Age Appropriate Attire

Today begins the A-Z challenge!  Click here to visit all the participants’ blogs, and most of all, have fun.

My post for today:  Age Appropriate Attire

Adults dressing like kids.  We’ve all seen them:  the middle-age man with his hat on backwards and his shorts way too short.  The middle-aged woman with ‘hot buns’ tacked across her bootie. Even Kris Jenner of Kardashian fame was recently called out for wearing an outfit better suited for a 20-year old.

Call me old-fashioned, but what gives?  What happened to age-appropriate clothing…to self respect…to class?  When did comfy casual turn into sloppy and aloof? My kids would be mortified if I wore a pair of ‘hot bun’ shorts around the house, much less in public. Now I know some women can pull off the ‘teen’ look, but why when they could look so much better in classy attire better suited for an adult?

Not too long ago I commented to one of my mini-me’s about an older woman wearing a pair of ‘skinny’ capris (she wasn’t skinny), and a t-shirt that said “Diva Darling”.  My mini-me said I was being overly judgmental; however, when I suggested I purchase the same outfit for myself, mini-me shouted emphatically, “No!”

“But why not?” I asked. “It’s okay for her.”

“Yeah, well she’s not my mom.”

Ah ha!   So it’s ok for her because she’s not his mom? Do I hear double standard? Could it be my kids respect me more for acting and dressing like an adult?  To test my theory, I threw the following question out to some teens at our local library.

Would you mind your parents dressing like you do?

The answers were surprising:

Nikki (age 14):  Eww, gross.  Not.”

Brent (age 15):  Seriously?  My dad would look so dumb wearing cargo shorts and a ‘I hear mimes’ t-shirt.

John (age 16):  “My mom already dresses like my sister. It’s sad ‘cause she really thinks she looks great.  I’d never tell her because I love her, but I think she looks ridiculous.”

Kimberly (age 15):  “Yes I’d mind.  My mom is so classy and pretty.  I think she looks perfect in her own clothes.  In fact, I want her clothes when I get older.”

Larry (age 16):  I think it would be hysterical if my dad dressed like my sister and my mom dressed like me.  That would give everyone something to talk about.”

Becky (age 17):  My mom actually has a better body than I do and would look great in some of the clothes my friends wear.  I don’t like it when she wears skinny jeans and tight shirts that show off her boobs, tho.  It makes me uncomfortable to see guys stare at my mom like that.  I don’t even want guys staring at me like that.”

Judging from these responses, I’d say it is pretty clear kids don’t like it when their parents dress like them, so parents – do them a favor.  Pack up the ‘hot buns’ shorts and the tight t-shirts and find some nice, cute, classy age-appropriate clothes.  Your kids will thank you and they may actually respect you a little more.  After all, if they don’t have you, their parents, to look up to, who do they have?

Question for readers and writers:  What person in a novel wears inappropriate dress for his/her character?

For me, it would be Curley’s wife in John Steinbeck’s, “Of Mice and Men”.  She dresses completely inappropriately for a woman married to the boss’s son.  We all know what happens to her, too.

16 thoughts on “Age Appropriate Attire

  1. Great post! I totally agree… And those pants with the words on the butt… what a ridiculous idea!
    I also agree with Kristi…. kids dress like they’re 20, and parents (and older people) dress like they’re 20.. sometimes when I walk into a department store and cruise pass the junior section to get to my section, I am horrified at the choices for the young girls today.. It’s like they put adult clothes in a shrinker.

    Not cool.


  2. Love the new look of your blog! I intended to pop by yesterday to let you know.

    Great post for the incredible A to Z challenge. I, too, loved your idea of interviewing teens at the library.

    I admit, I wear skinny jeans and sometimes casual denim flirt skirts. But, I stay away from any slogans scrawled across my rear and tee shirts with slogans appropriate for teens. Actually, I stay away from tee shirts altogether, except for those I re-purpose as PJ’s.

    The peace sign, tho’. Hey! We had that one first. Just saying…

    Great topic, awesome post, rocking new look.

    p.s. I know I owe you some ping-backs. I’ve been a bad egg about acknowledging the awards. Please do NOT take it as a lack of gratitude for your caring generosity. I have plans. You’ll see.


  3. Bella in Twilight, (not the movie, the book). Most of the clothing descriptions sounded like she was in her forties. Maybe I’m a little biased, in that I work in a high school so I know how teenagers dress these days! Regardless, I thought the movie really improved her wardrobe!

    As for me . . . I’m probably guilty of not dressing to my age. I am almost 34, but insist on wearing jeans, cute t-shirts, hoodies, and converse sneakers. I get mistaken for a student a lot, so I’m guessing I’m aging pretty well! I just can’t bring myself to wear anything else for the simple fact that I prefer comfort over style. 🙂


    1. jean and cute shirts aren’t bad. It’s the whole get up of trying to look young again. We can still look cute without looking like a teen. You keep aging well, okay! 🙂

      I remember once when I was around 38 I had 2 teen boys in high school hit on me. When I told them I was old enough to be their mom, they flipped out and their faces turned red. I don’t look like that anymore. Age and battle of the bulge is winning out. Darn it!


  4. Funny, I just think of married with children for some reason. The mother always had that tight stuff on.

    I have some clothes from high school that I keep because of fond memories. I still look good in short skirts, but I wouldn’t wear them out of the house. My husband gets a kick out of it when we have a quiet dinner at home, and I put on a high-school dress. He says I don’t look any different. My 25 year HS reunion is this year. Wow.

    No, I will not be wearing one of my old dresses!


  5. Great post! I just had a discussion with someone about this a few days ago. I agree that age appropriate is best. What some people do not seem to get is that it does not have to be dowdy…you can still look cool and funky, yet within your age group. I cannot stand it when I see women my age and older out and about with words splashed across their butts! Hope I have not made a double post…I made one a few seconds ago and it appears to have been eaten. So, if I’ve made two…sorry. 🙂


  6. On the flip side there are also kids and teens wearing clothing that is WAY too mature for their age. I see little girls in belly shirts and high heels and I think it’s so sad. Or young thirteen-year-olds wearing slinky, sexy dresses. We need to dress appropriate for our age and help our kids to do the same, not try to make everyone look like a 20 year old.


  7. This is awesome, Jenny! I’m totally adopting the term “hot bun” shorts. 🙂

    I consider myself a cool, fashionable mom, but yeah… I definitely keep it appropriate. My daughter is only four, but she’s already showing signs of mortification any time my husband and I do anything bordering on embarrassing (our car dance parties, for example!).

    To answer your question: The inappropriately dressed pop culture mom that comes to my mind is Regina’s mom from MEAN GIRLS. She is just SO wrong, but pretty hilarious too!


  8. Great post! I’ve seen more than my fair share of such people, especially when the sun comes out in London!

    Reggie, my protagonists’s younger brother in ORACLE, dresses inappropriately. Sure, he’s 20, and what he wears is technically not age inappropriate, but jeans so low-slung they hang round your knees and your underwear is exposed for all to see out should be banned!


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