With today’s fast fashion and fleeting trends, it’s not often that we come across modern day style icons who truly wear clothing the way the ones of the past did. Too often our best assets are now flaunted as opposed to embraced. The influence of magazines, in addition to social media, heavily dictates what’s in and out of style more so than ever before.
Interestingly enough, when we look back to previous decades, there was much more creative expression used to push boundaries and develop the most independent, yet classic, of styles.
Here’s to celebrating three women who succeeded in distinct personal style simply by understanding what made them unique and embracing who they knew themselves to be. Having a sense of what looks good on you starts with how you see yourself.
Even before the days of having an Hermès bag named after her, Jane Birkin was no stranger to casual chic. Her ability to make a simple white tee paired with high-waisted Levis look elevated is still an unsolved mystery, making her a perpetual inspiration to the vintage world. The famous wicker bag she always had slung over her arm was the perfect alternative to the ubiquitous brown leather purse. With her long straight hair and even longer legs, she was a master at knowing her body type well enough to wear what flattered her in a modest, yet sophisticated way.
What we can learn from her style: Less can often mean more.
Most well-known—and beloved— for her gap-toothed smile, Lauren Hutton is the epitome of a free spirit. Her easy style was embodied in her breezy, unstructured ensembles. As a renowned supermodel and actress in the 70s, Hutton single-handedly brought credit to the versatile white button up shirt. Her confident ability to ignore the industry’s pressure to hide the gap between her teeth and, according to an interview with Harper’s Bazaar even once ‘laugh out’ a cap that was there to disguise it only made her message clearer that she wouldn’t let any insecurities affect how she presented herself to the world.
You’ll rarely come across a photo of Lauren where she isn’t smiling wide and big. In a recent interview with Elle, she states, “People say you’re either born with style or you’re not. That’s hooey. Look at yourself in the mirror, really hard. Style is what suits you. Try to get rid of everyone else’s ideas of what you are, and take a good look.”
What we can learn from her style: Ignore conventional ideas of beauty and take pride in what makes you unique.
As first wife to rock star Mick Jagger, socialite turned human rights activist Bianca Jagger has known nothing less than living life to its fullest. That passion is directly translated in her unique sense of style. Unbuttoned blouses, wide-lapel suits, bold choker necklaces, one-shoulder dresses, and fierce facial expressions are only natural to Jagger. As she puts it well, “Style is knowing what suits you, who you are, and what your assets are. It is also accepting it all.”
What we can learn from her style: Show a little personality in your style. Be bold, and go out on a limb sartorially.
There’s no mystery that these ladies have made icon status simply by loving themselves. Take a look at your own wardrobe; does your style acknowledge your identity entirely, even those areas that are harder to love?
Who do you consider to be a fashion icon? Why?
Images of Jane Birkin via Rex Features; Image of Lauren Hutton via Wire Image; Image of Bianca Jagger via Getty Images