Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Q&A - Too Old For The Mini

Q: Can a 40 something woman in good shape wear a mini skirt or dress? I am afraid of looking like a teenager, but I see a ton of cute styles this season that I would really love to buy, so any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

A. A pressing question on the minds of many women over the age of 30 - the age in which most of us retire our legs to a life of hiding beneath knee length skirts and dresses. In my opinion, there are three questions to ask yourself to determine the answer. First, are your legs attractive? Saggy knees and cottage cheese thighs do not belong in a mini. Second, does the look fit your style, personality and the rest of your wardrobe? And third, are you comfortable wearing short skirts and dresses? If your answer is yes to all of these, keep reading for tips on the best way to wear a mini at your age. If you answered no to any of these, put the mini back on the rack.

How To Wear A Mini

1. Keep it Sophisticated

Shop for mini’s no less than two to three inches above the top of the knee (unless you have really great legs and want to show them off). Avoid tight fitting denim and leather. Please, no ruffles or sequined embellishments. Never wear a mini skirt to work!

2. Proportion is Key

Volume on top will counterbalance the shorter length to provide an appealing look. Billowy, sheer fabric, larger sleeved tops work well with mini skirts. A short shift dress looks great with tights and ballet flats as does a short skirt with a turtle neck and knee high flat boots. Never pair a tank top, low cut top or sexy stiletto heels with the mini at your age - you’ll just end up looking trampy.

3. Consider Wearability

The mini may look and feel great while standing in front of the mirror because it exudes a sense of liberation and youth. So move around and sit down before you make a decision. If you are not comfortable sitting or walking in it, then what’s the point? The trapeze and babydoll style mini dresses are feminine and cute, but can look too young - in a bad sort of way - on older women. I agree that some can pull it off nicely, but do you really want to look like you are trying to re-live your teens or twenties.

So what do our readers think about this dilemma? How do you feel about older women wearing short skirts? I am still trying to find an appropriate place to wear my electric blue tights and black mini dress. Some day, I tell you...some day I will.


MR style said...

what a great blog idea ! maybe i should try doing this for men !!

Lady Language said...

mr style - thanks for the kind comment and yes, you should give it a try :)

Reluctant Blogger said...

I love the tights. I have loads of wacky tights but I feel a bit self-conscious about wearing them these days. I do wear them when I am doing the boot room at the ski club because it is all snowboarders there and I don't feel out of place, but I am not sure I could walk down the street in a short skirt and wacky tights anymore. I'm sure people would point and stare.

But I do wear shortish skirts quite often - my spotty one and another black one i have and people often say they like them. But I wouldn't wear a short skirt without tights anymore!

Is that you in the photo? If so, you have great legs!

Lady Language said...

reluctant - exactly, you need to find an appropriate place to wear those wacky tights. I love short skirts and shorts, but my legs are my best feature (I work hard to keep 'em that way), and yes, those are mine in the pick :)

Arlina said...

Excellent advise. I myself am 39 and although I have nice legs, I often wonder if I'm "too old" to pull it off.

For me, a short skirt is great when I'm going out at night with a pair of sexy heels. But that's just how I roll. ;)

Lady Language said...

arlina - of course, I forgot, risque chics are allowed to wear those high heels with a mini regardless of age :-)

Fashionable wife said...

To tell the truth, I wish to buy mini skirt that high school student used to wear. I did get into the shop looking for it, but the salesgirl gave me a strange look. Hem... guess I better do online shopping. Anny suggestion?

the iron chic said...

I never really wore mini skirts without tights.
I just never felt right....or mini shorts!
I would feel naked and you know my opinion on shorts!

Lady Language said...

fashionable wife - has 170 options on sale right now - just type in "mini skirt" in the search area. Also, for younger looking skirts, try,,, If you need detailed suggestions based on your body type - drop me a note and I'll help further!

Lady Language said...

iron chic - how do you feel about tights with short shorts?

The Poet Laura-eate said...

I know a statuesque lady in her 50s who still looks fantastic in a mini-skirt, though she is wise enough to team it with 1960s style-tops/jackets and tights to make it classy/funky.

I cannot approve of too much fashion by prescription, though of course people do themselves no favours by wearing what their figure (rather than their age)resents!

Lady Language said...

poet - good point, the best dressed women are those who follow their own style intuition taking into account their proportions :)

Jessi said...

I really wish more people followed your blog because this would save so many people from major bloopers. I see absolutely nothing wrong with older women wearing shorter skirts, but they need to do it in a flattering way! Use some common sense and do it because it's comfortable for you....not because you're clinging to your teenage years and think you can look hip. Make it work for your own personal style!

Lady Language said...

jessi - what a kind comment, thank you! It's amazing how some women just don't get it - like you said, just use some common sense and don't try to be something you're not :)