Let’s Shop Dresses! 9 Unusual Places That Carry Stylish Dresses for Older Women
Based on the images we see in advertising and social media, you might conclude that once we turn 60 we never wear dresses or skirts again. Mostly, you’ll see older women wearing trousers, flowing palazzo-type pants, pant suits or longer tunic tops over skinny pants or jeans.
Well, not all of us have entirely given up on that feeling of femininity and allure that a dress can provide. It’s just that finding decent ones does become more difficult. Cut outs, high slits and plunging necklines are no longer our first – or second, or even third – choice.
The good news is that you can still find flattering dresses that reflect your allure without compromising your taste. They have always been available. Any one of the higher end retailers like Saks, Neiman’s or Bergdorf will be glad to accommodate you… for a price.
However, sometimes the right dress will show up in unexpected places and at a great bargain. Here are a few suggestions.
It’s a Wrap
The wrap dress, made popular by Diane von Furstenberg, is a style that flatters just about any body shape. Even those with wider hips will find that the way this dress emphasizes the upper body brings a look of balance and a little sexiness to their overall shape.
A dress from DVF can set you back about $200-$250, but there are several design houses that offer some great ones at more affordable prices.
Leota has a whole lot of ¾-sleeve, knee-length wrap dresses, mostly prints and some solids, for around $100, and Audrey Whitmore specializes in them for about $105. And, blessedly, many of their models are plus sized.
Pack and Go
If you love to travel, and even if you don’t, another great option for finding comfortable and attractive dresses lies hidden in some of the travel apparel sites.
They often have easy-care dresses in looser silhouettes that can be dressed up with the addition of a nice piece of jewelry, a sheer topper or a scarf, or dressed down with a casual top or jeans-type jacket. Travelsmith has a nice selection of these types of dresses in colorful cotton-blend knits for under $80.
Soft Surroundings doesn’t advertise themselves as a travel wear site but has a lot of very wearable wash-and-wear maxi- and midi-length dresses in prints and solids for under $80, and they are a bit more fashion-forward in style.
Etsy: Yes, Etsy! The site for hand-made treasures also sells clothes!
You may have gotten lost in their labyrinth of jewelry and collectibles, but there are many individual designers here who offer some pretty wonderful dresses at reasonable prices in everything from knit blends to linen and special occasion textiles.
And you can specify whether you’re looking for handmade or vintage-type items… or actual vintage items. The prices vary wildly, but you can find some real deals here, sometimes made to order.
If you are a vintage fan – as in 50s and 60s style, not as in resale shops – you might be surprised to find some of your favorite prints re-imagined again at ModCloth. They offer a very full range of sizes and styles, but you have to scroll a bit for the longer sleeved dresses.
We Are Vintage
Of course, there is the treasure trove of your local thrift shop or resale shops. If you live near any metropolitan area, you can find some great bargains on higher-end and even couture pieces.
As we age, having a less cramped wardrobe of higher-end items makes a lot of sense. The nicer design houses typically make clothes with better fabric and more elegant design than the chains.
But you have to be willing to do a little digging. Ask the sales clerks when they typically get new deliveries or put out new things for sale. You might even befriend a sales person and tell them what you are looking for. They might even contact you if something in your desired category arrives.
If your style is mostly classic, search for labels like Honore, Lafayette 148, Worth, and Halsbrook. Of course, if you’re trolling through eBay, the sky’s the limit, given that you have patience and a fast trigger to get the best auction price.
Age Is Just a Number
Finally, don’t be afraid to step into some of the shops that we typically associate with younger women. Target, H&M, Uniqlo and Zara partner with some high-end designers to come up with lookalike fashions at very affordable prices.
You’ll find a lot of newer styles and silhouettes, and that alone will make you feel more hip and up-to-date. And, if you can scroll past the skin tight, see-through, gold lame or slit-up-to-you-remember-where mini dresses at Forever 21, you can even find some there – dirt cheap.
Where did you find your favorite (bargain) dress and what does it look like? How much do you opt to spend on dresses? Do you wear dresses? Please share your thoughts and dress stories in the comments below.