Geezer Garb Is the New Black

The Queen Mum and her Launer handbag at the Royal WeddingAs a self-proclaimed "elder-phile," I was -- to borrow a phrase from my grandmother -- beside myself to learn that the handbag the Queen carried to Kate and William's royal wedding has fashionistas a-flutter. Handbag sales at Launer of London, who designed the Queen's one-of-a-kind bag, have jumped 60 percent, with the accessory hungry devouring similar styles.

Its popularity is somewhat surprising, considering the bag is -- even by old people standards -- pretty fugly. It's cream, it's boxy, and, well, that's about it. But like I said, I love anything that makes me feel like I should be playing pinochle and sipping a Tom Collins, so here are five trends that'll have you running out for the Early Bird Special in style.


The Grandpa Sweater: It's cozy, it's frumpy, it reminds me of going bowling. Not just because my grandpa was in a bowling league, but because of The Dude. The Grandpa Sweater Jeff Bridges wore in The Big Lebowski is being auctioned off later this month, but if you don't have $4,000-$6,000 to spend (that's the starting bid range) on used outerwear, the company that made the original sweater for the movie -- Pendleton Woolen Mills -- is making a tribute version, which will be available in September for $188.

Suspenders: Technically they're for holding up pants, but they're also great for posing for pictures (thumbs on the inside, pushing the elastic out, big smile) and jazzing up a plain white tee. A pair with buttonholes is more classic, but finding pants with suspender buttons is as easy as trying to find a phonograph. Urban Outfitters keeps clip-on versions in stock for $18-$24.

urban outfitters suspenders

Sensible shoes: Hallelujah for a shoe trend that doesn't involve potential face plants. Oxfords make me want to tap dance in the country club ballroom after the buffet, or swing around a light post. But I'll settle for just walking through the farmers' market to pick out peonies -- they're the bee's knees, as my grandma would also say. The Hannah Oxford by Bloch retails for $175 on

Fancy swim caps: Summer is almost here, which means (hopefully) lots of pool time. But if you're like me, your swim style is more Esther Williams than Michael Phelps, which means putting on a swim cap that's all bright colors and ridiculous embellishments. This fluorescent flower-adorned number is available via the Luxury Divas Amazon storefront for $14.99.

Giant glasses: Mr. Magoo and George Burns rocked them, but old men shouldn't get to have all the sizable specs fun. The bigger the frames, the more I want to read something from the Large Print section of the library. These face-filling frames from Prism's London collection are about $290.

Images via: Chris Jackson/Getty; Working Title Films; Urban Outfitters; Bloch; Amazon; and Prism

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