Do you ever feel that fashion these days has gone a little crazy? As if in an attempt to be inventive, designers have gone off the deep end and resorted to create looks that only celebrities like Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj would wear?
Does the meat dress of 2010 ring a bell?
Designers are so busy making personal statements through their clothing that the ingenuity of a beautifully constructed garment gets lost in the backlash.
So how do we stay true to fashion in a fresh and fabulous way without getting caught up in the avalanche of meat dresses and personal agendas? This is a question I asked myself every time I open a major fashion magazine to find just plain weird stuff. Models as small as my finger with their shoulders hunched forward and their eyebrows bleached, clothed in what I can only assume to be a pair of leather underwear and half a tank top. Every time I looked at these ads, I think, “Man, I wish I lived in the same era as Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn; they always looked great and they never had green hair”.
BAM. It hit me like the hammer that attaches the studs on a goth girl’s belt; who would be a better fashion adviser than Marilyn and Audrey? Fashion authorities in their day and fashion icons now, their style is timeless, fun, classic and feminine. If they ever felt inadequate in their physical appearance they never let it show; they embraced their womanhood to the fullest and accentuated their femininity in their own unique ways.
Marilyn: Sensually Simple
Standing over the subway grate with a billowing white dress, Marilyn is remembered as sexy, feminine, and beautiful with a classic style. Though she often accentuated her 36-24-36 figure to the extreme, she chose clothes with tailored lengths and clean lines, ensuring that she always looked polished and feminine.
She favored pieces by Emilio Pucci and Chanel, but her go-to designer was costume designer William Travilla. The number one rule in dressing like Marilyn is pick one “sexy spot”; a high slit on a skirt or dress, a plunging neckline or bare shoulders. Pick one and only one, pick two and your outfits through (you see what I did there?). By selecting only one area to show a little skin, you’re saying, “Yes, I have sex appeal…but I’m also a lady-So hands off!”.
Dressing like Marilyn Monroe in our current fashion culture can be solidified by only a few simple guidelines-
- Clean lines (simple, well-tailored and of a classic design)
- Emphasize your femininity (full or pencil skirts, fitted knit or woven tops and always a pair of heels)
- Showcase one “sexy spot” (JUST ONE!!)
Follows these simple rules and I guarantee you’ll love the results; after all, it worked for Marilyn!
Audrey: Classically Coy
Audrey Hepburn is our second but equally important style icon. In fact, she might be more relevant than Marilyn as much of what we consider current in fashion today is patterned after what she wore 50 years ago. It’s easy to describe Audrey’s fashion; sweet, playful, innocent, inventive and elegant. Her wardrobe was classic and elegant, and bordered on the basic side. Though many designers would have loved to have her as their own personal muse, it was Hubert de Givenchy that won her as a life-long client. Givenchy captured Audrey’s personality in the clothes he designed for her; his wardrobe portrayed a woman of elegance and intelligence with just a bit of mystery.
To capture Audrey’s style it is important to include classic yet basic pieces that can be paired with bold accessories. To exude an Audrey-like confidence, you need only to abide in these simple rules-
- Build up your basics (cigarette pants, ballet flats, and button-down blouses)
- Don’t be afraid to rock one bold accessory (chunky necklace, patterned skinny belt, multifunctional scarf)
- Showcase your greatest accessory- YOU! (Wear clothes that work for you, not the other way around)
Be confident in yourself and don’t try to hide your femininity behind fashion extremes and trends. Audrey stayed true to her fashion sense and she is still emulated as an icon to women of all generations.
So ladies don’t be afraid to dress like a woman… but dress like the woman Marilyn and Audrey would approve of. You don’t have to wear a meat dress to get attention; by simple dressing to accentuate your best features you will get all the right attention you could want (and you wont have to worry about random dog’s staring hungrily at you). Embrace your womanhood. Maybe like Marilyn and Audrey, you will be remembered for it.