How to dress over 40 – My top 10 tips

by Sylvia

Jill Sander 2012 Spring collections
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Draw inspiration from the Jill Sander 2012 Spring collections

When you’re over 40 and your aim is to look young and hip or just age appropriate, there are certain things you can do to look great.

Here are my top 10 tips on how to dress over 40 the right way!

  1. Dress for your body type, both vertical and horizontal and choose clothes that flatter you and highlight your those parts you love best about your body. Create a nice silhouette.
  2. Wear skirts at the right length, not too short, not too long. Just below or on top of the knee is a great length for over 40 women.
  3. Get hip shoes; they can make even a boring outfit look great.
  4. Wear darker, more fitted jeans.
  5. Get hip glasses that suit your face.
  6. Don’t overdo the bling. Contemporary jewelry is perfect for many women over 40.
  7. Show off your best parts, like your legs, bust or arms, but dress modestly and don’t show too much cleavage.
  8. Add color to your every-day wardrobe.
  9. Wear the best possible bra and use shape wear to give your body the right structure. If you find shape wear too uncomfortable, use slips or pants with pipes to hide panty lines and reduce unflattering bulges.
  10. Have fun dressing and show it in your clothes!

For more tips, see also this related article:  how to dress over 40 and still look hip.

If you like to know more about your body type and which garments would be good for you, I recommend trying My Private Stylist. Get your own personal recommendations!

If you like to improve your style,  I highly recommend my own 10 Steps to a More Stylish You course.  Through these 10 questions and tasks you will understand so much more about your own body, personality and style and will know what you need to do to take it to the next level. Find out more and get instant access!

What are your top tips on how to dress over 40?
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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Ofelia

Sylvia, great tips!!!
However I must tell that I do over do numbers 6 and 8. I’m always adding more bracelets, necklaces and sometimes mixing way too many colors!
Have lots of fun on your holidays,

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Sylvia

Hi Ofelia. Tip no. 10 is by far the most important: HAVE FUN. It’s all about individual style and feeling good about yourself and having fun! Sounds like you’re having lots of that!

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Suzanne

These are all great tips but number 3 is my favorite! :) LOL! A girl can not have enough pretty shoes/boots.
I think dressing for my horizontal type is the most flattering thing I can do. And, like Ofelia, I do add the bling and color. I just got a tangerine tunic that I can use to update my looks for the next 4 or 5 months – and maybe even longer over white jeans as it is knit from cotton. And I got a new Kate Spade ring that is huge! It is navy blue and looks a bit boho so I can wear it with jeans and with maxi dresses and maybe even with my navy and black lace cocktail dress. Hooray for bling and color!

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Sylvia

My boots just broke on me (sigh) and I only took one pair… Will have to take them to repair shop today! Am seeing so many nice winter shoes here in Holland now, but I live in the summer so will just pass them by….

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Suzanne

I just read that Joseph Altuzarra, the 28 year old designer who won the 2011 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund last month, wants to “make clothes for women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s”. Wow! How cool is that? He was given $300,000 to create his fashion line so it will be interesting to see what he thinks women over 40 should be wearing. He was born in Paris and he may have a French respect for mature women.

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Sylvia

That is so interesting! How nice that he wants to focus on us. Let’s all watch out for his collection and support him! Yes curious too what he will come up with. Will he understand us?

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Silvergirl

i like all of your tips but probably wear more bling that you would like ha ha
i figure as long as i don’t look like a jersery shore girl i am okay
brett

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Sylvia

i Brett. In the end everyone needs to do what feels right for them and add their own personality. I’m sure you look great with all the bling!

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Angela

Number 9 is the biggest life changer for me, haha. I am 41 but ‘blessed’ with a large bustline. I had a proper bra fitting and I look and feel younger and slimmer. Droopy bust is very frumpy. The bras were very expensive (150$) each but they have made a huge difference, to me physically and my confidence level…love your blog

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sue

Hi there, I have read your tips, and will take them all on board. I am 46 and have always had an athletic shape, but suddenly I developed a tummy and just don’t know how to hide it. I can even feel it when I lie flat on my back. I can’t do yoga or other tummy strengthening exercises as I have a slipped disc in my neck and have been advised against it. How do you think I should dress to hide this tummy and how do you find jeans and trousers to fit when your waist size means that the pants you buy don’t fit your thighs?? Any advise will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks :)

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Sylvia

Hi Sue. This is an issue that many women over 40 face and I have written about this before: How to hide your belly Some more recent tops to hide your belly can be found in this article: Best tops to hide your belly. As for fitting, that is not easy. You can select lower rise pants and then use the clothes described in above articles to hide your belly over that. Of course you could go for stretchy materials and wear them with tops and tunics. See also my article on How to wear leggings. Otherwise you will have to buy the pants that fit your belly and have them taken in by a good tailor. Hope that helps?

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elizabeth anderson

Hi there thank you for the tips i enjoyed them

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