When it comes to personal style, it can be easy to get stuck in a routine that finds you wearing the same handful of items repeatedly. Many women over 50 have wardrobes full of clothing, footwear, and accessories but still feel like they don’t have anything to wear. Common reasons may include saving nicer pieces for special occasions or not knowing how to creatively mix and match your pieces.
How to edit your wardrobe in midlife
You’re a dynamic, multifaceted, seasoned woman, and your style should reflect that. One of the easiest ways to immediately elevate your look is to start wearing more of your clothing. It sounds simple, but it’s an underutilized strategy. We all have our favourite pieces, those items that are easy to wear and get the job done, so before hunting for sales or the next bargain, it would be better to consider those style heroes more often.
There are several ways to organize your wardrobe, but regardless of the method you opt for, it’s crucial to allocate enough time for the task. Ultimately, your goal should be to have a wardrobe that perfectly suits your needs, with everything easily accessible. This will prevent unnecessary purchases that often occur when half of your wardrobe is hidden away, and it will also make getting dressed each day a breeze.
Here are some tips for you to consider.
Take inventory of your closet
To get started, schedule time to take inventory of your closet. Pull out your phone and create an appointment on your calendar to make it official. It’s important to treat this like a meeting to hold yourself accountable and get yourself mentally prepared for your in-closet shopping experience.
If this sounds overwhelming, reframe the way you think about the experience and consider viewing it as a fun event. Turn on a motivating feel-good playlist, prepare your favourite drink, and start assessing your closet. You likely own lots of hidden treasures that can be reworked to create new and interesting outfit combinations.
While reviewing your closet pay special attention to the items you don’t wear frequently. If they no longer fit your body or style personality, remove them. Now, take anything that needs repairing — like that shirt with a loose button or the trousers that are ripped at the seam — set those items aside, and commit to taking them to your local tailor. Once repaired, you now have pieces you can integrate back into your wardrobe.
Now you want to focus on the remaining pieces. There are probably styles you like or even love, but you’re saving them for special occasions, or you purchased them because they’re cute and you don’t quite know what to do with them. Start thinking about ways to include them into your everyday style routine.
Let’s start with pairing
Start pairing some of your fancier pieces with casual items to make them more “everyday appropriate.”
For example, consider wearing a fancy top, blazer, or duster with jeans or a more casual bottom for brunch with friends or date night. Wear a fancy skirt with a T-shirt, casual button-down, or elevated hoodie to run errands or appointments. Your unique styling will make you feel great and will likely spread joy and happiness to others.
Consider a head-to-toe monochromatic look, wearing varying shades and textures in the same colour family. This works well for neutral or bold colours and is a striking look that will create a streamlined silhouette and command attention.
For an impactful and bold look, create interesting colour combinations, like mustard and Kelly green, red and hot pink, or aqua and purple. For a more understated look, consider intensifying a neutral colour palette with your bolder accessories or try topping your outfit with a statement coat in a rich colour or print.
Pairing contrasting patterns is another way to make great use of your existing clothes — and it’s not as intimidating as it may sound. Start with two or more patterns that include the same colours. For example, pair a black and white windowpane print with black and white stripes. Or try two patterns with a different scale, like combining small and larger polka dots.
Denim is one of those fabrics that just about everyone has in their closets. Take inventory of your denim shirts, jeans, skirts, and jackets and create a fun and interesting look by pairing contrasting washes. This is most effective when there is a notable difference in colour — like dark denim trousers paired with a light blue denim shirt, or blue denim with coloured denim.
Don’t forget accessories
Creatively accessorizing is another great way to break out of your style rut. If you own lots of accessories and rarely wear them, it’s time to revisit those pieces — and you don’t need a special occasion to wear them.
The simplest outfits can be brought to life with a great pair of earrings, a statement necklace, or an interesting handbag. Layer multiple necklaces in similar or contrasting metals, tie a scarf on your handbag or swap out matching belts with different colours and textures. Consider replacing the buttons on your tops, blazers, and dress buttons for styles with interesting hues and materials.
And when it comes to footwear, gone are the days when we feel pressured to teeter around in painful high heels to make a fashion statement. Pair your flats, combat boots, and cool sneakers with skirts and dresses for a cool and stylish look.
The Take Away
The ever-evolving fashion landscape can make you feel like you must constantly spend money and keep up with the latest trends when you likely have style solutions right in your closet.
So if you’re feeling bored with your wardrobe and are looking to shake things up a bit, try looking at your clothing and accessories through a different lens.
You probably don’t need new clothes; you simply need a different perspective. The art of shopping your closet can help you discover a new elevated side of your style identity that opens up a new world of possibilities for you.