For today’s post, I have decided to do a countdown of my favorite looks worn by Marilyn Monroe! For this post, I narrowed it down to my top five looks she wore in both real life and films. I have so many other looks that I have adored, but I did not want to overwhelm my readers by ranking everything! I also did not include anything worn just for a photo shoot. Now that I have explained my disclaimer, let’s get to the outfits!
Number 5: The Black Suit that was worn to marry Joe DiMaggio
~This simple little suit with a white fur collar created many iconic photos of the couple happily together for the first time as a man and wife! The iconic nature of these photos is a large part of what had this suit making the list.
Number 4: The Navy Blue Dress was worn to Sing to the Troops in Korea
~On her honeymoon with DiMaggio, Marilyn decided to make a stopover in Korea to sing to the troops still stationed there. Even though it was frigidly cold, she performed in a lovely deep navy blue dress studded with rhinestones. She looks radiant and happy in the photos captured during her performances.
Number 3: The Pink Gown from the “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend” scene of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
~This pink gown was actually a backup choice for an original look that got vetoed by the Hays Office. Oh, but what a backup it was! This gown continued to inspire copycat looks for decades to come. Whenever we see a blonde woman in this pink gown and elbow-length gloves look, we know what it is referencing!
Number 2: The White Seven Year Itch “Skirt Scene” Dress
~This is the look that most people associate with Marilyn, even if they have never seen one of her films. I adore this simple halter style dress, as it perfectly complimented Marilyn and looked like something she would choose to wear for herself (even outside of a film)!
Number 1: The Happy Birthday Mr. President Dress
~No other look could have been my number one. Obviously, this dress has been in the media ever since Kim Kardashian wore it walking down the Red Carpet at the 2022 Met Gala in May! This was an atrocity, as the gown is a piece of history! Kim Kardashian had a copy to wear after the walk down the Red Carpet (that actually FIT her), so there was no reason to wear the original at all! Now that I have gotten that out, I will explain the dress. This dress is made to be skin tight and to look nude, at least on Marilyn’s skin tone. It is fully embedded with crystals and was so tight that Marilyn had to be sewn into it on the night of JFK’s 45th Birthday Celebration at Madison Square Garden! She forwent wearing undergarments to play up the nude look, plus she did not want them to show through given how tight it was. This dress is what she wore when she sang her breathy “Happy Birthday Mr. President” at the last public appearance she would make before her untimely death in August! The historical significance of this dress cannot be understated, as it was connected to both the Ultimate Sex Symbol of her time and the President of the United States!
Special Mention: The White Embroidered Dress from Seven Year Itch & The Gold Lame Gown From Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
~These two looks were not on my top five, but are still really incredible, so I could not resist listing them as special mentions!
~The first special mention is Marilyn’s dress during her first evening spent with Tom Ewell’s character. This is the dress he had to help tie her straps, which crisscrossed in front of the dress! It is also the outfit she wore as he tried to kiss her and they fell off the piano bench. I love this look, as it is a favorite scene of mine from the movie!
~The second special mention is the gown we only see from the back as Marilyn’s Lorelei is dancing with Piggy on the boat. But she also wore it in public and on photoshoots because she loved it. The dress itself was quite scandalous for the time because it was so incredibly low cut!
~I hope you have enjoyed this countdown. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is Marilyn singing Happy Birthday to JFK. I found the image on https://www.faepa.br/kgyo.aspx?cname=marilyn+monroe+kennedy+birthday&cid=27.