Clothing Styles for Women in Their 40s

by Laura Agadoni Google

Just because you can fit into your teenager's clothes, doesn't mean you should. The clothes may fit your body, but not your face. It is quite an accomplishment to keep your youthful figure, but wearing clothing that is too young for you, will make you look older. On the other hand, you don't have to be matronly or turn into your mother, either. Forty-somethings can find plenty of chic and flattering clothing styles--think Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston and Halle Berry. Wearing the right clothing for your age can make you look just as alluring as you were 10 years ago.

Colors

You might want to get rid of the pastels, especially little girl pink. Fluorescent colors are never good, and wearing too many bold colors is not the best choice, either. When you are in your 40s, you will look more chic by selecting a more sophisticated, neutral color palette, according to the UK hosts of "What Not to Wear," Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine in their book, "Trinny and Susannah Take on America." You can add some color with your accessories.

Quality

Buying less is more when you are in your 40s. Teenagers tend to buy a great deal of cheap clothing. You don't need to go mall shopping every week or two like a teenager would. Invest in quality pieces that flatter your body. Classic pieces will transcend those fashion fads.

10 Must-Have Pieces

Take fashion designer and television personality Tim Gunn's list of the 10 must-have items with you when you shop. Gunn recommends that every woman have a basic black dress, a trench coat, a pair of dress pants, a white shirt, a pair of jeans, a cashmere sweater, a skirt, a day dress, a blazer and a sweatsuit alternative, meaning something that you can throw on and be comfortable in without it being sweats. This can be anything from a casual dress with flats to yoga clothes, which are more flattering than sweats are.

Blazer

The blazer is essential to dress up any casual outfit and is Gunn's favorite must-have piece, according to Gunn on the "Oprah" website. Especially at work, you can keep a blazer on the back of your chair and always be ready for an impromptu meeting. Blazers can define your waist and hide any problem areas you may have. Stacy London, on America's version of "What Not to Wear," calls wearing a blazer "locking and loading," meaning you have everything in place.

Jeans

You should not feel the need to wear the newest embellished jeans. This is another pursuit best left to teens and 20-somethings. Go for jeans that fit you well and are a dark shade.

Shoes

Quality shoes are just as important as quality clothing pieces. Having a few pairs of good shoes that you maintain well is better than having 40 pairs of scuffed-up shoes that you throw in your closet.

Hair

Skip the hair accessories. Women in their 40s look better with a slick and simple style, according to Woodall and Constantine.

References

About the Author

Laura Agadoni has been writing professionally since 1983. Her feature stories on area businesses, human interest and health and fitness appear in her local newspaper. She has also written and edited for a grassroots outreach effort and has been published in "Clean Eating" magazine and in "Dimensions" magazine, a CUNA Mutual publication. Agadoni has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Fullerton.

Photo Credits

  • pretty woman in sunglasses image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com