grace kelly swimming

6 Ways to Dress Like a Classic Hollywood Actress on Your Summer Vacation

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If your dream summer wardrobe means looking like you’re vacationing on the French Riviera or looking like you could easily be mistaken as a Hollywood actress from the 50s, then you’re in the right place. Taking inspiration from Grace Kelly’s style in the iconic film, How To Catch a Thief, I’ve compiled 6 no-fail ways on how to dress like a classic Hollywood actress this summer. Using these tips, you can know how to capture the French Riviera style seen in all the best vintage Hollywood films. Now all you have to do is book that trip to the South of France! Take me with you?

1. Choose Halter Neck Swimsuits for a Retro Vibe

Classy and flattering, what’s not to love? The current swimsuit styles of today leave very little to the imagination, but the swimsuit styles of the 50s highlight the best features of your body while still providing some coverage. The result? A slimming and feminine look!

So if you want to look like a vintage goddess sunbathing in Cannes, then opt for a halter swimsuit instead. And in inspiration of French actress, Brigitte Auber, dress up your swimsuit with some gold bangles.

dress like a classic hollywood actress

2. Opt for Linen Separates

grace kelly swimming

It doesn’t matter what decade it is, linen will always be in style. And good thing too, because not only is it a great material to wear for summer, but it looks casual, effortless, and stylish all at the same time.

Add a two-piece linen coordinating set into your summer outfit rotation this season. Whether you’re catching up with a friend over an iced coffee or going shopping, a linen set will be just the thing you need.

3. Embrace Nautical Style With Stripes, Polka Dots, and High-Waisted Sailor Pants

If you can’t rock your best nautical style in the summer, then when can you? Nautical style was made for summer and water destinations, so if you find yourself taking a vacation or weekend getaway to the lake, ocean, or even the pool, pretend you’re laying out by the Mediterranean Sea and bring your best style foot forward.

Whether it’s a striped shirt, polka dot scarf, or both (à la Cary Grant), these clothing items will have you looking Côte d’Azur chic in no time.

hollywood vintage summer style

Related: What To Wear for a European Summer (Whether You’re Traveling to Europe or Not)

4. Create This Go-To Classy Outfit Formula: Sleeveless Top, Lightweight Skinny Scarf, & Pleated Midi Skirt

Need a vintage Hollywood starlet outfit idea to get you started? Here’s one! This outfit idea is not only impossibly chic (though it is), but it’s also breezy and comfortable to wear, thanks to the pleated midi skirt and sleeveless top.

A skinny lightweight scarf isn’t going to overheat your outfit, but it will add a classy finishing touch. This is the type of look you’d want to wear out to a nice summer lunch. And hey, if you want to whisk away a dashing gentleman in your convertible, then by all means…

dress like a classic hollywood actress

5. Accessorize With Cat-Eye Sunglasses, Hair Wraps, Wide Brim Straw Hats, and Basket Bags

The accessories make the outfit. And this case is no different. Yet instead of piling on the current trendy accessories of today, like belt bags, micro bags, and oversized belts, you will choose accessories from another time.

From basket bags to cat-eye sunglasses, these accessories came decades before us, yet they’re just as loved today. (Notice I say loved, not trendy). These are the types of accessories you won’t regret buying because they’ll never go out of style. And today, they’ll add that classic and vintage nod to all your looks.

6. Choose Espadrilles As Your Footwear of Choice

The only thing that’s left is to choose your footwear. If you’ve got shoe fatigue and you can’t decide how to complete your look, let me simplify it for you. Just pick espadrilles. Now that was easy!

They’re timeless, easy to slip on, and versatile, matching every summer piece in your wardrobe. If you pick them in a neutral color, then you’ll never be stuck wondering what to pair them with again. Outfit completed. Accessories picked. Shoes on. Now you’re ready to head out the door!

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To dress in a classic way in this day and age, take inspiration from movies and celebrities that came before you. Following these 6 tips will get you that Grace Kelly style in no time.

Because Grace Kelly just does style so well, doesn’t she? To get even more style tips and outfit ideas from her, check out How to Have a Modern-Day Grace Kelly Style!


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.