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Over 50 Fashion-Spring Dresses

Welcome to our monthly installment of Signature Style.  Each month Sarah and I chat up our feelings on a particular trend or item. This month our friend Kim from Northern Cal Style is joining us. Have you noticed that dresses are all over the place this year? After spending over a year in yoga pants and or jeans, the idea of wearing a dress is maybe not such a bad thing. Just as we are craving color and pattern in our home decor and the grand millennial style is gaining speed, we are craving something feminine and pretty for our bodies as well. Let’s take a look at Over 50 Fashion-Spring Dresses.

over 50 spring dresses

This years’ crop definitely has a look. Many are folk-inspired, or floral, many are tiered. I searched for a word to describe them.  Kim calls them “Little House on the Prairie Dresses”. I have heard the dress trend called “House Dresses”.  I personally do not think that is a good moniker. If you are my age that term harkens back images of “the elderly” ladies in the neighborhood that didn’t get dressed all day.  Remember them?  You would see them at the mailbox in what appeared to be their robe and slippers, often with a cigarette in hand. 

Let’s take a look at the Prairie or the House Dress Trend.  The question is can we wear them at our age? Sarah really knows how to rock the look.  Every time I spot her in one I am tempted.

Sarah London i tiered dress with necklaces for Ageless Style on Cindy Hattersleys blog

Mary Ann from Classic Casual home also looks darling in them.

mary ann in block print prairie dress

 I have always had a hard time with dresses. That’s why I normally wear skirts.  I am long-waisted and have a smallish waist.  Shirt waists normally hit me right under the boobs unless I buy a tall.  If I buy a tall it is too long.  The long flowy dresses accentuate the larger parts of my body, instead of the waist which makes me look one size LARGE. I am also not a big fan of florals in general. Although I love them on others. The folk-inspired dresses do fascinate me if only they were flattering on me. Another personal issue I have, ruffles, tiers, puff sleeves, and bows are not really my jam. Admittedly I was a tomboy in my youth, so adding any of the aforementioned accouterments feels and looks like I am trying to play dress. up and just didn’t quite get it right. I ordered this Target tiered dress.  It is a great dress and is well made but it just doesn’t flatter me at all.  I think for someone more straight up and down and flat-chested it would be darling.

cindy hattersley in target prairie dress

I had planned to try out some of these dresses from Mango. They have some fun styles for great prices.  However, since I am a little overwhelmed with moving it did not happen.  I would try one of these if you would like to experiment.  If you are going to embrace a trend that is probably not here to stay, try a less expensive option.


I also planned to rework the infamous Target Dress from last year that so many of you loved.  Guess what my clothes that I brought home from the lake got packed.  You can read the entire post Target LBD Five Ways here. J Crew has a dress that is almost identical that also comes in green and brown here.I am tempted to get the green, I love that Target dress so much.

cindy hattersley in target dress rose arbor


Working with what I own and wear, here are my options. Okay so I admit it, this isn’t technically a dress. Annie from Most Lovely Things said why don’t you just wear one of your skirts and a linen shirt and call it a dress (brilliant!).  For the reasons mentioned above they just don’t look that great on me.  Here I am wearing my favorite maxi (I know it is expensive) but there are some on ebay here.  If you really want a maxi skirt just bite the bullet and pay.  It is all about the cut of this skirt that is so flattering.  It is also cool and comfortable in the summer.  Trust me I am cheap as well, and to be honest, all of mine have come from eBay. This is my husband’s hat.  It is unisex and very reasonable.  I think I need my own.  I am wearing the J Crew Barid McNutt Irish linen shirt, Mia Sandals (sold out but there are a few on ebay here), a jute belt, and eco-friendly water buffalo bone accessories.  All items or similar are linked below the picture.

cindy hattersley in j crew shirt and cp shades skirt


I love a T-shirt dress especially in a longer length like this one from J Crew. I am wearing it with a jean jacket from Gap, flip flops (these are the most comfortable beach flip flops I have ever owned, a necklace from Paula Carvallo, and a Target beach bag.

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This is another “cheater” look.  I don’t like to wear dresses that are above or at the knee.  In the summer I will throw on a pair of Capri leggings under a “dress”.  This dress is from CP Shades.  I am wearing it with Artemis mules, the same Paula Carvalho necklace, etsy earrings and bone accessories.

cindy hattersley in CP Shades and leggings


Last but not least I am wearing a linen dress from Linen Naive on Etsy.  a necklace from IBU (you can read my post on this wonderful shop here), no longer available, but they many other great options. Artemis raffia mules no longer available in this color, there are a couple on Ebay here.

cindy hattersley wearing linen naive etsy


Thank you so much for reading Over 50 Fashion Spring Dresses.  I would love to hear if you are a dress gal or more of a skirt gal like me.  Now pop over and visit the youngsters who can really rock this look.  Wasn’t I brave to join these two? On Friday Jennifer and I will be styling summer jeans.  Lots of fashion this week.



Reader Interactions


      • Debbie klausing says

        Love all your posts and ideas. You’ve got such good taste!
        I also like the capris with dresses idea. Maybe do a post on that? I always second guess myself about how to pull it off. I’m good with tunics, but not sure if my dresses can work with capris. I’m 71, barely 5’4 and weigh @123 for reference. I’ve gone natural with my hair and was surprised at how white it is! I know I am painting a granny picture, which I am for sure. However , I do exercise and walk a lot and avoid poodle hair.
        Any ideas for casual slightly fitted dresses or swing dresses? Two totally different styles. Guess I need to get out the self tanner to try to cover some broken veins. Never want to go back to panty hose or garter belts!

        • Cindy Hattersley says

          Hi Debbie

          That’s a great idea. I will try to work that in! You guys have the best suggestions!!

    • Heidi says

      Hi Cindy,
      this was sure a popular post, it took me a while to scroll to the comments box!
      I love you in that Target black tee dress. I have it as well,I don’t think I look as good as you in it, but I love it.
      I’ve tried repeatedly to purchase one of the Target striped tiered dress (Kim’s dress!), and some others. When I got home with a bunch of different ones to try on I realized what a wast of time it had been. I know better. Those styles just don’t work on me. I need to stick to things that are cut less full. The big balloon sleeves and all those layered tiers make me look huge and like I’m in a nightgown.
      I did finally find a CP Shades skirt on Ebay that was the right size and a nice color. I had to cut 8” off to make it fit! I have enough fabric scrap to make a shawl! Anyway, I’m looking forward to warmer weather and being able to wear it.
      I love all your fashion posts. You’ve got such great style!
      XO Heidi

  1. Martha goss says

    Hi Cindy,

    I really love your style!! In fact last year I bought that black, long Target dress. It is one of my favorites!! I wear it with a. Leopard cardigan and Leopard flats and to make it more casual, a denim jacket and tennies!! I would love to get a long black skirt, like yours…. now I’m tall with a shirt waist—so the exact opposite of you. What is the style of your CP shades skirt? My favorite thing -are linen shirts,, skirts and pants. I love your look with the big belt. My waist used to be my smallest thing, but now after menopause,—Lord help me, I don’t know if I have a thinnest thing left… oh that’s right wrists and ankles!! Here’s to bracelets and cute shoes!! I also love your great jewelry!! I always look forward to your posts!!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Martha

      I live in linen as well. The skirt is linked below the picture. It is the CP Shades Lily Skirt. There are a couple on ebay here but only one black. here.

      Thank you so much for your kind comments!

  2. Suzie Leiber says

    Thank you so much! You have helped me avoid lots of mistakes. I really admire your taste and style… I love that you give a range of prices and I’ve never liked knee length spring dresses on myself either. I will get myself some Capri leggings too…keep up the fantastic work please!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Suzie

      I have big legs (for my stature) and I was badly burned as a child so having my legs show is not a pretty option!!

  3. LA CONTESSA says


    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Elizabeth

      They mentioned that but I only see the white currently. I would love to have the white. I probably do not need another however!!

  4. Liana says

    I’m not very much of a dress wearer. I have very large front airbags and to get any dress to fit my chest I need to go couple sizes up, leaving me with a “ Borrowed dress from a tall friend , look”. These days I find myself mostly wearing what fits rather than what I love . Floral dresses are really pretty on others but I can’t seem to find the look flattering on myself

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Liana

      We have the same problem. The beauty of being 65+ is I am no longer a slave to fashion. I think all of us over 55 are comfortable with what we can and cannot wear.

  5. Karen B. says

    Hi Cindy,
    You always look so stylish in your clothes. I don’t wear dresses much at all, mostly because my legs haven’t aged well, I have a couple of large age spots. At times I wish nylons were still required. Haha.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Teresa

      Thank you so much for weighing in. I always love reading everyone’s comments. We have the best group!

  6. elizabeth@pineconesandacorns says

    Cindy you always look stylish and this post is filled with so many tips, tricks and great looks for everyone. I personally love the “little house on the prairie” dresses, some of them are too big and have way too much material but there are others that look beautiful, stylish and they are so comfortable! To me a dress is the perfect piece of clothing, it can be dressed up or down, they are comfortable and it is one piece of clothing, you do not have to worry about matching it with anything.
    I am exploring all of the linens dresses on the Etsy site you shared, one is more beautiful than the next.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Elizabeth

      Thank you for introducing me to Farm Rio. What a fun company. I can’t wait to hear how you like that dress. I think it is a work of art. If I could wear it I would order it in a flash. I just love those dresses but they do not flatter my figure!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Jill

      I bet you look darling in that dress. My kids accidentally packed mine away so I had to post the old pic! We are going to be neighbors soon!

  7. Mary Ann Pickett says

    You look fabulous in hats and long skirts!! I love long dresses but the tier one I have it a bit too “balloon-like”. Fun post!!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Mary Ann I absolutely love you in that dress. You are why I was tempted! Unfortunately not a good look on me. I looked pregnant!

  8. Kathysue says

    You always look chic and stylish and you definitely know what looks best on you. I love that black Tarjay dress on you. It’s perfect on your silhouette. Your accessories always are unique and the icing on the cake. Kudos to you my friend.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Kathy Sue

      Can’t wait to hear about the Farm Rio skirt…just love that unique line. Thanks for always being so supportive!

  9. Saeah London says

    I think it’s great that you know what works on you and what doesn’t 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻. And that shirt with a tiered skirt is the best! I believe you can get dresses just like that. Martinelli Roma comes to mind as a store. Although I’m sure you’ll find more local suppliers. Sometimes an alteration is required as they do design fit Amazonian heights!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Sarah

      I am going to look them up. Your Australian brands are so interesting. I just love the styles you showcase. You rock that tiered look. Someone asked about your necklaces in the picture. Maybe you could steer them in the right directio! Everyone loves your style!

  10. Juliet says

    Such a fun post! I’m in the mood for summer dresses – Little House on the Prairie, House Dresses and LBDs (yours is quite the hot little number)! Last summer – our pandemic summer – I really embraced the summer dress and I’m ready to do it again this year. Love all these options … off I go to shop! xo

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Juliet

      I should have posted a pic of you in the Prairie look as well. It suits you so well. As I have said I love it on others. I am afraid I have to enjoy it on others. I look like a beached whale in that look!!

  11. Susan says

    You know, I’m not really a Little House kind of girl, but I bought that Target tiered dress in the lilac stripe and was floored over how well it was made and how nicely it iron needed. I call it my “coffee dress”. Off goes the nightgown and on goes the coffee dress. I would not wear it out and about though.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Susan

      I totally agree. The fabric was great and nicely made. Target really has some finds sometimes.

  12. Amy says

    Oh Cindy, that spot-on illustration of “house dresses” has me in tears! You’d think we grew up in the same neighborhood.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Amy

      Ha! Maybe we did…if you would like to buy one they have them on Etsy!! I almost posted a pic, but I was afraid someone might be offended. Glad you got a kick. The women at the fashion houses that come up with these terms are obviously not our age!!

  13. Lauren says

    Do you have the name or style number for the LinenNaive green dress. The link just takes me to their site and there are pages of dresses

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Lauren
      The link below the picture takes you right to the dress.  I just tried it.  The link in the text was to their general website.  She has a pink version that is on sale as well.

  14. B says

    I too am long waisted so most of those dresses make me look like I am pregnant. Not that anything is wrong with being pregnant…once someone asked when I was due and was so embarrassed when I flattened out the material to show her not anytime soon. I think the long skirt with a belt is a great solution!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi B

      Ha! Note I look like I am three months pregnant in the picture. That is why I took it back. Great dress but just not flattering on me. Agreed about the skirt for my body type!

  15. Mary Ann says

    I also succumbed to buying the blue stripped dress from Target. I really wanted it to work, the material was just so soft! However it was NOT flattering at all.
    I did love all the outfits you shared. You have found your style and wear it well.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Mary Ann

      I would just love to embrace that style but unfortunately, it is just not flattering on me. I love it on others though!!

  16. Carol says

    Thank you once again for inspiration. Love your sense of style! I appreciate that you always give us “where to buy” references. Last year you turned me onto Etsy bone jewelry and this year, once again, long skirts, tunics and leggings. I also appreciate how you offer both expensive and inexpensive suggestions.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Carol

      Thank you so much, I appreciate that. I am a big fan of blending the high and low in one’s decor and our attire. Their are great products at all price points. It just takes a little searching!

  17. Lissa says

    I tried that dress from Target, but I felt like I was wearing a nightie from when I was 10. Those voluminous dresses are cool for summer, but make me look huge. With broad shoulders, everything that hangs down from that width, loose, looks bigger.

    Question: how do you keep mules on your feet? I got an adorable pair with raffia bows, but my feet fall out. I don’t want to glue my foot in, but they are too cute to give away!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Lissa

      Sounds like we have the same issues. I too have broad shoulders. I failed to mention that one. You know it is funny I have no trouble with mules at all but my feet are on the wide side. I have certainly hear others say the same thing. Elizabeth (the contessa) has the same problem. I think if you have a narrow foot, it is more of an issue.

  18. sandy says

    Love your style…you make everything look classy. Love dresses, just don’t wear them a lot…maybe I’ll start wearing them more now.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Sandy

      Thank you so much. There are certainly some great dresses out there. I kind of stick to what I am comfortable with at my age. Anything too trendy I will probably not wear for long. I try to provide stylish alternatives that we can wear.

  19. Wren says

    My fav is the linen naive dress with your amazing horn necklace. The green is an interesting color and probably not usually suggested for someone with silver hair but you pull it off (maybe with the help of the necklace). The best accessory of all in every picture is your smile! It’s infectious, even from my computer screen.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Wren

      That color was one of my absolute favorites when my hair was dark. I find it tough now with gray hair. That dress was gifted to me a couple of years ago by the owner. My hair was not quite as gray. It is a great dress. There is a pretty pink on sale. Her clothes are very well made, and she has great customer service. I love the details in her line.

  20. Kim says

    Cindy so funny about the Little House dresses, I saw more the other day and they were bordering on costumes!! I don’t think this look will last.. I love small florals, but some of them, full collars etc-just add sun bonnet and you are back in the 1800’s! LOL.

  21. kim says

    Cindy, You are so funny.. I consider us all in the same age group and to me you dress more youthful and chic than anyone I know! I love all these looks on you and the top Target dress may be my favorite! I do love that color on you. I also have fitting issues being short waisted, I feel like all the dresses with waists stop right under the chest- not a good look. Like you said more flowy dresses can make me look larger too. I guess its all trial and error. I love you in your long skirts and bought one- inspired by you! I am excited to wear it with so much. Thank you for asking me to join you style stars as I am not a natural model like you two. Hope I can maintain standards!! I am honored to be part of this. Now off to shop some pretty things you have here! xo Kim

  22. Tracie Cain says

    I was hesitant to buy a “little house on the prairie dress. But found one under $100 fully lined in a leopard print that seemed to make it feel new. Ordered, took it out of the box, no ironing and wore it. I can’t wait to wear it again! Compliments from people on the street, coworkers and even students! Go for it. We all need fun clothes especially now!

  23. Susan Kelley says

    I have what might be delicately called a beer gut! so Have to be careful about dresses with waists.I have never much been a fan of the Little House on the Prairie look.I just feel sloppy while I think its always looks great on others! Love the casual black dress with the white denim jacket,esp. the necklace. I also like the horn necklaces you have shown. I enjoy wearing statement jewelry on very plain tailored clothes.You and you friends are very stylish ladies to emulate. I enjoy what you all post. Keep up the good work!

  24. Wendy Mortenson says

    I would like to know where your friends got their dresses and necklaces? They look adorable.

    • Richelle says

      Love your style! I’m not seeing a link to your favorite black maxi skirt (nor the eBay link) – would you share the brand and style name?

      • Cindy Hattersley says

        Hi Richelle
        The link is in the Shop my Look widget below the picture. It is the CP Shades Lily Skirt. There are a couple on ebay here . You can also purchase it from their website but I think they currently only have white.

  25. Annie Diamond says

    I have been waiting for this post! I love every look you are wearing! I took your advice and ordered a Lily skirt from CPshades and that reversible jacket from Anthropologie! I also love how you are wearing all black so it looks like a dress! I’m going to try that too!

    • Marsha says

      You look adorable in every outfit. But I find this post so frustrating because none of your outfits are available.

      • Cindy Hattersley says

        Hi Marsha

        Gee I am so sorry you feel that way. Every pair of shoes I am wearing except for one is available. All of the jeans are available. The Eileen Fisher I linked to on Ebay. I found similar scarves on Etsy, and the t-shirt is available in black but no longer yellow. I will try and do better!!

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