As Audrey Hepburn once said, “I believe in pink.”
Audrey Hepburn has always been a staple in fashion history, which is unsurprising when the iconic images of her are put on graphic t-shirts. I paired this graphic shirt with a white and pink striped skirt that I bought when I was in Amsterdam.
I completed the look with a pair of keds and a pair of cat eye sunglasses and I was as edgy chic as they come.
Skirt – Monki (Boutique located in Amsterdam)
Necklace – H&M
Ring – TJ Maxx
Shoes – Keds
Sunglasses – Forever21
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It shouldn’t be a surprise by now when I tell people that my sense of style is very much inspired by the prominent figures of the Old Hollywood era. So far, I have credited Marilyn Monroe, Sharon Tate and Judy Garland as my main inspirations from that era. However, there is one that stands out. And that is Lauren Bacall.
Not only was she the envy of women because she was married to Humphrey Bogart, but her beauty and sense of style was desired. Her cheekbones seemed to have been sculpted by angels. Her dirty blonde hair was rarely left in a state of array. And her clothes were always tailored and the definition of classic and chic. All of these factors, combined with her sultry voice and undeniable talent, has made Lauren a household name.
When Lauren made her film debut in To Have and Have Not alongside Humphrey Bogart, audiences were blown away that she was only 19 years of age. This was due to the fact that she had a rather mature look to her face and her wardrobe. Her fashion choices were subtle prints such as gingham, polka dots or houndstooth. She was not flashy or went overboard with her accessories and focused on keeping her looks simple.
This outfit was worn in her debut film and it is exactly something I would wear today. Her matching skirt and blazer paired with a simple black top and beret is a classically chic look and demands respect.
Lauren was proof that you could be sexy without showing off too much skin. Too often, young women associate sexiness with a lack of clothing, when really it involves how wear your clothes. Lauren’s famous black cutout dress showed a little bit of skin, but it was not inappropriate or outlandish. Rather, Lauren looked sexy while still looking like a classy young woman.
I am of the opinion that this dichotomy should be the aim for every young woman.
This may possibly be my favourite photo and outfit of Lauren Bacall. Like, ever. Not only do I love it when other celebrities besides Marilyn Monroe channel the famous white dress, but I love the pairing of the red lips and the strong of pearls.
I am all about the classic simple looks of the Old Hollywood era and I think Lauren exemplifies that best here. She kept the rest of her look understated and simple so that she let her outfit do most of the talking. And if her outfit could talk, it would say “face it tiger, you’ve hit the jackpot.”
I don’t think I’ve ever had a moment where I didn’t wish I was Judy Garland. Okay, that’s a lie, but there are a plethora of qualities that I wish I could take from Judy. Her timeless beauty, abundance of talent and her wardrobe are all things that I want.
Arguably the first girl-next-door archetype, Judy Garland continues to inspire the world of fashion with her soft features and her charming and eclectic choices of wardrobe.
I challenge you to find someone who doesn’t think about Judy’s famous portrayal as the delicate Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz when her name is mentioned. Her soft smile and delicate features captured the hearts of millions who cherished the innocence of this timeless movie and character. Once the thrill of the majestic visuals wore off on audiences, they were able to look at Judy’s fashion and became enchanted with her style and image.
By this point, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that I have a passionate love of anything with a gingham print. I think that this love can be traced back to Judy’s portrayal in The Wizard of Oz. From the time I was a little girl, it has been my dream to own the baby blue and white gingham dress that Dorothy wore as she ventured into the depths of Oz. To me, this dress embodies a wholesome and girly look that I often crave, especially in the summer time. When I look at this dress, I associate it with summer because of the lightness and the whimsical embodiment of summer.
Although I love the length of my hair and the fact that it is naturally straight, when I see Judy’s voluminous and bouncy curls that cascade down past her shoulders, I am green with envy. Her thick hair and the overall fullness of her curls have been replicated for a number of years and I am happy to admit that I have also tried copying this look. However, my hair doesn’t hold those curls for long periods of time. This definitely breaks my heart, but I like to dream that this look will work for me one day!
There have been a few instances in my life where I have been told that I resemble Judy Garland in terms of looks. Even though I personally do not see the resemblances, I take this as a huge compliment. I have always thought of Judy to be one of the most timeless looking women of her generation and to even be compared to her in any way, shape or form is probably one of the best things that I can be told.
“I can live without money, but I cannot live without love.” ~Judy Garland
It always seemed sad to me that whenever the name Sharon Tate is said, it is always in hushed reverent tones. Her name is usually followed by, “Oh that poor woman” or “how horrific was her murder.” All of these sentiments are true. However, I think that only remembering Sharon Tate by her tragic murder in 1969 is an insult to her memory. It is best that we see the life in her death, not the death in her life.
When I hear her name, I don’t think about the grotesque nature of her death. Instead, I think of the hypnotic presence she brought to the screen with her notable performances being The Fearless Vampire Killers and Valley of the Dolls. One of the qualities that has intrigued loyal followers of hers for years was the effortless beauty that she embodied, both inwardly and outwardly. Sharon was known for her natural beauty, which made her the subject of envy amongst celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Kim Novac. Sharon’s effortless beauty and glowing personality made her a threat to other Hollywood bombshells.
When you break it down to just the bare facts, Sharon’s style reflected her personality: simple and free-spirited. To contrast with the styles of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, Sharon’s style had a no-fuss approach. Sharon had been known to wear leather straps on her feet to look like sandals so that she could walk into restaurants and shops in Beverly Hills. She was a true free-spirited flower child, that’s for sure!
I once had an ornate beaded elastic that was similar to the leather straps that Sharon would wrap around her feet. I wanted to see if I could get away with wearing these elastics like Sharon and once I was done, it looked like I was wearing a pair of delicate sandals. I went to a few stores and was anxiously waiting for someone to kick me out because I violated the “no shoes no service” policy. No one noticed. I’d like to think Sharon was acting as my little fashion guardian that day.
Similar to Marilyn Monroe, Sharon’s personal style was one that reflected the elegance and importance of looking and feeling like a woman. Her clothes were not baggy and, much like myself, she was not into the Granny Coat fad that others during the 1960s were interested in. Instead, Sharon preferred her clothes be tailored to her body. She liked tailored clothes, even most of her Peasant Tops were tailored to her figure.
In reviewing her style, Sharon was very eclectic, very free-spirited, and a combination of sexy while embodying a child-like innocence. This added to her overall appeal because she was a beautiful juxtaposition of a Hollywood sex symbol and the girl next door.
Particularly known for her love of looking natural, she wore make-up seldomly. However, when she did wear make-up, Sharon was sure to have her make-up down simplistically rather than caked on.
Sharon created a deceivingly simplistic art of applying thick, black, false eyelashes for that desired dramatic affect. To contrast with her ash brown and mousy blonde hair, Sharon would apply brown eye shadow around her lips.
Something that I always found interesting about Sharon was that instead of applying heavy lipsticks or glosses to her lips, Sharon faithfully applied vaseline to her lips. That’s right, vaseline! She was known to keep little jars in her car.
Sharon is proof that you don’t have to cake on make-up or wear super extravagant outfits to be sexy or beautiful. Sometimes the biggest statement that one can do is just be loyal to the styles that truly reflect who you are.
“I’m just me. If I am sexy, it’s just something I do naturally, like picking up a knife and fork to eat. I think people who try to be sexy are the most unsexy people in the world.” ~ Sharon Tate
It’s impossible to think of Marilyn Monroe and not associate her with the timeless fashion of the Old Hollywood Era. Her love of classic red lipstick, simple and eclectic patterns and infamous curves have turned Marilyn Monroe into one of the most iconic women in the world.
I was about fourteen years old when I decided that I wanted to model my wardrobe into something that Marilyn Monroe wore. A proud Old Soul, I loved that Marilyn’s wardrobe was womanly rather than something that teeny-boppers would wear. Everything that Marilyn wore was a celebration to the body and curves of a woman, which made me feel empowered and strong whenever I wore an inspired piece of hers. Thankfully, that feeling hasn’t gone away now that I am twenty-one.
I’d like to think that Marilyn and I have very similar tastes in fashion. I can be frequently seen in simple shades of black and white, two shades that Marilyn rocked way back in the day. As well, because of Ms. Monroe, I love prints such as polka dots, gingham and stripes. These kinds of prints embody the looks of Spring and Summer, the seasons when I feel that my closet is at its absolute prime.
While she celebrated her body by dressing like a lady, Marilyn never took herself seriously either. She had fun with wild prints and made sure that they matched the warm and liberating seasons of spring and summer. Marilyn’s go-to prints were flowers, gingham and the ever-loved polka dots.
Something that I love about Marilyn is that she can go from one extreme to another. One second she’s looking like a summer flower child, and the next she’s using bold and simple stripes to display her much more demure and sophisticated nature. Never underestimate the power of a black and white striped turtleneck or sheath dress. Simplicity like this is one of the sexiest things in the world.
Marilyn Monroe’s infamous statement, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” proves to still be relevant today, as any kind of accessory – diamond or not – will really make or break your outfit. If you can find pieces that marry pearls and diamonds, you are on the right track to vintage fashion.
Cat eye sunglasses are a trend that Monroe began at the peak of her career and have been a fad that hasn’t gone away. They come in a plethora of styles and colours and you can find them at a reasonable price at any local mall or thrift shop near you.
To complete the full Marilyn Monroe look, spray a dash of Chanel No.5, touch up your lipstick and you are ready to bring the fashion of the past into the future of tomorrow.
“I’m very definitely a woman, and I enjoy it” ~ Marilyn Monroe