The 9 Best Fashion Tips for Women Over 40

You’ve made it to your fourth decade, and fashion-wise, you’re in a pretty great place. You’ve likely got your personal style down pat, so now it’s just about making styling decisions that ensure you’re never looking less than 100 (percent, not years old). Here, nine tips to keep in mind every time you get dressed.

5 Pieces of Clothing Every Woman Over 40 Should Own

sensible heels
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

1. Don't Give Up On Heels

It can be mighty tempting to eschew stilettos in favor of flats and sneakers or shoes. But know that there is a middle ground: Sensible heels that are as easy to walk in as they are stylish. A two- or three-inch style (we love a simple slingback) is surprisingly comfortable and looks put together, and won't leave you with sore soles and aching arches.

Get the look: Kurt Geiger ($120; $78); Karl Lagerfeld Paris ($99); Zou Xou ($220); Brother Vellies ($465; $326)

off the shoulder sweater
Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

2. Show off Your Clavicle Instead Of Your Cleavage

A plunging V-neck was great in your twenties, but you’re older and wiser now. Instead of strapping on your best push-up bra, highlight your clavicle with off-the-shoulder or boat neck silhouettes. It’s super sophisticated and sexy, without being buttoned-up or vampy.

Get the look: Universal Standard ($55); Treasure & Bond ($69); Ted Baker London ($99) Majorelle ($148)

mid length sleeves
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3. Go For Mid-length Sleeves

Real talk: Shirts that show off your slender forearms are flattering as hell (regardless of your age). If your top was made with cropped sleeves, great. If you’re wearing a button-down or other long-sleeved piece, roll em up.

Get the look: Topshop ($58; $29); Dolan Left Coast ($88; $71); Vince Camuto ($99); Acne Studios ($170)

designer handbag
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4. Invest In Accessories 

You’re a grown woman. That means you deserve a bag that A) you won't be embarrassed to carry around and B) will warrant at least two compliments every time you do. You’ll never regret purchasing a timeless style, especially one that gets better with age (oh, hello, naturally worn-in leather).

Get the look: Demellier ($480); Prada ($990); Gucci ($1,852); Saint Laurent ($2,290)

dark wash jeans
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5. Opt For Darker Wash Denim

Here's a fact: Dark wash denim is inherently slimming. Plus, since they’re closer to a black or navy, they’re more adult and easier to dress up than bleached washes. Shy away from excessive fading or distressing, for the most age-appropriate take on jeans.

Get the look: Good American ($165); Paige ($179); AG ($198; $159); Goldsign ($295)

all black outfit
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

6. Pick solids Over Prints 

No, we’re not saying you should toss every floral piece in your closet, but in general, it’s way simpler to look elegant and appropriate in a neutral solid. Outfits in solid beige, white, brown, navy and black are easier to accessorize and re-wear in multiple ways.

Get the look: Ksubi top ($160; $64); Cole Haan heels ($180); Nanushka skirt ($395); Baacal skirt ($298)

tailored trousers
Stuart C. Wilson //Getty Images

7. Find A Good Tailor 

Now that you know what looks great on your shape, find someone you trust to take your wardrobe to the next level. Hemming a pair of pants or blazer by even half an inch could make all the difference.

Get the look: ASOS Design blazer ($72); Eloquii blazer ($130); Universal Standard pants ($148); Aritzia pants ($168)

quality clothing
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

8. Treat Yourself To Quality Pieces You'll Wear Forever

Chasing trends is just fine, but make sure to pad your wardrobe with quality basics that are a sound investment. The high-quality fabric and fabrication mean you'll have these pieces for years to come. Just make sure to seek out silhouettes and colors that feel timeless (skip the prints here, too), so you'll actually want to wear these items season after season.

Get the look: The Row dress ($490); Rag & Bone blazer ($495); Rachel Comey top ($575) Burberry trench coat ($1,990)

gold jewelry
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

9. Go For The Gold (jewelry)

Ditch costume jewelry and toss your stacks of tarnished rings. Level up with a tasteful display of gold jewelry—all pieces that are as real as you. But you don't have to break the bank with your new, upgraded taste in rings, bracelets and necklaces. Look for direct-to-consumer find jewelry brands, like Mejuri or The Last Line, both known for producing high-quality baubles at prices you can afford.

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...

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Fashion Editor

From 2019-2021 Dena Silver held the role of Fashion Editor covering product recommendations, trends, and what you should be shopping this season.