Granny Style: Is it Frumpy?

Believe it or not, some still think that being a grandmother is synonymous with looking frumpy. That passing 50 or 60 means turning the style corner to dowdy. Turning 60 wasn’t even a small speed bump for me and my desire to dress stylishly didn’t change one bit, did yours??

Welcome to Hit Your Style Sweet Spot, my weekly collaboration with Pam from Over 50 Feeling 40. You’ve hit your Style Sweet Spot when your appearance is sending the message you intend, and you feel confident that you look your best. This week we are talking about style over 60!

grandmother chic in Loreto bay

I have pictures of my grandmother at 60 and she looks much older than I do. She was a sweet lady who wore her gray hair in a bun every day. Her glasses were the same frame shape as my grandfather’s. Her sensible shoes were probably very comfortable but looked like the worse sort of orthopedic shoe you could imagine. She wore housedresses daily and wore no cosmetics at all. But here’s the thing…she did not feel frumpy!

casual fashion in Loreto Bay

I am a proud Granny myself. It’s important to me that I remain looking current and appropriate for me…at 60. Does that mean I listen to rules others have made up about what I shouldn’t wear because of my age? Nope! I use my internal radar to guide me.

style and fashion over 50

I’ve had a few readers comment that I was too old to wear a certain look. I’ve also been told the outfit I was wearing looked frumpy. I respectfully disagreed each time. I felt confident wearing those outfits and what’s important is how I feel.

fashion and style for women over 50

Many women our age are quite interested in remaining stylish and a lot of them are online. Print magazines have long abandoned our demographic so blogs, Pinterest and Instagram have filled that gap and provide lots of inspiration and encouragement.

fashion for women over 50

We need to follow our internal guidance about what feels right to us, on us. What looks frumpy to me, may not look frumpy to you. Frumpy is a label that may tag a fashion faux pas and can be a nasty feeling that robs us of our confidence.

enjoying the sun in Loreto Bay

Here in Loreto Bay, the dress code is very casual and dressed up is almost non-existent. My T-shirt, skirt, and sandals are all from Target… several years ago. I think the whole outfit cost under $35 but feels right to me for hot days, relaxing in the shade.

Now let’s go see what Pam has to say about looking chic over 60.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

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51 Comments

  1. March 19, 2017 / 4:07 am

    You have the best hats! My grandmother at 60 also looked much older. I am having so much fun at this age, I sometimes forget I am in my sixties. Enjoy your time in sunny Mexico!

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:36 pm

      I definitely forget my age. When I hear myself say I am 60, I pause and wonder how that happened so fast:)

  2. Lianne MacGregor
    March 19, 2017 / 4:42 am

    You look fantastic in these photos. If you haven’t done so already, an idea for a future post is “undergarments” – I’d really appreciate your take on bras, shapers, underwear and hosiery. Enjoy your time in Mexico!

    • Susan
      March 19, 2017 / 4:35 pm

      Oh, I agree with that!

      • Jennifer
        March 19, 2017 / 5:34 pm

        That’s a great idea! Super sucker-inners are not my forte, but some women swear by them. I will plan a post on foundations I do like.

  3. Lynn
    March 19, 2017 / 6:03 am

    I think you look great! The hardest thing for me as I age is the choice of shoes. Comfortable, stylish shoes are hard to find, especially without the “heavy” look of supportive ones. Skinny legs and heavy looking shoes are not attractive!

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:32 pm

      Heavy shoes are not attractive on short women either, Lynn so I am always on the hunt.

  4. Mary Lou
    March 19, 2017 / 6:09 am

    Really enjoy your posts……will celebrate 80 years this summer. Still want to look current but getting increasingly difficult. Keep us in mind as you shop. Rarely wear dresses, as they are just not comfortable…..look awkward somehow. Just 5 feet tall….most petite clothing seems a bit childish.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:31 pm

      I will keep you in mind, Mary Lou! Many of us are petite and need adult clothes we can feel confident wearing.

  5. March 19, 2017 / 6:11 am

    You look great – relaxed and confident! Perfect vacation look!

    And you are so right, we should never stop wearing stylish clothes that are right for us.

    Have a wonderful time in Mexico!

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:30 pm

      Thanks, Andrea!

  6. Nancy Starr
    March 19, 2017 / 6:21 am

    I agree! I will be 80 my next birthday and still am interested in fashion and looking and feeling good in my clothing selections. Thank you for your blog I enjoy it very much.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:29 pm

      Thank you for being here, Nancy. I appreciate you!

  7. March 19, 2017 / 7:08 am

    I love your outfit. It looks comfortable and appropriate for the setting.
    I can’t believe that anybody would say you looked frumpy! No way!
    Frumpy is a state of mind, mostly. It’s letting go, giving up, losing zest. It can happen at any age, and age doesn’t mean frumpiness is inevitable. Different examples: Catherine Deneuve (age 73), Helen Mirren (age 71) and Susan Sarandon (age 70) are never frumpy (you can question Susan Sarandon’s sartorial choices but you can’t call her frumpy).
    I looked for examples of frumpy stars, but it’s mostly when they play a part. Jennifer Anniston in “Cake,” Emma Thompson in “The Legend of Barney Thomson” (both beautiful women in real life), Edith Bunker from “All in the Family.” What’s really telling is their posture, more than what they’re wearing. Edith was always hunched; Emma Thompson just sags in her character. As if life had dulled.
    In other words, frumpy isn’t about clothes.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:28 pm

      You’re right! It’s not about the clothes!!

  8. Linda
    March 19, 2017 / 7:21 am

    Jennifer, you look fabulous as always. Yes, the times have changed. I’m 69 years old, and people are always amazed when I ask for the senior discount. It’s not because I don’t have wrinkles; I’m sure it’s because I don’t dress frumpy and I wear makeup and my hair is always styled. People have an image in their minds as to what 60 years old looks like…… and it’s no longer accurate.
    Thanks for being there for us “new age” golden agers.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:26 pm

      Thanks, Linda. Looking current does help us look modern… which is how I want to look too.

  9. Joan
    March 19, 2017 / 7:34 am

    I love how you are wearing that maxi skirt. Somehow when I wear mine, I always look a bit more dressy than casual. Any tips on how to tone down my look to be more casual? At 67 years old, I may be following some outdated rules on what goes with what.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:24 pm

      I think my flip flops obviously tone it down as does the simple T-shirt. A necklace might be overkill and look dressier too. Allow the accessories to set the tone for your maxi and wear casual shoes.

      • Joan
        March 20, 2017 / 8:28 am

        Bingo! I usually wear dressier sandals and I always wear either a long necklace and/or a short necklace, plus earrings, bracelet and ring. My style is typically from Chico’s and most of my wardrobe comes from there. I will try the flip flops and fewer jewelry items next time. Thanks for all your great tips!

        • Jennifer
          March 20, 2017 / 9:10 am

          You are welcome…let me know how it works!

  10. March 19, 2017 / 8:09 am

    I think you look great! Perfect for the setting.

  11. Yazmin
    March 19, 2017 / 8:19 am

    we are a new generation of grandmothers that love to be fashionable.
    Sheers to looking good ladies!!!

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:22 pm

      Agreed!

  12. Patricia sterling
    March 19, 2017 / 8:23 am

    I was just telling my husband why are there no magazines geared toward our age group, 50’s and 60’s. we are the stylish dressers and the ones that can buy but yet everything is for the very young.
    I love your column and how you dress. I am 65 and am constantly in my gym clothes because I am at the gym sometime during the day. Therefore I dress stylish in gym clothes and own many different gym outfits that I can wear because I am fit. Thank you!

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:21 pm

      Bravo for you, Patricia! I need to take a page from your book and get myself to the gym!!

  13. Nancy
    March 19, 2017 / 8:30 am

    Darling outfit, great location. Love the design of the place. Door are absolutely beautiful. You go, girl.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:17 pm

      xoxo

  14. Joanna
    March 19, 2017 / 8:33 am

    Our parents were old at sixty. We are not! We’re still young, vibrant and enjoying retirement to the fullest.
    I don’t have any desire to dress like an old lady but neither do I dress inappropriately. I like to keep up on what’s current and add to my wardrobe those items that appeal to me, suit my style and body type. I think you always look wonderful, Jennifer. While some styles you wear are not for me, they fit your personality and make you happy. Go for it!

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:16 pm

      Our generation is aging differently…there’s no question! Thanks, we should all wear what fits our personality and makes us feel confident.

  15. Ellen C.
    March 19, 2017 / 9:36 am

    I’ve never seen you look frumpy nor inappropriately dressed – probably jealous type persons commenting. Just turning 60 this year myself and take inspiration from both you and Pam. My grandma sat down at 65 and declared she wanted to die! Not me! By the way, you look relaxed and fabulous!

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:14 pm

      Thanks, Ellen! I love to inspire and be inspired by other women.

  16. Kelly
    March 19, 2017 / 11:54 am

    I LOVE that look on you today!!

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:13 pm

      Thanks so much…it’s easy and comfy.

  17. Janey
    March 19, 2017 / 1:06 pm

    You always look great and you are an inspiration. Sometimes though it is wise to listen to another’s opinion and consider it. I know I,ve sometimes thought something looked great but from advice tweaked it to look better

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:12 pm

      Thanks, Janey. I love to tweak things and am always open to other’s opinion. In the end, I disagreed with them because I was confident I looked how I wanted to look.

  18. Kelly
    March 19, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    you do NOT look frumpy – EVER!! I’m not sure you could if you tried! You have a wonderful style that I really admire.

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:10 pm

      You’re sweet, Kelly…thanks so much!

  19. laura
    March 19, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    Great post! I love your hat too!!

    In all fairness, lifestyles and fashion styles have come a long way since the granny days of old. Hooray!! 🙂

    Also, I agree completely that frumpy is a state of mind… until recently, I’ve never had an eye or real interest in fashion. Combined with my apple body shape and years of depression and I was a ‘poster child’ for frumpy without even being aware of it.

    Now, I’m in a much better and healthier place emotionally and physically. Now I’m having fun learning how to dress to feel good on the outside. 🙂

    Thank you for your inspiration and enjoy Mexico!!

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:08 pm

      Thank you, Laura! Looking good on the outside feels good on the inside.

  20. Susan
    March 19, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    You look great, Jennifer; stylish, confident and comfortable! Why the fashion industry doesn’t pay more attention to us older women is disgraceful and short-sighted. After all, we have money to spend! As someone said, maybe even you, it’s harder to design for a variety of body shapes and designers are lazy. Plus, it’s very hard to imagine yourself in an outfit worn by a 16 yr old stick model. Nothing against them. They need to dress their age, too. And why would someone 60 want to look like a 16 yr old anyway?
    I love fashion. Finding a wonderful outfit that I feel confident in is so satisfying. Thank you for being a part of my fashion guidelines group! I always feel validated and inspired by your blog posts. ????

    Susan

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:02 pm

      Thanks, Susan! I agree…I want to look the best I can for me, as me…not trying to look like anyone else.

  21. kathy
    March 19, 2017 / 5:01 pm

    How did you get your hats to your destination without packing them in your suitcases?

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 5:39 pm

      I did pack them in my small carry-on suitcase! I will photograph and write a post when I pack to go home:)

  22. March 19, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    That hat has my name on it!! What brand is it? xoxox, Brenda

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 8:19 pm

      It is from Coolibar. An online shop
      That specializes in sun protective clothing and hats. xox

  23. Paula Lusk
    March 19, 2017 / 8:47 pm

    I think you always look great. I, too, dress very similar to you. I never feel frumpy. I get a lot of compliments on the way I look, and I appreciate them. I’m going to be 63 in June and haven’t skipped a beat in years. Thank you for your blog. Paula

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2017 / 8:53 pm

      Thank you, Paula!! Thanks for being here.

  24. March 20, 2017 / 7:51 am

    First of all you look amazing for 60. I love long skirts they sure hide all the evils don’t they? You have inspired me to drag a couple of mine out.

    • Jennifer
      March 20, 2017 / 9:10 am

      Thanks, Cindy. They are so easy to wear in hot weather.

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