In the world of women's fashion, there's a noticeable gap between the short and sassy style of your 20s to the caricatured elderly attire that is seldom seen beyond sitcoms.
"Bust out your measuring tape and take your measurements. Don't be shy: they're just numbers, and they can't measure your beauty or worth"
The truth is exploring fashion in your 40s can be a liberating, transformative experience for women looking for change. And for the women who are happy with the style that's carried them through their 30s? A little more exploration will only serve to cultivate your style further.
Step 1: Identify What Needs to Change
First, let’s point out that nothing needs to change about your fashion in your 40s, but if you feel like you want to shake things up, it's a perfect time to do it.
As women in our forties, we've passed many of the growing pains of our younger adulthood. Careers are likely more established, as are bonds with family and friends. And perhaps, most importantly when it comes to our style, our sense of self feels more clearly defined.
This is why your forties is a perfect time to embrace new styles or aesthetics. Maybe you want to be more conservative in your dressing for your career, but not any less stylish. Maybe you want to try bold colours or new designs that celebrate your body instead of trying to hide it.
And maybe, just maybe, you've come to the same conclusion that many of us reach as we age: you’re prioritising quality over quantity.
Step 2: Time to Step Up Quality
With a little age comes the wisdom to know that, whether it be relationships or clothing, it's more important to have a handful of good quality things than a boatload of shoddy things.
For this reason, many women in their forties switch clothing brands to designers who create lasting pieces in terms of style as well as the more practical matter of longevity. We are drawn to pieces that will look as good in a few years as they do now, not just because the design is timeless, but because the clothing is well-made.
Step 3: Focus on Your Foundations
Once you have your measurements, you can start building your wardrobe with those vital foundational pieces. Think pants, skirts, tops and that go-to little black dress. Aim to find these pieces in block colours—any colours that speak to you. Classics like black, grey and creams are always a great start, but so are vibrant reds, purples and blues.
After you have laid your fashion foundations, then go wild with prints and accessories.
Step 4: Know Your Shape
Knowing your s is all about discovering what you truly like, and also, what works for you. This means understanding your body shape and respecting your comfort level. Ask yourself, how, if at all, has your body changed? How can you make your curves and new lines work?
The point is this: embrace your body! Don't fight it! This is the new you and being able to not just accept, but celebrate these changes is going to serve you well now as well as into your 50s, 60s and beyond.
Step 5: Hit Refresh on Your Lingerie
Step 6: Pick Your Trends
Transitioning into a new decade means new possibilities, especially when it comes to style trends. There is nothing you can't wear. Want to try out ripped jeans? You can, though you may not want the provocatively ripped jeans popular among the 20-somethings. Instead, opt for strategically ripped jeans that speak to a polished, modern style sensibility.
Embracing trends doesn't have to be all about clothing either. You can take on new trends with your eyeglasses, handbags, shoes and other accessories. Try a little colour, a little animal print, a little bling and get a whole lot of fun!
Great fashion in your 40s is really only as difficult as you make it. After all, you've been living in your body for a few decades by now and you know, deep down if not immediately, what brings you joy. Your job is to bring that joy to the surface and literally wear it wherever and however you can.