Maybe you don’t think of your grandma as a style icon, but chances are if you look back at old photos, you’ll see a young woman with tailored clothes and perfectly coiffed hair.
From glam-mas to Insta-grans, women over 50 are heating up the fashion world and bringing old school style back as well as mixing it with quirky modern pieces that only a woman of a certain age has the confidence to pull off.
Take a page out of their book by following these 15 classic style tips:
1. Invest in classic pieces
From a crisp white Oxford shirt to a classic trench coat, there are just some things that have belonged in a woman’s closet for decades.
Grandma knows the value of a good, versatile piece that you can dress up or down. It’s so much better than having lots of cheap shirts and jackets on rotation.
Maybe she’ll even let you go shopping in her closet for a vintage piece!
2. Fit is key
No two people have the exact same shape and yet clothing comes in limited shapes and sizes.
Back in the day, you could rely on a good tailor to nip and tuck jackets, shirts, skirts, and pants.
These people are still around, so if you’re investing in a key piece, it’s worth making sure it’s the right fit for you. It’s cheaper than you think.
Ask grandma is she knows a good tailor.
3. Buy quality
We get it, nice clothing is expensive and not everyone can afford that. But having three well-made dresses that will last a decade really is easier on your wallet than cycling through throw-away dresses every few months (not to mention more sustainable).
When you shop, be sure to look at more than style. Inspect your garment for good seams, tight buttons, and fabrics that won’t shed or pill over time.
4. Embrace accessories
It’s the accessories that will really make the outfit.
A statement necklace, some key pieces of gold, a stunning shoe, the perfect belt, or a bold pair of glasses can all polish off your outfit.
5. Go monochromatic
When in doubt, you’ll always look more put together and your outfit will look more expensive if you go with one color.
You can still add accessories and you shouldn’t be afraid to play with bold patterns, but monochromatic is a look the fashion world has returned to again and again for good reason.
6. Dress for the occasion
You don’t ever want to be the most underdressed person in the room, so always air on the side of dressing up a little more than you think is necessary.
When you look good, you carry yourself in a whole new way and THAT’S what’ll have people looking in your direction and wondering what your secret is.
7. Dress for your body type and age
Don’t get us wrong, wear whatever makes you feel good and don’t stifle your creativity. But if you’re looking for ways to class up your wardrobe, take a note from your elders and update your style with your next decade. (That might mean taking it down OR up a notch, depending on your personality!)
Not only that, but get to know your body shape and what looks good on it.
After all, with age comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes the knowledge that some things just don’t work on us but others are worth the risk.
8. Add some personality
No matter what decade you’re in, you don’t have to dress like you’re getting older. There’s no rule that says everything has to be shapeless or have an elastic waistline once you hit 65.
In fact, most women take the later decades of their lives to stop giving a crap what anyone thinks about them and their style develops some flair as a result.
So take a page out of grandma’s style book and pep it up without worrying whether or not someone’s judging. If you like it, wear it!
9. Scarves are your friends
There’s so much you can do with a scarf – that’s why grandma has a closet full of them, from shawls to silk.
Scarves are the perfect accessory for adding some interest to your outfit and they can go around your neck OR on your head if you want that vintage “I’m about to get in a convertible and don’t want to mess up my hair” look.
10. When in doubt, put it in neutral
There’s a reason the most classic pieces of clothing come in neutral colors. Not only do they go with everything, but they make you look oh-so-much-more sophisticated than whatever neon color is trending.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun with color, but grandma knows that a neutral base is the key to building a good look.
11. Be bold
Khaki and grey just not holding your attention? Or need something to spice up a classic wardrobe? Go bold when you need a jolt.
The great thing about getting older is knowing that people will look and you and judge no matter what, so you might as well just wear what makes you happy, whether it’s a Burberry trenchcoat or Hermès orange from top to bottom.
12. Invest in a key piece that is totally you
Do you want to be a hat person? How about the one with the quirky glasses? Do you have a favorite designer that makes a unique shoe? Buy them in every color!
No matter what you choose, having something that is totally “you” is the key to being memorable.
How would you rather be described? As the one who was sitting at a certain chair at the table or as the one with the impeccable style?
13. Your attitude is what keeps you looking youthful
Looking young is overrated, but looking youthful means radiance and health.
No matter what you wear, remember to rock it, be happy in it, and let it make you smile. Have you ever seen grandma worry about adjusting her outfit once it’s on? No. She’s in it and it’s happening.
There’s a reason they say “you’re never fully dressed without a smile.”
14. Clothes can only do so much if you’re not paying attention to other details
From your hair, to your manicure (or just basic nail maintenance), to your makeup, you need to round out the look.
Grandma has played with enough makeup in her day to know the value of a bold lip, a favorite nail color, and a flattering haircut.
You don’t have to hit her up for advice if her style is not like yours, but you can always ask how she decided on her own favorites.
15. Polish it off with attitude and confidence
There’s a reason grandma wants you to stand up straight and get your hair out of your face. You can’t look confident if you’re slouching and hiding.
Style is about owning your look. So get off your phone and stroll down the street with your head held high.
Now it’s time to go raid grandma’s closet and see if she has any signature accessories you can “borrow”!
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