Gender-blending is nothing new for older women:
Tailored pantsuits? Been there.
Boyfriend jackets? Done those.
These days, when an age-50-plus woman is not wearing a dress, you’re apt to find her in leggings or jeans, accented by a boyish leather motorcycle jacket or baseball cap.
This fall, the spotlight on LGBT rights will inspire even more “Girl Meets Guy Meets Glam” fashion. If you’re thinking of shaking up your closet, here’s how:
To make sure we get the message, some jackets are even labeled “Boyfriend.” They are available in stretch fabrics such as light crepes, wool and rayon blends, or in ponte and jersey knits. Look for updates with leather trim, shawl collars or zippered pockets. Good choices include Banana Republic Textured Knit Boyfriend Blazer, White House Black Market Drape Front Blazer or H&M Crepe Jacket.
The secret? Soft fabrics that drape well, and no belly-bulking pleats. Culottes are the cropped option — they should cover the fullest part of your calves — or you can go full length and wider. Both styles should start out at your natural waist, lying trim and flat over your hips and abdomen, then subtly widen to flow over your thighs and legs to a flare at the hem. (Don’t go too wide or you’ll wind up back in boxy-baggy territory, a blast from our fashion past no one wants to repeat.) Try H&M Wide-Cut Pants, White House Black Market Soft Drape Wide Leg Pants or Zara Cropped Trousers.
To get the look and fit you want, custom-build your own twosome. Stores and sites such as Ann Taylor Loft, Banana Republic, Zara or White House Black Market provide plenty of mix-and-match options to do just that. The pants can be any length and width you want, while the jackets can be cropped, belted or booty-covering. These days I’m into combos such as these: Banana Republic Gray Lightweight Wool Boy Crop Pants and One-Button Blazer (shown above and below); Ann Taylor Loft Custom Stretch Trouser Pants in Julie Fit and Custom Stretch Blazer; and Zara Long Blazer and Loose Fit Trousers.
- updated blazers
- metallic loafers
- bold, tortoise-shell specs
- plaid or striped man-tailored shirts
- a fedora or a broad-brimmed “prairie” hat
Or to “fem up” your new pants (and last year’s boyfriend jeans), experiment with:
- floaty bohemian blouses
- embellished cardigans
- long, layered necklaces
- silk scarves
- a defined “flirty eye” or a sassy red lipstick
For more beauty and style tips for women 50-plus, stay tuned for AARP’s new digital magazine — coming this fall!
Photos: hm.com/us, anntaylorloft.com, zappos.com, bananarepublic.com (2)