There’s a particular episode of 30 Rock (“Black Light Attack!”, for all the fellow 30 Rock historians out there) in which Jane Krakowski’s youth-obsessed character Jenna goes on a Gossip Girl audition. She thinks it’s for the role of an Upper East Side high schooler, but as she learns in the middle of the tryout, it’s for that of her mother instead. While Tina Fey’s brilliant Liz Lemon later tries to talk Jenna off the cliff, she says, “You can try to fight getting older. You can be like Madonna, and cling to youth with your Gollum arms. Or you can be like Meryl Streep and embrace your age with elegance.”
Rewatching said episode recently, I had a thought: these days, there’s so much talk about who’s best-dressed and who’s not—especially once awards season rolls around, and I get that. I do. But what about the ladies who are best-dressed candidates because they embrace their age, dressing appropriately while also looking sharp?
So, who’s it going to be: Madonna (Gollum arms included) or Meryl Streep? Ranging from 14-year-old Kiernan Shipka to 92-year-old Iris Apfel, the 26 above style icons made the right choice. Click through the slideshow above to see them all.