Accessories often fade in and out of style, but there are some that go down in history as symbols of the celebrities who wore them. Pillbox hats may be dated, but they have a certain charm thanks to the beloved Jackie O. Let’s not forget how Princess Diana made chokers legitimately classy or how Lauren Hutton can pull off a bucket hat at a fashion show. From Paul Newman’s wristwatch to Audrey Hepburn’s ballet flats, these accessories won’t be forgotten, thanks to the celebs who made them iconic.
Jackie O’s Pillbox Hats
Jackie O was one of the most adorable first ladies in U.S. history, and her fashion sense was a part of that. From her massive sunglasses to her white gloves, Jackie O had numerous accessories that stood out. During her time in the White House, though, there’s one that particularly stands out: the pillbox hat.
Though the pillbox hat initially gained popularity in the 1930s, there was a resurgence in the 1950s and ’60s that we would bet had something to do with Jackie O’s influence. Her charm and class made the hat all the more appealing.
Kate Middleton’s Engagement Ring
Kate Middleton’s engagement was one of the most talked-about events to happen in the Royal family since the days of Princess Diana. The cherry on top was that Prince William proposed with his mother’s famous ring.
The 12-carat sapphire ring is surrounded by 14 diamonds, making it a gem for both its gorgeous look and high sentimental value. The design actually dates back to Queen Victoria, who wore a similar-looking brooch at her wedding to Prince Albert.
Marlon Brando’s Motorcycle Jacket
The leather jacket we know of today emerged in the early 1900s, but it gained widespread attention thanks to Marlon Brando. The actor sported the clothing article in the 1953 film The Wild One.
Through Brando’s performance, the jacket became associated with the edgy attitude that was gaining ground in the ’50s. This phenomenon was reflected in the finale of Grease when Sandy rocked a similar-looking jacket to indicate she’s become a cool cat. Several decades later, the iconic look still holds up.
Princess Diana’s Chokers
Chokers are one piece of jewelry that don’t innately seem to be the classiest. Perhaps it’s the odd name, or maybe it’s because expensive gems seem like they’d be too heavy to wear high up on the neck. Princess Diana proved that both of these assumptions simply aren’t true.
Just look at the massive gem at the princess’s throat. It’s held by several strings of pearls, which are tiny enough to not overwhelm her delicate neck. This choker was the largest of Princess Diana’s extensive collection, and it even matched her famous engagement ring.
Grace Kelly’s Headbands
Grace Kelly came to prominence during Hollywood’s Golden Age, and her impeccable style certainly reflected that. True to her name, the actress exhibited such grace that she was literally fit for royalty, and ultimately became the Princess of Monaco.
Part of Kelly’s impeccable look was her slicked-back hair, which was often held by a headband. She made the accessory something suitable for classy events, not just for young girls going to school. We have yet to see anyone pull off a headband as well as Grace Kelly.
Paul Newman’s Rolex Watch
Paul Newman was one of the leading men of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and his irresistible style wasn’t complete without a glamorous watch. Over the years, Newman and Rolex became synonymous as he was associated with the brand’s famous Daytona line.
Newman’s Rolex was so famous that it was auctioned off and sold for $15.5 million! After the buyer’s premium fee, the total came out to $17,752,500! The purchase set a record for the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at an auction.
Coco Chanel’s Pearls
The iconic Coco Chanel was in the spotlight for decades, and one aspect of her signature look was pearls. The fashion designer could incorporate pearls into just about any ensemble she wore. They were a perfect match for her groundbreaking casual-chic look.
Before Chanel, womenswear was much more formal and stiff. She was a leading force in the transition toward a more laid back, but stylish, look. Pearls perfectly matched the loose yet classy style that Chanel established in her designs.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Floral Hats
When Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t have a crown atop her head, you can almost certainly bet that she’s wearing a floral hat. But she doesn’t go with drab hats that are neutral colors. She picks hats that are as vibrant as the rest of her colorful attire.
We’re fairly sure that the queen probably has a hat for every single outfit in her closet, or at least the ones she wears to everyday events. They have all the class of a top hat but the colors and leafy embellishments make them as vibrant as the queen’s personality.
Marilyn Monroe’s Fur Wrap
Marilyn Monroe was one of the most iconic figures in Hollywood, so it makes sense that her accessories became iconic, too. One of Monroe’s most emblematic pieces was her fur wrap.
Whether she was posing for a photoshoot or arriving at a movie premiere, the star looked fashionable as ever when she included the wrap in her ensemble. These days, fur items are typically swapped out for a faux version for ethical reasons, but the look still holds up.
Steve McQueen’s Chukka Boots
Chukka boots emerged in the 1960s largely due to their presence in the movies. That’s at least in part due to Steve McQueen, who adored the shoes in his personal life. His association with the boots led to stylists picking them out for various roles the actor landed.
Since McQueen was the kind of actor fans would want to model their closets after, it was only a matter of time before chukkas became mainstream. Even Daniel Craig sported a pair in the James Bond film Spectre.
Anna Wintour’s Sunglasses
Anna Wintour’s black sunglasses are so iconic that we’re surprised they didn’t show up in the movie The Devil Wears Prada. To be fair, they probably didn’t want to make it too obvious that Meryl Streep’s character was based on the Vogue editor.
When Wintour sports the glasses indoors while looking straight-faced at the runway, she looks positively fashionable. While style trends change over the years, one thing that remains the same is that black is about as classy as a color can be.
Jane Birkin’s Basket
Jane Birkin may be the namesake of the famous Birkin bag, but she’s also known for sporting one of the most unusual purses a celeb has ever worn. We’re, of course, talking about her basket.
When the performer was still in a partnership with Serge Gainsbourg, she proved that celebs can literally pull off any fashion trend by carrying around a basket everywhere. We’re not sure which bag she’s more famous for!
Katharine Hepburn’s Blazers
Katharine Hepburn’s sophisticated screen persona was perfectly symbolized in her blazers. The Hollywood leading lady put the clothing article on the map and they are still in style today. Blazers evoke the feminine professionalism that Hepburn brought to all of her roles.
Her headstrong nature is what made fans adore her over the decades, and sporting a blazer is symbolic of that. Actors like Blake Lively have kept Hepburn’s blazer style and graceful sophistication present as ever in Hollywood. Still, Hepburn will always be the trendsetter.
Karl Lagerfeld’s Fingerless Gloves
As a director, fashion designer, photographer, and artist, Karl Lagerfeld was a true creative. Naturally, his style was a form of self-expression, and his ensembles almost always included a pair of gloves.
Over the years, Lagerfeld became known for wearing not just gloves, but more specifically the fingerless varieties. There’s only been a few men who really embraced gloves as an accessory, and Lagerfeld was one of the most established individuals to do so. The artist was also known for his high, super starched collars.
Josephine Baker’s False Eyelashes
Josephine Baker was a silent movie actress who was way ahead of her time. While false eyelashes are the norm nowadays, Baker made them a part of her ensemble before they were so widely accepted.
Anna Taylor patented artificial eyelashes in the year 1911, and a decade later, Baker was sporting the accessory regularly. It wasn’t until the 1940s and ’50s that fake eyelashes were big among Hollywood starlets, but Baker caught on to the trend decades prior.
Elizabeth Taylor’s Diamonds
Elizabeth Taylor’s early success afforded her an expensive sense of style, which included a ton of lavish jewelry. Her collection of gems was regarded as one of the most important in the country, and was auctioned off after the actress passed.
They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but that was literally the case for Taylor. She even has a book titled Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair With Jewelry. The superstar created her own jewelry company in 2005, so fans can dress as glamorously as the actress did all her life.
Brigitte Bardot’s Hair Bows
Even though Brigitte Bardot hasn’t been in the entertainment industry since the ’70s, the decades she spent on the silver screen have left her a timeless icon. Part of her well-known look was hair bows, which gave a splash of innocence to her pop-culture persona.
Bardot could pull off the bows without looking like she was dressing up as a schoolgirl, making them a regular part of her style. Even at her current age, we wouldn’t be surprised if she still kept a few bows around.
Audrey Hepburn’s Flats
In an age where Marilyn Monroe was the attractive standard, Audrey Hepburn was a beacon of understated grace. This is perhaps most symbolized by her famous flats, which couldn’t be more the opposite of flashy stilettos.
Hepburn was a reminder of the power of subtle beauty, which transcended the silver screen. The actress became a fashion icon for her impeccable sense of style, which could turn something as seemingly average as flats into an integral part of the industry.
Marlene Dietrich’s Trousers
If there was ever an actress who was way ahead of their time in terms of style, it was Marlene Dietrich. Born at the turn of the 20th century, Dietrich rose to fame as a leading lady of silent films.
She transcended the stereotypical idea of glamour by wearing trousers and pantsuits at a time when women legally were not allowed to do such a thing. In the 1930s, Dietrich made trousers look as classy as a gown. Her fearless style choices were the beginning of much of women’s fashion today.
Lauren Hutton’s Bucket Hats
Without Lauren Hutton, bucket hats may not have been able to break past their association with fishing. The actress is a pro at combining casual and elegant pieces to create an unmatched look. Bucket hats are probably the most impressive example of her ability to pull off just about anything.
Hutton has worn countless bucket hats over the decades, both on and off the big screen. Whether she’s arriving at a big premiere or strolling through town, Hutton makes the bucket hat look like it belongs in any occasion.