We give lil’ old lady fashion a bad rap. We usually think of ugly elastic waistband pants, printed tops that look like they belong in a nursing home, and clunky shoes that are far more invested in support than style. I mean, hell, an old lady isn’t trying to make dope “what I wore today” selfies. Er, unless you’re Baddie Winkle…
No, most old ladies are trying to live out the rest of her life in relative comfort before kicking the bucket. But there are some style choices that women of a certain age definitely get right. Where I live in New York City, old women of every race, class, and background rock some sort of fabulous looking fur coat during the colder months and they look absolutely killer. If not that, then they’re rocking some gorgeous sequins or cool sunglasses. See, grannies grew up at a time when some level of elegance and refinery were more of an expectation than a goal; their celebrities wore pearls, men wore hats to work, and even the women who had very little money to spare on clothing made sure their dresses and blouses were as crisp as could be.
I’m not saying that your grandma grew up with better style influences, I’m just saying that they were different, and some of those tendencies might still be in there, beneath the Crocs and the ill fitting bra. From glamour to comfort, you can actually incorporate some of grandma’s style into your own, without looking like you were born in the ’30s. Check out these eight old lady clothes and accessories that you’ll definitely want in your closet ASAP.
Fur CoatMy aunt loves her mink almost as much as her own damn children, and she'll never let you forget it. She, and every other lil old lady rocking roadkill ever winter, has probably had their coat since the '60s, '70s, and maybe even the '80s. You can copy that look by hitting up some local thrift stores and finding the fur coat of your dreams. Or, you could just buy a new faux fur coat that looks just as cool. Pair with some oversized sunglasses and statement jewelry and you're rocking old lady chic with a young twist. Pinterest/Buy the look at ASOS for $88
Sequin OuterwearGrandma Yetta from The Nanny should be an old lady style inspiration to all of us, especially when it came to flawlessly pulling off a sequin jacket. Sequins are, admittedly, hard to pull off for a casual look. I've tried, trust me, it's tricky. But if you're going for a festive or formal look and you want to stand out like nobody else, definitely go for the sequin outerwear. Just be careful and make sure your sequins don't get caught on anything! The Nanny/Buy the look at Nasty Gal for $98
LoafersThe word "loafer" sounds just as clunky and unattractive as loafers look, don't they? Well, not so fast...loafers might make you think of your great aunt's musty closet, and loafers might not be the sexiest shoe around, but they can be styled in a lot of cute ways. Pair with socks and a mini skirt or dress for an old school prep look. Or, rock with some straight leg ankle pants and dark or neutral tones for a too-cool-for-school style blogger look. They're a lot more versatile than they look. Just play around with a few different styles and colors and see what happens. Bonus points if you get loafers with the lil' tassels on 'em. Pinterest/Buy the look at Urban Outfitters for $59
PantyhoseHave you ever had a moment when you realize that somebody--usually an older woman--is wearing nude colored pantyhose and you're a little thrown off for a second? Yeah, pantyhose are super old school, and even Kate Middleton rocking them couldn't change their reputation entirely. However, I think that there are some situations in which pantyhose can be a nice wardrobe addition. If it's a little chilly out but you don't want to go totally barelegged, and you don't want to rock black or colored tights, pantyhose are a nice alternative. Also, if you get a pair that matches your skin tone well and aren't too shiny, they can make your legs look amazingly smooth. Sheer black pantyhose are also nice if you want to get the look of black tights but without the heavy opaqueness that most black tights offer. Flashbak/Buy the look at ASOs for $14.50
Elastic Waistband PantsYou probably associate elastic waistbands with two demographics: Small children and old people. When it comes to old folks, elastic waistbands rule because they're not so binding. Like, granny ain't got the patience to squeeze into a pair of skinny jeans, you know? Well, you can give your waistline a little air, too! Rock a pair of elastic waistband trousers that are stylish and don't look like you're about to work out. Opt for ones that look structured like the photo on the right, or go for a pair of wide leg ones for a more casual look. Pinterest/Buy the look at American Apparel for $58
Massive SunglassesI'm not sure where this stereotype of old ladies wearing massive sunglasses came from, but I'm here for it. Cop a pair of oversized round sunglasses to master this look. For an extra dose of retro, go for lenses or frames with brown, golden, or amber tones. Pinterest/Buy the look at ASOS for $21
Statement JewelryI don't know about you, but all that flimsy, airy af jewelry that's trendy in stores right now just don't cut it for me. I like to go for bold jewelry that won't get lost in the rest of my look, jewelry that makes a statement. Chances are, if you go through an older relatives jewelry, you'll find earrings, necklaces, brooches, etc that really stand out. Borrow some and see what you like. Or, go to a thrift store or flea market and find some old school jewelry that doesn't fade into the background. Vogue/Buy the look at Nasty Gal for $48.50
Super In Your Face Printed BlousesIf you step foot into any thrift store or your mom's closet, you'll probably find a lot of old pattered blouses that scream '80s. Well, why not embrace the intensity and infuse it into your wardrobe? Tuck these blouses into skirts or high waist jeans for a quick and easy look. For an even stronger dose of granny, go for a floral or abstract print. FanPop/Buy the look at ASOS for $61
Have you ever been inspired by the style choices of a much older man or woman in your life? What does your grandma wear that you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing? Tell us in the comments!