Fashion for Women Over 60
Figuring out how to dress at any age can be challenging, but for women over 60 it can be especially fraught. You want to be fashionable, but many of the styles you see advertised are clearly designed more with younger women (of a very specific body type) in mind. The fashion world may be focused on the young, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your fashion goals.
Fashion Tips for Women over 60
To start, there are a few tips and ideas that can help you shape your fashion style at this point in your life.
You’ve probably tried out different styles over the years so you’re in a strong position to have a pretty good idea of which ones felt the most like you. Your fashion shouldn’t be based on what anyone else wears or likes. Think carefully about what you like to wear and what you think you look best in.
Be willing to take risks (but know your own limits).
Sometimes an item that looks a bit too adventurous in the store can end up becoming one of your favorite things in your closet. If you’re intrigued but unsure about an outfit, go for it. That said, if you know wearing something would make you uncomfortable (say, you hate the feel of heels or don’t really like showing too much leg), don’t try to force something that doesn’t feel right.
Now that you’re over 60, you’ve earned the right to value comfort over fashion. If you never want to wear heels again, don’t. If tight pants make you squirm uncomfortably all day long, switch to dresses.
Collect examples of clothes you like for inspiration.
One of the best ways to figure out what you like is to collect examples of styles that work for you as you see them. That could mean putting together a scrapbook with clippings from magazines or saving images on Pinterest. When you need inspiration before your next shopping trip, go browse the items you love.
Find a good tailor.
Finding clothes that fit just right in the store is an amazing feeling but, for many women, it’s an extremely rare one. Instead of settling for clothes that just kind of fit, find a good tailor in your town that can make the clothes you love fit your body perfectly.
Don’t worry about trends (but take advantage of the ones you like).
Every year, there will be new style trends. If you like them, great. Go get yourself some clothes in the new style. If you don’t care for them or are unsure, stick with buying things you know you like. Those trendy fashions will go out of style at some point anyway.
Try out new stores, or venture online.
If you’re having a hard time finding clothes that are in your size or that feel right to you at your current age in the stores you’re used to going to, go try somewhere new. Look up stores in your area that you haven’t gone to yet. Do some browsing of stores online. Your clothing options go far beyond the one or two stores you’ve traditionally shopped at the most.
The Fashion Staples to Have In Your Closet
A few elegant, yet basic essentials that you can slip on and feel comfortable in can make a big difference in your wardrobe. You’ll get more out of your closet if you invest in a few key items that can be mixed and matched into different outfits.
Go for a few good pairs of jeans.
Jeans are appropriate for so many occasions and can be matched with many other items. There are a few styles it’s worth considering:
- Dark denim, midrise boot cut jeans. Ideally, the hem should be about 1/8 inch off the floor and the jeans should have a good fit.
- Dark denim midrise, straight-leg jeans. You can wear moccasins loafers, flat ballet slippers or kitten heels with these jeans. If you prefer boots in the cooler weather, then you can just tuck them right into tall boots without a problem.
- A pair of white jeans (yes, white) that are either straight leg or boot cut. You can wear these jeans in warmer weather with a cute pair of wedge sandals and a tunic top. Or a crisp navy jacket with a white tank top pairs well together here. A pair of straight leg jeans goes really great with a longer jacket or a tunic top. Just a tip: Remember to match your underwear to your skin not the white pants!
- A pair of well-fitted dress pants in a lightweight wool blend. Common colors are black, charcoal, or navy. These pants can be worn with a pretty silky blouse, a t-shirt, or a tank top with a jacket or a cardigan.
Make sure you have a good jacket.
A lot of your summer clothes can be outfitted for other seasons as long as you have the right jacket.
A few good options to consider are:
- A fitted jacket that’s short and not too snug and is about hip length. Black is a go-to color, but navy and cream work well too. You can wear this jacket with your jeans, skirts, dresses, pants, and just about everything.
- A cropped black leather jacket, believe it or not, can be worn with everything in your closet. Cropped at the waist is the best version to buy; it looks both classy and lasts forever.
Skirts are still very sexy.
Skirts are comfortable and can go with a lot of the tops you also pair with your jeans.
One good style of skirt to consider is the black pencil skirt, as it’s very versatile. It can be paired with black tights and a mid-size heel or high heels, wedges, or boots. It can also be paired with a long tank and cropped multi-colored jacket.
Cardigans are essential for layering and having a polished look.
Like jackets, comfortable cardigans can help you use layers to make lighter clothes appropriate for lower temperatures. Long sleeves or three quarter length that hit at the hips are good. A longer cardigan looks wonderful with straight leg jeans or pants, but not with skirts.
Invest in a few good tank tops.
Consider buying tank tops in bulk because they are the backbone of the closet. You can buy them in whites, black and cream to wear under your jackets, blouses, and sweaters and cardigans. They also project a smoother look under everything.
Dresses never go out of style.
Dresses come in three styles that are particularly popular with women over 60: the wrap dress, the sleeveless sheath and the fit and flare dress. The wrap dress is worn with the belt knotted on the side. Sleeveless sheaths are worn with a snug fitting cardigan or a jacket. The fit and flare dress is fitted on top and flares out at the waist which makes a flirty swinging look. Any of these styles can go with a little black dress, which is perfect for dressing up or down.
20 Senior Fashion Influencers and Resources To Check Out
If you could use some inspiration, you’re in luck. Age is no obstacle to being a fashion icon, so you’ve got plenty to turn to in helping build your own look and gain confidence in your choice.
Advanced Style is a blog run by photographer Ari Seth Cohen devoted to showing the savvy and unique style of a wide array of seniors. The blog is regularly updated with pictures of seniors looking fabulous in styles all their own. The people pictured aren’t generally famous models or actors, so their looks are often within reasonable reach for seniors who choose to visit the blog for inspiration.
The Senior Style Bible is a website run by Dorrie Jacobson that’s devoted to providing style tips and recommendations to senior women. The website hopes to encourage women not to shy away from youthful styles in spite of their age. You should keep wearing whatever clothes make you feel the most “you” no matter your age.
Iris Apfel, called the “muse of New York” by The Guardian, is turning heads with her designs years into her 90s. Apfel is the frequent focus of New York fashion bloggers and has inspired collections by big name designers like Ralph Lauren. Her own designs are vibrant, colorful, and clearly not the work of anyone hoping to fade into the background. Her fashion signals that she’s a senior happy to claim all the attention in the room – a bold move in a society that too often treats older women as invisible.
Lyn Slater created Accidental Icon for women who live what she describes as “interesting but ordinary lives” in cities. It’s not for celebrities or icons, but for the many women who are comfortable in their own style (or seek to be) whether or not the world is paying attention.
Linda Rodin started modeling in the 1960s and over time branched into offering her own beauty products. In her 60s now, she’s still widely regarded as a fashion icon that many people look to for inspiration.
Robert Boyd’s unique style has helped him gain a following on social media. He shares photos of his outfits on Facebook, and hosts a talk show on YouTube where he shares his fashion tips. He’s long valued looking good and shares his love of fashion with others with the help of the web.
Melanie Kobayashi uses her platform at Bag and a Beret to share her experiences in style, comedy, and art. In addition to photos showing her unique fashion, there are blog posts full of personality and interesting experiences.
Isabella Rossellini has been turning heads with her look for decades, but age hasn’t stopped her from claiming beauty campaigns and magazine covers. In her 60s, she’s still the face of Lancome and regularly walks the red carpet for various acting projects.
A fashion writer who spent years writing for publications like the Village Voice and Vogue, Lynne Yaeger has become a fashion icon in her own right. Her eccentric style inspires designers and models, while still managing to clearly be 100% her own.
Tziporah Salamon is a designer and model with a flair for combining just the right clothes and accessories to make her outfits into a work of art. Fittingly, she’s written a book called The Art of Dressing to help others gain the skills to do the same.
Daphne Selfe has been working as a model since 1949. Now in her late 80s, she shows no signs of slowing down. She’s been a style icon for decades and continues to showcase a variety of fashions in her work, showing women of all ages that there’s no age that’s too old to be fashionable.
Susan B. writes a lifestyle blog where she shares great fashion finds, beauty recommendations, and stories of world travel. While fashion isn’t the only focus, it’s one part of an all-around inspiring blog about living a good life as you age.
Carmen Dell’Orefice is considered by some to be the world’s oldest working model. She’s been gracing magazine covers for decades and has continued to work steadily and wow audiences on the runways.
Style Crone is a fashion blog run by a woman in her 70s named Judith. She embraces bold styles and encourages her readers to do the same. A trademark of her style is unique, fashionable hats of the sort that guarantee you’d stand out.
Bethann Hardison is not only a model, but also a fashion activist who’s been working for decades to make fashion more inclusive to people of color. Concerned about the lack of diversity in the fashion world, she even started her own agency in the 80’s to help bring more models of color onto the runways. She continues to show up at fashion events today, looking fabulous and advocating for better opportunities for underrepresented models.
Patti, who runs Not Dead Yet Style, devotes her blog to helping people be “authentic and beautiful in our middle years.” In addition to sharing fashion finds and pictures of outfits she wears, she also shares experiences and posts of encouragement.
Jenny Kee is an Australian artist and designer who opened her first clothing shop in the 1970’s and quickly became a famous fashion icon in Australia. She’s been making her mark on fashion in her own country and around the world ever since.
Michelle Lamy is known for her eccentric style and the label she co-founded. Her look is often described as gothic and includes tattoos, gold teeth, and an overall style that’s like nobody else’s.
A former opera singer, Joyce Carpati’s current claim to fame is providing fashion advice. After being featured prominently by Advanced Style, she caught the attention of a number of publications so her advice has been in high demand, and she’s happy to offer it.
Rounding our list out, Diane von Furstenberg first started her fashion line in 1970 and continues to serve as its Chairman and Founder today. Decades into her career, she remains a recognizable name and influential force in the fashion world.