6 Tips for Wearing Sundresses If You're Over 50, According to Stylists
Experts recommend certain silhouettes and shoes for a summer-ready look.
The air is warm and the sun is bright, which can only mean one thing: it's officially sundress season. We await this time of year for many reasons—vacations, ice cream treats, and backyard BBQs, among them—but one of our favorite things about summer is the clothes. Gone are the days of needing to bundle up in pants, a sweater, and a down jacket just to leave the house. Now, you can slip on a single item of clothing and a pair of shoes, and you're ready to go. Our hero piece in that regard is the sundress.
If you find the right one and know how to style it properly, a sundress can take you to the office, a casual party, and on errand runs with little effort—and wearing them in your 50s and beyond is totally easy. Here, personal stylists tell us their favorite tips for styling these frocks.
Try an A-line silhouette.
The key thing to get right when choosing a flattering sundress is the silhouette. Kristina Charles, an NYC-based fashion stylist, prefers an A-line style for women over 50.
"This style is flattering on all body types and gives the perfect balance between comfort and style," she says. "A-line sundresses also create a defined waistline which is perfect for women who want to highlight their curves."
You can find A-line silhouettes with a range of other design details, including different lengths and styles of sleeves, necklines, and hemlines.
Consider a flutter or halter sleeve.
Once you've aced the general shape of your sundress, you'll want to find your favorite sleeve and neckline. Carol Davidson, an NYC-based color, style, and image consultant at Carol Davidson – Life.Style.Strategy., loves a flutter sleeve.
"Many of my 50-plus clients seek a balance of showing and not showing skin," she says. "A flutter sleeve will keep the vibe feminine, flirty, and fun but also allow for some arm coverage."
A halter neck is another flattering option. "It showcases the shoulder line, keeps the focus up high toward the face, and allows for some sun coverage of the chest—an area that is often sun-sensitive as we get older," she says.
Both flutter sleeve and halter neck styles can be found with an A-line silhouette for an ultra-flattering fit.
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Davidson says that many of her 50-plus clients prefer solids to prints. However, you'll want to choose them wisely.
"As we get more seasoned, our coloring softens a bit, so it's important to add a bit of color back into our wardrobe," she explains. "For a sundress, I love a mid-intensity violet, emerald green, turquoise, or coral—not only are these colors seasonally appropriate for warmer weather, but they look well on various skin tones."
Or play with these patterns.
When choosing patterns for sundresses on women over 50, Davidson opts for sophisticated abstract or watercolor prints with soft lines instead of highly contrasting, geometric prints.
Then, there's a classic floral. In that case, "I often recommend a bolder option—either in color or scale—over a pastel, dainty print, which can read 'young' in a sundress," she says. If one speaks to you, though, then go for it!
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Pair with a bulky heel.
Next, you'll need a stunning pair of shoes. "I always recommend opting for wedges or block heels, which provide support and comfort, especially for women who are on their feet for long periods of time," says Charles. "Wedges and block heels also add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any sundress."
They're classic, timeless, and fuss-free–and if you buy pairs in nude and black, then you'll always have a shoe that matches your outfit.
Can't stand the thought of a heel? Choose a flat. "I love the ease and comfort of a pretty, padded slide with wider straps for comfort," says Davidson. "A luxe flip-flop can also look quite chic."
No matter which you choose, she likes a metallic or nude color for a leg-lengthening effect.
Accessorizing is the most fun part of wearing a sundress—and it's super easy! "I recommend adding a statement necklace or earrings to elevate the outfit," says Charles. "Another chic way to accessorize a sundress is by adding a belt around the waist to define the silhouette or at the waistline to create a bohemian vibe."
Throw a chic sun hat on top, and you're ready for any warm-weather occasion.