Top 10 Things You May (Or May Not) Be Too Old to Wear

Leggings, cleavage, miniskirts

I found this article ages ago (I think it dates to 2010), but I feel it’s still relevant and since I found it interesting and agree with the authors thoughts, I wanted to share it.

By: Cynthia Nellis

leggings and hair clips
Source: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/Getty Images; Sergei Supinsky/Getty Images
In the more than 10 years I’ve been writing about fashion for the internet, the one question I repeatedly answer is “Am I too old to wear ____________?”.
From the latest trends (like skinny jeans and leggings) to long-time looks (like miniskirts), women over 40 are increasingly confused about what still works.
I attribute this confusion over what’s age appropriate to the fact that many of us still take care of our bodies enough to be able to pull off many of the latest trends (even the skin-baring trends.)
But even the fittest of us doesn’t want to be accused of looking like we are trying too hard or trying to recapture our youth.
Here are the Top 10 questions about age-appropriate fashion from the past year:
  1. Going braless. I’ve spotted several older celebrities like Goldie Hawn and Bernadette Peters flaunting obvious bralessness. On the one hand, nobody’s girls look as perky at 60 as they did at 20. But on the other hand, it’s kind of awesome to have the freedom from constricting bras occasionally. Verdict: Smaller-breasted women can pull this over-50 braless feat off the best.
  2. Tank tops. When fashion pro Stacy London knocked Heather Locklear for being too old for tank tops, it set in motion a discussion of whether middle-aged women could still carry off tank tops. Verdict: Looking good in a tank top is more about body type and attitude than age.
  3. Overalls. Designers are trying to bring back farmgirl chic with overalls on the runway. Verdict: A total don’t, unless you are knee-deep in compost or driving a tractor.
  4. Boyfriend jeans. These distressed jeans are trendy and different; holes and bagginess don’t really flatter anyone’s body, though. Verdict: Supermodel Gisele Bundchen even said boyfriend jeans made her fab figure look bad, so let’s pass.
  5. Leggings and skinny jeans. One of the strongest trends in recent years is the move to skinny-on-bottom looks like leggings and skinny jeans. But many middle-age women remain on the fence about whether the look is too young. Verdict: Basic black leggings are now a fashion classic; dark wash skinny jeans and jeggings, too. Go for it with a tunic top or longer sweater to cover to mid-thigh.
  6. Miniskirts. Conventional fashion widsom puts the cut-off age for miniskirts at 35. Verdict: If you’ve got the legs for it at 60+ (Tina Turner, we’re talking to you!), then go for it! (Microminis, are a no-no, though.)
  7. Cleavage. Although actresses like Susan Sarandon still show off substantial cleavage, there comes a point where it’s just the body equivalent of TMI. Verdict: Excessive cleavage isn’t your best look, but it’s really a personal decision.
  8. Blue nail polish. Funky, fun nail polish (blue, gray, purple) have usually been for kids only. Verdict: Not for me, but I think lots of middle-age women can pull this off.
  9. Tattoos. Susan Sarandon pulls off tattoos over 50; I have been thinking about getting one, too. Verdict: I’m going to go for it. (If you’re over 50 though, I’d wonder whats up at this age getting your first tattoo – this me this blog owners thought)
  10. Hair gadgets. Although I’m a huge fan of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s, I’m no fan of the plastic clip she wore in her hair for official business. Verdict: Some low-key hair gadgets are OK, but cheapo clips, bows and scrunchies are best left to little girls.

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1 Comment on The don’t list …

  1. Lynn
    30 April 2012 at 16:10 (10 years ago)

    Some interesting advice … Seeing as I am not 50 yet maybe I should go and get a tattoo???