The College Trend I Have to Break Up With


You guys, I tried. I tried SO hard. When I saw all those cute little mini skirts on American Eagle’s website I was SO EXCITED because they look exactly like the skirts I used to wear way back in college. I’d wear them with a cute little tank or baby tee, add some heels (Exhibit A), and head out.

I was so happy to see them back in style I couldn’t resist ordering a bunch of them to try. I was going to wear mini skirts with everything: with graphic tees and sneakers, sweaters and strappy sandals, hoodies and Birks…I legit thought they’d become my go-to easy, comfy, substitute-for-shorts option this summer.

Pleated, Tier & Ruffle Mini Skirts: Am I Too Old For This Trend?

But…then I tried them on. I tried mini skirts with all the sneaks and the tees and the sweatshirts and…no matter what combination I wore them with–nothing worked. Something always felt weird and just…off. After trying on way too many combinations to make them work, I turned to my husband, mid-try-on, and said, “I think I’m…too old…for these skirts?”

I turned to my husband, mid-try-on & said, "I think I'm...too old...for these skirts?" Pleated, tier & ruffle, I'd ordered & tried them all. Nope.

skirt | cami | jacket (similar) | sandals

I said it like it was kind of a question. Like maybe there was some other explanation. Because that is something I never thought I’d say–I’ve always vowed never to say I was “too old” for anything. I’ve always prided myself on the belief that anyone can wear anything they want at any age they want to. There are no rules! Wear what you want! Age is just a number! But I’m turning 40 next month and apparently, 40 is the age at which I am officially too old to wear these skirts. Damn.

Tried: American Eagle Floral Tiered Mini Skirt

Outfit 1 | Tiered Mini Skirt + Sneakers & A Beachy Sweater

I turned to my husband, mid-try-on & said, "I think I'm...too old...for these skirts?" Pleated, tier & ruffle, I'd ordered & tried them all. Nope.

skirt | tank | sweater (similar) | sneakers

This wasn’t horrible. But on the spectrum of how I want to feel when I walk out the door, “not horrible” isn’t exactly high up there. I mean this skirt was incredibly comfortable…and it also comes in red. So…there’s that.

Outfit 2 | Tiered Mini Skirt + a Graphic Tee & Converse

I turned to my husband, mid-try-on & said, "I think I'm...too old...for these skirts?" Pleated, tier & ruffle, I'd ordered & tried them all. Nope.

skirt | tee (similar) | jacket | sneakers

This shirt says Haters Gonna Hate…kind of like how I hate this outfit.

Tried: American Eagle White Eyelet Mini Skirt

Outfit 1 | White Eyelet Mini Skirt + a Knotted Tee & Cropped Denim Jacket

I turned to my husband, mid-try-on & said, "I think I'm...too old...for these skirts?" Pleated, tier & ruffle, I'd ordered & tried them all. Nope.

skirt | tank (similar) | jacket (similar) | sneakers

An easy white eyelet skirt? Perfect for summer, right? But…again, something just felt weird. Unless maybe I was going to play tennis? But I don’t, so…🤷🏼‍♀️

Outfit 2 | White Eyelet Mini Skirt + a Sweatshirt & Sneakers

I turned to my husband, mid-try-on & said, "I think I'm...too old...for these skirts?" Pleated, tier & ruffle, I'd ordered & tried them all. Nope.

skirt | sweatshirt | sneakers

Just no. Love this sweatshirt, but not so much with the skirt. Swap skirt for denim shorts, yes.

Tried: American Eagle Skirt Rock ‘n’ Ruffle Mini Skirt

Outfit 1 | Rock ‘n’ Ruffle Mini Skirt + A Cami & Heels (aka the Original College Look)

I turned to my husband, mid-try-on & said, "I think I'm...too old...for these skirts?" Pleated, tier & ruffle, I'd ordered & tried them all. Nope.

skirt | cami | jacket (similar) | sandals

I mean, I love everything about this skirt…just not on me. My mom was over when I was trying this outfit on and she said “There’s nothing I like about this.” 😂

Outfit 2 | Rock ‘n’ Ruffle Mini Skirt + a Turtleneck, Leather Jacket & Boots

I turned to my husband, mid-try-on & said, "I think I'm...too old...for these skirts?" Pleated, tier & ruffle, I'd ordered & tried them all. Nope.

skirt | turtleneck | leather jacket (similar) | boots

I thought maybe if I mixed it all up and added tougher details like a leather moto and sock boots I might be able to save it…but nope. All the skirts are going back.

Shop Pleated, Tier & Ruffle Mini Skirts (I’m Too Old to Wear)

If you’re braver than I am, younger than I am, or shopping for your daughter…here you go. May the odds be ever in your favor.

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  1. Hmm. I don’t think you’re too old to wear a miniskirt, maybe just too old to wear THESE miniskirts, which feel very girlish. I’m sure you could rock a suede miniskirt!!

  2. Yep at some point I found some things crossed the line from feeling “youthful” (fine) to “juvenile” (looks like I’m wearing my daughter’s clothes). It’s that thing where the clothes are wearing me and look like a costume.

  3. I’m sorry you hated all of them but I definitely got a good laugh from this post! (I’m 42 so the Marie Claire article link was a trip down memory lane.)

  4. I have never responded to a mom edit post before but I love this one! It cracked me up! Thank you for a little humor – and yes, I think we are all a little too old for a tiered mini skirt. I think my 7 year old daughter rocks them though!

  5. These outfits are really cute! But I can see what you’re saying when you mention that something feels off. I don’t think it’s that you’re “too old”, but more that your style has evolved since college and you’re not really a ruffly-cute person. I mean I’ve seen you wear ruffly tops dresses that have a more glam/sexy vibe, just not a cutesy vibe. You know what I mean?

    • THIS. Thank you for this! Yes, cutesy isn’t me…I think you pinpointed what was off in every outfit! Definitely not my style anymore, so now I get why they just looked silly. Like a costume…glam/sexy is definitely more me.

  6. I loved everything about this! I’m with you, I also muttered “I will never be too old for ANYTHING!”
    I too am too old for these types of mini skirts LOLOL

  7. No way these are all super cute and super cute on YOU. I am not a fan of the all white/white skirt outfit but ever one looks great on you!!

  8. For what it’s worth, I don’t think the “mini” aspect is the problem; yet i think you might be styling them a little too “young.” (The length on it’s own is fabulous on you). i think you could “grow up[” the look: if the were skirt were slightly more tailored (lose the ruffles and tiers) and in a heavier fabric (black denim? suede?) and maybe a backless loafer or mule you might really feel sensational in the look. i might also lose the denim jacket in favor of more “grown up” accessories. Balance the youthful with the bada$$ gorgeous 40 year old you are about to be.

  9. Haha! Thanks for this, Scotti. I agree with the other commenters, you could definitely go sexier. But I also like outfit 1 with the green skirt and sweater. It’s a bit quirky and laid back.

  10. You quoted me exactly, Honey; but my first thought upon reading it here was that I was a bit harsh. Melissa’s comment (and those of the others) is much better. I’m so sorry, Sweetie. Melissa is so right: These outfits are really cute . . .

    • Mom, Scotti and I were CRACKING UP at your comment!!! It wasn’t harsh – you just know Scotti’s style really well. I was thinking something along the same lines buuuuut “there’s nothing I like about this” just summed it up so nicely. We were DYING. Love you!! 🙂

  11. I always feel like if I’ve done something once already in my life (hello, Doc Martins), if I try to do it again, it just doesn’t feel right.
    That doesn’t mean you can’t wear skirts. You have amazing legs and should wear them as much as possible in your 40’s because you never know if the 50’s are going to bring kninkles (knee wrinkles) and you really won’t be able to wear them anymore. Just might need to wear a different iteration.

  12. I think these comments are spot on. To me, that ruffed mini would look best on a child or a very early teen, and I’m also (was?,) a firm believer in the “age doesn’t matter” in what you wear category.

  13. I’m going to try to phrase this correctly… there comes a time when styles no longer suit your current age/body type/lifestyle. And there’s nothing wrong with that! This article is a perfect example of ‘I can still wear this… maybe not’. I enjoy TME but there does tend to be an over reliance on heavily ripped jeans and graphic tees, so I usually skip those articles. I enjoyed this one because of Scotti’s efforts to convince herself amid the reality.

  14. Agree it’s just not your style anymore. But I DO think you look good in the double tiered black one. It just would be for a very specific party-type occasion. Honestly you could wear a canvas sack and look amazing! 🤩

  15. As someone who will be turning 50 this year (and has a 16 yr old daughter), cutesy does not work on me, especially now that I am embracing the gray hair that is slo-o-owly (damn hypothyroid) growing in. Of course, cutesy was never a good fit for me in the first place, but it really doesn’t work now. But those outfits would be awesome on my 16 yr old. What does work for me: sporty, elegant, preppy, possibly even edgy, but not cutesy.

  16. This is the first time I’m leaving a comment because your article made me laugh today and I totally agree! I’ve been loving the ruffly pretty tiered skirts and dresses but wearing them makes me feel like I’m trying to be my 18 year old daughter. LOL. However, I would love my daughter to wear these styles but she refuses to because she wants to look more mature.

  17. This may be my favorite Mom Edit article ever! There are some trends that just don’t work for the body that I have now and it’s sad because they once did! Thanks for the laugh and making me feel a bit more normal!

  18. Okay hot take: no one really looks that good in a tiered mini skirt? Haha. I think you’re on track w/ the ‘mini skirt as a sub for shorts’ thing. A plain, knit, little black (or whatever color) body con mini skirt would look smoking, esp w/ a graphic tee/jean jacket/sneaks. The flared/flippy/ruffle-y vibe is def too ….immature/not ‘bad ass woman’ enough, ya know?

  19. Male perspective, there is absolutely nothing “off” about these outfits. They are all attractive and something I might expect to see on any adult woman walking in the street. And take it from somebody who can’t wear a skirt without the whole world ending, please.. wear what you find fun. Fashion is for you, and nobody is gonna bully you on the playground cause your outfit isn’t perfect. You were super psyched about the skirts, wear them.

  20. I actually like the outfit that your mom hates! I wonder if maybe it doesn’t work in the UP, but could be a fun night out in the summer in the right place? I also like the first outfit with the green skirt and beachy sweater. I could see wearing that to a playdate or running errands in the summer.

  21. I agree that a different style could work—maybe A-line? I have a suede A-line mini skirt that I love from Reiss. I think it’s sold out, but they have others.

  22. I think it might be the tiered aspect of the skirts? It’s like too much cupcake or something. It’s weird though, when I see the individual pieces, they all look really great. And you look amazing in literally everything because you’re super gorgeous, so it’s not you. But when I see the outfit all together, it’s a big…not horrible. I can’t even pinpoint why! haha

  23. KNINKLES!!!!! i think i just died.That is brilliant. Me, (4 surgeries later and yes i STILL wear shorts…scars are just tattoos with better stories…) i’m just hoping to keep my original knees for long enough to get knikles!!

  24. Yeah…that’s a harsh lesson. Condolences. I am having to stop filling my closet with fantasy rock star clothes. “But I can wear it to karaoke!” is not a good enough justification… And I find that most moto jackets, WHICH I LOVE, feel very costumey on. Oh, the heartache…

  25. You have a fun and enthusiastic sense of style Scotti- always thoroughly enjoy your posts! This was a great one on many levels (and very well written). I will not say you are too old because you clearly are not and you have an amazing shape! I agree with many of the (funny) comments posted. As I was enjoying reading this post and many of the comments, I couldn’t help but think of the old adage: “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should” 🙂

    Sadly, many women in their late 30s/early 40s- and even past that (cue most women of the Real Housewives franchise for example)- try to hold on to the glory days and artificially recreate the ‘youth’ factor in their wardrobe; frequently citing the “women can/should wear whatever they want at any age” rationale. Unfortunately that logic, while technically true, is sort of flawed as 99% of the time it does not usually work that well and the rest of us can see that. I am most grateful for my good friends and sisters to (compassionately) always call me on it beforehand! Thankfully, posts like yours are gently on point, super entertaining to read, and why I enjoy this blog 🙂

  26. I’m with you Susie kninkles coupled with cellulite is just not a classy look on this gal, having said that…Shana…same—I just wear them when nobody’s looking! 🤣

  27. You are not too old for the skirts. I think your shoe choices threw off the look for 40. Those skirts and the shoes you put with them made the outfits look “costumey” as if you were trying to look like a college kid rather than an adult rocking a miniskirt. Rather than trying to go back, bring the skirts forward with more sophisticated footwear and you can knock it out of the park.

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