On the 5th of August 60 years ago Marilyn Monroe’s housekeeper woke at 3 am in the morning. She sensed something was not right. She saw light under Marilyn’s bedroom door, but the door was locked. She called the actress’ doctor who came, broke the bedroom door, and found Marilyn passed out on her bed. At around 3.50 am the doctor pronounced her dead at the scene, and at 4:25a.m. the L.A Police department was notified that the movie star was dead. Well this is how the event was presented in the popular media at the time. According to Anthony Summer’s book “Goddess” – now also a documentary on Netflix in an updated version – the truth is more murky, and the star might have been pronounced dead earlier than what was presented in the popular media at the time. And suicide? One can only speculate. But one thing that’s certain is, death was only the beginning for the style icon that was Marilyn Monroe.
No other celeb have had and still have as big impact on popular culture as Marilyn Monroe. Not even Kim Kardashian – no matter who’s or what dress she decides to wear. Her image is used to sell anything from clothes to candy and numerous tribute acts to her insanely appealing style is seen all over the fashion world and on social media. Anyone from Anna Nichole Smith and Scarlett Johansen to Debbie Harry and Madonna have at some point in their style travel paid homage to the goddess.
A modern-day dead ringer is the fab youtuber Jasmine Chiswell – a Scottish girl from Carluke, Lanarkshire, who lives in Monroe’s old house in L.A and posts clips of herself posing, singing, and dancing like the icon on TikTok and Instagram.
Last month Chiswell was interviewed by VOGUE and told the magazine’s readers that both she and her husband collects vintage pieces of clothing and that she likes to scour Etsy, eBay, thrift shops and auctions for her little playsuits, wiggle dresses and high heeled mules. And that her collection now counts around 100 real vintage pieces, as well as many reproductions.
Good pieces of advice of course. But collection vintage pieces are expensive and time consuming as well as a matter of size. People were simply smaller in the fifties and sixties – so unless you have a petite figure you may want to look for some modern-day replicas instead.
What to buy
According to VOGUE magazine Marilyn Monroe did not shop much, but rather preferred to borrow from the movie studios for formal pieces. Her favorite designers and brands however were Normal Norell, Levi’s, Charles James, Cecil Chaplan and Orry-Kelly.
Look for tight wiggle dresses, bright reds and greens for daytime and sequins on nude that gives you a shimmering almost naked look for a more alluring evening style. All very Monroe and less cliché then the famous white halter neck dress.
For casual daywear wear rolled up boyfriend jeans – Levi’s 501 is a great choice and pair it with a plaid or crisp white shirt tied at the waist. Or choose a classy black turtleneck and wear it with a pencil skirt or tight fitting capri pants.
On your feet: semi high heels for skirts and dresses, flats or western boots for jeans and pants. And remember a big chunky cardigan to wrap yourself in at the beach.
Black eyeliner always.
Fake beauty spot or – a modern day Marilyn might choose a piercing – above the lip.
If casual – hide behind big black shades. Red lips for a glamour girl look.
Head scarves are awesome for bad hair days.
All Marilyn photos: Creative commons.