Vintage Style Icons: Grace Kelly

I’m back with another fashion post, worshipping style icons from pre-1970s culture. Today I’m sharing my love for Grace Kelly’s style. Now, some of you may already know I am a lover of Grace Kelly as both an actress, style icon, Princess and persona. I feel that she isn’t much celebrated as the style icon that she was… Especially next to the likes of Audrey Hepburn or Brigitte Bardot. Therefore, I feel it’s time to shine a light on this beautiful woman as more than a Princess but as someone who had impeccable taste throughout her career and her reign.


Grace Kelly was born in 1929 in Philadelphia, USA despite being mistaken as to being British due to her accent in many of her notable movies. Grace’s family were very affluent and influential meaning she was always well dressed and presentable. Her families influence is exactly why her father wasn’t overly enthusiastic about her dreams to become an actress. She pursued it anyhow leading to her to become on the most photographic, fashion actresses and later Princesses of the 1950s and 1960s.


To Catch a Thief

In her career, Grace worked with astounding costume designers from the likes of Edith Head to Oleg Cassini. Working with film director Alfred Hitchcock gave Grace the opportunity to show her full potential as a fashion goddess with stunning gowns. Movies such Rear Window and To Catch a Thief (which won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design) made Grace shine on the screen as the perfect colour choices and designs seemed as though were chosen specifically for her.


Her golden locks, porcelain skin and blue eyes gave Grace a sense of naivety on the screen- the perfect candidate for Hitchcock and the perfect model for costume designers. She was styled sexily but with an air of charm, class, elegance and beauty. There was never any crudeness to her costumes. Her slim figure gave her a girlish naivety meaning tight fitting clothes, plunging necklines and bright colours like what Marilyn Monroe wore in her movies just wouldn’t have suited her the same way. Grace’s costumes displayed her trim figure in pale or monochrome tones (excluding that gold dress in To Catch A Thief).



Grace’s style when at public, Hollywood-esque events were very much like her on-screen outfits. Simplistic yet effective. Usually, a strapless gown, nothing too garish would wrap itself around Grace’s small frame. Often there would be subtle detailing on the dresses such as gems to capture a sparkle. This would be accompanied by a silk or fur wrap and gloves long gloves to really up the glamour factor.


American film star Grace Kelly (1929 - 1982), who was born in Philadelphia, viewed shortly before her engagement to Prince Rainier of Monaco whom she married in 1956.




Before Grace became Princess of Monaco her style was very much of that the everyday woman. Capri pants and baggy shirts – nothing like her public persona of beautiful silky gowns, pearls and jewels. She was very delicate in her accessorising and make up meaning she was able to keep her glamour and being fuss free.


Princess Grace on the Royal staircase, Monaco.

The Wedding Dress

The most famous dresses of Grace Kelly’s is her wedding dress, which she wore at her church ceremony in Monaco (there are two, both a civil ceremony and a religious wedding). It is said to be one of the most elegant and best-remembered bridal gowns of all time, and one of the most famous since the mid 20th century. Can you can see why. The dress screams “Princess” – elegant and timeless. This dress has been replicated time and time again, although brought up to date for Duchess of Cambridge.

Grace Kelly Wedding Dress

Life as a Princess


With her acting career behind her, Grace had other duties to perform on the stage of life, directed by royalty. But despite wearing a tiara every now and again Grace kept the theme of simplicity. Rarely did Grace swarm herself in fine jewels, unless of course it was for a special occasion. And even when she did, her dresses were sleek and neutral. Her style didn’t really change despite becoming a Serene Highness. For casual wear, in 1960s for example, she usually would be seen in stylish coats and hats and large sunglasses – a huge trend at that time. She still wore loose shirts when not on “duty”.

Grace Kelly Style Icon

Grace Kelly Style Icon

Sadly, in 1982 Grace died in a tragic car accident due to suffering a stroke whilst driving. Grace’s daughter Stephanie tried to assist in gaining control of the car but to no avail. When paramedics arrived at the crash Grace was unconscious. Stephanie and her mother were transferred to the Monaco Hospital which is now named The Princess Grace Hospital Centre.

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Despite the doctor’s efforts Grace’s head injuries, in addition to her fractured ribs, collarbone and thigh, were irreparable. Medical professionals believed that she had suffered a minor stroke before the accident which made her more susceptible to another. She died at the age of fifty-two after Rainier decided to take her off life support. Despite her passing Grace Kelly’s style is still recognisable. She was a stunning beauty with impeccable taste in fashion, a kind heart and a credit to her name and title. She has been an inspiration to many in both life and the fashion world influencing the likes of many including the costume designers of Mad Men.


Grace Kelly photos via Our Princess Grace
Owner of this little blog! A lover of coffee, Disney and old stuff, blogging about my loves, passions and opinions.


  • Reply Rachel June 5, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Grace Kelly is so beautiful! One of my favorite old Hollywood ladies for sure!

    • Reply Laura June 5, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      She was beautiful inside and out! 😀

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