The Habitat
Over 50? Here's What Not to Wear
Over 50? Here's What Not to Wear

Dressing when you are over fifty does not mean giving up looking stylish and comfortable. However, for many people, hitting the fifty mark brings some changes in body shape and appearance that make it necessary to consider the challenges that come with aging when selecting clothes, hairstyles, and make-up. If you are over fifty, you can enjoy classy and cutting-edge styles without looking like you selected your wardrobe from the junior department of a big box store. However, from head to toe, there are just some styles people over fifty should never wear.


Wild Hair Color

Portrait of a smiling elderly woman MarijaRadovic / Getty Images

Crossing the line into the fifties does not mean giving up stylish hair, but fad and style are not the same. Candy-colored locks and Gothic black tresses, while a little over the top, might be cool for the younger set but not for individuals over fifty. If you are not ready to give in to nature’s gray, the right hair color can look fresh, healthy, and yes, even youthful without competing with the adolescents. If you choose to color your hair, it is better to select a hue similar to your natural hair color.


Wimpy Wireframe Glasses

Woman in wireframe glasses. PeopleImages / Getty Images

Granny looking wireframe glasses and rimless options might have been popular decades ago, but they tend to add years to the face. Many older adults have found that a substantial-looking frame in a dark color results in a cutting edge, more youthful appearance. Glasses with frames that appear heavy are lightweight and come in a variety of colors, including red, classic black, brown, and tortoiseshell. From the traditional Clark Kent shape to frames with round or geometric lens shapes, finding eyeglasses that complement the mature face is easier than ever.


Massive Makeup

A collection of makeup products AnastasiaNurullina / Getty Images

More make up is not better for individuals of any age. Makeup should enhance facial features, not call attention to signs of aging. Dry powder, lipstick that is too heavy and too bright, glitter, and excessive eye shadow, can bring attention to an aging face. Embellishing the face too much can make wrinkles prominent and cause pores to look more profound. A light application of liquid foundation and natural-looking neutral lip color creates a more youthful appearance.


Deep Diving Necklines

Woman in a low-cut dress jhorrocks / Getty Images

Tops and dresses with plunging necklines look best when left on the rack. While a tasteful open neckline or V-neck top is attractive and works for many women, necklines that expose deep cleavage and bulging breasts do not do much for mature women. When the chest starts to wrinkle, and gravity has its way with the breasts, it is time to trade in the low-cut tops and dresses for something that leaves a little more to the imagination.


Too Much Jewelry

Woman wearing several bracelets Anetlanda / Getty Images

Jewelry, like makeup, is designed to enhance the overall look, not detract from it. Excessive bling can appear tacky. A chunky and eye-catching necklace may bring unwanted attention to an aging neck or a chest with wrinkled skin. A few good quality but not necessarily expensive pieces look attractive, classy, and can add both finesse and spark to an outfit.


Thigh-High Hemlines

A woman in a mini-skirt Mlenny / Getty Images

A mini skirt or dress and a nice pair of legs go together like bread and butter, but after fifty, it might be a good idea to re-evaluate hemline length. Over-fifty legs are not all created equally. If the short skirt causes people to do double-takes and giggle, it may be time to drop the hemline to just above or below the knee.


Clothes With A Sprayed-On Look

A woman wearing tight leggings FluxFactory / Getty Images

Clothes that are too tight are ill-fitting. Having to lay on a bed to zip a pair of jeans or using pins to close openings on a bulging blouse means that those items are too small. Leggings designed to wear with tunics should NEVER be a replacement for pants when wearing short tops. Spandex is no substitute for clothes that fit well. Tight clothes do not enhance the body, but they do bring attention to extra weight and imperfections that most individuals would rather keep under wraps.


Baggy Clothes

A woman in a baggy sweater tataks / Getty Images

Baggy clothes bring unwanted attention to the body and look sloppy. Recent weight loss may be the reason for clothing being a little loose, however altering them will remove excess fabric and help the items fit better. If buying new clothes is too expensive, thrift stores and consignment shops offer nice-looking clothing at affordable prices.


Frumpy Fashion

Woman shopping for vintage clothing pawel.gaul / Getty Images

Decades-old clothing can appear frumpy. Sometimes individuals become stuck in a clothing time warp, falling in love with a particular look or style. Pieces like classic blazers are timeless, but that 10-year old floral blouse or Hawaiian print shirt in your closet probably looks way out-of-date.


Shoddy Shoes

A worn-out woman's boot ArminStautBerlin / Getty Images

Old shoes may be comfortable and suitable for lounging around the house, but they detract from nice clothes. Scuffed shoes and those with frayed laces, nicked heels, and worn soles can ruin a perfectly good look. Sometimes all it takes is a little shoe polish and heel dressing to breathe life into a pair of shoes that have been around for a while. However, when shoes can’t be made to look better, it’s time to toss them for a better-looking pair.




Make a habit out of it.

Get daily tips and tricks for living your best life.