How to Dress in Your 40s

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Last Updated on May 6, 2023 by Erin

how to dress in your 40s

If you’re wondering how to dress in your 40s, you’ve come to the right place.

Some people might say we should dress more conservatively at this age or tone down our style.

Others suggest we should dress more “age-appropriately.” But let me tell you, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to fashion and style.

In fact, your 40s are a perfect time to embrace your unique sense of style and express yourself through your clothing choices.

You know what you like, what works for you, and what doesn’t. So why not celebrate that with your fashion choices?

Here are some tips to help you navigate midlife fashion:

  1. Wear what makes you feel confident: Confidence is key when it comes to looking and feeling your best. So, if you love that bold print, go for it! If you feel great in that mini-skirt, rock it!
  2. Invest in quality pieces: While fast fashion can be tempting, investing in quality pieces that will last for years is a smart choice. Not only will you look great, but you’ll also save money in the long run. A capsule wardrobe is a perfect way to accomplish this.
  3. Mix and match: Don’t be afraid to mix and match styles, patterns, and textures. It’s all about finding what works for you and having fun with it.
  4. Wear what you love: At the end of the day, fashion is all about self-expression. Wear what you love and what makes you happy. Your 40s are a time to embrace who you are and let your style reflect that.

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How to Dress in Your 40s with a Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of essential clothing items that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. By having a limited number of clothing options, it becomes easier and quicker to decide what to wear each day.

At this point in our lives, we love efficient, no-fuss routines. You can also avoid buying unnecessary clothes that won’t get worn and save money in the long run.

It’s important to build a versatile capsule wardrobe that makes your life easy and saves money in the process. There’s no need to be trendy. Stick to comfortable classics that will last you a while. And make sure your personality shines through!

If you’re wondering how you can create a capsule wardrobe on a budget, never fear! I wrote about my experience of thrifting and using Swagbucks gift cards to create my capsule wardrobe. I saved over $550 on high-quality items that I can wear year-round.

how to dress in your 40s

Midlife Capsule Wardrobe Essentials

Comfortable Jeans

Jeans are a must-have in every wardrobe. Choose a pair that is comfortable and fits well. Dark wash jeans are versatile and can be dressed up or down, while distressed or ripped jeans can add a casual edge to your outfit.

I used to love skinny jeans but I’m finding that I prefer the straight leg style with a high waist to suck it all in. Madewell is my go-to for quality, durable denim that fits great.

Basic T-Shirts

Basic t-shirts in neutral colors like white, black, and gray are essential for a capsule wardrobe. Choose t-shirts made from soft, breathable materials like cotton or modal, and opt for a relaxed fit that allows for movement.

You can always dress up a basic t-shirt with a necklace or pair it with a blazer for a more polished look.

Warm Sweaters

Sweaters are perfect for layering and can add warmth and style to any outfit. Choose a few sweaters in different styles, such as a chunky knit cardigan, a lightweight crewneck, or a slouchy turtleneck. Neutral colors like beige, gray, and navy are easy to mix and match with other pieces in your wardrobe.

Versatile Dresses

Dresses are easy to wear and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Choose a few versatile dresses in styles that flatter your body shape, such as a wrap dress, a shirt dress, or a maxi dress. You can pair them with sneakers or sandals for a casual look or dress them up with heels for a more formal event.

Comfortable Shoes

Midlife women and mamas need comfortable shoes that can keep up with their busy lifestyles. Sneakers, loafers, and slip-on shoes are all great options that provide support and cushioning. I’m a huge fan of any and all slip-on sneakers. I have two pairs of Vans and they are perfect with most of my capsule wardrobe outfits. My slip-on Adidas sneakers have walked several theme parks and are still in fantastic shape. They are a must-have for me.

Classic Accessories

Accessories can add style and functionality to a casual mom’s wardrobe. A crossbody bag or backpack can keep your hands free while carrying all your essentials, and a hat can protect you from the sun while adding a stylish touch. If you have graying hair like me, a hat is an absolute must.

Choose jewelry that will complement any outfit and reflect your personality. Avoid trendy pieces that may go out of style quickly, and focus on timeless, versatile items that you can wear for years. You can’t go wrong with a pair of diamond or pearl studs.

Casual Outfits for 40 Year Old Women

Now that you have your basics, you can mix-and-match to your heart’s content.

Here are a few casual outfit ideas if you need a little inspiration:

  • Pair your comfortable jeans with a classic tee or sweater and a pair of flats. This is a classic and timeless look that can be dressed up or down. Wear it during the day and then throw on some jewelry, a headband, and some red lipstick to take it into the evening.
  • Pair your dress with cute strappy sandals. Very simple, but can be very stylish with the right accessories.
  • Add a denim jacket and sneakers to your dress outfit and you’ve got a cute, casual, and slightly edgy look.
  • A tucked in tee with cropped jeans and loafers is comfortable and looks very put-together.

The most important thing is to wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and confident. Experiment until you find the right combos for you!

Final Thoughts

So, my fellow fabulous ladies, don’t let anyone tell you how to dress in your 40s. Embrace your individuality, have fun with fashion, and wear what makes you feel confident and beautiful. The most important thing is that you feel good in your own skin and in what you wear.


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