5 Ways to dress youthful in the fall + the requested recipe

Over 50 Feeling 40 in Fall fashion trends 2019

Recently, I received an email from a reader who is in her 70s and desires to dress more youthful.  I asked some specific questions and she has not responded, so I thought I would offer some generic advice here on ways to dress youthful in the fall, and see if that will help.  This blog has always been about encouragement and bringing the lovely readers over 50 some inspiration and ideas for how to look and feel your youthful best.   At 66, I am still feeling 40 and hope that never changes!   Here are some basics:

  1. Wear clothing that fits your body well.  I am not talking about skin tight clothing, but a fit that is flattering and does not hang on your body.  I know especially when you feel over weight, some can dress in larger sizes thinking it will hide, but it only adds weight on.  I had to learn this the hard way years ago.  Many of the pant styles now are made to fit well and give a little in the fabric.  

Pamela Lutrell shows autumn color in her yard

2. Wear current styles.  Again, going back to pants, they are made differently.  Spend an afternoon at a brand like JJill, Chico’s, or Soft Surroundings and try on many different styles and sizes to see what suits you best.  Forget about the numbers…you are not going for a size, you are going for a current, stylish, fashionable pant that fits you well.  These can be found at many price points and the holiday and end of the year sales is the perfect time to change up your wardrobe.

Over 50 Feeling 40 in Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchase

3. Learn what the seasonal trends are and add them to your wardrobe or bring them out of the back of the closet to participate in a trend.  This keeps us current and youthful.  I am wearing plaid today…because it is a trend….and the Ponte Knit Scarf is also a youthful touch to this outfit.

Pamela Lutrell in past fall fashion style

4. Wear clothing that makes you smile!  Smiling is forever young.  This photo was taken a couple of years ago ( that’s why the hair is longer), but you will notice I was not afraid to wear tall boots, or vibrant color, or a denim top….wear what makes you smile.  Remember to ask yourself, “What do I want the world to know about me from looking at what I wear!”

5. Finally, read this blog and others like it to receive ideas, inspiration and guidance.  We are always talking about fun clothing ideas and trends.  I hope you will be here on a continual basis. 

I have ideas in the slideshow below.  At 66, I would wear any of the garments I placed there. Anyone else have something to add?  How do you dress to feel appropriately youthful?




For those who asked for my family dressings recipe, here it is!

Pam’s Family Holiday Cornbread Dressing

This is a recipe handed down through my family.  It is a Cornbread dressing…not stuffing, because it isn’t stuffed anywhere…but your tummy!!  I will say…it brings many compliments and happy eaters around your table!  Yes, it takes longer than opening a box, but it is worth it!Pamela Lutrell's Family Dressing Recipe


The day before you serve the dish, do these two things:


  1. Make Your Cornbread – I double this and make two pans when serving more than five people.  I have tested it over the years with other cornbread recipes and believe this one to be the best!




CornbreadPamela Lutrell Cooks Cornbread


1 cup flour (these older recipes say to sift, but I don’t!)

¼ cup sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoons salt

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2 eggs

1 cup milk

¼ cup melted butter

Mix together the dry ingredients and then add the milk, eggs and butter.  Cook at 425 for 25 minutes.  Do not overcook…you do not want a dry dressing.

Allow to cool, cover in foil and place in refrigerator overnight.


  1. Cook in a slow cooker on low over night the following: 2 turkey legs, one chopped onion, one apple sliced, one bay leaf, two cloves of garlic minced, ½ cup of chopped celery and two slices of Applewood Bacon.  Cover this with water and add a dash of salt, poultry seasoning and sage seasoning (just a smidgeon…


The day of the event:  Remember to double this if doing two cornbread’s


  1. Crumble your cornbread into a large bowl into very fine pieces and set aside.
  2. Sauté in butter ¾ cup onion, ¾ cup chopped celery, ¾ cup chopped green bell pepper, two minced garlic cloves and sprinkle with celery salt. Cook until onion is clear. Then pour over the top of cornbread.
  3. Sprinkle the top of your mixture with poultry seasoning, sage, white or black pepper (my mother insisted it made a difference to use white pepper) and a tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce. Mix it well ( I use my hands, but you can use a spoon!)
  4. Now, use the turkey stock you made in the slow cooker and gradually add a little at a time and mix it together until it is moist and thick but not soupy!


Stir or mx well and put into a casserole dish.  I like to garnish with some green pepper slices and a couple of slices of the Applewood Bacon.  Then bake at 350 for about 30 minutes…again, do not overcook, or it will be dry.

I use the remainder of that turkey stock to make a turkey gravy to use with the dressing and mashed potatoes.  It is really good and flavorful.


  1. Love your advice for dressing more youthful. I’m thin, really average is better description but I find when I buy a size up and after a few laundering or dry cleaning, clothes seem to get baggy. My daughter has convinced me to try smaller sizes in pants as they do eventually sag or bag. I buy fabrics with stretch and I’m thinking not to use the dryer? I thought things would tighten up in the dryer but it’s the opposite!
    Thanks for all your help!

    1. I do not put any of my clothing in the dryer! I have a laundry room where I can hang to dry and my clothes seem to last forever. So I concur with her advice …the dryer is usually not our friend when caring for our clothing. Thanks Paulette

  2. Excellent advice! Yes, fit is everything. I hang most of my clothes. You are so right, they seem to last better. I have some of those bendable foam hangers so there are no ridges in the shoulder seam.

  3. Pam, We all know and love your blog I’ve been following you since you began this blog with a brief away time when I had no internet. But, do you have any suggestions of other blogs for “women of a certain age” that we might follow? You have really great advice for all of us, But it is always fun to look at other folks perspective on things.

    As far as pants, I have a real quandry. Would love advice from you or others here. I have very heavy thighs. I am also in “weight loss” mode (thank you myWW) So, I am a plus sized petite woman with heavy thighs. It is almost impossible to find reasonably priced, well fitting jeans. Talbot’s is my go to for petite pants, but they are not really cheap. I have dress pants from there, but my wardrobe is basically jeans. I really don’t want to pay $100 for jeans of which I will need more than one of and will only last a season. Any resource advice would be welcomed.
    Sorry this is so long…I just love all the things you share. and hope that you or your readers have a bit of advice for this pudgy 65 year old that wants to step up her fashion game.

    1. Hi Mari, I am going to email you about the blogs so watch for that email to come. I do not want to offend other bloggers by leaving them out, but the truth is that there are very few who offer real advice to help other women. Many are just posting images in clothing and discussing the clothing. So I will email you the ones for Women Over 50 which are the most helpful.
      I had larger thighs for years until working at the gym on a regular basis began to pay off. While my thighs were larger, I became best friends with the wonderful ladies at Lane Bryant. They always have a sale rack going too. They have a Petite Collection, and their clothes are always youthful and on trend. They helped me to turn my style around and feel confident in the beginning of my reinvention. If you are not near a store then visit online and see what you think.

      1. Hi Mari, I sent the email, but I do want every one to know that you will learn a lot and get inspired by my good friend, Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life. If you are not already following her…make sure you do!

  4. These are very good suggestions. I agree about the dryer, I hang everything to dry. I avoid the age box, because I have a really hard time believing I’m 66. I certainly don’t feel like a woman in my 60’s! That said, I think we develop a sense of age appropriate, meaning I’m not heading out in clothing clearly designed for teenagers. I shop in stores that do a good job of dressing women over 40 while remaining modern, youthful and classy. Talbots, JJill and Chico’s come to mind first, as does Soft Surroundings, as you pointed out. Yes, you pay more but I’ve found the styles more classic, thus I wear them for years and still look current. Mari had a good question about pants. If you are transitioning to a new size, I’ve found TJ Maxx to be a great source for jeans. The price point is incredibly low, so no worries about spending too much on an item you won’t wear long. Take various sizes to the dressing room. Also, I heard once you should buy jeans snug since they do stretch out over time, JJill recommends this too, and it really is true. Just don’t buy baggy! Youthful styling that is appropriate to our style message is within reach at any price point.

    1. Thanks Karen…I am so with you! I constantly have to remind myself that I am in my 60s! Still feeling 40! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. i know this is a bit late but….. made your chili recipe recently and i have to tell you it was fantastic!! we switched in rotel tomatoes and added a packet of chili seasoning. (had on hand) i think we had a tad more sausage than was needed… but it just made it better??

    PS/ did you have a recipe using fahita seasoning??? i bought some and now i can’t find the recipe or what it was for!????

  6. Love the outfits Pam! I’m a heavy thigh lady too… have one brand of jeans that I like, but keep thinking there’s something out there even better. I don’t shop much other than online, so I look for blog recommendations! Love your look with the tall boots! I do have a pair of the long saddle boots with flat heels, but I wear them so infrequently that they feel odd to me (even though I am sure they look fine). Thanks for your helpful pointers & recipe. My hubby makes delicious dressing! Yum!

    1. I consider that a compliment because I love Christmas but I have been wearing this outfit off an on during fall! We got cooler weather earlier this year and it had been great!

  7. Thanks for sharing your tips. With all the wide variety of pants available, we don’t have to chose between fit & comfort. It does take some time, but I can usually find what I’m needing. I am grateful that we still have brick & mortar stores out there. Buying some things without trying them on for fit can be an exercise in futility.

  8. Agree with Jennifer, ‘super tips’ Pam! Your recipe sounds delish and dare I admit (though I use to make my own homemade bread and dinner rolls, prior to our children leaving the nest); I had to look up what cornmeal bread is baked in. That said; thank you for the recipe as shall definitely try it. -Brenda-

    1. You are welcome, Brenda! They say the best cornbread is made in a cast iron skillet, but I have not done it like that in a long time. Enjoy!

  9. Pam, your cornbread dressing recipe sounds delicious. I am going to try it! What size of pan do you bake each batch of cornbread in- 8 x 8, 9 x 9, or 9 x 13?

      1. Thank you, Pam, for taking the time to answer my pan question! And I meant to tell you how good you look in the plaid jacket on this post. Very flattering and you look very pretty! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise.” Psalm 100:4.

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