Decoding Marilyn Monroe’s Style Secrets: How to Embrace Her Timeless Elegance in the Modern Age

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How do you “decode” an icon of womanhood? While you’ll probably never discover the Rosetta Stone of Marilyn Monroe, it’s possible to connect the visual dots with the existing record of the icon’s magnificent style. In doing so, you can translate her timeless elegance for the modern age, redefining and perhaps even refining it for the sensibilities of this age.

Let’s look at Marilyn Monroe as a source to draw style inspiration from, taking her fashion cues to our 21st-century hearts. This isn’t about “vintage” or “retro.” This is about essential elegance rooted in Monroe’s compelling beauty and presence. What’s being translated here is not so much specificities as a powerful presence in the world that continues to resonate.

To this day, Marilyn Monroe stands as a symbol of classical femininity, sexual power, and transcendent beauty. Not to be trifled with, this is the serious elegance of a woman who knows herself well enough to dress with every intention of shining brightly.

After Marilyn Monroe wore that dress to sing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962, it would never again matter one iota if it was worn again or by whom. And that’s the danger of translating Monroe’s powerful aesthetic to our times. You need to be ready for that kind of power. Marilyn Monroe modeled a very specific aesthetic, created both by and for its creator. And the story of that dress, so tight it needed to be sewn onto the icon’s body, is pivotal to the aesthetic.

Marilyn Monroe chose to be herself as an ultra-feminine woman who made no apologies for her sexuality or vibrance. If it can be said that a single dress might stand as a personal statement, it can be said of that dress. Made of sheer, mesh fabric, the dress was dotted with 2,500 rhinestones. The effect onstage was blindingly dazzling, speaking loudly of who Monroe was. And she wore nothing underneath it.

Your Inner Marilyn

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You’re playing with fire as you bring your inner Marilyn out to play, lining up the red lipsticks in your collection, ready to find just the right pout. You’ve got the liquid eyeliner ready to paint on the perfect 50s check marks at the corners of your eyes. But how do you summon the icon by adorning your body with her in mind?

Created in lush, stretch fabrics, corset cocktail dresses evoke the spirit of Marilyn, leading with an unequivocal statement of honest, wholesome sensuality. Why not gild the scented lily? The icon walks with you when you’re unafraid to cause a sharp intake of breath wherever you go.

Intensify that effect with confidence that can’t be assailed. Beautiful lingerie worn under anything at all—even a potato sack—invests you with a certain invulnerability. You feel cosseted and spoiled in undercover, lacy finery that caresses your pleasing curves. And that delightful secret will show on your face as your inner Marilyn slides into her kitten heels. She’s dressed to thrill herself first and girl, so are you!

Get the Party Started
The essential timelessness of Marilyn Monroe’s style is as much in what you can’t see as what you can. Her style shifts the eye from the barely controlled blonde curls to the curve of a calf to the snatched waist. It’s a total picture that asserts itself over the restlessly wandering eye, observing and appraising its constituent parts. What is unseen has its own resonance.

That party had better not even think about starting until you saunter innocently through the front door in one of the most unique party dresses any shindig’s ever seen. Your charm carries you through the envy. In grand Marilyn style, you’re the belle of the ball everyone loves, flowing through the party like a cool, gentle breeze. Sometimes, comfort is power too! Tell me that doesn’t put a big grin on your face.

Icing On the Cake
Marilyn was never afraid to put a little extra icing on her already well-iced cake. Feeling right in your own skin is like that. You share yourself freely, wearing your heart on your sleeve, your own name emblazoned across it! Accessories are, for those seeking to embrace Marilyn Monroe’s timeless elegance, a beautiful way of sharing her exuberance as part of bringing her style forward in contemporary fashion.

A flowing scarf expresses the overflow of joy, sharing a fluttering glimpse of what can’t possibly be contained. An embellished headband pushes the hair from your face, revealing a countenance glowing with irrepressible life. Artisanal accessories express Marilyn Monroe’s resolute refusal to contain her powerful energy—a key factor to keep in mind as you seek to embrace her legendary style.

Open Secrets
Marilyn Monroe’s generosity of spirit surely precluded her from keeping any style secrets to herself. In her life and work, she made few concessions to propriety, choosing instead to live her life at full speed and outside the boundaries of what was then considered “acceptable” behavior for women.

Your mission as one seeking to bring Monroe’s timeless elegance to the modern world is to remember that above all, personal magnetism and her unique qualities enlivened the style she’s best remembered for. Without apologies, Marilyn Monroe brought to her public life an unforgettable combination of innocence, intelligence, and experimental curiosity. It was her energy that formed the foundation of her style.

In embracing what Marilyn Monroe brought to fashion, always reverently recall the status of the icon, her glorious femininity, and her powerful sexuality. That incredible energy can’t help but bring her style forward into the modern age when it inspires women like you. Evoke it with pride as you embrace Marilyn Monroe’s singular elegance.

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