As summer approaches, it's easy to just load up your cart with every trend you see on Instagram, but one look at the ultra-stylish over-40 women below, and you may be convinced to resist that urge. We've found that one of the reasons stylish women over age 40 always look so polished in the summer (when it's very easy not to look polished) is that they know which wardrobe staples to buy.
By the age of 40, you've had plenty of time for sartorial trial and error and to develop a functional personal wardrobe as a result. There's a lot to learn from the basics and wardrobe builders that the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Caroline de Maigret, and Sarah Jessica Parker wear. So sit back, relax, and scroll through to find out which versatile pieces we've found that stylish women in this particular age bracket never forget to buy (and wear constantly).
Basic Tank Tops
There are endless uses for a basic tank top come summer, so stock up. We tend to lean toward ribbed ones that are inexpensive.
On Jennifer Lopez: Chanel sunglasses, bag, and belt; Gucci shoes
Floral-Print Midi Dresses
Melodie Jeng/Getty Images
Floral-print dresses are not groundbreaking, but when it's too hot for jeans and shorts aren't appropriate, there's a good chance you'll reach for one of them.
WHO: Anna Wintour
Strappy sandals are an essential summer shoe style that women of every age wear when they want to instantly dress their outfit up.
On Thandie Newton: Markarian dress; Colette jewelry; Alexandre Birman shoes
Easy white blouses not only look pretty, but they also go with everything. We suggest buying several so you have one readily available when the others are in the dry-cleaning pile.
On Victoria Beckham: Celine sunglasses and sandals
Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Linen blazers are particularly useful in the summer when you work in an office and want to look professional without sweating when you step outside.
WHO: Caroline de Maigret
You could just wear sandals and sneakers every day during summer, or you could wear white boots, which will make your outfit look significantly cooler.
WHO: Lake Bell
Slip dresses go with every shoe style, can be worn day or night, and present tons of layering options. What more could you ask for?
On Cindy Crawford: Frame dress; Gucci Soho Bag ($1190) and shoes
Comfortable sandals with cushioned footbeds and sturdy soles are both on-trend and practical.
WHO: Inès de la Fressange
After a few seasons of mini shades, big frames are back, but did they ever really go away? Plenty of in-the-know women over 40 would say no.
On Sarah Jessica Parker: Maje dress; Manolo Blahnik shoes
It's hard to say goodbye to jeans entirely in the summer, but if you want to change up your look, do as many of the chic women in this roundup do and put on a pair of white jeans.
On Tracee Ellis Ross: Balenciaga Everyday Logo Camera Bag ($995)