How to Dress Well At Age 20

How to Dress Well At Age 20
Carly Jacobs

Welcome to the first installment of my 5 part series on ‘How to Dress Your Age’. One of my loveliest readers asked me to do a post on how to dress well in your 40’s and I thought why not do one for all decades? I’m starting with the 20’s because I am antagonistic and like to make people wait for the things they want. Mwah ha ha!

Firstly for those of us on the lower side of 30 there are a few things you need to admit before we can get started.

* Your body, hair and skin are still pretty damn good despite the occasional problem area.

* You aren’t 15 anymore.

* You don’t have the budget of Posh Beckham.

* You are still dressing for men.

* You don’t have a particular definable style.

My advice for dressing in your 20’s is to experiment like a mofo. Wear as many different styles as you can manage and try out different cuts. This is the time of your life when you should really start paying to attention to what cuts and tailoring work for your figure. Obviously your weight will fluctuate through out the years (hell, my weight fluctuates weekly!) but if you are within your healthy weight range (and it’s highly likely that you are at the age of 20) what your body looks like now is it’s natural shape. If you gain weight it will still be that shape but bigger. If you lose weight it will be that shape but smaller. I suggest joining wardrobe_remix and submitting your outfits everyday even if you don’t think they are that interesting. I have learnt SO MUCH about what is flattering on me from doing this it’s unbelievable. I look good in tops that expose my shoulders like strapless and halter. I look rubbish in roll necks and short skirts make my legs look dumpy and stumpy next to my dashund-esque super long torso. Trust me the flickr wardrobe_remix is GOLD! You also have a full catalogue of all your clothes and outfits on hand for days when you have no idea what to wear. It’s a win win situation.

Seriously though wear whatever you like. And by that I mean whatever YOU like. Not what ever some hollywood, fish-lipped clone with twigs for arms likes. Or what her stylist likes. You get the picture. Here are a few tips to keep on track…

* Stop beating yourself up– So your bum is a little on the flabby side. You have tuckshop lady arms. Your thighs are made of jelly. Guess what? Nobody cares! Guess what else? It’s only going to get worse. Harsh but true. What you need to do is realise that you are in your physical prime! Play up your good bits like your tits or your killer shoulders. Got great legs? Show em off! Conceal your jiggly bits and flash your crowd pleasers… it’s your time to shine baby.

* Don’t flash your below-the-belt-bits – There is nothing worse a than a 20 something beauty wearing a minge-flashing mini because she has killer legs. Your legs are still going to be killer if you cover your fanny. Just adding a couple of extra inches can make a mini classy as opposed to trashy. Think Halle Berry not Paris Hilton.

* Don’t overspend on clothes – There is no need to spend every spare cent on clothes. There are always cheaper options available and I promise that no one will notice where you buy your clothes if you wear them well and hold yourself like a queen.

* Stop dressing for the man you hope to meet – How many times have you put on a fabulous hat or some funky gloves and thought ‘No guy will ask me out while I am wearing this’ and then taken it off before you leave the house? Come on we’ve all done it. And how many times have you spent hours doing your hair into a fabulous 60’s beehive only to have your average pony tailed friend get picked up by the hottest guy there? I used to dress for guys and then I turned 20 and thought how incredibly stupid that is. Essentially you want a man you wants you for you. And if you managed to attract a guy by dressing like a slut when you really have the heart of a librarian you’ve just made yourself a match in hell. I’m a really weird dresser. I do hats and strange jewellery and weird hairpieces and false eyelashes. On my first date with Mr Smaggle I wore a skirt as a dress with a string of pearls in my hair. I dressed the way I wanted to dress and snagged the most perfect man in the world for me. And he thinks my style is tops. Just be patient. Keep dressing the way you want and your Mr Perfect will come along… don’t change your look for someone less than princely.

* Don’t obsess over your style– There is no shame in dressing like Sporty Spice one minute and Posh Spice the next. You’re young and free and foolish. Make as many fashion mistakes and triumphs as you can. It’s spectacular to dress with reckless abandon… and don’t apologise for it.

20’s Work Wear

Because you’re young and cute you can get away with being a little cheeky in the work place. Try mixing unusual colours and shapes to make the most of your youthful figure and complexion. Be a little bit naughty as well… if you’re going to push the dress code now is the time to do it.

20’s Evening Wear

Bling it up baby and wear the most ridiculous shoes you can imagine. Dress for yourself and wear as much sparkle as you want. Keep it classy though. Just remember – the higher the hem line the higher the neckline…

20’s Daywear

Be flirty and fun and don’t take yourself seriously. Wear a summer dress with a leather jacket. Or tailored pants with army boots. Add a scarf and a couple of quirky accessories. Be spontaneous. I know I sound like a Sportsgirl add but I’m not trying to sell you anything so you have to believe me… The most important thing to remember in your 20’s is to do what you want to do. And avoid looking trashy.

Have a fabulous weekend my 20-somethings and I’ll see you 30-somethings next week for some fashion tips for your era!

Have happy days…

Love Lady Smaggle



  1. Lady Smaggle 14 years ago

    Thank Natasja! I’m glad you liked it!
    My tip is to make friends with someone you work with. Browny (my work mate) is very good to me and takes my photos most days.

  2. Natasja 14 years ago

    Smaggle you’re awesome! I love “tuckshop lady arms?…guess what? Nobody cares!”
    now i only have to figure out how to take a decent daily outfit photo w/out cutting off my head or feet.. hmmm…

  3. Lady Smaggle 14 years ago

    I do apologise for making you guffaw at your desk. I just really like the word ‘minge’…

  4. Kerrin 14 years ago

    I must stop reading your blog at work – it makes me laugh out loud and then my workmates can’t work out why I am having so much fun (people working in finance don’t usually guffaw at their desks). I especially agree with your advice to avoid “minge-flashing minis”. I couldn’t agree more. Looking forward to the next instalment …

  5. NotTrev. 13 years ago

    Hi Lady,
    I just discovered your blog and have been crawing through your archives (love your honest blogging and sense of humour by the way) and came across your series of “How to dress well…” and was wondering if you’d thought of doing something similar for Laydees who have recently had little babies? My darling beautiful little sister had a darling beautiful baby about 8 weeks ago all of a sudden she has these great breasts and hips that she doesn’t know what to do with. Before pregnancy she was an ittie-bittie size 6 and while she’s still super petite, she has these amazing curves. I’m super jealous cos I have no boobs but she’s struggling to find clothes that work for her post-baby fifure. What do you think? x

  6. Rachel 13 years ago

    I dress kind of alternative, on the fun crazy side with a mix of rock grunge goth and punk ha yes people stare at me constantly cuz of it! But you see I’ve just hit 20 and I feel in a rut, I don’t ever want to change my style but I want to dress/look older! I never used to have a problem before all these emo kids came on the scene and 14 year olds started dressing like 20 year olds lol argh any advice ?

  7. Steff 11 years ago

    I’m 20 and a Jeans and a t-shirt girl, skinny jeans with a funky well fitted vest top and a pair of sexy “day” heels a nice chunky bracelet or hoop/dangled earrings. Nice funky handbag and a colour filled scarf. Natural make up makes me look my age according to most too much or none at all and I look 14 again especially if I am wearing flip flops or bowed dolly shoes. 

  8. Monicayoyo 11 years ago

    Nice site of discounted ugg boots. Wonderful Canada Goose coats and parkas online store. Chocolate
    UGGs shoes, last season were UGG ankle boots by
    far the most UGG bailey button triplet boots popular color long UGG boots. The rich cardy UGG boots chocolate dyes compliment sheepskin leather
    uggs really well metallic short UGG, giving a very natural UGG boots for babies earthy womens tall UGG boots appearance
    plumdale UGG boots. cheap genuine UGG boots. For
    this reason Chocolate color wholesale UGG boots have become popular once more, I expect they will be very
    fashionable for quite some time to come.
    Fashion is moncler bags the patent of moncler boots adult,
    canada goose chilliwack offers many buy
    moncler online
    style of canada goose down for kids,it brings winter outerwear warm and canada goose store beaytiful
    winter coats for kids. You will find that kids moncler is more colourful than adults. The material of
    moncler down jackets is much canada goose
    snow mantra different moncler men vest than other adult’s Moncler clothing, which is
    moncler branson designed to just fix for kids’skin. It’s really simple to find the style which you have been

    looking for canada goose coats, because all the designs of UGG boots clearance have been canada goose expedition parka made keeping in

    view current trends and fashion demands.

  9. spud 9 years ago

    As someone with 34H bust I cannot wear any of those things! I live in leggings, tunics and short dresses. I am 25 and just got rid of all my ‘girlie’ things, such as oversized jumpers with big hearts on the front.

  10. 21andLucky 9 years ago

    This was so encouraging. Thank you so much! It’s not all doom and gloom 😉

  11. Sophie 8 years ago

    Aaw come on now, you’re trying to sell us life! 🙂 Thanks

  12. Ashley 8 years ago

    Thank you thank you THANK YOU! Im turning 21 this up coming year and wanted get out of my 18 year old clothing. And this has helped a ton. Love it all sparkles and army boots here i come!

  13. Melanie Valentine 6 years ago

    Love your blog only just didcovered you via google on ny hubt for a what to weae guide for 20 something new mums. Would love if you do another one of these age group decade dress ones, but for mums in 20s then in 30s and 40s. 🙂 It’s forever a problem finding things to wear once you’re a mum. Its a struggle between being fashionable and timelessly trendy but respectable.

  14. Melanie Valentine 6 years ago

    Oh dear forgive my typing errors please haha. Oops!

  15. pendragonslibrary 4 years ago

    I know this post is old, but I have to say this is good advice. I wasn’t really allowed to dress how I wanted as a teen (strict parents) and now that I’m almost 20 I’m worried that I don’t have time left to have fun with my clothes without looking immature. I love black, dark clothes, chunky boots, and bits of color.

Leave a Reply