You’re wearing the wrong bra
Believe it or not, the bra you wear can instantly make you look taller, thinner, and younger—or not, says Karen Phillips, account development team lead at online retailer Jane.com. Wearing the wrong bra isn’t just uncomfortable (as basically anyone who’s ever sat through a workday with their bra straps digging into their shoulder can attest)—it can affect the way your clothes fit and inadvertently cause you to slouch, both of which instantly age you more than 10 years.
You’re a fan of chunky jewelry
While big, chunky pieces can give off a bohemian look, they also become outdated quickly. For a younger vibe, Phillips recommends reaching for simple cuff bracelets, thin hoop earrings, a tennis bracelet, or thin chain necklaces.
You are a slave to trends
Trends come and go, so if that’s all you’re buying, you’ll soon be left with an outdated closet full of clothes and shoes that make you look behind the times. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t ever buy something trendy, Phillips says. “With so many trends around, I’d ask myself a few questions before investing: Does the item make me happy? How many times a week will I wear this?”
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You look like you’re in mourning
Black is chic, slimming, sharp, and sophisticated—and severe, which is not the adjective you want if you’re trying to find the fountain of youth. If you’re not ready to give up your black, try adding a pop of colour to your jewelry or accessories for a fresher, more youthful vibe. Phillips recommends pinks or corals, saying they add a warm glow to all complexions.
Here’s a handy guide to help you decide what to wear, depending on the dress code.
Your heels aren’t high enough
“The more casual your shoes, the older you’re going to look, no matter what else you’re wearing,” says Brittany Allen, an Austin-based freelance fashion and accessories designer who’s worked with Betsey Johnson and whose designs have appeared on Project Runway. If you’re still wearing flats or low heels, swap them out for a pointy-toed pump instead, which will both up the sexiness factor on your favourite date-night outfit and help you look sophisticated without crossing the line into matronly. Not a heels person? Go for a pair of pointy-toed or ballet flats instead. Always make sure your shoes are cleaned and polished for a pulled together look.
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You pile on florals
Florals and paisley can be hit or miss, says Allen, especially if the patterns are pale, dull, or neutral. Instead, try geometric patterns and stripes in a bright hue for a more playful look.
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You sport drugstore-reading glasses
The right pair of glasses can be the ultimate geek-cool accessory, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Look for a pair of cat-eye frames, which are universally flattering and an easy, stylish way to instantly look younger. You don’t even have to splurge: discount stores like Marshalls often carry discounted pairs.