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    Top 10 Items You’re Too Old to Wear

    Top 10 Items You’re Too Old to Wear

    Walk into any mall and you’ll see a 40-something woman wearing every trend from Forever 21: tight tank top, low-rise jeans, metallic platform heels, plastic bangles and oversized earrings. Are you a middle-aged fashionista who just doesn’t know when to quit? Read on for the top 10 clothing items to leave in the past...

    Young and trendy clothes may look great on the killer body of a 40-plus woman. After all, Goldie Hawn shines in her trendy outfits even though they look like she raided daughter Kate Hudson’s closet. But should she?Definitely not, says celebrity wardrobe stylist Ricci DeMartino, whose clients include Eva Longoria Parker, Patricia Heaton and Lisa Kudrow.“Living in L.A. like I do, you can go to Malibu and see this look any day of the week!” DeMartino says. “But trying too hard only calls attention to yourself – it’s overcompensating. You don’t need to dress like a teenager to look young.”Most of us don’t push the clothes age barrier nearly as far, but even a tasteful fashionista may not always know how to dress appropriately as she moves past 35, 40 and beyond. How do you know when it’s time to lose which look? Here’s our style experts’ top 10 styles you’re too old to wear:

    1. Message T-Shirts Retail Retirement Age: 30 Why: You’ve seen them on celebrities: “Jesus Is My Homeboy,” “Your Boyfriend Thinks I’m Hot.” The freedom to express yourself via your wardrobe is part of the teen and 20-something years… but beyond that? Letting people know you’re on “Team Kate” vs. “Team Jon” at 35 just seems, well, desperate.“The message tee boom was fueled by Young Hollywood,” DeMartino says. “But it’s mostly a way for people to express frustration.” And that doesn’t exactly come off as mature.Stunning Substitute:“Replace the message tee with a great-quality cotton tee you can dress up or down from a line like James Perse in the hot colors of raspberry or grape,” he says.

    2. Too-Trendy Denim Retail Retirement Age:35 Why:If it’s super-low-rise, torn, distressed, embellished with rhinestones or embroidery on the pockets or – shudder to think – characters like Mickey Mouse are patched on, go outside your house and light a bonfire now. You’re just too old to wear it.“Because you’re not in your element with these [too-young items], you only end up looking out of place,” DeMartino says.

    3. Costume Shoes

    Retail Retirement Age: 
    Mid-40s Why: We’ve all done it: Buy a pair of entirely impractical, overly-theatrical shoes that weren’t suited for everyday life. Maybe they were clear plastic “stripper” heels straight out of Frederick’s of Hollywood. Or perhaps they were stilettos with a six-inch heel you could only walk a block in.Whatever the case, 40-something fashionistas will look fresher without the too-trendy cork wedges, thigh-high boots or up-to-the-knee Gladiator sandals seen on envelope-pushing A-list youngsters such as Mary-Kate Olsen and Rachel Bilson.“Anything too high or too crazy should be avoided,” DeMartino says.

    4. Micro-mini SkirtsRetail Retirement Age: 40 Why: “Age appropriateness [in fashion] is partially determined by who you are and what you do – so yes, Tina Turner can wear micro-minis on stage that the rest of us would look ridiculous in,” Krupp says. Unless you’re the Private Dancer herself, get yourself and your teeny skirts over to Goodwill. Stunning Substitute:Krupp’s pick? A chic straight skirt or a sexy-yet-classy pencil skirt, because both allow you to show off some curves without making you look as though you’re pretending you were born after the Reagan years. Just avoid anything four inches or more above the knee. DeMartino suggests adding tights to make a short skirt less risqué.

    5. Anything Showing Excessive CleavageRetail Retirement Age: 50 Why: “An older woman shouldn’t feel she needs to show it all off. Anything below the middle of your [bustline] has got to go,” DeMartino says. “A little goes a long way,” writes Krupp, who in her book bans excessive “boobage” past the age of 40 and warns readers not to display too much sagging skin.Stunning Substitute:“A well-fitted tweed vest can be worn with a blouse underneath; unbutton a few buttons and you’re going to look sexy but classy,” he says.6. White, Ribbed Cotton Tank TopsRetail Retirement Age: 40Why:Skimpier versions of this men’s-undershirt-style tank are worn all over Hollywood by hot actresses.“Women today want to keep up with much younger celebrities on TV,” DeMartino says. But what’s cool on the stars of “Gossip Girl” may not work on you. These tanks must go, Krupp says.

    Stunning Substitute:A scoop-neck tee from a higher-end T-shirt maker, such as Three Dots, or a double-layer cotton shirt will “still gives you the ability to show off your figure without wearing something [too young],” he says.

    7. Hair Gadgets Retail Retirement Age: 30 Why: Whether it’s flowery scrunchies, banana clips or your daughter’s plastic kiddie barrettes, whimsical hair accessories are not fitting for a fully grown woman.“With Hello Kitty in your hair, you’re going to look ridiculous at your age,” DeMartino says. “Remember Chrissy from Three’s Company?”Stunning Substitute:If you must use them at all, hair accessories should be subtle – think a tortoise-shell barrette or grosgrain-ribbon headband from J. Crew – and similar in color to your hair. But even some headbands can make for a too-young look – Krupp doesn’t like them at all past a certain age.

    8. Oversized, Overly-Decorated Hobo Bags Retail Retirement Age: 50 Why:Open any magazine, and you’ll see tiny celebrities toting enormous, eye-catching handbags – the skinnier the star, the bigger the bag, it seems. Well, don’t follow suit!“Avoid these oversized bags with all the bells and whistles…charms…quilting,” DeMartino says.“When you come to a certain age, the good news is you’re beyond trends.”

    9. Cheap, Unflattering Underwear Retail Retirement Age: 40 Why:“Most women are not fitted properly when it comes to their bras,” DeMartino says. And the more a woman’s breasts [and body] begin to sag, the more important proper, good-quality undergarments are. Both DeMartino and Krupp are obsessed with body-shaping products like Spanx, which stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow have admitted to wearing to smooth out their silhouettes.“Get a proper bra fitting at an upscale department store, and make friends with shapewear as you get older,” DeMartino says.And keep in mind that menopause can also change your bra size. “Only the good lingerie from now on,” agrees Krupp, who notes that past age 30, underwear needs to be as supportive as it is sexy. Stunning Substitute: When it comes to lingerie, you get what you pay for. DeMartino recommends the Cosabella label, while Krupp favors La Perla but also endorses the lower-cost Hanky Panky and Wacoal brands.“[Good lingerie] can be expensive, but five good bras will last you a while,” he says.

    10. Loud Accessories Retail Retirement Age: 35 Why:The rubber bracelets, goth-inspired studded belts, zebra purses and plastic earrings proclaim to the world that you’re still plugged in to the trends. We get it – but you can look hip without the teen trappings. Gather up your wild accessories and black nail polish and donate them to the nearest ninth-grader.“[Accessories like nail glitter] make you look like you crashed a sleepover party,” Krupp writes in her book.Plus, “you never want to combine too many trends in one look,” DeMartino says. Stunning Substitute: Think quality and quantity. Limit yourself to one funky accessory per outfit – as long as it’s well-made. Think a leopard-print scarf, thin silver bangles or a gold clutch to dress up nice jeans and a simple top.One last trend to toss, no matter what outfit you’re wearing: visible or colored bra straps. Your undergarments are meant to be hidden.

    You’ll never go wrong with classic styles and subtle accessories, but good fashion students also know that everything in style is subjective.“Every woman must make her own decisions about when the break the rules,” Krupp notes.“But what you’re striving for isn’t to look youthful – it’s to look ageless,” DeMartino says. “This way, you’re going to look more fabulous because the look is appropriate for you.”


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