Have you been frustrated when you had a first glimpse at Spring/Summer 2016’s trends last fall? Victorian inspired, lingerie by day, clothes that look like Art 101, off or free shoulders, tied up, wraps, pleats, shine, ruffles, white shirts, and stripes! Here the latter two seem the only wearable one. OMG, (wo)men what were you thinking was my first thought! Read on for spring trends that work for women over 40.
Victorian inspired clothes
Don’t they know that at 40+ we are still in the work force and are expected to fit in an office chair, drive a car or use the subway? This style may only work when you plan to marry this spring and you arrive in a horse carriage like a British Princess.
Lingerie by day
This trend reminds me of a conversation I had with my granny when I was helping her in the kitchen. She told me that after WWII, refugees from the Poland and farther East rioted bombed out houses. They found these beautiful slips with lace and wore them as summer dresses thereby even more upsetting the locals.
At any age, keep the lingerie in the bedroom. It’s only a work outfit for women in the horizontal business, and Victoria Secret models on the runway or a photo shoot. Keep it to some lace sneaking out under a top, sweater or skirt. So sexy!
These dresses are not the slip dresses of the 90s, which for my money one could only wear on the weekend, to the farmers market and on vacation. Nevertheless, I liked them as they had a clean sleek cut and no awkward embellishments or lace.
Well, they are not my cup of tea, i.e. not my style and they are hard to pull off. At 40+, the major challenge is to find a piece that does not look like being stolen from the Museum of Modern Art. Keep the piece the statement. A painting printed on a sleek cut dress works well too to embrace the trend.
In other words, the trend works well over 40 when you find a piece that is not embellished, painted, having an unusual cut, a net all over, fabric mix, print, and structure all at the same time.
Cold shoulder look
This style can be incredibly sexy, i.e. it is not for work, but for the weekend, date night, vacation, parties and weddings. However, how many time does the normal 40+ woman spend at these venues unless she is a tourist guide, entertainer at a resort, a bar tender or a wedding planer. Thus, one cheap item will do for date night, the weekend and/or vacation.
If you attend a wedding this spring, you may think about a tuned down version of the trend by opting for a shoulder free or one-shoulder dress. Both are classics and hence worth the investment. They will look trendy this year and sophisticated for years to come when you go with a jewel color or black. However, invest in the right bra for it.
Tied up! Do I have to say more? I am not a roll mops or a kohlroulade. I like a fried roll mops or kohlroulade for dinner, but not for dressing.
The tied flats are an option to jump the band wagon on this trend if you like them and can walk in flats.
The wrap trend
A wrap dress is always a good idea and works for the office as well as for play. Make sure that it cannot expose your legs when the wind plays with it or you sit down. Faux wrap dresses are a safe option.
Since wrap dresses are a classic, the trend is a great opportunity to stock up when you find good quality and colors that flatter you or belong to your neutrals. A wrap dress in a nice print will look great for us too.
Pleats are a tricky trend
Open pleats are for girls’ school uniforms and belong in grade school. Over 40, pleats sewn down to slightly below the widest part of your hip are best as they look sleek and have a slimming effect. A pleated tartan skirt is a classic and worth the investment too if you like them. I actually do and I am dreaming of a hunter-green or navy blue tartan! However, that item would be a fall/winter, right?
Midi skirts that start right at the waist band and widen toward the knee may look good on tall women. Anything midi is risky for petites like me as it may look frumpy and/or dowdy especially when the amount of fabric increases towards the knee.
When you are a dancer you may like a gold foil one and get enough wear out of this trend when you are on the dance floor two or three times a week. Thus, I am thinking about getting one if the price is right. Such a skirt is actual a double-trend which brings us to the next trend and the OOTD.
Don’t they know that everything shiny makes everyone look more meaty than they are? Many women don’t like that. I have the luxury to say “I don’t care.” Thus, my golden trench coat and my silver leather pants will fit the bill. May be I am lucky to finally find a silver coat?
If you like the trend, but care and/or are afraid of the pounds that shine may add seemingly, try to go for dark sequins – read blue or black – in a vertical arrangement, i.e. not full on. The vertical lines have a slimming effect which offsets the effect of the shine – a bit. Furthermore, dark has a slimming effect.
Ruffles are tricky on anyone over 12. They look cute on little girls. Nevertheless, ruffles can look great on 40+ women when you wear them in a sophisticated way.
Two important things to look great with ruffles over 40 are to find pieces that have a grownup tailored cut and color, and that these pieces are in the romantic territory. Stay away from anything that looks girly, kitschy, costumy or like a requisite from a Western movie.
Paired with a velvet jacket, tweed skirt and court pumps or boots a ruffle blouse becomes office appropriate. A white shirt with ruffles down the front looks great with jeans and pumps. Those whose style is Romantic stock up on high quality pieces in colors that work for you. This trends gives you a greater choice than ever.
White shirts are a classic. They are always office appropriate as long as they have no shine thru. Should you invest in them? No! Buy a non-iron cotton version in a classic cut every year and toss the one of the year before. Even if you soak the underarm section and neck in white vinegar for 15 minutes before you wash it, it will yellow, especially when you use bleach. Bluing may delay the process, but when you wear your white shirt once every week or so, it is just done after a year. The same applies for white T-shirts.
Now we are talking! Shirt dresses and shirts in vertical stripes have a slimming effect. A nautical striped shirt is a classic and works for the office with a white or blue blazer, and a white cardigan. It looks great with a skirt, jeans or pants. This trend is a classic and looks great on everyone of any age. Just make sure that the width of the stripes of your nautical T-shirt work for your frame and shape, and that you add vertical lines (scarf, long pendent necklace, open blazer) to keep the eye moving up and down. This trick gives the illusion of height and has a slimming effect.
A dress with nautical stripes is a great weekend and vacation option and looks great with a cardigan, utility and a denim jacket alike. Tall women look great with a block stripe skirt. I ❤ this trend.
Which of spring’s trend do you like? Which one will you adopt? Let me know by email and/or link them up tomorrow at the Top of the World Style party in addition to your OOTD. Note to my non-blogging readers: You can link up Instagram and facebook posts too.
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Photos: G. Kramm (2016)
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