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How to Save Money on Clothes & Style: 16 Ideas for Women Over 40, 50, 60

budget clothes fashion style women over 40 50 60

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

Here are some easy and adventurous ways to look better and stay within budget. I love to come up with inexpensive (but creative) fashion for Baby Boomer Chicks.  Hey, young hipsters aren’t the only women who get to have fun.

You might not want to do everything on my list, well not all at once; however, you might read one of my tips and the light bulb (fluorescent curly kind) will go on.

Easy Hair Ideas

I know you’ve done some of these things unintentionally. Now, I'm giving you permission to let your hair go...in a mindful, purposeful way.

1. Ditch Your Hairdresser: Let your hair grow a bit longer between cuts and pin it up with cute pins if you need to keep it from looking shaggy.  Or, become a hippie and let your hair grow like you did in the 60s.  If your gray hair looks good without tinting it to a better shade of gray, go totally natural.wear bright accessories with black to save money

2. Fall in Love With Women's Hats: Wear a hat to cover your dark (or gray) roots. Even if you only wear your hat on the street, your roots are more obvious when you’re outside in the sunlight.  Indoor lighting is quite forgiving with roots.

3. Spray Shampoo: If you’re a faux blonde, use PSSSSSST dry, spray shampoo on your roots. Then, you can go longer without having your color done.  Bumble and Bumble has colors that work with other shades, but PSSSSSST also makes your hair look thicker. However, spray shampoo takes a long time to brush out if it doesn’t blend with the color of your tresses.

Cheap Clothing Ideas for Women Over 40, 50, 60

Wear your clothes in offbeat ways like a nerdy hipster or a nouveau hippie and you will probably start a new trend.

5. Wear What’s in Your Closet: Mix clothing and accessories in whatever way you want. I was one of the first women to wear ankle boots with miniskirts back in the 90s because ankle boots were what I had in my closet. (I’m sure I wasn’t the first chick to try this, but I might have been the first in my area. Now everyone does it.)

6. Travel Wear: Buy stretchy travel clothing, but do everything you can to make your travel wear look better than travel wear usually does. Cover the elastic… at the very least. You don’t have to be on a plane to wear cute stretchy clothing.  Travel wear will fit you when you’re fat and when you’re thin. And, it seems to last forever. Plus, it’s washable and (usually) dryer friendly.

7. Age of Aquarius: Become a hippie…again. I lived in Seattle during the late sixties/early seventies when we had a horrid, regional depression. With the exception of trust-fund kids, hippie fashion was de rigueur because jobs were scarce and money was scarcer. A good pair of jeans from Lee or Levi will last forever.

black outfits save money women's clothes8. Embroidery: Embellish your old clothing (like jeans and denim workshirts) with hand embroidery…start with your sun sign. Mine’s Scorpio. Hey, being artsy rocks.  Sometimes, embroidering over a stain or tear will bring clothing back to life in a great way. No, I don’t know how to do it, but I’ve seen what my seamstress-sewing friends did in the 60s. Think of this as tats for your clothes.  And, older women can embellish areas where they want to draw attention, leaving less-desirable areas (tummy, tush, hips) less obvious.

9. Paint Your Clothes: If you can’t manage hand or machine sewing, you can paint over jeans (or denim fabric) with acrylic paint. My former sister-in-law used to use black Sharpie markers to draw outlines, and then she painted the shapes with cool colors. Start with a ratty pair of jeans from a thrift store and give them new life.

10. Go Generic. Old Navy is a great place for lightweight tees, which can be worn alone, worn in pairs (one on top of the other), or worn under cardigans.  Old Navy is also a great resource for cruise wear.

11. Buy Black Staples: Buy most (or all) of your work and dressy clothing in black. All of your staple wardrobe pieces will go together because, although there are different shades of black, most people won’t notice unless you are in bright sunlight and you point out the difference. Then, punk up your black outfits with bright accessories or a lip-smacking red coat.

12. Try Bright Colors: Put bold, hot colors together in unexpected ways. When everyone else is shopping for black and other neutrals, you can find outrageous, bright stuff on sale.

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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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  1. theresa

    Re. Hair Color .... I am going to try henna for blonde hair. Natural and worth a try, as I dislike my mousey dish blonde graying hair color and HATE the whole coloring process, the smell, etc ...

    • Tina


      I don't know how henna comes out on lighter hair. Most of the time I've seen it on dark hair... in France... but I may have seen lighter hennaed hair all over and not known.

      Tina Boomerina
      ps Let us know how it comes out. We ALL hate the smell of bleach and dye.

  2. Laura

    About hair dye: at age 48, I started getting highlights, having become self-conscious about the grey popping up in my hair. After five years, I got busy and poor, stopping the highlighting for a summer. That's when I realized that my grey was coming in at the center part, creating a lovely, light streak. I've kept it natural since, and it gets better every day!

    • Tina

      I love that. You saved money and you found out that you looked better the way God (or Mother Nature) intended you to look. Cool.

  3. Nancy

    Hello Tina, you're whole personality comes out in these baby boomer fashion suggestions.

    I read them over and over, and the photos really help towards my learning to try different color sl.

    I am very sorry you have been sick with the painful illness. It must be very strange feeling to not have your balance. I am sad to see the photograph of the side to side head movement. I hope there will soon be a break through to give you comfort.

    I am an avid follower . Maybe you can give us boomers your thoughts of the new
    Pantene colors. Or,perhaps,one of the colors. Any of these colors will beat my nylon brown recliner. It is almost Vintage.