The reason for this post was because I've never seen it addressed. Back in 2009, I decided to do some research and even sent out a query to the PR flacks to see if their fashion clients had any clothes that met the needs of a woman over 65. I got lots of responses (and a few were right on) but most were wanting to know when the article would be published because they themselves wanted to know.
I guess you can't ask a 20 or 30-something designer to consider designing for their grandma — where's the fun, right? <sarcasm> Even more insightful (and at times hilarious) were my conversations with women in their 60's and beyond.
Here's the truth about aging:
We don't feel like it in our heads! We still think the same as we did when we were 29. We want to look good! And the collective 65+ cry is
“Hello people! Society! Advertisers! We are here and we're tired of being ignored.”
Designers, take note! Based on my conversations and interviews, here are the Top 10 needs – now, remember not all will apply but some just may. If you're over 65 do any of these resonate?
1. Things just start to sag.
Arms, neck, breasts, thighs. These want to be covered up by most women.
2. Varicose veins.
Pants are preferred and perfect for covering the leg area. Or higher dernier hosiery.
3. Shoes that are comfortable.
Many of you like wearing tennis shoes because they are comfy. (We have more stylish options below!)
4. Quick and fast shopping excursions.
You can't shop for long because you may have hip or back pain.
5. Breathable fabrics.
For some of you, you like natural fabrics because they breathe as your body temperature seems to have risen and stayed there.
6. Easy to put on.
You like shoes and clothes that are easy to put on because you may have arthritis in your fingers and joints.
7. You don't need to impress.
You're not into “dressing up” because you're retired or you find it's too much trouble. Casual, comfortable and affordable clothes are important to you. Some of you even mentioned that you've gotten a little lazy in this area because your lifestyle has changed big time.
8. Nothing tight.
Flattering but not too confined tops, skirts and pants. You don't like things too tight around your waist — you want them to fall right over that area.
No dry cleaning for you!
10. Budget friendly.
You are on a set income now and want these items to be affordable.
11. Because I couldn't resist.
I know I said 10 but this one was mentioned more than once (oh, you have such senses of humor!): I'd like a “Forever 39” store.
So, what to wear?
I thought you'd never ask! Taking all 10 points above into consideration, I searched and searched for items that would fit the requirements. Back in 2009 this is what I could find for an effortless, easy, washable outfit that can be worn any day of the week:
- A soft thin-wale cotton corduroy pant in navy. These have an elastic band in the back for comfort and go up to size 16.
- A button down 3/4 sleeve striped cotton top.
- For when you're heading out to run errands or grab lunch, wear a pretty colored thin quilted vest. These are such a great jacket option and immediately add a little more style to your outfit. The vest nips in at the waist in the back which creates a nice hourglass look. And since Zappos is a wonderful online store that offers free shipping back and forth, you can't go wrong.Â Your achy hips will love you for it.
- For shoes, try these slip-on sneakers by Skechers in a neutral taupe. They are super affordable and go up to size 11.
- As for a handbag, your back health is important so you need to distribute the weight. A cross body bag in a neutral color is a healthy option to consider.
However, NOW we are so lucky!
Athletic-leisure has come into its own and is a godsend FOR the above criteria. It is not meant to be for every 65 year old. Heck, I won't be wearing the outfit shown that was put together in 2009, thank you very much. More to come for you perennials. 🙂