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If you have been to the shopping malls lately you will notice that we are in a deeper recession than anyone thought. There isn’t even enough fabric in the clothes on the racks to cover our bodies. Seriously, the styles in most stores reflect a middle school style that is not at all pleasing to women of a certain age. But dressing fashionably is doable at any age, indeed some of the classiest dressers are to be found among older women who have some fashion history and know themselves well. So don’t worry about the latest fads and trends, let’s explore classic fashion just for you.

The basics of fashion for the mature shopper

Trends will come and go, but the savvy shopper knows that there are some basic fashion rules that will work for you: clothes need to fit properly, flatter your body type, not be extreme, suit your lifestyle and personality. A fashion mistake is to try a new trend knowing it just isn’t for you. Experienced women know that too much exposure is counter-productive and that fit and design are key.

Your body type

Baggy or ill-fitting clothing adds pounds. Clothing that is too tight is a fashion disaster. Find clothing that skims your body’s curves and you will look thinner. Get rid of old clothing that used to fit, but no longer does—everyone’s body changes over time. It is essential to find undergarments that fit properly. Take the time to have a specialist give you a proper fitting. Don’t stoop to wearing stretch waistlines or cheap fabrics, and watch out for “granny purses”. Shoulder bags that aren’t oversized are usually the most flattering.

Keep it simple

Trendy fashion may be fun, but older women need to be cautious of looking too cutesy. Avoid frills and fussy designs that make an older woman look foolish. Instead choose simple design and quality fabrics and add style and pzazz with accessories. As the bargain queen says, “Instead of rhinestones on your derriere, try a rhinestone headband or  Swarovski crystal earrings”—style over trend every time. Find a middle ground–pant styles that are not too young, but no waistbands around the bust line either. Moderation in fashion usually pays off.

Your lifestyle

If you are a working woman you should choose simple knee-length skirts in several dark colors, closed-toe shoes, tailored pants, button up blouses, several blazers, one or two day dresses and at least one suit. If you don’t work, you will need fewer of these items plus some good-looking casual clothes. All women should have several dressier outfits appropriate for special occasions such as weddings.


Remember, your clothing is sending a message, so dress accordingly. You can be stylish and earn respect by the clothing you choose and by your confidence in wearing it. When in doubt, select classic styles that fit you perfectly even if you have to have tailoring done. Add interesting accessories, scarves, jewelry, handbags. Choose beautiful fabrics and rich colors to fit your skin tones. Don’t hesitate to consult finer clothing stores consultants as you shop. You know when you’ve found something that works for you. It will not only look good, it will feel good! Listen to your inner voice when shopping, select fewer quality items with some interesting accessories for flair, and be that classy, stylish older woman who makes heads turn.