Whether you’re a California dreamer or an East Coast babe, it’s entirely possible to sprinkle a little old-Hollywood glamour into your daily outfits. And why wouldn’t you want to? The 1950s was a decade of style, beauty, and elegance, from which we can all learn a thing or two.
It would be impossible to talk about old Hollywood without mentioning some of the most fashionable women of the time.
Naturally, Audrey Hepburn with her doe eyes and enviable femininity is among the best of them. Parisian designer Hubert de Givenchy designed many of the film star’s gowns, including the stunning black boatneck dress in 1954’s Sabrina, and Holly Golightly’s classic, form-fitting little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (a film which, although filmed in 1961, was born of the 1958 novella by Truman Capote). That dress remains one of the most iconic LBDs of all time. Equally memorable are the oversized sunglasses Hepburn wears during the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Our takeaways from Hepburn’s classic style? You can never go wrong with a sleek black dress, versatile and neutral enough to wear year-round. And we should all have a pair of oversized black sunglasses to pay homage to the likes of Hepburn and the legendary Jackie O.
Another iconic starlet of the 1950s was, of course, Marilyn Monroe. Her signature platinum blonde hair, red lips, and cat eyes remain in vogue to this very day. Equally memorable as her hair and make-up style were her outfits of choice, which complemented her curves. Monroe starred in 33 films, and in many of them she wore highly embellished gowns, such as the tight, tasseled dress she wore in 1959’s Some Like it Hot (the black, tasseled gown Olivia Palermo wore to the 17th Annual ACE Awards is a modern echo of this dress). Who can forget the infamous, ultra-feminine gown she wore in The Seven- Year Itch? Off-screen, she often favored a simpler wardrobe consisting of neutral colors such as black, cream, and white. There are so many lessons to be learned from Monroe, but if you want to channel her in your daily wardrobe, we suggest you show off your figure in a neutral-colored body-con dress and apply a swipe of red lipstick as a finishing touch. And don’t forget: diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
Model, actress, and princess, Grace Kelly possessed timeless beauty and appeal. Her style was often imitated in the 1950s and remains influential today. As she typically favored fairly understated outfits, many aspects of her personal style are easily applied today. Here are some of our favorites: regal jewelry, such as a single string of pearls; simple, neutral-colored separates; and solid-colored dresses. For a gala or other special occasion, a circle skirt/“New Look” gown à la Christian Dior is always striking and classic. And finally, for a wedding, you could look to her elegant, lacy Helen Rose gown for inspiration—after all, Kate Middleton did!
There’s no time like the present to Haute-Trade your fashions for a 1950s-inspired wardrobe, which will never go out of style. Browse our designer collections for formfitting gowns and neutral separates to pair with the trappings of old Hollywood, including diamonds and pearls.