Nancy Roman

They Obviously Asked The Wrong People

The response to my bikini dilemma was overwhelming.

Just about everyone encouraged me to go for it.

But as enthusiastic as you were, I figured I should seek a professional opinion too.

So I did a search  – “How old is too old for a bikini?”

And I found an article that puts age limits on all kinds of apparel. According to a survey by the Daily Mail of the UK, the maximum bikini age is 47.


I am so over that threshold.

And that’s not all.

Here’s how fashion ages out:

  • 33    Tube Top
  • 34    Leather Pants
  • 35    Mini-Skirt
  • 35    Belly Button Piercing
  • 40    See-Through Blouse
  • 44    Sneakers
  • 45    Leggings
  • 47    Bikini
  • 47    Knee-High Boots
  • 51    Stilettos
  • 53    Long Hair
  • 61    Swimsuit

According to the Daily Mail, the first thing to go is the tube top. Age 33, and you’re out of there. I have to say I agree. Actually, I would agree if the Daily Mail suggested that you could only use a tube top for a beer cozy – at any age.

Please note that this was a survey of women.  


No man would eliminate Leather Pants and Mini-Skirts quite so early on.

By which I mean:

Jennifer Lopez, 43.


And sneakers? Now I’m not much of a sneaker person, but forty-four?  My mother is twice that age, and loves her velcro tennis shoes. And hers are metallic, by the way.

I’ve never been able to walk in stilettos, but don’t you dare tell me I should have given up my knee-high boots fourteen years ago. We are talking to the knee – not Pretty Woman Hooker Boots.

But my main question was whether I should wear a bikini.

Not only I am fourteen years too late, but this is MY LAST YEAR TO EVEN WEAR A BATHING SUIT!


Is my sixty-one year old body THAT unsightly? Will someone puke if they see my legs?

This was a British study. Did they not see the photo from 2008 of their own Helen Mirren? – at 62!:

Hubba Hubba.
(Photo credit: Brenna/Jason Fraser)

I’ve decided.

The only opinion that counts is MINE.  (And Helen Mirren’s.)

I’m not going to age gracefully.

If you are offended by my body, you may avert your eyes.


  1. Well, some of those are just ridiculous. No sneakers after 44? What am I supposed to wear during my morning walk: orthapaedic shoes? (On second thought, maybe there’s something to that.)
    No swimsuits after 61??
    That was hilarious – thanks for sharing!


  2. I better start donning the see-through blouses before I hit the cut-off point. I’ll start today. I’m most upset about the sneakers though. What are you suppose to wear when you work out or go for a walk?


  3. I disagree with everything past 44 – these women were just wrong – I still wear sneakers, have long hair and if I wish to wear any of the other banned stuff I will, and you should too. I am almost your age, so I am no 39 year old–actually I had my twentieth anniversary of being 39 this year. I like your spirit–and if you want to wear a bikini–wear one.
    I disagree with the tube top though–I wore one long past 33–but I am tiny up top and immature.


  4. That is the problem with statistics. If you are trying to find a certain answer, search until you find it…hehe. You have to be proud of what you have at any age. If you don’t think you can do it, it shouldn’t matter what everyone else thinks. You have to be the one that is comfy with it. Now for the cut off lines on the fashion…I think the no Swimsuit should be about 30. After 30 we should all be free to wear nothing…LOL


  5. Go for it!! What about all the people on the French Riviera (and Italian and Mediterranean) Rivieras who go topless and the men in Speedos? It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks – My hair is passed may shoulders and I’m over the age limit. I also have leather pants which don’t look half bad. And though my feel will cringe at the end of an evening in high heels, I still break them out on occasion. You rocked on the beach – get yourself out there and know that you look terrific…


  6. I would love to know the ages of the women surveyed…I’m imagining 18 through 24. This is ridiculous. I mean it makes sense for me and my body…other than the sneakers…but really!


    • It was 2,000 women aged 18 – 65. Jealous, unhappy women, I’d guess.


  7. pharphelonus

    Labels schmabels. You be you, Nancy, and rock that two-piece!


    • I have many years ahead of me to be tasteful. I only have a very short time left to be sexy. I may wear the bikini to work.


      • pharphelonus

        See, that’s a pic you need to TAKE, not draw. Just saying.


  8. Donna

    LOL!! If you have to give up sneakers at 44, I am not surprised they expect you to give up everything else that reveals any body part soon after! I’m 51 and I still wear my bikini! Why? Because I wear my sneakers while I exercise, every day, so I figure I’ve earned the right to wear it. Keep wearing those sneakers and anything else you decide to wear. I am sure you will look fabulous!!


  9. I’m British, but now I know why I live in CT. I don’t have to sit on the beach naked, just because I’m over 61…


  10. You go girl – rock that bikini! It’s comforting to know that Medicare will continue to cover such vital stuff as navel piercing, even when bankrupt.


  11. this might seem like a stupid question, but if you lost bikinis years ago and you cant wear swimsuits past your sixties, what the heck are you supposed to wear when swimming? A wetsuit??


  12. Michelle Gillies

    I don’t think age appropriateness is the issue. It is a matter of common sense. If you look like Helen Mirren in a bikini, at any age, and YOU are comfortable with it then wear it.
    Come on no, swimsuit after 61? Are you supposed to give up swimming? I know lots of people that are a lot older than that that swim daily just to keep their bodies moving. It is a lot less stressful on their joints etc. being in the water. This whole list is a crock! But, I’m really glad they didn’t put any limits on tattoos 😉


    • I actually love seeing a very old woman in her bathing suit at the beach. She always looks so happy.


  13. I’m apparently off the list completely! No sneakers after 44? Many who never wore sneakers in their early years are just turning to sneakers at that age!!


  14. Since I am older than 61, sneakers, bathing suits, short sleeved shirts, fitted jeans, form fitting dresses, knee hi boots, etc. are all out. So, I have decided to include the following in my will: “Since I am now past the age of red bikinis, I wish to be laid out in a red bikini and knee-high boots, with a hairpiece to make my hair long, and have my nose pierced, for an open casket viewing!” Your post this time is hilarious and the cartoon drawing tops it off!!


  15. I am so happily out of compliance and plan on staying that way! I’m actually thinking I may work up to topless by 50. I also want to be Helen Mirren when I grow up. Gorgeous!


  16. I’m 47 — exactly the cutoff for bikinis — which I never wore anyway. But I’m seething about the fact that these “experts” say I can’t wear knee-high boots now, either. These are a wardrobe STAPLE! You’ll get my boots when you peel them off my cold, dead calves.

    You’ve got the right idea. Let’s make like teenagers and disregard unwelcome advice.


  17. Right on! Rock the age-inappropriate gear. Oh, and don’t mention this study to the 70+ belly-dancing troupe that was performing in City Hall last year. Although, come to think of it, I didn’t see any age limits on sequined bras and see-through hankerchief skirts…


  18. Good thing they didn’t ask for a cutoff age for sex!


  19. So after 61, you must swim naked. That is clearly what the results mean.


    • That is what I intend to tell the arresting officer.


  20. Swim naked? Bien sur! After all, this is France… 🙂


  21. Go for it. We need to decide for ourselves, I think. Me, I’m sitting here in my office, with my long hair, in my bikini and knee boots, and I’ll decide when to give them up. Or security will.


    • You’re fine. As long as you don’t wear the tube top.


  22. OMG, I love you so much. Reading your blog is always a dose of the best medicine of all. That illustration is wonderful – I had to wipe away tears of laughter so I could see my keyboard to type.


    • Thank you so much! The greatest happiness in my life is making someone laugh.


  23. You make me cry with laughter – thank you! I saw another survey in the UK recently that said the cut off age for a bikini was 39, I don’t give a fig. Seriously – have they seen Elle McPherson or Kylie or my gorgeous best friend Jayne? At 46 I have more confidence than I had in my 20s and I’ll wear whatever I feel good in – probably right up to the point people run away screaming, and then I’ll wear a muumuu and be comfortable!


    • I think I will adopt that as my signal too – when people run away screaming, it will be my signal to stop.


  24. Chris

    Well, the North Sea is kinda cold – maybe they just don’t like the pruney look. As for the sneakers – they call them plimsoles so perhaps they just didn’t know quite what they were? And I think they look cute on older folks- tan ones with white laces.


    • They actually called them Trainers in the survey,


  25. Marcie

    Catching up on reading here…it’s been awhile since I’ve had time to stop by and look and see. I think we should all live like they do in the Mediterranean. No matter what age – they make so much more of so much less.


  26. Teresa Cleveland Wendel

    I’ve gotten quirkier as I age and I’ve never quite given up my hippie style. I always check with my daughters, however, if I think I’ve gone too over the top with my hair and wardrobe.
    Where do you live? I’ll go bikini shopping with you.


    • Drop me a line when you are in Connecticut. I could use some moral support.


  27. i guess i’m getting into my leggings right now since i don’t have much time left.


  28. Well, yeah no.

    I will give up my stilettos when someone comes along and pays me for the 100+ pairs in my closet. There is a start.

    I will give up my boots at the same time.

    No swimsuits after 61? What? Really? Helen Mirren looks awesome, I suspect the women who said that were simply jealous. I really need to go back to the gym, never mind injuries and pain I want to look half that good at 61. If I reach that goal, I am getting my belly button pierced and wearing a charm with my age dangling!

    I am back to the idea you should do what pleases you, never mind what others say or think for that matter. You are the only one that matters.


  29. Ok, well, the way I read this “survey” is that they’re saying those of us who are 60+ should just go NAKED !! Stuff that one in your pipe and smoke it, Daily Mail of the UK!!! 🙂


  30. Reblogged this on Lady in the Living Room and commented:
    This is something that I wish I wrote. I could not agree more. I am going to channel my inner JLo.
    I love te author’s moto- “Gracefully aging- with resistance”


  31. Jiz Andlay

    This post was awesome!! I think that survey is evidence that the mindset that we need to change is our own! I reblogged this post to spread the love. Now I am going to buy a tube top and leather pants. I took your advice earlier on the bikini!


  32. KLYanok

    The leather pants thing is no big deal – I’d look like somebody’s La-Z-Boy anyhow


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