Autumn outfit ideas for women over 50 - to help you enjoy the season in style

Top autumn outfit ideas for women over 50 - selected by a 50-something fashion editor. Get ready for the new season

autumn outfit ideas for women over 50 - Albaray, Phase Eight, Joules
(Image credit: Albaray, Phase Eight, Joules)

Need inspiration for autumn outfit ideas for women over 50? We have all the advice you could want to put together some winning looks this season that work beautifully for transitional weather. 

Whether you are looking to update your autumn capsule wardrobe with a few key basics to transition into the new season, or want to invest in some timeless buys, we have an array of autumn outfit ideas for women over 50 that will help you embrace the coming months in style. Autumn can be a tricky time, as the weather can be quite unreliable, and while it's often not cold enough for a winter coat, it often does require some layering to battle a drop in temperature. 

A masterclass in layering and an opportunity for some thicker fabrics, autumn outfit ideas are the first step towards your winter wardrobe, and also deliver the first chance to embrace the latest autumn/winter fashion trends 2023. When it comes to over 50s autumn outfits, while there are no hard and fast rules, you are more likely to want to make use of your existing closet, updating old favourites with more directional cuts and colours for a fresh autumn feel, shunning fast-fashion fads that won't last. 

6 Autumn outfit ideas for women over 50

The key is to find styles that will make you feel great. Wardrobe Concierge & Celebrity Stylist Martine Alexander says “Looking stylish in the autumn comes from feeling confident in what you are wearing. I think age is just a number and you can look sensational at every stage of your life, but as we get older our body shape can change which means we need a new rulebook when it comes to dressing.”  Martine suggests beginning with a closet review and trying on all your autumn clothes from last year. “Think about whether your figure or lifestyle has changed. Consider why you didn’t wear certain items as much as you should have. Does it make you feel great? If the answer is no consider donating, selling or giving away.”

If you are over 50 and want to look stylish your wardrobe should contain a mix of good quality basics with a few key items that will rejuvenate your look and reflect your personality. Take note of the latest fashion colour trends for 2023 for advice on key shades and shapes that are on-trend. “Introduce new colours” says Martine. “Forest green and plum shades work well as you can wear them with lighter summer neutrals and denim and then add darker shades of black and brown as the weather gets cooler.” Your key investment items should stay in your wardrobe throughout the year. Martine says “A great pair of straight-leg jeans, a classic trench and some lighter-coloured boots will provide the building-blocks to a hardworking wardrobe.”

1. Autumn trouser outfit idea for women over 50

If you are over 50 it’s highly likely that you wore a pair of cargo trousers back in the early '90s when girl-band All Saints made them trendy and cool. However, '90s fashion trends are back and having had a successful summer, they show no sign of going away, anytime soon. The good news is that the newest versions are far more streamlined than the originals with less gathers around the waist and ankle, for a more elongating fit, making them ideal for autumn outfit ideas for women over 50. Utility pockets are appearing on smarter tailored shapes giving the look a grown-up and more elegant vibe. Wondering how to style cargo trousers, pair with a bright sweatshirt, some fun trainers, and one of the best black coats for the perfect laid-back weekend look.

2. Autumn trench coat outfit idea for women over 50

When it comes to outerwear the iconic trench coat transcends all others. If your budget doesn’t stretch to the classic Burberry trench coat you do not need to worry, there are options available for every budget. Go for an oversized design if you want a casual look that’s great for layering over chunky knitwear or opt for a more fitted silhouette for a neater look. Details like shoulder epaulettes and slanted side pockets will lengthen curves and you can wear your trench tightly belted to accentuate your waist or tie the belt at the back for a more laidback aesthetic. An excellent autumn outfit idea for women over 50, you can throw a trench coat over anything from a casual tracksuit to a formal evening gown and it will do the job. Keep your accessories to a tonal shade or add a pop of colour with a silky scarf.

3. AUTUMN DRESS OUTFIT idea for women over 50

Did you live in a floaty sundress when the weather was hot? A flattering midi-dress is one of the best dresses for women over 50 you need to invest in, stat. Wearable with a variety of footwear options from chunky loafers to high-heeled boots, printed dresses can provide a focal point for your autumn wardrobe. Pick out the colours in the print and look out for accessories or jackets in the same shades, to create a cohesive ensemble. V-necklines will flatter fuller busts, while darker based prints feel automatically more autumnal. A dark floral frock will tap into this season's autumn/winter dress trends too.

4. AUTUMN JUMPSUIT OUTFIT idea for women over 50

Flattering jumpsuits come in a variety of designs and fabrics and have all the easy-to-wear benefits of a dress. Corduroy is a key fabric trend for autumn/winter and if you are looking for a smart casual outfit idea, go for a more relaxed boilersuit in a stretch fabric that will retain its shape. Roll up the sleeves and ankles to dress down or wear with a bold statement necklace and heels for a night out. To lengthen your silhouette, try a V-neck cut as this draws the eye down the body. To create a narrower bottom half, avoid patch pockets at the hips for a more streamlined shape. Throw over a patterned cardigan when it’s not quite cold enough for a coat and keep all your essential in any of the best crossbody bags.

5. AUTUMN SHIRT OUTFIT ideas for women over 50

If you want to make a style statement that epitomises the changing season, choose a printed shirt that combines autumn’s muted colours with a leafy print. A busy colour combination will give you multiple options for your bottom half. Wear tucked into your best straight leg jeans or style loose over a fitted pencil skirt, adding a contrast belt to define your waistline. Try wearing your blouse completely unbuttoned over a simple camisole as an alternative to a lightweight jacket.

6. AUTUMN KNIT OUTFIT ideas for women over 50

Knitted vests (otherwise known as tank tops or sleeveless jumpers) are the perfect answer to autumn outfits for women over 50 as they're ideal for changeable weather. They can be worn alone with bare arms or layered over a cotton shirt or long-sleeved jumper as the temperature drops. Add a blazer over the top for the office. Knitted vests will also look great over a floaty maxi dress, allowing you to wear your lighter summer styles into the autumn. High necked cuts will create a stronger shoulder line, a great choice if you are looking to balance out a pear-shaped figure, whereas V-necklines will flatter top-heavy figures.

What should women over 50 wear in the autumn?

As the temperature drops you should start to introduce thicker, warmer fabrics into your wardrobe that will keep you warm while still looking stylish. If you suffer from hot flushes opt for fabrics made from natural fibres like cotton or wool and wear layers rather than one heavy item, making it easier to cool down if necessary. Look out for more muted shades of your favourite colours. If you like to wear hot pinks in the summer, look out for richer berry tones and swop jade for a darker forest green shade.

Martine Alexander headshot
Martine Alexander

One of the North West's most sought-after fashion experts, Martine has an extensive client list of celebrities, busy mums, high profile professionals, as well as fashion brands and magazines. 

Here to make sure you look and feel amazing, regardless of the occasion, Martine can solve wardrobe dilemmas that include everything from day-to-day outfits to red carpet glamour. Focusing her energies on building client relationships, Martine wants to understand the finer nuances of each individual, their lifestyle, and insecurities to best meet their wardrobe needs. 

Alongside working privately with clients, Martine's celebrity roster includes Kym Marsh, Rebecca Adlington, Liz and Kevin Fletcher and Christine McGuiness. 

Martine can also be found on set, styling brand campaigns and magazine shoots, regardless of the fashion demand, Martine has you covered.

Julie Player

Julie has over 30 years experience in the fashion industry and is a regular contributor to Woman & Home, Woman’s Weekly and Chat magazines, creating engaging fashion and lifestyle content for women of all ages. She also works in the wardrobe department at ITV, dressing the presenters for Good Morning Britain. Aged 57, Julie loves seeking out the most figure-flattering fashion for every occasion. She’s a qualified sustainable fashion expert with a wealth of knowledge of planet-friendly fashion brands and ways to shop more ethically.