Defining Your Style at 50+ was written by Paisley Hansen
Defining Your Style at 50+
Women over 50 have seen decades of fashion trends come and go—and sometimes come around once more. They’ve also had time to figure out what kind of clothing they like, and what they’d never put on again. The middle years are a new beginning for women as their bodies and lifestyles evolve. No doubt your tastes have changed since you were younger, but has your wardrobe kept up? Maybe you’ve spent years focusing on your career, or put time and effort into your family’s clothing as children grew. Now is a great time to define or even redefine your look. Putting some effort into your wardrobe will increase your confidence and make it easy to put together outfits you love.
Affordable style and inexpensive style are not the same. While it might be tempting to load up on low-priced pieces, clothing that is poorly made isn’t the best way to spend your hard-earned money. Bargain items will tear or wear out quickly. Take time to inspect clothing as you shop. Look for seams that lay flat and don’t pucker. Check buttonholes for neat stitching and make sure buttons are sewed on tightly. Choose long-lasting metal zippers over plastic ones. If the fabric has a pattern, it should match up at the seams. Natural fibers, such as cotton, wool, and silk will last longer and look nicer over time than synthetic fabrics. Stick to your budget, but don’t be afraid to spend a little more on your secured credit card on quality clothing that you’ll wear time and again.
Buy the Classics
Call them staple pieces, call them capsule wardrobes. Whatever you name these versatile items, they are the foundation on which a stylish wardrobe is built. Mid-waist, dark denim jeans are flattering and look great dressed up or down. Pair them with a classic white button-down blouse and add a statement bracelet or scarf in your favorite colors. Find a smooth-fitting tank top you like and buy it in several colors to layer with jackets and sweaters. Sheath dresses, fit-and-flare skirts, and pencil skirts in neutral colors create a backdrop for accessories in your favorite textures. Don’t forget the shoes. A well-made pair of black pumps look great with everything from skirts to jeans.
Shop at the End of the Season
Stores are ready to switch up inventory at the season’s end, and it’s a perfect time to find deals. Look for markdowns on coats in January or February. Swimsuits become clearance items around September — and buying one in the fall might be great motivation to eat healthily and exercise all winter long. Shop for athletic shoes in spring, when outdoor exercise picks up, and again in late fall when sneakers make way for winter boots.
Notice Favorite Pieces
Your clothing has changed through the years, but most women have favorite colors, fabrics, and silhouettes that they purchase again and again. Look through your closet and find those pieces you choose to wear most often. What do you like about them? The clothes that make you feel great about yourself are the essence of your style. That’s what you want to look for when shopping for new items.
Realize What You Don’t Like
In addition to those favorite pieces, most women own clothing they wore once or twice, or maybe never. Even if the fit was good, something just didn’t look or feel right. Notice those pieces, too. What doesn’t work for you? When you’re defining your style, it’s important to know what you don’t love. Then you won’t waste time or money looking at those colors or silhouettes.
Pay Attention to the Waist
Tops and dresses that are fitted in the waist are more complimentary than an oversize, baggy shape. Even if your waist is undefined, it’s easy to create a silhouette with the right fit. A wrap dress creates a waistline, while the V-neck accentuates the bust. Pair a sheath dress with a slim belt to visually break up the midsection. Find pants that fit smoothly and get them tailored if needed.
Go for the Bold
If you have spent years secretly craving bright colors or fun pieces that didn’t fit into your previous wardrobe, now is the time to buy them. Think of that neutral wardrobe staple as a blank canvas for adding splashes of color. Accessories like colorful scarves, statement earrings, and chunky necklaces are less expensive than foundation pieces, so have fun with them.
Now that you know the basics of finding your style, give yourself permission to invest time and effort in your wardrobe. Take a friend shopping so you can get a second opinion and have fun along the way. Finding the clothing that works for you lets you feel good about yourself, and gives you the boost you need to take on your next adventure.
How do you define your style after 50? Let us know in the comments at the bottom of this page!
Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, beauty, and fashion. As well, when she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.
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