They said/We said: A new study has found that a woman reaches her sartorial prime at age 35

Vanessa Paradis, stylish at 35. Photography by George Pimentel/WireImage

Gone are the days of teenage style icons (okay, maybe not the eternally best-dressed Fanning sisters), when Britney Spears’ plaid miniskirts were the norm. A British study by retailer CC has found that a woman reaches her sartorial prime at age 35. Three out of four women felt their style improved after their 20s with one in three women saying they looked the best they ever had in their 30s.

What gives? Apparently it all comes down to self-confidence, wisdom and maturity. Empowered mid-30-year-olds know how to reference the latest trends with enough confidence to carry them off.

So naturally, we made a list of our personal style icons (think: Chloë Sevigny, Kate Lanphear, Vanessa Paradis, the list goes on) and found that—shocker—they’re all around 35.

And it doesn’t stop at 35. Arguably the best part of this whole study was that iconoplast Helen Mirren beat out Kate Middleton (another 30-year-old) as the celebrity woman most considered to be in her prime. She’s 66! We can’t say we’re surprised though—have you seen her in a bikini? She’s a total knockout.

It’s high time we recognize the style contributions of the mature set. The success of blogs like Advanced Style has shown that style doesn’t fade with age. We aspire to dress like those women. Just look at two of M.A.C’s most recent collections: Carine Roitfeld and Iris Apfel. Both mature ladies and both with closets we’d gladly dive into.


Refinery 29: “We’re angling to keep improving all the way into nonagenarian senility and beyond. Check back to see what we’re wearing for Fall 2082. It’s gonna be hot.” [Refinery 29]

Styleite: “Score one for maturity!”[Styleite]


Sarah Daniel, beauty editor: Not sure I buy this study. Either you have style or you don’t, regardless of age or income. And I don’t see how confidence and maturity equal good decision-making; someone can be confident that their acrylic French manicure looks good, but that doesn’t make it stylish.”