In the fast-paced fashion industry, it can often feel like there’s a glaring lens always refocusing on what’s youthful and new. But here at Who What Wear UK, we’re inspired by women of every age, which is why we figured it was high time to give a few of our favourite over-50 trendsetters a little love.
These style stars, such as the likes of former Vogue Paris editor in chief Carine Roitfeld, have carved their own niches by staying true to their own unique senses of style and by mixing trends with styles they have kept in their arsenals over time. While these 15 tastemakers are by no means the only older women who can teach us a thing or two about style (hello, Iris Apfel), following along in their fashion journeys has taught us about our own wardrobe inclinations too. Just take one peek at these awesome trendsetters, and you’ll see what we mean. Read on for a look at 25 inspiring real women.
Shooting to Insta fame at the age of 95, Erni Stollberg is a regular fixture on the feed of fashion concept store, Park. Never one to shy away from an avant garde look, Erni has been snapped in everything from a Y Project oversized suit (see above) to Simone Wilde over-the-knee boots.
If you’re looking for polished style with a trend-led twist, Alyson Walsh is your woman. The fashion journalist-turned-influencer packs plenty of Scandi cool with clever minimalist pairings and the odd flash of print.
Grece Ghanem is our latest Instagram obsession: the Montreal-based personal trainer has the best designer clothing collection and wears all of the latest pieces in the most unexpected ways without being wacky. Take this Gucci tee + leopard trousers example for starters.
Senior vice president of the fashion office and the director of women’s fashion and store presentation of New York’s iconic Bergdorf Goodman, Linda is often spotted wearing leopard print. She also has a love of Dior’s red lipstick Holiday. Speaking to the FT, she revealed that she’s a fan of timeless classics “with a bit of bite.”
Former fashion director of British Vogue, Lucinda Chambers has spent over three decades at the forefront of the fashion industry. It’s no surprise then that she’s managed to hone her look. From bold prints to chunky necklaces, as well as Marni shoes, this is easy sophistication to wear at any age.
Actress Isabelle Huppert is the very definition of chic. Of course, it helps that she’s French (and you know how much we love their style), but she always looks effortless, whether that’s wearing a couture gown at Cannes or a more androgynous suit with an overcoat at fashion week.
Monica Bellucci is often considered to be one of the most beautiful women in the world. The actress started off modelling for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Dior, but then made her mark in film such as The Matrix Reloaded. Her style is often very ladylike with figure-flattering dresses.
We recently spotted Renia’s blog Ven’s Wife Style and immediately had to know more. From the all-grey outfit made fun with a faux-fur bag flourish to doing the Balenciaga look better than seasoned street stylers, her smart but sassy style has us hooked.
Oprah’s really found her fashion mojo of late: from wearing the most spectacular pink Stella McCartney dress to the royal wedding through to her regular high-profile appearances where waist-nipping dresses or skirts-with-tops play the main role.
Lyn Slater has a knack for showing off eye-catching, quirky pieces, but her styling never feels over the top. The 63-year-old’s sleek, fashion-forward sense of style is an inspiration for any age, and she proves that comfort with your personal style is the chicest thing of all.
The mother of Space X and Tesla founder Elon Musk, Maye has been a model for five decades. Her style is sleek and minimal—but when she heads out for an event she goes all out with something like this. You need to know that she has great taste in earrings, lipstick, roll-necks and dogs.
One of those ultra-glam people, Colleen Heidemann cites the likes of Jackie O., Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn as her style icons. This all shows in her personal style, which is sophisticated but fun.
Melanie Kobayashi is the Vancouver-based blogger behind Bag and a Beret. The 53-year-old mixes vintage, fun prints and plenty of colours to create an overall look that’s all her own.
For top Parisian wardrobe inspo, look to former Vogue Paris editor in chief and legendary stylist Carine Roitfeld.
Wendy Packer started her blog, Fashion Over Fifty, as a place to showcase aging in a positive way, and she shares tips and ideas in addition to her outfits.
Oh, Mobama, we miss the regularity with which we used to see you in so many different outfits. Since the former FLOTUS has not been in the White House we still get the occasional glimpse of her fantastic midi dress collection, but we’re taking it back with this Preen look. It’s still a fun but appropriate option three years later.
The iconic TV presenter, author, activist and stylist (amongst many other things) is one of our all-time favourite women over-50 for striking outfit combinations that really speak to her personal style ethos of buying better, buying less and generally being more conscious in your consumption—without losing your cool. You can see more of Caryn’s style via our Best Wardrobes in Britain shoot.
As the founder of Net-a-Porter, former fashion editor Natalie Massenet is a queen of fashion. The impeccably dressed entrepreneur artfully combines new-season prints with classic wardrobe staples for an ultra-elegant finish.
Bold, unapologetic fashion is what you can expect from the jewellery designer, model and Instagram icon Sarah Jane Adams. She never shies away from eye-catching colours or prints, and it’s clear that more than anything she has fun with fashion.
As Matchesfashion.com’s co-founder Ruth Chapman is an industry-adored figurehead with access to the best designer garms going. Take away the fancy clothes and you still have a woman who oozes serenity and elegance: her style choices are often classic with a twist, like this demure blouse rendered in metallic fabric.
She’s racked up over three million Instagram followers for both her unexpected, youthful sense of style and her no-holds-barred personality. At 88 years old, the trendsetter has no plans of slowing down (or toning down her style), and we’re all ever so grateful. She even has a Depop account where you can buy her unwanted fashion items.
Model and yoga teacher Lou Kenny once told us all about how to dress in your 50s, and it’s something you will want to read. Her classic, effortless style and holistic lifestyle makes her one to bookmark, no matter what generation you’re part of.
The interest in Brigitte Macron’s wardrobe stretches far and wide, with many having a particular interest in the French First Lady’s denim choices. We, however, are very into her sharp trouser suits and how she styles them: note the T-shirt instead of a blouse of button-up.
Another French lady you 100% need to know about is journalist Sophie Fontanel. Whilst you won’t ever see much of her face in her mirror selfies you will see a whole heap of new styling ideas and combinations to replicate. She uses simple shapes and colours to great effect.
Whether she realises it or not, Meghan Markle’s mother Doria Ragland was jettisoned to Mother of the Bride outfit icon recently. We’re looking forward to potentially seeing more of the super-chic lady in the future but for now, just take note of her classic-but-still-interesting ensemble.
Now see the 25 classic fashion items women of every age agree on.