Occasionally it takes a little bit of hindsight to realise just how good we once had it, how effortlessly cool and iconic we once were, without ever really trying.
But in the modern era of constant selfies, cheaper cosmetic enhancements and a desire to be more shocking, controversial and scandalous thanks to reality TV – somewhere along the line we lost our sense of style and even class to an extent.
It’s easy to forget that 1940′s swimwear use to look like this and beauty treatments in the 1900′s were certainly a lot more disconcerting than they are now. Sex appeal is vastly more invasive than it was say 50 years ago, our clothes becomes smaller and tighter, our bodies more sculpted and our quest for youth easier, of that there’s little doubt. But do we have the effortless grace and poise so apparent in previous generations? Who is our modern-day equivalent of Audrey Hepburn? Who shimmer with sultry charm of Marilyn Monroe? And have we let our standards drop along the way?
Whilst we all have different answers to those questions and even though fashion and beauty are constantly evolving, you simply can’t deny classic beauty. The following 26 iconic photos are a reminder of just that, some of the ladies you will recognize, some you won’t, yet collectively they are the very definition of retro cool.