I'm all for women expressing themselves and wanting to look sexy no matter what age they are. I hardly ever utter the words "that's just not age appropriate" because I think if it makes you feel good and it gives you confidence, then why not? Life is too short to live by other peoples standards of what you "should" be wearing. As long as it doesn't embarrass your kids. With that said, if your wardrobe consists of more than 30% coming from Forever 21, it's time to reevaluate. It has come to my attention that some of us may be taking the name, Forever 21, too literally.I see nothing wrong with wanting to buy a trendy top or two from Forever 21 if you don't want to put a whole lot of money into it but when F21 is your go to store for work, home, and you don't have a "2" or a "1" as the first digit in your numerical age, its time to pass it on by. Put that crippled, blind, and deaf dog down already. Prolonging its life is only causing more suffering.
Other stores to not purchase more than 1/3 or less of your wardrobe from if you are over 30+: Wet Seal, Charlotte Russe, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister. And please, for the love of all things fashion, stop wearing t-shirts that advertise the brand. Unless that brand is Chanel. Or anything else that a teenager on their own could not afford.
Seriously, if you're on a budget, and you're saying "but the F21 prices are so cheap, I can't afford much more", you would do better at Nordstrom Rack (Nordstrom outlet), Off Fifth (Saks outlet) or watching Hautelook or from time to time. You can find such amazing and sophisticated yet fun pieces for sick sick prices. You just have to be patient and pounce early when the stores (Hautelook is online) open @ 8AM Pacific, 11AM EST. If its young and trendy you're after, you will find it there and be amazed at the deals. Think of it like this, spending a little bit of money on something of crap quality and having to replace said crap isn't as economical as you think. Especially if you're replacing it with more of the same.
I know everyone hates "mom jeans" if they have even an ounce of fashion instinct but some ladies take the mom-jean rebellion a little too far. This should be a very easy to follow and simple rule. When you sit down, and you aren't wearing a longer top, and you can see your underwear or more, these jeans are not right for you. Once again, if you're buying your jeans from F21, I'm probably talking to you. You don't have to subscribe to the high-wasit look, but please, look for a mid-rise or save those low-rise hipsters for days when you are wearing tunic length tops or won't be sitting down at all.
Get some nicer flip-flops if you must wear them to places other than the pool or beach or to get a pedicure. The cheap ones that we all grab from Old Navy to run around in (well, I don't but I'm trying to relate), are bad for your feet and bad for your look. At least get some flip-flops that have some height with a wedge and some substance to them! There are so many to choose from Zappos. Affordable too!
Your permission to go bra-less has oficially been revoked. I don't care if you are an a-cup or if you have the perkiest boobs known to man, you. must. wear. a. bra. Seriously, does this really need mentioned?! Everyone looks better in clothing if they are wearing a bra. A bra, if wearing the right size, puts your girls where they need to be which instantly makes you look slimmer and polished.
Stop freaking talking about comfort! You know that show, What Not to Wear w/ Stacey and Clinton? Every single frumpy ass woman who begs to hold on to her dated and horrific clothing uses the same line "but its so comfortable!". Comfort shouldn't be the goal, its a bonus. Picking something that is flattering to your body type is the main goal. As a (American) society, we have become lazier. As things around us become more convenient, we are getting lazier. Its an absolute fact whether you want to believe it or not. I'm sure if it was OK to wear your pajamas to work or church, most people would. Stop it! I have a great little trick I've used for myself for a while now. I stayed at home with my children for 5 years before going back to graduate school. Staying at home and sometimes not having anywhere you have to be, can put you into a really depressing rut and a "who cares what I look like attitude". I rebelled against this and started dressing and getting made up like I was going somewhere even if I wasn't. The moms at my daughter's school would comment "you always dress so cute and wear the cutest shoes!". I let them in on my secret. If I dress like I am not tired, I FEEL like I'm not tired. I instantly have more energy and confidence. Confidence is key.
Yes, you do need makeup. "but I don't have anything to cover up". Yes...you do. How about those dark circles for one? How about looking like you got a full nights sleep even if you didn't? Concealer under the eyes is a must, ladies. I may have a nervous breakdown if someone said I had to leave the house without mascara for a week. You might as well say I have to leave the house without my eyes. Because I will look the same either way. You need concealer under the eyes, well-groomed and shaped eyebrows, mascara, and some kind of lip product that provides color. This is what you need, but going further than this is optional.
Wear a heel. Especially if you aren't happy with your weight. The more unhappy you are, the higher your heel should be. More height=more slimming. I'm not saying to break out the 5" stilettos (but you should if you have them), but even an inch will help. This is the part of my list where I will say that there is no inappropriate height for women over a certain age. Within reason of course, I think those clear plastic looking stripper heels are inappropriate for any age. Look for a heel with a platform around the toe because this instantly takes off some of the "feel" of the heel. What I mean is if you have a 5" heel, and a 2" platform, it will feel like you are walking on 3" inch heels rather than the full 5".
I'm gonna take the chance that I may offend some people here but please, if you are over 36, stop wearing loungewear with words across your butt. If you are going to sleep in them or even maybe going out to the mailbox (although this one is a big maybe), then fine. But if you are going out in public or heaven forbid your kid's school with the words "Sexy" or "Junk in the Trunk", you should be put in a fashion time-out. Sorry ladies, this includes the Victoria Secret Pink clothing line. If you have some of this stuff without words across the butt, then its probably OK to wear.To the mailbox.
The hands down at your sides rule. It made sense back in high school and it makes sense for the 35+ crowd. Notice how I have picked a number arbitrarily that just so happens to not include my age of 33. Anyway, put your hands down at your sides and your shorts, skirts, dress length should not be shorter than where your middle finger hits. I will give you one inch of leeway.
And it should be a no-brainer that tops that expose your midriff are out of the question.
These rules aren't hard to follow people. Wear all the cute, trendy, celebrity inspired clothing that your heart desires. Just aim for "sophistication" before "sexy" and the sexy will naturally follow. I know women in their 40's that feel and look better than they ever did in their 20's and I love that. Work it girl! Just not in a sequined triangle top bikini.