our everyday life

How to Dress After Age 50

by Kay Bosworth, studioD

No woman loses her style when she blows out her birthday candles, and turning 50 doesn’t automatically transform fashionable females into frumps. Women of any age can keep up with fashion trends and adapt them to their own ages, budgets, figures and lifestyles.

This Is Your Lifestyle

Decide who you are and who you want to be. Clearly, you are not the experimental teenager or the trendy 30-something. Go through your closet and mercilessly discard anything you haven’t worn in the last two years. If it doesn’t fit, you must ditch it. Out of style -- into the pile. Divide what’s left into work, dress-up and leisure togs. Pull together combinations to create new outfits from existing skirts, pants, shirts, jackets and sweaters. Decide what new items you need to complete a functional wardrobe.

Show Your Best Stuff

By now, you know your best attributes: slender waist, still-perky bust, great hair or a cute booty. If you have good legs, choose dresses with a knee-length skirt to show off your curvy calves. Display your admirable attributes to advantage and avoid any temptation to sacrifice style over comfort. Smart dresses, pants and shoes can be comfortable. Sexy shoes don’t have to be stiletto heels or wobbly platforms; kitten heels, flats and slingbacks can be chic and comfortable as well. Shop for clothes according to fit, not size. Sizes differ among manufacturers, and the size you wore 10 years ago is probably not right for you now.

Get Down to Business

If you are working, maintain your professional appearance with a few classy, elegant suits and chic accessories. Pantsuits are appropriate, as are interchangeable pants, skirts and jackets purchased as separates. Stick to neutral colors and be willing to spend a little extra for a quality fabric and tailoring to fit.

Mutton Dressed as Lamb

Not every young girl looks good in every trendy fashion, so don’t try to look younger by dressing inappropriately in fashions that are too tight, too short or too revealing. If it’s something your daughter could wear to the prom, it’s probably not right for you. On the other hand, don’t try to hide what you think are figure faults under too-large, baggy outfits. The end result is usually more sloppy than slimming. It’s great to keep on top of style trends but don’t obsess about them. Instead, just take what you need for your own figure, age and lifestyle.

About the Author

As a long-time newspaper reporter and staff writer, Kay Bosworth covered real estate development and business for publications in northern New Jersey. Her extensive career included serving as editor of a business education magazine for the McGraw-Hill Book Company. The Kentucky native earned a BA from Transylvania University in Lexington.

Photo Credits

  • Stephanie White/Photodisc/Getty Images