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 they're all over age 40. Not only that, but they seem to get cooler by the decade.
The women we're calling out include actresses, fashion editors, and former models, but there's nothing flashy about all 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 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.
Juliette Binoche is an Academy Award–winning actress for The English Patient and perhaps best known for her starring turn 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
French women are loyal to their skinny jeans.
Want the Parisian look in an instant? Get a pair of Repetto oxfords or ballet flats.
A double-breasted blazer makes every outfit better.
It doesn't get more classic than this.
Do as the French do and casually knot this around your neck.
This quintessential French print is trending this season.
Throw this on with a pair of jeans and pumps for an instantly polished outfit.
Ten out of ten chic French women have high-waisted wide-leg trousers in their closet.
Next up, find out how to wear color like the French do.