So What Does "Dressing Like an Adult" Really Mean to Fashion Girls?

Allyson Payer

At what age are you supposed to start "dressing like an adult"? From which stores does one buy "adult clothes"? Is "dressing like an adult" a trend? Do I even want to "dress like an adult"? These are just a few questions that may have crossed your minds when encountering the phrase "dressing like an adult." As Vanessa Friedman said in her New York Times piece last fall about how to dress like an adult, "Now adult clothes have less to do with specific items than certain defining characteristics. This makes selecting them both more difficult and more liberating."

"Dressing like an adult" is a term that's thrown around quite a bit. It's safe to say we certainly know what it isn't: A few words that come to mind are matronly, boring, and old-fashioned. In a time when 40 is the new 30 and so on, over-60 women like Iris Apfel and Isabelle Huppert are considered cool by pretty much everyone, and much of any given Gucci collection seems largely inspired by the wardrobe of a grandma, how to dress like an adult isn't as cut and dried as it once was. The title of a recent Racked piece even definitively posits "We've Forgotten How to Dress Like Adults." Whether or not you believe that's the case, one thing became clear when we reached out to eight stylish fashion industry insiders for their thoughts on the meaning of "dressing like an adult": Wearing what you feel comfortable in and that suits your lifestyle is of utmost importance.

Read on to see what "dressing like an adult" means to designers, editors, bloggers, and stylists, and shop polished pieces that are appropriate for women of any age.

What does "dressing like an adult" mean to you? Tell us in the comments below. 

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