Never have nothing to wear again with the help of our essential wardrobe edit for petite women over 40. With these timeless pieces, getting dressed will never be a chore. From the well-worn white shirt to the perfectly cut blazer and the throw-on-and-go petite dress, these are the classics that will make you look pulled together in 60 seconds flat. And while trends come and go, we guarantee that this capsule collection will never go out of style. Essential, yes. But basic? Certainly not.
Culottes are flattering on petite frames, showing off your ankles and nipping you in at the waist. The wide-leg silhouette looks modern and fresh but the style is still very much a classic.
Every wardrobe needs one pair of black trousers that always make you feel good—the cut (high-waist or low rise, cropped or wide-leg) is up to you. Wear them with a wrap top for work and clean white trainers at the weekend.
Dark denim jeans
Every stylish woman knows the importance of a good pair of jeans. Choose a timeless cut (like straight or slim) in a dark wash. They’ll be the hardest working item in your wardrobe.
Wide leg trousers aren’t the most obvious choice for petite wardrobes, but make sure they’re cut above the ankle and sit high on the waist and they’ll be very wearable.
An A-line skirt that finishes just below the knee is both chic and feminine. A printed version like this one will make a statement but you could always opt for a similar shape in classic black if you want something more low key.
Lightweight and practical but still undeniably stylish, the trench coat has been a wardrobe staple for years. Belt it at the waist to avoid getting lost in it.
Sleek and slim-fitting, a fitted blazer will make you appear instantly pulled together. Choose a structured style that will frame your silhouette.
A quality wool coat will last for decades so choose yours wisely. Opt for one specially cut for petite women so that it looks slightly tailored.
A ladylike tweed jacket is a workwear staple and this cropped version was designed for petite women. The graceful tiered ruffles and statement bell sleeves add interest without swamping smaller frames.
The blazer comes in many guises and we love velvet versions for their glamorous aesthetic. You can wear it with jeans at the weekend or over a jumpsuit for evenings out.
No wardrobe is complete without a denim jacket. This multi-tasking layer will see you through every season – toughen up summer dresses with yours.
A suede jacket is eternally stylish and the tactile fabric will make you feel amazing. Look for one in brown or beige that will pair perfectly with jeans.
When you’re building your capsule wardrobe, consider luxury fabrics like cashmere. It may feel like an indulgence but with proper care they will last for years and a crew neck like this will more than justify its cost per wear.
Pair it with your petite jeans or layer it under petite dresses. This is the wardrobe wonder-piece that every women needs.
A perennially flattering wrap top will be reached for again and again. Choose one in a block colour that will go with everything.
White button shirt
No capsule wardrobe would be complete without the elusive ‘perfect white shirt’. The grown-up alternative to a T-shirt that you can wear at work and on the weekend.
It’s been described as the smart women’s alternative to a dress and we’d be inclined to agree. A black jumpsuit is the ultimate in throw-on-and-go styling and you get extra points for interesting details like wide legs and cropped hems.
Classic maxi dress
A maxi dress is perfect for petite frames and we love this one with long sleeves and a neck-lengthening V-neck. Add different accessories each time and you’ll be able to wear it to party after party.
Heading for drinks after work but don’t want to take a change of clothes? Statement earrings are the answer. Add them to any outfit for a touch of glamour.
While it’s tempting to stick to muted colours and monochrome, every wardrobe should have a statement petite dress in a colourful hue. It will be an instant mood boost on evenings out.
Some classic white trainers are a casual basic that will go with everything from jeans at the weekend to cropped tailored trousers at the office.
Featured image by Deborah of FABULOUS OVER 40