How to Wear the Metallic Trend over 40

Metals and fabric with metal threads as well as metallic looking fabrics have fascinated humankind since the Antique. New industrial techniques made them affordable for evening in the last century and later for everyday. Having seen metallic over the decades and how it was styled, we can quickly step into a routine and end up looking old-fashioned and Old Lady because the styling is not up-to-date. This post answers the pressing question how to wear the metallic trend over 40 now.



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History of Clothing with Metallic

Clothing with metallic treats have been around for more than thousand years. However, in antique and the medieval times, only the Nobility and Rich wore these clothes because the threads were namely real gold. The price and Sumptuary Laws prohibited these garments for Jane and John Doe.

Early in the 20th century, cheap metallic threads and colors became available. As a result, gold, silver, copper, and rose-gold clothes, shoes and bags became affordable for mid-class women in the evening fashion of the 1920s.




Metallic in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s

From the 1950s to 1970s, lame sweaters were worn for special occasions, and festive attire for the holiday season. Typically, these sweaters had just a subtle thread that gave the black, gray or beige sweater some festive, mystic touch. Of course, as kids, we adored these sweaters! If we felt lucky, we got one for Sunday’s Best in red with gold or silver or in pink with silver foil lame.

In the late 1970s, 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 Metallic Became Mainstream in Daywear

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 creating stripes with thin gold lame thread.

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.


Stylist tip: Don’t fall into an old style rut when a trend is around again.



What Type of Metallic Clothes Do Work?

To look modern and ageless



How to Wear the Metallic Trend over 40 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. Actually, gold, cooper, silver, and rose-gold are neutral colors. Go for a classic cut with your metallic item.

Stylist tip: Always go for a sophisticated and understated look in simple, clean cut style pieces with minimal accessories.


Explained Example Outfits with Silver Pleated Skirt

Since pleats are eternal classic, a pleated silver skirt can be styled easily in a street style chic way with sneakers, a denim jacket, graphic Tee and a statement necklace. Wear the necklace the Jenna Lyons style – over the jacket. Added a scarf and bag in a similar color as the Tee.


midlife woman in silver skirt
R&ZR pleated silver skirt, Great Northwest jean jacket, graphicT-shirt, statement necklace, Adidas sneakers, JORD men’s bamboo watch, Hermes collier de chien bangle, scarf and bag both c/o Uno Alla Volta


Because a pleat skirt is an eternal classic, style it with pumps, a Tee and jean jacket like your Casual Friday Outfits.


fashionover40 mature woman in silver pleated skirt
Star denim jacket, silver pleated skirt, T-shirt, and black pumps



What to Wear with a Gold or Silver Skirt?

midlife woman in golden leather skirt, Tee and denim jacket
Escada golden leather skirt, Star jean jacket, graphic Tee, Dooney and Brouke bag, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Salvatore Ferragamo pumps, Ray Ban sunglasses, and best girlfriends bracelet c/o Chico’s


stylist in zebra coat, golden skirt
Max Mara zebra-print goat hair coat, BeBe golden distressed asymmetric leather skirt, Ivanka Trump ankle strap pumps, pantyhose, and Yes St. Laurent bag


midlife blogger in silver skirt, scuba cropped jacket, open-toe pumps with shark Pippa bag
T. Tahari jacket, DIY brooch, Chanel leather silver skirt, blue graphic tee, Anne Klein pumps, Modalu Pippa bag


midlife blogger in festive office holiday party outfit
Tucker brocade skirt, cashmere sweater, silk scarf, Kieselstein Cord belt, GNW tight, and tall boots




Metallic Pants Outfit Ideas

midlife style blogger in silver leather pants
Silver leather pants, Anne Klein sweater, and D&GM sunglasses (all own) for a posh, but edgy street style look. This outfit became Streetstyle of the Week


mature style blogger showing how to wear silver leather pants
Silver leather pants, glacier blue GNW Luxe sweater, Hermes collier de chien bangle, gray belt, and Harley Davidson booties


over 50 years old woman in golden leather shorts
Joeffer Caoc golden leather shorts, Great Northwest corduroy button-down shirt, GNW tights, and Madden Mary Janes


More on the fall trend with leather pants.




Stylish Metallic Jackets Outfit Inspirations

style book author in street chic layered mesh skirt, pink heels, black graphic tee, and silver frock
Keep Calm T-shirt, suede gemstone buckle belt, Esprit bag, silk neckerchief, Herve Leger silver cropped leather biker frock, dangling earrings, Ivanka Trump heels, and Lookbook Store skirt


midlife stylist in silver leather jacket over abstract print dress
Herve Leger silver leather jacket, Banana Republic dress, Coach top handle bag, and Ivanka Trump pumps



Styling a Metallic Coat in Spring and Fall

stylist wearing a golden leather trench coat
Golden leather Burberry trench coat, Burberry plaid blazer, Jaeger tote, Anne Klein pumps, Ray Ban sunglasses, and Lookbook Store V-neck dress


golden leather trench coat outfit for a rainy day
Golden leather Burberry trench coat with GNW tights, Steve Madden fall sandals, AMS umbrella



What to Wear with Metallic Shoes?

For inspiration on how to wear metallic shoes see the photo outfit inspirations below.

over 50 years old fashion blogger wearing metallic silver pumps with white jeans and a motorcycle jacket
London Jean white boyfriends with Brooks Brothers sweater, Jacket Society motorcycle jacket, Jaeger tote, Ralph Lauren silver pumps, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and DIY pendant necklace


street style blogger wearing metallic sneakers
Moda International leather pants with statement belt (gift from my husband), Oliveo chambray shirt, Burberry Brit trench coat, Jaeger tote, silver Puma sneaker, and Akoya pearl necklace c/o The Pearl Source Inc.


blogger Nicole in white boyfriend pants, gold trench coat and silver sneakers
Burberry gold colored leather trench coat with London white denim bf pants, silver Puma sneakers, and Jaeger tote


Alaskan blogger wearing a dress with metallic beads
Mesh dress with silver colored beads worn over a double layer sundress with patent leather gold and black T-strap Neo Tango sandals for going out dancing



What Doesn’t Work

Stay away from



Take Home Message on How to Wear the Metallic Trend over 40

Metallic 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.


When you like these outfit guide, and want styling tips for all kind of dressing situation in midlife, buy my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife.


Photos: G. Kramm

© 2013-2022 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved


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