French women have a timeless quality that's hard to put into words. It's a combination of not looking like they tried and somehow appearing perfectly put-together. It's not something that can be readily taught, but these 11 women make it look easy. Every one of the French women featured here is as chic as can be and each is all over age 40. Not only that, but they seem to get cooler by the decade and make fashion over 40 look easy.
The women we're calling out include actresses, fashion editors, and former models, but there's nothing flashy about their style. They clearly have the fashion industry at their fingertips, but their classic aesthetics are indicative of French women in every field. Check out their cool confidence ahead and start looking forward to getting older.
Keep scrolling to see which over-40 French women inspire us and to shop pieces that they'd surely love at the end.
Caroline de Maigret
Carla Bruni is a songwriter, former model, and former French first lady.
Marion Cotillard is an Academy Award–winning actress, a musician, and the face of Lady Dior.
Emmanuelle Alt is the current editor in chief of Vogue Paris.
Vanessa Paradis is a model, singer-songwriter, and actress who is a front-row fixture at every Chanel runway show alongside daughter, Lily-Rose Depp.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
Aïssa Maïga is a Senegalese-born French actress and producer. Her signature look on the red carpets she frequents is dresses that cinch at the waist.
Juliette Binoche is an Academy Award–winning actress for The English Patient and perhaps best known for her starring role in Chocolat.
Inès de la Fressange
Catherine Deneuve is an actress (having appeared in over 100 films) and one of Saint Laurent's original muses.
Shop French Wardrobe Essentials
The French are loyal to their skinny jeans.
Want the Parisian look in an instant? Get a pair of Mansur Gavriel oxfords or ballet flats.
A double-breasted blazer makes every outfit better.
This quintessential French print is trending again this season.
Behold the sophisticated French outerwear style of choice.
A T-shirt as versatile as this is more than a French-style cliché.
Do as the French do and casually knot this around your neck.
Throw this silk shirt on with a pair of jeans and pumps for an instantly polished outfit.
A cropped cardigan looks very French when paired with high-waisted denim, no?
Oversize sunglasses have a certain je ne sais quoi.
Of course, diamonds are a "oui" in any language.
And a magnificent red lip. Voila!