Where can I buy clothes over 50?
In today’s post, I am going to share how oder women can find the ideal places to shop regardless of age. I have found shops that offer a wide range of sizes, styles for any body type, and clothing items that allow stylish women to continue to express her personal style.
I started on this very mission a few years after my 50th birthday. One day, I realized I was, well, over 50. I must say, being over 50 came as something of a surprise—perhaps you can relate. Once I started thinking about my being over 50, I wondered if I were “too old” to wear certain clothes I wouldn’t have thought twice about buying just months before.
I went into a space where I was no longer sure of my personal style— which lead to my not being sure who I actually was as a person any more. I didn’t want to dress “too young” but I wasn’t yet ready for muumuus, elastic waistbands and orthopedic shoes just yet. And, sadly, those were exactly the kind of fashions that began turning up in catalogs being sent to my home.
Many of the clothing stores catering to women over 50 offer looks that scream geriatric—or at least old woman—with matched outfits made of polyester, shapeless silhouettes, appliqués and unusually bright colors, an overload of animal print— as if the clothing is made for an elderly version of a toddler. While disappointing, it came as no surprise, the over 50 age group is often misunderstood by designers and marketers.
I’d just turned fifty-not 90! I just wanted to wear stylish, “normal” clothes. ( I’m 62 now and I still feel this way!)
The experience lead me on a hunt not just to update my personal style, but to figure out where to shop for clothes over 50. Today I am going to share my findings—the best clothing stores for modern women who happen to be “mature’ and the best brands to try so you can get clothing that fits well, is chic, modern and a little trend driven.
Where to shop if you are over 50:
I’ll get right to the bottom line here—you can shop anywhere you can find clothing you love, and that fit your body and budget. This may include the men’s or boy’s department, consignment and vintage shops, any store at the mall or online, and local boutiques. There is no rule anywhere that states that once you hit a certain age, you can’t shop in any store you’d like.
It’s all about honoring your personal style, lifestyle, budget, and body shape.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk a little about where you are most likely to find clothes that you like, work with your lifestyle, fit properly and that you actually want to wear.
You may enjoy a handout I made called Fashion Questions to Ask Before Going Shopping (at the bottom of this post) before we get too far down the road. I wrote the questions very specifically because I needed to get clear about the fact that in addition to turning 50 and now 60, my lifestyle has definitely changed. This meant I needed different types of clothing than I was in the habit of buying and possibly going outside of my comfort zone and trying some new stores when I looked to add new items to my wardrobe.
For example, I rarely need office clothes any more. Since I work from home, I don’t need work dresses, nor do I need suits. I can use blazers though, paired with a nice pair of jeans or trousers—if I go to an in person meeting. By asking questions about my current lifestyle, I figured out that I need to add pieces to my wardrobe that are casual chic, or “new” business casual. While I can still shop at some of the stores I used to, I might branch out and look for stores that have trendier or casual pieces I can use to update my wardrobe
Your personal style may have also changed. I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older, I love classic pieces, and want a little more sophistication while at the same time being casual. A tall order, but I call this type of look “modern classic style” —a mix of classics and with a few trend pieces mixed in. As I started to map out my style, I began to think about which shops would most likely have clothing that fit my style, and then went on a shopping mission. It’s been a little trial and error but it has helped me “find myself” fashion and lifestyle wise.
While I have taken some of the leg work out of this for you, you will still need to get out and try things on, as you find your version of “mature” style.
Best stores for middle aged women who like modern classic style:
The following stores have a wide selection of modern classic wardrobe offerings at a variety of price points. Mixing and matching pieces from both your wardrobe and different stores help keep your wardrobe looking fresh and interesting.
You will note that most of the stores I have listed here are stores that offer clothing for women-not women of a certain age. It’s important that you shop at stores that not only offer styles you like, the proper fit, and also a shopping experience that is enjoyable. Let’s start:
Nordstrom: Nordstrom offers a variety of styles, designers and price points and is a great place to purchase both basics and accent pieces for your wardrobe.
MMLaFleur: Mainly specializing in work wear, MMLaFleur has expanded it’s offerings to include great pieces to wear at home and pair with more casual pieces. This is a great place for slick sheath dresses that actually fit, as well as comfortable causal clothing.
J. Crew: J. Crew offers classic and preppy looks with a modern edge. Purchase foundational pieces and don’t forget to check out their premium line for elevated offerings. J.Crew also has an outlet which is great for saving money
Bloomingdales: We don’t hear much about Bloomingdales these days, but it has been a favorite of mine for luxe pieces. This is a great place to find beautiful pieces for special occasions.
Reiss: Is a recent favorite of mine—I love their modern take on classics, attention to detail and high quality at a moderate price point. I go to Reiss at the start of each season and always have a number of items on my wish list. They are definitely going for a younger crowd, but I’ve found the fit and styling impeccable. (Jacket pictured above is a part of their 2020 collection)
Veronica Beard: Here you will bet a blend of modern and trendy pieces mixed with some of the best blazers on the market I am always stalking this site-in a healthy way of course- both for my favorite items to go on sale and for their styling-they are great at blending classic and trend pieces. Shown below with modern cut blazer-I wear this on repeat.
Nic and Zoe: This is a great place for perfecting your casual chic vibes. You know, that polished yet casual look we all aspire to. I love combing this site for style inspiration as well as really great pieces to add to my wardrobe.
Best stores for women with curves:
Eileen Fisher: If you want to look amazing and enjoy premium stylish outfits, be sure to check out Eileen Fisher. Her goal is to create beautiful body skimming outfits that accentuate the positive, and are comfortable, easy to style and look amazing.
Universal Standard: If you are looking for chic casual outfits, this is a great place to accentuate your beautiful curves.
Best stores for fashion basics:
Everlane: I shop Everlane for affordable basics—last year I purchased beautiful cashmere sweaters and organic cotton t-shirts I love. If you are looking for well made-eco consciously sourced and pieces made of natural fabrics to add to your wardrobe, this is your jam. I love getting good basics and am willing to pay a little extra as they will be in my closet a long time.
Beta Brand: One of my business friends turned me on to Beta Brand for their yoga inspired dress pants. Simple, elegant, great for many different body shapes and super comfortable to boot, this is a great stop for basic pants—if you are in the market.
Best stores for tasteful trends:
Whether you are looking to perfect the casual style, bohemian or are more trend driven, the following offer a blend of options from luxe designer trends to more affordable looks.
Saks Fifth Avenue
Rag & Bone
Brands specially designed for women over 50
While you may already be aware of these brands, I thought I’d list them all here anyway. These companies specialize in “mature clothing”, and design especially to provide great fit and tasteful styles for older women. They are also great for the petite woman, with a great offering of chic outfits.
Not your Daughters Jeans: This is where you can get the best cut in jeans for older women—from the new high rise flairs to skinny jeans-and even white pants, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans knows how to help mature women look amazing.
J.Mclaughlin: If you are looking for classics and modern styles and some resort wear thrown in, this new-to-me store understands mature clothing. The dress above is a part of their current summer collection. Shop the Emilia Dress
Talbots: Easy care and easy to style, Talbots is great for cultivating a preppy style wardrobe. Talbots is packed with easy fitting classics, at an affordable price. It’s the right place if you are looking for a one-stop shop. I’ve always found I need to alter the pieces I have purchased there-so if you love something
Bonus: A few helpful tips on how to avoid looking frumpy or dated
- When styling outfits, avoid wearing the pre-styled outfits some shops create for mature women. Mix pieces to create great style.
- Avoid “peddle pushers” elastic waist bands, and loose fitting clothing.—I’ve written a whole post about this here:
- Look for figure flattering styles like wrap dresses that look good on all figure types or neutral blocks of color for a chic and polished look
- Take the time to find really great pair of jeans, as they are a fashion staple and can be easily styled and are great for casual chic looks
- Invest in fashion staple pieces. This is where the majority of my fashion budget goes.
- Fast fashion shops are a good place to try out trends-so you don’t spend too much on items that will go out of style quickly.
- Don’t be afraid to blend older trend or “signature” pieces into your outfits. If I love a piece I wear it on repeat-whether its considered in fashion or not.
- Having a versatile white shirt in your wardrobe a style basic that can be used to create all sorts of outfits. Nothing is better than a white shirt and a great pair of jeans. It’s great to get one with long sleeves—they look so great rolled up, and tied at the waist for that chic older woman look I love.
I hope this helps you navigate shopping and styling your wardrobe to create a look that reflects the amazing woman of a certain age you are.
What a great post Nina. I agree with so many of your points on midlife dressing, and to me it’s something that is constantly evolving. Thanks for doing thr leg work on these brands, Beta Brand is new to me, I’ll have to check it out!