Ladies’ dresses for over 50s that are flattering and comfortable

Find the perfect fitting outfit with our pick of the best dresses for women over 50.

Best dresses for women over 50

by Eleanor Weaver |
Updated on

Finding ladies' dresses for over 50s to make you look and feel great does not have to come at the cost of compromising on fashionable trends or edgy styles. Having a solid understanding of your body type and sense of style can help you navigate the endless options on the internet to find trendy and flattering dresses that can help put together several memorable outfits.

You never know when you might need something glamorous on standby. Perhaps you're after a frock for a meal out with your partner or afternoon tea with friends? Or maybe you're on the hunt for something special likedresses suitable for wedding guests or an anniversary celebration. That's why the fashion and shopping experts here at Yours have put together a helpful guide to help you find the best dresses with sleeves for mature women.

Best ladies' dresses for over 50s at a glance:

You may want to look for dresses suitable for special occasions or you may be on the lookout forlong sleeved daily wear ladies' dresses for over 50s that'll make sure you're comfortable and confident. That's why we've included long-sleeved dresses in a range of styles, sizes and lengths, including petite and plus-size dresses to help you choose according to your needs. It is also worth stocking up on dresses that is season-appropriate like shopping for cotton dresses that will keep you cool in the summer. If none of our top picks takes your fancy, we've also listed our favourite places to shop for flattering dresses with sleeves so you can browse to your heart's content.

Plus, we've enlisted fashion tips and advice from an expert stylist, Styled By Susie, that will come in handy while dress shopping when you're over 50. Along with style inspiration from much-loved celebrities and bloggers, this guide can be your one-stop destination while picking your dresses.

Best ladies' dresses for over 50s

Best tea dress for mature women

Ruched Jersey Midi Tea DressBoden
Price: £39.20 (was £98)

You can't go wrong with a spot-print dress! In a classic tea dress silhouette, this jersey midi strikes the perfect balance of looking put-together and staying comfortable. Reviews from women who fall within the height range of 5’0’’ – 5’9’’ state that the dress looks flattering on them. One reviewer mentioned that the material was thick and soft which makes it suitable for winter, autumn and spring.

In terms of body types, one woman with an hourglass figure commented that the dress looks very flattering on her and another reviewer who identified herself to be petite and 5’2’’ added that it looks great on her as well. However, several reviews mention that the waistband is a bit on the thicker side and this adds some volume near the waist area. So if this is something you are looking to avoid, then you may want to consider other options. It’s styled with a ruched bodice and a front keyhole with button fastening, full length sleeves gathered at the cuff, and a mid-calf length skirt. It looks great styled with boots and goes well with occasions ranging from small day events to smart office wear. And the best bit? It has subtle in-seam pockets!


  • Flattering fit
  • Comfortable
  • Available in navy or black


  • One reviewer said the skirt part isn't lined compared to the bodice part
  • Some feel that the waistband is a bit bulky which adds inches to the waist

Best shirt dress for mature women

Twist Waist Print Midi Shirt DressCotton Traders
Price: £35 (was £49)

A shirt dress is just one of those items of clothing that never goes out of style, the cut and shape is simply timeless. We think this Twist Waist Print Midi Shirt Dress from Cotton Traders is one that you'll want to reach for year after year. Several people who bought the dress were very happy with the fit, the way the material felt and the fact that it ironed smoothly. Most women felt that the dress could be styled to suit a range of occasions which makes it a worthy purchase. 

Some reviews mention that the material is a bit on the thinner side, so if you are looking for a dress that can keep you a little warm, then you may want to consider some of the thicker options we have listed. It might also be worth checking if you need to order a size down, as some of the women who ordered it felt the dress was bigger than expected. Featuring concealed button-through-to-waist styling, bust darts and double button-fastening cuffs, it'll make styling this season effortless as it can be, dressed down during the day with flats and elevated for the evening with heeled boots and statement jewellery.


  • Seasonal and unique print
  • Effortless to wear
  • Flattering twist waist detail


  • Some reviewers have reported it comes up big
  • Some also felt the material was a bit on the thinner side

Best midi dress for mature women

Add a dash of print to your winter wardrobe with this Boden Rebecca Jersey Midi Tea Dress. Designed in petite and regular lengths, this easy-to-wear style features an elegant empire waist that falls to a flattering long skirt. It is suitable for tall women who range from a height of 5’7’’ to 5’9’’ according to a review and shorter women can opt to buy the petite version as well. 

A V-neck and mid-arm length sleeves complete this dress and the viscose and elastane blend in the fabric ensure it stays comfortable to wear all day long. Most reviews shared the material was super stretchy and clings at all the right places.  However, some felt that the material was too flimsy, and most people found the neckline to be a little too deep for their liking as well. While this can be resolved with a camisole, other options with more modest necklines could be a safer bet if you do not want to put the extra work. But otherwise, when styled with chunky boots, tights and a leather jacket, this dress makes for an effortless but oh-so-chic look.


  • Perfect for everyday dressing
  • There is ample stretch in the fabric
  • Lined bodice


  • Petite and long-length sizes regularly go in and out of stock

Best dress with size options for mature women

John Lewis - ladies' dresses for over 50sJohn Lewis

We’re just dotty about this Urban Touch Dipped Hem Midi Dress from John Lewis. It features this vintage-inspired floral print with a twisted bow around the waist and a v-neckline that is super flattering. The belt gives your waistline a really snatched look and trims you down. However, some reviewers shared that the neckline was a little too deep for their liking and they had to resort to a few adjustments or wearing a camisole. This is something to keep note of while looking at this option. 

But otherwise, with loose sleeves, this comfy dress can be styled up or down. Women have shared that this dress had compliments flying in when they wore it for weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays. It can be styled with heels and a classy clutch to complete an elegant look fit for any occasion. It is also fit for day events when styled with sandals and statement jewellery. It is also suited for both cold and warm weather when paired with tights and boots or trainers when it starts to get hotter.


  • Elasticated cuffs
  • Flattering v-neck
  • Cute polka dot print


  • The material is polyester so it is not super-soft

Best dress with stretch for mature women

Phase Eight - ladies' dresses for over 50sPhase Eight
Price: £75 (was 99)

Midi in length, the Phillipa Floral Midaxi Dress from Phase Eight ticks all the boxes for a comfortable dress that's perfect for all seasons. It's available in four colours and the material is light and breathable making it perfect for the summer. Several reviewers added that they loved wearing this on warmer days. The elastic near the midriff offers a very trim look. 

Some felt that the material was too thin and it was somewhat see through, so this might be worth taking note while considering this option. It is a very versatile piece that can be styled for various occasions with sandals for day events or heels for cocktail events. It's also easy to wear with elasticated three-quarter length sleeves and a feminine necktie which also creates a flattering silhouette.


  • No fastening making it very easy to wear
  • Fits well and is true to size
  • Available in four colours


  •  Must be on a delicate machine wash

Best bright coloured dress for mature women

Inject a pop of colour and print with this Printed Button Front Midi Shirt Dress from M&S. A sophisticated option for office styling or occasions where formal dressing can still be fun, this button-through shirt-style dress comes with an eye-catching pink and black geometric print with long cuffed sleeves and a smart collared neckline. Several women who bought it found that the fit was loose without making them look big. One review shared that the dress hides all the lumps and gathers at the back which is better than being straight and dragging around the rear. 

This dress was maxi length for one user who was 5’3’’ and it comes in petite lengths as well if you want to stick to a midi length. The subtle gathering at the waist with the midi-length skirt creates an elegant silhouette which makes a perfect blend of classic and contemporary style.


  • Flattering silhouette
  • Can be styled for formal and dressy occasions


  • Some reviewers found it a little long

Best evening dress for mature women

Seasalt CornwallSeasalt Cornwall
Price: £42.95 (was £75.95)

Featuring a mid-length sleeve and floaty silhouette, the Tor View Jersey Dress falls to a maxi length to flatter your body in all the right places. The boat neck makes it perfect for women with broader shoulders. It can be styled with boots when the weather is cold or trainers for warmer days. The dress is good for day events as the material is light and keeps you comfortable for a long time. The purple colours are simply gorgeous for this time of year and we love the beautiful flower pattern.


  • Maxi length
  • Floaty silhouette
  • Bamboo derived material which feels light and airy


  • May be a little long for those who are more petite

Best V-neck summer dress for mature women

M&S FATFACE - dresses for over 50sM&S FATFACE

Last but by no means least is this Floral V-Neck Midi Waisted Dress from FATFACE. We're wild for a bit of floral print here at Yours so we love that this dress features a mishmash of prints in this gorgeous mosaic-style mono-tone colourway - with accents of bluish green. It's a short-sleeved style with detailing and a V-neck for comfort.

Most reviews share that the dress fits like a glove in all the right places offering a very flattering look. The cotton material also feels natural and is breathable. With pockets, the dress is also practical to carry those essentials when you are out on a picnic or a day out on the beach. The dress is perfect for shorter women as well as a review from a woman who stands at 5’0’’ stated that the dress is flattering for short and curvy women, even in a size 6.  Just chuck it on with a pair of tights or leggings if it is a little nippy, pop on a pair of boots and you'll be good to go.


  • Responsibly sourced viscose
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Flattering V neck that is not too deep


  • Not suitable for tumble-drying

Best British stores to buy ladies' dresses for over 50s

If your diary is looking full of big events this upcoming season, you'll probably be looking for more than one special dress. We've rounded up a fabulous selection of cocktail dresses for over 50s that are both figure-flattering and stylish to cater for a whole host of occasions.

But, with so much choice on the web, you can easily spend hours scrolling through websites in search of the best dresses for mature women. So we've rounded up some British brands you can count on when it comes to elegant, casual, and stylish fashion for us older ladies.

1. Seasalt Cornwall

Distinctly Cornish and with a seaside vibe, the Yours team love Seasalt Cornwall's quirky style and pretty prints. Their clothing collection features beautifully flattering dresses and versatile tunics in soft, plain and patterned natural fabrics, all in lovely nautical colours, emphasising blues and reds. Stocks UK sizes 6-20.

2. Cotton Traders

Cotton Traders' story goes all the way back to the 70s… so, they know their stuff! They have lots of floral maxi dresses, perfect to pair with a cardigan when the weather gets a little frosty. Stocks UK 8-22.

3. Boden

If you're a fan of vibrant colours and pretty patterns in complimentary cuts, look no further than Boden. Whether you're a fan of minis, midis, or maxis, their offering includes so many options that you'll be able to style with flats, white trainers, and heeled sandals alike. Stocks UK sizes 6-22.

4. Wallis

Not only do Wallis offer great tailoring and wearable separates, but they offer it all at a reasonable price point. Designed with a contemporary feel, their clothes focus on quality and fit. You can expect beautiful jersey floral dresses and chic floral shifts perfect for those special occasions when you want to stand out from the crowd with something a little different. If you struggle with finding the length, the brand also has a petite range of dresses especially designed for women 5' 3" and under. Available in UK sizes 8-18.

5. M&S

In recent years, M&S has reviewed and relaunched its clothing brands in a bid to appeal to a broader range of shoppers, with highlights from their Classic range being absorbed into the main M&S Collection. M&S says that pieces in the range are now designed to be worn and loved by women of all ages. With more than 200 different dresses available website, there's something to suit all shapes and tastes. Stocks sizes 6-24.

If you love M&S as much as we do, we've rounded up all the best M&S dresses for you to shop in one place.

6. Matalan

A classic from the high street, Matalan is home to a range of affordable dresses in all lengths and styles for all occasions. Their mission is to provide quality clothes suited to family budgets, which means they also stock homeware and clothes for the whole family. Stocks UK sizes 6-28 as well as petite and plus-size options.

7. Monsoon

Discover day dresses with the key colour palettes and prints, including classy floaty silhouettes and midi lengths at Monsoon. Stocks UK sizes 8-22.

8. John Lewis

If you're ever lost on where to look, take a trip to John Lewis. A favourite for all things fashion, beauty and home, John Lewis is home to a huge number of brands, sizing options, and dresses for all occasions. Alongside their own John Lewis ANYDAY range which is surprisingly affordable, you can find brands including Ghost, Fat Face, Nobody's Child, and some of the other brands on this very list. As mentioned, definitely a great place to start

9. Hobbs Ltd

Hobbs Ltd. is great if you're looking for something for a special occasion and you want to dress to impress. Hobbs Ltd. stocks luxury clothes, shoes and accessories to suit any occasion. Treat yourself! Stocks UK 6 to 18.

10. Amazon UK

It may not be where you think to go instinctively, but Amazon Fashion is full of dress options from both well-known brands and more obscure ones. You can find casual dresses and occasionwear, and better yet if you're an Amazon Prime member, you can get plenty of options for next-day delivery. Perfect for emergency holiday outfits or if you just don't like waiting around!

Which style should I look for?

We're all about choosing the style you feel most comfortable in, but there are certain styles that are recommended for women over 50 for the most flattering fit:

A-line dresses: Designed to skim off the hip in an 'A-shape', this style of dress accentuates your waist whilst flowing over the stomach, an area some consider a 'problem area' as they get older.

Shift dresses: This style of dress is always popular and well-suited to most body types. More often than not, they are sleeveless but there are cap sleeves, balloon sleeves, and long-sleeve options for those who are self-conscious about their arms.

Shirt dresses: Available in lengths ranging from mini to maxi, a shirt dress can be dressed up and down and is a lovely lightweight option for the summer/ those going through menopause. As well as having a flattering V-neck shirt design, this style of dress often comes with an optional tie waist or belt to accentuate the waist.

Wrap dresses: With similar flattering features to the shirt dress, a wrap dress drapes around under the bust, accentuating the bust and waist. This a great option if have a smaller chest you want to emphasise, or a larger bust you want to flaunt!

Midi dresses: You'll spot many midi dresses in our list and that's for two reasons; they're both on-trend for year-round wear and a great all-rounder for a flattering fit. With so many stylish options available, this style of dress covers any and all problem areas, leaving you feeling your most confident and comfortable.

Can over 50s wear off-the-shoulder dresses?

Yes, we're of the mindset that you can wear anything you feel comfortable in and off-the-shoulder dresses are great for the summer or in formal gowns for special occasions. That being said, you may not spot many over 50s wearing off-the-shoulder dresses. We love what Robin LaMonte has said on the matter on her blog, 'Hello I'm 50ish':

"Because baring shoulders isn’t a general style women over 50 wear, it will get criticised, especially by other women over 50. I saw comments from women who work out that they wouldn’t bare their shoulders after 50. Why the heck not, I thought to myself? When did baring your shoulders become inappropriate for women over 50?"

She went on to write, "Age has nothing to do with baring your shoulders if you feel confident doing so."

Ladies' dresses for over 50's: Celebrity fashion inspiration

Before you hit the shop button on the best dresses for mature women, we've looked to some of the most incredible women on TV to help give you the style inspiration you need. We say that there is no age limit on feeling fabulous, and these ladies prove it!

If Good Morning Britain host, Susanna Reid, can wow us in a pencil dress, so can you. She's wearing a Closet London Navy Blue Pencil Dress, and we think she looks incredible. We're a big fan of Susanna's dress sense and have shared more of our favourite dresses from the GMB presenter.

Susanna Reid

Another TV legend and our fashion go-to is Lorraine Kelly. We think that the gorgeous Megan Slinky Recycled Jersey Frill Detail Midi Wrap Dress from Pour Moi would make a fantastic addition to your wardrobe. Plus it comes in a bunch of gorgeous prints and colours! For more Lorraine Kelly fashion favourites, take a look at our round-up of her looks.

Lorraine Kelly Instagram
©Instagram/ @lorrainekellysmith

And finally, if you love comedian Judi Love as much as we do, you can also add a pop of pink to your wardrobe with this Pink Animal Print Wrap Midi Dress from River Island, a flattering, wrap-front, waist-cinching dress for ladies under and over 50.

ITV/ Loose Women
©ITV/ Loose Women

The best over 50 fashion blogs and Instagrams to follow

You don't just have to look to the women on the telly for inspiration when looking at ladies' dresses for over 50s that look great and feel comfortable. Many mature women are taking to the internet to show off their glamorous garments. These are some of our favourite over 50 fashion influencers:

Alternative Ageing

Senior Style Bible

Accidental Icon

Dorrie Jacobson runs Senior Style Bible and had this to say about finding the right dresses for mature women, "Number one style rule to live by? Forget about being 'age-appropriate. Defy the rules…No one should dictate your style to you. It's a means of self-expression. Make it your own."

She then went on to talk about our favourite fashion subject - shoes, "What do you look for in footwear? I love statement shoes. I usually dress from the shoe up…So my footwear really needs to turn heads.

"At 80, I still wear high heels almost every day because they're my trademark. People probably wouldn't recognise me without them."

Now all that's left to do is go shopping for the best dresses for mature women from the comfort of your living room and revamp your wardrobe.

Ladies' dresses for over 50s: Fashion tips from the experts

Meet the expert: Susie Hasler runs Styled By Susie, specialising in styling real women on a budget whose body type has changed due to pregnancy, gaining or losing weight, or menopause.

"Many of the mature ladies who I work with prefer to have a little more coverage in the summertime, rather than opting to bare all," says Susie.

"My clients aren't too keen on showing their arms or too much cleavage - and there are so many ways you can dress stylishly while not looking frumpy. If you're not keen on sleeveless styles, try a cap sleeve."

She also recommends opting for a patterned dress if you normally dress head-to-toe in black.

"The tummy area can be troublesome for many women, particularly post-menopause. Dressing in summer clothing can make many ladies feel exposed, and it can become tempting to wear black to hide away.

"However, a pattern is actually going to flatter the figure much more as it glosses over lumps and bumps and is much more summery than black!"

Eleanor Weaver is the Deputy Homes & Garden Product Editor for Yours, specialising in home décor, furnishings and appliances. Having worked commercially on Yours magazine and for the past six years, she's previously hosted Yours Live events and loves looking for home inspiration online.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us