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Outfits That Make You Look Younger

By Paula Ramirez
Share to PinterestOutfits That Make You Look Younger

Some women just seem to know all the style secrets. They embrace fashion and always look fabulous and confident in their clothes. The truth is, there are no secrets, just a few basic guidelines to remember about evolving your style. Making the right clothing choices can help prevent you from looking older than you are. These simple rules will help you enhance your silhouette, add sophistication, and still create a look that is uniquely you. At the end of the day, though, the biggest trick to looking great is wearing whatever you choose with confidence.


Picking the wrong shoes

The right shoe can make your legs look longer and slimmer. Some women opt for comfort over style as they get older. But the wide range of styles available makes it easier to find both. Shoes with cutouts and open toes are fashionable and add some youthful flair to an outfit. Avoid horizontal ankle straps and chunky heels that make your legs look shorter. If you can’t wear heels, try a classy wedge. Choose knee boots that elongate your legs rather than ankle boots that diminish leg length. As for shoe color, nude shades enhance the slender illusion.

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Clinging to the past

It’s easy to get in a clothing rut. The problem arises when you don’t realize you’re in one. If you ask stylists their views on the most common mistake women make with their individual style, they’ll tell you that some of us tend to hang on to a look from a previous decade. But just because you looked great in that oversized baggy outfit and branded gear from the 1990s doesn’t mean it makes sense now. Avoid clothing that is too tight, too baggy, or has a print that is blatantly decade-related. Throw out those hippie skirts and distressed denim jeans.

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Always going back to black

Black is classic. Black is slimming. And, yes, black is always fashionable. But wearing it, head-to-toe can make you look older than you are. The color black, especially when worn near the face, enhances lines under the chin and shadows around the eyes, say color consultants. It flattens your skin tone and accentuates dark patches that occur naturally in older skin. Wear black, but avoid high collars. Elevate your favorite monochromatic outfit with bright colors. Try a jewel-toned jacket, or if you prefer quieter colors, choose one with an interesting texture, like tweed.

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Falling into enticing trends

Fashion shows, red carpets, and catwalks inspire much of the clothing women buy. Every season, there is a new aesthetic that seems to take over. Be picky when it comes to choosing trendier items and wear them sparingly. Instead, choose tailored clothing with timeless, classic styles in quality fabrics. Most fashion trends look good only on specific body types, and they don’t last. Clothing is an investment. If it’s not flattering and doesn’t make you feel confident when you put it on, don’t waste your money on it, no matter how popular the trend is on Instagram at the moment.

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Choosing clothes that don't fit

Women who try to hide their body shape by wearing shapeless clothes tend to look older instead of slimmer. Waist-nipping dresses enhance your silhouette. Skinny jeans add length to your body and adapt to just about any occasion if you find the right style. Clothes that fit well aren’t necessarily tight and should never be uncomfortable. They can accentuate your favorite features and draw attention away from those you aren’t crazy about.

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Never updating your skirt length

Hemlines can be confusing. The general rule is, with casual or daywear, the longer the skirt, the frumpier you look, especially as you get older. Most women look best with lengths that are either slightly above the knee, slightly below, or in the middle. Your hemline should land at the slimmest part of these three points. Remember, some fabrics, such as rayon, cause a skirt to decrease in length once you put it on. While some hem lengths age you, shorter, tighter skirts don’t flatter most women’s body shapes either.

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Buying jersey over all else

It’s comfortable and looks beautiful on a hanger, yet it can add years to your appearance. Jersey material only works if it is draped or ruched. Clingy doesn’t usually indicate that a garment is well-fitted, and jersey fabric draws attention to every part of your torso. Clothing should skim your curves, not latch on to them and announce their arrival. Try double-knitted jersey instead if you like the stretch and comfort. It’s easier to find tailored options that create a more attractive silhouette.

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Not accentuating your best parts

Many women feel that once they reach a certain age, it’s time to cover up instead of showing off their assets. Hiding your body from head to toe under layers of clothing adds years to your appearance. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of cleavage. But if you tend to be a bit more conservative, don’t be afraid to show off your neck, arms, shoulders, or legs. Choose great-quality, beautiful clothing that enhances the body parts you’re most proud of.

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Keeping that old bra way too long

Breasts change with age. They lose firmness and shrink in size. Most women think if they wore a 36B in their 20s, they still wear the same size in their 40s. According to statistics, 80% of women wear the wrong bra size. It’s really the fit that matters. And as most women know, size and fit aren’t standard from one store to the next. Some women resort to wearing an old bra because it’s comfortable. The problem is, it might not provide the necessary support. No matter how stylish your ensemble, the wrong bra can ruin the overall aesthetic. Try buying a bra from a boutique with professionals who can properly measure you for the right fit.

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Not picking the right colors for your skin

Just because you love a color doesn’t mean it looks good on you. As we age, skin colors tend to cool. Light colors don’t always look as attractive as dark ones on most women. Pastels are usually too similar to women’s skin colors as they age. Wearing these lighter colors tends to give a washed-out appearance. Turquoise adds glow, and a medium-red violet or toned-down fuschia creates a more youthful look. Women who have a touch of purple or violet in their hair color should try a periwinkle color, which works well with all skin tones.

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Ignoring that your coloring may change

To make color choices even more complicated, our coloring can change as we get older!

Chances are, you had a different hair color as a baby than you did as a child, and then again when you reached adulthood. That means the colors you gravitated towards 20 years ago might not work as well for you today. If your hair is greying, this may also change your best hues.

Factor in your skin tone and hair color as they are right now when choosing colors, especially if you’ll be wearing them close to your face. It might take some trial and error, but finding a palette that makes your coloring “come alive” can be a real game-changer.

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Forgetting to factor in your lifestyle changes

Do you have a closet full of clothes, but still feel like you have nothing to wear? The solution might be simpler than you think. Make sure your wardrobe reflects the life you’re living right now.

You may love glamorous evening gowns, but unless you’re expecting regular invitations to black-tie balls, they’ll just be gathering dust in your closet. Likewise, if you no longer have a regular 9 to 5 office gig, those power suits and patent heels aren’t doing you much good.

Donating items that you can live without will free up space for clothes that you’ll actually be living in, and give someone else a chance to love them.

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Not buying quality over quantity

Sale prices on fast fashion are irresistible, but the trendier the item, the shorter its shelf-life. Cheaply made clothing is designed to look great right off the rack, but that effect fades after just a few washes.

It’s fine to round out your closet with a few inexpensive impulse buys that catch your eye. Just make sure you back them with a solid foundation of timeless, well-constructed wardrobe pieces that deliver the wow factor season after season.

Here are a few quick tips on choosing quality over quantity:

  • Natural fibers like cotton, wool, and silk can last a lifetime if you take good care of them. Synthetic fabrics like acrylic tend to pill and lose their shape.
  • Seams and hemlines should be straight and lie flat with zero puckering.
  • Patterns and stripes should line up at the seams.
  • A lining creates structure and maintains form.

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Turning down the tailor

In this age of cookie-cutter fashion, a good tailor is an invaluable resource — perhaps more so than ever! Although most of us buy and wear clothing right off the rack these days, no two bodies are alike.

You’ll be amazed at what a little tailoring can do, even for the clothes you already have in your closet. It can elevate almost any item to a unique piece made just for you, accentuating every unique angle and curve at just the right length.

Even better, you’ll want to hold on to your tailored pieces for years to come, saving you tons of money in the long run.

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Dressing for the body you wish you had

As people's lives change over time, their bodies do too — it's completely normal. Instead of fighting against the forces of nature, why not work with them? You’ll look and feel so much better if you wear clothes that flatter the figure you’re rocking right now, not one you had 15 years ago. Nothing kills confidence faster than an ill-fitting outfit, so don’t bother holding onto anything that doesn’t work for you anymore.

If you're worried about buying high-quality, and therefore higher-priced, clothing because you're aiming for a different shape or size, keep in mind that better-made clothing is also much more tailorable! A professional can likely tweak any necessary pieces for a pittance.

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Abandoning neutrals as a base

Vibrant colors are an easy way to add youthful energy to your wardrobe, but it's easy to overdo it. Instead of wearing a kaleidoscope of colors from head to toe, let your clothing be a blank canvas for bright statement pieces instead. A pop of color packs more of a punch when it contrasts with a neutral backdrop. Generally speaking, of course; if rainbow impact is your game, you just keep playing!

A few examples of bold pops:

  • A chunky emerald cocktail ring
  • Scarlet slingbacks
  • A lemon-yellow scarf
  • A peacock-hued clutch

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Failing to find smaller ways to add flourish

When it comes to elegance, less is more — and that’s true whether you’re 17 or 70. Coco Chanel said it best: “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

A leopard print bag adds more panache to your look than a leopard print dress. Likewise, a comfy low heel in a bold hue can make as much of a statement as wobbly four-inch stilettos.

Expressing your style in small doses ensures that people remember you, not just your outfit.

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Refusing to spend a bit on reading glasses

Glasses add just the right amount of geek chic to any look. But while cheap drugstore spectacles are always practical to have on hand in a pinch, they can add years to your appearance if you’re wearing them all the time.

Check in with your optician to make sure part-time reading glasses are still what you need. Then, try on some samples to find a style and color that flatters your face, and take it from there. You can find a surprising selection of high-end eyewear and designer dupes at eye-popping prices in department store outlets or online.

Share to Pinterestsenior woman covering her face with her shirt and wearing eyeglasses
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Refusing to learn any fun new scarf options

There’s nothing like a scarf to tie an outfit together, but that doesn’t mean, you have to tie your scarves the exact same way each time — or at all! Letting a long, flowy pashmina drape down from around your neck looks much fresher than a silk square tied at the shoulders.

That doesn’t mean you have to tie yourself into knots figuring out the latest over the latest scarf trends, either. These days, there are almost as many ways to style your scarf as there are scarf styles. For ultimate simplicity, consider a circle or infinity scarf, which makes looping a cinch and eliminates the problem of loose ends getting in the way. If you want something a bit different, the internet is overflowing with how-to videos.

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Wearing prints that don't suit your shape

The fit of a clothing item itself isn't the only consideration. Patterns are the perfect way to inject a little personality into your wardrobe, but size matters.

If you’re on the smaller side, stick with petite prints that don’t swallow your shape. Likewise, you have a fuller figure, larger patterns can be more proportional. In general, steer clear of loud or overly busy prints at any size, which tend to look gaudy in large doses, and opt for simpler designs.

Share to Pinterestsenior woman in supermarket wearing floral print top
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