How to dress at 50+

It was easy for our parents – once they married they switched into ‘mature clothes’ and age a bit more and it was sensible slacks and lots of beige.

Move forward and many continued to dress as they had in the past, and to swap clothes with their adult children. Nothing wrong with that, but I’ve often had the fear of ‘mutton dressed as lamb’. Is this how to dress at 50+
Just a few years ago, at my slimmest, I looked very young from the back. At a festival had a young group of men rush past me, grab my hat, expect me to follow and then they turned – they weren’t expecting someone of my age. I was at a festival – jeans and a sweatshirt, and returned my hat with a comment about how good I looked.
I’m a couple of stone heavier, as I write this article, and currently my clothes are limited, I just can’t fit in some of them. But what if I never lost the weight? It doesn’t mean I can’t have style. I want to know how to dress at 50+
I’m rethinking my wardrobe – thinking about the clothes I really want to wear. I love bright colours – fuschias/ turquoise/ bright greens and yellows.
A couple of years ago I bought my mum – Advanced Style and a follow up book: Advanced Style Older and Wiser is now on sale – you can see some of the images from the book via this link:

It’s worth looking at books like this for inspiration on how to dress at 50+ but some of them look too styled, and people will comment that most people look like models. But I think we can take this as inspiration. I don’t want to get done for copyright issues, but from this link you can get inspiration on how to dress at 50+
I’d love to know more about your style of dressing now you are 50+ are you taking bolder action, or stuck in a rut. Do you make an effort to be styled as you go out or dress more for comfort?
For me it’s both, and probably the same for you. A few years back I got very much to dressing as if I was in the 1950s – full skirted vintage inspired dresses with petticoats, and I had to do my makeup to look good with that look. I’ve moved on from this (partly because it’s too tight a squeeze to get into most of these dresses) but also because I don’t want to look like I’ve stepped out of a magazine from 1955. I want a more eclectic look, and I’m working on this. I’ll give you an update later on how I’m addressing the question how to dress at 50+.

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  1. Hi Denise
    Sorry but I don’t think the fashionistas on Instagram advanced style get it right. They look confident but wacky. Fine to be the cherished granny or if they want a job in the alternative sector or fashion but it is too bold and wacky for being taken seriously.
    Twiggy, fashion model of the ’60s, is someone who judges fashion much more to my taste. She advised to go to the same shops as younger women but be selective e.g. When they choose an ensemble with a tight mini skirt she’d go for the same but with trousers instead.
    Find the best hairdresser you can and then nurture him/her with a lavish tip each time. Hair dye isn’t a must but certainly many of us wouldn’t be without.
    I’m aware that my lack of high heels can sometimes let me down but I am not prepared to trade looks for comfort. Besides wearing heels once in a blue moon is more likely to cause a topple rather than style.
    I know this is about fashion but at the end of the day it’s a set-in-your-ways mindset that unravels the most crafted presentation. If you agree maybe you’ll work on a blog of how 50+ers tackle that!

    • I’m with you on the sensible shoes – always worn them and still got a bunion. What I like about these sorts of photos is who you could take an idea and see how it could work for you – to be a little bolder in colour choices perhaps. Dyeing hair is a personal choice – to embrace our grey or stay coloured. So many areas where we have different opinions and ideas, and need to chose what’s right for us. But, like when we work on CVs, and confidence issues with clients Audrey, it can help to encourage clients to take a bolder look, stepping beyond but not too far from their comfort zone.
      I know a lovely lady who used to dress for comfort but elasticated slacks and baggy tops with ‘ugly’ sensible shoes. A bit of a makeover (hair, makeup and clothes and focusing on confidence) has led to a radical career change and a new man in her life!

  2. and a post from Elisa
    I’m 49, but I’ve already been thinking about this for some time. Mostly, I wear the same things I’ve always worn, though I’ve weeded out the short skirts, but a lot of the more “costumey” pieces that I wore as everyday garb in my 20s (’50s and ’60s vintage and long black gothy things) have only been moved to the back of the closet. My theory is that what looks like “mutton dressed as lamb” at 40 or 50 will come to be “charmingly eccentric style” at 60 or 70. I guess I’ll find out if it’s true when I get there.
    In the meantime, I think there’s still room for individuality and style, but it needs to be toned down a bit. A bold dress with subtle accessories, say, or vice-versa, but not both. I still wear vintage, but it’s more shirtwaists or sheath dresses, not circle skirts or leg o’mutton sleeves (except at Halloween.) Admittedly, I don’t work in a corporate setting, so I have more flexibility, but the same principles apply: we want to look confident and unique. Dressing TOO comfortably or conservatively makes us seem boring or out of date, which is the last thing you want if you’re on the job market (or the dating market!)
    Thank you for all the helpful information, and food for thought,
    Elisa Rasmussen

    • Thanks Elsa and it’s interesting, for me, to see what type of article gets a discussion going.
      I too hope to be seen as a little eccentric in the future.
      thanks for reading, Denise x

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