How Women Over 40 Can Dress Like a Rocker (And Not Embarrass Their Kids)

Updated on February 23, 2013

Whether Ozzie, Metallica, or Five Finger Death Punch is your speed, dressing your inner heavy metal goddess is an art that requires skill and planning for those over 40. You have shunned more conventional styles widely accepted for the mom (and grandma) set to express your edgier self, but you may want to consider some things that will help you balance the need for speed with the following:

· A changing body

· Societal views of mothers and mature women

· Acceptable workplace norms

· Making the most of your assets

· Accepting that you are no longer 20

The Mistakes Women Make

Just because you’re over 40, 50, or even 60 doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your aesthetic. Consider the following dos and don’ts to enhance your style, beauty, and to spare your teens and young adult children any indignities they may feel about certain faux pas when out in public:


1. Try to dress like your kids – You aren’t in high school anymore and what worked then doesn’t work for a mature woman’s body. No woman over 25 should shop the junior’s department, either. The clothing in the junior’s department is specifically designed for teenagers and college age girls.

2. Wear ill-fitting clothing – let’s face it, the waist lines of peri menopausal women will thicken, and wearing tops that are too tight will not accentuate the positive, which is what we all want, right? Ditch the tank tops unless you’re toned and fit. The same goes for tops that are too large. Wearing a concert tee shirt made for a man will make a woman appear bulkier.


3. Expose too much cleavage – Wearing plunging necklines to show off the tattoo on your left breast will not only make your teenage son cringe, but will draw attention to only one aspect of you – not the whole you.

4. Dye your hair black – Black hair dye will age a woman immediately and provide too harsh a contrast with a mature woman’s complexion. If you are blonde, platinum will do the same thing. Dirty blonde hair with gray roots will also age you instantly.

5. Wear the same hairstyle you had in high school – Many women think that wearing their hair long will make them look younger. Take a good look at yourself and ask whether or not staying in a time warp from the 1970s or 80s is really doing you any favor.

6. Stay stuck in the trap that you have to dress in black from head to toe to be edgy. Traditionally fans of heavy metal gravitated to black exclusively. That was 30 years ago. Black is still awesome, but your closet shouldn’t look like an undertaker’s.

Feeling and Looking Your Best

Okay, time for a heavy metal rocker makeover!

Here are lists of Dos that will help you stay true to the youthful, edgy side of you whether you’re 40 or 65:


1. Wear modern clothing, but keep in mind that a simple formula can give you a pulled together look that’s classy and edgy. A great pair of dark washed jeans, a sophisticated tee, a great looking jacket and some kicking boots, and you have a modern look that will never make you feel “old”. Don’t forget to finish it off with accessories – have fun and go a little crazy with accessories to make a simple outfit look fabulous.

Perfect for lunching, shopping, and work
Perfect for lunching, shopping, and work | Source
Look youthful, and still age appropriate
Look youthful, and still age appropriate | Source

2. Find what flatters your shape. If your jeans are scrunching up your abdomen and making it flop out the sides, then you need to go up a size. Tees should fit slim to the body, but not so tight that that you can see every lump and bump. Stores like Old Navy sell pretty nice, inexpensive tops which cover the midsection and hips nicely, and can be dressed up with accessories and jackets. You can also visit a store like Buckle which will fit you in trendy jeans. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, this is a great option for modern jeans that are very flattering, and they will even hem your jeans for free. Also, consider wearing a body shaper. It will give you a smoother looking torso that makes wearing tees look great!

3. Think classy. Yes you can rock your heavy metal look and still be super classy and sophisticated. Bearing breasts, bellies, and too much thigh falls right in the trashy category, and what mom or 50 year old wants to look trashy? In this case, less is more – you can still show skin, but please don’t shove it in the face of a poor innocent bystander waiting in line for a corn dog at the county fair. It may take some trial and error to find a look that you love, but you can do it! Check the photos here for inspiration.

Sophisticated interpretation of the mature dressed-up rocker
Sophisticated interpretation of the mature dressed-up rocker | Source

4. Go for a softer look when it comes to hair and make-up. Sure, you can dress edgy, but softer, more natural hair colors and complexion will make you look much younger and feminine. Ditch heavy black eyeliner in lieu of softer grays and browns. If you love your dark locks, then go for a more natural dark golden brown. Blondes, brighten up your face with fresh color that compliments, not blends in with your complexion. Show off your fabulous clothes but don’t allow your makeup or jet black hair to compete with them.

5. Try a modern, trendy haircut that’s youthful and age-appropriate, and if you’re up for a little shock of purple or magenta, why not? Best leave that one to a professional stylist, though. A lot of women are afraid to change their hairstyle, and that’s why we see so many in their 30s, 40s and 50s walking around with the same hairstyles they probably wore in high school. You know who I’m talking about. Your 40s and 50s should be a time of exploring different sides of yourself, and your hair is the perfect place to start.

6. Take a risk with color. As I said above in the don’ts, black is a staple in the wardrobe of rockers and should still have a place there. The maturing woman may want to also take a look at brown, a softer version of black. Think about combining brown and black together – a look that can be stunning and sophisticated. Black is a great foundation color, but you can still look hot with color! Add a metallic top and a cute pair of flats to dress up jeans. Today’s modern female rock and roll artists use color in the wardrobe all the time, and so should you.

Run to the grocery store, drive the kids around and still look rockin!
Run to the grocery store, drive the kids around and still look rockin! | Source
Casual and dressy for a concert or dinner date
Casual and dressy for a concert or dinner date | Source

Being a woman of a certain age and dressing like a rocker is much more than jeans and a black tank top or Iron Maiden tee. Today’s female rockers are sophisticated, beautiful, feminine and classy. It doesn’t have to take a lot of money to achieve style, just some creativity and a willingness to be a copy cat!

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Shawn R Kelba 

        4 weeks ago

        Going to see PINK in Toronto...what should i wear?

      • profile image


        11 months ago

        As an aging rocker who has been to way too many classic band’s concerts lately, I totally get what you are driving at. It’s good to be loving to yourself and reevaluate what looks good on your current body, without losing your style completely. I would rather be an elegant rocker than one that is tragically stuck in her past. Thanks for the article and examples.

      • profile image


        11 months ago

        Oh Tracy, based on your photo you know nothing about how to dress, or more importantly, be, rock. This is sad.

      • profile image


        21 months ago

        i will defiantly appreciated of your work and style.

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        I'm with Judy and GS. Wear what you want to wear at any age. If you enjoy what you are wearing, but it looks "silly" to other people, that's their problem. Some of the most confident women I've known wear clothes that are "too tight" or "not flattering" for their age/weight and they still go out and get dates. They are fun and happy with who they are.

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        I don't understand the whole, "embarrassing your kids" thing. My mom dressed in painted on pants, big dyed hair, chains, vibrant makeup, etc (all out 80's rock style) when I was a kid, and she continues to dress youthful, shows cleavage, and dyes her hair (she is in her 50s, I am in my 30s), and we go shopping together in the same stores, and we BOTH shop the juniors section...AND I LOVE IT. I am not and never will be embarrassed of my mother! I view her as a strong woman, for being who she wants to be, and not caring what others think of her. No one is "too old" for anything! A true rocker flips off "societal norms" anyway.

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        Awesome! I love the outfits you suggested. :) ROCK ON! \m/

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        How to look like a rocker at 40: be 40 and put on clothes that make you feel like a rocker. Who cares what " Societal views of mothers and mature women" dictates? Women who rock aren't hemmed in trying to please others ideas of what they should be.

      • oceansnsunsets profile image


        5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

        Great tips, thank you for sharing! I think it is so important to reevaluate everything as we get older.

      • TickledGreen profile imageAUTHOR


        6 years ago from Pennsylvania

        Isn't it great, Nell, that we can give ourselves permission to be whomever we want to be at any age these days? Thanks for the warm welcome!

      • TickledGreen profile imageAUTHOR


        6 years ago from Pennsylvania

        Thank you so much! It means a lot hearing from a more seasoned hubster (not sure if that's what we're calling ourselves). I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and read my hub!

      • Nell Rose profile image

        Nell Rose 

        6 years ago from England

        Love this! me being the sort that likes to wear a black leather jacket, mini skirt and high boots, this is right up my street! saying that, I wore those a few years ago, and really, really miss them! so I will take your advice, and go for it! I do change my hair color and style ever so often, as well as makeup, nothing worse than still looking punk or rocker 30 years on! lol! welcome to hubpages, nell

      • tammyswallow profile image


        6 years ago from North Carolina

        Awesome hub! I love the fact that you added some very attractive examples. Welcome to Hubpages. You are off to a great start!


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