Replace These Wardrobe Items To Instantly Look Younger

In the past, many older people felt pressured to “dress their age.” But this is rapidly changing. New styles are always coming out for all age groups, and what you wear can make people think that you’re five years younger. By getting a different shirt collar, choosing the right patterns, and wearing the right shoes, you’ll feel more confident and stylish. Here are some clever wardrobe tricks to make you look younger.

Swap Black With Lighter Colors

Nan Legeai, chairwoman of the French haute-couture company Celine, wears a pale yellow dress.
Eric Robert/Sygma via Getty Images
Eric Robert/Sygma via Getty Images

Black is sleek, slimming, and timeless. But wearing too much can make people appear older. According to color consultants from The Habit, wearing black near the face can accentuate wrinkles or dark circles under the eyes.

Try swapping black clothes with lighter, neutral colors. Grey, beige, brown, or even white reflect the styles of younger people. When you wear black, try pairing it with other colors. Add a colorful necklace or shoes to really make the outfit “pop.” You might even feel more vibrant and confident!

Never Fear Your Neckline

The left shows a high-neckline shirt, while the right shows a lower neckline shirt.
Engin_Akyurt/Pixabay and Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Engin_Akyurt/Pixabay and Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Some older women are afraid to show their chest, so they stick to crewnecks or turtlenecks. Do not fear! Older adults can look fantastic in lower necklines. In fact, it might empower you and help you feel more confident.

You don’t have to go extremely low or revealing. But a nice v-neck or scoop neck can make all the difference. If you still feel insecure, pair it with a necklace. People will be so busy looking at the nice necklace that they won’t notice the rest of your chest.

Don’t Ditch Heels; Find The Right Ones

A woman wears one lavender heeled shoe and another deep purple heeled shoe.
Anna Bratiychuk/Unsplash
Anna Bratiychuk/Unsplash

Many older adults can no longer embrace the “fashion is pain” mindset, especially with high heels. But you don’t have to ditch heels entirely. Find a little bit of height that is comfortable to walk in, which will make you appear taller and younger.

Kitten heels, platform shoes, and wedges can add a bit of height without destroying your feet. Younger people tend to wear at least a bit of heel when they’re dressing up. That said, you don’t have to wear heels all the time; a workout or trip to the grocery store might be better with sneakers and flats.

Replace Bulky Jewelry With Minimalist Accessories

A woman wears two minimalist golden necklaces.
Andie Gómez-Acebo/Unsplash
Andie Gómez-Acebo/Unsplash

Today, many younger people tend to wear small, simple jewelry. “[Though] older generations are huge fans of jewelry and watches, the youth of today are generally very minimalist,” says Jack Prenter, the founder of style website Known Man.

If you don’t want to get rid of your favorite jewelry, try combining pieces. Wear a larger necklace with a simpler bracelet, or mix thin bracelets with thick ones. Young people also wear less colorful jewelry and instead, stick to metals. A larger bracelet made from silver, gold, or rose gold might make your entire outfit look younger.

Replace A Zipper With An Elastic Waistband

Heidi Klum wears high-waisted pants with an elastic waistband.
BG026/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
BG026/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

As people grow older, they tend to gain weight around their muffin-top area, says fashion stylist Lauren Rothman. If you’re worried about this, ditch the jeans and slacks with zippers. Try pants that have elastic waistbands.

Nowadays, pants and shorts with waistbands come in all shapes, styles, and colors. You can grab some jeggings (jean leggings) for extra comfort, or wear high-waisted elastic slacks. Plenty of young people wear elastic waistbands these days, and they are becoming more and more popular. This way, you won’t have to sacrifice comfort for style.

Embrace Curvy, Funky Patterns

Two women wear shirts with funky, bright patterns.
Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images
Jackie Spragley/Pinterest

A surefire way to appear (and feel) more youthful is to embrace fun, funky patterns. Wardrobe stylist Dina Scherer says that certain patterns can seem “older,” such as horizontal stripes, geometric prints, and too much floral.

“If you’re wearing patterns to increase your youthfulness, I recommend more curved ones that are on the brighter or more colorful side, versus two-toned,” she told Reader’s Digest. Try some fun polka dots, funky leggings, or a colorful dress. In spring and summer, these patterns will really radiate youthfulness.

Stop Hiding Under Baggy Clothes

On the left, a woman wears baggy clothing. On the right, a woman wears well-fitted clothing.
MEGA/GC Images and Janet Larson/Pinterest
MEGA/GC Images and Janet Larson/Pinterest

When people worry about their weight, they tend to hide under baggy clothes. But Anita Kealey, a Custom Tailor & Designers Association master, says that this can make people look heavier. Instead, wear clothes that fit properly.

You don’t have to make everything skin-tight. But a well-fitting blazer, high-waisted pants, and snug pants can make people look younger. And when people appear less boxy, they might feel more confident in their body. Nobody deserves to be hidden, so grab some clothes that you’re proud of and show off!

Swap Mom Jeans For Fitted Capris

A woman wearing navy capris and holding a green Chanel bag leans against a wall.
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Capris and cropped pants never go out of style. However, some older adults tend to cover everything up, including their legs. Showing off ankles can elongate the legs and appear youthful. “It’s a part of your body that doesn’t tend to show age,” says stylist Lauren Rothman.

Capris, leggings, and rolled-up jeans can work with any style. Plus, they make you look like someone who’s out on the town, not somebody who is stuck in the office wearing slacks. Nothing is more youthful than an outfit that says, “I’m ready to have fun!”

Don’t Stay Smooth; Play With Textures

A woman in a striped red shirt holds an orange fluffy Chanel bag.
Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images
Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

As the fashion industry has grown, clothes have come in a variety of textures. There are fuzzy jackets, ripped jeans, and knitted sweaters. Clinging to one texture can make people look older. “One mistake I see people make is going for textiles that aren’t so fresh,” says celebrity stylist Emily Sanchez.

If you play with different textures, your outfits will look more creative and put-together. Pair a faux leather purse with a fuzzy scarf, or grab some animal print shoes. Nobody is too old to experiment with fashion.

Throw Out Drugstore Reading Glasses

An older woman wears fashionable eyeglasses.

The shape of your glasses can either make you look younger or older. Ditch plain, narrow glasses from the drugstore. The right eyeglass shape can flatter your face, and everyone benefits from different frames. Round, large, or cat-eye frames might work better with the shape of your face.

Style expert Lawrence Zarian, a spokesman for the Vision Council’s Eyecessorize fashion eyewear campaign, recommends adding a bit of spark to your glasses. Put neon colors inside the glasses’ arms, or go for a bit of sparkle. These will appear more exciting and youthful.

Stick To The Classics, Not To Trends

Yang Haodong/VCG via Getty Images
Yang Haodong/VCG via Getty Images

Trends come and go, so try not to get swept up in them. Jack Prenter says that clinging to trends can put people into the “trying too hard” category. Even many teenagers don’t hang onto trends!

What should you do instead? Find clothes that make you happy, fit well, and work with multiple outfits. If you get stuck, go with the classics. Button-up white shirts, trench coats, black blazers, and blue jeans never go out of style. Fashion has no age.

Stop Piling On Florals And Paisley

A woman wears a floral print and paisley dress with a brown jacket.
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Floral and paisley patterns tend to be hit-or-miss, says fashion and accessories designer Brittany Allen. On one hand, younger people often wear florals and the occasional paisley. But on the other hand, too much of this pattern can age you. Nude patterns, such as beige paisley, also tend to be old-fashioned.

When in doubt, opt for a brighter pattern. Grab a pastel floral dress or bright, colorful paisley shirt. And don’t pile on patterns; wear them with neutral pants or jewelry. Younger people tend to simplify their style, and older adults can pull off the same look.

If You Like Oversized Pieces, Don’t Go All Out

An older woman wears an oversized coat with fitted pants and a yellow shirt.
Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images
Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

If you enjoy oversized sweaters or pants, style them correctly. Don’t go all oversized, says celebrity stylist Sarah-Ann Murray. Pick one large piece and the rest should be more fitted. Pair a large sweatshirt with skinny jeans, or put on baggy pants with a slimming shirt. Many young people are embracing this trend today.

Also, buy purposefully oversized clothes. Getting a shirt that’s two sizes too big will not work the same way. “You want the items to be oversized in the correct places, like the shoulders and the waist,” Murray told Fashion Beans.

Mix Up Your Matching Sets

Two women wear matching (but different) black shirts and yellow patterned pants.

Matching clothing sets still exist, but they are usually pajamas. Nowadays, people don’t often wear bottoms with the same color or material as their tops. Because of this, you might appear younger if you mix and match.

If your top and bottoms have a similar texture, wear two different colors. If they have similar colors, use different textures. For example, a leopard print skirt and beige shirt are similar colors, but very different textures. Getting creative with outfits always makes people look more youthful because it’s vibrant and fun.

Swap Shapeless Clothes For High-Waisted Ones

A woman styles a yellow, patterned high waisted skirt with a grey tank top.
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Unless you enjoy the look of shapeless clothes, don’t resort to them. Some people use shapeless clothes to hide their body when they don’t need to, says Snap+Style stylist Colleen Babul. Embracing your body will make you appear younger and help you feel more confident.

If you need somewhere easy to start, try high-waisted bottoms. These pinch in at the waist, automatically giving your body some shape. A high-waisted pencil skirt, pants, or shorts can make you feel more youthful. Gone are those low-rise jeans; young people are now embracing high-waisted clothes, and you can too!

Switch To A Well-Fitting Bra

A woman wears a trench coat over a black bra for Paris fashion week.
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Did you know that 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size? Karen Phillips, the account development team lead at, says that a well-fitting bra can make people appear taller, thinner, and younger. The wrong one can pinch at your sides or give you poor support.

If your straps feel too tight, or if back fat is visible near the bra, then it’s probably the wrong size. Get a professional bra fitting from a store like Victoria’s Secret, where employees are trained to measure you. You’ll feel more comfortable and look younger.

Be Careful Of How You Wear Your Scarf

Kate Garraway wears a long, beige scarf with a black jacket.
HGL/GC Images
HGL/GC Images

Although scarves are timeless, how you style them can be generational. In the past, people would tie a short silk scarf around their neck. But nowadays, people opt for cozier, longer scarves. If you want to appear more youthful, do the latter.

Some people leave the scarf hanging down the front of their body. Others wrap it around the neck and tie it in creative ways. In some cases, people use scarves as waist belts or to decorate bags and purses. Have fun with it! A long scarf will give you plenty of options.

Choose Jackets With Intentional Shapes

A woman wears an oversized pink jacket.
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Coats and jackets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Take care to select one in the right shape. As with many types of clothing, coats that are shapeless, lumpy, or too large can make people appear older.

Find coats and jackets with intentional shapes. For instance, you can swap a baggy blazer with a short one that ends mid-waist. Switch a normal cardigan with a long one that ends mid-thigh. Not only are these styles slimming, but they also look stylish, not like something you randomly threw on.

Ignore Nude Pantyhose And Stick To Shapewear

A woman pulls off her black tights.
Alex Shaw/Unsplash
Pantyhose Lover/Pinterest

When is the last time you saw a young adult wearing nude pantyhose? These tights create the illusion of a smooth leg, but they are not so popular now. Showing off your skin appears more natural, and it can make you look younger.

That said, tights are still in style. Try black, white, or even colorful tights under clothing for a fun outfit. If you like the look of pantyhose, try shapewear instead. Shapewear prevents the seams of skirts and dresses from showing through your clothes.

Get Exercise Shoes In Solid, Neutral Colors

A woman wears white tennis shoes.
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Plenty of people incorporate running shoes into their everyday wear. However, some sneakers scream “workout,” especially when they have neon colors. Young people have gotten around this by getting sneakers in neutral, solid colors.

Buy sneakers that are all white or all black. This way, you’ll still have comfy shoes, but they will appear more hip and classy. Plus, neutral shoes can match with plenty of outfits. If you are not a fan of heels, even small ones, then this tip can help you look more youthful.

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