This past Sunday marked the eighty-eighth birthday of one Norma Jeane Baker, better known to the world as Miss Marilyn Monroe. Some fifty years after her passing, Marilyn Monroe is still a style icon today, her infamous dresses selling for millions, her likeness and words the subject of Pin-worthy E-cards everywhere. She was arguably the blondest and bombest of all the blonde bombshells throughout Hollywood’s glittering history, so who better to teach us how to be a bombshell than Marilyn herself, right? We’ve highlighted some of her most iconic fashion pieces, which along with some of her best quotes will hopefully teach us a thing or two on becoming nothing less than the-bombshell-dot-com…
Taking The Plunge Halter Jumpsuit, Good In The Hood Chambray Jumpsuit, Plunging Single-Slit Maxi Dress
The Plunging Neckline —“I love to do things the censors won’t pass.” To really be a bombshell, you’ll need to dare to bare, and one of the best ways is with a plunging neckline. So don’t be afraid to, well, take the plunge.
Stripe A Match Midi Pencil Skirt, X Factor Surplice Back Pencil Skirt, Photo Finish Textured Pencil Skirt
The Pencil Skirt — “I defy gravity.” There’s no avoiding the curves if you’re trying to be a bodacious babe, and wiggling into a hip-hugging skirt will keep everything up and in but out of this world.
Metallic Glass Slipper Wedges, In The Clear Chain Link Wedges, Clearly Velvet Lucite Heels, I Love Lucite Platform Pumps
The Lucite Heel — “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” You can’t really get more glam than the platform heel. That is, unless you add luxe, luscious lucite. Marilyn would tell you, it’s okay to be a little transparent.
High-Waisted Faux Leather Shorts, Zip It Denim Shorts, Off The Cuff High-Waisted Shorts
The High-Waisted Short — “The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.” Long before The Neighbourhood proclaimed their affinity for “those little high-waisted shorts” in Sweater Weather, Marilyn was already a fan. And what’s not to like? Everything is held in, and nothing gets you looking leggier…
Bow Off-The-Shoulder Bodycon Dress, Strips Search Off-Shoulder Dress, Basic Instincts Off-Shoulder Dress
The Off-Shoulder — “One of the best things that ever happened to me is that I’m a woman.” If you share Marilyn’s sentiment for womanhood, why not bare a woman’s best feature? We’re of course talking the shoulders. Buuuuut if you want to show off, er, a little more in your off-shoulder top, we won’t stop you.
Turtleneck Crop Top, Single Lady Mockneck Romper
The Dark Turtleneck — “We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.” Marilyn also famously said “Your clothes should be tight enough to show you’re a woman but loose enough to show you’re a lady.” The turtleneck is the perfect balance between demure (the coverage) and dangerous (the curves), and on that dark canvas, your moneymaker (your face, duh!) will simply shine.
Let’s not stop now! Here are some lesser-known facts about Miss Monroe that we can all use as life lessons:
1. When she found out that jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald could not perform at the historic Mocambo nightclub in Hollywood because of segregation, Marilyn promised to sit front row in exchange for Fitzgerald’s booking, knowing her presence would garner press and publicity for the facility. Lesson learned? Be good to others, and don’t be afraid to take a stand!
2. Hollywood’s most famous blonde actually started out with reddish brown hair, and she would later begin to shave off half an inch from one heel to give herself that trademark wiggle. Lesson learned? Do what is right for you and your body!
3. Marilyn was very diligent about her skincare, washing her face fifteen times a day and applying a hormone cream to it that caused a layer of blonde down to form over her face. Instead of shaving that peach fuzz, she chose to use it to her advantage, and from then on she never needed special lenses to get that soft glow on camera. Lesson learned? Embrace your unique attributes!
4. In her childhood and adolescence, Marilyn had a stutter. She would eventually overcome it with the help of a therapist who told her to speak with a breathy tone, which would eventually become one of her trademarks. Lesson learned? Overcome hardships and become better for it!
5. She may have sung “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but Marilyn had mostly costume jewelry and loved having fun and making statements with her accessories. Lesson learned? Money does not buy style, and the important thing is to have fun with what you wear!