"Dressing Your Age" Is Complete Nonsense—and These Women Prove It
There’s no memo that goes around saying you can’t wear denim cutoffs when you hit 30 and no rule that come 40, your arms should be covered up. Sure, outré displays of flesh have a time and a place, but forgoing loud prints just because you have wrinkles? Forget it. The idea of dressing for your age is officially outdated, and we’ve found the women to prove it.
The most stylish dressers out there know you don’t have to give up split pencil skirts when you become a grandma or only entertain beige cashmere cardigans after you turn 80. Instead, they’ve made their non-negotiable style signature part of their DNA. These attributes have retailers and makeup artists eager to collaborate and bottle their style and sell it to the masses.
So next time you’re wondering if you’re “too old” for something, stop right there. If you love it and it makes you feel good, go for it, no questions asked. There’s no such thing as dressing your age, so just dress like yourself. Scroll through the pictures below for the ultimate self-pleasing dressers.
Style Notes: She’s nearing her 100th birthday, yet Iris Apfel and her sartorial game are more hardworking than anyone we know. The front-row regular and fashion consultant’s style inspired an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2005, and her life was the subject of a docu-film, Iris, in 2015. Flamboyant, assured, vibrant and always wearing those signature frames, Iris and her outfits never fail to bring a smile to our faces.
Style Notes: Carine Roitfeld loves head-to-toe leather, bare legs and animal prints, and her style is so revered that she’s designed two collections in collaboration with Uniqlo. The French editor favours a sleek silhouette of dark pencil skirts, sheer shirts and high, high heels. Oh, and you’ll rarely see her carrying a handbag—she hates them. There’s no telling this 62-year-old grandmother what is and isn’t age-appropriate.
Style Notes: She was making waves with her style back in the Studio 54 days, and the years have done nothing to dampen former model Bianca Jagger’s passion for fashion. She still loves an androgynous suit as much as she did when she married Sir Mick all those years ago, and you’ll almost always find her in an oversized cocoon coat bearing a fabulous spatter. No sensible tweeds for this septuagenarian.
Style Notes: The grand dame of the silver screen could have entered her seventh decade wearing long-sleeved dress after long-sleeved dress to the endless junkets she’s contracted to be present at. Instead, the Brit always adds a little naughtiness to her look, be it a dash of pink hair dye or “stripper shoes.” Her outfits give a wink to the rest of the world—they’re a reminder that age really is just a number.
Style Notes: If you watched the British Vogue documentary Absolutely Fashion, you’ll know how happy clothes make the magazine’s fashion director, Lucinda Chambers. An experimentative dresser who never loses sight of her identity, she’s a sight to behold at the shows, where she’ll always delight with her inspired way of strolling even the most avant-garde of pieces. Don’t ever change, Ms. Chambers.
Prada Cloudbust Rubber and Leather-Trimmed Mesh Sneakers (£510)
She loves a statement trainer.
Style Notes: Worthy of style-icon status, Catherine Deneuve is ageing gracefully and without losing sight of the style which made her wardrobe the envy of women across the world. She’s 71 now, but that’s not going to stop her playing peekaboo with a lacy shirt or wearing hot-off-the-runway Louis Vuitton to Cannes. She’s the ultimate free spirit (or libre d’esprit, if you want French brownie points).
Style Notes: As if age ever dictated how New Yorker Lisa Rodin gets dressed in the morning. The former stylist who founded her beauty own label from her kitchen table in 2008 favours a couple of key pieces in one outfit, and mixes them with jeans or a simple choked shirt and delicate jewellery. She’s also not into ultra-expensive designer fashion, much preferring vintage bargains.
Style Notes: As the former chairman of the British Fashion Council, it was Natalie Massenet’s job for five years to patronise British designers, and boy does she relish the task. Quite the chameleon, she can do gamine showgoer one moment and switch to red carpet goddess the next. With a voracious appetite for trends, she treats the runway collections like her own walk-in wardrobe. The Net-a-Porter founder certainly isn’t afraid of trying something new, and age doesn’t even come into the equation.
Erdem Maira Embroidered Cotton-Blend Jacquard Pencil Skirt (£1430)
Style Notes: What’s so endearing about the way Lauren Hutton dresses is that she is so utterly as ease in her own skin. She wears the clothes—regardless of whether it’s a formfitting velvet dress or a pair of Converse—and not the other way around. Decades spent enjoying a reputation as one of America’s top models means Hutton creates her own rules.
Style Notes: Blazing trails since spearheading the punk movement in the ’70s, Westwood has always marched to the beat of her own drum. An impassioned political campaigner, she adds a riot of colour to the otherwise grey streetside protests she attends. Did you ever see a 70-something wear printed fabric and platform boots so marvellously?
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
Opening Image: Rex