We're in Our 50s and Rely On These 10 Basics to Look Chic

Janet Gunn is the inspiring influencer behind The Grateful Gardenia. Originally from Texas, the 58-year-old style guru is now settled in Los Angeles with her husband, son, and dog Buster. She's worked as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, flight attendant, actor, jewelry designer, and beyond. In other words, she has a ton of experience and an equally cool personal style. Melissa Meyers is a Los Angeles–based influencer with a focus on beauty, style, travel, and wellness. Her blog, The Glow Girl, aims to empower women to embrace the best version of themselves, age gracefully, and cultivate a glow from the inside out. She also happens to be 54 years old and has a penchant for masterfully styling trends. Here, the fashionable duo teams up to discuss the basics they swear by. Oh, and don't forget to follow them at @janetgunngratefulgardenia and @melissameyers.

"What do straight-leg jeans, a blazer, and a white button-down all have in common? They are the holy trinity of closet essentials. Being in our 50s, both of us have definitely had our share of 'What were we thinking?!' fashion moments. But through a lot of hits and misses over the years and experimenting with different styles and trends, we have learned one crucial tip that we now swear by. Basics are our best friend."

"Thankfully, as we've gotten older, our fashion choices have gotten wiser. We've each developed our own signature styles by anchoring our wardrobes with the basics and then adding accessories and seasonal trends to bring out our fashion personalities. Just as a house needs a solid foundation to build upon, so do our wardrobes."

"Acting as the perfect canvas to experiment with trends, these staples—like crew-neck sweaters, leather jackets, and yes, even leopard-print separates—can take you from casual to chic like that. And best of all, they don't always have to be expensive.

Keep scrolling to see how we each style our unique looks starting with the basic pieces we think every woman should own."

1. Straight-Leg Jeans


(Image credit: Janet Gunn and Melissa Meyers)

"Straight-leg denim paired with the right shoes—classic pumps or boots—can amp up your business casual look, taking you from a lunch meeting to an evening of cocktails and brainstorming."

2. Modern Blazer


(Image credit: Janet Gunn)

"A blazer is a non-negotiable essential, and you can never have too many. Wear a black belted blazer with a denim skirt to add a level of chic, off-duty style."


(Image credit: Janet Gunn)

"A slouchier blazer also works with go-to's like a white T-shirt and jeans."


(Image credit: Melissa Meyers)

"A sleek blazer also pairs flawlessly with a silk midi skirt."

3. White Blouse


(Image credit: Melissa Meyers)

"Nothing says crisp, clean, and fresh like the perfect-fitting white button-down. Our motto? When you find one you like, buy a few."

4. Black Boots


(Image credit: Janet Gunn)

"High, low, or over-the-knee boots are always made for walking… in style."

5. Leather Jacket


(Image credit: Melissa Meyers and Janet Gunn)

"A leather jacket is a no-brainer in our arsenal of basics."


(Image credit: Melissa Meyers)

"When you think about it, what other pieces in your wardrobe can serve as classic and on-trend, retro and modern at the same time?"

6. Power Suit


(Image credit: Melissa Meyers)

"Every boss—aspiring and established—should own one of these."

7. Cozy Sweater


(Image credit: Janet Gunn)

"Whether you're going for a classic crew or mock turtleneck, everyone needs a cozy sweater they feel fabulous in."


(Image credit: Melissa Meyers)

"You just can't go wrong with a cozy sweater—your favorite can be paired with anything."

8. Trench Coat


(Image credit: Janet Gunn)

"A trench coat is always chic. And a staple."


(Image credit: Melissa Meyers)

"A trench is so stylish when combined with a classic white T-shirt and on-trend denim. Checks all the boxes."

9. Classic Bag


(Image credit: Janet Gunn)

"Every woman needs a classic handbag to finish off her look. A pop of red, for example, adds a little flair to a classic, structured shape."