By Jane Bokun
I’m the kind of person who likes fashion.
I know because I once spent time in the ornate Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The museum focuses on applied arts, decorative arts, and design with more than two million objects. What did I do? I spent about five hours looking at the wedding dress exhibit on display.
Even when there are no prying eyes to see me, like in the case of the past two-year Covid 19 pandemic, I like to look put together. During the pandemic, I always put on real pants to go to the grocery store. Even at home, who knows who might come over with a package and I might have to answer the door?
In fact, I completely agree with famous designer Edith Head’s comment, “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.”
I don’t want to go out looking like I’ve given up and wearing the same black nylon pants and matching polyester printed shirt. There are women who are 64 like me and have completely given up on their fashion sense.
To the rescue is Sue Abarno, a personal stylist with that pinnacle of fashion, Bloomingdales. Personal stylists in larger department stores are free and there is no tipping. You also don’t have to be a Size 2. All shoppers do is make an appointment. Stylists will tell you when something new comes in and give you a heads up. They will work with other departments when you need other things like gifts and home items. They’re mainly looking for long term relationships with customers.
“We see people of all ages and sizes,” Abarno says.
“It’s all about the elevated basics,” she says. “Women want to remain comfortable, but still look classic and put together.”
She stresses that means wearing traditional silhouettes with updated fabrics like fitted tees with a little, colorful cashmere cardigan for cool evenings in summer.
You can wear traditional knit pants with a structured look, zipper and flat front. You may want to be age-appropriate, or not. That’s up to you. We’ve reached the age where we can do what we want. For some that want to stay within the bounds of fashion, there are things like the perfect pair of jeans that will get them started
I’m hearing from fashion experts that those above 60 should stick to the classics. No jeans that end at the hips and show your stomach. I hardly like to show my stomach during surgery.
The best jeans for women over 60 are those that are more tailored, meaning you’ll have to toss your ripped jean look along with mom jeans and bell bottoms. Make sure your jeans really fit. I always seem to buy pairs that sag on my previously huge, voluptuous butt. That happens to bathing suits too. I’m talking to you designers: some older women have smaller butts and larger stomachs. In fact, I wish I had this butt when I was young. It would have saved a lot of catcalls and trouble.
Right now, I only have one pair of jeans I think are perfect. They make me feel put together and don’t sag on my deflated derriere. They make me feel chic and stylish, and sticking to them is the plan.
According to Abarno, people like traditional jeans with a little elastic give in the cloth that you can pair with short sleeved sweatshirts, blazers and T-shirts. They should be straight or bootcut. The great news is now you can wear them with your tennis shoes and still be cool and comfortable.
Maria Pinto, a Chicago designer of the collection M2057, who has dressed celebrities such as Michelle Obama and Oprah, says post pandemic women over 60 aren’t willing to compromise on comfort. Her M2057 collection features minimalist and feminine styles. They include neutral structured jackets, skirts, dresses and more that ooze sass. The best thing is they’re machine washable.
“The new high-tech fabrics are really great,” Pinto says.
“We positioned this collection M2057 for function. Indeed, Pinto’s ready-to-wear collection is easy to put on and go, making sure you look great.
She says in terms of style, she has friends who look stylish at any age.
“One of my most stylish friends is 82,” Pinto says. “We got where we are by listening to women.”