You’ve made it to your fourth decade, and fashion-wise, you’re in a pretty great place. You’ve likely got your personal style down pat, so now it’s just about making styling decisions that ensure you’re never looking less than 100 (percent, not years old). Here, ten tips to keep in mind every time you get dressed.
SHOW OFF YOUR CLAVICLE INSTEAD OF YOUR CLEAVAGE
A plunging V-neck was great in your 20s, but you’re older and wiser now. Instead of strapping on your best push-up bra, highlight your clavicle with off-the-shoulder or boat neck silhouettes. It’s super sophisticated and sexy, without being buttoned-up or vampy.
Get the look: Hinge ($34); Endless Rose ($85); Vince ($345)
GO FOR MID-LENGTH SLEEVES
Real talk: Shirts that show off your slender forearms are flattering as hell (regardless of your age). If your top was made with cropped sleeves, great. If you’re wearing a button-down or other long-sleeved piece, roll ’em up.
Get the look: Vince Camuto ($30); Sanctuary ($89); Tibi ($110)
DON’T GIVE UP ON HEELS
It can be mighty tempting to eschew stilettos in favor of an all-flats shoe wardrobe or worse…garden shoes. But know that there is a middle ground: Sensible heels that are as easy to walk in as they are stylish. A two- or three-inch style (we love a simple slingback) is surprisingly comfortable and walkable, and looks put together without causing you to need a foot replacement.
Get the look: Steve Madden ($80); Seychelles ($100); Ganni ($235)
OPT FOR DARKER DENIM
Unless you’re an uber-hip SJP type, light-colored jeans can make you look dated or pudgy. Here’s what won’t let you down: fitted dark-wash denim. Like all dark clothes, indigos are super slimming. Plus, since they’re closer to a black or navy, they’re more adult and easier to dress up than mid or bleached washes.
Get the look: Free People ($78); NYDJ ($119); 3×1 ($265)
PICK SOLIDS OVER PRINTS
No, we’re not saying you should toss every floral piece in your closet, but in general, it’s way simpler to look elegant and appropriate in a neutral solid. Beige, white, brown, navy and black are easier to accessorize and re-wear in multiple ways.
Get the look: Laundry by Shelli Segal coat ($110); AG jeans ($225); Raye boots ($128)
FIND A GOOD TAILOR
Now that you know what looks great on your shape, find someone you trust to take your wardrobe to the next level. Hemming a pair of pants or blazer by even just an inch could make all the difference.
Get the look: Topshop ($80); Donna Karan New York ($105); Nic + Zoe ($128)
FIND STYLISH WAYS TO CAMOUFLAGE YOUR *PROBLEM* AREAS
Not in love with your neck? Totally fine, especially because there are so many chic ways to downplay the areas of your body you’re not wild about. A chunky knit turtleneck or pretty silk scarf covers you up while still looking amazing.
Get the look: Treasure & Bond ($33); French Connection ($93); Nanuschka ($335)
PUT A MODERN SPIN ON YOUR OLD FAVORITES
Maybe you rocked Dr. Martens and flannel shirts every day in your 20s…and looked awesome. Welp, it’s time to change with the times, honey. Don’t give up beloved pieces that speak to your youth, just find ways to make them age- and era-appropriate. Like those Docs? Pair them with on-trend raw-edge denim and a tailored blazer for instant sophistication (but still, you know, an edge).
INVEST IN ACCESSORIES
You’re a grown-ass woman. You deserve a bag that A) you’ll be able to wear forever and B) will warrant at least two compliments every time you carry it. You’ll never regret purchasing a timeless style, especially one that gets better with age (oh, hello, naturally worn-in leather). Stick to neutral colors, like black, beige, navy or gray to avoid having your gorgeous arm candy look dated.