What Not to Wear After 40

One thing not many people know about me is that when I was in high school, I wanted to be a fashion and costume designer. Needless to say, that never happened. I still love fashion and every now and then I’ll make an article of clothing but not too often.

Much of the past dozen years, I’ve spent most of my time in work out gear (personal trainer), jeans and t shirts (laborer), and uniform (military) but the office that I’ve been at since August 2020 I don’t have to wear my uniform. I’m lucky that I have a black belt in thrift store shopping and had started collecting some office basics before covid shut everything down. It’s almost like I knew I’d need them!

Now that I’ve been there for 3 months and have a feel for my work and the atmosphere, I’m starting to develop my style which I thought was lost over a decade ago.

One thing I remember is to “dress for your age”, so I started doing some research – last time I was able to wear office clothes was almost a decade ago so I decided to see if anything had changed. Some of these are obvious whereas others just seem to be… suggestions.

So let’s get started!

1) Ditch the “mom” jeans. You know the ones – usually lighter in color, pleated waist, and tapered leg. The pleated waist usually gives you a “pooch” whether or not you have one. Combine it with the tapered leg and the shape can be unflattering. There are hundreds of styles of jeans out there that are way more flattering.

2) Elastic waist. Again with the pooch. I know elastic waist is convenient, but they are often not flattering!

3) Avoid over embellishment like rhinestones on the back pockets. Bedazzling your clothing is a little juvenile. You can add bling in better ways.

4) Dark lipstick. Goth is so high school!

5) Black hair. If your natural hair color isn’t black, chances are you don’t have the skin tone to pull it off.

6) Obvious lip liner whether over lining or different color/shade from your lipstick. If you have thin lips, learn how to make them fuller more naturally.

7) Glitter eyeshadow. Maybe for a holiday look, but not for everyday! Shimmer is one thing but not glitter.

8) Outfits that are too “matchy-matchy”. Mixing different colors or patterns, textures and materials adds visual interest.

9) Mini skirts. Now, there are short skirts then there are mini skirts. Wearing a skirt that’s a couple inches above the knee is much different than a skirt just below the butt cheeks.

10) Don’t show too much skin. You’re not competing with gals in your 20’s so don’t dress like it. There is way more allure when you’re refined and put together. When you’re dressed like a million bucks, you’ll attract better men – not boys.

11) Don’t wear strapless. As a woman ages, natural breasts start to migrate – especially if you’ve had children.

12) Cheap underwear. Invest in your undergarments and not “disposable” (aka cheap). Properly fitting undergarments can change how your clothes look. Plus uncomfortable undergarments make for an uncomfortable day!

This list isn’t exhaustive and it isn’t like it’s gospel. Ultimately, however you present yourself in what you feel most comfortable and confident in, is what is truly important! I’ve seen plenty of women who are “breaking all the rules” and look bloody amazing doing it!

Just remember that clothes are how you introduce yourself without speaking. I never like to “judge a book by its cover” but visually, you make a statement. However you dress, do it with your head held high!


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