The world of film and television plays a critical role on the world of fashion. As human beings, we’re always on the lookout for indicators of prestige. What looks good on an attractive, wealthy celebrity has a certain way of trickling down into mainstream fashion. This is true in the case of expensive-looking perfume adverts, and in fiction, too. If you see someone in a popular program wearing a certain outfit, then you’re naturally going to want to emulate them.

Different celebrities command different levels of influence over our fashion choices. Consequently, designers tend to fling more money at the more famous and influential ones. Research by Damart, a retailer specialising in women’s tops, revealed that Dame Helen Mirren is the most stylish British celebrity over 40, according to a sample of 2,000 Brits. Unsurprisingly, Daniel Craig featured high up the list of male celebrities – but he does have the advantage of being James Bond.

But style isn’t the only thing that informs our fashion choices. According to 20% of respondents to the same pole, achieving a look that’s ‘timeless’ (or future proof) is the most important consideration when we’re shopping for new clothes. On the other hand, just 2% of us prefer to be ‘on trend’ at the expense of all other considerations. Being a fashionista is therefore something of a niche hobby; most of us would just like something that doesn’t need to be replaced within the next year or so.

The research also uncovered some interesting attitudes which might run contrary to conventional wisdom. Around a fifth of us reckon that 35-40 is the prime age for stylishness, but just under a third believe instead that anyone can look stylish at any age, if they really know what they’re doing.

So how can you be effortlessly stylish yourself, in the same way as the celebrities on television? The common theme running through all of them is that they’re comfortable in their own skin. Trying to emulate a particular style that you’ve seen on television won’t work unless you’re comfortable wearing the clothes in question. If you feel restricted or encumbered, then you’ll project a discomfort that other people will be able to easily pick up on.

Look for clothes that match your particular tastes, figure and lifestyle. Don’t be unrealistic with yourself. Be aware that everyone on the screen has gone through extensive makeup, and might have committed to a lifestyle that you wouldn’t find practical. The most stylish of us can pull off an outfit whether we’re going to the pub or picking the kids up from school – but only if we really like the clothes we wear, and we aren’t just chasing some ideal churned out by a television marketing executive.