Fashion & Style Tips

High heels and Leather Pants. 10 tips on looking Glam at 40 by English Fashion Stylist Sara Darling

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Courtesy Sara Darling’s website (XO-MAGAZINE. Darren Back. Sara Darling stylist)

A glam woman is someone who is confident in herself, and knows what suits her. She is groomed, but not flashy, and wears clothes which enhance her personality.

We asked London Fashion Stylist, Sara Darling for her Glam Tips….

Sara, what does a glam woman in her 40s have in her wardrobe?

High heels, two piece suits, cashmere and silk. Great underwear. A selection of shirts for daywear and evening. White Converse boots.

What are your 5 must-have items of clothing and your 5 must-have accessories?

  1. A fun twin set- (not black or you will look like you work in a bank!)
  2. A broderlie Anglaise prairie shirt in white
  3. A tie dye maxi dress (for revisiting your inner hippie)
  4. A battered leather jacket to throw over everything
  5. Cut off jeans in preshrunk denim. Stretch is just for teenagers
  6. Mary Jane shoes (pref in red to brighten up your look and remind everyone you could be Dorothy from Wizard of Oz).
  7. Perspex heel ankle boots
  8. A men’s chunky gold watch
  9. Big geeky sunglasses
  10. A mini bag

Do you have any advice for women looking to de-clutter their wardrobe?

If things start looking tatty, due to over-loving I have to ditch them – there’s absolutely no room for sentimentality in fashion!  I’m quite good at getting rid of coats, shirts and trousers and if I haven’t worn them for a while, they have to go!  I keep anything that’s precious and designer pieces- even if they don’t fit. It’s great to reminisce and they’re always useful for a fancy dress party!

What are your tips for women looking fab in their 40’s?

Know your shape. Are you a banana, pear, or hourglass shape? Buy styles accordingly. For example, an hourglass with a defined breast and bootie shouldn’t be looking at smock dresses. Always accentuate what you think are your best features. Don’t buy something just because you have seen it in a magazine or on a model. Not everything suits everybody and just by buying a designer label does not make it look good on you- see Edwina from Absolutely Fabulous(below) as an example! Ditto with shoes. We all have different shapes and contours on our feet, so one size does not fit all. Don’t try too hard. Simplicity is the most flattering. Under-dressing rather than over-styling is the most chic way to go.

“It’s not all about the clothes either. Be confident and get a great haircut. White teeth and a lovely smile. Natural wrinkles and a healthy body”…

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Courtesy Sara Darling

Colour combinations can seem so complicated, do you have any suggestions?

Keep things simple – I’m a big fan of the classics – black, grey and white. Navy blue and brown are also a great colour combo. If you are feeling really bold I would wear a gingham (or floral) print dress, or shirt but tone it down with a bright blazer.

Can you mix and match famous fashion labels with High St favourites like Zara and H&M?

Absolutely. Zara does great versions of the catwalk collections, and has a much quicker turnaround. Mixing high street with designer is the way to make your wardrobe last longer as you can invest in one key piece and wear it with lots of cheaper things from the high street stores.

What piece of advice you do you have for women looking to find their own style?

Don’t be a fashion victim. You don’t have to buy what you see in the magazines, just use that for inspiration. I think it’s always a good idea to shake up where you shop. Try out different stores for fit and comfort. You might have got in the habit to only shop at Whistles, but for a change, take a look Reiss, Iris and Ink, Comptoir Des Cotonniers, Atterly and Cos. If you feel like a change, go and get a hair consultation and a fresh style will bring a whole new outlook.

Who are you fashion inspirations?

My Glam top five are: Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Kate Winslet, Victoria Beckham, Tilda Swinton.


What is your big fashion weakness?

I’m OBSESSED with leather trousers – I currently own five pairs of black, one brown and one blue! I also collect white shoes, oversized bags and am attracted to anything with fringing.

Sara Darling is a freelance fashion, commercial and celebrity stylist. She is Co-Founder of 55Pages magazine, where she remains Fashion Editor, and she contributes written features to a wide range of style and lifestyle publications and websites (like Please visit her website:

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