The talented, gorgeous Marilyn Monroe has been a sex symbol for generations, and is known for a number of commercial films from the 1950s and 1960s. She was a self-made woman who started out in a series of foster homes and made her way to the big screen. If you want to look like Marilyn Monroe, you have to get the makeup, hair, and style down while maintaining a healthy dose of confidence.
Wear dresses like Marilyn.
Marilyn Monroe is known for her gorgeous, sexy dresses, and if you want to look like her, then you have to get comfortable with wearing them as often as you can. In general, her dresses served to emphasize her hourglass figure, often with a more low-cut look and a belt around her waist. Here are some dresses that you can try for inspiration:
A halter neck dress. This dress is Marilyn’s most famous, known for its appearance in The Seven Year Itch. This dress was white, with a full skirt with ruffles beneath it, that looked gorgeous when it blew in the wind, exposing her legs.
Dresses with sweetheart necklines to emphasize your bust
Red dresses. She is known for her red dresses that match the color of her lips, whether they are strapless, halters, or have sleeves that fall off the shoulder.
White or silver dresses with ruffles. Marilyn loved wearing these classy colors, and often wears white strapless dresses or dresses with clear sleeves with ruffles in the skirt. Add some sequins to your dress for a more glamorous look.
Though Marilyn mostly stuck to solid color dresses, she sometimes wore dresses with polka dots or red flowers on them. She was also known for wearing stripes.
Rock a more casual Marilyn look.
Though you may think of Marilyn Monroe as always dressed up to the nines, she liked to look more casual, on occasion. You can’t always be dressed up, and for the days when you feel like having a more casual night in, you can rock her casual style while maintaining your aura of sexiness. Here are some looks you can try:
High waisted blue jeans paired with a white button-down shirt
A thick, woven oversized sweater
A jean jacket
A simple black turtleneck
A black-and-white striped turtleneck t-shirt
A simple red-and-white striped collared button-down shirt
A high-necked long-sleeved orange t-shirt
Black checkered pants
Wear shoes like Marilyn.
Though her favorite shoe designer was Salvatore Ferragamo, you don’t need to wear such luxurious shoes. All you have to do is wear shoes that Marilyn was likely to wear. She is known for some of the following shoes:
Peep-toe high heeled shoes, in cream or white
Black strappy stiletto heels
Cream ballet flats
Traditional cream-colored close-toed heels
Chunky black heels
Brown heels with white straps
Red heels with sequins
White kitten heels
Wear the right colors.
Marilyn wore beige, brown, black, cream, forest green, and white — sticking mostly to champagne colours — while avoiding all bright colours except red. It may also help you to know that her favourite store was Bloomingdales, and her favourite designer was Emilio Pucci. However, you don’t have to wear designer clothes to really look like Marilyn; tasteful imitations will do.
You can mix it up and wear solids as well as striped or patterned colors.
Accessorize like Marilyn.
If you want to complete her look, then you should also wear some accessories that are reminiscent of Marilyn. This can help you tie your look together and be sexy and mysterious all at once. Here are some additional features you can try:
A thick belt worn high around your waist
A thin pink kerchief tied around your head
Black glasses that are pointed around the outsides of your eyes
A white fur wrap to add a touch of glamour to any dress
A white, wide-brimmed beach hat
White sleeves around your forearms only
Complete the look.
If you want to look like Marilyn, then you should have everyday Marilyn clothes, if you can imagine such a thing, to complete your look any day of the week. Here are some of the things you should own if you want to really look like Marilyn Monroe:
The classic one-piece strapless white bathing suit
Pencil skirts in different colors
A pair of high white slacks
A bullet bra to get her 50s “sweater girl” look
Items with bows on them
Wear the right jewelry.
Marilyn knew that no glamorous look is complete without jewels. If you want to look like Marilyn, then you can go for simple, classic jewelry, such as a strand or pearl necklace, a pair of chandelier earrings, or simple studs in the ears with a more elaborate necklace. The important thing is that you look classy but you don’t overdo it.
Sometimes Marilyn did wear more dramatic jewelry, such as a chunky orange necklace.
She was also seen wearing the occasional silver bangles.
Consider dying your hair blonde.
Now, Marilyn Monroe herself was not a natural blonde. Though you don’t have to change your color or believe that “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” you can do this if you’re really committed to the Marilyn look. Aim for golden blonde locks before you style your hair the Marilyn way.
Though her brown-haired days are lesser known, a younger Marilyn did sport her natural brown locks with more frizzy, compact curls, and looked cute and natural. She also did wear her brown hair nearly straight and past her shoulders once upon a time.
Get the hairdo.
If you really want to have hair like Marilyn’s, then you should get a layered, shoulder length cut, with shorter layers in the front and longer layers in the back. Once you’ve got this look down, you can give your hair extra volume by combing some gel into it while it’s damp and then blow-drying it dry in sections. If your hair is more curly, then you may want to straighten it a bit first.
Once your hair is dry, you should separate it in sections and spray each section with spray gel, and then set it in hot rollers. Once the rollers have set, you can remove them and brush your hair out, in a forward direction, and then add a bit more hairspray under your layers.
Marilyn Monroe didn’t have bangs. However, she did have a chunk of hair in a wave over her forehead.
For extra bounce, flip your hair back and then work a bit of styling cream through it.
Unlike today’s celebrities, Marilyn Monroe didn’t change her hair style, color, or length every other week. Her hair was pretty much always blonde and curly, falling just below her ears in the front and just above her neck in the back. However, she did experiment a bit with how curly it was, and sometimes had it more coiled and shorter and sometimes a bit longer and more wavy.
Have nearly-flawless skin.
Marilyn’s makeup artist, Whitney Snyder, claims that Marilyn often wore thick layers of Vaseline on her face to both soften her skin and give it a glow. Though this is a bit extreme and can lead to dry skin, she was also said to wash her face up to fifteen times a day, in order to avoid getting any spots. She also used Nivea Moisturizer. If you want to get that Marilyn look, then you should maintain clear, soft skin.
Marilyn Monroe was a bit on the pale side. If you’d like to stay true to her look, you can avoid getting overly tan. But if you have darker skin, you can rock her vintage look too!
For beautiful looking skin, apply some foundation to your face and then cover it with luminous face powder. Marilyn used products by Anita of Denmark and Erno Laszlo, but you can find the products that work best for you.
Get the lipstick.
To get the Marilyn Monroe signature lips, you should apply several coats of crimson or red lipstick to your lips. The closest lipstick color to the shade that Marilyn Monroe used available today is Guerlain Kiss Kiss Lipstick, #522. Sometimes she wore a darker red shade, while other times she opted for a lighter, more peach-colored red. Find the best lipstick for your skin tone and for the occasion.
Marilyn Monroe had full, luscious lips. Use a bit of lip-liner to accentuate your lips to make your top lip as full and luscious as your bottom lip.
Sometimes, she exaggerated the cleft in her top lip, so you can exaggerate yours, too, with the help of some lip-liner. You can even add a bit of foundation to the center of your top lip for this effect.
Get eyes like Marilyn.
If you want to get those gorgeous Marilyn Monroe eyes, then you need to apply three shades of eyeshadow to your eyes. Apply one darker shade in the crease of your eye, a lighter one over your lids, and then a very light shade above the lid-crease and to the brow. She often used a light blue or a peach shade on her eyelids, sometimes looking like she was barely wearing any eyeshadow at all.
Apply at least one or two coats of lash-lengthening black mascara to your eyes. Marilyn was known for her long lashes. You can even opt for fake lashes for fun, or use an eyelash curler to make those lashes more dramatic.
A bit of black eyeliner along the top eyelid can also help emphasize your eyes. Though Marilyn didn’t tend to wear eyeliner on her bottom lid, just brushing a touch of brown eyeshadow below the bottom lid can emphasize your eyes.
Get the Marilyn brows.
Marilyn Monroe’s eyebrows have a high, dramatic arch and are set fairly far apart on her face. Her brows are pretty thin, though they are a bit thicker closer to her nose, thinning out a bit after the arch, which falls just above the outsides of both of her eyes. Use tweezers to get the dramatic arch of her eyebrows down, which look not curved but like two lines meeting, and use lighter brown eyebrow pencil to fill them in.
A younger Marilyn had more curved brows, if you’re more interested in that look.
Get the fake beauty mark.
Marilyn Monroe is known for her gorgeous beauty mark, located a few inches above the left end of her lips. You can use a brown eyeliner to pencil it in. Though you can also buy a fake beauty mark, you’re better off drawing it on yourself. Just take care not to wipe it off and check on your face throughout the day.
Get the Marilyn nail polish.
Marilyn was often seen wearing nail polish that matched her red lips. Apply red nail polish to those nails, making sure you pick a shade that is as close as possible to the color of your lips. You can opt for fake nails or work to develop longer, smooth nails to rock her look.
Wear Chanel No.
5 perfume. This was said to be her favorite perfume. She once said, “What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.” She was also said to enjoy Fracas and Joy perfumes.
Be proud of your curves.
Marilyn Monroe had what was considered a curvy figure in her day and wasn’t afraid to own it. Though her weight fluctuated between about 115 lbs-140 lbs, she was said to generally measure around 37-23-37, at 5 feet (1.5 m), 5 inches (12.7 cm) tall, with a bra size of a 36D. Unfortunately, though you may have heard she would be a size 12-16 today, with today’s sizes, she would be more of a size 4-6. She looked absolutely gorgeous at this size, and you shouldn’t try to mimic it, but rather, work to be proud of your body and your curves.
Stay healthy and happy with your body by doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, whether you’re jogging or doing yoga.
Do dumbbell exercises daily to keep your arms toned. Every morning except for Sundays, Marilyn would workout using “bust-firming” moves with her 3-pound dumb-bells.
You can try eating like Marilyn on occasion, if you want to see what it was like. She would drink a cup of warm milk with 2 raw eggs whipped together in the milk for breakfast and claimed to eat steak, beef, or liver with at least 10 raw carrots for dinner. During the day she would mostly snack on fruit and veggies. After evening drama classes, she went out for hot-fudge sundaes.
Try taking ice-baths, if you can stand it. This will instantly firm up your body. Marilyn did this before her birthday song for John F. Kennedy. She actually took them quite regularly.
Marilyn was known for her curves. If you’re not curvy yourself, work to create the illusion with your clothes, including padded bras and girdles. For example, a belt cinched in around your waist will instantly give you a sexy, hourglass shape.
Have sex appeal.
Marilyn Monroe is an icon known for her extreme sexiness. While you don’t have to take it this far, you should work to be a bit playful and sexy, if you want to be more like Marilyn. This doesn’t mean you should wear completely revealing clothes, but that you should show off a little leg or shoulder and not be afraid to flaunt what you’ve got.
To have sex appeal, you don’t put it all out there at once. You smile, you bat your eyes a little, you look down at the floor to be a bit coy and then straight ahead to show how confident you are. You have to know how sexy you are before other people believe it.
Part of Marilyn’s sex appeal is in her mixture of sex goddess aura as well as her innocence. You don’t need to be too forward to be sexy like Marilyn.
She was also a bit of a goofball, especially in movies like The Seven Year Itch. Don’t think that you have to be serious all the time to be sexy. Some of her sexiness lies in her silly nature.
Work on developing a low, sensual, and breathy voice. Marilyn had a very seductive voice. If you like, you can try slipping some of her sayings, such as, “Isn’t it wonderful,” into your daily conversations.
Maintain your confidence.
To complete the Marilyn look, you have to show how confident you are about who you are and how you look. Don’t worry about what other people think about you and be happy doing your own thing, whether this means dating a baseball player or dancing the tango. The most important thing is that you believe in who you are and don’t let gossip or rumors make you feel bad about yourself.
Walk with a seductive wiggle in your hips, by placing one foot in front of the other. Use body language to show how confident you are.
Keep a smile on your face, even if you’re having a bad day. Work to cultivate optimism and a positive energy will radiate around you, just as it did with Marilyn. She didn’t have the easiest life, but she tried to stay upbeat in spite of the challenges she faced.
Don’t let anyone stop you.
Marilyn Monroe grew up with a mentally unstable mother who had her living with a series of foster parents; she never knew her father. She began working in a munitions factory after high school, spraying airplane parts and inspecting parachutes, before she was discovered for her beauty. She had three tumultuous marriages and many more affairs, and yet, she continued to perform, to sing, to dance, and to light up the stage. If you want to rock her attitude, then you have to keep going in spite of the hardship.
If Marilyn had listened to the people who told her she would be better off as a secretary than trying to make it on the big screen, then she wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. Adopt her can-do attitude and know that the sky’s the limit.