Stylists Over 35 Say This Is How to Look Years Younger


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

Let's get one thing clear: There's no hard and fast rule when it comes to "dressing for your age"—you'll always look your best wearing whichever clothes you feel good in. But if you do find yourself looking for pieces that contribute to a younger-looking appearance, we've found a few surefire fashion items that will serve as a sartorial fountain of youth. Sure, having certain wardrobe essentials in your outfit rotation can contribute to an overall more stylish and fresh-feeling ensemble, as anyone who counts style muses like Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker knows. To dig into more of the how and why behind fashion for women over 40, though, we beelined to the experts to dish their advice.

We tapped stylists Anita Patrickson, who's known for her Hollywood clients such as Julianne Hough, and HeatherMary Jackson, an editorial stylist and fashion director for Puss Puss Magazine and Fat Magazine. Both women are industry veterans who know a thing or two about good style—one flip through their recent work points to this. Both Patrickson and Jackson shared their ultimate style advice for women over 40, from the must-have wardrobe essentials to the items they would recommend retiring after a certain age.

Keep reading to learn their expert advice and shop the pieces they recommend along the way.


(Image credit: @iconaccidental)

Which pieces are the so-called "fountain of youth"?

Anita counts the following pieces as essential wardrobe staples and, consequently, those that can contribute to a younger-looking appearance: a classic, gorgeous trench, sexy leather pants, a white silk blouse, a navy boyfriend blazer, a fabulous party dress that you feel amazing in, and a sleek black suit.


(Image credit: @handinfire)

For HeatherMary, classic staples like a cashmere turtleneck, crisp white shirt, and great jeans are her top must-haves because each of these pieces is timeless, effortless, and doesn't define your age when wearing them, she shared with us.

Which pieces do you recommend retiring after age 40?


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

As far as what to steer clear of, both women agreed that short shorts and miniskirts simply don't feel quite right. Anita added that it's hard to draw a distinct line between "yes" and "no" items since our clothing is so dependent on each individual's body and comfort level. Still, she has some general recommendations.

"Anything body-conscious and formfitting in thinner fabrics feels inappropriate," she says. "As we age, I often advise clients to downsize their wardrobes and invest in fewer but more expensive and better-quality clothing from designers that cut patterns beautifully or use fabrics that are weighty and structured."

Shop midi skirts

What are some styling mistakes you notice women over 40 make?


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"Over 40, it's easy to hold onto a youthful closet and not to dress your age and above all else, not choosing pieces that flatter your figure." — Anita

"I think it's just styling mistakes across the board, not just over 40, not dressing for your body shape. For instance, wearing low-rise pants and a fitted or more cropped top is a hard look to pull off. Also, maxi dresses for me are a big no. Maybe because I'm not tall!" — HeatherMary

Shop flattering tailored trousers

What do you wish someone had told you about your own style 10 or 20 years back?


(Image credit: @tamumcpherson)

"To figure out what my body type is and dress for it. For instance, not trying to wear large flared pants! I am 5'2", and that look doesn't flatter my body type. Also, you can look great in a tee and the perfect-fit jeans, simply pair it with a great bag and shoes. Most times less is more in my opinion." — HeatherMary

"Wear what you like and feel inspired by, rather than following a trend. Find your own unique voice." — Anita

Shop pieces bursting with personality

The best advice of all? Simply embrace clothing that makes you feel your best to ensure you'll always look it.

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.