Where do fashionable women in their 60s shop?
January 14, 2012 12:06 PM   Subscribe

My retired 60-something mother is a bit too fond of turtlenecks and "mom jeans". I'd like to steer her toward labels and stores that will be more flattering. I'm looking for something similar to Lucky Jeans or Ann Taylor, but for older women. What do you recommend?
posted by klao to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (27 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
J. Jill, Coldwater Creek, Talbot's.
Also, Nordstrom.
For brands, Jones New York, NY&Co.
Liz Claiborne just announced they're now called 5th&Pacific, either way they are good classic bet.
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:13 PM on January 14, 2012

Ann Taylor isn't for "older women"? Weird, I've always mentally categorized it as a brand for older/middle-aged women, vs. Loft's younger feel.

Does you mom want to dress differently? If I were retired I would wear whatever I damn well pleased, mom jeans be damned. If your mom does want a makeover, what would she like to look like? What would she like her clothes to say about her? Where does she go? What kinds of social situations does she need to consider? Where does she live? What do other women her age dress like there?

If it's just a matter of jeans, take her to the Gap or something. If she has money to spend and wants to look boho-elegant, Eileen Fisher probably.
posted by Sara C. at 12:14 PM on January 14, 2012 [14 favorites]

posted by jabes at 12:14 PM on January 14, 2012

I see a lot of women of a certain age in what looks like Ann Taylor stuff, particularly professionals. I sort of see it as the woman's counterpart to Jos. A. Bank, i.e. the place you go for classically-styled, relatively conservative, sharp-looking business attire. But their clothes are plenty flattering, if you're aiming for a stylish but basically no-nonsense look.

Assuming, if course, you can fit in them. The catch seems to be less the age or relative trendiness of the target customer than the fact that the store seems to make clothes almost exclusively for women who are at least 5'8" and weigh no more than 130lbs. Or so previous girlfriends have told me. So the tall, downright willowy one shopped there all the time, but the medium-height, medium-build one usually looked elsewhere. YMMV.
posted by valkyryn at 12:20 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

My 60 something mom who slowly moved towards a wardrobe that now primarily consists of mom jeans and loose tops (from wearing mostly saris actually) says they are very comfortable, easy to maintain and coordinate. Have you considered other elements of your mom's lifestyle as she grow older that may support this preference for mom jeans? What did she used to wear before retirement?
posted by infini at 12:25 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Nordstrom's has a brand called "Not Your Daughter's Jeans" which I imagine means they are trendy jeans for older women. You could check those out!
posted by echo0720 at 12:25 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also, both my mom and MIL (both in their 60s) love Coldwater Creek, Chicos, and J. Jill which other posters have already suggested.
posted by echo0720 at 12:26 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

What labels is she into now? Sometimes it's less the store and more their taste. My mom likes Land's End and always offers to send me things from there, and I can usually find a few things that are my taste, even though most seems too "old" or untrendy for me. And then there are people who can find mom jeans at Urban Outfitters.
posted by sweetkid at 12:28 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can find a selection of trendier looking clothes at any store -- my mom frequents Kohls and found a style of jeans by Gloria Vanderbuilt that fit her nicely and are not the typical "mom" jean. It's all in how much you want to dig around at places like Kohls for the best fitting clothes.

I also second Coldwater Creek and Lands End. Eddie Bauer has has some classic looking styles for people of ALL sizes, too!
posted by beloveddoll at 12:34 PM on January 14, 2012

My mum is 72 when she came to visit she went nuts shopping at Anne Taylor, though she did like Coldwater Creek for more casual clothes.
posted by wwax at 12:40 PM on January 14, 2012

Her wardrobe hasn't changed much in many years; she stayed home with us kids and just wore whatever was on sale and comfortable. She is self-conscious about her "weight" although I wouldn't call her overweight, just average. I think she would feel better about her figure in more flattering clothes. A pair of nice jeans that fit great would give her a lot of mileage.

I believe AT officially focuses on the late-30's professional, but I have also seen older women wearing AT clothes.

As for the reason, I need to buy her a gift and I know she would like some clothes.
posted by klao at 12:43 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

My Mom will be 70 in a week, and she loves it when my sisters-in-law and I buy her stuff at Ann Taylor or Ann Taylor Loft (which skews much younger, but still has some classic standards at much cheaper).

J Jill is great. Every woman I know seems to be into Coldwater Creek, as well.
posted by xingcat at 12:43 PM on January 14, 2012

Seconding 'not your daughter's jeans' and wondering if dressing up the turtlenecks wouldn't be better than giving them up all together. Turtlenecks are wonderful for winter. Is she wearing good quality, well fitting tops? Maybe they'd go better with khakis? One thing that's super comfortable and looks good is long light sweater tops and fitted pants. Not sure if they're super 'in style' but they look nice and are very, very comfortable. If your mom's been picking clothing that's easy to get into and comfortable, then she isn't going to want anything that's fussy or confining for every day, no matter how good it looks.
posted by BlueHorse at 12:53 PM on January 14, 2012

If any of those labels work for short people, could y'all mention that? I live in turtlenecks and mom jeans and am scrambling madly to stay out of Alfred Dunner anything.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:11 PM on January 14, 2012

A few years ago there was a blog with two really good blog posts on identifying mom jeans:

Mom Jeans and the Dreaded “Long Butt”
How to Avoid Mom Jeans for Moms Over 50

You could maybe share these with your mom, so she can look for more up-to-date cuts of denim. There's also info in the second post about retailers for women over 50.
posted by Squeak Attack at 1:16 PM on January 14, 2012 [16 favorites]

I'm a fairly plain, conservative dresser, and I tend to shop at Eddie Bauer. Once I dragged my much-more-fashionable sister in there while I looked at a shirt, and before I knew it, she had fallen in love with their jeans. They might be worth a shot.
posted by epj at 1:21 PM on January 14, 2012

L.L. Bean has a signature line that might be a nice transition.
posted by missmerrymack at 1:33 PM on January 14, 2012

My 60-ish sister, 90-ish mother, and I (late 50s) all love shopping at Christopher and Banks. Their pants come in a variety of fits and their clothes are both stylish and distinctive.
posted by DrGail at 1:44 PM on January 14, 2012

If Mom wants to wear mom jeans, that's Mom's business, as Sara C. already intimated. Would you like it if your mom "helpfully" suggested that you dress different? It would be different if she had asked for some advice, but I don't see that mentioned in your question.

Best to leave it alone and preserve a good relationship with your mother: she is an adult capable of making her own clothing choices, after all.
posted by Currer Belfry at 4:33 PM on January 14, 2012

You should treat your mom to some personal shopping at Nordstrom's or Macy's. Someone to help her see what is flattering and stylish for her and give her the confidence to try something new.

You could call ahead just to check them out and make sure they're not going to push something too out there on her.
posted by brookeb at 6:46 PM on January 14, 2012

I always imagine myself in 15 years wearing a lot of Eileen Fisher. J Jill might be good too. Chicos is hit or miss - lots of awful prints there that scream "I'm old".
posted by matildaben at 6:58 PM on January 14, 2012

J Jill is great, but if money isn't an issue, then this is what Eileen Fisher was made for.
posted by Mchelly at 7:31 PM on January 14, 2012

I'm 57, and shop at JJill, The Loft, Eddie Bauer Outlet, Macy's, (where I favor DKNY, as well as a few other more affordable brands)...and I love Ebay and Goodwill! ; )
A couple of thoughts. Your mom may lack a lot of self-confidence and probably fears looking 'silly' by stepping outside her familiar style. If you see her going out on a limb, even slightly; updating her look at all, compliment her on it, and give a specific positive reason that you like what she's wearing. 'Those are really flattering pants. Maybe they're a little more of a straight leg (or boot cut, or whatevs)!' Even an updated lipstick or accessory look is worthy of encouragement. When you do give her an article of clothing, etc, try to keep it in her general comfort zone at first. Maybe a trendier jacket or scarf would let her ease into updating her look, while keep her in her comfortable mom jeans and turtleneck at first. oh, and...I just read a great article in this month's Real Simple. Page 59, 'anti-aging style secrets'. If you can get a copy, it might give you some ideas when you're shopping for your mom. And when you give her something, tell her that when you saw it, you thought how adorable (cute, whatever) she'd look in it...not how much more 'in style' she'd look. It makes us moms feel good to think our kids see us as (even potentially) 'cute'! My daughters have done that for me and I think it's a lot of the reason I try new things!
posted by mumstheword at 7:32 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nthing Coldwater Creek, beloved by my older friends for having so many options that are forgiving to a bit of bulge or flab.
posted by desuetude at 8:22 PM on January 14, 2012

She's probably wearing what's comfortable, and maybe her clothes have gotten worn out. Maybe she's like me, and has a hard time finding clothes she likes in the current fashions. Look at what she wears and look for updated versions that will still be comfortable, but updated and new, in colors she likes, and treat her to a new outfit.
posted by theora55 at 8:38 PM on January 14, 2012

Jeans can be tricky, for sure. Very hard to avoid the "front butt" without discomfort. So maybe concentrate on some nice tops, first? Longer ones that flatter and are comfortable but not turtlenecks (is she selfconscious about her neck, though?). Maybe move away from jeans...long skirts and boots/flats are comfortable, as are many kinds of higher quality knit pants that hang well and are forgiving.

I never dared to suggest clothes to my mom and mostly would buy her earrings and scarves if anything, but then she was a prickly type.
posted by emjaybee at 9:12 PM on January 14, 2012

Somebody just posted this in another thread; you could use it for some updated ideas as there's a good combination of young-practical-comfortable-cute.
posted by theora55 at 2:36 PM on January 15, 2012

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