How to Dress Like the Women of the West

During the height of their success, these beloved starlets’ keen fashion style captivated the public on and off the screen. From the pretty and prim to the provocative and daring—their style choices empowered a generation of fashionistas and paved the way for the trends that were to come. Take a look at the famed styles of our favorite females to ever step foot in the West and learn how to take their looks into the 21st century.

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Jeanette Nolan: Hippie at Heart

Epitomizing individuality during a constraining time in history for women’s apparel, Jeanette Nolan created an eccentric aesthetic that was all her own. The Guns of Fort Petticoat actress combined spirited silhouettes and a streamlined fit to create looks ahead of their time.

Get the Look:
To achieve Jeanette’s look today, choose an airy peasant top with intricate details, tailored wide leg pants, and a Western-inspired bag. Top it with statement earrings and eye-catching shoes for a one-of-a-kind look.

Raquel Welch: Boho Bombshell

Combining femininity with fun, Raquel Welch’s status as a style icon lasted for decades. Known for her fashion-forward looks, the Hannie Caulder actress’ wardrobe evolved throughout the years, but never lost its boho edge and undeniable sex appeal. A perfect representation of the times, Raquel always stayed on top of the era’s trends and became a trailblazer for the industry.

Get the Look:
No matter what stage in her style, it won’t be hard to use Raquel as inspiration for many different looks. Piece together a bombshell-worthy look with a form-fitting mini dress with ultra-feminine details, flirty platform heels, and an elaborate clutch. Finish with big, but delicate earrings and stacked bangles for a look you’ll love.

Denise Darcel: Sultry Parisian

Born in Paris—the fashion capital of the world—Denise Darcel had style in her blood. Leaning into the sultry, the Westward the Women actress embraced her curves and didn’t take her beauty too seriously. She was vivacious and chic, with form-fitting silhouettes as her go-to. No matter how daring the outfit, she always wore the ensemble, and it never wore her.

Get the Look:
Denise’s signature style has stood the test of time and many of the looks that she was famous for are popular today. To bring the same kind of allure to your look, start with a hip-hugging satin dress with flatting pleating or ruching, and a little something extra like a slit. Pair it with a formal trench coat and sky-high stilettos. Stick with sleek accessories with a bit of bling like sparkly dangle earrings and a high-shine clutch. Don’t forget the shapewear to accentuate your figure.

Barbara Stanwyck: Tailor-made Minimalist

Beginning her acting career in the 1920s, Barbara Stanwyck debuted on the silver screen as a rebellious flapper, but her sense of style matured over her extensive career, blossoming into something that didn’t fit nicely into one category. With comfort at the heart of every outfit, The Moonlighter actress needed a wardrobe that kept up with her rugged off-screen lifestyle on her horse ranch. Known for her clean lines and flawless fits, mixed with hints of inspiration from menswear, every piece Barbara wore felt custom-made.

Get the Look:
To execute the overall feel of Barbara’s timeless look, start with a quality pair of jeans in a classic fit. Next, throw on an oversized white button-down shirt—a wardrobe must-have for Stanwyck’s style. Next, add a herringbone blazer, a masculine watch, and made-to-be-lived-in boots for a timeless look you can go anywhere in.

Doris Day: Girl Next Door Glamour

With an essence of Americana from head to toe, Doris Day’s wardrobe picks only strengthened her wholesome on-screen persona. The Ballad of Josie actress infused her looks with little tomboy touches, yet somehow, each outfit she wore still felt cute and feminine. Doris used flare skirts and modest cuts to highlight her shape without having to show a lot of skin.

Get the Look:
To transform Doris’ signature look into a look with a contemporary feel, add some pep in your step and have fun with it! Go with a voluminous flare skirt to get things started. You can’t go wrong with a girly print like polka dots. Mix the skirt with a tried-and-true denim shirt and tie it in the front to make it more playful. Add punches of personality with vintage-inspired sunglasses, a chic backpack, and crisp white slide-on sneakers for an impeccable finish.

Maureen O’Hara: Old Hollywood Icon

The picturesque personification of the Gold Age of Hollywood, Maureen O’Hara became a living legend in the industry for more than just the roles she brought to life. Sophisticated to its core, The Redhead from Wyoming’s sense of style was often copied, but no one could duplicate the feisty finish that her larger-than-life personality and strong Irish features brought to her overall look. Regal, respectable, and classically feminine, she brought boldness to the timeless silhouettes and made them feel brand new.

Get the Look:
Creating the thoughtfully curated ensembles of such a shining star all comes down to the details. To create a luxurious yet simple base, start with a modest silhouette like a fit and flare midi dress. Select one with a tie neckline or another refined element. To make the piece truly fit the part, go with a dress in her signature color—green. Accessorize the ladylike look with sleek slingback nude heels, a chic handbag, a glistening hair clip and a grand fur coat.

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