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Fashion Trends and Women Over 50: Do You Really Care What You’re Supposed to Wear?

clothing for older women - boomerinas.com

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

Who are these people who decide what is in and what is out? All that matters is whether an outfit looks good on you or not. With that in mind, here are my opinions on fashion trends for women over 40, 50, and 60.clothing for older women

Trends just aren’t that important when you’re older. Well, you need to know what is trendy, but you don’t need to wear it just BECAUSE it is trendy.

Note: This article has been updated for 2015 and beyond.

Who Really Cares What’s In?

I don’t really care what is in style. I only care about what looks good on me. Well, I DO care a little about trends because I don’t want to look like I’m stuck in a time warp.

  • I don’t want to wear a beehive, unless I’m singing with the B-52’s… and the hairstyle looks good on me.
  • I don’t want to wear what I wore in college, unless it’s back in style (which it is)… and the clothes look good on me.
  • I don’t want to look like I’m going to a disco, unless I’m going to a disco… and my outfit looks good on me.

And, you shouldn’t care about what the latest trends are either. That BS is for women in their teens, 20’s, and 30’s… maybe for women in their 40’s.

On the other hand, you don’t want to look like some old Vegas divorcee who sits by the pool tanning her wrinkles, chain smoking Marlboros, wearing the same fashions she wore in high school… and the same heavy makeup.

read about fashion trends for women over 40 50 60

Trendy Women's Fashions

Clothing Trends for Older Women

You and I have to care a little about trends if we need (or want) something new to wear. It’s not so bad now that we can shop the world on the internet, but we need to know what’s readily available.

For example, if the latest fashion trend includes 1980’s shoulder pads sewn into everything, I won’t waste my time shopping online or shopping in the malls. Instead, I will head straight for the thrift stores to find “regular” clothing.

Note: The photo with the striped bra top is not streetwear for women over 50. However, I like the mixed-stripe trend. You can do it on your own or find items that are pre-mixed.

 

fashion trends for women over 40 50 60

Do You Care About Fashion Trends?

Pantone Color Trends

Another thing that’s good to know is which colors are trendy. If you need to buy a top and pants that match, or if you want to make sure two colors go together, your best bet is to buy clothing (and accessories) from the same Pantone palette… especially if you’re shopping online.

And, here’s why:

  • All of the spring/summer Pantone colors from this year look good with all of the other spring/summer colors from this year.
  • All of the Pantone fall/winter colors from this year look good with all of the other fall/winter colors from this year.
  • In theory, all of the Pantone colors from the same year should look good with all of the other colors from the same year regardless of whether they are from the spring or the fall palette.

Well, you can get around all of this by wearing only black, but that gets a little boring. And… as you will probably notice, stark black is not very friendly to some older women’s complexions. Besides, you don’t want to look like you’re in mourning unless you really are… or if you’ve gone Goth.

fashion trends for women over 40 50

Should Older Women Care About Fashion Trends?

Best Fashion Trends for Women Over 50

Let’s stop thinking of fashion as being in style or out of style. Let’s start thinking of “trends” as styles that are readily available… clothing that is easy to find online or hard to find online… or in the malls, if you still like malls.

Spring/Summer Fashion Trends:

Here are the trends that I like on older women (in general), things that you might be able to utilize in your own wardrobe… yes, I’m leaving out things like crop tops and plastic dresses.

 

read about fashion trends spring summer

Fashion Trends Spring & Summer

Look for these trends now and in the coming years:

  • Nautical Stripes: timeless
  • Moto & Bomber Jackets: buy quality, not junk with jackets
  • Layered Tops: good coverage
  • Jewel Tones: flattering to all
  • Batik or Ethnic Maxi Dresses: fab, fab, fab
  • Retro Mod: good update for preppy gals
  • Metallics: purses and shoes
  • The New Boho: boho = timeless (IMO)
  • The White Shirt: always in style
  • Belted Floral Dresses: for women with waistlines
  • Collarless Blouses: depends on your neck
  • Luxe Cuffs: lovable statement jewelry
  • Structured Handbags: handheld bags
read about fashions real women can wear

Fashion Trends for Spring & Summer

Fall/Winter Fashion Trends:

I think these trends will look good on most of you, so check these out to update your wardrobes:

  • Great Color: colorful clothing instead of makeup
  • Floral Appliques: texture without bulk
  • Painterly Prints in Vivid Pastels: for artsy types
  • Party Pinks: face flattering
  • Fair Isle Knits: capes, sweaters, boot socks
  • Florals in Earthy Colors: good for most women
  • Folkloric Florals & Patterns: nice trendy look if not overdone

It's interesting that most of these trendy items predicted for 2013 (by fashion sites and by myself) are still hot for 2015. Some of the trends have been tweaked a little (by me) to reflect what I see and what I think you can wear without looking like a dottering old fool going through her second teenage years, but for the most part... if you pay attention to basic trends, you can look hot but not silly.

Should you wear everything on this list of fashion trends? No, you should try different things and send back the items that don’t fit your style or your body type. But, if you’re a woman over 40 or 50, you already knew that.

More Articles for Baby Boomer Women:

Best Cruiser Bikes for Older Women - Baby Boomers

23 Trendy Plus Size Clothing Sites for Large Women: Sizes 1x - 12x

70's Fashion Trend for Women: Flared Legs, Disco, and Platforms

Photo Credits: Prshots.com

  • Main Photo: Dunnes 2013.
  • Clothes for Women Over 50: M &Co 2013.
  • Trendy Women's Fashions: River Island 2013.
  • Do You Care About Fashion Trends? La Redoute, White Stuff, River Island (all 2013).
  • Should Older Women Care About Fashion Trends? River Island
  • Fashion Trends for Spring & Summer: Long Tall  Sally 2015, Marisota plus size 2015, M & Company 2015
  • Fashion Trends for Fall & Winter: Houseof Fraser 2014, Debenham 2013, New Look 2014.

What do you think of this article? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page if you see any great trends I left out. You can also leave questions and I'll do my best to answer them.

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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12 Comments

  1. Susan Vaughan

    What a great Blog! I am fifty and from the uk, fortunately We can get to paris quite easily from here, so we go whenever we can, No one apart from yourself has hit upon the total panic packing for paris causes, Yes I do have a little junk here and there (I am a UK size 14) which is our national average, but in paris I seem to be the largest person around, much to my dismay! Like yourself, I "follow the unwritten rules" black, black accented with black! But still feel a bit rubbish and scruffy, I actually dont think i am either? So this july 2013, when we go, I am going to try a new approach, selective eye contact, sheer ignorance and drinking a bit before we venture out so maybe I wont care too much what they think of me! Keep up the great observations i will check it out regularly, thanks, Sue.

    • Tina

      Sue,

      I envy those of you in the UK. I live on the West Coast (of the colonies... Seattle, to be precise) and it takes a lot of miles to get to Paris. Fortunately, my current husband speaks French, so everything is easier when I travel with him.

      Yes, everyone in the center of Paris looks well put together, but don't let the lack of great black clothing keep you from mingling with the natives. I'm sure most Parisians are starved for a little fun... especially when it's a little fun with some playful Brits. Don't worry, don't be stuffy, don't smile when walking...unless you're flirting... eye contact is okay most of the time, and don't stop drinking wine.

      Cheers,

      Tina Boomerina

  2. Vicki

    Tina~ I'd like to dress more boho as I get older but living in the subtropics keeps me from exploring different styles. Mostly I dress to stay cool and that's not always very exciting. I'll be traveling to Seattle and San Diego this summer. I'd love to know what to pack for summer in both of those cities. I know that's a lot to ask but maybe you could write a piece about the Lagenlook style? Dressing in layers doesn't have to be purely a winter look, right?

    • Tina

      Vicki, I just saw this comment. I was on vacation... is it to late to write the article?
      Tina

      • Vicki Chavis

        Tina ~ It's not too late to write the article! I won't be heading out west till late in the summer so your tips for what to wear would be very helpful. And yes, we know each other from our Suite days so hoping I'll even get to see you when I get to Seattle!

        Since I dress for hot, humid days in SW Florida, it would be helpful to know what I should pack to wear in your neck of the woods in late summer. Yes, Lagenlook is layering, but, can it be used for summer fabrics as well as winter?

        • Tina

          Vicki,

          Just got back in town. Was on vacay. Of course, you can wear Lagenlook layers for summer. I'll write about it tomorrow. Just need to locate the right photos.

          Cheers, Tina

  3. Valerie

    Love your blog and positive outlook Tina! I agree, its more about what we feel we look good or comfortable in, being aware of trends and aiming not to look dated or trying to look like your 18 year old niece (especially if she is tall and leggy and you are UK size 14 short and curvy with gray/pepper streaked hair). Val

    • Tina

      Val,

      There is nothing wrong with being a size 14. That is the average size in the US and it's
      probably the average size in the UK.

      Cheers,
      Tina Boomerina

  4. Kay Elizabeth Kerns

    Great fashion advice and fun to read!

  5. Robin

    Is there a reason you chose to not use women in their 50's as models? It was an unfortunate choice.