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Fashion Talk

How short is too short? Hemlines on women over 55

Started 1298560702.04 in Fashion Talk | Last reply 1298682699.47 by wilma

I am excited about being able to fit into a couple of dresses and several skirts that I haven't been able to wear as of yet. Now I'm concerned, though, about where they are going to hit on my leg.

My legs are in great shape, so that's not a worry. I just don't want to shock anyone like a woman shocked me not too long at the casino. From the back, she was shapely, so I didn't think too much about her mini-skirt. Then she turned around, and as my youngest DD says, "Tree trunk alert". She had to be in her 70s, and her skirt just barely covered her unmentionables. Not a good look.

I was just looking at the Neiman Marcus site, and they have quite a selection of dresses. Most of the ones that I like are 3-4 inches above the knee. Is that too short for an older woman?


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StylishWom­an1298563155.89765 PostsRegistered 11/25/2009SW FL

Too short for this 76 year old. I prefer dresses and skirts that come to the knee cap or slightly below when I am standing. I do not like them higher as I feel uncomfortable when I go to sit down.

bonnielu1298564799.5536490 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004Western Maryland

I think if you look good in it, you should wear it. I don't believe in age being the determining factor for whatever you want to wear. There are some young folks, who wear the latest fashions and are poorly out of shape for them. In many cases they overflow the frame of the "fashion." I am often wondering if they ever look in the mirror.

adelle381298565153.9810762 PostsRegistered 12/22/2007

I think I would stop at 2 inches above the knee. Your story about the casino says it all. No matter how great your legs, after 50 miniskirts look ridiculous.

"Fear always springs from ignorance."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pak51431298565375.553642 PostsRegistered 10/28/2010Michigan

I'm 67 and I'd say just above the knee would be short enough.

BackktoBru­nette1298565456.2772224 PostsRegistered 10/7/2010a Jersey Girl in PA

I just read a quote from one of my favorite people, style expert Tim Gunn, and he said that the perfect length is right at or slightly above the kneecap. ITA.:)

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fbm2lsm1298565507.9732599 PostsRegistered 8/25/2010

I definetly think that it depends on your legs and you comfort zone, my legs are thick so my comfort zone is to the top of my knee at the very shortest.

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ladyroxanne1298565699.06711022 PostsRegistered 3/25/2008northern ca
On 2/24/2011 BackktoBrunette said:

I just read a quote from one of my favorite people, style expert Tim Gunn, and he said that the perfect length is right at or slightly above the kneecap. ITA.:)

Last edited on 2/24/2011

this sounds good to me, too!

crdlb1298565734.5113382 PostsRegistered 6/24/2009So. Cal.
On 2/24/2011 BackktoBrunette said:

I just read a quote from one of my favorite people, style expert Tim Gunn, and he said that the perfect length is right at or slightly above the kneecap. ITA.:)

Last edited on 2/24/2011

Always listen to Tim!{#emotions_dlg.thumbup1}

namealread­ytaken1298566097.6478421 PostsRegistered 7/13/2009

I am constantly told what nice legs I have, even by the youthful girls at the spa. What does that mean? I had great legs as a teen but many of my peers (then and now), not so; however, given my age,regardless of how good my legs look, the internals are aging quickly, and the look for old is "decent, sophisticated," not teenybopper. Right at the knee.

Perkup1298566464.9877191 PostsRegistered 12/24/2008

Stylish Woman, I am also 76, and I usually wear my skirts just grazing the top of my knee. I am only 5'1" and proportionately it seems the best length for me.

This idea of wearing something that isn't age appropriate, however, seems rather silly to me. If you're dressed like your teen-age daughter (or wearing leggings like your three year old), I think you look ridiculous. It doesn't make you look younger - it just looks like you're trying to make people think that you are. It doesn't work!

Kathlen1298566551.4714880 PostsRegistered 8/7/2006East Side, West Side, All Around The Town ... London Bridge is Falling Down

I'm pro choice!

That's a personal decision each woman has to make for herself.

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RedConvert­ibleGirl1298566677.96714999 PostsRegistered 9/3/2005Pacific NW

Nope, 3-4" is not too short at all. Mini-skirts though I think aren't appropriate on most women at any age. I do not consider 3" a mini skirt.

When we shoulder the mantle of compassion no cry goes unheard and no wound goes unhealed. In this world of seemingly endless suffering we have to believe that no one is beyond hope of rescue. Scotlund Haisley, Animal Rescue Corps

3blackdogs1298568766.84786 PostsRegistered 3/19/2006

Your post about the casino woman reminds of a lady that is close to 80 and has thinner legs -but they are old looking legs (white with varicose veins)....Once we get warm weather here, she comes into the credit union where I work sporting her short shorts and 3" sandals. Oh the reactions each time are priceless!!

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luvmyteddy1298570698.049511 PostsRegistered 9/4/2010Royals/Chiefs

I look at the Bravo HW shows and I think they are way too old to be wearing mini dresses. Even though they have good bodies it just doesn't look good. When Kyle was climbing in and out of the limo you could see almost everything.

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madcity4111298571111.3435004 PostsRegistered 8/11/2007

Depends on the individual woman of course. Mini or micro mini, nevers looks good on "tree trunk" type legs. Great legs, go for it at any age. {#emotions_dlg.thumbup}

Malihini1298572231.99772 PostsRegistered 8/25/2007Honolulu Hawaii

Right at, or a little above the knee.

Classic always wins over fad!

namealread­ytaken1298586899.048421 PostsRegistered 7/13/2009

I have never in my life and I am getting old and have seen a lot of people, seen a mini skirt that looked good on a single soul.

Jeanhelen571298587540.8632772 PostsRegistered 11/1/2005

I would hardly call 3 inches above the knee a mini-skirt! If it looks good--wear it! Here's what I think you mean--a girl/woman is wearing an article of clothing that draws attention to her..aka a "mini-skirt" could also be a really low cut shirt or tight jeans--etc...she can "get away with it" from a distance, cause it fits and her body still looks good in it also could be a certain hairstyle (spikey hair, all different colors--might look ok on a teen)..but when you see her up close YIKES--she is way too old for that look! A shorter than at your knee dress/skirt is ok if you have nice legs..a mini-skirt--not ok..

goodstuff1298589147.80717166 PostsRegistered 11/11/2008

At or very near the kneecap. If you have extra-good legs, go for the top of the kneecap if you must. Shorter looks like you're trying too hard to look "young". Anyone old enough to be a grandma is too old to dress like a college co-ed, no matter how good your legs and figure.

brewhaha1298589326.52754561 PostsRegistered 1/14/2007Sitting in front of my computer

Not too short at all. I wear short skirts all the time. My legs are my best assets.

"I don't want clever conversation. I never want to work that hard."
Billy Joel's Just The Way You Are

happy hous­ewife1298590650.3434389 PostsRegistered 1/4/2007

If your legs are good I guess it would be ok BUT when you look in the full length mirror look carefully because - no matter how thin you may be there are rarely any +50 women who look good enough to wear a mini skirt.

When faced with senseless drama, spiteful criticism or misguided opinions walking away is the best way to defend yourself.To respond with anger is an endorsement of their attitude. -Dodinsky

VanSleepy1298592295.313513 PostsRegistered 10/5/2010

I'm not over 50 and my legs are fine, but I feel uncomfortable wearing a bathing suit coverup that is 2-3 inches above my knee. I'm surprised at all these responses saying "go for it". I guess it's just what each person is comfortable with.

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momtodogs1298592664.2534342 PostsRegistered 9/20/2006

I'm 55 and wear dresses that are between my knee and calf. I don't like short dresses for me..I don't have pretty skin and my legs are not my best feature. Each to his own.

leehare1298592859.3931805 PostsRegistered 4/7/2010

Regardless of how you look in a shorter skirt-if you do not feel quite right about the length-don't wear it. Usually what I think looks bad is the too tightness of the skirt-not the length-2"-3" is not so short on many women over 50. Also every woman should try sitting in every skirt and dress before they purchase it-nothing says you bought the wrong garment like pulling and adjusting it all day or night.

gigot1298593490.6375299 PostsRegistered 10/22/2010

If you can carry off the outfit in a classy manner, go for it at any age. Just feel that some, despite age, dress in outfits that don't accentuate their positive points,just make them look very inappropriate. I have seen better looking 70 year olds in above the knee outfits but they are classy, in great shape, and know how to carry it off while some young people wear skirts that don't leave much to the imagination despite being in shape and look sloppy and....You've seen them.

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