— Style —


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I’ve heard we shouldn’t wear any more than seven things at any one time like pants, blouse, dress, belt, shoes, earrings, rings, necklace, watch, purse or a scarf. If we’re wearing more than that, we need to remove something until we’re down to seven items. I’ve also heard bags and shoes need to match. Well those were the old school ways of styling an outfit.

Here are the new ways to dress and use accessories over 50.

One look at Instagram reveals there are as many women over 50 as there are different ways of dressing. Some women will always be trendy; some love prints and lots of color while others are more tailored and classic, and the way they accessorize generally follows the way they dress. 

I’m learning not to be afraid of accessorizing and to step outside of my box. Here are a few rules for accessorizing you might find helpful.

      1. IF YOU’RE WEARING A BUSY TOP OR DRESS, skip the necklace and the dangly earrings because busy doesn’t need further embellishment. Instead focus on a bracelet, rings and shoes. Sunday my friend wore a bold tangerine silk dress that had pops of blue, yellow and green. My description doesn’t do it justice , but it was beautiful. She wisely skipped the necklace but accessorized with one big, gold link bracelet and one large jeweled ring and a simple pair of black suede flats.
      1. IF YOU’RE WEARING A SOLID COLORED TOP AND BOTTOM, EVEN JEANS AND A WHITE TEE OR BLOUSE, you can add a bold bib necklace, or one or more longer necklaces and a great belt.
      1. IF YOU’RE CRAZY ABOUT ARTISAN JEWELRY AND BOLD ACCESSORIES, don’t wear statement earrings, big bracelets, rings, necklaces AND a showy belt all at the same time. Choose one or two areas to focus on and keep the others understated or… you’ll look like Iris Apfel…

…unless you want to look like Iris Apfel who is a classic, by the way!

While most of us are more… I’m searching for the right word here… “traditional” with the way we dress and accessorize, I want you to meet two women who subscribe to the more is more theory. They both have a knack for turning a simple outfit into cover worthy fashion, and I love their style!

@TameraBeardsley on IG and http://www.tamerabeardsley.com

Here Tamera Beardsley paired all of her wooden necklaces and bracelets and wore them together. What makes it work is she kept her outfit, bag, belt and hat in the same color family as the wood. I love it!

The Contessa, sometimes known on Instagram as the @AntiqueGoddess and  https://thevintagecontessa.net

The Contessa loves kaftans in solid colors and lots of accessories. She and Tamera are masters at wearing lots of different necklaces at the same time. This look works for them because they’re tall and the Contessa almost always follows my “two colors rich, three colors poor” rule.

For a look like the Contessa’s, take ropes of pearls and twist them together to create one statement necklace or just pile them on. They don’t have to be the same size or the same shade.

Then there’s my friend, Kim Frick, @FricksPicks and https://therealgoldengirl.com

Kim is a tad more conservative than Tamera and the Contessa. She understands wearing trends, loves color and accessories, and she knows how to pair them together and always looks fabulous. I particularly like how she dressed up a pair of blue jeans and a white tee or camisole with a kaftan, two long necklaces and big earrings.

Here’s another gorgeous chic look from Kim that’s more traditional.

  1. GO BOLDER WITH GOLD OR SILVER LINK CHAINS. They look better than thin, small links unless you are petite in which case bold links could overwhelm your small frame.
  1. A LONG NECKLACE that hits just below the bust makes you look taller and thiner, like the one Kim is wearing.

  1. SCARVES can substitute as a necklace, or for an even more dramatic flair, wear a long scarf draped over one shoulder.
  1. BELTS play up our shape and give us an hourglass figure even if we’re heavier than we want to be around the middle.

  1. SILVER SHOES, flats, sneakers, oxfords and espadrilles read as neutrals but they’re modern and add an extra pop to most any outfit. I rotate mine and wear them with almost everything, however I draw the line with silver boots.


  • LA CONTESSA May 17, 2019 at 9:17 am

    What a complete JOY to find MYSELF HERE this MORNING!I had a tip in my emails from a GAL who reads you early in the MORNING!
    Both TAMERA and KIM have been FEATURED on THEVINTAGECONTESSA.NET AGELESS STYLE POSTS!SO, fun to see us HERE all together!
    THANK YOU for FEATURING ME and as YOU know I’m with IRIS………MORE is MORE!BIGGER is BETTER.THE COLOR FACTOR….well I ADORE COLOR!It tends to make me HAPPY!Plus, I have my sources in San Diego and BERKELEY which keep on PRODUCING the OUTFITS I ADORE!XX

    • Brenda Coffee May 17, 2019 at 4:01 pm

      Dearest Contessa, Actually it takes self-discipline not to include you on lots of my blog posts. You are one of a kind, and I adore you. I’m happy you like being here. xoxox, Brenda

  • Joanna May 17, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Oh my! These ladies are obviously outgoing, living large types. I could never pull the more is more look off. I believe it is part personality, part size. I have a girlfriend that is tall, broad shouldered and busty plus very confident & outgoing. She wears clothes and jewellery, that I can not. I pale in comparison to her. Kim’s more traditional look is more my style. I love scarves, as they add dimension to any outfit. If I wear dangle earrings, I skip the necklace. I love Coco Chanel’s famous quote “Before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory”.

    • Brenda Coffee May 17, 2019 at 4:07 pm

      Hi Joanna, I’m stepping outside my minimalist way of dressing and accessorizing, but it takes courage. Not all of us want to be noticed this way. Even for me to dress up in a simple H&M skirt and silver espadrilles, I get noticed. I find it interesting that one of my girlfriends never says a word about what I’m wearing… Never… I bought a pair of dangle earrings when I was 25 and have worn them twice and a pair of flashy $12 earrings this month and have worn them once. We’ll see if I keep wearing them. I remember the “remove one accessory” line as well. xoxo, Brenda

  • Marilynn May 17, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    I abhor clown dressing.

    • Evie Squadrille May 17, 2019 at 1:53 pm

      Describe “clown dressing”…I’m confused where did you see a clown (clowns) on this post? I saw gorgeous,confident women dressed beautifully being true to themselves!

      • Brenda Coffee May 17, 2019 at 4:13 pm

        Hi Evie!! “Being true to themselves” says it in a nutshell. There are as many colors and styles as there are women to wear them. I’m glad you appreciated these beautiful women. They’re so creative, elegant and fun! xoxo, Brenda

    • Brenda Coffee May 17, 2019 at 4:09 pm

      Hi Marilynn, The great thing about art and fashion is there’s something for everybody! We don’t have to like it all. Just move on until we find something that speaks to us. Thanks, Brenda

    • classic casual home May 17, 2019 at 4:32 pm

      These ladies own their look! In The Contessa’s case, she is tall, elegant and regal. I know her in person and she is an inspiration to me to take more of a risk fashion-wise.
      Mary Ann Pickett

      • Brenda Coffee May 20, 2019 at 2:17 pm

        Mary Ann, I couldn’t have said it better!! The Contessa is a friend of mine, and like Tamera, they own their style. It’s part of who they are. While I’m not comfortable wearing their style to the grocery store, they do, and I say, You Go Girls!! They have made me step up my wardrobe. Living at the ranch for so long I only had Sunday clothes, but thanks to the Contessa and Tamera and Kim Frick, I’m back to accessorizing and dressing up like I did pre-ranch, and I love it! It does make other people uncomfortable however. Thanks for your awesome comment!! Brenda

    • Juliet May 17, 2019 at 5:04 pm

      In addition to being woman of substance, these woman are stylish, confident and bold . . . traits I admire and aspire. I cannot understand denigrating others, particularly in a public forum. Sometimes it’s best to keep one’s thoughts to one’s self.

      • Brenda Coffee May 20, 2019 at 2:19 pm

        Juliet, I agree with you, and the women I’ve featured have so many wonderful qualities, inside and out, that I aspire to. Thanks so much! Brenda

  • Sandra Sallin - Apart From My Art May 17, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    ;Love this piece. How did you know I’m right in the process of writing about accessories. We always seem to be on the same wave length. Love these women and hate any rules. If it looks good wear it. The Contessa is an inspiration! She gives me such joy in her outfits and accessories. Tamera? I don’t know how she does it. But she is fabulous also. Love these women who are so themselves. No rules. no guides they just have vision. Was not familiar with Kim but love her lower key look. She just reminded me of a beautiful velvet long vest that I must wear to the market! Love when you do style. Love when you do anything.

    • Brenda Coffee May 17, 2019 at 4:21 pm

      Awe Sandy!! You’re another woman I adore and always love seeing here! Fashion has always been that fine line that starts conversations when it’s worn down the runway, finds it’s way onto the pages of Vogue and then into women’s closets. We’re all different, and there is no right or wrong, just what we love. Remember when Marissa Berenson graced the pages of the fashion magazines in the ’70’s? Oh, how I wanted the clothes she wore… and the places to wear them. Even in real life she’s been a fashion pioneer, not afraid to wear color and mix patterns and prints. Elegant and too, too fabulous for words! LONDON OR BUST, Miss Sandy!! xoxox, Brenda

  • Juliet May 17, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    Brenda – Your post is incredibly timely as I’m contemplating my ensemble for the evening. I’ll be wearing a bold pattern and your advice to eliminate a necklace is smart and solves one dilemma. I a huge admirer of La Contessa’s and Tamera’s style and enjoy reading their blogs and Instagram posts. I know La Contessa personally, and she dresses consistently whether going to the grocery store or Buckingham Palace. All the woman you’ve featured here are role models for all woman, particularly those of us navigating the joys and challenges of mid-life. xo

    • Sandra Sallin - Apart From My art May 17, 2019 at 5:33 pm

      You’re right. They are an inspiration. They don’t give you rules. They give you an appreciation of what you can do. I know I’ve been inspired by them. They shout freedom to be who ever I am.

    • Brenda Coffee May 20, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Hi Juliet, I’m happy this post solved an accessory problem for you. It’s harder than ever at midlife to find things to wear, much less look for accessories. I love your point about our friend, the Contessa: She dresses the same whether she’s going to meet the Queen of England or going to the grocery store. While not all of us have the self-confidence… and it does take confidence and somewhat of a thick skin to stand out so far from the crowd… I love seeing women who like to dress up as opposed to deliberately torn and ratty looking pants. Dressing up is almost a lost art. xoxox, Brenda

  • Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski May 17, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    I could never wear all that jewelry at one time because I’d end up breaking everything. Plus, it’s heavy and would drive me crazy. But all the ladies above look fabulous.

    • 1010ParkPlace May 20, 2019 at 3:16 pm

      Rebecca, I’ve ordered one of the same kaftans the Contessa has, and I don’t like how it looks on me, plus I don’t own that much jewelry! I love how it looks on her and am glad there are women out there who are dressing up and look so fabulous! xoxox, Brenda

  • Hilda Smith May 18, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Some of my favorite bloggers featured here. I love their individual take on accesories.

    • 1010ParkPlace May 20, 2019 at 3:18 pm

      Hilda, Don’t you love them? Even if our styles are different, I’m happy they share on Instagram. It’s like looking at Vogue or one of the fashion magazines. I may not dress like the models do, but I can appreciate the clothes and how they’re made, plus they give me ideas for things that will work for me. xoxox, Brenda

  • cindy hattersley May 18, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    Tamara is a master at texture (which I am a huge fan). I would not have the guts to wear what she does but she rocks it. Elizabeth is the epitome of more is more in her decor and fashion and she does it all with style and grace. I love her and I love that she isn’t afraid to rock it. Me I am a little more conservative but I appreciate good style. I talk about rules all the time as well, but let’s face it what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. Thanks for featuring my pal Elizabeth. She is an inspiration to us all!

    • 1010ParkPlace May 20, 2019 at 5:00 pm

      Hi Cindy! I agree about Tamara. That’s why I wanted to share her and Elizabeth with my readers who might not know them from Instagram and to expose them to women who may dress differently than they do. I also adore Elizabeth and agree about her style of dress and her home. She’s an original, and we need more people who create their own lane instead of following behind everyone else. I appreciate you stopping by to share your thoughts! xoxox, Brenda

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