Gianni Versace once said: “Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.”
The fashions and lifestyles of the past decades are quite different from our own in many ways, but some people just exuded class and style no matter the time or the place. Check out some pictures of effortless style from everyday people as well as iconic celebrities below.
This woman from 1901 is bound to catch the eye of everyone at the party.
Car fashion has moved on from this very stylish yet prim picture from 1906…
…to this rather more laid-back (but still stylish) picture from 1963.
You might be the mother of the queen and sister to the queen, but that’s no reason you can’t sit on the grass and enjoy the Badminton Horse Trials just like everyone else in April 1975.
Although if you’re married to the queen, you can have a much better seat, as demonstrated by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1968. Just look at that pose.
What’s more British than Michael Caine in an army uniform with a cup of tea?
If you were ice-skating in England, then the ultimate accessory was apparently a car.
Hats off to the Supremes for this incredible photo from 1965.
If anyone can make a vest look stylish, it’s got to be Roger Moore in the 1950s.
Raquel Welch makes a memorable entrance by sliding down the stair rail at the Odeon Leicester Square in 1966.
Rollerskating in New York in 1910 was a mixture of poise and style.
Music was serious business for singer-songwriter Roy Harper in 1969.
This is quite a scene in the desert! Here’s American jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong playing the trumpet for his wife during a visit to the pyramids at Giza in 1961.
A young Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford define “suave” at the Cannes Film Festival.
School was clearly a lot more fun in the 1940s, judging by the smile on these kids’ faces.
Nobody lounges quite like a thespian, as demonstrated by Derek Jacobi in a 1992 production of Mad, Bad and Dangerous.
Fashion in the 1920s meant that it was unlikely you’d find yourself at a party wearing the exact same dress as your friend.
Jackie Kennedy ensures her son John doesn’t get left out while she takes her eldest daughter, Caroline, out riding.
Entertaining the kids is also top of the list for John F. Kennedy when he takes time to sit and listen to his nephew Bobby Kennedy Jr. on a flight to Boston in July 1960.
He might be best remembered for his corset in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but here Tim Curry proves he exudes style and charm even just sitting at home.
If kids practice enough at it, they might make it to the Empire Pool Youth Dance Festival, like this couple from March 1966.
And if they keep practicing and practicing, maybe one day they’ll be able to dance atop the Chanin Building in New York, just like international dance artists Ramon and Rosita did in July 1930.
Dolly Parton looking effortlessly stylish in 1977.
No one has ever managed to top Errol Flynn’s style when it comes to swordplay.
British actress Jane Seymour ”“ who played Solitaire in the James Bond film Live and Let Die ”“ gives the camera a look that would warn even Bond against messing her around.
Elton John, posing alongside Rod Stewart in 1978, proves that tweed flat caps can be as trendy as any leopard-print outfit.
A bride from 1905 might choose a wedding look something like this.
Albert Einstein taking a break from all those calculations to chill out and go sailing.
So laid back. Here’s singer and songwriter Marvin Gaye photographed in 1973 in Los Angeles, California.
When you’re a member of a royal family, the paparazzi are everywhere. Here, a newly-married Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth look both laidback and happy on a walk during their honeymoon.
Audrey Hepburn, star of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, proves that she can make any hat look good.
David Bowie showing that style is a way of life as he poses in his own home in the 1960s.
This photo from 1954 shows what Clint Eastwood got up to while he was still at film school.
Some men in 1933 with a dashing array of hats.
Kids look great whatever you dress them in, as demonstrated by a young girl in 1951 rocking a knitted swimsuit.
Luckily, swimsuit fashion for everyone else in the 1950s was more elegant.
American actress and singer Dorothy Dandridge strikes a pose while standing on a radiator in a bay window in 1956.
Thirteen-year-old Charles Spencer, the younger brother of Princess Diana, with his beach buggy outside his home in 1977.
This pair are still not done celebrating the morning after the annual Cowes Week Ball in the Isle of Wight in August 1986.
These young Germans from 1938 prove that you don’t need a dance hall to get a conga-line going ”“ any field will do.
Fun and style are combined with this woman waterskiing in Florida in the 1950s.
Sean Connery, perhaps the most popular James Bond ever, can’t even read a book without giving off that “star quality” that made him such a successful actor.