Does Your Style Get You Mistaken for a Kid? 4 Ways to Update the Adult You – Grand Ascent Online Women's Magazine | Success Secrets for Women
Grand Ascent Online Women's Magazine | Success Secrets for Women

Does Your Style Get You Mistaken for a Kid? 4 Ways to Update the Adult You

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Image by: Honor Photo Bar
By Sophie Stockholm

When I was in college, I remember that my wardrobe mainly consisted of yoga sweats and t-shirts with the occasional jacket thrown in from time to time. As I sprinted from class to class with no time for making myself up, I realized that flip flops don’t necessarily make the best running shoes and that having my curly hair all over the place sometimes induce states of stares, but I didn’t care, I was on a mission to finish college.

Fast forward 4 years later,  I found myself making desperate attempts to put together outfits to make the grade during my internships. What I’ve learned is that it is important to take some care into your wardrobe, even if you’re not big into clothes or fashion. Also, making the most of what you’ve got is the best way to optimize on timeless pieces that will last almost forever.

Being out of college and entering adulthood has led to obligations that require me to look appropriate for the occasion. As a result, I’ve grown to really enjoy the fashions of today. I’ve also learned that just because something is trendy, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s for you, the wearer.

Growing out of childhood- getting married, becoming mothers or putting yourself second because of other family obligations can indeed lead to a style rut. Although it may seem trivial to bother yourself with material things such as how you look, it can have a profound effect on how you feel. If you’re out of high school or college and have been for a while, still wearing your Alma mater clothes and turning to teen magazines for advice, although you are in your late 20’s or in your 30’s, then it’s time for a  renovation.

As a disclaimer, there is no dictum that states that you have to completely renovate your wardrobe into adulthood. It’s actually quite good for you to still claim some sense of individuality with a bit of tweaking here and there. So rather than trying to look like what you think an adult should look like, the best way to go is to simply attempt to refine your wardrobe to a better version of yourself. Perhaps those old t-shirts can be put to some use since vintage is in after all. It’s one thing to look youthful, but if you are still getting carded when you go out, well, that’s good too, as long as you’re not mistaken for one of the kids of Saved by the Bell

#1) Go to a Tailor

A tailor can do wonders for your wardrobe and your wallet. The best thing about tailoring is that even if the most beautiful pieces don’t fit you, they will after a proper fitting.

Take a dress that you love for example. It might be hanging in your closet for dear life because it’s been sitting there for the past 5 years. The reason it’s not getting any use is because it doesn’t fit right. Rather than waste closet space, give it new life by taking the dress to a tailor. Update it with buttons, gems, jewels, anything that makes your figure stand out in a more mature fashion.

No one wants to look frumpy but with a bit of pinning and tucking. Old and ugly and be new and beautiful again.

#2) Mix & Match Your Suits

You don’t have to wear head to toe matching pieces to look put together. Imagine for a moment that you have a pinstripe suit, and that suit comes with matching pants, then you have a navy pinstripe shirt underneath, and coordinating shoes to go with the ensemble. If that image makes you want to discard your suit all together, imagine what you can do with those same pieces matched with other things that you have in your wardrobe.

If you’d rather not look so serious, imagine what you can do with the separate pieces with items that you already have in your wardrobe. If you have a job that requires you to wear a suit everyday, instead of wearing the same 3 suits day in and day out, mix and match the suits together with other accessories for limitless possibilities.

#3) Find What Works for You

By the time you’re ready to enter into the working world, you should have already had ample time for all the fashion experimentation’s that you want. With that being said, it’s best to have one extremely flattering piece rather than 10 pieces that are ill fitting. Kim Kardashian might be able to get away with body-skimming clothes, but you might not have the ample amount of curves, so it wouldn’t fit you to wear what she does and vice versa.

Style is all about dressing for YOU and your body, voluptuous or not.  Nix the trends and get what fits your personality. Neutrals, such as blacks, whites, greys, tans, etc. are great for mixing and matching and perhaps makes for the best statement pieces, but who says that they have to be your neutrals? If you prefer more color, go ahead, just make sure that everything coordinates well. Your potential boss might not want to discuss fashion with you, but she will be taking into account with what you’re wearing.

#4) Never Abandon Your Personal Style

Just because there are norms and ways to dress for certain occasions, this doesn’t mean that you completely lose your sense of self. Like the case of neutrals, as mentioned above, your staples can be any color as long as it fits your personality. If you like to wear red a lot, by all means, use it as an anchoring color for other coordinating pieces in your closet.

Looking like a grown up doesn’t mean that you get rid of your old favorites. If you like floral, flouncy dresses, make sure it has a sophisticated appeal to it rather than something that a 6 year old would wear. Like old vintage t-shirts? Keeps all of your college shirts and wear them under a blazer with skinny jeans. The options are endless.

Dressing like an adult shouldn’t be a sentence to boredom and blandness. Instead, find out what your style is and tweak it to match to a more modern and mature approach to style.

Let’s gather your opinions. What is your most favorite piece in your closet right now. Many women don’t even wear half of the things that they have hanging up. What is your personal style and how do you manage to update it to look more sophisticated? We want to hear your advice as well. 

  • ShaeSafira

    I have had this problem before. I really had to take a look at my wardrobe and update some pieces, incorporate some classics. I do tend to like crazy, bright patterns that border on childish, so I have had to figure out how to use them without looking like a toddler, haha.

  • ScarlettH

    This is such a great article. I still have some shirts in my closet that are from high school. I guess it’s time to throw them out. The one thing that I have never thought to do is visit a tailor. I guess clothes really aren’t a one size fits most. I know of a few dresses that would look better if they were tailored to my body type.

  • Abaegayle

    I have never thought of my fashion sense as childish, but I can relate to not having a trendy style. For me, I like what I like and that is what I wear. This doesn’t always mean that I look my best. I really like the idea of finding what works best for your body type and sticking with that.

  • EdithTesla

    I remember they always said that on What Not To Wear. Go to a tailor! Almost no one can wear anything off the rack, we are all too individual in our body types. I really appreciated that; it always made me feel better.

  • jane303

    Middle age people who are still dressing like teens is a big no-no for me. Sometimes I just have to laugh at some of the outfits I see these older people wear. Good suggestions in this article.

  • samiam66

    I love the mix and match idea. I have tried that lately, and have really enjoyed some of the outfits I came up with. I have found that it’s fun to sometimes mix up colors that you would never think of putting together.

  • lh1948

    You are right about mothers putting themselves second. So many women give up fashion for themselves when they have kids. I know moms who will spend all kinds of money for major brand names for their kids, but haven’t bought a new thing for themselves in ten years.

  • Hannah

    I think it depends on what you can and can’t pull off. Some women look great wearing miniskirts at 40 and others should definitely not be going in that direction.