Every decade can be defined by its sartorial style, from the thigh skimming shift dresses and platform boots of the 1960s to the flannel shirts and acid washed denim of the ‘90s. What’s more, each decade produces its own fashionistas who rise to iconic status, their looks copied the world over. Here we bring you our pick of the queens of style – as dictated by their decade.

1920s: Zelda Fitzgerald

The ultimate party girl of the decadent ‘20s, Zelda Fitzgerald is often credited as the very first flapper. Wildly brazen towards social restraint, almost every item associated with opulent ‘20s style can be attributed to her – think drop waist dresses, finger wave bobbed hair, an abundance of long roped necklaces, luxurious fur coats and a penchant for Mary Jane shoes to dance the Charleston in.


1930s: Katharine Hepburn

In an era where trousers were still morally wrong when worn by a woman, Katharine wore them with defiance. Paired with simple white button down shirts and blazer jackets, she broke both social and fashion barriers in one fell swoop. Striking a balance between strength and softness, her outfits always had a defined waist to exert her feminine prowess.

1940s: Ingrid Bergman

Hollywood icon of the golden era, Ingrid Bergman embodied elegance and class. Structured and well put together, her boxy jackets, classic pencil skirts, neat blouses and matching twinsets were worn with a simplicity that exuded an understated glamour. A penchant for Christian Dior and a love of a wide brimmed hat ensured she was the height of Hollywood sophistication.

1950s: Marilyn Monroe

Arguably one of the most famous women to ever grace the earth, Marilyn Monroe is a style icon extraordinaire that almost needs no introduction. Championing red lips and feminine curves and oozing glamour, she spawned a lifetime of blonde bombshell imitations desperate to recreate a look that was entirely Marilyn’s own.

1960s: Twiggy

Known for her short haired androgynous look and her gamine limbs, Twiggy pioneered the ideals of the Swinging Sixties. Always to be found in thigh-skimming mini dresses and round necked knitwear, her Bambi-meets-mod style was completed by her trademark eyelashes: three sets of false ones layered on top of each other with a bottom set painted on underneath.

1970s: Debbie Harry

The ultimate front woman; people often assume Blondie to be the name of the icon herself and not that of her band – a tantamount to Debbie’s rock star presence. Her platinum blonde hair and fearless cool lent itself well to a punk rock demeanor – with lashings of leopard print, extravagant catsuits, slogan t-shirts and over-sized biker leathers.

1980s: Princess Diana

Reigning high in the ‘80s fashion stakes, Princess Diana was a veritable style force. The embodiment of casual sophistication, her shoes matched her bag and her hat matched her dress. Colours, patterns and layers galore, her look was business in the style, party in the print. Think power trousers suits and well-coordinated separates by day and statement gowns in striking shapes by night.

1990s: Kate Moss

The epitome of ‘90s heroin chic, Kate Moss burst onto the scene at just 14 years old. As one half of the ultimate rock’n’roll couple with beatnik Johnny Depp, Kate helped bring grunge to the height of cool. Draped in slip dresses, bedhead hair and over-sized denim – the key to Kate’s style was its just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-thrown-on effortlessness.

2000s: Mary Kate Olsen

Spawning a legion of copycat fashion fans, Mary Kate popularized the boho ‘homeless chic’ movement that was so hugely popular across the 2000s. With her perfectly tousled bedhead, pavement sweeping gypsy skirts and abundance of bangles, she took bohemian culture and turned it into a fashion movement. Sales of oversize sunglasses and Starbucks coffee cups soared.


2010s: Alexa Chung

Although this decade is far from over, there’s one girl that has dominated the fashion world for the past few years. Enter: Alexa Chung. Seguing effortlessly between life dressed as a seven year old girl and a seventy year old man, her key items are mannish leather brogues and peter pan collared dresses. No one’s sure if she’s a model, presenter or a DJ but one thing’s for definite – we all want to look like her.

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Categories: Style

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