Marilyn Monroe's Most Iconic Film Looks

On this day in 1926, in Los Angeles, California, Norma Jeane Mortenson was born.  By the time she was 20 years old, Norma Jeane had transformed herself into “Marilyn Monroe”, a svelte-figured platinum blonde who’s beauty and sex appeal would soon skyrocket her to fame.  Following a few small roles that earned her favorable notices, her true breakout role was that of Rose Loomis in Niagara (1953).  From that film on, Monroe held the admiration of men, and inspired envy in women worldwide.  Appearing in 29 films over the course of her career, Monroe quickly became a fashion icon. There likely isn’t a single dress more recognizable than the actress’ flowy white dress donned during the subway scene of the The Seven Year Itch (1955).  Over 60 years later, Monroe continues to be a style icon, emulated over and over again (think: Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Rita Ora, Madonna).  

Monroe understood how to harness her power, using fashion as one of her vehicles to success.  Much like Monroe, an Ashley Chloe woman is classic, elegant, empowered, feminine, dynamic, and undeniably strong.  

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You can bite off a piece of her glamour too, with tech that has a distinctly feminine touch.  Below, we explore 5 of Monroe’s most iconic film looks.  Can you pick out the film before reading the caption?  Take the challenge now, and leave us a comment about your favorite outfit worn by this most influential bombshell.

1. Magenta Wiggle Dress

Let’s begin with the dress worn by Monroe as Rose Loomis the “cunning adulteress” in Niagara (1953).  Fiery hot red or magenta, depending on the lighting, this peekaboo style wiggle dress with a cut-out under the bust and bow embellishment is truly unforgettable.  Bold and tight as it was, it symbolized feminine power and fashion as a form of agency.

Monroe as Rose Loomis the “cunning adulteress” in Niagara (1953)

2. Slinky Gold Lamé Dress

Monroe flaunted a gold lamé dress designed by William Travilla in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).  The halter dress features a plunging neckline and careful pleating.  Rather risque for the time, positive reactions to Monroe allegedly elicited envy from Joan Crawford, who called the dress “vulgar” at the 1953 Photoplay Awards.

Gold Lamé Dress Designed by William Travilla

3. Hot Pink Strapless Satin Dress

Also worn as Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) was this hot pink strapless satin dress with matching opera-length gloves.  Adorned head to toe with diamonds, Marilyn croons the famous “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”.

Hot Pink Satin Dress Worn by Marilyn Monroe

4. Green Velour Dress

This green velour dress was worn by Marilyn in River of No Return (1954) for her role as Kay Washington, a gambler’s wife.   Despite the film being largely disappointing, the gown made a big enough impact to inspire a half a million dollar purchase by a private buyer at an auction in China in 2011.

Green Velour Dress from River of No Return

5. White Polka Dot Halter

Typically overshadowed by the globally recognizable white “subway” dress, this white polka dot halter dress worn was just as much of a showstopper in the Seven Year Itch (1955).  Monroe’s form fitting dress and red lips made for an memorable chance encounter with her middle-aged neighbor in the film.

White Polka Dot Halter Dress Marilyn Monroe