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Tucker brocade skirt, cashmere sweater, silk scarf, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, GNW tight, and winter boots (all own) for a festive holiday party in a cold climate region

Metals and fabric with metal threads as well as metallic looking fabrics have fascinated humankind since the Antique. New industrial techniques made them affordable for evening in the last century and now for everyday. This post answers the pressing question how to wear metallic and not look like trying too hard.

  1. 40+ Women Have Seen Metallic Trends Come and Go
  2. Metallic in the Last Decades
  3. How to Wear Metallic the New Way
  4. What to Wear with Metallic Shoes?
  5. What Type of Metallic Clothes Do Work
  6. Explained Example Outfit
  7. What Doesn’t Work
  8. Take Home Message on How to Wear Metallic


Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.


40+ Women Have Seen Metallic Trends Come and Go

Clothing in metallic or with metallic have been around for more than thousand years. However, historically they were reserves for the aristocrats and the rich, not Jane Doe. In antique and the medieval times, the threads were namely real gold. In the last century, procedures made cheap metallic threads and colors available. Thus, now gold, silver, copper and rose-gold clothes, shoes and bags became affordable for mid-class women. Clothes in these colors were first reserved for special occasions, and festive attire for the holiday season.


post banner featuring a woman in a metallic raincoat outside


Metallic in the Last Decades

We 40+ and 40++ gals saw the lame sweaters of our moms in the late 60s, early 70s. Just a subtle thread gave the black, gray or beige sweater some festive, mystic touch. Of course, as kids, we adored these sweaters! If we were lucky, we got one for Sunday’s Best in red with gold or silver or in pink with silver foil lame.

In the late 1970s, the Bohemian Style Indian dresses, skirts, vests and tops with gold painting were just awesome. I had a skirt-top-vest outfit and a dress in this style.

In the 1980s, full-on lame dresses, golden or silver jackets and tops came up for going out and some gold stripes made it into everyday wear. I recall having knitted a winter white sweater with stripes. These stripes where in the same yarn as the entire sweater, but with thin gold lame thread added.

I spent most of the 1990s in East Germany after the unification. East German women of all ages loved everything with crystals and metallic, while I run around in the all black 90s’ uniform with an Euro Chic twist.

Having seen metallic over the decades and how it was styled, one can quickly step into a routine and end up looking old-fashioned and Old Lady because the styling is not up-to-date.

Don't fall into an old style rut when a trend is around again. #agelessstyle Click To Tweet


How to Wear Metallic the New Way

In the Millennium years, metallic became a neutral and fully integrated into day wear. This means you style it the same way how to wear neutrals. The photos below show outfit ideas for silver pleated skirts, pencil skirts, pants and a golden skirt and coat for various seasons.


fashion influencer showing how to wear metallics with a golden leather skirt nad denim jacket
Outfit details: Escada skirt, Star denim jacket, Dooney and Bourke tote, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Salvatore Ferragamo pumps and Ray Ban sunglasses (all own)


midlife style blogger in silver leather pants
Silver leather pants, Anne Klein sweater, and D&GM sunglasses (all own) for a posh, but edgy street style look. This outfit became Streetstyle of the Week


stylist in zebra coat, golden skirt
Outfit details: Max Mara zebra-print goat hair coat, BeBe golden distressed asymmetric leather skirt, Ivanka Trump ankle strap pumps, and Yes St. Laurent bag


mature style blogger showing how to wear silver leather pants
Silver leather pants with glacier blue GNW Luxe cashmere wool sweater, Hermes collier de chien bangle, gray belt and Harley Davidson booties


stylist wearing a golden leather trench coat
Golden leather Burberry trench coat with Burberry plaid blazer, Jaeger tote, Anne Klein pumps, Ray Ban sunglasses (all own) and winter white V-neck dress c/o Lookbook Store


Alaskan blogger wearing a dress with metallic beads
Mesh dress with silver colored beads worn over a double layer sundress with patent leather tan and black T-strap Neo Tango shoes for going out dancing


midlife blogger in silver skirt, scuba cropped jacket, open-toe pumps with shark Pippa bag
T. Tahari jacket, DIY brooch, Chanel leather skirt, blue graphic tee, Anne Klein pumps, Modalu Pippa bag


style book author in street chic layered mesh skirt, pink heels, black graphic tee, and silver frock
Keep Calm Let the meteorologist handle it T-shirt, suede gemstone buckle belt, Esprit bag, silk neckerchief, Herve Leger silver cropped leather biker frock, dangling earrings (all own), pink Ivanka Trump heels c/o Wikibuy, and double mesh layer skirt c/o Lookbook Store


over 50 years old woman in silver pleated skirt
Star denim jacket, silver pleated skirt, unbranded V-neck T-shirt, and black pumps


midlife stylist in silver leather jacket over abstract print dress
Herve Leger silver leather jacket, Banana Republic abstract floral print dress, crocus petal Coach top handle bag (all own) and Ivanka Trump pink suede pumps c/o Wikibuy



golden leather trench coat outfit for a rainy day
Golden leather Burberry trench coat with GNW tights, Steve Madden fall sandals, AMS umbrella


over 50 years old woman in golden leather shorts
Outfit details: Joeffer Caoc golden leather shorts with Great Northwest corduroy button-down shirt, GNW opaque tights, and Madden Mary Janes



What Type of Metallic Clothes Do Work?

To look modern and ageless

  • Go for a trench coat in one metallic color or in brocade. Style it as if it were a neutral color. Actually, it is. See this post for what to look for in a trench coat.
  • Wear a blazer or cardigan with metallic foil in the weave or solid metallic with khakis or jeans.
  • Low shine leather pants, jackets or skirts in metallic with other neutrals look sophisticated and understated in simple, clean cut style with minimal accessories.
  • Wearing metallic shoes, sandals or bags as neutrals during the day is so chic.
  • A day dress in metallic silk or with metallic embellishment or embroidery.
  • Mixing metals in jewelry is so chic.



What to Wear with Metallic Shoes?

For inspiration on how to wear metallic shoes see the photo outfit inspirations below.

over 50 years old fashion blogger wearing metallic silver pumps with white jeans and a motorcycle jacket
London Jean white boyfriends with Brooks Brothers sweater, Jacket Society motorcycle jacket, Jaeger tote, Ralph Lauren silver pumps, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and DIY pendant necklace


street style blogger wearing metallic sneakers
Moda International leather pants with statement belt (gift from my husband), Oliveo chambray shirt, Burberry Brit trench coat, Jaeger tote, silver Puma sneakers (all own), and Akoya pearl necklace c/o The Pearl Source Inc.


blogger Nicole in white boyfriend pants, gold trench coat and silver sneakers
Burberry gold colored leather trench coat with London boyfriend white denim jeans, silver Puma sneakers, and Jaeger tote


Explained Example Outfit

I originally bought this skirt for dancing as the pleats make for a nice twirl when spinning. However, since pleats are eternal classic I put the skirt in the every-day rotation. Here I styled it the edgy street style way with sneakers and a denim jacket, graphic Tee and a statement necklace worn Jenna Lyons style – over the jacket. I added a scarf and designer bag in a similar color as the Tee.


midlife woman in silver skirt
Front view pleated silver skirt


style blogger Nicole with pleated silver skirt, denim jacket green scarf and bag
R&ZR pleated skirt, Great Northwest denim jacket, graphic print T-shirt, statement necklace, Adidas sneakers, JORD men’s bamboo watch, Hermes collier de chien bangle, hand-painted silk scarf and green leather bag both c/o Uno Alla Volta



fashionover40 mature woman in silver pleated skirt
Star denim jacket, silver pleated skirt, T-shirt, and black pumps


styleover40 styling a trendy silver skirt in a mature way
Side view of OOTD with pleated silver skirt, Star denim jacket, T-shirt and pumps


What Doesn’t Work

Stay away from

  • Styling metallic clothes like in previous decades unless you go to a theme party or are dressing for Halloween.
  • Wearing patchwork clothes in this trend. Cinderella alert!
  • Wearing metallic clothing with bright colors except the metallic items are the shoes. This means wearing a little red dress for Valentine’s day or for date night out with silver or gold pumps is awesome. However, an outfit of a golden tunic top with black leggings and red patent leather pumps is looking like you are trying too hard or headed to a Halloween party.
  • Big metallic prints on T-shirts just look cheap. Looking cheap is never ever in style. #how2havestyle Click To Tweet
  • Metal overload of embellishment/embroidery on one clothing item or more in one outfit. The curb is not Star Wars, and you are not a knight in a Mid Evil Festival.
  • Silver, gold or copper stockings are a no-no at any age. You are not an Alien or a robot!


When you like outfit tips like those in this post, and want styling tips for all kind of dressing situation in midlife, buy my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife.


Take home Message on How to Wear Metallic

Metallic at day are a safe bet when paired with neutrals, but when paired with bright, bold colors make the colors the statement and reserve the silver/gold/copper for the shoes, belt or bag.

You can find other fun outfit inspiration with silver leather pants in the post at this link.

If you found this post helpful, please tell your friends.

See how to wear metallic over 40. #agelessstyle Click To Tweet

Do you wear clothing in gold, silver or copper for day or only for evening wear? How you style them? Are you wearing silver and gold together? What are your styling challenges?


Photos: G. Kramm

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