20 Best Fashion Trends for Women Over 40 This Year

These looks are fresh from Fashion Week and should soon be in your closet.

20 Best Fashion Trends for Women Over 40 This Year

When you think of New York Fashion Week, you likely picture stick thin, teenage models in barely-there outfits you could never dream of wearing. But, while some looks are certainly out there, there’s plenty of style straight from New York Fashion Week’s Fall/Winter 2019 runways that will work for all women. From belted coats that show off your curves to slimming monochromatic ensembles, here are the best fashion trends for women over 40 that emerged from New York Fashion Week.

model-belted-coat Goran Jankus / Shutterstock

Belted Coats

Fall/Winter Fashion Week is always all about the coats. But this year, the classic wool trench got an upgrade courtesy of a singular, super stylish accessory: a belt.

By cinching a bulky item like this at the waist, you instantly have a shape. For more inspiration when it comes to this fashion trend, check out this take from Noon by Noor Collection, which features a two-tone design that’s thoroughly modern. 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - August 8, 2018 ; Model walks on white catwalk in Fashion Show of Autumn / Winter KL Fashion Week 2018 in "Ready to Wear" Multi brand at Pavilion Department Store - Image

Ankle-Length Dresses

While the past few seasons have been all about the mid-length dresses (AKA midis) and floor-length ones (AKA maxis), Fall/Winter Fashion Week 2019 was filled with ankle length dresses. This new aesthetic provides just the subtlest peek of the leg, without showing off too much.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 03: A model walks the runway at the Billy Reid fashion show during New York Fashion Week Men's Fall/Winter 2016 on February 3, 2016 in NYC. - Image

Pleated Skirts

When you hear “pleated skirt,” you might picture Catholic school uniforms. But there is a mature way to rock this look, and Fall/Winter Fashion Week 2019 proved it.

Mid-length pleated skirts were all over the catwalk—and when they’re cut from diaphanous fabrics, like satin or silk, they’re stylish and sophisticated. Even if you haven’t worn a pleated skirt since you were 14, your 40-year-old self can totally pull this one off.

sequin-long-sleeve-gown Gordana Sermek / Shutterstock

Long Sleeve Sequin Gowns

If you have the opportunity to go full glam this year, take a page from Tom Ford’s Fall/Winter 2019 collection, which included a silver sequined long-sleeved dress, fit for a queen. Typically, evening gowns are strapless or have dainty straps. But adding full-length sleeves to this look is the perfect amount of sexy, especially if you’re nervous about showing skin.

And there’s no reason entering your 40s means you aren’t allowed to flaunt a show-stopping gown. After all, there’s a reason this was the grand finale of Ford’s runway presentation.

black-tuxedo-for-women FashionStock.com / Shutterstock

Black-Tie Suits

If you’d rather go unconventional to your next black-tie affair, try the coolest new trend for women when it comes to formal wear: a tux. There were plenty of examples in Tom Ford’s show and all over New York Fashion Week. A classic cut in a satin-silk fabric works incredibly well for all shapes and sizes. 

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: A model walks the runway at the Ralph Lauren fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014 on February 13, 2014 in New York City. - Image

Lavender Outerwear

Lavender is one of the coolest new colors for the 2019 season, in part because it’s so unexpected. After all, pastels are not commonly used in fall or winter, but the icy nature of this lavender coat hits all the right notes for chilly days. Who doesn’t want a hint of spring in the winter? 

Kimono Dresses

Wrap dresses have never gone out of style, thanks to Diane von Furstenberg. But Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2019 added an Asian-inspired angle on this classic with tons of kimono-style dresses. Belted at the waist, the look highlights the bust while drawing attention to the slimmest part of your figure. Thanks to the flowing design at the bottom, this style skims the rest of your body ever so slightly. No cut has ever looked this flattering and fashionable.

ZAGREB, CROATIA- MARCH 24, 2018: Fashion model wearing clothes for spring-summer, designed by Klisab on the Bipa Fashion.hr fashion show in Zagreb, Croatia. - Image

Two-Piece Sets

You might thinking the matchy-matchy vibe should stay in the 1980s and 1990s, but Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2019 proved that you can age up and dress up a coordinated ensemble. Case in point: this blouse with matching Bermuda shorts. 

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 03: A model walks the runway during the Haider Ackermann show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2016 on October 3, 2015 in Paris, France. - Image

Bold Shoulders

Shoulder pads may also bring you back to the ’80s, but don’t let that be a deterrent. Not only are bold shoulders incredibly figure flattering, they’re also a great way to add detail to simple styles, cuts, and colors, as this outfit shows. 

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 22: Soso Korell walks the runway at the Versace show during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018 on September 22, 2017 in Milan, Italy. - Image

Anything Purple

It’s not just lavender outerwear that popped up during New York Fashion Week—there was a whole lot of purple in general going on. Shades of gemstone amethyst read as downright regal, which is ideal for women of a certain age who want to show that they’re authoritative and stylish.

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 02: A model walks the runway during the Chanel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2019 on October 2, 2018 in Paris, France. - Image

Oversized Silhouettes

Clingy shapes were cast aside at New York Fashion Week this year, and loose, oversized silhouettes reigned supreme. When styled with luxe accessories, the look is not at all sloppy—think of it as more comfortable and chic.

ZAGREB, CROATIA - OCTOBER 31, 2015: Fashion model wearing clothes designed by Ivica Skoko on the 'Fashion.hr' fashion show - Image

Lacey LBDs

We all know about the little black dress (or LBD) by now. But there were plenty of Fall/Winter 2019 styles at Fashion Week that amped up this classic with some lace. With long sleeves, it’s the perfect way to show some skin in a classy (not trashy) way.

monochromatic-red Karnizz / Shutterstock

Monochromatic Red

Another color designers fell for this season? Bold reds, whether of the fire engine or burgundy variety. When used head to toe—like this suited style from L’Agence, for example—it’s a modern and daring look.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: A model walks the runway at Lacoste show during New York Fashion Week on February 11, 2017 in New York City. - Image

Plaid On Plaid

Yes, this is another throwback to your old schoolgirl days, but plaid can be worn in a grown-up, fresh way. This gorgeous plaid outfit from Tory Burch, for example, says sophisticated all over it.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: A model walks the runway wearing Tibi Fall 2018 at Pier 17 on February 11, 2018 in New York City. - Image

Layered Sweaters

The double-knit aesthetic is practical and, as they say, “twice as nice.” For Fall/Winter 2019, designers took layering to a new level, placing knits of the same fabric but with different necklines on top of one another. It gives a modern vibe to the traditional cardigan-and-shell sweater sets.

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 26: A model walks the runway during the Elisabetta Franchi fashion show as part of Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 on September 26, 2015 in Milan, Italy. - Image

Fringe Accessories

Fringe—as seen on a clutch purse here—adds the perfect amount of fun to a more serious outfit. Obviously, we’d suggest pairing this youthful accessory with a two-piece suit, not hot pants (which are really just for the beach and exercise).

printed-puffer-coat Miguel Rajmil/EFE/Alamy Live News

Patterned Puffers

Puffers have been cold-weather mainstays for years, but for Fall/Winter 2019, many designers proved that they can be so much more than insulated jackets. Since you wear your winter gear daily—sometimes from November to March—a coat like this one Spanish designer Custo Barcelona ensures you’ll never be bored by your outerwear.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Model walks the runway for Ranfan Fashion Show Fall Winter 2015 Collection during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2015 at The Lincol Center on February 15, 2015 in NYC - Image

Head-To-Toe White

Although all black is traditionally thought of as the most slimming monochromatic style, next fall and winter is going to be all about head-to-toe white, which have just as much figure-flattering power. Forget the idea that white can’t be worn after Labor Day—in fact, it’s cooler when you wear it in the winter months, to be honest.

Oh, did we mention Meghan Markle just rocked this look. Need we say more?

turtleneck-fashion FashionStock.com / Shutterstock


Turtlenecks may seem a bit bulky and stodgy, but they can also be supremely sexy. Especially when styled as a dress or paired with a skirt—as Christian Siriano‘s collection proved—turtlenecks can be feminine and slimming against your face shape.

Sumptuous Fabrics

Regardless of the cut or style, one major trend to come out of New York Fashion Week for Fall/Winter 2019 was luxurious materials and fabrics, with velvet being a prime example. Who said cozy and cool had to be mutually exclusive, anyway? And for more style inspiration, check out the 20 Fashion Trends You Should Actually Try in 2019.

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