The world is full of beautiful women who know their bodies and how to dress them. But how is it that so many women in Italy and France lead the world in class and style? Fashion expert Penelope Whiteley has great tips for knowing and dressing your body after 50. Enjoy the show!


World traveler, author, speaker, and fashion expert Penelope Whiteley knows a thing or two about the challenges women face when it comes to fashion after 50. She finds great satisfaction in helping women out of their fashion ruts and onto reinventing their personal looks. Her favorite places of inspiration? France and Italy, of course!

Invest in Your Wardrobe

Not all garments were created equally. One thing the women of cities like Paris and Milan know is that quality is much more important than quantity. It is better to have one perfectly tailored jacket that elongates your frame than it is to have a dozen ill fitting jackets that make your look boxy or stout.

Investing in staple pieces such as properly fitted blazers, skirts, and trousers lays the foundation for building a wardrobe that is distinctively and uniquely your own personal style. The quality of these pieces comes from the materials they are made of and the value of their stitching and seams. It’s important to buy garments that will last a long time until you’ve become bored with it.

Personalize Your Style with Accessories

A black pant suit with black pumps, pearl earrings, and a pearl choker may look modest and reserved. However, the same black pant suit with red heels and a matching red brooch may come across as classy and elegant. And the aforementioned pant suit paired with a floral scarf and a kelly green handbag may look fresh and fun. Accessories are the key to showing your own personal style.

Knowing which pieces of jewelry that you should accessorize with is also very important. Older women should generally steer clear of drop earrings that may make the ear droop and chokers that may draw unwanted attention to the neck area. But small earrings, longer necklaces, and brooches brighten up any look.

Learn How to Dress Your Body Type

Fashion changes but style does not. Heavier women can look just as polished as petite women if they wear the right shapes. Flimsy material and bulky garments will make a portly person appear larger and a three-quarter jacket that comes down mid-thigh on an average height person will make a shorter person look even smaller if it comes down to their knees.

The key is knowing your shape and size and finding pieces that accentuate the positive and camouflage the negative. One rule Penelope loves is “fitting is fabulous and tight is tacky”. Sticking with solid colors instead of choosing “ditsy prints” is another great way that women over 50 can look smart and confident in the clothes they wear.

Choose Clothes that Communicate Who You Are

It’s true that your clothing speaks volumes to others about who you are. What we wear reflects who we are on the inside and others make judgments about us regarding what they see.

So, if societal and cultural norms don’t matter to you, you may choose to have more fun and wear whatever is comfortable or whatever makes you happy. Yet, if you’re wanting to let people know that you are an intelligent person with much to offer the world, you may want to dress in a way that shows your confidence and class.

Most importantly, the secret to happiness over 50 is feeling comfortable in your own skin, being at peace, and loving your body and yourself.

What are some style rules that you adhere to? What are some style rules that you have made for yourself? What clothes/colors/styles/accessories make you feel great in your body? Please join the conversation below.

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