What Does ‘Dressing For Your Age’ Actually Mean?

Colette Werden

Style and Image Specialist

No miniskirts after 40. Or long hair. Throw out your ripped jeans. Sleeveless after 50?

Scrap that.

There are a lot of women who still believe in traditional age-related style dictations that have passed their use by date. But in a world where everyone from nine to 90 wears jeans and we’re bombarded with an endless amount of fashion ‘rules’, what does ‘dressing for your age’ actually mean?

dressing-ageimage via pinterest

I’ve worked with women of many ages on their style and image, from 14 years of age through to 70. There’s a pattern that I’ve noticed in women once they hit 30+ (myself included!):

– They’re not so interested in fads/trends anymore. They want classic pieces that can be worn for years without dating.

– They appreciate quality; are willing to invest in the key core pieces of their wardrobe.

– They want to look stylish, feel confident and sexy again (no matter their age).

– They want a small, smart, versatile wardrobe that can take them from day to night effortlessly.

– They don’t want to waste any more time standing in front of the mirror figuring out what to wear, nor have the time to go shopping frequently.

On the other hand, I’ve noticed that when my clients hit a certain age, they start to question whether they really can pull off a certain outfit. Or their body shape has changed, as they’ve gained a few more years under their belt. So, the uncertainty may play out in a couple of ways; they conform to societies expectations on what women a certain age “should wear”, and lack the motivation to experiment in-case they get it “wrong”.

Ditch the numbers; age, weight, size. Focus on fit.

The numbers are irrelevant. Fit is everything. You truly can make anything look good on you no matter your age, size or weight, if it fits your silhouette well. We’ve all heard the term, “dress for your body shape”, yet this really can get confusing. I encourage you to hone in on your asset, pick one (yes, you have one). It could even be your waist, legs, décolletage or arms. Shop and dress with this asset in mind. When you set this intention, it’s incredible how much your eyes open up to options that you never thought possible. Also, when you strongly highlight your asset, you will direct the focus to where you want eyes to land. This means, the part of your body that you want to camouflage will get hidden instantly.

So, say your waist is your asset, here are a few ways you can highlight it:

1. Cinch in your blouse, dress or blazer in with a waist-belt
2. Wear a necklace that drops directly at the waistline
3. Roll your sleeves up to your natural waistline
4. Wear high waisted bottoms, like pencil skirts, pants and jeans.
5. Wear dresses that move in and out directly from the waist
6. Choose cropped blazers that finish at your waist

When you sharpen your skillset of highlighting your asset, you’ll be able to throw a garment on and instantly know whether it works on you or not.

Mix basics with fashion statement pieces

Refine your personal style and strengthen your core go-to pieces. When you have a solid foundation of basics that fit you well, adding trend focused or statement pieces becomes easier. Plus, it won’t look like you’re a fashion victim or feel like you’re “trying too hard”. The wardrobe basics do differ depending on individual lifestyles and style preferences, however here’s a simple rundown of how the mixing and matching of basic with statement pieces can happen:

Basics – white t-shirt, blue jeans, and loafers
No.1 Basics
Mixed in with statement #1 – Leather Jacket and cropped boots

No.2 Statement - Leather JacketMixed in with statement #2 – Coloured Blazer and heels

No.3 Statement - Coloured Blazer Change your sources of style inspiration to keep you motivated. The hesitancy comes when your inspiration is sourced from high end fashion magazines, or main stream media that focus on a particular age and body shape. So, switch it up. Take note of some women in the public eye, that are rocking it at their age; Victoria Beckham, Amal Clooney, Angeline Jolie and Vera Wang.

I’ve met many women 50+ who are in amazing shape and can pretty much pull off any outfit. What’s appropriate for one person can be very different for another. Confidently dressing your age is all about self-acceptance, feeling comfortable in your own skin and working with what you’ve got.

Follow Colette Werden: Website | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

Images: Amal Clooney, Victoria Beckham and Angeline Jolie. Image source: Wire Image.

Visit our online Education Hub RESCU Me Academy for our courses, free ebooks and resources.

Like what you read? Subscribe to our free newsletter for exclusive content and special offers


Get your dose of fabulous delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for Rescu's newsletter to get updates on top stories, horoscopes, trending videos, and inspirational content.


Get fashion, beauty, finance, health and love advice from our experts.

Rescu is an online fashion, beauty and premium lifestyle site. Whether you are looking for fashion, beauty, finance, health and love advice you will find a wealth of information from our resident experts. We publish new content daily so don’t be left behind. Log on daily for the latest fashion, beauty and celebrity news as it happens. Subscribe to our newsletter and enter our contests to win fantastic freebies.