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Business Looks for Working Older Women

By Sixty and Me April 14, 2021 Beauty

Executive or casual, it’s always important to have your clothes fit your body type, lifestyle, and daily activities. Casual is fine for the home and daytime outings with friends, but a more business-type and professional look is required when we work in an office setting.

What’s great about being an older woman is that there’s a little less pressure to stay on top of the trends. By now, many of us have already developed a more distilled taste, which gives us something that most younger people don’t have: a signature look.

But when people think about fashion for older women, they often don’t consider the fact that many of us are still working. We need smart clothes, and we want to look refined, elegant, and ravishing while wearing them.

If you’re trying to establish a few new business looks, here’s a quick tip: Jackets are your best friend. They are versatile and are great for enhancing your figure.

In this video, international fashion consultant Melanie Payge dresses Margaret Manning’s pear shape figure in five executive looks that are sure to turn heads.

Our bodies come in many shapes and each shape comes with its own list of dos and don’ts when it comes to picking the right outfits. Women with pear shape bodies like Margaret are typically smaller on top than they are on the bottom, often making it more challenging to find dresses that fit both halves properly.

Tip: Find a good seamstress to make alterations to your clothes. Dresses can either be let out at the seams around the hips or taken in across the top to provide a perfect fit.

Ideas for Business Looks for Older Women

How can you pull off a classy, professional look that feels great and looks even better?

Add a Little Twist to a Classic Executive Look

If one of your go-to outfits is an understated black top and skirt, you can wear a black-and-white structured jacket to give it just a little bit of flair. Make sure that there are seams in the back waist that can emphasize your figure. Pair your outfit with matching white flats for a comfortable executive look. Add a statement pearl necklace to accessorize.

Let’s Talk About Tops

Do you want to draw attention away from some extra weight on the bottom? Choose a top that draws the eye to your neck and arms with a lighter-colored, flared sleeve top, for example.

You can use a classic button-down top and leave the first few buttons open to create a flattering vertical line. For comfort, opt for a top that has a little stretch and comfortable sleeves that aren’t too tight or restricting.

Wear an Animal Print Jacket

Animal prints never go out of style. A leopard or zebra pattern goes well with basic colors. This will be the signature piece of your outfit so don’t over-accessorize or wear bold colors when wearing an animal print jacket.

Exude Corporate Elegance with a White Jacket

White jackets are perfect for a polished professional look. Choose one with structured shoulders because this enhances the waist. Subtle shoulder pads give your jacket a more structured look and help in highlighting your figure.

Try Long, Kaftan-Style Outerwear

When you want to update your look with something extra, wear a coat made of light material. This closet staple is easy to style and is the perfect layering piece during spring when the weather is transitioning.

Unstructured coats are meant to fall naturally and elegantly, so there’s no need to cinch it in the middle with a belt.

Choose Jackets and Coats that Enhance Your Figure

Not all jackets and coats are created equal. If you have a fuller figure, a fitted jacket works best for you, but if you have a bigger midriff, a straighter jacket will work best.

Jackets and coats are perfect for styling even the most basic clothing. If you’re most comfortable wearing tops, skirts, and pants in basic colors, you can still stand out by using a statement jacket, blazer, or coat.

What About Pants

When it comes to trousers – stretch is your friend. Go for a little stretch that skims over your curves, showing off your figure while staying comfy all day long. Never underestimate the value of a crisp, clean press on those trousers. The polished look tells everyone that you give attention to detail and should be taken seriously.

All About Skirts

When choosing a skirt for a professional setting, make fit and comfort the priority. Forget the number on the tag and focus on what looks best for your body type. Stay clear of heavy fabrics or pleated styles that add volume. Instead, go for a flowing style that stays cool, comfortable, and stylish.


Curvy ladies – it’s time to embrace chunky jewelry. Tiny earrings and thin, short necklaces are not usually your best bet. Go with a longer, larger necklace to accentuate your style and elongate your figure.

Remember, anything that shines is going to naturally draw attention. So use your accessories to draw attention to your strong points and distract the eye from other areas you don’t want to emphasize.

You can do the same with scarves. Choose a simple, neutral-colored scarf to bring balance to your outfit. Or step out with a textured, printed scarf to create a focal point. Depending on how you tie and wear your scarf, you can ensure it draws attention to your best features.

Remember: Always dress to impress but don’t neglect comfort. If you feel good in your clothes, you will have all the confidence needed to be successful.

Shop for Business Clothes for Older Women

When shopping for business clothes, go for the classic looks and quality fabrics. It’s worth investing a little more in a quality jacket with a timeless style that will last you many years. You can always switch up the look with trendy accessories, shoes, and handbags to give the jacket a fresh new style.

Here are a few retailers that offer great office and business looks for older women.

Ann Taylor

Ann Taylor

Ann Taylor is known for designing classic looks in quality fabrics that fit very well. An Ann Taylor suit in your closet will last you for many years.

Eileen Fisher

Eileen Fisher

Eileen Fisher offers a more casual business look with natural fabrics like organic linen and soft fabrics that are easy to wear like Tencel and Ponte.



Talbot’s is a staple retailer that offers a wide variety of styles with consistent quality and affordable prices.

J Crew

J Crew

J Crew is another retailer that has been around for quite some time and that has proven to produce quality pieces with classic, timeless designs and fabrics.

How would you describe your personal style in two words? What are your favorite places to shop? What’s your go-to business look? What classic pieces do you wear to stand out? Share your ideas in the comment section below!

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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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