A 1930s Fashionista
You may already know that for my senior prom in May, I’m planning to channel Jean Harlow, the ultimate 30s goddess. I’ve always admired her fashion, and now, since I’m planning to deck myself out as “The Brunette Harlow”, I’ve been even more interested in her impression on the sartorial world. If any of you fellow vintage-loving dames want to channel Jean for a particular event (or for plain everyday!) here’s the guide:
The Satin Dress
Perhaps Jean’s biggest contribution to women’s fashion were her trademark clingy satin dresses. Without a doubt, they caused quite a stir back then! They clung to Jean like second skin, and some 30s conservatives even accused her of wearing underwear as outerwear. However, nobody listened to the geezers, because Jean’s trend helped to bring back femininity after the more masculine fashions of the 1920s. The way these dresses stuck to Jean’s curves made women embrace their natural figures, and it went on to shape women’s fashions up till now (although the classy that were in these dresses is gone today). These satin gowns were absolutely genius. They were sexy but elegant and classy, liquidy without betraying too much, and they gave men something to think about! If I can find a dress like this for prom, my life is complete!
Ditch The Undies
Jean was famous (or infamous) for refusing to wear underwear. Jean, never truly free in her life, felt liberated without undergarments. Many misunderstood people out there find her a floozy because of it, but it was actually a child-like habit. Didn’t you hate having to listen to every word your parents said when you were a child? EXACTLY. And Jean wasn’t the only one who went around au naturel under her designer gowns! Anyway, with her tight satin dresses, it was quite obvious. Her wedding pictures to Paul Bern actually had to be retouched because they left very little to the imagination! However, it helped to sneak in some sex element in her glamor portraits that would probably be missing due to censors.
Every 30s dame had at least one fur, but Jean seemed to adore them! She always had a fur to go with her dress, and since the vast majority of her dresses were white, her furs were white as well (usually you’d see a woman wear a dark fur–not Jean!) White fur became another one of her seemingly never-ending trademark fashions, and it helped to give her that luminous, angelic glow she always seems to have.
Solid Colors and Simplicity
There’s a reason why the first blonde bombshell rarely wore any patterns or any crazy designs. It just wasn’t as elegant as a sleek, solid colored dress that is bold and leaves a great impression. Honestly, don’t you think it would be much more classy to have that one simple stunner instead of many wild-pattered dresses that just don’t work after an event or two? Jean knew the value of a gown, and a simple dress made of a good material would last a lifetime.
The Sporty Look
Harlow’s off-duty look was the total opposite of the glam Harlow we all know and love. However, it is the same in the fact that it is clean, simple, and always elegant! Whenever Jean (a great sportswoman) played golf or tennis, she did it in style, with wide legged pants, and a short-sleeved sweater or cardigan. She looked cute and functional!
The Ankle Bracelet
In many of Jean’s photos, you would find on her left ankle, a simple, dainty bracelet. This was Jean’s “lucky” bracelet, and she never went anywhere without it. Jean hardly ever wore any other jewelry besides her anklet. She believed that her dress should stand on its own, without any jewels disturbing the flow or look of it. Her anklet is simple and tasteful, and is also quite unique!