Look Younger AND Slimmer with These 5 Key Style Tips for Women Over 40

I’ve done quite a few videos on how to look younger by making a few key style changes that will help you avoid looking frumpy! The majority of us don’t want to look frumpy, right!? We want to look as youthful and vibrant on the outside as we feel on the inside!

More videos on how to look more youthful and less frumpy here.

How To Look Younger, Erin Busbee of Busbee in a before and after wearing a big striped top, black jeans and black boots on the left and a Frame striped tee, Veronica beard flared jeans, and black booties on the right

1)  Ditch Horizontal Stripes

I love the whole horizontal stripe thing too. They can be so chic and sophisticated…and makes me think I might hop onto a yacht at any moment. BUT, these stripes aren’t the most flattering on many of us because they visually make us look wider.

Problems On Left…

The top adds volume to the tummy and hips, it’s too long, and the tie on the side is outdated and unflattering.
The pants and shoes are fine, but you can definitely swap them out for a pair of jeans to look more modern! Be careful of “matchy-matchy” outfits like this.

How I Fixed It…

If you’re going to wear stripes, choose thin, diagonal, or vertical stripes instead.
This v-neck Frame tee has cool, skinny diagonal stripes that are WAY more flattering and slimming (tucked or untucked).
I also swapped the pants for some high waisted flare jeans that are much more flattering and help to define your waist.
And the shoes I’m wearing have an almond-shaped toe to lengthen my legs.

How To Look Younger, Erin Busbee of Busbee in a before and after wearing a gray tie front cardigan with black pants and old lady shoes on the left in the before picture. And a long rust colored cardigan, dark wash jeans, and brown boots on the right in the after picture

2) Less is Sometimes MORE

It can be tempting to buy pieces with ‘more’ details, but when in doubt, less can be MORE. Some design details can draw the eye to places you don’t really want to highlight.

Problems On Left…

The cardigan has a tie detail that’s actually highlighting the belly! It is framing the lower belly which isn’t an issue for me, but it’s a common problem area for many women. It’s adding more fabric and bulk around the tummy and drawing the eye there. If that’s your problem area, make sure you avoid details like this.
Again, these pants are fine…but they could be better. And the shoes are definitely worth swapping out!

How I Fixed It…

I swapped the short cardigan for an elongating option. It feels more modern because of the length and simplicity.
Next, I threw on some high rise, dark wash jeans that make the look more youthful. And a pair of chic brown booties. Your shoe choice can completely change the way your outfit looks…shoes are SO important! If you missed my video on frumpy shoes that are ruining your outfits, make sure you watch!

How to look younger, Erin Busbee in a before and after picture wearing a floral tee, white pants, and old lady sandals on the left and a Veronica Beard floral blouse with dark wash flare jeans and Rothy's flats on the right

3) Skip Over-Sized Florals

Florals are VERY on-trend right now, as I talked about in my recent fashion trends post. Don’t get me wrong… some women can pull them off effortlessly, but for most of us, over-sized florals should be left in the garden. In fact, floral prints, in general, are very tricky. They can look cheap and tacky so easily.

Problems on Left…

This oversized, bold, floral print tunic isn’t great. The scale of the print isn’t flattering and the length is also bad since the bold print will only emphasize and make your tummy, butt, hips, and thighs look larger.
On my lower half, I have on the matchy-matchy white pants and a pair of frumpy sandals. This look would be better with regular jeans, but the top is pretty bad and not really fixable.

How I Fixed It…

If you’re going to wear a floral print…opt for a top like the one on the right that has a smaller scale, sophisticated print. This blouse is also shorter and has a flattering, open neckline!
I paired it with some cropped jeans and Rothy’s flats. These flats are cute but run narrow!

How To Look Younger, Erin Busbee of Busbee warning to beware of matching sets that are frumpy including a tiger print matching set on the left and a pink tie dye matching set by Alo Yoga on the right

4) Beware the Matching Set

I am obsessed with matching sets! However, they can be challenging because there are chic and sophisticated matching sets AND then are sets that will make you look awful…

Problems on Left…

Enter Exhibit A… this animal print loungewear set. This is WILD for all the WRONG reasons. I mean… bad, bad, bad! See how huge I look??? Wowza.

How I Fixed It…

I know some of you love color and prints, so instead of going with a solid set, I wanted to show you a more subtle print in a flattering and feminine neutral color palette. This Beyond Yoga set in a light pink tie-dye is also VERY soft!
Make sure you check out this post with some of my favorite sets and loungewear.

How To Look Younger, Erin Busbee of Busbee in a before and after wearing a white tunic top with leopard print details on the pocket and cuffs on the left and a white button down and leaopard clutch by Clare V on the right

5) Pay Attention to Pockets

Where are the pockets?? In most cases, pockets will draw attention. If you have a sweater with big giant pockets at the hips, it will draw the eye and make your hips look bigger, which is a place that many women don’t want to add bulk!

Problems On Left…

Then there’s another pocket problem…. THIS. This long tunic button-down has leopard print cuffs and a leopard pocket. It may seem like a modern detail, but it’s actually not flattering or youthful. It kinda makes me want to gag. I look Ginormous too. Woah!

How I Fixed It…

A safer bet is to add your print pop through accessories like this leopard clutch by Clare V. By the way… this button-down is by Foxcroft and it’s non-iron!! The shorter length and more body-skimming silhouette of this shirt is MUCH more flattering, don’t you think?

How To Look Younger, Erin Busbee of Busbee in a before and after wearing a black and white bold necklace on the left and a chic gold collar necklace on the right

Bonus! Make Tasteful Jewelry Choices

I get it… you love bold accessories! You want to add some excitement to your look, but choosing the right pieces is SO key. You can still choose bold jewelry, just make sure it’s tasteful, chic, and sophistical!

Problems On Left…

This necklace so big, heavy, bulky and pretty ugly too. It completely overpowers you and your outfit. It’s also not modern at all. If you are not sure how to tell if something is modern, you can watch some of my trend videos.

How I Fixed It…

Instead, I swapped the necklace for a more understated, classic gold necklace. It is still impactful, adding a wonderful pop to the look, but far more modern and sophisticated.

Which one of these tips is your favorite? Which “Don’t” do you think is the worst?? Please share in the comments below!

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Thank you for stopping by!

How To Manifest Anything, Fashion blogger Erin Busbee of Busbee Style wearing an orange and blue Staud Ina dress with white sunglasses walking around in Telluride, Colorado
Erin Busbee
After a decade in TV news, a desire to help women "look pretty" sparked a career pivot. I started my own wardrobe consulting business, styling "real" women for many years. In 2014, I changed direction again, using my TV background and styling expertise to launch this website and my YouTube channel. We are now a community of nearly 700,000 dynamic, vibrant, amazing women over 40... who know that age isn't something you need to hide from. For us, life is just getting started!!
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5 thoughts on “Look Younger AND Slimmer with These 5 Key Style Tips for Women Over 40

  1. Excellent advice! Thankfully I have minimal offenses to these no-no’s! The worst is the floral-fiasco! The pockets no-no was my favorite piece of advice.

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