What to Wear over 40 When You Travel To Europe, or Wherever

What do you pack when you are going to Europe or any other chic vacation destination? You want to be casual, but you don’t want to look like a tourist in sloppy jeans, a boring top and tennis shoes.What should you take that’s casual and modern?

Here’s one great outfit idea for you.

yellow jeans lace top


The Pants

Colored jeans are the hottest thing going at the moment and are a great way to look casual, but up to date and youthful too. Every color under the sun seems to be in style so you can’t go wrong no matter what shade you pick. Since it’s summer we chose this sunny yellow pair because they are relaxed and playful.

Now the skinny leg type of colored jeans that hug the ankles are the most “in”, but for gals who feel too self conscious to wear them so fitted, were showing a cropped slim bootcut. That little bit of flare balances out your figure more. If you don’t like cropped then go for a boot cut flared colored jean. Jeans with stretch are best as they help hold you in and make your figure look better.

The Top
Love this top. Lace is a popular trend and if have a tummy that’s fairly flat you can get away with a shorter top like this. If you have belly or weight at the hips or thighs, then we’d suggest a longer top that comes down and covers your bottom or even hits at mid-thigh.

Back to the lace. Now we were all brought up that lace is soft and pretty and we should pair it with something soft and pretty like a light flowing skirt or something “girly”, but this is how times have changed. There’s this ying and yang thing that’s been going on  in fashion where the trend call for you to pair something “hard”, or sort of sporty or masculine, with something really “soft”, more dainty, fragile or feminine. ie: There have been a lots of pretty flowery/ silky dresses shown with edgy leather jackets etc.

It’s the same idea that we’re showing here. These jeans are crisp, bold, sporty. The top is light, feminine, lacy. Marry them and you have a modern combination. A lot of us 40+ gals don’t realize is that it’s the way we combine pieces that makes us look modern. It’s not good enough to buy a lace top and wear it in an old way. It’s about styling your outfit so you look current.

red jeans over 40

Trying out the look.

Women are putting all kinds of wild colors together and pulling it off, but in the end it comes down to two things:

1) Age- Some of these wild color combos can be too harsh against aging skin and hair and will make you look like a clown

2) You have to have the personality to carry off mixing bold colors in a big way. If you do great. It can work.

However, for the average gal over 40 who wants to try colored jeans but is afraid of all that brightness, here’s what you do. Pair your  colored jeans with a neutral top or jacket- cream, black, brown, taupe, white, gray, navy etc. The neutral tones things down  and makes you look more elegant, rather than loud and wild.

The Shoes

We’ve all got aching feet, right, but we don’t want to give up a bit of  a heel. God knows we’re shrinking and who wants to look short and stumpy? These 2″ wedge espadrilles are a great option. Sure you may not wear them traipsing around rocky historic hillside sites -( wear your ballet flats then ,or chic runners then), but these are great for when you want to step out of your hotel for lunch, or do a little Tourist shopping at the local market etc.  Also gold is a great color because it is considered a neutral and goes with everything. plus they look super with a bit of a summer tan!

A tote is perfect for bopping around on vacation. Being big and unconstructed, it’s relaxed and the perfect bag to carry all those things like sunglasses, maps, a sweater, souvenirs and everything else you carry with you when you travel.

The Sunglasses

Sunglasses are your best summer accessory. Big is chic, but that doesn’t mean they have to be expensive. Shop around and find a pair that makes you feel like a movie star!

Wondering how this style recipe looks in real life? Here’s me  in a similar outfit on a trip to L.A. My lace top is from Banana Republic. The orange jeans are Rag and Bone.

Have you worn a similar look? Send me a photo and we’ll post it.

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  1. In addition to what I wrote earlier, being European and travelling to the U.S., can you help me with this:
    The largest problem I face when in the U.S. is the big difference between temperature outside (I usually travel to New York, Washington DC, and Miami, in spring/summer) and the freezing, airconditioned conference rooms inside. Not used to that, I don’t know how to dress for that. Usually, I end up with a chunky fleece sweater or my coat over my business outfit in the rooms. And socks! And then taking all that off again on the way out.
    How do you keep elegant with that large change in temperature inside/outside??

    • Hi Stenna,
      One of the things that has worked for me is a cashmere wrap. They are perfect for those freezing conference rooms and look very chic. I have a few in red, coral and leopard print. I purchased them at Neiman Marcus and always take them with me when I travel. They’re great on planes too.

  2. I love this look and your suggestions. However, I’m European (Dutch)and facing the opposite problem. I travel to the U.S. several times a year, for work. And always end up feeling quite underdressed, in my casual, dark-coloured European style. What should I pack, next time?!

  3. At 40, you are still so young! I can’t believe people of 40 would need this advice! You are a long time old. Enjoy life!