13 best spring & summer 2014 trends for women over 40

by Sylvia

best trends for spring and summer 2014

See here for our latest trends report for spring and summer 2015.

I realise it’s still cold in many places but spring clothes are hitting the stores, so it’s time to look at the trends for spring 2014 and which of them work for women over 40.

As long-term readers will know, I think you should be picky when it comes to trends. It’s much more important to pick clothes that suit your personality, body type and your own personal style. (to discover or finetune your personal style, I recommend my style course).

However, it’s also good to add a few current items to your wardrobe each season from those trends that suit you. Trends add an element of excitement and fun to your wardrobe, so don’t ignore them altogether.

Here are some of the most dominant trends for this season.

1. Soft and Sweet

spring 2014 trends: pastels | 40plusstyle

Pastels started coming in flavour last year and this year they are out in force. They are not the easiest colors to wear after 40, but combined with white can look very sophisticated.

2. Bring on the shirts!

2013 spring trends: button down shirts | 40PlusStyle

The classic button down shirt was featured in many collections. Often slightly oversized and resembling a man’s skirt, this trend is very chic when worn with wide trousers. It will also look great on blue jeans. A shirt dress for cool weather is a great option too. Although the above examples all show plain examples of this trend, there were plenty of colorful options too (a/o at Alexander Wang, Costello Tagliapietra and Altuzarra).

3. Short & boxy jackets

2014 summer trend: boxyjackets | 40PlusStyle

Oversized is still hot. Not the easiest trend to wear, but it can be a fun element to an otherwise classic outfit and you can create interesting silhouettes with layering.

4. Wide trousers

spring 2013 trend Wide Pants | 40PlusStyle.com

I’m so happy to see wider pants coming back. I hope retailers follow suit and give us a wider variety of pants to choose from this season!

5. Arty Asymmetry

best spring trends 2014 | 40PlusStyle.com

A personal favorite theme, I was pleased to see many designers play with folds, drapes and asymmetry. The Issey Miyake collection was to die for.

6. Culottes

best spring trends 2014 Culottes | 40PlusStyle.com

This trend brings me back to the seventies! Did you wear them then? I’m not sure if I will embrace them again as this look can be quite preppy, but let’s see how this trend will develop. The longer versions (well over the knee) are very hard to pull off for many women in terms of a flattering silhouette, so wear with care.

7. Knee-length skirts

2014 summer trend Knee Length Skirts | 40PlusStyle.com

It felt good to see that more designers are embracing knee length skirts which are so ideal for many women over 40. Many skirts were even longer than that (see below).

8. Very long skirts (cross between midi and maxi)

very long hems for summer 2014 | 40PlusStyle.com

Lots of skirts and dresses were even longer than knee length. These lengths are harder to pull off, but I’m happy to see more longer lengths rather than just minis as we have seen in previous seasons.

9. Opposites attract

spring 2014 trend Black and White

Do designers (or for that matter consumers) ever tire of the high contrast black and white combination? This trend seems to pop up every season. I’m still a big fan as I love high contrast graphical outfits. Wearing something simple in black and white (with a splash of color thrown in) is always so chic!

10. Arty & colorful

summer trend Arty and Colorful | 40PlusStyle.com

Lots of collections featured colorful arty creations like Prada, Chanel, Kenzo, Celine and Jill Sander. I love this trend as it adds some fun and color to your wardrobe. If a full on dress is too much for you, start looking for colorful arty bags!

11. Flower power

trends for women over 40 Flower Power | 40PlusStyle.com

There ware plenty of flowers on the catwalk too at Dries van Noten, Marni, Hermes, Marc Jacobs and others. I liked how Ostwald Helgason combined flowers with graphical elements. I feel it’s best to wear flowers as separates (either top or bottom) so that the flowers don’t overwhelm too much or have an aging effect.

12. Let it shine

summer 2014 trend: Bling | 40PlusStyle.com

Designers used lots of shiny materials like satin and silk, as well as lame and sparkle. These fabrics can work well with a party dress or be worn as separates. I absolutely adore the above combination from Issey Miyake.

13. All white

all white summer trends 2014 | 40PlusStyle.com

All white looks were plentiful as well. Seen at Joseph, Sportmax, Chanel, Iceberg, Preen and many others, this look is always fresh. If the all-white is just a bit too much for you, break it up with a colorful necklace or shoes.

So there you have it, the trends for spring and summer 2014.

Don’t worry if you can’t relate to these clothes as shown by the young and thin models on the catwalk. In future articles we will translate these trends and show you how to wear them in our popular ‘Translate the look” series.

For a look at all of my favorite looks from the spring 2014 ready to wear collections, take a look at my Pinterest Board Spring Summer 2014 Trends.

For now tell me, are you excited about a new season and new trends? Which trends excite you the most?


Related posts:


It’s like all my favorite things (wide pants! long full skirts! asymmetry!) are on-trend at once. It’s kind of confusing. I had gotten so bored with the look that was out there and on everybody and now all of a sudden I like things again!


Some of the these trends will be stronger in shops than others. I suspect there will still be plenty of skinnies, but more wider pants should filter into shops as well. It will only become clear later, which trends really take off this season.


I must agreee with Cynthia!


Such a great selection of styles and options here, looking forward to spring & summer.


Yes, it’s going to be fun!

Catherine @ Not Dressed As Lamb

Sylvia I am totally crushing on so many of these – I think the flower power, all white and arty & colourful are the main ones for me!! Wonderful picks, thank you for sharing these 🙂

Catherine x


Me too. Can’t wait to buy some exciting new things for summer!


Most of the spring trends don’t really appeal to me or suit me. I have a short neck and big bust so I never wear a shirt with a collar. I don’t like pastels much but have a pink tee shirt that will get a bit of wear this summer. I do have lots of white though wearing it head to toe is rare. I have a skirt with florals on navy already in my wardrobe too.

I do not have to dress for any dress code and my lifestyle is quite casual. There is plenty of freedom in that, but the flip side of it is I feel a bit guilty buying and keeping anything other than jeans and casual tops.


What you could do is just add a few trendy accessories Shawna. That way you can can wearing jour jeans and tops, but still look current.


Yes, that is always the less expensive way to go though I quite often don’t like the trendy accessories either. I think that if one shops for a few things each season one is really adding something from current trends even if it is by default. The trends make their way into the stores so that someone like me becomes very hard pressed to avoid polka dots or stripes or leopard and selects a scarf or top in whichever version of these is acceptable. I don’t feel the pressure to look totally of the moment so if there is nothing I like that is trendy this Spring, there will probably be something I like come fall or next spring.


I’m so glad that wide leg pants and culottes are big for Spring!
xo Natasha


Lovely! I adore shiny anything. The new ways that prints are combined is becoming an obsession for me. Thank you Sylvia!

Maricel @ My Closet Catalogue

I’m happy to report that I have things in my wardrobe that fit most all these trends (yeah, no culottes pour moi!) which means less shopping for me. My new year’s prediction for myself was that I’d go quality over quantity in 2014 so I think I’ll just focus on one trend and invest wisely. Am thinking I need wide-legged trousers…

M @ http://www.myclosetcatalogue.com


I am so excited about “Fashion Week” beginning next Thursday! I love to watch the runways but those are trends for next Fall. I am still wearing clothes from this Fall and wondering how long it will be before I can even think of Spring looks. This has been our most brutal Winter in the past 40 to 60 years. Today our temp is minus 10 and the wind chill is minus 25 to 35. Even my son’s university had to cancel classes as it is too cold to be outside long enough to walk to campus. Dressing to keep from freezing takes the fun out of fashion! Your list is inspirational though. I love all white or white and black outfits. Those are classics that are “in” season after season. I also love a crisp white shirt with jeans – a “go to” look. I will give pastels, knee length skirts, and arty, colorful styles a try. Anything boxy, wide, or oversized tends to overwhelm me so I need to be careful with those. I am really in love with the shoes for Spring but in my climate I am lucky if I can wear sandals for 3 months. I am still buying boots as I wear them so often I need lots to keep things interesting. I do own a new, brightly colored floral blouse that is on trend. I will wear that the first day it gets above 20! A girl can dream!


Yes, best to adapt these trends to warmer clothes for you Suzanne. It’s best to buy for your climate, so more winter clothes (and boots!) for you. Let’s hope you can rock that summer blouse soon.


Love the button down men’s shirts…. my staple style all the way! And I am glad to see hemlines at a more reasonable length. The black/white is so clean and classy….love love love I do ask for forgiveness regarding my opinion on culottes…..absolutely no way this style needs to stay in the 70s.


I’m curious to see if that trend will grow over the coming seasons or die a quick death…. People seem to either love it or hate it!


I do love the very breezy floral styles for spring, and the pastel colors are a nice change. It seems like going to the over sized shirts, jackets and such would not be a style trend I will use, as I worked so hard to break out of the habit of wearing oversized clothing to hide my imperfections. so I will use some of the trends and modify others to suit my personal style. But I do love the look that leans to the softer feminine style. I do have many of the pieces for spring already, and will keep my slightly fitted jackets. I think no culottes for me, never have cared for the way they look on me.


I love the all white look, so chic! But realistically I am a smudge magnetic, so I probably won’t try it. I definitely will go for black and white. And I have a pair of coulottes that I bought last year and never wore, so hopefully they can make an appearance in the spring. We in California have had non-stop spring and summer (sorry Suzanne!), so I’ll be able to start wearing these trends ASAP! : )


It is nice to know that it is still warm somewhere Yolanda! 🙂


What am I missing here? These are styles for women over 40?
I like to have a bit of fun with my wardrobe too! But really???


I would honestly wear almost all the clothes featured here. As mentioned, if you can’t relate to the young models or high-end designs, we will later showcase examples that are available in retail and how 40+ women can wear them. However, we are hardly ever able to feature older women when showcasing new fashion. More on that here: https://40plusstyle.com/fabulous-40-plus-women/


I agree Sylvia – I think most of these clothes would look better on a woman over 40 – some of the styles are very classic and simple, it’s the fabrics and the weird hair/make-up on the models that make them look a bit “out there” 😀


It’s such a good idea to list the SS trends this way! I’d really like to try on a pair of slouchy, narrow culottes, I think that’s a cool trend and a great alternative to shorts and skirts. I also like the asymmetrical trend, the black/white and the all white trends. I’m staying away from pastels , boxy jackets and florals, as they just don’t look good on me.


Wide trousers, yes!!!, that is one of the trends I was waiting for.
The all white look is amazing, but unfortunately, I would have to change in the middle of the day, with my dog, preparing meals, cleaning the house and moving and driving around the city, the white ends in grey, beige and other colors.
I will have to find a nice pastel color that does not wash me out.
Florals and asymetry are welcome in my cloest, but this year I will be more careful with the items I buy ( one of my new years resolutions).

Here our “winter” is in the last weeks, February is very windy, but our temperatures are getting higher. So for us soon I will start packing my sweaters and long boots.

Suzanne, I hope the weather gets better soon in your part of the world


Let’s hope it catches on and we will have lots of wide leg choices in the store!


Love the fluid and artsy asymmetry look. I love the wide white trousers too but as a shorty I’d have to wear them with heels or wedges.


I like most of these trends, Sylvia, can’t wait to wear pastel colours, flowers and white.
Also the longer skirt length is lovely. Never wore wide trousers but would love giving them a try.
For sure I will skip the culottes…


I think that would look great on you!


Well looking at what I learned this month in the style challenge, I will be embracing the first four at all. Pastels are not my color; button down shirts over emphasize a large bust; short boxy jackets don’t help my vertical silhouette or embrace my curves; wide trousers would make my hips look huge, although if they decide to tone these down to flared at the ankle we can talk.

#5 Artsy asymmetry, maybe a little here and there. As an “urban classic” this would be a pretty big break from the norm for me. same with #10 Arty and colorful. While I do like color a LOT, this is just too funky for my way of life. All that said, I do like the idea of embracing my artistic side a little more. In both #5 and #10 the middle image seems the most approachable to me.

#6 Culottes. Maybe. I’m tall, with long legs and a short torso. I know capris are one of the things that are a bad idea for most women because it tends to cut off their legs and make them look shorter — but that’s not a problem for me. The flowing nature of the culottes pictured give me some pause. As an hourglass shape I know that flowing skirts are unflattering (except occasionally when mysteriously they’re not) and I’m going to put flowing culottes in the same category. If they are anything like what I remember, moreover, the fabric between my legs always bunched up in the most unflattering way. The old rule “if you are old enough to have worn it the first time, you are two old to wear it the next time” just may be my out on this. #8 very long skirts are an equal maybe. I think skirts that come slightly below mid-calf can actually look good on me and I think the center and right pictures are fitted enough for my figure. But if they end at the wrong place they emphasize the fullest part of the calf — I remember that being the thing that my mother always did exactly wrong and I’m trying to avoid it.

#7 Knee length skirts. Yes. Probably slightly below the knee to counter the long legs. I really like the coral example on the left.

#9 Opposites attract. I like colorful opposites but I’m not really that into black and white. I have some black and white (how could I not) but they aren’t dramatic enough to look edgy, just boring. I like black and tan better.

#11 Flower Power. Yes. I like florals and while a lot of pattern doesn’t work well for me (particularly on top) I do like it. If it really is a trend then there should be enough options for me to find something that works. Although I was just looking at some floral scarves yesterday and rejected them as looking too matronly. Therein may be the danger. A 20-something wearing something grandmotherly is edgy; a 40 something wearing the same just looks grandmotherly.

#12 Let it shine. I also like the Issey Miyake ensemble on the left. If I have any parties that call for something formal, I’ll remember this trend. Otherwise, I don’t see it forming a useful part in my life.

#13 All white. No way. A black-haired dog who sheds like mad as soon as the snow starts melting and keeps it up until the following Christmas. Kids… just… kids. My own tendency to never spill or splatter coffee or tomato sauce UNTIL the moment I’m wearing white. And I’m entering into a time of occasional peri-menopausal surprises. Plus add the fact that I’ve seen so much snow this winter that I don’t want to see white ever again. No.

So… I’m going to embrace skirts, see if I can get a little artsier, and keep an open mind about culottes and florals.


Sounds like a good plan Lisa. Great analysis of what could work for you and what you need to look out for and play with.

Greetje Kamminga

I will have troubles at home if I ever wear a culotte. It is an absolute no-no with my husband. Not a problem, I have never worn one. The boxy jackets can be a problem too. But there are lots of options this spring. Thank you for this overview. I am up to date again. Now it is a only a matter of bringing my wallet up to scratch. LOL


haha, I had a boyfriend once who felt just the same!


Love some of the asymmetrical looks you’ve selected Sylvia -I’m also a huge fan of Issey Miyake -and
I’d be wearing that Vivienne Westwood dress right now if I could afford it!


Yes, I’m thinking of ways to acquire a piece of Issey Miyake too…..


Hi Sylvia.

I will most likely do the black and white. I’ve always liked that classic look. I love skinny jeans and more form fitting clothing. I don’t (think) I like anything floral or pastel. I’m not sure I’ll like the long flowy skirts, but I’ll try to find one or two that are flattering. I need to figure out how to incorporate these new trends as accessories. I can’t wait to see your post on how to make these work for us. Thanks for sharing.


I’ll try and tackle them one by one over the coming months, so watch this space!


I’m not sure I need to add anything as Lisa has said it all for me! LOL! Thanks!!
However, here goes: Pastels are not good on me; I am still looking for one of those white shirts where the buttons don’t go to the top and there is some ruching at the bust (if anybody knows where I can get one let me know); boxy jackets is a no-one as I have to work hard to avoid looking boxy; wide trousers are ok if I have heels on (and I have white and beige linen trousers); asymmetrical is OK but I need fitted clothes; culottes – I remember them the first time and you know what they say….; knee length is good, longer not; black and white is not great on me; I am too grubby to wear white. So that leaves me with shiny and colourful. I am trying to cure my attraction to shiny (my friend commented on it when we were shopping yesterday), so I think I will stick to colourful! In fact I bought a bright pink tunic yesterday!
I look forward to seeing how we can translate these trends Sylvia – at the end of the day fashion is fun and I’m all for that!


But it’s so much fun to be a magpie!


Ha ha! ‘Magpie’ was the word my friend used!


I will be looking for some of these trends for sure! I love the pastels and arty/colorful. Really everything except the boxy jacket, don’t think I could wear it. Only if it is super short and worn with a fitted shirt or pant. Interesting post!

blue hue wonderland


Loving Issey Miyake’s pastel top/skirt combo – just gorgeous 🙂 I just love white in clothes and home so am focussing on embracing it more. I love layering of whites – ivory, cream, bone to create an unusual dimension which can be done with jewellery or handbag etc.

kay kerns

Don’t like any of it but we know styles will change


please put me on email list. thank you.


You will need to subscribe through this page Jane https://40plusstyle.com/subscribe/ Thanks!

Karen Barnard

I’m needing some new jeans. Do I go for skinny or bootleg? I live in South Africa so are going into winter. Am 64. Thanks Karen


They are both good options. It really depends on your personal taste, personality and what looks best on your body type. You may want to read the guidelines at https://40plusstyle.com/category/how-to-dress-after-40/ Happy shopping!

Frances Wilson

This is the first time I have looked at this site. I don’t understand how this can be a site for older women (I am 69) when the models are so young and so thin. It would be good to see some clothes modeled by more mature women with bodies, faces, feet and and hair that have realistically aged by gravity and childbearing. Many older women have quite different breasts in poth size and position than these adroid models. Many older women can’t wear high heels, for example for bone, joint, and health reasons. I don’t mean that older momen can’t be beautiful women, they are, but the beauty of the mature woman is not what I see on your pages. Give us more realistic examples and visions.


I wrote a whole article about this Frances and from the links in that article you will find that I feature MANY 40+ women here whenever possible. https://40plusstyle.com/fabulous-40-plus-women/

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: