Fashion Over 50: How to Modernize an “Old” Look

Recently, readers selected  adjectives you wish to communicate with your clothing, many of you selected the word “Current.”  I like the word…it is a word which says modern, fresh, and youthful all in one strong statement.  Sometimes, modernizing a style you have worn for years, can be quite simple.I have owned this knit boyfriend jacket for years and often wear it with black pants.  All I did to modernize the look was to add my faux leather leggings and this modern necklace.  Geormetric necklaces are currently in style and I found this one at a fun new local boutique for a very reasonable price. One of the Project Runway All Star winners is a talented designer named Anthony Ryan Auld (from San Antonio)  You may remember I carry a handbag from Anthony’s first boutique in San Antonio, called Ant Hill.  But, he is transitioning to a new boutique which is open now in our popular Alamo Heights area of town.  The new boutique is very cool.  I went by the other day to visit with Anthony, and this necklace caught my eye…then went home with me!  With the necklace and the change of pant, I had a refreshing current style.  It has taken some getting used to, but pant lengths have been all over the place for the past couple of years.  I now like the thinner pant with the ankle length.  It is the current  way to wear a pant.  Reading and keeping up with what is current, is important, so that you know how to refresh an old look in your closet.This is not a huge change, but one which keeps me current and communicating the adjectives I have chosen to say with my wardrobe.  By controlling all of my messages, I avoid buying into trends which might not be right for me.

How do you like to keep your wardrobe current?  How do you decide which trends to follow and which ones to avoid?

I selected a few cool necklaces for your consideration below!



  1. This is such a good tip Pam. It will give me pause before some things hit the donation box! I am STILL looking for the faux leather leggings, have tried on so many that I’m getting tired of it, but soldiering on (I do love how they look)! Currently I can’t find the right rise, sigh… I will admit I haven’t really looked for ways to make an older look current, but I will put some things together from my closet and see what I come up with. It will be fun finding new ways to wear things! I love that necklace! Noticed in the new J Jill catalog they have some nice geometric designs also. And that is such an easy upgrade! When a new trend comes along I first decide if it is appropriate for my age and if it fits into my lifestyle. I won’t wear a trend just because it’s trendy. Here is where a 3-way mirror is your best friend, so you can get the full picture before taking something home. Also, I don’t invest a lot of money in a trendy style since they don’t always have staying power. But they can be fun!

  2. You are showing a lot of wisdom with your trend selections. There are so many you have not seen me in for many reasons…what they say about me, do they have staying power, and the cost. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Karen.

  3. Well, Cara, it isn’t meant to be drastic. The faux leather and the modern necklace takes it up a notch to a style I am accustomed to, yet going to a more modern twist. This is a simple way to begin to think about how to refresh old looks in your closet such as Karen is thinking in the comment above. If you are ready for a drastic change, there are all kinds of things you can do…including taking the old look to a thrift store and buying something new. I love the black, white and gray and was excited to pump it up a bit with the modern necklace and new pant style. Thanks so much for reading.

  4. I like to follow trends but make sure I’m not trying to look like my daughters as you talked about in a previous blog. I think the age gap in fashion has closed in a lot since, for instance, my mother and especially grandmother. Still, I don’t want to look like I’m trying to look 20-something. Glad you mentioned the pants. My go-to pants are now the slimmer/ankle length because I don’t have to adjust my shoes to my pants. Since retirement I wear more flats but my former suits and dress pants for work require more of a heel. I still like to wear a classic pump now and then but with the ankle pants I can choose the shoes I think look the best with the outfit without having to take heel height into consideration. I think they are slimming, too.

  5. Being short, but not petite is a challenge for the ankle pant length, unless I take them for alterations. I have a pair of faux leather pants and a boyfriend jacket, so I can try this combination right away!
    Regarding trends – I’m not a slave to trends, so I’ll usually pick out a color or accessories that work for me, and update that way. Because I live in pants now that I am retired, I pretty much refresh most of my pants each season, I usually am buying whatever is in style. Some trends I will never wear, such as florals and “blush” pink, which doesn’t work with my coloring at all. I also just signed up for one of those clothing buying services, in hope that they will come up with some new things for me to try. From my first box, I kept a necklace, a jean jacket that fits really well, and a top. Since it is free shipping each way and I only pay for what I keep, I figure I will try it for a while.

  6. I also think they are slimming, Nina. I was even surprised the first time I tried on a pair…looked way better than I thought. Now it is my go-to design for pants. Thanks

  7. Keep us updated on how it works for you Elsie…I am super tempted and am considering trying one just to see how it works out. Thanks so much.

  8. I think it’s easy and fun to update classic styles you love. New jewelry, a new scarf in current colors and fun new shoes often do the trick. I have a few jackets and sweaters I’ve had for 10 plus years that are still wearable with updated accessories.
    I have long legs and seldom find pants, especially jeans long enough. But now I can’t wear full length pants as ankle length! ?
    LOVE Seth Aaron from PR! Glad to hear he has a boutique.

  9. I go “shopping” in my own closet first and try to add a few pieces each season. My favorite addition last fall was a dusty pink moto style jacket in faux leather by Chico’s. It’s fresh and modern and can be worn with so many other pieces I already own. I tend to stick to skinnier styled jeans and slim ankle pants, as they are most flattering on my frame. My “fun” purchase last spring was a floral ankle pant from Banana Republic. So many options! I can style the pant with different colored tank tops and wraps, including the pink moto jacket, for a new look. Jewelry and chic accessories can update any look, as you have done in your featured photo.

  10. The first time I saw ankle pants on someone I thought they had shrunk in the wash! Now I love them. I find I can’t be the first with a trend, I need to see them out and about just a little bit to get out of my comfort zone. It’s rare that I see something brand new and think: gimme some of that. Another case in point: matte liquid lipstick that looked awful to me at first, then I grew to love its opacity and staying power. A couple of things I’m noting this year: the oblong scarf has transitioned to a square and they are getting smaller. And all of a sudden I’m seeing yellow everywhere.

  11. Hi Susan, The designer I know here in San Antonio is Anthony Ryan Auld…I like Seth Aaron too, but he isn’t the one I purchased the necklace from….sounds like fashion trends worked out the pants length for you! Yeah!

  12. LOL…I also have to see the trends on others before I try it on, Linda. The colors I am seeing the most right now are pinks, yellows, and the ultra violet. Thanks so much…

  13. Love the look Pam and you certainly achieved a current look.Your hair is looking very sleek too!

Comments are closed.