What to Wear in Your 40s

Sporty styling—coupled with pops of bright color—offers cool comfort

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Sporty styling in your 40s

Color blocking, silver accents, stripes.

DKNY neoprene coat, $1,200; dkny.com for stores.

Jens Mortensen

Upgrade your T-shirt

Consider this the decade of better basics. A simple topper gets amped up with color blocking and visually slims your midsection. If that's of interest.

NYDJ color-block tee, $69; nydj.com.

Jens Mortensen

Drench yourself in color

If your wardrobe mostly spans the spectrum from black to gray (ahem), it's time to reboot. This dress is comfortable enough for errands but polished enough for drinks with friends.

Eileen Fisher silk crepe de chine dress, $258; eileenfisher.com.

Jens Mortensen

Make casual tops count

Rather than reaching for that boring sweatshirt (or, dare we say, one of your husband's college has-beens), grab this perforated-front beauty and give your weekend look a reinvention.

Vince Camuto faux-leather top, $84; vince​camuto.com.

Jens Mortensen

Brighten up

No, you really don't need another pair of khakis; instead, wake up your legs with these orange tux-striped chinos.

Tommy Hilfiger cotton blend pants, $299; 212-223-1824.

Jens Mortensen

Schlep in style

Between your work files, your kids' soccer duds and whatever else you tow around every day, you deserve a snazzy tote. This one is as light as a feather and features a zip top.

MZ Wallace oxford nylon tote, $195; mzwallace.com.

Jens Mortensen

Bring sexy back

You may not be rocking the exact body of your twenty-something self, but this will prove you've still got it. Hold the hose, cue the stilettos.

Club Monaco polyester and leather skirt, $150; clubmonaco.com.

Jens Mortensen

Step away from dainty

Your trusty tank watch has served you well for many years, but it’s time (pun intended) to have more fun.

Guess chronograph watch in stainless steel, $160; guess​watches.com.

Jens Mortensen

Incorporate texture

Haul it all, whether you're headed to the office or the playing field.

Botkier vegan-leather tote, $195; botkier.com.

Jens Mortensen

Make room for new flats

The slip-on sneaker is a huge spring trend, and we likey. This silver version is more grownup than, say, a plaid or floral print.

Dolce Vita leather sneakers, $139; dolcevita.com.

Jens Mortensen

Put the cool in casual

Basics get a boost from great design. We’re mad for vests (an extra layer for warmth and interest), especially ones with useful details like pockets and zippers.

Rebecca Minkoff vest, $298; 866-838-6991.

Jens Mortensen

Sneak in the shapewear

Yes, the control panels are built right in. Best. Pants. Ever.

Lisette L rayon blend pants, $118; lisette-l.com.

Jens Mortensen

Play peekaboo

Layer this camisole under a jacket or cardi for a surprise hit of color. Don't want to go braless? That's what a strapless is for.

By Chance silk cami, $198; bychancebydesign.com.

Jens Mortensen

Go bare

If you've been dreaming of a flat, comfortable, indestructible sandal, your wish has come true. This is white done right.

Nine West ankle-strap jelly sandals, $49; zappos.com.

Jens Mortensen

Basic is better

Best in dress? This one. Wear alone or over leggings.

Loft color-block T-shirt dress, $90; loft​.com.

Jens Mortensen

Collection to watch

Sarah Jessica Parker memorably played a shoe obsessive on TV, and it turns out she's one in real life, too. Fellow foot fetishers, rejoice! Parker's line of fun, flirty, super-feminine styles (think silk slingbacks and Capri-inspired espadrilles) is being sold exclusively through Nordstrom.

SJP leather heels, $355; nordstrom.com.

Courtesy of SJP

Eyewear alert

Congrats, you've hit the time when wearing sunnies is an everyday must. Make it fun with colorful shades. We're sweet on the designs from Toms, a company that donates to sight-restoring programs worldwide.

Toms memory-plastic sunglasses, $119; toms.com.

Photo: Courtesy of Toms

This is the right age to try...

Bright nails.

Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in Supermodel, $19; Deborahlippmann.com.

Photo: Courtesy of Deborah Lippmann

Alternative to try: world traveler

You're at the perfect age to try a sophisticated trend, and this is it: world traveler - a look that borrows from the shapes and the styles of far-flung cultures. Go for a warm, spicy color palette (brown, rust, burgundy) and fabrics loaded with texture, emrboidery and embellishment. 


Style Icon: Gwen Stefani

Remember the three rules to follow:

1. Wear fabrics that move with you

2. Spend on basics

3. Keep it simple


And one rule to break:

You can't mix black and blue


Next: New Fashion Dos and Don'ts

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Neil Mockford/Filmmagic

First published in the March 2014 issue

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