Nikki’s Inbox: “I Feel Too Old In My Skin”

First of all, I want to thank you for your always kind, creative and body positive answers. They are always lovely to read. I hope you have some advice for me, too. The basic facts: I am 5’6 tall, 132 lbs. (59-60kg), short dark brown hair, small bust and more pear-shaped.

My “problem” is I am feeling too old in my skin. I wear mostly black with neutral colors and skinny black jeans. I like turtlenecks, business style with some artsy elements and don’t wear a lot of jewelry or accessories. Most people tend to think I am 28 or 30 because of my clothing and my “serious, nerdy behaviour” (I am studying history).

I don’t have this problem with party wear because I can turn this mature look to sexy or elegant easily, but my daily clothing choices are boring. I feel like an alien with my short hair (growing out in a horrible phase right now) in sweet or overly girly clothing, but I miss some fancy, feminine stuff in my wardrobe. I hope you can help me a little bit.

Greetings from Germany!

Alice, 23/Germany


Dearest Alice, thank you very much for your kind words. I try to be body-positive because I myself do not have a model- or celebrity-like body. It took many years of self-struggle to finally accept that this is me. So I also want my readers to feel the same way and not think that they’re the only ones who feel different.

Color Power

There is such a thing called color psychology, Alice, and this is the science why Coke uses red for its logos, why green denotes “fresh” and blue means “cool.” Yes, black can make you look serious or make you look older. However, if you think that wearing black too often might not be doing you a favor, then it’s probably a good idea to scale back a little and expand your color options.

Gray is the New Black

Since you already mentioned that you wear black with other neutrals, why not take it from there? Gray is one of my favorites and it’s as versatile as black in my opinion. It looks good with earth tones like brown and beige, great with white, and works with all the rest too.

Miamasvin : Clover Dream : Styleberry

If you feel overwhelmed just thinking of color combos, keep it simple: Start with your favorite colors (which is hopefully not only black) for example, cobalt blue, scarlet, leaf green, mustard yellow or amethyst purple. Tops in these shades all look good with gray or black. Once you have your pick of a few choice colors that you like, try pairing them with your black skinny jeans first to see how it looks.

REDOPIN : ssongbyssong : mimi&didi : chuu

You can also switch and wear colored pants with neutral tops like sailor tees. Colored pants came into vogue around 2012 and pretty much stayed around. So you definitely won’t run out of options!

A-Level Dresses and Skirts

Are you not yet a disciple of the Gospel of the A-Line? Now is the time, my girl! Not only is it my personal favorite but it’s something I recommend to everyone. As a pear-shaped woman myself, I know what it means when your hips get all the attention. In such dresses and skirts, you’ll look more proportional. Take a leaf out of the Duchess of Cambridge’s style that favors the A-line silhouette strongly with her choice of wrap dresses and classic one-pieces, most recently seen during her tour to India and Bhutan with the Duke of Cambridge.

Cherryville : DABAGIRL : J-ANN : Styleberry

A-lines can come in varied lengths but for your 5’6 height, I would suggest knee-length to maxi styles for you. You can show off your legs (because why not?) and still pull off the longer, more generous lengths. Mock two-piece dresses solve the problem of mixing and matching. The recipe simply calls for your shoes and accessories of choice. With regular one-piece dresses, you have the freedom to pick something floral and lacy, or with comic or animal prints that are guaranteed ice-breakers.

OZNARA : ERANZI : STYLEBYYAM

Cherryville : PPGIRL : MASOEUR

Chic Toppers

The same goes for your pick of tops – blouses, shirts, T-shirts – and what to pair with them. A simple formula would be a single-color or neutral-color top with a printed skirt or colored pants, and vice versa. Once you add prints and patterns as well as embellishments into the mix, then it becomes more fun. Bows and ties at the neckline give off a demure vibe, lace and ruffles are very fancy and feminine while studs, sequins, and beads can swing from glamorous to grunge in a pinch. Stripes are de rigeur for spring and summer with their nautical vibe and look great with black or white pants or skirts. Just add a ribbon choker for a posh finish.

INSTYLEFIT : Tangi : Cobogarden : Fairyland

Simple Accessories

Short hair is cool, Alice! I admit that the growing-out phase is sometimes frustrating (been there, done that) but there’s really something about a short hair style that proclaims “I’m cool and I don’t care.” From personal experience, I wear eye-catching accessories when my hair is short such as dangling earrings, outlandish studs and statement necklaces (chokers are a great example).

soo n soo : kitsch island : EFFIELER : soo n soo

Wearing accessories is also another chance for you to showcase your feminine side, even if you don’t exhibit it through your clothes. A snake-print cuff, funky watch, or tasseled, tiny dreamcatcher earrings bring out your cooler, avant-garde side that goes beyond the “nerdy” History major that people think you are!

P.S. If you’re sending a question, please don’t forget to include any helpful information about your body type or shape, your tastes or personality. You can include a photo (link only please) of yourself or your clothes (which I will never publish without pre-approval). Thank you!

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