Style Icon: Greta Garbo

Greta in her namesake Garbo hat via Felix in Hollywood

Perhaps the greatest mark of a style icon is having an item of clothing named after you. Few can claim to have made this mark, but Greta Garbo (née Gustafsson), did…with the equivalent of a Sharpie marker.

Born in 1905 in Stockholm, Sweden, into a poor family, Garbo’s life started high-stepping its way to the high life during her time working at PUB, one of Sweden’s greatest department stores. There, after quickly working her way into a role as a salesgirl, Greta became a hat model and began making the connections that would rocket her into stardom and lead to the naming of the Garbo Hat.

Images via She Blogged by Night and Historiful

Image via Fashion Loves Films

Once famous, Garbo was often in the public eye and dressed accordingly, frequenting a long string of pearls and slinking into ultra-elegant gowns when the occasion presented itself. In her off-time, though, Garbo opted for comfortable, casual clothing — camel-colored coats, jaunty scarves, men’s Oxfords, crisp shirts, and well-tailored trousers. In both modes of dress, Garbo pulled off her looks with earthshaking poise, and her sartorial spirit was greatly admired.

No matter whether she was dressing down or garlanding herself in glamour, Garbo often crowned her ensemble by placing a hat upon her crown. Brimmed, boyish caps, close-fitting cloches, twisting turbans, all were worn by Garbo with poise, but there was one kind of hat that Greta preferred above all others: the slouch fedora. This mystery-brewing, felt topper was worn by Garbo so much, it became named after her.

Images via Garbo Forever

Image via

Greta’s style, particularly her eponymous Garbo hat, haven’t lost their allude, even a half-dozen decades later. So take a note from Miss Garbo and remember: wearing a hat is a great way to get ahead when you’re aiming for standout style.


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  1. Avatar
    Kaleigh 01/16/2012 at 5:33 am #

    GREAT photos… I love this!

  2. Avatar
    Emma 01/16/2012 at 11:23 am #

    As a swede, I’m proud of Garbo. She was such a beautiful and special woman!

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