A few weeks ago, I had a request for some fashion advice for women over 50. I can attest that with each changing-of-the-decade, I find myself rethinking my personal style and reworking my wardrobe choices a bit. I will turn 40 this summer, and I’m definitely finding that I can’t wear some of the things I used to be able to wear!
But I am not yet 50, and I am not a trained stylist by any stretch, so I don’t feel particularly qualified to address that topic. However, I know someone who is. My friend Grace is the most fashionable 50-year-old woman I know. If anyone proves the adage “50 is the new 30” — it’s Grace.
She has great style advice for everyone, not just the 50-and-over crowd. I have learned so much from her.
Fashion Advice for Women Over 50
Jo-Lynne quotes that 50 is the new 30. I know what she means. We are so much more fabulous than we used to be! I’m no stylist either, but I’d like to play one on TV!
But 50. It’s still 20 years more than 30.
By the time we are into our 50s, we’ve passed the youthfulness of early motherhood and the initial rocket-boost of our careers. By 50, we’re settling into ourselves, and so are some of our body parts! No matter how fit we may be, certain parts aren’t as pert or smooth as they once were.
Ever since I turned 50 (which has been a few years now!) I’ve been wondering what is “appropriate” for me to wear. When I was a little girl, 50 was….um…50, and women were lookin’ pretty dowdy by that age. Now that they say “50 is the new 30,” should I be dressing like a 30-year old?
I can take more risks than my mom or your mom might have, but there’s a part of me that says, “Grace, maintain your dignity.” Because I’m not 30. (There are certain things you can do though, to Look Ten Pounds Thinner (and Ten Years Younger.)
Here are some of my thoughts:
#1 You Can’t Go Wrong with Classic
Well, you could, if you stay too conservative with it. (If it’s from your closet, pass on ’em if it has shoulder pads.) Here’s a classic gray flannel jacket, but it has shape to define your waistline. Then update it with one or two accessories, like ankle boots or a colorful scarf. This will work whether you’re wearing the jacket over pants, a skirt or a dress.
#2 Cover Your Privates
Your teenage daughter may be able to wear jeggings and a crop-top, but not you, ‘mkay? And, skirts should never be shorter than just above your knees. As for your buzzooms, if your child, niece/phew or father-in-law would be embarrassed, cover up.
No shorter than just above the knees, please! Color block dresses on the left are great options. Let the young’ens reveal their thighs, as at right. Great dresses, all from Banana Republic.
#3 Be Subtle
I didn’t say BORING. That’s different. Young women are in the Spring and Summers of their lives. We’re in our Autumn. Sure, there are the brilliant hues of foliage, but generally, things are more muted, gentle, subtle. And that’s the beauty of Autumn. Enjoy it. Be proud of it.
Here are some illustrations, using a hot leather jacket:
I didn’t say boring, right? These outfits are hot and trendy, but toned down — more appropriate for our age.
Where to buy: Burberry Camel Cashmere Animal Print Scarf, Forest Leather Biker Jacket, Striped Cowlneck Top, Michael Kors Jet Set Tote, Brown Kettle Bag, True Religion Orange Jeans, Theory Amber Wide Leg Pants, Hush Puppies tan boots, tan booties or for a splurge
Greens are hot now, but pick a green that leans towards classic, add a jazzy scarf and top, as long as you stay covered (see #2 above.) Match it with a purse & boots that are clearly on trend, but isn’t flashy or overly decorative.
Here’s the same jacket, but with a, um, different (read: overdone) look:
The hat, the print skinnies, the embellished purse…it’s a bit much for me.
#4 No bows or pigtails
Here’s the Over-50 Mantra: Classy, not cute. Girls are cute. You, my dear, are a classy grown-up.