What Not to Wear This Summer As a Woman of a “Certain Age”

By on July 1, 2016

Summer is a time of year that we pull out our past summer wear, which can include styles from years past that may not be the best options if we crossed the threshold of 40 something. But just because you are a woman of a certain age it doesn’t mean you can’t look fabulous, chic and classy. Following are Diane Roth’s top tips for what NOT to wear this summer. The big no-no has to be #9.

  1. Graphic print leggings, without underwear.
  2. Pants that are neither here nor there – Capri’s hit bottom calf muscle. Cropped hits ankle bone. No half masts.
  3. No shorts – over 25. From behind you look terrible.
  4. Long following dresses are great, not so much if they are unlined and see through in bright sunshine.
  5. Bras are underwear not tops. Go get a bra fitting – start with the foundations.
  6. Tank tops that are cut high enough and not too high, not a work-out tank.
  7. Bingo wings/flappers can be avoided by wearing a sleeve to the elbow.
  8. Sleeveless works if you have a tan real or faux work but be brutal on your arm assessment.
  9. Hats – great remember you are supposed to be able to see when wearing them. It should also have a relationship with the outfit you are wearing.
  10. Shoes – if you don’t have good toes don’t hang them out. If they are good get a pedicure. Peep toe makes your legs look shorter. Cuts the foot – sandal, mule, slide, wedges. What looks good with a pant looks good with a long skirt
  11. Accessories – summer bangles, clothing loose and soft and so should your jewelry. Matching sets are Fabulous for over ’80s.
  12. Soft flowing top, narrow bottom/pant/pencil skirt or fitted top with a flowing pant. Big over big equals big – even if you are tiny.
  13. Makeup – minimalist, glossy makeup, lighter. Bronzers are not paint.
  14. Choose a fabric that breathes – cotton and linens. A light fabric
  15. Trends turquoise, pinks, melon – color not prints. Find a color that’s good – not the ones you wore when you were 20.
  16. If you have long hair then wear it up

You can still look fabulous in the summer, effortless, chic and classy.

Diane Roth has owned L’Armoire boutique in New Canaan, CT for 31 years. She really has seen it all – from dressing people for the Oscars, and offering complete wardrobe overhauls to Fashion TV spots and packing carry on for clients. For advice and style tips you can follow L’Armoire on Twitter: @LarmoireShop and on Facebook.


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  1. Marguerite

    July 19, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    I am way past 50 and I find this article insulting = no long hair, no this, wear sleeves. Are you kidding me? Let women of any age wear what they want and feel comfortable wearing.

    • lb50

      July 19, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      This is a general guideline for the typical mature woman, some of my good friends break all these rules and look fabulous! Some better than women who are 20 or 30 something.

    • ruth

      September 6, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      Marguerite, I also posted a comment on this article. However either it wasn’t approved –or– my comment never made it to the approver for review. It doesn’t matter. I commented along your lines; I felt that the advice was perfect for 1965. It struck me as shallow. It struck me as applicable to a tiny percentage of American “50 plus” women; these guidelines don’t fit any of the typical mature women in my social circle. Also, I commented that the grammar was surprisingly terrible, considering the article was bullet points on what to not do. How simple could it be. Anyway, just chiming in to say that, like yourself, I also found this particular article absurd. Now, I’m wondering if this comment I am typing now will be culled out. All in all, I really do love this website and hope they learn to censor better. This particular article was an exception; most of the articles here are helpful.

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What Not to Wear This Summer As a Woman of a “Certain Age”