How to wear a slip dress over 40 – which of these 7 options is your favorite?

by Sylvia

How to wear a slip dress over 40 |

The slip dress was a prominent feature on the Fall 2016 runways. Before you dismiss it as a trend that is not suitable for women over 40, there are various ways that you can incorporate this trend into your fall wardrobe. We show you how!

An ever-increasing popular spin on the evening wear trend has most certainly been the slip dress.

There are many reasons why the slip dress is a loved clothing item:

  • a slinky and sexy look
  • silky material
  • fascinating hem lines
  • and gorgeous necklines

However, some of these are also reasons that women tend to shy away from them

  • The slinky and sexy look can oftentimes cling,
  • lace hemlines might not always be appropriate for a daytime look,
  • and much skin is exposed.

Although these can be valid reasons not to wear a slip dress there are ways to overcome these obstacles.

In today’s post we go highlight over 16 slip dress styles and show you 7 ways to wear the trend for a completely unique and customized look. From denim jackets to cuddle-worthy sweaters, there are multiple ways to take the slip dress off the runway and into your wardrobe.

Four different styles of slip dresses

Lace hem

slip dresses with a lace hem |

Solid color

Slip Dress-Solid Color

Prints and patterns

Slip dress-printed

Short styles

slip dress-short

How to wear a slip dress

As you can see from above, there are a number of slip dress styles you can select. Keep in mind that you can style the slip dress either up or down, depending on the kind of look you’re going for and the occasion to which you will be wearing your dress.

The best way to think about styling options here is (a) think outside of the box and (b) keep it simple so it doesn’t look overdone or overly trendy.

#1 Try a top underneath

If the thought of exposing so much of your arms and potentially decolletage is too much, one option to comfortably wear this trend is by layering a top underneath the dress. Yes, this is definitely a 90s trend.

However, if you keep it simple and select quality, basic pieces, you actually are able to create a chic and flattering look.

ways to wear slip dresses over 40 - with a shirt underneath |

#2 Get polished with a blazer

Want to give your slip dress a bit of an upgrade? Go with a fitted or slightly oversized blazer. Blazers are known for polishing almost any ensemble they are paired with and slip dresses are no exception to this rule.

If you would like to elongate your figure, add a cropped blazer to a midi to maxi length slip dress and pair the look with slightly heeled shoes (from oxfords to pumps).  The play on proportions will do fabulous things for your silhouette.


how to wear a slip dress - with a jacket |

#3 Throw a sweater over it

Another approach to showing less skin and keeping the look perfect for cooler months is to throw a sweater over your dress.

Whether you’re completely coordinating (As shown in the first look below) or you go with clashing prints (as show in the second look), a sweater worn on top of the slip dress creates an effortless, off-duty model vibe.

It’s a very accessible look that allows you to throw your own unique spin.

7 different ways to wear a slip dress this fall |

#4 Wear short slip dresses over pants

So, you stumble onto a slip dress that is uncomfortably short, yet deliriously gorgeous and a must have. Or, it’s getting colder and wearing a shorter dress is no longer a feasible styling option.

The secret here is to treat the dress as you would a tunic. From leather pants to tailored slim leg trousers, you can create a very chic look by effortlessly layering your slip dress over well fitted bottoms. For more on this styling approach, take a look at my post on how to wear tunics or short dresses with pants.

Of course you can further layer this look by adding a jacket or cardigan.

How to wear a slip dress 7 different ways |

#5 Coordinate with a sleeveless coat or jacket

For a layered look that also has a glam tone to it, try pairing your slip dress with a coordinating sleeveless coat or jacket. Much like matching dresses and coats, the look is less serious but seriously stylish.

How to wear a slip dress over 40 - 7 different options to choose from |

#6 Toughened with a leather jacket

Add a little edge to the sensual and feminine tones of a slip dress by adding on a leather jacket. Very practical for colder weather, this look also adds a stylish edge.

Imagine the contrast of white lace and a leather moto jacket. Very modern and edgy, yet easy to create.

7 different ways to wear a slip dress over 40 |

#7 Dress down with denim

A denim jacket is the perfect way to ground your look and actually dress it down. The juxtaposition between slinky silk and tough denim is a perfect one.

Once again, it offers a very casual, off-duty model vibe that is easily achievable with pieces you already have in your closet. For a chic-errands-around-town look, try the look with an awesome pair of ballet flats or oxfords.

Wearing a slip dress with a jeans jacket - Only one of 7 ways to wear a slip dress! |

Explore more slip dress options below

Are you considering slip dresses this fall? Which of these options would have your preference?


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Elaine

Not a look for me. These dresses are beautiful on taller women with delicate shoulders and fit arms. That’s not my shape though. I have bigger bones, wide shoulders, full bust, fleshy arms and I’m short so most slip dress features work against me and do not flatter. It’s cold where I live so I rarely see women wearing slip dresses here, just the occasional teen to twenty something in the summer. It makes us shiver just to look at them! I have a long suede coat that I want to style over a dress but probably not a slip dress. I’m looking for something in wool or jersey with sleeves that can be worn with boots.


2 vidya

Thanks for the tips. Great post.


3 Melisa

I can’t wear them at all but if my body type worked with them I’d favor the casual look with the denim jacket and the one with the leather jacket.


4 Tami Von Zalez

I wear slip dresses in the summer. Also, if the dress isn’t lined, be sure to wear a slip under your slip dress so no lumps and bumps show.


5 Cynthia

I’m not sure I’d ever wear one of the slip dresses that look like lingerie. Spaghetti straps are just not easily converted into comfortable daily wear for women who require a supportive bra. But I have been wearing a few slip dresses lately! Krista Larson makes amazing architectural slip dresses out of non-lingerie fabrics. I tend to wear them layered under another dress, or with one of her color-coordinated mesh tops so it’s not such a heavy look rather than over a solid tee.


6 Rita

I’ve never been a fan…they look like pajamas to me.


7 esther

Great post I have 2 different slip dresses I was not sure how to style. I will use 5 of your ideas. Thank you!


8 Greetje

I will skip this type of dress if you don’t mind. The ideas are good, but usually these dresses are too low at the cleavage, with straps which are too thin and I never really like it that much with a jacket or a sweater.
So it is a fun look, but not for me.


9 Yvonne

I really love slip dresses Sylvia – this is such a nice post.

I have also done a post about the slip dress on – you might like to have a look too:

Wishing you a fabulous day and looking forward to you next newsletter.

xx Yvonne


10 Cam

I purchased a slip dress last month (no lace) and after receiving had doubts as to whether it was a dress or lingerie. I am tall and have slim arms, 34B and loved the look but still had the questions. Your post gave the answers and the ideas as to how to pair it with various jackets, etc. Many thanks.


11 Angie

You have really developed classy, up-to-date style over the years, Sylvia! You’re looking great and so is your blog. This post is very beautifully done! The clothes are a bit expensive, though. My thought about how to wear a slip dress over 40 is basically: the same as for any other age! But of course, we just do it with a bit more class. Such as leggings or tights and tall boots with short dresses. Or covering arms and chest with lace or sheer materials if they need it. 😉 Kudos to you, Sylvia, for showing women that they can do it all!


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