How to Be Fashionable after Sixty

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Editor’s note: This page was updated 12/2016 with new advice and examples of fashion for women over 60.

If you or someone you love is over 60, then please read this!

Just because you are of a certain age does not mean you can’t be stylish. Yes, our youth-obsessed culture will have you think that everyone over the age of 30 should either:

  1. Dress like Miley Cyrus OR
  2. Wear horrible mommy jeans and Christmas sweaters.

Yes, we know, many trends are geared for the younger generation. Example: very few people over the age of 14 can wear neon leggings. But it’s the seasoned fashionista who can exude real style, which is something very different from being ‘on-trend.’ If you’ve crossed the 60-year mark and still want to keep it poppin’, here are some tips on how to do it.

fashion after sixty - goldie hawn wearing gold, lowcut evening gown

Goldie Hawn keeps her look young and sexy, even in her 70s.

Fashion for Women over 60 : What to Do First

There are certain garments that will, more often than not, make you look frumpy dated. If you have these in your closet, toss them immediately:

  • Floor-length floral printed dresses
  • Muumuus (unless they are for lounging around the house)
  • Long (ankle length), unstructured, A-line skirts
  • Elastic-waisted pants that make everyone look like a balloon
  • Unstructured pants and suits
  • Large, oversized t-shirts
  • Khaki/mauve-colored grandma flats
  • Unstylish jumper-type dresses (usually made of khaki or jean material)
  • Sweaters with embroidery, appliques, etc. (especially Christmas sweaters)

Then start re-building your wardrobe. The easiest first step is to go the monochromatic route. This means wearing one simple color, like blue, red, green, black, white, khaki, at a time. Don’t worry about being boring — a monochromatic outfit is a slimming and classic look. You can always experiment with textures of the same color if you need more interest.

For inspiration, see our Pinterest board of exclusively monochrome outfits.

Clothes for Older Women

Take a look at fabulous women over sixty like Susan Sarandon, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, and you will notice that they keep the patterns to a minimum, tending to focus more on wearing solid colors. That’s not to say you can’t wear patterns. But when you do, keep it simple and consistent.

Nothing Like a Great Accessory

fashion for women after 60 — Carolina Herrera against white backdrop

Caroline Herrera looks fabulous in a basic suit paired with a statement necklace.

One area that older women always seem to get wrong is in the accessories department. Instead of wearing your entire jewelry box every day, focus on one wearing one standout piece at a time. Also, don’t be afraid to wear trendy accessories. If you keep your wardrobe basic, you can add trendy accessories without looking like you’re trying to be young. Stores like Target, Forever 21, Mango, Zara and H&M are all great places to find accessories without spending too much.

Pearl Pendant Necklace, $25.99, Mango

Denim looks Fabulous on Older Women

And yes, older women can wear jeans.

To clarify, I’m not taking about low rise, hootchie mama denim jeans. BUT a nice pair of trouser cut, straight leg or wide leg jeans look fabulous on older women. If you’re a bit larger on the bottom, try a trouser cut or boot cut jean, as the flare will help draw attention away from your mid section and make you look slightly taller. Also look for jeans with at least 2% spandex/lycra content. This will allow the jean to stretch to fit you and help to control any problem areas. Some brands to try: Gap, Banana Republic, Levi, Seven, UNIQLO, and Mossimo at Target.

And about those skinny jeans

fashion for women after 60 — Old Navy skinny jeansIf you’re a bit smaller on the bottom, then yes (gasp), you’re a perfect candidate for straight leg or skinny jeans (even if you have a bit of tummy). For those of you with a bit more of a tummy, try skinnies from brands like Old Navy and New York and Co as they have a bit higher rise (which will help it sit better on your waist).

Also, if you have gray hair, the dark navy color of the jeans really set off the gray in your hair. Pair the jeans with a bright colored tee from a store like Old Navy or a fitted sweater. But please, for all that is fashionable and good in this world, avoid wearing denim from head to toe.

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