Being Appropriate: Right Dress at the Right Age

Before hitting my 30th birthday, one of the main issues that I was itching to address was my wardrobe. I kept browsing and browsing for articles and tips on how a woman in her 30’s should dress. Thankfully, I found a few but my satisfaction was not met because I felt that there are things left unexplained or maybe I was expecting something more from them. I was looking for an in-depth advice. I wanted to have a better understanding so I would know if I need to start overhauling my closet.

Right Dress at the Right Age

My curiosity was triggered after watching the scene from The Sex and the City 2 where Samantha Jones and Miley Cyrus appeared at a red carpet event wearing the exact wardrobe and people were thinking that the dress was “a bit too young” for Samantha.

Photo courtesy of The Little Black Dress

Photo courtesy of TheLittleBlackDress

Ever since, I became very conscious with what I wear. You can also add the factor that there were times when I feel sad seeing older women( 50’s or older) who are obviously wearing young women’s dresses or sometimes even the tacky ones. Those who are wearing everything that is tighter than TIGHT and I gasp for air by just looking at them. There are times when I am left with a tilted head because I am trying to figure out how did they actually fit in those clothes? I know that it is none of my business but I treat it as an example and I should learn from them. I do not wish to be a walking fashion victim… Or should I say I do not want to be a fashion victim ANYMORE.

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

Yes, the word was ANYMORE. My choices were never perfect and, of course, I had my “Oh-My-Goodness!-What-Was-I-Thinking-When-I-Wore-That” moments and it was for some time…for several years, actually.

Fashion Flashback: Berryduchess edition

Fashion Flashback: Berryduchess edition

Looking back (with the help of the pictures in this post), I figured out what were my issues:

1. I do not have a constant fashion style.

– Unlike my eldest sister who is always in a blouse and pair of slacks or jeans, OR my second eldest sister who is into a more rugged/sporty look, I am a mix of everything. I wear whatever I feel like wearing. I can be in a business formal today, then sporty tomorrow and ready for clubbing the following day. As versatile as it may sound, I realized that it is also not good because it shows how indecisive I am.

I think this is one of the basics and it’s important to know how do you want to see yourself. Who are your fashion icons? It is helpful if you try to collect some photos of your fashion muse so you can see what they have in common and it can help you identify your fashion personality.

Are you a classic type woman? or you want to do everything with an edge?

2. Not understanding our body

–  Not because your favorite star wears it means you should or you can also wear them. Remember, they are celebrities and you are not. Also, not because it is a current trend, or that almost every woman in the office was wearing that pair of jeans should mean that you need to have yours as well just to fit in. I think it is important to highlight here that fashion is not about trend alone. One must consider things like body type, body shape, weather in your country, and a whole lot more.

Let me use myself as an example:

a. The case of that Skinny Jeans:

Skinny Jeans

Photo courtesy of google.

When skinny jeans hit the department stores, I really hate it. Why? Because I was not blessed with great legs. In fact, I have big legs which I call LOGS. haha, I mean really!  I felt that wearing this kind of jeans would just highlight my flaws. Even though it was a big hit for women, I prefer to stick with my straight cut or bootleg jeans over the skinnies.

I bought a couple of this type (because that time in Manila, no straight or boot cut jeans are available in stores so I was left with no choice), but that was because I needed it for my boots when I went overseas.  Also, I stick to the darkest color that I can have so as not to further highlight my imperfections.

b. The case of that Mini Skirt:

–  I was not born with the perfect body, but I have enough confidence that despite  having big legs, I still wear mini skirts. (Please refer to the photo with 2007-2009, ugh!). I even wear them in the office, and yes, the hemlines are as high as that in the picture. I guess I really used my confidence the wrong way in the fashion department. If only someone had given me an advice on proper dressing when I was younger. *sigh

I wonder how some people wear leather jacket, but they live in a tropical country. Interesting, isn’t it?

3. Misguided concept of Sexiness

– With TV, movies and music videos nowadays, the society have a certain definition of “sexy“. My guess? The concept is a barely clothed man or a woman, preferably with abs. From shorts that are very, very short to mini skirts that are so skimpy, it is almost like an underwear. Sexy would mean you are wearing a tiny piece of clothing, so tight that it only covers the areas that are left to the viewer’s imaginations.


This is how we perceive sexy nowadays. The younger me loves showing off sexiness. It was always a choice between a low neckline or a very short hemline or when I wear something tight, I mean “flat-tight“. The problem? I failed to handle it properly. I mean, my clothes with low necklines and short hemlines made it as my work wear and that should not have been the case.  Sadly, but I committed these mistakes.

Thankfully, by 2010, I started learning how to dress in a more modest manner.  It was my former boss who influenced me. She is a lawyer, a boss, a friend, and a fashionista. I look at her as my role model. Add in the factor that I worked in the CEO’s office, a business/formal attire is almost a requirement. Slowly, I started adapting and moved away from the short hemlines and low necklines. Though at times I would still have my mini skirts, but I wear it outside my office function.

Berryduchess' Style Evolution 2010-2013

Berryduchess’ Style Evolution 2010-2013

From very casual statement tees to power suits. I never had a second thought on investing in my suits because I know it is needed in my work. An image is yet to be build and my fashion choices would have to follow. After I stopped working in the CEO’s office and moved here in Singapore, I was left with the same dilemma again. I decided to leave my suits at home for the meantime as I was not sure if I can wear them if I land a job here in our new home. And I was right. Though I landed a job in the city, the office was not very strict when it comes to work attire. I also tried observing the people and they are not into formal office attire. If I wear my suits when I report to work, I may be too overdressed and they might give me the “questioning” look because I looked so formal. So my suits remained untouched in Manila.

For 2013, I started paying attention towards wearing more dresses and skirts with proper length and necklines. I wanted to touch more of my feminine side. Yet, I prefer to have that firm and polished look that I always want.

Berryduchess Style Dresses 1

Berryduchess Dress Style 2

After I turned 30, I decided to let go of the last few pieces of my mini skirts and statement tees. Now, I prefer single-colored or striped V-neck shirts. I no longer fancy very tight clothes, instead I want something not too loose but not so tight. I prefer a comfortable wear, something that I can wear and breathe at the same time.

Also, I let go of my 3 inches heels and was left with 2 inches (the highest) and less. Since 2006, I am used to wearing 3 – 4 inches heels while working, but when I lived here in Singapore, it was too difficult to handle. The long walks are no joke and I got tired of bringing my heels everyday. I told myself, “why should I suffer for the sake of fashion? Just go and invest in a good pair of flat shoes, a pair of ballet flats maybe? and have a happier life!” 🙂 And so I did.

Berryduchess Style 3 - Jeans and Shirts


I used to have a lot! like so much. Think of dangling earrings, big hoop earrings, etc. and the different types of bracelets and cocktail rings – I have them all. But I decided to tone down and choose simple studded earrings or a pair of pearl earrings that gives the classic look. I let go of my bangles and beaded bracelets, too. I stick to a few simple ones and, of course, I got my first set of Pandora which I use most of the time. I got a couple of watches and pearl necklaces to go with my almost all of my outfit.  I also learned not to use them all at the same time. Remember the famous line? Less is More. 🙂

Berryduchess Accessories Style

Brand is really not a big deal, I believe that confidence is the key to pull-off your outfit. This also reminds me of what Karl Lagerfeld said that being chic doesn’t have to be expensive. I definitely agree. Also, I personally prefer quality over quantity. It is a bonus if I get very good quality of clothes at a very, very affordable price.

Of course, as women, we have our strategies when it comes to buying clothes, and that’s knowing when will be the next sale! Though at times, I still buy them at their original prices especially if I feel that they are hot items. Thankfully I have memberships which give me at least 10-15% off for the regular-priced items.

Berryduchess Style 4 - Midi Skirts

Understanding the basics really helped me. I even bought the eBook version of Liz Uy’s Stylized and had a better appreciation  of women’s wardrobe essentials – from the plain white tee, the basic jeans to that little black dress.

Now, I am starting to get the classic pieces together and I am happier because I know that I have a particular style that I want to achieve and that would be chic and trendy.

Stylized by Liz Uy
Stylized by Liz Uy

So before I end my post, I want to share with you the question that I encountered this week and it is related to my topic today. The question is:

whether or not dressing appropriately must be based on your age.

My take on this is a solid YES.

I believe that dressing appropriately must be based on one’s age. I believe that the style of a teenager will not look good on a 30-year-old woman and most definitely not those in their 40’s or 50’s. I think that as we get older, we should go for a more modest and appropriate type of clothing. With fashion, you can always combine your personal style and dress properly at the same time. For example, if your personal style is related to sexiness, there are ways to be sexy at a certain age without showing too much skin. Silhouette is the key. 😉

Dress your age

Photo Courtesy of Eluxe.Ca

What about you my dear readers?  Did you have some fashion misconceptions in the past or are your choices always a perfection? Share it with us!

*Photos used in every set were all sourced from:

  • google


“Fashion was not a question of clothes. It was more about attitude, intelligence, the way to be, the simplicity of it.

The personality of all these people at this time was much more than clothes. No one cared. It was not about money, it was about having fun. Now, people judge you by the names you wear—it’s fake.

It did not make any difference if you rode in a 2 CV, Vespa, or convertible Jaguar E-Type. Saint-Tropez, before it was invaded by nouveaux riches, ploucs, and tourists, was the best place in the world.”

– Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele

xoxo berryduchess

9 thoughts on “Being Appropriate: Right Dress at the Right Age

  1. I’m at the point in my life where I need to build a classy yet fun sense of style. Can’t be wearing those bondage dresses I used to love when going out! Glad you found your style. 🙂 Love those knee length dresses!

  2. Thank you mam 🙂 i agree with what you said when we go on vacay! Thats why we always (if not most of the time) overpack :)) oh! Women problems :)) thank you for reading and i hope you have a great day! 🙂

  3. Loved your outfit photos…pretty. I also loved the comment you ‘I am a mix of everything. I wear whatever I feel like wearing.” In my fifties, nearing sixty, I am this type of dresser too. Which maybe now and then means I might choose something inappropriate. I have a horror of accidentally dressing too young. But…because I am that mix of everything, I am also VERY creative…always trying to find a new outlet for those creative impulses. This makes my life interesting and the only time I am ever bored is once in a while on vacation. (because I don’t have all my creative ‘stuff’ around me) Anyway, getting a little long-winded…loved your post.

  4. It really takes time to discover and it is quite difficult because a lot of influences come from the socia media and magazines. But changing for the better is good 🙂

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