Retro Chick Style Icon – Mae West

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

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.

So for being an inspirational combination of brains and beauty. Mae West is a Retro Chick Style Icon

9 Responses
  • Fiona - Notorious Kitsch
    July 20, 2010

    I love her too, so much SASS!

  • melina bee
    July 20, 2010

    great post and pics, especially the first one, which I feel illustrates West’s ability to combine vulgarity and elegance (or transform it?) since you can’t deny that the details on that dress (ie delta) would have been quite racy for the times.
    Many of us, like me, were introduced to West on accident or w/o knowing it since I grew up on classic cartoons. They’d often feature a sorta buxom bird/humanized animal talking all sassy and saying “come up and see me sometime”. Later on I read her bio in high school and read that many people close to her thought she was never exactly a normatively beautiful woman but made herself beyond that through her attitude and confidence, like well into her 60s. Anyways, I am babbling, I just really adore her and am so glad to have been reminded of an icon I sorta forgotten about these past couple years.

  • Louise
    July 20, 2010

    I have to agree 100% with this one, she is truly wonderful. I’ve recently added her biography to my amazon wishlist since I’d love to know more about her. She’s wonderful.

  • Fashion Limbo
    July 21, 2010

    Stunning first picture, and thanks for sharing the quotes, I love the one about marriage, and I think I’m going to adopt it as Im truly fed up of being ask when Im going to get hitched 😉

  • Glendy
    July 21, 2010

    She is an absolute icon there’s nothing more fashionable and chic than a women who is confident and intelligent 🙂

  • Alice
    July 21, 2010

    It is great to have style icons or people you know who inspire you – I can definitely see Mae West as Retro Chic style icon 🙂

  • LandGirl1980
    July 21, 2010

    Great pic of her as the stem of the rose! LOVE it!

  • eyeliah
    July 21, 2010

    She is fabulous, love her movies as well. She has quite the curves!

  • Mr Chick
    July 26, 2010

    Very interesting article here written by Mae West about her time in prison…