Dressing Your Age

Q. I am 21 years old and have been often told that I look like I’m 15! I want to look my age and dress up a bit with heels but I always end up wearing t-shirts, jeans and sneakers because I can never put together a girly, comfortable outfit. How can I achieve a look to show off the older girly side of me while being comfortable at the same time?

-21 going on 15

A. When you get to be in your thirties, you’ll be thankful that you look younger, so take care of your skin to prolong the 6-years-younger look.  I can’t make this suggestion stronger: make sure there is sunscreen in your daily moisturizer.

On to clothes…you seem to know what is appropriate for your age, but you keep grabbing what feels safe. Dark jeans are stylish for every age, but add a strappy heel or patent wedge with a cute top for a Saturday night out. For day, make gradual changes by wearing a skirt and a dress at least once a week.  They can be casual, flirty pieces, but guaranteed you’ll feel more like a girl then a young tomboy.  As for sneakers, each time you go to tie them on, make a switch and slip on a cute flat instead.  And be sure you sport colorful or stylish “trainers” with your jeans rather than your sneakers meant for running or to the gym. Stylish New Yorkers would be lost without two pairs of run-around fun sneakers in our closet that are just meant for pairing with weekend wear.

Start with causal dresses or skirts that you can wear with sandals or espadrilles and you’ll be well on your way to dressing your age:

Lacoste Colortip Crossback DressFree People Diagonal Floral Print DressRuby Rox Ruched Poplin Tube Dress

Necessary Objects™ Seersucker SkirtKira Skirt  $34.50 Lux Knit Deep V Tie Back Dress



dresses and skirts, left to right: Lacoste Colortip Crossback Dress, $145 at urbanoutfitters.com; Free People Diagonal Floral Print Dress, $128 at urbanoutfitters.com; Ruby Rox Ruched Poplin Tube Dress, $48 at nordstrom.com; Necessary Objects Seersucker Skirt, $48 at nordstrom.com; Kira Skirt,  $34.50 at delias.com; Lux Knit Deep V Tie Back Dress, $29.99 at at urbanoutfitters.com

Candy Sandal  $36 Miss Sixty Strappy Ankle Wrap SandalBP. 'Congo' SandalLibby Flat  $36



shoes, left to right: Candy Sandal, $36 at delias.com;  Miss Sixty Strappy Ankle Wrap Sandal, $85 at  at urbanoutfitters.com; BP. ‘Congo’ Sandal, $59.95 at nordstrom.com;  Libby Flat, $36 at delias.com

  • ANNE

    I WILL BE 70 NEXT FEB. I DO NOT WANT TO DRESS LIKE I AM TRYING TO BE 16 OR IN MY TWENTIES.

    I FEEL YOUNG, PEOPLE TELL ME I LOOK MUCH YOUNGER THAN I AM.

    I DO NOT WANT TO DRESS IN HOUSEDRESSES OR “OLD FART” PRINTS, ETC.

    WHAT IS APPROPRIATE FOR ME TO WEAR BOTH ON A DAILY BASIS AND FOR DRESS-UP EVENTS.

    DURING THE DAY WHILE RUNNING ERRANDS I USUALLY WEAR JEANS AND A NICE TOP OR SWEATER..

    PLEASE HELP..

  • Alison Deyette

    From your writing you seem to know what works for you and what you intend to avoid, i.e. housedresses and old fart prints. Jeans and a nice top or sweater is fine by day, for summer add bermuda or walking shorts that come to just above or below the knee. For a drssier day add a knee length a-line skirt and top. As for dress up events, every woman know matter the age needs a little black dress, cocktail length. If you have a slimmer figure then add a pencil skirt to your wardobe. And remember accessories can always add personality to your wardrobe from a printed scarf, beaded necklace, trendier belt or heels.

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