How to Dress in Your 40s

Let’s face it: Style at 40 isn’t that much different from style at 20. You wear what you love and what makes you feel good. The difference? Confidence. Aging is hard in a lot of ways. But like anything else, there is give and take. The more you live, the more you learn—and that applies to fashion as well. So, what defines style in your 40s? In many ways, it’s about not trying too hard to define your style. Live your life, and your style emerges. Of course, there are a few easy tips and tricks that will help you blaze a fashionable path in your 40s.

how to dress in your 40s: blouse and denim

A Covetable Closet

Don’t have one? It’s time to create it. First, you need to get rid of what’s no longer needed. Take a look at your closet and remove anything you haven’t worn in the past year. Next, start two piles: donate and toss. Then, populate those piles with the following:


Clothes that you haven’t worn in at least a year.

Clothing that is faded, piling or just plain old.

Anything that doesn’t fit you.

Pieces that don’t fit YOUR style – even if it’s on-trend.


Shedding those items alone is worth more than any therapy session!


how to dress in your 40s: military jacket

Basics and Beyond

Before you can achieve the wardrobe of your dreams you must have a functional one. Start by creating a “collection” so that all of your pieces work together. Determine your dominant style personality (classic, boho, glam, etc.) and work to create a collection that defines that style. Have multiple style personalities? Mix and match all your personalities very thoughtfully. However, be careful about patterns and colors. A true closet collection is about easily mixing and matching pieces to create effortless outfits. Once your closet is in tip-top shape—and you have clearly defined your dominant personality—ensure you have the investment pieces that every woman covets and needs:


Tailored Blazer: It goes with everything!
Classic Dark Wash Denim: No holes, no distressing, no adornments.
Day-to-Night Dress: That office-to-cocktails must-have.
Lightweight Sweater: Perfect for transitional seasons.
Classic Coat (Like a Trench): Think well-tailored and a perfect topper from day-to-night.
Does-It-All Neutral Handbag: An easy grab-and-go piece.
Shirt Dress: This classic style is a mainstay for a reason—it’s so flattering!
Wide-Leg Pant: One of the only true universally flattering pants.
A White Button-Down: So easy to dress up or down!


how to dress in your 40s: utility jacket and jeans

Keeping It All in Perspective

At the end of the day, style is personal and should always be a reflection of you. That’s why it’s important to keep it all in perspective. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for doing just that:


DO: Realize — and embrace — your multiple personalities.  It’s OK to be a little erratic when it comes to your personal style. No matter what your mood, your style self-expression should follow suit. There’s also no shame in combining a few different personalities in your closet, as long as they work within the structure of your capsule collection.

DON’T: Be afraid to evolve. Your personal style isn’t stagnant. It’s in constant motion.

DO: Highlight your point of view. Maybe the latest and greatest trend isn’t quite your style. It’s OK to be different. Embrace your point of view. Remember that fashion is fleeting, but style is eternal.

DO: Celebrate your body, your curves—all the things that make you unique.

DO: Remember confidence is key.


At the end of the day, the most perfectly curated wardrobe will never perfectly punctuate your style if you are unhappy with yourself—no matter if you are 20 or 40. Wear what you love and makes you feel amazing, ladies, and you’ll always make it work!

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Jordan Dechambre
Written by Jordan Dechambre
Fashionista, stylist, writer and TV personality, Jordan Dechambre, director of lifestyle at The Iron Horse Hotel, lives for fashion and writing. Her unique resume encompasses everything from a former life as a magazine fashion editor to the host nationwide fashion shows. A fixture at New York Fashion Week for more than a decade, Jordan has been a brand ambassador for many of the nation’s leading retailers and the Fashion Expert for the “Real Milwaukee” morning show. She is also a fashion show producer and stylist, and co-chaired a runway reunion of the designers from season 15 of “Project Runway.” In addition to her fashion career, Jordan oversees all social media, public relations, marketing and the overall vibe of The Iron Horse Hotel. She has written for Ladies’ Home Journal, Milwaukee Magazine, Milwaukee Lifestyle Magazine, Wisconsin Bride, among others, and won several Milwaukee Press Club awards. When she’s not traveling, Jordan can often be spotted enjoying a glass of prosecco with friends, walking her rescue pup Charlie in the Third Ward or drinking way too much green tea at Kickapoo Coffee. Learn more about Jordan at or on Instagram @jordandechambrestyle.