French women have a timeless quality that's hard to put into words. It's a combination of not looking like they tried and somehow appearing perfectly put-together. It's not something that can be readily taught, but these 11 women make it look easy. Every one of the French women featured here is as chic as can be and each is all over age 40. Not only that, but they seem to get cooler by the decade and make fashion over 40 look easy.
The women we're calling out include actresses, fashion editors, and former models, but there's nothing flashy about their style. They clearly have the fashion industry at their fingertips, but their classic aesthetics are indicative of French women in every field. Check out their cool confidence ahead and start looking forward to getting older.
Keep scrolling to see which over-40 French women inspire us and to shop pieces that they'd surely love at the end.
Caroline de Maigret
Caroline de Maigret is a model and the co-author of How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are.
Carla Bruni is a songwriter, former model, and former French first lady.
Marion Cotillard is an Academy Award–winning actress, a musician, and the face of Lady Dior.
Emmanuelle Alt is the current editor in chief of Vogue Paris.
Isabelle Huppert is a veteran actress who was recently nominated for her first Academy Award for her work in Elle.
Vanessa Paradis is a model, singer-songwriter, and actress who is a front-row fixture at every Chanel runway show alongside daughter, Lily-Rose Depp.
Aïssa Maïga is a Senegalese-born French actress and producer. Her signature look on the red carpets she frequents is dresses that cinch at the waist.
Juliette Binoche is an Academy Award–winning actress for The English Patient and perhaps best known for her starring role in Chocolat.
Inès de la Fressange
Inès de la Fressange is a model, style icon, and author of Parisian Chic City Guide.
Formerly the editor in chief of Vogue Paris, Carine Roitfeld now runs CR Fashion Book and is the global fashion director of Harper's Bazaar.
Catherine Deneuve is an actress (having appeared in over 100 films) and one of Saint Laurent's original muses.
Shop French Wardrobe Essentials
Mott & Bow High Rise Skinny Jeans in Orchard ($118)
The French are loyal to their skinny jeans.
Repetto Zizi Oxfords ($375)
Want the Parisian look in an instant? Get a pair of Repetto oxfords or ballet flats.
Munthe Dietes Checked Woven Blazer ($385)
A double-breasted blazer makes every outfit better.
Violeta by Mango Gingham Check Pattern Trousers ($46)
This quintessential French print is trending again this season.
Burberry Kensington Long Trench Coat ($1990)
Behold the sophisticated French outerwear style of choice.
Ava & Viv Standard Fit Striped Short Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt ($9)
A T-shirt as versatile as this is more than a French style cliché.
Gucci Neck Bow with Poppy Print ($195)
Do as the French do and casually knot this around your neck.
Equipment Keira Piped Silk Shirt ($228)
Throw this on with a pair of jeans and pumps for an instantly polished outfit.
Reformation Beck Pants ($178)
Ten out of 10 chic French women have high-waisted wide-leg trousers in their closet.
This post was originally published on an earlier date and has been updated.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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