Diamonds & Dresses: Remembering Marilyn Monroe and Her Iconic Style Moments

“A kiss on the hand might feel very good, but a diamond tiara is forever.” Said by the icon herself. ‘America’s sweetheart,’ ‘Blonde Bombshell,’ ‘Star of the 1950s’ — all these connotations celebrate the relentless spirit and the well-known enigma that Monroe was. 

Marilyn Monroe's Style
Photo Courtesy: Sunset Boulevard via vogue.co.uk

Diamonds, dresses, and decking up were definitely Marilyn’s calling. But Monroe was so much more than just that. Through her hard work and determination, Norma Jeane Mortenson-turned-Marilyn Monroe beautifully metamorphosed from a homemaker to a major pop culture figure. And not once did she look back. 

The original material girl, Marilyn Monroe, would have turned 96 this year. Golden moments of her lifetime await to be discovered yet again and again, and we still cannot get enough. Glamor was her language. And she spoke fluently every time. Be it her sylphlike risqué silhouettes or her unflinching necklines, Marilyn Monroe’s style was definitely the crème de la crème of the 1950s era.

Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend…

No one else other than Marilyn Monroe could prove the above statement true. From diamanté-trimmed gowns to an ornate selection of heavy accessories, Monroe definitely made all jewels look good. On-screen, Marilyn Monroe’s style was more statemental and effervescent, and diamond chokers and sparkly tiaras were her way of portraying them.

In her 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Monroe’s character Lorelei Lee sang the song of the above title, in which she juxtaposed her hot pink gown with a studded crystalline choker and bracelets. It was also in this movie we heard her saying, “I just love finding new places to wear diamonds.”

Marilyn Monroe Diamonds
Marilyn Monroe wearing the Moon of Baroda. Photo Courtesy: Christie’s via theadventurine.com

Indelibly linked to diamonds forever, Monroe endorsed the sunshine-colored gemstone, a 24.04-carat Moon of Baroda, for a studio photograph. Decades later, in 2018, this precious gemstone was sold at Christie’s in the Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale. An autographed photo of Marilyn Monroe wearing this stone was also offered along with the sale.

Marilyn Monroe’s Iconic Fashion Moments

“My fans want me glamorous. I won’t let them down.”

Evoking everyone’s interest all at once was no easy task, but Monroe surely loved to take on challenging tasks. And she passed with flying colors. Factors that contributed largely to Monroe’s mega-stardom were definitely her iconic appearances, both on and off-screen. Dressing up in sheath silhouettes and vibrant colors just piqued her popularity more and more. Although all her wardrobe selection was quite extraordinaire, below we bring you a few of Marilyn Monroe’s most memorable fashion moments.

The Pink Dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Photo Courtesy: Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images via vogue.fr.

Marilyn’s vibe was nothing short of surreal, and the dramatic glow she brought to cinematic clippings was indeed impeccable. William Travilla used this to his advantage and worked his sartorial magic by creating this catchy pink gown for Monroe. This Marilyn Monroe gown was complemented with evening gloves, a knot on the waist, and a bustier fit. While this diva sang ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend…’ onscreen, everyone secretly hoped to befriend not just diamonds but also Monroe.

The Infamous White Dress from The Seven Year Itch (1954)

Marilyn Monroe White Dress
Photo Courtesy: Collection Cinema/Photo12 via vogue.fr.

Marilyn would have never been ‘The Marilyn Monroe’ if it weren’t for this silky white dress. Standing on high-heeled sandals on a subway grate, Monroe let the metro breeze do its job. Immediately ascending into a half-moon arch, there she was, candidly struggling to keep her dress down and letting cameras take a sneak peek before the mischievous moment passed. Also designed by William Travilla, this Marilyn Monroe white dress became one of the most popular cinematic representations of the 20th century.

The ‘Happy Birthday’ Dress (1962)

Marilyn Monroe Happy Birthday Dress
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images via vogue.com

The audience gasped at Marilyn’s platinum beauty as she dropped off her white fur coat to reveal her rhinestone-studded nude fit. Jean-Louis, the mastermind behind this ‘naked dress’, definitely rewrote fashion paradigms that night. Not because it was then-president JFK’s 45th birthday but because Marilyn had so easily enamored all her onlookers. Famously referred to as the ‘Happy Birthday dress,’ this contoured silhouette was encrusted with over six thousand crystals and was tailored to fetch a sculpting frame. 

Kim Kardashian wore this historical dress to the Met Gala 2022, thus paying homage to Marilyn Monroe’s style and resonating strongly with her unfiltered sense of fashion. While Kardashian took this infamous ‘Happy Birthday dress’ out for a spin on the carpet, it was reported that she had caused minor damage to this monumental piece. On the contrary, Kim dismissed these reports and quoted that she was “extremely respectful to the dress.”

Get the Monroe Makeover!

Marilyn Monroe's Style
Photo Courtesy: Baron via vogue.co.uk

Forever bubbly, mischievously pouted lips, and coiffed-up curls descending most dreamily — the signature Marilyn Monroe style. Imagine waking up and looking that beautiful in the mirror every day. To keep her beauty ever-youthful and sprightly, Monroe preserved a few tips in her pocket.

All about that alabaster look, Marilyn avoided tanning because she would “like to feel blonde all over” and even went the extra lengths to achieve the platinum blonde appearance of her hair. 

From taking ice baths to continuous dedication to Elizabeth Arden’s beauty products, Monroe’s quintessential skincare regime is something we truly hope to incorporate. When interviewed about her bedtime habits, the icon shyly admitted how she wore nothing but five drops of the classic Chanel No. 5 perfume to bed. Sleeping Beauty’s secret number one! 

Recreate Marilyn Monroe’s Style with these Top Picks

Hot pink dress marilyn monroe's styleOscar de la Renta Hot Pink Dress

marilyn monroe's style gownMax Mara Embellished Gown

white dressDiane von Furstenberg White Dress

silk dress marilyn monroe's styleGareth Pugh Silk Gown

Diamond ringBvlgari B.Zero1 Ring in White Gold

Marilyn Monroe's StyleBoucheron Serpent Boheme Ring

Diamond necklaceVan Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Necklace

Van Cleef & Arpels Perlée Bracelet

Marilyn Monroe's StyleMessika Move Earrings

Cartier Love BraceletCartier Love Bracelet

Andrew Dominik’s Blonde, starring Ana de Armas, releases on Netflix on 28th September 2022. This adaptation is an avid commemoration of this megastar’s life and being.

Marilyn Monroe's Style
Photo Courtesy: Via netflix.com

Her transformation, her colossal talent, and her impact on American fashion and cinema were nothing short of exemplary. With the kind of global fame Marilyn Monroe experienced, even her shadow has now become instantly recognizable. 

Sixty long years have gone by since Marilyn Monroe’s passing, and we can all feel minor rifts in our hearts when archival photos uncover Monroe’s smile beaming from ear to ear. Through all these hidden photographs, unforgettable appearances, and vivid screen performances, Marilyn Monroe’s legacy continues to live on as graciously and vividly as she did in her lifetime.

Shirline Dias

Fashion Content Writer

Shirline describes herself as an ardent admirer of the vintage aesthetic and classical English literature. While staying deeply connected to her roots, she is constantly encouraging herself to try new ventures. Shirline believes that it is only through her writing that she can best express herself.

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