Current Fashion Trends To Avoid If You’re Over 35

July 16, 2013 • Fashion, Fashion Blog, Trends


We are going to lay it out there for you. Even though I am writing this, trust me, Carol agrees! We get there are no steadfast rules to fashion, but there is that point in a woman’s life when she looks at herself in the mirror and asks herself, “Can I really wear this?” We are here to answer that voice in your head. We don’t agree that just because you turn 40 you need to chop off your hair for a more “mature” style or that you can no longer wear stilettos in your 50’s. That’s B.S. Some even say you shouldn’t shop at Forever 21 or Topshop over 40. I disagree with that too. Let me clarify, if you shop at those stores exclusively, then yes, you might have a problem. However, adding a piece here and there to balance out your hi/lo look is fine. Just don’t borrow clothes from your teenage daughter. We feel women of any age can wear most trends. It’s just how you wear them that matters. Let’s start with those trends that may walk a fine line…

Overalls (pictured above)

If you are over the age of 8, you should not wear overalls. Never. Period. They are not cute on 20 year-olds so you won’t rock this look unless of course you are working on a farm. So if you see a pair in your favorite store, just walk away.


Crop Tops

Oh Lord, these are back? Showcasing a six-pack may be one of this year’s hottest trends, but crop tops come with an expiration date. I am going to go out on a limb here and say if you are over 32 don’t even consider them. If you’ve had children, have stretch marks or scars then just say no, no matter the age. Yes, we know Gwen Stefani wears crop tops, but she really shouldn’t either. Yet, I know it seems more acceptable to push the age limit of a trend when you see a celebrity do it. Ultimately it isn’t. Be completely honest with yourself…are your abs really that amazing?




Frankly nobody should wear these, because they are just dreadful. I suppose if you are Victoria’s Secret model, you can get away with it. But everyone else? Run like the wind. You might think this is better than a bikini, but it really isn’t. Personally I feel if you are over the age of 40 you should put the bikini to rest. However, there are exceptions to this rule. If everything is still tight, I’d much rather see you in a bikini than this look above. Also, if you have a belly ring, please remove it if you are over 35. Thank you.


Micro Minis

Here is the deal. Look in the mirror right now. Seriously. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Are your thighs touching? Do they have some unsightly veins? Are your knees starting to sag a bit? If you answered ‘well, kinda’ to any of these…you should not be rocking a micro mini. Sorry. However, don’t feel you have to wear a pencil skirt that covers your knees. How about a skirt that hits a couple of inches above the knee? Is that a fair compromise?


Neon Colors

How can I say this? If you remember the neon trend of the 80’s or better still wore neon in the 80’s you are best to leave this one alone. That’s not to say you can’t rock a neon clutch or a pair of pumps. You can. Just keep it away from your body.

solange-knowles-Vs Heidi Klum mixed patterns-lgn

Mixed Patterns

I dabbled in this trend last fall and have decided to stay away. In your 20’s it can look cool if done properly. The problem is, most don’t mix patterns properly and that’s where you can run into problems. Unless you really know what you are doing you run the risk of looking batshit crazy. Who wants that? Leave the trend to the experts. If you really want to try it, we wrote a guide on How to Mix Prints Properly.


Cropped Pants

Cropped pants are always going in and out of fashion. I’d say every other year they seem to come back in fashion. The problem is, in your 40’s they tend to look matronly. Wide leg, linen and elastic waist are words you should avoid when it comes to cropped pants. Add Birkenstocks and you’re cooked. Now, if you really want to wear cropped pants, please make sure they are a current cut (bought in the year 2013) and are tapered/skinny and/or patterned. Pair them with stilettos and nobody will ever guess your real age.


Acid Washed Jeans

Just back away. Stick with the dark blue denim you have been wearing. Acid wash just gives us that ‘icky’ feeling. Trust us on this one. Enough said. While we are at it, avoid the ‘summer bootie’ too. It just doesn’t work.


Rompers (short shorts kind)

See micro mini skirt explanation above. ‘Cute’ is a word you should avoid in your 40’s.


Studded Wedge Sneakers

Now, I am going to admit…I own a pair of wedge sneakers and I love them. They are black suede. So I feel on trend, but not like a fashion victim which is how I would feel if I wore the metallic studded version pictured above. See? You can wear any trend, just make sure to go for the subtle option rather than the screaming ‘notice me now!’ kind.


Ombre Hair

I love ombre hair. I really do. It’s just too easy to do it wrong. At any age. I even went so far to ask my colorist if I could/should try ombre and he talked me out of it for the simple reason that it can be aging. Oh and the upkeep is impossibly hard if you are also combating grey hair (like me). Since you want the roots dark any grey hairs are going to stand out. I highlight the hell out of my hair to help obscure the grey! In fact, I joke I will be a a full-fledged blonde by the time I’m 50! If you want to try ombre, go subtle. As in a few shades lighter than your base color. Sandra Bullock got it right!


Big Words

The word PINK (Juicy, your sorority, etc.) down the side of anything…we think it goes without saying that if you are out of college, this is a very bad idea. They should have been cleared from your closet by the time you were 25 at the very least.

– Lauren Dimet Waters


See the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40

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3 Responses to Current Fashion Trends To Avoid If You’re Over 35

  1. […] Second City Style advises which trends to skip if you’re over 35.  (And here I was, JUST gearing up to wear overalls again, too.) […]

  2. Jeanne says:

    Wow, you guys are taking a very black and white approach to dressing “don’ts” for older women. I agree with your assessment of short shorts, monokinis, and microminis, but I think you are being too prescriptive about the other items in your article. Older women can look very chic in cropped pants, mixed prints, and neon. As always, it is a question of how these elements of style are used. I use them to great effect and so do a lot of other older fashionistas. One could argue that mixed prints, neon, and overalls shouldn’t be worn by anyone – even those under 30 – if they don’t know how to wear these styles, right?

  3. Jessica says:

    Well. The last picture in the ombre section is actually color blocking. So of course it’s a bad ombre seeing as it’s something else. And sneaker wedges are tacky on anyone.

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