Seasons

The Most Wearable Fall 2021 Fashion Trends For Women Over 40

Fall Trends 2021

Each season I share the best and most wearable fashion trends for women over 40. These are the trends that more mature women can actually wear and feel amazing in. Lucky for us, comfy and cozy (with a touch of sophistication) is the overall theme of fall 2021! As with all trends, you should pick and choose the ones you love the most and then aim to give the trends your very own spin…. make them your own. You also do NOT have to try ANY of these trends. I just want to make sure you have all the resources you need to be your most stylish self!

If you missed the spring trends, make sure you check out this post because a lot of those trends will continue into the fall!

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1) Bridgerton Effect

Did you watch Bridgerton? It was Netflix’s most-watched show ever with 80 million+ views globally. If you watched the period drama, you know how epic the costumes were. Well, turns out this show has sparked some trends this fall including long gloves, ruffle collars…even over-the-top romantic gowns.

Okay, but how do we make this wearable…? Try something lace which is a classic and elegant fabric. Or you can wear a corset top like the one I’m wearing in the photo above by Jonathan Simkhai! It’s one of my all-time favorite pieces. You can even try the trend by wearing puff shoulders and sleeves. I have so many of those. You all know how much I love my puff shoulders!

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2) Comfort Zone

Comfort is priority #1 for most of us especially following quarantine. But instead of the slouchy, relaxed styles of the past year, this trend is evolving. The styles we’re seeing are becoming much more polished, tailored, and luxe. You’ll see everything from sleek sets to dresses to skirts in luxurious fabrics like silk and cashmere. You’ll also notice cozier pieces like shearling-lined coats, even shearling-lined shoes!!

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3) Slope Style

This fashion trend is mentioned in pretty much every trend-related article or post… puffers, furry moon boots, ski-wear inspired pieces, even gowns! Après ski is going to be a major fashion statement this year. Among the most wearable and versatile? My favorite, the fair isle sweater. They are going to be BIG this fall. I’ve bought a couple of fair-isle sweaters that I love over the last couple of years. We’re living in Spain right now, but I’ll definitely jump on this trend when I get back to Telluride in January. It’s part of my lifestyle anyway. I have a whole ski wardrobe now! By the way, my favorite skiwear brand is Perfect Moment. I’ve done an entire post on the brand here. And my favorite ski outfit is my jumpsuit by Cordova (above) that is amazing, but I can only wear it a few times a season unless I layer over it. You can find more of my favorite ski clothing brands in this post.

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4) Cable Knit Chic

This bleeds into the last trend a bit but it’s worth mentioning. Basically, the chunkier and more intricate the cable knit, the better. Lots of interesting details on the cable knit looking sweaters. But it’s on the runways in everything from sweaters to skirts to dresses.

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5) Puffed Up

Another trend that plays off the Slope Style trend is this puffer trend. Puffers are “in” every fall/winter. But on the runways this year we say them in all colors, patterns, sizes, and silhouettes! I’m all for the puffer as they are SO warm!! My favorite puffer jackets are by SAM. New York. I also love Herno and Mackage.

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6) Cut It Out!

Cutouts have been on trend for a few seasons, but it seems like they’re getting even bigger and sexier. You’ll see cutouts on the back, on the sides, around the neckline, etc. The most wearable way to wear this over 40 is a cutout by the neckline. I bought this cutout top (top left) around the holidays last year and a very similar one was part of the Nordstrom Sale this year. If you love your back and aren’t worried about the bra situation, go for a cutout in the back. I also wanted to mention my Patbo crochet swim dress. I NEVER thought I could pull it off, but the cutouts were strategic, so I felt comfortable, supported, and sexy!! Find more photos of that show-stopper here. Bottom line, don’t be afraid to experiment with this one…at any age. It’s SO sexy and elegant to show just a hint of skin.

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7) Tailoring 2.0

Tailoring gets an update every year. This year, it’s all about the layered look… and then add another layer. Think a button-down with a vest over it and then a blazer over that, a trench over that, and a coat over that. It’s very over-the-top tailoring that’s really not all that streamlined. You can pair these layers with loafers or sneakers instead of pumps to really look modern.

I think the best way for you to try this one is to wear a button-down under your blazer and then belt the jacket. Pair it with trousers or jeans and throw on your cool sneaks or flats. I’ve talked about layering a moto jacket under a coat and how to wear a cropped jacket with a button-down under it. If you missed those posts, make sure you check those out!

Don’t forget pre-layered or 2-in-1 pieces too. This is a simpler, less bulky way of adding those layers. You all know how much I love my Veronica Beard dickey blazers for that very reason!

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8) All Things Leather!

Literally. You can find anything in leather. Trench coats, pants, blazers, skirts, and even dresses! The twist this fall? Look for leather basics in different colors like burgundy, green, grays, even pastels like lilac! Also, it’s not about wearing skin-tight leather anymore (thank goodness). For example, it’s more on-trend to choose a shift dress instead of a  bodycon piece. It’s also worth noting that vegan and sustainable options have come a LONG way and designers are offering more and more beautifully tailored options in luxe vegan leathers.

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9) Futuristic Fashion

This one is for my over-the-top fashionistas who love a bold trend. We’re seeing lots of sequins and high shine materials with a futuristic feel. Maybe it’s inspired by all the space travel! To see how you might dress on Mars in 2050 check out Balmain and Louis Vuitton.

Maybe you’re thinking…. But how is THAT wearable, Erin…??? You can try a sequin tank or a high shine camisole. Maybe a coat with a sheen or even a shiny pair of pants! Think outside the box!! You never need permission to wear sequins…in my opinion, they are ALWAYS in!!

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10) Saturated Shades

Usually, neutrals are big during the fall. And they’re definitely still a basic. But this year, we’re seeing highly saturated, standout colors like yellow, pink, blue, red, and green. Remember pink was a HUGE color for spring? It’s still very much in style but taking on a more muted tone with lots of blush and pale pinks. I’m a huge fan of blush since it really is a versatile neutral you can pair with anything.

There are also interesting color combos like pink & yellow, rust & lavender, green & yellow, and peach & orange. Remember my video where I featured and recreated Sarah Jessica Parker’s style? One of my favorite looks that I duplicated was a color-blocked pink and red outfit. This gives us all permission to bust out some color and I love that!

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Prints

If you’re more a prints/patterns fan, there were plenty of those on the runways as well…and pretty much anything goes this fall. We saw a lot of patchwork, florals (of course), plaids, even art-inspired prints on Louis Vuitton’s runway. Logo heavy prints are also still in, but they are definitely not my favorite and not that wearable. Some of my favorite printed pieces are by Ulla Johnson and Alice + Olivia in case you aren’t a huge fan of prints but still like to try them out occasionally like me!

Still Trending

Some trends that have been around awhile and aren’t going anywhere are more relaxed jeans, wide-leg pants, midi dresses and skirts, cropped jackets (well, anything cropped, really), and anything early 2000’s like plaids, slip dresses, low rise pants, chunky shoes.

Which trend is your favorite or one that you want to try? Let me know in the comments below!

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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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15 thoughts on “The Most Wearable Fall 2021 Fashion Trends For Women Over 40

  1. Can you tell me the brand of that beautiful taupe sweater set pictured in the “comfort zone” section? I love it and thought you did a post about it but I can’t find it anywhere!

  2. I am definitely going to try the sweater dress plus knee-high boots trend this fall. I also love the lacey tops tailored trench coats!

  3. Erin, in an earlier photo of yourself in Spain, you showed up in a gorgeous gauzy long dress and I thought you looked sensational in it. I see also in your fall presentation that bright green hue showing up again. If I were to be bold, I would say that is your signature color. Zowie!

    Thanks for the new fall stuff; you are hitting your stride again and peaking. I finally got to a Nordstrom store in this city and enjoyed a direct shopping adventure. And I want to add I had a great on line experience with Naturalizer: lizard flats and white leather sneaks and RealReal bracelet and ring. Thanks for the leads.

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