Business Casual Style For Women Over 50

It’s hard to find good advice for dressing business casual for women over 50. You don’t want it to look like you’re trying too hard, but you want your style to reflect your success.

Plus, there are a lot of old-fashioned rules out there on what women over 50 “should” wear. This can make finding your style even more difficult.

In the blog post below, I’m busting a few myths and sharing fashion strategies for over 50 business casual style.

Find your style + break the rules

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Elaine | Fashion • NYC (@squarepearls)

Photo Credit: @SquarePearls

When it comes to style for business casual for 50 year old woman, there is a lot of bad advice out there:

– “You need to dress more conservatively”
– “Trends are only for young people”
– “Great style is only for young people”
– “Style for older women is boring”

Another way this manifests is when clients say:

“I can’t wear X because of my age!”

In my experience, this isn’t true in most cases.

Your age shouldn’t limit your style. Often I’ll have my clients try on styles that they “can’t” wear because it breaks a style rule they learned previously–they’re usually shocked to see how good it looks on them!

To start your style journey, try creating a style Pinterest board.

There’s just one rule: you can’t stop yourself from pinning something because you don’t think it’ll work for your age or body.

This exercise will help you get a sense of what styles actually make you excited to get dressed–regardless of the “rules.”

How should I dress for the office after 50?

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Kay Harms (@dressed_4_my_day)

Photo Credit: @Dressed_4_my_day

For over 50 business casual, you can follow the same office rules as anyone else.

However, you should consider how you can use your style to convey your professional brand.

In other words, think about what message you want to send and then use your style to help convey it.

For example, do you want to convey authority, trust, innovation, or confidence?

(Personal branding is a key part of my women’s image consulting service.)

To get started with personal branding, read my professional branding guide.

Next, start building a professional capsule wardrobe.

I recommend focusing on the following:

  1. Investing in essentials
  2. Core colors
  3. Alterations

These three steps are the foundation of our Next Level Wardrobe Style System™

Following this system makes it easy to get dressed in the morning and still look put together.

So, what are business casual closet essentials for women over 50?

The answer depends on you.

The industry you work in, your professional goals, your location, and other factors will all affect what is necessary for your closet.

But, generally speaking, a wardrobe for business casual for women over 50 will include:

– T-shirts
– A few blouses
– Trousers (I love elastic waist or drawstring styles)
– High-quality sweaters for layering
– A couple of blazers
– A low maintenance dress

How should older women dress casual?

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Elaine | Fashion • NYC (@squarepearls)

Photo Credit: @SquarePearls

 

Most of my clients want to look put together whether they’re at the office or not.

Fortunately, you have so many amazing and comfortable clothes to choose from. And, in many cases, your business casual office clothing can also work for the weekend too if you style it right.

For example, you can add jeans and sneakers to your look to dress it down.

Or, if the weather is nice, add a pair of sandals (like in the photo above).

Another way to make sure your closet works for the office and the weekend?

Make sure you’re investing in high-quality essentials.

Fabrics (like cotton or cotton blends, silk, or cashmere), and well-constructed clothing will ensure that your clothing is comfortable and can easily take you from the office to brunch.

Check out the outfit below for an example of casual business attire female over 50 that could work in the workplace or at home:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Tory Burch (@toryburch)

Photo Credit: @ToryBurch

What should you not wear over 50?

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by █ A Stylish Age █ (@violeta.zuvela)

Photo Credit: @Violeta.Zuvela

So, what clothes should you avoid after 50?

This is 100% up to you and your comfort level.

For example, if you don’t feel comfortable wearing a dress that shows your shoulders (like the one at the beginning of this blog post), then try a long-sleeve version like this one.

After you build up the basics in your closet, you can also try integrating other colors and styles.

The photos in this blog post are proof that you can have great style and look fashionable at any age.

Photo Credit: @RobinRobertsGMA

How to dress over 50 and plus-size

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Katie Sturino (@katiesturino)

Photo Credit: @katiesturino

Dressing for size is a topic I get a lot of questions about.

It’s something that many women struggle with, but unfortunately, the advice online can be downright confusing and even wrong.

The basics that we recommended above work for all body types.

To make sure your clothing is flattering, it’s especially important to focus on fit and tailoring. Avoid anything that puckers or is too tight.

Your clothing should glide over the body–not restrict it.

A tailor can help you with this. They can help you shorten pants, bring the waist of your blazer, and ensure you get just the right fit.

For more help with plus-size styling, check out our blog or apply for our plus size-styling and consulting services.

Remember, your style is not limited by your size or age.

At Next Level Wardrobe, we specialize in helping successful women create a work wardrobe they love.

Ready to take your over 50 business casual style to the next level?

Apply for our women’s personal styling service.

Picture of Cassandra Sethi

Cassandra Sethi is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. After working over 15 years in the Fashion Industry, most recently as a Senior Buyer for Equinox, she created her business, Next Level Wardrobe – a luxury personal shopping service for successful professionals.

Next Level Wardrobe has been featured in Wall Street Journal, Today and CNN. See here.

 

For immediate help to upgrade your work style (virtually or in person), use this link to apply for a style consultation.

To receive my complimentary guide, 3 Items You Need In Your Closet Today, click here to put in your name and email.

Apply for a style consultation for immediate help to upgrade your style

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