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How to look older (gasp!) without looking worse?

(27 Posts)
SnozzberryWibble Mon 22-Feb-16 08:39:11

I am 26 but look younger, I am fed up with being treated like a teenager at work and not taken seriously...

Any advice on how to make myself look older, in an elegant way, not in a "you look tired" way!

Also, feel free to call me crazy. Has anyone else ever had this problem though?

Not a stealth boast. It's genuinely annoying. I don't really want to speed up the ageing process but on the other hand it would be nice if people looked at me and saw an adult rather than a university student.

DianaT1969 Mon 22-Feb-16 09:24:06

What do you currently wear to work?

BendydickCuminsnatch Mon 22-Feb-16 09:50:31

Same snozberry, same age too.

vanillabeauty Mon 22-Feb-16 10:14:56

I am the same, however I am a university student, so when I am on placement people assume I am 18ish. Although I was once asked when I go back to school after work experience (I am 27, and a mum). I have no advice, just sympathy. I am petite (5ft 2 and 7 ish stone) if you are smaller can you wear heels? Or if you have a rounder face, can you countour some cheekbones? As faces tend to 'thin' out a bit with age?

blueshoes Mon 22-Feb-16 10:17:14

I had this problem almost all my life as I am petite with a young looking face. I am not sure if I ever solved it except by growing old.

You need to look at what you wear and your hair.

MamaLazarou Mon 22-Feb-16 10:24:39

I don't think it's about what you wear, it's more about having a kick-arse attitude and not taking any crap from anyone. Don't try to be 'nice' at work. Read Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office by Lois Frankel PhD!

BendydickCuminsnatch Mon 22-Feb-16 10:25:00

I think yes I need some clothes advice. So what should we be wearing then? My hair is long and I often wear it in a bun or ponytail as the baby likes to grab it.
In general I wear jeans and jumpers, pretty much what all the other mums round here wear. Mum uniform. I have been observing what they wear to see if that's where I'm going wrong. I work from home though so I don't have the work issue.
Probably doesn't help I have bad skin!
Sorry for butting in OP.

MamaLazarou Mon 22-Feb-16 10:30:33

^ best username ever grin

BendydickCuminsnatch Mon 22-Feb-16 10:31:13

Why thank you smile <twirls>

SnozzberryWibble Mon 22-Feb-16 11:10:44

Yes, my skin is not great either, better since I went to the GP for a prescription though.

I also wear my long hair in a bun/clip due to grabby toddler.

I used to dress smart at work but stopped as didn't want to look too much like a receptionist or PA. Now I wear all black usually. I like my "look" - I just wish I looked a bit more mature... Maybe it's the way I carry myself.

Hate heels sad And am only 5'2"!

TheOptimisticPessimist Mon 22-Feb-16 11:26:31

I'm 24. And have chubby round cheeks a similar issue.

I've changed the way I do my make up (mild contouring to deal with the baby face, neutral lip, generally going for a natural look).

I work in a casual dress office but have to dress up properly for meetings. I've found that dressing a bit smarter has helped to no end. Even if I'm not suited up, then jeans, boots, a shirt and blazer works very well. Otherwise roll neck jumpers particularly in winter, or smartish (smart but colourful) shift dresses in summer. Understated jewellery (with an elegant watch) and (long) hair either down but with some root volume, or high ponytail with a slightly quiffed front. I don't suit buns even though I like with my hair clipped up at home! I avoid plain black suits because I think I look like a 6th former, so go with smart dresses and a blazer (I have a couple of Karen Millen ones that are my staples) or shirt and longish skirt with a good pair of heels and a very smart coat.

Generally I just found I have to think about it all a bit more. Having a separate work wardrobe made me feel a lot better about it. Then walk and talk with confidence and the job is done!

Mumsnet solved my skin problems for me, and it's never been clearer! I started using panoxyl gel to zap my acne and cetaphil moisturising cream
to target my very dry skin. Worked like a charm.

BendydickCuminsnatch Mon 22-Feb-16 11:36:48

Ha Optimistic I've been doing the exact same - panoxyl and cetaphil - since new year and no difference at all! sad

SnozzberryWibble Mon 22-Feb-16 12:33:55

Thanks for the style tips! Will have another think about my wardrobe. I love blazers but being petite they often dwarf me and look like an ill fitting school uniform.

I use Duac once a day gel, on prescription. It works really well. My skin became lovely and clear. Had to start using it less often though as my skin suddenly became sensitive to it, so I have to use sparingly or my face comes up all red and itchy! So now it's less clear but still better than before.

(It helped me stop compulsively skin picking too, once my skin cleared up I didn't have the urge to pick and scratch so much!)

TheOptimisticPessimist Mon 22-Feb-16 12:50:27

Oh no Bendy! Sorry it is t working for you sad What strength of panoxyl are you using?

Snoz Have you tried going to a personal shopper and asking for some advice on jackets and blazers that might suit your frame?
Even if you can only find one or two id say it's worth investing in a couple, it may just take a while to find the perfect ones. Maybe a lighter fabric and 3/4 sleeve or something would help so it isn't as boxy and rigid? Sorry I don't have much advice for petite frames, I'm 5ft 6 and tend to destroy my feet wear heels in the office so I'm a bit taller. Puts me on the same eye level as some of my bosses!

BendydickCuminsnatch Mon 22-Feb-16 15:07:09

It's 10%. It's bleached my towels but hasn't done anything to my face haha 😬 I might pursue the prescription approach, I'm pretty sure mine is hormone related but can't take the pill.

JacobFryesTopHatLackey Mon 22-Feb-16 18:45:24

I have the same issue. I'm almost 27 with 2 dc and look younger. Also quite petite 5ft2 and a size 6-8.

I find colours help. I can't wear anything pastel or sparkly. Strong colours - teal, navy, burgundy, dark green make me look a bit more grown up.
I love a good tailored coat and boots.
Hairwise I loved my pixie cut but I've since grown it out and have a concave bob now.

HalfStar Mon 22-Feb-16 19:06:24

I'm older than you lot (32 now) but I had this issue in my previous life wink it never bothered me too much but I can recommend the Next Petite range for blazers. I have one in size 6 and it's very neat and fitted. Really sharpens up a pair of skinnies and a light knit. Put some pointy flats or leather brogues on for the office and you're pretty much there. Don't bother with heels.
Oh and Effaclar Duo by La Roche Posay for your skin. Put a bit on every night and I bet you'll see an improvement in a month.

HalfStar Mon 22-Feb-16 19:09:48

Oh and yes stop being overly nice to people, particularly older men. Polite is great, obviously, but try to catch yourself being deferent and stop! If you use email for work delete every instance of 'just' from what you write. 'I just wondered if you could just' etc.

tigerdriverII Mon 22-Feb-16 19:18:57

Modulating your voice and body language may help too. A teacher of DS was very petite and youthful looking and compounded this with giggling, twirling her hair and speaking in saccharine tones. I thought she was one of the Y9s when I met her. Unsurprisingly, she found it hard to control the class.

My friend is in her early 30s. She's petite too, but speaks very authoratively, makes up carefully and dresses simply - good blazer and tailored dress or trousers. The last thing you notice about her is her age or size.

oldlaundbooth Mon 22-Feb-16 19:23:53

Definitely avoid anything with bows on, or round toe shoes with bars across.

Also avoid pastel colors too.

Wear a blazer, work on your authoritarian voice!

JacobFryesTopHatLackey Mon 22-Feb-16 19:50:18

I agree on poise and deportment making a difference. Which does makes me sound like some 19th century dowager. I have to see a lot of HCPs for Ds1 and I want to be taken seriously, so I'm always decisive and firm but polite. As tiger says, no giggling or hair twirling or dithering and being apologetic.

Lilacselarina1 Mon 22-Feb-16 19:50:47

I had this problem and got a pair of glasses to peer over - helped a lot - possibly a bit of a psychological trick on myself as well as an appearance thing!

BendydickCuminsnatch Mon 22-Feb-16 20:19:49

Oh definitely going to try these suggestions! I do have an annoying high voice, and am very polite and 'nice' grin

mewkins Mon 22-Feb-16 21:21:09

I have also had this and only now at 37 do I really look like a grown up! Things that help- a proper hairstyle. Mine is now a graduated bob and I love it! It is easy to dry and looks shiny and healthy. I stick to neutral colours, mainly black. The temptation when you are smal is to wear slightly bigger clothes to disguise the fact but actually you just look like you are wearing your mum's clothes. Go to sgops that suit your frame even if you don't think they are grown up enough. Miss selfridge, oasis, warehouse, h and m and topshop all do workwear which will fit you much better than say Hobbs or Whistles which I find swamp me. Also Mango is good as cut for smaller frames. Clothes that fit ae muchh better.
I have to say I wear a lot of eye make up, bronzer, blusher, etc. Carefully applied though.

blueshoes Mon 22-Feb-16 21:50:14

I agree about speaking authoritatively. It is only in my older age that I finally have the confidence to be more f__off in my attitude if I need to be and my tone and demeanour conveys it. Just speak matter-of-factly without any uplilt at the end. The confidence comes with experience and knowledge of your subject matter and your relationship with people.

I do still smile when I speak but when I am addressing a group, looking people in the eye and making my point politely and with humour.

It has taken me decades to get to this point. I am usually older than the senior management I work with but still look younger but not very young, perhaps late thirties.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

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