Style Icon: Marlene Dietrich Style

German actress Marlene Dietrich is considered to be one of the greatest actress of all time. She had a deeply passionate relationship with her wardrobe, both on and off the screen. She once told a reporter, “Glamour is what I sell, it’s my stock and trade” and she never disappointed. During the time of high fashion, feminine dresses, Marlene Dietrich cultivated her own style with her sultry look and androgynous wardrobe. “I dress for myself. Not for the image, not for the public, not for the fashion, not for men.” she said and it showed as She epitomized glamour in her style trend.

In Dietrich’s era, fur was a staple. Nearly every woman had at least a fox or mink stole. No one today could achieve Dietrich’s level of glamour without the use of fur.  Dietrich LOVED fur. She loved the way it felt, the way it made her feel, the way it photographed, and especially the way it made her look. She loved the way fox fur framed her face and the way it could be dyed to create a dramatic look. She wasn’t afraid of wearing any type of fur, as long as it made her look good, was of exceptional quality, and the final product was expertly crafted. Some of her luxurious accessories included a floor-length mink cape, a 3/4 length red fox cape, a baby seal trench coat, matching mouton (sheep skin dyed to look like beaver or seal) hat and jacket, a nutria (which is making a comeback these days) polo coat, a Persian lamb jacket, a silver possum muff (yes, you read that correctly), and a 10ft silver-tipped sable stole – just to name a few. For the record, Dietrich never owned any chinchilla furs, as she thought it was only fit for old ladies.

Her Legacy
She was oddly beautiful, exotic, alluring and one of the highest paid actresses of her time. On screen, her costumes were very outlandish, with beading, veils, top hats and tail coats but in her real life, she often wore comfortable menswear. Dietrich was the first Hollywood actress to wear trousers in public. “Her masculinity appeals to women and her sexuality to men.”said Kenneth Tynan, a film critic. She was known for her epic bone structure, her bedroom eyes and above all, the legs! She was certainly a woman ahead of her time, scandalizing the world with her sexual comments, rumors of bisexual love affairs and that undeniable Dietrich mystique. Weather shocked or excited, no one could take their eyes off her.

Marlene’s Style
Some things stood out for us in Marlene Dietrich’s style and here are some of them

Fur – She loved dressing up glamorously and made fur part of her uniform. You can’t get more glamorous than that.

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Androgynous style – The most famous aspect of Marlene’s style is her penchant for menswear. She wore masculine three-piece suits to create a distinctly androgynous look that helped to revolutionize and redefine women’s fashion. In fact, during the 1930s, she (along with Katharine Hepburn) helped to popularize and make pants acceptable for women to wear. Marlene and Katherine Hepburn championed this mens style in their wardrobe. It was something borrowed and new. It worked, made a fashion statement, became a household fashion staple for the right body shape and gets you noticed easily of that is indeed your aim.

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Classic dresses – A classic piece works anytime. Glamour Girl. Although she loved menswear, Marlene didn’t wear suits 24/7 – she also had a fondness for all things luxe. She wore pencil skirts, form-fitting dresses and silky blouses for a sultry look that exuded Old Hollywood glamour. Buy short and long dresses for your wardrobe staples like Marlene and you are bound to be talked about many years after.

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Hats off –  No matter what she was wearing, Marlene usually topped her outfits off with a chic hat. Whether it was a cloche, fedora, beret or top hat, Marlene rocked each one with confidence and ease. Mimic her look for yourself by finding a modern-day interpretation of one of her caps for a stylish aesthetic.Aha! the best way to work a retro look at any time. Adds a little extra to your outfit and makes you stand out amongst the crowd.

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3 thoughts on “Style Icon: Marlene Dietrich Style

  1. Pingback: PYGStyle Find of the Day: Maxi Pants | Protect Your Glow

  2. Pingback: Process | marlenedietrichblog

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