You’ve heard of the “capsule wardrobe”? It’s just a fancy term for a bunch of clothes fashion people call timeless basics. The real essentials at 50-plus are items that deliver fast, smart solutions. You reach for them when you’re running late at 7 a.m., when you’ve gained extra pounds, are looking tired or have a last-minute event and no time for an outfit do-over. They make you feel glam (or at least well-dressed) without a lot of fuss or stress. In other words, they’re the ultimate wardrobe problem solvers. Here are the 10 best right now.
1. Pull-on jeans
This is one of the secrets of many stylish women who always wear jeans. With an elastic waist and flat front panel instead of a zipper, pull-ons make belly bulge and bloat a nonissue. They keep untucked tops and layers looking smooth, and come in straight and subtle flared styles. Try the Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. Gold Label Women’s Pull-On Bootcut in Point Bonita 5d, which come in standard, plus-size and three lengths ($28, amazon.com); the Women’s Croft & Barrow Classic Pull-On Jeans in Dark Wash Denim or Medium Wash Denim ($40, kohls.com); or the Riders by Lee Indigo Women’s Pull-On Waist-Smoother Bootcut in Dark Wash ($29, amazon.com). Make them your dailies or have a pair on standby.
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2. A tailored knit jacket
By age 50 women know the blazer drill — wear it for immediate coverage, authority and confidence. But back-of-the-closet oldies and even new versions may feel out of sync with more casual life and work styles ... like wearing a lacy push-up bra under a sweatshirt. Knit blazers with notched lapels like the Lauren Ralph Lauren Sweater Knit Blazer in Birch Tan ($195, zappos.com), J.Crew Eloise Sweater-Blazer in Hthr Khaki or Navy ($158, jcrew.com) or Chico’s Denim Coatigan Jacket in Dark Denim ($139, chicos.com) combine a crisp shape with soft, stretchy fabric. They feel right at home with casual clothes and soft, floaty dresses and skirts.