What 7 of Marilyn Monroe’s Best Outfits Would Look Like Today


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Rising to fame in the 1950’s, Marilyn Monroe was one of Hollywood’s most beautiful movie stars. She was one of the first sex symbols in our media culture — and remains an icon for women today.

Though she died in 1962 of a suspected overdoes, her legacy carries on, with 2022 filled with mentions of her, including Kim Kardashian wearing her iconic “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress to the Met Gala, and an upcoming biopic on her life — set to come out in September.

The hype of Netflix’s forthcoming film Blonde, a look into the rise to fame and the epic demise of actress Marilyn Monroe — played by Ana de Armas — has sent positive shockwaves through the media; mostly because of Armas’ uncanny likeliness to Monroe herself.

And us? We’re honestly just excited to see some of her iconic looks recreated. So excited, in fact, that we decided we can’t wait to see the film. We thought we’d round up seven of her most known looks, and share how you could wear them in a more modern way today.

The Iconic White Dress

Not only is this dress arguably Monroe’s most known, it’s also one of her most memorable film moments.

The dress — designed by costume designer William Travilla — appears in the sequence of The Seven Year Itch, in which Monroe and costar Tom Ewell exit the Trans-Lux 52nd Street Theatre on Lexington Avenue, having just watched Creature from the Black Lagoon. When they hear a subway train passing below the sidewalk grate, she steps on it and asks “Ooh, do you feel the breeze from the subway?” It blows the dress up, exposing her legs — an image we’ve seen time and time again.

Marilyn Monroe in her iconic white dress from The Seven Year Itch. Photo: Getty

The dress is a super flattering design, with a halterneck accentuating her bust and beautifully cinched waist, then going into a floaty pleated skirt.

A close-up of the dress. Photo: Getty

This Linen Tie Strap Maxi Dress ($37.50) is a more modern alternative. The straps can untie, which means you can wear them as two separate straps of as a halter neck, plus the shape of the dress is similar to Monroe’s; cinching in at the waist with a flowy skirt.

Linen Tie Strap Maxi Dress

Pair this with the Black Suede Studio Felicia Sandal ($276.48) and these Faux Pearl Decor Stud Earrings ($2.95) and you’ve got yourself a modern Monroe look.

Gold Pleats

Gold is having a moment right now, so why not get info from the original queen? While performing a scene in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Monroe wore a plunging gold lamè halterneck gown with a low back and pleating.

Monroe, performing Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Photo: Getty

This Zwaan Gold Pleated Tube Gown With Bow ($271) is a similar shade of gold, with a pleated flowing skirt and a comparable level of sex appeal — just without the plunging neckline.

Miu Miu Open-back lamé-velvet midi dress

This Miu Miu Open-back lamé-velvet midi dress ($1,258) on the other hand, is slightly more modern and modest, with subtle nods towards old Hollywood sex and glamour.

Pair either of these with a pair of Steve Madden Zira’s in gold or black ($149.95) and a bold red lippy.

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

The actress performed “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” while wearing the hot-pink bustier dress complete with a giant bow on the back, evening gloves, and generous amounts of diamond jewellery. 

Madonna famously paid tribute to the iconic look in her “Material Girl” video, while Kylie Jenner recreated the look for Halloween 2019.

Monroe performing Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. Photo: Pinterest

How can you even find a dress that compares to this one? The secret is to not try and do the same as Monroe. Find something with a similar essence, that you can bring your own style to.

We love this Kiss Fuchsia Pink Exaggerated Bow Mini Dress ($30) or this ASOS LUXE bubble bardot satin mini dress in pink ($136), both totally fresh and modern party girl takes on Monroe’s original.

Pair these pink numbers with a boss pair of black heels, to complete the pink and black colour palette. These Steve Madden Viable Black Pumps ($169.95) add a little bit of extra bling, plus continuing the bow motif.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

This spellbounding dress is what Monroe wore to sing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to John F. Kennedy for his 45th birthday at Madison Square Garden in 1962. It was also controversially worn to the Met Gala by Kim Kardashian this year.

This dress is near impossible to re-create (hence why Kardashian had to borrow the OG), but you can definitely get the look without copying it completely.

This Alice + Olivia Harmie sequined stretch-tulle mini dress ($171) is a really nice short party version, paired with nude patent heels like these Ravella Harbour ($89.95).

Alice + Olivia Harmie sequined stretch-tulle mini dress ($171)

Red or Pink?

Starring in “Niagara” in 1953, Monroe wore a hot-pink midi dress with a chest cutout and bow tie. She also wore a red version of the design on set, which you can see in the picture below.

The red version of Monroe’s iconic Niagara dress. Photo: Getty

While pink might be having its “Barbiecore” moment, the red looks super striking too, especially with matching red lipstick as worn by Monroe. Her strappy heeled sandals are also a style that is back in fashion today.

The hot pink version. Photo: 20th Century Fox

In our modern version of this look, we’re going to add red and pink together. Shop this wildly similar Forever Fresh Maxi Dress ($85), with Gold Plated Triple Door Knocker Drop Earrings ($29.99), London Rebel strappy heeled sandals in gold ($55) and a finish it off with a bold red lipstick.

Forever Fresh Maxi Dress ($85)

Signature Black Slip

Monroe often turned to minimalist slip dresses offscreen, including this black satin number worn at a party at her California home in 1956. She loved black slip dresses in general, whether it was a casual off-duty look, or a slightly more refined party number.

Marilyn Monroe wearing a black satin dress with spaghetti straps in 1956. Photo: Getty

This Topshop Ruched Bust Satin Mini Slip Dress ($75) is a more modern and less structured version of what Monroe wears in these photos.

Topshop Ruched Bust Satin Mini Slip Dress ($75)

Add a classic black heel like these Dazie Frango Heels ($69.99) would be a perfect choice.

Photo: Getty

Casual in NYC

Here, we see Marilyn Monroe relaxing in a quiet moment at a restaurant, in March 1955, New York City. She’s wearing a turtlneck and high-waisted capri pants that were very fashionable throughout the ’50s.

Photo: Getty

Shop this SAMSØE Lilo ribbed jersey turtleneck top ($44), pair it with these M.N.G Trompy Trousers ($69.95) and a pair of Michael Kors Pointed-Toe Ankle Strap Ballet Flats ($111.92) for the complete look.

Michael Kors Pointed-Toe Ankle Strap Ballet Flats ($111.92)

That Orange Moment

This orange gown of Monroe’s in Gentleman Prefer Blondes totally embodies the power of being a woman in a room full of men. Whenever we look at this dress, the scene of her and co-star Jane Russell entering the bar comes to mind; with men falling over themselves to talk to the two exquisite, money-hungry women.


Go full modern with this Rotate Birger Christensen Abigail ruched metallic jersey maxi dress ($238) that is equal parts mermaid fantasy and sex appeal. Add a matching orange lip gloss for extra drama.

Rotate Birger Christensen Abigail ruched metallic jersey maxi dress ($238)

I actually own this dress myself, and can confirm that it’s a head-turner.

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