How Not to Look Frumpy

Here's to looking pulled together, modern, and appropriate because we all know that when we look good, we feel great.
Six to Sunday

We’re not suggesting that every outing be a walk down the red carpet, but we also don’t endorse an out-to-lunch, frumpy look that could do double duty as a house cleaning ensemble. In other words: fashion trends may not be your speed, but at the very least we encourage you to look pulled together, modern, and appropriate… because we all know that when we look good, we feel great.

1. Do update your everyday staples (t-shirts, exercise clothes, drugstore readers, your everyday bag).

The everyday basics are the things you wear most often. That means they work hard…and after some number of years, they start to look worn and can make you look frumpy. We’re replacing these items, pronto! Here are a few of our favorite basic upgrades.

Peppers Readers. Our take? Go big or go home. These are comfortable and stay put.

PeeperSpecs The Max Square Blue Light Blocking Reading Glasses
IZIPIZI #C Reading

All Saints Bag. The ideal size that’s big enough, in an updated shape with slightly western details (whip stitch, tassel) that elevates it above basic.

Cuyana System Tote
ALLSAINTS Mori Leather Hobo

Tester-Approved T-shirt.

ASOS DESIGN Ultimate T-Shirt with Crew Neck

Half-sleeve tee.

Banana Republic Malibu Slub T-Shirt

2. Do wear a splash of color.

As we age, we inevitably lose the natural glow of our skin (along with shiny hair, and whiteness in our teeth…please don’t shoot the messenger).  Wearing color is the answer. Best advice? Settle on shades that speak to you, and use color to frame your face. Psst: It’s the easiest face lift you’ll ever get and comes with a free instant mood boost.

J crew sweater. Just the right weight to take you from Winter into Spring.

J.Crew Cashmere Cropped V-Neck Sweater

Seamless and high neck? We’ll take two.

COS Seamless Knitted High-Neck Top

Poplin Shirt. Crisp cotton, classic shirt design, and a wowza color…all at a great price (Psst: this could go from pool cover-up to lunch with friends).

H&M Cotton Poplin Shirt

3. Do figure out a grab-and-go outfit.

Who among us isn’t rushing most of the time? Figure out a reliable ensemble that you can pull out in an instant and get out the door. Let that be your go-to. Option 1: Wide-leg trousers + button down + long cardigan sweater + ballet flats. Option 2: Shirt dress + blazer + sneakers. Stick to neutral colors that go with the everyday bag you use.

4. Do get rid of what’s torn once and for all.

If you have an article of clothing in your closet that you’ve worn so much that it’s literally falling apart, it’s time to get rid of it. Colors fade, the material stretches out, hems fray, and elasticity wanes. While you may dread finding the perfect replacement, ahem, allow us to introduce ourselves. We’ll help :)

5. Do get your shoes refurbished when they look tired.

A skilled shoe repair person can resuscitate almost any footwear. If you have a good, well-made pair of shoes that you love, spending the cash to fix them is money well spent.

6. Do make sure you have updated occasion clothes, for when the time comes.

Things like an outfit you’d wear to a black tie event, a swimsuit AND a cover-up, a raincoat. These occasions may not happen often but when they do, you don’t want to scramble. That’s when bad decisions happen at check out.

Black Tie (Splurge).

Rickie Freeman for Teri Jon Half-Sleeve Textured Jacquard Shirt Gown

Swimsuit. A one piece that’s supportive, chic, and sexy in the perfect shade of navy.

Carmen Marc Valvo Underwire Asymmetrical One Piece Swimsuit

Cover up. Love this brand! Cotton (breezy, washable), draped sleeves, with adjustable ruching to show a little leg.

Pitusa Gabi Ruched Dress

Trench. Kicky enough for every day, dressy enough to wear for the evening. More modern than the traditional beige version.

Michael Kors Faux Patent Leather Trench Coat

7. Do land on a hairstyle that you can maintain.

Our daughters can wake up after a big night out, pile their hair on top of their heads, and head out the door looking adorable. At our stage of life, that neither works nor looks cute, and a baseball cap to cover a bad hair day is just dated. Get yourself a hairstyle and a color that you have the time, energy, and bank account to properly maintain.

8. Do wear lipstick.

The older we get, the more we should embrace the less is more with regard to makeup—most of us are living more casual lifestyles these days and not one of us needs a heavy foundation sinking into our lines. We’re all for it, except a swipe of neutral, everyday color lipstick or lip stain is all it takes to add polish.

Jones Road Beauty. Lip tint that’s incredibly moisturizing with a little (or a lot) of color? Yes, please.

Jones Road The Lip Tint

Bite Lipstick. A creamy formula in soft, peachy colors.

Bite Beauty Creamy Matte Lip Crayon Set
Flyte.70 S+S. Lip Sheer

9. Don’t wear what doesn’t fit.

Waiting to upgrade until you lose that last 5, 10, or 15 pounds? Yeah, we’ve had those thoughts too. Our advice? Stop it. If it really doesn’t fit any longer, get it out of your closet (donate it!). If you need to update it (whether we’re talking about jeans, exercise clothes, or your LBD), then buy what fits you now. The curse of the too’s is a real thing. If it’s too small or too big, make a change.

10. Don’t borrow from your husband.

His giant button-downs and old college sweats may be just right for cleaning out the garage, but those things shouldn’t make it out of the house. There are too many amazing options out there at all price points not to snag your own. Exhibit A? The Six to Sunday oxford and jogger picks.

Get out of the style rut you’re stuck in—wearing the same old, same old each and every day or, worse, the tired gym attire. It’s called dopamine dressing for a reason! Getting dressed will make you feel better, more productive, and more uplifted. We promise. Keep these tips in mind on how to not look frumpy, so you can continue to feel like your best self. See above: Figure out a reliable grab-and-go outfit—preferably with a pop of color–pair it with a goes-with-everything blush lip, and dry shampoo those tresses. Easy, comfortable, and, yes, pulled together.


All products featured on Six to Sunday are independently selected by our editors and contributors. We may get paid commissions on products purchased through our links to retailer sites. However, we recommend products based on our independent research and point of view, and the decisions we make regarding the products we feature on our site are always driven by what we believe our community will love, first and foremost.

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