for joining in, Carol.

  17. It looks like you had a lot of fun! I like the white blouse even though I’m not a fan of chest pockets. I wish we had Dillards in CA!

  18. Love, love, love this post! It was so great to see you out shopping and having fun and you looked terrific in all the outfits! My favorite was the yellow top with the scroll design – it looks very creative and cool. I’d wear it with the black leggings from the first picture and maybe open with a black tank for a column look. Unfortunately, John Mark doesn’t make petites and at only 5′-1″ most of his tops are too long and overwhelm me. I love his colors and flowy styles though. Makes me want to go to Dillard’s! I wish there was a way to get you compensated for anything I buy.

  19. Pam you really look sharp in all of the featured Dillard’s outfits! I love the the pops of color on you especially setting off the white pants. My go to colors for summer are classic black and white with bold statement jewelry but these outfits inspire me to step out of my usual zone and spike it up a notch! Thanks for sharing!!

  20. Oh, this was so much fun getting to see you model your own fashion show! You look as though you were having a ball. Love all 3 blouses especially. I kept seeing the yellow one with the black worn open over a “column” of black — top & slim pants & sandals — & that great red one over a “column” of white. And both worn buttoned over leggings on really hot days (the red one over a cami, obviously) because they look so airy & cool.

    And thanks to everyone who’s been sharing what “elegant” means to them. After discovering that my problem with “elegance” isn’t with elegance itself but with my unhappy associations with the word, I’ve been collecting definitions from everywhere I can & am feeling much better 🙂

    And a laugh. My husband & I were going out to dinner for the first time since March (patio seating only, but it’s a start) & as I was getting ready I said something about wanting to look “more elegant”. He looked alarmed & said, “Does that mean I have to wear a tie?” I assured him that he didn’t & that my interpretation of “elegant” in that moment was whether to wear my hair — which badly needs cutting — loose or screwed up in a knot. I can see where I’m not the only one who’s going to be affected by this post-retirement “elegance” thing!

Comments are closed.