When it comes to fashion and pop culture, no two figures are more compared than Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Ever since 1962, when Marilyn got on stage to sing a sultry version of “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy (and rumours began to swirl), these two women have been compared and contrasted for everything from their voices to their upbringing — but most iconically, their styles. Both fashion icons in their own right, comparing Marilyn to Jackie seemed natural. After all, they couldn’t have been more different — Marilyn was sexy, wild and spontaneous, and Jackie was sophisticated, elegant and reserved.
What began as a tabloid rivalry has grown over the years into a study of style. From their shoes to their hair, these icons grew to represent opposite sides of the fashion spectrum. And while their looks couldn’t have been any more different for the time, there is one iconic accessory both will forever be known for — their eyewear.
Always one to push boundaries, Marilyn is often touted as Hollywood’s greatest sex symbol. During the 1950s, when fashion skewed towards more modest and demure looks, Marilyn was pushing boundaries with deeper plunging necklines and curve-hugging silhouettes. Donning the likes of Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton and Lanvin before they were fashion power houses, she challenged the status quo and what it meant to be a celebrity. Another brand she helped turn into a household name? Ray Ban.
Whether she was glammed up for a premiere or getting ready to board a plane, her staple black Wayfarers added a sense of mystery and cool to any outfit she wore. Ray Ban became synonymous with rebellious adventure, worn by the likes of rockstars, Hollywood elite and air force pilots. With her sultry looks and care-free aura, Marilyn was — and is, to this day — the epitome of “cool.”
Are you a Marilyn? Shop the look.
If Marilyn was the human embodiment of sexy, then Jackie was the definition of sophistication. A trendsetter in her own right before becoming Mrs. Kennedy, her rise to fame as First Lady only solidified her status as one of the most fashionable women in history. Whether it was her monochrome three-piece Chanel suits, her white gloves, or her elegant evening gowns, there is one accessory synonymous with the First Lady of Fashion: oversized sunglasses.
Throughout her life in the public eye (and perhaps even more so after she became Jackie Onassis), she was rarely seen in public without her giant tinted frames, always adding a bit of playfulness to any outfit. Never to be held down by a single brand, Jackie famously kept a giant bowl of sunglasses next to her front door and chose frames based on her mood, but one thing remained constant — giant, GIANT frames. Perhaps the icon to solidify sunglasses as a must-have accessory, Jackie’s eyewear style has been, and will continue to be, a source of inspiration for countless designers, and, ahem, Vogue Editors.
Are you a Jackie? Shop the look.