Let’s face it: Turning 40 can be intimidating for many women, especially when it comes to maintaining our sense of style.
But there's no need to panic. With a little confidence, a few wardrobe edits, and an investment in a few great pieces, you'll be stepping out with confidence during this chapter of your life.
So what should you have in your closet? As a 44-year-old mom and the owner of New Jersey's Fashion Fix, I am a woman who knows that having great on-the-go pieces that work from day to night is key. Here are a few suggestions and great pieces that will be well worth the investment:
What could be easier? Zip up and go! Just be sure to stay away from ruffles, bows, and matronly, shapeless styles. If you’re in good shape you can wear almost anything, slinky gown included, but let your body be your guide. A fitted simple black dress is always a staple. A shirt dress is another good option, adding a special shoe or accessory for a bit of glitz and glamour. If your curves aren’t quite as seamless under a shape-hugging dress, try a waist-to-knee body shaper that will work wonders.
Ladies who wear high-waisted jeans that you’ve had in your closet for over a decade, listen up: They don't work … on any body type! This look will certainly age you and make your backside look wide and flat!
If you're worried about exposing your underwear when you sit down, select a pair that are slightly higher in the back, but still a low-rise in front. A jean with a small percentage of stretch in them will close the back gap and fit perfectly. A trouser jean is a cut that gives denim a new sophistication and suits most body types, and it's great with little jackets, or for casual Fridays. Be sure the side pockets lie flat at the side. Another important rule to remember is that widely-spaced or small pockets can make your behind look big.
Simplify the search for the next perfect pair by asking for assistance in a store, or hire a stylist and find the pair that works for you.
A shapely jacket can bring a trouser, skirt or jean to life. You can’t go wrong with what I call “weekend warrior” jeans and a little jacket. Try pairing this look with a printed delicate blouse and a great necklace, heels or boots, and you're ready to go! For day-to-evening, try a shapely fitted jacket on top with a pencil skirt and sheer tank, so after-hours you can “show your sheer” with a very pretty underpinning or lingerie piece.
I always hear women in their 40s claiming they can't walk in heels or that high-heeled shoes hurt their feet. Well ladies, it’s time to practice or get to the podiatrist, because heels are a MUST-have! Try wearing a wedge if you’re not so stable — they are much easier to walk in and come in every style and for every season. Wearing heels make you appear leaner, giving you the illusion of having longer legs — and let’s face it, everyone looks better in heels!
This season, there is an array of styles that are in, including sneaker wedges, booties and others. Pointy-toed stilettos are back, flat riding boots are still popular, and tall, over–the-knee boots are higher than ever (although not great for the very petite). Whatever style fits you and your budget, be sure to find yourself in a pair of great heels this season.
Knowing your personal style is key, but sometimes we fall into a wardrobe rut and we need a little inspiration, whether it be through a celebrity or a friend who has a strong fashion personality. Shop strategically. And yes, every wardrobe needs variety, but every piece you’re eyeballing on the rack should run through your style filter. You’ll know when you put something on and it feels just right.