5 Ways to Style a Classic White Shirt If You're Over 50, Stylists Say
These easy outfit formulas will make your mornings easier.
White shirts are the building blocks of every wardrobe. Most stylists suggest purchasing them in T-shirt, button-down, and tank top forms—that way, you always have one you can layer with your outfit, whether it's casual, professional, or night-out appropriate.
But sometimes, when you're looking at your collection of whites day after day, it can inspire all sorts of outfit fatigue, and you might find yourself resorting to the same jeans-and-tee combo more often than not. That's especially true after 50, as you try to strike the balance between sophisticated and trendy.
To help you create endless outfit options, we tapped personal stylists to learn their favorite ways to style white shirts for women in their sixth decade and beyond. Learn these formulas, and you'll never find yourself with nothing to wear again.
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With slacks and a blazer.
Elevate your favorite white T-shirt by layering it under a blazer and pairing it with slacks. Accessorize with light jewelry and a loafer, suggests Marlene Anzaldua, a fashion stylist in Chicago. "This is the easiest way to keep it a classic look," she says.
To make it more casual, swap the blazer for a cardigan or denim jacket and the loafers for a fashion sneaker. Or, switch out the slacks for a crisp pair of jeans.
The type of tee you choose also makes an impact. Personal stylist Victoria Delane recommends those made of cotton and linen.
"Linen is great for warmer climates and the spring and summer because it's lightweight, making it breathable, and it can easily be dressed up or down," she says. "A cotton tee shirt is great because it's durable and functional for any season." Better yet? Buy one of each!
With jeans and a funky accessory.
Jeans and a T-shirt is a classic outfit formula—but there are easy ways to zhuzh it up in your 50s. First, swap the tee for a button-down. Then, accessorize with a belt, kitten heels, and a round fedora, suggests Anzaldua.
"Add some jewelry to match your personality, be it minimalist or eccentric," she says. It's a quick way to make the outfit feel more like "you" and less like something you threw on to get dressed as quickly as possible.
READ THIS NEXT: 6 Tips for Wearing Shorts If You're Over 60, Experts Say.
With a midi leather skirt.
Want an outfit formula that's unexpected yet elegant? Pair your white T-shirt with a midi-length leather skirt, suggests Anzaldua. She also likes to tie a scarf at the neck for some interest up top. For shoes, try ankle boots or knee-high boots with a shaft that goes higher than the skirt's hem.
"By adding the boots with the leather, it helps bring the look together with the scarf for a mature look," Anzaldua explains. It's professional but also works for date night. In the winter, throw a chunky knit on top of your T-shirt and wear a long coat over the entire ensemble.
Underneath a strappy dress.
If you have a strappy or sleeveless dress and want to add a bit more coverage—whether for comfort or the weather—put your white T-shirt underneath.
"This brings some more youthfulness to their wardrobe, and it's functional while still being stylish," says Delane. The formula works best when your dress has a high contrast with the shirt, such as a bold print or bright jewel tone.
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With a knot at the waist.
For another way to change up the shape of your white shirt, take a button down and tie the bottom of it into a knot around your belly button area.
"This can be seen as more a younger generation style; however, it accentuates the waistline in a classy way," says Delane. "It also gives a cropped look without actually having to wear a cropped shirt and show your stomach if you don't want to."
You can wear your shirt in this style over a dress or with a pair of jeans, shorts, or a skirt.