I received a reader’s request for style tips for mature women:
I have begun to almost live in jeans/slacks and want to be more feminine. Many of your suggestions seem to be for younger people. I am 62, very slim, warm autumn and want to build a feminine, but age appropriate retirement wardrobe. I tend to be rather plain in my appearance and some of the ideas in FW concerning clothing seem a bit silly at my age.
For a woman who is retired, there are a few advantages younger women do not have; She need not adhere to business dress codes, she need not care for small children on a regular basis and she can wear her jewelry as lavish as she pleases. I picked a smart casual style in autumn colours. My suggestion is to keep a few pairs of slack and basic tops that happen to be autumn colours, and combine them with clothing like the above.
A slim woman often has a small bust, which is flattered by a neckline that has something going on. The brown blouse and the burgundy sweater have a bow at the neckline. These are bows for grown-ups, not girlish bows, they look very womanly. The thick brown sweater adds bulk and warmth, but the braided neckline is very feminine. The short-sleeved top and the orange dress have draping that adds shape. If the waist is very slender, it is good to emphasize this with skinny belts. You’d need more belts than pictured, but not too many. I’d add a velvet belt in green or burgundy and a bright leather belt. Plainer tops can be dressed up with brooches, necklaces and bracelets. A silk flower brooch is very fascinating without being wishy-washy. Choose gold or bronze jewelry and semi precious stones like amber, jade and tiger eye. When tops have a V neck, wear silk camisoles under them. This makes the outfit more modest, more feminine and more interesting at the same time.
For skirts, I mostly chose flared and full skirts that add shape and movement. Silk satin skirts are very pretty and sumptuous and a large floral pattern or some delicate embroidery make them even more feminine. They are great to wear to dinner and can be combined with plain tops. A few sturdier skirts are also nice to wear instead of pants. When you do wear trousers, try not to wear too plain a top, lest you may look severe. Colourful boots or shoes also make your look more womanly, even when the heels are low. Try to go for leather shoes and bags and let most of your clothes be of natural material and good quality. After 50, you have the right to treat yourself.