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Style Essentials You Should Own If You’re Over 40

Richard Wright

Turning 40 doesn’t mean your wardrobe options are suddenly cut in half. Crop tops, cutouts and cult trends like athleisure can, or rather should, remain in your arsenal if you want them to. Take inspiration from these well-dressed celebs who deftly strike a balance of fashion-forward and flattering. They’re resounding proof you should wear all of these pieces into your 40s and beyond.

Jen Aniston

Athleisure has gotten a bad rap lately, frequently associated with mesh leggings and micro bra tops. In fact, the essence of the trend, elevated sportswear that can be worn beyond the gym, is decidedly polished. Take a cue from Jen Aniston and pair striped track trousers with a white tee, sneakers and a longline jacket.

Ganni Naoki Polo Striped Track Pants

Ganni Naoki Polo Striped Track Pants

Gwyneth Paltrow White Crop Top Skirt With Slit Two-Piece
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Gwyneth Paltrow

If crop tops conjure images of Baby Spice in your mind, you need to get with the program. There are a multitude of options designed to graze the top of high-waisted trousers and skirts without clinging to your frame like cellophane.

Tibi Fairfax Gingham Tie Sleeve Cropped Top

Tibi Fairfax Gingham Tie Sleeve Cropped Top

Naomi Watts Pattern Jacket and Blue Jean Overalls
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Naomi Watts

Dungarees, while appropriate for toddlers, are a great carefree alternative to boyfriend jeans. Opt for a slouchy pair made from quality denim, layer them over a T-shirt and top them with a blazer for an effortless, off-duty ensemble.

Alexachung Zip Front Wide Leg Dungarees

Alexa Chung Zip-Front Wide-Leg Dungarees, 

Reese Witherspoon Graphic Tee Skinny Jeans Jean Jacket Red Pumps
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Reese Witherspoon

A graphic tee looks whimsical not childish when paired with polished pieces like pumps and a top-handle bag.

Topshop Mon Cheri Slogan T-Shirt

Topshop Mon Cheri Slogan T-Shirt

Jennifer Lopez Patterned Mini Dress and Heels
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Jennifer Lopez

Long live the mini! Long-sleeved versions that skim your curves are flattering year-round. Opt for a heavier fabric come fall and pair with anything from pumps to ankle boots.

Susan Sarandon Long Black Slit Dress Cleavage
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Susan Sarandon

While we wouldn't recommend a cleavage-baring top with a miniskirt (for anyone), there are plenty of ways to play up your décolletage, most notably with a plunging blazer silhouette that offers support. Team with wide-leg pants or a pencil skirt.

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Diane Kruger

Thoughtfully placed cutouts like these on Diane Kruger's jumpsuit look elevated for evening. Opt for a floor-length style and simple accessories.

Ramy Brook Amanda Sleeveless Crepe Jumpsuit Navy

Sleeveless Crepe Jumpsuit, Navy, 

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If you love your legs, flaunt them in sky-high slits for as long as you want. Keep the neckline demure for balance and again, opt for silhouettes that aren't overly clingy.

Haute Hippie The Garden Floral Silk Midi Skirt White

The Garden Floral Silk Midi Skirt, White,

Lucy Liu Sheer Black Lace Dress And Black Heels
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Sheer doesn't have to mean kitschy. There are plenty of chic options with high necklines or sleeves that look more demure than the average cocktail dress but are just as playful.