When we were young, being mistaken for a few years older was a compliment. Now? Hearing that is the biggest insult ever! Who knew that fashion mistakes could make you look older than you really are? The right outfit can make you look younger while the wrong one can do the polar opposite. It can be difficult to get fashion just right- something in style even a year ago might be a total no-no today. The rules of fashion are constantly evolving so we’re here to help you keep up with the times- these are the fashion mistakes you need to steer clear of.
Poofy, Big Hairdo
During the 70s and 80s, big hair was all the rage. Teasing or back-combing your hair was the only way to style your locks. We now know how damaging this is to your hair and how dated the style looks. We’re glad to say that soft, silky hair is here to stay!
Mixing patterns and prints is so fashionable; color coordinating is so out. Wearing matchy-matchy outfits is not only boring, it actually ages you. Steer clear of looking too put-together, instead mix leopard with plaid and stripes with circles.
If you’re wearing high-water pants to show off your fabulous socks- please, continue. If that isn’t the case, we’re here to inform you that this style pant is not a good look. When buying pants, it’s imperative to sit down and see that your ankle is covered; no one likes cold ankles!
Back in the day, thin eyebrows were the popular way to wear your brows. Today, thick, natural eyebrows are in. Let your caterpillars grow and forget about those little stray hairs; the bushier, the better.
No Skincare Routine
If you’re in your twenties, now is a good time to start using night and eye cream. Although you may not be old now, applying anti-aging cream (like Olay’s product) will slow down your skin’s aging. Stay young by adding this to your routine in the morning and before bed.
Long Sleeves Only
Arm flab is totally a thing as you age, but to be honest, no one’s looking at your arms. They will, however, if you’re covering up in the heat of summer. Own your arm flab and bring out the short-sleeve shirts!
Matching Lipstick And Dress
If you’re wearing a black sweater, feel free to wear pink lipstick to compliment the color. But don’t go out and buy a pomegranate colored lipstick to match your pomegranate colored blouse. You’ll never find a true match and the difference will look plain weird.
“Old Lady” Handbags
Large bags, sometimes called “old lady” handbags, are so out. Small, elegant bags have kicked those heavy leather bags to the curb. How much do you really need to store in your handbag anyway?
The right clothing only looks good given you have the undergarments to go along with it. If your bra is visible through your shirt or your underpants are too tight, you’ll throw your entire outfit off. We recommend purchasing seamless everything to avoid embarrassment, like the kind Faye Dunaway dealt with after a night on the red carpet (below).
Although jersey material is comfortable, unfortunately, the fabric accentuates the wrong areas. Silk, wool, and cotton are better options for those trying to hide parts of their bodies; jersey material clings to the body. If you love the fabric and can’t do without it, at least buy looser pieces, or jersey sheets!
Black and nude tights are acceptable, but tan are out of the question. The “four shades darker than your skin tone” look is no longer popular. Buy your skin tone or don’t wear stockings at all!
Overdoing It With Powder
There’s no better way to dry out your skin and have makeup cling to every pore than powder makeup. Powder makeup brings all imperfections to the surface, even if you only have a few. Liquid makeup and creams are a better option to avoid this fashion don’t.
Hiding Your Figure
As we get older we often wear looser clothes. Ditch the baggy style and opt for form-fitting clothes that accentuate your curves instead. Those garbage bags for clothing are only making you look older.
Keeping The Same Hairdo
Sticking to the same hairstyle for your entire life is super boring. Switch up the length or the color, or do both! A hairstyle can make you look like a new person, so if you want to update your look- head to the hairdresser!
As you age, it’s best to steer clear of anything “mini”. The best hem length for older women is nothing higher than above the knee. No matter how amazing your legs are, we recommend sticking to this rule.
Pieces With A Story
Just because that dress has sentimental value doesn’t mean you NEED to wear it. If it’s big and baggy, get it hemmed or turn the fabric into a scarf or something of the sort. Don’t walk around in that hideous unflattering dress just because you wore it to your daughter’s 1st birthday.
If a pair of sunglasses are trendy, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good for you. The dark, square frame glasses everyone’s wearing these days actually highlight those eye bags and wrinkles we detest. Opt for a lighter pair, both in weight and lens shade.
Dark lipsticks highlight every line. Lighter shades are a great way to accentuate your pout without drawing attention to unwanted crevices and cracks. If you can’t go without a dark red, exfoliate beforehand to smoothen the surface.
Bad Color Choices
Different colors look better against different skin tones. You should wear cooler colors if your skin has cool undertones like blues and greys, while those with warm undertones should opt for warmer colors like reds and yellows. Find out what satisfies your complexion or run the risk of looking washed out.
Not Showing Your Neck
Many people think that a turtleneck hides wrinkles, but it actually doesn’t. Instead of feeling constricted and hot, distract from your wrinkles with a scoop or v-neck. If you’re looking for a more modest look, a collared shirt is the way to go.
All Black Everything
As we all know, black is a slimming color. But keep in mind that the color can also wash out your complexion. Our skin gets lighter as we age, so the older you get, the more washed out you’re going to look. If you wear a black jacket, add a red shirt underneath.
Tweed automatically makes even the youngest looking people appear 10 years older. Tweed is great for kids and 90-year-olds, but that’s about it. If you want to dabble in menswear, opt for houndstooth or pinstripes instead.
Denim is one material that can actually make people look younger. If you’re looking to hide your problem areas, we recommend opting for a dark wash. A darker color is also dressier, especially when you pair your pair (haha) with heels or a blazer.
Costume jewelry screams “I’m old”. This fad is so 10 years ago, so if you want to look younger, steer clear of chunky bubble necklaces. We’re seeing a rise of delicate pieces like small studs and bar necklaces.
Although stretchy jeans are super comfy, they often make people that don’t have supermodel bodies look lumpy. If you want to maintain your shape and flatten your silhouette, we recommend jeans with 2% elastic fiber.
Tight clothing sheds years off of a person’s age, while baggy clothing does the complete opposite. Older folks often think that form-fitting clothes aren’t for them, but the truth is: clothing true to size give dimension and shape to your body.
Chunky heels, booties and sneakers may be everywhere you look right now, but the truth is they actually make you look heavier and older! Sleeker shoes are the way to go, like ankle strap flats or kitten heels. Stay away from those Fila disruptors!
While we’re all for trendy clothing, there is such a thing as too trendy. When a trend goes out of style, it’s time to let it go; wearing something from last year won’t make you look young and trendy, it’ll have the opposite effect. Classic trends like plaid and leather are a better style to go with and chances are, they’ll stick around for awhile.
Jacket Around The Waist
Tying your jacket around your waist may have been cool 20 years ago, but it isn’t anymore. This trend may be convenient when you don’t want to lug your coat or flannel around, but this look actually makes your hips and waist look larger than they really are. Drape your jacket over your shoulders instead.
Tanning outside is very damaging to your skin. Although you’ll get a healthy glow in the meantime, it won’t look that way 25 years down the line. Tanning leads to wrinkles and sun spots, something you won’t want when you’re older. If you want to achieve that summery glow without damaging your skin, try tanning products instead. Your skin will thank you later.
Florals are a nice touch to an outfit every now and again, but only as a statement piece, or a boot. Floral everything often ages a person. If you do choose a floral dress, make sure it’s tailored to your body. The two ladies below look great in their florals!
Long hair often ages a person, even if they’re 30 years old. If you want to have a youthful appearence, regular hair cuts are essential. Not only will you have a fuller style, you’ll say goodbye to split or dead ends. This is crucial since as we age, our hair thins.
Too Much Blush
Blush is one makeup product that needs to be executed seamlessly. If you apply blush in the wrong spot or apply too much, it’ll age you. Blush is meant to be faint and not an “in your face” look like a red lip. If you apply too much, grab a tissue or beauty blender and blend it out until it’s the shade you are happy with.
Only Wearing Flats
Heeels are not the most comfortable, but nothing screams granny like flats do. Look younger by wearing a bit of a heel, and trust us, new styles are here that combine comfort and style. Boots and booties with short, thick heels and kitten heels are back in style, and we’ve never been happier.
Logos For All To See
Logo clothing screams “I’m trying too hard”. It didn’t look good at 18, and it still doesn’t look good at 50. This look is attention-seeking and will make you stand out. Wear a brand because you like the style, not because it says the designer across the chest.
Our hemlines tend to get longer as we age, but this can be done gracefully. On the other hand, this look can easily backfire and make you look frumpy. If you’re tall, you probably won’t run into this problem, or if you wear high heels or boots. The goal is proper proportions!
Slouchy And Slouchy
There’s one rule we like to stand by: if your bottoms are tight, your top should be loose and if your bottoms are loose, your top should be tight. If you don’t follow this rule of thumb you’ll end up looking frumpy or sloppy.
Not Showing Your Waist
Unfortuantely, loose clothing doesn’t cover up all bulges and it often makes us look even bigger, like a big garbage bag. Add shape to your outfit by pairing it with a belt. You want to define your waist to show off your figure.
Heavy Black Eye Makeup
If you want to make your eyes pop, don’t glob on thick black eyeliner. All this will do is bring attention to your wrinkles. Choose a lighter color liner instead and put it on lightly. Colors like olive green, gray and brown are good to start with.
Clothes That Aren’t Tailored
Unaltered clothes never look good, no matter the style. Although alterations can get expensive, it shouldn’t cost more than $35 to get your shirt darted or your jacket taken in. Visit your local dry cleaner for more accurate numbers.
Drugstore Reading Glasses
As we all know, diminished eyesight comes with aging, but this doesn’t mean you have to resort to the ugly readers sold at drugstores. Choose a bigger, bolder frame to highlight your face rather than a cheap, skinny frame.
Bras That Don’t Fit
It’s imperative that you wear bras that fit. Transform and perfect your figure with the right bra size. We live in a time when comfort, support and style are all important to bra brands…enjoy it! Nothing makes a woman look older than saggy breasts.
Chunky heels are only okay for a black-tie event; if worn at other times, they just look outdated. If you want to wear heels, we recommend a point heel instead, this style will make you look lighter.
If you’ve started to notice lines and wrinkles on your neck, a silk neck scarf will only draw attention to them. They also make you look heavier on your top-half, something no woman or man wants.
Pearls instantly add years to a person. We don’t care how many charity balls you have this week: stay clear of pearls. Silver accessories are often cheaper and they are timeless.
Boot-cut jeans only make a person’s frame look squat and short- something most people aren’t looking to do. Slim-fitting denim is a much better choice since it’ll slim your figure and draw the attention away from your bottom-half.
Solar Shield Sunglasses
If you want someone to know you’re elderly, get a pair of Solar Shield sunglasses. These things are big and ugly. Although they may block out the sun from all angles, they aren’t a good look…for any age!
Transition glasses make even the youngest people look old. No one wants to be wearing sunglasses inside, right? Although they may be convenient, this is a look you want to never be seen in.
Jean sets may have been popular back in the day, but they are far from it nowadays. The matching black-wash denim jacket and pants only age you. Choose one or the other, but please…not both!
A Huge Wallet
Nothing says “I’m old” like a huge wallet does. There’s no need for 20 credit cards, a pen, and photos of your grandkids all in one place. The only things that should be inside your wallet are the cards that are a necessity and a few bucks.
If you’re still buying matching jewelry sets…please stop now. There’s no need for your necklace, earrings, ring, and bracelet all to match. This look only adds years to a person. Mix and match metal tones instead of being matchy-matchy.
Jeans & Running Sneakers
This look was never in style, and it never will be. Your tight jeans should never ever ever be paired with your running sneakers. This is a common outfit moms and dads wear, but we’re telling you: don’t do it!
High Socks & Shorts
If you’re wearing shorts, it’s best not to wear high socks. Stick with low socks that stop just at the top of your sneakers. This look screams “I have no style” (and no short socks). Stay on trend by not looking like this!
Short haircuts only age women. Take the focus away from your face with longer styles, not pixie cuts and bobs. If you are dying to have short hair, all we ask is that you don’t get an awful chop like Kate Gosselin did.
Elastic Waist Pants
Since we now have yoga clothes that are extremely comfortable, there’s really no need for elastic waist pants. We recommend “athleisure” or yoga pants, both are stylish and comfortable options.
Networking expert Jill Merriman said, “Gone are the days of the wide, stripped 1970s tie or the 1980s skinny ties. Instead, wear a trendy tie such as a current floral print to appear hip and youthful.”
If you still have an eyeglass chain affixed to your glasses, rip that thing off right away! Your glasses belong on your face or in your bag, they should never be seen dangling around your neck!
Wrong Color Makeup
One easy way to get rid of your skin’s youthful glow? Cake on the wrong color foundation and bronzer. This often makes you look ashy, stripping away your natural glow. Go to a makeup counter for a professional match.
Let’s be real: glitter is for teenagers! If you have mature eyes, it’s best to steer clear of eyeshadows with glitter. The sparkles will only draw attention to wrinkles and fine lines…exactly what you don’t want!
Wearing different shades of blue eyeshadow actually makes you look older. Lighten up your eyes, and your look, with nude colors to look more hip and younger. Think: tans, beiges and greys.
Move aside, Kylie Jenner! Heavily lined overdrawn lips are so out. There is more of a chance of this look going wrong than right. Stay true to your natural features and don’t try to overdo it with this look.
Dangly earrings only draw attention to the area most older women want to avoid. This look was meant for younger people so when the older generations don it, they just look off-trend.
Although a locket necklace may be the perfect gift for your 8-year-old daughter, it’s not a good look for a 50-something-year-old. Save your husband’s photo on your phone, or frame it and put it on your desk at work…don’t wear it around your neck!
Cargo shorts break every fashion rule there is. You may love the idea of extra pockets for storage, but believe us, your flashlight and water bottle have no business being in your thigh pocket.
We all remember the time when belly chains were all the rage. However, that time has long passed, and wearing one will only age you drastically. So, if you find yourself tempted to awaken this trend, don’t. That’s all we have to say on the matter. Not to mention, belly button rings aren’t much better, either. They tend to look rather tacky most of the time. Whatever you choose to do, don’t go for the belly chains.
We have no idea which celebrity began this terrible trend of hand-knit overly large sweaters that look more like blankets. Back in the day, it was legitimate – even stylish – to walk around looking like you have a tea cozy draped over your shoulders. Nowadays, on the other hand, it is most definitely not a trend or a stylish thing to wear. So it goes without saying that wearing such a thing will only make you look older.
We can all agree that 2020 has been absolutely terrible. But the one thing that could make it worse is if the pleather chaps somehow make a comeback. That’s when we know we’ve reached the end of the line. This fashion trend needs to stay gone and never come back. Who brought this trend to the spotlight, anyway? What were they thinking when they did so? Was it some kind of joke that we don’t get?
Cropped Pinstripe Pants
Another trend we don’t understand is the cropped pinstriped pants trend that went on for a while in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Wearing this type of garment is sure to age you at least 10 years. Again, we don’t know how this trend was ever allowed to flourish in the first place. All the same, the fact remains that it did. And we loved it at the time. Only now that the spell has been broken can we appreciate the fact that this is no longer a trend.
Let’s just take a moment and promise one another that we won’t ever let embroidered denim become a huge trend again. Aside from looking cheap, it’s a look that instantly ages a person. Even someone like Beyonce herself can’t pull it off so that just goes to show how bad the trend was in the first place. Beyonce can pull off anything! It turns out that even the best of us can’t make embroidered jeans work.
If we could have one chance to time travel, we would use the opportunity to go back in time and ask J. Lo what her belt was meant to be holding up. At the time, the trend was of course popular as anything, but when it’s worn, people will be staring at you. Naturally, if someone wears something similar nowadays, people will question their fashion choices. Not to mention that it will dramatically age someone to wear a pointless belt. It just isn’t a thing anymore.
Cropped, Wide-leg Capris
We all love capris. They’re functional, and they’re cute. However, when it comes to wide capris, it’s a no-no. Wide legs full-length pants might be flattering but wide capri pants can cut off the leg line, making you look shorter and stumpy. In short (pun intended), avoid capri pants that are too wide. Capris themselves can be a great fashion choice. Wide-legged jeans? Great! Just don’t combine those two elements and you’ll be golden.
Tightly Pulled-Back Hair
Tying your hair up in a tight bun or ponytail tends to give women an older appearance. There is just something about a tight bun that screams “headmistress” to us whenever we see it. To avoid making this kind of mistake, try not wearing your hair completely pulled back. Instead, allow some face-framing pieces to fall around your face. It will soften your entire look and make you look younger.
There’s a fine line between wearing a good amount of accessories and going too far. We know, we know – Iris Apfel is a fashion icon whose mantra is ‘more is more’ and we have all the respect for her. However, not all of us can pull off such a feat. Most of us common folk don’t look good with too many accessories. In fact, it ages us dramatically. It’s a difficult line to walk, but with practice, you’ll get the hang of it.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on clothing in general, the one thing you should invest in is outerwear. Finding a new coat for $40 might be a fantastic bargain, but it will be clear to others. If you can, make sure to buy a high-quality coat to wear on the regular that’s comfortable and stylish. This way, you won’t need to worry about it falling apart after just one season of wear. Not to mention, you’ll look amazing.
Ugly Holiday Patterns
Sweaters may be a winter fashion staple, but try going for nice neutral colors when purchasing new ones. Think along the lines of black, white, gray, or blue. Make sure to steer clear of all those cheesy holiday patterns that feature snowflakes, reindeer, and the like. Wearing these will only age you and look strange on a daily basis. If you love patterns, stick to tried-and-true ones like stripes or plaid. Those will always be classic.
Lots of people happen to love frameless glasses – they aren’t the worst thing in the world. All the same, they do pose a bit of an issue for people over age 50. As we age, our coloring tends to fade, so wearing these kinds of glasses will blend into our faces, causing a strange effect no one wants. Our hair and skin tend to lose pigmentation with time, so naturally, we look slightly duller. Instead of opting for frameless glasses, buy ones that have a thicker frame or are a bold color – doing so will add more luminosity to your face, making you look younger.
The older people get, the less they should be wearing pastels. The reason for this is quite simple – they wash you out. Like we’ve mentioned, hair and skin naturally begin dulling as we age, so wearing pale colors will only add to the effect. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear pastels at all. You just need to choose them carefully. Play around with colors and tints to see how they look against your skin and hair and work from there.
Too Much At Once
If you like wearing clothing that’s more conservative, then you do you! But if you feel like you look older than you are, the reason for that might be combining too many conservative elements into one outfit. For instance, wearing tweed and pearls will immediately age the person wearing them. Try separating those and pairing them with garments that are more playful to create a youthful touch. If you still want to wear them together, make sure to add in a modern twist to keep yourself looking young and fresh.
A Lot Of Jewelry
Think about it, whenever you’re watching a rom-com and there is a character who is over 50, she usually is accessorized with overlarge jewelry pieces that rattle and jangle with every move she makes. It might add to the humorous side of the film, but now we have that association: wearing a lot of statement jewelry together will age you. Again, this depends on your personality and personal style.
When we’re young, all fashions and trends are openly available. Taking style risks is praised and admired. That’s just why fear ages you – the young aren’t afraid to try new things. You might be in retirement and no longer living in an artsy studio apartment, you still can be young at heart, so why not allow yourself to dress that way? Don’t blend into the background. Instead, try new things like prints and bold styles. Once you feel good in a garment, it reflects in the way you carry yourself.
If you happen to be someone who loves the coverage and comfort from a silhouette like this, then, by all means, wear it. However, if the two-piece formal dress doesn’t reflect the way you truly feel, don’t be scared to try on “younger” looking dresses. Just take a quick look at Hollywood red carpets and see how stars like Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara dress. They all have completely different styles but none follow age-restricting rules. That’s the key to maintaining a youthful look – you don’t have to age your wardrobe.
It might be tempting to spend $15 instead of $50 on a piece of clothing but bear in mind that good quality fabrics look very different on the body. They move well, look more tailored, and give your silhouette a better structure. Wearing a quality garment will instantly upgrade your outfit, making you look elegant and put together rather than shabby. That’s why many people look worn down – the fabrics they wear.
Who doesn’t love a good brooch? They can add a unique element to a classic outfit. The mistake is wearing one with every single outfit, every single day. While brooches can be worn in a stylish way, they still have an old-fashioned feel to them. Wearing them too often or too many of them at once will give the impression that you’re older than you actually are. If you find yourself debating if to add a brooch to an outfit, the answer will be ‘no’ 90% of the time.
Forgetting A Belt
Showing off your figure at any age will be flattering for most women. At times, there can be clothing items that don’t show off the waistline, and that’s fine. In this case, it’s a good idea to grab a belt to add that element. Loose-fitting clothing can be cute once in a while when done correctly, having a straight line down the torso can be terribly unflattering and aging. So, just make sure to have a classic belt you can pair with multiple garments you have.