Ask anyone with a vested interest in women’s fashion and they’ll tell you: styles change at the drop of a hat. High-waisted jeans that seemed au courant on a Monday are yesterday’s news by the end of the week, and that fedora you proudly topped your outfit with just a few months ago has suddenly become such an embarrassment you’ve scrubbed your social media of any trace of it.
However, while the wearability of some trendy pieces may wax and wane, great fabrics, designs, and fits never truly go out of style. Fortunately, today you can find stylish pieces at a wide variety of price points everywhere from your local mall to high-end designer stores. With that in mind, we’ve assembled a list of the best fashion brands for women over 40, from mass-market retailers to boutiques sure to help you score the perfect piece.
Wool-Cotton Blend Duster Cardigan Sweater
$159; buy now at bananarepublic.com
Banana Republic remains a women’s staple for good reason: Their clothes are of good quality, have a light touch on trends, and are at an accessible enough price point that everyone can snag a little BR for their own wardrobe. Example A: This light grey, wool-cotton blend sweater duster jacket, which can be worn alone, over a dress, or paired perfectly with a white tee and straight-leg jeans.
Cinq A Sept
$495; buy now at cinqasept.nyc
The New York-based label’s French name is emblematic of what the line is about: The hours between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Filled with cocktail numbers, smart separates, and some more billowy blouses, Cinq a Sept is ideal for after-work events. For example, the Lisette Dress strikes a balance between romantic and edgy, and can be styled with heels, flats, or even sneakers for a casual weekend outing.
Turn It Up Pant
$125; buy now at thisisaday.com
This eco-friendly fashion collection is designed to help you keep a well-edited closet that consists of essential staples made from technical fabrics that’ll last you through the entire day—and night, too. The Turn It Up Pant is a tapered trouser available in a range of shades including navy, black, and charcoal, and looks power-suit ready—but no one has to know the waistband is made of only elastic.
Ruffle V-Neck Blouse
$90; buy now at anntaylor.com
Featuring a slew of flattering dresses, skirts, and separates, Ann Taylor’s versatile pieces are known to mix and match particularly well together. Take this ruffle v-neck blouse in romantic pink, which works well with a sharp pencil skirt, more casual denim, and especially when dressed up with a choker-style statement necklace that the blouse frames flawlessly.
Classic Structured Leather Coat
$195; buy now at cuyana.com
With timeless apparel and accessories favorited by the fashion insider set, Cuyana is known its for high-quality craftsmanship and for its affordable cult favorites. Make a beeline straight for the classic structured leather tote bag, which has earned legions of celebrity fans for its durability, affordability, and the cool interior/exterior color combinations the style is offered in.
Dukono Thumbhole Sweater
$130; buy now at universalstandard.com
Created for all women (sizes range between 6 and 32), Universal Standard provides utilitarian-chic pieces at a fair price. Stock up on staples, like clean-lined pants and classic sweaters. Right now, the Dukono Thumbhole Sweater—made of 100 percent merino wool—has both a cozy and sexy vibe, thanks to the extended sleeve length, and, as the name suggests, thumbholes. Plus, it’s available in both black and navy for easy styling.
Ava Lace Pencil Skirt
$98; buy now at stylesaint.com
StyleSaint offers lacy, romantic, and sustainable fabrics that are both stylish and affordable, yet forgiving in their cut. The Ava Lace Pencil Skirt, which is available in four separate color schemes, clocks in at under $100 while looking like it’s worth $1 million thanks to the flawless tailoring and elegant, just-below-the-knee hemline.
Faux Shearling Hooded Coat
$229; buy now at shop.mango.com
This Spanish retailer has enlisted stars like Scarlett Johannson and Kate Moss to be the faces of their high-style fashion line with more daring pieces that fit a trend without going too far. Take this season’s must have coat: the teddy-style shearling, which Mango offers in a classic tan color but has also topped off with a hood for the ultimate winter warmer.
Leather Look Biker Jacket
$70; buy now at zara.com
This fast-fashion star produces items that look like high-end designer pieces that are actually a fraction of the cost. With a dark, neutral palette and an easy-to-shop app complete with merch drops twice weekly, Zara’s a must-have for every woman’s shopping list. Take their leather-look biker jacket, which is both incredibly affordable and incredibly versatile. Come the ideas of winter, try layering it under another coat for an added style boost.
$325; buy now at laligne.com
With a focus on all things striped, this young brand is known for its updated basics: Think sailor tees, wide-legged trousers, and perfectly crisp blouses. The Marin Turtleneck is a premium example of all things La Ligne: made with a seven-ply wool-cashmere blend, a flowing cut, and perfectly placed stripes, this sweater will last you for a slew of seasons to come.
The Bomb Pop
$225; buy now at ayr.com
Abbreviated for All Year Round, any of these season-less items will never fall to the back of your closet rotation thanks to their versatility. Bonus points if you shop the Top 5 and Waitlisted sections of the site, which show what’s popular at the moment. The Bomb Pop jeans, for example, look like that perfect pair of vintage denim tucked away in your jeans drawer, but are actually constructed to help smooth any lumps and bumps up top while leaving just enough space around the ankle to strike the balance between casual and incredibly tailored.
Double Sided Check Blanket Scarf
$39; buy now at nordstrom.com
This in-house line for Nordstrom is full of workwear staples and weekend favorites like soft sweaters, oversized scarves, and tailored trousers. This double-sided wonder appears like a neutral plaid, but with pops of bright green, makes for the perfect statement accessory to an otherwise simple outfit.
White House Black Market
Faux Pearl-Trim Tweed Topper
$220; buy now at whitehouseblackmarket.com
White House Black Market has always consistently offered both modern and affordable pieces that feature clean lines, classic shapes, and a simple color palette of which its name attests. This pearl-trimmed, faux tweed topper looks like it could be Chanel, but is a fraction of the price, and can be worn with the matching skirt in a suit set, or paired with a tee, skinny denim, and kitten-heeled mules.
$119; buy now at chicos.com
Forget any old notion of Chico’s feeling stodgy: The store, is in fact, full of chic dresses in cool patterns that are extremely well priced—and ones you won’t feel bad ditching after a season or two. This suede skirt, constructed in a neat A-line style and of the richest camel hue, is flattering on every body type and incredibly affordable when compared to similar styles.
Comptoir des Cotonniers
Velvet Blazer Noir
$226; buy now at comptoirdescotonniers.eu
Got breathing room in your budget? Look no further than Comptoir des Cotonniers, which is full of iconic pieces in sumptuous materials like cashmere and silk. This brand-new velvet blazer is incredibly soft to the touch, figure flattering for those with bigger busts (thanks to the single-breasted cut), and wearable by itself or under other coats, too.
Twist-Front Cashmere Sweater
$178; buy now at bloomingdales.com
Bloomingdales’ in-house collection strikes the right note between classic and trendy, offering up a plethora of styles, most of which clock it at under $200. Take this brand-new twist front cashmere sweater, which is literally at the epicenter of timelessness—thanks to the fabrication—and trends, thanks to the cool cut.
Long Sleeve A-Line Dress with Zip Pockets in Boucle
$70; buy now at gap.com
No need to elaborate here—the Gap is an American classic that makes impossibly comfortable jeans, cozy sweaters, and cotton tees that are oh so soft, too. This grey boucle dress has a swingy fit, a comfortable feel, and best of all, zipped-up pockets on both sides to stash your cell phone, license, work ID, and more.
Velvet Bias Skirt
$278; buy now at eileenfisher.com
Packed full of beautifully designed wardrobe essentials, the Eileen Fisher collection had one goal in mind when it first launched, which it carries through today: to make getting dressed easier. This bias calf-length skirt, made in sumptuous velvet, falls elegantly on every body type and looks just as good with a cotton tank as it does with a silk blouse.
Tie-Belt Flutter-Sleeve Faux-Wrap Dress for Women
$36; buy now at oldnavy.com
The affordable sister of the Gap is known for bottom-barrel prices, but that doesn’t mean its staples aren’t of good quality: Many shoppers swear by their Old Navy items as being some of the longest lasting pieces in their closets. For example, this flutter-sleeved dress is incredibly flattering, features a faux wrap style for ease of wear, and only looks like it cost a small fortune.
Long-Sleeved Leather Dress
$490; buy now at cosstores.com
Inspired by the art and design worlds, the Cos collection is comprised of updated classics that’ll last beyond seasons. Fabrics including silk-cotton blends along with a moody color palette make this a creative type’s dream collection. For example, this leather, long-sleeved sheath will become a contemporary staple and looks both elegant and edgy without being too over the top.
MM La Fleur
The Ryann Dress — Light Twill
$240; buy now at mmlafleur.com
Created as a wardrobe solution for professional women, the MM La Fleur line features styles with the impeccable tailoring of a designer fashion house–think silk crepe pieces—but with the price tag of otherwise high-street options. This structurally sculptured shift dress has inverted pleats at the neck and waist to create the most flattering visual possible.
Vest for All Seasons
$80; buy now at coldwatercreek.com
Ponte knits, classic coats, and even women’s swimsuits are a must from Coldwater Creek, which is easily shopped and carries a wide range of sizes to boot. One of the best for the upcoming season is the aptly named Vest for All Season, which is available in a range of colors and can be styled a slew of different ways. For a welcome pop of color, try the cornflower blue. Or stick with their muted white to keep things demure.
Long-Sleeve Flouncy-Hem Dress in Painted Floral
$138; buy now at jcrew.com
No matter how many reinventions J. Crew may go through, its timeless design remains the same—and often, the more you mix and match from the collection, the better your entire look may be. Take this painted floral dress, which features a swingy hem, long sleeves, and a navy-and-burgundy color palette that works just as will now as it will come spring.
Keyhole Refined Ponte Sheath
$140; buy now at talbots.com
With a modern yet classic aesthetic, Talbots offers apparel in misses, petites, plus size, and plus size petite, ensuring every woman can find the perfect LBD—arguably the label’s signature offering. Take this slightly updated style, which features a ponte knit and a keyhole necklace for a fresh twist on the classic.
$20; buy now at lanebryant.com
This plus-sized boutique is famous for creating stylish clothing that women wouldn’t normally find in their size, along with sexy lingerie and well-designed accessories, too. This chain-link bracelet features a larger length than normal, allowing for anyone to rock the jewelry of the season comfortably.
Leopard Fur Coat
$179; buy now at eloquii.com
Despite the recent news of Walmart, the king of basic fashion, acquiring this online retailer, Eloquii’s designs are anything but basic, featuring fashionable options for plus-sized women and a well-curated online boutique to shop for them all in. This leopard coat—designed in collaboration with Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James collection—features a swingy, loose fit and the most cozy fabric that’s not actually real fur.
Annina Pleated Skirt
$180; buy now at clubmonaco.com
Part of the Ralph Lauren family, Club Monaco offers chic and stylish women’s separates that feature clean lines, flawless tailoring, and easily mixed patterns. Take this swingy, accordion-pleated skirt in cherry red and pair it with an easy blouse, cool graphic tee, or with a blazer to be meeting-ready.
& Other Stories
Belted Wool Blend Boilersuit
$149; buy now at stories.com
This one-stop shop is a stylist’s dream destination, as classic pieces are easily found among more trendy items, along with jewelry, accessories, and even makeup, too. The boilersuit—one of the year’s biggest fashion trends—is perfectly made here in the most neutral shade of khaki, and has a 100 percent adjustable belt that you can customize to your waist on any given day.
Perfect Fitted Shirt
$295; buy now at theory.com
If you’re looking for stylish pieces that’ll last a decade plus, Theory is your new go-to. Crepe blouses, silk sheaths and leather jackets aren’t by any means cheap, but they’re all timeless and of borderline impervious construction. Their Perfect Fitted Shirt is just that—flawlessly tailored and available in three different colors, all of which are made from a stretch silk that drapes ever so lightly against your figure.
Lucille Jersey Midi Dress
$130; buy now at bodenusa.com
This British retailer may have opened in 1911, but by no means is the women’s collection stuffy or out of date, rather, they offer a litany of amazing dresses in wrap, maxi and other covetable cuts. This midi number features a tiny pattern that’s figure flattering in three different shades and has ruching at the waist that’ll forgive you after you’ve had a massive burger for lunch.
The Busty Bralette
$35; buy now at wearelively.com
Don’t let the lingerie store freak you out: This online retailer features bras for every shape and size both with and without underwire, along with strapless iterations, loungewear, and panties that are almost too comfortable to actually be real. Fans flock to their Busty Bralette, which provides excellent, wire-free support for cup sizes larger than a D.
Women Ultra Light Down Jacket
$70; buy now at uniqlo.com
Fast fashion house Uniqlo makes some of the best basics, particularly in its heat tech line, which will keep you warm in even the most intense of winters. Also covetable is their newly released Ultra Light Down collection, and particularly the Down Jacket, which falls at the hip, comes in many colors, and will last you the entire season, all for less than $100.
The Oversized Blazer
$175; buy now at everlane.com
Featuring beautiful essential pieces, Everlane is proof that the markup on clothing is sometimes all too real, as they disclose their exact production processes for every single item they sell. Go for the Oversized Blazer in Glen Plaid, which has a trendy cut and fabric but flatters every single body type. Pair it with denim, a pencil skirt, or the matching trousers—it works well with just about anything.
$378; buy now at trade-make.com
Designed in New York City by Pookie and Louisa Burch, Trademark shoes and accessories are meant to be just that—the trademark pieces in a woman’s closet. Go for the Frances Mule—available in trendy cream and neutral black—which has a comfortable, chunky heel that adds height without any post-wear pain.
$128; buy now at maggylondon.com
This dress shop has literally everything one could hope for: Every cut, style, length, and color imaginable. In other words? If you’ve dreamt of the dress, Maggy London has it. The Siobhan Midi, which appears to be bold separates, is actually just one sheath that has the most feminine silhouette.
Floral Pajama Set
$68; buy now at karenkane.com
This British label has become practically synonymous with style, comfort and sophistication—but would you expect anything less of the Brits? Their floral pajama set—in the palest shade of sky blue—is so chic you could arguably wear the set or the separates out every single day with no one aware they were designed for sleeping in solely.
Metallic Rib Sweater Dress — Charcoal Gold
$189; buy now at rachelpally.com
Rachel’s blend blends the easy and elegant with the chic and a variety of fabrics and styles from sizes 2 to 22. This metallic rib sweater dress is ideal for day when paired with chunky, lug-sole booties, but can also work incredibly well for night with stiletto sandals and some dainty but sparkly jewels.
Not Your Daughter’s Jeans
Barbara Bootcut Jeans
$119; buy now at nydj.com
Tag-lined with the saying “fit is everything,” the cuts, styles, and colors offered by this label that started with denim are classic, never too baring, and always forgiving. Their Barbara bootcut jeans—new for the season—come in sizes from 00 to 18, both regular and tall, and has slimming panels in all the right places for a classic look.
Watch Hunger Stop Runway Gold-Tone Watch
$275; buy now at michaelkors.com
With snakeskin handbags, impeccably tailored coats, and contemporary sportswear, Michael Kors is a must-have in every woman’s closet. Go on and splurge on a classic piece, such as this gold-toned watch featuring a teal face for a fresh burst of color on an otherwise forever-chic style. Bonus: A portion of proceeds on this timepiece go to charity, too.
$278; buy now at mgemi.com
This Italian leather shoe brand is incredibly chic, affordable, and made of the most sumptuous fabrics that’ll elevate any and every outfit and offer fresh drops of merch every Monday. This week’s must-have are the Genova loafers, which have an elongated vamp and are constructed from luxe, croc-print leather in three different hues, though the navy pair definitely looks the richest.