Are These Shoes Age Appropriate?

Suede Wedge Steve Madden

I think these are just too young looking!

I got two interesting questions recently asking about shoes that may look too young?.

Q. #1 Hi Deb,

Striped Ballet Flat

Striped Ballet Flat

I was at the mall yesterday and looking for a pair of wedges to wear.  I chose these but now wondering if they are too “young” for me.  Are these appropriate for a 42 year old? If so, what outfits can I wear with them? If they are not appropriate I’ll return them. – Luana

Q. #2 Hi Deborah

I’m thinking about purchasing these striped flats.  There are so many pretty colors in them, but I’m not sure what to wear them with.   I’d like to be able to wear them without looking like a 12 year old. Please help.

Thanks, Tonya


Suede Wedge

These nude wedges are not as trendy and yet still look chic!

Hi Deb,

Thanks for your questions. Let’s start with Luana.

Luana, we like the idea of  a nude wedge but I agree with your gut feeling on this particular wedge above…yes it is just a little too clunky and too young. They are also super high, which will make you feel like you’re “teetering” around on them.

<<Here is a pair from Aldo at Zappos that are still high, if it is height that you are after, but they will be more comfortable. They are also more refined looking and classy. That’s the look you want after 40.

Next, Tonya, as for the striped flat….. The one you picked has a very casual vibe that I like. It would look great with white or colored straight legged jeans, or long shorts.

Here are a few other styles that you might want to consider. This season the zigzag is a hot trend and certainly looks fresh. Also this wider stripe give this flat makes the shoe a little more sophisticated. Color is all the trend this spring so you can’t go wrong with a multi-color shoe. Have fun with it!


What to Wear with Stripe Flats

What to Wear with Stripe Flats

More From Fabulous After 40

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  1. Jackie Gandolfi says:

    Hi. I have always had a problem with my calfs in any outfit I wear! I’m 52 size 10/12 small waist and a nice shape for my age! I like all the clothes that my daughter likes and sometimes we do share tops. I have so much trouble buying skirts and wearing boots that suit my heavy calfs. I love skinny jeans but think that they cling to my calfs to much. Not really sure what clothing I should now be wearing for my age. Any help would be great.

  2. I am trying to change my wardrobe choices to better suit my age (42). I still veer towards stuff I wore in my 20s.

    What do you think of Converse sneakers lo-tops? I wear a pair of grapewine Converse I wear with jeans running errands, park, do things with my kids.

    • Converse sneakers are very cool and hip but it depends on the condition of them. Are they old and worn out or new and fresh? Also, what are you wearing them with? We’ve seen a new fresh pair with trousers that have been hemmed to they work with flats and a fitted t-shirt, that look really nice! If you wearing them with some jeans and t-shirt it will be competing with the high school teenagers.

  3. Barbara says:

    I think as long as you can wear #1 shoe–God bless you, but #3 shoes will give you more mileage. #1 is trendy, but #3 will be in fashion forever. My question is how do women over 40 (i’m 61) wear ballet flat. They are so flat with no arch. They are a one way ticket to the podiatrist.

  4. You know, I think shoes are an easy place to add personality and a young feel. I just got the cutest 2.5-3 inch zigzag wedges that are very stylish and, most importantly, comfortable.

    As with all fashion it comes down to reinterpreting the trend in a way that works for you. If you don’t feel hot, you can’t look it no matter what you’re wearing.

    Big hugs!

  5. Why do you assume a 42 year old woman would be ‘”teetering’ around” in the first wedge? I’m 67 and I never teeter in heels or platforms. Perhaps it’s because in addition to strength and stamina, I also incorporate balance into my exercise routine. I do agree with your verdict, though, that the first wedge looks too clunky and trendy for an older woman, but I disagree with your assertion that just because we’re over 40, we won’t be able to walk properly in certain heights. Unflattering style is one thing, ageism is quite another.

    • Hi Eileen, Yes Ie agree you can wear heels at any age as long as you are used to them and you don’t over do the height. The ones pictured here are certainly too tall and would look pretty silly on a mature woman. We do not like to make “age” a big deal or make do’s or don’t rules that are hard and fast. We have seen young girls “teetering” around in sky high heels as well and they look just as ridiculous. Thanks for letting me clarify that looking fabulous is not about a number it’s about dressing so that we look classy and age-appropriate. It’s really your attitude the confidence you project that helps make an outfit work but if you try to dress too young or too trendy it can come across looking cheap. I am trying to help “raise the bar on everyday style” and since this gal sent in the photo I am giving our honest response to it.

  6. I agree the first pair of wedges are going to be too young and not to mention uncomfortable after a while I am sure but I do love wedges (with a sensible height) with a platform as they give me some height, they are comfortable and shows I’m on trend! May I add the stripe shoes would look amazing with capri pants, cigarette style pants or even a straight skirt and choose one colour from the shoes- but I would keep the pants/shorts/skirt in one colour so that the two are not competing with each other. Hope this helps. JoJoStyling

  7. I agree that the first shoe is a bit of a towering inferno! but I’m not convinced that your option would be more comfortable. I have found that heels that feature a high plateau under the toe are much more comfortable and easier to walk in longer than heels with no cushioning under the ball of the foot.

  8. Leslie Bonner says:

    Totally agree.

  9. This is a tough one – it depends on a bunch of things but I lean towards “no”!