There is something about french women that never seems to fade away. It’s called style and most of the time it has nothing to do with clothes (or age) but more about confidence, irreverent nonchalance, tousled hair and a laissez-faire attitude.
In other words, as they never stop flirting with their public – an art that certainly increases with time and experience – the older they get the chicer they become: they don’t worry about dressing for their age, and rather just dress for themselves.
French-style is not about labels but finding the right balance between looking dressed up and laid-back. It’s not being obsessed with wearing bold shades, extravagant items and expensive pieces. The perfect over 50 french wardrobe is something built over the years, as a result of an excellent eye and fondness for quality and fit, with an unexpected touch of glamour and seduction (whether a men’s blazer over a sexy top or boyfriend jeans against an oversize trench coat).
If you need some inspiration to reignite your wardrobe with a new zest, Vogue suggests following some of the chicest women over 50 who have embodied french style like: Isabelle Huppert, the 68-year-old muse of Balenciaga, Isabelle Adjani (66) who walked the runway in a slick black coat and leather gloves with her classic pout, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu (58), who plays Emily’s powerfully sexy boss on Netflix’s Emily in Paris and recently has been seen on the Ami fall 2022 show in a body-skimming, semi-sheer forest green knit dress styled with an oversized blazer and heeled sandals.
Last but not least, the most sophisticated of them all, Inés de La Fressange, the icon and symbol of Parisian style, former model, entrepreneur and author of the best-seller “Parisian Chic”. Her signature style? A handbag that costs more than the whole outfit put together, white jeans and a navy blue sweater over a polo shirt.
Now, you might argue most women over 50 don’t have the same slender figure, the same lifestyle or money, not even that unique “je ne sais quoi” to turn a plain boring t-shirt into a statement piece, but nevertheless, that shouldn’t stop you adding a touch of glamour to your wardrobe.
Apart from those winning pieces that create her iconic look, according to Inés de La Fressange, there are a few trusted basic items that should never be missed in a lady’s closet: a trench coat, a navy sweater, jeans, and an oversize blazer, a little black dress, a pair of Roger Vivier flats. All accessorized with vintage jewellery, a beautiful scarf and an It bag.
A leather jacket is also a piece you shouldn’t underestimate: it remains a timeless French wardrobe staple that never loses its cool factor and it will definitely rejuvenate any of your outfits. You can pair it with high-waisted jeans, a beige cashmere sweater, and a pair of loafers or slingbacks. And what about that enduring tweed jacket? Is there anything more French than that? A must of any over-50 French women’s wardrobes, its textured fabric (definitely a symbol of style thanks to Coco Chanel) can instantly elevate any kind of outfit.
What’s more, apart from keeping your makeup minimal and investing in quality underwear, practice your look by getting inspiration from some of the most popular over 50 french stylists on the web like Marie Anne Lecoeur, who has helped thousands of women through her online courses and her best selling books “How To Be Chic And Elegant”, “Chic Up Your Jeans” and “The Tidy Closet”.
You can also update your image by engaging with Frederique Bros‘ styling masterclasses on YouTube or improving your style with Garance Doré, a 46-year-old photographer, illustrator, blogger and author of New York Times bestseller Love Style Life.
Karina Vigier is also a French influencer worth considering with a large following on social media. Someone who you shouldn’t be missed if you want to elevate your fashion game: she is defying Gen-Z through her fun and fabulous exploration of her over-50s style. “I created my website to show that women of my age have great taste, money, and freedom to do what we want when we want,” she told Vogue.
Whatever muse you choose, don’t feel discouraged along the path of your French renaissance: great style is possible no matter how old you are. You can be chic like a French woman at any age, the key is to know how to highlight the best features of your body in a way that works for you. Sometimes more than buying new clothes it’s about learning how to match and wear some items “à la Francais” effortlessly.