Classic Summer Pieces For Women Over 40

During the warmer months, I like to wear classic summer pieces for women over 40. Gone are the days of shorts denim shorts, mini dresses or skirts, and even in some cases a two-piece swimsuit, although I do still own a few.

These days, I look to choose pieces that are classic and timeless yet still feel age appropriate. I think it’s very important to wear what makes you feel good and confident at any age but especially over 40.

I always look to French women for style inspiration and the way they approach fashion. They choose to invest in quality pieces over quantity and pieces which they can wear for years to come.

You can still look stylish and elegant over 40 with simple, classic, and timeless summer pieces that you can wear the entire season. Pieces that you probably already own but ones that never go out of style and ones you can get maximum versatility with.

10 Classic Summer Pieces For Women Over 40

1. White Tops

Outfit 1 Details: Eyelet Top (similar) | Jeans | Sandals | Bag

Outfit 2 Details: Eyelet Top | Jeans | Sandals (similar) | Market Tote

White tops are beautiful for summer, especially eyelet ones or light breezy linen ones. You can also easily wear them with jeans, shorts, skirts, and pants.

The versatility is endless as they go with anything. I love a gorgeous classic white top for summer, which looks classic and elegant for women over 40.

My absolute favorite white tops come from Sèzane. I love the texture, elegance, and Parisian twist on them. Here are some of my favorite white tops for this summer season.


2. One Piece Swimsuit

Outfit Details: Summersalt One Piece | Sun Hat

A beautiful and classic one-piece swimsuit is especially perfect for women over 40. There are many different varieties of suits out there and finding one always seems like a chore.

For some women, it can be a tough subject but a classic one-piece in a solid color is always an appropriate choice.

There are so many pretty and fun options out there now. They are a great way to feel comfortable and glowing all at the same time.

Great places to look for swimsuits are Summersalt, J.Crew, Boden, and Nordstrom.


3. Black Dress

Outfit 1 Details: Black Linen Dress | Sandals (similar) | Market Tote

Outfit 2 Details: Black Dress (similar) | Sandals (similar) Bag

Black dresses are such classic pieces to have in your wardrobe and summertime is no exception. Make it one with a floral pattern or maybe a linen one. They are beautiful and elegant for date nights, summer garden parties, or even lunch with girlfriends.

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you can’t wear a black dress. You can easily wear it with sandals, heels, or sneakers for a more casual look.

You can also find a great selection of black dresses from & Other Stories, Everlane, Ba&sh Paris, and Sèzane has an incredible selection of this basic yet timeless color.


4. Classic Sneakers & Sandals

Shoe Details: Sneakers | Clogs | Gold Sandals | Black Sandals (similar) | Mules (similar)

Invest in classic sandals and sneakers you can wear for years. Go with a pair of flat sandals for a more casual look or a clog or heeled sandal for more dressy occasions.

Stick with ones that are neutral and go with everything in your closet, you will keep these longer and wear them more often.

If you still want neutral but want to have a bit of fun, think about adding a gold pair of sandals to your rotation.

I have a collection of shoes from Sèzane that are my go-to for the spring and summer seasons they are so comfortable, go with everything, and classic. You can also read more about each shoe in this post here along with sizing.


5. Classic T-Shirt

Outfit 1 Details: T-shirt | Jeans | Sandals | Sweater | Market Bag (similar)

Outfit 2 Details: Shirt | White Jeans | Sandals | Market Tote

A basic t-shirt is a great summer staple to have on hand to wear with jeans, shorts, trousers, and even skirts. If you want something a bit more elevated than just a basic t-shirt you could go with a puff sleeve t-shirt.

My favorite T-shirts are the Conrad from Sézane, which I wear in the medium. They aren’t too thin and also don’t feel cheaply made. In addition, the quality is nice, they hold their shape after washing and are reasonably priced.


6. Silk Top

Outfit Details: Silk Top | Jeans | Sandals | Belt | Handbag

I love wearing silk tops year-round because they are so beautiful and classic. Don’t be afraid to wear silk for fear that it’s too pretty or you don’t want to get something on it. Treat silk as any other clothing item you would wear but maybe a little more delicately.

They are so many beautiful silk tops at various price points. Go with a short sleeve or long-sleeve version. You can easily wear a silk top with shorts and sandals for a casual yet polished summer look.

Sézane has wonderful silk tops as well as Everlane and Cuyana.


7. Linen Pants

Outfit Details: Linen Pants | Stripe Top (size down 2) | Sandals(similar) | Market Bag

Linen pants are one of my favorite clothing items to wear in summer. They are light, breezy, and work with everything. Yes, they are supposed to get wrinkled, that’s what linen does.

It’s a summer fabric that you’ll feel comfortable wearing all season long. I have several pairs of linen paints from over the years that I am still wearing because they are so classic and timeless. They are a great pant for when you want to get dressed up or dressed down.

Favorite places to look for linen pants that are classic and great quality are &OtherStories, Cuyana, J.Crew, and Banana Republic.


8. Linen Dress

Outfit Details: Linen Dress | Belt | Handbag | Sandals(similar) | Sunglasses | Earrings

Want to stay cool and classic all summer then go with a linen dress. You can either wear it casually or dress it up a bit with a belt. I like to wear shades of navy or beige which look classic and go with brown or black sandals.

J.Crew always has a great selection of linen dresses that always go on sale at some point during the season. Cuyana has a bit more of an elevated selection of linen dresses and &Other Stories has a great selection of basic linen dress styles they carry year after year.


9. Lightweight Blazer

Outfit 1 Details: Blazer | Cami | Jeans | Sandals (similar) | Market Bag

Outfit 2 Details: Blazer | Tank | Jeans | Sandals (similar) | Handbag

Blazers are my absolute favorite clothing item and even in the summer, I am wearing them. I just choose lighter fabrics and shorter sleeves. They are great with a cami or T-shirt underneath. A fabric like linen is a beautiful option to wear with jeans or even shorts.

A linen combination of a blazer with shorts is so classic and elegant in summer. Wear it with sandals to a party or dinner with friends.

You will still look casual yet a bit elevated with the blazer. Stick with neutral colors like beige or white however if you love color then that’s an option as well.

I have noticed over the years, linen blazers tend to sell out really fast, especially from more affordable brands. If you see one you like, don’t wait around because it might be gone the next time you check.

Some of my favorite places to look for classic linen blazers are Mango, & Other Stories, J.Crew, and H&M. Just double-check the quality of the linen as some are better than others.


10. Summer Bag

Outfit 1 Details: Denim Jacket | Market Tote | Belt | Dress | Sandals

Outfit 2 Details: Eyelet Top (similar) | Jeans | Bucket Bag

Summer is a great time to break out all those bags in lighter shades and materials. So you can put away the blacks and dark browns and bring out the straw totes and bucket bags. It’s also a great time just to carry a pool bag or canvas bag to the farmers market.


Hopefully, these 10 classic pieces for women over 40 have helped to inspire your own selection of pieces for the summer.

This article contains affiliate links, if you should make a purchase I will make a small commission. Merci


  1. Hi Noelani,
    I have been fascinated by your travels and your French dressing blog. I was lucky enough to experience Paris and most of the French Riveria back in Oct/Nov 2019 and like you I fell in love with the place and have been absolutely desperate to return, so your travels have really inspired me and I want to Thankyou for your lovely posts!
    Where are you when you are wearing the black bathers overlooking the pool when talking about dressing over 40? Looks simply serene. And also can you please tell me the name of the Ba&sh purse you have that always sells out because my link is not working!
    Marie 🙏 (S.A – 🇦🇺)

    1. Thank you Marie! So wonderful you were able to experience France as well, such an amazing place isn’t it.
      Thank you, the bash purse is the June Bag and I will attach a link here as well.
      Hopefully, you will get back to France soon! Have a wonderful day, Noelani

  2. I look forward to every Wednesday when your new blog is published. I’m usually up before my husband, so I sit in my quiet house with a good cup of coffee, and savor everything you post. I’ve also bought a few things you’ve suggested and been delighted with every one. Yours is the perfect blog, – interesting, clear, uncluttered content and links that work to products that actually exist! Have a lovely time in Paris!

    1. Bonjour Pamela,
      Thank you so much! This is so nice of you to say. So happy I can help you start your morning on Wednesday! Thank you so much for reading, truly appreciated! Have a wonderful day.
      xo- Noelani

  3. I just love your blog. What is your opinion on singlet tops for women over 40 in summer? Do you think they are bit too young and if so, what would you suggest instead? I live in Australia and the temperature can get very hot. Your suggestions are gorgeous, but we would melt here in jeans and cardigan or long sleeve shirt in summer.

    1. Hi Kate- thank you so much for reading! I think tanks and camis are great for Summer. You can definitely dress them up with a nice pair of linen trousers or long shorts and some heeled sandals. Or even a nice silk skirt and sandals. I would definitely stick to a nice pair of bottoms, I wouldn’t necessarily wear them with cut off shorts or something like that. Thank you! Noelani

      1. Thank you so much for replying. I just read your “10 Classic Wardrobe Basics” article. It is very clear and easy to follow. It is the best I have seen on this topic. Congratulations on a wonderful blog. I am so glad I discovered it..

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