7 Wardrobe Essentials For Women Over 40

Every woman has her own style, regardless of age. Likewise, every woman should feel comfortable and confident enough to wear whatever she likes. 

There is no proper way to dress, there’s a multitude of styles to choose from, and if you want to break any stereotypical style rules, you have the freedom to do so.

This article offers women over 40 advice on some wardrobe essentials, that will hopefully help you to feel good about yourself, and start building your dream wardrobe. 

7 Wardrobe Essentials For Women Over 40

I say this because it’s so frustrating to see women having to obey strict rules of fashion, and stop them from living their best life. I just want to remind my readers that you have the freedom and power to wear whatever you like.

40 is still ridiculously young, and you’re still full of beauty and vibrancy.

Our Changing Style And The Bias Of Age 

With that said, let’s also consider the fact our styles are always in flux. When we reflect on it, our style quite often changes with our age, our goals, our lifestyles — not many of us have worn the same style for 20 years.

Generally speaking, women at 40 prefer to look more sophisticated than women at 20. Obviously, we’re not pigeonholing women, it could be the opposite for some people.

It’s just that usually, as we get older, we don’t always want to wear the same clothes we wore when we were young. It doesn’t resemble us. 

Keep in mind that with fashion, it’s often ‘that, and’. So, at 20 — a woman might want to look sophisticated and fun, or flirty, or free. At 40, a woman might want to look sophisticated and stylish, sexy, smart. Every single woman is different, and I want to honor that.

I don’t want any woman, or person, to free restricted by their fashion choices. While some fashion requires strict rules, you’re not obligated to follow them, so I just want to encourage my readers to be free and happy from any societal expectations. 

Some Women Want Advice 

Another side of the coin is the fact that some women want fashion advice. This could be for a multitude of reasons.

  • Perhaps you focused on raising your children, and during that process, you lost your sense of fashion. Now, while you’ve found time for yourself again, perhaps you realize that you’ve outgrown your clothes, and you don’t know what your new style is yet. 
  • Perhaps you’ve never really been into fashion, but you’d like to start experimenting with some fashionable clothing. 
  • Perhaps your style no longer reflects you, and you want to wear clothes that reflect the new you. 
  • Perhaps this article isn’t even for you, and you’ve noticed a friend, or a loved one is uncomfortable with their current fashion choices, and you want to help them create a wardrobe that they will love. 

Maybe you’re one of these women, or maybe you’re here for a completely different reason. It doesn’t matter, either way, you’re curious to find out what some wardrobe staples are for women over 40. 

It’s important to not shame anyone for their choices. Anyway, I know women in their 20s and 30s who religiously wear fashion trends, and fashion ‘suitable’ for their ages. Some people prefer to follow the rules, and there’s nothing wrong with that either. 

What Are The Wardrobe Essentials For Women Over 40?

So, we’re going to be looking at 7 different wardrobe essentials for women over 40. I choose these because I think that they’re wardrobe essentials that will make women over 40 confident and because they can be timeless pieces. 

Also, it’s easy to take my wardrobe essentials and then mold them into your style. So, if you prefer certain colors or patterns, be creative! While there are certain items I would recommend you stick to, you don’t have to. 

So, this is my wonderful list of wardrobe essentials for women over 40! 

Wardrobe Essentials For Women Over 40

The Little Black Dress 

So, this is an iconic wardrobe essential, and it’s iconic for a reason. 

The Little Black Dress is essential due to its versatility. Whether you’ve planned a party, or if you only have a day’s notice, this dress will ensure that you show up looking gorgeous. It’s all suitable for all year round.

While it is frequently worn during the winter months, this dress is just as fashionable in the spring, summer, and fall months. 

So, the nifty thing about a little black dress is that you can either dress it up or dress it down. 

If you want to dress it up, adding jewelry is a key start. This could be some earrings and a statement necklace, or a bracelet, even some lavish rings.

Shoes also completely change an outfit. If you want to go for a sexy look, pair it with some stylish heels. If you’re looking for a more sexy, but relaxed look – try a pair of boots. 

What is also great about the little black dress is that whether you choose to wear black, or skin color pantyhose, it’ll look great. Some colors don’t always work with black pantyhose, but a black dress certainly does. 

In my discussions with women over 40, they usually confide in me that they’re insecure about their arms. One thing that I always tell him, is that most women say this, even in the 20s.

If you’re really insecure about them, opt for a dress with long sleeves, or mid-length sleeves. This way, you can still feel sexy while being comfortable in your pair of kin. 

The Blazer 

That’s right, the second essential wardrobe staple for women over 40 is a blazer. 

This is because a blazer is so versatile. A blazer can look stylish, sexy, and smart depending on how you wear it. That means it’s a piece you can get some much use out of, you can create so many looks with it.

Now, a black blazer is a classic staple. That’s because black goes with almost everything, so it means it’ll compliment most of the other clothing you have in your wardrobe. So, I would personally advise that you invest in a black blazer first.

With that said, there are so many blazers in different colors and patterns. 

  • A red blazer symbolizes power, passion, and seductive energy. 
  • A black blazer symbolizes style, sleekness, and smartness. 
  • A green blazer symbolizes coolness, boldness, and down-to-earth energy. 

Blazers come in hundreds more colors and patterns, but that’s just an overview of how certain colors and styles can make you feel. Maybe you might want to invest in a couple of blazers, or maybe you just want the one — this helps you choose the energy you’d like to emit. 

When it comes to selecting the right style, you will ideally want a blazer that nips in at the waist. This highlights your figure and your curves. However, if you’re a rectangle or a square, then you might pretend a boyfriend-fit.

This is looser and adds a ‘cool, fresh’ vibe. If you don’t have much of a waist, or you’re not comfortable showing your figure, this is another fashionable option. 

The White Shirt 

The third essential wardrobe staple for women over 40 is the white shirt. 

Some of you might be confused as to why I specified a white shirt, opposed to any other color. There are so many colored shirts to choose from, but white remains an essential wardrobe staple.

So, before you go out and buy the rainbow, I recommend investing in a white shirt first. 

That’s because the white shirt is another versatile option. It’s iconic in itself. If you were to look at photos of celebrities in their 30s and 40s, you will definitely see the white shirt in the mix. It’s a powerful and essential item to have in your wardrobe.

This is because you can create endless looks with a white shirt. 

  • If you want the relaxed mom, who is still cool and has her life together look, pair the white shirt with jeans and some boots. 
  • If you want a sleek and sexy look, pair the white shirt with some black leather pants and some heels. 
  • If you want that classic look, pair the white shirt with a blazer and a pair of chic pumps. 

That’s just some looks you could create with the white shirt, and that’s why it’s so popular. Also, if you’re a bold woman, and hate looking the same as everyone else, consider getting an asymmetrical shirt. It’s classy, with a quirky difference. 

A Good Fitting, Feel Good Bra 

The fourth essential wardrobe staple for women over 40 is a good-fitting bra. 

I know that some of you are surprised about this option. If you are, it means that you definitely need to invest in one. 

Why is a good fitting bra important?

Firstly, having a bra that fits you right is important for your well-being. If your bra is too tight, then it’s going to be uncomfortable and miserable to wear. If your bra is too loose, then it’s going to be frustrating and annoying.

If your bra is broken, it’s not going to feel sexy. 

A lot of women in America, and globally, do not wear the correct bra size. You can pop on over to most lingerie shops, and they will happily help you work out your real bra size. That should be the first step. If you do already know your bra size, kudos to you. 

Then you need to consider what you want in your bra. Yes, okay — you need everyday bras, so, try to grab some of them while you’re at it. But that’s not the essential that we’re looking for, sis. 

You need a bra that makes you feel like a woman. 

A bra that is comfortable enough that you can wear it all day (because you know your bra size) and a bra that’s sexy enough that it makes you feel vibrant and sensual. 

Your 40s are not unsexy. Your 40s are not sexless. 

What your 40s are, is a new chapter, and while you’ll still wear that basic everyday bra, you should have a bra that makes you feel wonderful about yourself too. 

So, whether you pick up a black lacy number, or you find yourself looking at a purple satin bra, get yourself a bra that makes you feel like the wonderful, sensual woman that you are.

The Trench Coat 

the Trench Coat 

The fifth essential wardrobe staple for women over 40 is the trench coat. 

So, the trench coat is an instant classy look. Whether you’re wearing a dress, some pants, or a skirt — the trench coat will look good with any outfit.

It’s also one of the few pieces that never seem to go out of style, so you’re looking at another long-lasting investment piece. 

Another great thing about the trench coat is that it’s flattering on every figure. Due to the belt that cinches in that the waist, it can either heighten your natural curves or give you a bit of shape if you’re not naturally curvy.

If you’re worried that you’re too short, or tall for the trench coat — don’t worry about that. Just get a trench coat specifically made for petite or taller frames. 

When it comes to colors, you can choose from quite a wide range. The classic trench coat color is beige. However, you could purchase one in cream, charcoal, black — even red.

I personally think that beige trench coats give that classic, Parisian look, but there’s a coat to match everyone’s personality. 

The Heels 

The sixth essential wardrobe staple for women over 40 is a pair of heels.

So, no matter your age, a good pair of heels is a wardrobe essential. However, during the conversations I’ve had with women in their 40s, they always state that they want to wear nice, fashionable heels, but they’re fed up with the aching feet.

Some people think you have to suffer for fashion, but you really don’t have to. Gone are the days when gorgeous pairs of heels make your toes go black. Say no more, to feet that ache so much that it makes it difficult to sleep. 

Before I continue, you should first contemplate what type of essential heel you want. Do you want a kitten heel? A heeled pump? Court shoes? Block heels?

Every style of heel gives off a different vibe, so whether you’re looking for a cute, sexy, reserved, or cool, will depend on which heel you choose. 

If you’re unsure how to make your choice, try on different pairs, and see which you like the best. Think which pair will go most with the outfits you already have.

Also, just see which pair is more comfortable — some people don’t like kitten heels, but they love pumps, so give them a try before you buy. 

Okay, so you still might not be convinced as to why a heel is an essential wardrobe item. That’s because heels go with everything, and they can make an outfit go from casual to fancy.

For example, if you pair your little black dress with a pair of heels, you have an instant going-out outfit. If you pair your white shirt with a pair of pants and heels, then you have a sleek and sexy going-out outfit.

Even if you pair your heels with some trousers and your trench coat, you have a very chic autumn outfit. 

So, heels just add that extra bit of sexiness to an outfit. 

Now, when choosing your essential heel, do not just pick any random pair you like. This is a wardrobe essential. So while we’re looking at stylish items, we’re also looking for comfortable items too.

These days, you can find gorgeous pairs of heels that are built with cushion technology, which means that the sole of the heel will be very soft. 

This is perfect because it means that you can wear a gorgeous pair of heels, without hurting your feet. 

The Perfect Fitting Jeans 

The last essential wardrobe staple for women over 40 is a pair of perfectly fitted jeans. 

The great thing about jeans is that you can find them in so many styles and colors. Having a pair of reliable jeans, that look good on you, is crucial. If you have the right pair of jeans, you can take the most basic outfit, and make it look far chicer.

That’s because if they fit you right, then they’re going to look so much better. If they don’t fit you right, it can make your outfit look cheap. 

Don’t be fooled, you do not need to spend the big bucks to get the perfect pair of fitting jeans. All you need to do is make sure that the jeans are of good quality (you can definitely get a decent pair for $50), and make sure that they fit you right.

If you’re unsure how they should fit, the term ‘fitted’ is pretty apt, ironically. So, you don’t want them to be too tight, because they will look too small. You don’t want them too loose, because they’ll look to big. Hence, the term, perfect fit.

It seems obvious, but sometimes in the mad world of fashion, we forget that something’s mean exactly how they sound. 

Now, you’re probably thinking, ‘what about baggy jeans?’, ‘what about skinny jeans?’ and you’re right, these are tighter, or looser than your average pair. However, the key to these jeans is that they will always fit your waist so that they’re fitted to your body. 

If you want to follow fashion trends, then choose jeans which are in (currently, flares are popular) and make sure they fit you well. If fashion trends aren’t really your thing, choose a jean which makes you feel comfortable and attractive.

Here’s the vibe that certain jeans give off. So, flared jeans give off a cool, hippie vibe. Perfect for anyone a little boho. Mom jeans look relaxed, cool, and hip. Wide-leg jeans look modern and relaxed, not overly fashionable, but a classic look.

Boot-cut jeans are classic and low-maintenance. Lastly, straight-leg jeans are chic and comfortable. 

To pick your essential jean, you should ensure that it is of good quality and that it fits you perfectly. You should also make sure that you can pair it with a lot of items in your wardrobe, that way you’ll get the most wear out of it. 

Jeans should be an essential part of anyone’s wardrobe. You can dress them up by wearing some heels and a white shirt, or you can dress them down by pairing them with some daps and a sweater. 

Further Thought: Quality Vs. Quantity

Before I go on, I just want to say that I know everyone has different budgets. Not everyone can afford expensive items, or even moderately priced items. That’s okay. You do not need to spend a bunch of money to have a beautiful wardrobe.

However, if you have extra money, then you should try to purchase items of higher quality. Keep in mind that high quality does not mean an expensive price tag, but it might mean a price tag a little higher than an item of average quality. 

The reason you’ll want to invest in good quality items is that it not only often looks better (this is not always the case, you can get good clothing in every budget!), but the clothing will likely last longer.

It’s much better to buy a piece of clothing that could last you a good couple of years, than an item of clothing that could tear within a few months. 

Some good fabrics to choose from are cotton, linen, silk, and cashmere. Wool is also a great choice. These are materials that not only look high quality but will last a lot longer than regular polyester. 


This brings us to the end of my article on the best 7 wardrobe essentials for women over 40. I hope that you’ve found my article to be inspirational and informative. If you’ve picked up any tips that you’ve going to implement in your life, let me know!

I’d love to see what resonated with you. No matter what your age is, you deserve to feel beautiful and confident in your skin. Sometimes, that starts with the clothes we wear. Fashion is for everyone, no matter the age. 

Maya Garcia
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