Easy, Comfortable Clothing Styles for Women 80 and Older

by Emily Weller

As women grow older, fashion can fall by the wayside. After years of keeping your feet in high heels or wearing the latest style of pants, you can finally choose clothing that is comfortable, yet still flattering, without concern for what the fashion magazines say. Help the 80-year-old woman in your life find clothing that suits her needs and still looks nice.

1. Pants

As women get older, their stomachs get larger and more flabby. Their legs, on the other hand, tend to get more trim. Look for a pair of easy-on elastic waist pants for the older woman in your life. Choose pants in a neutral, dark color such as black, brown or navy. A neutral color looks dignified and elegant while a brighter color or a pastel can look inappropriate and infantile on an elderly woman. Pants with a bit of stretch, such as twill with a bit of spandex, are more comfortable to wear than non-stretch pants and look a lot better than completely stretchy, knit pants.

2. Pull-Over Tops

An senior woman, even one who still lives independently, may struggle to button the tiny buttons on a shirt. A pullover shirt, whether it's a casual t-shirt, long-sleeved cotton shirt or sweater, is a great option. She can layer the shirts for extra warmth if needed and remove the layers if she gets too warm. Since many 80-year-olds carry their weight in the middle, choose lightweight layers, such as a thin, tissue-weight t-shirt and a fine knit sweater, instead of a chunky cable knit, to play down the thickness of the middle. Solid color shirts or classic patterns, such as animal prints and stripes, are a safe bet while logos and other embellishments on the shirt may look too young and silly. She can leave tops untucked for ease of dressing and to downplay a larger belly.

3. Loose Cut Dresses

An elderly woman can certainly still wear a dress. Straight cut, below-the-knee dresses with long or three-quarter length sleeves are perfect for older women, as they are easy to pull on and look age-appropriate and refined. They can work for more formal occasions, such as a lunch out, if made of a fabric such as silk. The dress can also be very casual if made out of a woven or knit cotton. Look for dresses in muted, neutral colors. A pattern, such as a vertical stripes or blocks of colors, also works well. But skip bright, bold colors and floral prints, which will look too young.