How to dress with confidence combining old and new

How to dress with confidence combining old and new

Hello, everyone!  Today, let’s discuss how to dress with confidence combining old and new. 

I know there are some who espouse modern dress is the way to look youthful and stylish for women over 50. 

On the other hand, I believe the best way to look confident, stylish and youthful is to dress in pieces that put a smile on your face.

I often find that type of confidence by combining old and new pieces in my wardrobe.


  How to dress with confidence combining old and new

I have been out and about shocking longhorn steers and Jessica Rabbit with what I wear. (She does look shocked!)  But, these are both examples of how I have mixed up the old and the new.

Long time readers of this blog understand that I am all about messaging with our clothing.  What specifically do you want to say with your clothes?  What would your cover say about your book?

I believe it is easiest to select five adjectives that you want to communicate to others about you every single time your get dressed…whether that is to shoppers at the grocery, to the delivery person at the door, to family, or co-workers.

What is it you want your style to say about you?  Once you determine those adjectives you can easily wear confident style whether newly purchased or in your closet now.

I want the world to know I am creative, respectable, approachable, current….and fun!

“Current” is one of my style adjectives…so I try to keep a current trend going with what I wear mixed up with retro, throwback, or previously owned- for- awhile (whatever you would like to call it).

I would caution against tossing pieces you love and fit well just because they are not current.


How to dress with confidence combining old and new pieces

I have been told that skinny jeans are now “out-of-style.”  Honestly, I don’t care!  I feel confident in my skinny jeans.  They fit well and I believe look good on me.

I will continue to wear them…even if they are labeled throwback some day!

I decided to test floral tops since it is a huge trend this spring and summer.  I really like these two tops I am wearing under two different Eileen Fisher jackets I have owned for years. 

However, I do not feel confident in the tops without an older piece over them…it is too much floral for me.

Most of us know our likes and dislikes (Would You Wear It proves that!), and most of us know what fits well.  Wear those pieces…whether old or new!

Here are the three new pieces I am wearing…though I have owned the skinny jeans for years they still feature this brand at Macy’s, so that is why I included them.



How to dress with confidence combining old and new pieces

Iris loves to show up for a wardrobe challenge, so here she is modeling her favorite throwback western style jacket…an oldie but goodie!

Iris is a strong, intelligent, sassy, fun, creative woman.

She demonstrates how to take a confident foundation such as her Chico’s jeans, a white tee, animal print scarf, and artistic earrings and either wear the Throwback Jacket for a message of fun creativity or…..

How to dress with confidence combining old and new pieces

For classic strength, she throws on her Chico’s animal print trench over the foundation pieces.  

When we dress confidently, we wear clothing whether old or new, which says what we want to say with our style,  and makes us smile. 

You do not have to purchase a lot of new clothing…but, most importantly, know what you want to say with the clothing you own and make sure it fits you well!

Always ask your mirror, does this outfit speak the five adjectives I want to speak with it?


How to dress with confidence combining old and new pieces

The end-of-season sales are great ways to pick up new pieces if you want to move to a more modern look.  Iris has been purchasing boots!  She loves boots and is very pleased with the prices and styles she has found. 

I went out looking for a few remaining in the sales and found these….


You might remember the words of fashion designer, Gianni Versace, “Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.”

It is more important to be confident than to be in style.

As you look over spring trends, which ones are speaking to you these days that might fit your personal style?  Please share and make sure you always……………………..


By Pamela Lutrell


  1. You know I’m a firm believer in the Foundational Five. I periodically review my adjectives to be certain they are still relevant to the message that I want to send. I like how you toned down the florals, a trend that I also like gery much. And I’m hanging onto my skinny jeans because they are still flattering. I will add some wider leg jeans if I can get the right fit, but the skinnies stay! Your florals are vibrant and current! I think you look confident and hsppy!

    1. I tend to buy solid tops, thinking they are more versatile, but I’m sure I still have patterned tops stuck in the back of my closet so will have to go hunting for them. And like you said, I normally wear a third piece, a sweater, jacket, topper, or denim shirt to cover my arms and some of my tummy and behind. When I go digging in the back of my closet, I might just find a piece like Iris wears…unusual, but so expressive of what I perceive her personality to be. I’m old enough to go bold if I choose. I’m past worrying if people wonder what’s that old lady up to today!! LOL!

  2. I think the skinnies will still look ok for a while. Eventually,though, no one will be able to find skinnies in stores, just like how, for several years, you could not find wide leg pants. So while we would all like to wear what we like, when it’s gone it is not replaceable. I feel pants are “realigning” and am holding off purchasing for a while, as this goes along with my adjective Aware, where I look for longevity in my purchases. I don’t mind a straight leg, but truly wide pants look dreadful on my apple shape. However, Pam, I think your skinnies are not very skinny …. they are more what I could call slim (as are mine … I never wear those painted on fits). As such, I think they will date much less quickly. Meanwhile, our tanks, cardigans and most of our knitwear never dates and can be happily combined into new outfits.

    1. Hi Linda, when I purchased these they were labeled skinny jeans and that is why I call them that. I put them in the slideshow because they are still being sold with that label. I agree that pants are re-aligning and for me it is so important to try them on!

  3. I agree! I own jeans labeled “skinny” but they are straight. I’ve tried on “skinny” jeans and they are not for me. I’m thin and I’m really uncomfortable in true skinny jeans. Back when we could try clothes on in stores, that was scary!!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t get them off fast enough.

    1. Perhaps I should say that it is this pair of skinny jeans I love and not give a blanket endorsement!😉 I love this pair!

  4. LOL, you say Tomato, I say Tomahto!! I see Skinny Jeans are perhaps in the eye of the beholder. 🤣 Like you, Pam, I also enjoy and wear my “skinny jeans” and feel very confident in them. You look extra good in yours, and since they are not of the painted-on variety I would wear them as long as they hold up. As to floral tops, I have a good selection from sleeveless to full length and wear them more frequently than solids or stripes. Worn under a cardigan, I have always felt that left just the right amount of pattern showing. When I wear solids, I usually throw on a scarf – so I have something patterned more often than not. I look forward to the floral trend this spring and summer so I can refresh my closet, but also need to find a pretty white summer-weight cardigan to replace mine which sadly has a couple of holes where I snagged the yarns. I will also look for the colored jeans/twills in crop and ankle lengths.

  5. I really like your new blouses. After a long winter I believe they lend a bit of sparkle to your outfits without being fussy or over the top. Thank you for your well thought out suggestions of how to build confidence in one’s self. Have a blessed Sunday.

  6. As I age, I have become less & less interested in what some “expert” tells me I should be wearing. What you are doing with the floral tops is the perfect way to experiment with a trend. Investing in quality pieces that we love & make us feel confident will never let us down, no matter what the style du jour is. Thank you for setting an example for all of us.

  7. Wow, so much good stuff to comment on! Love your “old new” look, Pam. That red floral top is da bomb with the black jacket & jeans & I so agree with you about hanging onto our “classics” & mixing them in with new buys. I hang onto clothes for years because I love them & they look good & since I rarely buy trends, I rarely have to jettison anything at season’s end. As for skinny jeans, I’ll be wearing mine for years. I’m still wearing classic jeans I bought 20 years ago!

    I love Iris’ look! If you asked me if I’d wear a leopard coat I’d have said probably not, but seeing Iris in hers has made me realize that not only WOULD I wear it, I’d totally rock it & now I just have to find one I like. And her boots! I already have a leopard print pair like the ones that caught your eye & I wear them a lot — it continuously amazes me how versatile an animal print is — but those ones Iris is wearing are making me drool. And I have a fringed suede jacket very similar to hers that I haven’t worn in ages. I’m going to dig it out as soon as I finish this comment. I bought it in Toronto in the 80s (I used to wear it to rock concerts & suspect I could get high just inhaling deeply while wearing it) & I forgot how sassy it makes me feel when I wear it — which is one of my Five Style words & I’m delighted to see I share it with Iris 🙂

    To quote Yves St. Laurent: “fashion fades; style is eternal”.

      1. Can you be more specific? I’m in the fashion industry and I have not heard that. I have read that TikTok says… but I’m wondering if a fashion/stylist professional has actually said it.

  8. Love my dark wash Talbots and Loft skinnies and straight leg jeans. They fit beautifully though my daughter says I should go down a size. I’m comfortable so I wear my selection.
    I’m seeing vivid prints but still prefer a snappy stripe or solid top with details. I have invested in a few small prints in tops but rarely wear them. Why?
    Love your looks today! You show us what confidence really is.

  9. I love the fashion articles you referred us to. I didn’t know skinny jeans were on the way out. There was also a good article about black jeans embedded in one article. I find black jeans very useful and would like more ideas for that look. Also, more ideas for my new short sleeved flower print from Kohl’s would be good. This was a great post. Thanks.

    1. Hi Lauren, I did not link to the exact boots. You did not miss it. Iris just wanted me to encourage readers to check the sales because there are great prices on excellent pieces. She had picked these up in a sale.

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