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Trends for Spring & Summer: Clothes for Real Women Over 40

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

Just like you, I like to study fashion magazines and clothing websites to see what they’re showing for spring and summer. I am constantly looking for trends that might work for me, but I’m also looking for trends that might work for you… and for other women over the age of 40, 50, or 60.

read about spring and summer trends

Metallic Accessories - Hot for Spring Summer 2015

What have I found? Well, “they” say that you should wear shorts. “They” say that you should wear sheer clothing. But, I don’t care what “they” say. I’m not paid by anyone to push anything. If there’s a way to add a trend without looking like a fool, I’ll tell you. And, if I hate a trend, I’ll either ignore it or I’ll tell you why I don’t like it.

This article is a quick overview of the different trends that are hot right now, but I’ll guide you to other articles which have more depth as I write them. As always, I’m just giving you my opinion. I don’t know you and I don’t know what you like to wear… however, I am an artist and I’m old enough to have a fairly good sense of what looks good on different types of women.

(This article, written in 2013, has been updated to reflect the current fashion scene for 2015.)

1. Floral Prints and Appliqués:

The hippest floral prints are Asian style prints, graphic floral prints, and monochromatic floral prints. However, floral appliqués (fabric flowers applied to a garment) are the hottest incarnation of spring and summer flower power. All older women can wear any of these floral trends, but you need to be careful not to go overboard on the appliqué embellishments or you’ll look like a cupcake.

* Update on Appliques for 2015: Floral prints and appliques are still big, but not as fashion forward as they were in 2013. I still love prints and I still love appliques. If you see a top or dress with floral appliques that looks good on you, buy it.

2. Side Split Skirts and Dresses:

Side slits are usually found on evening gowns, and all women over 40, 50, or 60 can wear skirts and dresses with slits, as long as the slit doesn’t come up too high. The same is true with side splits on casual skirts, because the wrong slit in the wrong spot will have you flashing your neighbors every time you get out of your car.

* Update on Split Skirts for 2015: Splits are always in style on skirts, dresses, tunics, and floaty tops.

read about spring trends

Splits, Brights & Ombre Trends for Spring Summer 2015

3. Ombré Clothing:

Ombré means that one part of the fabric has a more saturated hue or the fabric softly changes from one color to another. It has a tie-dye feel… but with more elegance. Ombré fabrics look good on everyone.

* Update on Ombre for 2015: Ombre is still beautiful. Ombre will always be beautiful. Ombre is definitely trendy.

fashion trends for women over 40 50 60 4. Brights for Women Over 50 or 60:

Most women can wear the “bright” color trend in one form or another, but older women don’t look good in neon. It’s just too stark. So, tone things down a bit or go with clear hues of normal intensity, but pair the hues in creative combinations.

* Update on Brights for 2015: Brights still rock. Find your best colors, then turn up the intensity. I love vibrant colors.

5. Metallics:

Metallics are tricky. A good metallic garment must fit properly and the fabric must be heavy enough to hold you in. I like lightweight metallic raincoats as long as they are not too shiny. Metallic jacquard is one of the easiest metallic fabrics to wear... it's more forgiving than most full-on metallics.

* Update on Metallics for 2015: While metallic patterned clothing is still stylish and chic, the trend has gone away from head-to-toe metallic fabrics. The new way to wear metallics is with handbags and shoes. And, if silver looks good on you, silver is a tad bit newer than gold. In general, metallics are hotter than ever.

6. Stripes for Women Over 40 or 50:

If you look good in preppy or tailored clothing, you can wear stripes. If you’re going on a cruise, you should try this trend even if you aren’t a stripe aficionado. Breton stripes (the kind worn in Paris) are the most flattering.

* Update on Stripes for 2015: Women still look good in stripes and stripes are still in style. Designers have come up with new patterns for stripes, which are flattering on every woman's body.

7. Ruffles for Older Women:

read about trends for 2015

Some Ruffles are Good

Most older women should wear their ruffles on their necklines and sleeves. Sometimes a gypsy, flamenco dress can be flattering, but don’t go all Barbie Doll with ruffles all over.

* Update on Ruffles for 2015: Ruffles are not as trendy as they were in 2013 and thank God. Big ruffles are hard to wear, although you SHOULD wear a ruffled dress if the ruffles are placed in a way that flatters your body. Ruffles seem to have been replaced by large, oversized bows. And, I LIKE those.

8. Sheer See-Through Clothing:

There are two kinds of sheer-clothing trends. One is good and one is awful. Sheer clothing is good when it’s something like a sheer blouse that you wear over a tank top... to veil your fat or wrinkled arms. Sheer clothing is bad when you’re a publicity-seeking celebrity.

* Update on Sheer Clothing for 2015: Sheer clothing is still trendy. Older women should continue to wear sheer items as layering pieces.

read updates on trends

New Trends for Spring & Summer

9. Modern Boho:

If you like boho, all the websites say that Boho is still “in.” If you look good in boho, it’s never “out.”  Wear what looks good on your body.

* Update on Modern Boho for 2015: Boho is still in style. Boho is never out of style... if it looks good on you. If boho looks bad on you, it is out of style. This year we're heading towards a lot of fringed accessories.

10. Tribal Prints for Older Women:

read about clothing trends

Brights are Still Hot

There are tribal prints and TRIBAL prints. Anyone of any age can wear something from this trend. Some prints are subtle, with an abstract elegance, and some prints make you look like you’re going to climb a palm tree and swing from the vines. Joining the tribe is the fasted way to update your wardrobe… so, if you’re afraid of this trend, get a tribal print scarf.

* Update on Tribal Prints for 2015: Tribal Aztec prints are still hot. These cool geometric patterns are too much fun to leave behind.

11. 1920’s Flapper Trend:

The flapper look is an alternative style for tailored types who want something new and cool. But, there are elements of this trend that suit everyone. Preppy women can wear deco prints. Artsy women can wear beaded art deco purses and feathered headpieces.

* Update on Flapper Trend for 2015: It's not as new but it's still in style... some of it has cooler colors.

12. Colored Jeans for Spring and Summer:

If you want to wear colored jeans or flowered jeans, you need to have a great body or you need to wear a long top... and that’s all you need to know.

* Update on Colored Jeans for 2015: You can still wear your colored or printed jeans, but the latest denim jeans look is patchwork jeans.

What Should You Wear?

While no woman can REALLY know what a particular outfit will look like until she puts it on, here are my general guidelines… my best guesses:

  • If you favor conservative, preppy clothing, I think you should try monochromatic or mod florals, side slit skirts, metallic accessories, stripes, deco beaded dresses, and colored jeans.
  • If you are naturally artsy, you will have the most fun with Asian floral prints, floral appliqués, ombré fabrics, modern boho (of course), and art deco accessories.

All of you should consider trying sheer clothing (the good kind), ruffles (if you like them), and tribal prints. But, if you find that you like a trend and I haven’t recommended it, don’t listen to me. There are all kinds of different ways to put things together and that’s the fun of fashion.

However, if you are over 40, I must insist that you listen to me about one thing. No matter what you see in magazines… I won’t allow you to wear shorts in the city. Shorts may look good on your daughter and I know this may sound harsh, but it’s for your own good.


More Articles About Fashion Trends for Older Women:

13 Accessories Trends for Spring and Summer

Nautical Stripes and Sailor Style

Different Types of Tribal Print & Pattern Trends

Photo Credits: Prshots.com

  • Main Photo: M  and Co. 2013.
  • Metallic Accessories Hot for Spring & Summer: Phase 8. (2015)
  • Splits, Brights & Ombre: New Look, M an Co., Simply Be. (all 2015)
  • Ombre dyed dress: La redoute 2013.
  • Some Ruffles are Good: Waterfall drape top at Matalan.
  • New Trends for Spring & Summer: Boho fringe bag at Matalan, plus size patchwork jeans at Simply Be, tribal print cardi at Apricot, drop waist flapper dress at House  of Fraser. (all 2015)
  • Brights are Still Hot: Debenham 2013.
  • If you came here from Pinterest and you want to know where one of the old photos is from, leave a message in the comment section.

What do you think of this article? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page. If you like this site give us a Google+ for the Google Project by clicking the button with the big "g+."

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. shelly

    I loved your article. Also, what about that ombre dress? I need that. Do you happen to know where I could find it? Dressing the over 50 body is a CHALLENGE, especially when you don't want to look dowdy or uneducated about style.

  2. Tina

    Hi Shelly,
    The ombre dress is from La Redoute. You can find out where any photo is from by putting your curser over a picture. That dress is so cute.

    Tina Boomerina

  3. Linda

    Just discovered your site through Pinterest. Best thing I've read in ages - sensible advice without being boring & a lovely touch of humour ! Having rather given up on myself through the stress of various family bereavements & the worries of elderly parents & in-laws, you've left me inspired ! Keep up the great work - I'm so fed up with celebrity clones & Photoshopped ads that seem to imply that any woman over 40 should be invisible ! Many thanks from a baby boomer Brit x

  4. kay kerns

    Hi Tina, I agree with all this....I'm having fun with clothes even more than before. Your advice has helped me to focus my shopping to bring even better results! I'm getting compliments from strangers about my outfits/accessories more and more often now!

  5. marilyn koranteng

    Your dresses are nice