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How to Dress in Your 40s

Post by Jordan Dechambre

Let’s face it: Mastering how to dress in your 40s 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. Fuel self-confidence by living 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.

“By now you already know your body shape and what makes you feel ‘you.’ My personal recommendation is not stay true to your style and pieces that represent you,” says Wantable Stylist, Karen R. “Being 40 is a period of transition, emotionally and physically. For some women the aim is to not look too young, but you have to feel good in your own skin; being YOU is the most beautiful thing!”

top photo: @trulyterah

Best Wardrobe Basics

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:

1. Tailored Blazer

“You can absolutely go traditional with a black blazer here, but you can also have a little more fun with a classic plaid,” shares Wantable Stylist, Lauren Ravan. “This will add interest to your outfits and can be worn with any of the previous pieces to immediately elevate your look. Fit is essential here though, be sure to pick the right length and fit for your body type.”

2. Classic Dark Wash Denim

No holes, no distressing, no adornments.

3. Day-to-Night Dress

That office-to-cocktails must-have.

4. Lightweight Sweater

Perfect for for layering transitional seasons.

5. Classic Coat (Like a Trench)

Think well-tailored and a perfect topper from day-to-night.

6. Does-It-All Neutral Handbag

An easy grab-and-go piece.

7. Shirt Dress

This classic casual dress style is a mainstay for a reason—it’s so flattering!

8. Wide-Leg Pant

One of the only true universally flattering pants.

9. White Button-Up

“A great white blouse can be more tailored or have ruffles and frills. Pick something that suits your personality and body type,” says Wantable Stylist, Lauren Ravan. “You can layer it with a jacket, under sweaters, or to roll up the sleeves and pair with shorts in the summer is essential.”

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:

  1. Clothes that you haven’t worn in at least a year.
  2. Clothing that is faded, piling or just plain old.
  3. Anything that doesn’t fit you.
  4. Pieces that don’t fit YOUR style – even if it’s on-trend.

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

photo: @ladyishblog

Dos & Don’ts of How To Dress In Your 40s

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: Fuel self-confidence.

photo: @kspaetti

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!

“Isn’t 40’s the new 30s?” says Wantable Stylist, Eden F. “Rock whatever you are comfortable with!”

There’s more great advice where this came from. In fact, all of our Wantable stylists are experts at putting together confidence-inspiring outfits. It’s literally what we’re here for! Request your Style Edit today and leave a customized note for your stylist. We can’t wait to create the perfect look just for you.


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