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Back in the day, once a woman turned 50, she was expected to chop off her hair and resign herself to wearing sensible shoes. Fashion was for younger women. Thankfully, those days have gone the way of the dodo. Women of all ages are wearing their hair short, long or any length they like. Mature women are also working hard to stay in shape, and are embracing fashion styles to show off their hard work.

Likewise, designers have begun to recognize this fashion-forward attitude and are designing party dresses for women of all ages. As a result, it is easier than ever for mature women to find that perfect dress for any festive occasion. Whether you’re going out on the town with your girlfriends or enjoying a special evening with that certain someone, there is a dress that will make the most of your assets and suit your individual style.

wrap dress - fashion for women over 50

Wrap and Sheath Dresses

Wrap and sheath dresses are fabulous for playing up your curves without clinging too tightly to those bits that you would rather not emphasize. If your legs are not your best feature, a knee-length style is flattering for nearly every woman. If your legs are in great shape, dare to go a few inches above the knees.  No matter what length you choose, you should also wear heels to finish the look. If you don’t want to go for stilettos, wedge heels are a stylish and comfortable alternative.

All ages - party dressesFitted Top, Fuller Skirt

If you’re worried that your hips are too wide for form-fitting dresses, try a dress with a fitted top and a fuller skirt in taffeta or satin. You’ll not only feel comfortable, you’ll look fabulous. If your upper arms are fit, go with a sleeveless style and a wrap to protect yourself against an evening chill. If your décolletage is beautiful, a low-cut neckline is elegant and sexy.  No one will ever suspect that you’re disguising anything.

print dress - fashion for women over 50Color Blocks and Prints

Too many mature women give up wearing bright colors or eye-catching patterns in favor of drab monotones. If you are guilty of this fashion faux-pas, you must cut it out immediately. Dresses with printed patterns can disguise figure flaws even when you’re wearing clingy fabrics. In addition, strategically-placed color blocks on a dress can even create the illusion of curves in all the right places.

Vneck dresses - fashion for women over 50V-Neck Dresses

V-neck dresses are also an elegant way to show off beautiful shoulders and a sexy décolletage. If you’re concerned with showing too much skin, choose dresses with a wider “V” that emphasizes your collarbones and shoulders rather than your bust line. If you’re more daring, your dress can take more of a plunge. However, if you’re tempted to choose a “cut down to there” dress, take a step back and rethink your options.

The great thing about V-neck dresses is that you can go sleeveless or choose a dress with sleeves. If you have toned upper arms, a sleeveless V-neck dress looks festive and elegant. However, you can look dressy and appropriate wearing a V-neck dress with three-quarter length or longer sleeves that cover less-than perfect upper arms.

Black Dress fashion over 50Yes, You Can Wear Black

It is true that many mature women look washed out when they wear black. This is because your complexion changes as you age, which makes the contrast of black against white look very harsh. However, women of color usually look fabulous in nearly every shade of black. If you’re fair skinned, you can try a soft gray black, or try the trick of wearing another color closest to face while you’re wearing a black dress. For instance, a string of pearls with that little black dress not only eliminates the stark contrast of black against white, but also adds a very elegant touch to your outfit.

Dare to Go Bare

If you really aren’t inclined to wear bare shoulders or short skirts, you can still give the illusion of going bare. For instance, a dress with an asymmetrical hem or a modest slit provides a peek at your legs without going for the full above-the-knee look.  A dress with cutouts at the shoulders gives the illusion of bare arms and shows off your shoulders while covering up the actual upper arm, which is a problem area for many women.


Victoria Fleming is a veteran stylist. She loves blogging about the tips and tricks to a flattering and fresh wardrobe for every woman.


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Fashion Over 50: Party Dresses That Flatter Your Figure was last modified: by

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