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Age Approrpiate Dressing Over 50- Does It Matter?

Let’s talk about dressing your age. Remember that old expression “mutton dressed as lamb”? It’s pretty safe to assume most women over 50 don’t want to be seen that way. Are there rules we should be adhering too? What does it mean to dress your age?

Dressing your age is each person’s subjective opinion of what’s appropriate attire. Lists abound of what we shouldn’t wear after a certain age and women are offended by them.

relaxing in Loreto bay

I never think about dressing my age but you won’t find me wearing short shorts or naval bearing tops. That look doesn’t send the message I want my appearance to convey. Like it or not, what we wear tells the world who we are.

exploring Loreto bay

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It’s important to understand who you are and what kind of message you want your appearance to send. Choose garments that make you feel confident and amazing. If you put something on and feel silly, awkward, or uncomfortable in it, that’s a good signal it’s probably not right for you. Listen to your instincts.

Loreto Bay neighborhoodsOn our last day in Mexico, I wore another cotton skirt and sun hat. I wanted my appearance to say I took time with my appearance and looked elegantly, casual.

exploring Loreto bay

Should we be concerned about dressing our age?

How do you feel about dressing for your age? Please share your opinion.

 

I want women to look and feel their best, and that means dressing to feel confident.

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.

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32 Comments

  1. Hmm… I know what all of you mean, but I must say the term “age appropriate” makes me choke (see dictionary and Wiki for example). It feels like other people’s ideas of what I should do and I have always resisted that (my inner 70’s chick). What I can live with is what I think suits me and makes me feel good wirh some respect for the surroundings. That’s all I need to know. It’s just a titch harder to get there then it used to be. You both look lovely, btw.

    1. Great point Janet. It takes me longer to get going in the morning too, but I do get going. “Age appropriate” has no place in my vocabulary:)

  2. For some reason when I hear the phrase age appropriate in reference to the over 50, I think of a granny in a house dress. LOL I agree it’s appropriate when you feel good and know you you look good. I like classic styles. I love the long shirt you wore in Mexico but I’m short and I can’t pull off that look but I could pair the shirt and hat with sundress. I’m no longer working outside my home so I usually wear a dressy casual to casual outfit of jeans/slacks and cute top or sweater and I’m determine to wear regular flats or loafers instead of tennies. I make an effort when I go to the grocery or shopping because se it makes me feel good.

    1. I hear you Cathy. It feels stifling to me. I’m always on the hunt for cute flats that are as comfy as tennies

  3. Well, I have a lot of bits and it’s hot, hot, hot where I live. What to do? Long skirts, cute tops with sleeves, tunics with slender pants. No to leggings or jeggings. To me, those look best on ten-year-old girls. Which reminds me, we need to have a post at looking at your backside before going out. Jiggly, cellulite is not attractive on anyone much less an over fifty woman. LOL

  4. Christina says:

    I just turned 51, and I look younger. But, I still don’t want to dress like a young woman in her 20’s. I have a confidence & gravitas now that I reflect in my style. Also I have a bigger budget, so I can afford better quality clothes that I think are worth the investment-something I couldn’t do in my youth–like the black cashmere waterfall cardigan with fringe I bought 2 winters ago. Age has changed the appearance of the skin at & above my knees, so I feel prettiest showing off my still slim & shapely calves & ankles. I use clothing now to highlight my best assets & other camouflage the bits, so I look terrific. Rather than feeling constrained, I feel happy to discover ways to still look lovely–which does not mean looking young or younger. The French speak of the magnetic attraction of “a woman of a cetain age.” Confident, stylish, wise, lovely, maybe even worldly or well-travelled. We go to many parties & black tie affairs, so I need a whole wardrobe of ball gowns these days–certainly a huge change from my youth! I’m having a blast dressing in my 50’s!

  5. You and I are of the same mind regarding age appropriate. One’s style needs to fit them, not only in size but in personality and mind set. The most fashionable clothes will never look the same on different people so it’s important to dress in way that best suits you and your life. You look fabulous in these photos, elegantly casual.

    Rena

    1. I agree with you, Rena. It also needs to fit their lifestyle. Thanks so much.

  6. What brand is your white top? Love your and Pam’s posts.

    1. It’s from Target!

  7. Where did you get the tee shirt?

    1. Target:). My favorite place to buy cotton T-shirts.

  8. I do believe in dressing appropriately but at the same time I don’t want to be boxed. I love skinnies because I’m tall & thin. There are those that will say at 63 I should not wear them. I think with a longer top, I wear them well. I don’t like ruffles ( too sweet), or off the shoulder tops ( too young), or tight tanks ( unless under an open shirt), or above the knee skirts, or short shorts. But, just because I don’t wear them doesn’t mean I judge others that choose to. I do like to keep on top of the trends but I pick those that suit my age, lifestyle and body shape.
    Your long skirts and tee shirts are perfect for a warmer day. Enjoy your last day in Sunny Mexico.

    1. You’re the best, Joanna! Each to her own and being our own judge. Skinnier are a fav of mine, and I’m short. I happen to be smaller on the bottom than top so I highlight that. My tummy, not so much 🙂

  9. I think age appropriate really means what you are comfortable wearing and what you are trying to convey. I love your outfit. Perfect for those surroundings.

  10. I agree with all the comments made! I adhere to the old adage “just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you SHOULD”. My style is casual and comfortable, and I try to dress with respect for the occasion and place.

    1. Bingo, Barbara! I can wear many things I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing.

  11. Yes, definitely age appropriate without being dowdy. I’m aware of my weaknesses so avoid allowing displaying them. Love your long skirt, casual yet elegant. Also a great way to avoid excess sun.

    1. I agree, Julie. At this age we know what our best features are and which ones are best covered.

  12. Sheryl Thomas says:

    Thanks Jennifer for helping us feel confident in our own skin. I love the positive thoughts you share and that gives me an extra boost to be me regardless of what others may say. I always take a second look before leaving the house if I’m wearing something new, and if I don’t feel it, I change it. I love you striped skirt and if I may ask where can I find one. I am retiring in July and adding more casual to my wardrobe. I have been a public official for 25 years and have gad to dress casual professional and I am ready to “dress down” for a more relaxed lifestyle. Looks like you had a wonderful vacation- safe travels home!

    1. My entire outfit is from Target several years old. I like to spend very little for cotton items like these. I always trust my own judgement too. It’s the best measure. Thanks, it was a lovely holiday.

  13. I do want to make sure I dress age appropriately and look classically elegant. Just because I am still tall and thin at 64 doesn’t mean I should wear everything I can fit into! It’s really disconcerting to walk behind someone and think they are a certain age, then when they turn around realize they are 20 years older. When I see women my age trying to dress like they are still 25, I just think “how sad”.

    1. So true. I’ve had that shock of assuming a woman’s age based on her rear view and discovering she’s much older. I can only assume she felt confident …at least I hope she did.

  14. Well, first of all, you look adorable; perfect for your surroundings (so beautiful & tropical), casually matching what you’re there to do (a whole lot of whatever you feel like, I hope) and age appropriate.
    And since you asked for opinions on “dressing your age,” I’ll add that I think we instinctively dress our age, no matter that age. The term doesn’t have to ring of a limiting, narrowing parameter kind of thing as we get older.
    When I was a teen and in my twenties – I bared my midriff and wore teeny bikinis because they were age appropriate and I felt comfortable and quite frankly, I rocked ’em. I wore high heels and super chunky wedge sandals. Again – I was comfortable.
    Now I’d hurt my plantars fasciitis so – again – they’re not appropriate.
    At a much younger age I wouldn’t have wanted to dress like I do now.
    And it extends to the very young end of the spectrum too.
    A little girl in a sweet soft cotton dress, a ribbon in her hair, salt water sandals – so classic and age appropriate, right? A little girl in something that looks more appropriate for a teen? Gobs of not being dressed for her age and takes away from her tender years.
    I say embrace the age you are and extend that to the world in the appearance you present.
    Any age – ANY AGE – is a gift.

    1. Brilliantly said, Barbara! I’m sure my younger self would have looked into my current closet and said no way! The last thing I want to look is younger. I want to look like my best version of me.

  15. Cynthia LeBlanc says:

    Definitely!! I am 59, and enjoy a limited closet. For me, that is part of simplifying my life while I care for elderly parents, work part time and enjoy my growing brood of grandchildren. I need proven articles of clothing, classic season spanning items, that I can grab and go with. That means not having to worry about backfat, varicose veins, blubbery arms, what might show when I bend or stretch, etc. I’m not interested in giving out that much information. Wasn’t my style even in my thin-and-firm years! Keeping the phrase “casual elegance” in mind when I shop helps make my choices. Timeless items don’t say “I am over 50”, they say “she’s quality”!!

    1. Exactly, Cynthia! My clothes need to require no fussing to cover those bits I want covered. My proven articles are staples I wear constantly.

  16. We are in complete agreement today…it is more about the messages sent than the age we are. I am sure you are sad to leave this lovely place.

    1. We are in total agreement!!

  17. What I wear always come down to how I feel in it and if it fits well. You are so right to say that you should make sure that one does not feel silly in certain clothing. I for one cannot stand ruffles and feel strange wearing them.

    1. I struggle with ruffles too. I have one blouse with small ruffles that feels ok, but nothing too big. I do find experimenting with new styles a good thing, as I occasionally find my tastes have changed.