How to be 50: How to Accessorize

By Charlotte Latvala

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Just to be clear:  How to be 50 is not a fashion blog. Truth be told, we get a little anxious when talking about our appearance. We would rather be sitting down with a nice cold glass of Pinot Gris and reading Persuasion for the fifth time.

However, talk about it we must. Because at 50, certain changes occur. Waistlines expand while other body parts deflate. There’s a certain trick to dressing the ever-evolving middle-aged body.

That trick is called “accessories.”

Accessories exist for one purpose and one purpose only: To pull the eye away from wrinkly necks, lumpy backs, and cleavage that’s more matronly than eye-popping. Here are the basics:

  • Scarves. The most figure-friendly piece of cloth since the toga; scarves can drape, disguise, and otherwise hide any body part on any given day. We at How to be 50 highly approve of scarves.

FullSizeRender (94) (Thumbs up to the scarf!)

  • Colorful ties. For men, exotic neckties serve the same function as scarves on women; that is, distraction. (Of course, this is 2015 so please feel free to switch things up: We’re perfectly ok with neckties on women and scarves on men.)
  • Bow ties. Natty accessory, conversation starter, or item that says “I’ve watched every single episode of Dr. Who!” You decide.
  • Hats. To wear one in public, you need to be a) amazingly confident, b) a hipster, or c) a fifty-something who is completely over what other people think.
  • Suspenders. Suspenders, like bow ties, walk a fine line between “I’m super cool!” and “I’m a character straight out of Dr. Seuss!”
  • Funky shoes. Wild shoes are strangely appropriate on older women. What would look desperate or goofy on a 25-year-old shouts “personality” and “conversation piece” on us. Go for the odd colors, the stacked heels, the hand-painted doo-dads. (It’s not like anyone’s going to stop you anyway.)
  • Oddball purses. Tweens and fifty-somethings can both get away with adorable purses shaped like fruit or animals. Bring a sparkly red purse in the shape of a strawberry to a business meeting when you’re 25? Nope. But at 55, you’re just old enough to get away with eccentric.
  • Vintage jewelry. You may call it “junk from the 1970s I never threw away.” Nope. Your old mood rings and chokers are vintage and you’re wearing them.
  • Scarves. Did we mention them yet?




Filed under 1970s, clothes, fashion, humor, lists, mid-life, middle-aged, satire

10 responses to “How to be 50: How to Accessorize

  1. Don’t forget hats on men can hide moonscapes and grass-less prairies….

  2. It’s funny how many people (mostly women) complement me when I wear a hat, followed by “I wish I were that confident”. Ha, ha. I’m just at “that age” where I stopped dressing for others, and started dressing to please me!

  3. I love it!! I got competition now in this area … Great advice, Charlotte …

    • Charlotte Latvala

      Hardly! You are the real deal — but I’m so happy you appreciated my silly take on it — stay in touch!

  4. Reblogged this on Wang and The City and commented:
    I love it .. Great advice from Charlotte! I do love my scarves!!!

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