Fashion Statements That Women Over 50 Should Avoid

Fashion is a great way to express oneself, but there are some statements that should be avoided. Women of a certain age can channel their inner fashionista by avoiding things like pastel sweaters, gladiator sandals, and bolero jackets. Read on for more fashion trends that no longer serve women over 50.

Baggy Clothes Can Look Sloppy

alessia-cara
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

Bodies change over time, which can lead some women toward loose-fitting clothes. While finding something comfortable is important, outfits that are baggy can come off sloppy.

Instead, opt for ensembles that suit your body time without swallowing it whole. Swap the oversized jacket for a trim blazer. Dump the sweatshirt and throw on a cinched cardigan. Find dresses that offer breathing room but still have shape. Clothes that fit just right do much more for confidence than those that hide everything away.

Wearing Gym Clothes Out And About Is Underdressing

MEGA/GC Images/Getty Images
MEGA/GC Images/Getty Images

These days, people don’t dress up as often as they used to. As a result, wearing pajamas or gym clothes out and about is more commonplace, even among older adults. But at some point, it’s time to lean away from underdressing and more toward dressing up.

The older you are, the more difficult it is to come off as being overdressed, so opt for outfits that prove class comes with age. Wearing put-together ensembles shows you haven’t given up on looking your best.

Excessive Jewelry Can Look Tacky

jewelry
Desiree Navarro/Getty Images
Desiree Navarro/Getty Images

Wearing too much jewelry isn’t always eccentric. Sometimes, it’s just downright tacky. This can be especially obvious later in life, when wrinkled skin is only accentuated by piles of jewelry.

Instead, go for something simple and subtly eyecatching. A bit of sparkle and shine can make your best qualities pop. Sapphire earrings that pick up on blue eyes, a small diamond resting near the collar bone, or a silver watch on a graceful wrist does wonders.

Vibrant Hair Color Can Age You More

Paul Hartnett/PYMCA/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Paul Hartnett/PYMCA/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Many women dye their gray hair to avoid looking older. However, dying hair to a vibrant color like pink your blue can actually age you even more. The bright color makes your face stand out, illuminating wrinkles and sagging.

Instead, go for a natural color that complements your skin tone. This way, your hair and your face will blend together, creating a seemingly effortless youthful look. The more vibrant the color, the less likely it is to be flattering.

Pastels Can Wash Out Dull Skin

pastel
Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

It’s natural for skin to dull with age, which is why pastels should be avoided like the plague. The soft nature of pastel colors may make them seem like a safe color choice, but they can drain the life out of any look.

Instead of wearing a baby blue sweater, opt for a vibrant navy jacket. Ditch the light pink blouse for a red velvet top. Swap the dull gray slacks for ones that are a sharp black.

Heavy Makeup Can Emphasize Signs Of Aging

makeup
MJ Kim/Getty Images
MJ Kim/Getty Images

Makeup is used to hide blemishes or to enhance facial features, so the last thing you want it to do is emphasize signs of aging. But that’s exactly what can happen when older women wear too much makeup.

Heavy foundation can seep into creases, exaggerating wrinkles. Bright colors can underscore pale skin. Dark eyeliner can bring attention to red and saggy eyes. With makeup, less is more. Go for light coverage that suits your natural skin tone.

Cowboy Hats Look Out Of Place

gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Unless you’re living out in the country, cowboy hats look out of place. They may have served as a fashion statement in younger years, but they don’t work later in life.

Cowboy hats can make some women look like they’re trying too hard to appear carefree. Let’s not forget that the hats were made for those working with livestock, not those who are trying to reclaim their youth. Go for an elegant sunhat instead for a chic twist on any outfit.

Wire Frame Glasses Are Old-Looking Compared To Plastic

Eric Fougere/Sygma via Getty Images
Eric Fougere/Sygma via Getty Images

Glasses that have wire frames or are frameless tend to make the wearer look older. By contrast, those with plastic frames give the wearer a more youthful appearance.

It may seem like having thin frames or none at all would make the glasses less apparent and therefore create a youthful look. But a more recent trend makes thick frames that stand out all the rage. Plastic frames come in more fun designs and colors, too, giving them more personality.

Press-On Nails Can Look Cheap

Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Press-on nails aren’t the same as getting them done professionally at the salon. They can pop off more easily and don’t have as many personalized options. Even worse, they are often decorated with cheap-looking rhinestones and patterns.

You’d be much better off paying extra to have them professionally done. Avoid colors and designs that are too flashy. Go for nails that aren’t overly long and are in a more neutral color to avoid that tawdry look.

Fleece Looks Like Momwear

fleece-jacket
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Looking like the stylish, cool mom is fantastic. Looking like the stereotypical soccer mom from the suburbs is… less than ideal. Fleece will put you firmly in the latter category. There are plenty of alternatives that are just as cozy and practical.

Go for a chunky cardigan or a “coatigan” for something a little more up-to-date that a woman in her ’20s would be excited about. Fleece is great on camping trips, but leave it in the closet for nights out.

Workout Shoes And Skirts Don’t Match

GettyImages-1159495086
Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Workout shoes paired with a skirt may work in high fashion, but it doesn’t translate well in everyday life. Just think of how many runway outfits you wouldn’t be caught dead in and you’ll realize that this is one of them.

We understand wanting to dress practically, but workout shoes with a dress is bound to date you beyond your years. Opt for a simple pair of Keds instead for a timeless Audrey Hepburn look that’s comfy and lovely.

Track Pants Aren’t Easy To Pull Off

Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Track pants are one of those fashion statements that just won’t die. Over the decades, they’ve become harder and harder to pull off. Nowadays, they’re practically limited to supermodels.

Some women may have been fond of track pants back in the day and are still convinced they can rock them. In actuality, track pants run the risk of being ill-fitting, hard to pair with other items, and downright unflattering. You’d be better off wearing good old-fashioned sweatpants.

Too-Tight Clothes Can Be Distracting

GP/Star Max/GC Images/Getty Images
GP/Star Max/GC Images/Getty Images

Even if you can pull off super tight clothes, it doesn’t mean you should. Tight clothing can be noticeably uncomfortable and detract from the easy-breezy quality that successful ensembles accomplish.

Finding clothes that hug just the right places but don’t make you look like a sardine is key. Pair leggings with a loose dress, throw a shawl over a spaghetti strap, and opt for flowy skirts. The last thing any woman wants is to look like a teenager disobeying their parents’ dressing rules.

Heels Aren’t Good For Aging Bodies

high-heels
Marc Piasecki/WireImage/Getty Images
Marc Piasecki/WireImage/Getty Images

Heels aren’t great for anyone’s feet, but especially people who are beginning to feel the effects of aging. Women over 50 may have already worn heels for decades, resulting in feet and back ailments that shouldn’t be aggravated.

The good news is that you don’t need high heels to dress up or to look nice for a day out. Flats are a great alternative because they can be dressed up for elegant outfits or dressed down for more casual ones.

Heavy Earrings Can Stretch The Earlobe

heavy-earrings
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Heavy earrings may look great, but they can stretch your earlobes over time. By the time a woman is in her 50s, her ear piercings may be holding on by a thread.

If they aren’t, they could be eventually if she keeps wearing heavy earrings. Opt for studs instead that won’t weigh down the ears as much. If you absolutely love gaudy earrings, go for clip-ons instead. They look the same and won’t stretch the skin.

Short Hemlines Can Seem Too Young

mini-skirt
Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

These days, women are retaining their youth like never before. Still, that doesn’t mean wearing miniskirts is the best idea. It isn’t so much a matter of pulling it off, but rather of being at a different phase in life.

The same way that pigtails can look childish, short hems can seem overly youthful. They aren’t practical and there are much classier options out there. An effortlessly stunning look beats the impression of trying too hard every time.

Peasant Skirts Can Look Frumpy

Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images
Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Peasant skirts have a lot of appeal since they’re long and comfortable. Plus, they can be worn in a casual way or can be dressed up for a nicer event. The downside is that peasant skirts can come off frumpy.

As a result, these skirts can make your lower half seem wider than it is. They can also make your legs appear slightly stumpier. Opt for long, flowy skirts that aren’t ruffly and have a sleeker design.

Gladiator Sandals Can Highlight Varicose Veins

Fotonoticias/WireImage/Getty Images
Fotonoticias/WireImage/Getty Images

Gladiator sandals are impossible to miss due to their up-the-leg design. While they can be fun for those who like to stand out, they aren’t the best for women who have varicose veins.

Many women develop varicose veins after years of walking around in heels, so the older you are, the more likely they’ll show up. That’s why those over 50 may want to avoid gladiator sandals. Plus, they only work well with short skirts, which can look immature in older years.

Clothes That Don’t Fit

trying-on-clothes
Greg Smith/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Greg Smith/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

It seems obvious that clothes that don’t fit don’t belong in your wardrobe, but some of us keep these articles as motivation. Plus, some people fluctuate in weight easily, so having different sizes makes sense.

Someone over the age of 50 probably has a pretty clear understanding of their body type. Dump the items that don’t fit well and probably never will. They’ll only take a hit to your confidence. Clothes should fit your body, not the other way around.

Some Neutral Clothes Can Wash You Out

neutral-clothing
Christian Buehner/Unsplash
Christian Buehner/Unsplash

Neutral colors may seem like a safe bet when it comes to picking out clothes, especially for older individuals. However, certain neutral colors don’t look great against different skin tones. If the color is too similar to your skin, it can end up washing you out.

Pale skin can look paler, and dull hair can appear even duller. Sticking to neutrals doesn’t mean choosing something that matches you to a tee. Instead, go for something several shades lighter or darker than your skin.

Elastic Waistbands Can Be Unflattering

GettyImages-1206081826
Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Elastic waistbands can be incredibly comfortable since they can adjust to your exact size. This is especially helpful later in life when weight tends to gather around the midsection more easily.

However, that’s also why elastic waistbands can age you. They can lack shape and be uncomplementary. A quick fix is to cover the waistband with a French tuck. Simply tuck in your shirt and pull it out enough to cover the band. It’ll add shape to the ensemble and add class.

Old-School Denim

Anthony Barboza/Getty Images
Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

Denim has been around for quite a while, but the way the style of jeans has changed significantly over that time. From ripped to acid-washed to high-rise to bell bottom, there’s plenty of ways to make jeans look unique.

That being said, be sure that your jeans are either in style or are neutral enough to last through the trends. Jeans that are no longer “in” can stand out like a sore thumb and age the person wearing them.

Bolero Jackets Aren’t The Most Flattering

GettyImages-112392391
Vera Anderson/WireImage/Getty Images
Vera Anderson/WireImage/Getty Images

Bolero jackets were all the rage in the 1950s, and they’ve somehow crept their way into women’s closets ever since. Not only are these fashion pieces dated, but they also aren’t the most flattering.

The jackets were designed to cover the shoulders, typically for strapless dresses. Thus, they cut off just above the waist, which brings attention to the midsection and can make the upper body appear shorter than it is. Opt for a long, sleek jacket instead.

Overly Low Necklines Can Expose Damaged Skin

low-neckline
Laurent KOFFEL/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Laurent KOFFEL/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

For many women, the skin around the chest can start to become damaged over time. Those who wore deep necklines often in their younger years may have spots from sun exposure.

The skin can also become saggy, wrinkled, and discolored. As a result, necklines that are too low may not be the most flattering. Instead, opt for a classy boat neckline. It will show off your collarbone but cover up anything you’d rather not be seen.

Move Past Your Ex’s Clothes

Max Titov/Unsplash
Max Titov/Unsplash

Wearing an ex’s clothes is sort of cute when you’re a teenager, or maybe when you’re in your twenties. By the time you’re in your 50s, or your 30s for that matter, you should be past that phase.

While it’s never easy going through a split, holding onto something as trivial as clothing isn’t going to change anything. Older women have life experience on their side, and that means knowing when something isn’t truly healthy for you.

Hot Pants Are Too Short For Comfort

hot-pants
Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Hot pants were all the rage in the ’70s, and short shorts haven’t been the same since. They’re characterized by being super short and tight, two things that women over 50 typically try to avoid.

Very few people can pull off hot pants, regardless of their age. Plus, they aren’t appropriate to wear in many social settings. Whether they’re in style this season or not, odds are you’ll be getting the side-eye if you show up at the grocery store in a pair of these.

Crop Tops Can Shorter Your Torso

crop-top
LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images
fupp/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Crop tops can seem like a fun and flirty idea, but they can easily backfire. The design is best suited for those with a long, lean torso. Otherwise, crop tops can give the illusion of your torso being shorter than it is.

Plus, crop tops reveal midriff, leaving room for love handles, pregnancy scars, and more to peek out. Instead, go for a long top that has layers or a pattern near the bottom for the illusion of a crop top that’s more comfortable.

Worn-Out Shoes Can Ruin An Outfit

kalhh/Pixabay
kalhh/Pixabay

If your favorite pair of shoes are scuffed up, falling apart, or breaking down, it’s time to let them go. This is true at any age, but especially after the age of 50. Worn-out shoes give off an immature impression that doesn’t suit the professional-looking women of a certain age.

It may seem like your shoes are hardly noticeable, but a few nicks can bring down the overall quality of an entire outfit. There’s bound to be a relatively inexpensive replacement pair out there.

Plaid Skirts Scream “School Girl”

plaid
Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Once upon a time, it’s was pretty typical to see women of all ages wearing plaid skirts. Then school girl outfits became a thing. Now, it’s a challenge to pull one off without looking like you’re dressing up for Halloween.

This is especially true for older women since they’ve been out of school for some time. If the plaid skirt is long, it looks more like a kilt. Either way, it’s out of place and not worth the confusion.

Out-Of-Date Attire Can Age You

dated-clothes
Priyanka Parashar/Mint via Getty Images
Priyanka Parashar/Mint via Getty Images

There’s a fine line between something that’s vintage versus something that is out-of-date. Vintage clothes are timeless and come back into fashion all the time. Out-of-date clothes are from a specific era and cause people to wonder how that was ever considered “in.”

The trick here is not to be fooled by clothes that seem commonplace. Hawaiian shirts may be around forever, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t dated. Swap out older pieces of clothing for something modern that shows you’ve still got it.