Semi-formal today for women over 50

Semi-formal today

Happy Monday, everyone!  Welcome to our discussion of the description semi-formal today for women over 50.

Typically when I receive an invitation which specifies semi-formal for dress, cold runs through my veins.

I rarely feel confident when I go to such an event as a curvy lady over 50….not to mention with funky feet!


Semi-formal today

Like most everything, semi-formal today means something different as it did pre-pandemic.

In the past, “semi-formal” often indicated for women a cocktail-type dress with kitten to high heels.  

However, semi-formal today has taken on more of a casual chic meaning.  It is a fine line between casual and formal wear that can be easily reached by women over 50.

And let me say to all of you, it is not a major faux pas to wear pants to semi-formal events.

Of course, it you can wear a lovely dress with confidence…do it!  But, there are many of us, who don’t.


Semi -formal today

One of the ways I speak my creative adjective is with special pieces.

So, when I was invited to a very important dinner event which said semi-formal, I decided to head over to my favorite place for special pieces….Chico’s. 

Chico’s has been a favorite for over thirty years and a store where I usually find special garments and accessories.

Semi-formal today

I took Leigh Ann with me and that proved to be very valuable in the final selection.

First, I showed her this Spring Paradise Duster.

We thought it was a beautiful piece, but not quite special enough.

Semi-formal Today

Next, I was drawn to the gold sequins on the neck of this Embellished Zebra Tunic…which is on sale at a great price.

I did not feel confident in this one…it was not the flattering design on me I was seeking.  But is a beautiful tunic.


I really love this dress…and should’ve sized down….but it did not speak semi-formal today to me.

This is the Tiered Sandwash Maxi Dress in envy green (a Chico’s color I am really into right now!)

The dress I would consider most for an addition to my closet wasn’t in store.

It is the Tiered Paisley Maxi Dress in Pineapple.



Semi-formal today

When I put on this Paradise Lily Embellished Poncho, I immediately thought this might work.

However, I only envisioned it with white skinny pants, since I feel like I look best in more fitted legs.

Then Leigh Ann showed up at the dressing room with these Wide Leg Linen Pants.

I looked at her with doubt and said….linen for semi-formal?….me in wide leg pants???  

She said…feel this linen, look at it…now try them on!   She was right…I liked it…it is a flowy look and not fitted, but I really liked it.

This linen is like silk…they are lovely and feel amazing.

And, the entire look spoke my adjectives of Joyful, Polished, Creative, Current, and Approachable.  All messages I desired to send at this event.

Semi-Formal Today for Women over 50

This is my kind of semi-formal today.  

With the bling around the neckline of the collar, I only added this bracelet with bling I have owned for a long time.

I wore my gold sparkly flats….funky feet haven’t done heels in years.

I felt very confident in this look and I will be showing you more ways to style these pants.



Semi-formal today

This semi-formal event was a dinner with former students, colleagues, families, and dear friends from the school where I worked for over 20 years and all my children attended K-12.

It was important to me to look my best, and now that it is past, I am glad for the selection I made.

Semi-formal today for the men included a tie for the majority.   For the women, it was definitely casual-chic.  

There were more casual style dresses with heels; and many in beautiful neutrals with stunning jewelry. 

I did not see many pant outfits, but that is OK with me…I was being true to myself.

I love this place and these people so much.  I am pictured here with my best friend in the world, Gail.

She was often on the blog in the early days and she was the one who talked me into blogging in the first place.

Then she moved to Dallas…far away… and a part of me went with her.  I love any time I get with her.

I have finally reached a point where I do not dress soley for the approval of others, but rather for me.

Confidence for me comes from my style adjectives and from my colors…not about adhering to old rules of what semi-formal might be!

Confidence is critical when we attend an important event and helps us to shine our brightest.

The five style adjectives to help me speak what I want to with my clothing are so vitally important for me.

I will be featuring reader style adjectives again very soon!


Semi-formal today


Chico’s has many beautiful pieces which will work for semi-formal today.

Check out the NEW ARRIVALS.



Semi-formal today

Yesterday, I announced a Mother’s Day Giveaway of this wonderful Chico’s necklace…currently sold out!

I love mine so much that I purchased one to giveaway to one of the mothers/grandmothers in this audience.

Just go to the GIVEAWAY POST, and put your name in the hat!

I also want to note how much I appreciated the sweet comments with the giveaway entries yesterday…they made my day!!

So, please join in, how do you define SEMI-FORMAL Today?  What do you immediately do when planning for a semi-formal event?  Please join in and make sure that today you will…..


By Pamela Lutrell

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Semi-formal today


  1. Palazzo pants are definitely semi-formal/cocktail attire. & the silkiness/sheen of the fabrics makes them more formal than the regular cotton of the other tops/dresses you tried.

    This is a wowza! outfit. Did you twirl in it? I think I’d twirl in it. It’s so nice that dress up clothes can also be comfortable. It’s hard to have a good time in uncomfortable clothes.

  2. I have often wondered what happened to Gail, because I remember her from your earlier days! How wonderful that you got to spend time with her! Your outfit is really beautiful, and I’m thinking, as you said, today’s semi-normal. The pants are something I’d like to try, not necessarily that I attend formal events, but I enjoy wearing them at home in the summer, usually in linen or gauze. One thing I notice is how very long they are and they must be hitting the ground. Do you find the hems getting really dirty from walking in them? I see these a lot because they are trending, but it seems like a lot of upkeep required. What do you think?

  3. These pants are great for any casual event…from the pool to the dining room…they work. Perfect for vacation. I really like them!
    Thanks Karen

  4. Yours was a beautiful selection for your semi-formal event. It was you! In addition, I’ll bet you were comfortable.

  5. Until I read your blog completely just now I questioned myself – what IS semi formal in todays world? Now I get it.
    You look ravishing. I’m certain you received many compliments— most deserving! Those linen pants look great.

  6. Pam, what a helpful post. There used to be 2 or 3 titles for mode of dress, and now there are about 50! For women AND men. I know what you mean about the dread you feel when getting an invitation. You look stunning. Would love to see more ideas for different types of dress. Thanks so much for all you do for us!!

  7. Palazzo pants are definitely semi formal! I own several pairs and often pair a dressier top with them. Chico’s has great tops to dress up an occasion. Love those sandals!

  8. IMHO, perrrrrrrrrrfect choice, Pamela as ‘when in doubt, one cannot go wrong with palazzo pants’ since come in an array of fabrics and also nice too that yours can serve double duty. Am glad you had a wonderful time.

  9. Aren’t those sandals cute?? and I love the deep green color. Thanks Linda!

  10. My best friend moved from MA to CA years ago. You must have been over-joyed to see yours and your other friends. I’m unlikely to get a ‘semi-formal’ invitation but would have thought it meant a dress and heels, I’d welcome the opportunity to dress up because it sparks joy for me. It’s interesting that you chose pants. You look stunning, and I imagine, more formal than many of the women in dresses. Just a lovely outfit

  11. Such a helpful post. The choice of palazzo pants with your flair and stylish accessories was perfect for the occasion. You look fabulous! A good outfit for us to emulate for a semi-formal affair. Great inspiration outfit!! I love that you and your friend Gail were “twinning” on your choices for tops. Fun that her neckline and dashing colors were similar to your style. Did you plan that? Or was it just beautiful best friend karma?

  12. We did not plan it, but we have been on the same page with our style for years!! Thanks so much!

  13. Pamela, So glad you were able to get together with Gail!! It’s so hard when a friend moves!!! I loved your idea of semi-formal on you!! I LOVE dressing for a semi-formal!!! It’s so me!! I must wear flats as well and they can’t be slip-on’s because they won’t stay on because I have neuropathy!! BUT, there are beautiful evening flats out that fit in my $200.00 limit I allow myself for a pair of shoes!! Then I think evening bags!! Oh, how fun!! Then I do a to the black silk ankle length skirt with a tunic top in red lace or in winter with a wrap blazer in black velvet over a black lace shirt!! Of course I vary but just an idea of what I have now!! I wear jewelry with this a gorgeous pair of chandelier earrings and a sparkly large bracelet!! This is me!!

  14. I so agree on the beautiful flats available now…thanks for sharing your semi-formal style, Natalie.

  15. I totally agree that the right pants outfit can work for a semi-formal event. I feel much more comfortable and confident in pants than in a dress and that is so important to actually enjoying the occasion.

    How nice to see Gail on your blog again! It’s been a long time.

  16. What a fun event and you looked fabulous! I don’t even own a dress or skirt because my thick veined ankles are not something that I want to expose. I’d be right there with you in a nice pants outfit. Thankfully, it’s fully acceptable for women to wear pants even at formal events nowadays. Good for you for staying true to your heart and style.

  17. Gorgeous Pam! I have always felt a straight, fuller leg is the most flattering shape on you. You look positively smashing!

  18. Semi formal is definitely one of those confusing terms in today’s society. In winter, I would go with a pair of velvet pants or a velvet skirt & a top or sweater with some sparkle. In warmer weather, it’s much harder. I think your pants hit the right note because the fabric looks silky. I’m glad you felt your best in this outfit & had a great reunion with Gail.

  19. Pamela you look just lovely in your beautiful event outfit. The tunic over the wide leg pant looks so striking! I think fabrics that feel good give us such confidence and make us feel more elegant. I love that bracelet, too.

  20. Thank you so much, Brenda. I am glad I have held on to this bracelet over the years.

  21. Great outfit for the event! I am engraving your statement in my head that I can wear pants to semi-formal! My feet already feel better just thinking about it, which I know will make me a much more pleasant person to spend an evening with!

  22. This outfit is nice but I would have loved to see you in the Talbots Smocked Belted Fit and Flare dress you showed us a couple of days ago, with a pashmina instead of the denim jacket you wore that day and perhaps a pair of colorful ballet shoes. I just really thought that dress was perfect for you.

  23. I appreciate your opinion, but that outfit would not have been me….this one is. I need to be confident in what I wear to special events. That is a great dress…just not me.

  24. I am loving how beautiful and confident you look, Pam. You knocked it out of the park- looking elegant and totally you. Great fun to see best buddies.

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