Women over 50 with style

How To Wear Long Skirts Without Looking Frumpy-Thrifty 6

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The Thrifty 6 prompt this month was based on a quip “The long and short of it” so I decided to showcase how to wear long skirts without looking frumpy. It fit in nicely with a suggestion from Natalie about styling long skirts at the same time.
I’ve been seeing maxi skirts everywhere lately and what do you wear with them?? Usually a shorter kind of top. So we really are hitting the nail on the head about the long and short of it.

Quote of the day: “Darling, the legs aren’t so beautiful; I just know what to do with them.” Marlene Dietrich

The quote gave me a chuckle, because one thing you can do with legs is sheath them in material to make them look long, right?

For the idea of how to wear long skirts without looking frumpy, my crew is hitting on 3 different points.
1-Add trendy details
2-Make it colorful
3-Yin and Yang of style

Macy’s is one store that carries many longer skirts if you need to add to your collection. Or I found others below.

This is not the first time I’ve written about long skirts or ideas of how to keep our looks from falling into the frump category. Make sure to read those too.

Why Would Long Skirts Have a Frumpy Vibe?

I think one answer to this is that they are reminiscent of the old-fashioned styles of yesteryear when women couldn’t expose their ankles.
Showing skin has become normal in our modern world and when we are totally covered, it can look different.

The trend is changing silhouettes in the last couple of years. You are seeing a wider and bigger silhouette for the bottom half of our body, and more form-fitting for the top half.
The longer skirts are part of that new silhouette since they create volume with their shape.

Most of us are very used to the leggings/tunic silhouette and have a hard time with this new shape. But don’t forget most of us took time to learn to love skinny jeans and leggings. so it will be the same with these new styles.

But staying current is important to feeling good about ourselves and not being invisible.

Remember, baby steps are the answer to changing the silhouette that you are used to. And hopefully, we give you 3 great ideas of how to wear long skirts without looking frumpy.

Insider tip: Make your long skirt work for you. If it feels overwhelming, try
1-Creating a slit
2-Tie up one end to make it shorter and asymmetrical
3-Shorten it to a midi skirt

Add Trending Items for How to Wear Long Skirts Without Looking Frumpy

How to wear long skirts without looking frumpy with cropped denim jacket
Skirt: no label from Suzanne’s Etsy site~~ Jacket: Chicos-thrifted~~ Top: Cat & Jack-Goodwill~~ Shoes: Adidas-Goodwill ~~ Belt: Goodwill ~~ Bracelet: use code Jodie10~~ Purse: XOXO- Goodwill ~~Sunnies: Glasses Shop use code Jodie35

My usual answer to counteract the frump is to add trendy items to the piece that could be considered frumpy. What that meant for this outfit, is I wore a graphic tee with this silky maxi skirt and my Adidas sneakers.

Related post wearing this same skirt: Creating long legs with a maxi

I also wore a cropped denim jacket to work with the proportions of the skirt as well as added some required bling with the belt.

Insider tip: If you have a long denim jacket, you can always cut off the bottom and make it cropped yourself. Leave the hem raw and unravel it to make it very modern.

This skirt is one of those that is perfect for a holiday party. Yet it seems a shame to save it only for those once-a-year events. That’s why it was so fun to pull it out and make it work for a casual outing.
You may feel like you stand out wearing something like this, but I’m not sure it’s better to be invisible.


The idea of how to wear long skirts without looking frumpy and adding trendy items made me grab my Adidas sneakers. I swear, I have worn them WAY more than I ever thought I would. Maybe it’s because I see them on all the younger girls on Instagram or maybe it’s because I see them on tons of shopping sites.

The sparkly belt was a great find from Goodwill. Belts are definitely something I check for when I go thrifting because they can be so expensive at retail stores.

Lesley Looking Fabulous with Color

How to wear long skirts without looking frumpy by shwoing a little leg
Skirt: Faded Glory-thrifted~~ Top: Umgee-from Just Be Youtiful~~ Shoes: City Classified- Bealls ~~ Scarf: no label~~ Purse:no label- thrifted

Funny story about Lesley’s outfit. She had shown me the pieces she was wearing a couple of weeks before, and yet when I went to pick her up this day, she had on a short, straight red skirt. Since we were showcasing how to wear long skirts without looking frumpy, I immediately asked about the skirt.
She forgot that we were focusing on maxi skirts and had to change real quick.

In Lesley’s words:  “I wouldn’t wear this shirt again with top, because it’s too shapeless a style. It would be better with a slim skirt or slacks.  
The top was a fabulous purchase as I love all the wonderful colors and print of the blouse. Having the elastic at the waist gives a form that I don’t usually have.”

However, I disagree with Lesley’s evaluation of this look. Sure, it’s more covered and flowier than her normal style, yet the peplum-style blouse makes the skirt seem straight.
Besides, I had her put the slits in the front/back instead of at the sides which shows more skin.

Insider tip: Just because your clothing item has a label in the back, doesn’t mean you have to wear it that way.

Sometimes the word “frump” comes to mind when we are covered head to toe and shapeless. That’s why slits can be your best friend when it comes to wearing long skirts without looking frumpy.

Insider tip: If your slit seems too high and exposed, just add two Glamour Maggie’s magnets to pull the pieces of fabric together. My code, 15JodieStyle, is still good for another month.


You can see how Lesley accessorized with the same colors in her top. The shoes, scarf, accessories, and purse all mirror the reds and yellows.
That’s not to say you couldn’t incorporate a neutral or even another color into the mix. I think metallic sandals and even navy accessories would be great options.

The Idea of Yin/Yang with Clothing

Pleating on a long skirt on woman over 80
Skirt: Max Studio-thrifted ~~ Jacket: Georgiou Studios thrifted~~ Top: no label ~~ Shoes: 9 & Co ~~ Bracelet: her grandmas ~~ Purse: Femenina-thrifted at yard sale ~~Sunnies: borrowed from Jodie

One idea to counteract frump is to add dichotomy or an opposite style to the mix. There are many names for this, and it’s like the concept of yin and yang.

Related post: Using dichotomy with a white button-down shirt

Charlotte did this adding texture/print mixing with this sexy skirt she just picked up at Goodwill for $2. Her original outfit was very dressed up and what I would consider prim and proper. However, I had her change out her jacket to make it sportier and less fancy.

Besides, leopard and lace are a great combination, don’t you think?

My mom has had this jacket for almost 10 years (you can see one of our very early blog posts where she wore it with a brown skirt). Yet since the traditional leopard is a combination of black, brown, and ivory, it is considered neutral and pairs with anything. I love it with this navy skirt.


I also gave my mom these sunglasses for the photo shoot because they add an air of whimsey to the look. Sometimes we underestimate our glasses since they are functional items. Yet whether they are prescription glasses or sunglasses, they can really have an impact on the overall outfit.

Insider tip: Online glasses make it possible to have a variety of styles and colors even if you are on a budget. I have over 10 pairs of glasses from Glasses Shop because with my code you get 35% off. Use code Jodie35.

You can see how all three of us paired our long thrifted skirts with shorter tops which play with the theme of “the long and short of it”. And hopefully, we have covered the topic of how to wear long skirts without looking frumpy.

Proportions with how to wear long skirts without looking frumpy

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Thrifty 6

With the fashion and textile industry being a major contributor to landfills and other environmental pollution, we decided to make it the mission of this little group to focus on second-hand items. Every month we will choose a theme and share our styles with you to hopefully inspire you to shop more preloved and less fast fashion.

Insider tip: If there aren’t many wonderful secondhand shops near you, then I included a list of online shops that I love at the end of this post.

So check out the other members of the Thrifty 6 and how they interpreted “The high and low of it”

Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge

“The long and short of it is that I went into the thrift store last week looking for nothing in particular when I spotted two neon scarves, one yellow and one green, hanging alone on a jewelry rack. I thought to myself, ‘Wouldn’t these make an awesome summer wrap if I sewed them together?’ The green scarf is longer and more narrow than the yellow scarf and the yellow scarf is shorter and wider than the green scarf…(long and short, short and long, you get the idea). I decided not to cut the scarves to make them even and opted instead for an asymmetrical wrap. It suits me better when it is a little crooked, I think! I layered it over a preloved tie-dye tee shirt dress for a vibrant summer style.” 

Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style

When I start working as a branch manager at a fashion store, I first received a month’s training in another shop then the one who would be mine. During that month you weren’t allowed to make any purchases from the store, at least you didn’t get the 50% discount. And just during that month I saw the most beautiful dress! I was totally in love with it! But it was a pretty expensive one and I would get that discount after a few weeks. But I also knew that dress would no longer be there after a month.

I think I drooled over the dress many times, because at one point my trainer said she would buy the dress for me with the discount and then I could pay her back. No sooner said than done. And I completely worn of that dress! A few years ago I came across the dress again on Vinted! And immediately bought it of course! The funny thing is that it has a long and a short hemline! So twice the long and short of it, because this story isn’t at the end yet……!” Read more on my blog.

Emma of Style Splash

“This month’s theme of ‘The Long and Short of It’ immediately made me think of wearing something long and something short. Seems obvious, right? But then what short and long pieces to pair together? If in doubt start with something vintage. This skirt is part of a set, but I swapped the shirt for a sleeveless top with a gigantic bow. (But that’s not the short of the outfit because it’s not preloved). This cropped jacket however is one of my best preloved bargains; my mum found it in a charity shop for £1! It’s from Marks & Spencer’s Per Una range so it’s excellent quality. I finished off the look with my Vivaia mules and a fun telephone bag.”

Jane of Preloved-Vintage-Handmade

Nothing if not literal…

This month’s T6 theme is ‘the long and short of it’.
An interesting turn of phrase that inspires numerous fashion ideas…
…there’s nothing clever here – it’s simple, obvious and completely literal…
Long boots, short shorts, job done!

Grace of Graceful Rags

“I wasn’t sure what to make of ‘the long and the short of it’ theme (my dad will tell you I’m famously bad at euphemisms), but Jodie’s long skirt inspired me to finally break out this hand-me-down striped number. I tried styling it a few times over the winter but didn’t love the combinations—the waistline is too big and I didn’t want the skirt to hang awkwardly low on me. I decided to pair it with this new ruffle bodysuit instead, and I absolutely love the color combination! My vintage navy belt did just the trick to hold the skirt in place. Regarding the theme, I figured the skirt is long and my sleeves are short—grasping at straws, I know.”

Online Thrift Stores

These are the ones I’ve used more than once (except Swap, but it comes highly recommended by a friend)
thredUpthis link gives you $10 (and me in return).
Poshmark — here is the post about how to shop the site.
Uncommon Closet— nonprofit to help women.
Gild the Lily–a local Michigan store that sells online.

Older women and how to wear long skirts without looking frumpy

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

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My Goal

Thank you for visiting my space on the internet. I like to showcase how it’s never too late to look great for women of any age, size, or working with any kind of budget.
I feel I’m here to help move beyond the fashion rules of yesterday and evolve. Style and clothes are made to give you joy. Not cause us stress because we are worried about what others think.

My hope is that you get ideas and inspiration from Charlotte, Lesley, and myself. It’s not about copying what we wear, but about using what you already have and updating items along the way.
Most of all it’s getting us to think differently and dare I say, have fun.

Welcome to Jodie’s Touch of Style. I’m here to prove that it’s never too late to look great. Clothing and style are meant to showcase your inner personality. So let’s have fun and try new things.

It’s not just about me on this blog, but also my mother and friend. We get to showcase not only different decades of life but also different body shapes and unique personal styles.

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