In Their Prime: Senior Fashion Trends

Don Gordon

Great fashion design knows no age.

In today’s world, fashions are likely to cross generations. You might find the same basic pieces that a 21-year-old would wear also being worn by a 51-year old—albeit with different styling and accessories.

Each year, the Maple Grove Community Center sponsors a fashion show which features senior models wearing the latest fashions from merchants in The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes and other area stores. This August marked the event’s fifth year and included the participation of more than 28 models from the Maple Grove area. In addition to the stores featured on these pages, Chico’s, JCPenney, Goldy’s Locker Room, J. Jill, Francesca’s Collection, Juniper, Eye Care Center, and Christopher & Banks provided clothing for the show.

As we move into fall, fashion choices continue to abound in our area. To show you just a few, we’ve asked four of the models from the show to share one of their outfits. They’ve chosen some fun fashions. Additionally, store owners offer tips for dressing well. These seniors are proof that great looks truly know no age.

Jos A. Bank

  • Blue plaid windowpane sports coat $495
  • Traveler washable wool pant $185
  • Traveler cobalt blue dress shirt (easy care, no-iron) $60
  • Signature collection tie $79.50

“I thought this outfit would complement his gray hair and blue eyes,” says general manager Greg Goodfellow of the outfit he pulled together for model Don Gordon. Jos A. Bank is their own brand, so they can make adjustments for a perfect fit. Goodfellow observes that after a certain period of time, older customers have established how they want to look. He identifies customer tastes in helping to accurately dress his clientele.

(Vicki Gullickson)

Dazzle Me Fashions

  • Kristine American blouse $38
  • Cubism scalloped-back jacket $65
  • Lyndsay Phillips red sandals $49
  • Red scarf $15
  • Navy blue leggings $15, and red stone and pearl necklace $15 (from Accessories to Go)
  • Kristine red, white and blue tote $44

Dazzle Me Fashions carries clothing that fits everyone from a size 2 child to co-owner Mary Krogsgaard’s 94-year-old mother. Staff members listen to requests from their older customers who want three-quarter and full length sleeves. “The nice part about our store is [that] everything is not sleeveless,” says Krogsgaard.

The popular, uneven handkerchief hem is very flattering and feminine.
Even on short women, a longer style sweater creates a longer, slimming silhouette.

(Mavis Matthews)


  • Flowing floral poncho top $38
  • db Signature Fit skinny denim $29.50
  • Gold bangle bracelet set $12
  • Cream lace peep toe heels $45

“Mavis Mathews is petite, so we put her in dark ankle length denim to slim the leg, rolled the cuff to make it just a little fun and flirty for summer, and then elongated her silhouette with open-toed cream slingback heels,” says Christina Walker, manager at Dressbarn.

The floral poncho top adds a touch of whimsy and is light and airy, Walker adds. The scoop neck helps elongate Mathews’ frame, especially her upper body. “Keep it simple,” says Walker.

When you’re petite, avoid heavy layering with accessories as this creates width.
Ankle straps will make legs appear shorter, so opt for slingback shoes instead.

(Shelley Nerdahl)

Mainstream Boutique

  • Lace tunic $59
  • Pants $79
  • Necklace/earring set $32
  • Antique bracelets $29

The team at Mainstream Boutique took the model’s petite stature, olive skin and black hair into consideration when picking this outfit. Accessories chosen for Shelley Nerdahl include an on-trend long necklace with silver jeweled charm and tassels with matching earrings. The bracelets dangle European coins and can be worn one at a time, for a simple look, or in multiples, to make a statement.

Women who feel they are too old to be wearing leggings should consider lightweight dark denim jeggings. They can easily be worn with either flats or boots.
When you wear pants that streamline your shape, you appear smaller. Many women tend to wear pants that are too big, causing them to add unwanted bulk to their look.