When I interviewed fashion expert Melanie Payge, I was shocked to find out that I was committing several serious fashion faux pas. Not only was I drawing attention away from my best assets, but I was actually making some of the challenges that we older women face even worse.
Here are the top 6 fashion faux pas that kill your style after 60 and some advice on how to fix them.
There’s no denying it. Beautiful underwear can be a confidence booster. There’s something about a beautiful bra that makes us feel poised and ready to take on the world. Unfortunately, wearing the wrong kind of bra can actually take away from your look. As Melanie mentioned during our discussion, “A bra is underwear because you don’t want it to be seen.”
Melanie recommends that you choose a flat bra with no texture (like a t-shirt bra) and plenty of support. In most cases, beige is the best color choice, but depending on your outfit, you can consider black as well. This will help to ensure that the people you meet are focused on your beautiful clothing and not on your lacy underwear. Contrary to popular belief, white underwear actually shows through white clothing, so it’s better to match your bra to your skin color.
We all love to wear beautiful underwear, but it’s probably best to leave it for those special times when only we, and the people that we love, can see it.
Wondering what bras are best for you? Read our article 10 BEST BRA OPTIONS FOR OLDER WOMEN.
Speaking of undergarments, another mistake that women over 60 make is wearing underwear with a seam. This is a fashion faux pas for women of any age, but since older women are often dealing with a loss of definition around our bottoms, it can be especially damaging to our look.
Melanie recommends that we look for seamless underwear that fits us perfectly. If our underwear is too tight, it has a tendency to separate and draw attention to our “rolls.” As with your bra, beige typically works best because it blends with the skin. But, in certain cases, you may consider black as well.
Need more guidance on selecting underwear that fits properly? Read our complete LINGERIE GUIDE FOR OLDER WOMEN to learn everything you need to know about undergarments.
Flats are fabulous! Just don’t make the mistake of letting your liners show with your summer shoes. If you can’t find an exact match for a particular pair of shoes, consider using a toe-piece instead. This will give your feet a level of protection without drawing attention to your feet in the wrong way.
Also, it sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many women wear liners that are a different color than their shoes.
Don’t fall into this trap. You invested time and money in your favorite footwear. Now it’s time to let your feet sparkle.
Looking for comfortable shoes? Check out our article 16 BEST SHOES FOR OLDER WOMEN that lists some of our favorite shoes – from casual to dressy.
Once upon a time, we needed belts to hold up our pants. No longer! Modern clothes should fit us correctly without assistance. And, if your pants are too big for you, then it’s much better to invest in having them tailored than in buying a belt. This will leave you free to see your accessories as just that… accessories.
Do you still like to wear belts? Go to our article 7 FABULOUS ACCESSORIES THAT ADD FLAIR AND STYLE FOR WOMEN OVER 60 to read tips and tricks on how to wear belts.
Women our age seem to be addicted to scarves. Perhaps we love the beautiful colors. Or maybe we think that scarves are an eloquent way to hide any perceived imperfections around our necks.
Whatever the reason, if you’re wearing massive scarves, you’re committing a fashion faux pas. Don’t take your neck away. If you love scarves, consider simple cuts with lighter fabrics. This will help you to add a bit of color to your outfit without taking away from your most valuable asset – your beautiful face.
Click to read our article all about scarves – WEARING SCARVES IS A FUN PART OF FASHION FOR WOMEN OVER 60 where you will learn how to choose your scarves wisely and also learn tips on how to wear them properly.
I know that many of you will disagree with this section. In fact, I can almost imagine groups of pitch-fork wielding older women, lining up to defend their leggings. But I have to tell you, once Melanie explained the reasons, I threw all of mine away.
The unfortunate truth is that, while leggings are undeniably comfy, they don’t do anything to enhance the beauty of our legs. In fact, unless your ankle is half the width of your thigh, they will do exactly the opposite; they will draw attention to every small imperfection in your legs and draw attention away from your assets.
Love your leggings and don’t plan on cleaning your closet of them? Here’s a helpful article about leggings and how to wear them as an older woman – YES, YOU CAN LOOK GREAT IN YOUR LEGGINGS AFTER 50! HERE’S HOW! Also, looking for your next pair of leggings? Check out our list of the 7 BEST LEGGINGS FOR OLDER WOMEN.
Let’s go through a few more fashion tips and tricks for women over 60. Not necessarily fashion faux pas, but things to consider when creating our looks.
Following fashion trends may be fun, but it won’t help us to look our best. In fact, since most fashion trends are designed with younger women in mind, they may send us in the wrong direction. Be mindful not to get sucked into the shiny new collections that show up every few weeks in the fast fashion stores.
Not to say that we should avoid all fashion trends completely, simply adapt the trend in a way that suits your body type and age.
Is your friend a personal stylist? Chances are she’s not. And that’s why you need to take her advice with a grain of salt. Most of the time, our friends’ opinions are based on their personal fashion tastes that may not be similar to ours.
Do you like to peruse through fashion magazines? The glossy pages filled with young, thin models dressed in the latest designer wear can make you dream, right?
But keep in mind that most fashion publications don’t really care about making you look good. They typically care about selling advertising and supporting their sponsors. The fashion pages do not necessarily feature looks that everyday people, and certainly not older women, can wear.
Second, while some magazines are starting to feature older models, the vast majority are still focused on a certain body type and a younger demographic.
Everyone has that old, worn-in, raggedy sweater in their wardrobe that is so comfy they can’t bring themselves to throw it away. Most of us also have shoes that have molded to our feet over the years – comfortable, but not very attractive.
As we age, some of us tend to become attached to items that carry sentimental value. This is completely normal. A useful tip is to take photos of yourself wearing the clothes that you love, so that you have a memory of them. But, if they are so worn in that they look raggedy, it’s probably time to let them go.
There is no such thing as an “anti-aging” cream. Let that sink in and don’t get fooled by all the advertisers that want to convince you otherwise. Makeup artist Ariane Poole says, “There’s only one way to stop aging and that’s not a place that we want to go any time soon!”
The best way to age is to embrace the changes, not fight them. Learn to work with what you’ve got, which is probably not the same thing you had when you were 20. That’s ok. We can’t stop the aging process, but we can adapt our makeup and fashion approach to accentuate our best features and adapt to the changes that are happening in our bodies.
Have you been told to match your shoes to your purse? Your nail polish color on your hands needs to be the same color on your feet? No, you don’t have to match everything to be fashionable. In fact, it can make you look older. Instead, try to put everything together so that it looks good but without being matchy-matchy.
Our list of fashion faux pas is simply advice that typically works for older women, but that doesn’t mean that all of these faux pas and tips work for you. You do you!
It may sound like we are contradicting ourselves, but simply put, always bear in mind your body type and age when choosing outfits but don’t limit or restrain yourself.
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Just because you are a certain age doesn’t mean that you have to wear certain things and that you can’t wear other things. After 60, we tend to fall into what we call a fashion rut, and we become afraid to try bold, new things. Try new looks that appeal to you! Just remember to dress the way that makes you feel good and that doesn’t seem like you’re trying to look younger.
We are all guilty of hanging on to clothing items that we haven’t worn in years. It might be because we think they’ll come back into fashion. There might be pieces that bring back good memories. There are others we feel are too good to get rid of, and we feel wasteful doing so.
Even Bridget Jones – not known to be the snappiest dresser – knew themed sweaters were a fashion no-no. Knitted sweaters with snowflakes, reindeer or pumpkins are only funny for five minutes, and don’t belong in your closet! Get rid of them pronto – who wants to be a punchline!
Themed t-shirts are best to avoid, and souvenir t-shirts are the worst of them! No stylish woman thinks it’s important that everyone she comes across knows she has been to Disneyland or loves New York!
Velour sweatpants had a short revival when words such as ‘Juicy’ were stamped across the buttock area. The resurrection was thankfully short-lived – velour sweatsuits are tacky at best, never sexy or flattering, and should be left in the past.
Although we all love a pair of comfortable pants, there is a limit to how far comfort comes before acceptable fashion choices. High waisted pants with thick elastic bands – also known as granny pants – are a big no-no when it comes to fashion for mature women.
There are plenty of other options available if you are looking for comfortable pants that won’t leave you looking and feeling like fashion after 60 is a style wasteland.
The “When I…” game we play in our heads is one we’ve perfected over the years. When it comes to our closet the most common is the “When I lose ten pounds, I will look fabulous in this dress/shirt/skirt, etc.” mind-game. Make room in your closet for clothing that bring good things into your life, not negativity!
Holding on to clothes from the past has a similar effect to holding on to clothes for the future. Instead of living your life in the moment and enjoying who you are now, keeping clothes with the hope that they will come back into fashion isn’t healthy.
Sure, jackets with shoulder pads might come back in style eventually, but in the meantime, they’re cluttering your closet and stopping you from creating a fantastic capsule wardrobe! If the clothes are of poor quality, get rid of them. If they are of high quality, pack them away for when they become fashionable again.
Bringing out your unique style after 60 is a challenge. Let’s not make it any harder by committing fashion faux pas that draw attention away from our assets. As in medicine, the first rule of fashion should be “first do no harm,” and the tips in this article are a great place to start!
What fashion faux pas can you think of? Why do you think they are a mistake? What do you think is the essence of style over 60? Please let me know why in the comments section below.