Many people over 50 prefer classic quiet clothes to trendy ones that shout “new.” They avoid bold statements, loud colors and exaggerated details. This self-confident, no-gimmicks attitude is admirable … until it starts looking dated, dowdy and dumpy. That’s when a few stylish changes are a good idea. Here’s how to keep the classic aesthetic going but jump out of your time capsule and into a more contemporary version of yourself:
1. Update core pieces
Classic blazers, striped tees, high-waist jeans and button-down shirts have blown up on social media. Take a closer look. That blazer may be a knit, the tee may have dropped shoulders, the jeans feature a wider leg and the shirt is oversized. All are still classic but with a contemporary twist that’s far from boring. There are very few “timeless” classics that last or look flattering forever. Stretch fabrics, relaxed fits and updated design details make all the difference.
2. Mix dressy and casual items
Just adding jeans to a dressy blouse or tailored jacket is a fast formula for flipping classics from conservative to cool. But don’t stop there. Try pairing tailored pants, skirts and dresses with a more casual jacket. A leather moto jacket or blazer is the obvious choice, but jean jackets and cargo/utility styles work well for warmer weather. Blend sporty hoodies, chambray shirts, white tanks and sneakers with your more structured or work-worthy pieces. The unexpected blend is the secret sauce that animates a classic recipe.
3. Style your clothes
Styling tricks give button-downs, shirtdresses and belted items a casual lived-in effect and fast-track them from formal to fashionable. First, try wearing a shirt untucked and rolling up the buttoned sleeves. Don’t aim for perfection — the more uneven and rakish the better. Unbutton the necklines of prim and proper blouses and shirtdresses to a V-neck. Not only does it look fresher, but you’ll elongate your neck and torso. Guys can look for dress-casual shirts designed for untucking with a strategic mid-zipper length. And always tie and knot trench coat and shirtdress belts instead of buckling up.