One of the most challenging aspects for women over 40 when it comes to fashion, is how to dress for all the changes that are occurring. As your body is changing, so must your clothes. You want to learn how to flatter your body without doing a style overhaul. Clothes for women after 40 should fit you right, and even if you are in the best shape of your life, your body still physiologically changing no matter what, from thinning hair to softer, duller skin with less natural glow.
The key to dealing with the changes and being your best is to refresh your look. Trust me, the style for 40-year-old women is nothing hard at all! Most of all, you need learn to not hang onto what worked before. Still, I also believe in dressing to your strengths and taking your body into account. So if you like to have some guidelines on how to dress after 40, then you can find them below and learn how to dress for your new assets. Please note that these are just GENERAL guidelines. They certainly don’t apply to everyone.
Things To Avoid After 40
There are some of the things you should avoid:
- Don’t buy clothes that do not flatter you, even if it’s the trends this season. For this, it’s important to know your body type.
- Try not to be too matchy-matchy or too polished. It’s nice to mix things up and be a bit more playful. A 2 piece suit will quickly look old. It’s better to mix that jacket with another skirt or pants and look effortlessly chic.
- Avoid buying fabrics that are too cheap as they are usually not flattering or will not last. Best to buy only the clothes that you love and that have a chance of lasting.
- Don’t mix a tight skirt or pants with a tight top. Aim to have either a tight skirt with a loser top or vice versa.
- Don’t dress too young. The worst thing you can do is to dress younger than you are, it will only make you look older.
Clothes that you need to be more careful with:
- Really short shorts
- Mini dresses (but you can wear those over trousers)
- Mom jeans
- Severely ripped jeans
- Baggy jeans
- Unfitted blazers
- Baggy sweats
- Too long skirts (although when balanced well, these can still look good)
Things You Should Do More After 40
- Know your style and determine the wardrobe essentials. Nothing is more important than dressing in a way that pleases and represents you.
- Have more lasting high-quality items in your wardrobe. These vary for each style personality but some important classics are: a) A white button down shirt. b) A long coat c) A beautiful dress that fits you perfectly. Don’t automatically go for a little black dress. Many women over 40 will actually look better (and slimmer) in a colorful dress. d) Well fitted long pants. e) A well-fitted blazer. f) A good pair of dark denim jeans that fit you well. Boot cut or straight leg is usually the most flattering.
- Mix and match designer items with non-designer ones.
- Take a good critical look at yourself before you go out and see if you look too overdone. The aim is to look effortlessly chic so just evaluate and if necessary you may have to add on something a bit more casual.
- Keep current with the fashion trends and make sure you have a few current items in your wardrobe. Only pick those trends that work for you! Trendy is no longer attractive. Find a print or a bold piece of jewelry and develop a signature look.
- Wear skirts that are just above or on top of the knee which is the best skirt length for women over 40. Try not to go too far over the knee as this is not flattering for your calves and your overall look will be older.
- Play with accessories like belts, jewelry, and hats.
- If you want to hide some of the bulges, then shape-wear definitely helps. If you don’t like shape-wear, then learning how to skillfully hide with the right clothes will be preferable.
- Make sure you wear a good bra and invisible undergarments.
- Wear hip and current shoes. These add an instant young and hip vibe to your outfits. Make sure to choose shoes that you are able to walk in. Mid-high heels can look fabulous.
I want to emphasize again that these tips are not set in stone and it’s up to you to decide what works best for you. But if you want to look young and hip, then these ‘rules’ can certainly help. The more you understand your body and your style, the more you can break these rules as you please.
Gravity takes its toll on women of a certain age, but Gross said fashion tricks can camouflage most of these problems:
- Wrinkled neck: Turtlenecks or turn-up collars are a great way to cover that area and bring focus to the face.
- Straight figure short on curves: Add jackets and pieces that will give you shape.
- Thinner hair: Get a fresh cut. Shorter hair gives more of a lift and the variety of new products can improve your hairstyle.
- Focus on shoulders and legs: They are the slowest to age. That doesn’t mean wearing miniskirts, but you can bring attention to legs with a knee-length skirt and high-heel pumps and sandals.
- Change in coloring: Always wear a bit of white close to the face. Soft colors — pale pink, white, beige, ice blue — bring light to the face as well.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. You probably have the basics down and now it’s time to add pizzazz like adding bold glasses or wearing a collar turned up.
- Recycle pieces from your closet, but keep in mind that some trends can come back and you can revisit them with a twist. The classics are the best pieces to keep pulling out because they have timeless appeal.