Boomers know the best things get better with time. And style is no exception.
If you’re tired of being bombarded with trends only your kids should be wearing, there is still hope for being fashionable over 50. There are many high-quality shops in midtown Toronto that cater to mature tastes.
Carbon, at 2581 Yonge St., offers versatile fashion for women and men.
“Men want to look tailored, modern and crisp,” says sales associate Rayna Loeb, adding: “It’s all about the plaid right now.”
Arnold Zimberg’s line of shirts is a place for men to start. They take the traditional collared shirt and make it edgy, with details like velvet and coloured linings.
The larger cut of the shirt is fitted, making it ideal for men who want to stay current with minimal effort. A plaid shirt with golf shorts and a cardigan is a simple look that can go from golf, to a casual lunch or all the way to a meeting.
When it comes to pants, men are looking for the same relaxed feel.
“Men have become more trendy with denim,” Loeb says, but they still want to stay in their comfort zone.
Most tend to steer away from denim with a wider leg, leaning towards a more straight-legged cut.
A women’s item that’s flying off the racks is a translucent blouse made of 100 percent silk. The Equipment or Winter Kate brands’ take on this classic could be worn with a pair of Cookie Johnson jeans. Dubbed “Oprah’s favourite jean”, they have a higher waist and can conceal a tummy trouble spot.
Loeb says most women prefer a boot cut or a skinny jean.
“No 50-year-old will want bell bottoms,” she says. They might say “1970s disco” a little too loud!
Paired with a lace or basic cami underneath, the outfit goes from day to night, finished off with a simple wedge or a fancy flat.
For the once-wild child who’s not afraid to bring out the funk, Rosanna Benincasa of Tzatz, at 2512 Yonge St. can offer some advice.
“The first things I look at are proportions, colouring and lifestyle,” she says.
Since many Tzatz customers are career women over 50 with busy schedules, she uses this checklist to find the most flattering pieces faster.
Benincasa recommends the A-line dress the store sells every season in different prints. Featuring a stretchy lining, a flowing skirt, and wide straps to cover any visible signs of a bra, the dress can be worn for a semi-casual party or accessorized for a dinner date.
In a casual work environment, women don’t have to wear the boring pant suit anymore and can opt for a more modern look, pairing a flattering blouse with a mid- to high-rise crop pant, Benincasa advises.
“But nothing too fitted or girly,” she warns.
While every woman may need a little sparkle, Benincasa says most women are divided when it comes to jewellery.
“They either love heart pendants or hate them,” she remarks.
It’s a choice between making a statement through flashy and chunky pieces or staying versatile with more classic and subtle styles.
A dress for every occasion and brand names such as Anne Klein, Jones New York and Nine West can be found at Tique at 3281 Yonge St.
“Women want style and value,” says Kaileen Millard-Ruff, director of international retail operations for the store. “Having flexibility in fit is key because all women have different body types.”
The store carries slimming dresses with details like ruffles, beadwork and texture that can be worn with a cardigan to a weekend brunch, or paired with a blazer for a business casual work outfit.
The classic woman can find styles that have stood the test of time at Sandy White, at 3229 Yonge St. and a second location, 3008 Bloor St. West.
Since 1983, owner Garry Doyle has manufactured his own lines in Toronto — Sandy White and Cinnamon Sea — and carries other Canadian brands such as French Dressing, Orly and Conrad C.
From neutral knit cardigans to brightly coloured leather jackets, the store offers options for women who prefer to show less skin, says sales associate Ansam Badir. In the summer months, a cap sleeve or a three-quarter sleeve shirt coupled with a lightweight classic pant would be perfect for a weekend getup.
“Most of our customers prefer natural materials such as cotton and silk,” Badir says. But they like to dabble in synthetics when it comes to the wrinkle-free pants and jackets, she says, which can be worn straight from the dryer. They’re also ideal for traveling as they can withstand that long plane ride to the Bahamas.
But whether heading south for a vacation or just taking a trip down to the lakeshore, Sandpipers at 2580 Yonge St. has a wide selection of tasteful swimwear. Sales associate Jacelle Cromwell mentions brands like Sunflair, Gottex and Miraclesuit.
“Women want something that pulls you in and smoothes you out,” she says.
Miraclesuit does that with body-contouring fabrics and details like ruching along the sides, with the intent of creating a figure-flattering silhouette.
Cromwell says mature women typically look for swimsuits that have a higher neckline with a built-in shelf bra. Matching cover-ups and wraps are also an option for women who want more coverage and sun protection.