How would an older woman who likes flashy clothes, jewelry and make-up describe herself in American English? Is there some slang or set phrase? I'm thinking of women who proudly stand out for being like that, such as this lady:

Dercy Gonçalves

  • 1
    In British English, we call this "mutton dressed as lamb".
    – Astralbee
    Apr 4, 2022 at 9:04
  • An older woman who likes flashy clothes, jewelry and make-up. I don't know any slang for this.
    – Chspsa
    Apr 4, 2022 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


I understand you've asked what a person like this might call themselves. Of course, people often have a very different view of themselves than others do. One word that others might call a person like this is a bougie. Webster's dictionary defines the word, which can be an adjective or a noun, as "marked by a concern for wealth, possessions, and respectability... characterized in the public mind as pretentious, conspicuous consumers".

Most people find the sort of fashion shown in the photo you posted as tasteless, old-fashioned, showy, ostentatious, gaudy, and a whole load of other negative things. Animal-print clothes in particular are sneered at by most people as a fashion mistake. I believe American English favours the word tacky. But that's not what you asked.

While others might find styles like this tasteless, the person themself obviously thinks that they are nice because they are expensive. They might call themselves 'classy', or 'refined'. Actually, you've already used the word they might call themselves - a lady. Although the term has come to simply mean a woman, when a woman refers to herself as 'a lady', the inference is that they are a woman of high social standing or refinement. Expressions like "a lady who appreciates the finer things in life" are a common trope for women who like expensive things, perhaps simply because they are expensive (this can equally apply to a man).

I avoided answering this for a while, partly because I'm a British English speaker, and partly because I'm not sure there is a single word in either British or American English for precisely what you are asking. But in absence of any better answers, maybe this gives you something to go on.

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