45 In Women Now

10 Fashion Tips for Every Woman Over 60, Part One

Fashion talk for women over 60 on BrendaKinsel.com

Let’s talk fashion for women over 60

 

Ladies, ladies, ladies. Let’s gather ’round. There are a few things I want to share with you about fashion for women over 60. I might get a little preachy but remember I’ve worked with women of all ages, shapes, and personalities. I’ve been in the trenches of closets, dressing rooms and women’s belief systems. Fact #1: Fashion is for you, not against you. YOUR style mixed with fashion from your closet and a few additions from stores can free you, bring pleasure beyond belief (Baby, when you look good, you feel good, remember?), and make you feel visible for all the right reason.

I’m ready to reveal my best tips and observations and show you things that will bring you pleasure, grace, and ease in your body and your mind.

I’ve got to start with the mind; that darned mind can be the biggest road block of all. Does any of this sound familiar?

There’s nothing in the stores for me!

I hate fashion magazines and all those 12-year-old models. There’s nothing to relate to!

The fashion world is out of touch. They’re not listening to us!

We’re invisible. No one notices a woman over 60, yet we have all this buying power.

If I was younger or thinner, I’d care. But not now. Why bother?

 

Let me say one thing about all of that: OUCH! You are beautiful and precious and lovely and tender and compassionate and caring. You deserve to be having fun with fashion and enjoying this stage of life. Let me show you how. I’m going to attack these complaints one by one.

 

Complaint: My feet hurt; I can’t wear heels anymore

Examples of fashionable, comfortable shoes for women over 60 on BrendaKinsel.com

Top row, left to right: Jimmy Choo patterned flats; Gabor ankle wrap sandal Bottom row, left to right: AGL patent flats with velvet ties; Black slip ons from Junction Shoes

 

[Go ahead, Brenda, insert basketball metaphor here.]

Here in the Bay Area we’re all excited because the Golden State Warriors are the NBA champions (that’s professional basketball). Last year they lost to the same team they played this year, the Cleveland Cavaliers (that’s LeBron James). It was a c-r-u-s-h-i-n-g loss for players and fans. Did they pout? Probably for a bit and then they took action; they hired Kevin Durant to bolster the team. After this week’s Warriors win, the general consensus was that losing last year sucked but getting Kevin Durant was a great consolation prize. He was named the MVP (that’s Most Valuable Player) of the series.

Are you following the theme here? Loss, changing things up, winning.

We could be talking about women over sixty and their shoe situation. See, many women our age are not wearing heels anymore, a c-r-u-s-h-i-n-g loss to those who felt heels made every outfit more special and sexy.

So what do we do with that loss? We bring in something better! We bring in new players like Oxfords and flats with arch support and slip ons and sneakers. And what happens? We all look cool and interesting and fashionable and better than ever! Your shoes could be the Most Valuable Player of your outfit. Chin up girls; let’s go shopping!

 

Fashion shoes for women over 60 on BrendaKinsel.com

Top row, left to right: Caslon slip on, Dr. Scholl’s platform sandal                    Bottom row, left to right: Patent AGL’s, Rosa Mosa oxford

 

Here are some shoe lines that me and my clients are enjoying: AGL, Paul Green, Aquatalia, Rosa Mosa, Dr. Scholl’s (fashionable, my friends!), Rag and Bone, Gabor, Sofft, Born, Corso Como, Cole Haan, Me Too, Clarks, Dansko, Ugg (not just the fur-lined Uggs), Josef Seibel, Geox, Eileen Fisher, Vince, Ron White. I’m going to stop there. You may have more to add. Will you let us know your faves? Comfort shoe manufacturers are doing their best to create shoes that feature both comfort and style because we’re demanding it. Shoes are on our side!

 

Complaint: No one sees me

Showing up in great eyewear on BrendaKinsel.com

Use glasses to show up in style

 

Fresh eyewear is what will make people see you. This is my pal Phyllis from the store that bears her name, Phyllis Boutique down in Palo Alto. She’s so fascinating, quite the storyteller. I mean, look at her! Aren’t you just drawn in by her glasses? You know she’s going to be fascinating. With great eyewear it’s all the better to see you, my dear. This could be your most memorable accessory. Not only do you get to see but people get to see you. My clients experience this all the time. Eyewear is on your side, my friends!

 

Complaint: I look at magazines and I don’t fit in anywhere

 

Belt with message

 

Elizabeth medium

 

Baby doll, you don’t have to fit in! You’re sixty! You get to do what you want! My new friend, Elizabeth Kirkpatrick has a style all her own. She gets stopped in the streets. Being totally transparent I’m going to tell you that Elizabeth is 57 in July. (We’re letting you in the club early.) I want to learn more about her and I will because I plan to interview her and tell you all about it. She says she could wear caftans all summer. When I hear that from this style maven, I think to myself, My gosh! I don’t even own a caftan! I’m checking that out!

She’s inspiring me. You could be inspiring others with your style too. How’s this for a plan: Don’t fit in; stand out!

Elizabeth has a blog you must check out. She’s called La Contessa and her blog is The Vintage Contessa. She had an antique store for years. Her Instagram handle is @AntiqueGoddess. She’s as grand and delightful in person as she is in this picture!

 

Complaint: I never find anything in the stores

Chico's jackets on BrendaKinsel.com

Four different Chico’s jackets that suit my style (more introvert than extrovert)

 

A dear friend of mine said, “I never find anything in the stores. I love fashion. I’m still breathing. Why aren’t they making clothes for us?”

We were having Sunday lunch in Sonoma and we went over to Chico’s and a makeover transpired. She soon learned there were places for her to find clothes for her wonderful self. Here’s that Anatomy of a Transformation link to see what we came up with.

I think if you’re not finding something where you’ve been shopping it is possible that it’s time to shop somewhere else! After helping Marjory, I went back and checked out Chico’s jackets. I found such fun stylish pieces that worked well for my love of introvert clothes. (You can learn about introvert and extrovert clothes from my Where I Shop series and see where your clothes fit in.)

Today I shopped with a new client and took her to Banana Republic. She hadn’t been in there for years and boy was she surprised! We found the cutest things for her there that fit her style words: Artful, creative, interesting, unique, approachable. Of course, it was styling the outfits afterwards in her closet that made her style words really pop. The point is to step into stores you haven’t been stepping into. Be prepared to surprise yourself. Fashion is on your side! 

 

Complaint: I’m bored

I get it! You’ve been wearing clothes for 60 years or more. But how about this? How about you get out of your comfort zone by design and search out things that are the opposite of what you usually do. I’m been a longtime fan of solid colored anythings. This fashion season is flooded with florals prints. I walked myself out of my comfort zone and headed for the dress section a couple of weeks back to get something to wear to the wedding of a client of mine on July 1st. I decided to try a floral print. Wait until you see what I bought! It’s so not my usual cup of tea. But I’m sixty! I can try new things!

 

BK in florals

 

 

Shifting to a wide leg pant on BrendaKinsel.com

Stepping out of my skinny jean comfort zone

 

Another example of getting out of one’s comfort zone: I resisted skinny pants when they first came out. I thought it was a crazy trend. It took months, no, years to try them on. Well, they won me over and have been a staple in my wardrobe.

When I decided to not buy one more skinny jean and look at the newest wide leg jean trend instead, I pushed myself to buy a pair. I definitely had a What was I thinking moment or two or ninety-nine. It’s taken me a while but I’m getting the hang of them and now I love them. In fact I’m wearing them right now as I’m typing away.

This can happen to you! You can fall in love with something new!

What items are the opposite of what you’re wearing now? Try them on! Fashion is waiting to delight you! 

 

Oh dear, look at the time! We’re halfway through these tips. How about I share the rest of them with you tomorrow? Deal? Deal!

Tell me, are you seeing some new possibilities for yourself? Do share!

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45 Comments

  • Reply
    classic•casual•home
    June 14, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    You are such a witty and wise writer… I knew when you took that shot of Elizabeth it was perfect. Thanks for the tv show recommendation, too.

    Mary Ann

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 14, 2017 at 10:15 pm

      I must remind you, you were the one looking over my shoulder saying, Take that one! Take that one! You get the real photo credit! Glad you’re liking Spiral. Warning: Highly addictive!

  • Reply
    Sandra Sallin
    June 14, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Aw, La Contessa. She has made a huge influence in my life. I call her Auntie Mame.The way she dresses inspires me to be WAY more creative. Way more OUT THERE. Way more every thing. Of course she’s 6 feet tall and I’m 5’4′ so there’s a tad of a diference. But she flaunts it and I love it. She also has a heart of gold. But I’ve become quite intrigued with your sense of style also. Looking into some of your choices. The pants, the shoes, your concepts are right on!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 14, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      Thank you, my dear! I can’t wait to study this specimen called Elizabeth more! I love meeting people who have their own beat. Another lovely person you all will meet if we rendezvous in Sonoma is an artist with great style who has no idea what I’m talking about when I talk about people having problems expressing themselves. Valerie, I’m talking about you! And you gave me great ideas with those fantastic leggings, shoes, and top. I was checking you out, Babe!

  • Reply
    Kathy
    June 15, 2017 at 3:44 am

    I live outside of Cleveland and was on the other side of the court for the NBA finals. My hat is off to the warriors for playing so well (excuse me…gulp…had to swallow the bile in my throat…avid Cavs fan and being an adult is sometimes painful when it comes to losing). I love reading your posts and seriously have never met a caftan either! I may need to introduce myself to one in the near future. Cold shoulder tops frighten me and have made me run from displays. I am now considering actually trying one on!! Wow big step for me!

  • Reply
    cindy hattersley
    June 15, 2017 at 5:52 am

    Loved this post. Your site is a wealth of information. I must say after perusing your site I am tempted as well to try out the cut off wide leg jeans. The advantage of being our age is we have seen that style before (or at least another incarnation of it). Elizabeth really is “all that” isn’t she? As Sandra says it helps that she is tall and gorgeous!! So much fun meeting you and I LOVE your blog. I am going to share this post on my facebook page.

  • Reply
    Lisa White
    June 15, 2017 at 6:28 am

    What a fabulous and uplifting post. Love your ideas and how you put your finger right on the many concerns women have as they move into their 50’s, 60’s and beyond. Sadly, we tend to focus on the negative. Rather, as you point out so well, we should look at all the positives. Style is one tool we can use to complement our wisdom, beauty, energy, creativity, and joy and make it visible on the surface allowing others to see us in one scoop of the eye and thinking “Now there is a person I really want to know. There is a person with interesting stories to tell.”…like Elizabeth and like you! Of course, the way we move and talk are other tools to show all the energy and joy bubbling inside. Our intellect, creativity, passion and compassion will be always found in what we say and do, but why not celebrate our unique concoctions of strengths in style? Brenda, that is what you offer us today. I am delighted you featured Elizabeth…she is all this and so much more…love her generous spirit, big heart, humor, and style.

    • Reply
      Pat
      June 15, 2017 at 7:45 am

      There is nothing I can add, Lisa said it all, and beautifully!!!

      Faithful fan,
      Pat

      • Reply
        Brenda
        June 16, 2017 at 8:38 am

        Didn’t she have such clarity? I agree! Wouldn’t it be fun to have a slumber party or a weekend retreat together? YUM!
        Yours faithfully, with a big imagination,
        Brenda

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 16, 2017 at 8:28 am

      You have such a way with words. I feel like they are your tools to really bring clarity which you have in this comment. I was listening on the radio yesterday to an interview with Jack Kornfield, a Buddhist teacher and author of many books. He was talking about this same sort of thing, about focusing on the positive and how so many people just grab that one negative and keep thinking about that instead. It’s an important practice, I think. Thanks for all you share! And yes, I can imagine you and Elizabeth being fast friends!!!!

  • Reply
    Kim Evans
    June 15, 2017 at 6:39 am

    I love your style and enjoy reading your blog. I am a plus sized woman and middle school teacher. Do you ever work with plus sized women and put those recommendations for style in your blog?

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 16, 2017 at 8:31 am

      Hi Kim! You know, I do work with plus sized women and I need to think about recommendations I’d share. Another blogger who has written a lot about this subject is Imogen Lamport in her Inside Out Style blog.
      https://insideoutstyleblog.com
      I’d give that a look in the meantime.
      Thanks, Kim!

  • Reply
    LA CONTESSA
    June 15, 2017 at 8:19 am

    MY GOODNESS!
    THIS was a W O N D E R F U L way to wake up!!!
    But I doNOT MEAN TO STAND OUT.I think that is what ALWAYS astounds me.I just get DRESSED!
    I walk into my TINY and I mean TINY closet that I share with MY ITALIAN HUSBAND and SPOT something and start pulling together an outfit!Most days I am pleased with myself………some days NOT so pleased so I may toss on a KIMONO especially over those dreaded EXERCISE PANTS!!
    I am tickled PINK that YOU want to INTERVIEW ME!
    THANK YOU!
    Big THANKS to SANDRA as WELL………she is my BIG PROMOTOR in LIFE!
    She found me through BLOGGING as she FOUND YOU!!!!!!!!!
    XX

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 16, 2017 at 8:40 am

      Oh, I can’t wait to learn more. Maybe I need to come and visit that closet of yours? Would you be up to that? I LOVE the idea of throwing a kimono over exercise pants. What a great week! To start it off meeting four fabulous great women. Wow, I feel blessed! Have a great weekend, dear friend!

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    June 15, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I find I enjoy hats now that I am in my 50’s !

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 16, 2017 at 8:40 am

      I love discovering something new as we tick off the years. I’ve been enjoying hats more too!

  • Reply
    gk
    June 15, 2017 at 9:36 am

    You are always so kind and uplifting Brenda!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 16, 2017 at 8:41 am

      Well, thank you, it’s really how I feel. Kindness to you, gk!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann Doerzbacher
    June 15, 2017 at 10:17 am

    What, not a hockey fan? Love love love the Stanley Cup series AND my wonderful Pittsburgh Penguins for winning it again this year! I live in Northern CA now tho but still love my PA teams!
    As for the wide leg pants, I wear a 16 pants and they are just too much material for me. I love the tapered fitting pants much better.
    My fav is the Chico’s pull on size 2.5 or 3. Perfect and very comfortable!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 16, 2017 at 8:45 am

      I’m telling you, I agree, Chico’s has some great things! And let me also say that not every style is going to work on every body, that’s for sure. But sometimes when we try things outside of our comfort zone, it can be surprising. I just purchased a widish leg linen casual pant. I’ll wear it today. But what I liked about it and why I’m telling you this is that it’s not SUPER wide, it’s modified wide and is more comfortable to me. Too much is sometimes still too much! Coming from North Dakota, you’d think I’d be a hockey fan. I get into it sometimes. My daughter’s boyfriend played professional hockey and is from Boston so hockey has come into our life. I’m so glad your team won!!!! You know that feeling!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann Doerzbacher
    June 15, 2017 at 10:18 am

    By the way that is not my picture next to my post. ?????

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 16, 2017 at 8:45 am

      I wonder what’s going on?

  • Reply
    KATHYSUE
    June 15, 2017 at 11:13 am

    I am new to your blog thanks to Cindy and Mary Ann who I have followed for quite awhile now. I ran upon their post about the luncheon you all were at and was intrigued by all the b0eautiful and stylish ladies. LOVED this post and it is spot on and hit the nail on the head. I am such an advocate for being the best at any age or weight for women that this post really was helpful. I am a believer in all that you said. I love fashion and always have, I am probably not that creative with my clothes since I tend to be what I call a classic/preppy style, but love color and wear it often. Looking forward to the rest of the tips. I am going to share this post on my FB page as well. I am pushing very close to the 70’s age group, only 2 more years left in my 60’s so reading your post celebrating our ages is refreshing!!! Thank you!!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 16, 2017 at 8:48 am

      Thanks, Kathysue! I am so very happy to have met Cindy and Mary Ann! You’ll see more comments about them in the Part Two! I admire all styles and classic/preppy is so wonderful. It’s the most wonderful thing about my 30+ year career is that I get to witness all kinds of style personalities. It’s just a joy! Glad Cindy and Mary Ann introduced us!

  • Reply
    Neti*
    June 15, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Yeah. . for the Warriors!!! I taped the final game and re-watched it twice. I am such a fan of Curry and Durant. I have no problem with wearing what I want and credit the many blogs that I visit for inspiration, such as yours. I love colors, the more vivid the better and wear them plenty. I still wear my heels at 65, but only on special occasions and my shoe love is strong. Thanks for this post and looking forward to part 2.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 16, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Wow, you are a fan!!! Love hearing your adventurous spirit. I’m going to your website to check it out! I’m always interested in other bloggers and points of view. I have one client in her 70s and she still wears high heels and finds them comfortable. I have some envious moments when I work with her. I never wore high high heels but could do moderate ones. Now even kitten heels are tough. Enjoy part two!!!

  • Reply
    Katherine Cramer
    June 15, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    The party is on! What a pleasure to read your post & replies where I received a slice of fun and encouragement today. La Contessa looks so much like identical twins in the East Bay that I sent one of her photographs to my pal, asking if they were missing a lost triplet. Cheers to comfortable yet inspiring shoes. I’m looking at brocade slides at the moment. I think they could be year-round for California. Oui to Grégory Fitoussi in Spiral and The Paradise. I so agree with Cythnia and you for wearing hats. They really put an exclamation point on any look. I try to answer at least one of your questions since I so appreciate your writings. You ask about new possibilities. I may add some outrageous eyeglass frames. I think they would inspire me to jump…somewhere new. Thanks Brenda and all!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 16, 2017 at 8:53 am

      Always fun to hear from you, Katherine. And oh, you reminded me of The Paradise. I LOVED that series. I could watch it again. I’m loving your idea for eyeglass frames and jumping somewhere new. That’s so enticing! And I agree with you: I LOVE reading comments. I’m forever stimulated by everyone in this community!

  • Reply
    Ruth Essex
    June 15, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    May I add, these are suggestions that women should not wait until they are 60!to apply to their lives! Showing up and thinking today is my best is such a lovely way to spend the day x

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 16, 2017 at 8:55 am

      Oh my gosh, yes Ruth! These tips are there for anyone at any age. Love your idea about showing up and thinking today is your best. I’m about to do that now! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Laurice Gilbert
    June 15, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Ha ha – stepping out of my comfort zone means STARTING to wear heels – at 63. It’s hilarious, and I love my new height (I’m 5’2″) and the extra length I get in my overall look. Thanks for reminding us (over and over, because that’s what it takes) to be ourselves.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 16, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Love how you said that! About reminding each other to be ourselves. That’s the bottom line. Well, girlfriend, bring on the heels! I’m excited for you!

  • Reply
    Joni james
    June 15, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Such a fun post! I’m with you on veering toward the caftan curiosity. I’m crazy for tunics, so it seems a caftan is the next step to progression. I’m also getting more brave by wearing large earrings.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 16, 2017 at 8:57 am

      We need to make a pact: we are checking out caftans!!! Love that you’re getting more brave. I think that’s an important thing for us to do at this time! Enjoy those earrings! Xx

  • Reply
    Aless
    June 15, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    I’m constantly ‘women watching’ when out and about- to pick up new ideas that I can re-jig.
    At lunch the other day with my husband, I saw an older woman wearing interesting layers that, despite being MUCH bigger than her, I knew I could pull off, in my own style. I never wear skirts/rarely wear dresses (HATE my big legs) but I’d forgotten that I can wear heavy tights OR the knee length black classic boots I had specially made years ago and keep forgetting about!!
    One of the best things I ever did when I was feeling ‘invisible’ was to buy a pair of ‘combat’ style leather boots. I feel invincible and sassy when I wear them even if no one is even noticing my boots (or me) !!! LOL!!
    Since turning 65, I’ve stopped worrying what others think and started pleasing myself. A ‘younger’ neighbour asked me a couple of years ago why I always wear jeans (I don’t ‘always’….)-the message being that I was too old/not acting ‘my age’ ??? The same woman told me that ‘we are both old now’ to which I answered, ‘You might be, but I’m not!’ and laughed !!!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 16, 2017 at 9:09 am

      I’m loving your attitude here and it’s so true. Honestly, age isn’t something to be fixated on: enjoying life’s bounty is! I remember when I had some combat type boots. I sure felt strong wearing them. Isn’t it interesting how clothes can make us feel. I’m inspired by your people watching skills. Bring on the layers!

  • Reply
    Vivian
    June 17, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I’m 57 & love fashion! One of my favorite online resources is Garnethill.com. The Sale of the Day often has wonderful deals! And the cashmere is lux.

    For shoes I’ve discovered OTBT & Bernie Mev sandals, Frye boots and Taos Crave ankle boots. Every time I wear my turquoise Crave boots people stop me and ask about them. And I have Tieks ballet flats in 16 colors!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 18, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      Wow, you are a wealth of resources, Vivian. Thanks so much for sharing! A shoe in 16 colors–that sounds like a pretty picture, like Crayons all lined up. I’d love to see it!

  • Reply
    Lynn
    June 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Sometimes the problem is not that we are not open to new ideas in clothing, but that what is presented in the stores (your example of Banana Republic above) has extremely cheap and poorly cut fabric/materials. In addition, the ‘vibe’ of some of these stores is not welcoming AT ALL (think very loud music and a clerk who clearly thinks you have wandered into the wrong store)….. Your blog posts interesting topics and thank you for them!!

  • Reply
    Lisa Carnochan
    June 23, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Such a great post! So sorry I haven’t gotten to meet you, next Bay Area meet up I will focus and clear my schedule. (If Sandy will still have me;))

    • Reply
      Brenda
      June 27, 2017 at 10:18 am

      Would LOVE to meet you!!! So sorry you weren’t there that day. Soon, I hope!

  • Reply
    MarcyB
    July 5, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    I love Chico’s and spend way too much time checking out their website almost daily (I’m nowhere near a Chico’s store so must buy online.) I never noticed that tribal-inspired jacket online but am now obsessed with it. I must say, you look much better in it than the model on the website.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      July 5, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      Well, that’s a very high compliment! Thank you! Things come and go pretty quickly and I think I snapped this one up just in the nick of time!

  • Reply
    Sandra L Paulsen
    July 12, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Fluevogs. I love Fluevogs!

  • Reply
    LA CONTESSA
    December 6, 2017 at 11:41 am

    I JUST BOUGHT SOMETHING YESTERDAY FROM Phyllis’s BOUTIQUE!
    I had an amazing chat with Sandra………….was that her name that works in the BOUTIQUE as WELL?
    I LOVE HOW WE ARE ALL CONNECTED!
    SO, WHEN ARE YOU INTERVIEWING ME!!!!!!!!!!??
    I NEED TO POP UP YOUR WAY……there is a shop in THE SQUARE with ANGELA CAPUTI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have TWO REASONS to come up!
    XX

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