7 Icons of Style at Any Age

3 years ago

I was watching a little vignette over at UK Vogue that gives a peek into the wardrobes of two of their editors, Sarah Harris and Bay Garnett. Take a look:

Style at any age? Hell, yeah! I would venture to guess that both these ladies are in their late 30s or early 40s. They’ve both had careers in fashion for a long time, a long-standing relationship with Vogue, and couldn’t be more different from each other.

Both are pretty serious about fashion given their respective roles in the industry. While Harris is minimalist in every way (long, straight, undyed hair with a predilection for streamlined, classic pieces and maybe a splash of stiletto bravado on the feet), Garnett has a kind of ramshackle style based on vintage and charity shop finds and flats. Her hair here resembles what I call mommy hair—what your hair might look like after a rough and tumble with your tots and a day of multi-tasking.

I loved both of them and this little style story. It's proof positive that style is not a matter of age or necessarily, wallet size. In fact, you could easily be inspired and “do” both their looks with a trip to your local J. Crew and your local vintage shops. No doubt, you would have to have a good eye, though.

And come to think of it, that’s what style is. Knowing yourself and what you like and feeling free enough to express that. The British are particularly tolerant of the eccentric, the new, as well as the classic. There’s a rich history of embracing all of the above, and perhaps why trends are often born there.

Seriously, who else gets away with mixing fascinators with fancy dress without laughter filling the room? Here in Toronto, Canada, where we are known for being a little blah, it would not go down.

UK designers Roland Mouret, Phoebe Philo, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Christopher Bailey of Burberry, to name a few—are responsible for a diverse riot of sensibilities and styles which have been born on that side of the pond.

And of course, style at any age! Why is that such a surprise? In fact, I’m more surprised when a younger person emerges with a great sense of style. I don’t mean that critically—it’s just that the young really don’t have to try that hard to look great. Time is on their side, and the uniform of "jeans and whatever" is really enough for them. They don’t have to spend a lot or embellish much to look really, really good.

Often, it’s when you’re a bit older that true style emerges. Many release the need to follow passing trends and develop a well-honed, curated signature—one that can still pop with the unexpected. I guess one positive in entering the “mature” years is knowing your mind more intimately and not being afraid of your identity. And so it is, in real life, I’ve known many older women who can and do exude wonderful, eclectic style (if it matters to them.)

I guess there might be hope for me yet!

Below is a list of some of my other (older) style crushes. Who are yours (young or older)?

Image: © Kristin Callahan - Ace Pictures/Ace Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com

Carine Roitfeld, grandmother, former editor of Paris Vogue, current editor of CR Magazine, for her feminine, sexy, yet simple style.

Emmanuelle AltImage: © Panoramic/ZUMAPRESS.com

Emmanuelle Alt, current editor of Paris Vogue, for her simple, androgynous, rock-and-roll style.

Image: © Alec Michael/Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com

Helena Christensen, photographer/model, for her arty-vintagey looks.

Jenna Lyons Image: © Sonia Moskowitz/Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com

Jenna Lyons, Creative Director of J. Crew, for making it a cool place to shop, affordable (especially when on sale) and good quality.

Helena Bonham CarterImage: © Ben Stevens/i-Images/ZUMAPRESS.com

Helena Bonham Carter, British actress who is never afraid to showcase her unique way with her own wardrobe.

Rena Galanis, AboutaWomanAboutaGirl

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