Sometimes it’s not the way that someone dresses that makes them my style icon.
Style is about so much more than just putting on clothes. It’s about the way you carry yourself, intelligence, wit and confidence.
So whilst there’s no denying that this is pretty damn glamorous.
That’s not the reason Mae West became an icon to me.
When I was a teenager, before I’d even seen a picture of Mae West, I loved her wit. I had those books of quotations, the kind you pick up in shops like Past Times, and amongst the pages of bon mots from eminent men like Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill there was always a smattering of Mae West’s witticisms.
Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution
I use to be Snow White, but I drifted
I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it
Quotes like these painted a picture in my head of a bold and confident woman. A woman who knew what she wanted, that was confident in her sexuality and not about to be tied down and as a teenager I found that pretty inspirational.
Mae West was a writer as well as a performer, and even served 10 days in jail on charges of “corrupting the morals of youth”. When she left she told reporters she’d worn silk underpants while serving her time. How can you not love this woman?
She was intelligent, witty, and whilst not necessarily beautiful in a conventional sense she had curves that are the very definition of “statuesque” and a glamour and presence that makes it impossible not to find her just gorgeous.