Style Swap: How to Stay on Trend Post-35

Oct 3, 2023

Let’s not mince words: We are middle aged.  We have wrinkles. We have grey hair.  And we’re reaching the age where the homepage headlines feature the names of 20-something “celebrities” we’ve never even heard of.

(Why do I have to be on TikTok in order to understand the “news” in my feed? Aak.)

In some ways, being middle age is great. I’m more at peace with myself.  I have more resources.  My life feels less tumultuous.  But one of the things I hate is being out of style.  Because people — especially women — have a tendency to develop their personal style in their late-20s or early-30s (the heyday) and keep it forever.  And while I’ve never cared about being trendy, I don’t want to be totally behind the times either.

So how does a woman of a certain age bring stylish pieces into her wardrobe in a way that feels authentic?  You swap a more stylish, trendier piece for one you already love.  For example, if you wear the s**t out of a striped Breton tee, choose a different color stripe with an on-trend banded collar.  Then, just swap the new piece into the old outfits for a smart look.  This way, you get a boost of lemony-scented fashion freshness without replacing your whole wardrobe or feeling like you’re wearing a costume.

This week’s Style Swap is for the woman who loves her olive, mid-weight fall jacket.  Lord knows, I am in your number,  I wear mine with jeans, with jersey dresses, and over athleisure.  So how do I brush the dust off this piece that I already love?

My Jacket // I own this Land’s End canvas jacket in olive (also in petite and plus), and it is a great piece.  It’s a nice weight, not too warm, not too light.  The cinch-able waist keeps it from drowning you, and the stand-up collar is a chic addition.  Also, the pockets are a good size, which is an undervalued quality in a coat.  And while this look is a wearable classic, admittedly, the jacket has some 2015 vibes about it.  So let’s swap it.

The Quilted Jacket // Quilted stitching is 🔥 this season.  I first spotted it on this quilted jacket (which looks like something the ladies from my Mom’s 1992 sewing circle could have stitched up) and thought, “Is this where we’re going?”  But indeed it is.  And like most trends, as it trickles down to the masses, and into the dreaded realm of “mall clothes,” it becomes more wearable.

This olive quilted jacket is chic, on-trend and you’ll still be able to wear it two years from now.  I love that it has a softer, sage color, and the neckline, pockets and wavy pattern give it a cool look.  Other embroidered green options include this Summersalt jacket that gives you modern-Barbour coat vibes.  Or if you want to go all in on the trend look, this washed-out olive coat with an oversized cut from by Together is a look.

The Green Trench // A colored trench is the classic staple updated in a way that you will be able to wear for years to come.  It’s also a nice way to bring a new piece into your work wardrobe.  Is this trendy?  No.  But it is on-trend, in that olive trenches are popping up in a lot of shops for fall.

This structured, powerful olive trench comes from Everlane.  I love the look of it.  This softer trench from BR is fantastic.  I own a very similar style in dusty-blue and get so many compliments.  It’s a great look if you want a trench with casual vibes, but it also looks amazing over structured pieces to lighten them up.  Need a plus-size option?  Gap has you covered.

Prefer a shorter jacket?  This cropped trench from Banana Republic Factory is a vibe.  I adore it.  And at just-over $100, it’s a great buy.  Try it with high-waist pants and a simple blouse.

The Bomber Jacket // A bomber jacket is the 80s throwback your closet is craving, and the Athleta one above is the perfect option.  Unlike many bombers, this one lays closer to the body, so you don’t wind up looking like an unripe Violet Beauregard.  It’s a very sleek look.  For a more traditional bomber look that still isn’t too puffy, try this option from Mango.  This one from H&M is also nice, and under-$75.

My one caution when buying a bomber is this: you must try it on.  You will see so many bombers for sale that look so chic on the model, but make you look like you fished a jacket out of your uncle’s laundry hamper.  Many times, the postings for these jackets will feature the models in contorted positions to conceal that they are too short, too puffy, or cut too wide in the shoulder.  So if there isn’t a single photo of the model facing straight on, you know why.

If you have pieces that you would like to see in Style Swap.  Leave them in the comments.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author; thank you for supporting capitol hill style}

 

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  1. K says:

    Style swap for long cardigans please! They have been my “third piece” for years and most of mine feel dated and a little worn.

  2. Nancy says:

    Love the green items…want to see a utility type jacket that is pretty light weight so it could be worn in place of a blazer…an inside piece vs an outside piece…I run warm so need it more lightweight. Only other comment is I want a trench with a hood…so hard to find. I know JCrew has one and considering it

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