‘The word glamour means something indefinite, something inaccessible to normal women – an unreal paradise, desirable but basically out of reach.’ Marlene Dietrich.

I have always been captivated by Hollywood’s leading ladies; growing up watching Doris Day films like most children watch cartoons.

This season, designers look back to the glamour and romance of the vintage Hollywood era and show` how screen sirens of the past continue to educate us in the art of dressing like a ‘lady’.

Loading article content

In the glamour years of Hollywood a period that stretched from the 1920s to the 1960s, no self respecting goddess would have met her public without being impeccably groomed. These Hollywood  stars were elegant, chic, sophisticated, glamorous, unique....

Swanson, Crawford, Dietrich, Garbo, Hepburn, Day and Monroe taught us how to dress to both accentuate and flatter and how to use our feminine charms to emulate their demure looks.

We are continually led by seasonal fashion trends but as women we are also led by defining our silhouette, clothes that make you look good and in turn make you feel good as ultimately confidence is beauty.

The autumn/winter  ‘ladylike’ trend teaches us that elegantly waisted beautifully tailored curves and belted middles, create an hourglass vision that is sleek, ladylike and alluringly feminine.  In complete contrast to the autumn/ winter ‘oversized’ trend, this all about celebrating the female form.

One of autumn’s big accessory stories is belts, either worn to cinch the waist’s of smart pencil dresses at Burberry and Victoria Beckham or winter coats at Chloe, Marni and Dior. Belts worn in the same colour as your dress or jacket it will elongate the torso rather than breaking it up.

For eveningwear Bill Gaytten’s ready-to-wear Dior collection looked to the Fashion House’s signature vintage silhouette, with reworked structured gowns with sheer skirts that floated showcasing a lovely bygone refinement. His minimalist take on classic styles gave a fresh contemporary feel to the collection. The beautiful plum shade gown worn by model Karlie Kloss could easily be seen on the likes of Natalie Portman at an up-coming red carpet event. For chic day- to- evening wear we saw short jackets with tonal waist belts and slinky silk pencil skirts an image that looks like it had jumped straight out of a glamorous black and white photograph.

Sarah Burton’s darkly glamorous and dramatically romantic voluminous gowns with bright appliqué flowers on a black lace base were pulled in at the waist by matching belts for the Alexander McQueen label McQ.

This season’s clever tailoring lends lean boyish figures the illusion of womanly curves. Lanvin and Stella McCartney kept the focus on the waist by adding peplums and padding to the hips for high impact.

Cute collars are set to be huge this autumn whether they are detached, embellished or in contrast colours as seen at Philip Lim, Preen and Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Daywear looked to the off-screen movie star, with fitted Capri pants and tight fitting sweaters reminiscent to Marilyn Monroe and worn with heels for sex appeal at all times.

Many designers complemented this ‘ladylike’ look with classic Hollywood hair and make-up with stylish up- do’s, side-parted chignons and dewy make-up with beautiful red lips.

Wear it well: my must-haves

Indulge your inner screen goddess with my seasonal key pieces from the High Street. Glamour is indeed attainable and accessible to all woman.


This monochrome fitted dress with cute collar from French Connection is £85 and can be cinched at the waist with this black leather ‘obi’ style belt from Top Shop, £20, for a severely hourglass look.




Reiss’s figure hugging dress  is £149 and wear with this Label Lab Blazer @ House of Fraser, £115, for a sophisticated 40s look.


PLUS: Reiss’s red belted cowl dress £169 is perfect for day-to-evening wear and looks great accessorised with a clutch bag.  Wear Whistles’s navy layered scallop lace dress £175 worn with Mango’s boucle blazer £79.99 for ladylike elegance.