How do you dress...

(33 Posts)

...in your late 30's / early 40's?

I don't necessarily have a problem with my own 'personal style', but I'm really curious about a few things. I look a fair bit younger than 39, slim with longish hair, and feel ok about how I look, but I keep wondering about skirt length, and how others might perceive it. I don't go by 'rules' and tend not to judge anyone else for how they choose to dress at any age, but at the same time I don't want to come across like I'm trying to look younger - does that make sense?

I prefer skinnies and skirts to dresses, so if I don't want to wear jeans all the time I opt to mix it up with skirts. But I'm having a problem locating skirts that aren't super short. It's like most of them would require tights, and I feel that mini skirts with black tights was how I dressed at 19, and I kind of don't want to do that anymore. I am so sick of opaques!

So how do others negotiate this?
Do you just say to hell with it and wear the mini, tights or no tights?
Try as I might, all of the knee length skirts I see in the stores are really frumpy, boxy and make me look a but odd. If I wear a mini I suddenly look 'pulled together', they suit my legs and my proportions really well. I wold love to find a knee length skirt that was a stylish as the shorter ones but it ain't happening.

Any thoughts on this crazy, overdone topic?
If it helps, people whose style I admire include Isabel Marant, Clemence Poesy, Emmanuelle Alt, Sophia Coppola, etc. Many of them older than me and they don't seem to care about skirt length - but then we have vastly different lifestyles!

Sorry it's so long!

apologies for typos blush

If you have the legs for mini skirts then go for it! I don't think any age makes you unable to wear things as long as you style them the right way. smile

Wear what suits YOU. And I mean internally as well as externally.
I am wearing glitter sprayed skinnies today. I don't care if anyone thinks I am too old for them, because they are very me.

I think this sort of look can work at any age

I also prefer above knee skirts to maxi skirts. It's a challenge to get the right length - best to find someone who does alterations.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 30-Mar-13 18:46:28

Marking my place as I am 39 and also feel the same way as you. I also work in quite a fashion conscious environment so definitely not ready for Boden or Next yet! Love wearing mini skirts but am also over opaques after this long cold winter...

This fluffy article in the Guardian today is quite inspiring - 39 is nothing!

Thanks! I'm really intrigued by how other people negotiate this stuff!

When I do wear shorter skirts I tend to pair them with flat shoes and looser tops. I love knee length though, but can never find anything remotely stylish out there, apart form occasionally Hobbs, but even then they're a bit too formal for me.

Here are some pics of skirt related style that I love:

dansedelune.tumblr.com/post/29092144720

jacquesloves.tumblr.com/post/28577512557

the-heat.tumblr.com/post/27003938479

dansedelune.tumblr.com/post/18509857437

dansedelune.tumblr.com/post/15952446696

Problem is, when a model wears a lovely knee length full skirt, I know it's gonna be much longer on me, so it's a pain in the arse.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 30-Mar-13 19:07:53

I find skirts and dresses quite hard. I'm short and short waisted which doesn't help.

Minis have always been my default but now I'm 40 - I don't know they just don't feel quite right any more - not here in the uk day to day.

I like sort of on the knee or just under but find that length quite hard to find.

I do have a couple of dresses which are a couple of inches above the knee and will wear these bare legged in the summer.

I wear dresses more in the summer - I struggle with opaques and what to wear on my feet in the winter for casual day to day stuff.

victoriaah83 Sat 30-Mar-13 19:10:45

I think it's more a question of what suits you, rather than how old you are. If it looks good, and makes you feel confident, then just put it on!

I wear whatever I want tbh. I'm 43 and a size 12. I wear a lot of dresses and skirts for work.

For casual, I tend to wear skinnies more than anything else, although I will occasionally wear a casual over the knee dress with opaques and ankle boots and I wear skirts a lot in the summer (if we ever get one!) generally with bare legs and wedges or ballet pumps. I quite like a 50s style skirt and ballet pumps, with a cami and a little cotton cardigan or denim shirt worn open and in the summer I tend to wear White Company jersey dresses a lot too.

In Spring/Autumn I quite like a column maxi skirt (Topshop) with ankle boots and a biker jacket, but that is probably my inner grunge-girl coming out!

Oh and I still wear quite short skirts/dresses but only with tights unless I'm on holiday!

QueenCadbury Sat 30-Mar-13 19:37:33

I don't really have any skirts as I find them hard to style with tops (I just look silly with things tucked in and otherwise I find it hard to get the right length of tops to match the skirt iyswim) but I do have black wool shorts which are relatively short that I wear with opaques for going out. In the summer I wear shorts when it's really hot otherwise dresses just above the knee or on the knee.

MrsCampbellBlack It's finding that elusive length isn't it? I'm average height and many knee length skirts just look boxy on me, or travel a fair bit below the kneecap. I wouldn't mind this so much if the cuts and colours were nice, but they're generally very formal (often pencil) and when informal they'll often have hideous patterns/colours.

I really want an above-the-knee white broderie skirt for summer, in a full shape. Every time I find a decent style it's in super mini length. And I've been searching for a decent quality navy wool skirt for years now.

Remus, I love the way you describe your summer style! Do you mind if I ask where you get your skirts?
In fact, if anyone can recommend a decent place to find stylish knee length skirts, please do!

My white broderie skirt is actually a dress (Espirit) which I cut up and put an elastic waist into. My skirts are from all over the place - a black silk ancient Oasis one, a mad gingham one from a boutique in Bath years ago, an old full chambray Hobbs one, an ancient cut out Whisltes linen mix etc. I haven't bought any nice new ones for at least three years and just dig out the old ones tbh. I must admit, I spend v little on summer stuff and just tend to drag old things out each year.

QueenCadbury Sat 30-Mar-13 20:09:36

toasted is this any good fatface. Not sure what length it'll be on you though?

remus can I ask a silly question? I really fancy a long column skirt as you describe but are they easy to walk in or run after a toddler in?

They are comfortable to wear and the Topshop ones do stretch a bit. Not tried running in it though! It deffo stretches more than the Japanese style hobble ones I used to wear in the 80s. smile

Not sure why it says calf length, unless the model is ten feet tall!

Bodicea Sat 30-Mar-13 20:34:40

I wear minis all the time but as have got into my 30s tend to wear more expensive makes: np I am not talking super expensive. You can't get away with cheap materials anymore. I like french connection, reiss and hobbs and nw3

Thanks everyone.

Remus, they sound great, I love the idea of a gingham skirt.

QueenCadbury, I have a really decent Fatface skirt for summer, one of my favourites! They always create good lengths. I really wish they'd offer more plain colours though and more variety in the shapes.

Oh, and I spotted the Topshop skirt last week, it's really lovely, even with the bizarre half slip. If the model is 5'9 and it hits her lower knee then it would definitely be calf length on me!

Toasted, it's not a skirt but this broderie dress is gorgeous in RL.

I am 40 and wear short skirts with opaques and bikers/pistols, usually with chunky knits or loose fit t's. I am SAHM, like the look of longer (knee or just below) pencil skirts but they seem too formal and restricting for my life IYKWIM.

I agree that as you get older you can't get away with crap quality the way you can in your 20's, also you need to avoid looking as if you are trying too hard or exposing too much, however great your body might be, lots of cleavage or minis with bare legs (unless tanned and holidays) for example, IMHO just doesn't look great.

There are lots of stretchy jersey pencil skirts around now (Topshop again!) that can be worn casually, eg with ankle or biker boots.

Remus, I always imagine a stretchy pencil skirt to fit like a sort of bodycon (???)! I would love to see how people style these. I do have a couple of pencil skirts, but like Sleepwhenidie says above, they feel really odd for my lifestyle.

Sleepwhenidie, I never bare, so I guess I'm safe! My issue with mini's and opaques is that they make me feel like the indie kid I was in my teens, so the association probably bugs me. Oh god this makes me realize how much i love my jeans, haha!
Your style reminds me a bit of my own, to be honest. I love my ankle boots!

Yes, they are quite bodycon. I wear them with a loose-ish top (one that comes to just below my stomach) and a fitted denim or biker jacket, plus opaques and either heeled ankle boots or biker-esque boots. It's v 80s though!

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