Why Shopping For Women Over 50 Is Frustrating!

The rules. We all have them but as we get older, the rules seem to multiply. Here are my reasons why shopping for over 50 is so hard.

I’ve never really been a big clothes shopper. But when I was younger, it was definitely a lot easier. I was tall, thin and in the age group designers targeted. I could walk into any store, pick out my size and it would more than likely, fit as it was intended.

I didn’t shy away from any trends, styles or colours. My personal mantra was “anything goes”. Not sure if that worked for me but I was very confident I could pull anything off.

Recently, I went shopping with a friend. She was looking for sundresses for an upcoming vacation to Italy. Being a good friend, I quickly got over my pangs of envy and secret wish to make sure she didn’t look good AND have fun travelling, and focussed on the mission at hand. I got into the summer spirit and started looking for outfits for me too.

We zig zagged the store, I don’t know how many times, calling out to each other, holding things up, criticizing each other’s choices and inevitably returning most of the items back to the rack.

I soon realized that clothes shopping for women over 50 is much, much harder. Why?

The rules. We all have them but as we get older, the rules seem to multiply. Here are my reasons why shopping for over 50 is so hard.


  • Length too short
  • Sleeves too short
  • Too tight around stomach, butt, bust
  • Too thin and see through(rag after one wash)
  • Too heavy
  • Too young
  • Too old
  • Too complicated to put on
  • Too long  to remove to go pee
  • Too blingy
  • Too much pattern
  • Too plain
  • Neck too high
  • Neck too low

Have I missed any?

I think we touched every item in that store, twice. The few items that passed the “looks good on a hanger” test, were set aside to try on. The change room was an even bigger hurdle to cross. The item had to pass each of the following progressive steps:

  • past the knees (why did I think I could fit into that size)
  • all zippers and buttons done up
  • motion agility test
  • over all mirror appearance
  • friend’s thumbs up

It took an hour and a half but we were successful, even with all of our tests, restrictions and qualifications. With the store paging it was closing, we checked out. She bought two tops and I…I got a purse.

Sometimes you just can't see the forest thru the trees. Cleaning your closet can help you discover buried treasure. 5 steps to love your clothes...again.

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  1. I am 68 years old and have always been on the thin side but after 65 something happened. What is the spare tire around my middle and where did it come from? Use to have to worry about the jeans fitting my upper thighs and smaller waist but now I can’t find anything that fits well and I refuse to wear anything with an elastic waist. Don’t want to look like an old dowdy women. My mother dressed to kill in her 90s. How about we all get together and open a women’s clothing store for just us 50s and over and call it Just For 50s Ladies. Surely we can find manufacturers that cater to our age group. I agree a great handbag and shoes can camouflage anything.

    1. My mom dressed really nice too. How the heck did they do it? I agree we need more clothing stores that cater to age altering sizes.

  2. Always enjoy this blog but today was right on! My 75 year old arms are not fixable. Never have seen a good arm job by a plastic surgeon! So are we over 50’s going to die of heat stroke? I have found lightweight shrugs, tops that have shoulder openings but arm coverage and tops with sheer sleeves that camo the offending parts of my arms but it is monster shopping to find! Keep on writing Patty!

  3. Everything you’ve said in this post is SO TRUE, and the reason why when I go clothes shopping I usually walk out of stores buying either a handbag, scarf, or shoes! And even though I don’t really sew, I’m seriously tempted to learn because there is very little clothing out there that is stylish and fits well, for women over fifty! And jeans? A nightmare! Seems like the junior and plus-size departments have cornered the market, and those of us in between are just left hanging. I’m sure we can do better than that!

  4. Hi there,
    I really liked this article, good points and they are all true! When we get older, we all start to experience these things and it makes it harder for us to enjoying shopping. I love your purse by the way, great color!

  5. Love the handbag! Two years ago two of my three sons decided to get married within two months of each other. That meant two dresses (I hardly ever wear dresses but mother of the son rules applied). It was hell but I was happy with the end result. I much prefer buying handbags.

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