Today marks the 53rd anniversary of the passing of Marilyn Monroe, and, with more than a half century gone by, the Hollywood icon’s fashion still continues to inspire us. If you take a close at the 15 photos below, you’ll notice that she had a signature style formula: high-waisted bikinis emphasized her famous curves, pencil skirts with sweaters gave just the right amount of coverage—not to mention some subtle sex appeal—and, speaking of sex appeal, she knew the power of a plunging neckline every now and again. Style lesson learned.
Here’s Marilyn wearing a striped T-shirt and shortalls, 1947.
Wearing a flirty polka-dot bikini with full coverage, 1947.
Going monochromatic with a beige pencil skirt and matching blouse, cardigan, and pumps.
A daytime halter dress, 1952.
A za-za-zoo pleated gold evening gown, 1953.
Another white high-waisted bikini, 1953.
The iconic pink dress, pink gloves, and tons of diamonds in Gentleman Prefer Blondes.
Wearing a nautical striped T-shirt dress, 1954.
The quintessential Marilyn: white satin column gown, white fur stole, 1954.
Wearing a belted intarsia sweaterdress at the USO, 1954.
That famously flying white halter dress and slingbacks in The Seven Year Itch, 1953.
Owning the little black dress, 1958.
The showgirl bodysuit and fishnets, 1958.
Wearing a fisherman sweater (and little else!), 1960.
Casual and fresh in a white button-down shirt, knotted at the waist, and gingham pants, 1960.
For more on Marilyn Monroe:
5 Things You Don’t Know About Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Style: The College Years