7 Ways to Dress Classy Over 60, Stylists Say
There are a few key pieces you'll want to invest in—and a few you'll want to toss.
We all have our own sense of style, which guides what we buy at the store and what we put on each morning. But across the board, you likely want to exude an air of confidence and perhaps, elegance. However, as we get older, it can be tricky to find pieces that feel elevated but never frumpy. If you're looking to strike this balance and dress classy over 60, stylists are here to help.
"To those who think they're too old to dress to impress, I have this to say: Some of the most iconic fashion legends hit their style prime after age 60, proving signature style isn't just for the young. Think Diana Vreeland, Iris Apfel, Linda Hopp—three examples of how elegance is an art form that takes practice, planning, and effort," Elizabeth Kosich, certified image stylist and founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling, tells Best Life.
"However, the older we get the more challenging it is to stay on-trend, adapt wardrobes to lifestyle and dress our shifting shapes," she adds. "Keeping up can feel daunting but do not despair—growing old gracefully is easier than you think."
Kosich and her fellow stylists have some specific recommendations if you're looking to exude sophistication in your golden years. Read on for seven tips to help you feel classy in your 60s.
Consider the fit.
At any age, your look is elevated when your clothes fit properly. But when you're over 60, making sure you have well-tailored, staple items is essential.
"Upgrade your wardrobe with well-fitting anchor staples like black trousers, a classic LBD [little black dress], and an all-purpose blazer that fit with precision," Kosich says. "Find a great tailor to alter your favorite pieces for fit and comfort, and consider tailoring new purchases to optimize fit if needed."
Brigid Stasen, elite stylist at Bridge Your Style, says jeans are one area where fit is particularly important, as is the wash of the denim. She suggests skipping the tight skinny jeans ("unflattering on most of us") and instead opting for straight-leg or boot-cut styles in medium blue, dark blue, and white.
Stassen also stresses being mindful of owning properly fitting undergarments. "They provide consistent comfort and support and enhance confidence," she says. "Therefore, getting fitted for undergarments is important rather than guessing the size, ensuring a better fit that will keep you comfortable all day or all night."
Go for quality.
Another way to exude class is by selecting quality pieces—and you can start doing this ASAP, even if your 60th birthday isn't for a few more years.
"The key to looking elegant after 60 is choosing high-quality materials so, after 50, start upgrading your wardrobe essentials piece by piece to keep it affordable," Kosich says. "Swap wool for cashmere, canvas for leather, and pearls for diamonds. Elevate your footwear game with premium leather sneakers or suede driving moccasins, and invest in a statement leather handbag suitable for both day and night."
Kosich notes that high-quality fabrics will have both weight and drape and won't "skimp on fabric yardage."
Stasen also says that sweaters in quality fabrics—like cashmere and cotton blends—are a "year-round accessory."
When the sun is high, drape a lightweight sweater over your shoulder for a preppy, elevated look, and when the sun goes down, slip it on as a classy yet cozy addition. It certainly feels more stylish than your standard sweatshirt!
Invest in a blazer.
A blazer is an essential for a clean, chic, and classy look—and it's a must-have over 60, according to the stylists we consulted.
"A great blazer in a light wool/lycra blend is one of the most versatile pieces you will own," Stasen says. "[Go for one in] black, winter white, or navy to wear with jeans, skirts, dresses, and pants—it will elevate everything."
This is yet another item that needs to fit immaculately, she adds. Make sure it can button (even if you aren't going to wear it buttoned), and when in doubt, take it to your local tailor for any adjustments.
Remember, less is more.
If there's one thing to know about elevated, classy style, it's that less is more, according to Kosich.
"Elegance and simplicity go hand in hand, especially when it comes to color palette," she explains. "Keep your looks monochromatic and neutral, with modest pops of color that don't overwhelm. Since our appearance loses contrast with age, dial back power neutrals like black to charcoal or midnight navy. Accent colors should be softer hues too, so as to not overpower with too much contrast."
READ THIS NEXT: 5 Tips for Wearing Leggings Over 65, According to Style Experts.
Introduce statement pieces.
Statement pieces are a great way to introduce fun and color while still giving off an air of elegance. Not sure where to start? Kosich recommends experimenting with jewelry.
"Statement jewelry is the ultimate in sophistication and elegance, especially when it shares a chapter from your life story," she explains. "Wear a family heirloom, gift from someone special, gift to yourself, or memento from an exotic trip that says you've lived a big life. It's a great conversation starter and a way to show you're worldly, interesting, and wise from experience."
If you want to make a statement with your clothes instead, reach for a dress in a jewel tone, per Stasen's suggestion. These shades "look good on all skin tones," and will look even better if you can find a wrap dress in royal blue, deep purple, or emerald green.
It's not all about the clothes, either.
If you want to exude an air of elegance and class, you'll want to consider more than just your clothes.
"Coco Chanel once said, 'A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future' to underscore the importance of making a lasting impression with a signature scent," Kosich says. "Sophistication is tied to grooming just as much as wardrobe, so amp up personal care after 60 to maintain your core assets—hair, skin, and teeth."
Per Kosich's recommendations, your "power lip" color should change with the season, but no matter the time of year, make sure it still "harmonizes with your undertone."
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Practice makes perfect.
It may take a few tries to get your ideal "classy" look down, but if you're putting your best face forward every day, you may realize it starts to come naturally.
"Dressing up daily gives off energy and confidence," explains Melony Huber, a global fashion stylist and co-founder of La Peony, an ethical lifestyle collection. "It shows you care about projecting your best self into the world each day."
While you're at it, if there's something that doesn't make you feel good, toss it.
"I recommend purging your closet," says Andréa Bernholtz, conscious lifestyle and sustainable fashion expert and founder of Swiminista. "Get rid of any items you don't want or [aren't] considered in your age group for fashion."