If you've found that your reliable go-to clothing retailers seem to be too matronly or too juvenile, you're not alone. And you're likely over 40. There's something about turning 40 where you change so much and your wardrobe doesn't seem to keep up. You have different priorities, your body changes regardless of diet and exercise, and your lifestyle changes requiring different needs and different style from your clothing. It's a big reason why I created Wardrobe Oxygen. Our lives and our styles change as we grow and I wanted to be a resource to offer ways to have your wardrobe grow with your life. Below I share my tips for the best clothing retailers for women over 40.
The Best Clothing Retailers for Women Over 40
When compiling this list I thought of retailers that offer chic and stylish clothing that works for the body and the life of a woman over 40. I don't believe there are rules for what women over 40 should and should not wear; we're grown women who can wear whatever makes us happy. However, I and many women I have know and have connected with in the Wardrobe Oxygen community share that with growth comes knowledge. We know what silhouettes make us feel confident, what sorts of laundry instructions we're willing to follow and which are too much time or trouble, what fabrics work for our position at work or our weekend hobbies, and how we're looking for clothes that will last longer than a season. The retailers I share below focus on clothing that is more polished, whether it is casual or corporate, higher quality and styles that are on-trend without being so trendy they will look passe in a year.
Anthropologie is known for elevated boho style, but I think that categorization is limiting. Over the years, Anthropologie has put more of a focus on their curated collection of apparel by increasing brands and also increasing sizing up to 3XL. Unlike many retailers that have separate styles for plus sizes, Anthro offers the same link for Misses, Plus, and when available, Petite and Tall. They offer fun prints, unique embellishments, and clothing that can move with you. Anthropologie is a favorite place for summer clothing – cotton voile tunics, breezy maxi skirts, shift dresses, linen pants, and cool graphic tees that don't look childish. Come fall and winter, you're sure to find fantastic cardigans and kimonos and dresses that transition from desk to drinks with ease. While Anthropologie offers eclectic styles, I find the pieces I buy from this retailer are wardrobe favorites for years beyond my more utilitarian closet staples.
If you're looking for cool, modern, yet still office-appropriate workwear, Argent is a great place to shop. Classic suiting with an edge, modern cuts for blazers, and chic separates that go beyond the boardroom to weekends and social situations, Argent offers relaxed and cool sophistication that looks ultra-chic on grown women. Creating workwear that is vibrant and cool while also being incredibly functional (hello as many pockets as found in a man's suit), Argent is a retailer to watch for any age, but especially for women over 40. Do note Argent only goes up to size 14. If you're new to the brand, check out their Starter Kit where you can try Argent without paying a dime.
Banana Republic has gone through a lot of… personalities over the years and those of us over 40 can remember a lot of them. Now, Banana Republic is a place for clean, simple yet very chic style. It's a great place for workwear, but what I love is they have so many pieces, from merino wool sweater to suiting, that are machine washable. With the change in our lifestyles this year, Banana Republic has been pivoting offering breezy summer separates like shorts at a comfortable length, t-shirts in gorgeous colors and prints that are opaque and not too fitted, and beautiful below the knee length sundresses styled so you can wear your favorite bra. Their denim is cut well and they now have a great line of high-quality activewear that is worth checking out. I love that while they have plenty of neutrals I can always find great pieces in jewel tones, bright pastels, and primary shades. And if you haven't visited Banana Republic recently, their size range now goes up to 20 with many styles available in petite and tall. Here is a link to all my posts where I am wearing and reviewing Banana Republic.
Boden is one of my favorite destinations for that special something that completes my wardrobe. While I’ll purchase basics at places like Lands’ End and J. Crew Factory, Boden is where I find a top or dress that is a statement piece, and truly defines my style. Quirky prints, interesting details, and great quality makes Boden a place you should check out. The thing is, Boden's quirkiness is sophisticated and looks better on grown-up women than those right out of college. They often have lengths and tall options up to size 20/22, plenty of customer reviews, and stellar customer service. Boden is also a great place for knit tops; they’re one of my favorite places for Breton and other striped tees.
If you think of Chico's and envision polyester palazzo pants and quirky embroidered tunics, you haven't visited this retailer in a long while. While Chico's still offers comfortable and creative fashion, the look has streamlined with the trends offering quite chic options in a range of sizes up to 20/22 with many available in petites, tall, and lengths. One of the things I like the most about shopping Chico's online is the extensive and detailed customer reviews. Chico's has a strong fan base and their feedback makes for easier shopping! Here is a link to all my posts where I am wearing and reviewing Chicos.
Garnet Hill is a place I have shopped from for decades. While I first found them when searching for the perfect bed linens, they are now a place I can trust for high-quality stylish yet not trendy fashion. Garnet Hill is not cheap, but its buyers are extremely picky and provide high quality and a very clean aesthetic. If you love Eileen Fisher, they carry a great selection of this fashion brand. Garnet Hill has plenty of customer reviews and a ton of information not just about the items but the brands they are from so you can be a very educated consumer. I also like that there are usually several images from a variety of angles and occasionally on different models so you can get a better feel for what you are purchasing. They go up to size 18 and many styles are available with petite and long options.
Halsbrook is an online boutique that carefully curates on-trend, but not too trendy fashion specifically for sophisticated, grown women. Never frumpy or dated, Halsbrook offers elegant clothing that will look chic now and years from now. Halsbrook offers a range of different designers like Saint James, APC, Lafayette 148, and Vince so there isn't one specific fit model for the brand; Halsbrook only offers up to size 16.
A UK-based fashion brand that started in 1981, Hobbs offers modern cuts, feminine tailoring and heritage craftsmanship up to a US size 16 with petite offerings. A great destination for suiting and dresses for work and social occasions, Hobbs is clothing that will stand the test of time in your wardrobe, making getting dressed easy and chic for many seasons.
J. Crew has been around for decades, and while their classic/preppy/with a twist aesthetic has remained, they have moved with the times offering modern silhouettes, on-trend colors, quirky prints, and current accessories to update your wardrobe. I find J. Crew to be a fantastic destination for suiting, summer basics like shorts and sundresses, and one of my favorite places to find graphic tees for grown women. J. Crew is available up to a size 3XL which is equal to a 24, and many pieces available in tall and petite. I really appreciate J. Crew's diversity of models, showing women of different ages and shapes.
J.Jill is a company that makes great clothing… but they don't feature it well on their site. For a brand that offers an extensive size range (Misses, Petite, Tall, and Plus up to 28), they are very limiting with their model diversity making it hard to know how the clothes may hang on a different shape of body. But the quality is excellent, and the customer reviews on the website help you narrow down purchases. I have J.Jill pieces that are years old and still look fantastic. I find their linen to be of great quality and love their knit tops. Here is a link to all my posts where I wear and review J.Jill.
While many think of Lands’ End for parkas and fleece, they are also a great destination for women’s fashion. The quality is usually stellar, the prices reasonable for the construction and fabric, and they have amazing sales. I appreciate the extensive and honest customer reviews that also share the reviewer’s age range (great for gauging whether such adoration is from a college kid or a retiree). Lands' End offers sizes up to 24/26 and many pieces, including swimwear, comes in petite and tall offerings. Lands' End is also my favorite destination for swimwear that is stylish, classic, and works with a variety of body types (hello cup-sized swimwear, long torso, and mastectomy styles). I have dresses from Lands' End that are a decade old and still look stylish and like new. The modeling of fashion on their website offers little in understanding the true quality, fit, and drape of their clothing; I find following their Instagram (and those who tag Lands' End on Instagram) to be a great resource when shopping this retailer as it offers photos of people out and about of all ages and shapes in their fashion. Here is a link to all my posts where I wear and review Lands' End fashion.
M.M.LaFleur was started by a woman in finance who dreamed of a more practical, inspired wardrobe for herself and all professional women and made it a reality. Commanding authority without sacrificing style or femininity, this is a line of clothing geared for the workplace but has many separates perfect for weekends and social occasions and has started offering athleisure. Providing remote styling and fit advice, many pieces that are easy-care and machine washable, the brand looks to take the work out of getting dressed each day. The quality is stellar, much of the pieces have stretch for comfort and moveability, and they suggest which pieces are best for petite or tall bodies. M.M.LaFleur offers fashion up to size XL +3 which is close to a US size 20 or so; I recommend checking out their detailed size chart before ordering.
Modern Citizen is an online boutique that offers a collection of clean, modern, and elegant fashion while making an effort to do so in a sustainable manner. With pieces ranging from what to wear lounging around the home to what to wear to a board meeting or cocktail party, Modern Citizen makes minimalism look chic and attainable. Modern Citizen offers their fashion up to size 1X which equals a 14/16.
Pari Passu is a fashion line created by a woman who worked in apparel and realized how poorly designed plus size fashion was. She decided to revolutionize the plus size fashion industry by taking the data of thousands of 3D body scans of plus sized American women to create a line based on shape not just size. Instead of buying a size 16 which is often graded up from a size 8 mannequin, she created three different dress forms based off the data to achieve better fit. The clothing is luxe, elevated style in sizes 12 and up. Designed and manufactured in the New York Garment District, Pari Passu is elegant fashion great for the workplace and more polished occasions.
Talbots is one of my favorite fashion retailers, and it’s another store where you can't base the fashion off their poor website styling. If you remember Talbots as the place for chinos with pineapples embroidered on them, they are worth a revisit. While the brand still has a bit of a preppy classic vibe, there’s a lot of the line that fits a variety of personal styles. From quality knits to figure-flattering dresses, Talbots has a denim line I find extremely flattering and well made and a really stylish activewear/athleisure collection. I also recommend signing up for Talbots emails as they often have sales and promotions. Talbots is one of the few retailers that not only carries petites, but has most of their pieces in regular, petite, plus, and plus petite. Here is a link to all the posts where I wear and review Talbots.
Universal Standard is a smaller and newer retailer, but one you should check out. Offering clothing in sizes 00-40 with some in petites and lengths, they are one of the most inclusive clothing brands out there. So inclusive, you'll find models of all ages, shapes, and abilities showcasing their style on their website, in newsletters, and social. Universal Standard excels in elevated wardrobe staples: some of the highest quality t-shirts, great-fitting jeans, dresses for work and for weekend, blazers, pants, outerwear, and loungewear. Predominately solids and from quality fabrics, these are chic pieces that can build the foundation of your wardrobe. Here is a link to all the posts where I wear and review Universal Standard.
White House | Black Market
White House | Black Market is another store where their website styling doesn't help envision how the clothing will look on a range of body types. Their sizing is smaller so if you’re cusp sized, you may find pieces run narrow. However, they often have some really nice pieces and carry petites and sizes up to 18. It's a great resource for career clothing, Date night and social occasion looks, and I find their accessories unique and often the necessary detail to elevate wardrobe basics. While the brand originally was two stores, one that had all white clothing and one that had only black, the stores merged and carries a variety of colors, prints, and neutrals.