The Teenager’s Guide To Dressing An Over 40s Mom

Photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo

My daughter is 15 and I’m 47. She is still exploring her ‘look’ and seems to vacillate between laid-back surfer girl and grungy vamp (with black eye makeup, nails and kick-ass boots that would look at home in a big bad city).

However, she does have definite ideas about how her mom should dress.

Her ideas are more about what I’m no longer allowed to be seen dead in, rather than what I AM allowed to wear. And it’s not easy if I don’t want to embarrass her. That’s because I’m told I have to get the look exactly right: nothing too sexy but no frumpy mom jeans either – it’s a fine line apparently …

According to Emily, these no-go items should be banned from wardrobes of anyone over 40 (even 35+ is pushing it, she says).

Of course I take it all with a handful of salt (and the odd weekend tequila) and won’t give up my penchant for a bit of bling on my sneakers, the occasional push-up bra and skirt that might fail the mom length test, but here’s her (wish) list for me:


Tattoos – unless you’re a rock star
Ear cuffs
Crop tops
Ripped jeans
Leather pants
Tiny tight skirts
Tops that are even SLIGHTLY transparent
Push-up bras
Combat boots or Docs
Silver or gold takkies
Black nail polish
Bodycon dresses
Blue or pink hair streaks
Frayed denim shorts
Athleisure gear (unless you’ve actually been to gym)
Stringy bikinis
Going braless (This is apparently the biggest sin among today’s teens, who wear bras with everything – even gorgeous strapless, FULLY LINED dresses – where going braless would go completely undetected.)

Looking at the above list, I’d look really sad and pathetic if I did a lot of the above at once, but women like Helen Mirren who wear bikinis and be damned – and the gorgeous over 40s like Nicole Kidman, Courtney Cox, Sandra Bullock, JLo, Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts are showing women that they can wear what they like – and bugger what anyone else thinks.

It all depends on the individual – and whether you can carry off a look with confidence. Julia Roberts has legs that would be the envy of many teen girls – so if you’ve got it, flaunt it! The teens will just have to live with it …

Read next: Your Personal Style Secret

Previous articleA Little List Out Of Grief
Next articleMeditation Is Not Just For Hippies
Sasha Wyatt-Minter
Sasha Wyatt-Minter is an online magazine editor and offline mom of a teenager, who finds the pressure of deadlines much easier than navigating the waters of parenting a teen (and needs lots of wine to help her wade through it all). The beach and reading are what calms her soul - preferably at the same time.