Dressing Your Age


I'm in a predicament of sorts. I don't know how to dress any more. Seriously, all the money in the world can not find me something to wear.


How is an almost 40 year old suppose to dress? I want to be fun & trendy but still dress my age. I need something better than Forever21 but I'm not quite liking Coldwater Creek, Chico or Talbots yet.


Remember when it was simple and everything that Esprit put on the shelves you would buy? I use to love my Seventeen & Teen magazines. I would pour over every page and buy outfits similar in style. Now when I look at fashion magazines, nothing looks realistic. I feel like they have lost touch.


Now don't get me wrong, I still buy the occasional piece at Forever21 or Old Navy. I just want better quality. I want a brand I can call my own.


What do you wear? Where do you shop?


Ps. I think I am the only one in the world who does not like Anthropology for fashion.


Pss. Can an almost 40 year old wear boot socks?



**All pictures (& more) can be found HERE.


Katie @ Team Skelley said...

You can totally still wear boot socks, I did the other day.

Well, you know Gap better than I do, but I think that you are a Banana or JCrew gal. With your love of black and white, you could totally be a White House Black Market shopper.

I like this topic- I think I might do an article about it for Rocket City Mom, can I quote (and link back) you?

Alicia said...

We recently got a Maurice's in Slidell (I had never even heard of it before), and I have found SO many cute things there. It's not too young, not too old (Chico's and Talbots are awful). I jokingly call it Forever 31 (although now that I am 41, I may have to change that!).

aware said...

I love Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor LOFT.

Lilia said...

This is something I consider and talk about often. Let me start my saying you can wear boot socks. I think that in general - you can wear whatever you want to wear so long as it's not too tight and not too short. I find (being a bit taller and not 100 lbs) that most outfits I see at Forever21 are just too short for me, but I like some of the styles. I try and find similar things at Gap, Old Navy, Macys, etc... I think your style can be your style no matter what your age - so long as you do it right regarding fit and length. At least that's my opinion. =)

elizabeth said...

I don't ever want to hear that you have even stepped into a chichos or Talbots
I love gap
And banana republic
Ann Taylor if I had a job I needed business clothes for
The limited has cute stuff too

elizabeth said...

I don't ever want to hear that you have even stepped into a chichos or Talbots
I love gap
And banana republic
Ann Taylor if I had a job I needed business clothes for
The limited has cute stuff too

elizabeth said...

Oops sorry google acting up
I don't like anthropology for clothes either only house stuff but you already knew that :)

Kristine said...

I am in the same boat. I feel like I don't know how to dress like a grown up. I feel like all the stores I go into are full of tweens and teens so I'm embarrassed to shop there. Then I just don't have the money for stores such as JCrew and Banana Republic. And even when I do buy new stuff, I just don't know how to put it all together so it looks good on me!

Ivy Clad said...

Great topic! I'm glad you did this post. I think White House Black Market is great for the "right age look". Also, I love Garnet Hill (garnethill.com). They have a good range of brands that are very pleasing. Have you looked at Shabby Apple for cute dressier dresses?


Rebecca Grace said...

Okay, it sounds like you're due for a poetry-whooping:

"Warning - When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple"

By Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired
and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
and run my stick along the public railings
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick the flowers in other people's gardens
and learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at a go
or only bread and pickles for a week
and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
and pay our rent and not swear in the street
and set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

You don't need anyone else's permission or approval to wear boot socks, glitter nailpolish, or anything else that makes you smile. "Too old for that" is a state of mind, and if someone else disapproves of your outfit it's their problem, reflective of their hangups about youth and maturity, not yours.

As for Anthropologie: Sometimes I do find sweaters or swooshy skirts there that I like, when I'm shopping in the store. Then the catalog comes in the mail and the styling and combinations are so atrocious that I never would have bought the skirt/sweater/whatever if I had seen the magazine picture instead of seeing it on a hanger in front of me, with an open mind.

I also like Ann Taylor & AT Loft, *SOME* of Banana Republic and Gap, and some of Garnet Hill. Oh, and I love the Lucky Jeans store, just wish the damned Extremely-Low-Waisted-How-Low-Can-You-Go insanity was over already.

Sonja said...

So right there with you... and having 4 kiddos and one that is about to graduate from highschool just adds to the frustration! I am so glad you posted this because I was beginning to think that I am the only one who feels this way. ...too old for teen clothes...too young to not care!

Ruth said...

I am new to your blog but can completely relate to this. I am turning 40 in a few months and finding reasonable clothing without spending too much is getting harder and harder. I don't want to dress like my 18 yo college daughter but I also don't want to dress like my mother.

I live the styles you have pictured here.


Gail Griner Golden at Gail-Friends said...

Enjoyed your post and the comments. I remember feeling like you, 20 years ago. Now at 61, I love the freedom of wearing whatever makes me feel good. I've never been a slave to fashion and have always dressed to express my "self". I wish I could find a store that does what I like. I find things that speak to me and put them together myself. I love some of Chico's things, especially their long skirts, jewelry and accessories - they are so ME!

Kara said...

At 43 years old, I wear whatever I want. :) To me it's about feeling good in what I'm wearing. Maybe because I work at a college- I tend to dress young but I do always feel/look appropriate. So I say wear whatever you want!

Beach Coast Style said...

You're so cute! I so understand what you are going through. I have been there and I've got you beat by six years. I get items from, Garnett Hill, Sundance catalog, target and other places. I just kinda do a mix. And my teenage daughter will surely tell me if I am not age appropriate! Good Luck! It will come to you and blogland has tons of inspiration! Have a great weekend.

Melissah from Coastal Style said...

I know what you mean I am 45 but I'm slim & look young so the shops that sell to people my age are all lots of layers & covering up but I don't need to hide anything so I go to the younger shops but they're cheap & trendy & too young so I am caught in the middle! I have a few good brands that work for me so I now play it safe and stick to the formula so I don't stress myself out everytime I go shopping!
My blog 'Coastal Style' has just had a re-vamp with lots of new pages on fun, seaside inspiration. Pop by if you have a minute!

Jill Baros said...

Yes! Thank you for this! I've gone through that phase a few times. The first was after I had my first child & became a stay at home mom. I had a closet full of work clothes and not much else. Right now I have my 'uniform' of t-shirts, cargo capris & flip flops. I want more style, just don't know how to pull it off. It helps to take my very stylish sister with me when I go shopping. She is truthful, but kind & gets me to try things I normally wouldn't.

km said...

YESSSSS an almost 40 year old can wear boot socks for sure!!! I wish I had the style to pull it off. :) Good luck hunting down something that makes YOU YOU! One of my fave place when I lived in WA was Nordstrom's Rack. :):) We have nothing here... so I'm pretty much yoga pants all the time. Sad but TRUE!

Anonymous said...

I'm old (62 yrs) and I hate Talbots & Chicos.....I too don't know how to dress. I like to look youthful but not ridiculous. I like Banana and J.Crew, but they are getting more pricey. I buy most of my clothes at Marshalls and good ol' Target......I don't ever plan on joining the red hats (bless their souls).

Elaine said...

Anthropology, Gap, Banana Republic, J Crew and J Jill they are fun places to shop and also boutiques...

ms.composure said...

the 2nd an 4th pic are def my fav! and i feel that "dressing your age" is def different to everyone taste. im not saying that some granny can walk around in a mini skirt and halter but if she has leggings and an amazing overcoat then she better rock it!


Becky said...

You should definitely check out "Boden USA" ....
I am 59, with four young grandchildren ... and I STILL like to wear stylish clothes that aren't toooo crazy !
I think you will LOVE Boden's
fashions !!! :)

Barbara Matson said...

Hey, I am 40 and I buy really trendy clothes at Forever 21 just cause their are cheap. My classics I buy at Banana Republic, The Gap and H&M! I took the plunge and bought skinny jeans - no mom jeans for me. I love it when my teen daughters ask to borrow my clothes - must be doing something right?

Don't let age dictate what you wear. Wear what makes YOU feel good! Age is a number and a mindset :) 40 is the new 30, right?

Anne said...

If I feel comfortable in an outfit I wear it! Age shouldn't matter if you feel and look good!:)

melifaif said...

Oh how I am with you friend. Sucks, doesn't it!?! When you find out what "brand" - help a sista out!!!! Loving your house....coming along just perfect!!!

The Knight Life said...

At 33, with a 14 year old daughter, I struggle with 'dressing my age' as well. I see things on her that look so cute, but she is way better at coordinating clothes than me! One store that I did not see mentioned that I love is New York and Company. Great post!

Katy @ Sugar and Chiffon said...

Have you tried Ann Taylor Loft or The Limited? Both are great for fun-but sophisticated- dressing, with Loft being a bit more casual than Limited.