My Favorite Fashion Trends for the Woman Over 40: Interviewing & In the Office
Hello to all my readers out there. I hope each and every one of you enjoyed the Holiday Season and had a wonder Christmas. Not sure if this will be my last post of the year, but in case it is, I wanted to give you something to read and hopefully enjoy. This post speaks to the woman over 40. And if you’re under 40 and you get some value from it, that would be just as great.
Let’s get right into it!
Whether you’ve just reached your 40’s, or in your mid to near the end of the 40’s era you’ve probably come to question certain fashion trends and if they are suitable for you, especially in the work place. In other words, if they are “age appropriate.”
I wanted to take some time to share some of my favorite styles that not only speak to the workforce, providing a professional polished look, but they also give the woman over 40 a much younger looking appearance. I am 47, I am here to tell you it’s not over for us in the fashion world and when it comes to our unique style and taste.
As women 40 and over, it’s all about embracing our fabulosity, but at the same time keeping it real.
Ever been in a situation where you were called to come in for an interview and you literally found yourself stumped because you had no idea whatsoever on what to wear? Let me tell you times have changed and the days of the “power suit” are pretty much far behind us. But don’t abandon it altogether because there are those traditional hiring personnel who have held on to the old fashioned rules of interviewing. At the same time today’s younger generation have demonstrated that you don’t need a dark suit with a white blouse to seal the deal in an interview. Of course more traditional hiring personnel look for it to provide that first impression in terms of how you’re dressed and your overall appearance as the first step of the interview, but let me tell you, young people today have stepped up to the plate taking bolder steps in showing that breaking the rules of interviewing attire can be done successfully and tastefully, and still walk away with a winning interview.
So, how can the woman over 40, who is returning to the workforce or in between jobs, win an interview having stepped away from what’s been the norm way back in the day? First let’s take into consideration where you’re interviewing and who you will be meeting. First interviews are the ones where you really have to sell yourself, impress who you are meeting with, especially if there is going to be a second interview. Therefore, getting past the first interview is important. You can talk up a storm all you want, but if you don’t dress the part, that could be a mark against you. It’s not always the case, but why chance it?
H&M offers up some stylish trends that are more than office appropriate, but you can walk into any interview with a high level of confidence, enough to win you the interview without even saying a word. 🙂
First up, is this draped wrap-style blouse from H&M, $29.99. Made with airy woven fabric, has a longer back, jersey lining in the front, has metal buttons in the front and at cuffs, and is machine washable.
I have both the blue and white one. I had to go to three different store locations to find the blue one because as soon as they get it online, it sells out almost immediately, then when they get the blue one in stores, it goes just as quickly. You can’t even find the white one in stores. nor any of their other solid colors.
The hardest thing to find, which I have found is a good pair of slacks. I like slacks that are made with fabric that give that smooth flow when you walk; long that covers my ankles and part of my feet, to allow me to wear a kick-ass pair of heels with them, like I usually do. That’s just me, of course. I can be quite a diva when it comes to me getting all dressed up whether for a special occasion or going to work.
So, because I love a good pair of slacks, I don’t just run out and buy the first pair I see. I take my time. What I look for is quality in the fabric, the style, overall fit, and how they are made. I prefer button closure, but not a lot of the times I can find them. Sometimes I get lucky and find them at local area boutiques. Since moving over six months ago, the first thing I did was scope out the closest boutiques, make myself known by getting to know the managers and staff in order to be kept up-to-date on their latest styles and what they have new in stock.
Not all slacks fit alike, so it’s important to try them on before you buy, this way you can sort of gauge whether or not you need a larger or smaller size. With H&M ‘s pants, they tend to run smaller, therefore I go with the next one to two sizes up to get a good comfortable fit.
The best slacks they have are their woven fabric, straight, wide leg airy pants. They are 92% polyester and 8% spandex. I have the white ones, which seems to be a popular item because the white ones are completely sold out.
Wearing the right pants to an interview, in my opinion, says you have class and style, and you know what it means to dress for success; and you pay attention to how you look and your overall appearance. After all, first impressions speak volumes.
What kind of shoes will you wear with this ensemble? I’m glad you asked. Like I said, I can be quite the diva when it comes to dressing up. When I know I have the perfect outfit, the shoes are what seals the deal.
If you don’t want to do the blue with the black pants, you can definitely go with a lighter color, or something patterned to step up the ensemble.
Like I mentioned, I have the white draped wrap-style blouse also from H&M, and it presents just as nice a professional appearance as it does with the blue one. Remember how well you coordinate your outfit will determine the overall outcome.
One thing to remember, too, if you find yourself second guessing an ensemble you put together, do yourself a favor and do not wear it. Change the outfit right away.
If you have another ensemble you were going to go with and you felt comfortable with it in the beginning, go with your first mind.
With this ensemble, if you choose to go with the white blouse, you can either go with a solid classic black pump, or you can be bold and daring and go with something sensual and exotic and go with something way out of left field. That’s entirely up to you. In the case of this ensemble with a white draped wrap-style blouse, I recommend choosing a black pump…I went with a black ankle strap patent leather pump. Keeps the outfit polished and professional.
Back in the day wearing pumps other than black or brown was considered taboo. The rules of interviewing have changed such that as long as you’re keeping it tasteful, you are bound to not only turn heads, win the interview, and leave a long lasting impression.
My favorite are these blue faux suede high heels I would wear with the blue drapped wrap-style blouse. They come with a 1 and a half inch covered platform and a 6-inch stiletto heel, and they have a cushioned foot bed. I could be off just a bit on the platform and heel, but you get the general idea.
This is the perfect ensemble you are bound to get some compliments. Now, don’t do anything crazy by over accessorizing this ensemble. Simplicity with this ensemble is ideal. Nice make up, light perfume, maybe a single strand of pearls or a medium double strand pearl necklace.
Staying ahead of the fashion trends keeps you up-to-date with today’s woman is wearing.
OK…Let’s look at what the ideal ensemble for the office can be. I like working in those office environments where having a professional polished look is essential to the position you are working in because of who you will be mostly in contact with. It not only gives you a chance to show off your fashion skills, but it also says you know how to represent who you are working for.
Too often I have seen women over do it to the point where it is way too over the top. Come on, ladies, you don’t have to get buck wild with it. “Keep it tasteful” is what I find myself always saying because all eyes are on you if you are in one of those positions where you are the go to person or point person for certain aspects of your job.
One of my favorite ensembles includes this pretty floral sleeveless top with a top from Eva Mendes, which I purchased from New York & Company in 2013 just before my trip to Florida. I tried to include a large enough picture because I wanted you to be able to see the detail in this blouse. Very chi chi if you ask me.
If you’re a woman who likes to look nice, something like this should be easy for you to get your hands on.
I have found New York & Company to be the best place to get similar tops like this. They have an array of styles and colors, and often you can find them on sale. This particular one is no longer available, so I was fortunate to get it at the time I did.
What do you pair it with? I recently attended an interview in Santa Monica just before Christmas. It was one of the warmest days we had during the week. Because this was my second interview with one of the district managers, I wanted to let my ensemble shine just like my personality so I thought I would pair this top with the white slacks I have just like the black ones.
Let me tell you something, when I first put this ensemble together, I wasn’t quite sure which pair of pants I would wear. It was a toss up between these and the ones I have from Ashley Stewart. Of course my H&M pants won over.
The right pair of slacks can take any ensemble to the next level and shows just how polished and professional you can be when the opportunity arises. I don’t like dress pants made with fabric that feels rough and stiff.
I guess you are wondering what shoes did I wear with this ensemble, right? Guess no more because I pulled out my Qupid Pinch-01 shoes. The color is considered Nude Emboss, which are actually like a blush, pinkish color. I first purchased these from DB Shoes in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles. I look for the deals and got these bad boys on sale. I first tried on a 6 1/2. They fit alright, but they were giving one of my toes on my left foot issues so I exchanged them for my regular size 7 once I found out they had one pair in stock.
Talk about some sexy shoes. These are it!!! I fell in love the first time I saw them and actually obsessed over them until I got them. Are they office appropriate? It depends on the office environment you work in.
Choosing the right shoes for an ensemble like this took me a few minutes because I knew these would pull the whole thing together and make it pop. To add one more piece to it, I added a blazer that is almost the same color as the shoes. It’s color coordinating all the way from top to bottom. And the thing about it, is when you put the cost of the entire ensemble, it falls under $120 when you factor in the cost of the blouse, the pants, the shoes and the blazer.
Let’s look at one more of my favorite ensembles for the office which comes from Alloy Apparel. I saw this and thought, what a better way to show I am a professional woman than with this ensemble. I love everything about this. The style, the detail, the pants, everything.
I looked at all of the colors before settling on the Clarkson navy pinstripe pants (or trousers). I thought the navy did the ensemble more justice than the other colors and made it stand out. I especially loved the Jude Pearl blouse with the navy trim down the front, collar and cuffs, and the pearl-like detail on the collar. This is another set I took with me to Florida and wore to the meeting I attended amongst other healthcare professionals.
Now, with this ensemble, I wanted to maintain the professionalism of the look, so with the shoes I chose, I kept it simple and basic. I originally chose to wear my Carlos Santana black platform high heels. They brought it all together with ease. And I received many compliments. But then I decided to switch it up and go with these by Crape Myrtle I purchased from Fashion Mia.
The thing you have to be careful with ordering shoes from Fashion Mia is the size ordering. For example, I wear a size 7. To get the size I need I had to go with a size 6 1/2 – 7. Let me tell you, it is not the same thing. But because my other shoes had reached the end of their life span, and because I thought I was going to get a good fit…I ordered them. It’s the first time I have had any real issues with ordering high heels platform pumps online. They need a good stretching and they’ll be fine.
This pretty much concludes my professional wear on ideal ensembles to wear to an interview and office attire.
I have my ensembles for the office that are not as dressy, which are usually reserved for Friday casual days, or if the office I work in does not require Fortune 500 professional attire. In this post I wanted to reassure the ladies over 40 that you don’t have to let your age define what you can and cannot wear. Of course there is such a thing as wearing fashion that is age appropriate, you don’t want to sacrifice your overall style and taste.
With trends changing on a regular basis, it can be easy to get left behind and find yourself not sure what to wear or where to go for the best trends for the best prices; or find yourself in the wrong trends. There is something for everyone. Getting older doesn’t have to get us down, in fact this is the time when we should embrace our age and enjoy what life has more to offer. Become of what current fashion trends to have to offer us women over 40. We do have the sense enough to know what works for us and what doesn’t. I am always available and ready to lend a helping hand to the woman who is working to find her individual style. I am just an email away. Fashion is what you make it.