A few young actors show how, fashion-wise, not to grow up before one has to

Age-appropriateness, when it comes to clothes, is a delicate subject. While ageing well, sartorially, might be a relatively easy thing to achieve, growing up is trickier. For young actresses, especially, a very public coming of age in the style stakes means things can go either way.

At the recently held MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles recently, Emma Watson collected her ‘Trailblazer’ award in a printed, edgy Maxime Simoens dress which she paired with Proenza Schouler heels. A few weeks ago, her wax statue was unveiled at Madame Tussauds in London, where it dons the black tulle Elie Saab dress that she wore to a Lancome event in Hong Kong in 2011. In many ways, Miss Watson gets it right. (Something that Miley Cyrus couldn’t quite.)

The actor who made her debut as jeans-and-hoodie-wearing, frizzy head Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when she was nine (she’s now 23) has resisted the pitfalls that access to styling help can bring. With wardrobe choices that range from Jason Wu (at the My Week With Marilyn London premiere) to Brood (at last year’s edition of the MTV Movie Awards), even on the red carpet Emma Watson has played the youngster she is, without displaying an overreaching temptation to break free of Hermione — even while demonstrating a conspicuously upward, more elegant, curve on the style graph. She’s fronted campaigns for Burberry and Lancome, and worked with fair trade label People Tree, while her pixie cut’s had more than its share of fans.

Chloe Moretz is having an interesting spell. The Kick-Ass actor, who opted for a patchwork denim Louis Vuitton dress at the MTV Movie Awards, has maintained a certain playfulness with her wardrobe choices — like with the black lace Pucci dress with Peter Pan collar at the screening of Hugo in London last year. She’s 16 years old, and doesn’t try to fill shoes bigger and taller.

Selena Gomez, though, hasn’t had it that good. The Wizards of Waverly Place star, who dated Justin Bieber’s for a while, and who’s now awaiting the release of her debut solo music album, has made some forays into grownup glamour, including that strange bindi-and-anklet India-inspired avatar while performing at the MTV Awards. At the same event, she arrived in a golden Julien Macdonald number, while the Texas premiere of Spring Breakers saw her turning to Dolce & Gabbana. For someone who’s just out of her teens, floor-sweeping gowns can come later.