It wasn’t until I was over 50 that I felt more confident about my style.
I remember seeing women who looked like they had their act together and wondering if I’d ever find that kind of effortless style!
No matter what size you wear, I bet you find it challenging to find clothes that fit AND look good. No to mention, what colors flatter us and which don’t?
Of course the goal is getting all your clothes to play together in easy outfits isn’t it?
Like for example a 9 hour flight or a 6 week vacation. That September cruise or the May outdoor wedding in the mountains.
The secret to being one of those over 50 women with style is this:
Understand your shape, height and coloring and what flatters you.
How Women Over 50 Stay Stylish
- Get a great haircut. Embrace trends but remember softer, longer layers camouflage jaw lines.
- Don’t be afraid of color but don’t let it wear you. Brown, navy or gray is more flattering to over 50 skin tones than black.
- Wear lighter brighter colors close to your face. Scarves are brilliant at this.
- Accentuate your assets and conceal wobbly areas. A chic poncho can do wonders.
- Invest in quality when it comes to shoes and outerwear.
- Edit your closet often. Only keep what truly flatters your shape and you feel good in.
- Revisit your makeup routine. Keep a light touch.
- Take care of your skin. One of my favorite lines is The Ordinary.
- Invest in good quality eye glass frames. I prefer a light color to open up my eyes.
Women Over 50 Should Stay Away From
There’s no arbitrary rules about what you can and can’t wear after you turn 50. But we don’t want to be the last one who finds out we weren’t supposed to wear white jeans after September. By the way that rule is so not true.
There’s a British expression “mutton dressed as lamb” which is a rude way of saying older women shouldn’t try to get away with wearing youthful clothes. Funny there’s no similar term for men. Probably because they don’t care if they look ridiculous.
My opinion is this: if what you’re wearing makes you even slightly uncomfortable that’s a sign. We won’t feel stylish if we’re in a dress that’s too small or a cut that’s too low.
How to dress in your fifties is up to you. Here’s some simple tips to keep in mind.
Women over 50 Style Guide
Know Your Shape:
Are you an Apple, pear or carrot (that’s a new one) shape? Find the fit that flatters your body shape.
- Apple? Find clothes that loosely flow over your middle and emphasize your hips and legs
- Pear? Emphasize your bust and shoulders to balance out your bottom half
- Carrot? Create shape with a cinched waistline, show off good legs with just above knee skirts
Emphasize your best features and minimize little problem areas. When decolletage isn’t firm or smooth, cover up a little more but don’t be afraid of letting your bust shine.
Show off shapely legs with a hem just above your knees.
A stylish woman over 50 knows her shape and dresses to flatter it, not cover it up!
Dress Your Height:
Are you short, average or tall? Don’t settle for a just OK fit or length when shopping.
Fortunately a lot of women’s wear is now available in petite or tall sizing. Hallelujah!
- Look for retailers like Athleta, Banana Republic, Loft who offer a range of sizing and height options.
- Find a good tailor who can alter pants, skirts and even jackets to fit your unique size
- Keep proportion in mind. The same style that will overwhelm a petite figure may be perfect on a tall gal.
For every women who despairs at finding a pair of pants she doesn’t need to shorten, there’s another who wishes they would reach her ankles. Why not patronize stores that offer complimentary tailoring like Nordstrom and Athleta?
Know Your Coloring:
Color is your number one style accessory and makes or breaks an outfit. Find the colors that flatter your skin and hair.
- Dark skin or hair? You’re probably going to look best in warm colors with undertones of yellow or red. Think warm pink, orange, brown, golds and yellowy greens and blues. Bright or dramatic colors look fabulous on you too.
- Medium skin tone and hair? If your hair has red or gold undertones then look for warm colors to complement. If your skin and hair are ashy or cool then look for cool colors like pink/red with a blue undertone, cool blues, grays or black.
- Light skin and hair? If your hair is pale blonde or gray, then cool colors will be flattering. Deep gray is softer than black against mature skin.
Color is a funny thing. We all have our favorite colors and love to wear them. My wardrobe is full of blue and green as is my home!
Sometimes our favorite colors flatter us and sometimes they don’t. If you want to be stylish, then really look at the colors in your wardrobe under bright daylight and artificial light. Do they light you up or turn your complexion and hair drab?
Some colors speak very loudly. Do you want to get noticed or be stylish?
Women Over 50 Final Style Thoughts.
Always dress for the occasion. Isn’t that how we were brought up by our mothers?
If we think it doesn’t matter how we look, we’ve forgotten those lessons. It doesn’t mean wearing gloves and pearls on the plane, but making an effort to look stylish means we feel more confident too especially when we’re traveling!
I think it’s hard to go wrong with a dress. They’re easy to wear – less coordination needed and they look stylish on any occasion. Forgiving of tummies and bottoms too. These days you can wear sneakers or a heel with a dress, mini, midi and everything in between. You might find wearing a dress is more comfortable than pants, especially in warm weather.
Last but not least, don’t forget your most devastating accessory. A smile!