You are currently viewing Are You Too Old to Wear Romantic Style over 50?

This post sheds light on Romantic Style, its key elements, roots and evolution, how to get the look and how you can wear Romantic Style over 50.

  1. The Romantic Look
  2. Must-have Jewelry and Accessories
  3. Key Clothes of Romantic Style
  4. Best Colors, Prints and Fabrics for Modern Romantic Style
  5. Hair and Makeup
  6. How to Put Romantic Style Together
  7. Inspiration from the Romantic Era (1815-1840)
  8. Style Icons and Fashion Bloggers
  9. Romantic Style over 50 in a Nutshell

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The Romantic Look

This style is rooted in Sunday’s Best of the 19th century, sort off. It is not about being practical or comfort. This style is about expressing your femininity, looking graceful, soft, pretty, eye-catching, head-turning, but sweet and with an innocent vibe. Obviously, to rock this style that’s all about being girly and naive, gets harder with our number of trips around the Sun. However, it is still chic over 50, but needs more effort.

Key Jewelry and Accessories

Jewelry is often inspired by flowers and very organic. Accessories often have a touch of vintage and may be even family heirlooms. But never go for just vintage pieces as it makes you look Old Lady!

Instead, for a sophisticated Romantic look go for floral-inspired statement jewelry. Browse flea markets, yard sales and vintage stores for delicate necklaces in rose gold or silver, lockets and charm bracelets. Furthermore, search these places for great embellished, embroidered and/or colored bags and vintage glass buttons or lace collars. Headbands with bows, beads or flowers work for the twenty something romantic woman. When you are over 40, go for a straw hat embellished with a flower or embroidery hat band. Best, decorate a classic felt hat with some brooches. So unique and personal. No need for hat pins that don’t exist anymore these days.


Stylist tip: As you advance towards midlife add preppy or classic pieces for a more mature look.

romantic woman with curly long hair in white at the water



Key Clothes of Romantic Style

Fun floral dress, fit and flare dress in an ultra-feminine cut, flouncy silhouettes, feminine dresses, sheath dresses, colored (pink, light blue, pint) jeans/pants, flowy pants, girly blouses with puff sleeves, bows or ruffles, silky camisoles and tunics with embroidery, lace or sequin or pearl embellishment, cozy sweaters, thin old-school knit sweaters, patterned cardigans, blazers with color or trim details, coats in interesting shapes and colors, flared princess cut coat, pretty lacy underwear, slips, bodices and petticoats, gladiator or T-strap sandals in neutral, ballet flats, lace-up booties, opaque, lace and fishnet tights. Hipstik has tights and pantyhose with nice lace tops.


stylist featuring a Romantic inspired outfit with blush pink tulle skirt, rose pink lace top, black vest with antique metal buttons

girly details of little slits, shoes, vest

delicate lace paired with pearls, dangling earrings, braided hair, coin inspired buttons

fashion blogger in feminine look Outfit details: Lookbook Store two-layer tulle skirt, unbranded nude ballet fishnets, Very Fine Dance Sport Shoes rose gold sandals, Hermes collier de chien bangle, topas and pearls earrings, baroque freshwater pearl necklace (DIY), Halftee lace top, Jäger antique metal button wool vest

Best Colors, Prints and Fabrics for Modern Romantic Style

This style’s aura is created with soft colors like light blue, pinks, peaches, feminine red, soft pink, cream, white in its variations (bone, ivory, eggshell, off-white, snow, chalk, vanilla…), precious all white-outfits, dusty rose and lavender. In this style, bright prints like polka dots, not too large florals, paisley, gingham and tie dye are among favorites. Furthermore, texture is a Must. Lace and eyelet, ruffles, bows, fishnet, leather, beads, pearls, crochet, and embroidery fall in this category. Soft and pretty tulle, delicate fabrics and chiffon are in every romantic woman’s closet.

Stylist remarks: Similarly a Laura Ashley type floral print or super-large polka dots are made for girls less than 10 years old and clowns, respectively. It’s all about how to look ageless in floral prints, how to wear polka dots, how to have ageless style in lace.


Hair and Makeup

The romantic woman grooms herself well. She typically has splendid long curly hair in blond or strawberry blond. Most the time, she wears her hair open running down the shoulders like Rapunzel‘s hair in the Brother Grimm‘s fairy tale. A braided low pony tail like in the photo above or ballerina style up-do are handy windy day options. Especially, older women should make sure their hair isn’t exposed to the extra friction from wind. Their hair breaks more easily than that of the twenty years old.

The romantic lady also puts a subtle emphasis on her eyes. Currently, a winged eye line is hip. Go for sweet pink or candy lipstick and rosy cheeks. Lip gloss is a thing (again).


How to Put Romantic Style Together

Try to mix and match textures like pairing elegant lace with white denim pants. When wearing lace go for pastel colors to underline the girlie vibe. You can find a guide on how to have great ageless style in lace at this link.


lace tights over green tights

blogger in wrapped plaid skirt, lace tights, Mary-Janes, embellished bag
Boden cardigan, Bellorita bag, lace tights over green tights, Cami Confidential top, Akoya pearl necklace, Jäger ballet inspired shoes, Tracy Rode plaid skirt and sunglasses c/o SUNGAIT


On cold winter days, wear your lace tights over colored tights like in the look above.

A blouse with floral embroidery looks great with white pants. Wearing it with a tiered skirt may be risky and look like costumery or ethnic clothing.  More on styling embroidery in this guide. Try a ruffled blouse with a plaid or tweed skirt and Princess seam blazer for the office. Women over 40 look great in fit-and-flare or wrap dresses where just the print and colors as  well as the accessories, shoes and bag make the reference to romantic style.

The next photos show some romantic outfit inspirations easy to recreate.


ruffled top with whimsical print skirt
Ruffled blouse with small, all pastel print skirt. This top has the right vibe. If it also had puff sleeves it would look like trying to hard when you are over 40.


light blue floral maxi dress with tired skirt and wool felt hat
This floral print maxi dress would work for women over 40 as the tired skirt and puff sleeves have a cut on the sleek, sophisticated side. A hat with fake flowers, big bows or embroidery would be too much, but this wool felt hat works well and even better when decorated with three polymer studs.


Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy the book now.



The Romantic Era (1815-1840)

The waist sank from the empire-waist style of the Napoleonic era to the V-style (see next two photos). The bodices were tight.

British white dress with puff sleeves, elevated waist 1826-29
British dress 1826-29. The waist moves south and the hem of the skirt is way above the floor. The puff sleeves give the illusions of wide shoulders. From: Metropolitan Museum of Art


European silk dress 1832-1835 with voluminous skirt and sleeves, tiny waist
European silk dress 1832-1835. The voluminous skirt and sleeves contrast the tiny waist. see the V-style of the bodice. From: Metropolitan Museum of Art


Large puffed sleeves came out from small armholes. This means the garment restricted women in their movement. Huge collars, the so-called pelerine en ailes d’oiseau collar, balanced the puff sleeves and extended over them. Another option were the so-called split collars or two layer-collars. Collars typically were lace and/or embroidered fabric. The bertha became fashionable towards the end of the era.


American dress with puff sleeves, pelerine, wide skirt and bows
American dress with pelerine, puff sleeves wide skirt and bows for decoration. Ca. 1835. Form: Metropolitan Museum of Art


From about 1820 to 1840 the skirts widened (see above photos). To hold out the skirts first about three later up to six petticoats were worn underneath the dresses. First the petticoats were stiffened. Starting in 1840 stiff horsehair underskirts were sold to hold the skirts wide. In 1856, bone hoops hit the market. They were considered as a revolutionary improvement!

Popular accessories were bonnets, gloves, parasols, sashes, ribbons and bows. Obviously, you couldn’t wear a coat over this attire. The sleeves would wrinkle and the heavy material would have a negative impact on the wide silhouette of the skirt. Furthermore, some of the puff sleeves even had underpinning, hoops or bones to keep the giant bubbles in form. Thus, capes, stoles and shawls were the solution (see photo above).



Style Icons and Fashion Bloggers

Just recall Brigit Bardot‘s yellow gingham wedding dress. So romantic! Perfect for her naive girl image at that time, despite she was resourceful – she dress could wear  the dress in summer later. While it is a great summer dress for any 20 something, it’s not great for us. In a casual work environment, the 20 something may even get away with wearing it on Casual Friday at a meeting during summer time.

Other icons are Nicole Kidman, the young Princess Diana especially in her iconic wedding dress, Taylor Swift, Jessica Biel, Freida Pinto, Lizzy of Lizzy Loves Lace, Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish.


Nicole Kidman in romantic dress
“Nicole Kidman” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0


Princess Diana's wedding dress
Diana Wedding Dress Enciclopedia 1993 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wiki Commons



Romantic Style over 50 in a Nutshell

Romantic Style is the most feminine one and the most hardest to pull of as you age. However, when paired with modern romantic inspired and eternal classic pieces it can be worn at any age.

Do you wear romantic clothes? How do you style them? Let me know, I am curious. Use @highlatitudestyle on IG to show me your romantic side.


romantic lace sheath as a summer work outfit for mature women
Example for how to wear romantic lace at work by choosing a classic sheath in lace in a sober color. eShakti lace dress with Dooney and Brouke bag, Michael Kors sandals, and wooden watch c/o Jord


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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. justlivejoy

    Such pretty dresses and I love all those earrings. So perfect for Spring!

  2. mireilleftm

    Such pretty looks! I love flowy blouses and flowy skirts! I don’t wear much of either but I always feel pretty in both when I do!

  3. eva @StyleMyThrift

    love, love, love this all! i am a huge historic costume buff!….i’ve made a mid-Victorain dress before, so I understand small armholes and large sleeves…the one i made had pagoda sleeves….just upcycled a dress with drop shoulders and balloon sleeves!…hope you will check it out once i publish the post!
    xo eva