10 Tips for Getting Out of a Clothing Rut After 60, Stylists Say
Break out of your fashion shell with these simple tips.
From sheer tops to fringe and tassels, today's fashion trends are not for the faint of heart. If you're over the age of 60, you'd be forgiven for thinking your style ship has sailed. However, experts say that now is a great time to explore something entirely new—while still being entirely you. Wondering how to get out of a clothing rut and embrace a style change? It might be easier than you think.
"When I style my clients, we talk about style ruts, old style habits that need to change, and most importantly the future: How do we want to look, what is our objective?" muses Kim Apodaca, an executive stylist and founder of Recharge Your Style. She tells Best Life that much of the time, "the style objective is 'ageless dressing'—to still look relevant without trying too hard."
To learn where to begin to reinvent your wardrobe, read on for stylists' top 10 tips for getting out of a fashion rut after 60.
Cleanse your closet.
People often assume that to get out of a fashion rut, you'll need to buy an entirely new wardrobe. Patrick Kenger, a personal stylist and image consultant, says the opposite is often true—cleansing your closet and organizing what you already have is the key.
"Donate or discard items that you haven't worn in the last six months to one year. This will make it easier to see what you have and then identify what's missing in your closet," he says.
Apodaca agrees that purging old pieces can have a transformational effect on your style sense. She suggests parting with anything that has holes, stains, missing buttons, or outdated sizing, as well as anything that feels "drab or tired."
"Don't make it a chore—pour a glass of wine, put on some music, and get in there. Make sure that each piece of clothing deserves to hang in your closet," she says.
Don't forget to reorganize.
While you're at it, Apodaca also suggests reorganizing your closet and drawers. "If you are used to hanging trousers in a certain section, switch it to another section in your closet. If you do this, you will break your habit of always grabbing your go-to item and train your brain to see some of the other clothes in your closet," she says.
Try custom tailoring and alterations.
Kenger says that another powerful way to break out of a rut is to invest in custom pieces or try getting alterations. "We want to ensure that your clothing fits impeccably well. Invest in alterations to get a great fit for your body. Well-fitted clothes can instantly make you look more put together," he notes.
A statement leather piece can instantly add an edge to your wardrobe, says Apodaca—and it's a great candidate for customization. Try a custom jacket from The Jacket Maker for timeless styles made with expert tailoring and premium materials.
Mix high with low fashion.
Yenia Hernández Fonseca, a stylist, luxury fashion expert, and contributor to Margo Paige, says that visual contrast is key, and recommends mixing high- and low-budget items in unexpected pairings.
"The easiest way to get out of a style rut is combining high-end and budget-friendly pieces in your outfits," she tells Best Life. "Pairing designer pieces with everyday basics can create an interesting contrast and breathe new life into your wardrobe. Try combining cherished pieces from your existing collection with a trendy style rotation such as handbags and shoes."
Get up to date on style trends.
While there's no need to jump on the bandwagon for every new style trend, Kenger says that reacquainting yourself with today's fashion is a great jumping-off point.
"Classic styles are always a safe bet, but it's still a good idea to stay informed about current trends. You don't have to adopt every trend, but incorporating some modern pieces into your closet can help to look and feel refreshed," he adds.
Apodaca suggests browsing style sites or apps like Pinterest or Instagram in search of same-age celebrities whose style piques your interest: "You will be so surprised. Many beautiful celebs are now in their 60s, and they have access to the best stylists, so use them for inspiration."
Shop vintage or second hand.
What's old is new again—and this is one area of fashion that may work to your advantage in your 60s.
"Explore consignment, vintage, or second-hand shops for unique and timeless pieces. Vintage fashion has a way of adding character and history to your style, allowing you to create looks that stand out from the crowd," says Hernández Fonseca. "No need to splurge; you can always do some research online prior to visiting stores to find the best pieces for your budget."
Embrace statement accessories.
Even if you're not ready for sweeping wardrobe changes, adding a few key accessories can pack a major style punch.
"Incorporating bold accessories such as chunky necklaces, statement earrings, or colorful scarves can instantly
update even the simplest of outfits. Accessories are perfect additions to infuse some personality and flair into your style," Hernández Fonseca says.
Experiment with new colors, patterns, and textures.
A neutral color palette may be your fashion mainstay, but Hernández Fonseca says there's good reason to branch out when you're over the age of 60.
"As we age, our skin tone changes. You'll be surprised to know that the…colors outside your usual palette now complement our complexion," the stylist says. "Dare to experiment with colors you've never tried before and introduce a vibrant touch to your outfits. Step out of your comfort zone and discover hues that bring out your natural glow."
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Add structure to your silhouette.
If your current clothing feels shapeless and unflattering, Apodaca says this can worsen the feeling of being in a rut. By incorporating more structured pieces into your wardrobe, you'll instantly elevate the look.
"Throw out your t-shirts. There are good ones out there from Frame Denim or ALC, but for [the most part] they are shapeless and faded. The quickest way to get out of a style rut is to opt for more structure in your silhouette and it doesn't mean you compromise your comfort, instead, look for a puff shoulder or a little shoulder pad. The structure will really help the sloping shoulders and the bad posture we acquire over time," she says.
Finally, Apodaca says that when in doubt, you should add a layer to bring new visual interest to your look.
"Your trouser and top is not enough, and neither is a simple dress—the third clothing piece is key to getting out of any style rut," she says. "If you are already using a third layer, it's time to progress to the fourth layer. Think of jackets, trench coats, shackets, vests, scarves, and jewelry to layer over your outfit. One of my favorites is the lightweight Kahlo Robe by Aritzia," she says, noting that it gives an "effortless, cool look and the perfect extra bit of coverage."