Being Over 50 Doesn't Mean You Need To Trade Your Mini-Skirts For Muumuus

Age is an amusing thing. For Jonathan Rauch, researcher and author of "The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50," the topic was so intriguing that he went on a hunt for more information. Rauch's 40s were a stagnant period in his life that led him to investigate why he was feeling that way despite all he'd accomplished. He found that happiness was U-shaped. The satisfaction we derive from life decreases in our 20s and 30s. The 40s are signified by a lull before things start looking up again in our 50s.

Whether you agree with Rauch's findings or not, how old we are seems to dictate most facets of our lives — what we eat, what accomplishments we accumulate, and what our future looks like from where we're standing. Social media doesn't help with the constant availability for comparison right at our fingertips. When you reach quinquagenarian age and higher, well-meaning friends might tell you why women over 50 need more fiber in their diets. While taking care of our health should be a priority no matter what age, some of the ideas surrounding being over 50 can sting. 

For 67-year-old East Tennessee-based mother, grandmother, and YouTuber Melissa, notions about age-appropriate clothing sting a little. Do we really have to throw out our mini-skirts when we reach middle age? Does our wardrobe only have to consist of sweaters and muumuus?

Age-appropriate vs. style-appropriate

For Melissa, what we choose to wear should be directed by our sense of style and not our age. Both her mother and grandmother were style-conscious well into their old age. "I think each of us has a personal style. It can kind of ebb and flow and change a little bit over the years according to what is stylish in the fashion industry at the moment," she shared in a YouTube video. Making the fashion trends our own is something we unconsciously do at any age, and this doesn't have to change when we're over 50. 

Honey Good, an entrepreneur with a passion for beauty, style, and relationships, wrote that there are only three simple rules when it comes to clothing after 50. "Lesson #1 is to make your own style rules and follow them as long as they serve you well," she explained. Secondly, dressing for our body-type makes us feel more confident no matter the age, and this principle remains the same in midlife, too. The third lesson is about embracing "your right to feel sexy at every age."

Mini-skirts come with rules for how best they should be worn. But do these rules include the over-50-year-olds? Is showing off your legs only meant for the younger folk? Lovers of shorter hemlines would tell you otherwise. It's perfectly possible to style a mini-skirt and look fabulous at the same time. Here are some suggestions for how. 

Combine leather and denim

There's a reason why leather and denim are a classic pairing — they make an effortlessly stylish ensemble that's sure to turn heads. The leather doesn't have to be black — it can be white or burgundy, and the mini-skirt could also be a complementing color of denim. 

Former editor-in-chief of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman wrote in Daily Mail that neutral colors and sophisticated materials like suede and leather are great choices for those over 50. How you style the mini-skirt obviously depends on the occasion and your personal preference. 

Boots, whether they're knee-length or higher are also a great option for those who feel a lot more comfortable in their skin with some extra coverage. Riza Torres, the head of marketing at Lucerne Group told Lifestyle.INQ, "I think women know instinctively what feels right and comfortable as they mature, without having to consider norms of society. We all should have the freedom to wear what feels right at a particular time or occasion." Some of the best beauty YouTubers over age 50 might also tell you to listen to your gut and to do it with pride.

Pair a colorful ruffled mini-skirt with a white top

If you're one for more color and frills in your outfit, denim and leather may not cut it for you. Why not pair the colorful mini-skirt you've been dying to wear for a long time with a lovely white shirt?

This look for women over 50 by fashion TikToker is both charming and classy. The mini-skirt has all the ingredients that scream fun and sexy, and the long-sleeved white top carries the frill theme in a complimentary fashion. Perfect for an evening out with friends or even a casual morning affair.

You can never go wrong with white. It's highly likely that the white button-down is the staple that's missing from your wardrobe. Fashion consultant Natalie Kingham told The Guardian, "I think of Diane Keaton, Carolina Herrera, Patti Smith ... it's the varied women and way they interpret it that makes the white shirt an endlessly, effortlessly chic item."

Make leggings and tights your friends

Model Yasmin Le Bon once told The Sun, "The older you get, the more you need to hang on to your rock 'n' roll." 

In fact, one of the things most over-50-year-olds would tell you is that they're more confident in who they are. We spend most of our lives wanting to look and feel a certain way and with midlife comes a sense of assuredness and calm that is truly unparalleled. But even with that level of confidence, there are days when we don't feel our best. Leggings and tights become true friends on days like those. Still feel like wearing the mini-skirt you picked up at the mall on a whim? Pair them with your favorite tights or leggings and you're all good to go. This is also perfect for keeping warm in cooler weather. 

Shulman wrote in Daily Mail that for an evening affair, you could try wearing "a pair of patterned sheers — polka dot Saint Laurent style, or a fine fishnet — which add an elegant glamour teamed with a simple black top and skirt." 

Switch it up with dresses

Mini-skirts don't always have to be worn as skirts. Dresses are an equally cute and fun way to switch things around, especially if it's summer and you've just been invited to an outdoor party.

If styling a mini-skirt to create a trendier look feels a bit exhausting to you, pull out that favorite mini-dress and pair it with some heels or flats, depending on how you're feeling, and head out. Tights are an option here too if you want some coverage. 

Ultimately what you wear should be a reflection of who you are and what you want to say to the world. Comfort goes hand in hand with style. As fashion retail marketing communications manager Malu Francisco put it to Lifestyle.INQ, "It is really up to a woman to decide for herself when she should stop wearing certain trends, or at least adapt them to something more suitable for her body type or lifestyle." For Francisco, it's not about being age-appropriate, it's about being lifestyle or personality-appropriate.