Post # 1
I’m starting a new job in a couple weeks, and I’m quite a bit younger than everyone in the office (by probably ten years).
So how can I make myself look older and more professional? I know clothing has a lot to do with it, but I’m not a fashion expert by any means.
Any help would be appreciated! Thanks ladies 🙂
Post # 3
I look older when I wear glasses. When I worked at Old Navy as a manager a while back, and stayed there for 3 years; I found that people tended to respect me more when I wore glasses. I looked younger without (I worked there from 18-21). I also look older with shorter hair, but that definitely depends on the person 😛
And – you’re right – slacks and such that fit well make you look “put-together” 🙂
Post # 4
I work in human resources and everyone in my office is atleast 40, i’m 23. Honestly, I don’t worry about ‘looking older’. I got the job because I am great at what I do. Not because I need to fit in with ther other ladies. Just be yourself.
However, if you are really convinced you need to appear older then wear heels, don’t show a lot of skin, always look presentable. But that’s not necessarily looking older but more professional.
Post # 5
Neutral makeup (although red lipstick is totally OK) and professional clothing will help a lot. Wear shoes with a thicker heel (not stiletto), and make sure your slacks and skirts are loose on the hips/thighs. Don’t show cleavage, and I would think twice about going sleeveless. Definitely don’t wear attention getting hairpieces; colorful / sparkly headbands are a big no-no (I only use bobby pins). If you get casual Friday, still wear heels and nice shirts with your jeans.
You don’t have to wear boring clothes, but I try to only wear one color along with black, gray, or brown. For example, today I am wearing a black tulip skirt, black tights, black flats, and a purple button up top. Tomorrow I will wear a mustard yellow dress with a black paisley print (not too busy), black belt, black tights, and black heels.
But like a PP said, this really has more to do with being professional rather than looking older. Definitely check out websites like Corporette.com for useful advice!
Post # 6
I’ve been the youngest person in my department for almost 4 years now, and I work in Insurance, which is an aging industry with a lot of older men, so I’m very aware of being both young and female because it can be a disadvantage. I’d echo a lot of the comments above: dress conservatively, wear natural looking makeup, perhaps buy clothing you’d normally think is boring because it will probably be a little more mature looking.
Congrats on the new job!
Post # 7
I think you should look professional not older. Have a nice conservative hairstyle such as a bob. No barrettes or ponytails. No cleavage ever! Have some nice sweaters and suits. No high or chunky heels. Good luck!
Post # 8
If you can wear it to the club, you can’t wear it to work! 🙂 Don’t show much (if any!) cleavage, skirts to the knee, nothing too tight around the hips, and wear nice shoes. My assistant wears tennis shoes every day and it makes her look younger than her 24. I wear them once in a while, too, but I’m 31 and at least they match my pants when I do.
Also pay attention to who you hang out with at work if you want to present a professional appearance. You should make friends and find people to go out with, for sure. But, for example, here, where there are engineers, techs, and mechanics, if I go out with the mechanics every day, people are going to wonder what I’m doing. Now – I do go out with my techs/mechanics once in a while. But not all the time like we’re best friends, because I’m their boss.
And no matter what you wear, just pay attention to details. No stains, iron once in a while, wear clothes that fit, no matter what size you are. Button the right number of buttons and wear the right number of layers (camis are $3.50 at Old Navy, get a few!).
Post # 9
I am younger than my coworkers (although the age gap is getting smaller and smaller… man am I getting old) and I learned long ago that to appear more mature I need to be more reserved than I usually am outside of work. That means I bring absolutely no personal drama to the office. I only casually talk about my personal life and give few details. I do not talk about how hammered I got last weekend or whatever crazy thing I did. I generally speak very little about my personal life and I think that comes off well at work. The first thing I do when I start a new job is block every one of my coworkers on Facebook. I do NOT want coworkers as facebook friends.
Post # 10
I agree with pretty much everything that’s been said, plus I would add that purchasing fewer items with clean lines and high quality is always better than having more items that are cheap. Avoid details that are too precious, like ruffles, a poof on the sleeve, oversized buttons, and anything too trendy, which don’t tend to read as professional in an office setting.
Your best friends are a pair of conservative (but not necessarily chunky/orthopedic) pumps, a sheath dress that hits at the knee, a not-to-tight pencil skirt, and a well-fitted suit that can be worn separately as a sharp blazer over anything and the perfect pair of dress pants. I find that no make up makes me look very young, as does too much, so I try to hit that grey middle that says “polished” (a little pencil eyeliner, defined brow, matte skin, neutral blush, chap stick).
Also, I cannot say enough about wrinkle-free fabrics. It’s very difficult to look professional in a shirt that is thin and wrinkled like tissue paper. Find your perfect button-down and stick with it, like the favorite jeans you re-buy after a few years because they’re perfect for you.
Post # 11
I’m younger than my coworkers by almost a decade – next oldest is about 31. I’m 24.
I don’t necessarily try to look older, as my job performance doesn’t depend on it. I do try not to look like a college kid who rolled out of bed, LOL. It took me a long time to get over that phase hahaha.
I try to compensate by being the same way to everyone and staying out of the office politics for the most part. Everyone has always remarked on how mature I am, and I make sure that that maturity shines while I’m at work.
Post # 12
@anemonie: agree. Having a few high quality, tailored pieces will make you look more professional than off-rack. Make sure to put yourself together every day (makeup+hairdo+accessories) and you should be fine!
Post # 13
@FearLess: Thanks! I’m in insurance too. What exactly do you do?
Post # 14
For me, shorter hair helps, but that’s individual to the person. Glasses also tended to make me look younger, though the opposite is true for most people. Good fit is also essential–I can do some pretty decent tailoring on my own, but if you can’t, it’s probably worth the cost on your most frequently worn items.
Post # 15
I think if you carry yourself with a professional air, no-one will judge you based on your age. Wearing the right clothing can help with that though – dress professionally and use your colleagues as your cue – what do they wear? Short skirts or low cut tops are not a good look if you are going for professional and will make you appear younger (if not in age then in attitude!). I always think that shorter hair and not too much make-up helps too, but that’s a personal opinion!! Always look neat and put-together and you’ll be fine, and knowing you are looking smart will give you confidence too!
Post # 16
@alaska_99705: I’m 23 and direct my own company.
I make sure who I am in the workplace and when I’ve got my director hat on is someone who is professional. I give a lot of thought to what I’m wearing, how I’ve styled my hair and how I’m carrying myself. Watch how those who are in the positions you want to be in act and model yourself on them. This doesnt mean changing who you are, it just means altering how you are in certain situations. We all do it, we have different ways of being around different people.
In terms of fashion and clothing, here’s a trick I was taught ages ago by someone a lot older. I learnt peope ewho are new to different roles tend to over dress or dress too smartly. By this I mean they rock up in a very stereotypical suit. They look cookie cut. It looks as if they haven’t had time to get comfortable in their role and therefore they look “new”. They never look comfortable in their own skin and they spend forever fixing their clothing. This looks wrong. Instead, dress smartly but comfortably. I don’t wear suits. I wear well fitted jeans and smart shirts. If I wear a pencil dress, I add some colour to it with a nice cardigan or some maroon or dark green tights. Pay attention to the smaller details – have a nice pen not one that’s all chewed. Make sure your nails are neat. Wear a clean fresh smelling perfume. I never wear a standard suit. I dress comfortably so that I can act comfortably, and appearing comfortable in your role is second to appearing confident. Being confident in a job is something that comes with age. People are always really shocked when they find out how old I really am. It works every time 😉
There’s a term called “CEO Casual” – you can find lots of articles on it.