There was a time when women dreaded turning 40. Your choices were sliding into invisibility or celebrating your 39th birthday every year until retirement. Those days are gone, but our wardrobes in our 40s should be a bit different from what we wore in our 30s. I'm not talking about hemlines or giving up bright colors. But when we put some thought into our outfits, we end up liking our clothes a bit more. And hating your clothes is a waste of energy.
Welcome to your 40s!
You're gonna love it. Women really come into our own in our 40s. We re-examine everything we've been taught and really start thinking for ourselves. It's when we stop seeking the approval of people we don't even really respect. You stop dressing to look small and fade into the background, and start dressing to stand out. This is the time to start dressing to please yourself. Not that I'm suggesting you rebel against the office dress code. But...
Comfortable doesn't mean sloppy.
If you want to wear bodycon dresses, shapewear, and high heels, I'm not going to stop you. (Though your podiatrist and orthopedist may have opinions about which high heels you should wear - don't take your healthy knees for granted.) But anyone who's worn Vikki Vi Classics knows that you don't have to give up style in pursuit of comfort.
Clothes are uncomfortable when they don't fit you well. They're too tight here or too loose there. Or both. You avoid this by dressing for your shape. There is nothing wrong with your hips or your stomach. It's just that some styles aren't designed for your body shape.
Don't think in terms of hiding alleged figure flaws. Looks for silhouettes that leave room for your curves. They'll look and feel better.
You're at least a little apple-shaped now.
There is no shame in this! Every human being over the age of 40 has a bit of a tummy. You may now be an apple pear, an apple hourglass, or an apple inverted triangle. An apple/rectangle hybrid is just an apple, so that simplifies things.
A great style for your tummy is a shift-style dress like the Maxi Tank Dress. It skims right over your middle without clinging.
Up your style game.
You may find yourself with a larger clothing budget than before. That doesn't mean buying so many clothes that you need a bigger closet - though I'm certainly not going to tell you not to buy lots of clothing. But I do recommend buying more clothes that you'll love. That means well-fitting, well-made pieces that will last. When you can wear a dress once a week for a decade, the cost per wear is a lot lower than with fast fashion. Now that you can afford to pay more up front, you can save money in the long run and you'll be happier with your clothes.
You just need to do a little planning.
If you've been unhappy with at least some of your clothes for the past few years or decades, then you should learn which styles are great for your body. I've written loads of posts on that subject, so just dive in. You may decide to stick with just 2 or 3 shapes. But that's not boring. With different fabrics, colors, and prints you can still enjoy a wide variety.