The Baby Doll Clothing Trend… Is it age appropriate fashion when you’re middle-aged?
I am 55 years old, but I’m told I look 45 – who knew?! Since I appear younger than I am, I sometimes have a fashion dilemma about dressing appropriately for my age.
Am I too old to wear a baby-doll top? It’s a rich royal blue baby doll style blouse with long sleeves, a deep V-neck, and no embellishments that I’d like to wear with dressy black slacks or jeans. Also, am I too old to show a little cleavage? I’m not wrinkled there yet!(Anacortes, WA)
Sweetness, you know I believe that we shouldn’t dress for our chronological age but dress for the shape that we’re in and our overall general aesthetic. However when it comes to baby doll tops and dresses, the fashion answer should be self- evident.
If you are talking about a cute and frothy little girlish looking top from the junior department that is probably only right for a someone below the legal voting age, the answer is no. Luckily, your top is a rich color, but on a related fashion page, a grown woman should not dress in head-to-toe baby pink or any other insipidly sweet, strength-sapping pastel— particularly in a non-tailored style.
There are certain styles and connotations that these very girlish styles have that should be left to, well, young girls. Plenty of 20-somethings look like they’ve outgrown their clothes or downright stupid in a babydoll styles unless they are extremely lean and gamine or covering a baby bump. Exposing cleavage that is thankfully not wrinkled yet in combination with a kiddy top, won’t make you– an urbane woman of worldy years– look hot but more like the nana who escaped the fire with only the clothes from her granddaughters’ closet… ouch!
That’s not to say that you should skip this fashion trend entirely, but you should understand how to adapt it and modify it to best flatter you. Part of looking chic at any age is knowing when to say no and how to stay modern.
Keep the essence of the babydoll look but in a more sophisticated and refined silhouette. Think about an empire line with some fullness under the bodice in an elegant knee-length or right above the knee length dress that is timeless and chic rather carrying a fairy princess expiration date. Or try a slender tunic with some ruching at the bust to wear over slim pants or jeans so you will keep the gathered and feminine design but not appear like an otherwise intelligent woman desperately holding on to her youth by a very dated thread. Speaking of dated, in fashion circles the baby doll trend is on the wane… yeah!
–November 13, 2007