Summer Style for Women Over 40

June 6, 2019

It’s that time of year again and I keep hearing … “suns out, bums out” …. “suns out, guns out” … ! Oh dear … what if you’re less than excited about showing off your legs and arms than … whoever made up those silly sayings?! Me to the rescue with my summer style guide …. especially for women over 40, over 50, and beyond, who want to look stylish AND stay cool, want to look chic AND be a bit covered up!

how to dress in hot weather for women over 50

How Much Skin to Show?

How much skin to show is totally a personal question that no one can answer for you but yourself. I’m more comfortable and confident being a bit more covered up. In the old days, there were so many rules about fashion and age, but now anything goes really. I had a dear friend who wore halter tops and shorts into her late 60’s! Even though it’s not a choice I would make, it fit her personality and she felt happy and cute. That’s all that matters. You do you!

Read on for summer style tips … including my go-to summer pieces!

Cool and Covered Legs

Skirts & Dresses

If you prefer to cover your legs, at least from the knees up, nothing will make your summer better than a couple of lightweight gauzy maxi skirts. I have one in black and one in white and if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that you seen them on me EVERY SINGLE SUMMER!

Shop Go To Summer Skirts

I always love a midi or maxi dress and buy several each summer. I will say though that by the end of summer I’m pretty sick of them, whereas the skirts can be styled so many different ways that I never get tired of them. But on the plus side, it’s fabulous to have a one-and-done dress to throw on in the summer, so I would suggest adding at least one or two … or ten … summer dresses for sure!

boho dress for women over 40

Shop Summer Dresses

Pants, Crops, Shorts

Some women look amazing in shorts well into their senior years. I alas do not! But if you look great in shorts and like to wear them, I would suggest passing on the cuffed hems and the pleats across the tummy. A smooth, simple silhouette will be the most flattering on most of us.

As far as pants go, there’s a raging debate whether to crop or not to crop! LOL! I loved cropped flared pants and jeans, and I have a few cropped pants that I like, but in general, other than flares, I find ankle length or longer to be more flattering.

I was really excited last year to get these super lightweight cropped pants (below) and figured they were the perfect shorts alternative. With a bit of a heel and a black tank, I think they look great, but with flat sandals, they looked frumpy, and who wants that?

Shop Summer Pants

Cool On Top

My favorite summer tops are a bit flowy, a bit boho … cotton or linen or a combo. I like the flattering easy-to-wear shape and they feel cool and nice. Even though I’m still okay with showing my arms, I’m starting to find that I feel my very best when a top covers my elbows. These three tops here are perfect and I think I’ll be living in them this summer.

I also am a big fan of graphic tees! They’re an easy, casual, fun alternative to the flowy blouse.

summer outfit for women over 50
boho over 40
flattering white jeans

Shop Summer Tops

Cool Feet

Of course feet need to stay cool too and there’s nothing better for that than a pair of sandals. I always make sure I have a neutral shade in a 2-3 inch heel (espadrille or cork wedges) as well as a flat sandal in a neutral shade. Of course I also love to have black and some fun pops of color.

Shop Sandals

What are your summer dressing issues? Do you have any tips to share with us?!

Want more help with building a wardrobe? Check out my How to Build a Wardrobe series, starting with Color & Silhouette, followed by Identity & Lifestyle, and then Trends & Inspiration. Coming soon … how to work with a budget!

Fun & Fashion,

Dawn Lucy

Link Ups: Visible Monday! Shoe and Tell!  #iwillwearwhatilike link up! Turning Heads Tuesday! Confident Tuesday!   Style Perspectives! Trendy Wednesday! Style on the Daily!  Thursday Fashion Files! Chic and Stylish! Labour of Fashion! Thursday Moda! Top of the World Style!   Fabulous Friday!   Weekend Wear Link Up!  Edge of the Week! Nancy’s Fashion Style! Sharing a Journey!

About the blog: Fashion Should Be Fun is me talking to you, other middle aged women like me who are over 40, but not over fashion.  We still want to look beautiful and stylish.  We still want to have fun with trends.  And we don’t need anyone giving us rules, because we’re all different. We all have own shapes and bodies, parts we’d like to cover and parts we still don’t mind showing off a bit.  This is a place for me to share my love of fashion with you, style ideas, tips, trends, and inspiration. I know how liking the way we look can translate into confidence and energy. I know we have so much life left to live and so much adventure ahead of us. Let’s show the world you’re never too old to have fun and be fierce!


  • Reply Didi June 7, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks for a great post. This is soooo helpful. I’m heading out for an extended trip and was at my wit’s end. This is such a useful guide.

    • Reply Dawn Lucy June 9, 2019 at 12:29 pm

      Oh that makes me so happy! Thanks so much!


  • Reply Nina Paul June 8, 2021 at 12:43 am

    Thanks for sharing this article as its very difficult to find good style tips for 40+ women.

    • Reply Dawn Lucy June 8, 2021 at 10:19 am

      Thanks so much! 🙂

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