What Not to Wear After 50: A Different Perspective

At some point, women in midlife and beyond often become self-conscious or uncertain about what to wear. They may want to dress the way they did in their thirties, or they may want to dress in the trendy styles from today. Everyone is different. Short skirts, tight shirts, low necklines, and high heels — is that you? Maybe you prefer long pants, high collars, pearl earrings, and mary jane shoes.

But I’m not here to give you fashion tips. At your age, you’ve earned the right to wear whatever you want to wear!

Instead, I’m going to suggest nine mental and emotional burdens that women over 50 should no longer wear on their shoulders. You deserve to LET GO of these things and move with pride, confidence, and peace of mind as you travel through life in your middle-aged and senior years. And your body type, body shape, and skin tone just do not matter. So what not to wear after 50 is not about fashion — it’s about something far more important — mental burdens that disturb your mindset, inner peace, and self-compassion that effect your overall look. 

a beautiful dark skinned middle aged woman wearing a red sweater sits on a sofa and smiles at the camera

Key Takeaways

  • Letting go of societal expectations and expressing genuine emotions allows for a more authentic and fulfilling life after 50, fostering deeper connections and self-discovery.
  • Releasing the pursuit of perfectionism liberates women to appreciate their unique inner beauty, fostering a positive mindset and self-acceptance as they age.
  • Breaking free from perpetual busyness and shedding unnecessary mental burdens enables middle-aged and senior women to prioritize self-care, relaxation, and a balanced approach to life.

two attractive middle aged women dressed casually take a walk in the park

What Not to Wear After Age 50

If you landed on this page, you probably Googled what not to wear after 50 or some similar phrase or question. And you probably noticed that Google offered you a ton of pages that say much the same thing. They tell you the best things to wear and remind you that it’s a good idea to remember that you are aging. There is no shortage of articles about fashion for women over 50.

Mature women shouldn’t wear crop tops, skinny jeans, bright colors, baggy clothes, short skirts, hot pants, large earrings, or uncomfortable shoes (think high heels).

Instead, according to the many articles, there’s some unwritten rule that says older women should wear classic style clothes, fitted tops, neutral colors, long sleeves, a crisp white shirt and black pants.


Bling… black… brignts… bland. How exactly does someone become an expert about what not to wear after 50 anyway? Is it younger generations telling us how to dress? Are we dressing for a red carpet event? What if I don’t like the latest fashion trends?

Instead of dressing according to your own personal style, the “what not wear experts” are telling us to ignore our own sense of style and comfort, and instead choose a particular style they recommend for middle-aged women.

I JUST DON’T THINK SO. This is a great way to get me to click off the page. 

You’ve earned the right to wear whatever you want to wear. You are probably not looking to dress like Jennifer Aniston or Michelle Obama. (If you are, then I suggest that you Google “how to dress like… ” to find your answer.) And hopefully, you don’t care whether you make a faux pas with your clothing or hair color. 

Since you landed here, and you’ve read down this far, I think you are old enough to dress however you want to dress. But I am going to suggest that you let go of some emotional baggage — 9 mental and emotional burdens that can affect the way an older woman presents herself to the world.

a dark skinned middle aged woman wearing a yellow sweater confidently sits in a park smiling

What Not to Wear After 50: A New Perspective

Okay, now that you’re well-informed that this is not just another article about what not to wear after 50, let’s take a look at 9 things that you should no longer wear so you can lighten your emotional baggage and present yourself to the world as the confident and peaceful woman you are!

I don’t care if your fine lines and muffin tops are showing — I just want you to feel good emotionally about walking out your front door.  Once you’re in a healthy emotional space and mindset, you’ll figure out it’s okay to dress how you want to dress. 

You will always be more beautiful if you release this emotional baggage regardless of what you wear.

Too Many Hats

Women are famous for juggling a multitude of roles and responsibilities. Whether it’s being a devoted mom, a career-driven professional, or the go-to friend for advice, wearing all these hats can get overwhelming. You’re a pro at managing the chaos but it’s likely taking a toll on your well-being.

Consider this a gentle nudge to delegate tasks to others. Yes, it’s okay to ask for help. Let others take on some of the load. Remember, it’s not about letting go of control; it’s about creating space for more joy and fulfillment in your life. You deserve it.

Focus on what truly brings you happiness. Identify the activities that light up your soul, and prioritize them. It’s time to give yourself permission to step back from the unnecessary stress and embrace a simpler, more fulfilling life. It’s no longer an honor to wear too many hats; today we know this can shorten your lifespan and effect your health.

two attractive, confident, and fit middle aged women do yoga on the beach and show they do not care about what not to wear after 50

Shame and Regret

Carrying the weight of past experiences can be tough. We’ve all been there, holding onto life experiences that bring feelings of shame and regret.

It’s crucial to understand that holding on to the past can weigh you down, affecting your confidence and overall well-being. But it’s never too late to break free from this burden.

Consider embracing self-forgiveness. We’re all human, and mistakes are a valuable part of life. Recognize that you’ve grown since those experiences. By forgiving yourself, you open the door to a positive mindset and a brighter future.

So, let go of the past, release the shame and regret. You deserve to move forward unburdened, embracing each day with a positive outlook. Remember, it’s never too late to rewrite your story and live the life you truly deserve.

Unrealistic Standards

Society often bombards us with unrealistic expectations, especially when it comes to beauty and success. It’s time to challenge these unrealistic standards and carve out your own path.

The pressure to conform to societal norms, particularly around appearance and achievement, can be overwhelming. But, my friend, it’s essential to recognize that these standards are often unattainable (or ridiculous) and, frankly, not worth the stress.

Instead, focus on defining your own standards. Embrace the uniqueness that comes with age. You’ve earned every wrinkle and gray hair – they tell a story of a life well-lived. Celebrate your journey and let go of the unrealistic ideals imposed by others.

In a world obsessed with youth and superficial measures of success, find joy in your authenticity. Define what beauty, success, and happiness mean to you. It’s liberating to let go of society’s unrealistic expectations and embrace the true, remarkable you.

a middle aged woman runs along the beach

The Comparison Trap

In today’s world, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others, especially with the influence of social media. It’s time to break free from this cycle and embrace the uniqueness of your own journey.

Constantly measuring yourself against others can have negative effects on your self-esteem. Social media often showcases curated highlights, creating an unrealistic standard for comparison. But remember, what you see is just a snippet of someone else’s life.

Instead of getting caught up in comparisons, shift your focus to self-acceptance. Celebrate your individual accomplishments and milestones. Your journey is incomparable because it’s uniquely yours. Each step you’ve taken, every hurdle you’ve overcome – they make your story special.

So, my friend, choose self-acceptance and celebrate your journey. Your life is a masterpiece in the making, and every chapter is worth embracing. Let go of the comparison trap and relish in the beauty of your own story.

Fear of Aging

It’s not uncommon for us to have concerns about the changes that come with growing older. But, my friend, aging is a natural part of life, and it brings with it a treasure trove of wisdom and confidence.

Instead of focusing on the perceived drawbacks, let’s shine a light on the positives. With age comes experience and a wealth of knowledge. You’ve navigated through various seasons of life, and that journey has sculpted you into a resilient, wise individual.

Aging is an opportunity for growth, self-discovery, and embracing a newfound confidence. Your beauty evolves, taking on a radiance that emanates from within.

So, don’t let the fear of aging overshadow the richness it brings. Embrace each year as a badge of honor, a testament to the incredible person you are becoming. Aging is a journey worth celebrating, and the wisdom and confidence that accompany it are truly something to behold.

The Weight of the World

Many women find themselves carrying the burdens of others. It’s time to address this heavy load and prioritize your well-being.

It’s common to feel the weight of responsibilities on your shoulders, but constantly carrying the burdens of others can take a toll on your own mental and emotional health. Recognize that it’s okay to set boundaries.

Setting boundaries isn’t about being selfish; it’s about ensuring your own well-being. Learn to prioritize yourself without feeling guilty. It’s not only essential for your mental health but also empowers you to be there for others more effectively. So, my friend, it’s time to lighten your load, set those boundaries, and prioritize your well-being without the weight of guilt. You deserve it.

a middle aged woman rejects what not to wear after 50 by wearing plain white to do yoga in the park

Stiff Upper Lip

Often, as women, we hide behind a facade of strength, concealing our true emotions. I think it comes from years ago when our mother’s told us to hide your crazy. It’s time to break free from this habit and embrace vulnerability.

Hiding behind a stiff upper lip may seem like a sign of strength, but true strength lies in openness and honesty. It’s important to express your emotions openly – it fosters deeper connections with others and, most importantly, with yourself. It also allows for greater self-awareness and self-discovery.

So, toss aside the stiff upper lip, allow yourself to be vulnerable, and watch as it strengthens the bonds you share with those around you and your inner spirit. It’s a powerful step toward authenticity and genuine connections.


As children, we were often encouraged to embrace perfectionism and many of us grew up carrying this burden on our shoulders. But the pursuit of perfection in appearance, relationships, or achievements can be exhausting. It’s time to shift gears.

Embrace imperfections; they are the threads that weave your unique story. True beauty lies in authenticity and self-acceptance. Instead of chasing perfection, shift to a mindset of self-awareness and self-improvement. This allows room for growth without the burden of unattainable ideals of perfectionism.

Your journey is about progress, not perfection. And the best part is this can be attained with a positive mindset and maintaining your confidence. There are many emotional risks associated with perfectionism.

Perpetual Busyness

The constant hustle can take a toll on your health and well-being. It’s time to hit pause.

Amid the rush, recognize the importance of rest and relaxation. Embrace moments of self-care and reflection. Finding a balance between productivity and self-care is key. It’s okay to prioritize your mental and physical health over a perpetual state of busyness.

You may have been able to do it ALL in your younger years, but as you approach your golden years, it’s not necessary and will undoubtedly affect your health and wellness. 

So, my friend, take a breath, allow yourself moments of calm, and understand that your well-being deserves as much attention as your to-do list. It’s a journey of balance, not a sprint of perpetual busyness.

a lively group of five women wearing a variety of casual clothes smile at the camera

What People Are Saying

Obviously, I did some research for this article and thought it would be fun to share some comments I found about what not to wear over 50. These comments came from social media platforms and forums. Use them whenever you are considering what you are going to wear. And be sure to let go of your emotional baggage so whatever you wear always look better!

A woman over 50 can wear anything she damned well pleases.” 

“The older you get, the less you care about the opinions of others.”

“I have no fear of the Fashion Police.”

“The most important thing to me is comfort!” 

“You wear whatever you like. It’s no one’s business what you wear.” 

“There’s nothing sophisticated about my fashion choices and I like it that way!”

“An elastic waistband is my favorite fashion choice!”

I’m going to wear denim jeans until I meet my make!”

“Age is just a number. Maturity and wisdom are the only things that matter.”

“30, 40, 50, 60 and 100 year olds should all be able to wear what they want to wear!”

“It’s inappropriate for people to judge others by their clothing choices, or their age.”

 “The preconceived notions of how one should dress after a certain age are ridiculously stupid!”

“Wear what you feel most comfortable in.”

“I’m going to show as much skin as I want at any age!”

two happy middle aged women dressed casually smile at the camera

Final Thoughts: What Not to Wear After 50

By shedding these mental burdens, middle-aged and senior women can embark on a journey of self-discovery, embracing the richness that life has to offer during these years.

It’s time to release what no longer serves you and step into a future filled with authenticity, joy, and self-compassion.

The best way for people of any age to dress is with joy and confidence, unburdened by silly ideas of fashion mistakes or social expectations.

As an older woman, you can dress in a little black dress and a leather jacket if that’s how you choose to dress. But be sure not to wear the 9 mental burdens listed above that will show up every time, regardless of what you wear on the outside.

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Love to ALL! ~ Susan

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