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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 10:22 AM
Original message
What to wear for old age?
Well, I finally hit that point I've feared for most of my life.....I'm getting to the point where I question my clothing and hairstyle because of my age.

I've always been told that long hair is not good on older women. I've always liked the long and natural look and short hair does NOTHING for my face at all, but geez, I guess I'm breaking the rules by keeping my hair long now that I'm pushing 50.

Also, I don't like lots of the clothes older women wear. For example, I don't do polyester and can't stand fussy, formal clothing that's tight fitting or uncomfortable. I don't wear stockings and hose and you won't catch me wearing any sort of shoes without socks unless they're sandals, so the ballerina slippers and loafers that are so in style now are out for me. (How can people stand to wear these things without socks in cold weather? My feet and ankles would be freezing! In warmer weather, they'd be swimming in a pool of sweat.) I hate high heels because they are uncomfortable and because I'm already taller than many men. That leaves me with tennis shoes and low-heeled boots. So I'm an old lady with long hair and tennis shoes. Sigh. I was able to carry that look off when I was young and pretty. Now I just look frumpy.

I work in an office where casual dress is encouraged. (Thank God!) But I don't want to look frumpy! Any tips for this stubborn old lady whose favorite thing to wear is sweat pants and tee shirts?

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Kat45 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 10:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'd say to wear your hair in the way that looks best for your face.
If you look better with long hair, so be it. I see some older women wearing their hair long these days. I think it gives the impression that they're younger because it's not the usual thing. I try not to pay attention to the concept of "age-appropriate." I'm 52, and I still wear miniskirts when I feel like it. As for the shoes, what about knee-highs? You could wear those with the shoes, at least until it gets really cold out.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I was having one of those days the other day
Just feeling frumpy and looking around the office, I was seeing women with their polyester suits and hose and short hair...and was feeling like a misfit. I don't have anything against that way of dress, I just don't want to do it for myself because it's uncomfortable. To me. It makes me angry that people are expected to wear things that are uncomfortable. Like bras, for example. But I better not even go there. ;)

Funny, yesterday I did wear knee highs under loafers. My pants were so long I don't think you could even see the socks anyway.

I'm glad to hear you're 52 and wearing miniskirts, that's great! And inspiring.
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Longhorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
3. I've been growing my hair out for four years now. I'm 52.
I wore it long when I was young but cut it when I started having kids and just kept getting it cut. When I got a convertible, my hair blew everywhere so I started growing it out and I LOVE it! It's now about three inches past my shoulders and not long enough for me yet. I live in Texas and I like being able to put it up off my neck when it's hot. I never gave a thought to my age.

I teach at a community college so my main concern is cleavage and nipples. It's not that I'm afraid of turning them on -- I'm afraid of turning them off! :) And with my figure, short skirts, low-rise pants, and tight clothes just don't look good on me. But I like pants with long tunics, which are in right now, and long flowing skirts.

I think we should wear what makes us feel good and not care too much what others think we should wear, especially if it looks nice. I like the make-over shows but I think they can take it too far. And isn't it funny how Diane Keaton was dissed all the time for her clothes and now she's considered one of the "best dressed" in Hollywood? I'd like to think she's just dressing the way she wants! :)
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Well, since you went there
I have to rant that THE most irritating clothing item in my life has been the bra. I went without for many years of my life because I was able to--I didn't have much, uh, protrusion and was too small to sag. :blush: Since I gave birth (at the ripe old age of 41) and gained weight, that has changed and I am now forced to wear bras or feel self-conscious, too. But it stinks that we should feel that way, doesn't it? We spend our whole lives hiding our breasts like they are something shameful.

Well, I guess I'd better get used to it and be thankful we aren't having to wear corsets and hoopskirts or something. Your comments prompted me to look around and it does seem these days that a lot more older women wear their hair long. Yay! Long, casual skirts sound like a great idea, too, thanks.

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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. Three words for you.
Cotton sports bras. I started wearing them several years ago and haven't worn a regular bra since. They are so much more comfortable than regular one. Kind of like pulling on a stretchy tee shirt. I can't go without most of the time so that has been my compromise.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-23-07 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
5. I'm Not There Yet
I figure if 40 is the new 30, then when I get to 50, it will be the new 40 and give me some leeway.

That said, I've become a fan of TJ Maxx for any age. In addition to the normal slutwear everyone has, they have a decent selection of cute and casual designer tops that are more stylish than fashionable, if you know what I mean.

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Dervill Crow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-23-07 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
6. Wear what you like.
A friend of mine (aged 45+ at the time) was getting her hair trimmed, and she told the hairdresser that she wanted her very long hair TRIMMED. The stylist said that she would need to get her hair cut shorter when she turned 40 since it tends to "drag your face down." My friend told her she would remember that "the next time I turn 40."

Another friend of mine who is a very youthful 60 and has always looked 10-15 years younger than her age came in to the office today and I didn't recognize her. She had cut her hair off, saying that she thought she needed to since she was getting up there in age. She looks OLD now. Sad.

:tinfoilhat: I think it's a conspiracy. Women who have their hair cut and colored have to keep having it cut and colored. It's a plot by the salons to keep us at their mercy.
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livetohike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-26-07 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
7. Just do what makes you comfortable
I turned 55 this summer and my hair is down to my waist :-). When I worked, I would put it in a twist and clasp it with a thick barrett. I worked at a museum for a few years and would wear my hair down, or anyway I wanted to. In my corporate jobs, I would wear it up. I also had to wear business suits which fortunately I looked good in :-).

Now that I am retired, I do whatever I want including going braless.

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japple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-02-07 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
8. Amen to all those replies that say, "wear what is
comfortable for you." I feel fortunate that I can wear scrubs to work. It's like working in my pajamas! When I worked in an academic dept. at a state university, a group of us in the college of ed. wore flannel dresses on Fridays during the winters. I hate going in a dept. store and trying to find something I like. Most of the styles are too revealing, too snug-fitting, and most are made for much younger, thinner women. The styles for those of us over 50 (or so) are hideous. I usually just shop thrift stores and catalogues like LL Bean and Sierra Trading Post. Shoes are a whole other story. Those who are wearing pointy-toed, high-heeled shoes now, are going to be suffering from bunions and other foot ailments within 20 years. I wear tennis shoes, huaraches, clogs, and other lace-up casual shoes. AND NO BRA (as often as possible). When I do wear one, it's one of those stretchy "bralets"
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mwdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
9. Hey, you're not old!
I'm 56, and don't feel the pressure of "age" at all. I went through chemo 1 1/2 years ago, lost my hair (which had been colored for decades), and now that it's growing out thick and wavy, I like the natural color. I forgot I was a dark brunette! I have greys, but so what? I try to keep a state of mind that I'm being me, and I don't have to fit in a certain category. I wear mostly jeans and shirts, or longer skirts. I love shoes, and I have quite the collection, though I'm into comfort now. I live in Texas, so I have a pair of cute low boots I wear in the winter with my jeans or pants. Just try on clothes when you go shopping, and take some chances. You never know what looks good on you until you try it. Good luck!
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-07 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
10. I went through that same thing a few years back. I don't want to
look like a 60 year old pretending to be 30. There are a lot of cute clothes out there, but I know that they just aren't for me anymore because I've seen them on women my age and I know how they look.

I found that classic style jeans and shirts work the best for me. I also work where I can dress casual and I wear jeans or khakis paired with simple knit tops and button up shirts. I've always liked the layered look so that's very easy to accomplish. For shoes I wear mostly sandals in the summertime and short boots, sneakers and "loafer style" shoes that are meant to be worn with socks.

As far as the long hair, wear what you are comfortable with. I don't look good in short hair and I've worn mine shoulder length or longer most of my life. These ladies would disagree that long hair pulls your face down after the age of 40.

Judy Collins

Emmylou Harris

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marzipanni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
11. Hey, don't call pushing 50 "old"!
I'll be 57 in a few days. ;)
I like clothes from places that specialize in cotton or natural fiber clothes. I agree that polyester clothes are horrendous.
I found a pair of shoes that are as comfortable as sneakers but dressier, to wear with pants, when sneakers would be too casual. I used to go to stores (one is called "The Walk Shop") that specialize in good-looking but comfortable shoes, and occasionally buy some if they were on sale because they all seem to be at least $120.00! The shoes I got are from Sears.
I feel better if I wear a little lipstick and mineral blush. My old great aunt, an artist, used to wear light lipstick and a little rouge (natural looking) and put a narrow velvet ribbon in her white(pinned up) hair and she always looked spunky.


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

-- Jenny Joseph

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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-09-08 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. I wish I was back to pushing 50. Now, I'm pushing 70.
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fudge stripe cookays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-13-07 06:40 AM
Response to Original message
12. I love my long hair.
My face is too full-- I need the width and fullness around my face to balance it.

But as far as stuff for we ladies over 40, I LIVE for items like what they have at Coldwater Creek and J. Jill. Just mature enough, but not frumpy.

You can try what I do-- buy basics at TJ Maxx or someplace cheaper, then buy a nice accent item once in awhile from places like that, to give your wardrobe a kick.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-26-08 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
14. Let your freak flag fly, sister!
Edited on Sat Jan-26-08 05:19 PM by hippywife
Wear your hair the way you want and dress the way you want. Whatever makes you feel comfortable. Social conventions are forever changeable and are no reflection on who we are as individuals. Screw convention. Actually, I think that is the most appropriate response for someone of our generation.

I'm about the same age as you, I'm guessing. I'm 49, going to be 50 this fall. I wear my naturally curly hair past my shoulders with big swathes of white down from the temples. Almost everything you posted about yourself is a mirror of my own life, except for being tall. I don't wear sweat pants and tees because they don't look good on me. I wear stretch denim leggings, polo shirts, hippie tops, etc. I wear clunky shoes or tennies. I just plain don't care what the rest of the world feels is appropriate attire for my age.

I also remember when I was younger, the older women I thought were the coolest had the same attitude about it. Be you, not the person other people think you should be. :hi:
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japple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-30-08 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Something like this
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BlackVelvet04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
17. I try my best to live life in
Levi jeans so I'm not a very good person to answer this question. I don't do frumpy. I wear jeans, mid-rise pants and buy fashionable tops to wear with them. Dresses suck.

My hair is a little below my shoulders. I don't look good in short hair. I recently got it cut into a somewhat "edgy" cut with chunky highlights and lowlights and I really like it. Has a bit of a "punk" flair.

I hate doing the expected.

I figure if we have to suffer through periods, pregnancies and menopause we should do whatever we damn well please as a reward for surviving.

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Ellen Forradalom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-06-08 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
18. Focus on taste rather than fashion.
We forgive the young their fashion crimes because we know they have no taste. Showcase your maturity without sacrificing comfort or personality with proper fit, good proportion, flattering color, quality construction and tasteful ornament.

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Manifestor_of_Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-14-08 03:31 AM
Response to Original message
19. I found the ultimate comfy shoe!
Ferragamo sneakers!!! So comfy, Italian suede leather with rubber soles.

Ferragamos are great - soft and flexible and they come in extremely narrow widths, which I have - bony little feet I got from my dad.

I can't wear stiff shoes. It's either sneakers or Italian shoes for me.
I get my Ferragamos and Bruno Maglis resoled every few years, since they last a long time.
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Peregrine Took Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
20. I read a long time ago that some old doyenne of fashion (can't recall her
name right now - it might have been Coco Chanel) said the best look for women to adopt as they age is one of an adolescent girl - be as slim, athletic as you can.

While we can't all be slim like young girls, we can still exercise as much as is safely possible for us, and dress in comfortable, chic athletic clothes is a great, youthful look. For example, I like to wear knit pants, even with elastic waist, and, yet, want to avoid the old lady "double knit" look. The solution is exercisewear pants such as New Balance made of spandex and cotton. Also, I got a pair of Liz Claiborne slimming black lycra pants - the latter you could definitely wear out to a play with a nice pair of black flats and a trendy jacket or long top.

For every day, I go with either yoga pants, nice zip up hoodies and tee shirts. When I worked I even wore my knit pants to work with jackets or long sleeve tees and vests.

As far as the hair - for me, long hair on most over 50's that I've seen rarely works. Chin length is great as its not real short but just looks right and you can do a lot with it - behind the ears, fluffed up, swept back, you name it.

For shoes I say, running shoes and sox for everyday, dressy flats for work going out. I hate heels.

Bottom line - you can wear exercise/running pants and tee's but they have to be on the more sophisticated side.
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