Forget tweenies in push-up bras and thongs and let’s focus on a more important issue – the Mutton/Lamb conundrum. That’s Not My Age doesn’t need Government guidelines on what’s age-appropriate – does anyone, really?! I nailed the art of bright summer trousers weeks ago, so now I’m thinking of ‘pushing the boundaries’ with a pair of floral pants. You know, a bit like the ones seen at Erdem’s S/S 2011 show (above), but cheaper. Actually, during the latest round of de-cluttering I’ve emptied a bookcase, thrown out some old bedlinen and re-discovered a pair of floral pants. They’ve been lying at the bottom of my holiday box since the late eighties. No idea what happened to the Katharine Hamnett denim I flounced around in as a student but I’ve still got a pair of stretch Capri pants from Hobbs. How did that happen?

My rules for wearing floral pants are pretty much the same as for coloured denim; good with an over-sized shirt and flat pumps, and, because Erdem’s double floral arrangement is tricky to pull off, it’s best to keep things simple. I’ve opted for a simple navy jersey top and Michelle Obama-inspired kitten heels.

If you fancy a pair of er, fancy pants Comptoir des Cotonniers have a lovely faded floral pair:

Do you have any age-appropriate style tips? Would you wear floral pants?

25 thoughts on “Age-appropriate style

  1. My concern with floral pants is not that I'll look as if I'm (inappropriately) trying to dress young, but that I'm slipping into senior style — that is, floral pants, especially in a stretch cotton capri, are a "youthful" staple, generally in fairly bright colours, for women past my certain age. They worry me a bit in their determined cheerfulness, so as I've looked at, even coveted, the much cooler iterations now in the shops, I've tried to think whether or not they'd look too much like the other version on me.
    So your lesson on styling is useful, and it may even send me back to try on . . .

  2. I have the same concern, not mutton dressed as lamb, but mutton dressed as mutton.
    Yours look great, but to be honest, would prefer them with less lady-like shoes. Loafers, converse – something to sort of "knock them down" a bit.
    The print is fantastic and you do look great in them.

  3. materfamilias/Kathy – oh no, mutton dressed as mutton, now there's a scary thought! I know what you mean about cheerful dressing, and it's not to be encouraged. Much better to opt for sober and chic.

    Kathy – when I eventually venture out of the house in the floral pants it'll probably be with a pair of old baseball boots. Actually, the Liberty print Nikes would be good – maybe the double floral arrangement can be done after all?!

  4. You look great! I almost never wear pants, except jeans, so I'll probably pass on this. But I like floral skirts in summer, with a slouchy tee like yours. Cool!

  5. you look fantastic in your floral pants. i think it's the styling though. i actually think the shoes you are wearing or a wedge make it. it is keeping it from looking too young or too old. just right.

    i think the best aging/fashion advice is to know what looks good on you and go for it with confidence and a smile.


    ps – i still have not found my red pants yet.

  6. I am mulling over floral trousers for some time now. The only things which is holding me back owning a pair is the fact that I have very short legs. I simply fear it won't do, or I have to wear them with heels… so, I'm still mulling over this.
    That said, I'm greatly encouraged looking at you, because getting (or making) some skinny ones never crossed my mind. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  7. I HAVE collected my bus pass and, yes, I wear floral pants. I've got some very loud ones, bright colours on a black ground, and I wear them with a plain black silk top or a black linen jacket. It's not age, it's attitude that counts.

  8. I'm not so into florals on me, but maybe I just haven't met the right florals. Was trying on bright jeans today but they were all ultra-skinny fit and I feel like I left that behind at age 18.

  9. I have a fairly strong fear of pattern generally, and florals scare me most of all. So probably not … And being petite and somewhat 'elfin' (not my word, but often used to describe me), florals make me look like I'm trying to be a little girl. The older I get, the more I avoid that. BUT I can admire the look on others … I agree about dressing them down with a flat or chunky shoe rather than a kitten heel.

  10. I call them "party pants." I'd wear them if I could guarantee I'd be out past midnight, music would be playing, and someone other than me would take off their shirt.

  11. I like the outfit you put together around these pants. I might not wear floral – but I would wear checks, plaids and I seem to have a lot of striped pants – especially in the summer. Shoes are just the key to everything.

  12. Hmmm am rather partial to a floral trouser and you look great in yours… however don't think I will be investing. Had a pair from Jigsaw in the mid 80's that I LOVED though. xx

  13. i keep being on the fence about what's age appropriate for me. the hot weather has been making me break my sometimes-rules! as long as i remain tastefully dressed and true to myself, i am age-appropriate. 🙂
    i think each woman has to decide what is age appropriate. what works for one woman doesn't work for the next, necessarily.
    my 50-something crazy-fun red-head friend helen works on a yacht and lives in florida–a casual environment. she wears what most people her age would consider to be age-INappropriate attire, but on her, it works splendidly!
    as for floral pants, i have worn them but wouldn't now- i'm no longer wearing prints, as they don't work for me.

    – Style Odyssey (blogger won't let me sign in!)

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