How To Avoid Looking Frumpy When You’re Over 50

As a woman over 50, it can be easy to feel like you’ve lost touch with the latest fashion trends. Many of you no longer have the energy or desire to dress up. I went through a phase where “I don’t care” was my mantra, and it showed. Just because we’re getting older doesn’t mean we have to lose our sense of style and start dressing frumpy. So, here are some tips on how to avoid looking frumpy and to feel confident and stylish at any age.

It’s natural to want to feel comfortable and relaxed, especially if you’ve worked hard for decades and earned the right to take it easy. However, it’s important to remember that you’re still a vibrant, vital woman with a lot to offer, and how you dress can greatly impact your confidence and overall well-being. Just because I’m a fashion blogger doesn’t mean I haven’t had my share of fashion faux pas. I looked back at some of my outfits and thought, “what were you thinking?” Instead of hiding these outfits in the dark archives, I’m showing you a few so we can all learn how to avoid looking frumpy, no matter our age.

Tips for How to Not Look Frumpy

1. Avoid Baggy or Ill-Fitting Clothing


Oversized clothing is trending. But that doesn’t mean you need to wear a tent. One of the most obvious signs that you’re looking frumpy is if your clothes are too big or too small. Clothes that are too big can make you look shapeless and unkempt, while clothes that are too small can be uncomfortable and unflattering. Please pay attention to the fit of your clothes and make sure they’re the right size for your body. Frumpy clothing often looks shapeless and lacks structure, which can make you look and feel older than you are. Instead, invest in a few well-made pieces that fit you well. This will help to enhance your natural shape and give you a more polished, put-together look. It’s worth splurging on a few key pieces that you’ll wear over and over again. Some items worth investing in are good-fitting jeans, a blazer or a cardigan to help define a waist, a little black dress (maybe a shift or fit and flare), and a white button-up shirt. My What Are The Best Jeans For Women Over 50 post has several pairs of jeans that are an investment but will last you for years. 

2. Experiment With Different Styles and Trends and Avoid Looking Frumpy


I swear this top was in style at some point, but it must have been long ago. 😳 Fashion trends come and go, and staying current is important if you don’t want to look frumpy. Just because you’re over 50 doesn’t mean you have to stick to a particular style or dress a certain way. Sometimes we dress frumpy because we are caught in a time warp. Take the opportunity to try out different trends and styles that suit your personal taste and make you feel confident and comfortable. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different pieces to create your own unique look. My goal has always been to see if I can help you find clothes that flatter your body and suit your personal style while pushing you to try new styles and trends. Some of the coming trends are tassels, big bows, patchwork jeans, and neon colors, but I wouldn’t spend a fortune on them unless you love them. 

3. Add color to your wardrobe



While black can be slimming, wearing too much of it can make you look older. Instead, try adding other colors to your wardrobe to mix things up. You know I love bright colors and bold patterns; they can add a pop of personality to your outfit and help you look more youthful and vibrant. However, be mindful of what colors suit your skin tone and body shape, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different shades and tones as long as they make you feel confident and comfortable.

4. Do Not Wear Wrinkled Or Soiled Clothing


Over 40 Fashion Blogger, Tania Stephens, is doing a Inside the Dressing room try on at Old Navy

Another sign that you might be looking frumpy is if your clothes are wrinkled or stained. In my defense, this photo was taken at a try-on session at the retailer. But, you can see how this makes you look sloppy and unkempt. This is the “I don’t care” look we are trying to avoid. This is an easy fix; just make sure to iron or steam your clothes and remove any stains before you leave the house. Crisp, sharp creases are not in style, but an ironed, wrinkle-free look will always be a classic. However, if you’re wearing linen, don’t worry about those wrinkles; they are supposed to be there. 

5. Add Accessories To Avoid Looking Frumpy

Fashion Blogger 50 Is Not Old is wearing a white tank with a caramel cardigan, plaid ankle pants, Sam Edelman ankle boots, and carrying a black haircalf handbag

It is hard to look frumpy when you add accessories. Accessories are a great way to add interest to an outfit and help you look more put-together. People who look put-together don’t look frumpy!!! Consider adding a statement piece, such as a bold necklace or a colorful scarf, to add some personality to your look. I love large earrings, but if you prefer small hoops, try a large necklace, handbag, or a scarf. Switching up your bag or shoes gives your outfit a fresh, updated feel. Remember to choose pieces that suit your personal style or the event you’re attending so that you’ll feel comfortable and confident.


6. Embrace Your Personal Style and Avoid Looking Frumpy


Fashion Blogger 50 Is Not Old is looking chic in a black top with a white long blazer, light wash jeans, black pumps, and a Tory Burch tote

Similar White Blazer || Similar Black Shirt || Bootcut Jeans || Similar Tory Burch Tote || Black Block Heels || Maggie Earrings

Being true to yourself is what is most important. It doesn’t matter if you prefer to dress in a classic, polished look, or if you prefer a relaxed, boho style. It is your personal taste and how what you choose to wear that makes you unique. Being you is what makes you feel confident and comfortable in your clothing. Don’t worry about what other people might think – as long as you feel good in your clothes, that’s all that matters.

You can avoid looking frumpy and feel confident and stylish at any age. So let’s embrace our inner fashionista and show the world our true style and grace!

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Verse Of The Day

Genesis 1:27

27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

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  1. Ingrid Weeks says:

    You look gorgeous in all of the photos. I love how you put your outfits together. I wish I could go shopping with you!

  2. Love the different styles.

  3. Tammy Roark says:

    Great article and tips!

  4. I love to dress with a pop of color! Thanks for the great ideas

  5. Tania, I love how you put all the outfits together but I have to say looking
    at them always leaves me feeling like I never have the right shoes. I guess I am
    not very good at choosing shoes and boots.
    For instance, I really like how wedge heel ankle boots are
    easier to walk in and still make you look taller and I had found a few pairs that were good quality at a really good price. Unfortunately they were round toe and the following year, it seemed that round toe wedge ankle boots were not in style. I found myself feeling like maybe they looked dated, too heavy and maybe frumpy? You had switched last year to mostly all point toe shoes and boots. My budget does not allow me to buy new shoes and boots every year. Would you say I should just get rid of my round toe wedge heel ankle boots or just wear them? What shoes and boots would have the best chance of staying in style for quite a while? Did you do any articles on this?

  6. Holly Bratcher says:

    I love color and love that you embrace it! I enjoy your posts so much! I just have to remember to shop for my autumn complexion!

  7. Michelle Hood says:

    Thank you for the reminder to accessorize! I don’t do this enough unless I plan ahead. This was a reminder to me to include this in my “outfit selection”.

  8. Thank you! Great reminders about how to not fall into a habit of being frumpy. It’s so easy….especially when working from home😳

  9. TAnis……I didn’t like any of your old posts. I have pictures of myself from the past when at the time I thought I was really rocking it. Maybe I jumped to pick up on a current fashion trend that really wasn’t the best for me. Now I’m inclined to stay true to classics with a few trendy accessories. I spend less money that way and am more confident with my wardrobe

  10. Christal Yowell says:

    Thanks for the reminder about dressing frumpy. We all fall into a rut now and then. My new years challenge is to weekly get my clothes ready for work; iron if needed, move things around in rotation, and stop wearing the same thing. Thanks for the encouragement of your posts.

  11. Gurl, I’ve been following you for a long time and I remember all of those outfits from your old posts. They were cute and relevant at the time, and I thought you looked wonderful. Just goes to show how much our taste in fashion can change as we get older.

  12. Great post! It’s fun to wear different looks, but frumpy should never be one of them!

  13. Karen Okeson says:

    Love this !
    Thank you!


  14. Thanks for this reminder. After retiring and COVID retrictions, I have totally gotten lazy in my dressing and I think overall appearance. This is a big eye opener for me. Plus, when I dress better, I feel lots better.

  15. Mary Carol Garrison says:

    I seriously need a fashion fairy to give me daily tips on what to wear and what not to wear.
    Funny story…When my daughter was younger we would go shopping together and if I tried on something she didn’t approve of she would say something like, “Mom, no…take that off. You are not buying that.” 🤣🤣

    1. That sounds like something my daughter would say. Lol!

  16. Thank you for all your great ideas. It has been such a great help to me. Can’t wait
    each day to read your blogs for more great ideas.

  17. I definitely fell in a spot of looking frumpy when I retired ! Tania this is why I love your blog ! You have such great suggestions and style ideas . I really have enjoyed following you ! I have picked up several pieces this fall and winter with your suggestions ! And I even added color to my true navy blue , black , and browns ! Lol thank you for what you do !

  18. Elizabeth Smith says:

    Great ideas!

  19. Love this post and reminder

  20. Marti Ambriole Woznicki says:

    I so appreciate these tips! The photos will be great to reference when I’m in doubt, looking a bit more pulled together can make all the difference in my attitude and my motivation for the day – thank you!

  21. Very good advice. Thank you.
    Here’s to a frumpy-free 2023

  22. Loved all your ideas❤️

  23. Jan Rayner says:

    I had to laugh about your husband’s attachment to his pickup; I bet it has lots of good memories!

    While I’m sometimes tempted to leave the house without much attention to the “finishing touches”, I’ve learned that feeling good about my appearance goes a long way to having a positive outlook throughout the day.

    Love your blog and good advice!

  24. Thanks for the tips! Great advice for any age!

  25. Rosalinda Salcedo says:

    I’m happy that your husband was able to get home ok. Thank you for sharing these tips with us! I don’t put a lot of effort into my clothes most of the time. Being a mom,wife,daughter,etc.,you sometimes put them first and you put yourself last when we should make ourselves a priority. Have a blessed Friday!

  26. Leslie Bizzell says:

    Thank you for the reminders of how to still feel good in our 50’s – have you ever done a post about finding and defining your style?

    That would be so helpful!

  27. What I needed to hear today! Thanks!

  28. Great tips. Too often I favor comfort over fashion and I end up looking “frumpy”.

  29. oh, boy, I feel frumpy today. so I am going to go stand in front of my full-length mirror, with this blog, and see what I can do about this look. Thank you, Tania, very much.

  30. Marcie W. says:

    Great post today. Our style is what defines us….not fashion. I have been on a journey for 4+ years to figure out what looks best on me and it has paid off.
    Thanks for your efforts to help us not look frumpy.

  31. Marilyn Byrnside says:

    At 73 yrs, I’m afraid I went frumpy/comfortable when I retired 11 years ago😫. After following you for several months, I feel like I’ve improved a little. One big problem I have is shoes. Due to foot and back problems, I have to wear flats with good arch and heel support most of the time. I try to find stylish shoes, but it’s hard since I also have narrow feet. Clarks has been my go to. You and another “over 50” lady I follow have some sort of heels on with your nicest outfits. Could you include flat options too? I know you do show flats sometimes, but I’d appreciate seeing more. Thank you! I do appreciate all the work you put into these posts. I like to shop, but there is no way I could shop like you do!

  32. Sheila May Martin says:

    Love outfit in #5!! I also like the pops of color in the first outfit – especially the shoes!!
    My husband is still driving a ’99 Corvette with worn out seat covers, the parking brake no longer works and the battery is always dying!! Men!!

  33. Lindy Morris says:

    Gotta get a new blazer! You’ve inspired me!

  34. Shelly Hebert says:

    This is so true. It is incredibly easy to slip into the “I’m just gonna wear sweats” mode. Especially during holidays.
    Thanks for the reminder. Dressing better also builds self confidence.

  35. This was a very helpful and needed post!!

  36. Lori Gorenflo says:

    Thanks for all the examples. It makes me think about how I get caught in a time warp.

  37. Suanne Watkins says:

    Thanks for the tips!

  38. Ginger Hiller says:

    This post definitely contains some great reminders for us! I just need to continue with one change that I am already making.

  39. Lisa Pickford says:

    Thank you for this great reminder Tania!

  40. Great post, thanks for the tips.

  41. Great tips. I loved your hubby and his truck story in your email. Thanks for all your work.

  42. Roberta S says:

    Great tips! Nobody wants to look frumpy.

  43. Lisa Smith says:

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom

  44. My husband has an old old old pickup that he only uses when he needs to haul things or pick up larger items. I usually ask if I can ride along, but he always says no…in case he needs to call me to come and pick him up! Hopefully I can convince him to upgrade this year!! Love your Joe stories!

  45. Cathy Shumway says:

    Thank you for the reminder to keep trying new styles as long as you’re comfortable. I’m wearing that dress with a long vest and boots to brunch!

  46. I find myself having this “pep talk” more recently. Maybe because I’ve lost 20lbs or the yucky weather in January. Anyway real world problems, right?

  47. Great advice! When I was working, I always made sure that my outfit fit well and looked current. I’m now retired and it’s very easy to go into the “I don’t care how I look” zone. Thank you for the reminder that it’s still good to make sure your clothes fit correctly and that it’s okay for women of a certain age to play with trends.

  48. Good tips today. I think we all look back and say, what was I thinking? Thanks!

  49. Joyce Wonderly says:

    Thank you for the great reminders to take more care in making sure I don’t look frumpy!

  50. Perfect timing for this article, it’s blowing snow and wind chill in the 20’s today, I was thinking of my outfit for the day, leggings and trying to remember if I still had any tunic sweaters, then saw the first 2 outfits you posted. Oh yeah – that’s why I don’t have tunics/floating tops any longer. Thanks for all your inspiration! Have a blessed week.

  51. Love these tips! As someone who has been accused of looking frumpy, I’m always looking for ways to sharpen my look, while maintaining the comfortable feel of my clothes. These are great ideas!

  52. Lisha Rawlins says:

    I look forward to your posts each and every day! Thank you for your hard work putting together posts for us ladies over 50! I have purchased many of your suggested items! I love your honesty and your helpful advice! I went through my closet yesterday and purged. I’m now ready to fill it up again with clothes that fit well and make me feel good!

  53. It’s so easy to reach for the “tents” as our bodies change with menopause. Thank you for this post

  54. Carol Rittelmeyer says:

    Thanks for your great ideas! Will be clearing out some clothes in my closet today! Have a fun weekend.

  55. This was a fun post. I have to admit I got a little chuckle out of the purple tights and pink boots!

  56. Dema Kenyon says:

    I look forward to your post snd scripture every morning! Living in Arizona, where it’s hot in the summer. I struggle in the heat to not look frumpy. I hope you’ll do a similar post on hot weather clothes. Thanks for all your fashion help I appreciate it.

  57. I always have to guard against the baggy pant syndrome because of my figure flaws. No butt, wide hips, and slimmer legs. Consequently, pant legs are usually too large, and pants sag you know where! I just started buying lululemon yoga capris and leggings in place of regular pants. They fit me much better than regular pants. And I never ever wear wide leg pants. I skipped that off the shoulder look because I have broad shoulders.

  58. Great Tips! Much needed reminders for a newly retired Gurl. 🙂

  59. I love this post on how not to look frumpy. I just went through my closet and purged things that I am never going to wear and things that I just don’t love. My closet is pretty much empty right now! I am always thinking, “I’ll wear that when I lose weight,” but another winter is here and I still haven’t lost that weight. I need to dress for my body right now and start feeling better about myself. Love your daily posts.

  60. Jenniffer says:

    Always need reminders of how to spice it up! Thank you as always for the great posts and daily dose of the Word!

  61. That was a wonderful post with lots of great suggestions… just what I needed today to inspire me to try to always look my best…

  62. Deborah Monroe says:

    Hi Tania,
    Thanks so much for the Anti-Frumpy tips. I do try to avoid them all. I struggle with the bold necklaces. I love them on others, and have tried them, but they just seem to make me feel older. I do like to switch up my purse and shoes though and will do a bold earring.

  63. I did a closet purge yesterday and probably needed to do more and be completely frumpy-free. Great tips!

  64. Melissa Palmer says:

    This was a fun post. It’s always helpful to see what “not to wear.” Although, I must admit, I really liked a couple of these. Those plaid pants are gorgeous and I would have never thought anyone could pull off plaid pants unless they were a size 2. You are really getting me to feel brave enough to try on some stuff that is out of my comfort zone! Have an awesome day.

    1. Melissa, I like that outfit also. It wasn’t an example of being frumpy, it was an example of how accessories polish a look.

  65. Cindy Howard says:

    I’ve been enjoying your daily posts!

  66. Sheryl Gossard says:

    Great tips! I have retired and sometimes forget to steam the wrinkles which definitely leaves me looking frumpy.

  67. I’m always fighting frumpy lol.

  68. True words thanks Tania!

  69. Thk u for these tips. I am the first to say that yes, I run out the door for errands without much thought in my clothing. This post is helpful!

  70. June Lewis says:

    You were in style ❤️

  71. Oh,guess I won’t be dressing trendy because I look awful in all four of those things.😒 However, thanks to you, I can still lookgreat, fashionable and comfortable. Excellent advice. Thanks.

    1. Beverly, I’m sure there will be lots of other trends that will be something we ladies over 50 can embrace.

  72. That’s for the tips and good ideas. I live in Florida and with the humidity there is no way we can wear even a light jacket or jeans every day. We live in capris and lightweight clothing. It’s hard to look elegant.

  73. Great advice. This wasn’t mentioned but I think wearing a shoe with a bit of a heel always elevates your look. Your hair style in the picture with the rust cardigan and plaid pants looks fantastic.

  74. Dana Smithmier says:

    i have to work on this daily!!

  75. Janet Davies says:

    I enjoy your tips. I still work part time and dress up. Every year I have a yard sale (clothes) or donate to Savers.

  76. Jeri Hoag says:

    I love this post! This is exactly how I was feeling. I hear what you’re saying about adding pieces, but I can’t see when I try things on if it fits my body. I don’t have that vision of what looks good because if I think it looks good I’m usually wrong, but I am trying to be more positive. Thanks Tania!

  77. Mary Kinard says:

    Thanks for this post. It is so easy to fall into the habit of not really caring how you look. I must admit I have gone through that phase myself more than once!

  78. Laura Gray says:

    Very good points! I need to keep all these in mind when I do a mini closet refresh.

    Thank you!
    Laura Gray

  79. I hope you have an online yard sale one of these days to clean out your closet. We wear the same size and I like most everything you wear.😉Just sayin…

  80. I love this post! You make such a good point about the small things having a big impact on one’s overall appearance. I recently purged a bunch of ill fitting items from my closet because I realized how frumpy some of it made me look. Now even my “lounge around the house” clothing is more streamlined and flattering. I’m definitely pinning this post as a reminder. I’ll use it as a checklist to keep my wardrobe at its best. Thank you!

  81. Thanks for these tips. I admit to getting stuck in a rut sometimes.

  82. I remember your #5 outfit…always loved that one. I turn 68 in a few weeks and I’m finding it harder not to look frumpy. Thank you for the tips, you always have such good ones! It’s time for me to reevaluate my wardrobe and get rid of all the stuff that doesn’t work for me! By the way, I think we’re married to the same man! My husband drove his truck for 21 years. He wouldn’t even let me ride in it, because he said it wasn’t safe! 🙄 It finally kicked the bucket and he was forced to buy a new one. I don’t know what it is about men and old trucks! LOL!

  83. Susan Brandenburg says:

    Great tips. Sometime we don’t take the time to look in the mirror!

  84. Holly Gossman says:

    Oh my the coming trends. I only like the bows. It is easy to look frumpy and 50. I appreciate seeing your outfits to inspire me to not look frumpy.

  85. Thanks for inspiring me! You always give us a new perspective and reading your posts makes me feel so much better.

  86. Lori Lorenzini says:

    I fell into the frumpy zone, then I found your blog. While I am still trying to find my style, I am using some of your tips and learning to like how I feel in clothes. Definitely need to work on the accessories part.

  87. Melony Cross says:

    Thank you for the great remiders.

  88. I’ve been guilty of wearing things too big and out of style
    Thank you for reminding me!

  89. Great blog! Ready to clean my closet and go shopping!

  90. Your verse of the day compliments your article. We’re made in God’s image and He is FAR from frumpy!!!
    Thanks for these tips. They will help me!

  91. Connie r. says:

    Good reminders. I myself can get into the rut of easy quick dressing. Thank you again for saying we are worth it so we should reflect that confidence. I laugh with you at some of my past fashion failures caught forever in pictures. I remind myself true confidence starts inside. Have a great day!

  92. Thanks for the great post Tania!! Loved looking back at the pictures from the past!! You have always looked great! It’s good to be reminded to put some care and thought into how we look! Appreciate the reminders!!! Glad Joe got home ok!!!!

  93. Janice Wooldridge says:

    Going to the gym early, sometimes I stay in those clothes too long.