Even if you are usually a firm jeans or pants fan during the cooler months, you may still want to change your outfits up for warmer weather. So, how do you choose the best dresses for older women? Well, if you’ve been following 40+ Style for a while, you’ll already know we never take a one-size-fits-all attitude. But, generally, you may be looking for a longer length and perhaps you prefer to hide a belly or cover your arms. Take a look below at our choices of summer dresses for women over 40…
The best summer dresses for women over 40 – our picks this season
The dresses below range from sporty-style dresses to wear your sneakers with, to those you can wear to a summer party or event.
I’ve also included some jackets, shoes and accessories to wear with them and, if you scroll down, you’ll find a summer dresses capsule with many of the looks put together for you.
Casual day dresses
Of course, you can style any dress casually or more formally depending on what you wear with it, but let’s first take a look at some that lend themselves more to casual dressing.
Massimo Dutti Denim Tucker Jacket – Caslon Sleeveless Tie Back Cotton Maxi Dress – Johnston & Murphy Evelyn Open Toe Sandal Bootie – Marc Jacobs The Leather Bucket Bag – Chico’s Mixed Metals Drop Earrings
Simple, yet stylish, this striped dress (below) is made from cotton so it should keep you cool in warmer months.
The stripes create an elongating effect if you want to look taller and you can always wear a short jacket or a cardigan over the top if you don’t want to bare your upper arms.
We also like the versatility of this one as you could belt it at the waist to create a different look.
Another casual option for you, the Caslon dress below has a twist at the waistline that adds a flattering effect. Wear with your sneakers, flat sandals or ankle booties for weekends.
A tiered dress can be a great choice if you’re looking for summer dresses for women over 40. Karen @styledbykaren above chooses a tiered dress with her reptile print sneakers.
Day to night dresses
Most of the dresses in this list fall into this category, because we feel that the best dresses are those that you can easily take from day to night.
COS Ombré Pleated Tunic Dress – Fly London Yiko Platform Wedge Sandal – Mali + Lili Fiona Vegan Leather Convertible Crossbody Bag – Chico’s Fringe Seed Bead Multistrand Necklace – Me&Hz Tassel Earrings
The ombre dress (below) has a flattering v-neck and is designed to skim over your belly. You could easily wear over your swimsuit with sandals for your vacation, or you could wear with heels and a clutch bag for a more formal look.
I love a simple white or striped shirt as they go with everything, and the same holds true for a shirt dress like the ones from Massimo Dutti (below).
The tie waist adds a flattering point of difference, and elevates what could otherwise be a very simple look.
Linen is always a great choice if you want to stay cool during the warmer months. The red maxi dress (below) is loose fitting and easy to wear, but still looks very glamorous because of the bright red color. It also features mid-length sleeves if you prefer to cover your upper arms.
puff sleeve dress
If you love a romantic look, then the puff sleeve dress (below) could be for you. You could either match your shoes and accessories to one of the colors in the dress, or you could choose black or metallic shoes and bags.
The graphic print on the COS dress (below) give this dress a very modern look. You could wear in so many different ways, from adding chunky sandals to teaming with heeled shoes. You could also add a belt to create a different silhouette.
Paisley print dress
Boden is a great place to look for timeless, mid-length dresses. Plus, because the v-neck style (below) is made from jersey, it would be a good choice to pack for a vacation, as it shouldn’t crease too much.
We love dresses that feature asymmetry.
This would be good for vacations as you could easily dress it down during the day with sandals and then add a little jacket and heels for evening.
The Lands’ End dress (below) will flatter most figures because of the wrap style, and v-neck. You could team with a denim jacket or cardigan for day, and then add a blazer to make your look more formal.
Kim @kimair above (read her style interview here) shows how you could wear your summer dress with silver shoes.
You can find more shoe inspiration in this article on silver and metallic shoes that go with everything.
Formal summer dresses
Now let’s move on to some dressier dresses! You could definitely wear these with sandals for a more casual look. But they would also look beautiful for dinner or a more formal occasion.
Nordstrom Satin Border Silk Chiffon Scarf – Whistles Annabelle Cap Sleeve Dress – Lisa Vicky Zealous Ankle Strap Sandal – Mali + Lili Fiona Vegan Leather Convertible Crossbody Bag – Chico’s Shell Gold Tone Bib Necklace
Cap sleeVe dress
A red dress looks beautiful, no matter what the season. You could wear the Whistles dress (below) with black, white or metallic shoes. Or, you could always add a bright pop of contrasting color.
You can find more ideas in this article on how to wear red.
Looking for dresses that feature twist details, drapes and ruching can be a great way to hide a belly. The stretch dress (below) comes in pink, black or blue.
work summer dresses
Now, let’s move onto some summer dresses that you could wear for work. You’ll want dresses that will keep you cool, but also feature a hem and sleeve length that you are comfortable to wear at work.
Nordstrom Relaxed Stretch Linen Blend Blazer – Whistles Abstract Cheetah Silk Dress – Johnston & Murphy Evelyn Open Toe Sandal Bootie – Marc Jacobs The Leather Bucket Bag – Chico’s Mixed Metals Drop Earrings
There are more ideas in this article on work outfits to keep you stylish and cool.
The silk dress (below) is stylish, modest, and could easily be worn for work, or for dinner. Plus, because it is silk, it will keep you nice and cool.
A wrap style is always flattering. Plus, because the tie-waist dress (below) features a collar at the neckline, it has a professional feel.
The ruching on the Boden dress (below) helps to hide any lumps and bumps. You could wear with a blazer, or a structured cardigan for work.
Eileen @eileenternullo above chooses a stylish, neutral outfit that could easily be adapted for work, a party or a dinner.
Summer dresses in plus size
The wrap style (below) comes in a great choice of colors and prints, and is very figure flattering.
Summer dresses in petite
A dress is a great choice for petites, because you have the same color or print throughout your entire outfit, rather than separates, which can visually draw a line across your body and possibly make you look shorter.
Jackets and cover ups to go with your summer dresses
Let’s move onto some jackets, shoes and accesories that you could wear with you summer dresses.
If it gets a little chilly during the evening or you like to cover your arms, you could wear your dress with a jacket, cardigan or wrap.
Look out for blazers, moto styles, denim jackets and wraps. If you choose a shorter jacket, this will help to create a flattering silhouette as your legs will look longer.
shoes to go with your summer dress
Now onto shoes to go with your summer dress. Wearing sneakers with your dress is particularly on trend now. Choosing a pair of white sneakers is a classic choice that will go with all of your dresses.
Or, of course, heels always look good with your dresses. We’ve chosen low heels here and those with a block heel rather than a narrow stiletto, as these are much easier to walk in.
Emms @beautifuleveryday_uk above shows how you could wear your dress with flat shoes.
accessories to complete your look
There are so many different ways you can style your dress for daytime or evening. Below are just some accessories you may want to add.
There’s everything from a larger bucket or tote to a clutch bag depending on the occasion and what you need to take with you, and some contemporary jewelry to finish your look.
Marc Jacobs The Leather Bucket Bag – Mali + Lili Fiona Vegan Leather Convertible Crossbody Bag – Chico’s Shell Gold Tone Bib Necklace – Chico’s Fringe Seed Bead Multistrand Necklace – Chico’s Mixed Metals Drop Earrings – Me&Hz Tassel Earrings
You summer dresses outfits in one capsule
Below, you can see how you could put together your summer dresses outfits. You can easily swap around the coats and accessories to create many different looks.
shop the items above here:
What do you think the most flattering summer dresses for women over 40 are? What is your own favorite dress? Let me know by commenting below.
- Outfits For Summer: The Summer Capsule Wardrobe You Need This Season
- What To Wear In Summer – Our Top 10 Tips & Tricks
- The Best Dresses To Hide Your Tummy
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Feature image by Kim @kimair
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