Many of my readers keep telling me that they can’t find the clothes they are searching for. On the other hand designers have contacted me to give them advice on the kind of clothes women over 40 would like to buy.

So I thought it would be a good idea to create the ultimate wishlist of clothes attributes that women over 40 find very important. Perhaps it may inspire designers and will help you all to find the clothes that flatter you and make you smile!

I will start off this list, but please let me know what kind of clothes attributes you are looking for. Which kind of clothes can you not find enough of in the shops?

You may also want to check out our article on the most stylish fashion pieces women over 40 couldn’t resist.

These are the kind of clothes attributes I believe women over 40 are looking for

1. Dresses with sleeves

Great dresses with sleeves are not so easy to find and many women over 40 like to cover up their arms.

For summer give us sleeves of all lengths, short, 3/4 and full that are sheer and breezy for warmer weather.

Dresses with sleeves |

Badot floral print wrap dress

2. Drapes on all the right places

A personal favorite. Great drape dresses are flattering to many women as they can cover up their tummy area in very stylish ways.

Body hugging wrap dress |

Berydress body hugging wrap dress

3. Skirts and dresses of knee length and longer

This is one of the most flattering lengths for women over 40 and we need more choice!

Check out the best skirt for your body type.

best skirt for the hourglass body shape |

Halogen knit pencil skirt

4. Pants with a higher rise

No, we don’t want mum jeans, but jeans that are cut too low just give us muffin tops and are uncomfortable!

Check out the best pants to hide your tummy.

Pants with a higher rise |

7 For All Mankind high waist jeans

5. Button down shirts that fit our increasing bust line

A problem with many tops and dresses is that the bust (across the front) is never big enough relative to the shoulder width and the waist.

Retailers could sell clothes with enough room in the front. 

Button down shirts are great classic, versatile garments to own, but they are no good when they don’t fit properly.

6. Great tunics

Tunics are great for covering up bellies and to wear with skinnies or leggings. We want more stylish, modern, colourful tunics.

Tunic top |

Eileen Fisher tunic

7. Wider sleeves on coats, blouses and dresses

We get more practical as we get older. Our coats still need to fit over a full outfit, which means the sleeves should be wide enough to accommodate for several layers. The same goes for blouses and dresses; the sleeves need to fit our arms.

Plaid coat |

Kendall + Kylie plaid coat

8. Mid heel shoes

I already devoted one whole article to this. We need more fashionable mid heel shoes that are comfortable as well as beautiful!

mid heels |

Steve Madden ankle strap sandal

Check out a comprehensive list of the best arch support shoes.

9. Affordable clothes in quality fabrics

Although we may have been able to pull of cheaper synthetic fabrics when we were younger, we look much better now with quality fabrics like good cotton, silk, wool and linen for summer.

We need quality fabrics for all sizes!

10. Stretch (elastine)

We want to get more comfortable in our clothes and a bit of stretch in our blouses and pants is always welcome.

stretch pants |

Club Monaco pants

11. Colour

I was shocked by the vast amount of pure black greeting me in the stores this season. Very few of us will look good with mostly black outfits.

Give us more variety in colour please.

Check out our articles on how to wear color.

The perfect yellow coat for women over 40 |

Something Navy trench coat

12. Fashionable clothing in bigger sizes

Not all of us will maintain a svelte figure, but we still want to look hip and modern.

So please don’t stop producing at size 10!

plus size shirt |

BP. gathered back shirt

13. Substantial fabrics

Enough with the tissue-thin cotton and wispy, see-through cashmere! Give us clothes that don’t cling to our bulges or require multiple layers of underclothing to look good.

We would also love to have more classic well-structured dresses.

14. Skirts in something other than a pencil cut

Pencil cut skirts, while sexy, can be uncomfortable and unflattering. A-lines, pleats, circles, wraps, dirndls, etc., have all been missing from the scene for a long time.

best skirts for women over 40 |

French Connection snake print midi skirt

15. Hosiery options

We know we’re not supposed to wear nude-colored hose, so we either go bare-legged, and freeze and expose the world to our spider veins, or we wear black tights. How about something different?

Check out our article on how to wear tights.

16. Control panels for our tummies

Many of us have soft bellies after pregnancy or just as a result of getting older. We would like a little help in the area bellow the belly button.

Check out how to hide the belly with the best clothes. Specialty article on this topic coming soon.

A belted cardigan will camouflage your belly |

Halogen tie waist cardigan

17. Versatile underwear in many sizes

Bras, smaller cup, but larger around.. 44B, 46B, 46c. Also no line panties in larger sizes like 2x and 3x. We do not want grannie panties!

18. Shapewear in many varieties and colours

We want shapewear that is comfortable and wearable. It would be great if it came in multiple colours so it would be more fun to wear and we could match it with our bras.

Check out the best shapewear.

shape wear for women over 40 |

Spanx open-bust bodysuit

19. Modest V-necks

We like V-necks but we don’t want them cut so low. V-necks are very flattering but many of us don’t like to show a lot of cleavage.

20. Show us a variety of models

In addition to all these clothes wishes, show us the clothes on models of different ages, shapes and sizes.

As commenter TC points out this would  ensure higher waists, wider sleeves, more mid-length skirts and lusher fabrics. Just what we all need!

21. Wide enough sleeves

 wide-enough sleeves, not only on coats, but also on blouses, dresses, button-up shirts, etc.

Although I’m fairly small, my arms are no longer thin; most things I try on seem to have sleeves for skinny teenagers’ arms. 

Madelyn also mentions that although she wants sleeves, she does not want them to extend past her hands.

22. Breathable fabrics

As we age we get more sensitive to unnatural fabrics. However, it’s getting harder to find clothes in natural fabrics.

The increasing temperatures also make this point more important.

If you need more convincing check out my list of properties of fabrics, why I don’t wear polyester and be sure to read the many comments too.

23. Clothes that meet these requirements but are still hip!

Although some brands cater to these requirements the clothes are often old-fashioned, boring or just don’t have that ‘hip’ ness what we want.

As Mary writes: 

Why must older women dress in such boring, unfashionable ways? Why is that deemed more ‘grown-up’? What about creativity and joy and playfulness and even fashion-forwardness? Why must we ‘grow out of’ all that?

It is not that retailers ignore us (M&S caters for Older Women — if you like the kind of dreary stuff older women are supposed to wear), it is that there is such a heavy expectation that women of a certain age must dress in a particular way irrespective of our personalities and wishes.

I am not an age, I am an individual, and if anything I am more individualistic in my dress now than I was when I was young and too worried about what other people might think.

What do you think?

These are all the clothes attributes I could come up with sofar, but I’m sure I have forgotten a few.

So let me know what you would wish to see more of in the shops and I will add it to the wish list! You never know, this list may just get shared amongst designers.

If we want different clothing to what is currently available, we have to let the designers know!

I look forward to reading your wishes!

Want to get more articles from 40+style in your inbox, subscribe here.

You can also connect with 40+style on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Support 40+style by using the links in our articles to shop. As an associate for Amazon and many other brands, we receive a small commission (at no cost to you) on qualifying purchases which enables us to keep creating amazing free content for you. Thanks!