Anna Murphy shares her take-no-prisoners approach to growing older

Today’s guest is one of the most stylish women I know, but I also know that she won’t mind me saying, it wasn’t always that way. Now Fashion Director of The Times, I first met Anna Murphy when we were both regular stalwarts of the second row at the biannual ready to wear fashion shows. She was then editor of the Telegraph magazine Stella and I was editor of Red, both magazines deemed not quite fashion enough by the fashion industry. I certainly dressed not to be seen, I think it would be fair to say the same of her. Oh how things change.

Somewhere between 41 and 51 Anna went from anonymously chic editor to colourful fashion industry doyenne with cascading grey curls and a wardrobe that manages to be both outré (there’s a fashion word for you) AND wearable. You go quietly into middle age if you want to, but she’s not having any of it.

Anna joined me in a brief pause between Paris shows to talk about her take-no-prisoners approach to ageing, how going grey was the most visible thing she’s ever done and how she learnt to dress to match. She also shared her philosophy of “why not try it”, her one-word-trick to sorting your midlife personal style and why she wouldn’t have surgery if you paid her. Oh, and the lifechanging power of yoga!

* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at The Shift bookshop on, including Destination Fabulous by Anna Murphy and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me.

Find out more about: Living Proof hair products; Boucleme's hair towel; and the Hayou method.

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