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15 fall basics for women in their 50s

Your 50s are a great time to refresh your personal style. At this point in the game, you've developed self-confidence and everything you wear should make you feel good deep down. Instead of being a slave to trends, go for classic, timeless pieces. They always look smart – never dated or tacky – and they'll help you glide from one season to the next. And you can always dip a toe into the latest looks by adding some hip accessories, like a fun belt, purse or necklace.

1. Sweet slippers

Wearing outdoor shoes around the house is, well, kind of gross. Think of all the dirt and germs you'll track inside! So, take off those sneakers and reach for a pair of cozy slippers when autumn arrives. They'll keep your toes snug while providing a little protection and support as you relax with your significant other over a glass of wine. Choose a pair with a rubber sole to prevent slips and skids – they're a must if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

2. Try a turtleneck

Nothing says fall like turtlenecks. Layer one under your favorite sweater when the temperature drops. You can also tuck a ribbed mock turtleneck into your jeans and add a belt and necklace to complete your outfit. An oversize knit turtleneck looks fantastic with leggings or a skirt that shows off your legs. You can even experiment with power dressing and wear a black turtleneck tunic top with black skinny jeans and boots.

3. Beautiful button-down shirt

Crisp and clean, a white button-down shirt is always a smart choice. Wear it with your favorite worn-in jeans when you're chilling with the gals or go for wool slacks when you need to look professional. Tuck it in, wear it loose or tie it in a knot – there are so many options. On the weekend, cuff the sleeves or push them up to your elbows and add some bracelets.

4. Just jeans

Living without women's jeans would be impossible. They're comfortable, go with everything and are perfect for a world that's embraced casual dressing. If you have full hips, balance them out with flared jeans. You can also choose a straight-leg pair in a dark wash if you want to appear slimmer and taller. Boyfriend jeans, with their relaxed, slightly baggy fit are always forgiving; wear them cuffed with your favorite sneakers.

5. Yes to yoga pants

Let's just admit it: life is better with yoga pants. You can wear them to your vinyasa or aerobics class, and they're cute enough to keep on when you go for coffee or a walk in the park to see the fallen leaves. They're also nice for chilling out at home and doing housework; dusting, sweeping and mopping is easier when you're not wearing something restrictive, after all.

6. Perfect polo

You can wear a women's polo shirt almost anywhere – they're good for the office, brunch with friends, church service or just running errands. One with a slim fit will show off your figure, but a looser cut provides a little more breathing room. And since polos are available in almost any color, you can easily find one to match every skirt and pair of pants in your closet.

Super stripes

There's something fun and fresh about a Breton striped tee. Infused with a little nautical whimsy, they're made for sunny weather and look adorable with espadrilles and boat shoes. Add an anchor necklace if you're down by the seaside, or just wear it with khakis or bright-colored jeans on those last warm days.

8. Terrific tote

You're probably too busy for a fussy purse that's too small to hold most of your stuff, so go for a canvas tote instead. You can use one as your everyday bag (but make sure it has a water-resistant base to protect your phone and wallet) or as a reusable alternative to plastic when you go to the supermarket. And don't worry if you're not a fan of beige – canvas totes are available in so many colors and styles. Try one with a metallic trim if you dare!

9. Cool crewneck t-shirt

Keep your drawers filled with a few long-sleeve crewneck T-shirts in different colors, and you'll never have a what-do-I-wear crisis. They go with any kind of pants, including jeans, khakis, cords and chinos. In autumn, you can dress one up by wearing it with a skirt and adding some jewelry. They're also great for travel, since they can be mixed and matched so many ways and are easy to iron.

10. Right as rain

The days of ugly plastic raincoats are gone. Stylish wet weather gear means you can look gorgeous and stay dry when it's pouring, so don't hesitate to get a nice waterproof coat. If you wear dresses, look for one that goes down past your knees to shield you from splashes. A shorter style is handy if you're always on the move and something lined will keep you from freezing.

11. Pretty pajamas

At this point in life, you deserve cotton pajamas – don't settle for a ratty T-shirt and an old pair of his boxers! Instead, relax in a polka dot nightgown made from this soft, breathable material. A long-sleeve version that reaches down to your calves is a must for chilly November nights, but don't forget a cup of hot cocoa and your favorite book. If you need another layer, grab a robe, too.

12. Fabulous fleece

It's always the right season for fleece. A jacket made from fleece is wonderful in fall and spring, but you can also wear it on chilly summer days or use it as a layering piece in the winter. And a fleece turtleneck will keep you extra toasty when you're sipping a pumpkin spice latte in the park.

13. Falling for flannel

Let's hear it for flannel shirts! They're so soft and warm, you'll feel like you're wearing a blanket every time you put on this autumn staple. A flannel tunic top with pleating around the placket has a certain feminine charm; wear it with skinny jeans and leather boots. You can also try tucking in your flannel shirt completely, or just slip the front inside your waistband and leave the back hanging loose.

14. Craving cashmere

Everyone needs a little cashmere in their life. Made from the finest goat hair, it's like wrapping yourself up in a piece of heaven. And a cashmere cardigan has so many uses! Wear it with dark jeans and flats for a fancy dinner, or over your favorite dress. It can act as a light jacket on balmy evenings, too. Hosting a Thanksgiving celebration? Wear one in an autumnal shade like red or dark orange to get into the spirit of the season.

15. Crazy for cotton sweaters

A cotton sweater is just what you need on cool days in early autumn when wool would be too much. Look for one made from Supima cotton. The color will last longer and look just as bright and beautiful as the day you bought it. It's also lightweight, making it nice for taking on trips when you have limited room in your suitcase.

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