Clothes shopping post 40

(45 Posts)
Gwladgwlad Sat 08-Mar-14 23:08:27

AIBU to ask where you shop post 40? Have a spring wedding coming up but struggling to find anything 'in between' teenager and looking like my mother (although my mother would love it if I did start dressing like her!)

Top shop= too studenty
New look= a bit young
Zara= too bloody small
Boden= makes my skin crawl twee
M&S= my mother
Monsoon= bit frumpy/ my mother
H&m= great but not for a wedding really as clothes can look badly cut
Dotty P= skirts too short
Warehouse= skirts too short!

AIB really fussy but where do you go?

JeanSeberg Sat 08-Mar-14 23:10:52

Have you a john Lewis near you?

hamptoncourt Sat 08-Mar-14 23:11:44

A department store like Debenhams might give you a wider range.
I just bought a nice dress for a wedding from M&S

GuineaPigGaiters Sat 08-Mar-14 23:14:20

Jigsaw, whistles, gap.

GuineaPigGaiters Sat 08-Mar-14 23:14:39

Oh and coast.

Sleepthief Sat 08-Mar-14 23:18:00

Per Una, now you're 40. It's the Classic range once you hit 50 smile

Or alternatively you could shop wherever you see clothes that you like...

myalias Sat 08-Mar-14 23:18:20

Damsel in a Dress in John Lewis do some great dresses for the over 40's.
For casual everyday wear Jigsaw and Mint Velvet also in John Lewis.

wearingpurple Sat 08-Mar-14 23:20:39

I like Damsel in a Dress, also Anthropologie.

Dancergirl Sat 08-Mar-14 23:21:34

Boden - but only knitwear and basic tops, no prints
Mint Velvet
Fat Face (occasionally)

Flambards Sat 08-Mar-14 23:24:31

White stuff, wallis, fatface, east, selfridges, and never ever m&s.

gilmoregirl Sat 08-Mar-14 23:27:07

I got a delightful dress in phase eight recently. (But I like boden, well some things)

myalias Sat 08-Mar-14 23:29:41

M&Co, Esprit, French Connection and Oasis

Sleepthief Sat 08-Mar-14 23:30:47

'Great dresses for the over 40s' <weeps>

Am I the only person in the world that finds this thread completely depressing? There are no special shops you have to use once you hit 40 - wear whatever the fuck you like from wherever the fuck you like shock

BikeRunSki Sat 08-Mar-14 23:31:42

Mostly Gap
Bits of White Stuff, Boden, Fat Face
Jeans from Next

LoonvanBoon Sat 08-Mar-14 23:34:29

There was a thread on this a few days ago (also on AIBU) - it's moved to p.11 now, but may be worth a look, OP. There were lots of posts & loads of ideas.

NearTheWindymill Sat 08-Mar-14 23:35:47

Phase 8
Good Department stores

For a wedding I'd even push the boat out and look at LK Bennet, Reiss, Jaeger too.

And why over 40 - I'm over 50 grin. My mothers heading towards 80 and has a pair of leather trousers grin

thinking101 Sat 08-Mar-14 23:35:55

i second

mint velvet
basics from next but I say also M&S

I like monsoon too! - Im not quite 40 I must be frump central

Love phase eight day dreses, wash easy, hang, no iron easy to wear.

Dont forget you can lift an outfit completely with your acessories and hair/make up.

Latara Sat 08-Mar-14 23:39:42

Dorothy Perkins. They have several styles in there that are in the concessions and various ranges that aren't too short.

Anyway at 40 you should be able to wear shorter items still, I'm 37 and wear short dresses!

Also Autograph at M&S do some really nice fitted dresses that even I would wear, it's not all Per Una and Classics you know!

Try Oasis for flowery stuff.

velocitykate Sat 08-Mar-14 23:42:01

Phase eight is one of my favourites, but Monsoon has stuff too, you just have to look. I also like Hobbs, White Stuff, Mint Velvet, Coast etc I'm past 40, but have just bought an outfit to wear at my Brother's wedding from Monsoon. Definitely try department stores like John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser as they will have several different manufacturers/designers under one roof. Good luck.

Latara Sat 08-Mar-14 23:44:13

My Mum is 64 and wears longer dresses from Dorothy Perkins, she also has tunics from New Look! Even I'd wear some of her stuff and I'm quite trendy. (I am, honestly). Age doesn't stop you wearing nice clothes as long as you don't look like mutton IYKWIM.

Do you have a Debenhams or a House of Fraser nearby? They have a wide variety of ranges.

Also try ASOS, Very or various ranges at Littlewoods. Myleene Klass, Holly Willoughby and Kimberley Walsh do nice dress designs - google them.

Latara Sat 08-Mar-14 23:45:42

Look for nice accessories too - go in Accessorize.

WilsonFrickett Sat 08-Mar-14 23:49:36

If you've a bit more budget for a wedding then Reiss, Hobbs, LK Bennett, Phase 8 would be my go-to places. I think you can wear what the hell you like at any age, but paying for a bit more tailoring, cut and better quality fabric pays off at any age...

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 08-Mar-14 23:50:28

Phase Eight has got some lovely stuff for weddings, I got a dress from there last year and it looked fab.
But as others have said, just trawl all the well known High Street shops, 40 does not mean you have to turn into your mother.

Latara Sat 08-Mar-14 23:52:36

Ok. I just had a look and Holly Willoughby and Kimberley Walsh's ranges are available at

Myleene Klass is available at

All 3 ranges feature nice dresses, mostly knee length or below.

Another good website for dresses is

ZeroSomeGameThingy Sun 09-Mar-14 00:15:40

OP I never wear any of the "labels" that have been mentioned so far. Never ever. (Oh, except the odd vest from Top Shop. My very favourite sweater came from there a few years ago but since then the few impulse buys are always a mistake.)

Trying to think where I've bought stuff recently... Cos, Hervia Bazaar, ummm... oh yes TK MAXX Gold Label (?) - cut price Stella McCartney, Chloe, Ralph Lauren....

But I seem to buy more online (more of very little...) and hardly ever full price: Browns, Matches etc. I like the pretty pictures on the Toast site but never seem to buy anything except bed linen, The Outnet is too frustrating.... I'll remember more once I put down the phone.

But - perhaps you need to be a little more "ambitious"? That is, aim higher and work harder to find what you want. Buy a copy of Vogue, look at the stockists list at the back. Check out every possible website; don't just laugh at the prices, see if there's anything you like that might eventually be reduced (I'm extrapolating based on your original list - you may have masses to spend.) Most places have sales; the choice of clothes available had never been wider.

(BTW I am much older than you - and would be proud to be as well dressed as my mother.)

LeaveItItsNotWorthIt Sun 09-Mar-14 01:35:14

Bhs, George at Asda, peacocks, debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, john Lewis?

Oriunda Sun 09-Mar-14 08:27:29

Budget? Last wedding I attended I had a dress from By Malene Birger.

SinglePringle Sun 09-Mar-14 08:31:44

I'm over 40 and shop in:

Gap (basics)
Massimo Duti
French Connection
The Outnet
The Dressing Room (online)
Ted Baker
Karen Millen
Net A Porter
Reiss (sometimes. It's a bit too Kate Middleton for me

Latara Sun 09-Mar-14 08:38:39

Karen Millen do more expensive but very nice dresses suitable for weddings.

WutheringTights Sun 09-Mar-14 08:45:29

Hobbs. Some of their stuff is a bit your mum. But they also do a nice younger range.

MsAspreyDiamonds Sun 09-Mar-14 08:53:52

East (avoid the floral prints)

If you sre petite then Minuet

NearTheWindymill Sun 09-Mar-14 08:57:15

Short dresses have everything to do with legs and nothing to do with age.

nostress Sun 09-Mar-14 09:01:10

Where did you shop age 39? I shop in river island, new look etc. Same as I did in my 30s..

NearTheWindymill Sun 09-Mar-14 09:04:24

At 39 I was constantly on the floor with two tinies and lived in leggings and nice tops probably from M&S and then started getting a few bits from Debenhams. But I was 39 a very long time ago grin. My wardrobe improved when I got off the floor.

Bodicea Sun 09-Mar-14 09:20:22

Hobbs - the nw3 range is a bit younger
Jaeger- they have a younger range - can't remeber the name

primrose22 Sun 09-Mar-14 09:46:03

I am 42 and wear what I want! I hate per una but feel the same about top shop too! I also wear very short skirt skirts/dresses (always with tights!) and hate the 'rule' about long hair and minis being a no no for the over 40's - pah grin

FreudiansSlipper Sun 09-Mar-14 09:50:48


Oasis often have nice dresses in

Phase eight can be a little per una ish at times

FreudiansSlipper Sun 09-Mar-14 09:53:31

and French Connection

Biba (i think only in House of Fraser) do some really beautiful things. i wore a net flared skirt from h&m with a beautiful beaded top from top a few years ago to a wedding outfit was not expensive and have worn both since

FreudiansSlipper Sun 09-Mar-14 09:54:13

top was from Biba ... (sorry typo)

Anniegoestotown Sun 09-Mar-14 10:02:33

I am in my 50's and walking into. M&S makes me totally wonder what age group they are catering for. Even my MIL who is in her 80's thinks their stuff is frumpy and their per uno range is strange as most clothes seem to be designed for 6ft 2" women. I know there are tall women out there but not that many I am sure.

whatever5 Sun 09-Mar-14 10:05:50

I sometimes get dresses from Damsel in a dress (John Lewis or online) or Coast (John Lewis, House of Fraser).

Creamycoolerwithcream Sun 09-Mar-14 11:46:39

I'm 45 and like Apricot. I can always find a dress in there for any occasion and also for everyday wear for about �30. I've never really spent a lot on clothes but always feel that I look nice. I try on about 10 dresses and will maybe buy one. I always shop on my own and know instantly if Im going to wear something or not. If I um and aar then I don't buy it.

Latara Sun 09-Mar-14 11:55:08

Apricot is good I agree. They have concessions in DP and New Look.

Latara Sun 09-Mar-14 12:07:16

I also agree don't follow old-fashioned 'rules'. My colleagues don't.
I have colleagues in their 40s and early 50s who wear their skirts / dresses on or above the knee and look good. Early 40s still wear mini length with black tights.

Which tights to wear to a wedding depends on the weather and style of dress - I like black opaque for mini length or Boots Ultra Sheer 7 denier natural for knee length or below.

Nomama Sun 09-Mar-14 13:00:51

Have you seen the new spring dresses in Sainsbury's? There are a lot of horrors but there are a few with really nice patterns.

I have just bought a couple for £16. With some judicious pinning at the waist they fit well. I have paired them with some more expensive cardis, shrugs and jumpers from Whistle, White Stuff, Phase 8, etc and they look great.

I'd recommend you look at them before you go off and spend a lot of money on a one off frock thing.

Oh, and I am the wrong end of 40!

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