Best Before: 40/

Most clothes available today seem to be made for young people. There are “old” people shops, but they are either the really, really high end boutiques or the “I’m-old-and-I’ve-given-up-all-hope-of-looking-good-just-give-me-something-to-cover-most-of-these-lumps-and-wrinkles” shops like Northern Reflections or Tabi International.

Maybe it’s always been like this and I’m just noticing because I’m old not that young anymore. The problem is I still like a lot of the fun, flattering stuff designed for the under forty crowd. Even if I could afford clothes from the ultra-chic high-end boutiques, nothing there appeals to me. It’s boring and looks like if you’re not tall, slat-shaped and don’t have a honey-blond bob, you wouldn’t be able to pull it off anyway. (This is where my new friend, Julia, the needle witch, steps in and says, “Hey! You should sew your own clothes – problem solved. Riiiiiiight)

I don’t want to dress like my daughter, or like Cher, but I do still feel 35ish and want to dress 35ish. What does that mean? I’m not sure, but I’ve made this handy table listing things I think people over 40 definitely shouldn’t be wearing and a list of things I’m in a quandary about.

In the interests of simplification, we will assume that the over-40s in question are reasonably well-maintained and want to look fashionable without looking like they’re trying too hard (TTH); and that anything that just doesn’t look good on anyone doesn’t need to be considered.  It would be interesting to compare the opinions of the under-40s to those of the over-40s on this. 

Not to be worn by over-40s?

Can these be worn by over-40s?



Black hair

Spiked hair (short)

Pink, blue, green or other coloured hair bits

Beach hair

Hair bands or other large hair accessories

Platinum blond hair

Pig tails or braids

Just f***ed-look messy hair

Long hair

Big costume jewelry

Exposed midriffs

Tight t-shirts and tops

Exposed butt-crack

Spaghetti straps

Plastic  jewelry


Skirts or shorts more than 1 inch above the knee

Low-rider jeans

Those new tent dresses & tops that are everywhere & look like maternity clothes

Funky shoes (Are there any shoes that look good on young people that old people shouldn’t wear?)

Animal prints

Leggings with short skirts or dresses

Band t-shirts or t-shirt with ironic/stupid sayings on them

Leggings with long shirts or sweaters

Anything with skulls on it

Big sunglasses

Red lipstick

Yoga pants

Pony tails (for men)

Skinny jeans

Bright colours

Vintage stuff

2-piece swim suits

Kurta style tops

Work-out gear when you’re not working out, no matter how funky (e.g.: sweats)


Ruffles & bows