Classic Beauties: Unforgettable Female Fashion Icons

I was having a drink in bar with my father over the weekend, who is quite advanced in age, and on one of the TV screens in the place, the channel was set to Fashion TV. Having casual conversations about this, that and the other, my good old Dad started talking about how different women are. Now he wasn't talking about the position of women - he's a self proclaimed male feminist (3 daughters will do that to you) but more how the idea of female beauty has changed. That the classic look which seemed so effortless, that many women easily emulated now takes too much work, and that still, in comparison, modern women are less refined and less classic looking than their previous counterparts.

Now I kind of disagreed with him - I think there are tons of modern women who are classic beauty - that no matter what they wear - they have a classic refined and lasting beauty to them - no matter the age. And then I see women in sweat pants and sloppy 'outfits' that look like they picked it up off the floor, and it makes me sad - as I remember when I was very young how much pride women took in their appearences and that my mother would never have left the house without her lipstick, perfume and heels on.

Men nowadays aren't any better - though they can hide behind a suit and think they are dressed well. It just seems the pace of modern life, no one has time to think about how important it is to present themselves well, and maintain that. How you look impacts how you feel and if you're dressed well, you feel well.

So when I got home and got to looking at some of the classic beauties my father mentioned, I realized they all had that in common - it wasn't that these women were some extraordinary physical specimens - that's not the case for most - but what they had was a STYLE - they used the attributes they had but always put forward their best face and kept up their look and style in a way that became classic because they were so consistent. That's what makes them beautiful - they just didn't take care of themselves, but had an identity that was recognizable and knowable - and so it became classic. I think we need more of these types of normal icons, that take everyday beauty and elevate it.

Elizabeth Taylor

Her violet, almond-shaped eyes, creamy skin, pout and raven hair, all made Liz, stand out.

Classic Beauties: Unforgettable Female Fashion Icons

Billie Holiday

Always refined and smiling, the jazz singer often wore an eye-catching flower in her hair which exaggerated her exotic beauty.

Audrey Hepburn

Hepburn's elfin features made the actress irresistable to stare at. Her's is a look and style that is copied to this day.

Marilyn Monroe

There is no blond that was more legendarily beautiful than Monroe. They don't come more beautiful or iconic than the ultimate platinum bombshell.

Dorothy Dandridge

Nominated for an Academy Award, she broke the barrier for women of color. This beautiful and radiant queen was known for her acting, she, and adored for her beauty and sensuality.

Sophia Loren

One of the greatest beauties of all time, Loren says that 'Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.'

Grace Kelly

The Princess of Monaco is a timeless beauty icon and a real princess. Her look was subtle and fresh with barely-there make-up. Faultless.

Brigitte Bardot

A captivating beauty, Brigitte Bardot, is one of the most stunning women of all time. Her signature cat eye make-up, trademark tousled blonde hair and sultry pout, is irresistable.

Diahann Carroll

Her stunning eyes, and smooth skin, and riveting looks got her a role of Dynasty and left many wanting for more.

Claudia Cardinale

This Italian actress was extraordinarily beautiful, radiant and effortlessly glamorous who accentuated her perfect features and big dark eyes.

Veronica Lake

Her sultry looks and peek-a-boo 'do has become a classic look - a style she complemented with rosy cheeks, defined eyebrows and a bold red lip.


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What Girls Said 16

  • Many of these women really significantly altered the way they look with makeup and lighting. All of their lips are overdrawn to make them look plumper, their eyes so smeared with black makeup (accentuate the crease) and mascara that I doubt I'd recognize them if I saw a picture of them without their makeup and their hair done.

    Marilyn Monroe had her famous beauty mark drawn on every day - just another case of trickery...

    But, I have to give them credit still, since, being an actress, all of these things were mandatory. They didn't have a choice.

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  • Audrey Hepburn is my gorgeous! She's always been my favorite classic icon :)

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    • Wow, just now seeing my typo. I need to learn how to proof-read before posting. It should just say, "Audrey Hepburn is gorgeous!" Lol

  • What about Diana Rigg?

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  • Won't let me add pictures.

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  • I don't agree with your take, standards have changed and I for one am glad I'm not expected to look like these women when I'm buying toilet cleaner and cereal... there's no need. I don't think its anyone's place to judge others' beauty by the amount of time they spend getting ready before they few confident enough to leave the house. I'm not going to point out the glaring fact that some of these women suffered from depression and drug addiction, serious self esteem issues...

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  • Brigitte Bardot is disgusting but Grace Kelly took my breath away. Like damn. I'm not even that gay.

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  • I would have to agree with your line up, with the exception of Elibeth Taylor, not that all Hollywood actresses have exceptional morals but hearing (on Turner Classic Movies) how she pretty much stole Eddie Fisher from Debbie Reynolds turned me off on her. Elibeth Taylor's first husband Conrad Hilton (yeah same Hilton's) was killed in a plane crash, Debbie and Eddie were good friends and were helping Elibeth Taylor through her grief, 'Liz stole Eddie away from Debbie who trustingly stayed home with her and Eddie's kids.

    Even before hearing that story I was never a huge fan of 'Liz Taylor, her earlier work isn't too bad to rather incredible; National Velvet for a "child star was very good. I would say father of the bride and earlier were her better movies. Once she got to be a "big girl" she wasn't as pretty, rumored that she was drinking heavily and popping tons of pills. From about the time that she started getting rather plump.

    I think I would put Debbie Reynolds in there as well, whe had a natural beauty, the girl next door look that guys loved. Debbie had the looks, personality, she could sing, dance do serious parts to screwball comedy! Her daughter, Carrie Fisher was Princess Leah in the original Star Wars.

    I was raised in a family who has a great appreciation of early film work, it has rubbed of on me too. Amazing how many current movies Hollywood is passing off as original ideas are remakes. Some going back as far as the twenties! If I wasn't going into Engineering, I would have loved to do something with film history or film. The stories from old Hollywood when stars were stars is quite amazing!

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    • What an informative and amazing comment. Thanks I really learned something!

  • I loved this! Thank you for sharing🌹

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  • They are all very beautiful but Claudia Cardinale is just.. WOW

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  • I think they're all very beautiful, but personally I always admired Julie Newmar.

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  • Man I love Liz my first digital drawing was of her in black and white. I have always loved Diahann Carroll's eyes they are stunning.

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  • Where's Ava Garner? Elizabeth Taylor <3

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  • Nothing new here. Big eyes, pouting lips, thin noses with a high nose bridge and lots of makeup.

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    • No plastic surgery and a lot of these women were actually naturally beautiful.

    • Keep telling yourself that. Plastic surgery and contouring makeup has been around for a very long time.

  • All of those women were beautiful and kind of ground breaker in there fields
    I loved Billie Holiday and her kind of weird style

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  • Elizabeth Taylor was stunning hands down the most beautiful woman of all time. I don't quite recall it being plastic surgery at that time so she was just gorgeous naturally.

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  • These women are stunning (๑•ᴗ•๑)♡ (✪▽✪)
    sorry I didn't really read your description (๑•́ ₃ •̀๑)(´・ω・`)

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What Guys Said 8

  • Nice choices dude I am gonna fap to some of these pics tonight.

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  • Ah now those are real class A "women"

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  • Like your take natural beauty has been on the decline..

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    • Thank you - it's also beauty that came with depth and character - not just a hollow image.

    • Yes agreed the whole package so everything is complimentary

  • Norma Jean for me. (Marilyn Monroe for those thatbdont understand.)

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    • Inspires me to get some B&W photography done - it makes everything look more intense and rich.

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    • You think so? I'm more likely to stick with the classic theme of the take and go for actual black and white film, because if you print the photos ever, the texture of the photo and the lighting between the black and white and grey areas are so much more richer and deeper than digital. Oldschool :)

    • @monaarmour wow, impressive knowledge. I used to develop my own fild but not in a long time. i shoot a Canon 5D2 now though but not too much b&w (I should do more though).

  • Sophia Lauren
    oh lord!

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  • this proves that women dont need to show some skin just to be called beautiful

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