Fashion Guide for Women in their 50s

Professional Looks for Women in their 50s

Remember when trousers were forbidden at the office and pantyhose were a must? Well, those days are gone. The workplace has become progressively more casual, and, to be honest, it's often difficult to tell what's appropriate.

Today's office looks run the gamut, from jeans and flip-flops to outdated power suits and pumps. Dressing somewhere in between those two extremes is the best choice for female professionals in their fifties. Suits are out; separates are in. Mix, match and layer wardrobe essentials and accessories; you'll not only look chic, you'll expand your wardrobe while saving money.


First, update your styles and your style rules. For example, ditch the boxy blazers with shoulder pads and accept that it's OK to wear white after Labor Day. Next, invest in tailored pieces that flatter your figure and are made of quality fabrics like cashmere, wool and cotton. Talbots, Ann Taylor and Jones New York are good sources for these wardrobe basics.

Some classic pieces for your wardrobe:

  • Crisp white shirt
  • Wool pants with some stretch in black, navy, gray or khaki
  • Year-round leather jacket
  • Four types of shoes: a low-heel sling-back in black, a flat for work and comfort, an evening shoe, and a casual shoe like a moccasin for weekends
  • Pencil skirt fitted for your body-type that hits mid-knee
  • Trench coat

Now, mix it up:

  • Do mix prints, but match them according to color tone.
  • Don't match your handbag and shoes.
  • Do mix in bargain pieces (accessories, tops) with quality basics.