6 Things That Look Matronly

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The words matronly and frumpy came up on the blog this week which got me thinking about wardrobe items we may be holding on to that aren’t doing us any favors. Style has no age limit but there are items a 25-year-old can make look modern, that often go awry on the older woman. Here are 6 ways to look less dowdy and frumpy over 50 you should ditch from your wardrobe this spring/summer.

Capri pants


I know this will be unpopular, but capri pants that end at the widest part of your calf, are unflattering and can look dowdy. Brands that cater to middle-aged women feature a lot of capri pants because women love them, but they’re not your most flattering option. Pants that end where your leg narrows, just above the ankle bone are more flattering and look modern.

Too Much Jewelry


I love jewelry just much as the next gal, but wearing too much at one time looks matronly. If you wear a statement necklace, dial down the earrings, or better yet, skip them altogether. A large bracelet with a statement necklace and bold earrings is too much and detracts from you. Wearing matching sets of jewelry is also dated so break them up and wear them separately.

Clothes that don’t fit well

woman wearing matronly outfit

Oversized, baggy clothes may be comfy, but an entire outfit of loose garments looks frumpy. If your top is oversized, choose a bottom that fits closer to your body. Blouses and shirts that are tight and gap between the buttons look sloppy, which translates to “don’t care” and that’s frumpy. Peasant skirts (like this) have been popular since the ’70s but they add bulk around the tummy and have a dowdy vibe. My outfit would have been saved by a slim tee and wearing the blouse unbuttoned, then removing some of the matching jewelry.

drab colors

Whether or not you’ve had a personal color analysis, or know your most flattering colors, beware of drab colors that bring your appearance down. An entire outfit in washed-out, faded colors looks dated and frumpy. That’s not to say you must wear bright, but have a balance and wear colors near your face that give it life.

Beware of florals


Florals are hugely popular this year, but they can be a fast track to frumpy in the wrong color or size. Tiny florals are the most dangerous, especially in pale colors so if you love them, be sure the shape is modern.

Shiny Nude pantyhose

There’s just no way to look modern when wearing shiny pantyhose for casual wear. Pair them with sandals and you’re on the fast track to frumpy. They can work for formal and dressy events but ensure they’re the sheerest possible and that your toes are covered.

No woman sets out to intentionally look matronly but it’s easy to go overboard and cross into dowdy territory, trust me, I’ve done it.

What do you look back on and realize that it made you look dowdy?

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.

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