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At What Age Should You Stop Wearing Certain Clothes?

photo credit: Christopher Kennedy/Channel 4

A few years ago Diet Chef, a home delivery diet food company in the UK, surveyed 2,000 women and asked at what age do the following items of clothing become inappropriate to wear?

  • Bikini, 47
  • Boob Tube, 33
  • Miniskirt, 35
  • Stilettos, 51
  • Swimsuit, 61
  • Long Hair, 53
  • Ponytail, 51
  • See-through Chiffon Blouse, 40
  • Ugg Boots, 45
  • Knee-High Boots, 47
  • Belly Button Piercing, 35
  • Tight Vest, 44

If you can rock a pair of leather pants, I say, go for it! That’s far preferable to the 50+ woman I saw, teetering down Madison Avenue in a pair of stilettos. By the look on her face, you’d have thought she was high-wire walking. What do you think about age-appropriate, fashion no-nos?

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23 thoughts on “At What Age Should You Stop Wearing Certain Clothes?”

  1. I think women of every age should wear what they want, whenever they want and whatever they feel comfortably gorgeous in whether it’s bikinis or stilettos or not.

    I don’t think “fashion” should dictate what I wear. I choose what I love to wear and what makes me feel confident, powerful, and wonderful. I have my own style. I have my own look. It’s uniquely me. And I intend for it to be that way for as long as I can keep the control freaks at bay.

    I couldn’t give a flying f***k what anyone else thinks I should wear.

    I also think this:

    and my friend Michelle at “rubber shoes in hell” thinks this:

    Good luck with all the do’s and don’ts. I won’t be paying any attention. #justsaying 🙂

  2. Tough question! I’m a firm believer in what “I” should or should not wear. But I also respect the right of other women to dance to their own drummer. I’m also entitled to think they look great or lousy, based on my aesthetics. Now if a woman wants to project a certain image, she best follow some rules. But if she’s out to impress no one but herself, all rules are off. And God bless her.

    • Jennifer,
      Like you, I have my own rules based on my aesthetics. After interviewing so many women of a certain age over the last year, my aesthetics have changed. This time last year, I was so hesitant to buy a pair of black leather pants, but after meeting a number of elegant, well-dressed women in NYC, my hesitation vanished. I wore those pants so much last year, the seat stretched out. I’m now thinking I need a new pair this year. There goes that “if you wore a trend the first time around, don’t wear it the next time it goes around.” I had leather pants in my 20s.

  3. The woman in the photograph at the top of the article absolutely ROCKS it!!!

    My opinion of “age appropriate” fashion is similar to Justice Potter Stewart’s reference to porn: ” I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.” It definitely has something to do with confidence, self-respect, and joy.

    And I’d like to ask the Brits, “If I’m not supposed to wear a bathing suit, do I just swim in the buff?!?” 😉

  4. That is a tough question! I’m guilty of wearing some “age inappropriate” things…but I don’t do it to impress, I do it because I like them and it feels good. I’m not talking anything radical, but if someone were to tell me that my expiration date was up for wearing my favorite jeans, and I had to start wearing slacks or “mom jeans”, that would be depressing. I don’t necessarily want to look stereotypically my chronological age. If I see an adorable lace peasant blouse that is a good color for me, I don’t first consult the “age-appropriate” chart–I get it and love wearing it (with a good full-coverage cami!). Basically, some things just make me feel good, and when you feel good, you look good. Not competing with the ladies even half my age–just want to be happy with how I look.

    • Janel, that’s the key: Happy with how you look. Don’t worry about “age appropriate.” That’s a terrible term, isn’t it?

  5. Whoever wrote this list has bigger issues than what’s age appropriate, in my opinion. At 65 I would be left with nothing fashionable to wear! They will likely bury me in my boots, probably cowboy boots. Some days nothing feels right, but most of the time I’m very aware of what works for me. Lists be damned!

    • You go girl. I’m right there with you! If it works for me, and I’m comfortable in it, that’s all that matters!

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