16 Clothing Brands Every Woman in Her 40s and 50s Needs in Her Wardrobe
These expert-recommended brands for women over 40 will flatter your body, boost your confidence and keep you stylish
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The best clothes for women over 50
Navigating the world of fashion in our 40s and 50s is a whole new trip, for sure, but it’s an exciting one. Yes, you read that right. It’s during this time that the hunt for clothes—especially clothes for women over 50—becomes more intentional. I’m not talking about following age-related dress codes. Rather, it’s a matter of finding clothing that perfectly captures our evolving style and identities.
“Fashion over 40 presents the chance to redefine your look to reflect who you’ve become at this stage of life,” says style expert Renate McSherry. Our preferences, our bodies and our mindsets all shift, so some of the go-to sources you relied on in the past may not serve you anymore because, say, the cuts seem off or they’re giving a trying-too-hard vibe. “This is a time to find great new brands that speak to you, so you can look age-appropriate but still chic and captivating.” The same is true when harnessing the power of accessories and makeup for mature women.
What should women over 40 keep in mind about style?
The quest to look younger and all-around amazing isn’t about trying to turn back time. It’s about choosing items that highlight your best features. “I’ve cycled through countless looks in my pursuit to find what best represents me,” says style pro Donna Means. “It wasn’t until my 40s that I really homed in on my unique style. I’ve met myself. I invest in her, and I trust her.”
To that, I say amen. Personally, coming to really understand what flatters me, rather than what pieces are hot for a moment, has been the biggest game-changer. Some of my new favorite brands, like Meg, are about gorgeous, timeless styles that make the wearer feel fabulous. The beauty of dressing at this age is you have a lot less tolerance for frustration. And a lot more desire to feel like yourself. Here are the brands—and some can’t-miss items from them—that will help you do just that.
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If you’re a mature woman who wants contemporary looks in an age-appropriate style, this is your brand, says Means. “Zara is constantly innovating,” she explains. “They have an exceptional ability to tap into what’s happening out in the fashion world and swiftly rotate their collections to reflect the trends in very wearable ways for those of us seeking clothing for women over 50.” You’ll definitely want to hit up Zara’s yearly sales, which usually take place at the end of seasons (around June and December), to find great discounts.
We love: Their semi-poufy midi-skirt. There’s room to move in it, so you don’t feel bound-in or body-conscious, but at the same time, it radiates polished-casual confidence. “This piece is as versatile as you are,” says Means. “Pair it with a fitted T-shirt and athleisure sneakers for an easygoing farmers-market morning, or style it as a matching monochromatic outfit with a more elegant top, wedge heels and bold jewelry for an evening outing.”
Reformation is serious about sustainability, so you can feel extra good about buying from this brand. Full transparency is their motto, and the goal is to source 100% of their fabrics from recycled, regenerative or renewable materials by 2025. Means loves that, as well as the timeless appeal of their pieces, and their other commitment: to creating the perfect fit. Reformation offers a top-notch alteration service to ensure your new clothes look as though they were made just for you. Look for the brand’s Summer Sale in July, which boasts discounts up to 40%.
We love: The Naomi linen jumpsuit, an elegant one-piece that can pretty much serve all your wardrobe needs. “The cropped-leg length offers endless shoe-pairing options, from flats to stilettos, so you can transform the look any way you want,” says Means. “I also love that the belt is removable, allowing for personalized styling. Try replacing it with a beautiful vintage silk scarf or something young and fun. And the jumpsuit is linen, which means it’s breathable. You can layer on a sweater or a little jacket. Or take it up a notch with trendy jewelry. It’s so chic, with truly endless personality.”
Let’s talk about high-quality pieces with French elegance, because who wouldn’t want those kinds of items in their wardrobe? “This French brand offers a timelessness that works so well on anyone on the hunt for fabulous clothing for women over 50,” says Means. “There’s a real fear of falling into the ‘boring’ category image-wise as we age, and the chic aesthetic of this brand will save you from that fate.” Sézane holds two main sales each year, in January and July, so mark your calendar!
We love: Sézane’s Giacomo trousers. These loose-fitting pants have a little bit of a drop waist that gives them an easygoing vibe, says Means. “But they’re still narrow at the waist and the hips, with the fullness really starting from the knee down, which is a beautiful, feminine look,” she adds. “As we age, we can tend to get thicker on top, and if a pant is too balloony, it’s not flattering. Plus, the terracotta color is a bit surprising, but so warm, anyone can pull it off.” You can really have fun with this menswear style by contrasting it with feminine beauty. One great makeup idea? Adding a sophisticated red lip to play up that fun contradiction.
“This brand should be a go-to source for older women who desire chic, comfortable and creative designs,” says McSherry, who blogs at Style Alive After 55. The sizes are inclusive, up to 20/22, available in petites and tall, and the pieces are super practical—they not only look good but are also travel-friendly. “Their clothing line is incredibly versatile, allowing women to pack light without compromising on style.” The unique and bold patterns make dressing fun, a point so many brands miss when designing clothing for mature women. Plus, Chico’s has fine-tuned customer service, offering personal stylists in stores and helpful sizing charts online.
We love: This bold poncho. “Every season, Chico’s comes out with different ponchos in great patterns and a thin material that are so much fun to play around with,” says McSherry. “They’re ideal for traveling. I just stuff a few in my carry-on, and with the millions of ways to wear them, I look like I have a different outfit every day.” This is definitely a look you’ll want to learn how to take a selfie for. It’s lively and creative, and it shows you’re classy but not uptight.
This trendy Spanish clothing brand has been stepping up its sustainability and ethics efforts, implementing a Sustainable Vision 2030 program that promises to make positive impacts on communities where the brand operates. It’s also involved with global philanthropy. Plus, it abides by a design strategy that means using reinforced, single types of fabric so their pieces last longer and are more recyclable. It’s the fusion of sustainability and style, as well as a broad size range, that makes Means such a fan. Mango’s big yearly sale typically starts in late June or early July, and you can score discounts of up to 50%.
We love: This detailed contrasting-trim cardigan. “It’s a three-in-one piece,” says Means. “You get elements of a classic cardigan, a blazer and even a bit of puffer jacket. And I love that it speaks a few different vocabularies. You can go with the classic Chanel cardigan look with the gold buttons and the piping. But the more structured waist means it sits right at the belly button, so it’s going to slim you in the middle. It can also be worn like a less-sporty puffer jacket.” For that reason, Means says this is one of the best sweaters you can invest in for versatility.
Nordstrom shines in its commitment to inclusivity and gets high marks from Means for its extensive range, particularly its plus-size category. Beyond the comprehensive selection, Nordstrom goes the extra mile with its free Personal Stylist Service, which gives customers the opportunity to curate their own look with professional help. Don’t miss the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale every July, where you can snag newly released pieces at deep discounts.
We love: This sleek tunic from Eileen Fisher. “The organic linen material gives it a breezy, comfortable feel, making it perfect for summers,” says Means. “Just add a cardigan for cooler weather. Pair it with high-waisted black cigarette pants, and you’ve got an effortlessly chic look. Or switch it up with printed slim-fit pants for a pop of color.” And let’s not forget accessorizing. Nordstrom is home to some of the best jewelry brands. Play around with a statement necklace or some bold earrings that will really stand out against the simple dark background.
This is a brand that strikes a nice balance between professional sophistication and playful charm, according to Means. If you’re looking for clothing for women over 50 but still want to show you’ve got some fire, you’ll be able to find some excellent surprises here. And to make shopping super easy, Evereve’s Trendsend personal styling service offers a customized clothing selection delivered right to your doorstep, based on your personal profile. Mark your calendars for Evereve’s end-of-season sales, a golden opportunity to revamp your wardrobe without breaking the bank.
We love: This upbeat, classy pink Bridget blazer. “The color is youthful and vibrant, while the fit is tailored enough for even a corporate setting,” says Means. “Pair it with a crisp white blouse for the office, or over a graphic tee for a weekend outing. It’s made from a cotton blend, which translates to both comfort and style. The blazer even features a notched collar, adding a classic touch.”
Meg is a brand that exudes a timeless elegance. Woman-founded, the brand understands the fashion needs and wants of women across all age groups. “Meg, the designer, meticulously crafts each piece to be universally flattering, accommodating body sizes and shapes in a manner that fosters solid confidence,” says Means. The premium fabrics mean the pieces feel as good as they look too. Moreover, they take their commitment to sustainability and ethical production methods very seriously.
We love: The Soleil blue maxi dress with pockets. “This dress is a masterclass in thoughtful design and flattering fit,” says Means. “The sky-blue shade is both stunning and a clean background on which you can add a lot of great accessories. Its body-friendly design is subtle and elegant, and that low neckline—so sexy and sophisticated!” Pair it with white sneakers for a casual day look or strappy sandals for an evening event. This is one of those classic dresses you’ll hold on to forever.
“Madewell has mastered the art of denim,” Means says, lauding the brand for its focus on quality and durability. “They make some of the best jeans for women 40s, 50s and above, because they have so many styles that meet a whole variety of needs. Madewell’s designs have a way of always flattering, since [the brand] has a keen understanding of body shapes and sizes.” And if you join the Denim Insiders program, you get extra perks like free shipping and complimentary jeans hemming.
We love: Madewell’s Curvy Kick Out Crop Jeans. “The wash is pretty, but what I really like are the pockets,” says Means. “Not everyone at this age has a great butt, and these big pockets give the illusion of a rounder, nicely shaped backside.” Plus, she adds, the raw hem isn’t too deconstructed, so it feels age-appropriate, and the mid-rise makes them sit comfortably at your waist. A touch of elastane gives them comfy stretch.
State Cashmere is all about luxury at an affordable price. That speaks to anyone searching for clothes for women over 50 who wants sophistication and quality but doesn’t want to shell out major bucks for it. Means also calls out the brand’s ethical sourcing and production, mentioning that the company maintains a direct relationship with Mongolian herders to ensure fair trade. This direct sourcing allows the brand to offer genuine cashmere pieces that stand the test of time. Hot tip: State Cashmere hosts a yearly end-of-season sale, where they offer up to 50% off on select items.
We love: The basic black crewneck sweater. “It’s a classic piece that’s a real wardrobe essential,” says Means. “Something about cashmere looks and feels so classy, and there’s really nothing you can’t wear it with—it can transition from a chilly office environment to an evening dinner party.” Zhuzh it up by adding a statement necklace or layering it over a crisp white shirt. Or pair it with jeans and white sneakers for the perfect weekend brunch outfit. Another tip from Means: If you’re not loving your neck, wear a turtleneck underneath in any color.
“As its name suggests, this brand specializes in high-quality silk pieces that exhibit simple sophistication,” says Means. “A woman over 50 doesn’t always want frills and fancies. At this age, we usually gravitate toward timeless pieces like these that exude elegance.” Means praises LILYSILK for not just focusing on luxury but also on the functional benefits of silk, such as its hypoallergenic properties and breathability.
We love: LILYSILK’s oversized white button-down. “It’s endlessly workable,” says Means. “Dress it up by pairing it with a high-waisted skirt for a meeting, or bring in denim or khakis and menswear loafers for a casual look. Remember, it’s all about the details—unbutton an extra button and let it sway off one shoulder for a touch of sass, or tuck it in and layer a bunch of necklaces to add interest. The best necklaces are the ones that speak to your personality, like a selection of chains with charms, or something chunky.”
Marcella designs exude an understated glamour. “Their stuff is great for the woman over 50 looking to inject some excitement into her evening wear without going overboard,” says Means. The brand makes sure that even its more form-fitting pieces are comfortable and not constricting, she adds. “You feel good and confident wearing them—you’re not tugging at your clothes all night.” Marcella does not typically hold big yearly sales, but it does offer a loyalty program with exclusive perks.
We love: This chic date-night black top. “There’s a relaxed, sexy appeal to this piece,” says Means. “The close fit plays up your curves without being overly revealing. As an older woman, finding clothing that’s both stylish and flattering to your changing body shape is a challenge. This nails it.” Means suggests working the femininity of the piece with a high-waisted skirt and heels. But she also points out that it’ll look great dressed down with jeans and flats. Invest in the best bras to go strapless without fear.
Here’s a great go-to brand for the basics. “The styles are straightforward and understated, which is key for so many middle-aged women who want those classy, not-too-fussy options,” says McSherry. And they have a wide range of machine-washable pieces, from merino wool sweaters to sophisticated suits, which makes maintenance a breeze. While they offer plenty of neutrals, they also carry a beautiful spectrum of jewel tones, bright pastels and primary shades. In recent years, Banana Republic has expanded its size range to include up to size 20, with many styles available in petite and tall sizes.
We love: This trench coat in Desert Thyme. “It encapsulates the essence of Banana Republic’s style philosophy—simplicity, versatility and elegance,” McSherry explains. “The neutral color will be your best friend, while the cinch at the waist provides a flattering silhouette. This coat effortlessly elevates any ensemble, irrespective of what lies beneath it.”
Ming Wang emphasizes versatility in its designs, making it a real workhorse for mature women who value flexibility in their wardrobe. “They understand a mature woman’s fashion needs—items that work well in a huge variety of situations,” says Means. “Our lives are dynamic, and we need looks that keep up. Ming Wang offers pieces that are endlessly adaptable. Plus, the fabrics resist wrinkling, so they’re great for travel or busy days.” Keep an eye out for Ming Wang’s Anniversary Sale, which usually occurs in October.
We love: The blue houndstooth jacket. “This jacket, with its blue hue and traditional houndstooth pattern, is an attention-grabber,” says Means. “The contrast trim adds nice depth and texture, and the slightly loose fit ensures comfort while accommodating a variety of body types. You could add a chunky pearl necklace to stay in that world, then bring in some funk with jeans and a white T-shirt. Some bold cocktail rings would be a fun add too. Or button it up, pair it with a pencil skirt, add more delicate pearls and totally work the classic look.”
“Karen Millen designs with real women in mind, acknowledging the fact that we come in a full range of body types,” says Means. “Their commitment to fit is ideal for older women, who often struggle with finding clothes that are both stylish and comfortable. All their pieces are made to enhance your shape, not just your size, so they really flatter your best features.” The brand also features a broad array of styles, from classy workwear to elegant evening dresses, allowing women to curate a wardrobe that fits their personal image and lifestyle.
We love: The Waterfall halter dress. “The halter silhouette is so flattering to all body types,” says Means. “What’s really great is the width of the band, which defines a waist, and at the same time, camouflages any arm fat or bra bulge. The low back is sexy, but not overly revealing, and the fabric lays nicely—it’s not going to cling to any bump or body part you don’t want it to cling to.” But the night-out maxi dress doesn’t just emphasize your body; it also showcases what’s happening above your neck, like your makeup and hair. This is an opportunity to try out hairstyles that make you look younger, from a loose bun to a long and flowy ‘do.
“The brand is known for its understated yet classy styles, which is really appealing to mature women who appreciate comfort and elegance in their fashion choices,” says McSherry. Plus, Eileen Fisher has taken strides to create an environmentally friendly brand, with the goal of using only organic cotton and linen. But it’s not just the brand’s eco-consciousness that resonates. “Eileen Fisher designs are timeless,” notes McSherry of these clothes for women over 50. “They are simple and versatile, which makes them perfect for women who want to invest in quality pieces that will last and can be styled in myriad ways.” Finally, the brand’s inclusive size range is worth noting. Eileen Fisher offers sizes up to 3X, along with petite and tall options.
We love: The stretch crepe pants. “They’re the ultimate multitaskers in a woman’s closet,” McSherry raves. “They’re washable, they’re pull-on and they come in an array of colors. They are easy to wear on flights, around the house and really for all occasions.” The pants’ versatility also means they work nicely under pretty much any tops and jackets, including classic to colorful jean jackets.