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9 Outfit Tricks That Will Make You Look Younger

The easiest way to turn back the clock has nothing to do with lotions, potions or pricey treatments—it's all about your wardrobe. Here’s how to dress to look younger instantly.

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How to dress to look younger

Age is just a number … but having the right clothes can make that number a lot harder to guess. Just like certain hairstyles and makeup tricks for older women will make you look younger, a few smart wardrobe tricks can also help you tap into the fountain of youth instantly. And learning how to dress to look younger can do wonders for your self-esteem, adding to the anti-aging effect with a simple attitude adjustment.

Looking younger is a mindset,” says Alex Rivera, a stylist with Stitch Fix. “And if you have the proper tools to style an outfit, you’ll always feel confident.”

Even better? We have all those tools for you right here, with pro tips from stylists and fashion bloggers. These style swaps and accessory tweaks are incredibly easy—and make an even bigger impact than you might imagine. They can even help you look better in photos every time. Here’s what you need to know.

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Outfit Tricks That Will Make You Look Younger Ohara Blazer Ecomm Via Mmlafleur
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Find the right balance between slouchy and polished

“Structured two-piece sets and other tailored pieces look polished, but that sophisticated look can also come across as more aging,” says Dina Scherer, owner of Modnitsa Styling. Go for pieces that fall off the shoulder a bit or have a longer, asymmetrical silhouette to shave years off your look. “If it’s a little oversized,” Scherer explains, “it can read as a little more casual and doesn’t hug the body the same way, so it has that message of a more youthful feel.”

Just don’t go too far past the line. Baggy jeans and sweatpants, for example, will swallow up your whole body. Instead, find oversized pieces with clean lines, avoiding embellishments or details. We love this oversized but polished O’Hara blazer from M.M. LaFleur. It’s great for the office but also works for a night out when paired with dark-wash jeans. Plus, it’s a simple fashion upgrade that will elevate your wardrobe in myriad ways.

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Opt for bright, bold tops

What other colors can make you look younger? Bright ones. “When choosing colors that will make you feel vibrant, I advise my clients to play with bright shades such as red, purple and pink,” says Rivera. “Small doses of bright color add a visual interest and insert fun to every outfit.” And fun equals youth.

If super bright isn’t your thing, even just a pop of it will do the trick. Think brightly colored scarves over your favorite winter coat, or necklaces and brooches near your face, which will highlight your features and make you look fresh faced, says Scherer. You can also get strategic about color pairings. A soft neutral like beige or gold can reflect light on your skin, giving you a youthful glow, and that kind of more subdued hue can also balance out a hot-pink top, like this one from SkinnyTees.

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Avoid matchy-matchy pieces

“Resist the urge to try to match everything in your outfit,” says stylist Erin Stoll, creator of Style Thief Fashion. A matching shirt-and-sweater combo is reminiscent of what grandma used to wear, even when your components are stylish on their own. “Bring some balance to your look with neutrals: Try pairing a simple white T-shirt with a printed skirt, or a pair of jeans with a floral top,” suggests Stoll. “The same goes for accessories. Choose simple silver or gold accessories instead of matching colors to your outfit.”

Pick up this elevated V-neck tee from Frame, which comes in a variety of neutral colors. You can put it under colored sweaters or patterned blazers, or pair it with just about any bottoms for a put-together, über-cool look. Bonus: The sleeves are incredibly flattering.

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Simplify your accessories

As the old adage goes, less is more—and that’s definitely true with jewelry if you want to dress to look younger. Instead of piling on bracelets and necklaces, remove a few pieces before heading out the door. While older generations are huge fans of chunky jewelry, statement necklaces and large watches, the look for younger generations right now is very minimalist. Smaller pieces will give you a more streamlined look, even when you layer multiple pieces instead of wearing one large necklace.

This simple and modern bar necklace from Tiny Tags will evoke the perfect youthful vibe, and even better, you can personalize it. Bonus: Rose gold is huge right now among younger generations. It gives off a fresher feeling than yellow gold and a hipper one than white gold or platinum. Find out the best time to buy jewelry so you can stock up strategically.

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Pair skirts and cropped pants with pointy-toed shoes

If you’re opting for a shorter pant or skirt, make sure to wear the right shoe. “Update your shoes by choosing a pair of heels, boots or flats with a slightly pointier or almond-shaped toe,” says Stoll. “This will help elongate your leg line and helps you look more polished. Avoid short, rounded toes, since these can make you look shorter and frumpier.”

If you want to wear heels, more power to you, but don’t feel like you have to. “The perfect level of style is when there’s some comfort in there,” says Rothman. So swap out your five-inch pumps for kitten heels, platform shoes or wedges so you can wear heels without the pain. Try these extra-cushioned, low-heeled ankle boots from Hush Puppies. They’re comfortable, stylish and even sensibly water-resistant.

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Outfit Tricks That Will Make You Look Younger Ecomm Bra Via Tommyjohn
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Buy well-fitting bras

Nope, you’re not going to see them, but undergarments are the foundation of your look. After all, they’ll affect how clothes lay on your body. If you haven’t gotten new bras recently, it’s probably time. Your cup size and breast shape can change over time due to pregnancy, aging and/or weight fluctuations, and you should get fitted every couple of years to make sure your size hasn’t changed. (Sooner, if you know it has.) Likewise, bras don’t last forever—they stretch out and eventually don’t fit as they should.

Having a few different styles of the best bras for different outfits is key. Make sure you have a good push-up, a strapless option and an underwire, as well as comfortable everyday options. The size of your chest also matters—bigger breasts may need more support, while those with a smaller chest can wear a more delicate bralette. We love this super-soft yet supportive Second Skin Triangle Bralette from Tommy John, which has adjustable straps and removable pads and is super comfy for everyday wear.

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Embrace the front tuck

“This styling trick has been around for years, but it makes a big difference,” says Stoll. “Many of us might feel more comfortable leaving shirts and sweaters untucked, but often, that just accentuates the widest part of our body. The trick to the front tuck is not trying too hard: Simply tuck in just the front part of your shirt or sweater, right where the button of your jeans is. This brings the eye up to your waist, accentuating the smallest part of your body.” It also allows the shirt to still cover your hips and butt, adding some clever camouflage.

Try tucking in this chic off-the-shoulder tee from AllSaints, which provides a relaxed yet put-together vibe, shows off sleek collarbones and also covers arms. You’ll want one in every color.

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Cinch your waist

If your outfit doesn’t offer a built-in hourglass shape, you can create one in seconds with a belt. It defines your figure and accentuates the smallest part of yourself—or creates the illusion that your waist is smaller than it may be. A belt also adds visual interest to a casual dress and helps you tastefully pull together a look. Belts can also be used to “tuck in” sweaters that are too long, which can land at an otherwise unflattering spot.

Aim for a minimalist, plain belt about two inches wide. We realize that’s very specific, but there’s a good reason for it: Anything wider than three inches and it will look dated. Likewise, a super skinny belt isn’t going to frame your figure enough to make a difference in your overall look. This affordable two-pack from Amazon, which comes with black and brown options, will do the trick.

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Roll or push up your sleeves

When figuring out how to dress to look younger, this easy tip just might be your favorite. “You would be surprised how many times I can totally change the look of an outfit by telling my clients to push up the sleeves of their shirt or jacket, in addition to popping the collar and doing a little front tuck,” says Stoll. “These tiny finishing details take no time at all and instantly make you look fresh and pulled together.” Rolling your sleeves gives a casual, more laid-back look, which will help with the youthful vibe instantly.

While you might think to do this with your weekend wear, you can also do it with business-casual outfits. Simply cuff the sleeves of a button-down shirt and wear it on its own, or pair your button-down with a blazer and cuff its sleeves over the blazer’s sleeves.

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Additional reporting by Marissa Laliberte.


Dory Zayas
Dory is a former lifestyle and beauty director and current freelance writer and content creator specializing in beauty and style. She has more than 15 years of experience in both print and digital media and spent more than a decade working for Popstar! Magazine and HollywoodLife.com, where she interviewed hundreds of celebrities including Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Kim Kardashian. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, daughter and dog.