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Stylish clothes for mature women

gothchiq Posts: 4,598 Member
I'm getting to the phase of life where the cute little outfits modeled on 20 year olds aren't really looking right on me anymore, but I also don't want to wear shapeless polyester sacks in giant floral prints and such. On top of that, I have to watch how much I spend. Thrifting has been rather difficult because of its hit or miss nature. It can be fun when you are just looking without a particular goal, but when you need something specific it doesn't work so well.

Anyone else in the 40 to 60 year old category know of a reasonable USA-based place to get flattering clothes? Online is fine, even preferred.


  • ilfaith
    ilfaith Posts: 16,524 Member
    I am turning 52 in a few weeks. When I wonder if an item is too youthful or revealing for a woman my age, my mantra has become WWJD...that's What Would J-Lo Do. Since we are about the same age.

    As for shopping, my go to stores are Banana Republic, Loft, and J.Crew...as well as their lower priced "factory outlet" stores (my nearest mall is an outlet mall.) The quality at the outlet stores can be hit or miss...but I sort through the polyester in search of natural fibers. I am short, so I appreciate that these stores carry petite sizes as well (more online than in store).

    Old Navy and Target have some cute things, and if you don't mind doing a little work sorting through the racks, discounters like TJMAXX and Marshalls can have good deals.

    I wait for sales, coupons, and discount codes, and almost never pay full retail price for anything.
  • gothchiq
    gothchiq Posts: 4,598 Member
    Definitely gotta hit the seasonal sales, right? I swear retailers think that being older = magical stash of dragon gold and jewels lol! I'm short and 52 years old as well. I have a sewing machine so I can hem things, but for some fabrics that isn't the easiest thing. I have been purging my closet lately and have had a lot of "Aw, man!" moments having to get rid of stuff that just doesn't look right anymore.

    I think Kohl's is still an okay place to get age appropriate stuff, and has good sales. I'd almost forgotten them for some reason.
  • MaltedTea
    MaltedTea Posts: 6,287 Member
    ilfaith wrote: »
    ...my mantra has become WWJD...that's What Would J-Lo Do.


    All the funnier to me because I have two pairs of her high-waisted jeans (Guess).

    Surely there is some room for range between "cute little outfits" and "shapeless polyester sacks."

    While age is but an oppressive construct to me @gothchiq (a philosophy replete with its drawbacks, as per the obnoxious, adolescent-worthy zit currently resting on my 40-something forehead), my personal style skews neo-classic.

    Therefore, The Bay (similar to your Nordstrom, I believe)*, Amazon suggestions, and thrifting are my go-tos.

    When I treat myself on the rare occasion, I head over to Cherie of Shrimpton Couture...


    ...who, for over a decade now, has been taunting me with classic, elegant tailoring from now wayward fashion houses.

    Speaking of tailoring; a local tailor is a friend, assuming one shops sustainability and one's weight/health is relatively stabilized.

    Generally, (and no matter the source) once I find a brand or individual designer I like, I follow them - or the item(s) - on Pinterest.

    That way, when I'm ready to shop in earnest there's less angst about what I actually need which helps with the budgeting aspect. Also, Pinterest boards are organized by season and purpose (formal, casual, workout, etc) 😬

    *NOTE: Pro frugal tip - some urban locations of The Bay have a dedicated clearance floor. In this quiet utopia, you can find off-season, blemish-free, high quality items for a fraction of their original cost. Case in point ➡️ I snagged a $100 cotton camo jacket for $5 earlier this year. Nordstrom may have a similar semi-secret floor. If not, come to Montreal and we'll make an afternoon of it 😉
  • gothchiq
    gothchiq Posts: 4,598 Member
    Right on. I know Nordstrom has good quality but I will definitely have to lurk around for clearance sales. The Pinterest boards are a good idea. Probably much less frustrating than bouncing from retailer site to retailer site! I see a lot of women in our age bracket walking around in "I give up" outfits and no.... let's not give up!

    I still get zits too. They are chiefly triggered by allergies in my case. I purchased a derma roller and some hyaluronic acid, aloe, and rose oil serum to try and cut down on the scars they've left over the years.
  • ythannah
    ythannah Posts: 4,016 Member
    I feel your pain. I'm 57. What's worse, I'm tall and lanky so junior sizing fits me better than regular women's sizing, which is usually cut more generously than I am built.

    It's a bit pricey but White House Black Market would probably be my pick for grown-up clothes. However, I can usually find a few more conservative pieces even in "young" stores. I'm also willing to pick through racks at Marshalls and TJMaxx.

    Luckily I'm now so close to retirement that I don't need to augment my workwear any more, I can coast through on what I've already got. That has made shopping a lot more fun.
  • glassyo
    glassyo Posts: 5,916 Member
    What if you're in your 50s and IMmature? :)

    I can't help much. I don't shop often but I tend towards Walmart and Target when I do. Walmart is especially good when you're still losing weight because it's so cheap.

  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 8,398 Member
    I'll live my life in jeans, tees and sweaters for the rest of my life. :/ Cause I'm unoriginal like that. I'm 67. Feeling my age lately but I feel comfortable and, more importantly, invisible, dressing like that. :#
    I can remember my mom forever dressing in polyester pants and tops. While she looked great, I cannot imagine it for me.
    So I guess, for my ideal shopping, it'd be places like Eddie Bauer. I love thrift stores but don't have a lot of luck with them for clothes shopping. :(
  • SuzySunshine99
    SuzySunshine99 Posts: 2,536 Member
    Macy's is my go-to. Seriously, nearly all of my wardrobe is from Macy's.
    They have great sales and coupons.
    Alfani is one of their signature brands...I have a lot of their items, as well as Calvin Klein, INC, and Anne Klein.
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 6,938 Member
    At 66 I now buy what I feel comfortable in. I don't care what people think anymore and set my own fashion. I like younger clothes and color, and especially comfortable shoes ( I wear Sketchers a great deal). I'm very tall and 20 lbs overweight (always working on that), but if I can stand tall and keep my posture, I can wear what I like. It's mostly dressy casual.

    I have found age to be a great liberation. My husband loves me and I don't care about the others. So, find your own groove and go with it. When you put on something and it feels right, then buy that. I buy all different qualities--Target, outlets, shops, but less than before.
  • NVintage
    NVintage Posts: 1,350 Member
    I wear jeans and t-shirts or linen button-downs all year round, adding a sweater for winter. Mostly just shop Target for tops and sweaters and Talbots for dressy casual. I don't know if $100 cheap or reasonable for a pair of pants. I just buy 3 or 4 pants and a few jeans from Talbots, and replace them when they get worn out every 5-10 years or so. I did the same from the Gap in my 20s and early 30s, but I find Talbots fits me better now since I'm done with the hip huggers.:)
  • NVintage
    NVintage Posts: 1,350 Member
    I am short, too, and Talbots petites fit good!
  • ilfaith
    ilfaith Posts: 16,524 Member
    Years ago, when I was younger, I imagined that once I was in my 50s I would do all my shopping at places like Chico's, J.Jill, and the now defunct Coldwater Creek. But now that I have reached that decade, I realize I still want to wear trendier styles. Granted I can't stay Forever 21, especially when anyone else my age shopping there is with their daughter, but I am not ready for more matronly clothes either. There are certainly times I will try on some cute little number at Abercrombie & Fitch, and a voice inside my head will say "just because you can, doesn't mean you should." And while I feel young, I like to think I don't look my age, and probably don't act my age, I also don't want to be seen as mutton dressed as lamb.

    I confess I do have one sweater from Chico's. I wore it to a party and two friends (one slightly older and one slightly younger) liked it so much they went out and bought the same one.