I know there are a lot of women out there that are wondering if what they’re wearing is age-appropriate. In other words, something they should be wearing at their age. So, as part of your journey to finding, revamping, or refining your style, I decided to give you some things to think about as you wade through the sea of online boutiques and brick-and-mortar stores.
I’ll bet I know what you’re waiting for me to say. I have to warn you, my answer is probably at first glance deeply unsatisfying. But it’s always the same.
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My answer is: there’s no such thing as dressing your age.
Let that sink in for you.
Instead, I offer an alternative way to look at things.
You should dress for your body, whatever your age!
I’m not going to say that after some arbitrary age, mature women should never be seen in short skirts. I’m not going to say that you need to start wearing skirts of a certain length at some arbitrary age.
Why should our sense of style go out to pasture just because we get a little older?
I can assure you, that when I’m old (whenever I decide what age that is), I’m still going to be stylish. I may be wrinkled, and I may be on a cane, but my cane with probably be covered in crystals and I’ll be wearing a sequined dress. Just kidding. My point is, I’m always going to care about how I dress. I’m not going to rule anything in or out, and neither should you.
That being said, there are some things you should be aware of that can make you seem either older or younger than you probably want to look. If you have a 5-year-old daughter, you probably don’t want to be mistaken for her sister. On the other hand, if your daughter is 25, you would probably be okay with being mistaken for her sister.
There is such a thing as dressing appropriately. What may be appropriate attire for a woman in her 30s may not be appropriate for a woman in her 60s. This isn’t based on a certain number age. It’s based on body type and situation. It’s for this reason that fashion for women over 60, for example, is going to be somewhat different than how you are going to dress in your 30s.
What Makes You Look Too Young to Be Taken Seriously
Sorry, guys. I know, it distributes the weight over your shoulders, good for air travel, so on and so forth. But the more it looks like the backpack you carried in school, the more immature it makes you look.
Logo and graphic tees
I admit that I’m guilty of wearing a graphic tee now and then. But like I said, just be aware. I’m not telling you what to wear. These are just friendly suggestions.
That being said, graphic tees are widely accepted and almost expected for teenagers. However, wearing the same graphic tee if you’re 30 or 40 years older, will very likely make you look immature, even if the shirt fits.
Headbands, bows, barrettes
Whatever you want to call them. There are pearl clips that I’ve started to see more and more, and it just makes me cringe. I have yet to see these clips enhance anyone’s look. It just makes them look juvenile.
If you love them, I apologize. To each her own.
I’m sure you knew this. Have you ever seen sophisticated pigtails? Have you ever seen the Queen of England wear them? Me neither. That’s an extreme example.
I just had a visual of the Queen that I would like to erase.
Too much athleisure
Yes, it’s comfy and it’s convenient. Plus, it’s now widely accepted as a form of dress. I get it. As an ex-competitive runner, I lived in sweats.
But, my dear, please be aware that there is clothing just as comfortable (or more so!) than those darn tights.
Help me help you!
Mary jane shoes
Mary Jane shoes without a heel undoubtedly make you look young. Again, if it’s part of a look you’re going for, do it. In pump form, styled the right way, these shoes are great.
What Makes You Look Like You’re Obsessed with Looking Young
Clothes made for teenagers
Just because they fit you, doesn’t mean you should wear them. These clothes weren’t made for adults.
Hopefully, this is a Captain Obvious statement, but your body is proportioned differently than a teenager. Children and teens were used as models for the construction of these clothing. The clothes are smaller because they have less to cover.
It doesn’t mean Yay! I get to show more!
It’s okay. I’m not going to call you out in front of everyone.
Running or tennis shoes if they’re not with other gym clothes
Are you guilty of this? Running shoes with your dress, with no hope of coordination? What about your dad in his shorts and running shorts? Is this example more obvious?
Baby doll clothes
Remember Baby Spice and her pink dresses? Adults in baby doll dresses are troubling. Please make this a hard no.
Most body con dresses
In my opinion, this isn’t the worst idea to ignore. With shapewear and considering some mature women are in fantastic shape, a good amount of women could potentially pull this off. But I will say, other silhouettes look so much better.
This is a look that just doesn’t hold up as you age. It just highlights features you would probably not like to highlight. Sure it’s fun, but just keep that in mind. Plus, glitter never disappears until it’s good and ready to disappear. Who wants that?
Too much cleavage
This is another one that is not universal. On the other hand, I think that the older you get, the more strategic you have to be in showing your skin.
If you almost need steel cables to keep your decollete in place, you might be better off showing with a dress that shows a shoulder or two, for example.
You would still very alluring and sexy, and I would venture to say more comfortable and therefore, confident.
Final Thoughts on Dressing Your Age
The point, I think, is to wear clothing that most compliments your body. As we age, our bodies may change a little (or a lot), and so it’s worth taking a critical eye to what you’re putting on from time to time. At whatever age you are, being comfortable in your skin is key. And making sure that you are highlighting your best assets is always the goal.
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