Basic Pieces Every Woman Over 40 Needs

Pieces Every Woman Over 40 Needs

When it comes to fashion over 40, there are some basic pieces every woman over 40 should own in their wardrobe. These pieces are classic, timeless, and appropriate.

By 40, you’ve spent years developing your personal style and you know what works and what doesn’t. I personally love my 40-year-old wardrobe compared to my 20-year-old wardrobe which basically consisted of pieces from Forever 21. No thank you, I would die if I had to wear all those outfits again.

Now is the time you can be super picky about your wardrobe and choose which items to invest in versus always following the trends. You’ve earned it so find clothes you love and wear items that make you feel comfortable and confident.

These basics are a great starting block to make sure you have in your closet.

Graphic of different clothing items in 6 squares

Investment Handbag

A woman in her 40s is at the point where she deserves an investment handbag. It’s like this is the time when she deserves that Chanel bag she’s been eyeing all those years. She’s earned that bag.

An investment handbag is one of those items you will never regret having or buying. Stick to one with neutral colors vs. a brighter shade. This way it will go with all your outfits and you can carry it for years. Go with black, grey, tan, or even white.

This will be one of those items you cherish for years to come and it will instantly elevate any outfit you carry the bag with. My favorite brands are Celine and YSL, the quality is unmatched and I feel so chic carrying one of these bags.

If you aren’t comfortable buying a designer handbag you can still invest in a great leather handbag. There are amazing options from several French brands like Sèzane, A.P.C., and Polène. I personally like anything from Cuyana and this Croco Victor , Half Moon Bag, and the Nano Bag.

If you’re curious about how I choose which handbags to invest in, find it here.


Power Blazer

A woman in a blazer means power, sophistication, and polish. Invest in a great neutral blazer like black, grey, or navy that you can wear for work and on the weekends.

Skip buying a blazer at Target and invest in one from someplace like Everlane, Veronica Beard, or Sèzane. Wear it with jeans (my personal favorite), pants, or even over a dress.


Trench Coat

A trench coat is a great basic piece for women over 40 because it represents a classic style that goes with anything you can wear all year long. There are multiple ways to wear a trench coat and multiple lengths. Most of the time it’s worn open but you can also tie it in the back so belt straps aren’t hanging down.

French women are big fans of the trench coat and there’s nothing more French chic than a timeless trench coat that is not only elegant but classic. This is a staple in a French woman’s closet and for good reason.

My favorite trench is the Scott Trench by Sézane which I sized up to wear sweaters underneath.



Great Fitting Jeans

Every woman needs a few pairs of great-fitting denim. Take the time to find a brand that works for you and invest in them. This is definitely the one basic piece you should be investing in after 40.

Know your body type and what jeans look best for your body type because everyone is different. If you aren’t sure of your body type you can google and lots of different sites will come up to help you understand.

For example, I am a pear shape so bootcut, flare, and dark jeans work best for my body type. Not that I don’t wear other kinds of jeans obviously.

Some of my favorite denim brands are Everlane, Mother, and Madewell.


Crisp White Button Down

There is nothing more classic than a crisp white button-down worn with your favorite denim or pants. Stick to one that’s well made, not see-through, and looks polished.

My favorite places to buy a white button-down are Sézane, Everlane, and AYR. You can also go for an oversized white button-down as well.


Comfortable Shoes

Gone are the high stilettos and platform shoes. Your 40s are the time to invest in comfortable shoes for work and for the weekend.

There are so many options for great shoes these days. I prefer to go with a block or small kitten heel when I want to get dressed up. But, even a chic pair of flats can look just as sophisticated.

Some of my favorite shoe brands which I know are going to be comfortable yet chic are Sèzane, VINCE, Madewell, Stuart Weitzman, and Rag & Bone.

And now sneakers are so in style that all you really need is a great-looking pair of sneakers that you could wear with your dresses, skirts, and jeans.



Buying great cashmere is another basic every woman over 40 should be doing. Cashmere is the ultimate luxury item especially when it comes to sweaters. Just make sure wherever you are purchasing Cashmere from practices good standards when sourcing their Cashmere. Some of my recommendations would be J.CREW, Jenni Kayne, and Everlane.

Once you wear a Cashmere piece you will instantly be able to tell the difference from when you put on a regular cotton piece. Cashmere just feels amazing and it does feel luxurious. And, at 40 should be feeling luxurious.


Pieces To Avoid Over 40

With all of these basics over 40 women should be owning, what should women over 40 not be owning or wearing? These are all my own personal opinion but if you don’t feel comfortable then don’t wear the item.

  • Tie Die
  • Anything Too Short
  • Crop Tops
  • Sweats
  • Tight Fitting Clothes
  • Pieces Your Teenage Daughter Would Wear
  • Too Many Logos


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