By 50, a woman knows who she is and what she stands for. It’s time to dress like it. With the numbers of over 50 female style icons growing year on year, there’s no reason age should be a barrier to style. Here’s what you need to know to feel confident in your style over 50.
Dress Up Not Down
While 65% of women say they feel more confident as they get older, 70% of women also believe they become ‘invisible’ as they age. The same survey, carried out in the UK, also pinpointed 52 as the age when women feel this ‘invisibility’ begins. With results showing a disparity between how confident women feel within themselves and how society views them, how can we use the tools we have at hand to change this dynamic?
Fashion editor at The Guardian, Jess Carter-Morley advocates using the power of clothing to make your presence felt. “When you are 22, jeans and a T-shirt looks effortless…but 30 years later, the same outfit can make you invisible,” she writes in her article 'Get Louder Every Decade: the New Rules For Dressing Your Age After 50.' Instead, “Go 10% more dressy for every 10 years over forty.”
Don’t panic, think simple, gradual changes, not a radical wardrobe overhaul. This might be swapping a basic T-shirt for a top with tailored touches or a collared shirt. Upgrade a casual cardigan to a soft tailoring jacket. For off-duty looks, use colour and texture to elevate your look.
"When you are 22, jeans and a T-shirt looks effortless...but 30 years later, the same outfit can make you invisible. Go 10% more dressy for every 10 years over 40."
- JESS CARTER-MORLEY
Dress Only In Clothes That Fit
Well-fitting clothes create stature and definition. To the eyes of the beholder, seams and darts that hit the points on the body they’re supposed to have the power to lift and sculpt. When clothes fit well, areas that once seemed problematic are less of an an issue.
Our bodies change naturally as we age and transition the phases of life (for more, see 'Women and the Ever-Changing Body'). So it’s worthwhile checking your measurements before you make new purchases. Even if your dress size hasn’t changed, your body shape may have. Which explains why sometimes, our tried and tested styles just don’t feel good anymore. Be open to change; don't assume the same cuts and styles you have always shopped for still work for you over 50. Try on different shapes and experiment until you feel good.
Bolster your confidence in a new direction by asking a trusted friend's opinion. Knowledge is power too. Take advantage of the great styling videos available on LFTV to educate yourself or, ask the experts and book in with a personal stylist to help you make informed decisions. L&F's Style Studio offers sessions that cover body confidence, personal style and dressing for change.
Dress To Reflect Your Wisdom
By fifty, you qualify as a connoisseur so dress to reflect your wealth of wisdom. Think in terms of quality not quantity: look for luxurious fabrics, well-crafted tailoring and designer details that will elevate your look. Invest in one or two keys pieces you can pair back with all of your capsule wardrobe basics.
Dress The Woman You Are
Dress for the person you are now, not the person you were 15 years ago. While she was no doubt amazing, you will have grown in mind if not changed in body. Use the power of dress to reflect your evolution. Think about your lifestyle too, interests and pursuits change over time so always keep the functionality of your wardrobe front of mind.
Trouser suits are sophisticated for all ages. Over 50, keep your wardrobe versatile and invest in styles that work together as suiting as well as separates.
Instead of rigid, tailored pants look for trousers with stretch. The Monroe Pant for example, is a straight-cut, wide leg pant with a classic look and a pull-on waistband. Pair with a clean-cut jacket like the Gianni Jacket and mix and match with your workwear tops for a polished, professional look.
Casual and off duty looks are best done with smart-casual overtones. Look for soft tailoring details that enhance the fit and shape of more casual styles. For example, the tailored pleat below the Dakota Top's V-neckline enhances the fit and drape of the jersey fabric over the bust in a way simple T-shirts cannot.
L&F tops are tailored so they pull on easily and fit perfectly, every time. Crafting silhouettes that don't cling or constrict, but that glide and drape these are tops that do more to make the most of all that you've got. Other fit enhancing details to look out for are: bust darts, back yokes and gathered sleeveheads.
Casual pants benefit from these features too. Take the Indi Pant: with it's front pleats and tapered legs with tucks at the cuffs. This pant has soft structural details that elevates it's pull-on, comfortable functionality.
With the fifty-plus demographic now accounting for nearly 60%  of the travel market, invest in a travel wardrobe that will see you through all your wander-ful adventures!
Bamboo Jersey is a travel essential. A natural fibre, Bamboo Jersey is breathable and thermo-regulating which keeps you feeling cool and fresh through hot-and-bothersome airports, variable cabin climates and exotic new environments.
Take at least one Bamboo Jersey top in a capsule colour like black or white for travelling in. Pack another in a fashion colour and rotate your looks throughout your holiday.
Bamboo Jersey accessories are great travel companions, too. Wrap up in the jersey comfort of the Cove Weighted Poncho or a Desiree Infinity Scarf during a flight then slip into your bag for easy transit and transformative accessorising later!
Dress With Style & Confidence Over 50
1) If you're less confident about one part of your body, highlight another. Choose the areas of your body you feel most comfortable and build outfits that draw the attention to these parts.
2) Use texture and print to guide eyes to what you want them to see. Prints for example, can smooth and gloss undulations (great for tops and bottoms!). Or use the lustre of a necktie on a Satin Rayon shirt to focus attention.
3) Define your waistline. Invest in a well-fitting bra that will keep the bust and waist separate, opt for mid to high rise pants and use dresses to flatter your curves. Empire line dresses work to elongate the torso while L&F wrap dresses feature pleat details that drape well over the tummy while still defining the waist.
4) Embrace tops with peplums. Skirting the hips with a soft frill, peplum tops enhance feminine curves. Creating shape through the hips, the effect of a peplum top works to add definition to the waist as well.
5) Use colour to assert your presence. Keep cuts classic to stay sophisticated and embrace a vibrant palette.