How to dress after 50 if you still have some short skirt or short dress in the closet?
First of all, avoiding generalizations and even shouting immediately to the scandal, at least in my opinion.
I did some online research, hoping to find some authoritative answer to the question “how to dress after 50… with the right hem length”, but I must say that the outcome was quite disconcerting.
On the subject of “how to dress after 50”, in fact, I found many articles written by very, very young bloggers and authors, who propose many photos of women who are elegant or iconic, such as Iris Apfel (a great woman, let’s be clear, I find her fantastic but, at 52, I still can’t identify with her and, honestly, I imagine it is the same for most of my peers), but generally also very over 75.
In short, I think there is also a lot of confusion, among young people, about what a woman in her fifties actually looks like today and how she should dress at 50 years old. A bit like when we were 6 years old and the people of 35 seemed REALLY old to us.
Obviously, today the reality is quite different. And, above all, multi-faceted: at 50+ years old, women are still in the middle of life. They work, take care of children and elderly people simultaneously, travel, reinvent themselves, divorce and fall in love again, become entrepreneurs or go to live in the countryside, radically changing their lifestyle. And even in terms of physique there is really everything: clearly, these are decades of great physical changes, but not all in the negative, fortunately.
MY 2 CENTS
So I thought I’d go on to counter-attack and give you my personal point of view on the question “How to dress after 50 and what lengths to choose for dresses and skirts”.
First of all, however, some premises:
- In recent years, fashion offers many midi and maxi lengths, undoubtedly very chic if combined correctly. However, I find that they are not the easiest and most flattering lengths on all women.
- Personally, I have eliminated many garments from the “mini” section. Especially from my spring/summer wardrobe. Even though my legs are resisting quite well, I feel much more comfortable wearing skirts and short dresses in winter, with thick, opaque socks that look more like leggings. I find that the right stocking completely changes things. For this reason, I saved some short (not mini) dresses for the cold season, like the one you see in these photos.
- It has become very difficult to find things around the knee in stores. The choice ranges from the micro mini, that is difficult to wear even for 20 year olds, to the increasingly wide “midi/long skirts & dresses” section. It’s a difficult world.
- The human eye, or rather the woman’s eye – and therefore mine too – gets used to the new trends after a while. That’s why many of us feel obliged to adopt the aforementioned dresses, even when it comes to garments that until two seasons ago we would have branded as “Grandma’s dresses”. In my opinion, this further favors the abandonment of short lengths after 50.
But what rules should we follow (if there are any valid ones), then, to establish the right length of skirts and dresses to dress after 50? As always, I don’t like to set some rigid rules, because I think my readers are smart and classy enough to set their owns.
Therefore, here you find some simple suggestions on how to dress after 50 and find the proper hem lenght:
1 – PROPORTIONS
Obviously, we are not all the same and, as a result, the ideal length for each of us also changes. Some stylists suggest that the length around the knee (or two inches above/below) is “universally flattering” on the vast majority of women, but in any case in my opinion it is necessary to evaluate well, better if in front of a mirror and with a critical eye.
This formula, in any case, can give an excellent point of reference:
2 – MIRROR TEST
Obviously, the real test is done immediately afterwards, in front of the mirror. Personally, I follow the rule of common sense: if I have a vague doubt that something is too short (or of a length that is of little value to me, for example the maxi that touches the floor), I already know that it is to be avoided.
3 – THE SHAPE OF THE SKIRT OR THE DRESS
Obviously the right length of a skirt or a dress is an important criterion. The other important aspect, in my opinion, is given by the shape of the garment: a short, but wide cut dress has a completely different visual impact from a short bondage-style dress, even if the second is much longer. Even a pencil skirt that comes below the knee, worn with killer heels, can be more challenging to wear than a short, wide boho-style miniskirt.
4 – TIGHTS OR NOT?
As I said above, for some years now the really short lengths I prefer to wear in winter, with thick and opaque tights and without particularly high heels. With some exceptions for beach holidays, where the tan and the context change things a bit.
5 – SOCKS
The choice of the shoe is fundamental, of course, when you want to play down a skirt or a short dress. The old adage “the shorter the dress, the lower the heel” always applies. Froufrou dresses and a pair of trendy sneakers, for example, are magnificently worn by many fifty-year-olds in this period.
6 – WEAR A COAT OVER IT
It is certainly subjective, but personally on a slightly short dress I always prefer to wear a slightly longer shoulder piece. Even in terms of volumes: I think it simply looks better on many women. (But this probably depends on the physical proportions of each).
7 – CONTEXT
Obviously, when assessing the perfect length, the context and occasion of use should also be taken into account. Personally I avoid short lengths, even with opaque stockings and low heels, in case of formal occasions of various kinds, business appointments, churches, etc.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Black bouclé coat, Patrizia Pepe, old, wide choice with a great value for money HERE
Tweed dress, old, wide choice of models also short absolutely suitable to dress at 50 years and over HERE
Do you speak Italian?
If yes, have a look at my new Style and Wardrobe Management E-Course! It will show you step by step how to transform your wardrobe in a small luxury boutique and create many fantastic new outfits that suit you and your style!
Want to declutter your wardrobe the right way and learn how to look expensive for less?
The Chic Factor, my bestselling book (in Italian only) about decluttering, style and shopping, is here!
P.S. : Sign up now for free access to my media library, where you find a collection of fashion, beauty, wellness and shopping guides (in Italian only)!
By registering you get exclusive and free access to 10 MINI GUIDES + all the material that will be published in the future!