When I turned 40, I stopped wanting to look older than I was. I’d wanted to look sophisticated and elegant, which I thought meant looking older. As the saying goes, “be careful what you wish for” because…fast forward to now, and I no longer want to look younger. I want to look the best I can for my age.
Dressing to feel youthful is a powerful tonic to banish the blues and remain visible, but there are pitfalls to avoid. No one wants to look like mutton dressed as lamb, but sticking to an antiquated rule will also make us look older than we are.
- too many pastel outfits
- too much black
- baggy everything
- out of date glasses
- the wrong lingerie
- out of date and too many new trends
- fast fashion
- matching accessories
Too many soft, delicate colors
Our skin tone fades as we get older, so wearing softer shades can be more flattering. But be aware that wearing too many pastels will make you look older. If you want to wear light colors from head to toe, opt for pale neutrals like nude, ivory, light gray, or beige. Baby blue with soft pink is a classic combo but hard to pull off over a certain age. If you love pastels near your face, anchor it with a stronger color on the bottom. Baby blue looks great with navy and black or brown and charcoal—ditto for soft pink, butter yellow, pale peach.
Too Much Black
Head to toe black is always chic, stylish, and easy to coordinate. It makes packing a breeze and enables you to have a smaller wardrobe. It can also leach the life out of your complexion, which makes you look older. Since black is such a huge part of many women’s wardrobes, here are a few tips to make it more flattering.
- wear a flattering colored scarf near your face
- wear a v or deep scoop neckline, so the black isn’t too close to your face
- bump up your makeup to balance the black (think brighter lipstick and more eyeshadow)
- wear colorful earrings and/or necklace in colors that do flatter you
- wear black from the waist down and flattering colors on top
- some prints
- nude hose
- wearing too many animal prints
- too many matching accessories
Many brands’ aesthetics is oversized and loose. It’s a popular look that’s very comfy but tricky to get right. Choose pieces that are loose but not overwhelming. Only wear oversized on one half of your body at a time. Voluminous tunics paired with oversized pants make you look like you’re trying to hide something. Opt for slim-fitting bottoms with an oversized top. Or a slim-fitting top with oversize pants. Some part of your body silhouette needs to show, or you risk looking larger and older than you are.
If your eyeglasses are dated, you look older. Check out how to choose the best frames for your face here. Frame shapes change slowly, but if you haven’t updated yours in several years, they may be aging you. On the subject of glasses, very few frameless ones don’t make you look older. Frames actually help cover undereye wrinkles and camouflage dark circles. Choose a modern frame that makes a fun statement.
See also- How to Choose the Best Eyeglasses
Herein lies the problem with trends. They change rapidly, so if you’re wearing outdated trends, you look out of touch and older. It’s better to invest in styles that nod to what’s current and give your look a modern twist. Outdated jeans make you look out of touch, so be aware of current shapes and denim washes.
The wrong bra can leave your clothes looking lumpy and your breasts sagging. Get a professional bra fitting and ensure it’s perking things up, so your clothes hang properly. Bra’s that dig in will leave bulges. Loose ones give no support and visible bra straps scream poor fit. Panty lines aren’t flattering on anyone so ensure your underwear lays smooth against your skin. Thongs aren’t the most comfortable option so look for panties with laser cuts edges that are invisible under your pants.
Common Fashion Mistakes
Tiny florals can be dangerous territory so indulge carefully. Choose classic prints like stripe, leopard, or polka dots, or opt for modern prints. Bright colors “of the moment” that drain the life from your complexion make you look older than you are.
Brown, deep and matte lipstick ages the face and sucks the life out of your smile. Opt for gleam vs frost and dewy vs matte.
See also – Best Lipsticks After 50
These are totally out of date and scream out of touch. Many women aren’t comfortable with bare legs, so try self-tanner, or opt for opaque tights, sheer black, navy, or grey tights. Footless tights and leggings will also work in place of pantyhose.
Too much matchy-matchy
Coco Chanel is famously quoted as saying, “before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” The truth is, too many statement accessories can age you. Matching accessories can do the same thing. Break your jewelry sets up. Don’t wear matching earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Many women love the bohemian aesthetic and believe “more is more” This is personal taste, so wear what makes you feel confident. If you can pull off full-on accessories, go for it and enjoy it.
BTW- here are some grooming mistakes that are making you look older.
What do you think makes a woman look older than she is?
Thanks for reading, and be sure to wear what makes you feel confident.