winter fashions for women

Winter Fashion Trends and Whether You Can Wear them At Your Age

by Leigh Anne Jasheway
Leigh Anne Jasheway

When I googled “winter fashions for women” the first thing that popped up was an ad with the headline, “Styles for Mature Women: Classic, Quality Clothing!”

I got all huffy at the presumption that any part of me is mature or classic, but I was curious enough to click on the link anyway. The mature woman on the home page was wearing a turtleneck sweater like one I used to own several years ago before I had a hot flash while standing near a pair of sharp scissors. The rest is history. Now one of my dachshunds has a stylish sweater tube top (which I’m thinking should be on some designer’s winter runway in Paris or Milan).

As a woman over a certain age – let’s say 40 and then laugh and laugh – my sense of fashion is equal parts comfort (yay, black leggings), affordability, and whatever comes in a neon color that season. Regarding the latter, my reasoning is that anyone who approaches me will be temporarily blinded and unable to focus on my face or hair.

Who needs Botox and dye jobs when you can wear a fuchsia, orange, and chartreuse geometric print jacket!

Although I’m not a fashionista, I have watched enough shows like What Not to Wear and Really, You’re Leaving the House in That? to know that there are supposedly rules for women when it comes to what is and isn’t appropriate as we get older. There aren’t any rules for men because if you’re a guy, apparently a holey Aerosmith t-shirt and a pair of loose-fit jeans are appropriate for any occasion, including your wedding.

If you’re like me and have bras older than the latest fashion designer, you may be wondering what’s hot for this winter –figuratively and literally if you’re menopausal – and whether or not you should give those trends a try. Fret not! I have done some research on this topic and now present my review of trending winterwear.

Big square sunglasses 

I’m all about protecting my eyes and the skin around them, but squarish glasses combined with my natural skin tone tend to make my face look like Spongebob Squarepants, and not in a good way. Say yes to the big glasses, but maybe look into a cat eye style. The upward sweep of cat eye glasses can fool onlookers into thinking you’ve had an eyelift. 2 stars, but only for cartoon lovers and cosplayers.

Sock boots 

At first, I thought this was a boot with a built-in sock and thought, “That can’t be hygienic,” but it turns out a sock boot is simply a boot that comes up to your ankle, aka, ankle boot. Most of them appear to have 4” or higher stiletto heels. I follow this basic rule of stilettos: For every decade after 40, reduce your heel height by 1” because cute shoes and a walker aren’t sexy together. 3 stars unless you have varicose veins that start mid-calf.

Short pants

These are like Capris, but looser at the bottom and made in heavier winter fabrics. I assume the purpose of these pants is to show off your ankle boots, but if a swift winter wind blows, the blue hue of your calves might not be as attractive as you think. 3 stars if you live in a part of the world where the temps never fall below 75 degrees in the winter. 1 star if you make snow angels every year.

Wide cuffs 

Supposedly we all get shorter as we get older (I don’t really believe this – I have just gotten wider, which makes me appear shorter), so this might be a good trend if you have old pants lying around that are now too long. 3 stars, especially if you fill your cuffs with nuts so the squirrels will all have extra snacks when you walk through the park.

Loose sleeves

Now here’s something all us “mature” women can be happy about. I don’t know about you, but I believe some of my boobs have migrated into my upper arms, so any sleeve that actually fits around my biceps without cutting off circulation is a good thing. 27 freaking stars!

Jewel-toned faux fur jacket 

Nothing says “This is NOT real fur! Don’t throw paint on me” like a lime green or turquoise faux fur. As a vegan who has on occasion attached a sticky note that reads “Not real leather” to my purse, I’m down with this trend. Plus, if you look hard, I bet you can find some age-defying neon faux fur! 5 stars.

Blanket with a belt 

Yeah, this is a thing! The fashion people want you to buy this as an outfit. What they don’t want you to do is to pick up the dog blanket from the sofa, grab a belt from your own closet, and voila! make your own outfit for $0. The look is a combination of poncho and bathrobe and I like it! 4 stars, but avoid themed blankets like Star Wars or The Little Mermaid.

Robe coat

Speaking of bathrobes, how about a robe you can wear outside without your children threatening to put you in a home? If you have somewhere between $200 and $500 in the pockets of your current bathrobe, you can buy one of these neutral robe coats and shuffle around the supermarket in your shopping slippers, which aren’t a thing yet, but may soon be. You’d think I’d be all for this style, but I just know I’d get confused and wear my indoor bathrobe outside and vice-versa, so I give it only 2 stars if you’re at that point where you sometimes wonder if dementia is setting in.

Clear plastic raincoat with a built-in dickey

Okay, this is NOT a trend, but I so wish it were. You know how they say older women “disappear”? Well, not if you’re naked in this coat. ALL THE STARS!

Well, there you have it. Now go forth into the cooler months well-dressed, comfortable, and laughing all the way.

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