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9 Tips for 70s-Style Retro Fashions for Women Over 40, 50: Fall 2015 / Winter 2016

read about the new 70's styles

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

Wow, I’m so happy. Fashion designers have decided to take us back to the middle of the 1970s (with a bit of a modern twist). This fall and winter you'll be seeing sweater coats, knee boots, midi skirts, maxi coats, sweater dresses, long skinny scarves, wide-legged pants, shaggy faux Mongolian fur, and other groovy things in beautiful earth-tone neutrals from my favorite decade.

read how to wear earth tones

1. Earth Tones are Not Always Boring

All of these styles are so easy to wear… but if you’re over 40 or 50, you already knew that because you've worn similar outfits the first time around and you probably still love this type of fashion.

What tips can we learn from London’s M&S by looking at these photos from their fall and winter line? (If you haven’t shopped in the UK, Marks and Spencer is the British equivalent of Nordstrom or Macy’s.)

Fashion Tips for Autumn 2015 / Winter 2016

The main photo at the very top of the page is a perfect example of the trendiest look for fall 2015: a 1970s skinny scarf, some 1970s knee boots, a 1970s midi dress with poet sleeves, and a gorgeous 1970s sweater coat… it’s all there... in it's total retro glory. However, it's not exactly the same as the first time around, and I'm going to show you some general fashion tips as I show you these trendy new threads.

So, here are some random thoughts in no particular order:

1. Earth Tone Fashions for Fall 2015:

Brown, tan, and rust colors are not always boring. I promise there is an earth-tone color you can wear. You just have to try different versions of brown until you find one that lights up your face.

I still like the color tips for "seasons" from the Color Me Beautiful book of the 80s. If you have "spring" coloring, you will look best in lighter peach-colored browns. If you have "summer" coloring, you will look best in light browns with pink undertones. If you have "autumn" coloring, you will look best in warm rusty (orange) browns. If you have "winter" coloring, you will look best in darker browns with pink undertones. And, the easiest way to find your "season" is to go to a fabric store and hold different fabrics up to your face near natural lighting. Take a friend if there's no mirror.

read about how to wear classic colors and earth tone neutrals

2. Drape is Important With Classic Cuts & Colors for 2015

2. Drape of Clothing is Important for Women's Clothing:

When you're buying simple clothing in plain, neutral colors, the drape of the fabric becomes extremely important. If something doesn't hang right, consider buying a larger size and having it altered to fit your body. Almost no one has an "off-the-rack" bod, so a good tailor will know what to do. But, make sure the fabric seems like it's good quality before spending oodles of money on a seamstress.

tips for wearing earth tones for fall 2015

3. Wear Good Colors Near Your Face

3. Wear Good Colors Near Your Face:

If you end up with a jacket or dress or top in a neutral earth tone that makes you look like you're gonna puke (because it's not your best color), but the jacket or dress or top looks pretty good on your body, you can "fix" the color of the item by wearing a "good" hue next to your face.

read about boots and other goodies for fall

4. 70s Style Boots for Fall 2015 and Winter 2016

4. 1970s Knee Boots are Back:

If you weren't around the first time we wore these medium-to-high-heeled knee boots (or you don't remember the 70s), these boots look best when worn with midi dresses or midi skirts in such a way that you flash a little leg as you walk. There are two ways to do this:

  • Wear a softly flared skirt that hits the middle of your knee or right under your knee... and stops about a half an inch (or more) above your boots.
  • Wear a softly flared midi or maxi skirt with a slit that flashes a bit of leg when you move. Another option is to wear a long skirt that buttons up the front and leave the the bottom buttons undone.

You don't have to wear your boots and skirts this way... but it's the REAL look from the boho 70s. Showing that little hint of skin is just as sexy as over-the-knee boots when it's done right.

read about fall accessories

5. 70s Long Skinny Scarves

5. 70s Long Skinny Scarves:

They say that if you remember the 70s you weren't really there... or was it the 60s? Anyway, I don't remember much about the long skinny scarf trend. Was it a disco thing? Well... if you loved long skinny scarves back in the day... you'll be happy to know that they're BACK. Try tying them on the side, in the back, or letting them hang down the front for color and texture.

fashion tips for women's fall clothing

6. Sweater Dresses are Big for fall 2015 and 2016

6. Sweater Dresses:

Sweater dresses and sweater coats in earth tones are back for 2015-2016 and beyond. This is great because stretchy dresses are super easy to buy online because they almost always fit and they almost always look good... if you have the right Spanx and the dress flares a bit in the area below the waist.

tips for fall fashion at boomerinas

7. Cowl Neck Sweaters for Fall

7. Cowl Neck Sweaters:

I remember wearing nothing but cowl-neck sweaters in the late 70s. Some women didn't like them, but I adored them and I still do. Not only are cowl necklines cozy and warm, but they draw attention to your pretty face in a very feminine way.

retro 70s coats

8. Retro 70s Style Coats

8. 70s Style Coats - Maxi Coats, Sweater Coats, Ponchos:

All of these coat styles (see photo above) were worn at one time during the 70s. If you buy a maxi coat, make sure it is a medium-weight fabric or it will be terribly heavy due to its volume, but a maxi coat is terribly sexy when worn over a miniskirt. (Well, maxi coats look good over everything.)

Belted sweater-coats are super versatile and very cute, but I also love this artsy geometric sweater coat. The modern fringed poncho has a trendy design, with its high-low hemline that gives it an avante-gard chicness... but it definitely has a bit of the hippie-trippy 70s feeling. Whenever a style is totally new and different, it seems to go with almost everything.

read about 70's vintage styles for fall

9. Shaggy Faux Mongolian Fur Jackets for Fall

9. Mongolian Faux Fur Jackets for Fall:

If you're a baby boomer, you'll probably remember these fur jackets from the late 60s and early 70s. The first one is a faux shearling bomber jacket. The second one is fake llama fur or something like that. I'm not quite sure, but I think the really trendy, authentic versions from the 70s came from Tibet. I never had either of these coat styles, so I'm not 100% sure. Do you know?

read about retro fashion tips for fall

10. Animal Print Coats

10. Animal Print Coats for Fall (Extra Credit):

I decided to throw in these animal-print coats as a bonus. They don't really fit in with the 70s theme. To me, they look more like mod coats from the 60s. And, the handbags look a bit 60s as well... but I love these two looks... so I had to show them to you.

Well... if you're a baby boomer chick or a trendy hipster woman who loves the boho hippie look from the 70s, you're going to be super happy this fall and winter. Some people say that you can't wear a trend if you wore it the first time around. I say that that is BS. You CAN wear the same fashions you've worn before. Well, you might need a larger size and a better fabric.

I think you'll love the new 70s retro fashions for fall 2015... and you'll wear these styles long after winter 2016 is gone.

More Fashion Articles for Chic Baby Boomer Women:

7 Fringe Fashion Trends for 2015: Bags, Tops, Dresses & More - It's the 70s Again!

Moroccan Tile Print Maxi Dresses & Tunics for Women Over 40, 50, 60

Folk Inspired Clothing: Modern Folklore Fashions for Fall

Boho Chic Hippie Clothes Plus Size Maxi Dresses

Photo Credits: Prshots.com M&S.

What do you think of this article? I won't be able to approve your comment right away but I'll get to it as soon as I can.

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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  2. Nancy D.

    Hurrah, I like these skinny long scarves. I have some natural wool for knitting them up. By natural, I mean undyed wool. I plenty of it in different soft neutral gray and oatmeal shades. I plan on wearing a long skinny scarf with a contemporary brown hand knit, no button, cardigan in the fall. In tunic length.

    I am a fall color scheme person, so, yes these colors will work for me!

    Thanks again for some forward looking fashions!

    • Tina-Boomerina


      Oh, I love undyed wool. Those colors sound elegant and glamorous... and flattering. You are so lucky you can knit.

      And, that cardigan sounds perfectly yummy. You have taste, girl.


  3. Lida Engelbrecht

    Hi there ,

    I say it on face book it is beautiful how can we get it

    • Tina-Boomerina


      These outfits are from Marks and Spencer. It's like a British version of Macy's. They ship to the US, but double check sizing because UK sizes SOUND like American sizes, but they are different by one or two sizes. Some UK sites list UK and US sizes so you can tell, but if uncertain email M&S and/or check the size chart.

      Also, check the return policy. Most UK sites are 30 days, but they're all different. It doesn't matter what country you buy from (as long as you check this stuff) because everything's made in China anyway.