2020 Style Goals #5: Dress to be Youthful, not Young

Pamela Lutrell dresses with Youthful in mind

The final 2020 Style Goal for the coming year is to dress to be youthful (Young at Heart) and not to look young.  Most often when we dress to look like the younger ladies, it backfires and we often look older.  Dressing to look youthful is different.  It is a style exuberance and youthful flair that helps us to feel younger, confident, joyful and fashion forward.

Pamela Lutrell demonstrates style goal #5

I chose today’s outfit to demonstrate youthfulness for one reason….a 24-year-old co-worker complemented this outfit when I wore it to work.  She said, “That look is super cool and youthful.  I love it on you!”  (I figured she had a good handle on what is youthful) Though I am striving to leave the oversized, flowy toppers behind, this one is designed with a more flattering fit and has a bit of an edge to it.  I went with a black column underneath and a trendy necklace I have owned for years that is a metallic gray and clear large beads.

The Cole Haan leather slip ons have the current sneaker design trend about them and I wear these shoes often.  Working on a college campus does help to keep one youthful, but honestly I would not dress as most of the college students dress today.  Extremely casual.  I did not even dress that casual when I was in college.  

Pamela Lutrell with youthful style tips

I suppose my older hands give me away, but this bracelet is very youthful and I love to bring it out when I am going for this type of style.  What makes this a bit more interesting is the subtle, snake print pants I originally bought at Soft Surroundings.  Again, it is a youthful, stylish touch.  I leave these because of the subtlety and wear them often.

Pamela Lutrell in Soft Surroundings pants

So, what are ways to avoid looking older when we dress.  Here are a few tips:

  1. Know what is in style.  I know few of us want to be “trendy” but an understanding of what is in style and how we can adapt it is key to being youthful. Take the shoes as an example.  Sneakers and sneaker-designs are worn now with just about anything…use it to your advantage.
  2. Wear clothes that fit your body type well.  Youthful style means you have confidence in your body type…not matter what it is.  No hiding!  Make sure you are wearing a great bra that lifts those girls high.  Not only will you be more youthful, but it will look like you lost 10 pounds!
  3. Know what ages you.  You rarely see me in florals or polka dots, because when I look in the mirror, in those prints, I feel older.  They are not aging prints, it is just how I feel.  So, I do not wear them unless it is a design that is cutting edge and flattering.  When I look in my mirror, I do not want to see my mother or grandmother…but a fun, confident me. 
  4. Accent your positives and have fun with your negatives.  It is a fact that I have “funky feet” and can no longer wear heels.  This is one of the reasons you do not see me in dresses and skirts (very often, well lately, never).  But, I select fun, trendy shoes to put on my feet so that I am still enjoying youthful flair.  One of my positives, are strong, healthy nails, so I get my nails done often with youthful colors.  I am asked constantly if my nails are real…love it, yes they are.
  5. When I write this point…some of you will think, I told you so!, but yes, a great haircut can add volumes to your youthful look.  It took me a long time to let go of my long, thick hair…but this hair cut has been amazing and I wish I had done it sooner than later.  it does help me to be young at heart.  Also, go for a trendy and stylish look with your eyeglasses too!
  6.  Be courageous, step out of your comfort zone occasionally, and be open minded.  I know many over 50, over 60 women who did not shop at Anthropologie for years thinking it was a young girls store, but are glad now that they shop there!  I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone with the faux leather and leopard print pants…I love them and feel great wearing them.
  7. The mirror is your best friend…believe it or not…always.  Take time to ask…is this a youthful, stylish look or am I trying to look 25?  If the answer is the latter, then start over.
  8. Use your five style adjectives to keep things in check.  If your adjectives include chic, classy, tailored….then do not go out in distressed jeans with holes in them.  Toss them now.   Be true over and over again to the style messages you want to send and then you will build and develop your own personal style. 

Remember vintage clothing is fun and cool, but it should be made well, fit well, and be a quality piece.  Ask the right questions when trying it on.  You want it to be vintage/cool and not old and dowdy.

Try to find some ways in 2020 to add a youthful touch to your wardrobe, because it builds confidence and helps to put a smile on your face.  This is especially important for those still in the workplace.

Any questions?  Please bring them on.  I think this topic goes perfect with Kathy’s adjectives.  She wants to communicate that she is active, savvy, simple, relaxed and joyful.  So, today’s slideshow is in honor of Kathy and others like her.  Thanks for being here, ladies.  


Tomorrow, I will have 2020 Style Goals for Beauty.  Our 2020 Style Goals for fashion have included communicating a purposeful style message; tossing everything that is off message; wearing new colors and the colors of the year; stepping out with accessories; and dressing with youthful flair. (above)  Simple…attainable..right?

By Pamela Lutrell


  1. Great blog today! It is important to keep current without looking as if one is trying to be 20 again. Thanks for the tips.

  2. Pam,

    Wow, your slideshow today was spot on. While I have been following your blog for quite awhile, I had never taken the time to really reflect on my 5 adjectives until this past week when I heeded your advice and made a list of all the adjectives that I thought fit and then narrowed it down to the top 5. Now that I am confident in my adjectives, I am amazed at how helpful it has been with purging my closet and I look forward to finally defining my personal style this year. You are an inspiration in many ways Pam!


  3. I love your blog! I too have funky feet and never wear heels or dresses or skirts! so your blog is perfect for me! I do a lot of what you do already: no florals, no polka dots, no pointelle items. I don’t wear a lot of long sweaters like the one you have on. I find the excess material makes me look larger since I have a large bust and the material hangs out so far from my body. I also live in Florida which cuts down on how many times I wear a sweater (even though I need one down here in the air conditioning). I have purged my closet of things that do not fit since it depresses me to see so many items I cannot wear just hanging there! Keep up the good work. We older women appreciate it. Oh by the way, I am in my 70’s. I don’t care how old we are, we always want to look stylish!

  4. Without a great haircut and stylish eyeglasses, it’s hard to make anything look current. Thanks for pointing out the difference between trendy and current. To look more current, I have added colored jeans, a couple of flared sleeves, and the kind of sneakers you are wearing, the dark ones with the thicker white soles (a bit of a platform). One look that is still outside my comfort zone is athleisure. It doesn’t fit real well with my style goals (especially as I rely powerfully on accessories), but I think there might be a way of doing athleisure. With retirement in a year or two, I’ve added a couple of Talbots Fit line’s half zip jackets. My husband loves them, but I’m not sure…

  5. Wonderful post! You look fabulous and fun! I loved your slideshow today. I would wear almost everything in it! It’s a constant challenge for those of us who love fashion but don’t want to look 35.. I want to be the best I can be without looking ridiculous!

  6. You look fabulous in this outfit! I am loving your blog with all great information that suits me at 65!! Keep up the good work!!

  7. So glad you liked it, Kathy. My family is really into LuLulemon from my over 60 husband to young women and my youngest son, at 27. Only my oldest son and I don’t wear it regularly, but they know how to fit and keep active people looking current and stylish. I am so glad this is helping.

  8. Welcome to the Funky Feet Club, Linda!! And thank you for the kind words….no matter our challenges we can always strive to look our best.

  9. I am going to look at the Talbot’s Fit line…thanks for pointing it out Linda.

  10. You mentioned youthful nail colors for your nails. I’m curious about what are youthful colors. I have inherited “good” nails but I don’t have a clue as to what nail colors to use. Thanks!

  11. First of all, wear colors you are confident wearing. But do not be afraid to have fun with your nails. You will often see me in a deep purple and I am currently wearing a black cherry. There are some bright reds and some bright pinks that make me feel older. OPI nail colors will feature the trend colors for each season and it is sometimes fun to give them a try. I am so glad last dummer that I did turquoise blue on my toes!

  12. Thanks Jennifer…you added even more to the conversation in your post today. The two posts together have this covered

  13. Year began w/a rough start, but…..I never want to look 25-35-or even 45. I had a pedicure and complete hair re-do on Friday – my stylist took off fifteen years just w/a good cut and highlights. Worth every cent.

  14. This is such a great topic! I certainly want to look youthful, but not young. Like you said, it backfires! But youthful is achievable for any of us. I think that “current” often translates to youthful, so I pay attention to current fashions. You mentioned Anthropologie. I love that store!! I tend to add a few bohemian pieces in the summer, and that seems to be a great place to achieve that look. It’s honestly easy when you are shopping to pick up on what is intended for the very young, and what is current and youthful. Certain stores do a great job with this for women in our age group, Talbots, J Jill and Chico’s among them. I have enjoyed these style posts very much, took lots of notes and intend to use the tips you offered! Looking forward to the next series!

  15. Amen to the haircut! Isn’t it wonderful to have that decision made? I feel the same way about mine. I love it and I’m owning it from now on. Fun hair fact: I told my stylist once that men usually say “nice haircut” while women usually tell me “I like your hair.” She said that men are more attuned to shapes and lines while women notice the overall look. Hmmm…. 🙂

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