Think someone has to be a certain age to pull off a specific look? Think again. These fashionable women over 50 are showing everyone that they can look fabulous at any age, and that the world of fashion blogging and social media is not just reserved for their grandchildren. You’d be best to take out your notepad, because it’s time to get schooled by these fabulous and fearless fashionistas.
1. Colleen Heidemann
Colleen Heidemann might be more than triple the age of many of the other models, but she can still hang with the best of them. So much so that Heidemann is even signed with Next Model Management and has graced pages of magazines and major fashion house campaigns.
But Heidemann got her big break back in 2011, when she was photographed by photographer Ari Seth Cohen as a part of his “Advanced Style” series, featuring older women with impeccable style. After that, Heidemann went from consignment store owner to model, splashed across the glossy pages of chic magazines. Heidemann truly embodies her life motto, “If not now, when?”
2. Melanie Kobayashi
A scroll through Melanie Kobayashi’s Instagram or blog — both titled Bag and A Beret — does not just yield a master class in fashion. It also offers a glimpse on how to style clothes and all the right ways to properly pose in them.
This Vancouver-based artist and “style motivator” does it all: the styling, the photo shoots, and the quirky explanations for her outfits each day. “Wearing what I love not only makes me feel good, but my clothes are portals to other personalities, places, and eras — a CEO in New York one day, a Hollywood silent film actor the next, and a socialite in Monaco the next,” she explained on her blog.
3. Najate Leklye
Najate Leklye was a retired elementary school teacher in the Netherlands when she began her unexpected career as a fashion icon. At 67 years old, her 36-year-old daughter asked her to be a model for a photo shoot she was working on. And from there, a true star was born, joining the proud ranks of women over 50 who are killing it in fashion.
“Which elderly hijabi woman of color was being portrayed this way? Not a single one. And I knew I had something special that no one else had,” Leklye’s daughter Meryem Slimani said. And what was that something special? Her super cool, sneaker-clad, streetwear-rocking mother, that’s what. And this mother-daughter duo are determined to show fashion and beauty from all ages, sizes, religions, and backgrounds.
4. Moon Lin
Anyone thought that street style and streetwear were only for teenagers and twenty-somethings? Then allow us to direct you to the Instagram page of Moon Lin to prove that street fashion has no age limit. This 91-year-old from Taiwan can rock Supreme, Nike, Puma, Yeezy, and Adidas just like the younger generation, if not better.
“We all learn as a kid, as long as we aren’t hurting anyone, we can choose to live however way we wish,” Lin said in an interview with Hypebeast. “But we normally forget it when we grow up, and remember it again when we get older. It’s like I am a kid again.”
5. Lyn Slater
When it comes to a list of stylish women over 50, none is complete without mention of Lyn Slater, known as the “accidental icon”. This constantly chic professor from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service started her blog, Accidental Icon, apparently born from a moment when a friend called her that name after she was swarmed by fashion week paparazzi.
Now her blog caters to women “who live what I call ‘interesting but ordinary lives’ in cities”, Slater wrote. She describes her followers as people who have “original style without being eccentric” and do not “consume garments she lives her life in them and dresses honestly”.
6. Zandra Rhodes
If anyone could not tell from her hot pink, candy-colored hair, maybe her self-appointed title of The Iconic Dame Zandra will get the point across. British fashion and textile designer Zandra Rhodes has made a name for herself in the design world (even Princess Diana has rocked her looks), but now she’s branding herself as an icon for women over 50.
In 2019, Rhodes celebrated 50 years in fashion, and not a single one of them did she stray from her exuberant style. Her love for the more eccentric things in life even goes beyond her clothes. Her “maximalist” home design was even displayed in the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, showing off her literal bright yellow and pink London home.
7. Grece Ghanem
She’s not just a regular mom. Grece Ghanem is a cool mom. This 50-something personal trainer-turned stunning model was actually turned by her own daughter, who influenced Ghanem to create an Instagram page to show off her super cool and undeniably chic style. And judging by her over 413,000 followers, we’d say her daughter was onto something.
“For me, aging is liberating,” Ghanem said of her fashion and social media fame, according to The Oprah Magazine. “Beauty changes, yet it does not disappear. Keep your sense of humor and the ability to connect with your inner child, because age is just a number and youthfulness is a state of mind!”
8. Arlinda McIntosh
Some know this Instagram icon as Arlinda, while others know her as The Fairy Skirtmother, the skirt-making dancer and creative director of Sofista Funk skirts. But regardless, both brands are pushing the same message: women can feel good (and look amazing) in what they wear no matter their age.
“Society tells us when something is a beautiful outfit, ‘Oh, I love that on you, it makes you look so young’,” McIntosh told Money.com in an interview. “Why? Maybe I don’t want to look young. Maybe I want to look like I look.” And once someone commits to dressing in their own personal style, McIntosh says they’ll “be surprised at how much fun you can have and how freeing it is”.
9. Chang Wan-ji and Hsu Sho-er
Ever wondered what happened to the clothing that is accidentally left behind at the local laundromat? For Chang Wan-ji, 83, and his wife Hsu Sho-er, 84, who own a laundromat in central Taiwan, one man’s trash has become their Instagram treasure. These two grandparents have found fame from taking old clothes left behind and styling them like truly no one else can.
Their hilarious account handle, “Want Show Was Young”, began when their grandson, Reef, saw that the couple was bored in their 70-year-old laundromat. “They felt old and didn’t want to go out. I couldn’t bear it. So I wanted to do something for them,” Reef said. And what could be more fun than turning your grandparents into social media celebrities?
10. Britt Kanja
If anyone looked up “chic” in the dictionary, we are pretty sure they could find a picture of Britt Kanja. Okay, maybe not actually, but she should definitely be featured, being that this Audrey Hepburn-lookalike is one of the most visible and undeniably chic women over 50 on Instagram.
This Berlin-based former professional dancer is a favorite on the fashion party scene, along with her husband, former model and fashion stylist Günther Krabbenhöft. And she’s been a legend way before social media, as her and her husband were known to throw some of the craziest parties in Berlin, and continue to do so.
11. Renia Jazdzyk
Don’t be fooled by her Instagram handle, Vens Wife Style — this UK-based over-50 fashionista is no regular housewife. Instead, she has started a fashion blog that she calls a “manifesto that fashion can inspire and fascinate us regardless of our age”, which has anyone at any age swooning over her classic, timeless style.
“I wanted to show my peers that women over 50 enter a particular stage of life that can still be interesting,” Renia Jazdzyk told Who What Wear about starting her own blog. “In my opinion, it is easier to convince ourselves to try trends when we see them on a woman of the same or similar age.”
12. Ilona Royce Smithkin
Remember the completely bizarre diamond tycoon Mrs. DeLauer in How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days? Well, it turns out that there is a real woman whose style is just as out-there, with fiery red hair. Her name is Ilona Royce Smithkin, and she is taking the social media world by storm with her crazy fashion.
This eclectic artist recently turned 100, and she’s fit a lot in her long life. After immigrating from Poland to the United States in the 1930s, she’s made a name for herself as a quirky artist who has been the subject of an award-winning documentary, as well as a book, and a ton of magazine profiles.
13. Sarah Jane Adams
At 64 years old, not only does Sarah Jane Adams have impeccable style, but she just so happens to also be signed by IMG Models, one of the biggest modeling agencies in the entire world. And it all started when she posted a photo of herself in a red Adidas tracksuit that had been gifted to her by her daughter.
The image of a 60-something absolutely rocking this “younger” look quickly made rounds on the Internet and gained her a massive following. Since then, her numbers have been steadily climbing as she continues to post pictures of her daily looks, defying the age standards many have when it comes to what classifies beauty.
14. Baddie Winkle
She’s been called “The World’s Coolest Grandma”, and for good reason. Baddie Winkle, whose real name is Helen Ruth Van Winkle, was first propelled to fame by her high school-aged granddaughter, who posted a picture of her grandma in a tie-dye shirt with denim cutoffs that would become viral.
Since then, at over 90 years old, this Instagram star has attracted millions of followers, all coming to see which bright pink, fur-lined, or bedazzled outfit she will wear next. Her following even includes none other than the likes of Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, and Khloé Kardashian, and she’s even become a pop culture icon in her own right.
15. Iris Apfel
Of all the women over 50 who have inspired some of the most unique fashion styles, there is perhaps no one who is as iconic as Iris Apfel. She began her fashion career as one of the owners of Old World Weavers, a textile firm that worked for every American president from Truman and well on through Clinton, just to name a few.
But it was her personal style that made her so famous, with her gigantic accessories and completely over-the-top outfit pairings. With a long and storied career like that, she could have easily settled into retirement. But instead, she got a second wind: in 2019 at age 97, she signed a modeling contract with IMG Models.
16. Linda Rodin
Linda Rodin is used to posing for pictures, considering that she was a model for a brief stint in the 1960s. But for years, Rodin remained off-camera as one of the most famous and successful stylists for celebrities and luxury brands like Barneys New York. And at age 59, she reinvented herself once again.
It was at that point in her life when she found that the face products she was buying were not suiting her. Instead, in her own sink, she made her very own face oil that started a fashion brand RODIN, featuring the Olio Lusso face oil that some of the biggest celebrities in the world now swear by.
17. Magda Life
According to the Instagram of Magda Life, “age is an illusion”. And we have to say, when it comes to this grandmother, we tend to agree. From her colorful, vibrant styles to her absolutely uplifting messages, Magda’s world seems bright, cheery, and when it comes to fashion, has no rules. Little did you realize that all this time, it’s actually women over 50 who are having more fun.
This grandmother’s fashion is inspired by her own life, which is split bopping around between her apartments in New York City and Spain with her husband, Raul. “Magda’s colorful wardrobe is an extension of her warm and free-spirited personality,” photographer Ari Seth Cohen wrote when he featured her in his blog Advanced Style.
18. Ellen Jamison
It’s never too late to start a new career. And Ellen Jamison, a dancer and actress, learned this when she did not start modeling until she was over 60 years old. Her journey began after agents took note of her stunning style on her Instagram.
Since then, Jamison has modeled for companies like T.K. Maxx (the British version of T.J. Maxx), BEHR paints, Uber, White House Black Market, Cove, and other international brands. But just because she is a model does not mean that she has let dancing go. Instead, her fashionable Instagram also features her killing some complicated choreography.
19. Lesley Crawford
Lesley Crawford goes by the Instagram name Lesley Has Many Hats, and she’s not wrong. This 64-year-old is not only a fashion icon; she also happens to be a stylist for the Australian TV network SBS. But her career in fashion started way before she joined Instagram in 2012.
Crawford got her start working for Rosie Nice, where she discovered her passion for accessories and styling, before moving on to become a freelance stylist of her own. From there, she began to focus on production and set design before going back to her first love, fashion. Now, Lesley has become famous for her intentionally oversized looks, and, of course, her many, many hats.
20. Debra Rapoport
Women over 50 can make fashion gold out of literally anything. Debra Rapoport is known for having a pretty creative style. But where does she get most of her inspiration? Well, the trash. Seriously. Her favorite hobby is collecting trash to use as raw materials for her collection of unique hats, which match perfectly with her one-of-a-kind style.
Over the years, she’s gained nicknames such as “Debra Debris” or “Residue Rapoport” for her found materials. “I can’t walk by without having a relationship with them and then picking them up and saying ‘OK, hey, let’s have a good time’,” Rapoport says of her trash-collecting process. And we’ve gotta say, she makes trash truly look like treasure.
21. Maye Musk
At age 69, Maye Musk became the oldest spokesperson ever to represent CoverGirl cosmetics, one of the most successful makeup brands in the world. But even if anyone has never seen her campaigns, they might recognize her name. That is because she shares the same last name as her famous billionaire son, Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
But even before she began her modeling career, Musk was still in the business of trying to help women look their best. For 45 years, she worked as a dietitian. Now, this CoverGirl says she has two wardrobe staples: a good white T-shirt and a favorite leather jacket (her favorite, she says, is the one she wore to her son’s SpaceX launch, naturally).
22. Jenny Kee
Jenny Kee has been lovingly referred to in the past as “Australia’s Original Fashion Influencer”. And Kee’s influence has spanned way before Instagram was even a thing. This fashion designer’s boutique in Sydney was a favorite of stars like David Bowie, Lauren Bacall, and Sophia Loren, all of whom used to party with her back in the day.
Her designs were so famous that even Princess Diana wore one of her jumpers during her first pregnancy, and the late Karl Lagerfeld used a print she had designed in his debut collection of none other than Chanel. So it is no surprise that her style has also translated into social media celebrity.
23. Paula Sutton
It seems that Paula Sutton just cannot escape her fashionable life. Once the Head of Press for Elite Premier model agency and later producing fashion shoots for Elle Magazine, Sutton wanted to leave that non-stop life behind, trading it in for a life in the countryside. But her fashion sense and fame soon followed her.
Sutton and her husband bought a Georgian country home in the English countryside for a quieter routine. But since the move, Sutton has continued to amass followers for her incredible interior designs, along with her always-chic fashion designs, calling her blog The Hill House Diaries. “I love the creativity it gives me,” Sutton said in an interview.
24. Shelley Long
If anyone loves the fashions that they see on Shelley Long’s Instagram, they are in for even better news. Basically everything she wears on her page can be found in her online store on Etsy. So feel free to shop while enjoying this absolutely joyful social media profile, filled with bright colors, flowers, and the occasional cat video.
Long is the owner and operator of Trixie Deluxe Vintage, which sells “cool stuff from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s” from maxi dresses to Hawaiian prints to silk jackets. And off of her store, Long is not afraid to play with different colors, patterns, materials, or even bright purple wigs.
25. Tziporah Salamon
There’s a reason that women line up to be a part of Tziporah Salamon’s New York City-based, two-hour long seminar titled “The Art of Dressing”. And that is because Salamon has that art down to a science. Her style even made her a “favorite subject” of the late New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham.
Salamon describes her style as “artistic, bold, graphic, dramatic, heavily influenced by ancient civilizations”, and inspired by her upbringing in Israel. “I wear clothes that tell a story, that speak of a people and ancient civilizations, ancient times,” she said in an interview. And as for her style over the years? “Its only gotten better and bolder,” she told blog 40 Plus Style.
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