Not every woman can afford to wear the latest trends in couture, but we can take the overall arching themes and make them our own. This spring sees a return to more modest, romantic clothes, often long-sleeved with a midi or maxi length skirt in soft colors. Perfect for wearing day or night with sandals, flats or sneakers, and we don’t have to worry about “does my butt look big in this?”
The trick is to borrow from the current trends and find something affordable that women over 50 would wear.
There were simple silhouettes in soft colors like oatmeal, blush, biscuit and off-white. The colors look chic, grownup and expensive on everyone even if they’re not.
From Alexander McQueen
This year’s long romantic dresses have passed this way before. Remember Jessica McClintock’s whimsical, Gunne Sax, prairie-style in the 60’s and 70’s? Those were hippy dippy meets Little House on the Prairie styled in calico prints with ruffles, lace and satin ribbons, but the new prairie dresses are more sophisticated.
There are four things that determine whether I’ll buy an outfit or not:
- Is it flattering on me?
- Is it quality?
- Do I have anyplace to wear it?
- Even if it’s expensive can I justify the price per wear?
Why do I always prefer clothes that don’t meet my criteria?
Like an outfit I saw on a mannequin at Neiman’s when I popped in this week to look for a new shade of lip pencil. I love pencils because they don’t bleed through the old lady starburst lines around my lips. Back to the outfit on the mannequin… There were two, delightful women over 50 who were also drooling over the same outfit, but we didn’t know how much it cost, and in my case, where would I wear it?
I snapped a photo and texted it to my friend, Vinetta Rosin, upstairs in couture, and in seconds Vinetta reconfirmed my fears: While it’s definitely quality… I LOVE Brunello Cucinelli… at $4,690 plus tax… I can’t afford it.
One of my favorite designers is Ulla Johnson. Her white dress would be perfect this spring for San Antonio’s two weeks of Fiesta, our Tex Mex version of Mardi Gras.
Plus her yellow dress is an example of how yellow is big this spring!
If you don’t know Ulla Johnson’s clothes, take a look at her website. Her pieces are expensive, but they give us a sense of what’s trending this season so we can look for similar things that are more affordable.
While researching this post I found JustFashionNow a brand that makes long-sleeved, midi and maxi dresses. I love their styles, but their cheap prices raise huge red flags! Like this dress on sale for $29.99, formerly $66.65. If it’s good quality, which includes not being made from see-thru fabric, then why have they reduced the price by over half?
For $30 I’m guessing it wasn’t made in the U.S., plus how many wears will I get before it falls apart? While it’s chic, it’s definitely fast fashion and goes against everything I believe about buying quality. It’s also linen, and five minutes after putting it on, I’ll look like I slept in it, but… It’s fabulous, and I’m curious to see what it’s really like.
So this is an experiment. I’ve ordered it online, and I can always send it back. I’ll let you know about the quality.
Here are some spring and summer dresses. If a dress shows more of you than you’d like people to see, remember you can wear it with a white tee underneath or a jean jacket.
Would you wear midi or maxi dresses? Do you buy fast fashion?
I am LOVING this spring’s styles! Loose … whimsical … even a little hypie-ish 🙂
Me, too, Mona! I left you a comment on your hairdryer blog. We are kindred spirits I think… Monkey minds off kilter! Thanks for leaving me a comment, Brenda
I love the long dresses and sleeves coming out lately. I have tried a few on, just haven’t found the right one yet. The light weight fabrics lend themselves to summer weather where I live, and are much cooler than pants. Dresses fit better on me, and I’m getting tired of pants.
Hi Eileen, I’m so over pants! I’d love to have some pretty summer dresses with sleeves and that are long and look great with sandals or slip-ons. It’s hot here as well, so I continue to look. Oh! I also need to say, dresses I can afford. I’ve found a truck full but there’s no way they’re in my reach. Here’s good luck to both of us, Brenda
Yes, these are lovely styles. Color for spring works for me.
Beth, Yes! After this brutal winter most of us have experienced, I imagine we’d all like a little color and some sunshine in our lives. xoxo, Brenda
I’m so happy this is coming back! I’ve always loved this sort of ‘hippy’ style. And, I prefer dresses in the summer.
Barbara, Yes, this summer I’d love to be a hippy chick… older chick… is that just a plain chicken? I’m no longer a laying hen… xoxox, Brenda
I’ve noticed a lot of yellow for spring. That’s a hard color for some to wear. I love those oatmeal colored clothes. Wish it was warmer already but glad we’re setting the clock ahead this weekend.
Hi Judy, You’re right. Yellow is a tough one to wear. We have to find just the right shade. A soft pastel yellow might work because it’s muted like the oatmeal and the blushes are. Setting the clocks forward is moving us closer to spring, so I love that! xoxox, Brenda
Beautiful! I actually bought two dresses recently. (I never thought it would happen, but am tired of my jeans)
And, also surprisingly, both are florals. Nice to know they’re coming in… so feminine! Thank you!
Donna, For most of my life jeans have been my go to. Black, blue, it didn’t matter, but I’m so over jeans… and leggings. I’ve worn my black leather pants more than anything this winter, but I’m over them as well. Hoping to find a pretty summer dress… I can afford. Neiman’s sent me their big spring catalog… LOL!!! Oh, Lordy me! When did clothes get so expensive? Who buys these? They’re beautiful, but I could have all the extra jobs in the world and still have trouble paying for two of them. xoxox, Brenda
I can tell YOU MADE IN CHINA and shipped from China and YOU need to orderXXXL!!!!AS they are made really small!
They advertise on INSTAGRAM and I too FELL for it!
When its discounted like that it means CHINA in my experience!
But HEY it might be GREAT!You must show us how it looks and if the size is RIGHT!
PS. They also COPY other designers……..FOR EXAMPLE my YUMI CAFTANS from CYPRESS!They even use their ADS!!!!!
Elizabeth, I was sure it was China but I love the dress and I’m curious to see what the quality’s like. They even use other company’s ads??? That’s slimy! I’ll let you all know as soon as I receive it. xoxo, Brenda
I love dresses midi and maxi, but the flowing styles do not always suit me. I adore that yellow… wish there were more long or three quarter sleeve dresses.
Hilda, Sometimes that has to do with the dresses not being proportioned right for our body, and sometimes we can change how it looks with a different pair of shoes, like a pretty pair of sandals. xoxox, B
I love dresses! I prefer to wear dresses and skits to pants. I think they look great and are more dressed up even if you are only wearing a sun dress.
Hi Elizabeth, I left you a response yesterday, but I must have goofed up because it didn’t post. I love dresses as well, probably because we don’t see them as often anymore. I don’t wear dresses much since pantyhose have gone out of style. Like my friend and makeup artist, Sandy Linter, says, “Hose takes the years off your legs,” and I agree. Sometimes I wear a dress and pantyhose but I wind up feeling so out of step, so I stop. Don’t like that I don’t have a stronger conviction about this to wear them when I want. xoxox, Brenda
Love everything about this post! Can’t wait to hear about the dress! Love these styles! I always was a hippie chick! Loving the sunshine. Love that Mexican looking dress too! Hugs!
Beckye, You and I are probably fond of Mexican dresses because of where we live. I’ve been thinking about going to the Mexican market downtown to look for a dress to wear to a beach wedding in Mexico this summer. I’ve had my eye out for something else, but haven’t found it yet, and dresses, especially on the beach are cool and comfortable. You were a hippie chick? I love knowing that about you!! Will let you know what the dress is like when it arrives! xoxox, Brenda
Yellow is not my color in any shade but there is a lot of it out there. I had noticed how many maxis are out there. I have been looking at a lot of dresses because I have a wedding in the first part of May. I love cold-shoulder and off the shoulder looks but so far have found nothing.
Hi Victoria!! I have a June beach wedding out of the country, and so far have found nothing to wear. Yellow is a hard color for many of us to wear, particularly if they lean toward the green spectrum. They make me look like I’m sick! Here’s hoping we both find something we love! xoxox, Brenda
Brenda, I love seeing all of the latest styles and how I can adapt them to my personal style. I am petite so midi lengths drag the ground on me. I remember so well the Gunne Sax dresses and owned a few of those. Thanks for rounding up the inspiration
Hi Pam, We all have different issues we need to consider when shopping for clothes that can make it challenging. I’m happy you got something out of this Fashion Friday post! xoxox, Brenda