sixtyandme logo
We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Throwback Fashions Are Hot for Women Over 60 This Autumn

By Andrea Pflaumer October 15, 2019 Beauty

We typically expect autumn to be the season when we pack away our linens and break out more of our traditional comfortable woolies in familiar neutrals, with the occasional bright pink or spring green cashmere thrown in just for fun. We wear them with wool pants, dark pencil skirts or plaids.

But this year is anything but typical in fashion. And it looks like come springtime these wilder new trends will be continuing – with a vengeance. You may find it familiar. Much of it pays homage to the style explosion that was so much a part of our youth.

One of the biggest fashion trends this year is patterns. And, no, we’re not talking refined tartan plaids. We’re talking over-the-top “hey look at me!” stripes and florals in unblushing colors.

Stripes and Sailors

Stripes – always a big part of spring and summer wear – have gone big for winter and apparently, next spring. These are literally big: wide contrasting stripes in saturated oranges, yellows and blues paired against black. These are definitely not sailor stripes.

But speaking of sailors, for the more conventional among us there’s a very big trend toward nautical prints and styling next year: double breasted navy pea coats, lots of wide collar V-neck sailor tops, plus more refined striped tops, striped dresses, black and white pinstripes, and even striped shoes.

Wide leg sailor pants have been re-interpreted with more flowing materials making these nautical outfits appropriate for dressier occasion.

Florals and a Return to the 60s and 70s

And then there are the florals. If you’re looking for lush, romantic cabbage roses for a spring wedding or garden party these are not those. The florals of 2017 are more like pop art, giving a nod to the 60s and 70s. Many of the florals – and solids they are worn with – indicate a return to the neon sorbet pinks, yellow and oranges so popular a few years ago.

As for the 60s and 70s influence, there are flower power-like white, yellow and multi-colored daisies set against bright blue or black backgrounds. Then there are the vintage-y florals: Liberty print, wallpaper, and patch-work prints in sheer bohemian midi dresses. Sometimes these are even worn with stripes. We even saw one worn with candy cane striped leggings. And sometimes they bear the Mod A-line silhouettes of the 60s. The only thing missing is the go-go boots!

Fringe, another staple of our youth, hasn’t disappeared either. You’ll see it show up on some tough looking leather jackets. There are also random patches appearing on those jackets as well as on jeans and jean jackets and handbags, continuing a trend that began this spring.

Matching New (Old) Styles to Your Archetype

So, the question is, can you wear any of this? Based on the seven archetypes I talk about in my book, Shopping for the Real You, and keep in mind that we are all a combination of archetypes, these prints – and styling – can work for different people. The brighter contrasting stripes are fun for someone with a lot of contrast in their own coloring. But it also takes a pretty bold personality to pull them off well.

The florals will appeal most to someone with a fair amount of the Romantic or Youthful archetype features and bone structure. By the way, age has little to do with whether someone has a lot of these styles intrinsically. Pattern mixing, which remains very popular, is a “signature” of someone who has what we call the High Spirited style archetype.

The smaller more refined stripes are classic and fairly universal and the sailor styling can be a combination of Classic, Natural and High Spirited depending on the specific outfit. As for the boho trend, particularly in the softer chiffons, they really speak more to someone with a lot of the ethereal angelic style. Still, a lot of the boho midi dresses are pretty forgiving, as they can cover a multitude of sins. And besides, we all (well maybe not ALL of us) considered ourselves angelic at the time.

What it comes down to is that if you still have some of your old favorites hanging in the back of your closet – fringed leather jackets, flowered dresses and blouses, flared denims – you are right in style!

So, do you still have any of these? Is there a favorite item you’re excited to pull out of the closet? And if not, will you try any of them in new fashions? And what does this new (old) fashion say about the times we live in today? Please join the conversation below.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The Author

Andrea Pflaumer is the author of the Amazon best-selling book, Shopping for the Real You, and an e-book, She’s Got Good Jeans. She has been a regular contributor to Sixty and Me for more than five years and blogs from her home in the San Francisco Bay area. Her most popular online course is Discovering Your Inner Style: an Adventure in Dressing Authentically.

You Might Also Like