over50feeling40: 5 Fashion Rules (Yes, Rules!) To Help Us All!
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Apr 8, 2013

5 Fashion Rules (Yes, Rules!) To Help Us All!

This is the third post in a series I have written for a new website designed
for women over 40, Generation Fabulous

They arise every morning… for as many as 13 years in a row…and like well-programmed robots, pull on the plaid skirt, the cotton blouse, the saddle oxfords and knee socks.  The only variations would be the approved blouses, sweaters, jackets, and ties.  Then in high school they proceed to complain endlessly about the uniform they have come to hate with a passion.  Such is my world as a private school teacher. I can see where women go from this to loathing fashion rules that might toss a lasso around their necks and drag them back to a uniform look.  For others, it perhaps was a dictatorial mother controlling each garment or a creativity overdose which fostered their distaste toward guidelines…whatever the reason, I meet women constantly in the blogosphere who do not want to follow any rule…until death they will rebel and be “their own woman.”

However, I have found value in some of the rules in my quest to be a confident, stylish, fabulous woman.  My last post demonstrated my way to achieve balance between the rules and my own personal style.   I look at rules as a well-researched battle plan…if we teach the rules to march to our own formation, they just may be a valuable asset for achieving victory, meaning confidence when we leave the house each day.
  OK, I agree now we can mix our metallics in one look; wear white before, after and during Labor Day; wear pink, red, and coral all in one outfit; and definitely not match our shoes to our purses.  Furthermore, some women after 50 can completely rock a short skirt and leggings…though many fashion experts say NO!  Also, I vehemently disagree with those who insist wearing black is depressing…when done right it is chic and classic.
But, fashion rules turned me around when I went through a personal makeover at age 50.  I was frumpy and drab needing direction for I had given up and decided to be invisible.  Rules taught me how to dress a larger body with slim style and be content…dare I say excited…about how I looked just as I was.   The dreaded school uniform actually serves a purpose I love as a teacher and former parent of school children.  There are rules with the same value to the over 50 woman.

Here are my five top rules to help you live every day fabulous:
1.        Wear clothes which fit your body!!  Avoid the oversized clothing…especially if you are a larger lady like me!!    Also, stay out of junior departments…take seriously the fact they are called JUNIOR departments…not for you!
2.       A well fit pair of dark denim jeans will be one of your greatest weapons.  Avoid the light denim jeans.  Dark denim is slimming and provides a clean, professional look when needed.
3.       Own several well fitted jackets with great seaming to fit your curves.  Make sure you watch the styling and length of jackets.  They can make you look significantly thinner!!
4.       Dressing too young often makes us look older.  As Clinton Kelly says, “If you compete with a twenty year old, you will lose every time!”  Also, don’t dress older than you are! You might discover a youthful trend can add a touch of shine to your look.   We need to seek that age appropriate balance.  Reading blogs helps immensely.
5.       Avoid going overboard with accessories.  If you are wearing rings, bracelets, watches, necklaces, earrings, glasses, headbands, shoes, belts and purses with the same outfit.  You are overdone.  The rule LESS IS MORE is often a great one for many different areas of your life.  This was the hardest rule for me to follow…I finally came on board kicking and screaming.  But I am glad I gave in.
I get many emails which ask me why I shop at Lane Bryant.  I like the youthful, trendy clothing I find there; but, the real reason is that the clothes fit my voluptuous curves!!  It pleases me to find many of you surprised.  I have followed rules and learned how to appear smaller than I am…there is power in some of these rules, ladies!!  As the cliché says…Do not throw the baby out with the bath water! (Whoever did that, anyway??)   Fashion guidelines can help you look smaller, younger, confident, taller… fabulous!
  I know, to follow rules means to put that rebellious spirit in the back seat and listen to the advice of experts. I was there.  I know how your feel.  I encourage you, to be teachable and open…just give a few a try. Combine the fashion rules which make sense to you with the Foundational Five messages (from my last post) you have selected for your own personal style.  You might be surprised, as I was, that following a few rules works in your favor!!

Make sure you click on the bright pink tunic in the sidebar and register today to win one from Foxcroft...three winners will be announced on Wednesday!!


  1. Pam great thoughts!Of course I have been wearing yoga pants and trying to be creative with cute tops and casual jackets. One day at a time. Thank you!

    Love and Hugs,
    Art by Karena

  2. Where are the handbags sold? I love the bright colors!

    1. The handbags are at JC Penney's in the MNG by Mango area! I loved the colors as well!!

  3. Glad to see you wearing that gorgeous skirt, dear Pam.

  4. Such a great post Pam! I'm really enjoying the series on GenFab. Thank you!

  5. I can't agree more!!!! Black ages women over a certain age. I only by color now. My current obsession is orange. It just perks me right up and I feel 10 years younger. Love your outfit, smile, and your tips. You are helping so many women, Pam! xo

  6. That eggplant shade is definitely one for you, you look fabulous in it! I agree with all 5 of your rules listed above. Great advice! Completely unrelated side note: Today is the day of my workshop and I am going to try to channel your energy and confidence with the teens. Thank you for the excellent advice you left on my blog. I really appreciate it. XO, Jill

  7. You look fabulous Pam, and I agree with your guidelines (I prefer no "rules" at my advanced age : > ) I try to dress true to myself and not scare the neighbors : > I am crazy about the new GenFab website. xoxoxoxo

  8. Great post, Pam. I couldn't agree more and I can see we are on the same line!

    Lady of Style

  9. I agree with your guidelines, Pam! Simple and easy to follow.

  10. Good rules
    I always laugh at people who say to me, "I could never wear those colors together, but you can pull it off" I know secretly what they are saying to me.
    Too bad for them, they are missing the boat.

  11. Your right about defining your shape. Too many ladies come into my boutique and want to try on big baggy clothing. I always try to get them into more fitted styles and do you know what.....they actually look a couple of stones lighter than they did in the baggy clothing.

  12. You nailed it...I want to look smaller, younger, confident, taller and fabulous! It's hard after you reach 50. I'm struggling to find where I fit in with my style. Thank you so much for the tips.

  13. A good fit makes all the difference. Not too tight, and certainly not baggy! As a woman who is vertically challenged, the baggier I go - the more Lilliputian I appear!

    Love the bright colors of the bags... I need to go shopping in my closet and pull out some colorful accessories...

  14. Great advice and I love your outfit! I'm a huge fan of the belt under the long sweater look--the way you've styled yours. I also love adding a bright color to my look via an accessory. One of those totes might be nice. Thanks.

  15. Ola Pam, adorei as dicas!
    Voce tem muito bom gosto e bom senso tambem. Parabéns!


Thanks so much for joining in our conversation today! I appreciate your time and love hearing from you!