The fashion investments to make in your 70s, whether you have £50 or £1,000

Maye Musk is a testament to staying experimental in your 70s
Maye Musk is a testament to staying experimental in your 70s Credit: PA

In our six-part series, we outline the classic pieces worth buying at different ages. Previously we looked at fashion investments to make in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. This week, we reveal why you should splash out on fedoras and fine jewellery in your 70s.

I usually do a brief Google search as part of my research for this series, and it turns out that there’s not much fashion content dedicated to women in their 70s. 

I’m not sure why, as there’s no shortage of fabulous women in the public eye making their eighth decade look like their most stylish and empowering yet. Take US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who turned 70 this past weekend. Or Dame Helen Mirren, 74, currently starring in Sky Atlantic’s Catherine the Great. Or Prue Leith, 79, whose Bake Off fame has led to a string of fashion collaborations, not to mention Maye Musk, 71, who has never been more in-demand as a model than she is now. These women are defining their 70s as a new power decade

Anna Wintour celebrated her 70th birthday last weekend Credit: Getty Images

There are lots of ‘shoulds’ and ‘should nots’ that are thrown around when it comes to fashion for septuagenarians, but a scan through Ari Seth Cohen’s brilliant Advanced Style Instagram feed is evidence that such rules are made to be broken.

Here, we reveal where to splash out on fashion in your 70s, whether you have £50 or £1,000.

If you have £50

A show-goer demonstrates the versatility of a colourful scarf outside the Hermès show at Paris men's fashion week in June Credit: Getty Images

With a single scarf, there are myriad ways to switch up your look. You may even have a collection already, rendering this purchase redundant. If you don’t, seek out a square scarf in silk or silk twill. The print can be anything you please, but it’s one of those accessories that can add colour to an otherwise neutral outfit so don’t be afraid to go for something bold.

There's a great selection at John Lewis, which has designs by Fraas including this lilac polka dot scarf, £27.99, and Jigsaw's toffee-coloured leopard print, £36. We also love this navy floral design, £39.95 at Joules.

If you have £200

Leandra Medine layers her shirt with a turtleneck in the campaign photos for her collaboration with Mango Credit: Mango

A soft turtleneck in a neutral colour is a wardrobe workhorse that can be worn on its own or under a multitude of outfits. It’s particularly useful if you don’t feel comfortable showing your arms or decolletage any more, but still want to get wear out of old wardrobe favourites, though they’re also stylish if you have no body hangups at all - fashion blogger Leandra Medine swears by them.

If you feel the cold, go for a thin cashmere or wool blend - Me + Em has a lovely muddy green-brown version, £89, selfridges.com. Otherwise a high quality cotton or silk like this lightweight one from Joseph, £195, matchesfashion.com, could work.

If you have £400

One thing that seems to unite the Advanced Style set is a penchant for headwear. We should all follow their lead as hats are not only practical - keeping you warm and dry in the winter and protecting from the sun in summer - but they’re an easy way to make a style statement too as they don’t require you to be any particular size or shape.

Try on lots of different styles to work out what suits your face shape and personality best, though fedoras (like Eugenia Kim's Georgina hat, £322, farfetch.com) and wide-brimmed straw sunhats are universally flattering. Clyde's wool-felt hat (£245, net-a-porter.com) is endlessly versatile, while turbans, like Missoni's patterned lame, £255, selfridges.com, exude glamour.

If you have £700

Put your money into timeless items that you can wear for multiple kinds of occasions. It’s no secret that Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please line delivers exactly that. Much-imitated but never bettered, it’s all machine-washable and doesn’t need to be ironed. This patterned, pleated dress is a must-buy (£475, farfetch.com). 

Margaret Howell is a one-stop-shop for understated menswear-inspired separates like shirts, knits and trousers. If bold prints are more your thing, consider Dries van Noten, La DoubleJ or Chufy, a fashion consultant and influencer who collaborates with artisans across the globe (the latest collection is inspired by Dubai and includes the Jamal landscape-print crepe wrap dress £564, matchesfashion.com) while Roksanda uses colour like nobody else - just look at her Auric jumper, £595, net-a-porter.com.

If you have £1,000 or more

Invest in fine jewellery like Helen Mirren, pictured at the premiere of Catherine the Great in September Credit: Getty Images

Whether your taste leans towards sculptural silver bracelets or gobstopper rings, fine jewellery is always an exciting and worthwhile investment to make. Don’t feel obliged to go for something too ‘classic’ when spending a four-figure sum, as there’s a risk of ending up with something you just don’t love. You’re the one who will be wearing it, hopefully a lot, so choose something that echoes your personality.

There’s lots of beautiful fine jewellery to be found online these days, but you may have more fun - and bag a great bargain - by shopping for it at auction.

This article is part of a six-part series exploring worthwhile fashion investments at different ages and budgets. Check out our fashion investment plan for a 20-something here, our plan for a 30-something here, for a 40-something here, for a 50-something here, and for a 60-something here.