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)

From Archie to Cary: The Making of a Style Icon

By Meredith Varner 

Over the past few years I have been watching more old movies as a way to shake up my Saturday nights, and as I look over the ones I have watched they all have something in common: Cary Grant. I must confess I have a gigantic schoolgirl crush on him, and the fact that he would be 108 today makes no difference to me. Despite this confession I feel that I am not alone in my sentiments. Cary Grant had a timeless style and always played the dapper gentleman which lead to him becoming a legend for both men and women.

He was born in England in 1904 with a given name of Archibald Leach; he came up with “Cary Grant” as a stage name later after movingto America in 1920. He has inspired men’s fashions for decades now and his influence does not seem to be slowing down at all. He took classic pieces and tailored the garments to his specific body type so everything always looked perfect on him. He was self-conscious about his neck so he always had tailors widen the collars of his shirts and put higher armholes in his suit jackets. Cary spared no expense when it came to tailoring because he always thought it would be worth the price.

 In all of his movies Cary managed to look immaculate at all times. His timeless looks can be transmitted into any decade and still look great. One of the great things about his style was that he knew what looked good and what was classic, therefore he did not fall victim to some of the unfortunate trends earlier in the century.

While the flower children of the 60’s were proclaiming peace and free flowing fabrics, Cary stuck to his timeless tailored suits. And when leisure suits plagued our nation during the 70’s Cary had enough sense to stay far away from all that polyester. To this day Playboy and GQ are writing articles about how the modern man can achieve Cary Grant style.

One of the secrets to this success is the advice his father gave him, “Let them see you and not the suit. That should be secondary.” When looking back over Cary’s life he really did take this advice to heart and the modern man in 2012 can as well. Cary Grant has become a style icon because he always wore the clothes and not the other way around. His suits became a kind of second skin and because he was so comfortable in them he was able to shine with confidence. George Clooney has been compared to Grant as the modern, sexy, leading man that all the ladies love. But, as great as Clooney is, Cary had a timeless elegance that will always be one of a kind.


To read more about Cary Grant:

An affair to remember (1957):because..it is cary grant’s birthday [Web]. (2011). Retrieved from http://bettesmovieblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/affair-to-remember-1957-because-it-is.html 

The 50 most stylish men of the past 50 years. (2007, October). GQ, Retrieved from http://www.gq.com/how-to/fashion/200709/cary-grant-paul-newman-andre-3000-george-clooney-slideshow

Cary grant- biography. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000026/bio

Cary grant as dressed by dq [Print]. (2009). Available from http://blog.duncanquinn.com/?m=200909

Cary grant’s suit [Web]. (2008). Retrieved from http://submittedforyourperusal.com/category/cary-grant/

Everybody wants to be cary grant [Web]. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2011/01/everybody-wants-to-be-cary-grant-picture-essay-of-the-day/

Quotable cary [Print]. (2005). Available from http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/cary-grant/quotable-cary/618/

Schwarz, B. (2007, January). Becoming cary grant. The Atlantic, Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/01/becoming-cary-grant/5548/