How to avoid looking like a “colourful ragbag”!

Your questions answered! One of our Style at 60 community members has asked: “I am short and a size 16.

Your questions answered! One of our Style at 60 community members has asked:

“I am short and a size 16. I have trouble getting stuff to look neat without looking like a colourful ragbag!” – Margaret Preisig

Margaret, I answered a similar question along these lines recently.  You will find some very useful tips in this article.

However, I will touch on something you have mentioned which is the term ‘neat’.  I think that there are ways all women can achieve a neater look overall.

The outrageous Patsy and Eddie with Stella McCartney at the British at the 2015 British Fashion Awards.


Make one thing in your overall look the focus.

If your outfit and accessories are too busy, everything will be competing with each other and your look will be all over the place.  Here your hat will be the dominant accessory.


Stick to one or two colours. 

This tip is a sure fire winner.  It keeps your look clean and smart.  In this look below, I have stuck to a very neutral palette.


Wear clean lines.

Avoid ruffles, frills, gathers, busy details, large prints, hanky hemlines.  Just keep it simple.


Avoid chunky shoes

And actually avoid extra fine ones as well.  Stick to elegant shoes with a small heel if possible.


Add some polish to your look. 

Pay extra attention to the finer details.  Wear a gorgeous colour on your lips – and keep your make-up light and fresh.  Style your hair in a sleeker style for a change.  Polish your nails. Wear a fabulous accessory, like this bracelet.  Just do something to make you feel good.  Others will notice this and it will make you feel even better!





Maggie T embellished tunic

Available here

Black Pepper liberty 7/8 pant

Available here

Django and Juliette logo ice cut sandal in taupe

Available here

Sportscraft Lizzie hat

Available here

Nest of Pambula owl tree cuff bangle

Available here


I have enjoyed answering this for you Margaret, thank you.


Do you have any more tips for Margaret?  Please send us your questions!  We are waiting to hear from you!


  1. I am normally a very basic person when it comes to colors but this year I have bought a couple of colorful tops. They are bright and cheerful and a longer length to be worn with pants and the good news is that if they become outdated can wear them as PJ’S . They come to just above my knee’s

    • I’ve also gone outside the square a few times lately, usual buy plain and pastels do a change was good.

    • Libbi you must be a shortie like me. 5′ 1″ that’s me! I buy 3/4 pants and they are long on me! My favourite is plain black pants with a nice coloured top, plain or patterned. Love black leggings and long jumpers in the winter. Linen pants for summer in the day, or shorts for garden wear.

  2. I’ve seen quite a few young people of various shapes and sizes that fit that description but not ladies of a more mature age, must have the wrong site.

  3. I like to wear black pants, teamed with colourful tops which there are plenty to choose from this year.

  4. I have to agree. The current modes of fashion make women look like unmade beds, IMO. I love bright colours but prefer to make a statement with one colourful item with the others more subdued .

  5. nothing worse than maroon and light blue together…. shudder…

  6. Lynn  

    Some good tips. Some of the suggested brands are too expensive for non-workers.

  7. I cannot wear black asa top or as a dress. Ages me and drains all the colour from my face. Like slim fitting black pants. Im only 5’2″ tall so have to be careful with length. Also not fond of pattern and embroidered tops. Very aging.

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