Frumpy to Fabulous First Friday for Women over 50…No Foolin’

Dowdy, unfashionable, drab, dull, homely, shabby, scruffy…all are synonyms for the word FRUMPY.  Yet, we know women often face times shut down, either by circumstances or critical people when there exists no motivation or inspiration for self-care.
 Sadly, sometimes lack of self-respect is why a woman may fall on the side of frumpy and begin to not care at all.
So, the Frump Busters are here to help. Jennifer of A Well Styled Life, Susan of Fifty Not Frumpy, and Pam of Over 50 Feeling 40 will collaborate on the First Friday of every month to bring their individual interpretations of how to take a frumpy look to fabulous style.  Let’s put frumpy behind us for good, ladies!

Welcome to our second First Friday collaboration!  The first was a huge success and we hope this one will be as well received.  This is where three of us take one frumpy look and make it more fabulous.
Since, the ripped, torn, hole-filled jeans hit the fashion scene, I have been an outspoken critic.  I feel like many in the fashion industry are laughing their way to the bank!  They actually got women to pay big bucks for jeans with holes in them and called them stylish!  Honestly, I do not like them on any age and believe they do not communicate any positive messages.
There is just nothing redeemable here.  Even if you use them to work in the yard, then your pants fill up with dirt, grass, and leaves!
I do not usually say.. absolutely do not do something.  But I am saying it now, because I believe so strongly these types of fashion trends hurt women and degrade us. 

Here is my take on a stylish jean….dark denim just naturally takes the whole look up a notch and this is something I would wear to run errands, shop, or meet friends for lunch.

I learned this take on a famous adage years ago and it has served me well

Another one I learned (sadly from experience) is whenever we attempt to look like we are in our twenties, it backfires and actually makes us look older than we are!
If you own the distressed jean, put them on, stand in front of a full length mirror and ask…what does this say about me??  Does it say you are stunning…confident…intelligent?  Well, if it does, then wear them with a smile on your face.  But, if not…toss in the trash…(they are not even worthy of a thrift bag.) 
 A great fitting pair of dark denim should be a staple in every woman over 50’s wardrobe.  They say stylish, yet respectable.
  And it was just as fast and comfortable for me to throw on these three top pieces from CHICO’S.
They look so much better than a ratty tee shirt and you are ready to feel great while out, and be confident to run into anyone!
Simple, easy fashion, but speaks so much louder on your behalf.

Simply put, it shows self-respect. 
In Texas, we wear many flip flops, however, I always upgrade with a fun, quality shoe and never wear the rubber ones like in the Polyvore…unless, of course, showering somewhere like a country resort!
The shoes below were purchased a few years back at Stein Mart and are leather.  I try very hard to keep up with my pedicures during the summer because I do wear so many sandals.
My outfit is just as comfortable and was put on just as fast as the one in the Polyvore and though not trendy,  I submit, it is more fashionable.
These are all pieces I have in my closet and have worn often.  They come from
Be very careful of trends like the distressed jean…they will send you into frumpy!
Now, let’s go see what JENNIFER OF A WELL STYLED LIFE and SUSAN OF FIFTY NOT FRUMPYare wearing!

Have a fabulous Friday!



  1. Okay, I am going to say this. I like my distressed jeans. There, I said it. I know a lot of women don't find them attractive, or as you said they send the wrong message, but I actually LIKE them. I find them comfortable, stylish, and youthful. I tend to like the distressed over the really hole-filled variety. But, since I have been following, you this is our one disagreement. I think that is a pretty good record. Thanks for all your inspiration!

    1. That is a pretty good record, Tania…and I want you to feel free to say what you think here. As I said, if the jeans say what you want them to say to others about you, then of course, wear them with a smile…and I know you always are smiling. I said what I think and I feel strongly so that is why I believed it needed to be considered. Thank you so much for being here.

    2. Well Pam, I have to agree with Tania haha. I just bought my first distressed boyfriend jeans, and they might become my Go To jeans. Although I am still very attached to my skinny jeans.

  2. I worked for Chicos for YEARS before becoming a stay at home mom. It was the best part of my retail career. They do have fabulous clothes and they have a way of making their customers feel fabulous about themselves. You look fantastic!

  3. I also love flip flops but with various foot issues just can't wear them anymore. I have found that investing in some well-made thong sandals serves the dual purpose of giving me better support and enhancing my overall look. I still struggle with pants length, though. In my younger day, my jeans were all frayed from dragging on the ground!

    1. I really recommend the FIT Flop line, Maggie…that is a flip flop with structure and I find myself wanting to wear them all the time because of the comfort. They also have lots of great style. I remember my frayed jeans in college from dragging on the ground. You might take a day to go try on many lengths when you have time to spend in front of the 3-way mirror to see what fit you like best. It is worth it since there is so much on the market right now. I love the ankle length but I know many who prefer the boot cut. And always consider a tailor if you need it. A great fitting pair of jeans is worth the time and extra expenditure because we wear them so often. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. You're looking wonderful, relaxed and chic, Pam! I have to disagree about distressed jeans for me, though – I don't find them at all degrading, but I do limit the distress! It's part of a casual everyday look, that worn with a blazer and oxfords, is a favorite look. Have a wonderful weekend, xo


    1. I knew there would be disagreement on this one. If the look communicates what you want it to about you, then that's great. I think you are smart to limit the distress though. I agree…a blazer with oxfords and a great pair of dark denim with no holes is a favorite look of mine! Thanks for sharing your opinion!

  5. First of all, you look great. Second, that necklace. THAT NECKLACE! I have to say that on you I like your shorter tops vs the longish tunics. And you wear white so beautifully. I havent' bought Chico's in a long time because the pieces I usually saw were too short in the waist for the weight I was and my apple shape. But I do have some in my closet that I still wear and love, now that I've lost some of the weight. You wear it all well.

    1. Thanks are so kind! I have a lot of jewelry from Chicos and love it all. Have my eye on one of their necklaces right now! I have Chico's jewelry and clothing that have been in my wardrobe for over 20 years and they are always fresh and look still give me confidence when I wear them!

  6. You look fabulous! Gals around here tend to wear sports tee shirts (so sick of seeing Colts or Pacers shirts), leggings that are not pants, mom jeans, or heaven forbid, pj bottoms, and scruffy tennis shoes. One thing that will transform a frumpy look is the proper foundation wear. I see too many gals whose girls have run amuck (or running free!). Love this collaboration with Susan and Jennifer!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Donna. One of the first things I had to do when I went through my original makeover at age 50 was get proper foundations! You are is very important. Also, the right fitting bra will take about 10 pounds off the waistline…it's a great trick to the eye! Have a wonderful weekend

  7. Love the casual outfit and you look great in it. And I have to compliment you on your collection of necklaces – they are fabulous!!!

  8. Gotta say that while I often agree with you, I think we will diverge here. Distressed denim is no different than wrinkles and scars. The texture is appealing and the wear is simply proof of a fabric that can take what life dishes out. Paired with a stylish ballet flat and a loose fitting top, they are utterly chic. I saw my bestie wearing a pair yesterday and she looked fab. I'm rushing out today to find some!

    1. Hi Mithra, of course, that is fine to disagree at times. Healthy conversations are important on blogs. I am so glad that this trend communicates what you want people to think about you and that it works for you. It is one to be careful with and the messages we send to others about us are important! Thanks for letting us know what you think and have fun shopping!!

  9. I read this post, scratched my head, picked my jaw up off the floor, read it again. I still scratched my head and picked up my fallen jaw again. Please do not think Pam that I'm being rude to you; my intention is not to attack you but distressed jeans as a fashion trend that hurt women and degrade us? Seriously? I'm incredulous. I just don't get the logic of that? Some women can and do make sartorial choices that degrade them – agreed – but the wearing of distressed jeans I can't see is one of them.
    Wearing distressed jeans won't send you into frumpy. What sends women into frumpdom is bad cut, poor fit, wrong sizing, wearing colours that don't suit them etc…
    I've seen lots of women wearing distressed jeans – the bloggers Suzanne Carillo, Glenda of So What Twenty, Debbie from Fashionfairydust to name but 3 – all 40+ ladies who look knockout in them. Absolutely no lack of self respect there and certainly not frumpy. None of these ladies are trying to attempt to look like they are in their 20s. They are being true to their style personalities, styling them creatively and with flair and far better than many a 20 something would!
    Some trends don't suit some women. For example I'm not really into the crop, kick flare trouser that's trending at the moment. Clearly distressed jeans don't suit you but I don't think your outfit is more fashionable than any of the distressed jeans outfits the other ladies wore on their blogs. It's just a different style, that's all. You look fantastic in your dark wash jeans (and your necklace is stunning) just as the other ladies look equally fantastic in their distressed ones.
    Unfortunately, the outfit of the distress jeans you've used isn't a great one. Swap the flip flops to gladiator sandals or ghillie flats or even leopard print DMs, with an interesting graphic tee or a printed tunic top and a soft suede waterfall jacket for example would absolutely look stylish. But I appreciate that you won't agree with me. However, a dark wash pair of jeans is a great staple in any wardrobe, at any age and I dislike rubber flip flops other than at the beach or by the pool – so happily, we agree on that!

    1. Just as I am allowing you to voice your opinion…I wanted to voice mine. I polled a group of ladies not to long ago and asked what was the number thing they wanted their clothing so say about them after age 50…the majority said they wanted to be taken seriously and respected for their intelligence. I just do not believe this trend says that. But, I appreciate all you said and believe your points should be heard and that is why I posted your comments. Thanks for sharing them.

  10. Great casual look! I LOVE your necklace!!!

    I dislike distressed jeans for myself as well. But I think there are some women who wear them well; usually the distressing is rather slight and the rest of the outfit is put together.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Pam!

  11. I will pass by trends that do not suit my body and lifestyle. I will put my own best looks ahead of the dictates of the fashion industry. My body and life are not their property, nor am I their target market. I will purchase mindfully and for suitability and longevity, which prevents waste. I will respect the body that God gave me, for there is nothing wrong with it the way it is. I will love myself, and present myself to the world in the best way possible, a way that suits and honors my body. From this day forward…

  12. BTW, the distressed jean combination shown here is exactly how it will appear in Anytown, worn by Anyone. I must say that I get very upset whenever tube tops resurface, because it's the look most likely to be worn by women who should never wear a tube top. And it will stick around for years, long after the elastic gives out.

    I think the whole point of these articles is to get all of us to think before we buy, and to make choices that honor our best self-image.

  13. And please, if you are thinking of wearing this look to your child's high school graduation banquet, stop right now and give your head a shake. Don't do it. Especially don't substitute a wrinkled tank top. Remember, your photo will appear on Vimeo and stay there for a very long time. Understood?

    1. That is so interesting that you work where they must cancel casual Friday because of this type of look. How sad. I appreciate all of your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. You would never find me wearing distressed jeans. They are not part of a style message I want to send. Younger women seem to get away it more successfully but I wouldn't have worn them in my 20's either!

  15. I like my distressed jeans. My toe kept getting caught in the holes when I put them on so I put an iron-on patch on the backside. They're loose so you don't really notice that it's patched up. I like them with sandals and a white t-shirt or sweater. I wear them at the shore and I look happy and confident in them. I may or may-not look intelligent, but I don't ponder such things when I'm sitting on my deck looking out at the sun setting over the Bay. Dark dressy jeans would look frumpy.

  16. I just heard from a friend who had disagreed with me about the jeans earlier. She is over 50 and single. She went home, tried them on, stood in front of the full length mirror and asked herself if a guy would want to go out with her in the jeans. She pondered it a minute. Then took them off and threw them away.

  17. I do agree some things youthful aren't the most flattering. Lower cut necklines showing too much crepy skin. Too short hemlines and too much legs. Ugh. What happens to the skin on our legs? To me the distressed jeans are fun. At least my skin is covered. I own one pair. They have a hole or two and a patch or two. I live in a small town. I'm sure more people have been distressed seeing me daily in no make up and workout clothes than showered and in my distressed jeans. That's my two cents on the jeans. Always enjoy your posts Pam.

  18. I'm not sure why anyone would want to look like a beggar in wearing those torn ripped jeans. There are so many other options.

  19. There is a lot going on here, I would skip the flip-flops,the cropped tee and the handbag. Pairing these jeans with booties and a chambray shirt and navy blazer might be a way to make a dressier look – as far as ripped jeans allow this. Pam, I don't wear ripped jeans but I prefer this look compared to the frumpy outfit shown on your picture "would you wear it " of this week. 🙂

    1. I would agree with you there Catia! Thank goodness we do not have to choose either one. The WOULD YOU WEAR PICTURES are just looks I find around town on displays…not necessarily looks I would choose. I agree that is also a frumpy style!

  20. What an interesting discussion, Pam. In my 60s I have begun challenging myself to wear more "courageous" clothing, like bolder colors and necklaces. I found your blog a few months ago and you have upped my game. Also, as a "midlife blogger" I have expressed my opinion about other hot topics and felt the back-and-forth you're experiencing re the distressed jeans question. Best wishes.

    1. Lynne, you are so kind and encouraging. I knew this one would be controversial…just believed it needed to be addressed. But, I gave everyone a platform to say what they think! Can't wait to meet you soon in LV!

  21. Many people equate ripped jeans with casual. I was around the first time they were on trend. I wouldn't be caught dead in them in my teens or now at almost 60.
    Yes, there are occasions when a dark wash may read as 'not casual enough' and look frumpy; that's when shorts (a length you're comfortable with), boyfriend jeans, white cropped, sundress, maxi, etc would work. The other side of frump is not mastering casual.

  22. I work in SoHo in NYC and there are all these trendy boutiques around my office, and I saw a pair of jeans on a mannequin earlier this year that I swear were more holes that jeans. I just don't get it.

    Of course I also don't shop in these boutiques (I don't think anyone over 30 does) so my disbelief is of no concern to them.

    But yes, what a bizarre trend!

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