Style Crushes

Style Crushes

Oui, they may be taller, thinner, leggier, and have exponentially more fashion resources at their disposal than I. Still, my Style Crushes* have helped me to refine and have more confidence in my own style. Each of these women has something of a signature look, and elements that I’ve borrowed and embraced.

From Emmanuelle Alt (editor of Paris Vogue):

Emmanuelle Alt
  • Black and white can always look fresh
  • Pointy toed pumps still own my heart, and add a shot of grown-up glamour

From Ines de la Fressange:

Ines Jackets
  • The right jacket can make the most basic outfit look pulled together
  • Mix soft and tailored, and different levels of formality within an outfit
  • Flats can be as elegant as heels

From Francoise Hardy:

Francoise Hardy leather jacket
  • A black leather jacket has no age restrictions.
  • If you’re going to wear it, rock it.

From Annette Bening and Linda Rodin:

Killer Eyewear
Sources: here and here
  • Skip the demure, don’t-notice-me eyewear; embrace bold statement frames.
  • When in doubt, don a pair of killer sunglasses.

Common threads that run through the styles of all of these women that speak to me and have reinforced my own instincts:

  • Simple trumps fussy every time.
  • Avoid the overdone (too coiffed, too made-up, too matchy)
  • Mix masculine and feminine elements.
  • When you find a formula that works for you, don’t be afraid to stick with it

*To me, a Style Crush is slightly different than a Style Icon. Icons are more timeless while Crushes are of-the-moment and may change over time. Crushes interpret current fashion in a way that speaks to me, whereas Icons transcend fashion.

Do you have Style Crushes? Who are they and what have you learned from them?
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36 Responses

  1. silkpathdiary
    | Reply

    I LOVE this post, thank you for sharing! I totally agree with your summary and it’s great to have all the points together here. I suppose my Style Crush is Sarah Jessica Parker much to my own surprise. From her I’ve learnt the true versatility of all kinds of different jeans that she wears so well on her school runs and out and about with her kids (which is my main life function for another decade!). I’ve tried to embrace that too and loving it so far.

  2. eleanorjanebirdy
    | Reply

    Interesting question… I’m not sure that I do, actually. Hmm… maybe the cliched one of Princess Catherine. I do like that refined, ladylike look sometimes but I wouldn’t want to dress like that all the time. I love her coats and hats and I’m a big fan of real jewellery (although I don’t have much myself and I also love costume stuff).

    • Ginger R.
      | Reply

      Thinking of royalty – I like Caroline of Monaco. She does have the advantage of good genes and wealth, but when I see photos of her on Facebook she looks put together without being over-the-top, appropriate for the situation and stylish without looking trendy.

  3. Pam@over50feeling40
    | Reply

    My style crush has been Ines for a couple of years…she transformed my style in many ways.

  4. Duchesse
    | Reply

    Jane Birkin, no surprise- for her simplicity, mixing of luxe and basics, unlifted face and wide smile.

    I also have a huge crush on voluptuous women: Adele, Sophie Dahl in her fleshier years, Deneuve now. So womanly and sexy- and afer 50 few of us look our best in full-on Ines preppy gamine. (I find it impossible to Crush on starved-looking women, like SJP and Madonna.)

  5. kathy peck leeds
    | Reply

    Not surprisingly, the same as yours. All great choices for me. Love this post.

  6. vickiarcher
    | Reply

    These women are all great inspirations… xv

  7. Sadira
    | Reply

    I love Susan Sarandon’s mature, earthy sexiness. She looks lush and lovely – not so easy for me to achieve with my stick-straight hair and round tummy, but I’m working on it.

  8. Susan Daniel
    | Reply

    So glad to hear that voluptuous women can be the source of style crushes too!

    Like you Susan, I love my pointy toed heels. Mine are several year old Stuart Weitzmans and I’ve noticed SW is still making the exact same style. So–SW shoes stand the test of time (as I have said before).

  9. Ah I so agree with this: “Avoid the overdone (too coiffed, too made-up, too matchy);
    Mix masculine and feminine elements.” Ines can do no wrong, in my book. Jane Birkin, Katherine Hepburn, SJ Parker when casual, I guess we are attracted to the casual elegance and the confidence.

  10. Val Sparkle
    | Reply

    I like your Style Crushes! I love Emanualle Alt’s jackets, and I loved Elaine’s wardrobe on Seinfeld – also heavy on jackets. Your point about not being fussy is a good one for me – that suits my style, but I love the bloggers who are a wild with their outfits!

  11. Cornelia
    | Reply

    I agree with your stylish selections. These women wear their age well. Am I the only one that thinks Jane Birkin looks like a mess?

  12. The Style Crone
    | Reply

    So very elegant, like you!

  13. R
    | Reply

    I think that Hardy and Rodin more fundamentally prove the first point, about black and white (and maybe they say something about cheek bones). That particular photo of Rodin could also be taken to say “match your dog to your hair”–a funny fashion maxim I had never considered.

  14. Susan, you are my Style Crush :).

  15. Veshoevius
    | Reply

    Great post! Emmanuele is definitely one of my style crushes as is her predecessor Carine.

  16. Gretchen
    | Reply

    Annette Bening, and Ines, definitely. I would add Sofia Coppola and Candice Bergen, and Alyson from That’s Not My Age. She’s made me want a pair ofChurch’s Chelsea boots like nobody’s business.

    • karen
      | Reply

      I dig the skinny girl crushes since that is my body type as i age and I have to roll with it. I still like Carine Roitfeld and Ines. I love skinny french chics, all.

  17. Aunt Snow
    | Reply

    Dogs are great accessories, too! Mine is!

  18. frugalscholar
    | Reply

    Don’t hate me…but I’m a bit tired of the usual suspects, many of whom are former models or otherwise privileged. Perhaps I have company–and that accounts for the success of blogs like yours that show regular women figuring things out.

  19. Sacramento Amate
    | Reply

    You are a classy lady. I would go for lady Gaga, LOL But you know mw by now, hehehhehhe.
    love and admiration, dear friend.

  20. woodlucker
    | Reply

    These women are an inspiration! Can’t wait to get the leather out of the closet again.

    blue hue wonderland

  21. Grey Fox (@GreyFoxBlog)
    | Reply

    As an (older) chap am I allowed to say that I also have a crush on all these women? They’re all gorgeous and the older ones accept their years with panache and style.

  22. tamerabeardsley
    | Reply

    Yes, yes, Yes! I couldn’t agree more with your style advice! Wonderfully done… the energy and crushes you present help me be so excited about moving forward! Important work you are doing my dear!!

  23. That's Not My Age
    | Reply

    Agree with you on this – we share the same style crushes, though I’d add Tilda Swinton’s androgynous/otherworldly look too.

  24. WendyB
    | Reply

    Now I want to start matching my pets to my hair…they’re going to have to go brunette though because I don’t think I’ll look very good as a red head 😀

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  29. Crystal Hammon
    | Reply

    Congratulations! Great post…my personal favorite is Ines. Have you read her book. It’s like a little Bible of french style!

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