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5 Secret Tips: How Budget Conscious Women Over 50 Can Effortlessly Upscale Their Wardrobe

By Sixty and Me February 15, 2021 Interviews

Every woman has had that moment where she’s looked in her wardrobe and felt she has nothing to wear! When this happens, the first instinct might be to grab the credit card and get shopping, but with a few genius tips and tricks, you can practically have a new wardrobe without spending a cent!

Change It Up!

Make the clothing work for you – not the other way around! If some of your garments are too tight or loose, change them up a bit and repurpose their use. Margaret sees it as “Having a different relationship with the individual pieces.”

It’s about changing it to something that is useful to you instead of gathering dust and regret at the back of your closet. For example, if you have a blouse that no longer fits, you can use it as a light jacket instead, perhaps wear it with a singlet top or t-shirt underneath.

Know Thyself or Take a Good Look in the Mirror

Elizabeth Dunkel, Creative Director of www.campliza.com, says that 60 is the time to really confront your style. Who are you and who do you want to be? Some women’s style changes over the years, and other women find their style and stick with it.

Elizabeth says that her style has changed as her personality developed and her career changed. She once wore conservative suits to a corporate job at Exxon. Then she went into advertising and had fun being chic and cool. When she was a mom, she wore utilitarian “mom” clothes.

A few years ago, she looked at herself in the mirror and thought, “I don’t like who I’m seeing.” She had recently retired from the work world and decided to teach English as a Second Language (ESL). She thought “I am a dynamic, wise woman and I saw a grey mouse. Time to embrace a new style that reflected my new sexy power.”

Layering For Fashion Over 50

It is so ingrained to use certain types of clothing for specific times of the year that we don’t often think to throw out the rulebook. When it comes to fashion for older women, we have to remember there aren’t as many rules anymore for what is right and wrong for clothes.

Our blogger Jodie Filogomo suggests we all need to “train our brains to look at things very differently” such as getting out of the mentality of a piece being just for summer or winter only. For example, experimenting with wearing a thinner jacket under or over other jackets can be an excellent way to get more usage out of clothes you already have in your wardrobe.

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Stephen Hadley, founder of Generous Fashions, says that a solid, simple tank top allows you to layer and recreate new ideas. Tunic tops can give you limitless possibilities. Having an array of classics will allow you to adjust and always have the latest look.

Either way, this experimentation will likely help you come up with new looks to help you look on the outside as young at heart as you feel on the inside!

Think about adding and layering jewelry pieces to your outfits. You don’t have to spend a lot – casual, chunky jewelry that brings color and fun to your look won’t break the bank. But you might be surprised at how dramatically it improves even a simple ensemble.

Chop and Change

If you are looking for more of an extreme change to your wardrobe that is budget-friendly, you might want to go and look for your scissors! Upcycling – the art of reusing old items to create even better than the original – is one of the hottest trends around.

When it comes to creating a new wardrobe for an older woman, cutting up and sewing different pieces together to essentially create new pieces might just be the project you’ve been looking for!

Double Duty

Many women can use the same piece in different ways – it’s just another way of expressing a personal style. Finding ways to make an item of clothing work for more than one purpose can be a fun experiment every older woman should try out sometime.

As Margaret says, one of her favorite ways to do this is by putting a top or sweater over a dress, effectively treating the dress as a skirt. Another example is wearing a very short dress with a pair of leggings, essentially treating the dress as a shirt!

Mix It Up

Playing around with your wardrobe items gives you another way to be creative, and as Margaret says, “Style really doesn’t have an age.” Just because you bought a dress to be worn in the evening for formal occasions, does not mean it can only be used for this purpose.

“Instead of chasing down trends, keep your wardrobe classic and versatile. For example, the classic button-up blouse can create a variety of options. Go for a relaxed, casual look with jeans, or step it up with classy dress pants,” says Stephen Hadley.

Something as simple as wearing a denim jacket with a long, tight dress can make it seem much more casual and more suitable for daytime wear. There are many ways you can dress clothes up or down – the limit is really only in your imagination!

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What are your go-to upscaling hacks for your wardrobe? Is there a particular type of clothing you love wearing for a different purpose? Have you upcycled clothing items before? Join in the conversation!

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The Author

Sixty and Me is a community of over 500,000 women over 60 founded by Margaret Manning. Our editorial team publishes articles on lifestyle topics including fashion, dating, retirement and money.

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