Many professional women in their 50s have learned enough to feel both confident and comfortable in their skin—and the same should be said about their clothes. Now is as good a time as ever to elevate your wardrobe options to better reflect who you’ve become and who you’re still aspiring to be.
Having a simplified selection of chic, timeless, and sophisticated staples in your closet makes it easy to look and feel polished and pulled together with minimal effort.
A pair of jeans that fit and flatter is a wardrobe investment you’ll never regret. High-quality denim is durable, goes with virtually anything in the office or out, and looks good all year round. For a timeless (read: not trendy) pair, go for a classic, straight silhouette in a dark blue or black wash with no distressing. Whether you choose low-rise, mid-rise, or high-rise is up to you, but make sure the inseam hits within an inch of your ankles.
Jeans that contain no more than 2% Lycra are your best bet. While stretchy denim may be more forgiving at first, it can lose its shape over time.
It’s no secret that snuggly sweaters are indispensable in a cold-weather wardrobe. Instead of drowning yourself in shapeless knits, stick with structured sweaters that follow the contours of your figure without adding bulk to your frame. For a rich, layered look, experiment with contrasting textures: pair a rib-knit turtleneck sweater with a sleek leather skirt and tall suede boots.
When it comes to footwear, there’s no need to sacrifice comfort for style. A sophisticated pair of ballet flats, loafers, mules, or ankle boots is a much better investment—for both your feet and your wardrobe—than uncomfortable pumps or platforms. (Hobbling around in painful footwear is never chic!)
The variety of styles and colors these days is endless, so don’t be afraid to make a statement. To get the most mileage out of your flats (literally), opt for high-quality leather or suede with good arch support and durable rubber souls.
Pajamas may be the uniform of the WFH lifestyle, but that schlubby “just rolled out of bed” look can quickly sap productivity and motivation, not to mention make you rush before video meetings. Invest in high-quality loungewear you feel as comfortable wearing curled up with your laptop at home as running errands or meeting a friend for lunch.
Play with different patterns, colors, and textures to prevent the matchy-matchy PJs-in-public look. Try pairing a flowy modal top with fitted cotton joggers or a soft-spun sweatshirt with flared leggings.
Although different cuts and styles fall in and out of fashion over the years, you can always count on a classic leather jacket—faux or not—to ramp up the “cool” factor of any outfit. This wardrobe rockstar can look just as chic over a delicate floral sundress as it does over a vintage graphic tee.
For an edgy evening ensemble, wear your jacket over a sexy satin cami with high-waisted denim.
An oversized scarf allows you to switch up the pattern, texture, and color of your outfits without the commitment (or expense) of buying new wardrobe items. Black or neutral basics provide the perfect backdrop to an endless variety of statement scarves and wraps.
A gorgeous shawl can also give you the confidence to don your more daring pieces with a little more coverage.
A white or off-white button-down blouse is practically synonymous with wardrobe staples. Like a blank slate, it goes with anything and everything. Whether you prefer to wear your shirt fitted or slightly oversized, it makes even the most casual outfit look chic, and it can easily take your look from day to night.
Casually tuck an edge of your blouse into jeans and pop on a pair of flats with a brown leather satchel, and you look practically Parisian as you run your daily errands. For year-round comfort, avoid synthetic fabrics and opt for breathable cotton or silk.
Jumpsuits take all the guesswork out of putting together an elegant outfit. These versatile one-piece garments not only make you look (and feel) polished and pulled together in an instant, but they elongate the legs and torso for a flattering silhouette. Add a few eye-catching accessories and slip on some statement shoes, and you’re good to go!
The “little black dress” (LBD) is a cliche for a reason—no closet is complete without one! As a rule, it should be flattering, comfortable, and always at the ready for special occasions, like a fun night out with friends, a cocktail party with clients or coworkers, or even a romantic dinner date.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be black, either, but the cut and style should accentuate your best assets and downplay your least favorite features. In other words, your go-to dress should make you look—and feel—magnificent the moment you put it on. Pair it with sheer black tights, evening flats or heels, and a crossbody clutch.
Whether you’re heading to an informal business meeting or just meeting a few friends for brunch, a professionally tailored blazer is one of the easiest ways to elevate an everyday outfit. To ensure your ensemble looks stylish and not stuffy, steer clear of matching trousers or pencil skirts, and instead pair your blazer with dark-wash denim and a tucked-in white or gray T-shirt or cami. You can also throw your blazer over a pretty dress for unexpected evening elegance.
For maximum versatility, skip the synthetics and trendy patterns and colors. Instead, invest in a wool-blend blazer with minimal detailing in a timeless solid color like navy, black, or dark chocolate.