Inspiration: Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn style icon

To me Katharine Hepburn was one of the first women to truly embrace the menswear look.  She was outspoken and was an ‘unlikely celebrity’ for her time – in regards to her fashion sense and spirit.  A lot of conservative people avoided her films due to her clothing choices both in movies and in real life, as it was seen as unfeminine.

You can see that Katharine Hepburn was a feminist.  This isn’t just apparent in her clothing choices,  her views on the world and liberal-minded thoughts show how she can be seen as a feminist.  Her mother was a suffrage activist and her father a doctor.  They encouraged her to speak out and sharpen her mind about the world around her.

When she was young teen she found her brother hanged in his room.  So she suffered a terrible loss at such a young age.  I think that she really viewed life as something precious after that.  She claimed that “Life is hard.  After all, it kills you”.

She spent time on Broadway and got her big break in the 1932 film A Bill of Divorcement. 

During her time in Hollywood, she won 4 Oscars for Best Actress.

Her first Oscar was for Morning Glory.

Hepburn was an awesome Jo in Little Women – I watched that movie so many times as a kid!

However, due to Katharine’s personality and outspokenness,  Hollywood began to question whether she was a suitable starlet.  She didn’t wear makeup and didn’t like giving interviews.  She preferred to be left alone.

I read in an biography of hers that she walked around in her undies on set once as the Costume Dept stole her trousers (the Costume Dept apparently wanted her to wear more feminine clothes, but she refused to put on clothes until they gave her trousers back!).

Although she starred in many successful movies, Katharine became worried after she was called ‘Box Office Poison’ when some of her movies flopped.  She returned to Broadway and starred as Tracy Lord in The Philadelphia Story.  Katharine actually bought the movie rights to the play and sold them to MGM – she starred in the movie version which reignited her career.

Katharine never married, however she was in a long term relationship (27 years!) with Spencer Tracy.  He was already married but was estranged from his wife.

I think that Katharine Hepburn is such an inspiration.  She was truly a great actress and person.  I love how she was one of the first women to wear trousers and menswear without giving a toss about what other people thought.

It’s great that there were women like her in the Twentieth Century who really pushed the boundaries of what was seen as ‘feminine’.

Want to dress like Katharine Hepburn?  Look below for inspiration (fashion on a budget).  The photo is from her promo shoot for Philadelphia Story.

Katharine Hepburn Promo Shot Outfit
She also had great quotes:
“I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done, As long as I enjoyed it at the time.”
“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun”.
“Enemies are so stimulating”.
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn by Sheridan Morley.

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