Just the name Marilyn Monroe immediately conjures up an image of vintage glamour, pinup perfection and 1950s glitz. She was icon who has transcended the decades and her elegance is just as powerful as it was 65 years ago. But she wasn't just the blonde bombshell and sex symbol everyone remembers. Did you know that Marilyn (or rather Norma Jean) was a keen reader with over 400 books in her collection, and her Thanksgiving stuffing recipe is apparently delicious.But we're not here to talk about stuffing, we are here to talk about her legendary outfits, from the early days to that dress.
Norma Jean Mortenson's style was very different from her alter ego Marilyn's, and you can see this from how her style changes when she is in 'character'. When at home Marilyn preferred a more casual look, and often donned trousers over the slinky dresses she is more known for. You can recreate her casual look with the cleverly named Norma's from Freddies of Pinewood. Twin them with a sweet sweater (get some inspo from our Sweater Girl Style Spotlight article), a pair of sandals and, of course, a stack of pastel bangles for an authentic vintage inspired outfit. It's a great look worn by rockabilly girls all over the world to this day. It's a fab daytime outfit when your hair is setting in curlers but you still want to have that vintage vibe.
When Norma stepped in front of the camera she immediately became the Hollywood legend that we know as Marilyn Monroe. Her classic 1950s style has become vintage inspiration for people the world over. The wiggle dresses which clung to her shapely yet petite frame are now staples in pinup girls and rockabilly lovers' wardrobes, and often paired with iconic jewellery pieces such as our fakelite Starburst bangles from Winter 2019. We think Marilyn would have loved the Clear Starbursts, don't you? There are lots of vintage inspired pinup clothing companies out there with a plethora of wiggle dress designs to choose from. We love Vixen by Micheline Pitt for their daring busty looks which are perfect for making everyone in the room stare at you as you walk it - make Marilyn proud! There are also our pals over at Outerlimitz who are a home grown company from the south west just like us. Their Joan dress is the perfect dress to go from the office to the bar in. It hugs in all the right places and the lurex fleck looks amazing with some of our glitters. Of course, Marilyn didn't just wear wiggle dresses. In the earlier years of the 1950s the studios often dressed her in smart, tailored suits to contrast the glitz and glamour of her private life. In one of Marilyn's most famous screen appearances Gentlemen Prefer Blondes there are some incredible two-piece suits which have definitely stood the test of time. If you can't find yourself a vintage original, keep an eye on Prettie Lanes' designs as they have some vintage inspired pieces which can pass as the originals.
Marilyn Monroe frequented countless movie premiers and even more cocktail parties in her time. And what do these things call for? Why party dresses of course! Marilyn had one of the most famous party frocks in modern memory. Yup, we're talking about that dress when she sang that song for that president. Did you know that the rhinestone covered beauty sold for $4.8 million dollars back in 2016! You don't have to spend that much to look just as fabulous though.
Check out how Deadly Is The Female's Scarlett sequin dress combines Marilyn's sparkly 'Happy Birthday' dress with her equally iconic dress from the 1955 classic The Seven Year Itch. Marilyn was also partial to a fringe dress (aren't we all) and you can recreate her look from Some Like It Hot in one of Maria Aguye's hand tailored dresses. Finish the outfit off with a pair of 1950s style heeled mules, some complimentary vintage inspired jewellery and you're good to go!
What was your favourite Marilyn Monroe outfit? Let us know!