Timeless fashion tips for over-60s women

Dec 27, 2020
You don't need to spend a great deal of money to look good, but you do have to be smart about what you spend your money on. Source: Getty Images

Are you one of the many women who worry about people’s perceptions about what you’re wearing? What about that awful misconception that once you turn 60 you are no longer interested in fashion? We know, it’s rubbish! There are plenty of women in their 60s busting these myths and assumptions and making a statement with their fashion choices, helping to put to bed the misconception that once you’re 60, you’re frumpy …

Just like these women, you can change perceptions about what ‘old’ looks and feels like. Updating your look is just one way of changing these outdated perceptions, and Starts at 60 has some simple tips on what you can do to maintain your style in your 60s and beyond.

 

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Be comfortable with who you are at this age

One of the biggest fashion faux pas you can make is trying to dress in a style that is designed for someone much younger. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to embrace the current style trends (so much of style is about attitude, not age), you can end up looking much older than you really are. If you’ve never considered your ‘signature style’ then perhaps now is the time. When you dress to flatter your body and express your personal style, it can make you feel youthful and confident regardless of your age.

You’re never too old for trends and there’s a lot of fun you can have in experimenting with your wardrobe. You want outfits that are going to work for you, your body and your personal style.

Build on the basics

Creating your style is a personal experience, but there are a few staples most fashion experts recommend for women of any age:

  • Good quality and good value underwear
  • A classic cotton ‘boyfriend’ style long-sleeved shirt (we’d recommend one in white and one in blue)
  • A long-sleeved silk blouse in ivory or black
  • Long- and short-sleeved crew-neck t-shirts in white, charcoal and black, which are great for layering in the cooler months
  • Tailored trousers (be sure to go for good quality and pick a neutral colour that will go with whatever you choose to wear that day)
  • A decent pair or two of jeans (more on denim below)
  • A classic coat (we’d opt for a tan trench, but darker coats in black, grey or navy are also solid choices)
  • A wrap dress, which is ideal because it’s such a flattering cut and you can experiment with colours and prints
  • A black dress (choose a really well-fitting black dress or skirt, which will allow you to add different accessories to change it up for whatever the occasion)

Finishing touches to pull your look together

Once you’ve got your key pieces sorted, you need to consider the finer details that will pull your look together. There are a few staple accessories that every women should have and here’s what we recommend:

  • An everyday bag of good quality (it doesn’t matter if you have a tote or a satchel or a basic handbag, you want to find a style that you love and buy it in a colour that is neutral so that it becomes a versatile accessory in your wardrobe)
  • A clutch bag for those special occasions
  • Jewellery (now’s the time to add some bling and you might have some special pieces in your collection to suit, but if not you don’t have to spend a small fortune to put the sparkle in your look)
  • A patterned scarf (great for adding a splash of colour as well as keeping warm when it’s cold outside! When it’s warmer, opt for a more lightweight silk scarf. Both are classic touches and can be used as wonderful accessories for your outfit)

 

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Jeans and denim

A nice pair of denim jeans — straight or wide leg — denim skirts and even denim jackets look great on a more mature woman. Jeans are always in fashion, but you need to make sure you get the right pair for your shape. Unlike men, who will likely buy jeans by the waist and leg measurement, women need more information to make the right choice. To get the right fit for you, check out the waist rise, the upper leg and the lower leg.

Believe it or not, there is actually a simple equation that can have you buying the perfect fit jeans every time. First, measure the distance from your armpit to your natural waist. Then measure from your waist to the bottom of your buttocks. If the distance of the first is less than the distance of the second then you have a short waist (also called a ‘high waist’) but if the measurement is longer, you have a long waist (also called a ‘low waist’).

If you’ve got a short waist, steer clear of high rise jeans. It’ll give an impression that your jeans start in your armpits, which is unlikely to be a look anyone is going for. Instead, stick for jeans that are of a normal or low rise, because they’ll lengthen the look of your torso and give the impression your bottom and top are even.

For those with a long waist, choose jeans with a higher rise to give your legs a longer look.

Where your measurements are equal, wear low or high rise jeans depending on your preference.

Say yes to prints, colours and textures

Black and white can do a great job of transforming your outfit into a more youthful look, especially if you add a hint of colour. Consider wearing patterned leopard print or snake-skin shoes with an all-black outfit, or pair a coloured necklace with your white top and jeans.

Don’t forget your feet

You want to put your best foot forward in the style stakes and that includes teaming your outfit with the right shoe. We won’t tell you not to wear a high heel or stiletto if that’s what you’re into, but we will caution you against passing trends that will cost you a lot of money. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with boots, loafers, trainers and pumps, which are all practical and comfortable options for your feet. You can find them in a range of styles too. Winning!

You’ll also want to consider things like the amount of cushioning the shoe has and whether there is enough grip, because there’s nothing worse than a shoe where your foot is flopping around like a fish out of water or you slide and take a fall.

Consider too, footwear for special occasions. We’d recommend investing in a mid-heel black or nude number, which can effortlessly go with just about any wardrobe item you have.

A final word

You don’t need to spend a great deal of money to look good, but you do have to be smart about what you spend your money on. You’ll find some great looks online, (check out the Starts at 60 Marketplace) so indulge in a bit of online shopping to find inspiration and/or get what you want (especially helpful if you’re put off by sales assistants in-store).

Finally, don’t worry about what other people are going to think — when it comes to fashion, you have to be comfortable.

How would you describe your approach to fashion? Are you confident in your style choices?

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