These Over-40 Celebs Have Inspired Us So Much This Year

With the #MeToo movement putting up a fire up Hollywood's ass right at the start of 2018, it's been a year of important dialogue when it comes to women (and men) in the spotlight and the equality with which they are treated. Although there is still a long way to go, this is a powerful time for talented women of all ages to receive the focus they deserve. We've always been of the thinking that while it can alter and adapt, true style doesn't dwindle with time—just look at someone like Jane Birkin—and more than ever this year the team at Who What Wear UK has been looking to every age-diverse bracket for inspiration. What's been happening in tandem is a wave of fashion greatness from the women featured below (all of whom are over 40). They have consistently raised the fashion bar over the past 12 months and featured in countless stories. 

From Sarah Jessica Parker and Victoria Beckham to Kristin Scott Thomas and Tracee Ellis Ross, keep scrolling to see the stylish celebrities over 40 who gave us all the outfit inspiration in 2018.


Cate Blanchett
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Directional yet demure, Cate strikes the perfect fashion balance with every outfit she wears. While her off-duty attire is impressive, it's her red carpet dresses that leave us in awe.


Claudia Winkleman
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The pressures of being on live TV can get to some, but not Claudia, who looked faultless every weekend of late while presenting Strictly Come Dancing. So much so, we archived our favourites of hers here


Elizabeth Hurley

She'll forever be an icon thanks to her infamous safety-pin dress, but in 2018, Elizabeth Hurley proved her style goes way beyond the Versace from her past.


Emma Thompson
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Emma Thompson was easily one of the coolest dressed celebrities this year. Separates have become something of a style signature for the actress, but it's her slicked back hair and epic Stella McCartney shoe selection that makes this look her own. 10/10.


Gwyneth Paltrow
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She got married and starred in one of the highest-grossing films of the year, so, yes, Gwyneth Paltrow is winning at 2018. Her wardrobe, naturally, has reflected that and we've seen her in some of her best looks to date. This blue-dress-and-mesh-boots combo feels so fresh that we'd wear it every day if we could.


Jennifer Aniston
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From 1995 to December 2018, Jennifer Aniston has been a fashion darling for three decades, and she shows no signs of waning. If her latest look—this Vampire's Wife dress—is anything to go by, we expect nothing less next year, too.


Jessica Chastain
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Jessica Chastain's style might be timeless, but it always has a twist. This outfit—a tailored sequin blazer, side-stripe trousers, velvet peep-toes and huge cocktail ring—pretty much sums it up.

Related: Whatever the Trend, Julia Roberts Did It First and Did It Better


Julia Roberts
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Julia Roberts has taught us many style lessons over the years, but in 2018, her gorgeous array of bright outfits was next level. Take a look at her greatest outfits if the year and you'll see what we mean.


Julianne Moore
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Julianne Moore is sophistication personified, as this Chanel ensemble proves. Black opaques with white bouclé? Inspired. 


Kate Moss
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Kate Moss had many glorious fashion moments this year, but the emerald green dress she wore to the Fashion Awards is her crowning glory. Just wow. 


Kerry Washington
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Kerry is always one of the best-dressed come awards season, but in 2018, it was her casualwear that really caught our attention. Full disclosure: We've blatantly copied this outfit. A lot. 


Kristin Scott Thomas
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Kristin Scott Thomas might not be a regular on the event circuit, but this pink Valentino dress—which she wore to the Fashion Awards—will forever cement her status as a Brit style icon. 


Marion Cotillard
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We can always count on Marion to keep the chic levels high. Let's face it: She was born to wear Chanel.


Naomi Campbell
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The shoes, the fringing, the headband… Naomi, you'll forever be the queen of party dressing. Now, if you could send this entire ensemble to the Who What Wear UK offices for us to borrow for Christmas, we'll be forever grateful.


Nicole Kidman
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From indie to blockbuster, the fact Nicole Kidman's starred in a wide array of films this year has meant we've seen her in a multitude of different outfits. This Michael Kors floral midi has to be one of our favourites, though. 

Related: All of Jennifer Aniston's Best Looks From 1995 to, Literally, Yesterday


Penélope Cruz
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Our love for Penélope Cruz only intensified at this year's Fashion Awards when she lamented at the freezing London temperatures. Having walked most of the red carpet in her coat (we feel you), we're so glad she braved the chill, all be it for a second, to show off her embellished Chanel gown. And yes, it has pockets. Excellent choice, Pen.


Sandra Bullock
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Thanks to her hectic Oceans 8 promo campaign, we've seen more of Sandra Bullock in 2018 than we have in a long while, and she certainly didn't disappoint. Naturallywears she wore a plethora of precious red carpet gowns but it was this look—her pink suit with clashing red shirt and shoes—that really sticks in our minds. Perfection. 


Sarah Jessica Parker
(Image credit: Getty Images)

She may have once played Carrie Bradshaw, but Sarah Jessica Parker is by no means walking in her footsteps—she's been blazing her own sartorial trail from the start and has given us some of 2018's best outfits to pine after. SJP, we bow down.


Tracee Ellis Ross
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Activist, actress, singer, size-inclusive designer—is there no end to Tracee Ellis Ross's talents? Apparently not, as her 2018 dressing record can attest. We've obsessed over every single one of her colourful outfits, and we expect to do the same in 2019.


Tilda Swinton
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Much like her acting career, in which she can turn her hand to any role, Tilda is the ultimate style chameleon. One minute she's in demure dresses like this one, and the next she's wearing flamboyant suiting with the same confident flare—the mark of true style.


Uma Thurman
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We've always loved Uma's classic fashion stance, but 2018 was definitely her year. From androgynous suiting and the black velvet floor sweeper she donned at this year's Fashion Awards to this red frock coat, she hasn't put a foot wrong.


Victoria Beckham
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Naturally, no style list—over 40 or otherwise—would be complete without Victoria Beckham. Always the first to try new trends (she's already given spring/summer 2019's a whirl), she'll always be a fashion icon. Viva forever, VB.

Next up, your guide to S/S 19.

Opening Image: Getty Images

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.