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7 Fall/Winter Runway Looks for Women Over 40

To write this piece on runway looks for women over 40, I spent a dedicated afternoon browsing designer fall 2023 ready-to-wear collections. My goal was to pick out some looks that us 40+ women can dupe and wear confidently.

This was harder than I expected.

High-design fashion is and always will be unwearable for the masses. But this season seems to be especially so. This year, designers leaned into hot pants, oversized to the extreme, bubble sleeves, over-the-top textures, and an excess of sheer panels and bare skin. Plus, some relatively boring pantsuits. You know, just to balance things out.

Specifically, Stella McCartney’s furry dresses freaked me out, Marc Jacobs’ no-pants outfits made me laugh, and Tom Ford’s use of glitter felt dangerous if worn in broad daylight.

Fortunately, I managed to lock in on a few runway looks that regular women like you and me could wear and enjoy. It was just a journey to get there. Read on to see those looks and learn how you can mimic them.

Ready-to-wear 101

The inspiration for the outfits below are Fall 2023 ready-to-wear collections. Ready-to-wear pieces are supposed to be producible and salable. These pieces do appear on runways, often in an experimental form. They often evolve to a more subdued version of themselves by the time they are mass-produced and getting stocked on store shelves.

Fashion model wears runway looks for women over 40.
Source: Envato.

Since the fashion industry works well ahead of the calendar, the origins of these outfits mostly go back to the first half of the year. Fall and winter looks typically hit the runway in the spring. You’ll see those shows carrying the label AW, which stands for autumn/winter. And spring and summer (SS) designs are featured in fall events.

7 runway looks for women over 40

After reading my rant above about the state of high fashion, you might wonder why I bother with this topic at all. Here’s the reason. Despite the silliness involved in runway fashion, I do find inspiring outfits. And it’s fun to see a different take on a garment or a new way to combine pieces.

My hope is that you also find inspiration in these looks — if not the exact ensemble, then maybe the shapes, combinations, colors, or fit.

So let’s get into it.

1. Versace sleek skirt suit

It’s tough to beat a curve-hugging, monochrome suit. This look perfectly defines the empowered women — sexy, smart, and driven.

I love that everything is moderate here. The skirt length is g-rated, the shoulders are structured without going overboard on size, and the v-neck doesn’t go too deep. And even with those moderate elements, the whole ensemble is very powerful.

Marycrafts Women’s Formal Office Business Work Jacket Skirt Suit Set 10 Navy Blue
  • LUXURIOUS MATERIALS: Marycrafts…
  • EFFORTLESSLY ELEGANT FEATURES for…
  • DESIGNED BY HEARTS & CARVED BY…
  • EXTENSIVE RANGE SIZE CHART:…
Allegra K Business 2 Piece Suit Set for Women’s Long Sleeve Collarless Peplum Blazer Pencil Skirts Small Black
  • Fabric Details: Top: Shell:95%…
  • MODEL SHOW: Slim Fit. Wear in size…
  • This suit set is made up of several…
  • Suit for autumn, winter, and many…
  • Style with a pair of high-heeled…
Allegra K Women’s Business Skirt Suit Set Work Office Short Sleeve Blazer Jacket Pencil Skirt Medium Apricot
  • Women’s 2 Piece Summer Suit Set,…
  • The wear to work short sleeve…
  • You can easily pair with any top…
  • Occasion: Suitable for both casual…
  • Regular Fit, Model is wearing in…
Laptop Tote Bag for Women 15.6 Inch Waterproof Leather Computer Bags Business Office Work Briefcase Black
  • ✓【Premium Durable Material…
  • ✓【Dimension & Chic Practical…
  • ✓【Large Capacity Laptop Bag for…
  • ✓【Stylish and…
  • ✓【 1-Year Quality Protection…
Sale
Franco Sarto Women’s Nolan Pump, Black, 8 Wide
  • Leather upper
  • Round toe
  • Slip-on fit for easy on/off
  • Stitched detailing
  • 2.75 inch stacked block heel
isotoner womens classic cold weather gloves, Black, Small-Medium US
  • Classic design and fit: Genuine…
  • Stay warm: Stretchy soft fleece…
  • Stay connected: Equipped with…
  • Stay stylish: Palm strips for extra…
  • Care instructions: Dry clean only
Citystl 2 Pack Black Tights for Women, 30D Sheer tights Control Top Pantyhose with Reinforced Toes
  • ✅【Perfect for Every Occasion】…
  • ✅【Premium Quality Material】…
  • ✅【Sheer and Control Top…
  • ✅【Enhanced Toes】Experience…
  • ✅【72H-Replace Free】: Any…

To recreate this outfit, you need a pencil skirt that fits you great plus a blazer or peplum top. You also need the accessories — work bag, heeled loafer, gloves, and sheer black tights.

You can go monochrome a la Versace but you don’t have to. This outfit will still be strong and stylish with more than one color involved.

2. Versace slinky top and A-line skirt

Versace also gets it right with this combo: full, A-line skirt, slinky top, handle bag, and gladiator shoe. You may not wear this ensemble to work, but you could certainly wear it for a night out when you’re ready to turn heads.

Belle Poque Women’s A-Line Flared Swing Midi Skirt with Pockets Dark Blue Skirts Size S
  • Soft farbic,Very Comfortable to…
  • Skirt Feature: High waist skirts;…
  • Suitable for…
  • Women’s under the knee length…
  • A Perfect Fit for all seasons,easy…
VOBCTY Women Turtleneck Long Sleeve Slim Fit Underscrubs Mock Neck Lightweight Layer Tops Grey Medium
  • SOFT&COMFORTABLE FABRIC–95% Rayon,…
  • CASUAL AND FEATURES–Comfy,Long…
  • ALL OCCASION IS SUITABLE–Suit to…
  • MATCH SUGGESTION: You Can Wear it…
  • NOTE–Hand Wash or Light Machine…
MARCOREPUBLIC Casablanca Women’s Open Toe Strappy Laser Cutout Caged Chunky High Heels Dress Sandals – (Black NB) – 7
  • Heel height measures approximately…
  • Dress sandal featuring classy open…
  • A sophisticated design made with…
  • Perfect with dresses, skinny jeans,…
  • Casual, sexy, stylish, trendy, and…
ANN CREEK Black Heels for Women High Heels Lady Chunky Heels Open Toe Strappy Heels Block Heels Open Toe Heeled Sandals Women Shoes Heels Peep Toe Heels Black Size 6.5
  • FASHIONABLE DESIGN: Women’s sandals…
  • COMFORTABLE FITTING: The double…
  • SUITABLE OCCASIONS: Beatiful…
  • FITTING TIPS: RUNS TRUE TO SIZE!!
  • QUESTION: If there’s any questions…
CHICAROUSAL Crossbody Purses and Handbags for Women PU Leather Tote Top Handle Satchel Shoulder Bags (Black)
  • Different Ways to Carry: Purses for…
  • Synthetic Material: Made of Quality…
  • Removable Crossbody Shoulder Strap…
  • Multi-pocket Design: Two Interior…
  • Handbags Dimensions: 12″L x 5.2″D x…

The hardest part of this outfit to recreate on a budget is the shoe. Gladiator sandals can easily be tacky or too youthful for women over 40. To avoid that, opt for a modified ankle bootie that has a gladiator vibe.

3. DVF purple wrap midi

You gotta love Diane Von Furstenberg’s commitment to the dress style the brand made famous. Even after all these years, the wrap dress is still a major player in DVF’s offering.

A knit wrap midi dress in a richly pigmented hue can be a go-to for date nights. Pair it with a stiletto and your date will be mesmerized.

I searched high and low on Amazon for an adequate substitute for the DVF dress and came up empty handed. You can buy the real thing here for $558 but I’m guessing most of you don’t like that option.

Fortunately, Lulu’s has a midi wrap dress with a slightly different neckline in burgundy for $69 and a stunner in black for $49.

Burgundy wrap dress from Lulus is one of my runway looks for women over 40.
Source: Lulus.
Black wrap dress from Lulus is one of my runway looks for women over 40.
Source: Lulus.

Pair either dress with a heel that shows off your ankles.

Elisabet Tang High Heels, Women’s Strappy Closed Toe Stiletto Pumps Ankle Strap Pointed Toe D’Orsay Heel Dress Wedding Party Pumps Shoes Black Size 6
  • Heel Height: Approx 4.72…
  • Fashion Design: Stiletto shoes…
  • Materials: The upper is made of…
  • Occasion: With the classic pointed…
  • A Must-Have in Every Women’s…
IDIFU Women’s IN4 Tara Stiletto High Heels Closed Toe Pumps Ankle Strap Wedding Business Evening Dress Shoes for Women Lady Bride (Blue Suede, 7.5 M US)
  • DRESSY 4INCHES HIGH HEELS PUMPS: 4…
  • COMFORTABLE ALL-DAY LONG: The wide…
  • CLASSIC CHOICES FOR U: Available…
  • VERSATILE MATCHES: Such a pair of…
  • BE WITH YOU: IDIFU focuses on the…

4. Sachin & Babi sheath dress

I love a dress that does double-duty. This one is demure enough for work and flashy enough for cocktail parties. It’s also a flattering shape — not too tight or too loose.

Calvin Klein Women’s Off The Shoulder Sheath with Embellished Sleeves, Black, 12
  • Flattering fit
  • Zipper closure
  • special size type: standard
  • sleeve type: short-sleeve
  • weave type: Knit
Sale
Calvin Klein Women’s Gayle Pump, Black Leather, 8
  • Calvin Klein’s Gayle pointed toe…
  • CALVIN KLEIN is a global lifestyle…
  • STYLE AND DESIGN: Classic pointed…
  • COMFORT: Flexible construction…
  • PERFECT FIT: This style runs true…
expouch Womens Pleated Satin Evening Handbag Clutch With Detachable Chain Strap Wedding Cocktail Party Bag
  • It made of pleated, ruffled satin…
  • Dimension:11”Lx2.2” Wx5.9” H…
  • This clutch bag has a main…
  • Perfect for Wedding, Party, Prom,…

If you can’t find a dress with the right neck embellishments, choose a black sheath dress and add a statement necklace. Finish your look with a classy pump with a cute clutch.

5. H&M Studio tie-neck blouse + trousers

At one time, the tie-neck blouse had a frumpy reputation. But alas, no more. Today, the tie-neck is a go-to for serious fashion gals. And why not? Women can wear ties…and what’s better than a blouse and scarf in one?

H&M Studio shows us how chic this piece is by pairing with a masculine trouser and overcoat.

Sale
Allegra K Women’s Long Sleeve Blouses Chiffon Pleated Tie Neck Office Top Shirt X-Small Light Blue
  • A tie neck design creates a…
  • Elegant Style, Pleated Tie Neck,…
  • Occasion: Work, Office, Coffee…
  • Machine Wash Cold with Like Colors
  • Model Body Size: Height: 5’8″,…
JEAAMKSSER Women’s Wide Leg Trousers Pants High Waisted Black Business Work Straight Leg Long Pants # Black S
  • Material: Soft 65% polyester, 30%…
  • Two big side pockets : Pockets are…
  • Unique design: High waisted black…
  • Occasion: Perfect dress on summer,…
  • Free returns: We strive to make…
Sale
chouyatou Women’s Chic Shawl Collar Work Double Breasted Maxi Long Wool Pea Coat (Small, Black)
  • Recommend hand wash or dry clean,…
  • Turn down lapel in large and wide…
  • Maxi long fashion wool peacoat with…
  • Below the knee length, feminine fit…
  • SIZE: Please refer to the Last…

This outfit is easily work-appropriate. And, if you stash a slinky pencil skirt in your bag, you’ll be ready for a night of fun, too.

6. Sacai white pants + turtleneck

Sacai brings us another outfit that blends professionalism with style. The hero piece here is the white pant. And yes, that’s a bold white pant in a fall collection. Another sign that we need to kill that old rule about ditching whites after Labor Day.

GRAPENT Flowy Pants Womens Slacks for Work Business Casual High Waist Trousers for Women High Waisted Flowy Pants White Dress Pants for Women Suit Pants Color Off White Size X-Large Size 16 Size 18
  • Two inseam options: Regular – 30”…
  • Bleisure to Pleasure: these y2k…
  • Comfort and Longevity: these dress…
  • All Occasions: womens business…
  • Model measurements: Height 5’8″,…
Amazon Essentials Women’s Fisherman Cable Turtleneck Sweater (Available in Plus Size), Black, Small
  • REGULAR FIT: Close but comfortable…
  • SOFT COTTON SWEATER: Super soft,…
  • CABLE TURTLENECK SWEATER: A modern,…
  • DETAILS: Features classic fisherman…

7. Polo Ralph Lauren blazer + button down

Last but not least, we have Polo Ralph Lauren’s classic blazer and button down ensemble. As with all of these runway looks, this is an outfit that never goes out of style.

Ladies Open Front Lapel Blazer Business Casual Fashion Dressy Suit Jacket Long Plaid Blazer Jackets for Women Brown XL
  • ✔MATERIAL:…
  • ✔FEATURE: Womens open front…
  • ✔OCCASION: Blazer jackets for…
  • ✔Match:Lightweight blazer is…
  • ✔TIPS:Iron the womens suit jacket…
Van Heusen Women’s Non-Iron Pinpoint Oxford Shirt S White
  • 4 oz./yd², 100% cotton oxford. Two…
  • No chest pocket. Spread collar. No…
  • Feminine silhouette with front and…
  • Non-iron technology for…
Allegra K Solid Color Rhombus Neck Scarf Scarves Skinny Long Neckerchief for Women Light Blue
  • Material: Polyester. Suitable for…
  • Dimension: Rhombus, 106 x 33cm /…
  • Unique Design: The graceful scarf…
  • Versatile: You can tie it in…
  • A Nice Gift: It’s a perfect gift…

Make this look your own with a few affordable pieces from Amazon. Since the blue Oxford shirt with white collar and cuffs isn’t super easy to find, I added in a baby blue neck scarf for that extra color.

Also, feel free to adjust the length of the blazer to suit your shape. Usually that means choosing a longer or shorter hemline if your hips are the widest part of you. You don’t want the blazer’s hemline to cut across your widest area, as that’s generally unflattering.

Runway style IRL

You can wear runway looks — at any age. The trick is finding outfits that have wearable elements, and then modifying them to suit your body and your life. Think of it as an exercise in creativity, where you’re using high-fashion inspiration to refine your own style. You know you’ve succeeded when you slip into an outfit that gives you the urge to catwalk down the grocery store aisle.

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fabrika soba

Friday 8th of September 2023

There is definately a lot to find out about this subject. I like all the points you made

Organic Products All

Wednesday 6th of September 2023

Well, this is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.

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