what are you really actually too old for after about the age of 35, even if people say you aren't?

(216 Posts)
Peggotty Sat 09-Feb-13 18:07:26

Converse?
Superga?
biker jackets?

I'm nearly 37 and would probably wear all of these, but am I really basically too old for them?

forgottenpassword Sun 10-Feb-13 08:06:35

I vividly remember in my youth seeing women in their forties and fifties wearing sensible shoes and skirts/trousers. Presumably this was at least in part because they thought that was what was expected of them and there was no-one to show them that it was ok to be over 35 and still look hot. Now we have a number of women in their late 30s and older who are still considered sexy and fashionable. Like their style or not, women like Nicole Kidman, kylie, Demi, Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Helen Mirren, Gwynnie, Honor Blackman and Madonna (not everyone will agree on Madge I guess but i think she deserves to be listed) have helped to show you can be hot post 35 and to stop us having to change what we wear based on age. I honestly think that if you have the figure/body for it and you like it, you should go for it whatever your age. Better mutton dressed as lamb than mutton dressed as mutton I say!

So how come converse are ok and superga are not? I'm firmly wedged in jeans mode at the moment with zip up knee high DM's V neck tops and a biker jacket, no plans to change any time soon!

colleysmill Sun 10-Feb-13 08:21:56

Ha ha I'm doomed! 35 later this year and still wearing stuff I'd wear years ago with a nod to the 70's if I'm honest.

I've tried the smart casual look over the years and honestly in photos I look (and felt) really uncomfortable. The smart tailored look just looks really wrong and high heels make me.look totally awkward.

So I live in my converse, biker boots and Docs, my flared cords, distressed jeans, hoodies, logo tshirts and its just me. Boden is never going to suit me. I do smarter attire for weddings, christenings and funerals but I'm never going to have that chicness or polished look like say Mrs Beckham.

My prize possession is an late 1960s leather jacket which belonged to my grandfather and passed to my dad and then to me 20 years ago. It's a relic and i still wear it happily.

BIWI Sun 10-Feb-13 08:28:06

Yet another thread about how older women can't do something. How fucking depressing, on a site mainly populated by women. <sighs>

All those of you saying you can't wear something, or rock a particular style, please explain clearly why that should be the case.

Unless you can come up with a good reason, then it's bollocks.

OneHandFlapping Sun 10-Feb-13 08:42:02

I think there are things that eventually don't look good:

Stuff showing too much wrinkly skin - except on the beach
Anything self consciously girlish eg ankle socks, little frilly dresses
Granny chic - just looks grannyish.

What age you feel you can't wear this stuff is moot.

noviceoftheday Sun 10-Feb-13 08:48:09

I don't think there are any rules, other than whatever you wear make sure you look good in it!

i will be 40 this year but fortunate enough to barely look 20 (family genes help as dm struggles to get oap discounts). I have no idea what a 40 year old dresses like, so I shall just continue dressing in clothes in which I look stylish. Mostly it's classics but I own Abercrombie & Fitch and Superdry clothes because I look good in them. Even for work, being 40 and senior doesn't mean I have to dress like a frumpy old womangrin, again I go for looking stylish and that can be a trouser suit or a body con dress. On Friday (dress down) I wore a knitted dress, which fell above the knee with some high knee boots with a heel. I didn't look any different to the 20 somethings in my team, and was complimented on my look. As I say, wearing it well and with style is the key!

CoalDustWoman Sun 10-Feb-13 08:48:30

What happens if you wear the "wrong" things? And who decides?

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 09:00:00

God - I don't think its rocket science to realise that leopard print hotpants aren't going to look great on a 70 year old.

In the same way a 17 year old should steer clear of a twinset and pearls generally speaking.

People can of course wear whatever they want but for a lot of us we want to look stylish and for me that means I've accepted there is some stuff that doesn't suit my shape/colouring or stage in my life.

S&B used to be light hearted and yet every week now there's at least one thread that turns crazy.

20 years ago I'd have wandered into town on a sunny saturday in a tiny denim mini skirt and a vest top. Now at 40 I wouldn't - I'd wear it in my garden or on holiday though.

And I'm pretty sure that quite a bit of what I wear would be deemed mutton by some - I mean I live in white skinnies in the summer and still love a bit of leopard print.

BinarySolo Sun 10-Feb-13 09:03:29

Well said BIWI!

I love my converse not plain ones either. I also have very long hair and dr martins. Slogan and print t-shirts/hoodies are a staple of my wardrobe. I'm 35 this year and won't be changing any time soon. Oh and days when I where makeup are rare. I'll bother with mascara maybe 3 times a week. I feel no reason to try and conform to what some random people deem appropriate for me.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 09:03:59

You see I don't think anyone has posted an outift on here that they wear that sounds too young. I mean a dress that hits above your knees and knee high boots sounds perfectly normal to me.

If you'd said you were wearing patent otk boots with a spike heel and a dress that barely covered your bottom into the office granted I'd have thought hmm. But I'd have thought that if you were 17.

I wear a lot of similar stuff to my 20 year old niece - for day to day but her going out look is very different to mine. And surely that's how it should be. Its not about being anti-woman. Its the same for men isn't it?

noviceoftheday Sun 10-Feb-13 09:04:42

I want to 'like' your post Mrs CB.smile

BIWI Sun 10-Feb-13 09:19:21

I get, totally and absolutely, that dressing is about being appropriate - wearing the appropriate clothes for the office, a wedding, etc.

What I don't get is why there is an age-specific rule about a certain way of dressing.

Some of you have said you want to look stylish. (However the hell that is defined). Great. What does that have to do with age?

And this kind of post is absolutely anti-women. Worse, it's anti older women. I'm surprised you can't see that. Do none of you ever consider what it's like to be an older woman on MN, reading posts about how women are too old beyond 25/35, whatever, to do/wear something?

If there's a particular reason for being too old for something, then I'm all ears. But otherwise it's just age discrimination.

onyx72 Sun 10-Feb-13 09:21:12

This thread is pathetic.

WEAR WHAT YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE IN.

The day I trade in my biker boots, skinny jeans, mini skirts etc for some frumpy outfit from Per Una is a long way off.

I want to look my age - 40 - not 10 years older.

confused

HanneHolm Sun 10-Feb-13 09:26:50

Biwi. Keep your hot pants on. No one said women have to be nice to each other did they?
I'm just saying IMO I look wrong on skirts too short. Like I might in a pair of nipple tassels and a thong.

HanneHolm Sun 10-Feb-13 09:28:10

You lot are getting very aerated.
Although my upper arms are in far better nick now at 42 than they were 10 years ago and would much more willingly display them. But not necessarily at work. Work is not the place for beachwear imho

frostfrond Sun 10-Feb-13 09:28:33

Ah but some people may be happy in their frumpy per una so mocking them is just as bad as mocking biker boots etc

HanneHolm Sun 10-Feb-13 09:28:46

It's not anti women. You're talking de bolleaux.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 09:29:06

I am 40 - I don't think its age discrimination when I read that perhaps I should leave the hot pants behind now. I think that's common sense.

And as for being stylish - well that's what we discuss on here all the time surely.

I am an older woman in today's society but you know my husband is an older man and he's not going to walk around in jeans that don't cover his bum because he's too old for that look. Mind you I loathe that look on young men too.

So for me its not about being male or female its about wearing clothes that suit a person, that they like and feel happy in.

And you know its not as though per una is the only option out there for the over 40's - I still shop in topshop/river island etc but I wouldn't wear everything they sell.

HanneHolm Sun 10-Feb-13 09:30:12

Stop. I keep seeing alright stuff in peruna ATM.

Remember though its Finnish for potato. ^chants*

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 09:37:10

Some of the jewellery is quite nice I suppose [humours Hanne]

HanneHolm Sun 10-Feb-13 09:40:48

No. I saw a shirt. No weirdness at all.
^ or maybe I dreamed it ^

noviceoftheday Sun 10-Feb-13 09:43:24

Biwi, two of the most beautiful and stylish women I know are my mother and my mother in law. Both late 60s/early 70s. Very different styles and body shapes but the point is that both look amazing, pretty much whatever they wear. Don't think you can define style but neither are rocking it in hot pants etc.grin

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 09:44:49

Yes I think it was a dream. Link it if you dare.

I've just ordered that floral quilted jacket from zara which you don't like to wear with distressed skinnies. Husband asked if they 'were the fashion' yesterday or if I'd had a bleach incident.

DontmindifIdo Sun 10-Feb-13 09:45:00

I think it's more that you can't do cheap versions of these clothes without looking cheap! If you want to look more like Kate Moss, then you need her clothing budget, the TopShop version might look ok on someone 15 years younger, on a more middle aged woman, it'll look as cheap as it is. You either spend more or be more careful about what you buy for your budget.

I also think a lot of these rules are more about accepting that once you can't rely on 'youth' to carry anything off, you need your clothes to look good. A lot of these looks discribed also look scruffy /a bit cheap on younger woman, but because they are young, the youthfulness/great bodies masks the scruffy/cheapness of the looks. Once you hit 35, you don't have that to hide behind anymore.

There's also the fact that few woman at 35 look physically as good as they did at 20 - I know even when not pregnant, I'm a dress size (or 2) bigger and I have less time/inclination to do my hair/makeup/nails etc, my boobs aren't as perky, my arms aren't as toned and I no longer have that coverted thigh gap (god I wish I could go back to my 20 year old self and say "FFS woman, you are hot right now! Don't be so insecure and wear shorts more.") - a lot of these 'rules' aren't really "things you can't wear once you're over a certain age" but more "things you can't wear once you're body is out of a certain condition". If you have DCs and don't have a personal trainer and do like cakes, you are highly likely to have hit that stage by mid 30s.

MerlotAndMe Sun 10-Feb-13 09:48:16

I agree mrscampbellblack. Most of the extreme trends are so silly that by forty it doesn't quite stack up, that you could want to wear such a frivolous item. It would depend on the person but it would seem attention-seeking in a way that it wouldn't if a 25 year old wore it.

. You can STILL make a statement with your clothes. I try to pick clothes that flatter me, have a bit of detail to them, suit me.. I look in all of the shops too but would have a filter switched on.

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