What is age appropriate?

So many women in celeb land like to wear provocative clothing to get column inches, to promote their movies or products they happen to be endorsing at that moment. It’s the way to catch attention, to look smokin’ hot (or a hot mess) and news outlets and gossip sites pick up on it straight away and voila you’re the talk of the week!

But how do you dress whilst still grabbing those headlines and be “age appropriate”?

There are plenty of young teen actresses out there finding their feet in Hollywoodland, from Elle and (the slightly older) Dakota Fanning, Chloe Moretz, Hailee Steinfeld, and Abigail Breslin. I say finding their feet, it isn’t as if they are stumbling around like Emma Watson in her early Hermione days, they are decked head to toe in fashion houses like Miu Miu, Rodarte, Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu and Proenza Schouler.

Emma in her early years...

But as many fashion critics are so quick to point out, some of them are not adhering to this apparent rule of age appropriate styling.

Case in point, Chloe Moretz, she’s flashed up on a plethora of red carpets this past year as she promoted her movies Let Me In, Hick and the recent Martin Scorcese 3D epic children’s fantasy movie Hugo. In my opinion she is doing much better than poor old Emma ever did, of course she has a stylist’s assistance but I think Chloe is head strong in her fashion choices much like Elle Fanning is in hers.

The main outfit that I think sparked the “age appropriate” debate was the Valentino dress Chloe chose for the premiere of Hick at the Toronto Film Festival back in September. I admit it is sexy for someone who is only 14, the tight leather and sheer top half even if she is covered up, but if this is what was on offer to her from the designers and for no one to tell her any different then why wouldn’t she pick it. But it’s not as if she is Lindsay Lohan, so why get all huffy about it?

Chloe Moretz in Valentino

I move onto another outfit that has been deemed appropriate for someone Chloe’s age, a Miu Miu coat dress from their Resort 2012 collection. It’s still short, and she still has bare legs, but because she’s added a sparkly brooch to her hair and it covers her chest it is all fine. Another one, this time Chloe dons an amazing pair of Stella McCartney lace leggings and a leather jacket, why is this so age appropriate? It would be easy to say that the leggings were too tight and she shouldn’t be wearing heels. A Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2011 dress is adorable and cutesy, but still features a lace see-through top half and fitted skirt.

Chloe in Miu Miu, Stella McCartney and Dolce & Gabbana

Elle Fanning seems to be popular on the best dressed lists, her quirky dress sense wins fashion critics’ votes over Chloe nearly everytime they are pitted against each other. Quirky is apparently age appropriate, but some of her outfits are odd and ironically ageing, however never wrong because she’s young and just experimenting.

Elle Fanning in Marc Jacobs Spring 2012, looking all saccarine and sweet.

I then must go to the other end of the spectrum, critics take a pass at younger ones for dressing more maturely in a sexy way or more maturely in a too covered up prim and proper way, can they ever win? But what about Helen Mirren (67) in Dolce & Gabbana or Elle Macpherson (47) in Herve Leger for Max Azria?

Helen Mirren at the Comedy Awards in December, looking a bit of a hot mess if I do say so. This Dolce & Gabbana dress is reserved for the likes of Miranda Kerr.

Elle "The Body" Macpherson in Herve Leger for Max Azria. I'm all for a woman who has an amazing body, but boy don't we know this with the "look at me" dress. Why can't she go back to that amazing red suit?

And who could possibly forget Madonna at the Oscars Vanity Fair after party? (And just because she’s Madonna she cannot possibly justify dressing so horrifically)

Madonna at the Vanity Fair Oscar party last year, with her then 15 year old daughter Lourdes....


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