Style-spiration: the over-50 Instagram stars you need to know

— by Alyson Walsh

Style is not something that switches off beyond a certain age – as the explosion of social media over the last decade has so brilliantly shown. The rise and rise of older Instagrammers is inspirational in all senses of the word. Displaying resilience, experience and character; over-50 influencers are more than just the clothes they wear. As well as experimenting and recording style choices, ‘outfit of the day’ posts are used to and make a statement about diversity and ageism. No surprise then that over-50 Instagram stars are trending, right now. There is something incredibly inspiring about scrolling through your Instagram feed and seeing people of all ages enjoying life and style and feeling comfortable in their own skin.

Forgive the blatant self-promotion, but you can follow me @thatsnotmyage where I post outfits and other life and style inspiration. Here are five more Instagrammers you need to know about:

Sophie Fontanel 

Sophie Fontanel is one of my Style Heroines. That the French journalist and author enjoys putting outfits together practically radiates off her Instagram grid. And I find her approach refreshing. She plays around with different proportions, mixing old and new, feminine and masculine, to marvellous effect. I was captivated by the Parisian’s transition from dyed black to natural, grey hair online. Fontanel has also decided that selfies are a good thing, “I thought I was horrible in pictures, I thought I was un-photographable and ugly. I started to take pictures of myself, and I started to discover that actually I was not so ugly, and that I was able to look at myself for the first time in my life with gentleness.” @sophiefontanel 

Funking After 50  (first photo)

One of the many impressive women featured on Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style feed, Arlinda McIntosh is the founder of the American Sofistafunk fashion label. “They call me the #fairyskirtmother”, says the creative director who is rarely seen without her signature full skirt and patterned head wrap or gingham turban. I am full of admiration for women who can successfully pull-off this kind of style maximalism. An advocate of wearing exactly what you please, Arlinda has said: “Let’s talk Freedom of Fashion and Aging Positivity. Just in case you’ve forgotten, let my 60-year-old self remind you! This age is where the real fun starts so take a chance with your wardrobe and go try on something new…”

Even though I am perennially pared-down, I’m tempted…. @funkingafter50

Linda V Wright

Born in Texas in 1948, Linda V Wright lives in Paris and runs her own boutique called Crimson Cashmere. The American, former model has a timeless, pared-down style that I can totally relate to. Keeping it simple with style classics such as jeans, Gucci loafers and a Stetson hat, the 70-year-old entrepreneur provides a master class in elegant dressing. “I have gravitated to a more pared-down look, a little more under the radar,” she has said, “call me ‘homemade soup’ if you like! I wear a little of this and a little of that but only with ingredients that nourish me.” I am always encouraged when Linda V Wright’s version of Parisian Chic pops up on my Instagram feed. @lindavwright

Jan de Villeneuve

A combination of archive images from the 1960s and 70s and present day modelling assignments, I love looking to Jan de Villeneuve’s social media account for a view of style across the ages. In her earlier modelling career, de Villeneuve appeared on the cover of Vogue and was photographed by all the greats from David Bailey to Norman Parkinson. Now aged 74, she’s experiencing something of a renaissance – and has recently been featured in British, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and the French magazine L’Express. The American-born model has said that she feels more confident now and is thoroughly enjoying working with talented young creatives. For me, the proliferation of inter-generational collaborations and the increased visibility of older women is brilliant to see. @jandevilleneuve

Bon and Pon 

I have often thought that Mr That’s Not My Age and myself dress quite similarly. As a fan of what I like to call Gentlewoman Style – mannish jackets, oversized shirts, jeans and Chelsea boots – there is definitely a strong overlap in our Venn Diagram of Style. And yes, sometimes we do look alike. This is nothing compared to Japanese couple Bon and Pon who have been married for 37 years and are excellent proof that matchy-matchy does work. Wearing complimentary rather than identical outfits, the couple – whose Instagram tag is a combination of their names and wedding date – manage to look both adorable and incredibly chic. Stripes, gingham and tartan are carefully coordinated, and simple wardrobe basics abound.  I’m wondering if in 20-years time Mr & Mrs That’s Not My Age might be doing the same thing…@bonpon511

Ryvita has teamed up with Alyson Walsh to be part of their Positivity Panel alongside Davina McCall. The panellists were handpicked to help inspire women across the nation to feel confident and happy, whatever their age, through advice, tips and tricks. Head to to find out more.

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