Metals and fabric with metal threads as well as metalic 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 quetion how to style metallics and not look like trying too hard.
- 40+ women have seen metallic trends come and go
- How to wear metallic the new way
- What type of metallic clothes do work
- Explained example outfit
- What doesn’t work
- Take home message
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.
40+ women have seen metallic trends come and go
Clothing in metallics or with metallics 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.
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 70s, 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.
Like these outfit ideas? If so, please feel free to pin them to your own Pinterest board.
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.
For inspiration on how to wear metallic shoes see the photo outfit inspirations below.
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.
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 a little red dress with silver or gold pumps for date night out is awesome, but an outfit of a golden tunic top with black leggings and red patent leather pumps is looking like you are trying too hard.
- 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. Well, and you are not dressing as a knight for a Mid Evil Festival either, but for the street.
- 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
Metalics 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 let your friends know so they get the tips too.
See how to wear metallic over 40. #agelessstyle Click To Tweet
Do you wear clothing with/in gold, silver or copper for day or only for evening wear? Do you wear them as a neutral? Do you wear silver and gold together? How do you style it? What are your styling challenges?
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Photos: G. Kramm
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