by Becky Morris, owner of Lily Claire Boutique
As a fashion stylist and boutique owner, I love fashion! I’ve worked with hundreds of clients providing styling guidance, wardrobe consulting, personal shopping, and closet cleanouts. Modern, boho, vintage – I love and wear it all! And I really enjoy helping people find and express their own personal style. One of my favorite things is hosting Fashion 101 Classes and here are some of the most common questions I get about fashion:
How Can I Update My Style?
I’m often asked this question about fashion tips for 50Plus women, especially those feeling like they are in a “style rut”. I would say the easiest way to update is with a new denim silhouette. Skinny jeans have been kind of a fashion staple for a while but try a wider or straight leg, crop flare, or bootcut jeans for a more updated look. Higher-waisted jeans are now trending (not everyone is a fan though). The most important thing is to find a pair of jeans you love that fit great and are comfy. Then try adding a blazer and graphic tee, or a pretty blouse and cardigan, paired with a cute bootie or dressy sneaker.
What About the “Fashion Rules”?
We’ve all heard you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day and should sport leather only in winter. Do you follow those rules? I feel like any kind of fashion rule is outdated. There is a neon sign in my store that says, “If you like it … wear it” and I really believe that. It’s all about how you style it – a white dress or jeans can pair with a leather jacket or tights and boots and be right at home in December. And now we have lightweight vegan leather which can be worn year-round too. So much also depends on climate and places that have more moderate temps can have so much flexibility with styling.
Should I Take Inspiration from Older Trends?
I see all these trends from the 90’s coming back – what’s up with that and should I have kept all my old clothing??
Well, we can thank Gen Z for bringing these 90’s trends back- lol! No really, fashion usually follows a 20-year cycle meaning that trends circle back in that time frame. So now we are seeing the early 2000s trends of cargo pants, ballet flats, and poof skirts coming back. Hard to believe but the early 2000’s is now considered vintage! But typically, when these trends are brought back, they are redone in a fresh way, so pulling out your old jeans from 1998 is not going to work. Also, do we even want to wear those again?? But you can take inspiration from these trends and adapt those that work for you like ballet flats, shoulder pads etc.
Speaking of Vintage, What Is the Sudden Fascination with It?
Well, again we can give a lot of the credit to our Gen Z girls, as typically they are very much vintage lovers. Since vintage clothes aren’t mass-produced, they are eco-friendly. Plus, they are a great way to express your own sense of style and not look like everyone else. And since they don’t have the same markup as new clothes, they are wallet-friendly. So, vintage shopping saves money which all of us love! Celebrities love a vintage moment which also adds to the trend’s momentum. I personally think it’s great to see a resurgence of well-loved styles from the past and worn in new and fresh ways.
Should I Limit When I Wear My “Special” Clothes?
What about those special or more expensive pieces I buy – should I limit when I wear them because they are so noticeable?
I remember reading an article one time about French women and their approach to fashion. Their philosophy is quality over quantity, and they have no problem wearing their nicest pieces frequently. I agree with this. If you like it, wear it. And don’t worry about other people noticing when you wear something again. Fashion is a form of self-expression so dress in a way that makes you feel fabulous!
What Is the Rule About Mixing Prints or Colors?
I love prints and don’t hesitate to mix them, but I know everyone is not comfortable doing that. A good rule for prints is to stay in the same color family and pay attention to the scale of the print. Typically, mixing a large print with a smaller print in the same color family works well. However, how you combine prints is subjective and based on personal preference. As for mixing colors, a good rule is to tie everything together with accessories. For example, mixing brown and black can work well when you add a scarf, necklace, or shoes that can tie them together.
What Is a Capsule Wardrobe and How Can I Build One?
By definition, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing composed of interchangeable items to maximize the total number of outfits you can create. The aim is to have an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing. Capsule wardrobes are definitely trending now as people like the idea of a streamlined wardrobe and a “de-cluttered” lifestyle. Here are the pieces I recommend starting a capsule wardrobe:
- A blazer in a neutral color like black or camel.
- A white and/or black button-down or blouse.
- A pair of black pants that fit well and are a classic style.
- A simple black or navy dress that you can dress up or down.
- A denim jacket.
- A pair of jeans that fit and that you LOVE.
- A lightweight coat in a neutral color.
From here you can add other pieces like blouses, graphic tees, sweaters, etc. to create numerous different looks. Think of it as having the basic ingredients in your pantry to make a variety of different meals that you love.
The Bottom Line
So those are my fashion tips for 50-plus women. Most importantly, keep in mind that fashion is an ever-changing dynamic. This is one of the reasons we love it! And it’s okay to embrace lots of different styles – we don’t have to define ourselves as classic, boho or vintage. A good balance is to remain open to trying new styles and trends, but also confident enough to stick with the styles we love and know look good on us. As Marc Jacobs said, ‘Remember clothes mean nothing until someone wears them!”
“Fashions fade but style is eternal.”
Yves Saint Laurent
About the Author: Becky Morris
Becky Morris graduated from the University of Texas with a business degree in Finance and Marketing, but fashion was always her first career choice. She worked at Saks Fifth Avenue as a part-time sales associate upon graduating. This led to positions as a Personal Shopper and Assistant Fashion Director and eventually the Fashion and Public Relations Director for Saks Galleria Dallas. While working at Saks Galleria Dallas, she produced charity fashion shows and worked with many designers and celebrities on other events including a fashion show for England’s Prince Edward. She also served as the media and television spokesperson for Saks throughout the metroplex and traveled to other Saks stores throughout the country for store openings and events. She always dreamed of curating her own collection of clothing, and in 2020, Becky opened Lily Claire, a cute clothing store located in Prosper, Texas. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!