9 Fashion Mistakes That Make You Look Older

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We all know that being youthful isn’t the only thing that’s beautiful or attractive…but few of us want to look older than we are. Before I hit 40, I wanted to look older than I was because I thought it was more sophisticated and elegant. That horse has left the barn, so at 66, my goal now is to look the best I can at my age. Today I’m updating this post with some new ideas on what I think are the 9 fashion mistakes that make you look older.


Fashion Mistakes to Avoid Looking Older

Dressing to feel youthful is a powerful tonic to banish the blues and remain visible, but there are pitfalls to avoid. No one wants to look like mutton dressed as lamb, but sticking to an antiquated rule will also make us look older than we are.

Below you’ll find what I consider to be unnecessarily aging:

  1. too many pastel outfits
  2. too much black
  3. baggy everything
  4. out-of-date eyeglasses
  5. the wrong lingerie
  6. out of date and too many new trends
  7. unflattering lipstick
  8. pantyhose
  9. matching accessories

1. Avoid wearing too many soft, delicate colors

Our skin tone fades as we get older, so wearing softer shades can be more flattering. Wearing too many pastels in the same outfit can make you look older. If you want to wear light colors from head to toe, opt for pale neutrals like nude, ivory, light gray, or beige. Baby blue with soft pink is a classic combo but hard to pull off over a certain age. If you love pastels near your face, anchor it with a stronger color on the bottom. Baby blue looks great with navy and black or brown and charcoal—ditto for soft pink, butter yellow, and pale peach.

2. Avoid too much black

Head to toe black is always chic, stylish, and easy to coordinate. It makes packing a breeze and enables you to have a smaller wardrobe. But it can also leach the life out of your complexion, which makes you look older. Since black is such a huge part of many women’s wardrobes, here are a few tips to make it more flattering:

  • Wear a flattering colored scarf near your face.
  • Wear a v or deep scoop neckline, so the black isn’t too close to your face
  • Bump up your makeup to balance the black (think brighter lipstick and more eyeshadow).
  • Wear colorful earrings and/or necklaces in colors that do flatter you.
  • Wear black from the waist down and flattering colors on top.

3. Avoid wearing oversized everything

Many brands’ aesthetics is oversized and loose. It’s a popular look that’s very comfy but tricky to get right. Choose pieces that are loose but not overwhelming. Try wearing oversized just on one half of your body at a time. Voluminous tunics paired with oversized pants can make you look like you’re trying to hide something. Opt for slim-fitting bottoms with an oversized top. Or a slim-fitting top with oversize pants. Some part of your body silhouette needs to show, or you risk looking larger and older than you are.

4. Outdated eyeglasses

If your eyeglasses are dated, you look older. Check out how to choose the best frames for your face here. Frame shapes change slowly, but if you haven’t updated yours in several years, they may be aging you. On the subject of glasses, very few frameless ones don’t make you look older. Frames actually help cover undereye wrinkles and camouflage dark circles. Choose a modern frame that makes a fun statement.

Here are the eyeglasses that I wear daily. They’re expensive but worth the investment.

If you’re looking to update your frames, here are a few some great retailers:

See also- How to Choose the Best Eyeglasses

5. The wrong undergarments

Panty lines aren’t flattering on anyone, so ensure your underwear lays smooth against your skin. Thongs aren’t the most comfortable, so I gave up on them years ago. They fall under the “life’s too short category” for me now, so I moved on to no-show panties with either laser-cut edges or very thin lace that are invisible under your pants. These are my current favorites.

The wrong bra can leave your clothes looking lumpy and your breasts sagging. Get a professional bra fitting and ensure it’s perking things up so your clothes hang properly. Bras that dig in will leave bulges. Loose ones give no support, and visible bra straps scream poor fit. I’ve written a couple of posts about the most comfortable bras below that come highly recommended by the AWSL community:

6. Passé trends

Herein lies the problem with trends. They change rapidly, so if you’re wearing outdated trends, you look out of touch and older. It’s better to invest in styles that nod to what’s current and give your look a modern twist. Outdated jeans make you look out of touch, so be aware of current shapes and denim washes.

I try and share at least twice a week about how I’m styling the latest trends in an appropriate way or am doing a dressing room diary try-on from some of the most popular retailers you love like Talbots, J. Jill, Nordstrom, and more. Below you can dive into the three categories I have with all of my latest posts:

7. Unflattering Lipstick Makes You Look Older

woman applying lipstick

Brown, deep and matte lipstick ages the face and sucks the life out of your smile. Opt for gleam vs. frost and dewy vs. matte. I go more into how to choose the most flattering lipstick for you in this post.

See also – Best Lipsticks After 50

8. Pantyhose That Makes You Look Older Than You Are

Sheer hose is making a comeback but beware of tan or beige shades that obscure your skin too much. Many women aren’t comfortable with bare legs, so try self-tanner or opt for opaque tights or very sheer black, navy, or nude pantyhose. Footless tights and leggings will also work in place of pantyhose.

If you decide to go the self-tanner route, I’ve rounded up the best ones along with the best leg makeup in this post for you.

See also – best self tanners and leg makeup

9. Too much matchy-matchy

Coco Chanel is famously quoted as saying, “before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” The truth is, too many statement accessories can age you. Matching accessories can do the same thing. Break your jewelry sets up. Don’t wear matching earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Many women love the bohemian aesthetic and believe “more is more” This is personal taste, so wear what makes you feel confident. If you can pull off full-on accessories, go for it and enjoy it.

You may also enjoy Grooming Mistakes That Make You Look Older

What fashion mistakes do you think makes a woman look older than she is?

I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Thanks for reading and be sure to wear what makes you feel confident.

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