Women Over 40: Best Places to Shop for Clothes

Woman sitting down with shopping bags

There’s a story behind this post. It was originally written back in 2015 by a (younger) Budget Fashionista staffer. I gave her the topic — the best stores for women over 40 — and she came back with a list that included Talbots and Chico’s.

Now I don’t know about you, but I rarely shop either of these stores. They honestly feel a little old-and-stuffy to me. And I’m solidly in my mid-40s. Birthday number 47 is only a couple months away.

That means I owe you an apology for the original version of this post, the one that felt like a list of stores you shop at before you die. Truth is, we don’t have to shop differently once the big 4-0 rolls around. We haven’t aged out of style. Maybe our tastes have evolved a bit — or maybe they haven’t.

In any case, here’s my go-to list of stores to shop. Know that while I am an actual woman over 40, I’ve also been told I don’t “dress my age.” You can mull over what that means about the quality of this list, if anything at all.

Amazon for Trends

Of course I don’t need to introduce Amazon to you. What I will share is how I shop Amazon for clothes. In recent months, Amazon has become my first stop for trendy, low-cost pieces — formerly a spot owned by H&M. Amazon’s selection is so enormous that I can usually find the exact thing I want.

Snake print kimono
I’m eyeballing this snake print kimono for $16 on Amazon. I would wear it with jeans and a t-shirt, and substantially less jewelry than this model^. Snake print is very trendy right now, but I don’t want to invest too much in something I may not want to wear next year.

The caveat is this: I have to know what I want before shopping Amazon. For me, Amazon is not a place for browsing or inspiration. It’s more about efficiency, and getting to maximize the benefits of my Prime membership.

ASOS for Inspiration

When I’m in the mood for browsing, I head to ASOS. The catalog is massive and generally on point. You can sort and filter to your heart’s content and hone in on just the right styles and silhouettes.

Woman wearing white shirt dress and sneakers
How is a plain white shirt dress inspiring, you ask? Well, I didn’t know I needed one until I saw this piece ($32) on ASOS. I could wear this so many ways: with sneakers or sandals, with or without a belt, with or without leggings…

ASOS has lower-priced pieces in the mix, but it’s not exclusively a budget fashion destination. With that in mind, I always use the price filter — for fear of falling in love with something I cannot afford.

Ann Taylor & J. Crew for Classics

I love that you can shop tops at Ann Taylor by silhouette. The options include waist-defining, slim, classic and blousy. There are times when I want a flowy blouse, for example. At any other store, I’d have to scroll through all the options to find it. At Ann Taylor, I go right to the blousy collection.

Woman wearing light blue blouse from Ann Taylor
This pale blue blouse can be in my “professional” rotation for years. It’s Ann Taylor’s Camp Shirt, normally $69.50, but regularly on sale.

Granted, Ann Taylor pricing is on the high side for me. But the pieces are generally good quality so I can keep them around for a long time — that means the cost per wear works out even with the higher price point.

Ann Taylor’s sister LOFT is more affordable but also less consistently stylish in my opinion.

J.Crew is great for classically styled blazers and sweaters. The retailer does dabble in the trends — currently with a leopard print collection. But I prefer to stick with solids and neutrals unless the piece is heavily discounted.

TJMaxx for Deals

I have a pretty solid TJMaxx store near me, which means I don’t intentionally shop the TJMaxx website too often. But I am an avid user of Shopstyle — and Shopstyle sends me to TJMaxx.com more often than I’d like to admit.

There isn’t anything I can say about TJMaxx that you don’t already know. Fabulous styles. Incredible pricing. Surprise designer finds. Enough said.

Modcloth for Retro/Quirky

I love Modcloth for a couple reasons. One, the garments are reliably on point. And two, Modcloth just feels like a place real women can shop.

Red white a blue print dress from Modcloth
It’s easy to make a statement in this fun printed dress, on sale right now for $21 at Modcloth. Wear it year-round and especially for July 4 parties!

As part of a brand research project a couple years ago, I was asked to find retail advertising that I really liked. My example was Modcloth’s spread featuring real women of all shapes and colors. It was relatable and refreshing. I get that vibe every time I visit the Modcloth website, which keeps me coming back.

The Runners Up

Those are my top picks, but the list of contenders goes on and on. Here are a few more stores shopped by this over-40 budget fashionista.

Where do you shop? And, more importantly, did your go-to stores change after 40?

Catherine Brock

Owner and Editor at The Budget Fashionista
As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine, DrLaura.com, Refinery29, Wellness.com and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.
Catherine Brock