10 Basic Items Every Stylish Baby Boomer Should Own

Me? Opinionated? Well, maybe just a bit. I have very definitive ideas about what works and what doesn’t after a woman reaches a certain age, and I like to share them with my baby boomer sisters.

Following are ten items that I think every woman over 50 who cares about style should have in her wardrobe.

A black pencil skirt














A well-made pencil skirt works on just about every body type. The length can range anywhere from the top of the knee to mid-knee for the most universally flattering look. Team it with a blazer or long cardigan if you feel the need to camouflage your hips.

A pair of great-fitting jeans, even if you have to shop all day to find them














The AG “Stevie Ankle” is my favorite for spring. Slightly cropped, they look equally good with heels, flats, or a pair of bright-red Converse sneakers. If hips and rear are a problem, top them with a flowy tunic or a longer cardigan over a tank top. If you’re not the skinny-jeans type, choose a style that fits your body best: boot cut, straight leg, flared, wide leg. It seems that designers are offering every shape this season, so there’s no right or wrong style.

A tapered shirt













Not your husband’s or boyfriend’s shirt, this one is made just for you…smaller and streamlined. Tuck it into a pencil skirt or wear it untucked with a pair of jeans.

A long cardigan











Given the fact that I’ve touted the long cardi as the perfect solution to hide hips, tummy, and rear, I feel compelled to add it to my ten essentials. Choosing one in a bright color adds pop to black and grey.

Sexy, girlie pumps














Contrary to common belief, heels don’t have to be painful. These lovely peeptoes by Cole Haan have Nike Air technology, which makes them amazingly comfortable. No, you’re not going to run a half marathon in them, but you can walk—even dance!—without complaint. And just for the record, these are $100 off at Bloomingdale’s…today only.

A classic watch














Okay, this one isn’t cheap, but a watch is an investment. I bought a Tag Heuer very much like the one pictured here in 1996. I paid $1000 for it, and it’s now worth nearly three times that much.

A novelty watch


















If you’re not ready to spring for a four-figure watch—or if you want something fun for your more casual days—a novelty watch can make a great statement. This Marc by Marc Jacobs oversized watch works well even on a small wrist…once you’ve had several links removed. The masculine look of the large face is nicely balanced by the Swarovski crystals that circle the bezel.

Costume bling

There’s nothing better than a carefully chosen piece of jewelry to make an outfit. I wear a lot of black and grey, and a tastefully blingy necklace or bracelet can really make the look. Here are a few of my favorites:

ABS by Allen Schwartz chain necklace













RJ Graziano Waterfall necklace













Sergio Gutierrez Liquid Metal bracelet



















ABS by Allen Schwartz Stone Cluster bracelet













A great-fitting bra














Sam, my fabulous stylist friend from LA, always starts from underwear up when dressing his elegant clients. He swears a good bra can make all the difference…and any women who’s made the switch from a grabbed-off-the-rack bra to one that’s been properly fitted by a pro knows he’s right.

Spanx, or an equivalent slimmer














I don’t know of any woman who doesn’t have at least one of these in her wardrobe. It’s the go-to solution under dresses, skirts, and pants when you want to look as sleek as possible.


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