There's something about Hollywood that draws people in and makes them want to be like the stars they see on the big screen. It’s quite possibly because of this phenomenon that blockbuster movies have been known to launch new styles that greatly impact the fashion industry.
Without even realizing it, your personal style may have been influenced by some fashions straight from the movies. Costumes on stars like Audrey Hepburn, John Travolta, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, and James Dean, have sparked fashion trends throughout the years that spread like wildfire.
Marilyn Monroe, iconic fashionista and Hollywood sexpot, starred in this film that featured her famous white halter dress blown up over a street vent. If you haven't seen this legendary pic, then you may not have a pulse. Marilyn's racy wardrobe and whimsical sex appeal redefined women's roles in the film industry and set the tone for vampy 1950s style trends.
Audrey Hepburn is inarguably one of the greatest fashion icons of all time, and her fashion influence began in her charismatic performance in Funny Face. In the movie, Audrey plays a regular gal turned fashion model. Her all-black beatnik look embodied mod 1960s style and influenced a generation: black turtleneck, black cigarette pants, and black flats.
Audrey Hepburn makes the iconic film fashion list
twice, thanks to her classically chic Breakfast at
Tiffany's ensemble. Even if you haven't seen the movie, you've probably seen Audrey's glamorous style that made the little black dress a staple in every woman's closet across America: oversized sunglasses, pearls, black evening gloves, a tiara, and a black cocktail dress.
Diane Keaton played a simple, androgynous character in this 1970s classic that gave women the permission to dress in masculine clothing. Women began to mix and match women's and men's apparel, and nothing was off limits: wide-legged trousers, neckties, and collared shirts became the female norm.
1970s men's fashion was transformed when John Travolta hit the big screen wearing his famous white suit and open-chest black shirt combo. It was almost impossible to find a 1970s disco without this well-known look. In fact, many critics believe that the smash-hit film was responsible for putting disco on the map and bringing flashy men's and women's styles along with it.
Tom Cruise's very first leading role marked the start of the 80s fashion revival. Throughout all of his rich kid antics in the movie, Cruise sported Ray-Ban sunglasses. The fashion product placement was more than serendipitous; Ray-Ban offered the Risky Business producer $50,000 to feature the sunglasses in the film and on the movie poster. Sales of these Ray-Ban sunglasses skyrocketed to more than 4 million pairs by 1989 and made the fashion accessory brand an 80s trademark.
When you think 80s fashion, you immediately picture Jennifer Beals' wardrobe in the movie Flashdance: torn T-shirts, off-the-shoulder sweatshirts, and leg warmers. This was the uniform for women of the 1980s. And just when you thought Flashdance styles were laid to rest, 80s fashion staples like neon legwarmers made a comeback in the 2000s.
The ultra-fashionable, avant-garde pop star Madonna starred in this film that made even more fashion waves in the 80s. Specifically, 1980s fashion was kicked up a notch with controversial sex appeal: wearing bras and bustiers as tops underneath blazers and mesh tanks. And don't forget the teased, bleached blonde hair, chunky layered jewelry, and heavy makeup that screamed iconic Madonna.
Clueless was it when it came to fun, funky, and over-privileged 90s fashion. Alicia Silverstone starred as Valley Girl Cher, known for her miniskirts, perfect plaid ensembles, and platform Mary Janes. Clueless fashions made miniskirts fly off the shelves—along with barely-there dresses, like the miniscule white Calvin Klein minidress worn by Cher in the movie.
Tween and teen style was influenced in the new millennium by the mega-hit Twilight saga. Twilight brought back Gothic style and undead makeup: pale faces, blood-stained lips, and gauzy garments. "Vampire wardrobe" themes ignited trends like billowy, embroidered tops; cozy sweaters; and button-down plaid shirts, bringing back Seattle grunge-rock style.
If you take your fashion cues from the silver screen, get inspired by some of
Hollywood’s most stylish stars:
Katharine Hepburn is an early trend-setting film star that blurred gender lines far before Diane Keaton starred in Annie Hall. Katharine wore men's trousers in most of her day-to-day life and made androgynous style sexy for even the most feminine women.
Rita Hayworth was a 1940s film star and glamour girl that made pinup style mainstream. Not only is Rita considered one of the 100 Greatest Stars of All Time by the American Film Institute, but her post-World War II sex appeal paved the way for modern leading ladies in her racy striptease in the movie Gilda.
James was one of the early male fashion trendsetters of the 1950s, making simple garments famous, like his iconic red windbreaker in Rebel Without a Cause. James Dean's style was effortless yet appealing; the red jacket worn in the movie was defiantly symbolic and became a statement piece for young men everywhere in the 50s.
1950s fashion wouldn't be complete without the beloved Marilyn Monroe, known for her risqué fashion choices and sexy ensembles. Marilyn was also celebrated as a fashion trendsetter because of her curvaceous figure, estimated at anywhere from a size 4 to a size 16. Her hourglass shape exemplified glamorous pinup style merged with simplistic 60s sensibility in trends like the halter dress, sweater sets, and body-hugging gowns.
Audrey Hepburn's most fashionable moment may have been seen in Breakfast at Tiffany's, but her classic style lived on in each film to follow. When you think Audrey, you think simple glamour: a little black dress, cigarette pants, ballet flats, and understated accessories.
John Travolta had his major fashion moments in Saturday Night Fever, Grease, and Pulp Fiction. Notable styles included the white-on-black disco suit, 50s greaser apparel, and even a surprisingly hip ponytail in Pulp Fiction.
Robert Redford embodied preppy 1970s style in 1974's The Great
Gatsby. As a counterbalance to the 70s disco era, Redford style brought forth crisp Oxford shirts, cable knit sweaters, and summer whites once reserved for high society.
Richard Gere was another impeccable leading man with an impressive fashion sense, best seen in his sharp style in American Gigolo in 1980. Richard left his mark on the masses as men everywhere considered designer-made trench coats, smart neckties, and tailored pants.
Julia hit her fashion peak as a prostitute with a heart of gold in Pretty Woman. Her character made thigh-high boots socially acceptable and popularized upper crust 80s looks, like her famous brown and white polka dotted dress worn with white gloves.
Gwyneth has been making fashion waves throughout her lengthy career that started way back in the 90s. Classic Gwyneth style is minimal yet bohemian: from cropped pixie hair to sexy sheath dresses to romantic Shakespearean throwbacks from Shakespeare in Love.
Fashion lovers are still embracing the past in newly reinvented trends from iconic films, like modern spins on Audrey Hepburn's little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany's and remade men's leather jackets from 1978's Grease.
Trendsetters continue to take inspiration from the latest movies to hit the
box office. For example,
Tank tops for men made a comeback
in Iron Man 3 of 2013.
The ornately costumed Great Gatsby remake of the same year sparked 1920s throwback trends for men and women alike: floral print gowns, jeweled headbands, and bowties.