Q&A: Graduation Dresses for Women Over 40

May 12th, 2009

Q: Do you have [graduation] dress suggestions for women 45+ who are in decent shape? I’ve looked in vain for attractive and vibrant floral pattern dresses that cover a bit more. Plenty of sheaths in black and natural linen, but these seem rather plain for the occasion.

A: Last week, we put together a graduation outfit suitable for a woman in her 20s or 30s.  Today, we rounded up a series of dresses that can work for women in their 40s and beyond.  We have vibrant patterns, bright colors, and cuts that cover a bit more than the strapless sheath that we featured last week.  Here’s our seven favorite picks for graduation dresses:

ali-ro-print-silk-dress_051009
Ali Ro Print Silk Dress | $62.90 (sale) at Nordstrom

silk-cotton-floral-dress_051009
Silk Cotton Floral Dress | $98 at Banana Republic

cotton-slub-silk-lattice-dress_051009
Cotton Slub Silk Lattice Dress | $99.99 (sale) at J Crew

suzi-chin-maggy-boutique-print-sateen-sheath-dress_051009
Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique Print Sateen Sheath Dress | $118 at Nordstrom

floral-silk-maxi-dress_051009
Floral Maxi Dress | $130 at Martin + Osa

patra-tiered-chiffon-dress_051009
Patra Tiered Chiffon Dress | $178 at Nordstrom

trina-turk-tortoise-dress_051009
Trina Turk Tortoise Dress | $288 at Nordstrom

What would you wear to graduation? Share your style with us in the comments!

Entry Filed under: Q&A, Shopping Guide, Women, Women's

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Leslie  |  May 12th, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Um…what is DECENT shape? I guess I’m indecent.

  • 2. Joan  |  May 12th, 2009 at 6:25 am

    Love them! Thanks! Could you also suggest some summer dress casual weekend options for this age group?

  • 3. Sal  |  May 12th, 2009 at 7:07 am

    Fantastic picks, all.

  • 4. kim  |  May 12th, 2009 at 7:23 am

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the floral banana republic dress!

  • 5. Trisha  |  May 12th, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Glad you guys like the dresses - and yes, I’m in love with the floral Banana Republic dress too.

    Joan - yes, we can take a look at casual summer dresses for this age group as well. Did you have anything in particular in mind?

  • 6. Joan  |  May 12th, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Actually, I was wondering about casual weekend dress, not necessarily dresses. Things that could be worn as part of a graduation weekend–out to a casual dinner, to a barbecue, out and about. Could be shorts, skirts, pants with suggested tops. I think decent shape only means moderately physically fit for a middle-aged person. These dresses accommodate a range of bodies.

  • 7. Trisha  |  May 12th, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Got it - we can pick out some separates for weekend wear that can work for a large range of body types. Thanks for the clarification, Joan!

  • 8. Neira  |  May 12th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    I want that floral maxi dress! it is absolutely gorgeous. great print

  • 9. Acacia  |  May 12th, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    When I read the headline I was afraid I would find a cavalcade of dowdy dresses. I am delighted I was wrong! Your picks are cute and sexy without being too young or screaming “age appropriate” with caveats about what aging flesh should be hidden. Well done!

  • 10. Trisha  |  May 13th, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Thanks, Acacia! Glad you like the dresses. We’ll have to do more posts like this.

  • 11. Tricia Ann  |  June 27th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I am Graduation July 3 , 2009 I need Dress

  • 12. susan  |  October 11th, 2012 at 5:36 am

    i love the floral maxi dress,so simple but great.It goes with heels or flats

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