Stylish at 60: The best accessories for mature women

Apr 13, 2021
Take cues from these fabulous women and revamp your accessories collection. Source: Getty

There’s a really simple secret to looking stylish for any occasion: accessories. Whether you have a wardrobe full of them or you prefer to stick to a few statement pieces, accessories have the ability to turn an outfit from drab to fab with minimal effort.

While choosing accessories seems like a simple task, there are a few tried and tested rules to follow as you age. Just like your make-up and the clothes you wear, accessories that suited you in your 20s and 30s might not be doing you any favours today, so it’s best to update your collection to suit what does.

So, what should you be adding to your accessories bounty now you’re over 60?

Think about watches, jackets, hats, belts and scarves. These can be used to accentuate your personal style and dress up an outfit for a special occasion, or just add a little pizzazz to your day. The accessories you choose can also be used to camouflage those less flattering parts of your body, and items such as scarves, sunglasses and handbags are especially handy here.

Starts at 60 has pulled together seven of the best accessories for women over 60.

1. Earrings

From small studs to large drop earrings, what you wear on your lobes can make or break an outfit. We’d recommend diamond studs (real or fake) to take you from day to night, and something with a pop of colour to dress up neutral-toned outfits. Earrings of different shapes and sizes can be worn well by older women, but be careful not to go too big, as heavy earrings can often stretch ageing earlobes a little lower than you’d want them to go.

jane fonda (2)
Jane Fonda uses diamond earrings to complement her outfit. Source: Getty

2. Heirloom jewellery

If you have jewellery that has been handed down through the generations, do you have it stored away in a safe place or do you wear it with pride? We’re firm supporters of the latter, especially if that classic heirloom jewellery includes items such as diamond studs, pendants, rings and watches.

3. Bangles, bracelets and watches

While none of us really needs to wear a watch anymore thanks to our trusty smart phones, the humble timepiece has surged in popularity over the past decade, with people wanting to hold onto a touch of past and wear it proudly on their wrist. On-trend watches, which typically have a large face and wide wristband, are great for casual outfits, while the more elegant and delicate watches (seen below on Jackie Kennedy Onassis) of the past are versatile enough to sport during the evening.

In regards to bracelets and bangles, if you’re looking for something to add a bit of youthful appeal to your outfit, try brightly coloured enamel bangles or timeless chain link bracelets.

jackie kennedy
Make like Jackie Kennedy Onassis and embrace an elegant watch for all occasions. Source: Getty

4. Sunglasses

Sunglasses are fantastic if you’re worried about the appearance of bags under your eyes (a common complaint among the over-60s crowd) and make a stylish statement whatever the occasion. Best sure to wear frames that suit your face shape, but don’t be afraid to mix it up with coloured frames or designs. If you wear prescription glasses, remember that most glasses can be fitted with prescription lenses, so don’t let that limit your choice.

meryl streep sunglasses
Meryl Streep proves that sunglasses can work anywhere – even the red carpet. Source: Getty

5. Necklaces and chains

It’s no secret that our necks develop wrinkles as we age, and it’s not something many of us want to highlight. There are two ways to deal with this: take a cue from the Duchess of Cambridge and embrace the timeless turtleneck, or embrace v-neck tops and dresses that draw the eye away from the neck. If you’re wearing a turtleneck, accessorise with a short chain necklace for some interest. And if you’ve opted for a v-neck, choose a longer necklace that falls below your neckline to zhoosh up your outfit.

catherine turtleneck
The Duchess of Cambridge paired an elegant gold chain with her turtleneck on this royal outing in 2020. Source: Getty

6. Handbags

Some handbag styles look better than others on older women. If you want a bag that’s big enough to carry your essentials — glasses, combs or brushes, moisturiser and even mints — tote bags are a good choice, and look great on over-60s women. A smart, smaller leather bag is also a great option and works well for dinners out with friends or family, or anytime you want to dress up a little more than usual.

helen mirren bag
A smart black bag like Helen Mirren’s works well for day and night. Source: Getty

7. Scarves

Wearing a scarf is a fun part of fashion for women over 60. The goal of a scarf is to amplify your outfit by adding a luminous splash of colour where you need it most. There are a few basic tips when it comes to making the most out of your scarves (and ensuring you get the right look for your outfit):

  • Consider your scarf a complement to your outfit and you’ll be less inclined to buy one just because you like the look of it. Before you hand over your money for a scarf, think about what outfit it will go with and whether you’ll get a good amount of wear out of it.
  • Multicoloured scarves work best with simple outfits, so use them to add colour to neutral-toned dresses, pants and tops.
  • Get creative with the size of your scarves and how you wear them. Small scarves are perfect for the ‘Paris look’ and work well knotted around the neck, while wide, long scarves are great for adding colour and keeping warm.
judi dench scarf
The queen of scarves, Dame Judi Dench, gives us a lesson in colour matching. Source: Getty

A final note: there are a few tips you should keep in mind when you’re thinking about your accessories. First, don’t go overboard with your jewellery; in the words of Coco Chanel, less is more. Second, if you’re self-conscious about wrinkles on your hands, we’d recommend not wearing too many rings, as that draws attention to them.

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