7 fall fashion trends for 60+ women

We may not be too rich or too thin at this point in our lives but most 60-plus women want to look attractive and au courant–without being a slave to fashion or breaking the bank.  By now most of us know our own style and what looks good on us. Every year the designers come up with new trends from which we can pick and choose to enhance our own sense of style. Think a new beautiful {but forgiving) dress for a special occasion. A fun pair of pants for casual gatherings. Cool shoes that don’t have four-inch heels.

Of course, runway looks are intended to present clothing as art and those looks do not translate well to everyday life—(can you imagine trying to hold your bag and a briefcase while wearing those sleeves in the first image?).  But every year, within these outlandish looks, are nuggets of fashion sanity that can help us look classic and up-to-the-minute, all at the same time.


Seven trends we can make our own

Sorting through all of the “must have” styles from the fashion shows to make a list of our own, we discarded items like silvery glittery boots and open-toed boots (seriously), wide belts (but if you can wear them go for it), and Russian doll prints. (They tend to make us  look like a six-year-old.) Instead we focused on color, patterns, shapes, and accessories.

The examples shown here were available for purchase on the date this article was published and may not be available now. But they are offered primarily as guidelines when shopping.

  1. Color

The big colors this year are easy to remember if you think of Vermont in October: Power red and its siblings, claret and burgundy (and any other name for red wine); chocolate brown—brown is the new black; gold, as in sunflower and goldenrod, not the metallic; and a rather electric blue. If those aren’t your colors look for some variation, but err on the side of saturated tones. One of the best ways to adopt these white hot colors is through accessories, or as an accent piece to brighten clothing you already own. A saffron yellow sweater would make a pair of gray wool flannels really pop.

Red ankle boots   Chocolate brown tote       

Eric Michael London bootie in red; Merkato Signature Tote in dark brown; Michael Kors Sylvie large studded leather satchel; Land’s End cobalt blue cashmere waterfall cardigan

  1. Big checks and bright plaids

Designers ripped off the 70s with bright plaids that will remind you of polyester leisure suits. This time around they are reproduced in knits and woolens—with an edgy style. (And don’t think you can dust off your LL Bean flannel shirt even though we think they’re quite comfy—this is about fashion). Look for Seville Row plaid, big checks, hounds tooth, and Glen plaid in skirts, coats, pants, and accessories.

    Sunflower yellow plaid shirt         

Zara Oversized Check DressNightscape Plaid Ruffle Cuff Shirt at Nordstrom; Ellen Tracy gray plaid sweater coat from TJX; Cupcakes and Cashmere Allon coat at Nordstrom

  1. Fall florals

These are not your grandma’s housecoat, but dark, moody, romantic florals that make a statement, for dresses, tops, pants and leggings. Also look for embroidery everywhere-on pants, tops, sweaters, handbags, shoes.


White House Black Market Reversible 3/4-Sleeve Knit Sheath Dress; Johnny Was Esmeralda floral embroidered plaid trapeze tunic at Bloomingdale’s; Karen Kane Embroidered Top at Lord and Taylor

  1. Skirts

The bane of every female from high school on—skirt lengths. This year they trend lower, from just below the knee to hems at the base of the calf. These photos from the show mid-length skirts that are flouncy, but we found loads of mid-length straight and A-line skirts, too.


Sandro Aloha fluted knit skirt at Bloomingdale’s; Hobbs London button detail skirt at Bloomingdale’s; J.Jill plaid pencil skirt;  Marissa Webb Lorna plaid wrap midi skirt on

  1. Sleeves

Statement sleeves are everywhere this fall. Although those bell-shaped sleeves can dip into your coffee, they and their cousins—sheer, lace, bell, and tiered—can do wonders to spark up an otherwise ordinary top or dress. Find the best sleeve for you here.


Crew merino V-neck sweater with drawstring sleeves; Loft plaid tie-sleeve tunic; Loft Floral Embroidered Sweatshirt Dress

  1. Pants

When our editor was 27, high-waisted, pleated pants fell across her wraith-like body like a waterfall. Close to 40 years out, that body is gone, but the design community (of 20-year-olds) is hellbent on bringing the look back. Fortunately, there are still plenty of other styles available, and many with a very welcome higher rise. Yay. Your skinny pants and jeans are still in the fashion orbit, as are wide legs, both cropped and full-length, and they can be found in the new trendy colors and patterns.


FC blue cropped pajama pants at Bloomingdale’s; Elie Tahari wide leg black pants at Bloomingdale’s; Aqua brown glen plaid pants at Bloomingdale’s; Zara floral trousers

One way to wear the new floral print—and not look like Aunt Beulah—is with leggings or pajama pants.


Zara floral print leggings; Zara  floral print trousers; Roaman’s printed leggings

  1. Shoes and boots

Good for us this year are the many options now with low heels, although stilettos are not going anywhere if your feet and back still feel 25 years old. Styles to look for are tricked out sneakers, menswear oxfords and loafers–but with slick finishes and block heels—combat boots (remember when that was a slur?); ankle boots, and urban cowboy boots in leather, pleather, and heavy cotton, but also this year in velvet, satin, and silk (not for the subway). Slouch is big, too, which you will see in all styles of boots. The good thing about the menswear look is that an orthotic fits right in. With the embellishments available this year, shoes don’t need to look horribly masculine, either. And they’ll look fabulous with skinny pants or a tunic and leggings.


Nordstrom Top Shop embellished loafer flat; Nordstrom Leah imitation pearl loafer;    Nordstrom Hamond stud embellished loafer flatSam Edelman Rodney Pointy Toe Dorsay Flat at Nordstrom

We know who we are now and we know our most flattering style.  But smart women our age also know that part of pulling off a classic look, or even a laid-back casual look, successfully, is staying current with fashion, mining the nuggets that truly suit us so that no one can ever say we look…(horrors!)…dated.

All top runway images from


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