Jane Fonda Is Just Getting Started

Jane Fonda has been a style icon for more than half a century. She made athletic attire look chic long before the term “athleisure” even existed. She bestowed an unprecedented stamp of cool upon turtlenecks and high-waist pedal pushers. She escorted head scarves, newsboy caps, beanies and cowboy hats into a new realm of wearability. She proved that the right to have fun with your clothes is not revoked after you turn 45, a truth obvious enough in theory, but all too frequently lost in the wake of abundant misconceptions around “dressing your age.”

Given how many wonderful things get better over time (wine, cheese, cast iron skillets, jeans), it shouldn’t surprise that style might as well. Fonda has always been “stylish,” but she’s having a style moment right now. It hit me when images of her walking the L’Oreal Paris Fashion Week runway in a tiger print Balmain gown went viral over the weekend. That, plus the social media’s outpouring of affection for her hot pink number at the Emmy’s leads me to believe she’s just starting to scratch the surface of her break-the-internet potential.

Like a goody-two-shoes hummingbird seeking drops of nectar in the form of outfit inspiration, I reviewed her best outfits from the past couple of years and distilled the following commandments so that I might absorb as much knowledge as possible from this style moment in the making:

1. Thou shalt never utter the words “too much animal print” ever, ever again.

2. Thou shalt accessorize with a dog instead of a bag whenever the fancy strikes.

3. Thou shalt embrace belts of every size.

4. Thou shalt dress all in one color if it pleases you.

5. Thou shalt wear silly hats and make them look like the least silly thing in the world.

6. Thou shalt frost yourself with ruffles like a gingerbread house roof.

7. Thou shalt indulge in the occasional caftan.

8. Thou shalt wear pantsuits that shout instead of whisper.

9. Thou shalt coin the term “black-tie turtleneck” without even saying it.

10. Thou shalt dabble in scarves not for warmth, but for kicks.

I’m getting them inscribed on stone tablets to hang above my bed, but apparently that takes a few weeks. In the meantime, I’m in the market for a well-behaved dog that looks like a purse and loves to be held.

Feature photo by Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage.

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  • Claude

    Thank you Harling, but it’s too much. I didn’t deserve this beautiful of an article about my favorite person!

    • Harling Ross


  • Adrianna

    I recently watched Klute, and I can’t recommend that film enough for Jane Fonda alone

  • Can’t stop thinking about that leopardskin pantsuit .. and the cute little dog. And that figure. This is a woman who KNOWS how to have fun…Sigh… I don’t suppose you’d share the number of your tablet inscriber, would you?

    • Harling Ross

      hahaha @Moses what’s ur number??

  • lillian c.

    guys please listen to Karina Longworth’s latest “You Must Remember This” podcast series about her. It made me love her even more!

    • Natasha

      Yes, thank you! I love that podcast, to anyone who hasn’t heard it, I thoroughly recommend listening to all of the episodes if you love old school Hollywood stars. Esp Judy Garland, the series on Joan Crawford, and episodes on Audrey Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich

  • Emily E

    Everyone in my life better be ready to find me in that floral suit at every party, wedding, funeral, baptism, work event and perhaps in my own sleep for the next decade.

    • Harling Ross

      i am ready

    • Ready and waiting (for photos)

    • rainbowskies

      It was the absolute best of the bunch

  • SL

    I love the series Grace and Frankie, I love her

  • Tiffany Mouton

    She’s fabulous!

  • Anne Dyer

    Just for a second, I’m not going to address how smart and amazing and what a wonderful activist she is and leave it at – dammmnnnnn. That body. She said she only does yoga now. I’m getting in down dog immediately.

  • elpug

    Ugh I LOVE

  • Jane Fonda is my kweeeen! She kills it every time and the body is amazing. I love it that she’s everywhere lately but I have to question the hair in Paris. So prefer the feathered and frosted look. See my tribute to this fine lady here: http://www.primadarling.com/fashion/jane-fonda-still-rocking-it-at-79/

  • Hajni

    Oh my, I love her all white outfit + silver shoes concept. Also, enrolling my pupper to doggie school as we speak so he’ll stop behaving like a d*ck and start behaving more like a purse (just kiddddiiiiing, except the school part, he really needs it)

  • Elif

    Please tell me you’ve watched grace and frankie

    • Marta Millere

      SO good.

  • Meemaw

    She is gorgeous but I cannot accept the coffee filter in #11.

  • Megaroni

    She glows! Seriously her skin is better than mine, Harling can you interview her for her secrets please? Amazing article per the usual

  • lateshift

    ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ yasss queen