Reader Request: Stylish Resources for Older Women

stylish resources for older women

Reader Kristin had this request:

Would you be able to compile a list of resources for women who are getting older? (Maybe you’ve done this and I missed it.)

I turned 51 this year and I feel I’m getting myself in a bad space. I’m torn between loving the younger styles and wanting to stay away from them for fear of looking desperate. I’m dealing with middle age weight gain (which is really a trial for me since I’ve always been skinner than average) and an older face. I find myself faced with body image issues I never thought I’d have to deal with!

I’m going to rely heavily on you folks for suggestions, here. I have a few blogs and resources that I love and am excited to recommend, but older women will run the gamut in terms of tastes and I know I can’t possibly cover all the bases. But I’ll get the ball rolling.

Not Dead Yet Style

You all know I adore Patti. She’s a whip-smart writer and insightful woman with great style, so her own posts are always wonderful to read. But she also founded Visible Monday, a weekly link-up featuring (mainly) older style mavens.

Advanced Style

Let’s be real: Most of the folks on this blog are wealthy and eccentric. And in New York. But if you’re looking for some amazing inspiration, great color pairing, fabulous accessories, and examples of people who love style to their very cores, this is a great resource.

The Style Crone 

A fun personal style blog run by a woman of varied and fascinating tastes. The Style Crone also has the most enviable collection of hats on the Internet.

Une femme de un certain age

How could I omit former Already Pretty contributor and longtime blog-friend Une Femme! She’s been a daily read of mine for years, and posts chic outfits, great shopping picks, and thought-provoking essays on body image, style, aging, social norms, and beauty.

Image courtesy Advanced Style.

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45 Responses to “Reader Request: Stylish Resources for Older Women”

  1. Nancy

    Please take a look at my blog. I began it because I feel exactly as Kristin does, so hard to find fashionable and fun looks without looking too young. Hope it can be a source of shared information for women in our age range.

  2. Nancy

    I thought site would automatically include my blog address:
    fancynancysfashionsafari.blogspot.com

  3. Patti @ NotDeadYet Style

    Thanks, Sal, for the mention! I think Bella’s list is a fabulous resource for 40+ women. I invite Kristin to check out my sidebar for lots of wonderful midlife (and younger!) blogs; we are going strong : >

  4. alice

    I’m in my early 30s BUT I take a lot of inspiration from the style of Ines de Fressange who is in her mid-50s I think. Yes she’s a former model, but I think her style has a modern but timeless feel that transcends age. There’s also something very relaxed and effortless about it that I find attractive (I’m sure in practice it is all about the tailoring and is anything but effortless). I find it impossible to relate to the majority of the Advanced Style ladies because their style is very theatrical, and I can’t see how any of it would work if you have a real job.

  5. Jennifer

    I am 41 and find that I have been struggling with the same issues as the writer for some time. I think the trick is in gradually dressing in ways you feel are appropriate so you don’t feel like you fall off a cliff once you pass a certain age, be it 25, 40 , 50 or whatever. I do read many of the sources you mentioned, and really like them (except for Advanced Style, because I would never dress that way ever.)

    By the way, Sal, I really enjoy your blog, but I do have one comment and I hope you don’t take offense. Why begin your answer to the reader question with “OBVIOUSLY” as if to so distance yourself from readers who might need these resources? You would not have answered a reader requesting plus-size resources with a comment beginning “OBVIOUSLY I don’t need plus sizes…” But perhaps I misunderstood your phrasing.

    • Belle

      I read that comment as “obviously I don’t know all the blogs in the universe that might address your needs” so Sal was going to rely on the collective knowledge of her readers.

      • Sally

        Yes, Belle is right – I wanted to imply that I don’t follow all of the blogs out there and am sure to miss some, since I’m only one person. So I wanted to get reader input and other suggestions, since I knew I could never create a truly comprehensive list myself. (Regardless of subject.) The caps are just because I try to write as I speak, but if multiple folks are reading it as something else I’ll tweak. Hope that makes sense!

        • Jennifer

          Thanks for explaining and I am sorry that I misunderstood your words!

    • Marion

      I read it the same way, Jennifer. It seems rude to me, though I’m sure Sally didn’t purposefully mean it the way it comes across… And I totally don’t mean this in a snarky way, but why is it even “OBVIOUS” that Sal couldn’t offer insight here? She is almost 40, no? A woman of that age probably dresses more like a reader in her early 50s than one in her 20s. It’s not like 39 is so far removed from 50 that Sally couldn’t possibly relate. OBVIOUSLY.

      Belly, I am willing to give Sal the benefit of the doubt here – but I disagree with your explanation. If that were the case, Sally would give this disclaimer much more often. She has given plenty of advice to readers who are different from her, whether in their work environment, weight, stature, etc. It seems to me that she just isn’t ready to relate to someone who is “older” like 51…

  6. mimi

    Also, can I add some advice? Screw what everyone else thinks. I’m 45 and maude knows I have a hard time finding stuff that is in between “trying to look 25” and “I’ve totally given up” but if you want to wear a skirt above the knee, wear a skirt above the knee.

    • Linda L

      I completely agree – I take my body into consideration when dressing far more than my age. We’re not talking short shorts or micro minis here, but slightly above the knee is more flattering on me and my legs are not going to get longer with age.

  7. Jac Lynn Sharp

    Angie Cox over at YouLookFab.com has done some great pieces about one of her older, stylish clients. I am not yet 40 but they are some of my favorite articles.

    Elegance Grace and Edge at 70
    http://youlookfab.com/2011/10/26/elegance-grace-and-edge-at-70/

    Follow Ups:
    http://youlookfab.com/2012/07/18/karens-summer-style-denim-skirt-linen-blazer/

    http://youlookfab.com/2012/07/12/karens-summer-style-cropped-pants-fuchsia-flats/

    http://youlookfab.com/2012/08/22/karens-summer-style-cold-shoulders-with-flares/

    http://youlookfab.com/2012/07/05/karens-summer-style-white-jeans-tee-and-jacket/

  8. Lynn

    I also love this site: http://passagedesperles.blogspot.com/.

    I think one of the issues older women face is that we have an image in our minds of what we should look like and the person we see in the mirror is different. Working with thoughtful younger sales clerks often pushes me out of my “shoulds”and helps me have a more realistic picture of what I really look like.

  9. BeaGomez

    My belief is that if you wore a trend the first time around–platforms, flared jeans, hippie chic, etc., tone it down the 2nd, ignore it the 3rd, and go for broke on the 4th.

  10. Deborah

    Fiftynotfrumpy has a really lovely site and Facebook page she has struggled with weight issues and won the battle and has some wonderful fashionable ideas for “older” women to look good -positive without looking ridiculous or a victim of the magazines highly recommend

  11. Anne

    I’m 47. (Ugh) Believe it or not I dress less conservatively now than 7 years ago. I second your vote for Catherine @ Not Dressed as Lamb, but I would also suggest not restricting yourself to age specific blogs. I really like Lisa’s style from Respect the Shoes and I also like the ladies on her blogroll like Seersucker and Saddles, Tweed and Toile, and To Brighten My Day. There are also some blogs out there that stress modesty and those cold be helpful as well. I also like looking through Harper’s Bazaar I think the magazine’s point of view matches my own.

    Don’t get too caught up in what you think you’re too old for… focus more on what you like. Have Fun! It’s not rocket science. I oughta know I’m married to one. That s___t’s a pain!

  12. Elyse

    Has anyone mentioned Fabulous after forty.com ? The two founders offer advice on a wide range of topics such as what to wear for different occasions and how to carry off styles like leggings. Really worth checking out!

  13. The Style Crone

    Thank you Sal, for the mention. I feel honored to be included in a list of blogs that I love and have followed for a long time. And some things get better with age!

  14. Susan

    One poster stated that she is 47 and then wrote “ugh”. I say, get a grip because you are just getting started. I loved my 50s and now, at 60, I am quite happy with my age and having more fun than ever before with my clothing.

    My advice for “older women” is to buy less, but better quality–and more classic styles.

    Google Mai Tai’s Picture Book as another resource. I think the author is in her 40 and has impeccable style.

    • Anne

      I Do love my 40’s. Right now I just feel a little “Ugh.” It happens.

      • Reader

        Exactly. No one is ever completely at peace with aging, and despite what they say, age sometimes is more than a number. There are “ugh” days.

  15. Amber of Butane Anvil

    My favourites are in your post, and more recommended in the comments, excellent! At 41, I enjoy the incredible variety among bloggers, and find no shortage of inspiration.

    Even if our particular styles have very little in common (someone kindly included my blog on this kind of list with the awesome disclaimer “This one is NOT mainstream”), peoples’ thoughtful navigations of style and ageing in our youth-fetishizing culture are endlessly fascinating.

  16. shebolt

    I’ve perused lists of 40+ blogs before, and they really turn me off. It’s the concept behind them, really. I don’t feel like, at 41, I need to start modifying my style drastically just because I’m over the magical 40 threshold.

    I think it’s the concept of 40+ equals mature and therefore needs different rules.

  17. Dianne

    Twenty years ago, I was frustrated that there was almost nothing in the shops for me to buy to wear. I did not want to look like my teen-age daughter, nor like my mother, and I was not into a ‘dressy office job’ career. So I wore basically what I had worn in the 1970’s- jeans, boots, interesting little jackets, hats, scarves, etc. Now, at age 60, I do have an office job (office casual, not too dressy), and I still wear the same kinds of things,: jeans (not in faded blue, but dark wash denim, black, dark brown), T-shirts or tanks under little jackets, boots, scarves (not so many hats these days). I have some skirts that come to the tops of my boots, and some that come to just above my knee. I do read fashion blogs (all ages), and look at style magazines, for inspiration, I buy socks, underwear and footwear new, but the bulk of my wardrobe is thrifted. I would say my style is ‘English country classic’, with a bit of a punk edge, but I don’t usually analyze it. I know what I like when I see it. I think if you wear what makes you feel terrific, happy, comfortable, beautiful, that is the most important thing. ‘To thine own self be true’ is my motto.

  18. Bella Q, The Citizen Rosebud

    Sal, you’ve honored me beyond measure to include the blogroll with some of my favorite “older” women style blogs. I mean Advanced Style is my MUST read for anybody who loves to dress to express, and Judith, Patti, and Psue are fabulous personal inspirations for me.

    Many of your readers mention some of my other faves- I mean Catharine’s Not Dressed As Lamb is a long time blogger crush for me! And Fab after 40 and Sylvia’s blog are good “mature womens” resources for sure.

    Here are some that don’t have a thing to do with age- they rock regardless that one or two or 3 are over 40 but dress in the best way possible: as true originals: Vintage Vixen, Pull Your Socks Up, and Misfit Vintage.

  19. Sarah

    As a woman of 49, I find most resources aimed at women my age to be horribly dowdy/frumpy/boring/embarrassing/icky/depressing. I don’t understand why women my age appear to be out of touch with style, aesthetics, current design and fashion. They seem to be either embarrassingly eccentric (and I’m eccentric myself and like Butane Anvil’s style, for example – she has a superb sense of aesthetics whether you want to dress that way or not) OR they are full of rules to obey that make me want to top myself! I was never the ‘classic’ type (BORING!) so why should I suddenly have a personality transplant now? On the other hand, as I said, I cringe when I look at most blogs for/by women my age because, for example, they appear so woefully devoid of taste and the knowledge of current design and fashion. They tend to use small, poor quality photos, if any, and put them on a garish-coloured blog background that looks very old-fashioned and is wearing to look at.

    I mentioned Butane Anvil as an example of an over-40 blogger who has a clear sense of aesthetics while being interestingly eccentric. Another now-over-40 blog I like, for those who favour a more standard on-trend, non-eccentric style, is Does My Bum Look 40 in This?. Again, her style is not really my style but she does her style very well.

    I so agree with Anne above about not limiting oneself to resources aimed at individuals of a certain age. It is all too depressing and stifling. We all have to find our own path.

    For myself, my aim is to remain current in my dress as I age, rather than sliding into out-of-fashion cringeworthy one-foot-in-the-grave given-up dress. That does not, for me, mean wearing all the current trends, but it does mean having a clue about what is current-as-opposed-to-horribly-out in dress. I am currently fascinated by how ideas in fashion are first criticised and later adopted. As I get older and want to cover my skin more but don’t want to descend into the utter boredom of ‘classic’ style, my interest is increasing in eccentric, edgy style like some Yohji Yamamoto, Comme Des Garcons, etc. I have discovered that it is perfectly possible to cover my skin and still have the edge that suits my personality.

    Another thing that really annoys me is the assumption that every woman above a certain age is overweight. Where are the resources for women my age who workout and stay thin?

    Why must we all become psychologically old when we get older? I don’t understand why we should all be the same once we pass 40, any more than all young people should be the same.

    IN SOME MOODS I can get into the stylish chic tasteful style of older French and Italian woman — at least the idealised versions of such women — but in other moods I want to project a more edgy or current look. If I were very old now, I would be wearing Yohji Yamamoto don’t-mess-with-me style clothes at least some of the time. Anything other than the rigidly prescribed ‘classic’ uniform that is so often so utterly devoid of personality.

    But that’s just me. YMMV.

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