The late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy: wife of the People Magazine’s “1988’s Sexiest Man Alive”, Calvin Klein’s beautiful blonde publicist, and a highly respected style icon in her own right. Her minimalist and glamorous style is timeless–– seen to be just as fashionable today, as she was throughout the 1990’s. It is her choice of classic silhouettes, confidence in a great pair of denim, and belief in the power of understated accessories’ that continues her reign in the fashion world.
Though perfectly of her time, it is not difficult to find pieces today that align with Bessette’s five golden rules to dressing: classic silhouettes, pops of red, jeans with boots, tailored layers, and carry-all totes. Read on to find how to bring a bit of her style into your wardrobe.
It was the 1999 Whitney Museum gala when Carolyn famously tucked a white collared shirt into a black ankle-length skirt. The outfit, a simple combination of staples found in nearly every wardrobe, reassured her place in the fashion world. The beauty of Carolyn’s style was her love of minimalist and classic silhouettes that continues to feel relatable and attainable to her fashion followers. Carolyn’s style proved that fashion is not the latest trends and off-the-runway looks, but rather the imaginative combination of classic pieces.
1. & Other Stories Oversized Button Up Shirt, $89 2. Anine Bing Bar Silk Skirt, $249 3. Re/Done Ribbed Turtleneck Bodysuit, $140
If anything can be learned from Mrs. Bessette-Kennedy, it is that red lipstick has the power to transform any and every outfit. With a love of neutral’s, especially black and white, you could always count on a pop of color from her glossy red pout. The style star was known to keep things simple when it came to the rest of her makeup and street style–– a white crew neck T-shirt and ’90s sunglasses created the perfect canvas to highlight the beauty secret she swore by.
1.Reformation "Francoise" Sunglasses, $98 2. Hanes x Karla 'The Crew" Cropped T-shirt, $48 3. Urban Outfitters "Clarissa" Padded Headband,
$12, $9 4. YSL Volupte Shine Oil-In-Stick Lipstick in "Rouge Tuxedo", $38
It seems obvious: bootcut denim paired with boots, but Carolyn’s everyday uniform allowed her to rise to street style royalty. In a world filled with curve-hugging silhouettes, Carolyn proves that a relaxed fit in a medium wash translates to an effortless, yet chic statement. Don’t we all want that?
1. Re/Done Stretch Mid Rise Kick Flare Crop,
$240, $72 with Mango Cowboy Leather Boots, $300, $115 2. Mother "Dutchie" Cropped Mid Rise Flare, $240, $120 with Topshop "Babe" Block-Heeled Boots, $65, $45 3. Simon Miller Cropped High Rise Wide Leg, $320, $160 with Zara Ruched Leather Heeled Ankle Boots, $149, $70
Just like an amazing bag or a beautiful pair of shoes, bundling up in layers is one of the easiest ways to make an outfit. Carolyn, no stranger to this, showcased her amazing collection of outwear nearly every time she stepped onto the streets of New York. The key to picking out a coat reminiscent of her style is to stick to a classic silhouette but with an unexpected twist (i.e. a subtle plaid print, a fur lined collar, a vibrant hue, or an oversized cut).
1. & Other Stories Long Double Breasted Blazer, $129 2. Zara Belted Double Breasted Coat, $149 3. Mango Checkered Wool Blend Coat,
Carolyn’s amazing collection of handbags are ever-so-appreciated today as they were twenty years ago. Whether seen toting her oversized Hermès Birkin or carrying a smaller-scaled silhouette, each piece had two main components: (1) a menswear-inspired shape (2) cut from neutral black leather. One of the takeaways from Bessette-Kennedy’s wardrobe is versatility. Having many beautiful pieces, she still made sure each could be worn multiple ways… this especially holds true to her collection of handbags.
1. Kooples "Iconic Emily" Maxi Tote, $495 2. Staud "Edie" Bag, $350 3. Zara Topstitched Tote,