How to Dress Like Elizabeth Taylor

by Jacqueline Basdeo

Ever since hitting the big screen at the age of 12 in National Velvet, Elizabeth Taylor has been a style icon. Taylor' bold, brash and sensuous style is feminine and seductive. You can dress like the late screen goddess by incorporating some of her trademark key pieces into your everyday wardrobe.

Styles From the 1950s

In movies like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly Last Summer and Raintree County, Taylor wore full-skirted dresses with fitted bodices. Flirty, and occasionally floral, the dresses embraced Taylor's curves and showcased her ample bodice.

Additionally, Taylor often paired her dresses with a stole for glamorous events. Favored colors for dresses included, white, green, red and jewel tones, while the stoles were mostly white.

Form-Fitting Dresses

Taylor also wore form-fitting dresses that skimmed the body. These were more often than not in solid colors, especially black, white and navy blue, either sleeveless or with sleeves.

Cigarette Pants

When the star wore pants, they were typically cigarette-style or slim-fitting pants. She stayed with a muted color palette for this style.

Styles From the 1960s

The wheel turned in the 1960s, and Taylor's fashion choices evolved with the changing times. Gone were the fitted dresses of the past. In their place, strong, tailored suits and flowing, billowy fabrics dotted Taylor's fashion landscape. She donned bold headgear in the form of large hats in the summer and fur-trimmed toppers in the winter, and Taylor seemed to wear them with impunity. She carried over a '50s style, the scarf, as a go-to fashion accessory.

Styles From the 1970s

In terms of her fashion choices, the 1970s represented a sea change for Taylor as she fully embraced the look of caftans. The color palette here was bold, and jewel-toned, and not without adornment. Many of the styles featured prints that ranged from wild horizontal and vertical stripes to more mundane prints of flowers and geometric patterns.

Eye-catching headgear often accompanied these outfits, and for Taylor, it seemed the more outlandish and wild the better. Spikes, glitter and flower pieces helped to accessorize her wide-ranging looks.

Jewelry

It's well-known that Taylor loved her jewelry, and the bolder and more gaudy, the better. Sapphires, emeralds, diamonds and rubies were a mainstay in her fashion collection, and no true Taylor outfit is complete without one show-stopping piece.

Dressing Like Liz

To channel Taylor's fashions from the '50s, consider:

  • Square necklines with wide straps
  • Halter styles
  • Strapless numbers

It's also relatively easy to dress like Taylor because her look was so distinctive and all her own. To wear her looks from the '60s and '70s, consider:

  • Pairing a form-fitting dress with a large summer hat
  • Wearing a caftan. Keep the look modern by leaving your hair free-flowing and natural.
  • A luxe coat, a face-framing fur hat, and obvious-to-spot jewels for the colder months.

When it's warm, lean toward patterned jewel tones, flat sandals, and handbags and hats in straw.

Personality Counts

To complete your homage to Taylor, embody some of her personality, too. Taylor was confident in her beauty and physical body, and she had the personality to match. Not one to shy away from controversy, she was outspoken on the topics she cared about, notably generous and loyal to her friends. Her combination of physical beauty, charisma and smarts left an indelible legacy.

About the Author

Jacqueline Basdeo graduated from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a Bachelor of Arts in forensic psychology. As a former NYC teaching fellow and program coordinator at Queensborough Community College, she has been writing health, lifestyle and fashion articles since 2006.