I love Old Hollywood movies. The hair, the makeup, the accessories, the sets, and of course the costumes are so beautiful. I have assembled a list of my five favorites. Grab some popcorn, que these movies up, and get ready for some major wardrobe envy! Look no further for glamour inspiration.
5. High Society (1956)
Starring Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra- if that doesn’t convince you it’s worth a watch, I don’t know what will. Grace Kelly had recently become engaged to Prince Rainier of Monaco, and she wears her own breathtaking 10.5 carat engagement ring in the movie (via IMDb). In this film, Ms. Kelly shows us what a swimsuit cover-up should look like, dances around with Frank Sinatra in a gorgeous evening gown, and wears one of the most beautiful wedding dresses I’ve ever seen! There is also a lot of great music (Louis Armstrong makes an appearance), so check it out!
4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
This is at the very end of the Old Hollywood years, but I had to include it. Audrey Hepburn’s character Holly Golightly wears many of the same dresses repeatedly in this movie, changing up the accessories to give herself a slightly different look with each wear. Talk about a style icon! Of course she wears the quintessential black shift dress, and she even makes wearing a sheet look effortlessly classy. A sheet! This movie also made me want to buy an adorable sleep mask and tassel earplugs (trust me on this).
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, and Lauren Bacall star in this movie about three single girls who rent out a swanky apartment together while on the hunt for husbands. Naturally, their wardrobes are fabulous. The incredible purple satin gown on Marilyn in the featured image above is from this movie, which was nominated for an Oscar for best costume design. There is even a fashion show in the movie! Also of note, Marilyn wears the most adorable glasses throughout the film, which she refuses to wear in front of men although she needs them desperately. Hilarity ensues!
2. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
This movie gives us Marilyn in that famous pink gown, telling us all why Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend. I would say that this movie more than any other makes me want to completely update my wardrobe. Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell play showgirls who are on a trip to Paris by boat. They end up on the same ship as the Olympic Team (lucky girls!), and flirt with every man in sight. Every single outfit they wear is just beautiful, plus they have a separate wardrobe for when they’re on stage. This movie is truly funny and cute, making it a definite must-see. *Spoiler Alert* If you’ve ever wanted to get married standing next to your best girlfriend and/or in a tea length wedding dress, this film will serve as inspiration!
1. Top Hat (1935)
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced their way right into my heart, in what is hands down my favorite movie of all time. For their “Cheek to Cheek” number, Ginger wears an incredible ostrich feather gown (as seen in the above image). I really wish this film was in color, to see this dress in all its glory! I have read that Fred Astaire refused to do the number with her in the dress because he knew the feathers would be a huge problem. Ginger got her way and was able to wear the dress after all, but Fred was right- as they are gliding across the dance floor in the final cut that made the film, you can see feathers flying everywhere. (If you’ve seen the movie Easter Parade with Astaire and Judy Garland, that flying feather scene is homage to this one)! I am so glad Ginger got her way and was able to wear the gown of her choosing, because this dress- with her braided updo and flawless makeup- is my favorite movie look ever. Aside from all this, the movie has a lot of great dancing, catchy songs, and funny one-liners.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is currently streaming on Netflix, you can catch the other movies on Turner Classic Movies pretty often. You could always check out Family Video (save the video stores)!
Thanks for reading, and happy watching!