What Not to Wear in Your 50s

This list includes obvious glamour don'ts like leg warmers, micro-miniskirts and holiday sweaters, and also:

  • Ankle bracelets
  • Boy shorts and short shorts
  • Crocs
  • Newsboy caps
  • Tie-dye
  • Flesh-colored hose
  • Souvenir, college T-shirts (unless it's game day!), or T-shirts with sayings
  • Cargo pants
  • Elastic waist pants
  • Penny loafers
  • Acid-washed, ripped or super-low-riding jeans

Casual Looks for Women in their 50s

When it comes to giving away your age, one of the biggest pitfalls is casual dress. Unfortunately, many women tend to fall into these two categories: those who dress like a 20 year old and those who wear the same outfits they wore 20 years ago. Let's face it, ladies, neither strategy works.

One thing you can wear in your 50s (and at any age) is a nice pair of jeans. Until recently, the choice for women in their fifties was limited to elasticized "mom jeans." Fortunately, manufacturers are now designing jeans for every body type, making it easier to find a flattering fit.

A pair of well-fitting jeans is worth the investment. Take the time and try on a variety of sizes and styles to find the most flattering, age-appropriate fit. Be aware of the following five areas when you choose a pair of jeans:

  1. The rise from the crotch to the top of the waistband should fall between the low-rise teenage cut and the high-rise "mom jean" cut.
  2. The color should be true blue or a dark wash; avoid tears, holes, embellishments or embroidery.
  3. The cut or shape of the jean will have an impact on your shape. The boot-cut, with a slight flare at the bottom, provides balance to the hip. And trouser jeans are flattering, with a wider leg, wider waistband and flat front.
  4. Cotton denim with 2 to 3 percent Lycra allows for stretch and is more comfortable than 100 percent cotton, which can sag after a few hours of wear.
  5. Pocket size and placement as well as stitching finish off the look. Check your backside.

Once you have the perfect pair of jeans, complete the look with a classic top, a fun accessory and the right shoe. Keep in mind, the narrower the leg opening, the more delicate the shoe. And never wear tennis shoes with jeans. That's an outdated look.