En español | As a fashion editor I laugh every time the fashion industry proclaims, “These are the hottest trends.” That's because they often have very little to do with our real lives and bodies at age 50. Bra tops and cutouts? Little bitty miniskirts and fluffy flip-flops? No thanks. What we actually need are sensible lifestyle clothes and accessories with just enough of a fashion twist. Here are 10 to put on your try-or-buy list:
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PHOTO BY: Gap; Old Navy; Target
1. Revised white tees
If there's one thing we never have enough of it's a stack of fresh white T-shirts. Aside from eliminating armpit and food stains, laundry mishaps and the dinginess of repeat washings, new tees provide a low-cost way to try a new silhouette. And, yes, even the basic white tee got a makeover this spring. Try a new elbow-sleeve tee like the Gap Modern Squareneck Elbow Sleeve T-Shirt in fresh white ($25, gap.com) to make upper-arm jiggles history, a boxier style like the Universal Thread Women's Short Sleeve Boxy T-Shirt in white ($8, target.com) to wear untucked and floating over high-waist jeans and pants, or a super-soft jersey tee with a high-low hem like the Old Navy Luxe V-Neck Tee for Women in white lilies ($10, oldnavy.com) to contour a curvy shape.
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PHOTO BY: DSW; Zappos (2)
2. Slingback wedge espadrilles
We're itching to take off our sneakers but not ready for flip-flops or serious shoes. Wedge espadrilles hit the spot between comfort and structure and give us a little height (which, to be honest, we all benefit from). Even luxury brands like Gucci, Prada and Valentino Garavani are on board this spring but the best of the bunch are affordable hybrid slingbacks. Pick a closed-toe style if you haven't been on top of the foot grooming/pedicure routine, like the LifeStride Katrina Espadrille Wedge Sandal in black ($70, dsw.com/en/us). Or, opt for an open-toe style like the Lucky Brand Mindra in black or navy ($79, zappos.com) or the Bobs From Skechers Desert Kiss in black or taupe ($45, zappos.com) with crisscross instep straps.
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PHOTO BY: H&M (2); Target
3. A print midi dress
It simply works. A midi's got the comfort we crave, the relaxed, flowy calf-skimming length that makes sitting and crossing our legs easy, and it doesn't demand shape wear. Wear it with boots now; flats, mules and sandals later. Unlike trendy maxis, midis never look too boho beachy and the flash of lower leg and trim ankles adds a body-lengthening boost for all. Choose a sophisticated print, like the H&M Tie Belt Dress in light beige/leopard print, XS to XXL ($40, hm.com), the Who What Wear Women's Flutter Short Sleeve A-Line Dress in black/white Womens Plus ($37, target.com) or the H&M Lyocell-Blend Dress in dark blue/beige checked ($34, hm.com). A dark neutral color is what makes a print dress way more versatile and seasonless.
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PHOTO BY: J. Jill; Target (2)
4. Polished pants
We're in the mood for real pants — not lounge pants, track pants, sweatpants, leggings or joggers. Two new ankle-length styles offer volume where you need it. If you live in untucked tops and tunics, try a flat front pull-on style with wide legs like the J. Jill Soft Full Leg Pants in mahogany or caraway ($79, jjill.com). If you prefer to tuck in your tops, try a paper-bag style like A New Day Women's High-Rise Paperbag Ankle Pants in gray or brown ($28, target.com) or Who What Wear Women's Ankle Length Paperbag Trousers in yellow ($33, target.com). The latter offer waist definition and a roomier fit for tummy, hips and thighs. Neutrals are great but try the new subtle colors here; yes, even the yellow pants are muted.
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PHOTO BY: Gap; Target; Ann Taylor
5. A warm-weather sweater
After a year of hoodies, turtlenecks and cowls we're ready for a lightweight non-wool “air-conditioning sweater” that mutes the chill and makes us feel chic again. The newest seasonal options are elbow-length, like the Ann Taylor Ruffle Sleeve V-Neck Cardigan in deep azure ($90, anntaylor.com), the Gap Elbow Sleeve Pointelle Sweater in buff pink or sunburn orange ($29, gap.com) or the Who What Wear Women's Puff Elbow-Sleeve Collared Neck Pullover Sweater in black or green in Womens and Womens Plus sizes ($30, target.com) — great for showing off your neglected bracelet stacks. Just be sure to moisturize any dry elbows first!
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PHOTO BY: Ann Taylor; Old Navy; Target
6. A pretty jeans blouse
Since jeans are a one of our reliable life staples, like travel mugs, masks and tote bags, they deserve an upgrade now. While T-shirts are an essential, too, a blouse elevates denim to dressed-up status. Look for one with romantic details like ruffles, smocking, balloon sleeves and a floral print like the Old Navy Oversized Floral-Print Split-Neck Tunic Top for Women in pink floral ($37, oldnavy.com), A New Day Women's 3/4 Sleeve Voile Blouse in blue ($20, target.com) or the Ann Taylor Floral Smocked Ruffle V-Neck ($90, anntaylor.com). It's a five-minute change that turns any casual jean look into a classy one. So worth it!
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PHOTO BY: Target; H&M; Express
7. A pleated comfort skirt
Going bare legged on a warm sunny day is a tempting spring rite but not when your skirt is too short or too summery. An elastic-waist pleated skirt in a midi length — anywhere from below the knee to calf grazing — makes skipping pants or tights a no-brainer. Look for styles with narrow accordion pleats for an A-line swing at the hem when you walk, like the H&M Pleated Skirt in pigeon blue ($36, hm.com/en_us), A New Day Women's Midi Pleated A-Line Skirt in coral or light pink ($28, target.com) or Express High Waisted Pleated Color Block Midi Skirt in black and white ($98, express.com). Then tuck in a tee or wear a sweater and sneakers for a this-minute look.
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PHOTO BY: J. Jill; Old Navy; Gap
8. A utility jacket
If you don't have one by now what are you waiting for? Whether it's called a “chore,” trucker, field, barn or shacket jacket, consider a lightweight topper like the Old Navy Ecru-Wash Chore Jacket for Women ($40, oldnavy.com), Gap Utility Jacket in beige tan ($44, gap.com) or J. Jill Modern Barn Jacket in light mineral or light tobacco ($129, jjill.com) as a blazer alternative. It has the dressed-down attitude of a black leather moto jacket but a sportier vibe. Just throw it over dresses, joggers, leggings and jeans. Choose your preferred silhouette from boxy to oversized, cropped or thigh-length and count on the handy pockets to stash your phone and essentials.
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PHOTO BY: Gap; L.L. Bean; Vineyard Vines
9. Boatneck tops
There's no reason to give up our favorite iconic striped boatneck tees just because its 2021. Navy and white or red stripes never miss but new color combinations and sleeve lengths can turn that super-flattering neckline into more of a fashion statement. Try a bracelet-sleeve style like the L.L. Bean Women's Soft Stretch Supima Tee, Three-Quarter-Sleeve Boatneck Stripe in warm gold/bayside blue ($40, llbean.com) or a long-sleeve version like the Vineyard Vines Striped Simple Boatneck Long-Sleeve Tee in breaker stripe ($50, vineyardvines.com) or, for a nearly sleeveless alternative, a muscle tee with a cap sleeve like the Gap Modern Boatneck Striped T-Shirt in navy blue and white stripe, or blue, white and red stripe ($12, gap.com) .
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PHOTO BY: Target; J.Crew (2)
10. Colorful earrings and hair accessories
Adding a touch of trendy yellow, pink, blue or green around your face is a quick way to update your look without buying a lot of new items. Even if you're a neutral kind of person or live in white tees and jeans, yellow earrings or a pastel hairband can brighten up your face (and on-screen life) without a lot of fuss. Try light dangly earrings like the SugarFix by BaubleBar Beaded Ball Drop Tassel Earrings in turquoise, bright pink or sun yellow ($13, target.com) or J.Crew Floating Flowers Tassel Earrings in frosty lilac, bitter lemon or soft aqua ($20, jcrew.com) or a hairband like the J.Crew Knot Hairband in Liberty Print in aqua lime multi ($30, jcrew.com).
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