This article was originally published on 24/7Mirror
For many people, fashion and clothes are a way to express their personality, showcase their creativity, and add some fun and color to their lives. But what you might not realize is that what you wear can seriously affect your image - especially as you get older. This list of fashion do's and don'ts will help you ensure that you don't look a day older than you are. In fact, they'll make you look younger!
Don't: Only Wear Black Clothes
Yes, we know this goes against everything you've ever heard. After all, "black is slimming" and "black is chic." And that sounds perfect for someone getting older, right? Well, not quite. Although everyone should have black clothes in their wardrobe, it's important to use this color sparingly. That's because all-black outfits can instantly age a person. They make you look pale, they're often quite shapeless, and most importantly, they're pretty boring.
Don't worry if you can't bear to throw away that black turtle neck you love, though. Simply mix and match, and pair one black item with something bolder, brighter, and more colorful.
Do: Try and Vary Your Silhouette
If you're someone who loves the way baggy clothes look and feel, we'd never tell you to stop doing what makes you happy. But baggy clothes can add years to your appearance and be extremely unflattering, so why not compromise a little bit? By varying your silhouette in the same outfit, you can add depth and style to your whole look and make yourself look much younger than you are.
The easiest way to do this is to choose one baggy item and pair it with a more fitted item. For example, why not try baggy wide-legged pants with a figure-hugging top?
Don't: Follow Popular Fashion Trends
While there's nothing wrong with keeping up to date with the changing trends in the fashion world, using these trends as a rulebook can leave you looking much older than you are. After all, these trends aren't one-size-fits-all. And who wants to look just like everyone else, anyway? Try to take inspiration from these fashion trends, but ultimately it's best to find your own style and subtly incorporate these new trends into it.
By doing this, you can ensure that you are continuing to dress for your body type and age, while also maintaining your place as an older fashion icon. It's a win-win situation.
Don't: Focus on Having to "Dress Your Age"
Everybody goes through a stage where they begin to question what they're wearing, whether it suits them and whether it's appropriate for their age. While this typically results in a ton of Google searching, anyone who has done this will know that there's conflicting information everywhere. That's because fashion isn't governed by one simple rule. The opportunities are endless, so why worry about "dressing your age?" It's much more fun to go rogue.
The best thing about your fashion choices is that they are entirely your own. You get to make the rules, no matter what anyone else thinks. So, give that bold outfit a whirl!
Do: Opt for a Knee-Length Skirt
Many people believe that they have to steer clear of skirts and dresses as they get older. So, they fill their closets with pants and cover their legs up for the rest of eternity. But what if we told you that you didn't have to do that? While belt-like mini skirts are normally reserved for teenagers and supermodels, that doesn't mean you have to be afraid of wearing knee-length, midi, or maxi skirts.
These skirts are the perfect way to add a feminine touch to your outfit, and they will instantly make you look younger. They're flattering, they're comfortable, and they're super stylish!
Don't: Add a Statement Necklace to Your Outfit
While accessorizing will always add depth and style to your outfit, you have to be careful when it comes to the accessories you choose. This is especially true when it comes to statement necklaces, as these big and bold necklaces can quickly overpower your outfit and add decades to your age. Sure, they were popular back in the 1980s and the 1990s. But now we've moved on, so you should too!
Statement necklaces are now considered to be old and ugly, two words you probably don't want to be associated with your appearance. So, opt for smaller, more delicate necklaces instead.
Don't: Wear Oversized Formal Wear
If you're someone who has to wear smart formal wear to work, you might have (unsuccessfully) tried to mix things up over the years. We don't blame you, though. Wearing the same suit every week can get pretty boring, but it's important to steer clear of casual trends when you predominantly wear formal clothing. This is especially true when it comes to the oversized trend, as oversized formal wear just makes you look older.
These baggy suits can be extremely unflattering, which is why it's best to stick to a fitted look. If you want to mix things up, simply swap out your black suit jacket for a brighter color.
Do: Add Matte Eyeshadow to Your Look
What you wear on your body isn't the only thing that can make you look older. Your makeup can also add years and sometimes decades to your appearance, which is why it's important to figure out what makeup works for you. And in most cases, that's going to be matte eyeshadow. Of course, there's nothing wrong with wearing glittery eyeshadow on a girly night out, but did you know that glitter actually accentuates your wrinkles?
When it comes to your everyday makeup look, ditch the wrinkle-inducing glitter and opt for a matte color instead. It'll make you look younger, and add a new dimension to your whole aesthetic.
Don't: Keep Things That Need to Be Ditched
It's fair to say that all of us have something in our closets that need to go in the trash. From worn-down jeans that have holes in them to that 10-year-old 'white' shirt that's gone gray, it can be hard to part with these things. After all, they're comfortable and they've been in your life for years. But it turns out that these old items could be aging you more than you realized.
By throwing out these old items and investing in some new clothes, you could breathe new life into your whole closet. Plus, it's a very good excuse to go shopping!
Do: Choose Fitted Clothes Over Baggy Clothes
Let's be honest; baggy clothes are the comfiest. And comfy clothes are the easy option when you're older, have mammoth to-do lists, and want to go about your day without feeling uncomfortable. However, baggy clothes are extremely unflattering and cover up your shape, which normally makes you look a huge amount older than you actually are. That's why you should probably look at adding fitted clothes to your closet instead.
Fitted clothes that are the right size for you will instantly showcase your shape and take years off your appearance. Be careful you don't just buy clothes that are too small for you, though!
Don't: Wear the Brooch in Your Jewelry Box
Brooches were once beautiful and decadent additions to an outfit. They offered a pop of color, a sense of uniqueness, and depth to your look - but those days are gone. Brooches are now considered to be incredibly old-fashioned, which is why it's probably not a good idea to wear one if you don't want to look as though you're decades older than you actually are. Yep, it's time to ditch the brooch.
This doesn't mean that you can't make a statement, though. By swapping out a brooch for a beautiful necklace, dangly earrings, or bracelet, you can make an even bigger (and younger) impact.
Do: Throw on Some Sunglasses
While your coworkers might throw you strange looks if you decided to wear your sunglasses to the office during the snowy wintery months, there's nothing quite like adding sunglasses to your outfit during the sunnier months. Sure, sunglasses primarily protect your eyes from the sun. But most people don't take advantage of the fact that sunglasses are the ultimate stylish accessory. They can add a whole new element to your youthful outfit.
Yes, a statement pair of sunglasses can make you look sophisticated, cool, quirky, or professional. It's all about finding the right pair, or pairs. It's best to have a few in your locker, right?
Don't: Wear Too Much Blush
If you have pale skin or prefer the rosy look, it can be easy to pick up the blush that's been sitting in your makeup bag for 10 years and slather it all over your cheeks. But the general rule of thumb is that if something has been in your makeup bag for 10 years, it's probably not something you should be wearing. After all, too much blush can really age your face.
If you want to use blush, you should only use a small amount at a time - and always make sure that it's fully blended to reap the full benefits.
Do: Add Some Accessories Into the Mix
When planning your outfit, you probably spend most of your time finding the perfect pant-and-shirt combo, and your accessories are normally thrown on in a last-minute dash out of the door. But what many people fail to realize is that your accessories can really make or break an outfit. Yes, a stunning outfit can be ruined without the right purse, necklace, sunglasses, or belt. Because of this, it's important to make time for these extras.
Of course, there is a fine line between stylish and a human Christmas tree when it comes to your accessories. Don't overdo it, and try to stick to 2-3 accessories per outfit.
Don't: Wear Large Floral Patterns
We all know that florals for spring aren't groundbreaking, but we'll still wear them until the end of time. They're classic, they're cute, and they're extremely apt for the vibrant season. And while we would never discourage anyone from wearing florals, it's important to choose the right kind of florals for the occasion. Although it's easy to believe that neutral floral patterns go with anything, they can actually make you look much older.
The same can be said for giant floral patterns. Instead, opt for smaller patterns that offer your outfit a pop of color. This will add a new level to your look, while also making you look younger.
Do: Embrace the Denim
In today's day and age, it's easy to get caught up in discourse around jeans. Apparently, skinny jeans are out and straight-legged jeans are in - but those rules don't apply to everyone. When you're older, the most important task is to find the right pair of jeans for you. And when you find the perfect pair, you can wear them anywhere and everywhere. They're the most important addition to any wardrobe.
There's only really one rule when it comes to wearing jeans: Always buy the right size. If you don't, they'll bunch up and make you look much older than you are.
Don't: Cover up Your Ankles
As you get older, you probably feel the urge to cover up more of your body. You start to wear baggier clothes, you wear higher-necked tops, and you wear long pants that cover your ankles. But we're here to tell you to free those ankles! Covering up your body is not only going to make you look older, but it's also going to make you look larger and shorter. So, what's the point?
By wearing pants that fall just above the ankle, you can actually elongate your legs and add a modern twist to your outfit. This looks even better when you opt for a brighter, bolder color or print.
Do: Make the Most of Your Denim Jacket
When you see younger people wandering around the streets with their oversized and cropped denim jackets, it can be easy to assume that older people can't wear them. But that's not true! Denim jackets should be a staple item in everyone's closet, as they're extremely versatile and offer a lightweight and stylish alternative to your dirty old dog walking jacket. Worn correctly, they can even make you look younger than you are.
It's safe to say that denim jackets will never go out of style, so it might be worth dusting off that vintage denim jacket that's been in your attic since the 1980s.
Don't: Wear Unflattering Fabrics
When you're buying clothes, you might not pay too much attention to the fabric. You probably just look at the style, the color, and what it looks like on the hanger. But next time you go to the mall, try to avoid buying clothes made from loose jersey fabric. Sure, it's a super soft fabric that may look comfortable, but in reality, loose jersey fabric will bunch up in all of the wrong places and add years to your age.
Of course, this doesn't mean that you have to avoid jerseys completely. If you still want to wear this comfortable fabric, opt for a double-knitted jersey as this thicker fabric shouldn't bunch up.
Do: Throw Out Your Frameless Glasses
No, we're not telling you to throw out your prescription glasses and live a dangerous life without proper eyesight. Instead, we're asking you to consider making a change when it comes to the glasses that you wear. This is especially true if you've been wearing the same frameless glasses for the past 10 years. That's because frameless glasses not only make you look older but also offer nothing when it comes to your style.
The right pair of glasses can act as a cool new accessory, and bigger frames can have many uses. You can wear colored frames to show off your personality, or you could use the frames to hide your wrinkles.
Don't: Stop Wearing Casual Clothes
Just because you work in a professional environment and have to attend parent-teacher conferences on a regular basis doesn't mean that you have to ditch your casual side. Sure, you might have to wear suits to work, but don't make your work or "mom" wardrobe your default wardrobe. Allow yourself the chance to mix up your outfits, and wear something more casual during your downtime. This can instantly make you look younger.
Avoiding casual clothes will just make you look your age or even older, so don't be afraid to whip out your jeans and sneakers, and your relaxed T-shirts for a casual day at the park.
Do: Add Layers to Your Outfits
Layers are great when the weather is in that strange in-between stage. During the cold mornings, you can wear layers to keep you warm, but as the sun comes out and it gets warmer you can take them off. But what you might not realize is that layers can also make you look younger when you utilize them correctly. After all, they can turn a drab outfit into a stylish one.
You don't need to think too hard when it comes to layering. But simply adding a light jacket to your outfit you can let people know that you have an eye for detail.
Don't: Wear Your Hair in a Ponytail
Don't get us wrong; ponytails are great. They're perfect for when you want to pull your hair out of your face, and they're a no-fuss hairstyle that anyone can do. But if you're someone who wears their hair in a ponytail all day, every day, you may find that it's actually making you look older. That's because a ponytail will only accentuate any wrinkles or lines you have on your face.
If you're getting more conscious of your changing face as you're getting older, why not try something new? Cutting in some bangs could be the perfect way to hide those wrinkles on your forehead.
Do: Ditch Your Old Sneakers
As you get older, it's easy to grow attached to certain items in your closet. So, hands up if you still have a 15-year-old pair of sneakers sitting at the back of your closet? Whether they're there gathering dust or whether you still wear them to this day, take this as your reminder to throw them out and invest in some new, stylish sneakers instead. After all, sneaker styles have changed.
The right pair of sneakers can elevate any outfit, and many new shoes are now so much more comfortable than they were years ago. You really don't have anything to lose!
Don't: Wear Tops With Large Prints
If you're a bold person who likes to stand out, you might find yourself gravitating towards tops that are just as bold and bright as you. This normally means that you have a whole closet full of tops with large prints on them. And while you might love them, the rest of the world doesn't. In fact, many believe that these large prints are garish, ugly, and way too old-fashioned.
If you want to look younger than you are, it might be time to say goodbye to these tops once and for all. Opt for something less in-your-face, and you'll instantly go back in time.
Do: Invest in a Good Quality Eyebrow Brush
Although we're being inspired to embrace our changing bodies as we get older, many people still struggle with certain aspects of this process. And if you're someone who is conscious of their thinning eyebrows, it might be an idea to invest in a good quality eyebrow brush. This small little addition to your makeup bag will change the way your brows look forever, and this will instantly make you look younger.
However, it's important to note that there's a fine line between fuller eyebrows and bushy monsters. Simply make gentle strokes with the brow brush, and figure out a look that works for you.
Do: Go Wild With Your Color Blocking
Long gone are the days of your clothes having to match. These matchy-matchy items simply add years to your age and show the world that you're afraid to take risks. And this is where color blocking comes into play. By pairing bold colors with each other, you can elevate any outfit and stand out from the crowd - which is what everyone wants when they're looking younger than ever, right?
Color blocking is simple, and most of the time you can simply choose pieces you already have in your closet. Chances are that you never thought of pairing them together before, though.
Don't: Avoid the Vintage Stores
Many people assume that you have to shop at the "younger" and more stylish stores if you want to look younger, but that's not the case at all. Wearing clothing that's too young for you can actually have the opposite effect, which is why we're strong advocates for vintage shopping. Not only is vintage shopping more eco-friendly, but older pieces are normally timeless and effortlessly stylish! Plus, they have a story to them.
Vintage clothes can make you look younger when you work them into an outfit with more modern pieces, and the whole look should add a sense of individuality to your look.
Do: Embrace Ankle Boots
Whether you wear them for work or rely on them during the winter months, boots are always a good option. However, certain boots can make you look older, and these are normally the ones that are higher cut. But you'll be happy to know that the solution is pretty easy! Ankle boots are timeless and they go with everything. Plus, they're super stylish and will make you look 10 years younger.
Ankle boots will elevate any outfit, from your blazer and skirt combo for work to your posh jeans and a top look for your night out with the girls. You really can't go wrong.
Don't: Wear the Wrong Socks
In today's day and age, you can't walk down the street without seeing someone's socks. Everyone seems to have their socks pulled up to their ears, and it's a trend that's incredibly popular with the younger generation. And while you could give this a go as an older person, you'll probably find that it has the opposite effect. It'll make you look older, and might score you some strange looks on the street.
For middle-aged people, visible socks aren't cool or trendy and they're also pretty uncomfortable. That's why it's always better to wear smaller socks when you have your legs on show.
Do: Add Some Plaid to Your Wardrobe
When you think of plaid, you might think of the '90s and '00s teenage skater kids. You also might think of Scottish natives and their kilts. But there's so much more to plaid than you might think, and it's actually a pattern that everyone should have in their closets. That's because plaid can instantly add depth to an outfit and make the wearer look younger. You have to be careful not to overdo it, though.
No, now is not the time to buy a full-length plaid maxi dress. But adding a plaid scarf or pants to your closet could elevate your wardrobe to a whole new level.
Don't: Apply Dark or Matte Lipstick
If you're older but want to look younger, it's best to steer clear of any bold makeup trends. After all, you don't need to! If you try out things that are wild and wacky just because teenagers are doing so, there's a high chance that it just won't suit you. And this will probably be the case if you decide to try dark or matte lipstick just because Kylie Jenner said it was cool.
Dark makeup can instantly make an older face look even older, and enhance wrinkles or dark spots on the face. So, stay away from these things and opt for lighter or brighter colors.
Do: Opt for a Lower Heel
There are two kinds of people in this world; those who love heels, and those who would rather stick the heels of their shoes in their eyes instead of wearing them on their feet. But if you're someone who loves to wear heels and wants to try out a younger look, it might be time to give the high heels a break. Plus, you don't have to worry about falling over when you're wearing low heels.
These low heels can actually make you look younger, especially when paired with a fitted pair of jeans and a cute top. They're also way more versatile than the others you have in your closet.
Don't: Use Dark Black Eyeliner
The hold that black eyeliner has had on us for the past few decades cannot be explained. It's a staple in most people's makeup bags, and it's seemingly perfect for both the everyday look and a dramatic nighttime look. But what if we told you that the black eyeliner you love so much could actually be making you look older? In fact, dark makeup in general will instantly age you.
That doesn't mean that you have to say goodbye to your eyeliner, though! Brown eyeliner is the perfect alternative, as it's softer and will accentuate your natural features more than black.
Don't: Wear That Oversized Sweater
Hands up if you love an oversized sweater? We don't blame you. These things are perfect for when you want to settle down on the couch with a movie and some popcorn. But it can be pretty easy to get a little too comfortable in these oversized sweaters - and we're here to remind you that you definitely shouldn't wear this outside of your house! After all, it's going to make you look much older.
In today's day and age, it's not hard to find comfortable clothing that's more fitted, and this should give you a more youthful appearance while still giving you the feeling of a warm hug.
Do: Wear Simple and Modern Pants
Whether it's too cold for a skirt or whether you just prefer wearing pants, it's often hard to know what kind of pants suit you and your age. But it's not as difficult as it seems. Although the style of pants is constantly changing, simple pants will never go out of style. If you avoid anything that has too much pleating or bunching, they should fit you like a dream and make you look decades younger!
Pants that fit you properly shouldn't be baggy in any way, but if you can't find any off the shelf that fit you exactly, a good tailor should be able to help you out.
Don't: Use Too Much Setting Powder
If you're someone who takes pride in their makeup routine, you may have learned from some of the best in the business. From makeup masterclasses to YouTube tutorials, the people behind these looks almost always used a setting powder. After all, this nifty product will quite literally "set" your makeup to your face. But if you're worried that you're starting to look older, it might be a good idea to use less.
Any powder on your face will automatically find its way to any wrinkles, spots, or pigmentation you have on your skin. This can make you look older, and who really wants that?
Do: Invest in High Quality Handbags
By this point, we shouldn't have to remind you about the importance of good accessories. And no outfit would be complete without a purse or a handbag. Not only are they super handy, but they can also add a new dimension to your overall look. But having the wrong handbag can also break your outfit, especially if your aim is to look younger than you actually are. So, is it time to throw yours out?
Investing in a high-quality handbag will allow you to invest in practicality, especially if you choose a neutral bag that will go with every outfit. But don't worry; you don't have to buy designer bags to find high quality.
Do: Make Use of Your Eyelash Curler
Gone are the days of people wishing they could reverse the signs of aging. Now, it's all about embracing what you have and enhancing your natural beauty whatever your age - which is where an eyelash curler can come in really handy. By lifting your lashes, you can make your eyes look bigger and brighter, instantly making you look as though you're half your age. Plus, it can be done in seconds!
Once your eyelashes are curled, a bit of mascara will finish off the whole look and give your eyes that extra pop you've been looking for. What more could you really want?
Do: Let Your Creativity Shine
The best thing about getting dressed in the morning is that it's totally your decision. It's your chance to shine, and it's your chance to show off what makes you... you! And while it can be easy to fall into the trap of fashion trends, we're here to remind you to let your creativity shine. If you want to wear that bold and bright outfit, wear that bold and bright outfit.
At the end of the day, you need to feel confident in what you're wearing. So, don't waste your time wearing the clothes you think others want you to wear.