Age-Appropriate Fashion Suggestions: Because Yes, There is Such a Thing as Being “Too Old” to Wear Something


Can a woman ever be too old to wear something?


Usually, I’m a “who says you can’t?” gal, urging ladies to stand up against commony-held fashion beliefs.  White after Labor Day?  Who says we can’t?  A patent leather purse with patent leather shoes?  Who says we can’t?  However, my 38-year-old self has one exception when it comes to certain fashions: Age.

Sorry, but there’s a point when a woman is “too old” to wear certain styles.  Something about a woman over a certain age wearing a cat-ear headband that renders her credibility as a paralegal, well, not so credible.  The fix?  Age-appropriate clothing.

By this I don’t mean creating a tweed-n-turtleneck-only wardrobe immediately following our 35th birthday.   By all means, we should flaunt our figures (and hair, and nails. . . ) while staying on-trend, age be damned.  Well, within reason.  What I’m talking about are ladies in their mid 30s or older who:

  1. regularly sport graphic tees with images of a giant M&M, Smurfette or retro Chuck Woolery face
  2. wear sweatpants with suggestive wording sprawled across their rears (good at no age)
  3. think images of kitty cats (cartoon or actual) on sweaters, totes and scarves are rockin’
  4. insist on trying on clothes as they groove to beat of One Direction in the Junior Section
  5. routinely wear an off-the-shoulder, mega-high slit dress (think: Jennifer Lopez at the Grammy Awards)

What to do then, when the the urge to go too tight or cutesy knocks at our closet door?  Go with it, just tone it down a notch (or three).  Here’s how we can show off our playful side while still looking sassy and classy:

Age-Appropriate, Stylish Looks

The Not-Too-Little LBD

“Little” doesn’t have to mean teeny.  Even if we can knock ‘em dead in tight clothes, some serious hoochie and unprofessional vibes get in the way of being taken seriously.  Wear the LBD, but don’t look like 50 going on 20 with these sexy, stylish numbers.

Using Our Head

Trade the ear/face panda hat or tough skater girl cap for these head-turning toppers.  They’re fashionable and still fun, and no one will think we lost our Mommy at the zoo when we wear them.

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  1. says

    I’m an older blogger and I absolutely agree that those of us on that demographic have to think very carefully about what looks good on our bodies and at our age.  That doesn’t mean we have to give up OR resort to shapeless apparel and flat shoes.  Your comments are another important step in helping us all avoid the pitfalls put in our place by the retail universe and look our very best.

  2. Soniabld72 says

    I don’t agree. I mean the whole Baby Phat logo was feline based and it was cute. JLo looked fantastic in her dress. I say if it makes you feel good and you look good in it rock it! Just because you’re 38 or 40 as I am doesn’t mean I now am relegated to sturdy heels and a pill box hat. I’ll save that for my retirement years thank you.

  3. fashionfive0 says

    Absolutely. If you have baggy knees, either wear tights or skip the microminis. If your cleavage is age-spotted, wear something slim-cut but without showing skin. And if your tween daughter bought it at Forever 21, just don’t go there. We can look great (and often have the income to buy nicer pieces) without having to try to look like a teenager.

  4. says

    On one hand, I think too many older women use their age as an excuse to dress dowdy. That’s just wrong. You can still wear clothes that fit you and flatter you. On the other hand, there are too many older women who are so afraid of getting old that they dress too young. That’s wrong too. Basically, the older you get, the fewer gimmicks in your clothes. But they should still fit you and flatter you.

    • stoptheagepolice says

      It’s not about age, it’s about style. Grown women of every age should not be wearing anything gimmicky on a daily, work-a-day basis. Also, older women are not the only ones with body flaws. Every 20-year-old does not have a perfect figure and every 40-year-old is not a fat, wrinkled mass. That’s why this age crap is stupid.

  5. stoptheagepolice says

    There are no age-inappropriate clothing, only age-inappropriate style. Dressing like a six year old, a teenager or a sex worker when you’re an adult woman is inappropriate. Clothes items are not age-stamped. It depends on who is wearing what and how.

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