Movies and fashion have long been close friends. Some films set style trends (think Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan) and some look back, recreating a past style era (think everyone in The Great Gatsby). Looking to add a little silver screen flare to your personal style? Here is the first half of 16 sources for inspiration, listed by the decades they inspired – or that inspired them.

1920s

The 1920s gave us the rise of modern fashion, and the movies were there to capture it all. The 1928 masterpiece The Crowd offers a look at big city living – and style – before the markets crashed.

Later films, from Bullets over Broadway to Chicago have given the 20s their roar, but Some Like It Hot proved that fashion wasn’t the woman’s purview alone. The debate still rages on, who did heels better: Marilyn Monroe or Jack Lemmon?

1930s

The Women filled the screen with Hollywood’s leading ladies (not a man in sight!) decked out in their big city finest. The movie even features a full Technicolor® fashion show, complete with fashions from the future.

The lux film The Aviator gave us a 70-year look back at mogul Howard Hughes and his well-dressed friends – including some of the biggest leading ladies the screen offered. Cate Blanchett is simply divine as Katharine Hepburn.

1940s

No list would be complete without the incomparable Edith Head. Her work on Double Indemnity (and many, many others) defined “noir” fashion in the 1940s. Her influence is still felt today – a 1940s or 1950s fashion reference likely owes it debt to the late, great E.

Post-war fashion is casually front and center in the amazing The English Patient. With safari styling and rumpled elegance, Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas make war-weary look simply divine.

1950s

What more is there to say about All About Eve? And how could it possibly be said better than by sterling scripter Joseph L. Mankiewicz? One woman’s rise from turnip truck obscurity to award-winning fame was dressed in the absolute best in 1950s fashion.

Men’s styling was to die for in the 1950s, and few show this better than L. A. Confidential. Kim Bassinger lit up the screen but the men’s suits and period details stole the movie. Crisp lines and sharp edges helped redefine gentlemen’s finery in the big city.

Next month, the following 40 years in silver screen style.<


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