2012 Holiday Gifts for Aging Mothers-2 (updated 11/26/12)

Fashionable, Appropriate Clothing and Accessories continued…

If we subscribe to “look good, feel better,” a new outfit or an addition to an older person’s wardrobe that pulls an outfit together (and meets the criteria discussed in last Saturday’s post) just has to play a part in helping parents age well. And who knows, maybe an aging father will look twice at his bride of many years and give her a compliment!

Draper’s & Damon’s www.drapers.com (800-843-1174) advertises a “full selection of misses, petites, and women’s” clothing.  They also have: flat-front pull-on pants as well as those with all-around elastic waist bands, Alfred Dunner, Da Rue (more pricey, mother loved their “blouson tops,”) additional unnamed manufacturers, and many separates shown with color-coordinated jewelry.

This takes the guesswork out of coordinating a stylish outfit. Skirts (both long and a bit below-the-knee styles) and coordinated sporty jackets and pants in velour and other fabrics round out their offerings. They also have stores in 5 states.

Eileen Fisher http://www.eileenfisher.com has shops throughout the US (scroll down to the store locator on her homepage).  Her knits are well- made, washable and pack easily– basically wrinkle-free. Perfect for traveling.

I always thought of them for the more full-figured woman, but The Lab (her outlet) is nearby and I’ve loved wearing her small sizes.  Styles are “today”–smart and stylish–some styles are perfect for older women. And for me, at least, they have lasted a long time–retaining their shape and fit. Many of her knit slacks have elastic waist bands. The ones I’ve seen fit the body well–don’t look “bunchy” around the hips.

Eileen Fisher is carried by many of the “better” department stores and is somewhat pricey. Lord & Taylor usually has some of her clothing on sale (on website, in catalog). So check out the sale clothing also. Many of her clothing is such that “flabby arms” won’t be an issue.

Serengeti’s catalog  (http://www.serengeticatalog.com/) comes regularly to 99-year-old R’s home. Clothing prices are mostly moderate. Serengeti carries Alfred Dunner, plus everything from pants suits, to pull-on pants, tops, jackets, skirts, sleepware, jewelry, accessories. There’s a lot to choose from!

Finally the Tog Shop, www.togshop.com, especially Alfred Dunner and Koret, two manufacturers whose clothes aging mothers can easily wear and look well-put-together.

  • Alfred Dunner’s pull-on pants coordinate with tops.  The all-around elastic waist bands, while easy to pull up, can be an issue for certain figures; but not necessarily, when hidden under coordinated tops.
  • Koret eliminates all-around elastic on some clothes, manufacturing flat front pants and skirts with elastic in the back or has “hidden elastic” in the waist that expands up to two inches on each side.

Also Google manufacturers–both Alfred Dunner and Koret, for example, have on-line outlets.

Allie Clark says:

As a former caregiver, geriatric manager and all around good daughter, I smiled about your blog post regarding clothes for senior ladies and would like to add my two cents: It would be incredibly thoughtful and probably well received to make sure that the elderly and/or disabled lady in your life has a comfortable new outfit to wear for the holidays. Don’t wait til Christmas or Chanukah or gift-giving celebration night to give it to her!

Your suggestion of the line of clothes by Alfred Dunner is spot on. They are stylish, color coordinated, modest, stretch coordinates in washable fabrics that are warmer knits in the winter and light in the summer. My mother, in her later years, would have loved to have picked out her own Alfred Dunner ensemble on the internet without having to go shopping, but I wanted to add that both Macy’s and JC Penney’s also carry this brand and had fantastic deals and discounts at the mall today and again, with free shipping right now, on line.

As for my dad, who told me several times in his later years that he did NOT want any new clothes, I just made sure that a choice of a nice maroon L.L. Bean sweater vest, a hunter green cardigan and a burberry plaid scarf were dry cleaned and on the ready, and then no matter what else he wanted to wear, he always looked nice and felt fantastic in pictures and in person.

Happy holidays to seniors everywhere and all best wishes for the new year ahead!


2 thoughts on “2012 Holiday Gifts for Aging Mothers-2 (updated 11/26/12)

  1. These are great suggestions for older women who perhaps aren’t as interested in fashion as they once were or have physical issues that preclude wearing clothes that have zippers, buttons, hook-and-eye closures, etc. However–and I speak strictly for myself!–at 76, I still wear the same type of casual clothing I wore 30 years ago with some notable exceptions. I no longer wear short skirts, tops that are low-cut, sleeveless or short-sleeved, see-through or filmy fabrics, glitter, shorts or bathing suits, among other items.

    Otherwise, except for work, I pretty much live in jeans or “jeggings”, turtleneck sweaters, hoodies, scarves, jackets and boots during winter here in the Pacific Northwest–as I always have. I don’t wear pull-on pants or the fussy/floral patterns that seem to permeate so many designs for “older” women. I love Eileen Fisher and Chico clothes, but they have limited or no Petites–at 5’2″ and 96 lbs., regular Misses sizes just don’t fit without extensive (and expensive) alterations. Although I won’t deny that dressing comfortably is perhaps more important than it was in my 30s-50s, I still thoroughly enjoy fashion and hope I’ll be able to do so for at least the next 10 years! Then, I suppose it will be my time for “old lady” clothing. . .

    • Thanks Elizabeth. It’s always heartening to hear from you. You seem to represent those women who think substantively, have good insight and, regardless of age, stay current and involved. If that isn’t a recipe for aging well, I don’t know what is.

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