Building a wardrobe of casual clothes for your over 40 lifestyles should be easy, right? But with so much choice, where do you even begin?
It all starts with building a foundation of a few key pieces that you can mix and match and that will take you anywhere. Then, simply add some trendy items each season to freshen things up and make you look modern and youthful.
To help get you started, Here is a Checklist of the Best Women’s Casual Clothes Over 40.
Jeans are the ultimate in casual clothing, an ageless wardrobe staple that can be styled with anything. They have a relaxed vibe, but they can still look classy and chic when you pair them with the right shoes or jacket.
Gals who love and live in their denim may have multiple pairs, but if you’re just starting to build a casual wardrobe, you need a minimum of two pairs: one classic and one more fashion forward.
Most Popular Jeans Right Now
- Cropped Jeans which hit just above the ankle look super chic. Don’t forget your feet will be the focus, so really cute shoes are a must!
- Frayed Hem, fringe or release hem jeans add a modern edge, and there are ways to wear them without looking sloppy or too teenage trendy.
- Side Stripe Jeans with wide or skinny colored stripes down the side are slimming and a definite yes for mature gals who want to look athletic and youthful.
- Straight Leg Jeans are easier to wear than tapered jeans, and great for pear-shaped gals who are bottom heavy.
- Embroidered Jeans with feminine floral stitching are trending. These add a romantic touch to a casual outfit.
- Colored Jeans are not new but blush is, and it’s hot!
- White Jeans: Always in style, they are the perfect backdrop to any casual outfit. Here are some fresh ideas on how to style white pants now for summer. And by the way, white pants will not make you look heavy. Here are 10 Ways Not to Look Fat in White Pants.
Tips on Wearing Jeans over 40
- dark wash jeans are classier and more slimming and than light wash jeans
- jeans with back pockets that sit high and tilt out make your bottom look more fit and lifted
- jeans with no back pockets make your bottom look smaller
- distressed jeans give a monochromatic texture, adding interest
- high waist jeans are good for pear shaped gals and midrise/ high waist more forgiving for mature gals
- if you have curves, don’t even think about buying jeans unless they have stretch
2. Capris and Cropped Pants
Capris and cropped pants are also great casual wardrobe building blocks. Many think they are one and the same, but there is a slight difference. Capris end at midcalf while cropped pants end just above the ankle.
This makes capris a little more casual than cropped pants and harder to harder to wear because they cut your lower leg in two. This can make you look short and stumpy depending on the style you choose. Check out these tips on how to wear Capris with confidence.
Popular Styles of Capris and Cropped Pants
- Colorful Utility Style: These army-inspired camo styles are classic. What’s new are they come in cheery, bright colors
- Demin Capris: Always popular but now appearing with lacing up the side, embroidery and in different denim color and finishes
- Frayed and Release Hem: This year it’s all about the detail where the pant ends. That’s modern.
- Wide Leg cropped Flare– Skinny and Straight Leg cropped pants/Capris that end with a flirty flare. Fun and youthful.
Tips on Wearing Capris and Cropped Pants over 40
- Wear nude shoes that are the same color as your skin tone to make your legs look like they go on forever. (More shoes to wear with capris and cropped pants here.)
- Avoid cuffed capris/cropped pants if you are petite or have short legs
- Don’t buy capris that end at the widest part of your calf, A little higher or lower is better.
- Match your top to your pants, so you create a slimming, elongating column of color.
Check out these casual dressing outfit formulas for cropped pants.
There’s nothing more comfy and casual than leggings which can be worn long to just above the ankle or capris style.
Most Popular type
- black leggings by far!
Tips on wearing leggings
- make sure they are opaque
- wear a long top that covers your bum
- make sure your leggings have stretch
Here are some more ideas for leggings outfits.
Stop right there before you say ‘No way.’ You can wear shorts after 40, and look casually chic by simply dressing your shorts up with the newest shoes, bag or jewelry.
Most Popular Shorts Right Now
- high waisted shorts
- waist tie shorts
- bermuda shorts
- soft, flowy shorts
- scalloped shorts
Tips for Wearing Shorts over 40
- Avoid short denim cutoffs with ragged edges
- tailored shorts can look dressy
- Make sure your shorts not too tight
- Don’t wear skimpy tops with your shorts
- Get the right length –check out my post on how to look fabulous in shorts after 40
Here are some ideas on how to wear your shorts in this article, 5 Classy Ways to Look Cute in Shorts Over 40.
T-shirts are super versatile. They’re perfect for layering.
Most Popular Tees Right Now
- graphic and statement tees are a great way to inject a little personality into your wardrobe.
- tees in saturated hues like orange, pink and yellow
- striped tees mixed with eyelet and sheer fabric
- front tie tees that wrap and tie at the front and sides
How to Wear T-Shirts Over 40
- stretchy t-shirts that skim your body are most slimming
- V-neck or scoop necklines elongate your neck and make you look taller
- crewnecks are aging
- 3/4 length sleeves tees are sporty, youthful and a clever way to cover flabby arms in the summer
6. Statement Tops
Statement tops are those head-turning, of the moment tops and blouses that are right on-trend. They are a great way to express your personality.
Most Popular Statement Top Right Now
- Bell sleeve tops are wide and wonderful
- Lace and Embroidery are details that turn heads
- Subtle, Sheer peekaboo panels and sleeves with slits are in
- lavender, yellow or tops in saturated brights are hot
- Statement tees say it all
- Bold, fun, prints
How to Wear Casual Statement Tops
- with white or black jeans- makes a stunning backdrop
- with capris or cropped pants
- with a skirt-trendy with a long pleated skirt
7. Casual Dresses
A casual summer dress is usually cotton or linen. Typically, it has some stretch to it, so it is comfy and lets you move easily. It’s the kind of dress you want to throw-on-and-go when you’re running out to the grocery store or to have a coffee with your girlfriend. I know many gals who practically live in casual dresses all summer. They are cool, comfortable and make a classy and feminine alternative to shorts.
Most Popular Casual Dresses
- Shirtdress: belted or unbelted, worn on its own or with leggings, a Shirtdress is a relaxed but smart looking style. For more ideas, check out my article, 12 Terrific Tips to Style a Shirtdress.
- Wrap Dress: This my favorite type of dress. Wrap dresses define the waist and lifting the bust, something we can all use some help with as we age. (LOL!) And they are appropriate for every occasion, casual and otherwise. Here are 10 – ideas on how to wear a wrap dress.
- Fit and Flare Dress: This style sits close to the top half of your body and then flares out over the bottom half creating a feminine silhouette by highlighting (or creating the illusion of) a tiny waist. For us over-40 gals with waists that seem to disappear as we age, a fit and flare dress turns back the clock. The full skirt can also hide a full bottom and heavy thighs.
- Maxi Dress: A casual yet classy, throw-on-and-go worthy dress. For summer, there is nothing better than a maxi dress for a casual pool party or drinks on the patio. Wear a maxi dress with a jean jacket to add style and to keep your arms covered.
- Sundress: This makes my list of top no-fail casual summer outfits. There’s nothing easier than tossing on a sundress with a pair of slip-on sneakers or slides and heading out the door.
8. Relaxed Jacket
Look for a jacket that is casual, contemporary and suits your shape and lifestyle.
Most Popular casual Jackets
- A boyfriend jacket, canvas utility jacket, light suede jacket, or leather jacket are all good casual options.
- A long cardigan will work as a casual jacket. Just make sure to keep it classy
- Read my tips on how to wear long cardigans and not look sloppy.
9. Wildcard piece
No matter what season it is, every good wardrobe needs one or two wildcard pieces that showcase your style personality and inject some zest and interest. Choose something you love and if you’re looking for ideas, some fun summer pieces that I like this year are:
- A jumpsuit: I’m seeing jumpsuits everywhere these days! Sure there are some formal ones out there, but there are also plenty that are current and casual. Not sure what to wear with a jumpsuit? Here are the jumpsuit styling tips that over-40 gals need to know.
- A fun piece of jewelry
- A Fabulous Bag- round bags are in at the moment
- A cute pair of denim culottes is a good choice for a casual wardrobe. Here are some other ways over-40 gals are styling culottes.
Building a Casual Wardrobe is easier than you think. Just grab a few current pieces and play around to create some fabulous looks.