Think back to when you were a teen and your mom was 50+. Do you recall what she wore? Do you recall having a friend whose mom you thought was way cooler than your mom, because of the way she dressed? Today, women have no shortage of fashionable options for dressing after 50.
If we have reached 50 it’s safe to say our bodies have probably changed. We may have one or more children, pre-menopause and menopause likely have caused changes and our lifestyle may have changed from when we were in our 30’s or 40’s, so our style needs have changed. We’re here to help you dress your curves through all their changes.
It’s still important to dress for our body type. We have all heard of the basic body types, apple, pear, hourglass, inverted triangle, and rectangle. We can probably identify easily with one of those. A great source for tips and details is The Body Shape Bible.
Another great source for tips is YouTube. We love stylist Erin Busbee who runs Busbee Style. She believes that if you are showing skin up top (low cut top, bare shoulders, or back) then cover up down below. If you are wearing a shorter skirt or maybe a slit showing more leg, then cover-up, up top. This advice especially makes sense for the woman 50 and over.
Finding great stores that offer wonderful fashions with extended sizing for women over 50 is also helpful. Some you may already know about are Chicos and Talbots. Other great places to shop are Nordstrom, Kohls, Steinmart, and of course places like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. Some other great stores for plus size style include Torrid and Eloquii.
A store you may not have thought of but should consider is Walmart. Shopping at Walmart online is a very different experience than in-store. You will find more size options and more stock. They have introduced new private clothing lines that offer fashionable items at an incredible value. Our favorite ones are Time and Tru (range from XS-XXXL), and Terra & Sky (0X-5X). The pieces are effortless, on-trend, and flattering to a more curvy shape.
What To Wear
So, keeping your body type in mind here are some basics.
Highlight or emphasize your best features.
Be conscious of prints. Large prints are aging in general.
Don’t forget the accessories. Accessories are a simple way to add interest and flair.
Hiding under over-large or billowy clothing has the opposite effect on the eye. Look for flattering shapes that fit the body loosely and highlight the assets.
Start with the basics and add on, but don’t go overboard.
Don’t be afraid of color. Color can improve mood, inspire, and uplift.
Layering creates a great fashion canvas.
Boost confidence, dress in your style type. Examples: classic, bohemian, trendy. When we feel confident we feel good and that shows.
Style Guide Reboot
Jeans and a t-shirt with flat sandals reboots when you add a white button-down shirt worn open, tied at the waist, chunky gold or silver hoop earrings, a matching bangle, and wedge espadrilles sandals. The reboot brings focus to the waist when you cinch the tie. The jewelry brings the eye up and just elevates the look. The wedge sandal adds height and can help make you look more lean and tall. The wedge need not be high, it’s all about the illusion of height.
A simple summer t-shirt dress with strappy sandals reboots when you add longer length, a bohemian pendant of mala beads with a tassel, matching tassel earrings, and instead of sandals, you surprise with a pair of platform slip-on sneakers. The reboot adds interest, the longer length pendant creates the illusion of leanness, and adding the platform sneakers makes the look playful, fun, and comfortable.
A work outfit of black pants, button-down shirt, and black flats reboots when you add a contrasting tank under the shirt, leave the buttons open, cinch the waist with a belt (medium width works well for most body types), but if you are large busted you need to be conscious of the amount of space between under the bust and the belt. A narrower belt may be needed. Longer waists may be able to pull off a wider belt), a bold earring with a cuff bracelet, and a flat in a bold color (maybe matching the earrings) or leopard print. The reboot makes the outfit more pulled together, professional, and the pop of color attracts the eye. The belted shirt camouflages the tummy yet flatters the waist.
Leggings and a t-shirt or sweatshirt with sneakers reboots when you swap the top for a loose tunic, topped by a lightweight duster sweater or kimono. Add a bright contrasting necklace that sits right on your collar bone, and on your feet a bright-colored driving moccasin or espadrille. The reboot takes the emphasis away from the midsection because the t-shirt or sweatshirt hits at what is generally the widest point (don’t forget when wearing leggings, be sure your top fully covers your buttocks!). The tunic adds length,camouflages the tummy, and the vertical lines of the duster or kimono adds length and height. Again, the shoe choice adds a touch of surprise and just ramps the whole outfit up a notch.
Dressing over 50 should be fun. Don’t be afraid to try something new. We all are guilty of getting lazy or feeling uninspired. I love accessories. Accessories like costume jewelry won’t break the bank and it’s a way to express your personality. I pick up accessories when I travel. When I wear them it reminds me of the place I purchased it and makes me happy. The online site Etsy is a treasure trove of unique items like jewelry and scarves. Another tip is to shop for your wardrobe. We often forget about things in our closet, things get shoved to the back or we think something doesn’t fit us anymore. Most of us tend to wear the same 10-15 items on rotation. Reorganize your closet, donate things that don’t suit you, maybe allow yourself a little shopping spree and then try an outfit reboot.