Style Icon | Katharine Hepburn

With such an impressive list of film credits, it's difficult to pick a favorite Katharine Hepburn moment. That being said, if I had to choose, I'd go with her performance in the classic novel-turned-film, Little Women. Hepburn's role as Jo March seems to mirror so much of her actual personality and spirit, from her headstrong nature to her tomboy style.

Katharine Hepburn as Jo March in Little Women

From a young age, Hepburn was encouraged to be independent and free thinking, characteristics that were uncommon for women at the time. Her parents, progressive New Englanders, inspired all of their children to push limits and speak their minds. Hepburn joined her mother at several suffragette demonstrations as a child, and practiced unconventionality from a young age, wearing her hair short and calling herself Jimmy.

These unconventional early years came to define how Hepburn lived out the rest of her life. She was candid and confident, bucking the social norms for the women of her time. Her strong sense of style radiated both off-screen and on, where she was able to effortlessly transform herself from a casual tomboy to an Old-Hollywood siren in moments. She was also a natural trendsetter. If you caught my earlier post, The Rise of Women's Pants, you'll remember her wearing trousers before it became popular for women to do so. At one point while working for RKO Pictures in the 1930s, her slacks were stolen by the costume department, to which she famously reacted by walking around the studio in her knickers and refusing to get dressed until they were returned. "If you obey all the rules," she said, "you miss all the fun." 

Hepburn married just once at the age of 21, but never fully committed to the relationship, finalizing a divorce after six years with a trip to Mexico. She lived independently from there on out, although she did have a secret affair with fellow actor Spencer Tracy which lasted 26 years. 

Vintage style icon, Katharine Hepburn
Vintage style icon, Katharine Hepburn
Vintage style icon, Katharine Hepburn
Vintage style icon, Katharine Hepburn
Vintage style icon, Katharine Hepburn
The ever glamorous, Katharine Hepburn
Vintage style icon, Katharine Hepburn
Vintage style icon, Katharine Hepburn
Vintage style icon, Katharine Hepburn

Deceptively simple, androgynous, tomboyish, glamorous, unapologetically casual - the list of ways in which Hepburn's style has been defined goes on. How would you describe her style?