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By age 50, you have more wisdom, life experiences and a better sense of your personal style, than you have ever had before. The objective in choosing a wardrobe at 50 is finding the clothes that reflect your personality and flatter your figure while not breaking the bank. At age 50, you’ll probably have to ignore the fashion magazines and certain stores that mainly cater to 20-year-olds. Nevertheless, there are many ways to maintain a look that is ageless, modern and completely you.

Things to Avoid

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Don’t wear anything above the knee; tiny skirts and tight clothes can make you seem like you’re trying too hard to reclaim your youth. Avoid clothes that resemble shapeless sacks. Small floral prints and cutesy patterns do not flatter many 50-year-old women. Nor do details like lacy trim, excessive buttons and sequins. For 50-year-olds the neck and upper arm area can expose your age more than other areas. Try not to expose these areas or draw attention to them. Avoid sparkly, ostentatious clothes. Minimalist, simple style goes a long way.


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Know that trends come and go, but your personality is distinct and steady. Any trend can be modified to fit your needs, and you never have to give into popular notions that a sexy outfit is one that is revealing. Classic sophistication never goes out of style. Choose fabrics that are comfortable but look naturally chic, such as silk, cashmere and leather. Urbane colors that are appropriate for a variety of social and professional situations include champagne, ivory, wine, chocolate and plums. These are dark, rich colors that will outlast any fleeting trend. Choose an appropriately sized handbag that you can cradle under your armpit. You don’t want it to be too big or it will overshadow your outfit and feel unwieldy. Pick a handbag that livens up your mood–one in a bright color like yellow or red or one that features an interesting pattern. Use accessories in new, interesting ways. Turn a long necklace into a belt or decorate a hat with a pin or brooch.

Ageless Style

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Solid colors always produce the most flexible and enduring looks. Buy clothes that are black and white; these are useful staples in any wardrobe. Compliment black and white clothes with elegant colors, like red, gray, khaki and camel. Choose clothes that produce classic outlines, and avoid clothes that are excessively worn. Classic clothes you should look for include pea jackets, trench coats, shirtdresses and well-fit jeans. Pick out clothing that is beautiful in its minimalism and function. (Generally stay away from clothing with intricate patterns, a lot of colors and distracting details, like frills and buttons.) Never sacrifice your comfort; wear light fabrics, rather than skin-tight clothing, and choose shoes that are light-weight and relaxing. Keep a youthful attitude on life, and it will reflect in your appearance.

About the Author

Damin Chu

Damin Chu is a freelance writer, whose writing has taken her down a number of avenues. In 2008, she returned from Shanghai, China, where she served as the managing editor of a China travel guide, in addition to writing travel features for the local newspaper. Her other projects have included writing for a Shanghai expat guide, a education documentary, and an environmental NGO.