Katharine Hepburn

By Lauren Crook

katharine hepburnKatharine Hepburn wore the pants, and this isn’t just a figure of speech. She actually wore pants. You may be wondering why in the world that makes her a style icon, women wear pants every day. What makes Katharine so special is that she wore pants when long skirts, corsets, and Hollywood glam were all the rage. She was wearing pants when it was considered morally wrong for women to do so. Katharine was a true trend setter, and not a follower of fashion. When deciding what to wear comfort was Katharine’s priority. However, she didn’t sacrifice style to be comfortable. Her button down shirts, high waisted pants (usually khakis), and tailored blazers were from cutting edge designers such as Valentina and Muriel King.

Her signature look was very controversial, so much so that movie executives tried to prevent Katharine from wearing her beloved pants on the lot. In an effort to get her to not wear her pants they took them from her dressing room and hid them.katharine hepburn However, I don’t think they took into account the fact that Katharine was a very independent and stubborn woman. Katharine told them that she would walk around the lot naked until they gave her the pants back. And she wasn’t bluffing; she stripped down all the way to her silk underwear before they decided to give her the pants back. Now how many of us would be willing to walk around in our underwear if we weren’t allowed to wear our signature style anymore? That is what makes Katharine so great. It’s not just her style that makes her an icon it is also her attitude. Any woman can wear pants and a button down, but to channel Katharine you must have her independent attitude.

katharine hepburn3Katharine’s style and attitude were a real influence in women’s ready to wear fashions. She challenged the women of her time to rethink what they were wearing. She showed women that you don’t have to wear dresses and tons of makeup to be feminine; you can look fabulous in pleated pants and loafers too! Katharine’s look is still an influence today. Without her we might not be able to wear our jeans out in public. She is also credited with being the first to wear the androgynous style which has become so popular over the years. Her androgynous style has even influenced other fashion icons such as Diane Keaton and her famous suits. This style is seen on other celebrities both on and off screen such as Cate Blanchett and Cynthia Nixon who plays Miranda Hobbes on Sex and the City. But this style isn’t just for the celebrities; you can achieve this look by wearing wide legged pants that hit the narrowest part of your waist, pair them with collared shirt and a blazer. Remember, fit is key to achieve this look, Katharine had every pair of pants made to fit her 20” waist. Go out and show your Katharine inspired look with style.


Works Cited

CJ..style notes…: Channeling Wide Trousers and Katharine Hepburn Style [Web log post]. (n.d.).

Retrieved from http://cashmerejeans.blogspot.com/2011/03/channeling-wide-trousers-       and-katharine.html (colored picture of Katharine standing in her pants)

Fashion Icon: Katharine Hepburn | Vintage Fashion London. (n.d.). Retrieved from


From androgynous trousers with a 20-inch waist to showstopping goddess gowns, Katharine

Hepburn’s style celebrated in new exhibition | Mail Online. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2219667/From-androgynous-trousers-20-inch-waist-showstopping-goddess-gowns-Katharine-Hepburns-style-celebrated-new-exhibition.html

Gas Station [Web log post]. (n.d.). Retrieved from

http://gasstation.tumblr.com/post/32194251274 (Katharine’s hair is up, in a light colored button down)

Katharine Hepburn Photo : Katharine Hepburn 2556. (n.d.). Retrieved from

http://www.qpicture.com/artist/katharine-hepburn/image-katharine-hepburn-2556 (Katharine in her blazer)

“Our inspiration when dressing her…” – Style Secrets from the Set – Sex and The City 2 –

Fashion – InStyle. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.instyle.com/instyle/package/general/photos/0,,20364084_20365021_20780085,00.html (Miranda Hobbes in a white blazer and white hat)

 The Hoot Blog » Style Icon: Katharine Hepburn [Web log post]. (n.d.). Retrieved from


The Kardashian Christmas Card Inspires These Chic Winter White Party Looks: Dressed:

glamour.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.glamour.com/fashion/blogs/dressed/2012/12/the-kardashians-christmas-card.html?mbid=twitter_fashion (Cate Blanchett in white suit)

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