How to Dress Like Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe is a classic sex symbol and fashion icon. Dressing like Marilyn will allow you to grab the attention of passers-by on the street. Follow these simple steps in order to recreate Marilyn's iconic look.
Research pictures of a variety of Marilyn's looks. This will allow you to gain a good understanding of how she dressed. Make sure your research includes both casual and evening wear, so you can choose perfect outfits for multiple occassions.
Before you go out and purchase a bunch of Marilyn-esque clothes, look through the clothing that you already own. Sort your wardrobe into three piles:
- Lounge wear (pyjamas, sweat pants, hoodies, etc)
- Casual wear (jeans, t-shirts, casual tops, etc)
- Evening wear (fancy dresses, skirts, nice 'night out' tops, etc)
Next sort your shoes using the same basic three step system:
- Lounge shoes (slippers, sneakers/trainers, etc)
- Casual shoes (shoes that are more dressy than the lounge wear above. This could include: boots, flats, etc)
- Evening/fancy shoes (heels, dressy boots, dressy flats, etc)
After you have sorted your clothes, pick out any items that stand out as Marilyn-like based on the previous research you have done.
- Lounge wear: Keep these items of clothing for the days when you don't feel like channeling Marilyn, or for when you are having some quiet time at home. I'm sure Marilyn had to take a break from being a sex symbol sometimes too after all!
- Casual wear: Set aside any: high waisted jeans, white pants/trousers, white button down shirts, turtle necks jean jackets... There are several pictures of Marilyn in a button down white shirt tucked into high waisted jeans. This is a simple look to achieve, so if you already have the items, you are all set with this easily attainable look.
- Evening wear: Set aside any white or red dresses (Marilyn was often seen in this colour). Make sure you also set aside all of your heels. Marilyn was a fan of heels. She even wore them with casual clothes, such as jeans.
Now that you have examined your wardrobe, take a look at your jewelry. Jewelry is an essential part of Marilyn's look. Marilyn especially liked to wear long dangling earrings. If you have any long dangling silver earrings, make sure you include them in your 'Marilyn pile.' There are also some pictures of her wearing silver hoops. Hers are chunky and not too big. Make sure that if you choose to wear hoops, they are not too large and not too thin in shape.
Adding to your wardrobe
There may be a few essential pieces that you do not have in your wardrobe in order to attain Marilyn's classic look. If you do not have any of the examples of clothing that I mentioned above, go ahead and purchase a few of them. You do not necessarily have to go to name brand stores. Search thrift shops and vintage stores for bargains. Marilyn's clothes were often simple and elegant. For example: Her symbolic white dress outfit can easily be replicated, all you need is a white dress.
One piece of clothing that is not commonly found in one's wardrobe is long sleeved gloves. Marilyn often complemented her dresses with gloves. She has a few colour combinations (play around and have fun with these):
- White dress with white gloves
- Red dress with black gloves
- Pink dress with pink gloves
- Black dress with white gloves
A quick note about makeup and hair: Although this article is not about Marilyn's makeup and hair, it is important to note that her makeup is a crucial part of her look. You may want to invest in some red lipstick, black eyeliner, a curling iron and maybe even some bleach if you want to go a step further.
- Although you are using Marilyn Monroe as a guide for your wardrobe, you do not have to replicate it exactly. Make sure to make your wardrobe your own. If your clothes are more personal to you, you will feel more confident and comfortable in your skin.
- Try to use as many of your already owned items of clothing as possible in order to avoid having to purchase something that you may have.
- Much of Marilyn's clothing is provocative. Make sure that you do not wear the revealing outfits in inappropriate places (school for example). A party is the best place to wear that sort of ensemble.