DRESS AGE APPROPRIATE at Any Age

After watching the Oscars, I was having issues coming up with a topic because, as you guys know, I don’t like writing articles about topics that all the other publications are writing about. After posting my dilemma on Facebook asking for help, I got a response from a former professor that I felt needed to be addressed. Jill Gerloff, my professor, mentioned how I should talk about how to dress age appropriate at the Oscars. I LOVE this idea, because you all know a couple people who commit this kind of fashion suicide. But I want to take it one step further and generalize this topic.

With stores like Forever 21 and H&M that have revolutionized the fashion industry with the idea of fashion at affordable prices, people need to understand that these stores are marketing to a specific demographic. While some above the age of 30 might find a hidden gem that fits their style, for the most part the clothes are marketed to individuals between the ages of 18 and late 20s, possibly mid-30s.

I’m a personal believer in something I call the “bell curve” of fashion. As you are young, as in preteen, your style should start pretty conservative in terms of cut and design. Then as you get older your personal style tends to become trendier and more fashion forward, which, nowadays, can translate as revealing. Then as you move out of your 20s and into your 30s, your style should start to revert back to conservative, and give off the essence of grace. And if this change were documented in a mathematical and graphic format, it would look like a bell curve. So for the purpose of this article, I will lay out age ranges and the clothes I feel can be worn appropriately for everyday wear.

12-15: This age range should dress more conservative than the looks seen on the red carpet, and in music videos. This is not to say that one cannot be fashionable. I think this age can rock the most color and the most patterns that normally might be considered tacky, but it works because of the juvenile ages. Playful prints is the name of the game for this age group. Youthful prints such as stars, flowers and other symbols closely associated with this age should be highlighted. Clashing colors can also be done. This age screams freedom. Pink with some neon green and a splash of neon yellow with baby pink is okay. Colorful beanies, striped tops and colorful flats create a perfect and youthful ensemble.



16-17: The reason this range is so small is, as most parents know, 18 is a whole new animal. This is the age when most individuals are trying to find themselves and in that journey they look to the media. For parents, this is all about teaching your children that those celebrities they’re tying to dress like are MUCH older than them, even though they might portray high-schoolers on television. I know parents are going to hate me for saying this, but I think this is the time when it becomes more socially acceptable for clothes to get smaller and tighter. BUT kids listen to me, shirts need to at least go down to the top of your pants and your pants should cover your butt. Sheer tops are still unacceptable at this age. The words short and sexy should never be used in the same sentence at this age. I think tank tops, jeans, scarves, and a more grunge style has start to become acceptable.

18-27: At this age, it is less about finding your personal style but developing it. This tricky age is all about blending your past and your future. Probably the most experimental age in terms of fashion boundaries, it’s okay to mix styles like punk spikes and hippie floral prints. This is when the attribute of attracting a mate is the most prominent. So in short, sexy is okay. Parents, I know, but think about what you guys were doing at 22. Sheer tops, short skirts, and crazy prints (what I call “party prints”) are the name of the game. However, like I said, this style is about blending past and future styles. These are the ages when a professional style has to take root. Blazers and slacks with a cute chiffon blouse totally embody the professional women they have yet to become. So to blend these styles, a blazer might be worn on top of a bra with a semi-sheer maxi skirt can really turn heads.



28-32: This age is, I would say the latest you can pull off the super youthful prints and colors. By this time your style should be pretty solid. Toning down the sexy aspect of your wardrobe is crucial. Because, face it, we are in a world obsessed with youth. And complete sexy (with a few exceptions) can really only be successfully worn by the younger generations.


33-40: Not that I am saying that this is OLD, I’m NOT. This age can still be sexy but should more be highlighting your professionalism and cleanliness. Crazy prints and BRIGHT colors should be worn more as pops of color rather than entire garment colors. I think this age range needs to highlight well put together accessories. A fashionable ensemble with perfectly paired accessories complete a look. And since this age is less about experimentation, people expect these ages to look complete. Stomachs and Upper thighs should NOT be on display for the world to see, remember sophisticated is sexy too.

If you find this advice helpful and you don’t fit any of these age categories, post a comment and let me know! NO AGE IS TOO OLD FOR FASHION.