50 Things Women Over 50 Hate About Fashion

50 Things Women Over 50 Hate About FashionI’ve had more than my share of fashion faux pas. I’m the one who went to the bathroom before my court appearance and came back and pled the case for my client with my suit skirt tucked up into my panty hose. At my own engagement party, my future mother-in-law’s friend wore the same dress as I did.  When someone recently admired my shoes and asked me whose they were, I  answered, “mine, who else’s would they be?” I often can’t seem to get out of my gym clothes to shower until late afternoon, and now that I own loungewear from Mariwear, I am hard pressed to get dressed at all.

I don’t claim to be a fashion expert–I’m just your typical midlife woman who likes to be comfortable and look somewhat put together –when it matters.  I like what I like, and I know what pissses me off. And so, it seems, do other women over 50.  I asked my contemporaries what they hated about  fashion, and boy, did they let loose. Check this out.  Did I miss something?

  1. We hate catalogues that have 26-year-old Skinny Minnies modeling clothes geared for the 50 and over woman.  Have you seen the recent Spanx catalogue?
  2. We hate low-cut jeans. We do not need to show our plumber’s crack when we sit to eat our frozen yogurt and watch Breaking Bad.
  3. We could write a book on underwear–how much we hate it. We hate that we can’t seem to find good, reasonably priced underwear.  We don’t want thongs, we don’t want to be picking at our oversized tuchases. We want to be covering both cheeks, thank you.  We don’t want tight elastics so that our fat hangs over, we don’t want Granny panties, we do want something sexy, and we don’t want to pay $32 for a single pair (a la Hanky Panky).
  4. We hate that there is no gray hair dye that helps you go from anything to natural gray. WTF?  They can put a man on the moon, but not make a gray hair dye?
  5. We hate that unless you are really, really tall, pants always need to be shortened and we have to pay extra for hemming.
  6. We hate handbags that are heavy even when nothing is in them.
  7. We hate that “they” lie about needing to dry clean everything.
  8. We hate heavy earrings that do not come with earlobe supporters and cause our aging earlobes to sag.
  9. We hate our friends when they ask us how much a recent purchase cost, as in, “That’s a pretty blouse, how much did you pay for it?”
  10. We hate when we show up to a party in the same dress as another lady and they don’t laugh it off–but make a federal case of  it.
  11. We hate “fat” mirrors and bad lighting that emphasize even the smallest of thigh dimples.
  12. We hate trying on skinny jeans in small dressing rooms–attempting to get the jeans over the muffin top while simultaneously having a hot flash.
  13. We hate that there is no such thing as size any more.
  14. We hate that there is no such thing as customer service any more.
  15. We hate that we can never please our moms, no matter what we are wearing.
  16. We hate that we are never happy with what our daughters are wearing.
  17. We hate that fashion seems like it is only for tall, skinny women.
  18. We hate that high fashion is often not comfortable or wearable.
  19. We hate that fashion is too focused on youthful body types and not celebrating our beautiful, aging, fit bodies.
  20. We hate bra shopping.  We always have.
  21. We hate sleeveless dresses—don’t they know we care about our “bat wings?”
  22. We hate “See Through” purses (actually, we hate “see through” anything.)
  23. We hate harem pants.
  24. We hate neon anything.
  25. We hate cheap fabrics (especially  with expensive price tags.)
  26. We hate anything that could be worn by a stripper (see #27 below)
  27. We hate thigh-high boots.
  28. We hate that the “new” fad is almost exactly the same as the clothes we had been saving for the past 10 years, hoping they would come back into style— except the “new” look is just different enough to make you look like you’re wearing 10-year-old clothes.
  29. We hate really old ladies in ultra high heels who look like they are about to fall and break a hip.
  30. We hate that fashion is a luxury for the 1%.
  31. We hate that hammer pants will never come back into vogue.  NB:  I hate that I had no idea what hammer pants were until I looked them up on the web (and I agree with #23, now that I’ve looked.)
  32. We hate swimwear designers who don’t get that if they are selling a “D” cup top (hard enough to find) that it does not need padding, but it does require support.  We hate that we have to go up an extra size when buying swim wear.
  33. We hate camisoles with “built in” bras that have no support and don’t fit anyone with a bigger breast than a size B.
  34. We hate that you can’t find a Diane von Furstenberg dress at Bendels in NYC that’s over a size 10. Do they not know that the average woman is a size 12 or 14?
  35. We hate that it is really difficult to find a dress that hides our midlife knees.
  36. We hate that we are always at war with mother nature, trying to cover what is happening to our bodies naturally.
  37. We hate that we can never keep up–we always seem to be about two years behind the latest fashion trend.
  38. We hate when we find clothes in our closets with the tags still intact.
  39. We hate group dressing rooms. We hate them a lot. We hate them with a passion.
  40. We hate “friends” who tell you that you look fantastic when you know very well you have gained 10 pounds, haven’t done your hair, and you have no makeup on.
  41. We hate those stupid little belts and ribbons they include with dresses.
  42. We hate those tight skirts that almost no one over 50 can wear.
  43. We hate shoes with the bondage look.
  44. We hate ballet slipper shoes with stupid little bows on top.
  45. We hate dresses that are tight around the hips and sag at the boobs.
  46. We hate (and love) all the absolutely, really beautiful shoes that give no consideration to comfort.
  47. We hate that “they” seem to be skimping on fabric.
  48. We hate yoga pants that show your camel toe.
  49. We hate lipstick on our teeth.
  50. We hate that no matter how many clothes hang in our closet, we seem to have nothing to wear.  And that has been true for decades.

So, what do you hate about fashion?  Have I missed anything?

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50 Things Women Over 50 Hate About Fashion was last modified: by

Ronna Benjamin

Ronna Benjamin

After 28 years of practicing real estate law, Ronna Benjamin realized how much she loved writing and how much she hated lawyering. She jumped into the world of writing at Better After 50 and never looked back! She is loving her “second act” as Partner and Managing Editor at Better After 50. Ronna writes humorously about the things BA50s are concerned about – personal experiences with adult children, the quirks of aging parents and in-laws, and her own emotional and physical health issues (i.e., insomnia, anxiety, and bulging waist lines). A native Bostonian who loves to spend time with her husband and three adult children, Ronna also enjoys sailing, cooking, running, and biking–and she tolerates skiing so she is not left home during family vacations. Check out her new book “We Are Better After 50 Because…” co-written by Ronna and her BA50 Partner Felice Shapiro, a perfect gift for the birthday girl in her 50’s! 

  23 comments for “50 Things Women Over 50 Hate About Fashion

  1. September 17, 2013 at 8:11 am

    I hate that fashion magazines and articles aimed at women over 50 use models under 40 to wear or promote the clothing and cosmetic treatments. Models over 50 are uncommon; models over 60 and 70 are extremely rare. Yet who’s got the cash to spend on clothes???

    • Ronna Benjamin
      September 17, 2013 at 8:19 am

      So true….it’s not just catalogues (#1) Really annoying!

      • Margaret
        November 2, 2014 at 8:53 am

        I totally agree and I’m not even 50 yet. I particularly hate ballet flats that show toe cleavage and silly bows on shoes. I will add – tops that are bright multi coloured and looked like someone was sick all over it – lose fitting high necked tops ( what’s wrong with a v- neck that suits my larger boob) and I absolutely hate the tights and tunic look – just make it a little bit longer so I can wear it as a dress !! And
        since my daughter became a teenager I have 50% less stores to shop at – not that I want to anymore anyway!

    • jean m. scott
      March 17, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      I agree. They must think that somehow we don’t notice that all of the models are so much younger than us. Maybe they think that since we are over 50 our eyesight is shot!

  2. Linda
    September 17, 2013 at 9:24 am

    as always you nailed it!

  3. Terry Fishman
    September 17, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Hysterical and disturbingly oh so true!!!!! Loved the article!!!!

    • Ronna Benjamin
      September 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Thanks Terry! Can’t wait to see what I missed from others!

  4. September 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I hate that the list ended. LOVE it.

  5. felice
    September 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Wow — I’m staying in my bathrobe all day today – I agree with everything you HATE and I can’t motivate myself to get dressed.

  6. September 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Great list — I pretty much hate anything that’s not sweatpants — and I hate that it’s pretty much unacceptable to wear them anywhere but to bed — you can’t even wear sweatpants to the gym anymore — yoga pants, yes; sweatpants, no. LOL! Great list… I agree with almost everything (and I was actually kidding about the Hammer pants!)

  7. Lynne Kivimaki
    September 17, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    I hate that they make tall people pay more (because more fabric is needed) but they don’t give us ‘petite’ women a break in price.

  8. pauline
    September 17, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    So funny and TRUE. I also hate that dresses are 6 inches too short for 50s. I hate hate ballet slippers with the bows on top and that show toe cleavage.

  9. September 17, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    I hate white tops. If the coffee doesn’t get spilled down the front, the makeup rubs off on to it!

    • Lynne Kivimaki
      September 17, 2013 at 11:41 pm

      Haralee, I agree with you on the white shirts! I like them on others but I come from a long line of people who prefer to wear some of their meal on their clothes so no white anything for me! It would have been disastrous yesterday at the airport when I spilled Dr Pepper all over myself.

  10. Karen Austin
    September 18, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Fun! I shared it with my FB followers because I think they will just love it. Now what am I going to wear today. Gah!

  11. September 18, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I am tall, and I can assure you that clothes are not made for tall women. They might make a 34″ inseam jean, but if they don’t make the rise longer, those long inseams are just for average height women wearing high heels. We tall women would like the waist band to come somewhere near our waists, or at least to the top of our hips. Likewise, we’d like the waistline of a dress to fall near our waists, and bust darts located where our breasts actually reside, not five inches higher. Sleeves that reach our wrists would be nice, too. No, ready to wear is not made for tall women.

  12. September 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    What a fun read!

  13. Datdamwuf
    September 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    I hate that the only really awesome looking shoes are always 4 inch heels.

  14. isbell
    December 25, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I enjoyed reading the list.
    What perplexes me is that demographics seems to be ignored in fashion. If those in the apparel industry had any brains they would go after this expanding market of mature, realistic body types (not everybody wants to forego eating to suit some exotic designers designs), and listen to their sales (as in what sells). People are far more informed these days due to internet, if the stores cannot dish it out, well, then there is internet, so be smart or be eliminated from the race.

    I forsake fashion about 5 years due to internal heat waves, and my main mission was to find ways to cope sans hormones. There is a market to look into…
    Now I am coming out of the tropical zone or life and can focus better on what is smart, stylish and fits a mature woman’s body that is still consuming food (healthy if I may add). Yes hormonal changes does affect how you shape, just like a child’s body changes into an adults body, also due to hormonal factors, actually, hormones rule everything. So, my question is narrowed down to: what is holding the apparel industry back? Fear of aging? Death? Get with it!

    As our bodies ages we are looking for comfort, whether that is warmth, cool, softness, supporting materials, materials that wash well… many don’t like dry cleaning due to chemicals, cost and extra trips. Mature women do work (time is limited), we are more concerned about toxins in our environment, and more prudent about how we use our time. Also, we tend to shrink/expand (more so those in menstruating years) so where did the SEAM ALLOWANCE go?? We are also frugal..we watch our money, therefore a seam allowance would be appreciated, ty.
    TY for “listening”! Possibly those in the “industry” should thank me, this could be a great business opportunity for the right person/s.. in the US of America, heavens, your people could use it.

  15. Bonnie J. Weissman
    January 19, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    I do like ballet flats with the silly little bows, but agree with nearly everything else listed here. Like Ginger Kay, I am tall and long waisted, but most manufacturers and designers don’t understand that the two go together, as well as needing more length in the rise of a pair of jeans marked tall. So I have simply put together my own uniforms for various occasions. For example, if I am substitute teaching, I wear a crisp no iron cotton shirt from Chicos, knit sport pants from Lands End, ballet flats, and a bit of cute jewelry. In hot weather, running errands etc. I wear a cotton polo dress or a sleeveless top and jeans skirt with sandals. Most of the trends are so silly and do not relate to my life at this point, so I just look for classic pieces that flatter my aging (but healthy) and tall body.

  16. September 21, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    My hate is the ABD – Abundant Black Disorder – forced on all women as usually they cannot buy basics and corporate wear in deep neutrals that would suit them better. I am fortunate that black IS one of my colours, but as a personal shopper for women of all colour typings, shapes and sizes, I experience their frustration way too often.

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