“I heard on the radio that people over 50 years old should no longer be wearing jeans. Do you think I should stop wearing jeans because of my age?”
This quote is excerpt from a conversation that I had with my mom a few weeks ago. She texted me one morning after the beginning of the workday. My mom always asks me for fashion advice and that day was no different. She said she had heard that women who are in their 50’s should stop wearing jeans. Concerned, she asked me if it was appropriate for her to keep wearing jeans.
Shaking my head, I replied, of course you’re not too old to wear that!”
After our conversation, I thought to myself, who decides these “fashion rules”? I can guarantee that this person is not in their 50’s, or anywhere near that age, otherwise there’s no way he/she would have made this comment. Does this person really plan to give up wearing jeans when their 50th birthday rolls around? I highly doubt it!
Jeans are, by definition, one of the few garments that are socially acceptable for anyone on the planet to wear. Infants and the elderly. Rich and poor. You see people of all shapes and sizes wearing them.
After hearing about this so called, “fashion rule,” I began to wonder what other garments were restricted by age. Sure enough, after a few Google searches, I had an entire list complied of clothing and trends that you may be too old to still be wearing. The list spanned anywhere from teens to age 50. Many of them were completely ridiculous and there were hardly any that I actually agreed with.
Here are a few examples of clothes you’re too old to still be wearing, according to the Internet:
By age 50:
- Carrying around large tote bags.
- Wearing jeans.
- Showing off excessive cleavage.
- Wearing bikinis.
By age 40:
- Wearing skirts above the knee.
- Sporting very steep high heels.
By age 35:
- Wearing crop tops and hot pants.
- Over-the-top, bold denim.
- Loud, statement accessories.
By age 30:
- Message tee’s, such as “I woke up like this.”
- Hair gadgets, such as headbands and clips.
- Sequin garments and accessories.
By age 25:
- Outrageous socks or mismatches socks.
- Leopard print garments and accessories.
- Bows on clothing and accessories.
- Garments made of sheer fabric.
By age 20:
- Pants, shorts, or underwear that have wording on the booty.
- Spaghetti strap maxi dresses.
- Hoop earrings.
As if limiting garments by age wasn’t bad enough, I stumbled upon articles that limit activities and behavior to a certain age. Apparently people who are over the age of 26 should no longer use emojis in text messages (insert crying face here). Also, by age 31, you should no longer be watching reality TV (this includes the Bachelor and Bachelorette, people!).
Which of these rules are you guilty of?
As many of you who are reading this can probably agree, I was outraged by some of these suggestions. I am currently 24 years old and take issue with several items on the list that I should have already given up or will need to be giving up within the next few years. I definitely plan to be rocking my outrageous socks and leopard print clothing well into my old age.
With that said, it is my firm belief that fashion should have nothing to do with age. Many of these “rules” depend on the person. If you feel comfortable and confident, why shouldn’t you continue to wear it? Age shouldn’t define your closet or personal style. How you choose to wear it and style it are far more important attributes. Anything can look classy and age appropriate with the right styling.
In order to test this theory, I decided to try out two of the trends that I should give up within my 20’s. I chose bows and message tees because they are notoriously known for looking childish….according to the “experts.”
In this look, I chose a bubble gum pink blouse with a big bow at the neckline. This is the epitome of a little girl stereotype. However, I paired it with muted colors to tone down the bright pink. For this outfit, I chose a plaid jacket with shades of gray and black. I wore sophisticated dark denim and tall black boots. The bright pink bow drapes over the top of the jacket, as the focal point of the look. Nothing about this look says childish. I could wear this out to dinner with my husband or for an outing with the girls. I could also wear it with a pencil skirt and heels to create an entirely work appropriate and professional outfit.
This look was achieved with careful styling. If I had paired it with a short skirt or other bright colors, the bright pink and bow blouse instantly would have felt juvenile. I plan to continue wearing this type of look for years to come, no matter my age.
Styling Message Tees
Secondly, in this look, I chose to wear my favorite message tee. It says “Southern Belle,” and I received it as a gift when I made the move from Michigan to Tennessee. I adore this tee and I wear it all the time! For this outfit, I paired it with the same dark denim and leopard print sneakers (I had to sneak the leopard print in there somewhere!). I also wore a cool, edgy, draped jacket with leather detailing. The jacket itself makes this outfit wearable for any occasion. It also takes some of the focus away from the message tee, making it a subtle detail instead of the center of attention.
This look would be perfect for running errands or going out to the movies. Similarly, I chose to wear this tee with specific pieces that compliment it.Again, the outfit could have looked more childish is I had worn the tee with daisy dukes or leggings. The message tee looks mature and stylish!
I am going to keep wearing bows, ridiculous socks, message tees, and so many more of those things. You can form your own opinions about fashion and make your own rules. My opinion, don’t stop wearing the things you love. Instead, find new ways to incorporate them into your wardrobe based on your lifestyle. With the right styling and accessories, anything can look fashionable as well as age appropriate. Stop saying, “you’re too old to wear that!”
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic below! Subscribe to the blog for more outfit inspiration and style tips.