Style & Beauty

Vintage Photos Show Lucille Ball's Unmatched Style Through The Years

I love Lucy, you love Lucy, we all love Lucy.
08/06/2018 05:45am ET | Updated August 6, 2018

Lucille Ball was a star in more ways than one. She was a television pioneer, a trailblazing feminist and a style icon.

During her long career in the entertainment industry, Ball, whose 107th birthday would have been Monday, appeared in over 70 films. But it was her role as Lucy Ricardo in the classic “I Love Lucy” that left the biggest mark on TV. Not only was Ball one of the first female comedic leads on TV, she was the first woman to own her own production company, Desilu Productions. (She co-owned it with her then-husband of 20 years, Desi Arnaz, but she bought him out when they divorced.)

Before all that, Ball got her start as a model in the 1930s and, according to Vogue, she worked for New York designer Hattie Carnegie. In those days, Ball’s signature red locks were bleached blond (she was actually a brunette).

Her time in the fashion industry likely had some influence on the star’s style, which Vogue described as the “casual American look.” She often wore the popular fit-and-flare silhouette in the ’50s, reminiscent of Dior’s New Look, but looked just as stylish in jeans or tailored separates. Ball embraced the glamour of the ’70s and ’80s, incorporating sparkles, feathers and other embellishments into her wardrobe for public events.

Below, take a look back at some of the icon’s best style moments through the years:

Undated
George Rinhart via Getty Images
An early portrait of a blonde Ball.
1936
Underwood Archives via Getty Images
A blonde Ball displays the latest in spring fashion in Hollywood.
1936
Bettmann via Getty Images
Here, Ball wears a two-piece ensemble with a black dress and printed jacket.
1938
CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images
Ball posing for a color portrait.
1938
Bettmann via Getty Images
Ball wearing a floral bonnet in a fashion image.
1939
George Rinhart via Getty Images
The TV icon is photographed with her pet dog.
Early 1940s
Bettmann via Getty Images
Ball is shown here posing in casual attire at her San Fernando Valley ranch home.
Undated
John Springer Collection via Getty Images
The actress is pictured wearing a gingham dress and carrying egg baskets.
Sometime in the 1940s
Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images
Ball posing in a swimsuit.
1941
Bettmann via Getty Images
Ball vacationing at the Roney Plaza Cabana Club.
1942
Bettmann via Getty Images
Ball in a publicity photo.
1945
Clarence Sinclair Bull via Getty Images
Ball wearing an evening gown.
1947
Keystone via Getty Images
Ball at a torch parade in New York to raise funds for the New York Infirmary.
In the 1950s
Bettmann via Getty Images
Ball on the set of "I Love Lucy," which aired from 1951-1957.
1953
FPG via Getty Images
Ball with her then-husband, Desi Arnaz.
1954
Archive Photos via Getty Images
A publicity portrait of the actress.
1955
ullstein bild Dtl. via Getty Images
Ball wearing cuffed jeans and a white headpiece.
1955
Silver Screen Collection via Getty Images
Ball wearing a lace wedding dress.
1959
Leonard McCombe via Getty Images
The Desilu Productions co-founder standing by office door to Desilu Studios in Hollywood.
1962
CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images
Ball photographed in Los Angeles.
1965
CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images
A portrait of Ball under an umbrella.
1972
NBC via Getty Images
Ball, with then-husband Gary Morton, during the "Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" 10th anniversary party.
1974
Tim Boxer via Getty Images
Ball at a party in honor of her starring role in the film version of the Broadway musical "Mame" in New York City.
1974
Ron Galella via Getty Images
Ball at the "Mame" film premiere after-party in Los Angeles.
1975
Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
The star at a Thalians Ball.
1979
Ron Galella via Getty Images
Ball at the The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
1980
Barry King via Getty Images
Ball photographed in 1980.
1981
Barry King via Getty Images
A photo of Ball at the Share Boomtown annual charity event.
1982
Ron Galella via Getty Images
The star during the taping of Bob Hope's special "The Women I Love: Beautiful, But Funny" at NBC Studios in Burbank, California.
1982
Time & Life Pictures via Getty Images
Ball with then-husband Morton.
1986
ABC Photo Archives via Getty Images
Ball in a publicity still.
1987
Ron Galella via Getty Images
Ball at the 10th annual Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts.
1987
Time & Life Pictures via Getty Images
Pictured at the taping of the Hollywood 100th Birthday Celebration.
1987
Time & Life Pictures via Getty Images
Ball at a book signing event for Betty White's
1988
Jim Smeal via Getty Images
Ball at the Los Angeles Children's Museum's annual Halloween carnival and fashion show.
1989
Time & Life Pictures via Getty Images
Ball and Morton at the American Cinema Awards in Los Angeles.

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this story, a photo caption misstated the date of a photo of Ball as 1940 instead of 1954.

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