A few days ago a reader asked me on Instagram a question that often emerges when speaking about fashion over 40: how to dress at 40 and over? And is it still necessary or even appropriate to adopt new trends, even running the risk of being too over the top? In short, is it possible to be fashionable, but still dress well even when you are over 40 or over 50?
Well, when they ask me this question I would start with a long speech on fashion over 40, on whether it’s appropriate or not to wear certain things, if there are fashion rules that it would be good to observe to be fashionable and appropriate after 40, 50 and 60 years and so on.
SOME GENERAL RULES WHEN IT COMES TO FASHION OVER 40…
First rule: being “fashionable”, over 40 or at any age, is not mandatory at all in my opinion. There are very elegant women who have never followed a fashion trend in their lives.
Second rule: the mirror test is fundamental. I believe a lot in the personal intelligence and good taste of each of us. Instinctively, we often know what’s good for us and what’s not when it comes to fashion.
Third rule: new trends, even if they are not at all mandatory to dress well, can be an enrichment for our wardrobe and allow us to better exploit what we already have. For this reason, to the theme “how to match trends” I have dedicated an entire course/workbook full of fashion games, strategies, tricks and tips to create endless new outfits and be fashionable, over 40 and at any other age (it’s in Italian only, sorry!).
Having said that, I’m going to answer the question I was asked about Instagram. How to dress at 40 years and over, and how to integrate trendy garments and accessories in our everyday style?
In this post I would like to give you 3 basic tips and list 6 garments and fashion accessories that you can really wear, without any problems, at any age and that will have the magical power to rejuvenate the look, bringing a breath of fresh air in our personal style!
HOW TO DRESS AFTER 40? START WITH A BASIC GARMENT!
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that, to match a trendy garment or accessory well and still feel comfortable, it’s useful and sensible to start with a so-called basic garment. These are, literally, those items of clothing that form the backbone of our wardrobe, because they are in colors that we often use (often in neutral shades), dress us perfectly, are of good quality and are modern and contemporary without being super trendy.
In general, these are garments that we collect and use over several years and that pass unscathed at every new decluttering session, because they are so easy to wear and fit so well.
Once you have chosen the right basic piece, match it with the trendy piece and then accessorize it: that’s it! You will have a look that reflects your personal style, suits you and is also trendy, without making you look strange or over the top.
Personally, when I find such a perfect basic garment I’m also willing to invest a bit.
Over the years, I’ve found some beautiful ones with excellent value for money HERE.
In this great online store that every fashionable Italian women knows very well, you can find unbranded garments of the various brands of the Max Mara group (Max Mara, Marella, Sportmax, Max & Co. etc.), in the usual high Max Mara quality, but at much more affordable prices. They ship internationally as well.
It’s a real gold mine to dress well at 40 years old and, in general, at any age!
Wool and cashmere coat, on sale last year on Intrend for less than 200 euros.
Wide choice of models for the new season HERE.
IF THE GARMENT IS REALLY TRENDY AND PARTICULAR, SOFTEN THE COLOR
How to dress at 40 and above? Often it’s just a matter of finding the right balance. So, if you don’t want to try a super trendy total look, use this simple trick: try a garment in a very new and trendy line, but in a neutral, quiet shade of color, one of those that you often use and that suits you.
Vice versa, if you want to experiment with a showy color, choose it for a garment with simple and sober lines and a cut that suits your body: not only will it stand out more, but you will feel much more at ease!
BARE SKIN: EITHER ABOVE OR BELOW
OK, this rule is well known and applies even at the age of 20: show some bare skin, it makes you look younger, but not too much. It’s sexier, more mysterious and more feminine to combine shorts or short skirts with a more “modest” top with longer hems or pants. Moreover, the result is decidedly more modern and trendy.
Here you see the beautiful Jennifer Aniston in a suit with a deep neckline, but still very classy: an image says more than a thousand words!
1 – SUNGLASSES ARE A GREAT KEY PIECE IN OVER 40
If there is a trendy object that really looks good at any age and can be worn without any fear to dress up at 40 and even far beyond, it is definitely a nice pair of sunglasses. Of course, it should be chosen with care, according to your face shape. Fortunately, every season you can find a lot of different models and many new trends!
In addition, sunglasses are a decidedly democratic accessory: they don’t have to cost a fortune. I usually invest more in 1-2 models that I always wear (my favorite choices are: 1 pair of RayBan or similar, 1 pair of oval shaped, Jackie O sunglasses). And then, if there is some new trend that I like, I maybe buy a low-cost pair of sunglasses.
For example, I always find beautiful ones at great prices on ASOS. ASOS. If they don’t suit you, you can always make a free return!
2 – THE PERFECT JEANS TO WEAR OVER 40
I don’t know how many women my age I’ve heard say that jeans, all of them, just don’t suit them, because they would reveal who knows what (and often imaginary) flaws , like a slightly pear-shaped body (think of JLO!) or a little muffin top.
Nothing more wrong, because jeans, if chosen well, remove all these little flaws! Not only that: every season they appear in new and beautyful trends (read this POST, on this topic) and it is almost impossible that there is not at least one great trend that suits us really well.
If you really think that jeans are a problematic garment, just do this: avoid decorations on pockets and elsewhere and too light washings. A nice model with medium-dark or dark wash, in the cut that suits you best, will quickly become a new workhorse in your wardrobe!
3 – FASHION OVER 40: CHOOSE YOUR PERFECT COLOR
If you don’t like to experiment too much with the new, trendy cuts, there is also another way to make your looks more trendy. Choose a seasonal color! Now, with each new season Pantone presents us some trendy colors. Among these, there are certainly some that we like and that suit us particularly! In addition, in stores you can often find even more colors, giving us the opportunity to experiment a little.
Usually, if I’m not sure if a new color will suit me, I do not like to spend too much and I begin with a relatively low-cost item, but still suited to my style.
This summer for example I wanted to experiment a little with orange, so looking on Amazon I found this beautiful blouse in 100% viscose . It is also available in many other colors . It turned out to be a real bargain, giving a colorful touch to many of my looks. This winter, I will be able to use it again, combining it for example with my camel coats!
4 – SNAKE PRINT, LEOPARD & CO.
I personally love leopard, python and co. and I don’t find them vulgar at all – at any age. On the contrary, I consider them almost neutral colors, and very matchable!
In the next season they will be super trendy again, but they are also real wardrobe classics! For this reason, I have dedicated a lot of space to them in this post on snake print and also in this one on leopard print, as well as in my Amazon book .
5 – A LEATHER JACKET
A leather jacket on a young girl is almost obvious; but on a more mature woman it is simply fabulous!
I’ve talked about leather jackets at length in this post, and I think they are always a great classic, able to play down and rejuvenate many outfits. Even and especially if worn in contrast, with more “adult” looks!
6 – AN EDGY HANDBAG
Although classic models such as the legendary Chanel Jumbo, the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag and the Birkin Bag from Hermès remain firmly at the top of many women’s dreams, I don’t think it is necessary to own one of these bags to dress well and in a contemporary way. This is even more true after the age of 40, because some of these models have a truly classic designe that may age us.
For this reason, it is useful to have in your bag collection at least one slightly edgy model, which has the power to make your entire outfit look more trendy.
The choices, of course, are endless and vary a lot depending on the budget.
For an average budget, there are endless and delicious choices, for example the great bags from Rebecca Minkoff.
In the low-cost range, the choice is really endless and you can find great alternatives almost everywhere, also on Amazon .