Here are ten essential women’s clothing items I think every woman over 50 should own. This list will help if you enjoy fashion—or simply want some direction in building an age-appropriate wardrobe.
A black pencil skirt
A well-made pencil skirt works on just about every body type. The length can range anywhere from the top of the knee to mid-knee for the most universally flattering look. Team it with a blazer or long cardigan if you feel the need to camouflage your hips.
A pair of great-fitting jeans, even if you have to shop all day to find them
Nordstrom carries a brand called Wit & Wisdom, which won’t break the bank. My favorites are skinny and slightly cropped, so they look equally good with heels, flats, or a pair of bright-red Converse sneakers. If hips and rear are a problem, top them with a flowy tunic or a longer cardigan over a tank top. If you’re not the skinny-jeans type, choose a style that fits your body best: boot cut, straight leg, flared, wide leg. It seems that designers are offering every shape, so there’s no right or wrong style.
A tailored shirt
Not your husband’s or boyfriend’s shirt, this one is made just for you: smaller and streamlined. Tuck it into a pencil skirt or wear it untucked with a pair of jeans.
A long cardigan
A long cardi is the perfect solution to hide hips, tummy, and rear. Choosing one in a bright color adds pop to black and grey.
A classic watch
A really good watch isn’t cheap, but it is an investment. I bought this Tag Heuer in 1996 for $1000, and now it’s worth more than three times that much.
A novelty watch
For a fraction of the cost of a quality watch, you can find a perfectly functional—and fun—novelty watch.
There’s nothing better than a carefully chosen piece of jewelry to add bling to your wardrobe. A fun necklace or bracelet can bring an otherwise sedate outfit to life.
A great-fitting bra
Any women who’s made the switch from a grabbed-off-the-rack bra to one that’s been properly fitted by a pro knows how dramatic the difference can be.
Spanx, or an equivalent slimmer
I don’t know of any woman who doesn’t have at least one of these in her wardrobe. It’s the go-to solution under dresses, skirts, and pants when you want to look as sleek as possible.