White woman with brown hair wearing a floral dress

Discover Spring 2023’s Top Trends For Women Over 40

Mar 15, 2023

In this post, Alison breaks down how to wear spring’s most exciting trends for women over 40. *Scroll to the bottom for a shoppable selection of styles Stylist Alison Bruhn found just for you!

I’m happy to let you know that “pretty” is back! The tiny print baby doll dresses are being replaced with larger prints, not oversized, but those that feel a little more grown-up and elegant. For most of us, “micro” prints on shirts and dresses are a little busy. A print with a little space between the pattern feels more sophisticated. 

There are two different color palettes you’ll see everywhere that work equally well for us- one that is trending is beautiful pastels, especially light blue, and soft pink (soft pink is replacing the hot pink we’ve been seeing ever since Valentino introduced it a few seasons ago). The other trend is bright and bold, especially vivid Kelly green, but also orange, red and royal blue to name the main colors we saw coming down the runway for spring 23. This is different from neon, these colors are more classic.

Other trends, we are loving for spring 2023 are:

  • Prep is back- this trend always makes me smile, because younger people are actually thinking this is a “trend”! Happy to see it though, because it is a bit more conservative, and a little more “put together” than what women have been wearing (hyper sexual or super casual)
  • Sheer dressing- we can adapt this trend to work for us. Specifically, I look for blouses and tops with a sheer sleeve or lace, because our arms are covered, but there is a little skin peeking through that is modern and alluring. Also, on a dress or skirt, it can add length to the hemline (for example, a shorter dress or a skirt that has a sheer overlay that is longer), showing a glimpse of leg, while still feeling polished
  • As I mentioned before, feminine, beautiful clothing is back for spring. Designers and brands are finally figuring out that a lot of the clothes they design that pop on Instagram, aren’t really working for anybody in their real life day-to-day world. The “dopamine” dressing that was shown in the last two seasons post Covid has toned down just a little as we get back to work and a new “normal”

I am perpetually fascinated by the way that fashion mirrors the culture and what is going on at the time. Think about this historically, what people were wearing during the Great Depression for example and why, what they were wearing in the Roaring 20’s etc., what does it tell us about what was going on in the world then? Especially in the beginning, but continuing throughout the lockdown period, we gravitated towards cocooning clothes that felt like protection. Then post Covid we wanted to live our most fabulous lives, letting loose our pent-up energy- sequins for both day and night, feathers, etc., and now, as we are figuring out what life looks like today, we are a little bit more serious. We need clothes to go out in the world and attend to business, clothes that feel less like a “trend” and more like a uniform for life.

  • Utilitarian dressing is having a moment as well. Influenced by people who work with their hands and want clothing that will last in durable fabrics, multiple pockets, etc.- jumpsuits, jackets and pants especially, but made more feminine by a little bit of a heel or multiple bangles at the wrist, for example. 

So, to recap, the season is about “real clothes for real people”. My response is FINALLY! 

  • Preppy is “in”
  • Beautiful colors are trending- both lush pastels and bold brights
  • Grown-up elegance is replacing “little girl” dressing
  • Silk shirt dresses, and shirt dresses in general are great options that will be easily found this season- giving us plenty of chic coverage
  • Utilitarian looks
  • Sheer- completely sheer overlay or larger lace that shows a little skin underneath. Some things will need to have a camisole, but this should not be a problem if you have the right one. You want one that doesn’t cling too tightly and doesn’t make you hot in the summer. This is my favorite
  • Midsize patterns and prints are replacing tiny floral prints, which feel more elevated, and a nod to our past as well
  • As far as shoe trends for spring’23, designers were thinking about comfort and functionality. Mary Janes are huge right now. When you see them, you may feel like they look a little frumpy at our age, but when you wear a patent leather Mary Jane with a pair of wide leg jeans, they can be super chic, but as always, you don’t have to take part in every trend! Ballet flats, oxfords and loafers will be readily available as well
  • Black and white combination and solid black were everywhere on the runway this season- designers again, being a little more practical and giving a slightly more serious and down-to-earth vibe, rather than the neon colors and and over-the-top looks that have been so prevalent in the past two seasons

Two things to note:

  • We go into more detail on this subject on the podcast in The Style That Binds Us Spring 2023 Trend Report, discussing what the different designers were sending down the runway that you might enjoy
  • Always keep in mind with any trends, I’m not suggesting this is what you must wear, I am sending you information about what is hot now, and if you want, how you could incorporate this into your own wardrobe. If you love hot pink, keep on rocking it! 

Alison Bruhn


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