Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fashion Over 50: Suit Yourself

Jones New York Glow One Button Jacket (Woman) (Pattern)

I was at a retirement party for a woman who’d worked with my father for as long as I can remember, first as an entry-level employee, eventually as my dad’s business partner and until now, running the company solo since my dad’s retirement. She was a lovely lady and was given a lovely send off. Another woman, who will be taking ‘the helm,’ made a wonderful speech. As she spoke, I couldn't take my eyes off her suit. It was a navy suit with a scoop neck, tailored jacket and matching pencil skirt. The woman, in her late 50s, looked fabulous—so professional, yet so feminine. I don't have a photo, unfortunately, but click on this Suit Studio suit and imagine it in solid navy. (Although, I'm loving this Macy's suit with its textured green jacket and black skirt just as it is, 50% off!)

This spring, many of the suit designs have feminine detailing--round collars, trim, cuffs, bold colors. However, the two features that seem to define spring 2011 suits are texture and neutral color (especially white and nude). Texture jackets are a welcomed departure from traditional, ho-hum business jackets and look very smart on over 50 women.

Take for instance, Jones New York Glow One Button Jacket (Pattern) at the top of this post. This jacket has so much to love--texture, a collar that stands up a bit, simple one-button styling...and a great price! From now to March 13, 11:59 EST, Jones is having a sale on selected suits. During the sale, this jacket, originally $199, is $59.99 at checkout. Click on Jones' Suit Sale box at the top of the left-hand margin and click on either suit separates or jackets on the website. Scroll down the site's pages for sale items. There are also a couple more jackets on sale at the bottom of this post.

Below are a sample of other texture jackets, neutral suit separates and blazers in this spring's hot colors. Click on any of the pictures for more details.

Jones New York 2 Pocket Trim Jacket (Green)

Jones New York Zip Front Jacket (Grey)

If you've been wondering whether you can still wear animal prints this spring, the answer is "yes." As always, go easy, though. I was reading a fashion article recently and a stylist suggested that American women often take an extreme approach towards fashion--they either make no effort at all or they do way too much. With that in mind, no leopard leggings, please. Here's a textured jacket from Anne Klein.

Anne Klein Shiny Jewel Neck Jacket Jewel Neck Jacket (Beige)

Neutral pant suits are a hot trend this spring. So if you're more comfortable in slacks than skirts, you'll have lots of choices. Here's a man-tailored suit from Anne Klein. I love the double pockets.

Anne Klein Menswear Blazer 3 Button Blazer (Grey)

Wearing a jacket and pair of pants that match, creating continuous color from shoulder to ankle, always has a slimming effect. However, stylists are playing with blocks of color this spring. For example, you might see a top in purple over a pair of long shorts in Kelly green. One way to incorporate the block color trend, but avoid looking like a stack of, well, blocks, is to wear different, put neutral or pale hues. Below are a couple of examples. The fact that the tops and bottoms don't match is refreshing, but the neutral color scheme keeps the figure from looking too chopped up.

At the department store websites, you'll find suit sets--a jacket plus either slacks or a skirt sold together--as well as suit separates. At the smaller clothiers--Anne Klein, Jones New York, Talbots, Ann Taylor--most of the suit styles are sold as separate pieces. So you have the choice--to buy matching pieces or strike out with two complimentary, but not matching pieces. The next two jackets are from Jones New York.

Jones New York V-Neck Jacket (Grey)

Jones New York 1 Button Jacket (White)

If neutral colors wash you out, fear not. A splash of color—a bold scarf, shell top, handbag, cuff or sensible pump will brighten you up. Or look for a jacket in one of this spring's many bold colors, like the Jones New York Textured 2 Pocket Jacket (Green) below. I'm seeing this green in storefront windows everywhere. I have an over 50 girlfriend with auburn hair who looks fantastic in the color. Or how about a bold red or blue jacket with a reduced price tag?

Jones New York Textured 2 Pocket Jacket (Green)

Jones New York Glow Red Jacket With Black Trim (Pattern)

Right now, this Jones New York Glow Red Jacket With Black Trim (Pattern) is marked down from $149 to $59.99

Jones New York Regal Jewel Neck Jacket With Piping (Pattern)

This Jones New York Regal Jewel Neck Jacket With Piping (Pattern) has been reduced from $149 to $79.99