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Over 60s fashion: buying the basics

Fashion basics for over 60s

When you're stuck in a fashion rut, there's only one way to reset - go back to basics. Here's how to build the perfect capsule wardrobe containing the essential pieces every older woman should have in her wardrobe.


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1. Choose quality

Cut and material is everything when it comes to smart-looking clothes, so choosing classic tailoring in quality materials will give you instant, but lasting, style. When it comes to clothing, always opt to spend a little more and buy a little less. Steer clear of cheap, throwaway clothes, because that's exactly what you'll end up doing. Primark and the like may be easy on the wallet, but you'll pay for it in the long run.

"I buy the majority of my clothes from charity shops. That way I can have labels and better quality clothes than I could afford new."


2. Start from the inside out

How long has it been since you gave your undies an overhaul? Got measured for a bra? It may just be time to start again, getting back to basics and making sure you have black, white and flesh-coloured options.

"Look at your underwear, get measured for a bra, wear one that holds you properly, buy new pretty knickers and foundation undergarments if you stick out in places you do not want to."


3. Invest in a wrap dress

There's a reason Diane Von Furstenberg's iconic style is still going strong today. The wrap dress has really stood the test of time - and for good reason. It's an almost universally flattering shape that can be dressed up or down with complete ease.

If you don't have one of these already, you'll never regret buying one. Snap up Boden's classic black wrap dress or go the whole hog and pick up the DVF staple.

"A wrap or shift dress always looks good."



4. Always have a pair of slim trousers

Some styles just never go out of fashion, and a good pair of tailored trousers is one of them. Cigarette pants or slim leg, whichever you go for, make sure they're good quality and a neautral colour that goes with whatever you feel like that day, be it a splash of colour or a comfy sweater. Top it all off with a pair of flats or sandals.

"Smartish, straight or slim leg trousers in black or dark grey."


5. Get your colours done

The concept of getting your 'colours done' has been around for a while, and it's a tried and tested way of making sure you stick to shades that complement your colouring. Visit Colour Me Beautiful to find a consultant who will assess exactly which colours you should be scanning the shopping rails for.

"I had mine sorted in the 80s and I've never looked back. It means that everything in your wardrobe goes with everything else."


6. But never underestimate the power of a black dress...

little black dress

 ...or skirt. Or- well, you get the idea. Choosing one really well-fitting black dress or skirt means you can add differing accessories to change it up for a multitude of occasions. Et voilà - your 'going out' wardrobe expands dramatically.

"For evenings I have a couple of black shift dresses and a beaded black taffeta knee length skirt. Add the jackets, bags, earrings etc and it's amazing how many events are catered for. Keep it simple is my advice."


7. Find colourful statement pieces

While it's good to keep a base of versatile, neutral colours in your wardrobe, brightly-coloured clothes are one of life's great pleasures. Focus on one splash of colour per outfit, keeping the rest of it fairly neutral.


8. And before you buy, find the most honest person you know... 

It helps if they're stylish as well, but at the very least, someone who will tell you if one of your intended wardrobe staples simply doesn't suit you.

"My most successful purchases have been when I was with my daughter who is brutally honest."


Start building your wardrobe 

Tapered Wool and Silk Mix Trousers The Longer Line Classic Weekend Shirt 

The perfect shape trousers for every occasion (well, almost).

The quickest way to smarten up a pair of jeans, but still feel comfortable.

Buy: Marks and Spencer, £39.50

Buy: Boden, £44.50


Eden Chambray Tunic Reiss Bailey open-front jacket

The perfect slouchy tunic for mooching about in at the weekend.

Evening, daytime - this is an any time jacket, if you ask us...

Buy: Joules at House of Fraser, £59.95

Buy: Reiss, £110


L.K. Bennett Hula Tshirt NYDJ Rachel Jeans

A beautiful, good quality t-shirt available in different colours. 

Pricey but so, so worth it. This brand of jeans are a true investment.

Buy: House of Fraser, £50

Buy: Amazon, £89.97


boden summer wrap dress
Jaeger Jersey Wrap Dress Nude wrap dress

An all year-round classic dress that looks flattering on just about anyone. Perfect with tights or leggings on colder days. 

Effortlessly smart, with a highish neckline and knee length skirt. This is one of those fail-safe wardrobe staples. 

Buy: House of Fraser, £99

Buy: Topshop, £46


Breton jumper Atelier R, Dotted Tulle Blouse

Casual, comfy, but still stylish. The holy trinity...

Smart or dressed down - this blouse will serve you well in either state.

Buy: Hush, £75

Buy: La Redoute, £39


East printed tunic Lorraine Kelly tunic
Phase Eight Alice Silk Cowl Tunic Uttam Tailored Jacket

Pair this luxurious tunic with cigarette pants and a pair of flats or sandals for a smart daytime outfit.

If style is what you're going for, there's nothing more sophisticated than a tailored jacket.

Buy: House of Fraser, £39.50

Buy: House of Fraser, £43


Fifty Plus black dress Coast Rhian skirt
Black textured double layer dress Coast Rhian skirt

We love a flattering overlay, and this one is no exception.

A striking piece for posh dos - style with shirts, blouses, sparkly tops...

Buy: Fifty Plus, £35

Buy: House of Fraser, £139


Clarks sandals
Patti flat point shoes Montserrat Sandals

Instantly perk up a casual outfit with a pair of smart flats.

Comfortable but still stylish - the perfect pair of summer sandals.

Buy: Boden, £48.65

Buy: Hotter Shoes, £40










Images: Shutterstock