At Blufashion, we take dressing rather seriously. That’s because we know that whether we like it or not, others will judge us by what they see when we walk through the door—and that is our clothing. We’ve also read the studies suggesting that if we look good on the outside, we feel good on the inside. This means that when we produce a story containing fashion recommendations for each decade—like “What to Wear at 30, 40, 50, 60” and “Best Spring Fashion (for Every Age)—we don’t take the responsibility lightly. We scrutinize every hemline to decide what looks good and what doesn’t for each age and body shape. And you should know that we often have impassioned fights in the fashion closet as we all stuck up for what we think!
In the debate about age-appropriate dressing, this is the central question: How can we continue to look chic and up-to-date without seeming to try too hard? What’s the line between hip and ridiculous? Fab and frightful? And does that line move as we age? Luckily for me, I’ve had the benefit of watching fashion experts duke it out for 20 years, during which time I’ve developed a few principles of my own about dressing well at every age.
Step away from the cheap clothes. Look, I love a Uniqlo T-shirt as much as you do. It goes perfectly with yoga pants as you run around on weekends. (My new “affordable obsession” is COS.) But unless you’re 31, for more important occasions, you need darts in the right spots, a bit of stretch, and some good bias draping—and for that, you’ll have to pay up. So buy less but buy better. Find designers who work for your body and stick with them.
You don’t need any more basics. I know I know: A great turtleneck or black dress makes life a lot easier. But you own those already. Now is the time to invest in statement pieces: quirky, fun, ultrachic. That’s how we spotlight our uniqueness (as opposed to what we wanted to do in our twenties, which was to blend in). Find a killer coat in an unusual print and wear it to death.
Don’t cover up as you get older. This is the bone I have to pick with most fashion authorities, who seem to believe that as you start to age, loose and long-sleeve are best. Not me. Pick your best body part (shoulders? waist?) and show it off. That doesn’t mean parading around in an overly daring outfit. Go for subtly sexy; we no longer need to peddle ourselves so hard.
What to Wear at 30, 40, 50, 60
Trying to figure out how to dress for your age? Girl, I’ve been there. Standing in my closet, staring blankly at all my clothes, wondering if that crop top is still ok to wear or if I’ve aged out of it.
Dressing in Your 30s:
- Your 30s are all about figuring out your personal style – it’s anything goes!
- Play around with different trends and see what feels like “you”
- Hit up thrift shops to try new styles without spending a ton
- But also invest in some solid pieces for important events – job interviews, weddings, etc.
- It’s a time for fashion exploration – take some risks!
- Most important: focus on discovering the looks that make you feel confident and reflects your personality
Dressing in Your 40s:
- By your 40s, you know what works for your body – embrace those classic, timeless pieces
- Tailor your clothes to fit just right – our bodies change as we get older
- A well-fitting black dress, blazer, pencil skirt – these type of pieces never go out of style
- Stick to silhouettes and fabrics that flatter your figure
- Add pops of personality with accessories – a colorful scarf, fun earrings
- Look polished and put together – you want to exude confidence
- Most important: Wear pieces that reflect your personal style and make you feel great at this stage of life
Dressing in Your 50s:
- Your 50s are all about elegance and refinement
- Create a bit of mystery and allure by covering up a little more
- Opt for luxe fabrics like cashmere, silk, fine knits
- Embrace details like ruching, off-the-shoulder or bell sleeves
- Accentuate your best assets in a subtle, sophisticated way
- Stick to rich neutrals and colors that complement your skin tone
- Exude confidence and self-assurance – it’s the ultimate accessory
- Most important: Wear what makes you feel beautiful and powerful as a mature, stylish woman
Dressing in Your 60s:
- Your 60s are the time to have fun and show off your personality
- Rock an oversized blazer with a mini skirt and boots
- Pair a midi dress with tall boots for a chic look
- Try a lightweight turtleneck with trousers and a vest for in-between weather
- Break the “fashion rules” – be bold and express yourself!
- Make sure clothes actually fit properly – size up or down or visit a tailor
- Add edge with moto jackets, leather pants, statement jewelry
- Feel empowered to dress in whatever makes YOU feel fabulous
- Most important: Wear what gives you joy, confidence and suits your individual spirit
These are really just loose suggestions, not hard and fast rules. Don’t stress about dressing for your age! The most important thing is that you feel good and like yourself in what you’re wearing.
Make comfort and personal style your top priorities when getting dressed, at any age. Confidence is always the best accessory.
So take these tips with a grain of salt. Play around, try new things, but ultimately wear what makes YOU feel happy, sexy, and empowered.
If you love your style, own it – whether you’re rocking mom jeans or a mini skirt. As long as you feel like the best version of yourself, you’ll radiate beauty and confidence at 30, 40, 50 and beyond!
So that’s what I think. Let me know what you think by reading this issue and leaving a comment below. I really would appreciate it.
This story first appeared on More.com by Lesley Jane Seymour.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.