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Translating the latest fashion trends over 50 can feel daunting. Style and fashion has no age limit, but they can start to feel a little more complicated as you age, but as a fashion editor in her 50s, I can tell you that the latest looks just need a little adapting to make them work for your closet.
Rather than going all in, the speediest way to update your over 50s capsule wardrobe is to assess the autumn/winter fashion trends 2023 and select a few key items that can integrate with the rest of your look. As a fashion editor in my 50s, I’m used to translating the trends for all age groups, and making them work for your lifestyle is easier than you think.
I’ve always enjoyed following the latest fashion trends and I watch with interest each season as designers send new and exciting looks down the catwalk. It doesn’t take long for these to filter through to the high street, enabling those of us with more restricted budgets to get a piece of the fashion action. As I have grown older my desire to follow every new trend has taken a back seat and I now pay more attention to curating my capsule wardrobe with a timeless aesthetic. I still keep an eye on what’s in and what’s out for inspiration when I’m putting together autumn outfit ideas, to give my look a slightly more youthful edge. And I find buying a couple of new items each season gives my wardrobe a jumpstart and sparks it back to life.
3 autumn fashion trends for woman over 50 and how to wear them
Fashion PR and Instagram influencer Marie Louise Pumfrey has a knack for being ahead of the curve. “Good news for all you fashion lovers out there, this autumn is packed full of great trends for us 50-somethings to adopt.” she says.
“But before you start shopping, I recommend reviewing what you already have so you don’t buy any duplicates. I’m always drawn to the same looks so I have a massive sort-out in mid-September, pull out all of my knits, blazers, coats, and shoes, and see what I’m missing. Think about your signature style, and if you are not sure, create a Pinterest board of looks you love and use as inspiration.” Work out which of the AW fashion trends 23/24 will suit you by looking at your existing wardrobe and deciding which trends will fit in with what you have already got”. Marie Louise adds, “I’m all about cost-per-wear and am cautious when it comes to trends and getting carried away with a statement piece that I will only wear once.”
Keeping this advice in mind, here are the three fashion trends that I am adopting for to add to my autumn capsule wardrobe that will suit both my age and lifestyle and still create wearable but up-to-the-minute looks.
Don’t panic, I’m not going to suggest wearing safety pins and anti-establishment slogan tees, but this trend is back and although it has its roots in anarchy and anti-fashion there are elements that are wearable and flattering.
Fashion Editor Antonia Kraskowski explains “In a move honouring the late Dame Vivienne Westwood, several catwalks added a subversive nod for their AW23 shows. Stella MacCartney’s oversized check blazer teamed with thigh high leather boots (one of this season’s latest boot trends) is a great example of how to style everyday outfit to include an element of edginess; While Akris and Anna Sui both featured colourful checked skirt suits that oozed attitude. Mini kilts, towering shoes and a smattering of studs will add a punkish element to your outfit without needing to reach for a mohawk.”
Fashion PR and Instagram influencer Marie Louise agrees that this trend can inspire woman in their 50s. “Tartan is back big time which I love and will be digging out an old mini-kilt and wearing it with a black roll-neck, ribbed tights, and biker boots.”
Phase Eight Gwyneth Black Roll Neck Jumper
RRP: £65 | Available in sizes XS-L this classic and versatile black jumper is an essential item for your autumn/winter capsule wardrobe. Worn alone or layered under a chunky cardigan it will keep you warm while looking sleek and stylish. Made from responsibly sourced fibres from certified renewable wood sources.
Hobbs Leah Wool Kilt-Style Skirt
RRP: £99 | Made from 100% wool and available in sizes 6-20 this modern take on a mini-kilt finishes just above the knee and will look great worn with black opaque tights, making it a little more wearable. Accentuate your waist by wearing the jumper tucked in or add a long-line cardigan for more coverage.
Next Stud Detail Cut-Out Ankle Boots
RRP: £69 | With their stud detailing and buckle fastenings these boots will add a subtle nod to the punk trend and will work well with both skirts and trousers. Made using Next’s Forever Comfort® memory foam technology they will not only look good but feel comfortable too. Some of the best black boots for 2023.
Kitri Lennox Blue Check Ruched Shirt Dress
RRP: £165 | Go for bold with an all-over tartan print. If you are looking for a flattering midi dress this eye-catching shirtdress will fit the bill. Ruched at the midriff the design will gently skim a midriff for a flattering fit and the fabric contains a little elastane to hug the body and ensure a comfortable wear from AM to PM.
Vivienne Westwood Hazel Small Handbag
RRP: £350 | Featuring the classic orb plaque made famous by the queen of punk, this authentic bag is one of the best designer bags to invest in, thanks to its iconic detailing. Whether you wear it with a smart black winter coat or a casual denim ensemble, it will always add a style statement to any look.
Carvela Multi-Strap Leather Boots
RRP: £159 | If you are looking for a comfortable flat pair of boots that will add a tough edge to your midi dresses these are the perfect choice. Some of the best new in boots, the buckle details are just for show, as they fasten with a convenient zip for ease of wear. Team then with opaque tights or chunky ankle socks.
You can’t walk past a shop window or scroll through Instagram without coming face to face with something shiny this autumn, and Antonia explains why the trend has exploded onto the fashion scene. “The autumn/winter catwalks were awash with dazzling metallics, from bright jewel tones to classic burnished gold, bronze and silver, the latter of which has carried over as a key high shine fashion colour trend from SS23 and will continue to be the hero metallic into the autumn/winter season,” she says.
“Seen on the catwalks of Valentino, Rochas and Balmain as well as Gucci where it translated into a stunning statement fringed coat.”
If you’re not sure you’re ready to rock glitter head to toe, silver trousers are an easy way to add the trend to your wardrobe.
“To keep the look from going too Ziggy Stardust, try dressing your pair down with a grey sweatshirt and trainers or ballet flats for a slick daytime metallics look,” Antonia suggests.
“I won’t be wearing silver trousers as they are not my style” reflects Marie Louise, “but I do love a metallic accessory which is a great way to pop this trend into your look and I think silver or gold nails will be great for the party season.”
Mint Velvet Silver Straight Jeans
RRP: £99 | Not just for party season, if you want to know how to wear metallic trousers the grown-up way try them dressed down with a casual jumper or sweatshirt. Add classic white trainers for an everyday smart casual outfit idea. Avoid man-made fabrics, this pair are made from 100% cotton for a more comfortable feel.
M&S Collection Cable Knit Crew Neck Jumper
RRP: £35 | Make your metallics more wearable by teaming them with neutral, subtle items like the staples you’d find in a Quiet Luxury wardrobe, such as a this timeless cable knit grey jumper. Available in sizes XS-XL this style will add a calming and laidback influence on more contemporary items.
Accessorize Metallic Tote Bag
RRP: £35 | If you want to fully embrace the metallic trend, wear more than one element in your outfit and add additional shine with a silver tote bag. One of the key autumn/winter handbag trends 2023, this padded design is ideal for a quick, and stylish trip to the supermarket, as it’s super roomy for essentials and more.
Monsoon Etta Wide-Leg Jumpsuit
RRP: £120 | This jumpsuit is a great base item that you can use as the starting block for a variety of trends by adding directional accessories. A great addition to a denim capsule wardrobe, try wearing this flattering jumpsuit unbuttoned over a metallic t-shirt and silver kitten heels for a night out or dress down with loafers or trainers.
Aspiga Dominique Mini Hoop Earrings
RRP: £27 | Tap into the metallic trend with a pair of silver earrings. This 925 sterling silver plated pair are handmade by artisan makers and will add a delicate yet glamorous touch to everything from casual jeans ensembles to a little black dress that is ready for the festive season ahead.
Dune London Geeno Silver Leather Penny Loafers
RRP: £95 | These silver slip-ons make a bold statement and are a good starting point if you’re looking to embark on the metallic trend. The best loafers for women, they’re perfect if you want to know what shoes to wear with wide leg trousers. Made from leather with a nod to the traditional American preppy vibe.
3. Business Dressing
After what seems like years of dressing in casual loungewear I am thrilled to be back in the office (albeit part-time) and have the need to adopt a smarter, more groomed appearance, enter, a capsule wardrobe for work.
Designers were keen to give us plenty of tailored options to consider. “The trend was seen on a number of catwalks including Victoria Beckham, Fendi, Miu Miu and Prada, with waistcoats making a return to suiting as a key piece.” says Antonia. “Marks & Spencer’s latest campaign, featuring actress Sienna Miller, touted the three piece suit as a stylish workwear option, especially when teamed with chunky trainers to take the look from corporate to cool. Elsewhere on the high street, Spanish clothing brands Zara and Mango were early adopters of the trend. If you’re looking to dip your toe into the trend, a blazer is an excellent entry piece. Try wearing it over your favourite jeans and tee with smart shoes for an instant office ready look, to make jeans business casual, and don’t be afraid to experiment with colour. Swapping black and navy for softer shades such as deep pink or powder blue will offer a fresh take.”
Marie Louise is a fan of the Business Dressing trend too and will start by shopping from her own wardrobe. “I have a very old Ralph Lauren waistcoat which I’m delighted to dig out from my wardrobe archives, and I’m a huge fan of the trouser suit. Blazers continue to be a huge trend and this season the shoulders are big.” she continues. “I had a dig around in my mother’s wardrobe recently and found a couple of fabulous Princess Diana-style pin-striped ones which I’ll be wearing with straight, cropped jeans and ballet pumps. I also borrow my husband’s blazers to get the cool oversized look.”
Next Herringbone Trench Coat
RRP: £98 | If you love a classic trench raincoat but want a warmer alternative this monochrome coat will fit the bill. Great value for money at under £100. This style comes in UK sizes 6-22 and is available in regular, petite and tall fittings.
Albaray Wool Mix Textured Waistcoat
RRP: £65 | Wear over a crisp white shirt or lightweight polo-neck, this waistcoat will transform your basics in an instant. Crafted from wool and recycled polyester. Matching trousers and blazer available if you want a complete suit.
Ted Baker Allicon Mock Croc Tote Bag
RRP: £65 | Add colour to your outfit with this rich burgundy tote bag, made from mock-croc faux leather. With an inner zip pocket for valuables and an interior that’s spacious and roomy enough for a laptop and your lunch, its a great bag for work.
Aligne Wrap Front Tailored Blazer
RRP: £199 | This lightweight blazer has a strap on the back to cinch in your waist for a feminine silhouette. As an added bonus, 25% of the sales of this blazer goes to Smart Works, a UK charity that exists to give unemployed women the clothing and coaching they need to succeed in the workplace.
M&S Oversized Girlfriend Shirt
RRP: £25 | Made from pure cotton this striped shirt is a feminine take on the classic pinstripe. Half-tuck into dark denim jeans to define your waist or wear loose over a pencil skirt for a figure flattering outfit idea. Also available in plain white, the cotton fabric will help to regulate your body temperature.
Zara Soft Leather Loafers With Buckle
RRP: £49.99 | Made from soft leather with a gold snaffle, these stylish tan loafers are an affordable alternative for lovers of the classic Gucci loafer, but at a fraction of the price. This style has staying power and will be the perfect addition to your Quiet Luxury shoe collection and wearable for years to come.
Can Woman over 50 wear the latest fashion trends?
Without a shadow of a doubt the answer to this question is a resounding YES. There is absolutely no reason why a woman over 50 should avoid the latest fashion trends. The key is to tap into a trend that suits your personality and lifestyle, that way you will be able to wear the clothes and accessories you invest in for many years to come. If you want to look current and add some personality to your wardrobe, try starting with a new handbag or something from the latest jewellery trends 2023. And remember you don’t always have to buy new. Check out preloved sites such as Vinted and Thrift+ or consider hiring an item for a special occasion.
Marie Louise Pumfrey is a pro-age fashion influencer, sharing her grown-up guide to style, beauty and wellness to over 37,000 followers. From styling tips, outfit ideas, beauty buys and wellness tips, Marie Louise also has her own London based fashion PR consultancy MLPR. Some of Marie Louise’s career highlights include working on the launch of the first Australian Fashion Week, and Channel 5.
With over 15 years experience in the fashion industry, freelance fashion editor, Antonia Kraskowski has worked at Conde Nast, across titles including, Glamour, Vogue New Markets and Easy Living. Antonia later went on to serve as the Fashion Editor of Express Newspapers and Magazines for five years before embarking on a freelance career.