Who can forget the breathless little-girl voice cooing into the mic? The blond symbol of an era, her sultry eyes, hour-glass figure, and voluptuous lips driving men to wild imaginings and inspiring women to endless imitations. Her full skirt blowing high, her white dress clinging in just the right way, her musical claim that diamonds were, in fact, a “girl’s best friend” – a seductress that never lost her air of innocence even as she reached into the heart of the world.
“I don’t mind living in a man’s world
as long as I can be a woman in it. “
This is a free radio station that plays music from Marilyn Monroe soundtracks and other related era music.
Where did Marilyn Monroe Go?
I have seen a lot of heroes lately,
And they all have one thing in common,
They don’t thrill me and I don’t want
to be anything remotely like them.
Where did Marilyn Monroe Go?
On the internet you can see her still
She died sometime ago,
But there are over one million images
of her for some reason.
Many have lived their entire lives,
Copying Marilyn and her style
at least briefly, and why?
Don’t people know we all live and die?
But Marilyn seems to get a second chance
to wow us.
I think we are desperate for dreams
At least that is the way it seems
Are we chasing rainbows or ghosts?
And will we have a shallow life because of it
Or will it be fuller still because Marilyn’s ghost lives,
And maybe it always will.
by Anna Patterson
Marilyn’s other icon dress from “Happy Birthday, Mr President”. This marvelous video from the Ultimate Fashion History describes Marilyn and the world’s most expensive dress. Marilyn wore the dress at a 1962 Democratic fundraiser. She dies 3 months later and the dress sold for $4.8 million in 2017.
Turn up your sound and enjoy a few minutes of the 1950s:
We are all of us stars,
and we deserve to twinkle.
Most people don’t realize that Marilyn had a thoughtful side. Although she was a high-school dropout, she loved reading and thinking about ideas, and in her free time she studied literature at UCLA. When she died, she had over 400 serious books in her library. She was particularly interested in poetry and had a longing to express herself in contemporary verse. From time to time she’d slip a piece of paper to one of her favorite living poets and ask, “Do you think this is poetry?”
I could have loved you once
and even said it
But you went away,
When you came back
it was too late
And love was a forgotten word.
The ICONIC Marilyn Monroe
Read our special feature on the Untold Story Of Marilyn’s Head-to-Toe Fashion Makeover
Test your knowledge of all things Marilyn.
You can chose from twelve different quizzes.
“Pin Up Girl”
We all get a mental image when we hear this term, but what exactly makes one a pin up girl? According to the dictionary, there are several elements that must be present: being a popular culture figure, posing the body in a glamorous or sexy way, often but not always wearing a skimpy outfit, and being represented in a medium intended for everyday use such as calendars or posters that could be “pinned up” on a wall.
Marilyn Monroe was a starlet during the heyday of pin-up girls, and there are probably hundreds of photos of her in such poses, but there were dozens of other well-known pin up girls of the same era, all representing the same idea of femininity. The clothes were designed to show off and accentuate the female body, always with the waist well defined and the bust and hips not something to hide. Of course heels were worn to accent the shape of the legs.
Sometimes young women look at pin up models of the 50s and judge them a bit too fleshy by today’s standards, but men continue to find the curves appealing. It was a style that gave women the freedom to revel in their own femininity and to feel sexy in every outfit, reason enough why the appeal of the “Marilyn Look” is still so very much alive today!
Creating a Marilyn / pin up look requires much more than simply finding a halter dress and tossing on a blond wig. You need to look the part as well.
Fashionable make up of this era did not try to hide itself. The natural look was still years in the future, so women penciled, powdered, and colored their lips with great enthusiasm.
Some highlights of the 50s looks were a matte or powdered look, strongly defined eyebrows with a definite arch in the middle, liquid eyeliner (although Marilyn preferred a brown pencil), false eyelashes and lots of mascara, “rouge”, and brightly colored lips.
Try our Vintage Makeup Guides for all the details on the 50s makeup look
The following two articles will also help you get the look you want:
In addition, here are a couple YouTube videos to help. They both go to more trouble with the eye shadowing than you will probably want to, but they will help you get a feel for the look you’re trying to imitate.
This is a serious video by a professional makeup artist:
This one has hard-to-follow eye information, but it has a fun 50s soundtrack and is an enjoyable way to spend a few minutes:
Trying It Out
There’s not much here except quite a number of outfits that are fun to see. The shoe and jewelry choices are scanty, but the assortment of outfits makes it worth a one-time trip.
So what comes to mind when you think of Marilyn Monroe’s clothes? The first thing is probably the famous white halter dress, but there was so much more. Strapless sheath gowns, pencil-slim skirts, sundresses with full skirts, polka dots, long gloves, strappy heels, diamonds, even simple one-piece swimsuits . . . in reality there are many outfits with which to recreate the “Marilyn Look.” We’ve put a few inexpensive pieces here in the Playroom, but if you enjoy the Marilyn look enough to encorporated it into your “real” wardrobe, the Forever Classic section of the Boutique has an extensive collection of Marilyn-inspired looks.
Costume shops are the easiest place to find copies of the famous white halter dress. The quality varies widely, from “obviously costume” to modestly-priced “normal” dress, so do remember that unpleasant truth that we get what we pay for. Also, a grate blowing air upwards is not included with the dress. Your skirt will hang normally, so do not be swayed by whether or not a dress was photographed with a blowing skirt. Instead, read the site carefully, looking at information that’s important like how long (and measured from where), what the measures given mean, what the fabric is, and whether or not the skirt is pleated (if that’s important).
There are several other glamorous dresses included here, but unfortunately most of them don’t come in larger sizes. As for turning each dress into a complete “look”, see the discussion on accessories at the end.
We’ve seen some excellent reviews of this dress on various sites (for a higher price). This dress has faux pleats which they call a “folded” skirt. The length on this version is a few inches more than the model. Sizes S – XL $24.99
The same gown in a plus-size One Size 16-24 (seems a bit of a stretch!) $34.99
This is a new costume from the movie Niagara. Unfortunately it only come in XS – L, but if you can wear a smaller size, it’s pure sex appeal. $32.56 SALE
How about a “Diamonds” dress to wow your friends? Includes the dress with a belt, the bow to fasten on the back, and the gloves. The dress is 5% Spandex for a better fit. Comes in S – XL (6 – 20). Most of the buyers have commented that they needed to fasten the bow in back more securely than the costume provided for. $33.87
Here’s another interpretation of the Diamonds dress, this one with a black stripe on the bow. Includes the dress, belt, bow, and gloves. This one only comes in S – L though. Do notice that the measurements given on the page are for the dress itself, not for the wearer’s body. $112.19
One last glamour dress, again a sequined one. The dress has a back zip and includes a wrap, this one probably better for the larger sizes. 6–14 $38.33
The white dress can be accessorized either with white or red. Even though the picture with the Lycra version of the dress shows black shoes, they’re too heavy for this sundress. If you plan to wear your halter dress out after dark, another option would be silver strappy shoes, which would certainly take it up a notch.
As for the evening costumes, a matching pink would go best with the pink outfits, although silver would also work. Of course for the last two silvery dresses you definitely want silver.
When choosing your shoes, remember that every “look” requires a certain silhouette, and the Marilyn look is no different. Strappy shoes are perfect for all these dresses, and for the daytime dresses – the white and the red, a Mary Jane strap would be fine. Marilyn loved heels, so a traditional pump is also possible. Peep-toes were very typical of this era. As for platforms, even though several of the pictures show them, they look out of place with a Marilyn dress. The black shown with the red dress would be fine if it were less chunky. Marilyn and chunky simply don’t go together! Think sensuous.
As always, shoes are the real deal, not costumes, so first look through your own closet. If you don’t have what you need, the Boutique should be your next stop. Well, OK, maybe I should have said “If you don’t have what you want”, but really, when it comes to a lady’s shoes, is there a difference between need and want?
Playfully seductive high heels with tons of sex appeal. Upper straps and 4 1/2″ heel with rhinestone detail, talk about a traffic stopper! 59.97
Handbags of this era were usually smaller than what we carry today, and the handles were much shorter. Clutch bags were very popular, including envelope-style ones. If you want to be consistent with your Marilyn/pin-up look, do not wear a shoulder bag. With all of the dresses shown here clutch bags would do really well. It would be possible with the day dresses to also carry a true vintage-style short-handled purse, but they’re hard to come by, and, after all, Playroom dresses need relatively inexpensive accessories.
Check out the Marilyn-era bags below, then visit our Ebags store in the Boutique.
Several of the costumes come with gloves, but if you’d like to add black mid-arm gloves to the red dress or some silver opera-length gloves to the two evening dresses that don’t already have gloves, we’ve put some inexpensive
This 16 ½ -inch glove is made from a stretchy satin that should fit most wearers. It will come a couple inches below your elbow, a very classic look typical of the Marilyn era. Black only Great with the red dress and black accessories $5.88
The perfect finishing touch to your dazzling evening look, these 23-inch stretch gloves should come past your elbow in graceful formal fashion. We’ve shown it in silver, which would go well with either of the two long dresses that don’t already have gloves, but it comes in 20 colors, so if you prefer classical white, that would do just as well. $8.99
Don’t wreck your Marilyn look with jewelry that is wrong for this era. Go with large button earring or, for evening, eye-catching sparkly danglies. The white dress would look great with red button earrings and red shoes, or you can go silver or gold with white strappy shoes.
Marilyn Monroe Jewelry Set
This Marilyn Monroe Licensed Hollywood Starlet Jewelry Set includes the necklace and earrings $7.26
As for the evening looks, “diamonds” are the way to go.
ITwo fun videos that share the fun of 50s stockings:
Don’t even think of wearing pantyhose with a Marilyn outfit! You may choose to go bare-legged if you’re wearing a strappy little shoe, but if you prefer hosiery, it’s strictly garter-belt-and-stockings time. Stay-up thigh-high are also possible, although even that’s cheating a bit for this era.
With the white dress you need a very pale color, so we’d suggest the color nude. The red dress can take a bit more color (but still in the natural tones), and the evening gowns can move to something glittering if you’d like – a silvery tone with a silver shoe, for example. None of the outfits can use a darker-toned stocking.
Sexy lace-top stockings with a silicone band to help them stay up. It’s always better to have several pairs in the same color so that when one runs, you still have a pair.
Pickmeup Butt Lifter
It’s hard to pull off a Marilyn look without a few curves. If you find you just don’t have them where you need them, try this wonderful shaper that gives you both hips and a derierre. You’ll have to choose between adding curves or using a garter belt, but we won’t tell if you opt for the “help” and then use stay-up thigh-highs. After all, sometimes a girl just has to have some help! The introduction says through XL, but in reality the pull-down also offers 2X. $38
OK, this may not be exactly standard 50s fare, but it sure is fun, and it IS a garter belt. Comes in red, passion pink, or black. One size fits sizes 6 – 14. $17.
If you’ve opted for stockings with your white dress, you’ll need a white garter belt underneath.
If your interest in the Marilyn era is strictly for costume effect, then a costume-quality wig is all you need. If, however, you want to incorporate the 50s glamour as a vintage look in your out-and-about wardrobe, you might want to consider a bit better quality wig that will look at home in the mall or a restaurant.
These costume wigs all come in average size only, so if you need a larger size, which can be truly hard to find in any but really good quality wigs, be sure and watch this video on how to enlarge a wig cap yourself.
A glamorous look that’s strictly costume quality. Great for having fun with though. $39.99
Blush Starlet Synthetic Wig
The ultimate in glamour girl hair with big bouncy curls and volume for days.
Characters Line Marilyn Monroe Costume Wig
Capture the spirit of the original blond bombshell, Marilyn Monroe! This wig piece can transform your look into that of the sexy pop icon!
Wrapping It Up and Having Fun
You’ve immersed yourself in the exciting glamour of Marilyn and the pin up era that she was part of. You’ve watched a few videos, learned some makeup tricks, and maybe found an outfit or two to let you flaunt your own glamorous 50s self. Now it’s time to kick off your heels and settle back with your friend, the mouse. (You do have a Marilyn mouse pad, don’t you?)
Why we still love the timeless Marilyn Monroe. Eight great pictures and two film clips with interesting tidbits about who she really was.
Marilyn Monroe is More Than a Pretty Face! She was gorgeous but she was much more than that as we learn in this article
A fun site to rummage through. Answers questions you didn’t know you had.
Marilyn Monroe on YouTube
The early commercial for Coca-Cola that Marilyn did
Lesser-known pictures set against the Diamonds Are Forever soundtrack
More beautiful shots of MM set to contemporary music
Marilyn Monroe Photo Gallery
See even more photos of Marilyn Monroe on these Pinterest Pages