How Can I Look More Mature in My Clothes

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Dear Bridgette,

How can I look more mature in my clothes?  I am 5’2″, 100 lbs and a very youthful looking 26 year old. I constantly get the, “you look like you’re 19!” reaction when I tell someone how old I am. This poses a problem when wearing suits because they make me look like a little girl playing dress up in mom’s clothes. What alternative would you suggest someone use in the place of a suit that is still professional enough for work and job interviews, etc.


Bobbi, Atlanta, GA

Bridgette’s answer on how to look more mature in your clothes without looking old:

Without a doubt, you are petite and, from what you are saying, very young looking. However, I am not convinced that it is the fact that you are wearing suits that is making people assume you look nineteen. Before you consider suit alternatives, I have a few thoughts for you on how to look more mature in your clothes.

First of all, it could be the suits you are choosing.   Are you choosing more grown up or mature styles for your age, thinking that this will make you look older? I ask this question because many times, when someone wants to look more grown up, they choose more mature styles.  Doing this has the opposite effect and can make you look younger instead of older. Therefore, my first thought is to make sure that you are wearing age appropriate suit styles that aren’t too young, yet aren’t too mature looking either.

The next thought I have is fit. For petite women, fit is crucial and the slightest alteration, (like hemming sleeves if they are too long) will make you look taller. When petite women wear clothing that is too big, this can make them look younger than they are because they look like a child wearing their mother’s clothing.  When choosing suit styles, you want them to fit you well, and this includes sleeve lengths and hems on your pants and skirts.

Another issue could be your hair, makeup and accessories. Is you hairstyle too young looking? Can your makeup be updated so that it looks more age appropriate? If you haven’t updated your hair and makeup since your early twenties, this may be an area to focus on. In addition. could you be wearing shoes styles, or making accessory and handbag choices that may be lacking a certain level of sophistication?  You may want to purchase a few investment pieces that have a sophisticated and timeless quality to them.

I hope that helps you look and feel more mature in what you are wearing!

Bridgette Raes