What I Wore Wednesday – What is Age Appropriate?

I wore this outfit last Saturday as just my “bumming around on a Saturday” outfit.  It’s comfy yet stylish.  I think we went to the pet store and grocery store. Big day. Because I’m fun like that.

Plum Charlie dress from Matilda Jane Clothing

Brown Clarissa leggings from Matilda Jane Clothing

Brown shoes from Indigo by Clarks

Brown wrap sweater from Athleta

Turquoise drop earrings from Stella & Dot

Gold and Tan Infinity Scarf from The Pleated Poppy – with a flower pin from Matilda Jane Clothing


While at the grocery store a lovely young women approached me from behind and said my kids were beautiful.  I thanked her and as I made eye contact with her, her look changed a bit and she asked if I minded if she asked how old I was.  I told her not at all – that I would never be embarrassed by my age… and I told her that I would be turning 43 in a couple of months. (strange to round-up, yes?)  I also checked my hair as I know my gray is a bit crazy right now and I need some color.


She replied that I was older than her mother and that she sure hope she looked like me when she was “my age” and would still wear fun clothing.


I guess I will take that as a compliment – even when it does have the tag line “at your age” at the end. I’ll assume she didn’t think I was dressed too youthful and maybe she thought I was too young to have children? I’m sure that was it.


I’ll take anything these days. Gray hair and all.


But it made me wonder – are there things you will not wear now because of your age? A certain heel height? A length of skirt? Sleeveless tops? Pony tails? Or do you think there are looks that just should not be worn by a woman of a certain age?


I draw the line at flowers in my hair. Such a bad look for me..at my age.    I also have retired my bikinis.  What won’t you wear because of your age?
pleated poppy

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About Tracy

My name is Tracy Morrison and I live in sunny Minnesota. I'm neither British nor a nun - I'm just a Midwesterner with a headache. This is mainly a humor and lifestyle blog that documents the lighter side of parenting. I am an ex-corporate ladder climber turned freelance writer, social media manager, world traveler, and marathon runner. I would love for you to contact me at tracy@sellabitmum.com

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  1. says

    I will say that you look completely stylish and ok for your “age”…..If you were in daisy dukes, I might have to have a one-on-one intervention. 🙂 You’re good Mama. Don’t give into Mom jeans and the like! M’kay?

    • admin says

      Note to self: Must throw Daisy Dukes away..and just think they are coming back because of the new Footloose movie. Lord help us all.

  2. says

    I think it has less to do with age, and more to do with what is appropriate for your body, and your attitude. There are of course lines that people cross. I think you look awesome. I love your style, and your ability to get up in the middle of the night to run. You will never be one of those women who look like they gave up when they hit a certain age. You will be one of the classy women who look stylish and fun forever.

  3. says

    Tim and I used to tease about the rule they said on What Not To Wear once, which was no mini skirts after 35. He used to agree but now that I’m 36, he’s backpedaling… ;P

    I adore that scarf!! Not that I would ever need it here… boo.

    • admin says

      Well you’ve got the legs – so you need to wear those. I do not follow that rule and wear my skirts a bit short still.

      You need that scarf – it’s a light woven cotton – perfect for NOLA.

  4. Mandy says

    I think you look fabulous. I hope to be that stylish when I am “your age”. I am 30 this year. I have decided that skirts more than an inch above the knee are not my cup of tea anymore. Not sure if it’s an age thing or a body thing, I just know it’s not a good look for me “at my age”.

  5. says

    My mom stopped wearing pony tails in her early 30’s. I am now in my 30’s, and I still wear pony tails. I even wear pig tails occasionally. I guess I haven’t changed what I wear yet… We’ll see….

    • admin says

      I still do ponytails – but I can see the end is near. I gave up pigtails at 38 – probably a few years after I should have. LOL

  6. says

    I would answer your question, but I am distracted because that sweater is currently on sale, and I think I need it in Boysenberry. Um, what was the question?

    Oh, age stuff. I don’t know. I just got bangs, and I love them. But someone told me, “oh, those are young,” in a strange tone. And now I worry that people think I’m TRYING to look young, though I wasn’t.

    Have I had a coherent thought in this comment yet? Let’s just go with: I think it has to do with body type and balance. Wear a short skirt, but maybe some tights. A ponytail, but neatly done with nice make-up. See, this is why I am waiting for your new blog 🙂

    • admin says

      You will love that sweater – I also own the boysenberry. It’s fabulous.

      …also yes..that blog…xo

  7. says

    You look great! This is a great question. I suppose the day might come when I should stop wearing ponytails but as a runner, this is a staple hair style for me. Maybe really short shorts might be where I draw the line these days. Unless I’m racing. 🙂

    • admin says

      I am a runner also and keep my hair long so I can do ponytails…one day they may look strange? I don’t know?

  8. says

    You look fantastic, as always!! This is such an interesting question & really difficult to say “this is okay, but those are out.” I agree, as one person said, that body type probably has a lot to do with it. But I also think sometimes you can just look at something & say, “oh, that is just not good/age appropriate.” I hope that I am always able to look at myself with that same objectivity. That being said, I do not like to wear short shorts or very short skirts as at this stage of life (having little kids) I just feel they are difficult to move gracefully in (like when you are constantly having to bend over or squat to pick up toys, pacis, sippy cups, etc.) I also do not wear super high heels any more because they kill my feet & I have decided they are so not worth it to me, but I think others my age look good wearing them.
    Oh, and I think that overly tight clothing is not good on any age, jmho. Anyway, I’m looking forward to coming back to read the rest of the comments.

    • admin says

      Yes, I’m afraid I’ve been less than ahem careful when wearing shorter skirts while crawling around after a toddler. lol

  9. says

    I wish I had your fashion sense!

    I’m not a fan of shorts anymore, and mini skirts have been out for a LONG time! Bikinis? They’re done too (thanks, children).

  10. says

    I think my skirts have gotten a little bit longer (not that I wear them often, anyway).

    I’m loving your outfit. Can I come raid your closet?

  11. says

    You look lovely in that photo, as always.
    You know? The only thing that I’m ruling out because of my age are belly shirts and daisy dukes. 😉 But, really, I don’t want to see those on anyone.
    And maybe hair feathers. 😉

  12. says

    I don’t where minis because I have thunder thighs, but if I could pull them off I might just try!

    Also, what is this thing about ponytails? If it is 94 degrees and I am shoveling chicken poo, my dang hair is gonna be in a dang ponytail, mkay? MKAY????

    But seriously, no pig tails. That’s like…lewd or something.

  13. says

    First, let me say that I think your outfit is completely appropriate.

    However, I do believe that it’s important to wear clothes that are age appropriate. I’m a high school/junior high teacher, and my girls wear lots of outfits that are darling on them but inappropriate for a 35 year old. I don’t want to dress like a frump, but I also don’t want to cover myself in glitter, bows, and fake fur. My sister-in-law is 40 (a teacher with 4 kids). She still dresses like she’s 15, and it’s just…wrong. Part of it is that she no longer has a 15-year-old body, but the “Bad Girls Reform School” graphic T she wore to our July 4th picnic would have been gross no matter what her body looked like.

    • admin says

      OMG I hope you got a picture. I totally agree that we should be appropriate for our age. I admit I did buy an ugly bra at Justice only because I was so excited to finally find a 32AA bra that fit me well – but I would never let anyone see it.

  14. says

    How weird that she asked your age, even if it was to pay a compliment. I hate when people do that, I think it is so intrusive. You look great and I wish I had an ounce of your sense of style.
    I will not wear a single thing with words across the butt. I can’t say I retired the style though because I never did wear it. “CUTIE” across my butt cheeks just did not seem like the best choice.

  15. says

    You aren’t dowdy and that’s the stereotype. I used to wonder at what age I’d have to cut my hair & get my hair “set” each week at the hairdresser. :-/

    If my thighs weren’t so floppy post-partum, I’d still be rocking booty shorts…but, alas, that would be oh so wrong & cruel of me. 😉

    You look great for any age!

  16. says

    I would have no idea what she meant by that comment? You look great.

    I like this outfit but to be honest, I am not a fan of the leggings and the shoes. I think the leggings are too short and make your legs look short instead of long. Other wise, very cute. Totally something I would wear.

    • admin says

      Jen – so damn funny as I completely agree with you. I like my leggings cropped but usually wear boots with them – which I had on that day, but ended up taking off as the temp rose and I was hot..so I just put those on as they looked okay. I think if I had shorter legs it would be much harder to pull off for sure. Thank you for that comment. I love you.

    • admin says

      I totally did not agree with this and got bangs last year. OMG HUGE mistake – I could not wait until those suckers grew-out.

  17. lindsey says

    I think, as an older woman (ie: older than a teenager) and a mother, there is a certain..um…look we have to uphold. It isn’t frumpy, but it should let people know that we are aware that we are influencing our children (girls with how they will dress in the future, and boys with how they will choose their women in the future). I have seen way too many mothers with young girls dressing in short shorts and too tight t-shirts. I think that dressing like a teenager when you’re (not YOU, just a general statement) obviously not just shows that you’re unwilling to embrace this new period in your life. I would never in a million years want to go back to my teenage years. My husband thinks I’m better looking now than when I was younger – children have matured me…and I dress accordingly.

    Does that make any sense at all? I haven’t had my coffee yet 😉

  18. says

    I have a denim mini-skirt that I slipped on kast month and later decided, nope, it’s done. Even typing the word ‘mini-skirt’ feels inappropriate at 36.

    I’m not quite ready to retire the bikinis just yet, though. Although if I don’t get my ass in shape (literally) before my next spring and my Hilton Head vacation, I’m going to have to rethink that. You’d think that would be motivation to get myself in the gym more regularly, but no.

  19. says

    You look adorable, as always. Did you know that when I hang out with you I pay WAY more attention to what I wear? (Kind of like a “What Would Tracy Think”)? And that’s a good thing.

    The last bikini in my drawer was when I was 12, and I haven’t worn a sleeveless shirt in public in 20 years. Never owned a mini skirt as I hate my thighs. But I will ALWAYS wear bangs, to hide my ginormous forehead, so if that is a rule I don’t care if I break it.

  20. Rachel says

    I love this outfit. I am scouring your past blogs to see the Target dress that you added knee-length boots and a shawl to … I bought a blue dress just like it at Walmart ($9!) yesterday and have yet to find all the pieces in my closet to go with. Undershirt, vest?, boots, tights … not enough time this a.m. I am also in the age group where bikinis are retired (only with shorts to work around the yard with) and I can no longer wear short skirts (unless running, of course!) Work it mama!

  21. says

    I wore a ponytail every day for years before I cut my hair off for Locks of Love (I died at the comment about getting your hair “set” once a week at the beauty parlor – my poor grandmother!).

    The only clothing item I’ve given up are mini-skirts. I still like them, but the ones I have are vintage denim and/or distressed and they LOOK like I’m trying too hard to be young.

    I think a tasteful short skirt is fine if you are comfortable and confident. I just don’t own any tasteful short skirts – ha! Almost any article of clothing can be more tailored and tasteful – the cut, fit, and body type make all the difference, no?

    A part of me worries about the “looks” I put together and wants to know what is fashionable(so can’t wait for your “other” blog); but another part of me says to HELL with rules and what anyone else says.

    I’ve lived 43 years and can wear what I want.

    And if I end up in a People Of WalMart photo series, oh well…


  22. says

    I hope not. I don’t want to change how I want to dress just because of my age. I suppose there are things that I wore in college that I wouldn’t wear now, because really should a mom of two wear an abercrombie shirt that says, “Always on Top”? Should anyone?

  23. Gloria says

    I haven’t worn a bikini since I was 18 years old. And, yes, I find them inappropriate for women of a certain age, mine that is (51).

    I also don’t like to see any woman in daisy dukes w UGG’s. Whether it be script, bold lettering or sequins, I do not care to see a company logo either down the leg or across the ass of any pants (Ed Hardy, Victoria Secret Pink or BeBe.

    Again, these are just things I would not wear and.

    • admin says

      LOL – I love my uggs – but wear them in the Winter with jeans…because it’s below zero.

  24. says

    I think for me (like some others mentioned) it’s more of a body-type and what I’m comfortable with, than an AGE-specific thing, although there are a few occasions where I see a woman around my age, with a great body wearing something that I wouldn’t be caught dead in, even WITH her body… like the bewbs-bursting-out-of-the-shirt-plus-mini-skirt-and-FMP combo… I mean, unless it was date night and Hubs & I were staying in 😉 of course – I’ll never have the bewbs-bursting out of anything issue, but still.

    Currently – at 31 – with my body style, I’m not comfortable in super short shorts (not a fan of my thighs – especially when sitting down) and I’ve NEVER owned a mini-skirt… so shorts & skirts that are too short? OUT for me. also – I put on my bikini once this summer… on the 4th of July… as I laid in my back yard reading a book… for four hours. you can still see my tan-er-burn lines.

    and I’ve only once owned pants with words on the bum, some Vicki’s secret lounge pants that were a Christmas present from my mom (she got my sister & I the same pair, more my sister’s style than mine!) and they just said PINK on my bum… I only wore them inside the house… no-one outside of my house needs to be looking at my arse anyway.

    I also refuse to wear sparkly hooker shoes. but that’s just personal preference. 🙂

    • admin says

      Damn about the sparkly hooker shoes. I agree – keep everything tucked in neatly – nothing needs to hang-out.

  25. says

    I agree with everyone who said it is more about body type than about age. And so many things that do come to mind about what shouldn’t be worn really apply to ANY age, words across your ass, boobs popping out of shirt, skirts that barely cover the ass. I don’t want to see that an anyone whether they are 18 or 58.

    Pigtails are the exception, can be worn when you are younger but the older you get the more they look like you are playing a role is someone’s fantasy!

    I will not wear a bikini, but I never did. I felt too much like I was stepping out in my underwear and quite frankly most of my underwear has as much or more coverage than a bikini for far less money.

    Otherwise, if it appropriate for your body, wear it!

    Oh, and the bang thing? I will ALWAYS have bangs. They do fabulous things for my face shape 🙂

  26. says

    You looked so pretty!

    I don’t wear bikinis because I am too fat, but if I ever got down to a better weight, I would do a 2 piece. I won’t wear mini mini skirts…or UGGS or barretts in my hair. My hair is too short to put up 😉

    My. Fashion no’s are more because of my weight and not my age.

    You should take what she said as a compliment, I’d love to be as fashion forward as you are!

  27. says

    I’ve given up wearing thong underwear as outerwear. But that’s more in the interest of public safety.

    (note, when I first typed that, I wrote “pubic safety,” which may be equally appropriate).

    I don’t get the “for xxxx age” comments at all. You look great, for any age.

    What’s killing me, lately, is that my gray hairs are becoming more & more apparent in my beard. And I really, really don’t want to shave. But, I really, really don’t like them.

    • admin says

      OMG I have gray beard hairs too!

      I do wear thongs in public – but do keep them covered. For sure.

  28. says

    I don’t do bikini’s either…but that’s mostly because of the mommy pudge on my belly. I used to rock the mini skirts…but I don’t any more, because I feel like I’m too old.

    I’ve had people tell me my hair is too long for my age. Whatever!

  29. says

    I like your hair up.

    And I think it’s a wonderful compliment that young girl gave you.

    I don’t wear things my boys object to: they are teenagers and have told me what they don’t like to see me wear.

    I respect that.

    And I’m glad they want to be proud of me.

    You look fabulous.

    • admin says

      I love this – I would not wear anything out that my kids didn’t like either. I think they totally have the right to request that.

  30. says

    This post made me laugh… isn’t it funny how all of a sudden we’re the age that people say things like “when I’m your age…”?

    Ummm – I should give up bikinis, but in my own backyard, it’s all fair game. I still wear them in a public, but with a tank over it.

    One thing I think I’m too old to wear (but I still do it) is blue jean shorts and cowboy boots. HOwever, I’m in Texas and that’s my justification for wearing it anyway!

    And no, they’re not daisy dukes. 🙂 If you’re old enough to know who the real Daisy Duke is (not Jessica Simpson), then you shouldn’t pay homage to her shorts, right?

  31. says

    I’m 31 and I still wear short shorts (thought not quite Daisy Duke short) and sleeveless tops. My hair is too short for ponytails and pigtails but I’d wear them if I could. I did stop wearing short skirts a couple of years ago. And I’m wavering on the bikini, but that is more due to a recent substantial weight gain than age.

  32. says

    It is youthful and stylish and I don’t think you’re too old for it. If I didn’t have a such a huge belly (all my weight gathers there) I would still wear a bikini.

  33. says

    I WISH I had your sense of style, and the thin frame wouldn’t hurt either! I’m sure she meant it as nothing but a compliment. This year I pondered whether my shorts were too short, but as I saw my almost 40 SIL and other moms at preschool drop off, what I really started to ponder was whether or not my legs had gotten too out of shape to WEAR those shorts. Hmmmm.