How old is too old for short shorts? Do patterned tights work on everyone? Bazaar tackles these and other fashion quandaries so you can look fabulous no matter your age.
Question: At what age should you stop wearing short shorts?
Answer: Once you graduate from college, pack 'em in. As for city shorts, which hit above the knee, this look has legs for any age, as long as they are paired with a smart menswear-inspired jacket or a long cardigan for a tailored, finished feel.
Q: At 45 years old, I feel like a tart in five-inch stilettos or wedges, but like an old lady in kitten heels. What is the right height for my age?
A: There comes a time when super-stylish shoes in extreme heights are just too much for women of a certain age. At 45, you can still wear those sky-high heels that are so on trend, but once you hit 50, adjust your heel height. Three-inch heels feel more appropriate.Q: Prints are my passion. Is mixing them for just the young or the young at heart?
A: Both! Great style is ageless. And pairing vivid prints like florals and ikat can be modern and ultimately age-appropriate. The trick here is to make sure the contrasting patterns are complementary in color. So if the floral is navy and pink, the ikat should be too. If the colors are too divergent, the look will turn to the chaotic.
A: By and large, leather is a sumptuous staple. Keep the lines and color of your jacket classic (either black or cognac) and you will look just that. But biker versions are best suited to cool hipster types. If you are a traditionalist, a style with zippers is too hardcore; go with a buttery version instead.Q: I'm 35. Is that too old to sport all those festive socks I saw on the runways?
A: Ah, socks. They're an endless source of disagreement. If you've always loved them, carry on, but always consider the occasion. They're not appropriate for any evening look but can work with the right outfit for day. Think cropped pants and a bootie or a midcalf dress with a high sandal. Keep the palette neutral so the effect is chic rather than shocking.
A: Microminis are fine for those in their 20s; midthigh lengths work for thirtysomethings. But once you hit 40, aim for just above the knee. That measure can carry you through just as long as your legs do.Q: I'm in my 40s, and my leggings are a wardrobe staple. Should I be wearing real trousers instead?
A: Leggings are a great staple, regardless of age. It's not how old you are, it's how thin your thighs are. Just bear in mind they are a casual piece - not for playing dress-up. They look best with an oversize buttoned shirt or a slouchy knit top, always teamed with a flat, never a pump or a cropped top.Q: Many models wore patterned tights on the runway, and I'd like to try it, but I'm middle-aged. Will it look like I'm trying too hard?
A: If they mesh with your style, patterned tights can look appropriate and give your ensemble a dash of whimsy. Take a solid-colored dress or suit and add printed tights with a closed-toe pump or a bootie.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.