Don’t dress yourself old
Remember back in high school when we were fresh(wo)men and tried to look older? Remember when we dressed in power pants suits, pearl necklaces to come across more experienced when we graduated from college and were on our first job? In the retrospective, it makes us smile. Today, we try everything to look the best ever in midlife, turn fashion into style, not age pre-mature, fight these under eye dark circles even when it is hopeless because they are not a discoloration, but an inherited “hole.” You can’t fill it, and hide it. Depending on the light it just shows, no matter how great your concealer or makeup is.
Oh, if we had known back than how bad the sexy tan would be for our skin! We are the last generation of women who laid in the pool on a silver floating on a silver mattress. We used the reflection of the water to enhance the UV radiation to get an even darker tan. Some of us even lay down between mirrors or had a subscription to the It tanning studio in town. If only!
Well, of course there are anti-aging creams out there and they are pretty good. I tried several of them. When you are interested you may read my Zenmed antiaging cream review, or Snowberry serum review at the links.
Watch out for these fashion mistakes to not look old
However, we shouldn’t overlook that there are so many things we can avoid that make us look old. And, yeah, of course, just keeping attention to these 85 most common mistakes can go a long way.
- Mom jeans.
- Elastic waistbands.
- Cardigans on plus size women.
- A cropped jacket with low-rise jeans.
- Shawls or capes instead of a coat.
- Mommy robes.
- Baggy cargo pants.
- Three piece suits – read skirt, blazer plus vest, or pants, blazer plus vest.
- Overalls and jumpsuits.
- Wearing holiday sweaters.
- Flannel shirts.
- Crochet sweater, vest or jackets in Woodstock 70s style.
- Crochet bikinis.
- Short, tight and clingy knits.
- Fair Isle crew-neck or sweater vests.
- Boxy shapes or baggy shapeless clothes to hide love-handles, a tummy, saggy arms, etc.
- Tweed skirt suits, tweed anything that is styled conservative, i.e. matronly. See this post how to wear tweed right over 40.
- Tan pantyhose.
- Body conscious or tight clothes in metallic. See this post for how to wear metallic right over 40.
- Wearing more than one brocade item in an outfit.
- Metallic tops with leggings and stiletto heels.
- Washed out or acid wash jeans. Remember, we were teenagers or kids when we sat in the bath tube with our jeans on and brushed the tights so they jeans looked “washed”. We were just a bit older when we used bleach to distress them.
- Jeans or jackets with an ethnic print.
- Tie-dyed anything.
- Big shoulder pads.
- Over-embellished anything.
- Fussy details like little gold or flower-like buttons or little Laura Ashley like prints.
- Knit sweaters with pom-poms and/or fringe all over the place.
- Laura Ashley like garden prints, prairie prints and other sweet prints that would look cute on a kiddo.
- Palm Beach floral prints outside of a vacation resort.
- Any animal prints in tight, body conscious, shiny or short clothes.
- Mixing different animal prints in one outfit. You are not the advertising board for the zoo. See the link for how to look sophisticated in animal print.
- Souvenir or college Ts when you are not working at a university/college. It is how long ago that you graduated?
- Meant-to be funny Tees like “The bags under my eyes are … (add you favorite bag brand here)”, or “My face is up there.” It’s not funny, it is tasteless, and no taste is for sure opposite to personal style.
- Retro-style short cardigans with embroidery, beading and/or sequins.
- Ruffles, embroidery, sequins and beading all in one outfit.
- Items with quarter size or larger sequins. Any sequins larger than a pinky nail look just plain cheap.
- All expensive designer clothes in one outfit. Recall money doesn’t equal style.
- Whimsical tiny necklaces.
- Necklaces and/or rings that tell how many kids/grand kids you have. For many men it lowers your market value.
- Your kids’ or grand kids’ photos as background or screen saver on your cell phone. Go for your pet, something hobby related or a hot sport car instead.
- Über-bling, i.e. jewelry in all possible places including the toes. You are still too young for this style. Only Iris Apfel can rock this look.
- Wearing over-sized earrings or loops that are the size of your bangles.
- Cheap (fake) pearls and chains look just plain cheap on us over 40, while they look great on Millennials.
- Accessories from just one designer in one outfit. It looks immature and non-confident. A designer doesn’t mean style, they design fashion. Style is picking and choosing what works for you to turn fashion into personal style.
- Granny undies.
- Wearing the wrong bra so you get a uni-boob or quadruple boobs, saggy boobs or to high boobs.
- Not wearing the right shape-wear or no shape-wear at all.
- Wearing a corset or bra visible under a pants suit.
- Reinforced toe stockings or pantyhose.
- Comfort or orthopedic shoes that look like what they are.
- Chunky 2.5 inch (5 cm) or lower heels with formal or semi-formal attire. So Old Lady!
- Shock absorbing white sneakers with jeans. So 70s senior high and high school students.
- Sneakers with socks outside the gym.
- Penny loafers.
- Wearing these Mary Janes or slider type plastic shoes with round wholes and foot-bed no matter how funny the print or how cool the color is anywhere else than in the yard for gardening. Doing so conveys the message “I gave up on me.”
- Flip flops anywhere else, but at the beach, no matter how embellished or expensive they are or what designer designed them.
- Wearing these faux shearling hideous shapeless boots, which look like a foot brace. you know these boots that every teenager is wearing. And no, it doesn’t make them look more stylish when they are covered with silver sequins. Sorry Heide, it probably wasn’t your idea.
- Wearing sky-high heels you can’t walk in. Exercise walking in your heels before you go with them in public (e.g. wedding, opera, date night, girls’ night out).
- Wearing the wrong shoes with respect to your pants’/jeans’ leg width or the length of your skirt/dress.
- Outdated accessories including shoes.
- Matching shoes and bag. So 60s and 70s. What did you do in the 80s, when Patricia Gucci mixed it up?
- Wearing an old-fashioned or distressed bag.
- Reading glasses hanging on a necklace around your neck. You convey the message that you would loose them otherwise.
- Bifocal glasses with demarcation line.
- Fit-overs instead of prescription sunglasses or instead of contact lenses plus great modern sunglasses.
- Dated or boring frames, especially round comic type granny frames.
- Coke bottle lenses.
- Half glasses.
- Skin on all burners, read short skirt length, large front and back cleavage, bare shoulders and arms all in one outfit.
- Butt cleavages, exposing the Y of your thong, belly button or your love handles.
- Too much skin. Go for sexy colors and fabrics instead. Show skin strategically. Less is so much more sexy. #midlifestyle Click To Tweet
- Too long or too short skirts or dresses.
- Cut-offs and short-shorts.
- Wearing any color that washes you out just because it is the color of the year. Who cares about the It color anyway?
- Any color close to your face that enhances your wrinkles, e.g. black.
- An unnatural look, i.e. pieces with weird or odd proportions.
- An outfit all in matching girly pastels or sludge brown.
- Wearing an all menswear outfit including tie and fedora.
- Wearing too many trends or no trends at all in one outfit.
- Wearing your daughter’s (or granddaughter’s) clothes.
- Looking like you tried too hard.
- Looking like you didn’t try at all.
I am sure there are many other points that make us midlife women look “old” at least in the eyes of the young like typing text messages with our index finger. What do you think is the thing that makes a person look old? What do you think is the biggest fashion mistake that makes a midlife woman look Old Lady? I would love to hear from you by email.
When you are interested in getting it right in any dressing situation, you may be interested in my style recipe book How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy it now.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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