Why Marilyn Monroe Is Still a Fashion Icon

In honor of the legendary beauty's birthday, we take a look at Marilyn Monroe's iconic fashion and ready-to-wear styles inspired by the actress.

By Carly Shihadeh Jun 01, 2022 10:00 PMTags
Marilyn Monroe Style GuideShutterstock / Getty Images

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We can't think of anyone more iconic than Marilyn Monroe. Known for her acting, modeling, and singing, Marilyn was one of the most famous sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s. She truly was a style and beauty icon and frontier of sultry dressing. So iconic, in fact, that at this year's Met Gala, Kim Kardashian wore the dress that Marilyn wore in 1962 to perform "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy in 1962. Women still look to Marilyn today as an inspiration, as she truly owned and expressed her sexuality through her style. 

From Marilyn's white halter dress that famously flew up around her as she held it down in the movie Seven Year Itch to her ruby red lips and beauty mark to the white cardigan she wore in the famous photos taken by George Barris on the beach in Santa Monica, we still look to Marilyn for style inspiration.

When we think of California cool, we picture Marilyn sitting in a convertible with a headscarf and sunglasses looking effortlessly chic, and no one could do the All-American uniform (a white button-down paired with blue jeans) quite like the bombshell beauty. Who could forget the countless glamorous red carpet looks worn by the actress? Scroll below for 20 styles and beauty products inspired by the queen of sultry Old Hollywood style, Marilyn Monroe. 

Kim Kardashian Announces Launch of New Beauty Brand SKKN BY KIM

Eight Hour® Cream Skin Protectant

This award-winning skin protectant and moisturizer was one of Marilyn's go-to skincare products. This product was made to enhance the look of your skin from head to toe. It is super versatile and can be used to shape brows, add shine to cheeks, moisturize hands, and more.

Lip Color Lipstick

Is there a more iconic beauty look than Marilyn's red lips? Achieve a similar look, or find your own signature color with Elizabeth Arden's new Lip Color Lipstick. You can choose from 22 satin and 8 matte shades. This high pigment lip color is enriched with Advanced Ceramide Complex, Vitamin E and Maracuja Oil that the brand says is anti-aging, so your lips will look and feel great.

Hollywood Star Fashion Women's Marilyn Monroe Short Chiffon Pleated Halter Dress

The iconic white dress that Marilyn wore in the movie The Seven Year Itch is one of her most famous looks. 

BB Dakota by Steve Madden Marilyn Moment Halter Dress

The white halter dress is a timeless piece. You can have your Marilyn moment while still staying on-trend this summer. 

Brandy White Plunge Tassel Backless Halter Dress

Here's another style that looks similar to Marilyn's iconic white halter dress. You'll look so chic even if it gets a little windy. 

SKIMS Ribbed Long Slipdress

Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn's "naked dress" to this year's Met Gala. This dress is a more everyday, ready-to-wear take on the glamorous dress. It's even more fitting that it's a style from Kim's clothing company SKIMS. 

Glissenette Crew Neck Bodysuit

Another piece from SKIMS, this sparkling, nude bodysuit also gives the same vibes as the "Happy Birthday Mr. President" dress. 

TIMEMEANS Women Faux Fur Soft Fur Coat Jacket Fluffy Winter Waistcoat Outerwear

From her performance of "Happy Birthday Mr. President" to red carpet looks, Marilyn loved a white fur moment.

A&F Faux Fur Mini Puffer

Here's a modern way to wear the luxurious white fur trend, and it's on sale now!

Ruby Woo MAC Mini Traditional Lipstick

Marilyn's ruby red lips were so iconic, it almost feels like she invented red lipstick. You'll feel Old Hollywood-glamorous in this Ruby Woo lipstick shade.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Brow MVP Ultra Fine Brow Pencil & Styler

While Marilyn's famous locks were platinum blonde, she always rocked a strong, arched, dark brow

NYX Professional Makeup Slim Eye Pencil Long-Lasting Eyeliner

Use this $5 eye pencil to create a winged eyeliner look, or to fill in your beauty marks à la Marilyn.  

Made to order Starsky And Hutch Marilyn Monroe Inspired Gift

You can buy a cardigan that looks similar to the one worn by Marilyn in her iconic Santa Monica beach photos taken by George Barris. 

Cardigan with Tie Belt

For a similar look to Marilyn's beachy cardigan, try this oversized look from H&M. 

BB Dakota by Steve Madden Wanderlust Cardigan

Here's another cardigan that's a similar style to Marilyn's, and it's on sale now.

Gemolly Women's Casual Button-Down Shirts

Not only did Marilyn have the best glamorous looks, she also had some iconic, classic, more casual looks. She looked fabulous in her classic All-American look on set of The Misfits that included a button-down white top and blue jeans.

Point Sur vista straight jean in Medium Vintage wash

Use code SUNNY for 50% off these vintage jeans for a California-casual-cool look similar to Marilyn's. 

Remelon Women's Sexy V Neck Sparkly Sequin Wrap Dresses

The red sequin gown that Marilyn wears in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is so iconic, we just had to find a shorter, similar version that we can wear to our next event. 

Keyhole Halter Maxi Dress

Marilyn wore a pink halter midi dress on set of NiagaraIt's a style that is still trending today, and here's a similar one from Abercrombie & Fitch. 

2 Pairs Satin Gloves Women's Satin Opera Gloves

Marilyn was the queen of red carpet, Old Hollywood glam, and she rocked chic opera gloves on multiple occasions. 

MANGOPOP Women's Mock Turtle Neck Long Sleeve Tops Bodysuit Jumpsuit

Another of Marilyn's iconic, more casual looks was one she was photographed in at home that consisted of a chic black turtleneck paired with white cigarette pants. 

Gemini Satin Scarf Black & White

When we think of Old Hollywood or California cool style, we picture Marilyn in a convertible wearing a headscarf and sunglasses. 

Up next: Stranger Things Star Natalia Dyer Shares Her Skincare Routine for Sensitive Skin

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