I got to thinking one day about how women over fifty can enjoy freedom in fashion. Why? Because I talk to a lot of women and fashion at this age can be viewed through the lens of fear or of freedom.
If women are looking at fashion through the fear lens, they’re worried about whether or not they’re dressing in an age appropriate way. They fear looking like they’re trying too hard. They’re concerned people will notice them and judge. They worry about how to hide the “bad” parts.
But in my experience I see freedom in fashion at our age. And I want you to see and feel that too.
I sat down and compiled a list of 50 Ways Women Over 50 Enjoy Fashion. This list includes ways a woman thinks, acts, and participates in fashion that leads to freedom and steps away from fear. Fashion’s all about fun. Let’s have more of it.
See if you find yourself nodding your head up and down at these ideas and we’ll chat later.
50 Ways Women Over 50 Enjoy Fashion
1. They accept what cannot be changed.
2. They don’t settle—they buy what they really want.
3. They wear their good stuff.
4. They refuse to sink to the lowest common denominator in fashion. If everyone’s going in jeans, they’ll wear a dress if they want to.
5. They own and use a full-length mirror.
6. They never say never.
7. They see and appreciate beauty everywhere: on the street, in parks, in windows, and on strangers.
8. They try new things.
9. They break the rules, like the one about not wearing a trend twice in your lifetime. They rediscover trends from the past and enjoy them a second time around.
10. They pull out heirlooms passed down from their relatives and wear them.
11. They shop their own closet for new outfits.
12. They use makeup products that leave them looking healthy, not made up.
13. They go to art museums.
14. Their focus is on a good fit. They don’t wear things too big or too small but just right.
15. They never give up on themselves.
16. If someone were to say Why bother with fashion?, they’d answer Because I respect myself and you.
17. They aren’t stingy with themselves.
18. They resist the pressure friends put on them to buy pieces the friends like. They have too many things at home that were purchased with girlfriends that weren’t right for them. They’ve learned to say no.
19. Before taking on the responsibility and expense of bringing new clothes into their closet, they stop and think about whether they’ll really use them.
20. They let go of clothes that don’t fit, aren’t attractive to them anymore, or represent a lifestyle that’s in the past.
21. Their closets have only the clothes that are useful, bring them joy, and fit.
22. When they feel stuck in a rut they go shopping with a friend or a professional consultant who encourages them to try something from a different department.
23. They go shopping with an open mind, excitement and anticipation.
24. They appreciate things that work well on them—like the color coral, high-rise pants, scarves in their hair, or platform shoes.
25. They choose a new part of their body to highlight if what they used to highlight has disappeared. There are plenty of choices: wrists, ankles, eyes, calves, bustline, necks, shoulders, hands, legs, hair, and more.
26. They use clothes as a way to express personality traits.
27. They use clothes to flirt with life. Outfits engage others, start conversations, and lift spirits.
28. They refocus their fashion goals…often.
29. They’re generous about more than their friends and family. They’re generous with themselves.
30. Putting themselves last is no longer an option.
31. They honor their hunches.
32. They prefer to show themselves in their best light, not their dimmest. They never leave the house thinking, “No one’s looking at me anyway.”
33. They know the next generation is taking cues from them.
34. They are curious.
35. They don’t put others down for making choices they don’t understand.
36. They aren’t driven to buy the thing that represents status. They recognize that status pieces and designer labels aren’t the way to ensure style. They do the work of figuring out their own personal style rather than let fashion dictate to them.
37. They don’t have to show up for the sale before doors open. They realize there will always be stuff to buy.
38. They wear outfits that mix high and low fashion together.
39. They see an outfit-of-the-day image on Instagram, and if it’s inspiring to them, they go to their closet and try to replicate the general idea.
40. They get fashion stimulation by going to fashion shows, art museum openings, and hanging out at corner cafes where there’s great people watching.
41. They love studying good design and figuring out what it is that works about it, and then they apply those same principles to getting dressed.
42. They make collages of things they love—every season—and view them regularly. If they don’t understand what called them to pull an image, they’ll realize it over time. It may be their next favorite thing.
43. They hold on to clothes they love even if they didn’t wear them for a season. A year from now they may pull it out and find it’s the cornerstone piece of the season.
44. They delay gratification. If they walk into a store and don’t see anything they love, they walk out. They don’t buy things just to buy things.
45. They don’t go backward in time pining over clothes that were popular then or the figure they had back then. They embrace “now” and march into their glorious life uplifted.
46. Their self-talk is kind.
47. They aren’t competing with other women; they appreciate differences.
48. They laugh at themselves.
49. They don’t desire to dress like their kids.
50. They look in the mirror and say, “Damn, you look good!”
When you read over this list can you spot some places that may need your attention in order to feel more freedom in getting dressed? I’d so love to know! Let’s explore this idea together. Do share!