Fashion Trends, Quick Tips and Style Solutions
Do you believe in Age-Appropriate Dressing?
Posted on August 21st, 2010

I used to wholeheartedly oppose the concept of “age-appropriate dressing.” I used to think it was outrageous to expect a woman over a certain age (usually 40) to start dressing “older” even if she works out, takes good care of herself and looks great.

32588, NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Friday July 17, 2009. Actress Jennifer Aniston on set of her new film The Bounty where she was spotted filming a running scene. The action comedy, co-staring Gerard Butler and filming in Brooklyn will be released late 2009. Photograph: ©

As the years go by, however, I am slowly changing my mind. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely don’t think that women nearing or over 40 should become dowdy. No way! A woman can look great regardless of her age, and there’s no shortage of over-forty celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry and Salma Hayek to prove that.

Sure, celebrities have lots of tools at their disposal that we don’t have, but the idea is that you can look feminine and sexy and beautiful regardless of your age, and “age appropriate dressing” should never mean “boring,” “safe,” “baggy” or “frumpy.”

So what does “age appropriate dressing” mean? To me it means that you SHOULD gradually change and adjust the way you dress as you go through the decades. So those fashion spreads in magazines that show you how to dress in your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s – I actually like those. They show you that there are subtle changes that you should make, without sacrificing style.

39680, NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Monday April 19, 2010. Jennifer Lopez struts along in Manhattan before her appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman . Jennifer is currently promoting her new romantic comedy entitled The Back-up Plan , due out Friday April 23rd. Photograph: PacificCoastNews.com40443, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - Tuesday May 11 2010. Lindsay Price steps out in a short white mini and platform wedges for a night at Boa in Hollywood. Photograph: Josephine Santos,

As for specific examples, skirt length is an easy one. In your teens and twenties, wearing short miniskirts or daisy dukes is very appropriate, especially if you have good legs. But in your thirties, and definitely in your forties and above, even with great, toned legs, I’m not sure I would go very short.

This is a controversial topic, I know, so feel free to disagree with me! I know that there are plenty of women who feel that dressing should never be about your age, but about your personal style, preferences, what you feel good in, and whether you can pull something off. So, if you’re over 40 like Aniston and you’ve got a great body like hers – why not wear tight clothing and ultra short skirts?

What do you think? Do you believe in age-appropriate dressing?

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