— Style —

At What Age Should You Stop Wearing Certain Clothes?

photo credit: Christopher Kennedy/Channel 4
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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?

Love, Brenda


  • Susan Macaulay August 14, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    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 🙂

    • Jennifer Connolly August 16, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Thumbs up

      • 1010 Park Place August 17, 2015 at 7:42 pm

        Yes M’am!

    • 1010 Park Place August 17, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      Couldn’t agree with you more! They’re not my do’s and don’ts, so you won’t see me worrying about whether I’m offending anyone or not.

  • Jennifer Connolly August 16, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    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.

    • 1010 Park Place August 17, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      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.

  • mamavalveeta03 August 17, 2015 at 12:49 am

    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?!?” 😉

    • 1010 Park Place August 17, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      Hilarious Val…
      Yes, we know it when we see it, and if we want to swim in the buff, I say do it!

      • Susan Macaulay August 17, 2015 at 8:12 pm


        That was 2009. There was no one around tonight (Aug 17, 2015) to take a) pic when I was equally unencumbered.

        There is nothing – nothing – as delicious as skinny dipping 🙂

      • mamavalveeta03 August 18, 2015 at 9:32 pm

        Maybe in the dark, once the masses have gone home after Labor Day. Nothing like the cold water to invigorate you!

        • Susan Macaulay August 18, 2015 at 10:40 pm

          Yeah and crinkle up the bits that are meant to be crinkly and… well, you know what I mean… 😉

          • mamavalveeta03 August 25, 2015 at 11:29 am


    • Susan Macaulay August 17, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      Swim naked. The one rule I am willing to follow 😉

      • mamavalveeta03 August 18, 2015 at 9:31 pm

        Haha! Naked old me, amidst the hipsters in Montauk on the beach…I’m getting a visual 😉

        • Susan Macaulay August 18, 2015 at 10:39 pm

          go with it LOL – you know what they say: you gotta see it to be it 😛

        • Donna O'Klock September 29, 2016 at 9:31 am

          Next time I’m visiting my Dad on L.I. I’ll come join you and we can skinny-dip in Montauk together!! It’s been forever!

    • Susan Macaulay August 17, 2015 at 8:13 pm


  • janels1 August 19, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    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.

    • 1010 Park Place August 30, 2015 at 11:21 pm

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

  • Esther Zimmer August 21, 2015 at 9:55 am

    I’m catching up on my reading on here! So whilst I’m a little bit late to the party…I thought you might like to see this http://www.notdressedaslamb.com/2015/07/i-will-wear-what-i-like-join-me-on-instagram-for-iwillwearwhatilike.html – I only saw what Catherine is up to yesterday on Instagram, but what a fabulous, positive response to being told what woman ‘of a certain age’ should no longer wear! xx

  • Barbara Hammond August 22, 2015 at 7:05 am

    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!

    • 1010 Park Place August 30, 2015 at 11:22 pm

      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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