Do You Know Your Style Age?

Do you feel your age? I bet you don’t. So, how does not feeling your age and dressing age appropriately line up? It’s an interesting question that got me thinking when I met style expert Lynn Spence at a fashion event sponsored by Olsen.

Lynn has come up with an easy way to determine your Style Age – the gap between your chronological age and how you see yourself.  Take this short questionnaire to see how you score. (I’m in my 50’s, but my style age is 30’s – a little surprising.)

How about you? Does your Style Age match your true age and does it matter?

blue-dress-style age
What’s your style age?

Lynn says there are many factors that influence your Style Age, but the ultimate question is who do you want to project? There are no rules about dressing your age and just because you are getting older doesn’t mean giving up looks you love or dressing boring,  but your style should evolve. Trying to compete with a younger you is a losing battle.

I’ve always said that looking Fabulous after 40 is not about looking young, (short skirts, tight clothes, a lot of skin),  it’s about looking modern. Lynn shares that same philosophy.  Have a peek at these four variations on a dress that can work at any age.

blue dress with leather jacket

If you haven’t already noticed the models in these photos are all of the different ages, but they’re wearing the same fabulous dress. It’s just a matter of styling. Starting with a classic piece, and then tweaking it to reflect your personality is an easy way to stay stylish as you age.

This gorgeous, blue, python print dress is from Olsen, a high-quality German brand that has been around for over 50 years. I’ve worn Olsen before and think they do a great job designing classic clothing with that perfect modern twist. (Olsen is currently available in Canada and Europe only)

Look # 1 – Edgy Look

Take a versatile, easy-to-wear dress, like this and throw on a moto jacket for a cool girl vibe. Add some sexy tie shoes and you are ready to rock and roll.  This look skews younger. It’s being shown by Lindsay, who is in her 20’s, but there’s no reason you can’t embrace this look at 40+.  The longer dress length, the subtle snakeskin pattern, and the classic cut of this dress balance the edginess and make it work at any age.

blue dress with over the knee boots

Look # 2 – Sleek and Sophisticated

If you prefer a more elegant look, all you need to add to this dress is a pair of fabulous over-the-knee suede booties and a glam statement necklace. Audrey is in her 50’s but doesn’t tell me that this dress, worn this way wouldn’t look fab on someone in her 20’s, 30, or 40’s either!

blue dress with sweater

Look # 3 – Fun and Funky

To give a classic dress like this more of a creative vibe, you need to add some layers, texture, and weight. A chunky sweater with a braided belt and funky necklace instantly adds a relaxed, boho vibe. Opaque tights and rustic suede booties ground the look. Gillian is in her 30s, but again, if this looks suits your personality it would be appropriate for any woman because you are starting with a dress that is ageless.

blue dress with pants

Look #4 – Grown Up Chic 

Here’s Lynn, who is in her 60’s in that same dress, but look how she has styled it. Lynn says if it no longer feels comfortable to show off your legs, slit the seams up the sides, turn the dress into a tunic and wear it in skinny pants.

What a fabulous trip! I think Lynn looks Age-Amazing!

Here are a few other tips from Lynn on how to evolve your style as you age.

  1. If you love floral patterns, go with larger ones. Ditsy florals tend to skew very young.
  2. If you are starting to feel constricted in pencil skirts, try an A-line. It’s more forgiving and looks just as great in flats as heels.
  3. If you think it is time to stop wearing tight, revealing clothes, it probably is. If this is your signature look- pair a form-fitting piece with a looser item to create balance.
  4. If you gravitate towards shiny fabrics, try glossy finishes instead. A subtle change like this draws less attention to problem areas.
  5. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. You may be toned and fit but wearing a micro-mini or short crop top can make you desperate to stay young. Having a youthful attitude and dressing youthfully are two different things?

So ladies, please let me know, What’s your Style Age, and how does it affect the way you dress now or in the future?

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36 thoughts on “Do You Know Your Style Age?

  1. I’m going to be 65 next month, and my score was in my 40s, which doesn’t surprise me one tiny bit. Most people think I’m that age when they meet me.

  2. I am 53, and my score was 30. I’ll take it. I like to dress stylishly, not because I want to look younger, but because it makes me feel young and fresh.

    1. Hi Tina, I had about that same range. I feel the same way too. I don’t necessarily want to look younger, but I want to look fresh and Youthful- which means modern! Thanks for dropping by!

  3. I love your blog. It always has articles I love to read and need to learn to understand that I am not old. I took the age test for dressing and came out ahead, which is good. Thanks, and keep the blog going.

  4. I just took the quiz—56 with a 40-style age. I’ll take it! I own a cute cropped fitted striped T that I only wear with a high waist denim pencil skirt or high waist plastic pants. I love the look. Oh, and I also love the dress with the over-the-knee boots!

  5. I am 57 and scored 54 on the quiz. I want to dress younger. My problem is that I am overweight and don’t wear clothes that my bulges will show.

    1. Hi Sue,
      If you want to dress to look more youthful, choose clothing that follows your curves and gives the illusion of a waist. Big baggy clothes may hide bulges, but they will also make you look much more significant than you are. You want clothes that skim, not clothes that are tight enough to cause you to bulge. The key is finding tops and dresses in soft materials with a built-in gentle stretch. Any draping or ruching helps create a waist and flatter your curves. More on ruching here:
      Cheers, Deborah

  6. Oh my! I’m 57 and scored 54. What should I do not look my age? I am overweight, which contributes to what I wear. Help!

  7. Oh! I love quizzes, particularly this one with four different styles and the same dress. I favor #2, sleek and sophisticated. Most people say I look in my fifties, but I’m 75 and scored in the 37-48 range. I’m happy with those results.

  8. I am pleased with my style age which is the 30s.
    I am 53.
    I am a little bigger than I would like to be, but I try to compensate by wearing clothing that suits my figure.
    If I wear leggings, I will wear something that hides my behind – a mid-length tunic, blouse, or jumper.
    Jeans I can wear with a fitted top with boots or flat shoes.
    I sometimes feel a bit frumpy looking, but my Partner has hushed me on this, saying I always look like a million dollars.
    I love the articles on Deb’s website. It has so many style ideas and excellent advice and support.
    Deb, so glad I found you!

  9. My actual age is 53.5
    My style age is 40’s
    I’m pretty happy with that score, as I always worry about dressing too young or too old.
    So glad I’m classed as more classy and fabulous after 40 does help; thanks, Deborah.
    Love Ronnie, U.K

  10. Entertaining quiz! My feedback: I’m 53 and scored a 30. I identify most with photo #2 – “Sleek and Sophisticated.” Most people are surprised and say, “no way!” when I tell them my age – they think I’m in my 30s.

  11. First of all, thank you, thank you for all your e-mails and for sharing all of your knowledge. I do appreciate it!

    I did the questionnaire and scored 37 points s= 40’s, But I’m 52. I’ve always been very skinny (110 pounds). I usually wear size 0 or 2. It depends on the brand. My husband thinks I dress “too young” for my age, but I’m sure he loves it!!! Haha!!

    My friends and people, in general, think I’m younger; they won’t believe I have a 24 years old daughter….everyone says I look in my early 40’s!!! Yay!!! Ten years younger…

    So I think I’ll keep it up with my style!!!

  12. Hi Deborah,
    I got a 37, i.e., the early 40s. But I am one of the last baby boomers. LOL.
    It still happens that when I am in class working with students, someone comes in and asks what we are doing without a professor. When I turn around, they see their “error.”

  13. I have never been a short, tight clothing wearer; even when I was young, Short shorts and mini skirts were never part of my style even though I could have; I was thin with a nice figure. I’m 50 now, but the style quiz says my class is 40’s. I am a size eight and 5’3″, so I have curves now. I live in skinny jeans and straight legs. I follow what is in a fashion that I like and avoid dressing frumpy.

  14. Love your website!
    I’m 65…I’d wear this dress with a skinny black belt, slung a little low on the hips, black leggings/ tights, and black flats.
    Or with a long (to waist) simple silver chain necklace, black leggings/ tights, and black flats.
    Or substitute navy leggings/tights and flats.
    Black or navy accessories would go great with this outfit; I would keep colors monochromatic to elongate and slim the figure.
    Also, I would push up the sleeves to 3/4 length to slim arms; this will also elongate the figure.

  15. I took the Age Quiz, 51, and the Quiz result was 40’s. So apparently, I feel /dress close to my actual age, which is fine!

  16. I am well pleased with how I rated the questionnaire. I did find out one thing I am not the up-to-the present date on my purses. I will buy the more modern style when I look for more bags. In your newsletter, I found that the cashmere button down the front sweaters was not the thing to wear. They make a person look heavier. However, considering I look about 25-30 years younger than my age, I am pleased. I am a person who has always dealt with lots and lots of allergies. This meant I spent very little of my life in the sun. I also believe that is one reason I look younger than my age. I have always been interested in clothes and would check current styles. However, as I said, I need to stop wearing the two sweaters I wear as an over-sweater. I don’t feel I am dressing “too young” for my age, but the way I dress, except for the cardigan not buttoned down the front, is something I need to change. Thank you for giving me the quiz to take. It is very kind of you.

  17. Fun! I dress 1/2 my age. Not too surprised, as I consistently get carded for senior discounts. Much more fun than when I got carded at age 21!
    Also, I have two very fashionable daughters about 1/2 my age. They tell me in no uncertain terms when I am dressed either too dowdy or have gone too far the other way. We exchange many clothing items (mainly shoes). I think having them & blogs like yours have made all the difference. I step out confidently in what I am wearing. I don’t worry about being inappropriately dressed.

  18. Hi, I love your column; although I am ancient, off the map as far as your age/style quiz is concerned!
    However, I do have a question. I was recently given a gorgeous silk scarf by a friend who brought it back from Mexico. t is a large square one, and I wanted to ask you for some tips on how to wear it to do it justice and look reasonably trendy. I have never been very good with scarves, so I have no practice. Ould it looks silly worn like a shawl? I’d be most gr grateful for any ti s. Carry on your excellent work!

  19. I like all but one of the styles above. I do love the tunic idea, slitting the dress up the side. I don’t like the pants with the side stripes. The dress doesn’t go to me – I’d choose a pair of plain or subtly patterned pants to go with the tunic look. That’s just me, though. The lady in the face does look good, though. I do like the idea of slim pants with a tunic. :)

    I’m 45 & my style age is the 30s. I’m not surprised & I’m happy with that. :)

  20. Just took the Style Age Quiz….I just turned 56 and my style age is in the 30’s. When I first entered my fifties, I wasn’t sure which direction to go. I’ve always had a great sense of style and always received many compliments on how I put things together (fearlessly). All of a sudden, I thought, WOW, am I supposed to be “age appropriate” – although I don’t know what that means either. Well, as things would have turned out, I still love my style, just adjust the trends to my current age, figure, etc. The moral to the story – don’t be afraid to be who you are no matter how old your driver’s license says you are! :-)

  21. Before I took the quiz I thought, it’s going to be wrong. I was wrong. I’m 65 and it says I dress 40. This is right, my daughter is in her 40’s and we shop together for a lot of the same things. She likes my style. I’m careful how I dress so I don’t look like a kid. Lol. Most of my friends dress was too old and they look old. I don’t try to dress young but I like to stay in style. I think that and your
    hair is what makes you look younger.

  22. I just took the Olsen Style Age Quiz and my results were 34 points, so according to this quiz, my style age is in the 30’s. Interesting considering I am 58!

  23. This is amazing because I immediately saw two ways that I would wear this dress and also saw how Nina (the daughter half of By Way of Berlin) would wear it. It really gets one thinking about mixing things up a bit and actually getting more out of a dress by changing ones accessories.
    xx B

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