I personally hate the term, “age appropriate”. I think you should wear whatever makes you feel sexy whether you’re 23 or 63. I’m 23 in case anybody’s wondering.
My mom is only 45 and she always feels she has to wear ‘age appropriate’ outfits and she’s miserable in them and spending hard-earned money on them. So, in my opinion, if you feel comfortable wearing for example, a sexy halter top or thigh high boots, then wear them. Don’t let society pick your wardrobe. Age is just a number.
I’m so glad Bianca, that you brought up this point! I get gals writing to me wondering if there really is such a thing as age-appropriate dressing? For example, here’s a common question…
I am now in the best shape of my whole life and wondered if I should enjoy the fact that almost all clothes look terrific on my new body, or should I take my age into consideration when choosing new outfits…. J. Janet
Let’s face it … This whole Age- appropriate is a tricky thing to figure out. Should you change/limit the way you dress after a certain age? It’s not a black or white issue…but my bottom line is no…it’s not about a number.
Style is style, however, you also need to be realistic about your changing body and the message you want to send at this stage of your life. These things should also influence the clothes you select. For me, Age- appropriate dressing (classy, youthful, modern) is based on a combination of 3 things:
1. Your body 2. Personality 3. The message you want to send. Think of that story of Three Bears…you know, “too hot, too cold and just right!” How do you know if you are dressing too old, too young or just right? You need to take a look at:
Your Body Type:
The better your body, the more you can get away with. That’s just the way it is. If you have gorgeous toned legs then a skirt a couple of inches above the knee, and not at the knee, can look great, but a thigh high mini is overdoing it. Is your waist still there and is your stomach decent? Then you might be able to get away with a two piece bathing suit like Helen Mirren does.
Things to think about when it comes to your 40+ body and dressing it:
- Are you showing the same amount of skin a 17-year-old would?
- Are your skirts at your thighs?
- Do you have large breasts and are you showing too much cleavage ?
- Are your pants so low we can see your back fat and behind?
- Are you wearing too many sexy elements at once (super high heels and short skirt and strapless top)
- On the flip side, if you are curvy, don’t hide in a bag…buying styles that work with your body type can make you look 10 pounds thinner!
- For any body type find styles that have darts and shape to them. Wearing boxy, boring clothes is a recipe for feeling unfulfilled with your wardrobe.
A good rule of thumb is, if you feel like you look too sexy or too matronly, chances are you probably are! (It is amazing how our gut feelings can be helpful at steering us in the right direction!)
We all have different personalities and it is important we express our unique selves. If you are the creative type – you can still dress creatively, romantic?..no need to give up romantic looks, sporty?- stay sporty no matter what your age– dramatic?- that’s still who you are, so why change your style.
The key is to just tone it down a touch so you don’t look like you are wearing a costume. Young gals can get away with more costume-like style. You need to dress true to your personality, but classy too. Classy says mature and mature means you know the score.
Bianca (comment above) said her 45-year-old mother was wearing clothes were age-appropriate, but they made her feel old. YIKES… that is NOT dressing age-appropriate! It sound like she is following a frumpy formula that says I’m a certain age and have to dress it. How sad that she is not dressing in a way that lets her personality shine through.
Another thing to take into consideration when it comes to dressing in an age appropriate way is…
The message you are Sending at this Stage in your Life:
For us the biggest message women over 40 should send out is that they are Age-Amazing™. In other words…mature, smart, classy, vibrant and fun.
- Mature means not going overboard with trends.
- Classy = Quality. Try to buy clothes in the finest fabrics you can afford. Luxury can be comfortable and look great!
- Smart = Wearing clothes that fit properly-not too loose or too tight & shopping for the right brands in the right stores. (No junior departments) If you scroll through our blog we give lots of great examples of age appropriate clothes.
- Vibrant=Being true to your personality. By adding color, accessories and interesting pieces you will reflect who you are, where you’ve been and where you plan to go in the future.
- Fun= Not taking all the dressing “rules” too seriously or taking life too seriously.
I’d love to know you thoughts. Is there such a thing as age appropriate. How do you define it?…. I want to discuss this with you!