Last week I was pre-shopping for a client wearing one of my favorite outfits. (Yep, you’ve seen it, lol!) All day I got compliments from salespeople in their ‘20’s.
I joked with my husband later that night, “You know you’ve got it right when the ‘youngsters’ like your outfit.” Then for a fleeting moment I paused and wondered if the outfit might not be too young for me…and just as quickly decided the outfit was as fab as I’ve always thought.
Quite honestly I don’t think about dressing with age appropriateness in mind too much. I definitely have a lot of clients and friends who tell me they struggle with looking stylish but don’t want to like their teenage daughters. It seems as though there is much more danger in looking like our mom’s and grandmothers than our daughters.
So today I thought I’d talk about how to wear trends and make them age appropriate. The main things to keep in mind are to create looks that are sophisticated and chic that don’t make you look like you’re trying too hard or you’ve given up (or in to all the articles telling you what not to wear.)
Age Appropriate-subtle distressing and a bit of body consciousness
Too Young-major distressing with lots of skin showing through; so baggy it’s hard to find you in there.
Too Old-old fashioned high waisted, “mom” jeans without any stretch; your gardening jeans worn for anything but!
Age Appropriate-Finding the length short that’s right for your body, i.e. enough length to cover your booty and at least the tops of your thighs. Be sure to do the sit down test…I find shorts that are too short cut into my thighs when I’m riding in the car.
Too Young-Daisy Dukes you share with your 13 year old daughter!
Too Old-Bermuda shorts because you think they’re the only style that’s appropriate…think flattery, not rules!
Age Appropriate-ponte knit black leggings that are tight enough but not so tight we see every muscle in your legs. (Those are yoga pants!)
Too Young-thin fabric leggings with so much spandex they’re a little shiny; you bought them in a package, not on a hanger.
Too Old-wearing leggings all day, every day with oversized tops that completely hide your body.
Off the shoulder tops
Age appropriate-beautiful fabrics with great details.
Too Young-cheap fabrics with far too many bells and whistles.
Too Old-wearing an off the shoulder top on your shoulders. It looks very “Mrs. Roper” to me. Skip this style if you’re not comfortable being bare or don’t want to wear a strapless bra.
Age Appropriate-If you can wear heels, go for it! Anything from 2-3 seems perfectly sophisticated to me. It’s easier to pull of ultra-high heels if they’re very high quality.
Too Young-Heels over 4 inches (you know, unless they’re Louboutins) feel a little “prom” to me, but I have to admit, I don’t subscribe to a hard fast rule here.
Too Old-Wearing flats and casual comfort shoes with dressy outfits. As someone with fussy feet, I know there’s a very fine line. Shoe shopping takes a lot more time when you get older.
This is very much my short list for dressing “age appropriately.” As you can tell, I don’t necessarily believe in lists that make you “toss” things after you hit a certain age. I believe you can wear so many styles! It’s all a matter of taking the time to do them right!
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