Style over 40: Time to re-discover the joy of dressing up

So here we are….we made it to freedom day (whatever the heck that even means!). Now faced with a prospect of a so-coined summer of fun (that is if we don’t get pinged and have to isolate like half of the country), mingling with more people and going to more places, that actually means that we have to start looking presentable again! But if you have been spending most days in a onesie (as I have) and feel your brow beading with sweat at the idea of having to look stylish again, then fear not people! We have rounded up the best in advice on how to ease yourself back into dressing up again as we all run (or stagger) into the sunshine and embrace whatever version your summer of fun looks like.

Read on for tips on reiscovering the joy of dressing up from Style Coach Janine Coney at Own Your Style; Jacynth Bassett, founder of age-inclusive online fashion boutique The Bias Cut and ‘ageism fighting trailblazer’ Jacynth Bassett; and Donna McCulloch, Stylist to the stars and Fashion Editor at Style Nest.

First up: reconnect with your wardrobe

Start by reconnecting with your wardrobe after all it should feel like your own personal boutique – when you open the doors it should have clothes that you love to wear, suit your style, your lifestyle, that fit you and make you feel great. Take some time going through it, pull out the pieces you love, say goodbye, and put aside to give away, sell or recycle the pieces that you no longer love.  After all this is the perfect time to hit the reset button and curate a wardrobe that really works for you!

Have a play

Play with items already in your own wardrobe, pull out a top and find three different ways to style it.  Pull on a pair of jeans and think of three ways you can add your own signature style to your look with what you wear through colour, accessories or even layering!

Seek out Pinspiration

Start a Pinterest board and use it as inspiration for your dressing up reboot – head into your wardrobe and see if you can recreate any of the looks you love. It’s incredible how many pieces that go unworn in a wardrobe.  Women wear 20% of their wardrobes – that’s 80% sat there waiting for you to rediscover it.

Janine Coney, Founder & Style Director at Own Your Style and the joys of reconnecting with your wardrobe

Go neutral

Neutrals should make up about 60% of your wardrobe and neutrals remain a key trend for summer going through to Autumn and winter too – investing in neutrals is always a good choice and look for quality over quantity as neutral pieces have the longevity we should all desire in our wardrobes in our 40s and beyond

Say it with a statement dress

We all need that go-to feel good piece in our wardrobe that we can rely on for dressing up in. But rather than the classic LBD, opt for a beautiful statement dress, or chic jumpsuit that you can effortlessly slip on, and instantly feel great in.

dressing up
Delicious Mess Ecru Dress by POM Amsterdam, Scotch & Soda Raspberry Red V Neck Sweatshirt, Scotch & Soda Princess Dark Denim Jumpsuit all sold on The Bias Cut

Colours and prints are your friends

Don’t be afraid of colour or print when dressing up – wearing something that’s bright and joyful will boost your mood and your confidence will shine through 

Balance things out with….trainers!

Pair a more dressy item such as a printed dress or jumpsuit with a pair of trainers. It will help ground the look – so you don’t go immediately from 0 to 100 on the glamour scale – and adds a cool, effortless vibe. 

Or opt for a statement shoe

A statement (but comfortable) shoe is a very easy way to elevate a look. 

Accessorise baby!

Never underestimate the power of accessories; belts, bags & jewellery can take a look from zero to hero. Here are some recommendations to get you started:

Jump to it with a jumpsuit

If the thought of dressing up still scares you then ease yourself out of loungewear with a jumpsuit, they don’t feel too dressy and can be styled up or down. Add heels or trainers depending on your mood. 

dressing up
Greta Limited Edition Mink Leather Cross Body Bag from Kerkit, Lucky charms on a gold-plated chain from My-Wishbone, Pink Roses Ladies Pink Champagne Stretch Belt from Ellie & Bea

Remember, dressing up again doesn’t have to feel hairy scary again with the latest restrictions easing. But with just a few tweaks and unearthing the right items from the back of our wardrobes, we can start to look and feel awesome again. What will your go-to piece for going out be?

Do leave a comment and connect with us on Instagram here where we love to chat all things being in your 40s.

Cover picture credit: Maria Orlova from Pexels; Maryia Plashchynskaya, Polina Tankilevitch, Artem Beliaikin, Bella Zhong from Pexels

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