Frumpy Fashion To Fabulous: for Women Over 50

Frumpy Fashion To Fabulous: for Women Over 50

Frumpy has such nasty connotations. I’ve yet to meet a woman who doesn’t have a strong reaction to it. No woman intentionally sets out to look frumpy. It can sneak up on us, as we race through our busy days. The amount of effort you put into your self-care and appearance directly effects your confidence.

A typical frumpy outfitDowdy, unfashionable, drab, dull, homely, shabby, scruffy…all are synonyms for the word FRUMPY.  We know women often shut down when there is no motivation or inspiration for self-care. Sadly, lack of self-respect is why a woman may fall on the side of frumpy and begin to not care at all.

So, the Frump Busters are here to help. Jennifer of A Well Styled Life, Susan of Fifty Not Frumpy, and Pam of Over 50 Feeling 40 will collaborate on the First Friday of every month to bring their individual interpretations of how to take a frumpy look to fabulous style.  Let’s put frumpy behind us for good, ladies!

Susan, Pam and I are going to show alternatives, to this typical, frumpy outfit on the left.


  • Let’s start with the mom jeans. If you own them, get rid of them. There is simply no way to un-frump this style of jean. Depending on your body silhouette, replace them with a modern boot cut leg, a skinny jean or a straight leg jean. This blue is also dated. Look for a colored or deeper wash, which is more modern looking.

Wearing one color head to toe helps you appear taller and slimmer

Style Tip- Wearing one color, head to toe, helps you appear taller, slimmer and more polished.

  • The backpack is a very comfortable way to carry things. It leaves your hands free but wrinkles your clothes. If you must use one, look for a chicer version. Leather or a solid fabric would be a better choice.


Wearig head to toe gray

  • The athletic or logo T-shirts are a no-go. There is no fixing this, so opt for a plain t-shirt with no writing on it.
  • Those sneakers are best saved for walking your dog or exercising. There are lots of options available at all price points, with a similar comfort level that look less frumpy. I’m wearing my Bernie Mev’s which are as comfortable as slippers!

Casual need not be sloppy or frumpy.

  • The jacket is cute. If you changed everything else, you could wear it running errands. Combined with these other pieces, it screams frumpy. Look for a jacket with a flattering shape and some interesting lines. Mine is made with sweatshirt fabric and  faux leather sleeves. It’s many years old, from Anthropologie.

Now lets pop over to see how Pam and Susan would update this outfit From Frumpy to Fabulous!



xo Jennifer



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  1. Judi Hume
    March 4, 2016 / 6:12 am

    Thank you so much for doing this! I find it very helpful to see how each of you has chosen reasonable alternatives to the original outfit. I look forward to reading more of these posts!

    • Jennifer
      March 4, 2016 / 9:01 pm

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying it Judi.

  2. March 4, 2016 / 6:19 am

    You look great Jennifer! Your casual style is so chic. Thanks for inviting me to join you and Pam for this project. It is so much fun!

    • Jennifer
      March 4, 2016 / 9:02 pm

      It’s great to work with you and Pam. Thanks for agreeing to join us! Your transformation is amazing.

  3. March 4, 2016 / 6:47 am

    Good points Jennifer. I wish that some of the “big” fashion blogs would stop showing off-duty models, in a tee shirt and ripped jeans and labeling the look “insanely chic.” Really? Maybe an off-duty model can look great in that. But most of us would look like we just rolled out of bed:) Good idea for a series…I’m off to check out the other looks.

    • Jennifer
      March 4, 2016 / 9:04 pm

      Great point Sue! i can’t wait for ripped jeans to go away. I’ve yet to see them look chic!

  4. March 4, 2016 / 6:57 am

    LOVE this jacket, Jennifer! Simple, easy, cool! You made some great points here and I am so happy to say all my mom jeans are gone!

    • Jennifer
      March 4, 2016 / 9:05 pm

      I saw a women wearing mom jeans today! Why do they still make them???

  5. Margaret
    March 4, 2016 / 7:04 am

    Perfect!!! 😀 Great advice on transforming a look from yuck to yum!

    • Jennifer
      March 4, 2016 / 9:06 pm

      Glad you liked it Margaret.

  6. March 4, 2016 / 11:50 am

    Found your blog though my Twitter and so need your site! I am tired of frump, but need to be comfortable. I turned 50 in November and want this to be a decade of style, but also grace and comfort.

    • Jennifer
      March 4, 2016 / 9:08 pm

      Welcome Sam! I’m so glad you’re here. Please feel free to ask me questions as well.

  7. Sharon Woryn
    March 4, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    If there is one thing to crush frumpy it’s COLOR! The right color will make you look vibrant and alive. This outfit is drab. Grey and black from head to toe? This outfit needs a great necklace as a statement piece. I am being honest about this. I just see too many women wearing black all the time.

    • Joanna
      March 4, 2016 / 5:12 pm

      A person can wear all the colors in the rainbow and still be frumpy. While I love a dose of color, I find it easy and quick to dress in an all black/grey outfit and walk out the door looking put together. I think with a casual outfit, such as Jennifer has on today, a pair of statement earrings will suffice.

      • Jennifer
        March 4, 2016 / 9:23 pm

        I also find it quick and easy to look chic in black and gray Joanna! I didn’t add accessories, because the frumpy outfit did not have them. I simply made exchanges in the items shown.

    • Jennifer
      March 4, 2016 / 9:20 pm

      Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion, Sharon.

  8. Sally L
    March 4, 2016 / 12:50 pm

    This collaboration is great! Love the sleeves on your sweater/jacket. 🙂

    • Jennifer
      March 4, 2016 / 9:24 pm

      That’s what I liked about the sweatshirt too! Adds some fun.

  9. Lillian Plummer
    March 4, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    Hi Jennifer, great post. Enjoy reading your blog and love the tips.

    • Jennifer
      March 4, 2016 / 9:25 pm

      Thank you Lillian!!

  10. March 4, 2016 / 2:08 pm

    Great look! You did a fantastic job showing that jeans, a tee, a jacket, and a backpack can look great! Just looking at the items on top an what you are wearing, I can see the difference in how I would feel. I’ve started to think about how what I’m putting on in the morning makes me feel, and it has has made a real difference in what I choose and how I therefore feel for the rest of the day!

    • Jennifer
      March 4, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      Thanks Andrea! I’m so happy you’re enjoying this! I think you look great.

  11. March 4, 2016 / 4:30 pm

    A great-looking outfit (yours, not the sample at the top). The jacket is so cute.

    • Jennifer
      March 4, 2016 / 9:28 pm

      Thanks Lorrie! Little details like the sleeves and front drape, make a nice change from ordinary.

  12. Prairie Poulet
    March 4, 2016 / 4:49 pm

    This is my kind of look. I like the “column” effect for slimming a silhouette. Because I have a pear shape, more volume on top works for me. The jacket is very similar to one I own. Boot cut jeans in a dark colour? Yes, that’s me, too. I need a higher waist due to my pear shape, but these are not mom jeans. Yes to higher waists for us pears. Even mid-rise can turn us into “muffins” and “plumbers”.

    I love colour but don’t always want it.

    Great job! I can do this!

    • Jennifer
      March 4, 2016 / 9:31 pm

      Yay Prairie! You’ve got that exactly right. I am a high rise woman all the way. Sounds like you are doing this right. Bravo!

  13. March 4, 2016 / 7:10 pm

    Great tips on how to be casual but not trumped together. I love the idea of a little backpack.

    • Jennifer
      March 4, 2016 / 8:59 pm

      They really are great when you need your hands free!

  14. Yvonne
    March 4, 2016 / 11:30 pm

    Great outfits and inspiring messages from all three of you. Thank you for doing this.

  15. nancy
    March 5, 2016 / 12:06 am

    I so agree with you about the mom jeans! Awfull! But I am afraid I just said something in my recent post about the backpack. Have a great weekend!

    • Jennifer
      March 5, 2016 / 7:53 am

      Backpacks do have great value. We just need to up the style and fabrications for daytime wear.

  16. March 5, 2016 / 4:28 am

    For Fall and Winter, I too, feel comfortable in blacks and greys, particularly at work where I wish to look more professional. I am also comfortable with bright or white over black pants or blue jeans, My favorite jeans are from Chicos. I am a long pullover sweater girl with jeans or leggings ( we are big on leggings with boots in the chill up north) , and love a crisp starched white blouse, or my ageless Eileen Fisher fuschia silk blouse that I wear at least one a week. (It’s five years old . . . ) I have two “original” (about 18 years old) Abercrombie and Fitch men’s shirts that belonged to my little brother before he passed. I have them starched and roll up the sleeves for weekend wear with jeans and flats, You always look smashing, Jenn. Have a great weekend!

    • Jennifer
      March 5, 2016 / 7:55 am

      Crisp starched white shirts are so chic! How special you have your brother’s Lynne. You always look fabulous. XO

  17. March 5, 2016 / 7:11 am

    This is indeed a fabulous outfit. I love the shoes and will certainly fish out my little black leather backpack and use it again.

    • Jennifer
      March 5, 2016 / 7:57 am

      I was happy to dig my backpack out for this post!!

  18. March 6, 2016 / 6:17 pm

    Great jacket!. I’m not a fan of frump. I work out like a banshee so prefer a slim silhouette and am happy to report I’ve never worn a mom jean.

    • Jennifer
      March 7, 2016 / 9:19 pm

      I’ve never worn a Mom jean either. I wonder why they still make them?

  19. March 10, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    Love this idea showing how to re style a look bringing it from frumy to fabulous with changes that are still easy to wear but make such a difference.

  20. Cathy
    March 10, 2016 / 8:44 pm

    Just found your blog tonight while searching for 2016 fashion don’ts for over 50!! Don’t quite know why I was searching in the negative – dont’s – by anyway!! Lol. I have a question that I already know the answer to but here goes!! Capris for spring and summer???? I will admit to living in black capris all summer. My version of the mom jean! Can’t wait for your answer. Feel free to be brutal. 🙂

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