Redefining the casual you at 50-something

At 50 and up many women have focused on everything but their weekend wardrobe for too many years to count. Their career clothes on the other hand, are a color coordinated collection of suits, pants shirts, shoes and accessories making it easy to get dressed for work. Preparing for a casual evening out with friends however, is a different story.

Maybe you’ve found yourself gazing into the closet on a Saturday evening waiting for inspiration, but nothing has happened other than your casual clothes screaming 80s fashion and your comfy duds looking just a little too comfortable.

PashminaAt fifty-plus, the latest trends are slightly less important than a classy combination of comfort and style. So, toss the faded denims, step away from the closet and get ready to redefine the casual you.

Here are a few basic wardrobe essentials for women fifty and up. With these items in your closet you’ll be prepared for casual Fridays as well as Saturday evenings on the town:

Skinny jeans

Forget the myth that skinny jeans are only for skinny girls. According to the February 2013 issue of Oprah Magazine, Chico’s straight leg jeans are today’s “all around best slimming jean”. Inner stitching from hip to hip makes them super slimming, comfortable and flattering. They’re high enough at the waist to keep underwear underneath and will switch from dressy to casual with a quick change of shoes or top.

Crisp white shirt

Both casual and dressy wardrobes need at least a couple of long sleeved white shirts. The crisp white shirt shows off chunky accessories and sets off your summer tan. Wear it with a casual jacket or dressy blazer for work or play.

Long flowing skirt

The timeless flowing skirt topped with a cropped shirt or dressy T will work at the beach or for casual Fridays on the job. Add a pashmina to double as a shawl in air-conditioned buildings and wear with strappy sandals or little wedge shoes -- either will look great!

Shift dress

It’s been a fashion staple since Jackie O made the shift dress classy. Simple and elegant, dressed up or worn casual, the shift is cool in hot weather and acts as a blank canvas for your favorite jackets, sweaters and accessories.

Bold and trendy caftan

Remember when they were only seen at the beach? Not any more. A flowing caftan can be trendy and elegant while casual and equally comfortable at the beach or at dinner. The mid-length caftan works with skinny jeans, leggings or cropped pants and over a spaghetti-strap top it camouflages troublesome upper arms.

Scarf collection

The wide lightweight pashmina will double as a shawl in an air-conditioned restaurant or keep your shoulders warm on cool summer evenings. Change the look of any outfit, drape it, tie it to your purse-strap or wrap it around your waist, the elegant (and casual) pashmina can add the right splash of color and interest to an outfit. Your closet can never have too many scarves!

With a few basic guidelines and your own sense of style, you can turn just as many heads on Saturday nights now as you did a decade ago, and feel comfortable and stylish while doing so!