Fashion Icons Through the Decades: Timeless Style Inspo

Madonna's Fashion in the 1980s

Styles are constantly changing, but some women have left an everlasting mark on fashion. From the sophistication of the roaring twenties to the bold and subversive eighties, fashion icons throughout the decades have graced history with their impeccable taste, unique flair, and daring choices. These ladies have inspired hundreds of thousands of women across generations to embrace their own style, and some of their go-to looks have become the timeless styles still popular today. Let’s look at some of the most remarkable fashion icons throughout history, whose beloved pieces and aesthetics still grace the shelves of contemporary consignment stores.

Roaring Twenties: Coco Chanel

The 1920s was a revolutionary era for women’s fashion. Silhouettes started moving away from staunch layers to loose, free silhouettes. Coco Chanel was the catalyst for this movement, liberating women from the constraints of corsets toward more comfortable – yet equally sophisticated – designs.

Coco Chanel is a fashion icon 

Chanel’s iconic “little black dress” is one of the most enduring contributions to fashion. Simple yet elegant, the LBD has withstood the test of time and is still a modern wardrobe staple. The little black dress has even “made” other fashion icons, like Princess Diana’s revenge dress.

Princess Diana Fashion Icon 

Vintage Chanel bags, dresses, and accessories throughout the 1900s are highly sought after in consignment shops today. Even modern Chanel pieces don’t last long on our shelves due to Coco Chanel’s hold on timeless elegance.

Chanel Accessories fashion icons 

Get preloved Chanel pieces at a fraction of their original ticket price here.  

Glamour Girl Forties: Audrey Hepburn

Following the Second World War, Americans were looking to fashion to bring vitality back to daily life. The 1940s was a decade of elegance and sophistication, and no one embodied this better than Audrey Hepburn. She’s often revered as the pinnacle of “classic style” in a way many women still emulate in 2023.

Audrey Hepburn Fashion Icon 

Her looks were characterized by tailored silhouettes and clean lines, like her iconic little black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This dress, designed by Givenchy, has become a symbol of ageless style and is still a popular find in consignment stores.

Hepburn LBD 

Audrey Hepburn was glamorous yet demure, inspired by French style. Her casual outfit of capri pants with ballet flats is still one of the most popular feminine pairings today. She also often sported classic trench coats and iconic cat-eye sunglasses, which are both considered high-end daily wear pieces today.

Audrey Hepburn Fashion Icon 2023 

Want something timeless and sophisticated like Audrey? Check out our Classic Beauty collection.

Fabulous Fifties: Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe, the “Blonde Bombshell,” was – and often still is – considered the epitome of beauty. The 1950s was a time of glitz and glamour, where Hollywood stars were considered the peak of fashion (like today’s influencers). Marilyn’s style was a perfect reflection of her persona and of the time: dazzling, sensual, and graceful. 

Marilyn Monroe Fashion in 2023 

One of the most famous moments in cinematic history was Marilyn standing over a subway grate with her white halter dress billowing around her, and this dress from The Seven Year Itch remains one of the most popular styles of all time. Buying a vintage-inspired white dress at a consignment store can help you capture that alluring Monroe essence.

Iconic Marilyn Monroe White Dress

Marilyn Monroe also pioneered the way for plunging necklines, bold red lips, luxury accessories, and lots and lots of denim. If you’re captivated by Marilyn’s style, consignment shops are the perfect gateway to creating her iconic, retro looks. Browse our Glam Bombshell collection for inspiration.

Marilyn Monroe Fashion Icon 

Swinging Sixties: Twiggy 

The 1960s brought a radical shift in culture and fashion, especially when Lesley Lawson, famously known as Twiggy, arrived on the scene. She was a British model and actress who embodied the mod movement, a British subculture that spread worldwide inspired by edgy, androgynous fashion that celebrated individuality.

Twiggy Fashion 

Twiggy was known for her doe eyes and androgynous look, sporting bold patterns, short shift dresses, and daring miniskirts previously unseen and unaccepted in mainstream culture. She became a symbol of celebrating individuality and playfulness, especially with her dramatic eye makeup and gender-fluid approach to fashion.

Twiggy slip dress 

Twiggy was one of the first fashion icons who challenged the prevailing norms of beauty. She proved that models didn’t have to conform to conventional beauty standards to be successful, opening the door for more diversity and reputation in modeling and fashion. This impact can still be felt today, both in authentic sixties garments and sixties-inspired contemporary pieces.

Twiggy Fashion Styles 

Shimmering Seventies: Diana Ross

The seventies were all about disco fever, and legendary singer, actress, and producer Diana Ross was a trailblazer for disco music and fashion. She drew attention both with her remarkable vocal talent and her glitzy, sophisticated style.

Diana Ross Fashion Icon 

She was known for her extravagant stage outfits and red carpet-looks, which made her a must-see in concert. With her sequined gowns, flared pantsuits, and stunning hair, she set the stage for opulent, show-stopping fashion choices.

Diana Ross Fashion Showstopper 

Consignment stores and thrift shops are often filled with vintage and look-alike 1970s styles because the seventies were one of the most playful fashion eras. Many fashionistas have adopted the daily wear of “flower power” styles, like bell bottoms, groovy patterns, sparkly dresses, and platform shoes.

Diana Ross Daily Fashion Looks

Check out our Vintage Lover collection for these seventies vibes.

Electric Eighties: Madonna

Madonna was the undisputed queen of fashion in the 1980s –the era of excess and boldness. Madonna’s style was a mix of punk, new wave, and high fashion, fearlessly embracing bold accessories, power suits, and “scandalous” silhouettes.

Madonna's Fashion in the 1980s 

Madonna’s fingerless gloves, layered necklaces, and statement jackets all became iconic, still resonating with fashionistas today. Consignment stores are treasure troves for ‘80s neon and punk finds.

Madonna Stage Fashion 

Madonna never lost the title of “fashion icon.” Even in the early 2000s, she was seen as the embodiment of high fashion. She continued to evolve her style with age, embracing a more toned-down and sophisticated look with tailored suits, elegant dresses, and classic hairstyles. Madonna is proof that you can wear any style and look fashion-forward. It’s all about your confidence and wearing clothes you love.  

Madonna Modern Fashion Icon

Grunge Nineties: Kate Moss

Kate Moss was the poster child for the grunge movement. With her piercing eyes, slender form, and rebellious attitude, she embodied the edginess of the 1990s. Her effortless style combined vintage pieces with rock ‘n’ roll elements, like slip dresses, leather jackets, and combat boots.

Kate Moss Fashion Icon of the 1990s 

Kate Moss’s partnership with Calvin Klein further boosted her style status. Her iconic black-and-white campaign for Calvin Klein’s “Obsession” fragrance in 1993 became one of the most memorable, provocative fashion advertisements of the decade, solidifying Kate Moss as a minimal yet sensual icon.

Kate Moss Fashion Vibes 

Her “London cool” aesthetic is still popular today. She embraced an eclectic mix of high fashion and street style, a contrasting vibe that’s still heavily emulated in modern fashion. The ability to incorporate different, mismatched styles into a singular outfit is what made Moss so chic – and what many shoppers are looking to do when finding unique, hidden gems at their local consignment store.

Kate Moss London Chic 

Get the minimalist, vintage look like Kate Moss with preloved styles in our Modern Minimalist collection.  

New Millennium: Victoria Beckham

There were a lot of fashion icons in the new millennium, from Paris Hilton to Beyonce to Sarah Jessica Parker. But Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice from the Spice Girls, was particularly popular for her minimalist style that made the 2000s so inimitable.

Victoria Beckham Fashion 2023 

While many others were wearing bold, bright pieces, Victoria Beckham focused on quality tailoring and sleek silhouettes. After the Spice Girls disbanded, she launched her fashion label “Victoria Beckham” in 2008, and her dresses were met with instant critical acclaim.

Beckham Designs Modern 

Her designs are characterized by clean lines and impeccable craftsmanship. She creates body-conscious silhouettes like structured blazers and pencil skirts, which is one of the reasons we see so many tailored workwear pieces in casual, non-work wear today.

Modern Victoria Beckham Fashion Icon 

Get the Victoria Beckham aesthetic with our Polished Professional collection.

Embrace your own iconic style

These women and many others have left their mark on the fashion industry, inspiring us to experiment with trends, push boundaries, and celebrate individuality. Their go-to pieces have withstood the test of time and can still be found in your favorite consignment stores today. Whether you love Chanel and Hepburn’s little black dress, Madonna’s rebellious power suits, or Kate Moss’s effortless grunge looks, consignment shops offer a treasure trove of fashion finds to help you unlock your unique style and create your own fashion legacy. Start browsing our preloved pieces to find your next go-to look.


Photo Sources:

Carmen Lopez, President & CEO


Hello Fashion Lovers! I've been in the fashion industry for over 15 years. I started Current Boutique with the desire to recycle amazing pre-loved designer gems for others to enjoy! I value quality, unique craftsmanship, sustainability & saving money. I am a fashion lover who is energized by the challenges and rewards of being an entrepreneur. I'm here to share tips on fashion, style, bargain shopping and business. I hope you enjoy!
XOXO, Carmen