Some women always look pulled-together and fashionable (even at the grocery store or gas station) and it drives the rest of us crazy. What do they know that we don’t? As a fashion editor, stylist and personal shopper specializing in women 50-plus, I’ve dressed thousands of women for photo shoots and real life, and I have learned that style boils down to just a handful of tips. Here are the wardrobe-boosters the fashionable crowd have been keeping to themselves. Pass it on.
1. Wear modified versions of trends
The truly stylish avoid extremes. Instead, they look for newish items that will not only rejuvenate their wardrobes but will stick around for more than one season. A hot pink “Barbiecore 2023” blazer may grab your attention, but a muted pink shacket like the Zara Women Faux Suede Overshirt in Pink ($48, zara.com/us) is more wearable and versatile. A satin slip dress? Too “junior,” but a satin blouse like the Gap Satin Shirt in Stone Beige or Black ($70, gap.com) looks sophisticated without trying too hard. Wide-leg cargo jeans with patch pockets? No way. But streamlined jeans with moderate proportions like Madewell’s The Perfect Vintage Wide-Leg Jean in Heathcote Wash ($128, madewell.com) provides enough of an update without going over the top in volume. In other words, get inspired by fashion but don’t take it too seriously.
2. Keep tweaking the classics
Basics are the hardworking backbone of a great wardrobe, but style enthusiasts look for details in shape, design and fabric that give core clothes a reset. For example, let’s say a gray turtleneck is a perennial for you. This year you might choose a shorter, boxier shape like the Abercrombie & Fitch Tuckable Easy Turtleneck Sweater in Grey ($80, abercrombie.com) that’s easy to front-tuck, or a longer style with high-low hem and ribbed sleeves like the L.L. Bean Women’s The Essential Sweater, Turtleneck in Medium Charcoal Heather ($70, llbean.com) or a cashmere splurge like the Quince Super Luxe Baby Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater in Charcoal ($150, quince.com) with modern side slits.