10 Fashion Faux Pas You Shouldn’t Be Making At Midlife

fashion faux pasIt is said that aging gracefully is an art. Not all women, however, succeed at mastering this one. Sure, age is just another number and we all want to look and feel young, but the fact remains that we’re are better off looking graceful and elegant, than like an over-the-top wannabe.

At age 50, you’re neither old and dreary, nor inexperienced and bashful. You’ve been there, done that, and have learned enough about life to relive it all over again, but maybe in a better and more-knowing sort of a way.

A lot of mature women find it hard to come to terms with the fact that they’re over 50. But being in that age bracket does not make one old. Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Kim Cattrall, Vivica A. Fox, they’re all over 50 and look a lot better than some of their younger counterparts. These women have the grace, the poise, and the polished beauty which comes with styling according to one’s age.

If you’re 50 (or over 50), and looking for information on how to avoid fashion blunders, which can make you look tacky and loud, then here are a few fashion faux pas that women in their 50s should definitely avoid.

1. Wearing the Wrong Makeup

Wearing the wrong makeup can totally backfire. Makeup should hide your imperfections and simultaneously look natural. Since your skin changes as you age, you need to upgrade your makeup and application techniques accordingly. Everything, from the foundation to the lip color, as well as the nail color needs to undergo an upgrade.

Never make the mistake of applying too much foundation to hide your wrinkles and fine lines. It’ll just make you look cake-y, which is a big turn-off. Keep it low-key with light foundation, lip color and eye shadow. Keep the use of eye-liner and mascara to a minimum. Dark makeup will only attract more attention to your features, which won’t work in your favor.

2. Wearing the Wrong Clothes

Dressing like you did when you were in your 20s and 30s will not work if you want to look classy. Throw out your old pair of skinny jeans or shorts, and tight-fitting crop tops, if you’re still holding on to them. Stock your wardrobe with comfortable and well-fitted stylish clothes for more mature women, which are available in plenty if you make the effort of looking around.

3. Wearing the Wrong Innerwear

It’s not just about how you look on the outside but the way you feel on the inside that also matters! Remember, because your body is changing, you need give it the required support. Figure out the right size for your undergarments and stay away from smaller, ill-fitting sizes. They’ll just make your shape look weird. Invest in shape wear and spanx-type panties which will help you avoid the visible panty line.

4. Not Looking After Your Skin

Just like it is important to upgrade your makeup, you need to upgrade your skin care essentials as well. You might want to consider investing in skin creams and lotions that will slow down or hide the signs of aging by erasing fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet. These lotions should also help provide your skin with suppleness and radiance.

5. Not Using Sunscreen

Use a sunscreen with high SPF every time you step out of the house, as it will slow down the occurrence of more wrinkles. Talk to your dermatologist for which product is best for your skin type.

6. Applying a Single Tone of Hair Color

Sometimes, applying the same tone of hair color throughout your hair can make you look older. You can try highlighting them and mixing them up with another natural color for the whole head. This will surely give you a youthful appearance.

7. Matching Everything

Matching all aspects of your attire is passé. It is better to adopt a look that is clean, sophisticated, and simple. You do not need to match your nail polish with your clothes or your bag with your shoes. It just screams “wannabe.”

Instead, you can opt for a look that’s subtle by acquiring statement pieces of clothes and accessories over time in classic colors, patterns, and themes.

8. Accessorizing Too Much

Nothing can kill the elegance of a beautiful outfit like over-accessorizing. If you’re wearing a bold statement necklace, you will do well in ditching the earrings and vice versa. Similarly, if you’re wearing a heavy bracelet, wearing rings is unnecessary. It is always better to make one accessory the hero and tone the others down.

Additionally, avoid large opulent hats and bags. And say no to bows and buckles, bells and sequins, and you should do just fine!

Accessoriesimage credit

9. Wearing Running Shoes with Everything

How can one wear athletic shoes with everything and everywhere? It’s just disastrous and looks funny! Unless you’re running, playing sports, or exercising, leave your running shoes in your wardrobe. For footwear that’s comfortable, you can opt for flat sandals, ballerinas, low-heeled pumps, boots, or slip-ons.

10. Following Trends Blindly

This is criminal, especially if you’re not a teenager. Sure, it’s tempting to slip into that sheer skirt or those trendy denim shorts, but it can make it appear like you’re trying too hard. But that doesn’t mean you give up on trends completely. Being trendy is great when it comes to handbags, sunglasses, scarves, and jewelry. Just not with all the items of clothing.

Play it safe and keep it low-profile. Instead of splurging on passing trends, buy a few pieces for flair. For example, keep your outfit simple and let your handbag, scarf, or your sunglasses take the center stage.

Fashion Faux Pas

Image Credit


There’s nothing wrong in trying to look younger than your real age, provided you do so correctly. Looking like a 25 or a 30 year old should not be the objective, rather it should be to look good for your age. Being fashionable will only work in your favor, but you also need to bear the dos and don’ts in mind, else it could leave you looking all out of place.


Don’t miss out on any BA50 stories!
Click here to subscribe.

10 Fashion Faux Pas You Shouldn’t Be Making At Midlife was last modified: by

Millie Rainer

Millie Rainer is a content strategist for Adorona.com. Millie also loves being a part of the Mom blogging community and finding out how Women Entrepreneurs succeed at what they do best. Hit her up on Twitter @MillieRainer 

  13 comments for “10 Fashion Faux Pas You Shouldn’t Be Making At Midlife

  1. Natasha M.
    July 18, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I am 57…in good shape and not about to give up skinny jeans….you make it sound like over 50 we need to start wearing Mom clothes…maybe some people do…
    Wearing skinny jeans with a crop top maybe not…but with an oversized Tee..or tunic…its a great look. Just saw a photo of a friends mom …94 and wearing some skinny jeans with a man tailored shirt…she looked fabulous!

    • Carrie E
      July 18, 2014 at 9:43 am

      I agree with Natasha M. I LOVE my skinny jeans. My legs are my best feature. So while I’d never wear a crop top, I think an oversized top with my skinny jeans is most flattering to my body type.

    • Dorrie
      April 8, 2016 at 6:47 am

      I totally agree with Natasha…..skinny jeans, when you have great legs, are a plus at any age….with a lovely tunic top they actually make you look YOUNGER. Hello Tina Turner! I also disagree with the “no hat” rule. A glorious hat can be fabulous at any age…..witness Queen Elizabeth! I would nix the sequins, however…lol

  2. July 18, 2014 at 9:50 am

    A challenge is what is already in the closet to make your wardrobe work. Give away the old, the out dated, the ill fitting, the sentimental. If skinny jeans look good on you they are a staple not a trend. The name skinny jeans is trendy but it does not just mean jeans but any slim fitting tailored pair of slacks.

  3. Stephanie Dell
    July 18, 2014 at 10:29 am

    A woman passed me on a beach wearing a two piece bathing suit. Guessing she was in her early/mid 70s. Her head was held high and she rocked it with confidence and swag. Should she have worn it in public? Go tell her that her boobs drooped a bit and sweet buns puffed out of the bottom. I actually took a second look! I want THAT confidence to wear whatever I want, wherever I want.

    • July 19, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      YES! Belief in yourself is half the battle. If you’re confident and happy in your skin, you can wear just about anything and look terrific. That being side, I’m sticking with my one piece Speedos — I’m a swimmer and bikinis have never worked for me — too much adjusting and tugging. (Not to mention the top sometimes coming off when you dive in.)

  4. Pauline
    July 18, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I agree, Natasha, I’m 59 and only wear skinny jeans. I hate blanket statements like this. My 34 year old daughter doesn’t wear skinny jeans because her hips are bigger than mine. I have skinny legs and no hips and skinny it is. I can’t stand the feel of fabric on my feet. I wear oversized tees and shirts as I have a middle that I would rather hide. I also wear a lot of eye makeup because my eyes are my best feature.

    I feel old just reading articles like this, it sounds like we all have to dress the same and I find that screams ‘over 50’ more than anything else. I also have long hair which is supposedly wrong for anyone over 50. Wear what you like, by 50 we should have some idea what suits and doesn’t.

  5. Dennie
    July 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    I agree with the posters who say that blanket statements about what to wear when you’re over 50 are not helpful. Wear what suits your body at whatever age you are. I wonder how old Millie, the author is?

  6. Millie Rainer
    July 21, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Hi All,

    Thanks for your feedback. Didn’t mean to offend anyone. If you love skinny jeans, by all means keep wearing them. It’s just my opinion that skinny jeans don’t look great on people after a certain age, but then I’m not a fan of skinny jeans and don’t really like them on anyone, young or old. I feel jeans slightly flared at the bottom are a lot more flattering on women (regardless of their age).

  7. Datdamwuf
    July 23, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    “But being in that age bracket does not make one old. Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Kim Cattrall, Vivica A. Fox, they’re all over 50 and look a lot better than some of their younger counterparts.”

    When you say that about women who have had extensive “work” done it doesn’t help at all. I mean, Demi even had ribs removed to make her waist longer. Please don’t tell me how the way they look should make me feel better. I look 20 years older than they do, I look that way because I can’t afford surgery, laser, a chef or someone to help me work out.

  8. Heather
    December 27, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    I find this article depressing and a little offensive. I’m 50 years old and shop for some casual clothes at American Eagle Outfitter. I have a pair of distressed denim shorts I bought at AEO two summers ago and wore them everywhere. I do wear crop tops but usually under my very oversized denim overalls with a trendy cab hat with my vintage Doc Martens bright yellow loafers. I wouldn’t even wear crop tops as a teenager, but I do now! 🙂
    You say “play it safe and keep a low profile”?? Sorry, but with all due respect, I say ‘Bite me’, young lady. Age is a just number. I wouldn’t want to look like, or have the shallow, plastic lives, of Demi Moore, and some others you listed. My role models are not those women, but any woman who has lived their life with integrity and depth of character; who have weathered huge challenges in their lives and have survived. These are the women to look up to (and the women who have posted on this board)…who cares what they wear? You need to learn a few things still. Honey, I tell you….life starts at 50 years old – and – youth is wasted on the young! Thanks for posting this article.

  9. May 31, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Blimey, this article did depress me… but the comments cheered me up no end! I shall cling on to my skinny jeans for another couple of decades then.
    Meanwhile, I would never dream of telling a 20-30 year old woman what to wear.

  10. BonnieJ
    April 8, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I have classic tastes that are “appropriate” but wear slim/skinny jeans all the time, and love to accessorize. I work hard to stay in shape too, and have great long legs. My adult daughters BTW, compliment me all the time.

    Part of the fun of getting older is that i care less and less what other people think of me. i find most are thinking of themselves most of the time anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *