I realized recently that I’ve been inspired by a lot of fabulous over-40 influencers who are helping me feel more confident about aging. While I’m still in my 30s, I’m realizing that forty is just over the horizon — and approaching faster than I anticipated. (Whoa, hello, stray grey eyebrow hair!) I’m also realizing how much this culture still portrays women over 40 (or 50 or 60) as “old.” Which is absurd.
While 40 (or 50 or 60) is certainly older than 30, it’s not old! I mean, we should all have Judy Dench’s fire and Iris Apfel’s style, right?
Actually they both have fire — and style. And so do millions of women gleefully embracing their own selves at every age.
But how diverse are the ages of the women you follow for style and inspiration? Maybe not as diverse as you’d like. So here’s some help.
I’m sharing just 10 of the (many, many) amazing women over 40 on Instagram who I love following. They’re each icons in their own ways, and they all remind me and reassure me that getting older doesn’t mean becoming invisible. In fact, they’re each getting bolder, more colorful, and more chic by the day.
If you want to have more confidence wearing color, look no further than Chicago-based style icon Brenda. She seamlessly blends vintage and modern clothes with bold colors for such a distinctive, cool look. She’s not just an amazing over-40 influencer, who shares her own looks, I’m also enjoying her Talk is Chic Instagram Live series, in which she chats with other stylists and influencers.
Jordan Trent’s got me thinking that 50s are the new 40s. Her chunky glasses and pixie cut are giving me throwback mod vibes, but her looks are completely timeless. I will say her feed can seem almost unattainably glamorous at times, but in her reels, she breaks down her looks so that we regular folks can replicate them.
Eric is a University of Toronto professor of architecture and urban design — and an Instagram inspiration in her spare time. I happen to be currently obsessed with her style — casual, bohemian, cozy. Plus her natural silver highlights make me want to throw away my dye bottle for good.
Creative director Alix Tyler seems like she’s having the most fun on her Instagram feed, and it’s infectious. She clearly loves to play around with bright colors, vintage finds, and costumes. In fact she formerly co-published a website called Modern Kiddo that we loved, and the archives are still fun to browse. On Instagram, I’m digging Alix’s mixed floral print in the photo above. Bold move! Also check out her quirky short films on Instagram TV. They’re delightful.
TBH, I’ve always been a little intimidated to wear paper bag waisted pants, but I love how confidently Ana rocks them here. A self-identified curvy, body-positive fashion blogger, she proves you can wear whatever style you like, whatever your age, whatever your size — and I am here for that message.
Valarie’s slogan, “Too old for Abercrombie, too young for Chico’s,” applies to so many of us! A lawyer by trade, she’s a great follow if you need officewear ideas that look fresh and professional. Plus she has great tips for maximizing what’s already in your closet.
I think Claire Hall has such amazing influencer range. Her looks go from playful to glamorous to office-appropriate and back again. Her Club Forty blog is also so helpful if you want more help putting together outfits and shopping for the pieces she features in her feed.
For preppy style that’s approachable and fun, check out British stylist Charlotte. I get big Kate Middleton vibes from her tailored blazers, but I love how she styles them to be funky and laid back for outside the office. Also, good reminder that if you want, you can still pull off overalls at any age.
Sarah’s style is delightfully California — in a breezy, might-pop-by-a-winery-later way. Not a board shorts kind of way. I love that she’s such a strong advocate for fashion sustainability through upcycling, thrifting, and reconfiguring old pieces into novel outfits. A must-follow.
While my lifestyle may never be as fabulous as Iris’s, her feed reminds me every day that there can be a lot of joy and boldness later in life. In her case much later — she just turned 100! Why settle for a single pop of color when you can have the whole rainbow?