The golden age of fashion was one of the most glamorous periods in history. Everything from ostrich plumed hats to fur stoles, fedoras, and penny loafers were introduced and made famous during this time. Some of the fashion icons that made these pieces come to life include Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and many more. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and meet some more of the fashion icons from this era.
Elizabeth Taylor was known to wear the trendiest outfits. You can consider her a Kardashian of fashion from the ’50s onward. Even her wedding dresses (all eight of them) made it onto the cover of many fashion magazines.
During the ’50s, she was often seen wearing full-length A-line dresses and headscarves. Then the ’60s saw her in short dresses and bouffant hairstyles. The next decade was all about hot pants and crochet attire. But in the ’80s, she swerved things around and sported gowns with shimmering beading.
Bette Davis defined old Hollywood glamor better than anyone. She was effortlessly gorgeous and her signature style continues to inspire women everywhere – from her dresses to her overcoats and the sleek heels that she wore in the 1930s.
Just look at this feathered cloak she wore when she won an Oscar… Doesn’t she look like a rare and exotic bird you would be lucky to spot? Bette was a truly talented artist as well as a straight-up fashion icon!
The high-neck fitted black gown, gloves, pearl necklace, and a tiara on a high bun – this Breakfast at Tiffany’s look was made iconic by none other than Audrey Hepburn. Her pixie cut was more famous than Rachel’s (from the popular series Friends).
Hepburn practically invented the adorable meets sophistication style. Plus, she always managed to look so effortless in whatever she wore. The actress won our hearts and many others when she promoted her belief that “Happy girls are the prettiest girls.”
Ava is known for her femme fatale roles in noir films and she held that image with such a sense of regalness. She was a true fashion icon as well. Gardner’s signature style consisted of figure-hugging gowns that shaped her stunning hour-glass figure.
These gowns were tailored to perfection and everyone who saw them never doubted her province in the fashion world. Other outfits she wore often also included casual white shirts, pretty frocks, and high waist minis. To put it simply, her fashion was slayin’.
You can thank Greta Garbo for introducing the androgynous look into women’s fashion. All eyes got wider than the ocean when they saw her wear trousers for the first time in one of her films. She was a non-conformist and the one who probably inspired Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn to follow suit (pun intended).
Her own style was simple and natural. She always looked so comfortable in her flat shoes, trench coats, polo-neck sweaters, and trousers. It suited her tomboyish nature well.
Her name is her best description and she lived up to it. Her poise, golden curls, and sophistication were noteworthy. She was a fashion icon because of it and she always looked so royal. So it’s no wonder that she married a prince. Seems like the perfect fairy tale ending!
Her grace and charm extended to her fashion sense too. There was never a hair out of place. Don’t believe us? Just look at her beautiful side-swept curls here – she was truly in a class of her own.
Every gentleman did a double-take at Jean Harlow’s cupid’s bow and her itty-bitty waist back in the ‘30s. She was one of Hollywood’s first icons and a gorgeous one at that. Better known as “Baby” or “The Platinum Blonde”, Jean was known to have her own approach when it came to style.
She was often spotted wearing figure-hugging monochromatic gowns. They hugged her curves in all the right places and she wasn’t afraid to flaunt them. These gowns were usually white to match her platinum hair, as you can see here.
Of all the great actors in all the towns in all the world, Humphrey Bogart’s influence will never be forgotten. After all, he was the one who made the Casablanca look famous with his fedora and trench coat.
But not many people know that he had an eye for detail when it came to his fashion choices. He wore ties, bowties, and the ever-popular neckerchiefs. These were all paired with a pocket square. Just look how cool he is here while riding his bike. Here’s looking at you, Bogart.
Kelly made tap dancing seem like the sexiest type of dance form. If you have seen Singing in the Rain, you will know what we are talking about. But it was more than his shoes that tapped into a new genre of style.
Back then actors wore their own clothes. So, when Kelly took breaks between scenes, he was usually spotted wearing an open collar with a striped shirt that he would pair with a cardigan, trousers that were rolled-up, and penny loafers. What a sight that must have been!
If you were to conjure up an image of Judy Garland in your mind, it would mostly be of a rosy-cheeked Kansas girl, all of 17, wearing a gingham dress playing Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. It was a sweet image of a young girl.
Renée Zellweger even played her in the Hollywood movie Judy. After watching the movie, you will know that she didn’t wear just that pinafore but also printed dresses and floor-length gowns that were cinched at the waist. What a classic beauty she was!
When was the last time you came across a man dressed in a suit and you did a double-take? This is why we think that all men should dress and ooze charm like Gregory Peck. His style was a true reflection of his sexy, yet mysterious and serious personality.
Peck was always looking dapper in a blazer and a tie. But if you really think about it, it was not what he wore but how he wore it. And that is what made him a fashion icon. Don’t you agree?
Maybe Gable did not give a damn, but the man knew how to dress. He was a gentleman on and off-screen and dressed like one too. No wonder his role as Captain Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind seemed so natural.
He was always seen wearing double-breasted suits that would taper at the waist and had wide lapels with broad shoulders. It was perfect in every way. They just don’t make class acts like him anymore!
Taking a cue from Greta Garbo, Kate Hepburn continued sporting the menswear-inspired attire. Although Garbo introduced the trend, Katharine also gets credit for her part in propelling the tomboy look forward.
She was a non-conformist as well, who was often seen wearing collared shirts, trousers, blazers, and penny loafers. She really owned who she was and many women have thanked her since for introducing menswear fashion to a woman’s closet.
Lucille Ball was a feminist as well as a fashion icon. Lucile was the first female comedic lead on television for her show I Love Lucy. Her popularity from the sitcom is what made her so renowned. She also went on to become the first woman to own her own production company.
Ball had the Midas touch when it came to style. Any outfit she wore immediately became a stylish trend. From her jeans and fit-and-flare silhouettes to her two-piece ensembles, bonnets, and evening gowns, this natural redhead was an icon in every way.
Mae West ruled fashion in the ’30s. The blonde bombshell loved her furs and wore a lot of silk. She stirred quite a few fashion-related controversies in her time and made no pretense of being a demure creature.
She was the poster girl of glamor. Full-length gowns and ostrich plume hats were her creation. This extravagant sense of style was much celebrated on-screen as well. Mae was a woman who knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid of being different. Hats off to that!
Angie Dickinson was a secret crush of many men over the years. She was a Hollywood hit in the mid-1950s and set temperatures soaring with her fashion choices. Her shots in swimsuits were the stuff of legends.
Angie never shied away from flaunting her long legs in short dresses and fitted clothing. No one in their right minds could take their eyes off her. If the term ‘dressed to kill’ meant anything, Dickinson would know.
Who has not enacted the white-dress-blown-up-by-a-subway-grating at least once in their lives? If you hear someone say no then they are probably lying. But such was the Marilyn Monroe magic.
She made heads turn and howl with her sleeveless gowns and figure-hugging dresses. A red carpet event back then was incomplete without her appearance in a silk evening gown and white fur stole. Whenever paparazzi caught her, she always looked perfect – whether she was sporting a cashmere dress or high-waisted pants.
Orson’s style was similar to that of Humphrey Bogart’s. He wore a suit and tie just like he did in his movies. He apparently did this to impress studio executives and to seem like the ultimate professional.
After all, there is nothing better than a man in a suit. Just look at him here with his fiercely penetrating eyes, furrowed eyebrows coupled with his fashion sense – what a cool dude! Who else wishes they had the chance to meet him?
If there were awards for the best-dressed femme fatale in the ’40s, Tierney would definitely make the list. Her on-screen outfits were always captivating and became the source of trends at the time.
From trench coats, pencil skirts, and power suits to cardigans, silk negligee, and evening gowns, her characters’ clothes would have made up any girl’s dream closet. In fact, no girl in her right mind would refuse to spend a day in Tierney’s wardrobe.
White needs no introduction. She has been working in Hollywood since the ’40s and she has always graced our screens with her beautiful aura. Over the many years that she’s been in showbiz, her fashion has evolved. Now that is what you call a fashion icon.
She always wore the classic pearl necklaces and white gloves with most of her outfits. Plus, with her hourglass shape, she could pull off just about any look. Very few can say the same.
The sweetheart neckline was probably made popular by none other than the Vertigo actress Kim Novak. She was seen wearing the black, semi-long dress in the Alfred Hitchcock classic and looked absolutely stunning.
However, it was her gray suit in the same movie that ended up becoming an iconic look. Her hairstyle was also a unique one. It was curled similar to the painting of a fictional character in the movie. Just look at her here – she somehow looked iconic in anything she wore!
Rita Hayworth exuded glamor and beauty. She was known best for her role as the lead in Gilda. Her femme fatale fashion look in the film remained in the minds of viewers with her floor-length sheath dress, ivory cigarette holder and white fur stole. If this did not define glamor then we don’t know what does.
While her film career was taking off, Rita also starred in a lingerie photoshoot in the ‘40s. It became one of the most famous pinups in the country. So, it’s pretty clear to understand that she was a trendsetter and an icon all in one.
Lana Turner was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood when this portrait was taken in 1945, and she would go on to marry seven times.
Most people would collect handbags or shoes but for Turner it was hats. She was known to have a massive collection of them. She once said that her desire to dress well was inspired by her mother, who also always dressed beautifully whether she was well-off or poor.
This blue-eyed blonde bombshell was nicknamed the Peek-a-boo girl thanks to her side-swept hairstyles that usually covered her right eye. Lake was known to leave her audiences spellbound and because of this, she was an influencer of her era.
She was even encouraged to cut her hair short during World War II so that other women would copy her and adopt safer hairstyles (longer hair could get caught in machinery). Veronica was a complete glamor girl and the way she is rocking the paillette dress in the image above is a testament to that.
Brigitte Bardot is the one who introduced the French girl chic look with her floppy hats, smokey cat-eyes, fitted dresses, and chunky jewelry. She was also often spotted with a ribbon or bow in her gorgeous mane.
She knew exactly how to stun her onlookers with her style. The trained ballerina also partnered with the fashion brand Repetto to create the Cendrillon Ballerina flats. It has all the looks and none of the discomfort!
This Austrian-born actress was also an inventor. She co-patented a missile defense frequency in the ’40s that was so ahead of its time that its technology was used to create WiFi.
So, it may come as no surprise that her fashion sense was also ahead of its time. Escada also found his muse in Lamarr. According to him, she was the perfect prototype of a modern woman. Wouldn’t you agree?
Another Alfred Hitchcock muse, Bergman’s style was effortlessly chic. She believed in being herself when it came to choosing what to wear. The Casablanca actress did not believe in conforming to the standards set by old Hollywood’s glamor.
Whether she wore dresses, skirts, or menswear-inspired outfits, she looked comfortable in them. Unfortunately, she passed away in 1982 but her style choices have lived on like many other fashion icons mentioned here.
The first thing you would probably say upon looking at Astaire’s sartorial fashion choices is that he managed to look neat yet crinkled or formal yet casual. He could not be characterized in just one style. He had them all. Astaire looked just as comfortable in a drab suit as he did in a tuxedo.
He went through dozens of pairs of shoes thanks to his endless rehearsals. As for his ties, he preferred tying the Windsor knot. And of course, who can forget his top hats? They were the cherry on top of his charming style.
When you say Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire immediately comes to mind. Why? They were the most famous film duo of the ’40s and starred in many films together.
But that did not make her any less of a fashion icon. She dazzled in her chiffon or shimmering dresses. Her capped sleeves would have fur or feathers on them which were paired with matching satin shoes. What an elegant lady she was!
If you are wondering if Bianca has anything to do with The Rolling Stones, let us clear the air, she was indeed Mick Jagger’s wife. So, she was always among the who’s who and it’s no surprise to hear that she was a fashion icon of the ’70s.
Her looks ranged from power suits and disco fashion to embellished hats with minimal accessories. Even this floral ensemble paired with a fur coat made many heads turn in her direction. To this day her style inspires many women’s fashion choices.
Vivien Leigh was a style icon because she truly loved fashion and enjoyed every aspect of it, from choosing her outfits to finding the perfect accessories to match. She also wore envious gowns in her role as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind.
People, to this day, remember how gorgeous she looked in them. She was usually seen wearing cotton blouses with high-waisted flared trousers or long skirts. She had a way with how she would wear her clothes that made others want them too.
It is difficult to imagine Loy without her fur coat thanks to Dolly Tree, who was Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)’s talented costume designer. Tree designed Loy’s costume in The Thin Man. The clothing was luxurious and included elegant gowns paired with lots of fur.
Loy’s beauty only added more appeal to her entire look. She was one of the most beautiful women of the ‘30s and was even nicknamed the Hollywood Queen.
No matter which era you were born in, if you do not know who Frank Sinatra is, you might as well be living under a rock. He was an icon and a legend known for his music, sartorial choices, and his behavior. But let’s just focus on his fashion here as that’s our job.
Hats were his hallmark but for this fashion icon, the tuxedo was the way of life. And since orange was his favorite color, he always carried an orange pocket handkerchief. Here you can see the handsome singer in his grey fedora.
There is no point in talking about anything other than Peterson’s look in her movie Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. It was so iconic and even though it came out 33 years ago, we still associate her with it. Do you think you can pull off a look like this?
Cassandra managed to pull off the deep V-neck black dress, black nail polish, and Goth eye makeup. Also, how could we forget the extra bouffant hairstyle? Not too many could rock this yet still to this day, actresses like copying her look. Hands up for Ms. Peterson!
This quintessential bad boy from the ’50s, sent pulses racing with his disheveled yet charming appearance. His white t-shirt, jeans, and leather jacket look signified the boy your parents constantly warned you about. But you would be powerless against his irresistible good looks anyway.
The style lessons we learned from him apply to this date, even though the actor passed away at a young age. We will never how Dean was able to perfectly blend rugged machismo and softness in his looks.