There can’t be a woman out there who hasn’t stood in front of her closet and thought “I have nothing to wear”. But, if you have the right wardrobe essentials in your closet, it doesn’t have to be that way for you.
If you have staple clothing pieces as the “foundation” of your wardrobe, you will always be able to create an outfit you love.
These staples will be different for each woman as we all have a different body type, style personality, lifestyle and preferences.
However, no matter what the right wardrobe basics are for you, you can then use these clothing essentials as the basis for a capsule wardrobe to make getting dressed stylishly a breeze. Take a look at the ultimate guide to creating a capsule wardrobe that works for you.
You may also want to check out our article on the most popular fashion pieces women over 40 couldn’t resist.
Use your wardrobe essentials to build your wardrobe!
A closet which you put together on a foundation of carefully selected pieces makes getting dressed every day so much easier.
So, where should you begin when it comes to selecting the essentials of your closet?
Below, I list 33 pieces that you can use as a starting point. As mentioned yours may be slightly different.
It’s worth investing more in your basics because these can form the backbone of your closet for many years to come. So, look for classic items which are good quality. Think about cost per wear rather than cost to purchase alone.
Clothing essentials: Your basic wardrobe
Once you have the essentials figured out, you can then “color them in” with hero pieces, more color and more accessories. Having your essential pieces in place will make sure that you can always mix and match easily.
These are your basic wardrobe staples and the building blocks of your bigger wardrobe.
33 wardrobe essentials for WINTER and sPRING
This is a list of wardrobe essentials that we created for you. You can use this to create your own personalized list.
As most of you will be in winter and looking forward to spring, there are plenty of options which will work for these seasons. But you can easily adapt these essentials, no matter what the weather.
Read on for my 33 essentials as well as a capsule closet created with them. Don’t forget to let me know in the comments at the bottom of the article if you agree with me, or if you would add anything to my essentials list.
Wardrobe essentials – Tops
1. A white shirt
A white button down shirt offers endless outfit possibilities.
There are so many ways to wear it. You could team it with a pair of jeans, a blazer and ballet flats for a classic look, or wear under a sweater or a dress to give your outfit extra interest.
The white shirt from rag & bone features a high-low hemline, making it both timeless but also interesting.
rag & bone ICONS Maxine Cotton Poplin Button-Up Shirt
Angela @angelamashelle above (read her style interview here) updates her white shirt with on-trend slit-hem pants.
Recreate her outfit with this similar shirt, pants (another option here), pumps, handbag, earrings and necklace.
2. Cashmere sweater
A cashmere sweater adds an instant feeling of luxury to even your most casual of outfits, making it perfect to add to your wardrobe essentials. Pair with jeans and ankle booties, or you could wear with a leather or pleated skirt for evening.
The cashmere sweater from Vince (below) is a true classic.
You could always wear the white shirt from above underneath it.
Vince Weekend V-Neck Cashmere Sweater
There are also great suggestions here from the 40+ Style Community on the best cashmere sweater brands to buy.
3. Silk shirt
Silk is another of those fabrics which adds instant luxury to your outfits.
You can expect to pay more for silk – but the beauty of it is that you can wear with absolutely everything for all occasions.
The silk blouse from Boden (below) comes in a choice of three colors and would look great worn with your favorite jeans.
4. Basic clothing – a solid color tee
It’s often advised to have a plain white tee in your closet. And, I don’t disagree that a white tee can be a hugely useful closet staple.
But, it doesn’t necessarily have to be white.
A tee in a solid color can provide a useful background to show off any statement jewelry that you have.
If, for example, you have a great red necklace, then opting for a blue, navy or a gray tee could allow you to show it off beautifully.
The COS T-shirt (below) features an on-trend boxy shape, and would look good dressed up or down.
Adaline @sdmomstyles above wears an easy, stylish, timeless look. You could always wear for colder wear with a pair of booties and a blazer if you need to add warmth.
Get her look with this similar tee (more options here and here), jeans, sandals, hobo bag and necklace.
5. Asymmetrical top
I’m a huge fan of asymmetry for all sorts of reasons.
Asymmetry can make a simple outfit look far more interesting. It can also help you to downplay the parts of your body you aren’t so keen on and play up what you do like.
The handkerchief hem top (below) from Amazon drapes well and would be a good option for wearing over leggings or skinny jeans. It is available in a vast array of colors and has plenty of positive reviews from women who say it is flowy and fabulous as well as having enough fabric to cover any “bumps and rolls”.
You may also like this article on how to wear asymmetrical clothing, which has some stylish shoppable options.
Bottoms you should have in your staple clothing essentials
6. Black pants
Whether you wear them to work or you dress them up for evening, a classic pair of black pants will never go out of style.
This pair of BOSS wool trousers (below) has a classic wide-leg style which is particularly on-trend this year.
BOSS Tulea3 Tropical Stretch Wool Trousers
7. White pants
Just like black pants white pants should be a staple in your wardrobe. Other than black, no other color is as easy to combine and the extra benefit is that an outfit with a white base will look fresh and energetic.
You can still wear white pants for winter but you probably want to swap your sandals for a closed toe option like ankle booties!
Anne Klein Slim Stretch Woven Pants
Nora @jacketsociety above (read her style interview here) shows how you could wear white or cream pants in cooler weather.
Check out this similar sweater, cardigan, jeans, booties, clutch, scarf and sunglasses.
8. Dark denim jeans
Finding the perfect pair of jeans isn’t easy. But, I’d definitely advise you to make it a dark wash pair.
Not only do they work in a huge range of scenarios, but they’re also very flattering. Plus, they’re less likely to stain so, if you invest in a pair which are a little more expensive than the norm, they’re likely to last you longer.
A classic bootcut will suit most body shapes, but you could also opt for flared, cropped or skinny, depending on which style looks best on you.
The Wit & Wisdom bootcut jeans (below) will flatter most body shapes, and would look great paired with the silk shirt from #3.
Wit & Wisdom ‘Ab’Solution Itty Bitty Bootcut Jeans
9. LOUNGE PANTS
Lounge pants didn’t previously feature among my wardrobe essentials, but I decided it is definitely time to add them, given many of you will be spending more time at home than usual right now given new work from home arrangements – and will want to stay warm and comfy.
You could wear the Natori lounge pants (below) for a casual outing with sneakers, or just for relaxing at home. Or, of course, you could always add a smart top for virtual meetings if you are working from home.
10. A classic skirt
A classic skirt will mean different things for different women. But most women will suit the two classic styles. Choose either a pencil or an a-line to flatter your figure.
You could opt for a patterned skirt to wear with your plain tops, or a plain skirt to wear with your patterned tops. Or, of course, you could try out some pattern mixing.
This Kate Kasin skirt isn’t “classic” as you would expect because of the side tie detailing, but I’ve included it in my wardrobe essentials because it could be worn so many ways, and it comes in a huge choice of colors so you can choose one that will go best with the other items in your closet. Reviewers say it has a nice weight to it, and looks classy.
Kate Kasin Bow Tie Pencil Skirt
Kim @kimair above (read her style interview here) wears a black midi skirt that would be a great staple for your wardrobe.
Recreate her outfit with this similar tank top, skirt, flats (another option here), handbag, earrings and sunglasses.
Wardrobe staples: Dresses
11. An evening dress for formal occasions
No matter whether you go out frequently, or hardly at all, everyone needs a dress that you can pull out of your closet at short notice for formal events, and know that it will look great.
A classic little black dress will see you through most events. You can add a silk wrap or some great jewelry to make it look different every time.
Choose a style to suit your body type. The black dress below from Maggy London features a flattering see-through top that adds a point of difference.
Maggy London Illusion Yoke Crepe Cocktail Dress
12. A wrap dress
A wrap dress is one of those wardrobe essentials that suits everyone, no matter what your body type.
The wrap dress defines your waist thanks to the waist tie and elongates your figure, thanks to the v-neck. It skims over your hips and thighs, making it a flattering option for pear shapes.
Not only that, but you can wear a wrap dress for pretty much any occasion. Depending on the fabric you choose, you could wear to work, to a casual lunch or to a formal event such as a wedding.
Many wrap dresses also have sleeves if you prefer a dress which covers your upper arms.
This faux wrap dress below has a flattering high-low hemline, and is perfect for any season. You could wear with tights and knee-high boots for winter, or with heeled sandals for summer.
For more options for dresses with sleeves, take a look at this article.
Of course, most of us don’t live in a climate warm enough year round to ensure that we never need to wear a jacket or a coat.
Not only that, but a layer of outerwear can add extra style to your outfits. Below are my essentials.
13. Leather or faux leather moto jacket
A leather moto jacket is a classic which exudes a certain rock star cool. This is one the go-to pieces of women who have a rock style personality.
You could wear on casual days with jeans and sneakers.
But, you can also use a moto jacket to toughen up, and add an unexpected element, to outfits such as a maxi dress, or a pleated midi skirt with a sweater and booties. In short, it pretty much goes with everything.
Not only that, but a leather jacket can actually get better with age, so you’re sure to keep it for many years if you choose a classic, fitted style.
You don’t have to choose classic black. You could opt for a lighter color which may be more flattering close to your face, and which you can also wear during spring and summer.
The Massimo Dutti jacket (below) would go beautifully with your jeans, or over your summer dresses so you can wear them year round.
Massimo Dutti Nappa Leather Biker Jacket
Sandra @lapecosapreciosa above matches her jacket to her boots.
Steal her look with this similar moto jacket, dress, boots, necklace and sunglasses.
You can also check out our list of the best leather jackets for women that you can wear with any outfit.
A blazer is another one of those pieces which is so versatile. Choose a timeless color or pattern and it will be something you will want to wear for many years.
You could add to your jeans with a tee and a pair of sneakers or heels to instantly elevate your outfit, or you can wear for a night out or for work.
You will want to opt for a style which nips in at the waist for the most flattering effect, unless you have a rectangular figure and you want to play up your androgynous figure with a boyfriend-style, looser fit.
An open style or single-breasted style like this one from Massimo Dutti is generally more flattering as double breasted blazers do have the potential to make you look wider.
Massimo Dutti Micro-Textured Open Blazer
Take a look at how to fit a blazer to get the right one for you.
15. Trench coat
There can be few pieces of outerwear which are as iconic as the trench coat.
Developed as an alternative to the heavy coats worn by soldiers in the First World War, a trench adds an instant touch of class to any outfit, even if you’re simply wearing jeans and a white shirt.
The shape itself is a classic and you could opt for the traditional beige shade or you could opt for a different color.
Massimo Dutti Belted Trench Coat
16. LONG CARDIGAN
A long cardigan is a fabulous transitional piece that you can wear instead of a coat when the weather starts to warm up.
Long cardigans, however, are not just for warmth. They can also be very useful for creating long, lean, flattering lines. Wear a block color underneath and then add your cardigan and you instantly look taller and slimmer.
JJ Perfection Open Front Long Cardigan
Karen @styledbykaren above shows a perfect way to wear your long cardigan. She creates a column of color underneath by wearing black from top to toe and then adding the cardigan over the top – a perfect way to elongate your figure.
Recreate her outfit with this similar sweater, cardigan, jeans, booties, belt and sunglasses.
17. Long sleeveless vest
A draped cardigan such as this one from Made by Johnny (below) is a versatile piece of outerwear that you can use to add interest, or to skim over the parts of your body you aren’t so keen on.
It is particularly useful for hiding a belly, or for elongating your figure if you are petite. Reviewers say this vest drapes beautifully.
Made By Johnny Draped Open Cardigan
Check out this article for more sure-fire ways to hide your belly with the right clothes.
18. Denim jacket
Jean jackets are always on trend because they exude an effortless sort of cool.
They’ve been worn by everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Madonna.
While over-sized, boxier denim jackets have been particularly on trend recently, a more fitted style like this jacket by Mavi Jeans (below) is generally more flattering.
You can swap your heavier coats for a denim jacket as winter starts to turn to spring.
Mavi Jeans Denim Trucker Jacket
19. warm coat
It goes without saying that you will want to stay cozy in the cooler months. Choose a warm coat that suits your lifestyle and style personality, like a casual puffer jacket.
The coat (below) has a removable fur hood and comes in a wide choice of colors. Reviewers say it’s very warm.
20. A comfortable AND stylish pair of shoes for every day
Find a pair of shoes which you find both comfortable AND stylish which you can wear every day.
Depending on where you live and what your lifestyle is like, these will be different for different women.
These can be flat shoes of are have a small heel but you may want to consider a shoe with arch support.
One shoe style I often fall back on is to wear a pair of metallic color shoes. The FitFlop flat below are comfy but still add impact to your day-to-day outfits.
Abi @stealmystyle40 above wears a pair of toe-cap style shoes in colors that tie in with her outfit.
Steal her look with this similar sweater, coat, pants, flats (another option here), bag (another option here), scarf and sunglasses.
21. ballet flats
A pair of ballet flats are a wardrobe staple which will go well with your skinny jeans and capri pants.
They will never go out of style and will be comfortable enough to wear all day.
The Tory Burch ballet flat is a cult classic that always comes in a good choice of colors or neutrals. Take a look and see if you prefer this neutral shade or one of the pastel or bright colors.
Tory Burch Minnie Travel Ballet Flat
22. Heeled sandals (to go with everything)
There can be very few women who want to wear heels all of the time.
But, if you have a pair of heels in your closet, make it a versatile pair.
I believe a pair of block heels is a great option like this pair from Sam Edelman You could wear these sandals with everything from an evening dress to with a pair of jeans and a nice top for a more casual evening out. You could even mix casual with formal and wear with the lounge pants from above and a blazer.
You’ll find a block heel more comfortable than a regular stiletto heel.
23. Sneakers (in white, BLACK or metallic)
Thankfully, sneakers have never been more fashionable.
So, that means it’s easy to be both on trend AND comfortable, without having to suffer for fashion. I’ve never believed in the old “beauty is pain” adage.
If you choose a classic white, black or a metallic pair, then you should find they go with a lot of pieces in your closet.
The adidas sneaker below have a comfy sole and will go with your jeans or dresses.
adidas Primegreen Stan Smith Sneaker
Dawn Lucy @fashionshouldbefun above (read her style interview here) matches her sneakers to her shirt.
She is wearing a shirt, denim shacket and jeans from Chico’s, sneakers from Sperry and earrings from Kendra Scott.
24. Ankle booties (for transitional dressing)
One of the most useful pieces of footwear you can have in your closet, ankle booties can be worn throughout all the seasons. You could wear with your jeans, or with tights and a dress.
They can also add a little edge to outfits.
You can opt for flats or heeled depending on your preference. You can also choose booties to suit your style and weather, opting for closed or peep toes.
This pair by ECCO are in a classic style which won’t date.
ECCO Shape 35 Sartorelle Bootie
25. KNEE HIGH BOOTS
A pair of knee high boots can be worn with pretty much everything during the cooler months. Wear with your skirts and dresses, or wear over your leggings and skinny jeans.
Dune London Savoir Knee High Boot
26. Classic leather belt
Not just for keeping your pants up! A leather belt can be used to create a different look and feel for your outfits.
You could belt around a dress, or you could cinch in the waist of a cardigan, for example, to show off your waist.
You may find that belting pieces that you have pushed to the back of your wardrobe, because you don’t feel they are flattering enough or that they have enough shape, could well give them new life.
Madewell Medium Perfect Leather Belt
Patricia @madamechicbcn above (read her style interview here) shows how you could wear your knee-high boots under a midi skirt.
Get her look with this similar sweater, blazer, skirt, boots, belt (another option here), bag, beret, earrings, necklace and sunglasses.
27. Tote bag
Your tote bag should be large enough so that you can carry all of your day-to-day essentials around with you.
It should also be sturdy enough to ensure that it lasts, even if you use it everyday.
Opting for a classic leather style will add luxe to your outfit and give your tote longevity.
With everything on this list, it’s worth seeing your purchase as an investment, but this particularly holds true for your tote bag, like this one from Marc Jacobs (below).
Tory Burch Perry Triple Compartment Leather Tote
28. Evening clutch
Of course, if you are heading out for the evening, then you won’t want to take your large daytime tote with you.
Choose an evening bag you can fit in what you need (phone, lipstick, credit card!) while not being too large to hold in your hand.
This clutch from Olga Berg should go beautifully with anything in your closet.
Olga Berg Nic Faux Leather Clutch
29. Silk or lightweight scarf
A scarf will allow you to add pizzazz to an otherwise fairly plain outfit.
Just think how much more stylish a simple pair of jeans and tee could look with the addition of a scarf.
Opting for lightweight scarf will bring extra luxury to your outfits during warmer months or choose a heavier option for winter. Choose a color which is flattering for your skin and hair tone.
This scarf from Nordstrom below comes in a soft cashmere that should feel wonderful against your skin. Plus, it is available in four different colors, including this autumnal cinnamon shade.
Nordstrom Cashmere & Silk Wrap
30. Statement necklace
Just as a scarf can really make an outfit, so too can a statement necklace.
Useful for adding extra style to outfits which could otherwise be a little boring, a statement necklace can also draw attention away from parts of your body you aren’t so keen on and up to your face.
Opt for a necklace to suit your individual style.
This BaubleBar crystal necklace would add a modern touch to any outfit.
BaubleBar Kew Crystal Collar Necklace
Check out this similar shirtdress, sandals, bag, necklace, earrings and sunglasses.
31. warm hat
A hat is essential no matter what the season. For winter, you want to stay warm, and for summer, you want to keep the sun off. And, of course, a hat can add extra style as well as practicality. The cable knit beanie (below) has tens of thousands of positive reviews on Amazon.
C.C Thick Cable Knit Pom Beanie
Of course, there are plenty of extra essentials you will need in your closet, such as pajamas and other underwear, but I’ve included the two essentials which will make your outfits look better and provide versatility to your closet.
32. A perfectly fitting bra
So many women are guilty of not having their bras correctly fitted, or of wearing the same old bras for years.
But, by making sure you have really well fitting bras, you will ensure that what you wear on top of them will look great.
Your bust will be supported and held in place where it should be. You definitely don’t want your bust meeting your tummy as that can make you look older than you really are.
The bra you will get most wear out of in your wardrobe will be a smooth t-shirt bra that you can’t see under your outfits. The Wacoal bra below comes in a huge choice of colors and larger sizes.
Wacoal Seamless Racerback Underwire Bra
If you have larger breasts, there are some great recommendations here for the best bras for you.
33. Opaque tights or leggings
A pair of opaque tights or black leggings are your best friend when it comes to transitional dressing.
They give your outfits longevity which cuts across seasons and makes your closet a much more flexible place.
You could, for example, wear with your little black dress for a night out, or you could wear under a pencil skirt for work.
But, you could also wear with a floral summer dress and team this with your leather moto jacket to ensure you can wear your dress for spring.
If you choose control top tights or leggings, this could also help you to make sure you get smooth lines under your clothes.
Vince Camuto Seamed Back Ponte Leggings
Also take a look at how to wear leggings over 40.
Your wardrobe essentials in one capsule
Below you can see just a few of the ways you could put all of the clothes, shoes and accessories used in this article together.
But you could actually create countless other outfits. The seagreen t-shirt, for example, would look good with the white pants, you could wear the long white shirt over leggings, the sweater over the lounge pants, or tuck the silk shirt into the wide legged pants.
Shop featured wardrobe essentials below
More wardrobe essentials inspiration for you
The looks below are from a previous spring/summer essentials list. However, you can see that they’re all timeless outfits that should still give you plenty of inspiration for seasons to come.
That concludes our list of wardrobe essentials.
Very likely your list will be different and you may start to think about how your list differs from mine.
Do you agree with my choices? What would you choose as your wardrobe essentials?
- The Ultimate Guide To Creating A Capsule Wardrobe That Works For You
- A Capsule Wardrobe For The Classic Style Personality
- How To Fit A Blazer – A Comprehensive Guide On How To Select The Right BlazerThe Ultimate Guide To Creating A Capsule Wardrobe That Works For You
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Feature image by Abi @stealmystyle40
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I have many of these things, but I don’t wear them. My lifestyle is more laid back. For myself, there are very few necessities. I prefer having many pairs of shoes, colourful t-shirts, colourful cashmere (cashmere is comfortable and not so fancy that it cant do casual), skirts and jeans. I find dresses a bit boring and have more fun mixing and matching tops and bottoms. I have tons of costume jewellery.
Where could I find the two toned (black/beige) shoes pictured above?
If the items is still available, you’ll find the links in the article.
Your suggestions are great but I know my style enough to change these pieces into what I need for me! Many women aren’t able to do this because they simple aren’t grounded enough in what their style is yet. I only wear skirts and have no issue with your showing pants. Also, the evening dress you recommend I would change to a top and a long skirt because I’m short waisted so dresses fall wrong on me. Keep up a great job!
Hi, Sylvia. I love your blog and your capsule wardrobe suggestions are what I look forward to viewing the most. I don’t rush online to buy these pieces, but it does give me much inspiration to find different ways to put together the clothing I already have in my closet. I’m also a statement jewelry junkie and have many wonderful items to choose from to add sparkle to my outfit. For the record, I am 68, and I think any woman could work with most of these pieces you’ve featured and adjust them to her own style. I love how you show how they could be pulled together in the capsule. I understand and appreciate that you are seeking to encourage and inspire us— not dictate fashion rules and musts, as some have suggested.
Thanks for your kind comment Kathy. Yes absolutely these clothes are wonderful for women of all ages!
Thanks as always for creating wardrobe options that aren’t the usual—go plain and neutral for basics. I always find pieces I love. And for anyone who thinks this website only features young and thin models, check out more articles. This website features diverse women of all ages, styles and ethnicities. Thanks Sylvia.
Thanks for your kind comment Jules and happy to inspire you 🙂
I am African American with medium to dark skin. My hair is 90% slate grey. It was black in my younger years. So what color should I use in matching my pants, flats or boots. This is exciting to have a guide to follow.
You may enjoy this article https://40plusstyle.com/the-best-color-palettes-to-complement-gray-hair/ For extensive color training, you like to check my style course.
Yes, mine would look very different! I don’t wear white or black, for instance, as they clash with my warm coloring. I don’t like button down tops, either. Here’s mine:
1) Pants in your ideal neutral (often close to hair color). That’s dark brown for me.
2) Jeans in your ideal value (again hair color—light, med, or dark?). Mine are dark denim.
3) Skirt in ideal neutral (dark brown or camel for me)
4) 2 patterned tops in eye or skin enhancing color (for me that’s orange, coral, or olive green)
5) 2 Solid tops in eye or skin enhancing colors.
6) Dress in ideal neutral or color, patterned or solid.
7) Cardigan in ideal neutral.
8) Jacket. Ideal neutral is a good choice, but a color that goes with everything you own will work.
9) Scarf in ideal color, patterned or solid
10) Statement necklace
11) Sandals in hair color (will go with anything b/c they bookend hair, so long as wardrobe neutrals and colors harmonize with your coloring and each other)
12) Flats in hair color.
13) Boots in hair color. I prefer tall flat boots.
14) Bag of some kind to fit lifestyle in hair color or ideal neutral.
15) Good supportive bra and shape wear if you need it.
I own more than these items, but they form a base for me. I find capsules boring and only use for travel. But generally everything in my wardrobe goes together (except patterned skirts with patterned tops, usually) because the colors and neutrals are all a similar intensity, value, and undertone (for me that’s soft, overall deep with some lighter for contrast, and warm). I’m 41 years old.
Sylvia, this is the first capsule wardrobe I have seen which isn’t a combination of cream, white, taupe etc. None of which I wear. I LOVE your suggested capsule and shall buy the pieces you suggest, but, as I am a slim petite at 5’, I’ll adapt the suggested items, like the red dress, to a red wrap or skater dress in a good material for example. I have the demin jacket already and have a “demon” jacket in navy, which is a heavy cotton and have worn it with skater dresses and skinny jeans. A company called kettlebell sell faux suede “demin ” jacket s in loads of colours. Thanks for the capsule. Ideas.
This article was extremely helpful. I am turning 40 this year and while I have some of the items listed here, it’s nice to have a list for reference. I can see the necessity of having these as staples to building a good wardrobe. I live in the Caribbean so I don’t need items like the trench coat but overall this is solid advice! Thanks!
I am 65 and I wear denim jackets. You have to find the right shape and style for you. I have a princess seamed denim jacket that falls to my waist. The fit is flattering because it is not boxy.
I also have a knitted denim jacket same style. And a regular denim blazer which is also fitted that falls below my waist.
You can also buy a boxy denim jacket and put darts in it to make it a flattering fit. Very easy to do and takes about 10 minutes to customize to your body!
I love these guidelines ..and it’s so easy to customize all the items to my style.
I have a pet hate and that is the denim jacket. I find them uncomfortable to wear and they look terrible on me. I look much bigger in them. What would you suggest as a casual alternative?
First ‘denim’ jackets or the ones that look like one come in all sorts of shapes and fabrics. For example I have a ‘denim’ jacket that’s really thin cotton with lycra and tailored so very comfortable and flexible. I still get the look of a denim jacket without the discomfort and boxiness. That’s one option. Another option is any other short jacket that has a bit of a casual feel.
My comment is NOT a criticism…just observations:
Like most women, you gravitate towards clothes that are right for YOU. Your porcelain complexion results in preferred colors for that fair complexion.
Your proportionally small hips & thighs cause you to favor white pants and hidden waists and hidden ribcages.
Because you’re not yet 65, you show a large proportion of plain necklines and small collars.
I’m thinking that maybe you should divide into 2 different groups:
Yes my articles have a certain style, but that’s also what readers like as they like my style choices. On the other hand I offer lots of articles for different body types so I cater to all kinds of women.
I do not believe that style is very different for women over 65. I never suggest that my choices should be copied literally so if you’re preferring a slightly higher neckline, then choose that. All of my suggestions should be adapted to each woman’s unique style preferences and body type (which is also why I offer the style personality quiz 🙂 https://40plusstyle.com/style-personality/
I don’t understand some of the negative comments here. I guess haters gotta hate…
I LOVE this list! It’s very practical and can be worn by any age group. The items you recommend are also good quality but without breaking the bank. Like someone else mentioned, I like the fact that not everything is just black or white. I recently noticed that black is not the most flattering color for me so I’m trying to stay away from it. There are a few other items I would add to my list but I don’t think I have to post that here because it is MY personal opinion and never did you mentioned that we cannot add anything else. Keep up the good work, Sylvia.
I love your practical advice and style and have learned so much from your site. The best takeaway is the “rule of thirds” and information on how to dress for your body type. In the last year, however, I’ve noticed a big change in your management. Now many of the fashions featured in your reviews have links to Amazon. Most of the models are very young and very thin and very white. Some of the styles shown above (such as the draped vest) with so much bulkiness at the hips would look dreadful on a broad-beamed woman over 40–presumably your readership. The bra advertised for larger breasted women doesn’t jibe with the thin young model whose breasts are average, certainly not large. Likewise the ad for black tights shown on a very thin young woman wearing a miniskirt. I have to wonder if you are starting to abandon your target readers and subscribers by focusing on young, fashion-forward women who change wardrobes frequently and have a bigger budget. I don’t know what’s going on there, but something is definitely amiss.
No my focus has not changed but many readers love my recommendations so I’m giving more of them. I can’t pick the models the brands choose to showcase their products. I focus on the products itself, not the models. If they offer images of the products without the models, that is what I will choose. I very much would like it if they featured a diversity of women but they don’t. When I list tights here, it should be clear that it’s not about the miniskirt but the tights. This is all explained in much more detail here https://40plusstyle.com/fabulous-40-plus-women/ I will try and feature the product only whenever I can, but I also think it’s better to focus on the right product, rather than on the product who has used the ‘correct’ model to showcase their product. I’ve started to feature more amazon products as readers have asked for affordable options to shop too.
I really dislike these prescriptive lists of “must haves.” I think a woman should choose items based on her coloring, shape, and personality. The ubiquitous white shirt that is always on these lists is particularly annoying. Not all of us fit the mold of these pieces and I wish style influencers would stop suggesting there is a set of wardrobe pieces that suit every woman.
I take your point. However, this article is merely a generalised suggestion of your essentials. As I mention in the article, the essentials are different for every woman and it’s up to you to determine what your essentials are. Your list may differ a lot from this one. Knowing your essentials and having them in place is a great way to build a wardrobe that is uniquely yours and will always give you something to wear.
I agree with you completely. I read this blog for fun, but wouldn’t have use for most of the items suggested because my lifestyle is extremely casual ( I work in special education, hike or workout on the weekends and only wear skirts if it’s very hot). I’ve been following Sylvia for a while and she’s more practical than many fashion bloggers. (One recommended a nice casual sweater and boots for walking the dog-seriously?)
I think I would add a classic black turtleneck to this list. Perfect with any of the pants (including white) that you have listed and it works for three seasons unless you have a sleeveless one for summer. Bonus points for cashmere!!!
Yes that could have been easily added to the list!
I agree with all the essentials and I am glad you didn’t recommend just black and white or only solid colours. That evening clutch by Ted Baker is very versatile and lovely. As is the Eileen Fisher T-shirt.
love how you show the examples on the checklist on 20-30 something thin models!
This is why https://40plusstyle.com/fabulous-40-plus-women/
The only thing I’m missing on this list is a long sleeveless vest. I guess I can start a search. Since I’ve a smaller waist I don’t want to hide it with a lot of volume in the middle – I gravitate towards structured garments. Don’t know if the two are compatible?
That is definitely something that almost made the list and some women may have this as one of their essential. For ideas, shopping ideas and more tips you will love this article https://40plusstyle.com/womens-sleeveless-vests/
You could wear a short vest. They seem popular in Burda sewing patterns.