Senior Resources » How to Look Fabulous Over 50 on a Budget

How to Look Fabulous Over 50 on a Budget

Feeling good about yourself plays a key role in your overall well-being, especially as you age! But, for men and women who are over 50, or nearing retirement, one irritating obstacle often prevents them from revamping their wardrobe or splurging on a new handbag, watch, or other fun accessories – financial guilt.


Discover the secrets to looking effortlessly fabulous over 50 while staying within your budget with the guidance of Smart Shopping Expert, Trae Bodge. In an exclusive conversation with Jennifer on the Senior Resource Network, Trae shares invaluable tips and tricks on shopping smart, unleashing the potential of timeless pieces from your own wardrobe, and uncovering the ultimate destinations to find unbeatable deals on new and gently used clothing, accessories, and jewelry. Get ready to embrace your style and confidence, as Trae unveils the art of looking fabulous without compromising your financial goals.

Trae Bodge, Fabulous Over 50

How to Look Fabulous Over 50 on a Budget

In a candid conversation with renowned lifestyle journalist Trae Bodge, we gained some valuable insights into maintaining a stylish and budget-friendly wardrobe. With a versatile background in finance and publications in Marketwatch, Kiplinger, and Forbes, Bodge offers practical advice for embracing fashion while being mindful of our wallets. From secondhand shopping to utilizing deal sites, Bodge’s tips ensure that fashion knows no age or financial limitations!


Shop Your Closet

senior woman over 50, 55, 65, looking through her closet for clothing

There’s something beautiful about the treasures we accumulate over time. While our bodies may change, there’s a certain thrill in rediscovering long-forgotten pieces. As Trae celebrates her 55th birthday this year, she has grown to appreciate the joy that comes from exploring her own closet, which is brimming with clothes and accessories she has cherished for decades.

Trae says, “I really recommend getting into the habit every season or at least twice a year – go through your wardrobe. If you happen to live somewhere in the country that has seasons, this makes total sense. You can swap things out for the seasons and while you’re doing that, you’re discovering something that maybe you haven’t worn in a year or two, and that feels new to you!”

One of the most delightful aspects of getting older, particularly for women but also for men who appreciate accessories, is accumulating a collection of timeless pieces. Trae proudly dons a blue necklace that she has owned for around 25 years, “I pop it on every month or so, and it adds some color to my outfit.”

Next time you find yourself searching for a new outfit or looking to add a splash of freshness to your style, remember to first “shop your closet” and explore the possibilities waiting to be rediscovered.


Where to Shop Smart

two senior women shopping

Shopping smart doesn’t have to mean compromising on style or quality! Shop the right brands, end-of-season sales, secondhand stores, and budget-friendly retail websites like thredUp to find all the deals you need to look fabulous over 50!

Trae suggests retailers like Target, Walmart, Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic as some of the more affordable big box stores. She also recommends off-price retailers (stores that sell top-notch products and designer apparel and accessories at low prices) like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and JCPenney. Adorned with that classic blue necklace of hers, Trae effortlessly rocks a stylish dress that she proudly recognizes as a Target find.

When a season comes to a close, retailers are often looking to clear their inventory. Take advantage of this opportunity by shopping at the end of the season. By doing this, you can find great deals on summer outfits or other seasonal items that you can store away and wear next year.

Don’t overlook the treasures that can be found in secondhand stores like Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and Amvets. You can find stylish and well-maintained garments at a fraction of the cost compared to buying them new. Trae notes that these stores are often well-organized, making it easy to browse through clothes by size or color. She also emphasizes the beauty of secondhand shopping as not only a way to save money but also a means of reducing fashion waste!

Trae doesn’t hold back when it comes to dishing out recommendations for online platforms that open the doors to a world of fashion bargains. Her favorite websites include Poshmark and thredUP, where you can find a wide array of discounted clothing, shoes, and accessories. These platforms have created a virtual paradise for bargain hunters, allowing you to shop thrifty prices from the comfort of your couch.


Clothing Every Closet Should Have

50 year old woman looking at clothes in her closet

By making use of timeless pieces that can be reused and mixed and matched, you can create stylish outfits for any occasion! Everyone has their own style and preferences, but here are some basics that should be part of every wardrobe:

Jeans: Having a couple of different styles of jeans is a wardrobe must-have. Consider adding a high-waisted jean for a trendy and flattering look, or a mid-rise option for versatility.

Khaki Pants: Khakis are a versatile alternative to jeans and can be styled in so many ways. Khakis can be worn casually or easily dressed up if the occasion calls for it.

Sweaters: Invest in good quality basic sweaters that can be easily dressed up or down. A classic crew neck or a cozy cardigan can be your go-to pieces when the weather calls for layering.

Accessories: Elevate your outfits with accessories like scarves and necklaces. These small details can instantly bring a little zest to even the simplest of looks.

Basic T-shirts: Opt for well-tailored and properly fitting basic T-shirts. These wardrobe staples can serve as a foundation for various casual or layered ensembles.

Remember, the key is to be creative and make the most of what you already have. Trae suggests that it’s “good to revert to your closet often because, inevitably there are things there that you haven’t thought of wearing in a while.” You should feel free to mix and match with the new items you buy from those big box stores or bargain websites so you can continuously create fresh and stylish outfits. “You don’t have to spend a lot to have a wardrobe that feels fresh every season,” Trae says.

Trae Bodge’s Most Valuable Smart Shopping Advice

Trae Bodge, Fabulous over 50

In a world of constantly changing fashion styles and budget constraints, Trae Bodge, Smart Shopping Expert, shares her most valuable lesson on fashion and budgeting that has had a significant impact on her own life. With years of experience and expertise, her advice is not what you might expect!

Thrift Shopping: A Game Changer

When it comes to shopping for Trae’s 17-year-old daughter, she believes she hit the jackpot. “She is not interested in the latest coolest designer…she doesn’t need the trendy sneakers that all the kids are wearing.” Trae, her daughter, and their entire family have a love for thrifting. Thrift shopping offers endless benefits, from being kind to the environment to stretching your budget further. Trae says when she buys for her daughter, “I spend very little on her when it comes to clothes so that is not lost on me!”

“If you’re not using deal sites to look for ways to save on your shopping, you are leaving money on the table.”

typing on computer in lap

Trae’s final piece of smart shopping advice for looking fabulous over 50 urges shoppers to explore online deal sites, such as Coupon Cabin or Honey, to uncover additional savings opportunities. By using these sites, users can effortlessly find exclusive discounts, cashback offers, and valuable coupons while browsing their favorite online stores. Trae emphasizes that incorporating deal sites into everyday shopping routines is a surefire way to avoid “leaving money on the table.”

How to Look Fabulous Over 50 on a Budget

senior selfie friends

Trae Bodge’s expert advice transcends fashion and budgeting, highlighting the interconnectedness of sustainability, financial wellness, and personal style. Embracing your closet, shopping secondhand, and actively seeking savings through deal sites can empower you to look fabulous over 50 without compromising your budget!

As you consider your fashion choices (as well as your budget), remember that style knows no age, and there are endless possibilities to look amazing while being mindful of your finances.

Looking ahead, Trae Bodge continues to provide daily tips and shopping insights on her website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Check out the links below her bio to follow her on social media and be sure to visit her website and sign up for her bi-monthly newsletter for timely deals, trends, and money-saving strategies.

Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge


Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who specializes in smart shopping, personal finance, and retail. With over a decade of experience, Trae shares her expertise through various media outlets, including TV appearances and online publications. Trae has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and NBC Nightly News (just to name a few!). She has been named a top personal finance expert by GoBankingRates and FlexJobs. LinkedIn calls her “a top voice in retail.” You can find Trae’s articles in the likes of Forbes, Marketwatch, Kiplinger, and so many more. To learn more about Trae Bodge and access her helpful newsletter filled with money-saving tips, visit her website at

Originally published July 25, 2023

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