Last week I challenged you all to translate a runway look and make it your own. Many of you felt that you cannot relate to runway looks, but I would like to show you that they can be translated into great looks for women over 40.

This time I selected these 2 images below showing a really pretty feminine look with an A-line skirt and blouse. In this particular look the blouse is tucked into the skirt, but of course if this does not work for you then you can also come up with an alternative solution.


I personally find A-line skirts very flattering and easy to wear and I’m happy to see them back on trend. They look good on almost every woman when you wear them at the perfect length for your height. Petites may want to shorten their skirts while tall women can get away with lengths below the knees. The best length for women over 40 is usually on top of just above the knees. (for more advice, check out my article on the perfect skirt length).

Why are a-line skirts so great to wear?

Wearing an a-line skirt has many advantages:

  • They hide bulges, so no need for shapewear! This makes them easy and comfortable to wear
  • They accentuate your waist giving you a nice hourglass figure.
  • They are very feminine.
  • You can dress them up or down, depending on the fabric you choose and the tops you wear with them.
  • You can combine them with a large variety of shoes. They look great with pumps and high sandals. This season it’s also very popular to wear them with tight fitting booties. For winter they look great with long boots as well.
  • You can easily combine them with jackets and jumpers. Short cropped jackets will give your skirt a very modern look as well as the wide oversized jumpers that are popular now. Make sure that the jumpers are not too long, so we can still see a hint of your waist. Longer jackets can be belted to keep the nice hourglass silhouette.

Things to watch out for when wearing an a-line skirt

  • Choose your tops carefully. Selecting the wrong top can make your a-line skirt look frumpy. You cannot go wrong with short fitted tops or well-fitted blouses that are tucked. When wearing tops over your skirt, make sure that they are not too long or are belted. You can also surrender the waist line with wide jumpers or blouses, which is popular right now, but these are more challenging to wear. So check your mirror to see if you like the silhouette you are creating. You certainly don’t have to stick to the hourglass silhouette.
  • Make sure you pick the right length for your height. This can make a huge difference. Many need to be careful that the skirt is not too long.
  • Pay attention to shoes. They define how girly, modern or casual your look will be.

Here is how Any from Mrs American made interprets this look: “I love this 50’s inspired ‘new look’ with an “A-line skirt and a silky top.” It also features a defined waist which is something most of my looks have, (at least the best ones.) So this is a feminine look that suits my curvy silhouette and I wear it often, using mostly black skirts and tights to give the illusion of longer legs. I am quite petite at 5’3″ so also tend to wear my skirts on the shorter side; otherwise, I do not look as tall.”


Heather from The Style Confessions is also a big fan of the wider skirt. She shows it a the top with a beautiful flower printed skirt and basic black top. Below she shows 2 A-line dresses which work just as well as skirts.

Alice from Happiness at Midlife has also chosen for a shorter version, skillfully combine with a tucked white shirt and cardigan.


Greetje has applied many of the tips above. Her red dress is turned into a skirt by combining it with a short cropped cardigan, belted for even more emphasis on the waist. Her second version is very pretty with that fabulous necklace stealing the show. At the right she shows that you don’t always need a short top. A longer top can work well too when it sits tightly on your hip as is not too low. The belt further emphasises the waist.


2 more great combinations from Greetje, proving that an A-line dress can be very versatile indeed.


Here are some of my own options. I like the A-line black skirt and can create endless combinations with it. A shirt version is more flirty and girly while the longer version is more dressy and classic. The 2 combinations on the right prove that you don’t always have to tuck in your top or belt it. So long as they are short enough and there is still the suggestion of a waist, it will still look good.


I love my white skirts as much as my black ones. This is my current favorite. This particular skirt looks best with the tops tucked in so you can highlight the belt and the unique top part of this skirt (the belt is partly hidden at the sides). For the below right look, I was actually inspired by the photos of the Guo Pei show, as one of the pictures highlights a big upstanding collar. The top below is the closest I could get to achieve that look.


I also have a silk pink a-line skirt I like. If your skirt is wide enough you can actually wear it in many creative ways as I show here.

Here is some more inspirations from my fashion inspiration colour pinboard. I love the great color combinations and prints of these skirts.


Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Kay Kerns also sent in this fabulous collage of how she would interpret the runway look for herself.


I hope you are convinced by now that runways looks can be translated in such a way that they can work for you! I think we should have a bit more fun with this, so I will share another runway look for us to ‘translate’. If you have a particular look that you would love the 40+Style team and readers to help translate for you, then just leave a link to the look in the comments.

Do you like wearing an A-line skirt? How would you wear it?



Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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