woman doing yoga and lifting herself in the air outside

getty images, via merchant

Getty Images and Merchant

There are days when you need pure comfort—you’re running around, lazing around or a combo of the two. Sweats can make you feel schlumpy, and workout leggings don’t always look like you’re actually dressed, says McSherry. “A pair of simple, stretchy pants that feel like leggings are a savior. Plus, they’re ideal for travel, since they’re not constricting, don’t wrinkle and still look like you’re wearing grown-up clothes.”

We love: These high-waisted pull-up Lululemon pants that are made to move in. “The quality is great, they don’t bulk under your longer tops and they’re so comfortable,” says McSherry. “I swear, you’ll want to wear them every day.”

What to look for in the best fashion for women over 40

As Yves Saint Laurent once said, “Fashion fades, style is eternal.” While shopping for fashion over 40 is not that different from any other age, you might find yourself looking to trade in fleeting fads for wardrobe staples. Look for pieces made with high-quality materials that you can mix and match with the rest of your closet’s contents. (Ask yourself, “Will I want to wear this in six months from now? What about two years from now?”) While these quality finds might be more expensive, they’re often well worth the investment.

Why you should trust us

At Reader’s Digest, we know how important it is to embrace your style at every age. That’s exactly why we were excited to create this list of long-lasting style pointers. Isabel Burton, a journalist specializing in writing lifestyle and fashion content carefully curated this list. We also interviewed Style Alive After 55 founder Renate McSherry—and content creators Elaine Davis and Donna Means—to share their chic, age-appropriate tips.

How we found the best fashion for women over 40

Trends might come and go, but the tips you see here will be en vogue forever. When creating this list, we opted for classic style rules that were not dictated by fleeting fads. (The mission: To create a classy, chic closet that will rake in the compliments for years—and decades!—to come.)  From there, we paired each style tip with a shoppable item so you could copy the look in just one click. We selected pieces from some of our favorite, pre-vetted brands, not to mention read hundreds of reviews to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.


What clothes should a 40-year-old wear?

What you wear at 40 (and above!) is all about confidently rocking your style! There’s no one-size-fits-all answer because everyone’s tastes and lifestyles vary. However, if you’re looking for some guidance, you can’t go wrong with classic, high-quality pieces like a tailored blazer, well-fitting jeans and a classic cashmere sweater.

Can you wear leggings over 40?

We say go for it as long as you feel confident and comfortable in your leggings! Match your leggings with an oversized button-down or sleek trench coat for a polished take on the activewear staple.

What do 40-year-olds wear to go out?

Though it depends on your style, you can’t go wrong with a fitted sheath or a great pair of jeans styled with a silky blouse. (Psst…if you want to get your shop on, here are some excellent clothing brands for women over 40.)

What makes you look frumpy?

A few factors can contribute to a less-than-chic look; the biggest culprit is ill-fitting clothing. (Anything too big or too small can make you appear frumpy.) Though you should aim to select clothes that highlight your natural body type, you can always bring your pieces to a tailor for some affordable alterations.