Bright Classics

I am a mid-50’s mom.  What would be the best styles for me?  I like bright colors and love thrift shops, and don’t always go for the “modern look.”  I have natural grey hair and don’t want to color it (just time and expense).  Any advice? – Louise

The ability to dress fashionably is often seen as something best left to the 20-somethings who are daring enough to try every trend that comes along.  So when I got this styling question, I had to stop and really think about what to suggest.  After all, I could hardly recommend sequined leggings and a tunic top for a woman in her mid 50s with a professional day job.

My first question actually came as a surprise from my mom (hi mom!) and totally made my day.  But, family ties aside, her question forced me to think of fashion as something that transcends ages and ultimately being about what someone likes to wear and what they feel comfortable in.  Some people just need a little more help than others in finding clothes that meet that bill.

Just as an aside note, these ideas can easily be adapted for anyone of any age, but my suggestions here are tailored to my mom’s question, what she would be comfortable in, what I can see her wearing, her age and occupation.  Now, on to the fun stuff!

Bright colors look great on my mom, thanks to her always tan, olive skin coloring.  And she loves wearing them.  The first thing I would suggest would be to find a few brightly colored cardigans.  These are great for layering and can easily add a punch of bright color to a neutral top and pants.  If she wanted to go for a slightly updated version of the classic cardigan, I would look for some of the “boyfriend” cardigans which are cut slightly longer to fit over the hip.  She could also add a casually tied belt around the waist and outside of the cardigan for a more polished, yet well put together modern look.

Another great addition to her wardrobe would be 3/4th length sleeve shirts, which are the most flattering style for her.  This great basic form can be updated to a more modern look by finding ones with interesting detailing around the neck line or along the front of the shirt.  Many retailers are offering shirts with sequins, or for a less trendy feel, ones with ruffles cascading down the front or neck line or with subtle ruching along the sides.  Focusing on bright colors here can also bring life to an outfit and the colors can easily be toned down by throwing on a solid color cardigan (think pink, gray, or even a baby blue).

Lastly, no outfit is complete without jewelry!  A pile of chic necklaces adds a touch of modern, but keeping them in the same color or jewelry type keeps it from look too trendy.  For instance, I would suggest a casual layering of 3-4 strands of pearls or a clear bauble necklace.  It brings just the right touch without being overwhelming.

To recap, my mom mentioned she loves thrift stores and bright colors.  I focused on basic items that could be found anywhere while highlighting special features to look for such as bright colors, neck detailing, and basics such as t-shirts and cardigans.  Below is a mini look book of outfits I put together based on what I think meets looks, form, and function for my mom.  Enjoy!

Images listed from left to right

Row 1: Lasting violet boyfriend cardigan, Target. Leaf green ruffled blouse, Target. Bauble necklace, Ann Taylor

Row 2: Converse grey long cardigan, Target. Tie Neck Blue shirt, Target. Nautical necklace, Target

Row 3: Ruffled white cardigan, Target. Orange t-Shirt, Target. Braided belt, New York and Company. Robust pearl necklace, Forever 21

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One thought on “Bright Classics

  1. oh i like….very age appropriate too….

    ok, have a fashion question for you – i need to go shopping for spring (hint hint *cough cough*) and i really love summer dresses, esp the babydoll ones b/c they’re so comfy! that being said, they also make you look pregnant. what are some form-flattering looks for curvy women that aren’t skin tight (so many light materials are cut to be TIGHT) but that don’t make me look like a mommy-to-be. or not to be. maybe just fat.

    ok help.

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