Dressing Like Marilyn Monroe for an Ultimate Feminine Look
Dressing Like Marilyn Monroe for an Ultimate Feminine Look
Written by Hannah Mae Webster
How to dress like Marilyn Monroe?
Marilyn Monroe’s style can be narrowed down into two main categories: on-screen and off-screen. A great proportion of Marilyn Monroe’s exposure to the public was through filmography including “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” “Niagara,” “Some Like it Hot,” and “The Misfits,” in which the costumes were carefully created to define Monroe’s character.
Although her iconic costumes are mainly what built her status as a fashion icon, one must also review her off-screen style moments for a well-informed, inclusive view of Marilyn Monroe.
Pieces popularized by Marilyn Monroe included halter necks, strapless necklines, sheer dresses, cigarette pants, and jeans.
Embracing your natural shape
If you are considering dressing like Marilyn Monroe, it is useful to tap into her highly feminine approach to styling. Monroe revolutionized the idea of the female body during the 50s by celebrating and accentuating her curves, therefore a great place to start is by flaunting and embracing your natural shape rather than concealing it.
Knowing how to confidently dress for your own body type is important even when channeling an icon with a particular shape. Learn more about body shapes and dress types. If wishing to create an hourglass silhouette inspired by Marilyn Monroe, try belted or cinched waists, accentuated bust areas, ruching, and curve hugging pieces.
“We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.”
How to accessorize like Marilyn
Marilyn’s image of glamour and sensuality was constructed through precise styling that complemented her body and character, with accessorizing forming a huge part of her image. On screen, the actress wore extravagant costumes often styled with dramatic accessories including statement jewelry and evening gloves. One example of a dramatic, accessory filled look was in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” when Marilyn’s hot pink strapless gown designed by William Travilla was styled with matching evening gloves and large statement bracelets, earrings, and a necklace.
Afterall, isn’t Lorelei’s obsession with diamonds enough to inspire anyone to invest in a dazzling piece of jewelry?
Evening gloves are a perfect way to inject Marilyn’s signature style into your wardrobe. Try adapting the look into a more modern style by wearing gloves with a simple form fitting mini, midi, or maxi dress for a special occasion. Matching the color of the gloves and dress is essential in emulating Marilyn’s blonde bombshell style.
“I just love finding new places to wear diamonds.”
Lorelei Lee, played by Marilyn Monroe in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” 1953.
For more glove inspiration, take a look at these Marilyn moments:
Marilyn Monroe at the premiere of “There’s No Business Like Show Business”
Marilyn Monroe at the premiere of “How to Marry A Millionaire”
Marilyn photographed by Bert Stern
Waist belts were also favored by Marilyn Monroe due to their ability to cinch and accentuate curves with her iconic, flirtatious beauty mark. Wearing a waist belt is one simple way to channel Marilyn’s style whilst giving the illusion of an hourglass figure. Belts are highly flattering due to their emphasis on an area that is generally the smallest part of your figure, which in turn highlights a flattering contrast.
Belts can be easily integrated into your everyday wardrobe and are most likely already there, however styling one over a slim fitting midi dress is a fantastic Marilyn inspired alternative. For a subtle waist-cinching effect, choose a belt in the same color.
Marilyn Monroe wearing belts
Selecting a neckline
Necklines to focus on when dressing like Marilyn Monroe:
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
Adding the daring element
Marilyn’s enduring style legacy was partially founded on her ability and desire to take risks. In 1959, Monroe starred in the film “Some Like It Hot” and wore the daring sheer gown that has influenced trends for decades. The revealing black gown designed by Orry-Kelly featured a completely sheer back, sheer chest area, a nude underlayer, and embellishments. Later in May 1962, less than three months before her death, Monroe wore another sheer gown to sing “Happy Birthday Mr. President.”
The gown was designed by Bob Mackie and went on to become one of the most famous and recreated gowns in history and was credited as one of the first naked dresses. The original gown was controversially worn by Kim Kardashian to the 2022 Met Gala. To achieve Marilyn’s edge, try a dress with sheer material and embellishment. For a less extravagant look, experiment with a backless style on a midi or maxi dress. Plunging necklines and exposed skin are two areas that defined Marilyn’s style, studying her approach is key.
"Frankly, I've never considered my own figure so exceptional; until quite recently, I seldom gave it any thought at all.”
Adapting Marilyn’s top looks
Pink Dress in “Niagara”
Adding a hot pink midi dress into your wardrobe can be effective in achieving Marilyn inspired looks. This dress featured an off-the-shoulder neckline that can be easily recreated.
- Hot pink form fitting midi dress
- Chunky gold earrings
- Cream shawl
- Strappy heels
Cherry print dress in “The Misfits”
- Cherry print midi or mini dress with plunging neckline and cinched waist
- Add a narrow belt to cinch waist if necessary.
- Low strappy heels or sandals
- Cigarette or capri pants in black, white, or checked.
- Contrasting top or turtleneck in black or white, depending on trousers.
- Block heels, sandals, or even flats.
- Simple yellow gold jewelry
Tailored looks in “Niagara,” 1953
In the 1953 film, “Niagara,” Marilyn played Rose Loomis, a complex character with an ulterior motive. When making costume decisions, it is highly important that any wardrobe department and designer considers the nature of the character. The seductive attitude of Rose Loomis was emulated through curve-hugging pieces, pencil skirts, and sharp tailoring.
- Black pencil skirt
- White shirt or blouse
- Matching fitted blazer (optional extra)
- Strappy black heels
- Glossy red lipstick
Halter neck dress in “The Seven Year Itch”
- White midi or maxi dress with halter neck
- White sandals or strappy heels
- Statement earrings
Jeans and white shirt in “The Misfits”
- White button-down shirt
- Straight leg high waisted blue jeans
- Brown belt
- Cowboy boots or brown boots
- Oversized denim jacket (optional extra)
Colors to consider when trying to dress like Marilyn Monroe:
“Fear is stupid. So are regrets.”
La Dame’s Marilyn Collection
Marilyn N°1 Linen Midi Dress
Featuring a sweetheart neckline, cinched waist, lace-up back, and the option of off-the-shoulder straps. The perfect Marilyn inspired summer dress.
Marilyn N°2 Midi Dress
The perfect Marilyn inspired spring and summer dress.
Marilyn N°3 Cotton Midi Dress
Inspired by Marilyn Monroe, this is the perfect little black dress for spring and summer.
Shop the Marilyn collection here: https://us.ladame-thelabel.com/search?type=product&q=marilyn*