This post is part of the Gorgeous 50’s series inspired by a book given to me by one of my sisters on my 50th birthday – ‘Grown up and Gorgeous in your 50’s’ by Pamela Robson. I will be sharing some of Pamela’s words and my own thoughts along the way. To see all posts published as part of this series, go here.
On the subject of Accessories …
Jewellery, specs and handbags all have their place in high fashion and can instantly update our look. For the 50-something woman, it’s all about classic, classic, classic, classic (but this doesn’t have to mean expensive!). Nothing ages you faster than frumpy, cheap-looking or damaged accessories.
For jewellery, the current trend is for white gold, platinum and silver with lots of sparkly things – diamonds if your name is Hilton or Beckham, otherwise, zirconias. ‘Less is more’ is your mantra. The best thing about today’s look is that it can be cheap to do: vintage stores and chain-stores are treasure troves.
When it comes to specs, please skip the ‘old lady’ glasses in favour of modern frames. It’s amazing how something so small can say so much about your personality. The eyewear industry is big business, producing vast ranges of shapes and styles. Even the major fashion designers such as Prada, Gucci, Chanel and Dior are in on the act. Spend some time choosing your next pair (perhaps invest in a work pair and a weekend pair). Don’t buy anything that makes you look like a nerd, a nun or a nanna. And get a second opinion.
Barely a week passes without yet another designer bag making the news. But there’s no need for logos and expensive price tags. One good-quality bag in natural-toned leather will multi-task very efficiently. Note: we have a tendency to stuff our bags with a million things ‘just in case’ and then carry them over one shoulder. This can cause posture problems, muscle stiffness, tension, pain and headaches. Swap shoulders now and then and edit your bag contents.
Accessorise – Yes, but don’t swamp yourself and choose your statement piece!
Accessories in general: When it comes to accessories, I don’t believe there is a specific preferred type or style that is recommended for women in their 50’s or that we now need to accessorise in a majorly different way to how we have during other decades of our life. I do agree with Pamela though in saying that ‘cheap and tacky’ is not a good look and you can never go wrong with the classic look. I don’t believe we need to ONLY accessorise in a classic look though, because there are so many fun accessories out there to choose from now, and luckily for us, you can buy great looking costume jewellery these days at an affordable price!
I love accessories but I don’t swamp myself with them. They’re more like subtle additions to compliment my look without being too overbearing. Perhaps that is because I’m a small person and like when I wear an item of clothing that has too much fabric, I’m easily swamped! I always choose my accessories to suit my outfit – not just colour but also style and type, and I generally go with only one statement piece (the rest being subtle or zero).
Jewellery: Back in the day I was into gold jewellery but for many years now I’ve been all about silver and I love white gold (though don’t have anything in it). However, though I won’t be farewelling my beloved silver, I can feel a shift coming on and I’m warming to gold again. To be completely honest though, I’ve developed a thing for ‘rose gold’ (sshh don’t tell ‘yellow gold’). I don’t have anything in rose gold yet though so must get on to that!
I do like a bit of ‘bling’ but my last name is not Hilton or Beckham so ‘costume’ jewellery is my thing but not to worry, you can get some gorgeous jewellery that looks awesome and expensive without breaking the bank these days!
I’m not big on necklaces and beads and things like that anymore because in the heat and humidity of a Brisbane summer I find them too hot and annoying around my neck. Sometimes I will choose to don a necklace but it needs to be light and not annoying, noisy, or hot to wear. Fussy much?
I quite fancy a nice bracelet and have a few favourites. I don’t waste my time so much with bracelets during the cooler months when long sleeves and jackets limit the capacity for them to be seen. Now that it’s warming up, I’ll be wearing bracelets a lot more. Again, I don’t like anything that is noisy, heavy, too hot, or slips and slides and keeps coming off (aka – annoying)!
MY NAME IS MIN and I HAVE A THING FOR EARRINGS! In fact they are my preferred ‘statement piece’ and I’m beginning to have quite a collection! In addition to sometimes stumbling across some great buys at my local markets, here’s a few of my favourite places to pick up some great pieces:
I never was really into buying rings but I recently fell in love with an Uberkate ring and if I were to be honest there are many more that she offers that I would like too. This one though spoke to me and said “you must buy me” and so I did, with some birthday money given to me this year, and I absolutely love it! I bought the Ruby Red Corundum – Limited Edition Cocktail ring. You can also see it here on me in this Taking Stock post.
Glasses: I’m afraid I’m pretty boring with glasses. I think when you have prescription glasses you’re kinda locked in with your look once you’ve bought your frames and had prescription lenses put in them. I have two different pairs of reading glasses with different frames. I like the ‘cats eye’ style and they seem to suit me. I also have a pair of glasses for distance (used mostly for night driving, watching TV or if I go to the theatre), and I have a pair of prescription sunglasses. I did take some time to try and choose frames to suit me. I’m not all that happy with the frames of my current sunglasses unfortunately. I’ll try to do better next time! I go to Specsavers to have my eyes tested and to purchase my glasses frames.
I’ll tell you who I think has the modern glasses look nailed and that is Jan from Retiring Not Shy – she has different frames to match different outfits and always looks fantastic! I need to know her secret!
Handbags: I don’t have a huge collection of handbags, nor is it my thing but I do like a good looking and practical handbag. I hate having to move everything from one handbag to another so generally tend to stick to one that works with most outfits for day use. For many years, when I was living the corporate life, I tended to stick to black handbags. I’m so over black handbags now! At the moment I have a dark tan leather handbag which I adore and bought from Strandbags. It’s a good size (not too big and not too small) and can go over my shoulder or cross body if I need my hands free. There’s plenty of room and hidey holes for all my needs. It’s a beauty! I also love a good tote and something I must put on my birthday or Christmas wishlist is a lovely leather tote big enough for my laptop when travelling. I have a few evening bag options but they’re looking a bit tired so probably need updating. Adorne is usually my go-to for an evening clutch. As a side note – they also have awesome earrings as noted above and just about every other accessory you might ever want! And of course I have crocheted myself a few boho bag options, including some market bags which are very handy.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE …
What about watches, scarves and hats? These are classified as accessories and can be fashion statements too! I’m surprised that Pamela didn’t mention these! Tsk Tsk!
Watches: To be honest, I don’t wear my watch anymore which is a bit sad because it’s a nice one. Who needs to though when you have a mobile phone with you at all times and the time is always there at your fingertips? Also – my skin these days seems to react (with a rash) with any metals in close contact with it, particularly during our hot and humid summers.
Scarves: Love them!! Just wish I could wear them more often. It’s mostly too hot for them here in Brisbane, which is one of the reason I enjoy the cooler seasons so much – hopefully getting a chance to wear some of the scarves in my collection.
Hats: I love hats and there’s some gorgeous ones out there but we don’t tend to wear them here in Brisbane as a fashion accessory option, more likely for sun protection only. I’m not sure what the situation is for the rest of Australia but probably somewhat similar? However, I do know that Melbourne Cup is an occasion where we give ourselves permission to don a fancy hat or fascinator. It’s a shame hats weren’t worn as they were in my mother’s day. Women dressed so stylishly back then!
Tell me all your accessory likes and dislikes. What is your go-to for a statement piece? Which accessory type is your weakness? The one you cant resist and collect the most of? Come on, you can tell me. I won’t tell anyone – pinky promise!
Ciao for now,