Accessory mistakes that are making you look older

We all know accessories can make or break an outfit. The right accessory can add that extra pop of color or texture you need to pull an outfit together, and the wrong one can make even the most perfect clothing combination look haphazard. That's not the worst thing the wrong accessories can do, though. They can actually make you look older — and that's not what any woman is going for when she gets dressed in the morning.

To help keep you from ruining your look and your confidence, I talked to a few experts in the fashion world to find out how you can stay fashion-forward without aging forward at the same time.

"As I always say, the best fashion items are ageless and timeless," said stylist and fashion consultant Tracy Clifford. "There are certain accessories that may catch our eye each season, but that does not mean they are right for us. I think as women age it is best to avoid overly trendy accessories that can appear like they are trying too hard."

Keep reading to find out exactly what mistakes you might be making — and what items should be removed from your closet immediately.

Heavy earrings

You're probably expecting a few body parts to start sagging once you hit a certain age, but you may not expect it to happen to your ears. We're sorry to be the bearer of bad news — but it's probably going to happen. Loss of collagen and elasticity can cause skin all over your body to start sagging as you age, and those pretty lobes of yours are not immune. That's something you may want to take into consideration when you choose your next pair of earrings. Big, heavy ones will only make that problem more obvious by pulling them down.

Stylist Shaunya Hartley agrees: "Earlobes are notorious for showing your age. Very heavy earrings can pull on lobes as well as draw attention to the neck."

Jewelry sets

Turns out, it is possible to be too matched. It definitely used to be a thing (remember that matched jewelry set you wore to prom?), but those days are over — at least for those of us that are no longer in our college days.

"Avoid jewelry sets where the necklace matches exactly with the earrings (or other jewelry item). Under 40, this can appear as a 'throw back' reference to the '80s and '90s when this was at it's peak. After 40, it looks incredibly dated," said stylist Diana Melencio of QUINN Style. "Instead, mix metals! It's modern, on-trend, and shows that you're current."

The wrong metals

According to Dina Scherer, an image and wardrobe stylist and personal shopper in New York City, choosing the wrong metal tones can be a major offense.

"Gold versus silver, while a personal choice, feeds into whether you have a warm or cool undertone. If you choose the opposite of what you have, the jewelry can add years — and sometimes even dark circles and skin unevenness," she explained.

Not sure which kind of complexion you have? This handy how-to can help you figure it out. Ladies with cool tones should opt for silver, while those with warmer complexions look better in gold.


Don't worry, you don't have to pack away grandma's brooch collection — but you might have to change the way you wear it.

"A woman with a brooch on her lapel will appear old-fashioned," said stylist and fashion consultant Tracy Clifford. Instead, she recommends you use that gorgeous piece of jewelry to fasten your cardigan. You'll still get to put it on display, but in a trendy, less grandmotherly way.

Dr. Martens

Dr. Martens may have been the "it" shoe when you were in high school, but that doesn't mean you should strut your stuff in a pair today. Some styles should just stay in your past, and stylist and fashion consultant Tracy Clifford says this is one of them.

"If you are familiar with Dr. Martens, you are too old to wear them. Now, If you are willing to spring for the Louis Vuitton version, have at it!" she said.


There's no need to pack up that heirloom strand of pearls just yet — but it is probably time to switch it up a bit and make your look more modern.

"Pearls, which have been a timeless accessory throughout the years, have now become the 'it' jewelry trend of the season, as spotted on the fall runways of Chanel, Rag & Bone, and Gucci," said Naima Fleming, style expert and founder and editor in chief of Style Pooh-Bahs. "For women who are contemplating wearing a strand or two, they should consider adding edge and a whole lot of style to avoid looking as if they are an elderly woman headed out for high tea."

Fleming recommends giving your pearls a funky contrast by mixing in a sparkly or metal necklace that is the same length to add a cool and unexpected pop to your look.

Clunky shoes

We know those Crocs and orthopedic shoes are super comfy, but they're not doing you any favors. There's something to be said for smart, sensible footwear, but you don't have to sacrifice your style (and give away your age) just to save yourself a few blisters.

"Comfy footwear does not have to look dumpy," said stylist Shaunya Hartley. You do have other options, even if you have to be on your feet for long periods of time. She recommends brands like Aerosoles and Waldlaufer for finding shoes that still look chic while keeping your feet from aching.


You can't exactly tuck your glasses into your purse and forget about them. You do need to see, right? But you can be a little more choosy when picking out your specs and stay away from anything that makes you look older.

Stylist Shaunya Hartley said nothing will make you look older than a "geeky" pair of drugstore reading glasses. "It screams, 'My vision is going, I'm cheap, and I am being practical with no fashion sense.' With so many inexpensive brands, from Hard Candy to Warby Parker, you can get a great-looking pair of frames at little to no cost."


There's a time and a place for everything, but unless you're wearing a costume, sequins should probably be kept at a minimum after you've reached legal drinking age.

"A sequined item is magical with the right execution," said celebrity stylist and vintage curator Tohni Jean Bellis. Despite her love of sequined bling, though, even she recommends it in small amounts. "Do a single sequins piece per outfit to avoid looking older and dated," she said.

Vintage clothing

There's a difference between vintage-inspired clothing and clothing that is actually vintage. While it's fabulous that the looks from our past are suddenly back in style, you'd be safer purchasing an updated version of your favorite vintage style than actually pulling an old piece out of your closet.

"Even though you may love the clothing in your closet from 20 years ago, as time changes so do the cuts [of your clothing]. Stay away from boxy clothes, polyester, pastel florals, and bell bottoms," warned celebrity stylist and vintage curator Tohni Jean Bellis. It'll be obvious that those clothes are decades old (no matter how well you cared for them), and you're aging yourself by putting them on display.

Overly-designed nails

Women of any age should be able to go out and enjoy a relaxing manicure, but you may want to tone it down a bit when asking for your final look.

Celebrity stylist and vintage curator Tohni Jean Bellis said overly-designed nails should be left to the girls in their teens and early 20s, explaining they call too much attention to your hands — one place where ladies often show their age.

"These are fun to look at and admire on a younger woman. But too much bling, bright colors, and the claw-shape nails will leave your hands looking older and unattractive," said Bellis.

Gold hoop earrings

You probably owned several pairs of big gold hoops in the '90s and early 2000s — and according to Dina Scherer, image and wardrobe stylist and personal shopper in New York City, that's the number one reason you should back away from them now.

"Big gold hoop earrings can bring back the '90s neon windbreaker days — and while they can be fun, they don't really fit in with the modern looks we see today and will call attention to themselves in a slightly dated way."

Despite advice from these fashion-savvy experts, what you wear is ultimately up to you and how that clothing makes you feel. Stylist and fashion consultant Tracy Clifford sums it up best: "Personally, I do not focus on dressing for age. I never want to look any age. I just want to look good."