Women the world over are inspired by celebrities, emulating their style. Bonmarche, a UK based clothing retailer, has looked into exactly which celebrity women most inspire their personal clientele. Catering specifically to women over 40, Bonmarche’s research showed that what inspires women is mainly sophistication and a healthy lifestyle, seen in women such as Jennifer Anniston and Helen Mirren.

Bonmarche is one of the UK’s best known fashion retailers for the woman over 40. They model their clothing lines based on what women really want, rather than what the world’s greatest fashion houses dictate. To ensure they are always relevant, they have recently conducted a piece of research to see which celebrities their target demographic identifies with.

Bonmarche was also interested in finding out what it was about certain celebrity women that it is that inspires them so much. What they found was that it was often not so much the actual garments that they wore, but rather their entire demeanor. For instance, Helen Mirren was a firm favorite style icon, loved for her sophistication. Meanwhile, Jennifer Aniston was loved for her healthy lifestyle as much as for her overall style.

Two very interesting results came from the piece of research. The first was that women aged between 45 and 54, and women aged between 55 and 64, had the exact same style icons. It was only in the 65 and over category that there was a slight change in the top 10 lists. A second element of interest was that there was no difference in preference depending on geographical location, as the study looked at women in England, Scotland, and Wales. The key exception, however, was in women over the age of 65 in Scotland.

So what were the results? The top 10 style icons for women between the age of 45 and 64, across England, Scotland, and Wales, were:

  1. Helen Mirren, inspiring 19.2% of women.
  2. Jennifer Anniston, inspiring 16.3% of women.
  3. Meryl Streep, inspiring 14.5% of women.
  4. Joanna Lumley, inspiring 13.5% of women.
  5. Nicole Kidman, inspiring 10.3% of women.
  6. Elle MacPherson, inspiring 10% of women.
  7. Julie Walters, inspiring 8.1% of women.
  8. Jane McDonald, inspiring 5.9% of women.
  9. Salma Hayek, inspiring 5.4% of women.
  10. Ruth Langsford, inspiring 4.8% of women.

As stated, the changes happened in the top 4 for women over the age of 65. Jennifer Anniston dropped into fourth place, and Helen Mirren became the firm favorite with 28.4% of women. The exception to this, however, was in Scotland, where Jennifer Anniston actually climbed into top place, inspiring 27.8% of Scottish women over the age of 65.

The top four women were popular because of their sophistication in both their dress sense and their overall demeanor. Again, Jennifer Anniston is the exception to this rule. She is loved because she has a girl-next-door style that is seemingly effortless. She also lustrous hair and a beautiful tan, while maintaining a very healthy lifestyle. These are all things women look for when they start to age.

The Bonmarche e-commerce manager was not surprised by the results. She understands that today’s woman grows old gracefully and no longer turns into a frumpy old lady. Rather, they turn into creatures of beauty who are loving and enjoying life. She says:
“Looking fabulous at any age is easy and achievable – as proven by women such as Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Anniston: they are in shape, dress for their body types and give off a healthy and confident vibe. It’s no wonder women across the United Kingdom take fashion cues from them.”


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