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

biker jackets?

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

VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 18:08:57

Same age so watching with interest.

I still wear converse.

Dr martens?

Hedwig06 Sat 09-Feb-13 18:10:13

I've bought a pair of converse but only worn them twice at the age of 36

I feel a right twit and think everyone's saying "look at her" hmm

lowercase Sat 09-Feb-13 18:11:14

I think your list is timeless.

I have to say, a onesie.

TaggieCampbellBlack Sat 09-Feb-13 18:11:31


CambridgeBlue Sat 09-Feb-13 18:11:48

God I hope not, 2 out of those 3 are my staple look and I'm nearly 40!

FaffTastic Sat 09-Feb-13 18:12:50

I'm turning 35 shortly and don't plan on changing my wardrobe accordingly. I think it's true that age is just a number - I think it's how old you look that matters. It's when you start to look too old to be wearing certain things rather than feeling too old that a wardrobe rethink is required.

lowercase Sat 09-Feb-13 18:13:44

I'm 36.
I have quite a few pairs of DMs.

Dealer and biker style.

I'm absolutely confident about wearing them.
That's key isn't it?
If you are confident about it, wear it.

germyrabbit Sat 09-Feb-13 18:14:48

i don't really like things with writing on them, but apart from that not really judgey.

over 35 you need lycra to hold you in grin

Peggotty Sat 09-Feb-13 18:15:17

Yes a onesie! I'm not saying I think I'm too old for those things, I'm asking because I don't know! I want to wear them - and I know people will say, just wear them if you like them etc etc, but at the end of the day I don't want to look like a twat grin. Or mutton! To make matters worse, I'm at university with lots of young 'uns and that's probably made me more paranoid about appearing 'muttony' iykwim.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 18:15:19

Must admit there was some 70yo ex mod (female) on I think the bbc news website today. Still riding a scooter and still wearing dr martens. She looked fab, good on her.

thenightsky Sat 09-Feb-13 18:16:29

converse... just thinking about buying a pair this very day!
Biker jacket - yep, got one. It goes with everthing. Timeless and ageless I think.

Superga - I have no clue what it even is - which probably gives away my age (53)

Bunbaker Sat 09-Feb-13 18:17:02

Exactly fafftastic. Style is what suits you, regardless of how old you are. At 35 I still had the legs to wear short skirts. I don't now sad. Long hair no longer suits me either, so I wear it short.

KB02 Sat 09-Feb-13 18:17:53

I'm 36 and was hoping to get my first pair of ,converse soon. When I have saved up. An elderly family friend used to say that I shouldn't have long hair anymore (when I was in my 20s) but took no notice

HanneHolm Sat 09-Feb-13 18:21:31

Short skirts. I have great legs. And I hate the idea of age affe ring clothes. But recently I've decided they just look wrong.
Even with tights etc

AlanMoore Sat 09-Feb-13 18:22:17

I think you just dial it down a bit. Like my Nike sky tops are the plain suede ones and I wouldn't wear a bright biker jacket or short skirt but a dark or neutral colour is fine. Or try and do a slightly more sophisticated version of a look - again, I find that I don't wear much bright stuff any more (it's draining next to your face too).

FWIW I'm 36 and think im too young for Supergas smile

HanneHolm Sat 09-Feb-13 18:22:22

I think also as you're older scruffy chic just looks a little seedy

Ahhhcrap Sat 09-Feb-13 18:23:10

Tights and shirts are a no no for anyone over the age of 20grin

Ahhhcrap Sat 09-Feb-13 18:23:32

Shirts?? I meant shorts smile

AlanMoore Sat 09-Feb-13 18:24:47

Oh and I got rid of anything twee/kitsch a couple of years ago and gave up hair clips/ cherry motifs etc. some can still pull it off but it didn't work for me any more.

pictish Sat 09-Feb-13 18:24:56

It depends on who you are, and how you carry it off, I think. To feel confident and comfortable in your clothes is paramount!

I'm 37 and still wear cons and whatnot. I don't even think about it.

AlanMoore Sat 09-Feb-13 18:26:35

Agree about scruffy Hanne, used to do no makeup, undone hair etc but now need blusher and a bit of frizz ease!

HerBigChance Sat 09-Feb-13 18:26:44

To be fair, tights and shorts look pretty shit on most people under 20 too.

Peggotty Sat 09-Feb-13 18:29:18

Hanneholm, yes to the seediness of scruffy chic. I am unfortunately slightly drawn to a <cringe> ever so slightly 'rock' look, in which I think I'm channeling Kate Moss, but probably look more like Suzi Quattro.

I'm trying to stick to fairly plain, neutral colours of what's 'in'.

VBisme Sat 09-Feb-13 18:30:33

Cut-out dresses that show your stomach, just wrong on anyone over 30.

AlanMoore Sat 09-Feb-13 18:30:53

I think converse suit all ages, black or white ones with jeans always look great. There's a lady works near me who I would guess is about 65, grey bob, blouse, chunky jewellery, wide trousers & various colours of all stars, she looks fantastic, really elegant but not stuffy.

Chandon Sat 09-Feb-13 18:32:19

I saw this beautiful 50 something Portugese woman, slim brown legs, taylored yet baggy-ish grey shorts, white shirt and grey waistcoat, and she looked fantastic.

As long as you do not look like you are wearing your daughter's clothes, anything goes, imo. Even shorts.

Corygal Sat 09-Feb-13 18:33:14

The worst style danger is not wearing things because you think you are too old, at the risk of stating the obvious.

But I cast a weather eye at stuff that isn't that flattering anyway - one-season wonders, novelty trends, over-exposing ho wear - and realise I'm way too old to look an arse.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sat 09-Feb-13 18:35:03

yy to scruffy-chic, sadly
it used to work for me, in a (fatter) alexa chung sort of way
now i look a bit unhinged if i don't try to look a little groomed.

DontmindifIdo Sat 09-Feb-13 18:35:45

I think it's more that past about 35, you can't do too casual and be a bit more 'smart casual' than casual casual IYSWIM.

Scruffy chic is out - At 19 you look like you threw on what you had closest to hand because you are too cool to bother about that sort of dull thinking about what goes with what and being too 'styled'.

At 35 you look like you threw on whatever you had closest to hand because you are incapable of thinking about what goes with what and have no style.

dawntigga Sat 09-Feb-13 18:36:28

I live and die in converse cos they are comfy and ride a motorbike, if I'm to old for biker jackets wtf am I supposed to keep my skin intact with if I come off?

I really don't care what other people think of what I'm wearing though.


DontmindifIdo Sat 09-Feb-13 18:37:25

I also think past a certain age, you can't do really cheap clothing/materials either.

ujjayi Sat 09-Feb-13 18:37:31

This thread has depressed me. I am 42 and wear converse, shorts over tights, short skirts with opaques (mostly with flats rather than heels), biker boots, diamante vintage-esque hair accessories, 50s and 70s vintage clothing <<not all together, obvs wink>>

My style has changed over the years but I think fashion should express who you are; I just don't buy into age-related fashion as dictated by the high street. Of course there are things that I wouldn't wear but that has been true at any age.

I look at Dame Viv at the grand age if 71 and think "why not".

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 09-Feb-13 18:41:11

Short skirts with bare legs not for me any more and actually I don't really wear short skirts at all any more.

I don't want my body/clothes to look too out of kilter with my face.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 09-Feb-13 18:42:26

And I don't really do cleavage any more either - I hate overly trussed up boobs a la Gok.

scaevola Sat 09-Feb-13 18:43:10

Well, I'm in my late 40s and recently got my DM (in her 80s) Converse; they're fine at any age. Onesies should only ever be worn in the privacy of your own home anyhow.

I think e only things that really shouldn't be worn are short (pelmet) skirts and shiny leggings.

I'm planning to wear purple, btw.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 09-Feb-13 18:43:57

I think the thing wit Viv is she's clearly eccentric and some people work that look well - I can't and would just look desperate.

All down to your own style though and I think you can wear one or two items that are perhaps deemed 'young' as long as it fits with your overall style.

AlanMoore Sat 09-Feb-13 18:45:46

Vivienne Westwood looks amazing - I met her once and she's beautiful in the flesh and so stylish.

I think the only things one shouldn't wear are awful Gok-type over accessorised over corseted restrictive horny payroll clerk outfits. Shoes you can't walk in will always look shit.

bigbadbarry Sat 09-Feb-13 18:46:10

Cleavage and short skirts - agree (unless the latter with thick tights). Leggings with a short top (though I don't think anybody should wear this, it is particularly true for anybody past 20).

dexter73 Sat 09-Feb-13 18:56:42

I think Vivienne Westwood looks bloody awful!

AlanMoore Sat 09-Feb-13 19:03:47

Her skin is unbelievable. Honestly! I met her randomly in a paper shop in London, she was wearing a dress and a mac, very chic and simple, it was only the orange hair (which is gorgeous) that gave her away!

HerBigChance Sat 09-Feb-13 19:04:18

I agree that it's more about a sense of style than a particular cut-off due to age. I also think it's true that you need to buy better cut clothes in better quality material once you get older.

And my Dr Martens will be prised from my cold dead hands.

HarrietSchulenberg Sat 09-Feb-13 19:11:08

Animal print anything unless you're after the Dorian look. Crop tops.

GreyGardens Sat 09-Feb-13 19:11:22

I am 44 and probably would avoid any kind of slogans, but I don't like them anyway, ditto anything that looks tacky on any age.
Otherwise I still wear short skirts but with tights, not sure about bare legged in summer, but love the shorts/tights look. Definitely agree about being more groomed, even if it's a v careful kind of grooming to not look too done up. Actually I do wear more make up than I used to but it is much better quality and hopefuly I don't look like an old trollop. I do have good legs though wink.
My problem is finding outfits which I think look fabulous on my 6 yr old daughter and wanting an adult version. That is just wrong!

teta Sat 09-Feb-13 19:29:03

I now won't wear anything that looks better on my 13 year old,anything with cute animals on the front and spriggy flowery patterns[aka White Stuff].My 8 year old looks lovely in spriggy things-i just look a bit raddled.I also really dislike middle aged women with hair accessories-it just looks ridiculous.Finally i will never ever wear Joules,its ubiquitous round here sadly.

frostfrond Sat 09-Feb-13 19:29:43

I am 49 , 50 in June and have red converse and recently bought a pair of grey velvet Superga.I would not think twice about being too old for them.I have definately changed my colours over the past few years.I now love grey when I would not have been seen dead in it a few years ago.I don`t really wear bright colours any more.I don`t suit them especially pink

Startail Sat 09-Feb-13 19:30:48

The only thing no one should wear outside the house is leggings that show every detail of their knickers.

lady in town this morning, you were tall, slim and pretty, but DH still thought you were wearing only your tights!

Doshusallie Sat 09-Feb-13 19:34:48

Am 38. What is superga? blush

casabevron Sat 09-Feb-13 19:37:08

I'm 39 this year. I have just orderedthese. I will wear them with biker boots and an oversized black mohair jumper. I will not give a toss about what anyone else thinks.

Tbh, I am now slimmer than I have been in a long time, more confident than I have ever been, and I will not tone it down just because it might not fit with other peoples expectations of me. I have had more compliments on my wardrobe since I ebayed all the Boden/Joules frumptastic stuff I owned and just started to wear what I'd always wanted to but been too afraid. Life's too short, really, isn't it? Just wear what makes you feel happy! <gavel>

lowercase Sat 09-Feb-13 19:37:43

Daps, like converse

EuroShagmore Sat 09-Feb-13 19:41:57

I'm 37, and got my first pair of converse 6 months ago and have worn them loads.

There isn't much I wouldn't wear because of age. Probably onsies, playsuits, denim shorts over tights, leggings as trousers, cut away bikinis.

cocolepew Sat 09-Feb-13 19:43:50

I'm 44 and live in Converse, my mum has a grey, suede one star pair and she's 70!

I like the slogan tees around at the moment (geek etc) but I think Im to old for them, my 15 year old wears them. I do still wear band tee shirts though.

GingerKnit Sat 09-Feb-13 19:45:40

I wouldn't generalise or set "rules" for other people, because we can all carry off different things. At 43 I personally find that the type of thing that didn't quite suit me in my 20s looks frightful on me now. I've always had quite a serious-looking face, so little-girl flounces and flowers were always misguided, but now I'm getting saggy as well and would look ridiculous.

Agree that, in just fifteen short years, the scruffy look on me has gone from cool and artless to dog rough. I need a proper cut and better quality these days.

Specialbrew Sat 09-Feb-13 19:51:14

40 here, biker jacket and converse are classics I think. All my old hooded tops were binned when I hit 35-ish, although I think they have there place on cold British beaches.

And I don't care what people say about shorts over a certain age, my pins are ok, and in France you see 70 year olds rocking denim shorts and white t-shirts. I hope I still have decent legs when I'm that age, and the confidence to get them out. I think the British are a little uptight about age and appropriate clothing tbh

mariefrance1 Sat 09-Feb-13 20:04:08

I am ancient - late 40s (OK, 50 soon) - and wear converse and jeans on occasion. I agree you can't be too scruffy though or you look like you're cleaning the car and you never actually are. It depends on you, your shape, your style, the occasion. I can show my cleavage a bit but haven't bared my legs above the calf for years. You can't wear anything cheapo either e.g. George at Asda and get away with it. I also have long blonde hair but that's more to do with not being able to get to the hairdressers rather than a fashion statement.

nellyjelly Sat 09-Feb-13 20:05:46

I wear Converse and Superga and am nearly 50! Still sometimes wear a hoodie too but steer well clear of slogans on anything.

Agree that cheap clothes look bad in your middle aged.

cocolepew Sat 09-Feb-13 20:08:26

I wear George and look ace, thanks smile

mum47 Sat 09-Feb-13 20:10:23

I am 49 and I still wear Converse. I have just bought a pair of Rocket Dog biker boots which I will wear with skinny jeans or a just above knee length skirt with thick tights.
I think it is more about knowing what your style is, and what suits you and your shape, but then I bought a Per Una cardi in the charity shop today, so what do I know?

aftermay Sat 09-Feb-13 20:12:27

Lowercase - what is dealer style?

lowercase Sat 09-Feb-13 21:25:20

Dealer / Chelsea type.
Ankle boots with 'lastic panels.
I have them in cherry red ( burgundy )

I'm pretty certain disney princess dresses fall into this category.

Although, arguably, you are too old for them by the time you reach 5.

MerlotAndMe Sat 09-Feb-13 21:33:53


even if you have tights underneath. put down the shorts old woman

moogalicious Sat 09-Feb-13 21:38:16

Shorts hmm

Wear what you bloody want (I'm aged 42 and were cons, DMs and shock shorts)

IamGrover Sat 09-Feb-13 21:44:04

*Dealer / Chelsea type.
Ankle boots with 'lastic panels.
I have them in cherry red ( burgundy )*

So is that more antique dealer than say, crack dealer?

SilverMoo Sat 09-Feb-13 21:49:51

I think it depends on the person, some trendy things that look awful on a 22 year old can look amazing on a 52 year old. I hate to say it but I think it has a lot to do with how good a shape you are in at any age.

I also think people are looking younger for longer, things have changed a lot over the last 20 years or so.

scarlet76 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:02:58

I am 37 this year.
I wear a dark burgundy leather biker.
I also wear tweed shorts over opaques.
And Supergas in the summer.

I'm 43. I wear biker jackets and am just about to invest in my first pair of Converse (have had leather Converse-alike things before). I still wear short skirts.

Then again, I still wore my hair in pigtails until I was at least 35!

Startail Sat 09-Feb-13 23:09:48

Nothing wrong with Converse, supergra vans or whatever, if they suit you.

I'd have looked stupid in pastel pink, dittsy flowers and frills at 12, I still do at 45.

I'll still be wearing a hoddy, cords or jeans and some kind of ankle boots or trainers if I live to be 90.

DSIS will still wear black trousers, black cardigan and a bright top.

freddiefrog Sat 09-Feb-13 23:29:58

I had a bit of a mutton moment the other day after overhearing a bitch-up at the school gates, and decided I didn't care.

I think I'd avoid some of the 'looks' - slouchy socks with sandals from a couple of years ago and tights with shorts.

Really short skirts or dresses look shit on my bare corned beef effect legs, but that's not really an age thing, they've always looked shit

KristinaM Sun 10-Feb-13 07:05:15

What Casabevron said

50ShadesOfMaybe Sun 10-Feb-13 07:30:52

Like ujjayi this thread has depressed me. I'm (just) over 40 wear most of this stuff: converse (hi and lo top), DMs (several pairs), biker jackets, shiny leggings (well, skinnies), shorts over tights (all the time), short skirts, patterned tights, etc, etc.

I like the way I dress. Why should the young have all the fun with clothes and the rest of us consign ourselves to dull, baggy-fitting stuff?

Don't have onesie, though!

I was trying to think what I don't wear any more;

Big florals
Slogan anything
Short skirts and short shorts
Tight tops

I show less skin and pay much, much more attention to grooming these days.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 07:56:05

I don't see it as depressing at all - god there's still loads of clothes I do wear and that look nice.

But I've always been a pretty classic dresser.

Shorts in the summer is fine though surely? I wore some white j crew ones loads last summer with nice tops but they weren't super short.

Shorts are fine but just not like this. But then that applies at any age grin

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.


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.


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.

Corygal Sun 10-Feb-13 09:48:20

Thing is that girls are in fashion now, not women, hence the cute casual ho look that we are all battling to avoid.

But I want to look like a grown-up. I'm not remotely ashamed of being 45, in my prime and full of sense and spark.

Keep getting mental instagrams of Wallis Simpson, Nancy Mitford, and US dames not teens.

MerlotAndMe Sun 10-Feb-13 09:50:39

lol at "is that the fashion?" :-|

DontmindifIdo Sun 10-Feb-13 09:51:25

BTW - this does effect men as well. After 35, a man needs to be spending a lot of time in the gym or a lot of money on his suits to avoid looking like a failing estate agent when in the office.

No man over the age of 25 can get away with wearing sports clothing for anything other than sport (with the possible execption of a rugby shirt) without looking like either a thug or one of life's losers.

BIWI Sun 10-Feb-13 09:51:31

How did you know I was wearing hot pants today, Hanne? wink

I don't want 'nice'. I want reasons. Beyond what people think, subjectively, is OK.

Not that much to ask, is it?

AlanMoore Sun 10-Feb-13 09:52:39

Exactly corygal, I don't want to look 20, I want to look 36! I want to show the confidence and experience my age has given me.

MardyArsedMidlander Sun 10-Feb-13 09:55:56

The only thing I would avoid is anything 'baby doll'- it can get a bit 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane' after a certain age (abt 22) grin

MarshaBrady Sun 10-Feb-13 09:56:46

I like my wardrobe now more anyway. I don't feel limited but my style isn't that way out. I don't do docs / leather jackets etc but never have.

It's younger than the sloane look we adopted at 16. Scarf, head bands and blazers, so funny. I don't wear that now.

MarshaBrady Sun 10-Feb-13 09:58:21

I've chucked the ironic - granny chic. Better on students.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 09:59:18

But style is totally subjective isn't it.

What I like and what you or Hanne like are going to be different.

I suspect what you and I would consider to be mutton are pretty different anyway.

God I'm normally on here arguing that people can wear whatever they want whatever their age but you know sensibly. So bikinis fine whatever your age, white denim daisy dukes not so much and do you really need a reason as to why that's the case?

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 10:02:55

Mardy - I so agree re. baby jane smile

I also think its quite hard not to dress too old at my advanced age. Formal blazers make me look about 20 years older than I am.

lljkk Sun 10-Feb-13 10:07:19

I think it's prudent to cover up your worst bits.

That principle applies regardless of age. Some people still have fantastic upper arms at 50+ and some people have rolls of fat around their tummy that are best kept covered at 16.

MerlotAndMe Sun 10-Feb-13 10:09:53

yeah granny chic on a 43 year old! not gonna look so chic. it is a fine line for sure! a tightrope!

BIWI Sun 10-Feb-13 10:16:04

Oh, yes, I totally agree that it's subjective. Which is why someone saying you shouldn't wear something after a certain age is silly!

MarshaBrady Sun 10-Feb-13 10:17:08

Haha I know Merlot. Went back to Melbourne at Christmas and the amount of irony took me back to '92. Ironic slick mullet on boys and granny socks on girls. Still happening.

All those Japanese trends- Disney, that kind of cuteness looks best on a young person.

But I do feel more confident in choices now and love all the stuff I get. So it's not bad at all.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 10:21:10

Right I'm going out on a limb but this should not be worn on anyone over the age of 40.

No matter how good your body.

AndSheRose Sun 10-Feb-13 10:24:05

It is all fine, so long as you can carry it off eg short skirt - good legs etc. But as someone else said, just tone it down a bit - so wear a mini but a slightly longer one, rather than a microskirt. Also, to avoid mutton - or looking tarty/ try-hard at any age to be honest - stick to one 'interesting' item/ area per outfit - so short skirt OR low neck-line. Bright converse OR statement leather jacket, etc...you will feel more confident too as it is only 1 thing to 'carry off' in an otherwise outfit you are more comfortable of. In this context DMs and so on are fine. The fact you are aware of the potential problem means you will probably naturally avoid it :0)

Grockle Sun 10-Feb-13 10:30:11

No-one tells me what I can/ can't wear - it's no-one else's business. I wear what I like and what feels comfortable.

I'm 35 and I wear

converse (2 pairs: grey/ black - worn with jeans)
onesie (it was a gift, I am ill & I never wear it out of the house!)

I won't wear shorts over tights because I hate shorts - short dresses/ skirts are fine, short shorts are not. And no slogans or pictures - but that's a personal decision.

I'm not too old for anything, except maybe going down the slide at the park, but that's more to do with size than age.

HerBigChance Sun 10-Feb-13 10:38:05

I agree that men need to take greater care with style as they get older (men in their thirties attempting the skateboarder look, anyone?)

50ShadesOfMaybe Sun 10-Feb-13 10:48:45

MrsCampbell - I'd wear those shorts. I'd wear them with thick opaque tights, but I'd wear them. smile

I wouldn't wear the top, however. And I wouldn't have at 17 either.

BIWI I have reasons for my suggestion:

(1) Disney princess dresses rarely come in sizes big enough for 35 year old women to wear (and those that do are weddin dresses, which probably aren't ideal for everyday wear)
(2) Your small daughter will cry if you're allowed to wear a Disney princess dress anywhere you like but she isn't (I can envisage tears from reception children asking why mummy is allowed to wear her belle dress to work but she has to wear school uniform)
(3) the matching plastic shoes cannot be comfortable or good for your feet.

However, if anyone wants to wear one, they should feel free to go ahead. I'm not going to stop them. (Ill probably just think they're odd).

The buzz light year costumes you get in the Disney store probably aren't a gat bet for adult women either.

(I'm bemused at the fact that 35 is still considered 'old'; it really, really isn't).

* great bet not gat bet

noddyholder Sun 10-Feb-13 10:53:29

I still suit short as have good legs and I think some people just do look ok. prefer dresses to skirts though. I also like scruffy from time to time I think it depends on your general 'air' iykwim. Some people have a youthful vibe eg sadie frost I saw her recently and I think she is about my age but she can 'do' vintage/denim jackets dresses etc whereas carol vorderman has an older vibe and looks terrible in those sort of clothes. It is definitely an individual thing. I think anything fluro or too revealing looks wrong as even if you still look great older just doesn't look as good in those things. You need to be selective. If teenagers are looking great in it you probably won't! And I find if lots of older groomed looking women start wearing something en masse it starts to look mumsy eg biker jacket/boots/leather

Wishiwasanheiress Sun 10-Feb-13 10:55:00

I'd say all of these are fine. What u really need to be careful of is ur rear view. From the front most people look ok. However the back can either look ill fitting, fat or horrors like 25 til u turn round and then ur true age appears.

Basically the back view should compliment the front view. If it looks better or worse there is an issue!

AlwaysReadyForABlether Sun 10-Feb-13 11:02:03

I think the beauty of getting older (and 35 is not old) is that you can tread your own path. Find out what suits you and what you like - if that's shorts then go for it. I think lots of girls look terrible in what they wear because they feel pressurised into following fashion whether it suits them or not. I am glad that I can wear what I like and think my wardrobe is much better now than it ever was when I was in my teens or 20s.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 11:02:34

I meant the whole ensemble not just the shorts.

ujjayi Sun 10-Feb-13 11:03:56

There is definitely an element of granny chic about my wardrobe - midi dresses, ankle boots & cardigans etc. so clearly I must look ridiculous, age-inappropriate etc etc

<<gets coat and turns back on fashion design career>>

I think what some of you are saying is correct - it isn't about age but more about body shape/height etc. but then why start a thread based on age?

noddyholder Sun 10-Feb-13 11:05:55

I agree always you need to find your own style. I am 47 now and know myself inside out and just know what suits me! I (and my friends) all wear what we want and don't consider age. I do consider how I look in things and think unfussy hair and make up and minimal 'accessories' are the key for me. Too much in the way of styled hair and make up and statement jewellery is what makes things look old and inappropriate I see so many older women who should just leave half of the stuff they have on at home!

MrsPennyapple Sun 10-Feb-13 11:08:16

This is a timely thread for me, as I'm 35 and recently realised that I can't carry on wearing jeans, hoodies and DC trainers forever. I'm beginning to feel like I look a bit wrong, but I've no idea what to wear instead. I'm pg at the moment and not showing yet, so for the next year or so I'm going to be in maternity and bf-accessible clothes. My plan is to charity shop / throw away all my knackered old clothes as they get too small, and then when I have some kind of decent figure again, replace with some better quality, generally nicer clothes. (My clothes are all ancient anyway and wearing out.)

The most pressing problem is my hair though. I used to have it very short, sort of like this (but I don't look much like Winona Ryder). I loved it short but grew it because I thought if it was long I could do more with it. I don't, I just tie it in a pony tail, which doesn't look great and isn't even tidy, due to curly hair. I'm considering going short again, but just not sure if I can still carry it off.

noddyholder Sun 10-Feb-13 11:11:10

this is what over groomed over 35s look like. None of my rl friends look like this

MarshaBrady Sun 10-Feb-13 11:12:14

Ujjayi when I posted that I thought of a friend who wears vintage very well. Peddle pushers, layering, belted tweed blazer, definitely granny chic. She works in fashion and is one of my favourite styles. Love what she wears.

So am going to amend and say I can't do it as much, but she can. But then I can't over accessorise so same sort of vibe.

I do shorts and skirts, not too micro. But usually with ballet flats and simple sweater or t. Which keeps it simple.

lljkk Sun 10-Feb-13 11:12:19

I think Madonna would still wear that, CampbellBlack. Not that I mean to imply she's a paragon of taste. But she'd bring it off okay.

I wouldn't think it flattered many over 10, tbh.

MerlotAndMe Sun 10-Feb-13 11:14:16

Schedule in a personal shopping day for yourself a year from now! but make sure the personal shopper is roughly your age, understands your lifestyle.

lljkk Sun 10-Feb-13 11:15:17

May I shamelessly ask for link to what groomed over 35s wear that is practical, low heels, warm, office wear without being dressed-to-kill?

OneHandFlapping Sun 10-Feb-13 11:15:38

"From the front most people look ok. However the back can either look ...like 25 til u turn round"

I really fail to see what's wrong with that. Do we have to look 50 from all angles? Wear a sign on our back saying Warning - old lady?

So what if you temporarily mistook someone older for being young?

MerlotAndMe Sun 10-Feb-13 11:19:02

Even though i'm no spring chicken i look at that photo and think that they are older women. Some of them aren't i suspect.

MerlotAndMe Sun 10-Feb-13 11:20:17

Yes, what that is saying is 'i thought she was attractive til she turned round, she caught my eye, butthen, when I realised she was 50, I realised I was wrong'. either you look good from behind or you don't. shoudl you aim to look attractive from the front but not from the back?

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 11:29:05

The loose woman look is utterly hideous - cantilevered bosoms ahoy!

florascotia Sun 10-Feb-13 11:30:43

I agree with Mrs C-B that style is subjective. But 'taste' is still influenced by social consensus, isn't it? - although far less than it used to be. There are also visual stereotypes out there that may not be accurate in real life, but which some people still judge women by. I am not saying that I approve -I don't - but I do think it sometimes happens.

In the same way, I think that there is probably a bit of truth in the saying that women wanting to improve their career chances in corporate environments should dress at the grade above their current status, because it will make people take them more seriously. But here am I, working at home - keeping warm in a fleece, for heaven's sake! So what do I know....?

MerlotAndMe Sun 10-Feb-13 11:39:26

Yeh, not my look! it makes it seem like a lot of effort is required to look presentable. Like if you stripped them bare they'd be unrecognisable. I like to think people would recognise me as the same person if for some reason I met them at the swimming pool!

My philosophy I guess is to exercise, eat healthily, look after myself sufficiently well that you can ocassionally wear a tracksuit bottom and trainers and not look like you've let yourself fo.

If you rely too heavily on false tan, fancy corsets, kilos of make up......... well, if that floats your boat, no harm done, but yuck.

joliejolie Sun 10-Feb-13 11:41:23

I don't actually understand that pic of Loose Women!! One is wearing an ORANGE(!!!!) sequins skirt and a man's shirt, another is wearing a poly-yuck animal print monstrosity which accentuates nothing but her arm fat and that "hip" one is wearing some kind of chain torture device contraption necklace/earring combo!! Did they not know they were going to be photographed??!!

joliejolie Sun 10-Feb-13 11:42:17

BTW, I do think the other three look great!!

MerlotAndMe Sun 10-Feb-13 11:44:03

ujjayi, i think young people are allowed fashion crimes. a young woman can turn up in a cullotte jumpsuit and people will think 'awwww' and remember their own fashion crimes. But a woman 35+ in short flowery dress with high heeled trainers, i know i would wonder if she had any self-awarenss, or even, a mirror.

mum47 Sun 10-Feb-13 11:48:25

I think the thing is that as you get older, you have hopefully developed the confidence to wear what suits you rather than what is in fashion. Likewise with hairstyles. Although trends come and go, there are so many styles out there to choose from now. When I look at photos of me in the 80's, I look older than I do now hmm

ujjayi Sun 10-Feb-13 11:51:19

Agreed that overdone is overdone & awful at any age.

Marsha you express what I was trying to say very well! I look at pared down chic - Alexander Wang, Acne, J Crew etc and I truly admire it but it just doesn't work for me. I either feel very plain or mumsy and yet I love it on other people. The most minimalist I ever get is a navy silk shirt and indigo skinnies....which I then add to with necklace, bracelets and cocktail ring with a vintage bag smile

bigTillyMint Sun 10-Feb-13 11:53:27

Anything you wore the first time roundsmile

I think a lot depends on your bodyshape, hair, etc as well as your age.

MarshaBrady Sun 10-Feb-13 11:56:11

Exactly Ujjayi.

I couldn't do knee high socks and culottes. But if you can and switch to acne, Lim etc then it doesn't work. I know my friend would look as if someone had chopped off her personality. It would be so wrong. And in Boden, even worse for her.

Loose women too over trussed for me.

ujjayi Sun 10-Feb-13 12:07:31

Merlot I totally agree.

MoodyDidIt Sun 10-Feb-13 12:11:06

<watching> although still only 33 think am 23

ujjayi Sun 10-Feb-13 12:15:07

Confidence is also key. On holiday last year there was a woman in our hotel who was the spit of Donatella Versace. She must have been late 50s. She totally rocked a luxe bohemian vibe in a very showy, "look at me" way but I thought she looked fabulous. She had more confidence and style than most of the younger women there.

higgle Sun 10-Feb-13 12:30:34

I find it is not so much the type of clothes but the quality of them that is important for me. I can wear body con dresses and shortish skirts in my 50's but if the fabric is cheap or they are not nicely made it is that that looks "mutton" not the actual style of the thing. I don't need Spanx type underwear but I have invested in some old fashioned M&S slips to wear under nice things where the fabric is a bit thin and that makes quite a difference. Shoes too - you can get away with more if they look like they cost £150 not £15.

MerlotAndMe Sun 10-Feb-13 12:31:32

I would think of bodycon dresses as being for older women though. 35+

BIWI Sun 10-Feb-13 12:33:18


MerlotAndMe Sun 10-Feb-13 12:34:19

and I really ADMIRE that confidence in the donatella lookalike! She could probably look 'better', but in a way, where would it get her if she already has the confidence.

MerlotAndMe Sun 10-Feb-13 12:35:33

Bodycon dresses are elegant, to the knee, quite plain usually. They flatter. They're not super short, off one shoulder, daring, striking etc.....

higgle Sun 10-Feb-13 13:07:10

Perhaps it is because when you look in the Isabella Oliver catalogue ( I know that is the old name, too decrepit to get my mind around the new one) the body con dresses are quite short, hoicked up and off the shoulder. I wear mine in a more demure way.

scarletsalt Sun 10-Feb-13 13:15:41

I like converse, but I dont really understand why everyone seems to think they are for young people. If anything 'Converse' for me conjures up the image of a 30 something school run mum.

I thought all the young'uns now were wearing those hideous high top padded basketball boot type trainers.

Mostly I think that people should wear what they want and you certainly dont have to switch to per una and fleeces once you hit 35. Having said that I do think that crop tops and very short (as in bum cheek revealing) shorts, should be left to the under 25s.

Sleepthief Sun 10-Feb-13 13:22:53

It does seem rather misogynistic to judge women on or try to police their appearances whether by face, weight, age or what they choose to wear - as though we have to look a certain way in order to fulfill some spurious notion of womanhood hmm. Anyway, style is totally subjective as this thread has demonstrated and what I think looks fab, the next person probably thinks mings to high heaven grin. So I will continue to wear what I like without reference to numbers or any other person - and if at nearly 39 that involves wedge trainers, hot pants and a crop top, or waterfall cardy, bootcut jeans and footgloves, or any other combination, that's my prerogative wink

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 13:31:45

true sleepthief.

But perhaps not the wedge trainers, hot pants and crop top all in one go. Unless you are Katie Price.

Megatron Sun 10-Feb-13 13:49:09

I don't really think about it to be honest. Sometimes I look at something and know that it would look too young on me but may look amazing on someone else my age (46). I wear things that I like; skinnies, scarves, converse, t shirts etc. I don't really give a shite what anyone thinks of what I wear tbh. My hair is my biggest problem as it doesn't seem to DO tidy and when it does I look like a newsreader which is not a look I cherish.

MerlotAndMe Sun 10-Feb-13 13:56:56

sleepthief, I don't like to see women judged for ageing but this is different.

It's fashion and the priority it holds that is the issue really. Do you still care more about being IN FASHION than you care about looking good. Young people can be forgiven for prioritising fashion above what looks better on them, but that's harder to smile at the older the wearer...

BIWI Sun 10-Feb-13 14:07:43

But why is that? Can you explain why? Because it is still judging ...

Sleepthief Sun 10-Feb-13 14:10:15

I don't follow fashion as such, Merlot (although am probably more influenced by the glossies than I would care to admit wink), but I think with age should comes the realisation that it is better to feel comfortable in your outer layers than to either look like you've stepped off the pages of Grazia, or suddenly start dressing in what other people deem an age-appropriate manner. I'm more flamboyant in my dress now than I was in my late 20s and I reserve the right to continue to age both naturally and a bit disgracefully grin without reference to anyone else's ideals!

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 10-Feb-13 14:13:26

I totally agree with everyone BIWI has said and think responses have dodged the question. If it's just about dressing 'appropriately' or with your body / good points - why is there an age cut-off in the title of the thread?

I'd like to remind people that life expectancy for women in this country is 80+ so it seems a bit ridiculous less than half way through to start saying 'never again'. If you read Vogue or Tatler it is full of 50, 60 & 70 plus women wearing high fashion and looking great. At the other end of the scale my DM at 67 wears ACDC t-shirts, trainers and jeans and wouldn't give a flying toss if anyone felt it 'inappropriate'. It's appropriate for her.

To answer the question, I personally won't wear a wonderbra to the Hacienda* or a wedding dress again.

MrsMushroom Sun 10-Feb-13 14:13:48

Flowers in your hair. grin I have a mate...v attractive woman, but at 39 she's just highlighting how much her face is NOT like a rosebud whenever she wears a flower clip on her parting.

Bless her.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 10-Feb-13 14:14:52

*for obvious reasons

PonMeMerlot Sun 10-Feb-13 14:15:54

flowers in the air at 39 omg!

DontmindifIdo Sun 10-Feb-13 14:17:16

BIWI - I suppose it's because we assume that the older you are, the more you've already got that experimental phase out of your system and have now learned to dress in a way that suits you.

Like alot of things, the younger you are, the more acceptable it is to do 'foolish' things, but the assumption is as you've got older you will have learned from your mistakes and/or grown up. To not do looks like you're rather stunted in your development (someone mentioned about 40+ men dressed like skateboarders looking bad, it's not just the clothes that are wrong, it's giving out the signals that you are still in the mindset of a teenager that makes them look like fuckwits).

You should be proud of what stage you are at your life now, what you've achieved, your confidence from experience etc, dressing like you are despirately trying to look like you haven't had those last 15 years of life experiences/like you've never got past that teenage stage makes you look a bit like you're scared to grow up. Which is pitiful, not cool.

DontmindifIdo Sun 10-Feb-13 14:26:26

But also for dressing appropriately for your body, as I said up thread, by 35, a lot of the natural youthful gorgeousness of most of us has gone. Even when not pregnant (as I am now), my boobs don't defy gravity anymore, there's no gap between my thighs, I'm a couple of dress sizes bigger and everythings a lot less toned and more flabby - to look half decent takes more effort. The way I looked at 20, I could put anything on and look great, now I need to be more selective (I wish I understood this at the time).

Now, I don't have that figure to carry it off. It's not just thinness, it's a general "lived in" look my body's got.

PonMeMerlot Sun 10-Feb-13 14:26:59

yeah that's it really. at some point it makes you look the opposite of 'cool'.

retrocutie Sun 10-Feb-13 14:30:03

Bobbi Brown wears Converse and she is in her 50s. Personally, I think people should wear what they bloody well like.

BIWI Sun 10-Feb-13 14:35:51

I wasn't aware that wearing jeans, Converse and a hoodie, all of which have been given as examples on this thread, were experimental, though.

At 53 I weigh just half a stone more than I did when I got married, aged 30. And a year's hard work at the gym means that I'm actually more toned than I was then. So no reason why I couldn't/shouldn't wear the same kind of clothes.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 14:38:50

But apart from the OP I don't think anyone else has suggested that converse are a mutton object. God normally on here they're thought of as pretty mumsy wink

I'm pretty much the same size as I was 20 years ago and my wardrobe is much better than it was then.

But I still know that there are some items I wouldn't wear as I'd deem them too young - micro-skirts, hotpants being amongst them. And I don't think that's being anti-women or ageist its just that some things are best left to teenagers.

Sleepthief Sun 10-Feb-13 14:39:15

I guess what I'm trying (clumsily) to ask is who gets to say what is appropriate/inappropriate for either your age or your body? And isn't it wrong (misogynistic) to look at another woman and say 'OMG would you look at the shape of that!' regardless of the fact she may be 98yo, size 30 and wearing aforementioned hot pants and crop tops - ie judging her on the basis of her appearance? Is it such a massive leap to saying Mary Beard shouldn't be on TV because she's not 'attractive' enough or Joan Bakewell because she's 'too old'?

PonMeMerlot Sun 10-Feb-13 14:40:03

yeh, jeans and hoodie is more like cloak of invisibility

E320 Sun 10-Feb-13 14:41:25

Bare arms (unless super-toned), low cut back & front, leggings & anything that clings to the Michelin-tyre rings, heavy make-up in the wrong shade for face, orange tans, one-tone dyed hair, very short skirts.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 14:44:39

Sleepthief - I think it is different to be honest - I get that for a lot of people clothes etc just aren't important. And let's face it they're not really.

But realistically I don't really see many women who I think look mutton - most women dress pretty well. If anything too many women dress too old for themselves in the boden/white stuff uniform of new mothers.

And as I've said - my definition of mutton is probably a lot more relaxed than many others. I'm 40 and wear leather leggings etc which I know some people would think was mutton. I also wear animal print.

And the abuse Mary Beard got was disgraceful - no doubt about that.

But several times in the last couple of years I've tried stuff on in shops that's looked fine in terms of flattering on my body shape and size but deep down I've just felt was a little bit too young for me and so I didn't buy it.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 14:47:23

You see I like bare arms even when not super-toned and I love fake tan (god knows why I'm having this argument when I am clearly pretty close to the edge re. mutton)

Ultimately I just think clothes are fun and like to see people expressing themselves with them. But you only have to read this board to see how many women worry about looking mutton - totally unnecessarily in my opinion. I mean converse, jeans and a hoody is not mutton. It may attract other comments but I'd never call it mutton.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 10-Feb-13 14:50:36

I think the only thing that I would definitely draw the line at is a very short skirt, simply because although I have seen women into their 40s, 50s and beyond who might have lovely toned arms, or a nipped in waist, or a nice cleavage, I have never seen anyone over about 35 who has truly nice knees any more.

HanneHolm Sun 10-Feb-13 14:51:26

agree converse are very very ordinary. they are just trainers fgs

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 14:52:56

Families - who knew gravity would be so unkind to the knees?

DontmindifIdo Sun 10-Feb-13 15:06:22

re jeans, converse, hoodies - it's more that looks scruffy, you can "get away" with looking scruffy when you're younger as that's normally the time in your life when you look so good you could put on a sack and look good. Once you've got past that, you do'nt have the body to 'get away' wth scruffy, you just notice the scruffiness more.

noddyholder Sun 10-Feb-13 15:15:10

I love wearing skinnies plimsolls and a t shirt in summer It is ageless surely? I look to Lauren Hutton and people like her not to the bloody newsreader look that seems to be de rigeur post 40. I like bare arms too Mrs CB.I also like loose undone hair and light fake tan. I hope I am like Goldie Hawn when I am 60 and not Jennie Bond

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 10-Feb-13 15:17:16

I know MrsCB. I never had great legs, but pregnancy and "wrong side" of 30 = not getting my knees out again sad

LifeofPo Sun 10-Feb-13 15:25:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LifeofPo Sun 10-Feb-13 15:26:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

noddyholder Sun 10-Feb-13 15:27:51

Isabella beautiful too. But lauren hutton my top older woman.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 15:29:43

Oh I love Lauren Hutton - jeans, a white shirt, tanned skin - gorgeousness personified

noddyholder Sun 10-Feb-13 15:31:07

Always looks gorgeous and glamorous without being cheap. Just add a cashmere jumper and a raincoat and you're done.

LifeofPo Sun 10-Feb-13 15:33:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

noddyholder Sun 10-Feb-13 15:35:55

Cindy joseph also beautiful

polyhymnia Sun 10-Feb-13 15:38:28

I'm much older than 35 and agree that good jeans, nice Tshirt or shirt, and plimsoll type shoes, or ballerinas, or brogues, are ageless. What is aging is overdone/ fussy hair, makeup, accessories and clothes - the 'newsreader look' as said, which is to be seen in many older women's magazines.

I do find I prefer quality to cheaper stuff - but then to be honest I always did.

Takver Sun 10-Feb-13 15:47:19

"flowers in the air at 39 omg!"

But one of the most beautiful women I know must be in her 50s, and often wears flowers in her hair. She also wears - on her - incredibly fetching green outfits which I know she makes from reworked charity shop finds.

The thing is it all depends on what suits you and, sadly, whether you are naturally stylish or not (sadly because I fall into the 'not' category & therefore have to tread with care).

MarshaBrady Sun 10-Feb-13 15:47:54

I always have too Poly and remember first big buy in early 20s (the indulgence!), was the start of it all, although did the de rigeur top shop etc.

Realised how bored I was of all the Covent Garden brands when I overloaded working there mid 20s. Probably the most uninspired by fashion I have felt.

Can't do the newsreader look.

Peggotty Sun 10-Feb-13 15:52:08

Hello, I'm the OP. Wow I didn't think this would get so heated. Just to clarify, I don't think that the things I mentioned in the first post are mutton at all. I want to wear them and do. I think, like I said earlier, that because I am spending a lot of time around teenagers and 20 somethings (at university), it's made me aware that some of the things I wear are the same similar to them. I'm quite a introverted type and would hate to think I was being judged as muttony by said young, firm-fleshed trend-setters but that is totally my hang-up and has nothing to do with the discussion this thread has created.

I am horrified that this thread has depressed people or made them think it is based on a woman-hating premise. Style is completely subjective as many people have pointed out and what one person wants to wear and just as importantly, can carry off, varies greatly from the next person.

MorrisZapp Sun 10-Feb-13 15:52:31

I'm 41 and have the knees of a 19 year old smile

The older I get, the more 'youth' wear I buy. Mainly cos it's only now that I can afford labelled stuff.

But I'm forced to agree about the scruffy look. My mum still does a slightly rock chick, slightly studenty look in her sixties and I don't think she looks her best.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 10-Feb-13 15:53:48

Experimentation is not just for teenagers. Fashion evolves and innovates, your character changes and you get more confident as you get older. I personally have a much better body now than I did in my takeaway eating, binge-drinking, chain-smoking 20s. I don't want my 'experimental' phase to ever be over. I know what suits me, but sometimes I just want to dress for the moment and fuck phooey to what anyone else thinks. smile

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 10-Feb-13 16:05:22

envy at MorrisZapp

scarlet76 Sun 10-Feb-13 16:11:48

37 this year and think as I get older I get more comfortable about wearing what I like.
I wear a leather biker jacket, shorts with opaques and supergas in the summer.
Over the past couple of years I have upped my running game and am in better physical shape now than I have been since my early 20s.
I love a bit of leopard print too!
I suppose the only thing I draw the line at are bottom skimming mini skirts. I also stick to a rule of above the knee skirt, no cleavage. Or cleavage and trousers or longer skirt.

Must admit I stick to the rule of no cleavage, full stop. I think it looks awful, even on younger women tbh. The only time my cleavage is seen is in a bikini on holiday.

My legs/knees are okay - and that's why good quality opaque tights were invented too!

MarshaBrady Sun 10-Feb-13 17:15:34

I don't do cleavage, never really had one anyway. But legs are fine, knees are fine.

noddyholder Sun 10-Feb-13 17:15:45

I still like a bit of cleavage in a lovely bra and nice shirt if skin well moisturised and a bit tanned

LifeofPo Sun 10-Feb-13 17:18:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

noddyholder Sun 10-Feb-13 17:22:23

A light tan gets rid of both and a spray of oil!

roundwindow Sun 10-Feb-13 17:23:56

This fab Canadian lady, imho, refutes the idea expressed earlier on this thread that older ladies need to avoid bright colours:


I don't know her from Adam. I just discovered her blog recently. I've only recently started looking at fashion blogs at all, and was delighted to find a 40plus blog that didn't feature the whole skinny jeans/buttery-soft-taupe-biker-jacket/huge scarf/ash trainers look.

(not that I have a problem with the above look, these ladies look elegant and lovely... but what about those of us who have always had more artistic/experimental/rebellious/non-conformist leanings?)

ihearsounds Sun 10-Feb-13 17:40:41

So if I cannot wear decent leggings (not the cheap tights), hoodies, dm's, biker jackets, shorts, skirts above the knee, superga, converse, knee high boots, (are thigh ones acceptable?) What am I supposed to wear?

Would rather stay indoors in my pj's that go out in a twin set and pearls.

Snowkey Sun 10-Feb-13 18:16:13

I'm 42 but I'm in better shape now than I've even been, well toned, fit and slim. I don't feel too constrained by my age but I used to feel constrained by my flabby bits.
I think people become more conservative as they age, they get stuck in a style rut, they would probably describe their look as classic - others might describe it as dull and safe. My dh always jokes about older ladies in their flowery dresses and ponders when my style rut will set in and what it will be.
I don't like heavily branded clothing....younger people seem to wear it quite a lot. Don't wear Superga or Converse, I don't find them comfortable - I wear Spring Court instead - does the brand matter or is it canvas plimsoles that are only for the youth?

What won't I wear now? - uncomfortable shoes that are too tight, that the sales assistant earnestly promised will give with a little wear - I'm too old to fall for that shite any more! grin

aftermay Sun 10-Feb-13 18:18:22

Still not clear about 'dealer' style, is that the new term for sloaney?

Good thread. I like that description of newsreader style.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Feb-13 18:19:24

The BBH gave me newsreader hair. It had to go.

Snowkey Sun 10-Feb-13 18:19:35

I remember my best friend at school (17) expressing the opinion that Mums shouldn't wear jeans shock....how times have changed.

AlanMoore Sun 10-Feb-13 18:22:52

Did anyone say don't wear brights? I think brights look best in classic shapes and more 'fashion' stuff in dark/muted colours, but there are plenty of people who that doesn't apply to. I don't get a lot of the arsiness on this thread, if you think you look good why do you care? Wear what you like! Most advice was aimed at the OP who seemed less confident.

Personally I dislike supergas on anyone under about 45, the shape looks better on older people. Don't know why. And I'm very bored of converse after nearly three years of baby groups.

Chandon Sun 10-Feb-13 18:28:32

Roundwindow, that is exactly how I dress, the buttery soft jacket included!

Made me grin

I am indeed nt very rebelious in terms of dress

alemci Sun 10-Feb-13 18:28:39

Totally agree Alan. I look much better with some colour near my face. It may depend on your season if you are into CMB.

dark muted colours make me look grey and drab.

I am 45 and I feel more confident wearing a shorter skirt now than when I was 20. My parents thought a skirt above the knee was 'up your bottom'. My dads ever tactful phrasing.

roundwindow Sun 10-Feb-13 18:39:16

Chandon, I'm sure you look gorgeous, I bet you do. I'm just jelous... I've always looked a bit dishevelled-verging-on-bonkers even when trying to be elegant and fit in. So I'm desperately seeking ways for my 'style' to grow with me without giving in and entering full-on mad-old-cat lady territory :-)

That lady's yellow tights are truly, truly hideous. Deffo mad cat-woman-esque.

roundwindow Sun 10-Feb-13 19:27:49

Yeah, I do see your point but I still love her. Even if I couldn't carry off her look. I couldn't carry off the elegant ubiquitous skinnies/scarves/jackets look either. I'd just get something wrong. And even if I didn't, the packaging just wouldn't match the inner product. Meh. I don't bloody know.

My only answer to the original thread question might be midriff-bearing tops (although I wouldn't be surprised if there's some gorgeous minx out there who could disprove even that). It's just that the other day I visited the Top Shop website, y'know, just looking like and it was the headline on the homepage 'top of the crops!' which made me think 'mmmm, think I might have come to the wrong party here'

My friend then informed me I should be on the Damart website instead. Helpful grin

(I'm 39, gonna be 40 any minute now, hence all my sudden style-soul-searching)

roundwindow Sun 10-Feb-13 19:30:01

PS: doesn't Great Aunt Loretta off of 'Grampa in my Pocket' wear Converse? grin

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