When is it Too Much?


Iris Apfel quote

Being a “young”, older woman, I am very interested in this age group. I would love to see this covered in great detail, maybe as regards to makeup , clothing and jewellery. e.g. When is it “too much”? I do LOVE to wear bling, but, when is it OVERDONE? I hope you enjoy your posts as much as I enjoy reading them!


When is too much too much?  Well that really depends on two things:

  1. Your personality
  2. The occasion

So the question relates to:

  • Who are you?
  • How do you want to be perceived?
  • What’s your personality style?
  • What’s your signature style?

And then:

  • What is the occasion?
  • Dressy, casual, formal, sporting etc.?
  • What’s the level of refinement of the bling, makeup or clothing?
  • Does it relate to the level of refinement of the occasion and what you’re wearing?

Answering some of these questions will help you figure out if it’s enough or too much!  A full face of makeup and a pearl necklace at the gym are just too much!  But they work when you’re going out to lunch or dinner.


But I feel there is another question being asked her, and that’s all about age and not being perceived as ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ or MDAL as I shall now call it.  Now what I’ve discovered is that the women who worry about looking MDAL are rarely the ones who fall into the trap.  In fact I’ve discovered it’s part of one of the ‘personality styles’, it’s usually an act of rebellion (whether conscious or unconscious) in some way.  If you are not the rebellious type, then it’s just not going to happen to you.  The only time I feel it looks “overdone” is when it becomes a “costume” on you!  Now for some women that’s an easy line to cross as their natural personality style is more conservative.  For others with a dramatic or creative flair, it takes a lot to get to the ‘costume’ stage.Wear what you like


I don’t believe that women should fade into the background as they age.  In fact I really admire the women who choose to make themselves visually present (and just take a minute to pop over to Advanced Style which has so many fabulous older women featured, or other 50 plus blog sites – just google that and you’ll find lots of them) and you will see that you don’t have to be really restrained.

One of the aspects that I’m really enjoying seeing the efforts of all my wonderful Evolve Your Style participants is that many of them are 40 plus and they are trying out all sorts of new looks and they are really enjoying it and finding they are getting positive reactions!  Age should not define us and what we wear.  Sure we may like to show less skin as we get older, but there is no reason to stop wearing makeup or jewellery or finding fun and exciting clothes to wear!

It can be harder if you’re surrounded by people who are a bit scared of standing out so err on the side of caution and conservatism in appearance.  But what I’ve discovered is that sometimes all they need is a role model to inspire them to get out of their comfort zone and try something new.

Want some more inspiration?  Check out all the makeovers that Christopher Hopkins does on women of many ages!





I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

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  • Thanks for addressing this, Imogen. I have printed it off & intend to think about those good questions you have posed. I totally agree with you saying “age should not define us and what we wear”. Have just arrived home after a lovely trip to Hawaii. I find I am always stimulated when I have travelled , ready to “start again” with new ideas & thoughts. This is very timely!

  • Imogen,

    Each to their own, I suppose. I loved the documentary, Fabulous Fashionistas that aired almost about this time last year. A range of personality types were featured. All of the women expressed their personalities through their clothing, pushed boundaries, and looked fabulous. Not one looked like mutton dressed as lamb and I do not think any of them looked like they were wearing costumes. Yet, they were eye catching. I was inspired by them all! I have let my hair grow long and enjoy wearing it down around the house or sometimes in a looped ponytail. I mostly wear it up. I would never have considered growing my hair long before this fabulous documentary. One of the classiest women had long gray hair and I was mesmerized. Of course, there is Linda Rodin–my style crush!

    Now the women, in Advanced Style, are an eye full and are clearly having fun styling themselves–it comes across costume-like. I can’t put my finger on it as they are not dressing as MDAL, yet the over-the-top excess is a bit jarring. I love the rings. I love the stacked bangles, I love the layered necklaces, I love the bigger-than-your-head glasses and wild hats—-just not all together.

  • Im not in my 40’s so Im not sure if this is a dressing problem is more typical for the younger women or a gender thing…. Its seems like people often mix up “personality” and occasion alot and dress after their surrounding as first priority, influenced by how many people has the same type of style and think thats how you “should” dress, like your surrounding should define what you wear.
    E.g: If you were eating out with your closer friends who all have same sort of personality, but yours are the opposite. (I.e. in my case, my friends are all “mr/miss casual”, while Im more of a miss smart/dressy but nothing extreme, just dressier side of everyday wear). Im not sure if this happens only younger people, but in situations you often get alot of critical comments that you are dressing up “too much” or percieved as being “too fullof yourself or conceited person” (conceited for wearing a office-like dress to a dinner or around friend?? :S) It feels like my personality and occasion often contradict with eachother…

    In other blogs/stylist websites, I often read that you have to dress after your surrounding, so I often get confused with how far you can go with your personality without causing problems with the other people (being percieved as negative, not because they are not “used” to your style). I know that its not bad thing to be welldressed, but in some situation it make me really uncomfortable despite its within my personality to dress up a notch and in enviroment where there are really no “dress codes”. It was much worse during school: if you were a black jersey dress and flats, you were dressing up “too muxh”. XD

    Has anybody else dresssing problems like this one, where you end up dressing like your surrounding because you think thats you are suppose to do? I always feel a bit “out of place” just because I dont wear jeans, shorts, sneaker and such stuff… (unless its camping or a visit to the dentist!).

  • I LOVE jewellery, and I mean L.O.V.E!

    I design it, make it, wear it, just not all the time. If I’m running to the doctor just a pair of big earrings and watch, if that. If I’m getting dressed up for a day out, I pile it on. It’s my business, my craft, my absolute passionate love.

    Elizabeth Taylor has a book, My Love Affair With Jewelry, I may not have the amazing pieces she had (the collection was sadly split up when sold) but I fully understand the overwhelming emotions towards all things sparkly.

    Life is too short to worry about other people wondering why you wear so much or none at all, if it’s what you love, pile it on!

  • I also love the advice of Coco Chanel to take one piece off before leaving the house. It is a good way to not be overdone, unless of course you are already minimally accessorized.

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