After years of working with Style Coaching clients of all ages, I have observed that many of my clients over the age of 50 come to me initially with the misconception that they can’t be as stylish as they once were or those women younger than they are. They especially don’t want to run the risk of appearing like they are ‘trying too hard’. And many feel that they have to stick to a certain set of societal rules such as always covering their arms or no trendier pieces allowed after a certain age. These fashion myths subtly send the message to women that the time for them to have fun with clothes and look their best has passed.
I want to debunk these style myths for women over 50 once and for all and to inspire you to embrace your age and style no matter your age!
Myth #1: “You have to cover up.”
One of the number one things I hear clients over 50 say in the dressing room is “I can’t wear anything that shows my ______”. Then fill in the blank with butt, arms, stomach, bust, etc. While this is often a common statement amongst women of all ages, I hear it even more with women over 50. Our society unfortunately has told women that unless they look “perfect” (aka whatever the current standard of beauty is at that time) then they should cover-up. This infuriates me and is something I passionately work on with my clients to help them look and feel their best in their clothes. While it’s easier said than done to not hide your butt, stomach, bust, etc., it is so very important to start shifting your mindset and know that you are beautiful exactly as you are right this minute. I work with women of every body type and dress size, and each one can look stunning and feel confident in her clothes…without wearing oversized items or completely covering up! So for example, if you have always told yourself that you should never show your butt, and thus wear a lot of tunics, then I invite you to ask yourself WHY you can’t wear a flattering shirt that is shorter? What might happen if you were to not wear a shirt or dress that looks more like a tent than a flattering garment? See where this thinking or style rule is coming from. Maybe a well-meaning mom? Friends, that have the same hiding habit? Or a cruel person in high school? Then reframe this thought pattern! It will take time for it to feel true to you, but fake it til you make it! I promise this will not only have you feeling more confident
but also it’ll open up a whole world of new styles you can wear, making getting dressed more fun! I want you to remember this: looking flattering and good in your clothes has NOTHING to do with how curvy you are or what size clothing you wear, it has all to do with dressing for your body type AND not hiding in your oversized clothes.
I want you to remember this: looking flattering and good in your clothes has NOTHING to do with how curvy you are or what size clothing you wear, it has all to do with dressing for your body type AND not hiding in your oversized clothes.
photo | @maxineover50
Photo | Bloglovin’
Photo | The Cut
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Myth #2: “You have to shop at more ‘mature’ stores.”
When my clients (of all ages) first come to me they often feel baffled as to where to shop for their particular style, body type, age, and budget. But when my over 50 clients first come to me, I often hear they are shopping at the same chain retailers geared towards a more mature woman. While I am not trying to hate on any retailers as I love shopping most places, there are certain stores that when worn from head to toe will make you look old, frumpy, and ultimately not current or chic. Just because you are a certain age does NOT mean you are relegated to shopping at stores like J.Jill, Chicos, Talbots, and Coldwater Creek. I shop for clients over 50 days at a wide variety of places (depending on their personal style & budget) such as JMcLaughlin, Nordstrom, Saks, Bloomingdales, Shopbop, Anthropologie, and a variety of local boutiques too. So please know that there are wonderful items just waiting for you outside of these more matronly stores that will suit your age, silhouette, and style beautifully!
Please know that there are wonderful items just waiting for you outside of these more matronly stores that will suit your age, silhouette and style beautifully!
Photo | Style at a Certain Age
Photo | Style Du Monde
Photo | Who What Wear UK
Myth #3: “You can’t wear the trends.”
My Style Coaching clients run the gamut when it comes to personal style. Even my more classic clients all have a different twist on what classic looks like to them. As far as the trends go, I have some over 50 clients that adore fashion and want to try all the trends (that work on their body type, of course). And then I have other clients that enjoy a more traditional and classic look, and thus are initially trend adverse. Wherever you fall into the mix know that trends are not scary or off limits due to your age or style! It’s all about understanding what trends are, and then knowing your personal style well enough to know how to infuse the right trends for you into your wardrobe. Trends can be more high fashion for sure, but most can be ‘watered down’ and are a great way to look current seasonally. Each season I encourage my clients (and you too!) to peruse the current trends and then determine one or two that speak to your style. I never want any of my clients to look like they are trying too hard, so we often do trends in a more subdued way. A good example this season is leather & faux leather being on-trend. For one of my 50+ clients who love a minimal boho look, we did a faux leather dress that was tiered and midi length for her to wear to dinner. For another 50+ client that loves a classic yet eclectic look, we did a faux leather pair of joggers to wear with a casual tee or sweater and flats for the day or a silk blouse and booties for night. With trendier items, it’s all about how you style them that makes them age-appropriate!
Wherever you fall into the mix know that trends are not scary or off limits due to your age or style! It’s all about understanding what trends are, and then knowing your personal style well enough to know how to infuse the right trends for you into your wardrobe.
Photo | @greceghanem
Photo | Pinterest
Being stylish is not reserved for a certain age or stage in life. Allow these style tips to help you embrace your personal style and body type no matter your age!
For a deeper dive into this topic, explore my NEW e-book (below)! It includes an action step plan to achieving confidence in your style at EVERY age!