Great style isn't just something that you develop overnight. True icons de la mode have collected years of experience, trying out different looks while dressing for work, play, and everything in between over the course of their lifetimes. Whether working with stylists or dressing themselves, the top five style icons in their 40s come from all walks of life, turning into fashion veterans somewhere along the way. Today, style-watchers use looks from across each talent's sartorial evolution as a source of outfit inspiration — especially those that have come in at their later years.
Back to that place of origin. For some, their fashionable start was on-stage at stadiums and music halls worldwide (Victoria Beckham); for others, as the stylish leading role of major on-screen hits (Reese Witherspoon; Jennifer Aniston). Some even had generations of iconic, disruptive moments to live up to — like Tracee Ellis Ross, daughter of the seminal Diana, who paved her own way as The Supremes' front-woman. Each of these talents' fashion senses today are not only iconic, but severely imitable.
Ahead, we'll examine each of their unique sensibilities, looking closely at what may be shared between these notable women and which features are entirely individual. Read on:
Style Icons In Their 40s: Victoria Beckham
The Spice Girls songstress was an icon long before she first tried her hand at design in 2008. Now, she and fashion are inseparable from one another in the eyes of the public. In her later years, Beckham's style has evolved from aughts-era low-rise blue jeans and camis to something more mature — pantsuits, trench coats, and long-sleeve dresses, which always place an emphasis on powerful shapes and colors.
Style Icons In Their 40s: Tracee Elis Ross
Much like her extraverted personality and on-screen presence, Ellis Ross' style is best described as anything but boring. Sometimes, that means lime green Balenciaga coats; others, plumed Alexandre Vauthier gowns. Per one IG caption, there's one great piece of shopping advice she inherited from her mom, Diana Ross: "My mama always said if you’re going to spend money on clothes, then take care of them and use them a lot," she wrote in the post.
Style Icons In Their 40s: Reese Witherspoon
Ever the Southern belle, Witherspoon's sensibility always comes with a classic feminine twist that Elle Woods would approve of. Her fashion label, Draper James, is rife with all her signatures: picnic-worthy gingham shirts, paisley dresses, and so much more.
Style Icons In Their 40s: Katie Holmes
Katie Holmes is nothing if not a New York style icon. Whether turning out to Fashion Week functions (á la Fendi, on the left) or doing a little pre-holiday shopping (at Nordstrom, on the right), she always calls on a few designer favorites. When she's running around town, all the glamour gives way to comfort, and jeans, cozy knits, and sensible shoes rule the day.
Style Icons In Their 40s: Jennifer Aniston
Simplicity is the highest form of sophistication, as Da Vinci once said — a principle that Aniston and Rachel Green both live by. Aniston's red carpet looks and day-to-day outfits both rely on the low-key classics — functional black skirts, slick pumps, and fitted blazers, all of which never go out of style.