I think there comes a time in every woman’s life when she asks, “Am I too old to wear this?”
For me, it’s not so much an age thing, but a comfort level thing. I think you should wear whatever the heck you want, as long as you’re comfortable and feel yourself in it. These days, when I put on an overly short skirt, or a dress that’s too body-con, I do think, "I’m not comfortable in this any more."
There are tons of cheap and cheerful brands out there that cater to the youthful among us. But when it comes to the over 40 set, I do have a few go-to labels that I feel are stylish and (generally) age appropriate. AND, they aren't super crazy expensive. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have seen these names appear again and again.
I like this brand for its youthful pretty vibe and I have many dresses from them, like the black silk one seen at the top of this post. (The skirt above is also from this brand.) Items fit true to size, I’m generally a small or a medium. Granted, Joie can be a bit pricey but if you’re patient, you can often find their dresses, blouses, and sweaters on sale. And, they also have a killer outlet store in Cabazon near Palm Springs, if you’re ever in the hood.
Velvet By Graham and Spencer
Similar to Joie, this brand has a ton of pretty boho style blouses and dresses, like this blue blouse above. Something anyone of any age could wear and not so trendy that it will go out of style in a year or two. Many stores and boutiques carry Velvet, and they also make nice men’s wear.
J Crew is one of my favourite sites to browse online. They have a vast inventory and frequently add new styles. I buy a lot of swimwear from J Crew because I like the fit. Many of their suits offer enough coverage that I don't feel overly cheeky at the beach. The other great thing about J Crew is that you can order swimwear online but return in store! J Crew generally fits true to size, but another great feature they have is customer reviews: Be sure to check those out to see if an item is fitting larger or smaller.
A lot of this Vancouver-based chain's clothing is too youthful for me (short, tight, cropped) and I often find the fabrics a bit flimsy. That said, I like their work wear - so pants and blouses. Both of the pieces above are from Aritzia. The blouses, which often come in a variety of colours and styles, and are a good way to inject some trendier pieces without breaking the bank. They also have a great coat selection every winter.
Club Monaco has a beautiful line of cashmere sweaters that I drool over every season. I also like their basic pants, though I do find they fit small and often size up. Their T-shirts are super soft and make for great layering pieces. And, don't forget to check out their shoe selection. They often feature good designer dupes - styles that look like well-known designer pieces but cost a lot less. I have a great pair of Club Monaco suede booties that are dead ringers for Isabel Marant's famous Dicker boots. The above dress is from Club Monaco, the jacket is Velvet and the runners are New Balance for J Crew. How's that for a real mixed bag!
If you are open to spend more and/or looking for investment pieces, here are a few more brands I recommend and the types pieces I think they do best:
Theory - Great pants, suits, and sweaters.
Vince - Sweaters that you'll treasure for years. Well-cut pants. I have sweaters and pants from them that are almost 10 years old.
Rebecca Taylor - Floral dresses and blouses, with a very feminine edge.
Xirena - Fabulous thin cotton shirts, both short sleeved and long. (I'm obsessed with these as I hate stiff shirts and these are so lovely and soft. (White Xirena blouse above.)