Stylish, British and ageless: The best-dressed celebs over 40

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  • Helen Mirren
    Helen Mirren
    British actress
CANNES - JULY 06: Helen Mirren arrives to the premiere of
Helen Mirren at Cannes, 2021 (PA)

No longer being in the first flush of youth doesn't mean we have to start dressing in woolly cream cardigans and shoes like Cornish pasties. Nowadays, anyone can wear anything and look good, with thousands of over-50 Influencers on Insta proving the point daily.

But when we comes to who we want to look like, it seems we're less Cher and more chic, with stars who dress beautifully yet flatteringly getting the 'most stylish' vote. 

A new survey by Damart asked which British celebs over 40 had the best dress sense, and what matters most when it comes to midlife style.

"Timelessness" was the style factor chosen by fifth of Brits (20%). In fact, only 2% deemed wearing the latest trends to be an essential part of looking our best.

And it’s not all down to clothes, as having self-confidence (16%) and feeling comfortable in your own skin (14%) were also crucial when it comes to being considered stylish. Knowing what flatters features such as your height and body shape (11%) was also seen as an essential factor by Brits.

Watch: Helen Mirren, 76, rocks bold eyeshadow on Paris Fashion Week runway

Less is more as we age, too — keeping your outfit simple (6%) is also seen as an important part of being stylish — but just 4% of UK adults thought wearing designer clothing helps to make us look more stylish.

There's no age limit on style, but 20% believed that we look our most stylish between the ages of 35-40. A more inclusive three out of 10 Brits (29%) thought people can look their most stylish “at any age” though - after all, fashion icon Iris Apfel is 100 and still setting trends.

When asked which celebrities we see as the most stylish, Dame Helen Mirren, 76, came in as the most stylish UK celebrity over 40.

Read more: The most stylish celebrities spotted at New York Fashion Week

Helen Mirren arrives at the 77th Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, CA. (Photo by Sthanlee B. Mirador/Sipa USA)
Helen Mirren arrives at the 77th Golden Globe Awards in 2020. (PA)

While she can undoubtedly rock a ballgown, she isn’t afraid to go for bold or edgy outfits either. 

Earlier this year, she wowed the public striding the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week in a printed power suit paired with statement geometric jewellery, vertiginous heels, and graphic eye make-up.

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 03: Actress Helen Mirren walks the runway during the
Helen Mirren walks the runway during the Le Defile L'Oreal Paris 2021 Womenswear Spring/Summer 2022 show. (PA)

Other celebrities cited for their style influence included Dame Judi Dench (17%), Emma Thompson (15%) and Catherine Zeta Jones (15%).

Dame Judi is often photographed wearing a caftan or tunic top and trouser combo, both on the red carpet and off. She favours linen and ethnic looks from Hampstead Bazaar, and is a fan of a draped scarf. 

Her colourful style and chic white crop have made her a style icon for older women.

Dame Judi Dench during the RHS Chelsea Flower Show press day, at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London. Picture date: Monday September 20, 2021.
Dame Judi Dench during the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2021. (PA)

In third place is Oscar winner and star of Mare of Eastown Kate Winslet, 46, with one in six voting her the UK’s most stylish celebrity. 

Paparazzi snaps usually see her in black, with chinos or loose fit jeans paired with leather jackets or simple black coats, but like the others, she certainly scrubs up well for an awards ceremony.

Kate Winslet arriving at the 88th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA, February 28, 2016. Credit: Doug Peters/ EMPICS Entertainment
Kate Winslet arriving at the 88th Academy Awards, 2016. (Doug Peters/ EMPICS Entertainment)

Next, in equal place, were Catherine Zeta Jones and Dame Emma Thompson, who both love bold outfits. 

Dame Emma, 63, has made her signature look both stylish and quirky. She’s not afraid of prints and colour-blocking or bold jackets, and knows how to rock a trouser suit on the red carpet. 

Read more: Met Gala 2021: Biggest fashion moments from Emma Raducanu to Billie Eilish

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Dame Emma Thompson attends The Icon Ball during London Fashion Week September 2021 at The Landmark Hotel on September 17, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Glam in gold, Dame Emma Thompson attends The Icon Ball during London Fashion Week September 2021 (Getty Images)

Welsh icon Catherine Zeta-Jones. 51, was also chosen for her uber-stylish looks, both on and off the red carpet. With a love of structural, old-school glamour and the ability to make jeans and a pair of big sunglasses look great, she's a midlifer many would like to emulate. 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 19: Catherine Zeta-Jones attends 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
Catherine Zeta-Jones attends 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 2020 (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

'Its just not women's style that counts. The survey also looked at the British men who are style icons, and found that 12% thought James Bond actor Daniel Craig was the the most stylish male celebrity over 40.

Known for looking impeccable on red carpets, his street style is just as impressive. 

The actor knows how to do the basics just right: he mixes easy fit, neutral-coloured t-shirts and jumpers, with jeans and tailored coats or jackets, often topped off with a flat cap for walking the streets of London unhassled.

File photo dated 28/09/21 of Daniel Craig attending the World Premiere of No Time To Die, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, as he will be honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, it has been announced. The James Bond actor, 53, will be the latest entertainment figure to be immortalised on the Los Angeles tourist attraction. Issue date: Friday October 1, 2021.
Rocking it in raspberry velvet at the James Bond No Time To Die premiere. (Getty Images)

With equal votes at 12%, Idris Elba was also highly praised. The actor loves tailored coats and suits on the red carpet but knows how to do street style too. 

Elba often sports a leather jacket in his day-to-day ensembles and keeps it simple most of the time, with relaxed fit jeans, simple t-shirts, and a pair of cool trainers.

(FILE) Idris Elba Tests Positive for Coronavirus COVID-19. Idris Elba has tested positive for coronavirus, the actor said on Monday, March 16, 2020 on Twitter. HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA - JULY 13: Actor Idris Elba arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw' held at Dolby Theatre on July 13, 2019 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Rudy Torres/Image Press Agency/Sipa USA)
The extremely stylish Idris Elba working a suit. (PA)

When it comes to our most stylish over 40 overall, it's no surprise that over one in 10 (11%) voted for Kate Moss. 

Her ability to rock a vintage frock, do casual in jeans, boots and a fedora, or blaze full charisma in haute couture remains undimmed. 

Kate Moss attending the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala 2019 in New York, USA.
Kate Moss attending the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala 2019 in New York, USA. (Getty Images)

Some however, prefer the quirky Victoriana of actor Helena Bonham Carter, with an equal 11% vote. 

From 50s ensembles to Victorian bloomers, the star owns classic, British eccentric style - and we wouldn't have it any other way. 

Helena Bonham Carter arrives for the Virgin Media BAFTA TV awards at the TV Centre, Wood Lane, London. Picture date: Sunday June 6, 2021.
Helena Bonham Carter arrives for the BAFTA awards, 2021. (Getty Images)

Watch: Helena Bonham Carter shares steamy advice for single ladies

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