How to dress for the movies

Best movie night outfits vary with company

Going to the movies is a great way to escape reality for two hours. Who doesn’t love that? But going there requires a reality check on what to wear. The challenges are on several burners. First, AC can be so strong that even someone used to subarctic conditions ends up feeling uncomfortable. Another aspect to think about is your company and what you do when you come out of the cinema. Are you going with your significant other, the girls, friends, your kids or grand kids? Will you go out for dinner or a drink afterwards or stir home? Depending on the answers to these questions your outfit should be dressy or casual.

#over40fashion mature woman wearing a dress over a dress
Barbour cable-knit dress worn under Ruby Belle plaid sheath dress with GNW tights, and Clarks booties (all own)

Dressy at the movies

Movie night with your significant other or girl friends calls for dressing up. Keep in mind what the significant other or your girl friends might wear to not look out of place. A printed dress with cardigan or a loose skirt with top and cardigan are casual, but feminine and dressy, and still work for a drink after the movies as well. The cardigan protects from chilly AC or later in the evening. It can be knotted around the shoulders or hips when it is too warm.

The OOTD shown in the above photo is great for going to see a movie in one of Alaska’s roadhouses. Often their showrooms are not well insulated and/or heated. Here I am wearing a dress under my sheath dress.

The photos below show some other suggestions.

#streetstyleover40 mature woman wearing a Hosentürle skirtCarhartt shirt, Fossil jacket, Jager tote, GNW tights, Hosentürle skirt, and Aigner sandals (all own). Wearing a statement skirt and keeping everything else casual makes a (risky, but fun) movie outfit

#fashionover50 mature woman in Victoria Beckham dress with rust cardigan and red pumps Victoria Victoria Beckham silk print dress with dyed Moda International cardigan, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and Gloria Vanderbilt pumps (all own) for a dressy movie outfit with the significant other

#fashionover50 mature woman looking posh and dressy in mixed stripes and polka dots for film night Dressy outfit for film night. Jones New York striped cardigan, The Limited Tee, Ralph Lauren polka dot pleated skirt, silk scarf, Hermes collier de chien bangle (all own)

#MarineLayer #fashionover40 mature woman in casual outfit for the movies Michael Kors jacket with Oliveo denim skirt, Anne Klein T-strap pumps, H buckle, Kieselstein Cord belt, Chanel bag (all own), and striped 3/4 sleeve T-shirt c/o Marine Layer for a dressy, but casual going to the movies outfit

#over40Fashion mature woman in fit-and-flare dress with cardigan Don’t Stare fit-and-flare dress with brown bow and Clarks booties, GNW tights and dyed Moda International cardigan, Longchamp pilage bag, and Clarks booties (all own) for a dressy, but casual look at the movies

#styleover40 Cat Dress with cardigan for an evening of dinner and films Victoria Victoria Beckham silk cat-print dress, Hermes collier de chien bangle, GNW cardigan, and Esprit bag (all own)

Accessories for going to the movies shouldn’t cause noise

Like the light of cell phones or their ring are annoying at the movies, so are accessories that cause noise. Thus, leave your noisy arm party at home when you go to the movies.

Accessories for going to the movies shouldn't cause noise. #lifestyle Click To Tweet

Accessorize with a matching necklace and studs or long earrings with bangles/bracelets. Flats, Keds or Vans look cute and are great for a walk to the restaurant or bar in warm climate. But low heel sandals or booties are great options too when you can walk in heels. When you live in cold climate and/or during the cold season wear tights in a matching color to the dress or skirt to elongate your legs. Get a saddle bag, bucket bag, Boho bag or any type of bag that does not read office, sport, travel or evening bag.

#fashionover40 #fashionover50 woman wearing a dress over dress for going to the movies
Side view of Ruby Belle plaid sheath dress worn over Barbour cable-knit dress with GNW tights and Clarks booties (all own) for a warm dressy winter look suitable to go from work to the movies
Go dressier for your significant other than with the girls, and lean more to dressy casual when you are going with friends. #movienight Click To Tweet

Casual at the movies

While the above outfit suggestions are easy to dress down towards more casual, skirts or dresses are often unpractical when you have to watch kids at the movies. Cleaning a dress or skirt often means a trip to the dry cleaner. Thus, go for jeans with a nice top or T-shirt plus a cardigan/jacket. Accessorize with an infinity scarf or knot your scarf to reduce the risk to loose it when running after kids prior/after the movie. Necklaces could be ripped by toddlers. You will have to reach for the kids several times during the movie when they get frightened/excited. Thus, bangles would be too noisy. Desert boot, Keds, Vans or booties allow you to move fast. If you can run after the bus in heels, heels are fine too. Go for a shoulder or even better a cross-body bag to keep your hands free.

#styleover40 mature woman in a casual look for going to the movies Long-sleeved T-shirt, Isaac Mizrahi cashmere cardigan, silk scarf, Ray Ban sunglasses, London Jean boyfriend jeans, Festina watch, ethnic belt, and Christian Louboutin pumps (all own)
#advancedstyle casual outfit for movie night with the friends Loft distressed BF jeans, Ralph Lauren silver pumps, statement buckle belt, summer scarf, and Brooks Brothers sweater top for a casual polished look
#fashionover40 40+ woman in a casual outfit to go to the cinema Oversize cable-knit sweater over layering top (not visible), London Jean BF jeans, Hermes collier de chien bangle, DIY necklace, Camel shoulder bag that can be worn as cross-body bag and Hunter booties (all own)
#styleover40 casual look for film night with the girls INC leather capri, Vintage Silk floral top, GNW leopard print cardigan, Juicy Couture slides, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Ray Ban Jackie O. sunglasses, turquoise baroque beats necklace, and LV bucket bag (all own)

You want a short cut do amazing style? Get style recipes for all kind of midlife dressing situations in my fashion book How to dress for success in midlife. Buy your copy now.

Do you often go to the movies? With whom? And what do you wear? Let me know by email, I am curious.

When you liked these tips you may be also interested in reading what to wear at a sports event or what to wear to a First Friday event.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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