Turning 50: A Style Evolution

In just a few months I will turn 50 and it’s got me thinking.

First, wow! I’m so thankful that it’s happening. I’m ready to celebrate and welcome a new phase in life, a phase that apparently now also has a name, “perennials,” to reflect a generation that isn’t exactly following our mother’s steps when it comes to so many things, including how we dress.

A recent article I read addressed this sentiment, one that is on the minds of many of us “50-somethings, ” and this paragraph spoke to me:  “When I hear the term ‘middle-aged,’ I have to stop and think, ‘Is this meant to be me?’ I don’t polish silver or plan menus, and I’m not interested in housework. I am also spontaneous and I don’t think that’s a quality traditionally associated with middle-age.”

And that brings up a lot of questions as I embark on this journey of making choices and living a very different life than my mother did. Ready or not – here it comes!

So let’s talk about clothes. My first thought is: what am I still “allowed” to wear without judgment or looking like I’m trying too hard? But then I think, wait! “Allowed?” No. The question I’m more comfortable with is: How do I wear the clothes I love in a way that will stylishly represent who I am, whom I’ve become over the past 50 years?

Let’s start with three of my favorite pieces – the ripped jean, the graphic tee, and shorts. I’m not giving these up. But I am giving some thought to modifying a bit to better reflect my evolution as a person and of my style.

The Ripped Jean

When it comes to ripped jeans, gone are the days of shredding from hip to ankle or big chunks of jean material missing. A few rips/tears around the knee says I’m on trend, but not trendy.

A darker wash streamlines the silhouette and feels a little more “dressed.” And my new philosophy as I enter this decade: ripped jeans are not center stage anymore. I prefer to have them play second fiddle to a really cool jacket or a fabulous pair of shoes as the star of my ensemble.

Jacket, Tank, Jeans, Necklace: Coco Blanca | Shoes: The Shoe Hive | Bracelet: The Hive


The Graphic Tee

Graphic tees are fun and easy to reach for when pairing with jeans and a bomber jacket or blazer for a pulled together look. But, add a polished, well-made suit and you show the younger crowd what it means to blend trend and sophistication. Set the example by choosing quality and a good fit, and look for shirts with cool image designs and minimal wording for a truly grown-up interpretation of this look.

Suit, Tee, Earrings: The Hive | Shoes: The Shoe Hive



As with any age, in your 50’s body type, proportion, length and fit are all very important considerations when choosing a pair of shorts. And while I still like a short short, showcasing that look, for me, feels played out and boring. At this age, I feel sexier and more stylish in rolled lightweight pants or a pretty summer dress.

Top, Pants, Accessories: The Hive


And it is truly all about a feeling, isn’t it?  Sometimes we just want to feel pretty no matter what our age…and what feels prettier than a light, airy dress?

Dress: Coco Blanca | Shoes: The Shoe Hive | Necklace: The Hive


Being stylish in our 50’s doesn’t have to be a mystery. We already know who we are!  Applying that knowledge to our style is one way of letting our hard-earned wisdom, experience, and confidence shine through in a polished and sophisticated way!

For more styling tips, contact Lenà Burns today! | Photographs by Kevin Burns | Model, Marie-Claude Svaldi


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Lenà works with individuals on their personal style, specializing in high-profile clients who require polished on- and off-duty looks. Her goal is to a create wearable, easy, put-together looks that feel true to her clients.

DC Style Factory is a personal shopping and styling service for men and women looking to add polish and individuality to their wardrobes. We believe personal style is for anyone who wants it — regardless of age, size or budget.


1 Comment

  1. Beautiful, I love this post because it doesn’t speak to what to wear based on our age. For me, another recently 50 years young woman & fashion blogger, I have never believed in that concept that the status quo sold us a long time ago. I, like you share, believe it wearing what feels good to my soul, what my body looks well in, and what speaks to my sense of style regardless of my age.

    Love the post and hope to meet you one day as I’m in the DMV area as well 🙂 Happy early 50th birthday gorgeous!!!

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