The secrets to finding stylish clothes that fit when you are over 50 | Join the conversation and find out what Rey House are doing to help!
Do you struggle to find clothes that fit? Is it even worse now we are being encouraged to shop more online and less in-store? And what about the challenges of our changing body shape as we move through midlife and beyond? It is all very confusing ... especially women's size charts, do you even use them? Julia Reynolds of Rey House Clothing wants to help, the former founding CEO of F&F Clothing is on a mission to start a conversation around why it is so difficult for older women - us Gen X women - to buy quality and stylish clothes that fit! Julia explained 'I firmly believe that it is about listening to women and hearing their stories and trying to do something about their challenges and clothing is just a part of that'.
When I asked my blog subscribers to let me know what their pain points are when it comes to clothing sizes, I wasn't surprised to read I am not alone with my frustrations. Carole told me 'I have to get everything taken up or I look like I am dressed in an oversized tent and a lot of clothes for women over 50 are shapeless tents'. she went on to say 'I don't want clothes that are skin tight, but equally I don't want clothes that are shapeless'. Another reader told me 'I hate my body shape at the moment and it doesn't help that oversize clothing is in fashion now ... sometimes I need a 10, sometimes a 12, depending on the store, it is difficult to believe believe sizes any more'.
This blog post is sponsored by Rey House Clothing and contains affiliate links - GET 20% OFF at Rey House (details below).
What do we want from our clothes?
So what do we actually want from our clothes? I was ironing a dress last week and thinking about this, what is it that makes me buy, keep and wear lots! Rather than it ending up back at the store, on Vinted or in the bag for the charity shop.
A good fit is more than your body fitting into an item of clothing and is always my number one priority.
Great style and the perfect fit go hand in hand, you can't have one without the other!
If we feel comfortable and relaxed we are more likely to embrace confidence!
Next I look at the smaller details, is it easy to wash and will it crease as soon as I sit in the car. I have some beautiful dresses but I avoid wearing them if I am going to need to travel in them as I cannot stand an outfit that is full of creases and looks crushed. Then I will consider things like sleeve style and length, will it feel comfortable with a jacket over it, and finally I want to know that it will work with what I already have in my wardrobe, especially shoes. If I love an item but it is too long then I consider if it can be easily shortened.
Only 8.2% of the British population can easily find clothes that fit!
According to recent research (Kantar Sept 2022), only 8.2% of the British population can easily find clothes that fit!
That really is a shocking statistic, and one that must create hours of angst and wasted time for women of all ages! And where does that leave us with our body confidence issues!? Try to remember, it isn't you, it is the clothes manufacturers getting it wrong.
Do you buy online or in-store?
Currently return rates are over 54% for UK online retailers. If an item is purchased online and returned twice, then the retailer has no longer made a profit from that item!
Gone are the days of a traditional Saturday pay day trip to the High Street to browse, try on and enjoy seeing what new styles have arrived! Now shops rarely carry much stock and never seem to have the size you want, and this was made even worse with the accelerated move to online shopping during the pandemic, we might browse in-store but will often still need to order for home delivery.
Does this sound familiar ... you are in your favourite shop, you spot the perfect outfit, you are excited to take try it on, and rush off to the fitting room laden with a couple of sizes and different style options. You've grappled with the long queue, counted how many items you have so you get the right tag, strip off - whilst trying not to look in the mirror because we all know that the lighting in the fitting room adds at least half a stone to our figure - only to find your perfect new outfit doesn't fit! Okay so maybe you need a different size, but that means getting dressed again to go and look, because any. hope of a store assistant being available and willing to help is pretty slim! Generally by this point I give up!
So Plan B is online shopping, I spend an hour browsing my favourite retailers, I might have been tempted to go take a look because I saw some fashion bloggers on Instagram looking amazing in a particular dress. I end up with something like £300 on my credit card and a promise of next-day delivery. I am beyond excited, the perfect outfit is on it's way and my life will be transformed. Except, the courier either can't find my house or I am not in for the delivery and I then have to try and find the damn parcel. once it is finally in my possession, I run upstairs, tear of all packaging ... oh no first of all the dress needs ironing, why does everything arrive looking like someone sat on it for the last year, anyway I finally try everything on only to find that nothing fits. The quality is appalling, I can't do the zip up properly, it is too long or any one of 100 other problems. Right sort the packaging out, try and repackage it all, spend too long trying to decipher the returns system (why is every retailer different), finally leave by the back door for yet another trip to the Post Office/Parcel Shop or Parcel Locker. Try to remember to keep the return receipt, just in case I also remember to check that the item did actually arrive back at the retailer and that I got my refund. Talk about time-wasting!
But if clothes were made to fit in the first place, maybe we wouldn't have to go through all this?
Tips on how to find stylish clothes that fit
Here are a few tips to help you find stylish clothes that fit well when you are over 50, as along with body shape changes, our fashion preferences evolve as well, and we want that all important fit, style and comfort!
Remember, the goal is to feel comfortable, confident, and true to yourself while embracing your personal style as you age.
The best capsule wardrobe over 50
I dream of a capsule wardrobe! It is certainly a work in progress and I have been slowly decluttering and organising over the last year or so. It is why I have been so impressed with my outfits from Rey House, their aim is to help us master the capsule wardrobe.
I have shared a blog post that goes into much more detail about the perfect capsule wardrobe, follow the link below!
What are Rey House doing to help?
Rey House are a womens clothing brand for Generation X! Their goal is to offer well-made pieces, well-fitting and timeless styles you will love!
And they are scanning people's body shapes! Rey House are embarking on a massive project to influence the future of clothing sizes, they want to devise a new grading system to create clothes that fit real people. It is more than a little exciting!
The first scanning event took place at their Head Office in Essex on 17th August 2023 and the next one is due to happen in Central London in October this year, if you are interested in taking part then please email Rey House and let them know. It will all be completely anonymous but you will be helping change the way we shop, making choosing clothes a less stressful experience.
My friend and fellow-website owner Tracey from Fighting Fifty went along to the first Rey House scanning event - you can read her article about it here.
Style details - what I am wearing from Rey House
I was super impressed with the outfits I tried from Rey House. Julia sent me a few different styles to try out - Rey House is still developing their sizing strategy and working on getting their core 'capsule wardrobe' styles absolutely right for their customers.
I was delighted that their Satin Wide Leg Trouser in Black, they fitted perfectly, the length is just right for my 5'2" height, the waistband is flattering and comfortable, the belt can be added or removed (no belt loops), they have pockets, the fabric is good quality and skims my shape and they created a great look paired with the Silk Short Sleeve Top in Blue, this is such a versatile top that can be dressed up or down and comes in three bright colours.
I also tried their White Shirt in Stretch Satin, it is collarless, long and drapes beautifully, I preferred to wear tied or tucked in but is also ideal to wear loose and open.
Finally their Wide Leg Jersey Trouser could be my new favourite 'easy day' style! This is one of their best sellers, they are so comfortable, the jersey drapes neatly on the hips and flatters on the leg, they are lightweight, stretchy and made to last. Worn with their Vest Top in Black, no need to worry about bra straps, wear tucked in or out, and add a shirt on top for cooler days.
For links to everything I am wearing in this blog post, please scroll to bottom of post.
Get 20% off your order at Rey House using code PARTNER20%.
Rey House understand we are all unique and we all have different ideas about what suits us and what we feel comfortable in. But through extensive research they found that there are the key capsule wardrobe pieces that suit everyone and that can be adapted for your own personal style. Rey House designs are comfortable, they fit properly and are beautifully made using good quality fabric. Look after your clothes and they will last for many seasons and years ahead.
Rey House are developing their own sizing system that they believe represents real women rather than dressmakers dummies!
What do you think? I'd love to hear from you, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
Disclaimer: this blog post was sponsored by Rey House Clothing and the items I am wearing from Rey House have been gifted to me.
Shopping (affiliate links):
Use code PARTNER20% to get 20% off your order at Rey House.
Satin Wide Leg Trouser in Black
Silk Short Sleeve Top in Blue
Animal print clutch bag (old) - similar here
Block Heel Sandals - similar here
Satin Wide Leg Trouser in Black
White Shirt in Stretch Satin
Vest Top in Black
Orange Tote Bag - similar here
Block Heel Sandals - similar here
Cara Fedora in Wheat from Creative DeZigns - get 10% off using FIFTYFAB
Wide Leg Jersey Trouser
Vest Top in Black
Gold trainers from AND/OR at John Lewis - similar here
Cream cross-body bag and coordinating strap from Amelia Rose Accessories
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about health, menopause, fitness, beauty and style with a focus on the over 50's.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my 50s. I started this blog in 2016 with the purpose of helping other women at this stage of life. I’m delighted that my blog has grown to over 13k visitors per month. Visit my Work with Me page and request my Media Kit for details of product reviews, blogging services and social media content creation.
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