Age-Appropriate

Tiered Dresses For Women Over 40

Hi Deborah,

Are dresses with tiered skirts appropriate for women over 40, or is this more of a younger look? I’m thinking of buying one for a special party I’ve been invited to.  Janelle

Tiered Dresses

Hi Janelle,

Tiered dresses are lots of fun, and they can look great on a mature woman, but there are a few things you may want to consider before you run out and buy one.

  • Be forewarned that a dress with lots of layers or ruffles like this is going to visually add weight, so if you are pear-shaped  (heavy hips with a small top half)  don’t waste your time on this look – you’ll only look bulky.
  • Also, if you are petite, a dress like this can overwhelm you with too much fabric.
  • If your figure is pretty balanced, even if you are curvy a tiered dress can work for you, but even then I’d suggest a more streamlined version where the layers lie flatter. You’ll look sleeker and more elegant.
  • Rounded pleats are softer looking that pleats that go straight across the body and can be very complementary to curvy bodies.
  • Avoid mini, thigh-high tiered dresses which look babydoll & little girlish. Opt this classier version on the right below.

strapless-coctail-tiered
Too young

tiered-silk-chiffon-sheath
Attractive neckline for 40+
  • Wide straps will look better than tiny spaghetti straps on a mature woman.
  • Tiers that start below the bust are more elegant and slimming too.

kay-unger-tiered-silk-chiffong-gown

  • Bright colors abound, but a black or a dark color like midnight blue will tone down this look and make it more wearable.
  • If you are over 40, a tiered dress is best as an evening look. It is a popular style for a mother of the bride or groom dress too.

tiered-and-beaded-silk-dress1
Too bright, strapless, fluffy and short!

cheta-b-shutter-cocktail-dress1
Subtle tiers are better.
  • If you choose a tiered style skirt, make sure your top is fitted.
  • If you’re going to try this look, make sure to pair your dress or skirt with dainty heels and nothing too clunky as this is a feminine look.
  • If it looks like something your teenager daughter would wear, don’t dare even think about it!

Bring on the tiers and look glam!

Join the Conversation

4 thoughts on “Tiered Dresses For Women Over 40

  1. Great for women under 55 but I believe you should wear whatever makes you happy. Life’s too short!

  2. My reader (Christine) wrote me about this post: “These are fine for younger people. How about us senior citizens? Thanks.”

    Good question. The tiered style can work at any age. It’s all about whether it suits your body and personality. No style is perfect for everyone.