Wardrobe Essentials For Women Over 40

So you are looking to create a capsule wardrobe over 40? You have come to the right place. The chances are you used to be reasonably confident about what you wore – in recent years, that may well have changed. How do you create a capsule wardrobe that has you looking and feeling fabulous without looking frumpy?

It often feels as soon as you hit 40 that fashion is not aimed at you unless you want comfortable flat shoes and a nice cardie. Not you? No, it is not me either. There is no reason why you can not still buy similar styles to the ones you loved when you were younger. All you need to do is update that look. Whether you love the French style or are just looking for help with styles for your body shape, a capsule wardrobe that works for you is the answer. 

One of the easiest ways to do that is by building a simple capsule wardrobe to mix and match.

How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe

When you consider building an over 40’s capsule wardrobe, you should answer some questions before getting started.

What is the environment like where you live? Do you have seasons? Is it always cold or warm? Does it rain a lot? Is it humid? This is important in determining what clothes you will need for where you live. 

What colours suit you? I have touched on this above. It can make a huge difference to confidence and self-esteem to use colour to dress well. Consider a colour analysis to determine what would work best. 

What clothes feel good on you?  You should instinctively know the answer to this whenever you put something on – either what physically feels good or mentally. Both aspects are essential.  

Are you conscious of your body shape? Often when working with private clients, I come across this one. More often than not, they have a warped vision of what their body shape is and how bad it is. For help on this, consider a style guide that will identify what suits you best.

What are your favourite brands? Why do you like them? Is it that the cut suits you? Do you like the quality? The price? The style? Make a note of which brands you like and why. 

A woman's legs in stylish trousers and black heels

How To consider Colours Over 40

As you age, colour becomes increasingly important. If you had your colours done twenty years ago, the chances are they will need doing again. As we age, our colouring follows. The shades that suited you twenty years ago may not be the best ones for you now. I strongly advise you to get a colour analysis done if you have not had one done recently. It will give you a great start to building your capsule wardrobe by enabling you to choose a small collection of shades that you know suit you.

To get started, the first thing you need to do is choose a selection of colours. Ideally, you want to select under eight options. By choosing a limited palette creating an outfit becomes simple and easy. A few colours will suit every skin tone during a colour analysis. Below is a small selection of those colours. Each of these shades will suit everyone and mix and match easily. You might notice that I have not included black. Black does not suit everyone, but charcoal and navy do.

Alternatively, to find out what colours suit you best, you can opt for a full-colour analysis and then choose colours you like from a broad range of options.

The colours below include;

Blood red

Charcoal Grey




Fuchsia pink

How To Choose Styles Over 40

The next area you want to consider is your shape. It is also common for this to change throughout the years. Knowing your shape helps you make clothing choices that enhance your best features. Knowing your colours and body shape means you are well armed to build a capsule wardrobe that works for you and your lifestyle. To learn which body shape you are, take a look at my body shape style guide. 

In the meantime, check out the advice below.

  1. For any area of your body that you are unhappy with use simple, dark block colours. For anywhere else, use lighter colours, patterns, and fabrics that catch the light, like velvet, satin, silk and velour. 
  2. Avoid any huge frills, floaty fabrics or anything that adds bulk on areas you want to hide. 
  3. Choose styles that skim your body rather than swamp it. 
  4. Learn your body shape and use what you learn to make the most of your clothing. 
  5. Do not buy clothes that hang straight off your bust with the thought that they will hide your tummy. They will only make you look larger than you are. 
A collection of clothes suitable for a business casual capsule wardrobe

10 Capsule Wardrobe Outfit Ideas Over 40

Below are ten outfits ideas for your capsule

trench cast, red and white Breton style top, straight leg mid use jeans, a red, white and blue scarf, black bag and white trainers
a trench coat, white shirt, white trainers, black bag
a black blazer, red white and blue scarf, red white striped top straight leg jeans white trainers
black blazer, white shirt, straight jeans, white trainers jewellery set
white shirt, red white and blue scarf, navy a line skirt, white trainers
navy white stripe top, navy aline skirt, black pumps, red white and navy scarf
black blazer, red dress, red white blue neck scarf, black pumps black bag
trench coat, red white blouse neck scarf, navy tea dress, black bag, white trainers

Maintaining Your Over 40 Capsule Wardrobe

Intentional shopping is the way forward. Once you start to build your capsule wardrobe, be very intentional about what you add. For example;

You need a new pair of trousers for work.

What colour do you want?
Will that colour goes with the rest of your wardrobe?
What will you wear with these trousers and how will they go with your current wardrobe?
What type of shoes will you wear with them?
Are there any fabrics you want to avoid?
What season are the trousers for?
Do they need to keep you warm or cool?
What style fits your body shape?
What colour suits you?
What is your budget?
What brands have a history of working for you?

Ask yourself these questions or similar every time you buy something for your capsule. That way, if the item comes up in the sales, it IS a bargain.

If you are feeling the perimenopause and need help finding clothes to get you through, check out the best menopause clothing. For help learning what colours and styles suit you, you can start your capsule wardrobe right from the outset and head over to the personal styling online section of my site. Alternatively, book a free consultation with me for a limited time only.

older woman smiling
older woman smiling

What Next?

The information given in the post is the best of my knowledge at the time of writing. If you are embarking on anything new get professional advice if required.

If you enjoyed this post and wish to create a capsule wardrobe, I can help you create one quickly and easily. Get started immediately with one of my personal styling services or book in for a complimentary consultation

  • Personal Styling Gift Vouchers – Save up, ask for them for gifts or put towards any of my services. This is the ideal way to afford a personal stylist whatever your budget!
  • Capsule Closet Success Membership – Receive a copy of the Seasonal Capsule Essentials Ebook twice a year worth $19 and gain access to the Capsule Closet Success Course worth $200. Join our private community for support and advice and submit questions every week and have them answered live in our weekly live check-in sessions. 
  • Premium Personal Styling – A personalised colour analysis and body shape style guide, a live wardrobe edit, a personal shopping and a curated Lookbook
  • Personal Styling – 
  • A personalised Colour Analysis, a Body Shape Analysis And Style Guide, a Live Wardrobe Edit
  • A wardrobe Edit – A 20-minute zoom call to discuss your needs and to highlight any particular problems you want to address in the wardrobe edit. A private Pinterest board to pin styles and colours you love. A 60 minutes live video wardrobe edit
  • Colour Analysis And Body Shape Styling –
  • The Capsule Closet Stylist Colour Analysis looks at the natural colouring in your hair, eyes and skin tone and shows how you can complement your natural colouring in your clothes. The Body Shape Style Guide teaches you how to make the most of your best assets, hide what you do not like, find clothes that complement your shape, and choose the perfect fit.

Still Not Sure?

Book a discovery call with me where we can discuss colour, style, decluttering, body shapes and much, much more.  I can identify where you most need help and point you in the right direction. 

**Please Note This Post Contains Affiliate Links

Capsule Closet Stylist is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Program, Shopstyle and LTK, affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn commission incomes by advertising and linking to Capsuleclosetstylist.com 

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Capsule Closet Success testimonials

'When you join the membership it isn't generic it is tailored to your needs. Michelle considers each individual person and provides advice and guidance based on their needs. I have learnt so much since I joined I feel like I could sit an exam on it now! Honestly, without a doubt if you feel like you are lost with what to wear, you don't know what suits your body shape or your shape has changed, you've lost confidence, you're starting a new job, or you want to minimise your wardrobe, Michelle's membership is without a doubt for you. You can not get better for the price, I have looked!'
I joined Michelle's facebook "capsule wardrobe challenge" in June 2020. I loved her approach of starting off with a concept of what colours and styles you were attracted to, followed by what your lifestyle required functionally. It helped me assess my existing wardrobe with a checklist in mind instead of feeling overwhelmed and indecisive. I found the video format and weekly check-ins easy to follow and explained each stage of building a capsule well. She has been quick to answer any queries I have and to offer her professional stylist's opinion with a gentle manner. I am most grateful for Michelle's overarching aim to help her clients "find their happy place". This membership is about being comfortable in your own skin, not about being super fashionable, and that is exactly what I needed. Thank you for helping me find my confidence again. 😊
There is no doubt in my mind that having a personal stylist online is worth the investment. In fact, at the end of the day I will spend considerably less while looking and feeling so much better. Why? Because I will never again mindlessly spend and spend and spend on clothes that just aren’t right for me and that don’t make me happy. I think we all dream of that wardrobe that makes us happy and confident, but it is so easy to just give up and just wear something. I know I did. And that is just plain crazy because I love clothes! I have always been attracted to styles that I lacked the confidence to try out. Now, with the help and guidance of Michelle, I can finally explore those styles with confidence knowing that whenever I run an item by Michelle, she will give me her honest feedback on whether or not it will fit with my colors and with how I want to look and feel. In short: Michelle’s advice really is priceless. I feel an A-lister in the garments I have purchased since becoming a member! Pssst: One secret, you don’t have to become a minimalist if you don’t want to. Michelle is not about legalistic minalism, she is all about you finding out what works for you and that – along with her very deep knowledge of style – is why I think her membership works for me when in the past nothing else has.

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